First, Do No Harm: The Death of General Hospital’s Rafe

Silas (Michael Easton) says goodbye to his nephew, Rafe (Jimmy Deshler). Photo courtesy ABC
Courtesy of ABC
Sam (Kelly Monaco) comforts Patrick (Jason Thompson). Photo courtesy of ABC

Patrick is a good guy who may have just done something very horrible. He is a great surgeon but he was not in the right mental state when he operated. Patrick was well aware Rafe is responsible for the death of Baby Gabriel. The doctor was visibly upset and lashed out at the troubled teen. When it turned out that Rafe needed emergency brain surgery, Patrick knew he should not be the one to operate.

However, the surgery needed to be done right away or Rafe would die and nobody else was at the hospital to do the surgery. Sam, remembering how he saved her husband Jason and putting her faith on Patrick to do the right thing, urged him to save Rafe.

The surgery was unsuccessful but was it Patrick’s fault? In his state of anger and grief did he harm Rafe? The answer to that question is left up to the viewer to decide. It’s not even certain if Patrick knows what he may or may not have done to Rafe. What is known is that Patrick struggled with himself as he operated on Rafe. While Patrick perform surgery on Rafe, the dark voice in his head urged him to do the unthinkable. “All you have to do now is let him die.”

When the surgery was over Patrick was shell shocked. He didn’t seem to know if he botched the surgery on purpose or not. He felt terrible.

He tearfully confessed to Sam that the thought to kill Rafe did cross his mind but that he couldn’t have done it. He’s not a killer and he’s sorry about Rafe. Sam believes him but Silas feels very differently about what happened.

Silas failed Rafe. He thought Rafe would be fine without his attention but he was wrong. While Silas focused on his work and his relationship with Sam, Rafe went on a lonely downward spiral. If he had been there for Rafe perhaps things would have been different. Or perhaps not. He’ll never know.

Silas believes his nephew is dead because of Patrick. He wants to protect Rafe in death since he wasn’t able to do so while Rafe was alive. Silas’s need for justice is helped along by his wife Nina (Michelle Stafford) who unbeknownst to him is also seeking some revenge of her own. Nina will take Silas’s side while Sam takes Patrick’s. A rivalry between the doctors has now begun.

If played right this story could be the best thing that has happened to the character of Silas. For the majority of Silas’s time on canvas he has been in a bubble primarily interacting with only Sam. While he was given family, a femme fatale ex-lover, and a newly awakened wife, the character seemed to not work well when outside his bubble. Rafe’s death and sequential fallout not only breaks that bubble but creates new connections and possibilities.

Perhaps Silas will spend time getting to know his daughter now. Rafe’s death could be a wake up call for him about who should be important in his life. With Sam siding with Patrick, Silas might grow close to Nina again or maybe shift to a new love interest. Perhaps he’ll move into a triangle with Sam and Patrick.

The best part though will be the rivalry between Patrick and Silas. Easton does well with story that leans toward the bromantic instead of the romantic. While triangles with Sam/Silas/Ava and now Sam/Silas/Nina have been lackluster, the tease of a Patrick/Sam/Silas triangle already has viewers’ attentions and plenty of buzz. Having the fellow doctors clash in hospital based plots as well as play tug of war over Sam will be must see for audiences.

While the talented Deshler’s leaving is a bit sad, he’ll surely do well in his next endeavors. Rafe may have not gotten his own major story line during his time on General Hospital but his exit has created much opportunity. His death may have brought many character together who needed to be together. In the end, he left an impact on General Hospital.

What do you think of Rafe’s death? Hit the comments to share your thoughts!

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9 comments

  1. I wish the show hadn’t killed Rafe off but his death is create a lot of story possibilities for the other characters on the show.Now the show could have kept Rafe alive but had him suffer from brain damage that could have affected his speech and motor skills.That way Nina’s secret still would have remain hidden.Plus even if the show wanted to write the character of Rafe off.They didn’t have to kill him.They could have put him in a coma and Silas could have sent him to a long term care facility.That way the door could have been left open for his return and to blow Nina’s life apart when the story dictated his return.

  2. Haven’t watch GH since 2 months when Michelle Stafford came to the soap opera but I hate seeing kids or teens or etc die on soaps and even in life. I’m only 20 years old and I’m lucky enough to be living still. Like on Y&R (which I watch daily) I hated when I seen Delia died I cried for months. If I had a kid of my own if she or he died I would never forgive myself and I would die myself too (I have depression).

    In my point of view soap operas needs more younger kids and teens ; I love seeing younger kids and teens on soaps.

    I hope the person who played Rafe on GH will be on another soap opera (example Y&R, B&B or DAYS) because younger people deserve to be on soaps like other older people.

  3. When was the last time we saw Rafe before eppys right before his demise? Six months? And when we do he’s already coked out maybe if I’d seen his spiral downward I could connect and this story would resonate for me. Beautifully tragic? Not for me its generic. Yes, its sad that’s it but it didn’t have enough layers in the forefront now they are doing it after the fact…why not have done both? I guess he’s the end of the line of the Barringtons. There aren’t any left.

  4. Thanks for commenting Melissa! I think the attempted triangles with Sam/Silas/Ava and Sam/Silas/Nina may relied too heavily on Michael Easton’s popularity to make them work rather than character development, chemistry, etc. Easton has a large female fan following so perhaps the the writers thought that it would be a good idea to give Silas one as well. I think this current story line is a much better fit and I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

  5. His death made me pretty sad too. Jimmy is great actor and I’m sure we’ll see him on another show soon.

  6. I like Rafe & want him to stay! Sounds like a crappy story line to me. They need more kids on the show. Y kill him of, when he could have been in the drug ring sl?

  7. “While triangles with Sam/Silas/Ava and now Sam/Silas/Nina have been lackluster, the tease of a Patrick/Sam/Silas triangle already has viewers’ attentions and plenty of buzz.”

    Here’s what I see being the reason for this. Silas is a boring character. One of the main complaints about Siam is that they put viewers to sleep. Sam, Ava, Nina – I personally don’t see what so great about Silas to warrant three strong, independent capable females to fall head over heels. That’s why I think the triangle with Silas/Sam/Patrick works so much better. Silas isn’t the focus – Sam is.
    Good article, Jenn.

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