General Hospital’s Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) has committed numerous crimes since her arrival in Port Charles in 2012. But did she cross the line by kidnapping Peter (Wes Ramsey) and trying to kill him? Can the character be redeemed?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself since it was revealed on the June 4, 2018 episode of General Hospital that it was Liesl who had injected Peter and dragged him off to the cabin. For weeks viewers watched as Liesl tortured her captive by keeping him bounded and gagged, withholding food and bashing his hand with a baseball bat. She believed she was justified in what she was doing to Peter because it was his fault her beloved son Nathan (Ryan Paevey) has been killed.
But Liesl’s actions bordered on revenge more than justice. And I feel resentment played a large part. After all, here was rival Anna Devane’s son alive when her own son was dead. How fair was that? Would Liesl’s motivation been as extreme if anyone besides Anna were Peter’s mother? Although Liesl loved Faison she knew he was a cruel man and hurting his son gave Obrecht some satisfaction since she couldn’t make Faison pay for firing the shot that took their son’s life. Her anger and grief as a mother was responsible for Liesl not clearly thinking out her plan and its ramifications. Throughout “the saga in the woods,” we heard Nina (Michelle Stafford) urge her aunt not to hurt Peter. Nina wanted Liesl to turn the fugitive over to the police and let the law determine his fate. But Nina’s words fell on deaf ears; even the possibility of life in prison for Peter wasn’t good enough especially as Nathan no longer had a life at all and his newborn son James would never know his father.
Kathleen Gati’s performances as Liesl Obrecht ran the gamut: humor, anger, sadness and regret. And from day to day, Liesl’s reactions to Peter changed. True, she wanted to make him pay for Nathan’s death, but we also saw flashes of kismet and understanding. As they were working on penning the sequel to The Severed Branch and Peter talked about how his character finally learned the true meaning of life as he faced losing it, Liesl’s facial expressions displayed an understanding. And when Peter suggested the sequel be about her and not him, it was evident Liesl and Peter shared a similar childhood filled with ignoring and belittlement. For a brief moment, it looked as though Liesl would possible rethink her intentions of killing Peter. But as more people discovered the truth and her plan started to unravel, Liesl’s desperation reached fervent pitch. No more delay…it was goodbye Henrik. Liesl lit a molotov cocktail and tossed it in a corner of the stables on Spoon Island. But as the fire ravaged out of control with her niece trapped inside, Liesl realized that Nina had been right all along and her revenge would have made Nathan disappointed in her.
But the question remains: Can Liesl be redeemed?
I want the answer to be yes. But primarily because Kathleen Gati is a phenomenal actress and I’d hate to see her time on General Hospital come to an end. But based on all she’s done, I fear the answer may be no. Then again the scribes of General Hospital could come up with a story that puts Dr. Liesl Obrecht on the road to redemption. I’m sure I’m not the only Liesl/Kathleen Gati fan eager to find out what happens to her.
What do you think? Is there still hope for Liesl or is it too late for her?
Photos Courtesy of ABC and General Hospital
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