‘General Hospital’s Steve Burton On Jake’s Tragic Death

Steve Burton (ABC)

Steve Burton (ABC)

This has been a three hankie week on “General Hospital.” Whether or not you agree with the decision to kill off Jake, the tragic storyline has resulted in some powerful performances. Steve Burton has been heartbreaking as he allowed the usually stoic Jason to break down as he witnessed the death of his biological son that he barely knew. Burton opened up about how Jake’s death will change Jason, why Liaison fans should not give up on their favorite couple, and how his son’s death could bring him Jason closer to the Quartermaines.

How does Jake’s death impact Jason?
I think the fans will see kind of a devastation to Jason they’ve never really seen before. Emotionally, at this point everything’s kind of turned upside down and he starts to question everything that he’s done. It’s been a tough couple weeks for Jason, for sure, and for a lot of other people on the show. I don’t want to say it’s been a good storyline, but it’s definitely been an emotional one, and the acting has been great. You know, when people are calling [the show], that’s a good thing so we’ll see what happens.

Jason, Lucky and Liz save Jocelyn’s life by donating Jake’s kidneys. Can you talk about that?
It was kind of Carly (Laura Wright) timing, bad timing, when she asked me to donate Jake’s kidney and she tells me about Jocelyn and obviously that’s a double tragedy. She asks me, but Jason feels he has no right to even answer that question so he has to go bring the subject up with Elizabeth. Then once she slaps me in the face, I talk to Lucky about it. They figure it out for themselves and they’re the ones who have to make the decision.

What would you say to Liz and Jason fans who see this storyline as the show’s attempt to sever all ties between the characters?
Let’s be thankful first that Becky [Herbst’s] back on the show. I’m so happy they decided to keep her. I think they’re always going to cross paths. Obviously, they have a connection with Jake whether he’s here or not here. We’ll always have a connection. There’s not much they can do about that part.

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What are the repercussions for Jason and Lucky’s relationship?
It’s been a good relationship. The fact that he’s on one side of the law, I’m on the other, I have up my kid, he decides to raise it – they’ve got that two fatherly bond. Bringing them together gave their relationship a whole new level so on the show it’s tough because I’m actually the one who tells Lucky that Jake dies in the hospital and there’s been a lot of emotional stuff between them. They’ll always have a relationship no matter what happens too because of Jake.

What about Jason’s relationship with Sam? Does Jason ever learn she feared she was the one who hit Jake?
That’s never even approached. It’s more Carly. Carly comes to Jason and says, “I think I hit Jake.” He’s in such a griefstricken state that he’s like, ”What did you just say?” He asks her some questions. She’s a little hysterical. The pieces of the puzzle aren’t fitting. He doesn’t really let himself go there, that Carly hit Jake. It’s more trying to explore if she did or not. She doesn’t answer a lot of questions directly and he’s like, “Look, we don’t even know what happened.” And then we get a call saying that it happened, it wasn’t her, it was somebody else.

Does losing Jake stir a desire in Jason to have a child of his own, one that he could actually raise?
I’m sure the question is going to be raised. I think it’s too early to even think about having a kid. I don’t think another kid can replace a kid that’s gone. That definitely would be to Jason’s motivation. If anything, it would be to everything I did to protect Jake. He didn’t get killed because of the business.

The character of Jake seemed like he had the potential to grow up and become the next Michael. Do you think it was a good decision to kill him off?
That’s not my decision, really. I don’t even know if we’re going to be on long enough for Jake to take over the business. They’d have to put Jake in a coma and have him come out being 21.

Will this tragedy bring Jason closer to the Quartermaines?
I think it makes him reflect on Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon) a lot, his Dad. I have some scenes with Michael (Chad Duell) about that, because Michael wants to join the business now. We have some scenes about what I did to the Quatermaines and how I turned my back on them. So it really makes him think about his family with the Quartermaines and his Dad being gone. I guess it’s an enlightening story for Jason in that aspect.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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