General Hospital Failed Romance: Nina And Franco

When the character Franco was first on "General Hospital," he was a murderer and performance artist played by movie star James Franco from 2009 to 2012, who endlessly tormented Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) and Samantha McCall (Kelly Monaco). When the part was recast with Roger Howarth in 2013, it turned out that a brain tumor had been making him act insane, and Franco went from serial killer to family man almost immediately. In 2014, Nina Reeves (then Michelle Stafford) had awakened from a 20-year coma, and started making impulsive, bad decisions. Nina even had a psychotic break

Nina had been married to Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton), and was devastated when she learned he'd cheated on her with Ava Jerome (Maura West). To make matters worse, Nina got pregnant, so her mother Madeline Reeves (Donna Mills) drugged her to induce a miscarriage. The plot backfired, sending Nina into a coma, and when she awoke, she believed her baby had died. In her delusional state, she thought Ava's baby was hers and that she would get back together with Silas. When she realized he had moved on with Sam, she induced Ava's labor with the intent of stealing the baby and convincing him to start a family with her. By this time, Franco had become a productive citizen of Port Charles, and was an art therapist at General Hospital. Nina had been taking sessions with him, and the two became good friends.

Franco helped Nina steal Ava's baby

However, after she stole Ava's baby, she went to the docks where Franco happened upon her. He decided to help her by bringing them to a place he owned in Canada, and the two agreed they would raise the child together. However, the authorities caught up to them and Franco was arrested while Nina was remanded to the Shadybrook mental institution. Franco's mother, the diabolical Heather Webber (then Robin Mattson), was also there and Franco was concerned that she would hurt Nina. When fellow inmates Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), Julian Jerome (William deVry), and Ava plotted an escape, Franco tagged along. His timing was perfect as he stopped Heather from overdosing Nina with LSD when he got to Shadybrook.

Franco realized the only way to keep Nina safe was to stay in the mental facility, so he injected the LSD into himself. He asked her to be his support system as things were going to get dark for him. She agreed, as long as he would return the favor when he recovered, and the two kissed for the first time. As Franco was being wheeled away while tripping out, Nina told the doctors that Heather had jabbed him with the LSD needle. When Nina was cleared to leave Shadybrook, she realized Franco was still there and pretended to have another breakdown so she could stay with him. Franco soon explained that he was also pretending to have had a breakdown.

Love wasn't enough for Franco and Nina

Franco learned that lawyer Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner) was actually his biological father, so he changed his name to Franco Baldwin. Scotty managed to get the charges against Nina and Franco dropped. But when Ava's daughter Avery was kidnapped yet again, Franco was concerned that Nina had relapsed. Angered that he suspected her of it, Nina dumped him. Madeline then schemed with Ric Lansing (Rick Hearst) to steal her daughter's wealth, so they gaslighted her into marrying him. Because he and Madeline made Nina think she was losing her mind, she voluntarily went back to the mental hospital.

Franco loved Nina and felt Ric was up to no good. He met with her at Shadybrook, revealing his feelings for her. It turned out Silas was the one who had kidnapped Avery but by the time Nina got to his place to demand answers, he was dead on the floor with a knife in his back. Franco showed up, and to protect Nina, he took the blame for Silas' murder. Fortunately, it was soon revealed that Madeline killed him because he'd figured out what she and Ric were up to. Franco and Nina were in love and planned a life together, but when she told him she desperately wanted to have children, he admitted he didn't because he worried that the darkness within him would be passed on. After that, the two were done, although they did remain friends.