The Most Satisfying Alan Quartermaine General Hospital Storyline

It's a very rare occasion when a murder is not only justified, but the killer also gets away with it on a soap opera. That's exactly what happened with Alan Quartermaine, played by the late Stuart Damon, on "General Hospital" back in 1993. To escape the chaos of his family life and marriage, Alan started frequenting country-western bars where he met single mother Rhonda Wexler (Denise Galik-Furey), and the two became regular dancing partners. Although his wife, Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson), believed the two were having an affair, they were simply friends. 

Rhonda's old boyfriend, Ray Conway (Stephen Burleigh), came to Port Charles and it was revealed that he had molested her daughter, Karen Wexler (Cari Shayne), when she was young. One day, Ray was physically assaulting Rhonda and Alan showed up at her place. In a fit of rage, he pulled the villain off her and tossed him across the room against a window in an incredibly satisfying moment for everybody watching at home, breaking Ray's neck and killing him. 

Alan dumped the body in the drainage ditch of a petrochemical plant owned by his family's company, ELQ. The corpse was eventually found and then-police commissioner Sean Donely (John Reilly) investigated. He had a soft spot for Monica, and when she finally told him how Alan had defended Rhonda by killing Ray, Donely dropped the case in a spectacular moment for soap opera fans, and we all cheered.

Alan felt Ray deserved worse than death

Having Alan Quartermaine not only kill the sleazy Ray Conway but also get away with it was a stroke of genius by the "General Hospital" writers. At the time, while Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) was friends with Karen Wexler, he wasn't the powerful mobster that we've come to know and love, and it wouldn't have been as visceral if he killed the dirtbag. After the assault, Rhonda ended up having surgery and almost died. By getting rid of the body, Alan deftly diverted everyone's attention, making the police initially think that Ray had fled the scene and was on his way out of Port Charles.

Once Ray's body was found, Monica Quartermaine felt Alan was hiding something. Their discussion escalated into an argument in which she continued to posit that her husband and Rhonda were having an affair. Alan had no recourse but to confess to her that he had killed Ray, and in another incredibly satisfying moment he bluntly stated that the only thing he felt he needed to apologize for was that the abuser "deserved worse."

Although Alan had done some questionable things in his day, at his core he always protected those he cared about, and we rooted for him to get away with it the entire time. Usually, in soaps, secrets don't stay hidden for very long, so having this be one that Alan would eventually take to the grave with him was unique and well done.

Alan took the secret of Ray's murder to his grave

One ancillary subplot that occurred in the aftermath of Ray Conway's murder on "General Hospital" was that Alan's son, A.J. Quartermaine (Sean Kanan), had found one of his cufflinks at the scene of the attack. He confronted his father about it, who confessed that he'd killed Ray. A.J. kept it from the police and tried to frame Karen Wexler's boyfriend, Jagger Cates (Antonio Sabato Jr.), for the crime. While seemingly trite as far as storylines go, it was just what was needed to deflect attention away from Alan, and again was an example of excellent storytelling. 

Alan confiding to Monica about what he'd done also brought them closer as a couple. Monica previously had an affair with Sean Donely, so when he eventually figured out exactly what happened, she sat him down and explained the situation using hypothetical terms. This was another stroke of writing brilliance as Sean understood her thinly veiled account of how Alan saved Rhonda's life, and soon left the case as unsolved. 

It's the kind of storytelling that "GH" does really well, expertly turning a classic trope on its ear. In this case, the secret coming out and Alan potentially being put on trial for it. Thankfully, that never happened. If only the secret came out after Alan's death in 2007, he could have been hailed as a hero posthumously.