General Hospital Exclusive February Sweeps Preview, Part 1: Headwriters on Jason/Sam’s New Lives, Sonny’s Big Decision and the Twist ‘Nobody Will See Coming’
Desperate times, drastic moves and shifting loyalties will turn Port Charles upside-down this month.
Back in November, General Hospital headwriters Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor teased an event that would knock the canvas off its axis. Before long, Lulu was in a coma, Dustin, Dev and Julian were dead, and viewers were left reeling. So when they say that February sweeps will include “a twist that nobody will see coming” and refuse to say anything further… well, consider yourself warned as you read on for details about the big stories about to unfold.
Is Carly the New Sonny?
Although Sonny’s “death” has rocked those he left behind, Carly is not only doing her best to move forward, she’s becoming a major power player… as evidenced when she arranged to have Cyrus’ beloved mom kidnapped! “Cyrus sees Sonny’s death as a major opportunity to strengthen his hold on Port Charles,” says Van Etten. “But he’s quickly learning that it may not be as easy to simply step into that void as he thought it would be.”
Credit: ABC screenshot
Not that it will be smooth sailing for Jason and Carly. “They have to negotiate what it means to both have a say in what happens next for both their families and the capital-f Families as well,” he continues. “Moving forward, they will have to make some drastic moves to protect their loved ones.”
As for Sonny, “as he finds a sense of peace in Nixon Falls, Penn., he may not want to find out more about the man he was before the accident.”
A New Lady for Jason?
Sam made the difficult decision to separate from Jason in order to keep her children safe from his dangerous lifestyle. But the pull of the past has remained strong, leaving us to wonder if perhaps she’s having second thoughts. “Sam and Jason will always love one another,” insists O’Connor, “but they are committed to this course of action. However, that commitment may waiver once one or both of them start to explore other romantic options.”
Speaking of which… anyone else notice that Jason and Britt seem to be spending an awful lot of time together? “I think that they do create sparks when they butt heads,” agrees O’Connor. “They may even spark a fire if they look at each other in a new light.”
Credit: ABC screenshot
As for Sam, he points out that “she has been on a journey ever since that fateful day that Faison shot Jason.” The question is what — and whom — she might find at the end of that journey.
The Truth Explodes
Jax is about to learn the hard way that when you do the wrong thing for what you believe to be the right reasons, the consequences can be devastating. “In the aftermath of Jax confessing, Nina will find herself questioning whether he actually is the white knight she always believed him to be,” teases Van Etten. “Meanwhile, there’s Valentin, sitting patiently on the sidelines. He will very soon have the opportunity to prove whether or not he has a heroic bone in his body.”
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI
In other news, Nikolas and Ava seem ready finally to ditch the antagonistic side of what has been their love/hate relationship and admit they truly care for one another. “If you ask what’s heading their way, I’d say ‘something wicked,’” laughs Van Etten, pointing out that there are an awful lot of people in town who have good reason to feel as if one or the other — and, in some cases, both — of them are unworthy of a happy ending.”
In Part 2 of our exclusive February sweeps preview — you can read it here — the scribes discuss major turning points leading up to the big double wedding, the difficult decision which could tear Liz and Franco apart, and more. Meanwhile, why not join us in reflecting on how Jason has changed over the years… because let’s face it, there are worse ways to pass the time than by looking at photos of Steve Burton!
<p>“It’s not yours, sweetheart, but… ” Although Jason was born to Dr. Alan Quartermaine and ill-fated mistress Susan Moore, the philanderer’s wife Monica soon came to love the baby as her own. In fact — and we’d never tell this to his half brother, A.J. — we kinda think that Jason was Monica’s favorite. Shh! Shh! We said <em>don’t</em> tell A.J.!</p>
<p>After a stint in boarding school — where apparently there was an outbreak of soap-opera rapid-aging syndrome — Jason returned to Port Charles as a strapping teenager played by up-and-coming Hollywood hunk Steve Burton, at that point best known for his stint as surfer dude Chris on the whackadoo syndicated sitcom <em>Out of This World</em>.</p>
<p>At Port Charles High, girl-crazy Jason pretty much <em>lived</em> with hearts in his eyes. But his main crush Karen Wexler… Well, we don’t want to say that she was out of his league back then. However, she <em>was</em> playing a different ballgame — and with a very different player to boot.</p>
<p>Karen only had eyes for buff boxer Jagger Cates, who, as this photo so clearly illustrates, gave the best neck rubs this side of the Paradise Lounge. How could Jason compete with that? How could anyone, really?</p>
<p>Jason might’ve stood a better chance with Brenda Barrett — yet another classmate, you’ll recall — if she’d ever elected to turn into reality a certain fantasy she had involving a bubble bath, the honor-roll student and apparently a <em>whole</em> lot of baby oil.</p>
<p>Jason finally got himself a serious girlfriend in Keesha Ward. They even punched one another’s V cards over spring break in Paris. But their young-love story came to a screeching halt after he was involved in a car crash with a soused A.J. When Jason woke up, he was all, “No more Mr. Nice Guy”; instead, he was… Wait. You’ll see.</p>
<p>Overnight, brain damage transformed Jason into a shirt-averse amnesiac, a born-again bad boy who eventually went to work as a violent flunky for Brenda’s on-again/off-again endgame, Sonny Corinthos — you know, Port Charles’ answer to both Don Corleone <em>and</em> Juan Valdez.</p>
<p>While Keesha tried to mend the pieces of her broken heart with, of all people, A.J., Jason sought to resolve his identity crisis by exercising his right to “bare arms.” Needless to say, he’d soon draw quite a crowd to his particular brand of “gun show.” And yes, we will stop putting “everything” in quotes now.</p>
<p>Port Charles saw Jason as an unfeeling shell of his former self and onetime school chum Robin Scorpio as the quintessence of all that is good in the world. The yin/yang pair fell in love, anyway; in fact, it didn’t even occur to them to solicit outside opinions of their romance. Go figure.</p>
<p>They’d never have believed it in the 1990s, but years after Jason had a no-strings-attached fling with future bestie Carly Benson, she’d end up married to… Can a person <em>have</em> two besties? If not, she’d end up married to his <em>second</em>-bestie, Sonny.</p>
<p>Rather than bother with son Michael’s actual father — A.J., the Meg Griffin of <em>General Hospital</em> — Carly enlisted her buddy Jason to at first fill in as a father figure. Over the years, Jason and Michael remained so close that the former got himself thrown behind bars in hopes of protecting the latter. Eh, it was the thought that counted.</p>
<p>When Jason fell for Elizabeth Webber, he fell hard. Like “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” hard. They could never make it work, though. She had this weird thing about not wanting herself or her kids to be used for criminals’ target practice. Also, Jason always wanted to canoodle when she really, <em>really</em> just needed to have her morning coffee.</p>
<p>Following a brief marriage of convenience to Brenda — what better way to avoid testifying against one another in court? — Jason put a ring on the finger of Sonny’s half sister, Courtney Matthews. When that ring came right back off, the don’s henchman tried to bolster Sonny’s relationship with Carly by pretending to be the babydaddy of his mistress, Sam McCall.</p>
<p>Given their affinity for black clothes, danger and one another, it was inevitable that Jason and Sam would wind up becoming a supercouple and living happily ever after. Ha. As if. They did indeed become a supercouple, but her mom also drove a wedge between them, Sam shtupped her stepfather, and Jason knocked up Elizabeth. And that was just for starters!</p>
<p>Maybe if somebody had gotten to Franco (originally James Franco) when he was a baby-faced kid like this, he wouldn’t have grown up to be Jason’s worst nightmare, a stalkery painter who made the object of his obsession believe that he’d raped Sam. Note: No one got to Franco when he was a baby-faced kid like this. So before having his homicidal brain tumor removed, he was a helluva headache.</p>
<p>Two years after Jason was murdered by Cesar Faison, the deceased resurfaced in Port Charles with a new face (that of Billy Miller) and a telltale fondness for Liz and Sam. (As you can see, he <em>even</em> knew their secret handshake!) Of course, it would eventually turn out that this Jason wasn’t Jason at all but his twin brother, Drew. D’oh!</p>
<p>Obviously, Jason’s loved ones welcomed him back with open fire. Er, <em>arms</em>. Open <em>arms</em>. But seriously, once the shock wore off, they were happy to have the original-flavor Stone Cold back. By and by, Sam even decided that she preferred the first version of her husband to the second; Drew was way too willing to wear colors other than black.</p>
<p>It seemed like no sooner had the Morgans made their way back into one another’s arms than they were targeted by Shiloh, aka Henry Archer, a cult leader whose father had once been duped by con artist Sam. As Jason is wont to do, he made a rational, well-thought-out argument for why maybe Shiloh should let bygones be bygones.</p>
<p>Only one thing changed in Jason’s life as rarely as his standard wardrobe of a black T-shirt and jeans: Sonny’s need for his protection. In 2020, the “coffee importer” had his turf threatened by rival… um… “businessman” Cyrus Renault. Somehow the underworld overlords didn’t even consider that in one of those plants, there might be a bug. (See what we did there? Plant… bug… Never mind.)</p>
<p>Finally, after Cyrus had the Floating Rib blown up in hopes of reducing Jason to smithereens, Sam realized that maybe, just maybe, being married to the Mob was going to make her a widow (again) or cost her a kid or two. And she really didn’t have among her offspring an A.J. that she could bear to lose.</p>
<p>Neither JaSam nor their fans were going to like the answer to that question. After Cyrus Renault had the Floating Rib blown up, Sam made the painful decision to split from Jason to ensure that none of her children became poor Dev Cerci’s afterlife playmates. In the wake of that game-changing move…</p>
<p>Not only did Sonny “die,” but Jason wound up going on the run with, of all people, Britt Westbourne (with whom, as you can see, he got a <em>whole</em> lot closer). And once he returned to Port Charles, things only got weirder: He and Carly decided that they had to tie the knot to protect the Corinthos crime syndicate from the Five Families.</p>
<p>By the time Carly and Jason made it to the altar, they had rediscovered feelings for one another that they’d been sure were dead-dead, not Port Charles “dead.” Of course, it was that very night — right before the newlyweds were to consummate their marriage — that Sonny revealed that he was only the latter kind of dead.</p>
<p>Pursuing the indestructible Peter August to Cassadine Island proved to be a mistake of the fatal kind for Jason. After taking aim at the villain, the tunnels in which they were holding target practice collapsed with Stone Cold in them. Of course anyone who believes that he’s <em>dead</em>-dead has probably spent the last few decades living under a rock of their own.</p>
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