When news broke earlier this week that Genie Francis would
be returning to her ‘General Hospital’ stomping grounds I heard a collective
cheer rise from soap fans everywhere.
Everyone has a favorite character – and they differ wildly –
but I don’t know anyone that doesn’t agree that Francis’ Laura is one of the
most important characters in soap opera history.
Not only was Laura half of the first, official, super
couple. She was also the centerpiece of the most watched soap episode ever.
Yes, Laura is that important.
Still, Francis admits she had some provisions that had to be
met before she would agree to return. Namely, that her once feisty Laura would
no longer be portrayed as a victim, and would instead return to her heroic
For years, Laura Spencer was turned into a character that no
one – even her famous portrayer – could possibly recognize. Laura Spencer wasn’t
just a shadow of who she used to be – she was a virtual doppelganger.
Francis also said that she wanted a plausible reason for why
Laura would have stayed away from her children for so long. Let’s face it, soap
mothers are never great, but one would think Laura would have turned up when
Nikolas lost his fiancé, when Lucky lost his wife, or when her grandson was run
down by her drunken ex-husband and had his organs donated.
This is all on top of other important times that would have
beckoned her homeward, like the deaths of Edward Quartermaine and Robin
Scorpio, Lulu’s brush with alcoholism (and her son-in-law’s continuous brushes
with bullets) and that whole baby switch thing that pitted her two sons against
I have no idea how the writers are going to craft a story
that explains Laura’s absence. I’m hoping they say she was working with Frisco
in the WSB and couldn’t return for reasons of national security – because there’s
no other excuse for her to be absent. I still can’t fathom how the Frisco I
remember could miss his own daughter’s funeral, but that’s a whole other
While Francis’ return isn’t long-term, it is set to last
several months and Ron Carlivati admits that he is trying to woo her onscreen
sons – Jonathan Jackson and Tyler Christopher – back for guest spots as well.
Sorry Ethan fans, he is not Laura’s son and shouldn’t figure in that equation.
And, while we’re taking swift turns into the off topic arena, he should never
have been Luke’s son anyway. He should have been Robert’s.
Getting Jackson back for a guest spot should be relatively
easy. He’s on another ABC show, and Jackson has expressed interest in returning
to his old GH stomping grounds. Maybe his Lucky was in the WSB with Laura and
Frisco – because I find it hard to
believe Lucky would randomly dump his kids, too.
The thing I’m most looking forward to with Francis’ return,
though, is a mature love story between Luke, Laura, Anna, Duke and Robert
(revive him!). Anna is GH’s strongest heroine right now, and Laura and she
could have some very funny conversations.
Laura: So, you slept with my ex-husband and then left him
for a guy you thought was your ex-husband but he turned out to be a super spy
in a latex mask? Then your other ex-husband raced to your rescue and got
injected with a drug that put him in a coma?
I also abandoned my daughter for years, just like you
abandoned your kids. Since I’ve been back in Port Charles, though, I’ve been
more of a mother to your daughter than you’ve been in the past decade.
Laura: So, who’s better in bed, Luke or Robert?
Anna: Didn’t you give Robert a ride in Genoa City?
Silly, I know, but I can’t help but get a little geeked at
the possibility of Anna and Laura sharing screen time and whipping these young “heroines”
into shape. For the life of me, I can’t understand why Anna hasn’t stepped in
and smacked the crap out of Dr. Britt. That’s another tangent, I know, but it’s
driving me insane.
Anyway, it looks to be several weeks before Laura is
actually on our screens, so we’ll have to bask in the glow of the newly dead
Saint Jason of the Docks until she returns.
What do you think? How should Laura be written back in?