As Nina’s Long-Awaited Hearing Begins, We Look Back at General Hospital’s Defining Moments of 2021

December 20 - 24

GH 2021 Looking Back Soap Box GH

Credit: ABC/ABC screenshot

We only have one week left in 2021, and General Hospital is poised to go out with a bang. If only that bang was someone plugging a bullet into a comatose Peter. This week not only am I touching on the highs and lows of the week but also am doing the same looking back at 2021. Part of next week’s column will be looking forward to and hopes for 2022.

A Very Port Charles Christmas

I guess if one is going to find God, Christmas is the time to do it. Cyrus telling Laura that he had heard the calling while in prison was so over the top, that it was quintessentially Cyrus and something only a character like him could pull off. Whether he’s being honest, only time will tell. However, we did find out that the hit on Laura and Martin was staged by Victor to bring Laura out of hiding. What could Victor want with Laura? Don’t tell me he’s caught the Cassadine men’s obsession with her?

New Charlotte Cassadine GH
Above: SORAS strikes for the holidays!

I was on the edge of my seat during Valentin and Brook Lynn’s discussion about how she lied to protect Bailey. Valentin was so close to figuring out the truth and had Charlotte returned a minute later I’m sure he would have put it all together. Deep down I think Valentin knows the truth but is just waiting for it to be confirmed. As for Charlotte, the character was recast with an older actress, who made her debut. I have no opinions on her yet but will miss Scarlett Fernandez in the role as she played the part of a spoiled brat perfectly.

Sam’s horror at her family’s musical Christmas gifts to her children had me in stitches and was possibly the most likable I’ve found Sam this entire year. Meanwhile, Sasha and Brando headed home without Liam, and the scene of Gladys throwing the car seat into the trunk had me misty-eyed all over again. Likewise, the Christmas episode was a mix of sadness and happiness, and given frankly the year we’ve all been through, I could have done without the sadness.

Maxie and Finn talk Peter GH
Above: All I want for Christmas is Peter dead!

Maxie telling Finn that all she wanted for Christmas was for Peter to die had me cheering, “That a girl!” Now, why can’t we get Anna on Team Kill Peter?

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The week ended with Shawn learning he’d been officially cleared of shooting Hayden. However what had me saying, “What, what, what?” was the reveal that Shawn bought The Invader. Why do I get the feeling that just like Alexis, the writers have no idea what to do with Shawn?

Victor struck a deal to keep Spencer out of too much trouble, but now he’s going to have to serve thirty days at Spring Ridge. Given Alexis is out of there, they clearly had to find some way to get the viewers back there and to Ryan. As intriguing as Esme is, she’s still too new to and viewers likely wouldn’t care about watching her working there with Ryan.

Finally, Nina’s hearing began, and Scott showed he’s not just some ambulance chaser. His masterful manipulation of the Assistant DA and getting him to call Willow to the stand was genius! I can’t wait till next week, and Miss Goody-Two-Shoes better tell the truth! I’ve always noted that at times General Hospital is a little too predictable, but this time, please let Willow spill the beans and not decide for one to lie.

Peter is the Worst of the Worst of 2021

Hands down the worst of 2021 on General Hospital was Peter’s continued reign of terror and the fact that he’s still alive! Seriously, everyone wants him dead, so why isn’t he? Granted he’s in a coma, but for how long? Sooner or later we all know, Peter will be back. Couldn’t we just pull a Lulu and ship him off to a hospital and never speak of him again?

Above: Someone please pull the plug.

Major Returns and Recasts

It was definitely a big year for character returns and recasts. Cameron Mathison is my top pick for the best recast/return of the year as Drew. Mathison not only slid into the role like it was always his but also has amazing chemistry with everyone he shares the screen with. Casting Charles Shaughnessy as Victor Cassadine arguably took some getting used to for some, myself included, but he’s found his stride and is shining in the role. And Ava inquiring about Victor’s newly acquired British accent was a nice nod to the fact that Victor is supposed to be from some old Greek-Russian dynasty.

The race to save Drew GH

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The return of Shawn Butler was also welcomed, but as I already noted, it feels as if the character is a bit lost right now. Brad’s return, and the bumping up of Mr. Wu to a more regular character, definitely should make 2022 an interesting year. And casting Nicholas Chavez as an aged Spencer is one of the best uses of SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) in a long time. Chavez is a natural and really clicks on-screen with Coloma’s Nikolas. Plus, I can’t recall the last time I found myself interested in the younger crowds’ storylines on any given soap.

Shocking Exits

Definitely, 2021 will not be forgotten given the exits of two major stars, Steve Burton (Jason) and Ingo Rademacher (Jax). While Jax’s departure is no major loss seeing his character had alienated practically everyone in his life, the “death” of Jason definitely impacts so many storylines and relationships going forward. Plus, as Drew pointed out, he was just starting to feel like he and Jason were connecting as brothers, which is a relationship many were looking forward to seeing.

Peter and Jason exchange gunfire GH
Above: Peter buries Jason, but we know he’ll be back someday.

We Hate Being Left Hanging

The one return that was teased heavily, but never came to fruition, was Hayden. It seems obvious that either Hayden or Holly, who is also still out there somewhere, was the screaming female prison under Victor’s compound. However, Victor revealed Hayden’s been taken care of and pretty much refused to say anymore. Surely they haven’t killed her character off? Similarly, what was with all the talk of Jeff Weber, and Liz acknowledging her strained relationship with her father? Jeff was mentioned several times over the course of a few weeks, then all discussion of him went radio silent.

Longest Cross-Over Ever

At the beginning of the year, we found amnesiac Sonny in Nixon Falls, Pennsylvania and he believed his name was Mike based on the name on his father’s watch. He ended up at the Tan-O, a bar run by Phyllis and Lenny not far from Llanview, the fictional town One Life to Live was set in. While it was a nice nod to the former soap, the nod turned into almost an entire year-long story involving “Mike” and Nina that viewers grew tired of after a week.

Above: “Mike” can’t seem to quit Nina.

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Relationships Missing The Mark

Dante and Sam as a couple haven’t exactly been welcomed by a lot of viewers, myself included, who find their interactions very stiff and forced at times. However, they are still a million times better than Willow and Michael. While there are some who love to ship Millow, I wouldn’t mind shipping them off to Nixon Falls and leaving them there permanently.

Favorite Ships of 2021

Many have been shipping Valentin and Anna for a while now, and 2022 looks to finally be the year of Vanna. However as great as they are together on screen, Scott and Obrecht turned out to be the couple we never knew we needed, and now can’t do without! Poor Scott tends to be unlucky in love, so we are hoping he and Obrecht can make it work.

Obrecht and Scott hospital GH
Above: We’re eating up Scott and Obrecht like a plate of schnitzel.

Tragic Baby Storylines

Fans of General Hospital know that this show has a knack for killing off kids as much as Grey’s Anatomy has a habit of killing off major characters. And while Peter is still our worst thing about 2021, Liam’s death was a very close second. As I wrote last week, as much as this story has let the actors’ talents shine, Liam’s death over Christmas was terrible timing. The audience is already still dealing with BLQ and Maxie’s baby swap which is a huge mess as is, so piling on Liam’s death on top of it was just too much sadness surrounding babies around the holidays. Here is hoping 2021 ends on a happier note next week.

As always, these are only my opinions. What were your favorite and least favorite parts of 2021? Leave them in the comments.

As we get ready to close out the year, check out our photo gallery of soaps’ top 30 recasts.


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