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GH: Loyalty Over Love for Jason

GH: Loyalty Over Love for Jason

I remember when I first fell in love with Jason Morgan. I recognized the potential of Jason as quite possibly the most romantic man in Port Charles. I liked his innocence and the unique way he looked at things and mostly, his love for Robin. It was pure, made of all the great things that first loves are until it wasn’t anymore and they moved on to other couplings. I often think about that scene at the Scorpio house when I think about his character and the potential I thought he had then and wonder what happened.

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I remember the exact moment that I fell in love with Jason Morgan. I was eleven, maybe twelve and he let Robin stand on his shoes while they danced in her living room. Something about it was so touching and genuine. That moment and the butterflies it gave me are unforgettable. In true General Hospital fashion, incredible angst followed by means of a shooting and some of the best Jason and Robin scenes while he was in the hospital.

Even at my young age, I recognized the potential of Jason as quite possibly the most romantic man in Port Charles. I liked his innocence and the unique way he looked at things and mostly, his love for Robin. It was pure, made of all the great things that first loves are until it wasn’t anymore and they moved on to other couplings. I often think about that scene at the Scorpio house when I think about his character and the potential I thought he had then and wonder what happened.

I am all for a soap character showing growth. If they don’t, then what is the point of them existing or getting a storyline? Seeing them grow from one person and turn into another is what makes a show worth watching, but only if the growth pays off. And sometimes I find myself wondering if Jason’s ever really grown at all. After his accident, the doctors told him he would be emotionally stilted, a part of him cut off in a way that couldn’t be changed. Maybe at the time it was an anvil for his upcoming career change to a mob enforcer, or maybe it was set to define his entire life.

Last week we watched him yet again choose Sonny, Carly, and their children over having his own life. The same choice that has cost him other women he’s loved along with a place in his son’s life. Sure, we can argue that the danger played a big role in those choices, but it’s a poor excuse, especially when his character is around literally every child in town except his own. And the danger excuse along with the other idiotic things his characters does can only get so far, maybe ten feet, when Jason’s supposed to be one of the romantic leads on the show.

There is nothing, I repeat nothing romantic about walking away from the woman you love because you live a violent lifestyle, one that you lived the entire time you were together. There is nothing romantic about breaking up with a woman on her deathbed after she was shot because of you. There is nothing romantic about buying a house and setting up a trust fund for the children you don’t feel safe enough to father. And most of all there is nothing romantic about taking a terrible plea bargain for something you’re not even responsible for.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but all of those things did set up angst for his various pairings at one point or another, right? And angst is supposed to be romantic on a soap and keep you watching with baited breath and sitting on the edge of your seat. None of these stories with Jason have done that. Quite frankly, I’m tired (and beyond fed up) with the ways they try to spin problems into Jason’s relationships. Why is it that he can’t be with a woman because it’s not safe or he has to take plea bargains for kids that aren’t his when Sonny’s biggest problem with a woman is whether to do her on the couch or the floor? It’s completely ridiculous. And really, I think Sam deserves better than what she’s getting. (Yes, this Sam hater just said that and meant it.)

I’m well aware of all the awful things Sam has done over the years, but to be fair, it’s been a two-way street. I won’t lie and say that watching a baby get kidnapped or sending men after young children with guns doesn’t trump Jason’s emotional affair or how he broke up with her the summer she slept with Ric. What she did will always be far worse to me, but that doesn’t mean she deserves any less respect from Jason as his girlfriend.

Clearly, he’s over what happened and could care less about the past, and if he loves her as much as he says he does, he should have the decency to discuss this with her first. Instead he tells her, basically railroading her with the fact that their entire future is gone. I was never prouder of Sam when she told him to leave (never mind that she disappointed me when she instantly forgave him an hour later). If only she had hit him in the back of the head with her remote or a vase on his way out the door. Maybe it’d would knock whatever hold Sonny and Carly have on him out of the way and give him a little freedom.

I get the history that Jason has with Sonny and Carly. The best part of the awful Franco storyline was hearing the history from Jason’s point of view, how Sonny was his father figure and helped him find his way. He didn’t realize what kind of lifestyle Sonny was leading him into and once he did it was far too late to get out. Does that mean he doesn’t get to have a life? That’s my main issue here.

Since they came into his life, Jason’s never had much of a life outside of Carly and Sonny or been able to have a relationship where they didn’t stick their nose in it at some point. Sure, he raised Michael and is everyone’s Godfather and their ultimate protector, but what kind of life is that for Jason? The things he loves most are shoved in a shoebox in his downstairs closet, all things he’s convinced himself he can’t have because of the life he chose. He quickly turned his back on Sam, the one person he’s allowed himself to have despite the danger and only went back to her after the plea wasn’t accepted.

Like most women in Jason’s life, Sam instantly forgave him because she suddenly thought he wasn’t wrong and why be upset over something that wasn’t going to happen. No, Sam. He only came back to you because the deal was rejected. Otherwise he would have gone through with it and you’d still be in the place you were before and he still wouldn’t care. This is the part where Sam should’ve shoved the heel of her boot so far up his behind that he would never forget her and told him to get the hell out. On a show that recycles stories continually, this is going to happen again. Sam falls behind Sonny, Carly, Michael, Morgan, and Josslyn and probably in that very order, making her sixth. If I want to include Jake that knocks her down to seven. No woman deserves to be seventh on her boyfriend’s list of priorities and unfortunately the women always come last with Jason, a far cry from who the character was when I first fell in love with him.

Most days Jason is so stilted. He lives his life for the mob. His only consistent companion for the last few years has been a computer geek that has more than worn out his welcome in the penthouse. We know that he feels things, maybe deeper than anyone else, but works so hard at hiding him. We’ve seen him crying over his box of pain and mourning people who are alive as if they are dead because he’s convinced himself he can’t be around them. And this is when I think back to that scene between him and Robin that made me fall so completely in love with him and the first place, and I wonder what happened.

The Jason at that time would have never shut himself off so emotionally from someone he loved and valued having a life of his own, even if it was just random travels or long motorcycle rides. He allowed himself to plan futures filled with marriages and children with nearly every woman he was ever in love with. He was still in the mob, but he had a different kind of life, one that didn’t dictate his day-to-day life as determined by Sonny and Carly. And he definitely would have never turned his back on his own child.

Yes, there so many things that factor into Jason’s decisions. He wants to protect the people he loves from the danger of his life, the very danger that has existed from the start when he got involved with them. It only became too much when the writers wanted to use it as a poor excuse to end a pairing and move it on to something else. Michael is practically his first born, a child he raised, but also had taken away from him and protecting him seems to have become his only goal in life. Who really wants to watch that? And how many of the people that do are enjoying it?

Watching him with Sam this week reminded me so much of when he did the same thing to Elizabeth after being engaged to her for an entire twenty-eight seconds before Michael’s shooting ended the bliss. Like Sam, Elizabeth got no say in their future because Jason already decided them. He must have forgotten about all those times he swore to never make decisions for the people in his life. I can’t imagine that fans of the couple are particularly happy with how the Jason and Sam scene went this week or with how quickly Sam recovered from it. If this is the only angst they can create for a pairing of Jason’s, I’d rather they leave him with his box of pain. Or maybe they could try and write a consistent mob life, one where the men have wives and children and strive to protect them.

I never expected him to leave the mob and become some law-abiding citizen, but for a person like Jason who spends his life breaking the law and killing people, how he treats those he’s supposed to love matters. His character can’t necessarily be judged as a good person due to his career choice, so that leaves his relationships. Lately, it seems as if he loves at his own convenience and really, every single relationship of his has come down to the same issues and the same tired stories. This could have been a prime opportunity for Jason to question his instant loyalty to Sonny and think about Sam and struggled with whether or not to take the deal. That might have shown a little bit of character growth and let viewers know that Jason was aware of people in his life other than Sonny and Carly.

Is it asking too much to see that side of Jason, the one that so many people fell in love with? There’s a reason that his character is the center of the show, but the material they’ve given him recently isn’t why. It’s his history, the way people fell in love with him as he changed from a Quartermaine to a Morgan. Now he’s such a hollow shell of a person. Bad things might have happened to him and shaken his view of life, but if he can’t get over them and pull through it and still have hope and want a future, his character is pointless. His loyalties often feel misplaced or distorted and lie where they shouldn’t. I’m sure others are still reeling from him wanting Sonny to kill Dante even though his boss knew that was his son or his new found friendship with Lucky after spending years at odds with one another. And what about the importance of family that he was supposed to have learned after losing Alan and Emily? His non-interaction with the Quartermaines is disappointing, but if it takes one of them dying for him to notice, he can keep his distance. There are only so many viable Quartermaines left.

And not to mention, like so much on this show, his character is written for plot points and brought into stories in an attempt to prop them. All that does is hurt his character in the process. It’s gotten so repetitive, annoying, and downright stupid. His character and the viewers deserve better (as does Steve Burton), but this is General Hospital so I don’t have high hopes. They assassinate characters unlike any other soap, and they’ve managed to do quite the number on Jason in the last few years. He’s lost that enforcer with a heart of gold persona and traded it for this unfeeling borg we’ve been forced to suffer through. I want to love Jason. I’m sure fans that don’t love him want to as well. And the writers might want to get to work on it before it’s too late. It almost already is.

Maybe they could start by giving him his pool table back.


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About the author

Amber Cunigan

Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.