Saturday, October 20, 2012

Remembering Jason Morgan -- and Jason Quartermaine

Jason Morgan’s time in Port Charles comes to an end this week (for now) and most of the chatter I’ve seen on message boards is split.

Jason Morgan – and his portrayer Steve Burton – are definitely beloved. A lot of fans, though, think this might mark a creative renaissance for ‘General Hospital.’

The truth is, Burton made a lot of money and he got a lot of attention on the show. Some people would argue that he got too much attention – and I would be one of them.

Still, if it came down to picking an airtime hog to get the boot, I would have gone with Maurice Benard’s continually dour Sonny. I’m not in charge, though (and I bet a lot of fans are happy about that – because I would make some radical changes).

Still, I don’t want people to think I don’t think Jason Morgan had a place in GH. He did. I just got tired of his continual health problems, his never-ending string of shootouts, his bromance with Sonny and the continual propping of the narcissistic Carly.

At one time, though, Jason was one of my favorite characters.

So, to honor Burton, I thought we’d take a look back at Jason’s best stories: 

5. Jason almost dies: Ah, I bet a lot of fans jumped to a scene in their heads. The funny thing is, this could be one of fifty different scenes. So, which one am I talking about? It honestly could have been a couple. My favorite, though, is 2006, when Robin returned to town because Jason had a brain injury that was not only impacting his memory but threatening his life. For a second, I think a lot of fans were hopeful that Jason would regain his Quartermaine memories and – not return to being Jason Quartermaine – but meld the two personas and stop being such an unfeeling Borg. That never happened. It didn’t happen again this year when he need more surgery because he had another brain problem either. Still, those couple of weeks where fans were unsure if they would pair Jason with lady love Robin again – and her confusion over what he had become – were must watch television.

4. Alan Quartermaine dies: I am not a fan of the way that the GH writers decimated the Quartermaine family. I’m still outraged they killed off Alan. Still, for Burton at least, the death was a blessing. At the time of Alan’s death, Jason had become somewhat robotic – and largely missing from the Quartermaine fold. Given the fact that Alan died as a result of an act of violence that, in a roundabout way at least, was tied to the Port Charles mob, was heartbreaking. Burton showed a lot of range as his Jason lamented the fact that he froze his father out in favor of Sonny and Carly. He showed true regret that he never did embrace the family that – while conflicted – truly did love him despite everything.

3. Jason and Brenda marry: This still ranks up there as one of the funniest stories in GH history. Jason Quartermaine and Brenda Barrett were high school friends. After the accident that made him Jason Morgan, he couldn’t stand the spoiled model. He didn’t understand how she could wear a wire with Sonny – or how Sonny could forgive her. Over the years, Jason and Brenda had two bonds: Sonny and Robin. They still fought like cats and dogs, but neither officially turned their back on the other. Then, in 2002, Brenda Barrett returned from the dead. At the time, she thought she was ill, so she blackmailed Jason into marrying her. The resulting wedding was laugh-out-loud funny. The chemistry between the two was palpable. And, in the end, they developed true feelings for each other. This is one relationship that should have been explored more.

2. Jason and Robin fall in love: What’s interesting is that Robin Scorpio always had a crush on Jason Quartermaine. It took an accident – and subsequent brain damage – to get Jason to see the light. Jason and Robin ultimately worked because they were both wounded birds that came together to heal. Jason was trying to find himself in a world he no longer recognized. Robin was trying to survive after losing her teenage love to AIDS and learning she had the disease herself. Jason and Robin were sweet one minute and passionate the next. The little family that Sonny, Robin and Jason built was solid – and rooted in real emotion. When Robin left town, a big piece of Jason’s heart went with her – and he never got it back.

1. Jason Quartermaine becomes Jason Morgan: The original storyline that saw Jason Quartermaine injured in a car accident – with his drunken brother behind the wheel – was poignant and spot on. Let’s face it, the ultra-vanilla Jason Quartermaine was a bore. When he was reborn as Jason Morgan – with brain damage and anger control issues – it was really at the height of GH’s popularity in the 1990s. Watching Jason ride a motorcycle into the Quartermaine’s house was funny (and sad at the same time). I wasn’t always a fan of Jason Morgan – but those first couple of years were truly outstanding.

What do you think? What are your favorite Jason memories? Call it a hunch, but I’m betting that Journey, Jasam and Liason fans are a little peeved that none of their moments made the list.


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