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Out of the Shadows: GH

James Franco may not have known a lot about soap operas when he decided to take part in one, but judging from today's General Hospital it almost seems surprising that this is new territory for him. Granted, he was only in a few scenes, in fact one of them was replayed from yesterday's episode, but he seems to possess an understated mysteriousness that is so befitting of soaps. I believe this quality will be especially beneficial to him on a show like GH where the characters are so complex that most of the time it is difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. And while viewers still know very little about the character Franco, it appears, at least for now, that he is the latter.

Throughout today's ambush Franco watched nearby with a kind of childlike wonderment, as if he were getting some sort of satisfaction out of all the violence and longed to be a part of it. At one point he even appeared to be mimicking everyone's moves like he was studying some sort of artistic craft. And once the shoot-out ended, Franco stepped out of the shadows and waved to Jason's passing car in an obvious attempt to be seen by him. He then came across an injured Joey Limbo, where he literally became a part of the violence when he coldly crushed his windpipe with his shoe, then repositioned his body. And later on when Jason asked Spinelli to locate footage from security cameras in the area, Franco was seen waving to one of them.

James Franco scenes
[no copyright infringement intended]

At this point it is clear that Franco's fascination with violence doesn't end with his artwork. In fact this fascination appears to be more of an obsession, as indicated by his need to take part in violent situations. It would also seem that Franco wants to be noticed but not caught, operating in a phantom-like manner, yet hiding in plain sight. This is exemplified in his efforts to manipulate today's crime scene, then allowing himself to be seen by Jason and on camera. His upcoming art show depicting violence and crime, in addition to the picture he sent to Jason, also appear to be a part of this same type of manipulation. In fact one could argue that Franco's obsession with violence is based on a misguided attempt to be like Jason. Perhaps he has even been collecting those newspaper clippings of Jason's arrests in an effort to study his behavior. If this is true this would mean that his artwork is really nothing more than a twisted homage to Jason's lifestyle. Then again even this scenario seems too simplistic for this already complicated character. I feel it will be quite a while before much is known about the enigmatic Franco. And in the end more questions than answers may remain.

[no copyright infringement intended]


  1. Believe it or not I was on the computer for both the original airing during the day and then on Soapnet, so I missed the part when Franco crushed Joey's windpipe. I only saw the part where Franco repositioned Joey's body. Which also brings to mind was Claudia still alive (remember the shot of the hand) after Michael hit her? Perhaps Franco managed to go in and make the final blow, so to speak. This would almost be a classic soap opera twist, i.e. Michael did NOT actually kill Claudia. Boy, I'm really surmising here.

    I also found the scenes between Franco and presumably his girlfriend very intriguing. It appeared that she is manipulating him in some way.

    Well, this is a fascinating storyline. Call it Soap Opera Noir. The setup was excellent - elusive artist who hasn't been seen in years, et al. Next week will be a good one on GH!

  2. I had to rewind the episode at the end because, well, my stupid cat decided to jump in my lap when the mysterious woman (whose voice sounds suspciously like his agent) showed up and Franco still had that straight razor. Kind of reminded me of Sweeny Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Let's hope not, eh?


  3. Hi Paula!

    Wow! I can't believe you missed that part twice! lol! I was glued to the tv the whole hour. :) ABC plans to air that same episode on Thanksgiving Day and I am assuming that Soapnet will as well so if you want to watch it in its entirety you are in luck. :)

    I do remember the shot of Claudia's hand that you are referring to. If I remember correctly I don't think her hand ever moved during that shot. I think they just showed a close up of it. There has been a lot of speculation on here though that perhaps GH will modify that shot to show Claudia's fingers moving should they ever decide to bring her back. They could either write it like that as if Franco saved her life and got her out of the country (to go live with Uncle Rudy). Or if they decide later on that Claudia really did die, like for good, they could write it the way you suggested with Franco being the one who really killed her. I honestly think either one of those ideas would provide a lot of storyline and give Michael a reason to turn away from the violence.

    The scenes with Franco and his agent were intriguing. I'm not sure what to make of their relationship just yet. That scene was very bizarre, even the phone call when he told her he needed her was strange. It will be interesting to see how that subplot unfolds.

    Soap Opera Noir is a very good description for this storyline. I can't wait to see what happens next!

  4. Hi Peggy!

    You may have to quit watching GH when your pets are in the room. lol! Just kidding! :) Yes, I believe the woman at the end is the agent that called him a few days ago. Yeah, let's hope this isn't a Sweeney Todd kind of a thing! :)

  5. Thanks for commenting, ladies! Thought any more about what CO77X might stand for? I've been brainstorming about it since yesterday's episode. I even looked at the way Franco arranged Joey Limbo's body to see if it looked like one of the numbers or letters in that code.

  6. CO77X. I have no idea what it means! I Googled it and saw some interesting theories, like maybe it's a telephone number. Well, I grew up in New York and I don't remember that from the days when phone numbers began with letters :))) I also read something about it's being some sort of police code. I was trying to wean myself off of GH (as I'm doing with OLTL) but seems like that's not going to happen anytime soon. This storyline is really good!

  7. Hi Paula!

    LOL! Yeah the phone number thing seems unlikely with all those letters, not to mention the fact that there are five digits which is odd for anything other than a partial phone number. lol! :) I have read some interesting theories too. I haven't had that "aha" moment yet where it seems like someone has stumbled on the exact right answer, but I have seen a lot of good guesses. It will probably end up being something really simple that no one has ever thought of. lol!

    Yeah I don't see myself being able to walk away from GH anytime soon. I have a friend who is a regular "Days" viewer and she can't tear herself away from it either. I can see why too because I have been trying to catch up on it and am totally hooked again even though it has been a while since I last watched it.

  8. Hi, Paula, Paula here :))

    I did some more Googling and reading and I think I have deciphered CO77X.

    I read that 77X refers to a type of camera. OK, so that explains the 77x. The CO, then, must refer to tada ...FranCO, therefore CO77X, Franco's camera.

    This dawned on mean when I saw the word FRANCO in Franco's office.

    Well, we'll find out for sure at some point ...

    Just had to share. Will watch today's episode on Soapnet tonight!

  9. Hi Paula!

    Very good! You may very well be right about that because Spinelli thought he figured out what type of camera was used to photograph "Claudia's body"!

  10. Weird (of course) episode today. Leave it to Maxie to go traipsing off with Franco. Looking forward to your commentary!

  11. Hi Paula!

    Oh, I know! Maxie completely ignored her intuition. And strangely enough Jason didn't seem too worried about the fact that Franco led Maxie out of the room even after that wave.


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