What will Laura's return mean? and later on, Laura's return!
Genie Francis' return to daytime was meant to be brief, just in time for November sweeps! The fans are torn up by the 'Laura tease' and most from our polls seem to want her back.
Laura has been in a catatonic state for four years, thought to be brought on by the stress of Laura killing her step father, Rick Webber (formerly played by Chris Robinson). In a nutshell, she 'goes to sleep a bride, and wakes up a grandmother', after being treated with a new experimental drug LS49.
As Laura slips in and out of her slumber, while bidding farewell to her daughter, Lulu (Julie Berman) she admits that she doesn't think she actually killed Rick! Lulu promises to prove her mother's innocence, before she slips back under.
I spoke with Julie Clark Robinson (Soaps.com's GH writer), about how it all went down, all those years ago and between the two of us; this is what we pieced together:
"Four years ago, just as Laura was about to marry Luke, Rick approached Laura in her attic. Laura was having flashbacks of when she was a teenager in that same garage attic - when she busted her stepfather Rick having an affair up there, with a General Hospital nurse, Theresa. At the time, Laura watched, in terror as Theresa attacked Rick, and instinct forced her to protect Rick by hitting Theresa over the head with a camera. Unfortunately, she accidentally killed Theresa, and was traumatized by it. Not wanting her to face the ramifications of her actions, Rick gave Laura a drug to forget the whole incident (He was a doctor). He and Scotty (portrayed by Kin Shriner) then buried Theresa the backyard to protect Laura from being convicted of murder! In the same garage attic, several years later, Laura convinces herself that Rick killed Theresa, and of course he denies it, but refuses to tell her the truth. When he tries to inject her with a foreign substance, she panics, thinking he's trying to kill her, too! Fearing for her life, she grabs a heavy candlestick and bashes his head with it killing him. Covered in Rick's blood, Laura suffered a complete psychotic breakdown, with another death cover up to follow. Laura was taken for a psychiatric evaluation, and as her mental state began to deteriorate more, she was finally committed to a psychiatric institution - Shady Brook. This is where she has been for the past four years."
This is where the storyline progressed from this past month, with Laura's return. Laura is around for a month, for November sweeps, just long enough to make fans crave her presence permanently. An emotional reunion reminds fans of Luke and Laura's love, and as the days go by, we see that Laura isn't completely well. She doesn't have a long time with her family, so they cram Thanksgiving and Christmas into one evening! Unfortunately, for the fans, Laura slips away for a time during the Thanksgiving/Christmas festivities. When she comes to, she fears that her disease is progressing at a much faster rate than they expected. She asks to see the doctor right away, to find out how long she has. Dr. Drake arrives, examines her and advises her to check back into Shady Brook, confirming that she's regressing rapidly. She feels that with little time left, she must check in right this moment, while she can still sign herself in. The festivities come to a bittersweet end, with Luke driving her over to Shady Brook.
Once back in her rocker, she is again catatonic. The kids enter the room to say their goodbyes, learning that she wasn't 'with' Luke for the ride over. Luke 'talks her back to them', and Luke and the kids say a tearful goodbye.
Here is what you had to say:
Kathy S: I hear it is reported that you don't have the money to keep Laura on the payroll. Here is a suggestion, fire some of the worthless characters, and keep Laura. Why do all of the storylines have to center around relationships falling apart? How about love and hope, like Luke and Laura. Spread some goodness and love. SAVE LAURA!
Lindee W: If they write Laura off, I'm done!
Pam F: I have started watching General Hospital for the first time in years - actually since Laura left the show the last time and now that you've put Luke and Laura back together I was quite excited to start watching again and so looked forward to it every day. But the rumors I've heard that you only brought her back for a short time and after watching tonight's episode I realize these are not rumors. I hope you will consider bringing back Genie - she is General Hospital - her and Luke Geary - bring back daytime's most popular couple and I'll come back to watching again. Unfortunately, I will not stay a viewer if these two people are not together on your show - the other stories just don't hold a candle to these two. I'm sure the General Hospital Family would welcome the Luke and Laura story back to its fold and so would a lot of returning (and now leaving) viewers. Thank you for listening.
Ellen M: Can you please tell me why Genie Francis was brought back to General Hospital just to be taken back off again?
Mary R: It's not fair. Please bring Laura back. So many people love this couple. Myself and many friends have been waiting four years for her return! It was the best acting ever. Anthony & Genie out did themselves - every episode was outstanding!
All of us here at Soaps.com will miss Genie Francis' portrayal of Laura Spencer. She was only brought back for November sweeps, and we do know that the door has been left open for Genie to return. In interviews, Genie has said "I consider myself retired." She is now a business owner, running a "Cottage Furnishings and Home Accessories" store, in Belfast, Maine! Check her site out at The Cherished Home. For those of you who wondered what song was playing during the last scenes with Luke and Laura, the song is titled "Angel" by Robin Thicke. For purchase info, please visit his official website: Robin Thicke
(If you missed Genie's last episode, read it here: Get Your Kleenex Ready.)