GH duke anna howard wise
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

The late mobster appearing to Julian was a painful reminder of a loss that many a viewer will never get over.

When General Hospital’s shot-and-fading-fast Julian found himself chatting with several figures from his past on December 16, it was only appropriate that Duke — one of the most beloved characters in the show’s history — would be among them. After all, the two men share a history which could generously be described as “rocky.” Long before Julian ordered Duke’s death — a hit carried out by henchman Carlos — the mafiosos had crossed and double-crossed paths.

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While word of Duke’s return leaked before Ian Buchanan’s appearance in the episode, many unspoiled viewers were still stunned. (If we had a penny for every person who tweeted “Duke!” during the episode, we’d be able to purchase several gallons of our favorite wine.)

Yet the visit also angered some fans, who vented that killing the character was not only a crime for which Julian needed to pay but a mistake the soap should never have made. And of course, given how routinely people rise from the grave in Port Charles, many hoped that Duke appearing to Julian as a hallucination — rather than a ghost — might actually indicate that the Scotsman would one day join the walking dead.

While General Hospital‘s not saying boo — pun intended — about any future visits for Buchanan or his alter ego, we can’t help thinking there’s a fast-approaching occasion which would be the perfect time for Duke’s resurrection: Anna and Finn’s wedding.

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Ideally, we’d like nothing more than to see the bride’s “late” love stride into the chapel just in time to say, “Why, yes, there is someone present who objects to the union of these two souls.” If he happened to show up not only prepared to stake a claim on Anna but armed with evidence of Peter’s wicked ways, we’re pretty sure viewers would throw up their hands and shout, “All is forgiven, General Hospital!”

At the very least, however, fans should be given a Duke-and-Anna reunion of sorts before she walks down the aisle. It’s hard to imagine her taking any other man as her spouse without first “consulting” with her one true love. Seeing Duke essentially hand Anna over to Finn, urging her to find happiness rather than risk having it ripped away yet again, would be both beautiful and bittersweet.

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Could such a scenario unfold? In fact, it could. It’s not difficult, is it, to imagine that after taping scenes with William deVry’s Julian, Buchanan did a quick costume and set change, and took part in an on-screen get-together with his real-life friend, Finola Hughes, who plays Anna.

What say you, General Hospital fans? Do you agree that we need another Duke return, alive or dead, as soon as possible? Share your thoughts below, then check out our list of daytime’s all-time best couples… which does not include Duke and Anna, thus proving that General Hospital isn’t alone in making mistakes where that particular pairing is concerned.