Trouble teen Rafe Kovich’s (Jimmy Deshler) met his end last week on General Hospital. The fact that he was hanging out on Pier 52 when he was first introduced should have been seen as an omen for his demise.
The backstory for the character of Rafe was tied to the defunct but not forgotten General Hospital spin-off Port Charles. Rafe came to town with his mother Alison (Erin Hershey Presley) seeking the help of former vampire slayer Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring). The mother/son duo had spent life on the run in fear of Rafe’s father, a rock-in-roll vampire named Caleb played by Michael Easton who at the time was playing One Life to Live character John McBain. Alison was killed by Caleb and Easton played cat-and-mouse in the duel roles.
After Caleb was “killed” and revealed to actually be Stephan Clay, a rockstar/mental patient with mad hypnosis skills, Rafe settled into life as Sam’s (Kelly Monaco) ward and as one of the corners of a tame teen love triangle. The love triangle failed to capture audiences and then the show didn’t quite seem to know what to do with Rafe.
When Rafe’s uncle Dr. Silas Clay came to town and won custody of Rafe, it was to create angst for Silas and Sam. Once Silas and Sam were over that obstacle and attempts to liven up the teen story line failed, Rafe sort of disappeared.
After a bit of an absence, Rafe return to the show a lot different that he was when we last saw him. Rafe had started out as a sweet, streetwise urchin and now he was a cocaine addict. An edgier version wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It made the kid a lot more interesting. The once harmlessly lovesick teen was now stealing money to pay for drugs. His new addiction was the result of a trouble past paired with neglect. Life had failed him.
The changes in Rafe were also his death sentence. His drug habit sent into motion events that ultimately doomed him. Rafe stole his uncle’s car and purposely ran Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) and his family off the road indirectly causing the death of Patrick’s son Gabriel. We don’t know all the details yet but someone had put Rafe up to it.
With the truth closing in and a vengeful aunt needing to keep a secret, Rafe was once again where he first started – on the run. This time unfortunately he couldn’t escape. He crashed Silas’s car. In need of a surgery to repair a head injury, Patrick is the only doctor that is available to operate on him. Rafe survived the surgery but is now brain dead.
The story of his death was beautifully tragic. The choice to kill off Rafe is somewhat understandable as he was never quite given a good place in Port Charles. Maybe more could have been done with the character storywise while he was alive but in death he has already set up some major events and major conflict. In particular, his passing will have a great effect on both Patrick and Silas and those around them.