General Hospital Headwriters Reflect Upon Peter’s Swan Song: ‘We Thought the Audience Would Love the Surprise’
Was his exit “exciting” or underwhelming? It depends on who you ask.
Believe it or not, General Hospital’s Peter was once a viable character. He was flawed, sure, and he had a dark past (not to mention a shady present), but he still seemed to be trying to be a decent human and build a life with Maxie. That, though, changed, over the years, and as his crimes just continued to mount, he went from a tragically broken character to a villain who could do no good.
As Finola Hughes told Soap Opera Digest in their latest issue, “Peter was neglected and he wasn’t parented, ever, and who was really there for him?” Anna can’t help but wonder, the actress continued, “who did right by this man, really.”
But sometimes all the understanding and sympathy in the world can’t save a bad guy from the chopping block. Early Peter may have had a chance for redemption, but that chance vanished long, long ago. Headwriter Dan O’Connor told Digest that he and fellow headwriter Chris Van Etten “ran through countless different scenarios of how to come up with an ending [for Peter] that was not only producible, given the confines of our show, but also exciting and big.”
Ultimately, there’s only one way out “when you have a villain who has left a wake of bodies in their path as Peter has over the last four-and-a-half years.”
Credit: ABC screenshot
That way was death, of course. But “exciting and big” aren’t necessarily the words we’d use when, after years of terror, Peter just got smacked by Felicia. Yes, there was a shootout and a bit of a car chase, but these were all quick, in the moment scenes, when the show could have turned his death into a murder mystery that would reverberate through Port Charles.
As to why it needed to be Felicia doing the deed rather than giving Maxie a chance for revenge, O’Connor explained that “Felicia was so connected to the story. This is Maxie’s mother. This is somebody who would do anything to keep her children safe. We thought the audience would love the surprise of Felicia’s role in Peter’s demise.”
Surprise it may have been, but as fun as it was to give Kristina Wagner something to really sink her character’s teeth into, it also felt anti-climactic. Still, we’re pretty sure that this is finally it. We won’t be getting Peter Return: Part, well, wherever we’re at with the show faking us out that he’s gone. There’s just no way they’d try pulling that trick again… right?
What do you think? Was Peter’s death satisfying enough after his reign of terror? Or are you just glad he’s finally gone? We certainly have our thoughts on the matter, which is why he made it into our gallery of worst-ever soap exits.