General Hospital dedicated its 15,000 program to the show’s star — Genie Francis, who has played Laura Webber Collins since 1977. Laura has gone from angst-ridden teen to the confident mayor of Port Charles and was appropriately highlighted in this milestone episode. Soap Hub is honoring Francis with Performer of the Week for GH honors upon the beloved actress.
Genie Francis – Performer of the Week
The episode began with Laura getting out of her car at the General Hospital parking lot. “All my life this place has been a sanctuary — a place where I felt safe and welcome, almost a second home and today will be no different no matter what trouble I’m facing,” Laura said about GH. The sentiment likely also holds true about Francis and General Hospital (the show, that is — not the Port Charles medical facility).
We knew Laura was facing jeopardy but it took her ex-husband Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner) to inform viewers just what Laura’s predicament was. She was being recalled as town mayor courtesy of a group of folks who wanted a recall put on the ballot. This story beat allowed Francis to shine as Laura did what he did best — overcome the odds. We’ve seen Laura conquer overcoming the odds numerous times. She’s battled a mad man who wanted to freeze the world so, it wasn’t surprising for Laura to shoot down the idea of squashing the recall. She is ready to tackle the problem head-on!
Flashbacks were peppered throughout the episode, reminding us just how long Francis and Laura have been a part of our lives. We saw Laura and Scotty get married in the park; the lifelong love Laura expressed for Scotty that day has changed over the years into a deep friendship. We were also treated to a scene from Laura and Bobbie Spencer‘s (Jacklyn Zeman) tumultuous early days when Bobbie, wearing Laura’s ring from Scotty around her neck, taunted Laura, making her think that Scott had chosen to be with her.
Laura was relieved to discover that Bobbie thought she was signing a petition to save the whales and not a petition to have her recalled. Later, we learned at the show’s halfway mark that Laura’s half-brother Cyrus Renault (the always-terrific Jeff Kober) played a role with the group that wants to recall Laura. Cyrus taunted Laura about the rise in crime since she became mayor. Laura shot back that there’s been less crime since Cyrus was put behind bars. “Where was God in that?” Laura asked Cyrus about the presence of the Lord when he wrote the editorial asking for her to be recalled.
“Cyrus, I forgive you. Thank you for watching out for Port Charles,” Laura said seemingly earnestly, leaving Cyrus speechless. Safely away from the glass window that separated her from her convicted sibling, Laura composed herself, proud that she’d stood up to her attacker.
The episode ended with most of Port Charles (well, most of the show’s current cast) gathering at Charlie’s Pub after a softball game. The episode ended with Genie Francis’s Laura voicing her rebuttal, touting the positivity in Port Charles. “We’re not just a town, we’re a family,” Laura said. “We take care of each other.” She closed by saying that it was a possibility that she’d lose the recall however, she remains hopeful that everyone would continue to grow under a successor. Brava to GH for giving Genie Francis this special episode — it was a gift to not only her but also the show’s many fans.