liz mashup
Credit: ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2), ABC, Paul Skipper/JPI, Howard Wise/JPI

After General Hospital tapped Roger Howarth to take over the role of serial killer Franco from James Franco 20 years ago next month, the Emmy winner did the impossible. In other words, he did the same thing that he had done at One Life to Live with Todd Manning and transformed the villain into not only a fan favorite but one for whom the audience rooted. We even got all the way on board with the show’s decision to pair the character with, of all people, sweet Elizabeth Webber. We were 100-percent Team “Friz.”

Needless to say, Franco’s death at the hand of Peter August in 2021 did not go over well. It essentially undid all of Howarth and the writers’ hard work and brought a very premature end to Liz and Franco’s love story. Or did it? What happens on Wednesday, April 19, may yet give us reason to hope that Howarth and Rebecca Herbst will make on-screen magic again.

GENERAL HOSPITAL - "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday, on ABC (check local listings). (ABC/Todd Wawrychuk)REBECCA HERBST, ROGER HOWARTH

Not the kind of bed scene we were hoping for.

Credit: ABC

So what, exactly, happens? Liz has something nice to say to Howarth’s new character, Austin Gatlin-Holt. Which doesn’t sound like much, we know. But General Hospital has a habit of chemistry-testing characters before throwing them into story together. (See also: Josslyn and Dex, Robert and Diane, Cody and Sasha… ) And, given the sparks that Herbst and Howarth previously made fly as Liz and Franco, we have a feeling they’re going to pass the test with flying colors and pound the final nail into the coffin of her on-again/off-again relationship with Finn.

For her part, Herbst was as bewildered by the abrupt conclusion of “Friz” as the rest of us. “I think Liz grew up a lot in her relationship with Franco,” she told Soap Opera Digest. “It was the first time she was able to truly be honest with herself and stand up for herself and have a man support her, which was monumental in her life… I don’t really understand why the writers decided to end things the way they did.”

Would you be down for a Herbst/Howarth rematch? On your way to the comments, review Elizabeth’s life story in the below photo gallery.