Kelly Monaco, Steve Burton"General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC Studios12/11/19© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 14479U.S. Airdate 01/31/20
Credit: © XJJohnson/

Steve Burton’s exit is just a bump in the long road that Jason’s already travelled.

Long before Steve Burton revealed that he’d be exiting General Hospital as a result of the soap’s vaccine mandate, we’d been hearing (and reporting) rumblings about his departure. Needless to say, fans insisted that if the actor and his popular character left the show, they’d follow suit by simply turning the long-running soap off. But now that Burton’s exit is confirmed and Jason’s fate appears to have been revealed, we’d like to suggest that everyone take a deep breath and back away from the “off” switch… because it’s all going to work out just fine.

How do we know? Simple: Not only have we been down this road before, but it’s one traveled by numerous General Hospital actors and characters. But more importantly, Burton himself told us (and, by extension, you) that he’d be back. “Maybe one day, if these mandates are lifted,” he said during his farewell message to fans on Instagram (which you can view below), “I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Steve Burton (@1steveburton)

More: Daytime’s dumbest moves of 2021

Let’s fact it: There’s a reason that the writers chose to have Jason go missing following the tunnel collapse on Cassadine Island. Experience has taught them that when it comes to popular actors leaving, you never say “never” when asked if they’ll return, and you never say “really, most sincerely dead” when asked the status of their character. And it isn’t as if this is the first time General Hospital fans and the residents of Port Charles have mourned the “passing” of everyone’s favorite hitman.

Difficult as it might be for people to imagine, there’s also the possibility that — and brace yourself, because we’re about to suggest the unthinkable — the show could ultimately decide to recast the part, even if only temporarily. Difficult as that might be, it would not be impossible. There was a time when no one could have imagined anyone but the late Terry Lester playing The Young and the Restless‘ Jack, and yet no one could deny that current portrayer Peter Bergman now owns the part.

More: Maurice Benard as you’ve never seen him before

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of drama to be mined from this latest twist. Because whether Jason is faux-dead or dead-dead, life will go on for those he left behind. To see how they’ll be impacted, check out the gallery below in which we speculate about exactly that. Then hit the comments section to share your thoughts, and maybe even suggestions as to what other actors might step into Burton’s shoes, even if only temporarily.