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ABC

If Robert Scorpio can’t find love, what does that say for the rest of us?

When General Hospital first introduced us to Robert Scorpio way back on December 2, 1980, it’s safe to say that we collectively swooned. It wasn’t just that portrayer Tristan Rogers redefined dashing or that the character was bigger than life. It wasn’t even the accent… although to be fair, that didn’t hurt! Instead, it was that we immediately sensed there was more to this mysterious man — first seen in the clips below holding a gun on Luke, who’d eventually become his closest friend — than met the eye.

Over the next few years, we’d watch Robert forge new relationships and eventually find romance with a bevy of ladies, including British beauties Holly Sutton and his own ex-wife, Anna Devane. He was a father, brother, friend and lover. But perhaps most important of all, he was a good guy. Not a good guy who happened to also kill people or a dark hero, but a genuinely good guy. In a town like Port Charles, and a world like the one in which we live, that was and is something worth celebrating.

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Now, more than ever, that’s true of both the reel and real worlds. Port Charles can be a troubling, dark place where some of the town’s most outstanding citizens are also responsible for some of its most heinous acts. To provide balance, we need to see people who reflect our better angels… people like Robert.

General Hospital is also a show in desperate need of romance. This is a genre that was built on the notion of love in the afternoon, and who better to help bring that back to life than Robert? The show briefly flirted with the idea of a Robert/Olivia pairing as they flirted their way across Monte Carlo, but it seems that she and Ned are finding their way back together. But that doesn’t mean Robert should be put back on the shelf… not when the ultimate romantic story is simply waiting to be told.

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Above: “Listen, Liv, should that whole rich, handsome husband thing not work out, I’m always up for a new adventure!”

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While the world at large believes Holly to be dead, we know better… and it’s time for the writers to set Robert off on a romantic quest to find his ex-wife and bring her back to the land of the living. Once reunited, they can return to their favorite upstate New York town and remind everyone — including us — that life and love go on long after we leave our 20s behind.

Much as daytime loves the idea of courting younger viewers, the fact of the matter is that the audience looks a lot more like Robert and Holly than it does Cameron and Josslyn. What kind of message is it sending viewers to permanently seat vibrant, much-loved characters like Robert, Holly, Stella, Monica and Bobbie at the singles table or, worse yet, have them exist largely off-screen?

It’s worth remembering that characters don’t only appeal to their own demographic. Plenty of older viewers enjoy reliving the thrills of first love via Trina and Spencer (sorry, Esme!), just as Laura is not only one of daytime’s most iconic characters of all time but remains one of its most popular.

What plot would you love to see play out with Robert? Entertain us with your storytelling abilities in the comments section, then check out time-spanning tribute to the superspy’s adventures and romances. But a friendly reminder: We can not be held responsible for any flashbacks induced by the trip down Memory Lane!