Did Michael Easton Subtly Hint Rebecca Budig Would be Returning to ‘General Hospital’?

Despite many thinking General Hospital has gone downhill in its writing, the characters on the show still capture viewer imaginations. One from the newer batch was Rebecca Budig who played Hayden Barnes for the last four years.

When Budig arrived to GH, she’d already had a lot of experience acting on other soap operas. Her stint on All My Children became so well-known that crossing over to General Hospital was a massive leap.

Not that she didn’t fit in almost immediately with her Hayden character. Most of that was thanks to Hayden being ultra mysterious and having a story trajectory perfectly fitted for the world of soaps.

After the character left abruptly recently, her co-stars on the show expressed some grief on social media. Yet, some think it’s a suggestion she’ll be back.

Hayden Barnes had a roundabout character arc

DONNELL TURNER, REBECCA BUDIG on General Hospital
DONNELL TURNER, REBECCA BUDIG | Michael Yada/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Following the character’s debut in 2015, viewers realized Rebecca Budig’s Hayden character wasn’t exactly who everyone thought she was. Initially, she came in as a paid stand-in to act as a fake wife to the amnesiac Jake Doe. Ric Lansing was the baddie who paid her to do this just so Ric could hook up with Elizabeth Webber.

A million plot twists have occurred since that initial setup, including Hayden ultimately being revealed as two other people. At one point, it was discovered her real name was Rachel Berlin, daughter of a crooked investment banker. Later, it was also outed she was really the daughter of Jeff Webber, the father of Elizabeth.

In-between these plot point, Hayden was shot and went into a coma. When the character came out of her coma, she was also an amnesiac, though eventually regained her memory.

If you’re already exhausted at just this quick summary, it didn’t end there. Hayden eventually hooked up with Dr. Hamilton Finn (played by Michael Easton). This story has dominated on General Hospital for the last couple of years, leading to shock when Hayden’s character suddenly ups and leaves.

Why did the Hayden character take off without a trace?

Because Hayden is a con artist with a shady past, she felt like a fraud when marrying Finn. This last season, Hayden left Finn before marrying him, even though she gave birth to his child. Her note to him claimed the baby died, despite the show revealing she’d given birth and was leaving town to live under another identity.

After this storyline played out, Budig and Michael Easton took to social media to praise one another for their performances and express their dismay at the goodbye. Easton thought they had fantastic chemistry on the show, and they arguably did.

Was this really a new type of Luke and Laura scenario for General Hospital? No doubt the writers were hoping so. With positive response from fellow actors and fans, some are hoping she’ll ultimately return.

Yes, even Jophielle Love (who plays their charming daughter, Violet) turned to social media to express her dismay at her on-screen mother’s apparent walk into the sunset.

Love thinks Budig will be back

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I will be waiting Mommy! I love you ❤️@rbjobud

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From the mouths of babes usually spouts the truth. Jophielle Love said on her Instagram account she hoped Budig would return. She even said “I know you’ll be back!”

All of this proves how close everyone becomes acting on soap operas, perhaps creating their own little worlds away from reality. No wonder they make those roles so believable when stuck in an isolated studio for hours at a time.

Based on these responses, it’s probably inevitable Budig will be back in the Hayden role with more twists involved. Soap operas usually like to let time pass before bringing back a popular character to create anticipation and formulate a new compelling chain of events.

With Budig now working on a new series called L.A.’s Finest on Spectrum, expect other stories to dominate on GH for a while until Hayden fits perfectly back into the picture … likely under a different name.