roger howarth austin gh
Credit: ABC screenshot

Hmm… apparently, the Emmy winner’s new alter ego is going to have as great an interest in a significant Port Charles clan as the rest of us.

The plot thickens. Back in March, when General Hospital killed off reformed serial killer Franco Baldwin, portrayer Roger Howarth was quick to tell Soap Opera Digest that he wasn’t gone for good. He wasn’t just going to be worked back into the canvas of ABC’s one and only daytime drama, he was going to be worked back in in a way that left the alum of One Life to Live and As the World Turns stoked.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I have great faith in the people who think of these things.”

With good reason, it seems. On May 27, Howarth made his first appearance as Austin, a hiker who bumped into Maxie as she fled from Peter’s henchwoman. As luck would have it, the new guy was a doctor — just what Maxie needed to help her deliver baby Louise in the middle of nowhere.

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Now we have even more intel on Austin. (If the plot gets any thicker, it’s going to be solid!) In the new issue of Digest, it’s revealed that he will have “an interest in a prominent Port Charles family.”

GENERAL HOSPITAL - "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday, on ABC (check local listings). (ABC/Valerie Durant) CHAD DUELL, LESLIE CHARLESON, WALLY KURTH, JANE ELLIOT, LISA LOCICERO, AMANDA SETTON

“Prominent? Us?!? If you insist… ”

Credit: ABC

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Hmm… but which one? The Corinthoses are certainly front and center, but Austin’s a doctor, not a made man. What about the Quartermaines? There’s been speculation already that Howarth could be a recast of Alan’s son, Drew (or perhaps even a re-reincarnation of A.J.).

Our theory? That Austin is indeed related to the Quartermaines… but in a slightly less direct fashion. Longtime fans will remember that back in 1983, a handsome young man named Jimmy Lee Holt showed up in Port Charles. Before long, he was revealed to be the illegitimate offspring of Quartermaine patriarch Edward, who’d long ago had an affair with Beatrice LeSeur. (In the clip below, you can watch Edward welcome his newfound heir into the family fold.)

“What does that have to do with anything?” you ask. Well, after a series of unfortunate events unfolded, Jimmy Lee (who at one point went by the name Eric Quartermaine) decided that city life just wasn’t for him. With older wife Charity by his side, Edward’s son moved to the little town of Pautauk, New York, to run the general store.

Still wondering what we’re blathering on about? Well, it just so happens that the cabin to which Peter had Maxie spirited away was located in the town of — you see it coming, right? — Pautauk. And while that could be a coincidence, how often do those happen on soaps?

Might Austin be the son of Jimmy Lee and Charity… making him Edward’s grandchild, Ned’s cousin and so on?

There are, obviously, many other possibilities. Maybe the new guy in town’s fixation on a certain family concerns the Cassadines. He might also be connected to the Webber family.

liz cameron scotty GENERAL HOSPITAL - Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), William Lipton (Cameron) and Kin Shriner (Scott) in scenes that air the week of October 28, 2019 on ABC's "General Hospital." "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday, 3-4pm, ET on ABC. GH19(ABC/Valerie Durant) REBECCA HERBST, WILLIAM LIPTON, KIN SHRINER

“Look away. No one’s supposed to notice those lamps are from the Goal Post on All My Children.”

Credit: ABC

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You’ll recall that Elizabeth recently told Scotty that she isn’t close to her father, and already she’s had at least one heretofore unknown-branch added to her family tree courtesy of Jeff’s daughter, Hayden. Might Cameron and his siblings soon have a new uncle?

The answer may not necessarily come quickly, as the show’s headwriters also told Digest that Austin will “shake things up in surprising ways as the summer unfolds.”

What do you think? Which family do you think will be Austin’s focus? On your way to the comments, click here to see who we would cast as Liz’s MIA dad, then stop off at the below photo gallery, which reviews how all of the Quartermaines to whom Austin might be related… are related!

Video: YouTube/Theresa Gonzalez