Why General Hospital Needs to Kill Jason Morgan for Real This Time — and What to Do if Steve Burton Returns
It’s time to tell the story some fans have waited decades for.
Like many in the audience, we found it difficult to join the residents of Port Charles as they began mourning the latest “death” of General Hospital‘s Jason. After all, the majority of locals shedding tears over the hitman’s MIA corpse had, themselves, risen from the dead, with Sonny having only reunited with his family a few weeks back.
Sure, there were extenuating circumstances which led to Jason being declared dead following the tunnel collapse on Cassadine Island. Portrayer Steve Burton’s refusal to comply with the vaccine mandate put in place for the safety of the soap’s cast and crew meant that the writers had to cobble together an exit strategy for the popular character… while at the same time leaving the door open for the character’s almost inevitable return, whether in the form of Burton or a recast.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI
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Certainly the scribes could have gone another route with the story. It was only last week that they sent Jax off the canvas when his portrayer, too, refused to comply with the vaccine mandate: Jax headed for Australia after acknowledging that his recent actions hadn’t scored him many points with his fictional neighbors.
But if the show really wanted to “kill” Jason yet again, they should have had the cajones to go all the way… body and all.
Give Us All The Feels
It’s long been our belief that soaps undermine their own emotionality by turning death into little more than another bump in the road. Among the most unforgettable moments in General Hospital history have been the demises of Stone Cates, B.J. Jones, Dominique Baldwin, Courtney Matthews and Mike Corbin. But more often than not, especially in recent years, death has been a temporary condition experienced by everyone from Sonny to Drew, from Carly to Peter. The audience knows that when a body isn’t found, it’s because the character will eventually return (whether or not the actor to most recently walk in their shoes does).
Were the soap to allow Jason’s body to be found, the mourning of his friends and loved ones would hit us harder because it would feel more — for lack of a better word — real, more believable.
But what, you say, if Burton eventually is able to return, whether because he decides to become vaccinated or the situation in our country changes to the point that the mandate no longer is required. Well, that wouldn’t be much of a problem for a show on which Roger Howarth has played multiple roles. In fact, were we to have our wish granted, the writers could use such a scenario to bring back Jason Quartermaine.
Hear us out.
Blast From the Past
Credit: ABC screenshot
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What if Patient Six — aka the man who rose from Jason Morgan’s watery grave — turned out to be a surgically altered imposter? And what if the real Jason had spent the past few years living a completely different life in a far-flung town, believing himself to be a simple country doctor. After all, you’ll recall that before the accident which forever changed Jason’s life, he was planning to follow in dad Alan’s footsteps and become a doctor.
What if unlike Sonny, Jason suffered a form of amnesia which was actually permanent. Upon being discovered by a wandering loved one and brought back to Port Charles, imagine how horrorstruck this kinder, gentler version of Jason might be to discover that he’d spent years serving as a hitman for the mob. Even as Sonny and Carly reached out to embrace the friend they’d believed lost to them forever, he might recoil from them in horror. Would Sam — who pushed Jason away rather than put her children’s lives at risk — be given a second chance?
The possibilities are endless and would take the Jason in a new direction while also giving strong material to all the many characters in his orbit. In killing a faux Jason, they could actually be giving the “real” one a new lease on life. But what say you, General Hospital fans? Could you get behind the idea of old-school Jason returning to shake things up? Before sharing your thoughts in the comments section, check out the gallery below in which we look back on both versions of the much-loved med student-turned-henchman.