In One Fell Swoop, General Hospital Broke Its Promise to Fans — and One of the Basic Rules of Daytime Storytelling
Come on, you can do better — and, in every other area, are!
We waited how long for General Hospital to finally put an end to Peter’s reign of terror? Years that felt like an eternity, right? And as we were nearing the conclusion of Wes Ramsey’s run as the polarizing character, the headwriters told Soaps.com that viewers’ “commitment to this story will be rewarded.”
But has it been… at all? We’ve discussed before what a letdown it was that instead of playing out the “Who killed Peter?” murder mystery that the show had been setting up for ages, it just had the villain get whacked by Felicia, who’d only recently gotten involved in the plot. And after Anna had shed her last inexplicable tear for the man she should’ve been relieved wasn’t her son, the fallout was…
“Negligible” is the word that comes to mind. Everything just kinda went back to normal (or as normal as it gets in Port Charles). As Maxie reclaimed her daughter from Brook Lynn and Anna pointed herself at a new mystery, it felt almost as if the nightmare that was the Peter storyline had never happened. And while it might be nice to think that it didn’t, it did. So there should be aftershocks, undertow, repercussions…
So far, we ain’t seeing them, which violates a cardinal rule of daytime storytelling: What happens today has to impact what happens tomorrow. That’s what keeps things moving. Instead, what happened yesterday is having little to no bearing on what’s happening today.
Maybe it’s for the best, given how eager we were for Peter to be introduced to his maker. But it feels like a kind of betrayal, like the audience was set up to expect one thing and then was delivered another. (Think: “I ordered French fries, and this looks like a glass of water.”) Maybe we’re being too nitpicky, because in every other regard, General Hospital is on fire. The Carly/Sonny/Nina triangle is fantastically messy, soapy goodness. The Ryan/Esme tag team is delivering thrills and chills in equal measure. In Victor, the show finally has the supervillain that it always wanted Peter to be. And bless their hearts, the sudser’s youngsters make up the best teen scene in daytime.
What’s your take, General Hospital fans? Are you let down by the fallout from Peter’s death, or are you just glad that he’s dead? On your way to the comments, stop off at the below photo gallery, which reviews all of the show’s latest cast changes, from the exit of a leading man who only recently returned to an overnight replacement of a beloved vet.