One of my favorite things about soap operas has always been the surprising return of a character that no one saw coming. Nothing gets my heart pumping harder than that moment when the person that I least expect appears on my television screen, followed by the gasp of disbelief from the person (or persons) sharing a scene with them.
Like when Robin showed up at Patrick and Sabrina's wedding, or when Carly sauntered into her own funeral. Who can forget when Laura strolled across the lawn of the mayoral mansion as Luke stood on the balcony, staring in wonder at the woman that he believed -- until that moment -- had died.? Those are the moments that make soap operas great, and they are always among my favorites.
True, most are returns from the dead, but not all. Marcus Taggert recently made his way back to Port Charles after a prolonged absence, and it turned out he had an ex-wife and daughter living there. Jerry Jacks also periodically rears his dastardly head, while his brother Jax has made several grand entrances over the years, much to Sonny's frustration. If it's the right character and circumstances, the return can make quite a big splash and drive fans into a frenzy of excitement, eager to see what happens next.
It's those major returns that I want to talk about this week.
Before I get to that, though, I want to make it clear that I don't want any of these returns to be a guest appearance. With a few exceptions (like when Robin visits Anna, or Spencer is on break from school), I hate when someone only shows up for a scene or two. It might sound selfish, but I like them to stay a while. The writers should have a storyline in place, and the return should be treated like it's Sweeps. Pull out all the stops, and slap on all the bells and whistles. Make the most of it, and give the fans something to remember.
With that in mind, and in no particular order, here are the top five characters that need to return as quickly as possible.
I'm going to start with Drew Cain because I've long argued that this character had so much more to give us when they sent him on his doomed flight.
I would love for Billy Miller to reprise the role because I honestly can't see anyone else playing Drew, who can only be described as the slightly altered version of Stone Cold. If they recast this role, it's going to take someone that can play Jason Morgan because Drew is essentially Jason with Drew Cain's instincts. Drew did tell Liz that he had had a few flashes of his old self, so she shouldn't give up hope on Franco's memories returning. However, Drew's memories were all of Jason's life except for the ones that Drew formed during his time in Port Charles.
Drew's return wouldn't just impact his daughter, Scout's, life, but her mother's, as well. After all, when Drew was Jason, he gave up Sonny and the mob for Sam and Danny. Now that Sam is on parole and prohibited from cavorting with known felons like Jason, could Drew's arrival make her take stock of things and the life that awaits her and the children once her parole ends and she marries Jason?
How could Sam not compare the two men if they are right under her nose?
I think Drew's return is fated. Not only was a body not recovered, which makes it almost a certainty that he is not dead, but I don't recall Monica having a memorial service for the son that she had loved enough to adopt just months earlier.
It would make sense if Drew had caught on to the plot to kill him and teamed up with the WSB to stage the plane crash and to find out how Peter is bankrolling all of these extravagant assassination plots. It's time for Peter to pay his dues, starting with what he did to Andre Maddox and Drew. Peter's fate was sealed when he put the hit on Drew, so I don't feel the least bit sorry for him. The person I feel sorry for is Maxie, and I want her free of Peter. The sooner the better.
I'd also like for the writers to delve into the ten or so years between when Drew left a pregnant Kim in San Diego and when he ended up in Helena's clutches. Oh, and Peter's. *Insert eyeroll* The glimpse of him that we saw through Franco's eyes -- and Shiloh's memories -- intrigued me.
My next pick is the incomparable Brenda Barrett portrayed by the sublime and stunningly beautiful Vanessa Marcil.
This is one of those roles that simply cannot ever be recast because Vanessa is Brenda, and vice versa. Fans, including me, would riot if anyone even so much as thought about entertaining the idea of having someone else step into Vanessa's exquisite Louboutins. It's because Vanessa/Brenda are so wildly popular with viewers that I think her return would be a huge coup for the show.
We know next to nothing about what led to Brenda and Jax's latest split. There's definitely unresolved stuff between the two. There always is. Imagine the impact Brenda's return would have on Jax's relationship with Nina, which is already on shaky ground because of the situation with Nelle. Nina would be a complete mess if Brenda showed up, not just because of Jax, but because Brenda is also in the fashion industry.
Then there's Sonny and Carly. I think the days of Carly being insecure about Brenda are over, especially since the birth of Donna. However, that certainly wouldn't stop Carly and Brenda from approaching each other with their claws fully extended and freshly sharpened. They will always despise each other because of Sonny and Jax, which is a shame. I always thought that Carly and Brenda would make a formidable team -- like Harley Quinn and Storm -- if they ever decided to join forces.
I wouldn't expect Brenda to stick around for the long term, but if she did, she could keep busy saving Deception from Lucy's poor management skills and Valentin's cruel intentions.
Next up, Lucky Spencer. He is long overdue for a return. That drive-by fiasco when he helped to rescue little Jake from Cassadine Island then dropped the poor traumatized child off with Liz doesn't count. Lucky didn't even take the boys out for ice cream. Also, staying in contact with your kids through occasional video chats year after year does not a father make. I'm sorry, but in Aiden's case, that boy doesn't even know what it's like to live in the same country as his father, let alone the same town.
Even if Aiden has been visiting Lucky during school breaks (which would be a new development, in part because Aiden is so young), it doesn't make it right because Lucky has never attended a school function or been present for any of Aiden's milestones like his first word, first step, first day of school, nor has Lucky ever sat with Aiden when he was sick, helped him when he was bullied, or gotten to experience Aiden's love for baking.
Franco, Drew, and Jason have been far more fatherly to the three boys than Lucky ever was, which is tragic because Lucky made a promise to each of those children that he would be their father. Jake is the only one I cut Lucky any slack on, mostly because Drew's Jason then Jason each asserted their parental right to be a part of Jake's life. He's had a consistent father figure in his life, as have Cameron and Aiden, thanks to Franco.
Cameron, Jake, and Aiden each shares a unique bond with Franco, and I think it's fair to say that all three consider Franco more a father than they do Lucky.
Having Lucky back would also give Laura all three of her children in town at one time, which hasn't happened in forever. I don't know if Jonathan Jackson would be interested in returning, but I am open to a recast. I grew to love Greg Vaughn in the role, even if I hated the writing for him, so I know it could work if they get the right actor.
Lucky and Nikolas teaming up to foil Valentin would be a fun and exciting storyline -- and perhaps what is needed to finally lure Lucky back to town. To be honest, I find it odd that Lucky hasn't reached out to his brother since Nikolas' return from the dead. I would think that Lucky, more than anyone, might understand what it's like to make poor choices. After all, checking out on your kids for years on end because your heart was broken by the death of a wife you were married to for five minutes is a pretty selfish choice.
I hate that Lucky turned out to be a bigger deadbeat father than Luke because it truly seemed that Lucky was determined not to repeat history. For that reason, and more, I want Lucky to return and atone for his sins as a father. Aiden is a sweet kid who deserves the love and support of both of his parents and for both to be present in his life.
Next, I would absolutely love for Tracy Quartermaine to make an extended visit. She is exactly who Michael will need at his side to save ELQ because he's going to have his hands full between Ned, a misguided family, and, of course, Valentin. There is no way that the Tracy I watched and adored for decades would stay away when someone is clearly trying to make a power play for ELQ. Ned is in over his head, which she must realize by now, since the shares are being sold off at an alarming pace.
I realize that it was Jane Elliot's decision to step away, but these are unprecedented times, and she's part of a beloved core family that she helped to create. I can't imagine GH returning to the airwaves without all of the prominent Quartermaines front and center, at least for a short while, especially when their empire is in peril.
Last, but certainly not least, is Morgan Corinthos.
The aftermath of Morgan's untimely death played out over years, but when all is said and done, it hasn't really changed anyone in any significant way, except maybe Ava. His parents grieve for him, and they always will, but beyond exposing Ava's role in Morgan's downfall and that craziness with Nelle, they picked up where they left off, had a daughter, and went on with their lives. Sonny remains a mob boss who was recently the target of a coordinated strike by a new enemy that nearly wiped out several of his beloved family members.
Nothing was learned from Morgan's death. It was merely a vehicle for Sonny and Carly to punish Ava, and to temporarily drive a wedge between Sonny and Carly, so Nelle could play her games. Sonny has no desire to retire, and even though those around him are repeatedly reminded that he's unable to protect them from everything, they blame others, but never Sonny.
Morgan's death was Olivia Jerome's fault for planting the bomb, Ava's fault for sending Morgan spiraling, and even Julian's fault for failing to warn Sonny that Olivia was back and deadlier than ever. What Sonny and Carly fail to ever acknowledge is that Morgan assaulted T.J. and stole that car. Having bipolar doesn't mean that you are unable to recognize right from wrong. Morgan knew that he was doing wrong, which is why he ultimately pulled over instead of continuing his joyride.
If I had it my way, Morgan would return with a vengeance. Literally. I want him to be everything that Sonny and Carly had always feared would become of one of their kids because of Sonny's violent lifestyle -- a chip off the old block.
Morgan's body was never found, only his finger. What if the blast had knocked his body into a ditch or nearby woods, and Olivia Jerome's minion had scooped him up then taken him to the same compound where Olivia had recuperated from her own brush with death? It would stand to reason that Morgan might have felt indebted for the rescue, especially if he were given the opportunity to become someone that everyone would respect and fear, like his father.
I could see Morgan being manipulated into nursing a resentment toward his family if he thought his parents had given up too easily in their search for him, especially when there hadn't been a body to confirm that he had died.
Additionally, Morgan's return could cause waves for Michael, since both have similar tastes in women. There are so many possibilities for Morgan's return, which is why I'm rooting for it to happen.
Folks, I loved Julian's mad chemistry with Britt Westbourne (Kelly Thiebaud). She needs to transfer back to GH. I'd even be okay with Brad Cooper (Parry Shen) getting out of jail on an early release because of prison overcrowding if it means that we can have his bestie back!
Does anyone think that Marcus Taggert (Réal Andrews) is really dead? I don't, mainly because Jordan placed a call on a secret burner phone to someone to discuss the ramifications, especially to Taggert's family, of throwing him under the bus to free Cyrus. Who would care, except Taggert? Is Taggert working with the Feds? I hope so, and I hope we find out that he's alive, well, and on his way back to Port Charles in the very near future.
Hayden Barnes (Rebecca Budig) needs to put poor Violet out of her misery. It breaks my heart to hear that precious child ask Finn, with that adorable lisp of hers, when she'll see her mommy again. Also, Hayden's return will lift that cloud of suspicion floating over Nikolas. I would love for Hayden to stay, but if she leaves, she can't take Violet.
David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) Back when Finola Hughes was on All My Children, Anna married a dark and complex doctor named David Hayward. David is capable of extraordinary greatness, especially in medicine, but he's also done some pretty heinous things, too. I'm not going to lie -- David has a lot of baggage, but I think that's what makes him perfect for Port Charles. He would fit in seamlessly at the hospital, and his history with Anna would definitely spice things up.
Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson) Starr has been in Port Charles before. She was part of the trio that originally crossed over from One Life to Life before that Prospect Park mess. She also has history with Michael, and she would be the perfect person to give Michael a run for his money. If Morgan returns, even better.
Victor Lord Jr. (Trevor St. John) Starr's uncle, Victor is a force to be reckoned with and someone that would be a match for Valentin. Valentin isn't really a corporate raider or interested in ELQ. He's a super villain just trying to stay busy until someone like Victor Lord Jr., a.k.a. Todd Manning (part of a twisted history with his twin brother), comes along to give him a real challenge.
This week's column isn't quite done -- we've got a special guest on deck. But that's all for my portion.
Well, look who it is! It's me -- Dan J Kroll, founder and soapy leader of Soap Central. Over the years, many readers have asked, "Why is the Two Scoops column called 'Two Scoops?'" Without going into a whole lot of details, more than 20 years ago, the column was structured a little differently. Every week, the column was written by two columnists, essentially having a "conversation" in a column to express their points of view. Sometimes they agreed; other times they did not.
We moved away from that format for a bunch of different reasons, but the work stoppage has allowed us to sort of revisit that. This week, you've read about five characters that Liz would like to see back on the show. For my part, I am going to offer up a character that I think she missed. And she really made it hard, didn't she? I agree with all five of her selections. Moreover, I also really like the idea of crossovers from other ABC soaps.
I'd really like to see Robin Scorpio-Drake back on the canvas, but now that Kimberly McCullough has retired from acting, I know that's not possible. Sure, they could recast the role... but I don't know how I feel about that idea. That could also lead to having Patrick back on the canvas, but with Jason Thompson working his magic on The Young and the Restless, I can't see the show bringing back both Robin and Patrick with new actors in both roles.
My pick -- probably won't be particularly shocking -- would be Luke Spencer. I don't know if my pick is brought on by missing Tony Geary on my screen or a sense of nostalgia that all of us seem to have during out stay-at-home orders.
What I do know is that I feel like something has been missing since Luke headed off to find new adventures. There is currently really only one leading male character -- regardless of what the Emmy nominations may have looked like this year. Sonny Corinthos is the alpha male, and everyone else is there to sort of make his existence more meaningful. My concern is that, eventually, viewers might tire of seeing the same character in the spotlight day after day after day after... Even ardent Sonny fans might want to see him take a little bit of a breather.
It's sort of like Peeps, the marshmallow Easter candy. When they start selling Easter candy in stores -- which pretty much seems like the day after Christmas -- the idea if seeing Peeps for sale again excites me. I buy a bunch of packs -- different colors and different flavors -- and I happily munch on them until I am completely over them and want them to go back into hibernation. And usually, I am left with a couple of packs that just sit in the cabinet and stare back at me with their little beady edible eyeballs until they've petrified and then find their way to the trash.
Luke's return doesn't have to be long-term. It could be a summer storyline. Perhaps he returns to usher Lucky back onto the canvas. Or something might happen to Lulu or Tracy or maybe even Laura. Bring Luke back to reset the canvas. Maybe Luke has a grudge against Cyrus for some reason and kills him. Imagine a whodunnit when the whodunner is someone you didn't realize was a part of the canvas!
Who would you like to see make a return to General Hospital? Let us know in the Comments section below or on any of our social media sites.
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