Dr. Neil Byrne on GENERAL HOSPITAL may look familiar to you because you’ve seen his portrayer, Joe Flanigan, in one of his many primetime roles. In addition to numerous guest appearances, Flanigan has had recurring roles on primetime series like SISTERS, CUPID, PROVIDENCE, PROFILER, and FIRST MONDAY. But he is probably best known for playing Lt. Colonel John Sheppard in the popular science-fiction series STARGATE: ATLANTIS from 2004-09. The actor made his daytime debut in February of 2019 when he first appeared as the therapist, although his professional relationship with a patient soon turned personal which led to no end of drama… until his sudden and unexpected demise in September 2020!
Alexis Davis was all riled up when she first met Neil at Charlie’s Pub, ranting about an “arrogant bastard.” She complained about Julian Jerome for a long while, and he suggested she try to focus on herself and not her ex. Neil also suggested they continue their conversation over dinner, but she suggested that might not be the best idea given her current state. She excused herself to go to her appointment with her new therapist and was startled when it turned out to be Neil!
As he helped Alexis deal with her various issues, Neil also got wrapped up in helping her rescue her daughter, Kristina Davis, from Dawn of Day. He admitted to Sonny that he’d had experience with cults and deprogramming doesn’t always go well, but agreed to help. And after Jason kidnapped Kristina from the Dawn of Day house, Neil met with her multiple times both alone and with her family to help her to understand how much she was loved and didn’t need Shiloh.
After getting stuck in an elevator with Alexis, Neil opened up about his daughter’s death and realized that they had crossed the line between doctor and patient so he could no longer treat her. But that also meant the pair could finally explore a romantic relationship and they began to date. Neil has also counseled other people in town, such as Ava Jerome. And after Brad Cooper began seeing Dr. Byrne for the stress he was under because of his baby switch lies, Neil suggested his husband, Lucas Jones, join them for some couples therapy.
Although Neil was instrumental in saving Alexis’ life when she was being poisoned by Kendra Lennon, he learned he was in danger of losing his medical license because he didn’t wait two years before dating his patient. While both in New York to testify before the board, Neil and Alexis ran into each other and couldn’t resist spending the night together, not realizing that someone was watching them! The board allowed Neil to keep his license, but he and Alexis were forbidden from being together for two years.
Neil got a job working at General Hospital and was clearly struggling with his feelings for Alexis. When Alexis fell off the wagon, Julian attacked Neil, blaming him for hurting her, which had the unfortunate side-effect of exposing their lie to the medical review board. Alexis and Neil both lost their jobs, and their relationship was in shambles. Neil attempted to make a peace offering, but Alexis didn’t seem interested.
Eventually, Neil made another attempt to talk to Alexis and she finally admitted that she did miss him and wanted to be much more than just friends. The pair went to bed together, but the next morning when Alexis went to bring him coffee, he was dead! The autopsy revealed he died of an opioid overdose and Alexis was further stunned to learn he’d been injected! Back at her home, Julian found a syringe under the bed as Jordan questioned Cyrus Renault why he killed Neil.
Stay tuned to GH to see what really happened!
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