gh returns
Credit: Images: Jill Johnson/JPI, Lawrence Lucier/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Priscilla Grant/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

It must be true that the destination is as important as the journey, ’cause we’re sure enjoying the ride!

The September 28 episode of General Hospital was a biggie — and not just because it revealed that Obrecht was behind Dante’s new mission. The hour also heavily hinted at three big returns — one that we knew about, two for which we only hoped.

The first comeback we’ve been discussing since August, when Vanessa Marcil all but came out and said on social media that she’d be returning as Sonny and Jax’s lost love, Brenda Barrett. And Monday’s episode teed up a whole lot more foreshadowing of her reappearance in Port Charles.

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First, while reminiscing about their own past romance, Ned and Alexis wound up comparing themselves to, of all people, Sonny and Brenda, and Jax and Brenda. “What happened to us, Ned?” asked Alexis. “We had so many possibilities. I mean, we weren’t smoldering and tormented like Sonny and Brenda or fabulous like Jax and Brenda. But we were smart and witty, and people liked us.”

general hospital jax brenda sonny

That, they did, Alexis. But the point is, that was an awful lot of discussion about Brenda’s love life for a talk about Ned and Alexis’. Later, Sonny and Jax discussed their old flame without ever mentioning her name. “I guess in your world,” Nina told her beau, “no one ever does anything they regret.”

In response, Jax locked eyes with Sonny as he said, “Well, maybe one or two.”

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When the don challenged Jax to reveal what it is that he regretted, Jax clarified. “Well, it’s not what I did, it’s what I didn’t do,” he said, flashbacks all but playing out before his eyes. Nina assured him that whatever he’d done or hadn’t done, he’d surely done it with good intentions. Again, Jax locked eyes with Sonny. “Well, I thought so at the time,” he sighed, “but some people might not agree with that.” Could the subtext have been any clearer?

Guess maybe it could have been more obvious if Brenda’s name had been spelled out — and in the case of our second imminent comeback, the name actually was spelled out. Literally. On an envelope. After Julian stole Nelle’s letter from Martin, he learned that he’d missed out on getting the missive that he really needed, the one that would implicate him in Lucas and Brad’s accident.

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“Dear Julian, you are so predictable,” the letter read. “I knew you’d find a way to get this envelope away from poor Marty. The actual letter that incriminates you and will motivate Sonny to end your miserable life is still out there. Good hunting. I may be dead, but you’re the one in hell. Your loving wife, Nelle.”

As Julian then wracked his brain to think of someone other than Martin with whom Nelle might have trusted such an important document, we cut to a uniformed Pentonville guard sorting mail… including an envelope addressed to Ryan Chamberlain from NBJ (Nelle Benson Jerome) and covered in smiley faces. Not even the vixen’s demise was going to keep her from scheming — and with arguably the most dangerous partner in crime she ever had, Kevin’s serial-killer brother!

gh nelle letter to ryan

The last comeback isn’t really a surprise since the news has already broken that the character All My Children vet Kim Delaney will be playing is Demi Moore’s old one, investigative journalist Jackie Templeton. But it was still fun to follow the breadcrumbs that the show dropped.

After Lulu defended Peter to Robert — boy, will she regret that! — the D.A. could only shake his head in disbelief at how easily snowed Luke’s daughter was. “I’ve known some real reporters in my time, and you could measure up,” he told her. “But first, you’d have to take the blinders off.” Brilliant, no? The line practically read like “I’ve known some real reporters in my time — like Jackie — and you could measure up — even to Jackie — but first, you’d have to take the blinders off — Jackie could show you how.”

Moreover, Lulu left the conversation more determined than ever to bring down baddies like Cyrus and the man who’d tortured her beloved former husband, Dante. “If I had a national platform,” she began, only to stop herself.

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“Robert just gave me a great idea to get our Cyrus project off the ground,” she told Peter, of all people. “And it might just have the added benefit of getting Robert off your back.” You could almost picture Lulu Googling Jackie’s phone number in the next scene.

What do you think, General Hospital fans? Do you agree that we’ll soon be getting Brenda and Ryan back on the canvas as well as Jackie? Hit the comments with your thoughts, and while you’re here, why not check out the below photo gallery, which counts down the show’s 30 greatest characters of all time — in order.