As the 1970s drew to a close, the most popular character on US daytime television soap operas was Lucas Lorenzo Spencer, erstwhile mob hit man, disco manager, and rapist. In October 1979, Luke raped the woman who was the object of his then-unrequited affections. Laura Baldwin was a waitress at the disco Luke managed, she was married to do-gooder law student Scotty, and she was clearly drawn to unconventional bad boy Luke. One night after hours, a drunken Luke, convinced he would be forced to carry out an assassination attempt on a senator, forces Laura to dance with him, declares his love, and rapes her, as we see glimpses of here in Luke’s flashback. Because Luke and Laura would marry two years later in the most highly rated daytime soap episode ever, common wisdom has it that the soap quickly buried the rape plot when producers decided to pair Luke and Laura instead of having Luke be the short-term character initially planned. This scene, from November 1979, tells a somewhat different story, in that here Luke confesses to his sister, Bobbie, that he did in fact rape Laura. As the scene makes clear, Luke is tortured by his actions, horrified at what he has done to the woman he loves, and eager to defend her to those who would demean her (Bobbie being one such person). For the nine months following the rape, General Hospital told a complex story about the various characters’ reactions to this event. While Laura’s pain and her struggle over her feelings were central, the part of the tale that most enthralled fans was Luke’s experience. Across these nine months, Luke’s self-flagellation and self-loathing worked to redeem him, not only in Laura’s eyes, but also in viewers’. The character of Luke offered up a fantasy masculinity in which brutish sexual violence could be seen as the patriarchal past from which new, ‘70s men like Luke were desperate to escape. The real Luke, viewers were convincingly told, was motivated by love, not hate, by passion, not hostility. Luke’s story invited fans not only to ponder the meaning of rape in the disco era, but also to imagine a battle between different versions of masculinity, at war for supremacy within the same wounded man.