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ABC (2)

Should Wes Ramsey’s character be the rare one on General Hospital that is made to pay — and pay dearly — for his sins? 

Things could have been so different for General Hospital‘s Peter had he just taken any one of the numerous opportunities he was given to turn his life around. But time and again, when presented with a high and low road from which to choose, Peter put on his blinker and headed into the valley.

When over the weekend, portrayer Wes Ramsey posted to Instagram what at first appeared to be a farewell message to fans, the Internet did what it does best by dividing into factions. On the one side were followers of the actor who, when he updated the post to clarify that he wasn’t going anywhere, rejoiced. On the other…

Well, let’s just say that there are a lot of viewers who want to see Peter not just punished but gone. Interestingly, that same debate raged here at Soaps.com, with executive editor Richard Simms and deputy editor Charlie Mason on opposite sides of the issue, as evidenced in the discussion below.

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Charlie: Yeah, yeah, I know — Peter’s done bad things. Pardon my French, but big whoop. Tell me the character on General Hospital that hasn’t. The show’s hero once turned a teenage girl into a pill-popping stripper and still fills in the occupation line on his tax returns with “coffee importer — winky-face emoji.” Up is down, bad is good in Port Charles.

Richard: Sorry, but I’m going to have to sign on to #TeamGottaGo. Ramsey is a strong performer, and heck, that may be part of the problem: He did too good a job of making me dislike Peter. But at this point, we now know that he definitely was behind Drew’s death… and that’s on top of everything else we already knew about.

peter maxie GENERAL HOSPITAL - "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday, on ABC (check local listings). (ABC/Todd Wawrychuk)KIRSTEN STORMS, WES RAMSEY

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Charlie: If he’s good enough an actor to make you dislike Peter — and he obviously is — he’s also good enough an actor to make you like him. It’s been done a zillion times over. Look at Valentin. We watched him shoot Nikolas, and now we’re rooting for him to get back together with Nina. We watched Ava shoot Connie and Nikolas order a hit on Hayden, and yet now we’re preoccupied not with their killer instincts but their killer chemistry. Peter is no more irredeemable than any of those characters.

Richard: I love a good redemption arc as much as anybody, but I’m also a big believer that soaps play that card too often. Actions have consequences, and that rule should extend to the writer’s room. If you have a character do awful things, you should be prepared for them to pay the price, especially if a large enough portion of the audience turns on the character the way we’ve seen happen with Peter.

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Charlie: Who decides what “large enough” is, then? For every viewer who wants Peter to pay the piper, I reckon there’s another one who wants to see him turn over a new leaf for the sake of his relationship with Maxie and the new life that they are beginning together. And isn’t it a more uplifting story to see Peter change for the better than to be destroyed by his past misdeeds? Don’t we all want to believe that, if we try really, really hard and are really, really sincere about it, we can move beyond our mistakes and wipe the slate clean?

Richard: The show’s already been there, done that story, over and over. I’m actually more interested in how Peter being killed or sent to prison impacts Maxie. She’s suddenly a single woman raising two children. She doesn’t even have her best friend, Lulu, to lean on. Plus, there’s the fact that before she can move into any new relationship, she has to deal with the fact that yet again — as with Levi — she trusted a man whom everyone warned her against.

What do you think, General Hospital viewers? Are you #TeamRedeem or #TeamGottaGo? Hit the comments with your arguments, and while you’re here, check out the below photo gallery that celebrates the 44th anniversary of Genie Francis as Laura.