General Hospital Threw Away a Killer Opportunity With Peter’s Death — Plus, Where His Exit Ranks on Our Newly Updated Countdown of Soaps’ All-Time Worst
ABC’s one and only daytime drama made a “grave” mistake.
Oh, General Hospital. The story all but wrote itself. For more than four years, Peter had terrorized Port Charles as the antithesis of his late half brother, Nathan. He widowed Elizabeth. He nearly killed Finn’s brother. He left Stone Cold literally stone cold. He held Drew captive, played Maxie for a fool and issued so many threats that everyone from Sonny to Mac had threatened his life. And yet…
Sigh. Rather than play the obvious — and obviously intriguing! — “Who Killed Peter?” murder mystery, the soap simply had Felicia chase her daughter’s kidnapper to Switzerland and fatally clobber him. Case so closed, it was never even opened. Where’s the fun in that?
It could be that once again, Henrik is only dead in air quotes and, despite Anna’s tears over his body, he was just playing possum so that he can return to meet his maker in more dramatic fashion. But we kinda doubt it. The show already played that card when it had Liz and Finn declare him dead. Were it to do so again, it would feel like the very definition of a “been there, done that” non-twist.
So we’re considering Peter really, most sincerely gone this time. And as such, we’ve had to add his exit to our list of daytime’s worst-ever sendoffs. To see where it ranks in the Top — or would that be Bottom? — 15, just click on the photo gallery below.
<p>“Mm-mm. No. Uh-uh,” we huffed at our TVs when Jaime Lyn Bauer was killed off. “That is <em>not</em> the way you treat a legacy character.” But our TVs didn’t care what we thought, so the beloved heroine once played by Susan Flannery (later<em> The Bold and the Beautiful</em> matriarch Stephanie) wound up dead on the floor of Gwen’s hotel room after taking a blow to the head that was a blow to our hearts. On the plus side, at least it was dramatic.</p>
<p>After months of buildup, we got an epic letdown in the summer of 2021. Kiara Barnes’ model not only missed the big reveal that her fiancé had slept with her BFF, when she <em>was</em> finally informed of the betrayal by her sister, she confronted… no one… and simply slunk out of Los Angeles like she’d been only a fraction as invested in the storyline as viewers had been.</p>
<p>This one, we’ll <em>never</em> understand. The show introduced Tyler Johnson’s character as a hard-to-like jerk, slowly got us to warm to him, did backflips to add a branch for him to the Abbott family’s tree… then sawed it right off with less fanfare than would accompany the delivery of a coffee order at Crimson Lights. Theo — <em>and</em> we — deserved better.</p>
<p>When Michael Zaslow was diagnosed with ALS in real life, the CBS soap… Well, it did pretty much everything wrong. First, it recast the beloved Emmy winner, then it rushed Roger into a marriage with Amanda, shipped them out of town and revealed the news of his off-screen passing… via outta-nowhere son Sebastian (played by tabloid mainstay Doug Hutchinson). Ugh on top of ugh.</p>
<p>When Karla Mosley’s transgender model returned from abroad without her husband, we assumed that we’d find out why they split. We assumed wrong. To this day, the show has never explained why Jacob Young’s Rick remained in Paris. And though Maya theoretically is still in L.A., she never even gets invited to the Forresters’ living-room weddings anymore.</p>
<p>Dare we assume that they lived happily ever after? When the NBC soap decided to drop from its initial cast the future Melissa Reeves (later Jennifer, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>), it didn’t make a big fuss about it. Or even a little fuss. Or even expect the audience to notice, really. Her bubbleheaded alter ego was simply sent out on a date from which she never returned.</p>
<p>Viewers later learned that Billy Miller’s character had been “killed” in a plane crash, but that did nothing to diminish the “WTH?!?”-ness of the way that the Emmy winner actually left the show in 2019. And how was that? Intent on returning Shiloh’s ill-gotten gains to the people of Afghanistan, Drew got on an elevator at the hospital and… Yeah, and… <em>nothing</em>. That was it!</p>
<p>Having somehow failed to keep Emmy winner Hunter King and Michael Mealor on the roster, the show gave the popular pair that they played the quickest of quickie reunions in the summer of 2021, then added insult to injury by having the supercouple retie the knot — <em>off screen</em>. All viewers could say to that was “I do… not believe this [bleep].”</p>
<p>During February sweeps in 2022, we were psyched, as the ABC soap had set up half of Port Charles as suspects in what promised to be the best murder mystery since “Who Killed Susan Moore?” But instead of actually murder the villain that Wes Ramsey had played for just over four years, the show mystified viewers by simply having Felicia whack him upside the head to protect daughter Maxie. Zzz.</p>
<p>As bad as the adios No. 15 got was, Jed Allan’s popular character was treated even worse. When the soap axed the fan favorite to focus on PYTs, the powers that be sent Don out to mail his taxes. Where that post office <em>was</em>, we can’t imagine, because Marlena’s first husband (that we knew of) never was seen nor heard from again!</p>
<p>If there’s one thing worse than a lame exit, it’s no exit at all — and that’s exactly what Doug Davidson’s legacy character got. When the Emmy winner was taken off contract in 2018, Paul began appearing less and less until he altogether disappeared. He’s still in Genoa City, still married to Christine, still chief of police… He just never comes knockin’ on anyone’s door anymore!</p>
<p>Since Kristian Alfonso quit in 2020 before any kind of sendoff, much less a proper one, could be written for her iconic character, our last moments with Hope were spent watching her clutch a photo of “late” daughter Ciara while wearing an expression that, beneath the pain, we took to be saying, “Best of luck explaining my absence when Victoria Konefal comes back!”</p>
<p>If you don’t remember the Martins’ youngest son, we don’t blame you. Though he was a full-fledged member of the family when ABC premiered the soap in 1970, he only appeared in a few episodes. Then what? “I went off to camp, or I went up to get my skis and never came back,” portrayer Michael Bersell told the <em>Orlando Sentinel</em> in 2011. “But I went up the stairs, nonetheless, and never came back down.”</p>
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