Yes, it felt like a slow turtle crawling through murky waters as we waited…and waited…and waited for Jake Doe to learn he is indeed Jason Morgan (or Quartermaine, if you want to be technical) but maybe that’s how General Hospital needed to do it.
After all, Steve Burton embodied two different Jasons over a combined course of two decades, creating both Jason Quartermaine and Jason Morgan–two very different characters with very different lives. When Burton chose to spread his wings three years ago, Jason was killed because who else could ever capture viewers the way he did? However, in true soap form, Jason’s body was never found and in 2014, GH decided to recast.
When the Emmy-winning Billy Miller won the role of Jason after years on The Young and the Restless (where, ironically, Steve Burton now plays Dylan McAvoy), fans were skeptical. Could Miller become Jason so fast? Well, the answer was no. He became someone else. He became Jake Doe, a brand-new character who we knew all along as Jason. Other characters learned Jake’s identity along the way, and bits and pieces of Jason came out with Jake’s mannerisms, actions, and persona, but we got to know Miller as Jake and eventually chomped at the bit for him to know he was our beloved Jason.
As GH inched towards the reveal and then came in for a crash landing (quite literally), we HAD to see it happen because to us, Miller is now Jason. We will never forget Burton–that’s not even possible–but so many of us had come to accept Miller as Jason that when Carly called him that at the end of Thursday’s show, it felt natural and inevitable.
It was also inevitable that Carly was the one to tell Jason the truth. After all, to borrow a phrase from Grey’s Anatomy, he was her person. He was her person 20 years ago and her person now in another case of a recast done right. As Carly recalled the night she met Jason at that roadside bar so many years ago, we could see it as if Laura Wright was Carly and not Sarah Brown. She’s been Carly for a decade and it’s hard to imagine someone else ever played Bobbie’s feisty daughter.
Many fans expressed their disappointment (that even seemed like rage) and the “reveal” not happening until Monday, but it did happen on Friday. It happened for Jason. His identity was revealed to him just the way it needed to be before the rest of Port Charles learns. It happened between two characters who’ve shared a long past played by two recast actors who’ve done what seemed like the impossible and made two iconic characters all their own.