General Hospital (GH) spoilers of late have revealed Franco (Roger Howarth) to be in an extreme state of remorse for his past criminal acts, and yet many GH fans refuse to forgive him or believe he can ever be redeemed. Granted, it is human nature to look at a person’s behavior and actions, and judge the person according to them. It takes a compassionate heart, a strong sense of empathy and a core belief that people can change, given the proper motivation, to even consider redemption and rehabilitation of a person who has committed heinous acts.
Let’s look at Franco and who he is, who he has been, and who he is trying to become. If you look at Franco when he first came on General Hospital in late 2009 (at that time played by James Franco) he was a very dark, murderous character. Part of that is simply because the role was created for James Franco, and he wanted to play a dark, murderous character on a soap opera. In this case, he wanted to play a serial killer who painted murder in his art, and who was bonafide “cray-cray”!
Many GH fans feel that the original Franco was a much more evil version than that being played by Roger Howarth, who is playing a Franco who is much different, who is being written differently, and who is being played as a former criminal in the stages of redemption. And yet, fans don’t want to forgive Franco, and refuse to believe he can be redeemed or rehabilitated, and certainly don’t want to merely blame a brain tumor for the past murderous behavior!
Let’s talk about that brain tumor and whether it really could influence murderous behavior or not. A few weeks ago, we saw Dr. Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) with the retrieved alleged brain of Cesar Faison (Anders Hove) on his desk (which Franco was rather creeped out by) intending to use it in studies. Kevin was working on a paper on criminal behavior and how it is influenced by conditions in the brain and other psychological factors.
This is not just a soap opera writer’s ploy to make us believe Franco can change. In reality, there have been many scientific studies on abnormal and criminal behavior related to brain tumors, going back at least to 1966. One of the first studies, which was on the real-life serial killer Charles Whitman, who in autopsy was discovered to have had a brain tumor. In that case, it was ultimately decided it could NOT have been a factor, but it may have been in the wrong part of the brain to HAVE been a factor.
Brain tumors have to be in the part of the brain that is tied to decision-making and behavior in order for them to influence behavior. Franco’s tumor was on the frontal lobe of his brain. Among other things, the frontal lobe is responsible for impulse control, judgement, and social behavior, as well as sexual behavior – it is considered the ‘control panel’ of the mind. So taking that into account, Franco’s brain tumor COULD have been a factor in his past murderous behavior.
Other General Hospital fans refuse to forgive Franco, being of the opinion it is not his past brain tumor, but his nature that makes him irredeemable. Recently, Franco has turned into a confused, indecisive, fearful, and too hard on himself, guilty mess! Does that really speak to having the nature of a serial killer?
But then, cynics will be cynics, and some will not be convinced no matter how many facts are presented to them and they will consider it all an act. In the cynic’s world, no one can ever change because they cannot change themselves, so they rationalize no one else can ever change either!
Other fans, who believe Franco can be redeemed, will take pity on the inner child of Franco, and can look beyond his dark, murderous past to the little boy Bobby trying to protect his little “brother” Andrew, and hiding in fear from big bad Jim Harvey (Greg Evigan) who likely abused him (and Drew as well) in the worst and most psyche-damaging way imaginable.
So, will Franco ultimately be redeemed? Will he ultimately be forgiven? Will he be able to truly change? GH fans, what do you think? Keep watching GH and reading CDL for all your General Hospital spoilers, news and updates!