Jason Morgan and Sam McCall
|Jason and Sam|
|Introduced by||Jill Farren Phelps|
Jason and Samantha "Sam" Morgan (commonly known by their portmanteau "JaSam") are fictional characters and a supercouple from the long running ABC Daytime soap opera, General Hospital.  Jason, the son of legendary characters, Alan and Monica Quartermaine (Stuart Damon and Leslie Charleson) and member of the powerful Quartermaine family was portrayed by actor Steve Burton. Sam, the daughter of crime lord Julian Jerome (William deVry) and headstrong attorney Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn), and member of the infamous royal Cassadine family is portrayed by Kelly Monaco. First meeting in 2003, their relationship was described as "an uneasy alliance that first blossomed into a friendship."  A romantic relationship evolved from that friendship and the couple was involved for almost a decade, with General Hospital writers scripting them as true loves. Together, Jason and Sam have been titled "one of the most romantic duos in daytime." 
The role of Samantha McCall was originated by Daytime Emmy nominated actress Kelly Monaco on October 1, 2003. In 2006, Monaco was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Sam. In August 2009, fans were shocked by a casting call for the character. Despite rumors and speculation, Monaco's co-stars Steve Burton and Nancy Lee Grahn denied that she is departing from the show. Monaco herself has dispelled the rumors, stating there was "really no doubt" she would renew her contract. It was merely standard procedure for ABC to release the casting call since she and the network had not signed off on a new contract by a set deadline.
The role of Jason Morgan was played by Daytime Emmy award-winning actor Steve Burton from 1991 to 2012. Burton made his debut on December 19, 1991. After leaving the show in 2000 to pursue other interests, Burton returned to General Hospital full-time in May 2002. In 1998, Burton won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Jason. In 2012, Burton received a Daytime Emmy pre-nomination for his role as Jason Morgan. On August 28, 2012, it was announced that Burton would be leaving the series. Burton confirmed in an interview with TV Guide's Michael Logan that he would exit the series and agreed to stay long enough for the producers to write his character out properly. In an interview with Access Hollywood.com, Monaco said that thinking about her co-star's exit is very hard, but she has an idea of how Jason will exit Port Charles and "it's likely to be pretty dramatic." 
The couple's official song is "Just You and Me" by Rie Sinclair. The song was first played for the couple on March 30, 2005, when they shared a romantic rooftop dance in the rain. In 2006, by popular demand, the couple's song was featured on SOAPnet's, television talk show Soap Talk and performed by Jayson Belt in a mini concert for the studio audience. In 2009, after guest starring on General Hospital, American Idol contestant and tenth place finalist Chikezie Eze, covered the couple's theme song on his YouTube account. Also in 2009, a new instrumental version of "Just You and Me" was composed for the couple's 2009 reunion. "Just You and Me" was played for the couple when they finally wed in September 2011, but the couple shared their first dance as newlyweds to Ray LaMontagne's "Hold You In My Arms".
Creation and writing
Since their inception, Jason and Sam's intense and tumultuous relationship has captivated audiences for years. The couple's story began as a love-hate relationship, where the characters shared a mutual dislike of one other. Overtime, this relationship evolved into a friendship and later into love. At the core of their characters, Sam, the more outspoken of the two, has a tendency to ramble, while Jason is more of the stoic and silent type. However the couple found that they shared other similar personality traits, such as their "daring, adrenaline junkie" attitudes, that bonded them together as kindred spirits. This relationship stuck out amongst Jason Morgan's others, because Sam was the first woman to completely accept him and not try to change him in any way.
|“||Sam is different in the way that she is the first character who isn’t stopping Jason from doing what he does. He hasn’t had that before. It’s a great element. The whole fight is not always, ‘Oh, your work is too dangerous. Your lifestyle is too dangerous,’ like his last few relationships. It’s a whole new level.||”|
Sam and Jason's personalities cause them to understand each other in a way that no one else does, and this understanding was the basis of the connection between them. Burton explained the couple's connection to Soap Opera Weekly: During times of high pressure and stress, "the only person who can cool down Jason is, of course, Sam. “She’s always calm with him; she doesn’t try to force anything,” Burton points out. “She always knows what to do: when to push, and when to back off. She really understands Jason."  Monaco further commented on the couple's relationship to Soaps In Depth:
|“||Sam will always love Jason. He was her little safe haven. She was brutally honest with him, so you'd get nothing but raw emotion. They had each other's backs and trusted each other's instincts.||”|
Burton and Monaco, the acting duo that brings this pairing to life, have often commented on how their two characters weren't originally supposed to be together, but the fan reaction and their on-screen chemistry caused the General Hospital writers to move them in a new direction. Their love story was allowed to evolve naturally and organically. The couple started out as an "unlikely love story", but over time turned into much more. They spent many years together and in that time, overcame several obstacles that tried to keep them apart. The couple shared many loving, joyful, and tender moments and have also prevailed over periods of turmoil, heartache and separation. During the characters' separation in 2008, Monaco stated to Soap Opera Digest, "The love of Sam's life will always be Jason."
General Hospital head-writer, Ron Carlivati noted that "Jason and Sam are an incredibly popular couple [...] a great couple who are very strong and very solid in a lot of ways.  Former General Hospital head-writer Garin Wolf described Jason and Sam as an "unconventional yet strong and unique couple." Jason and Sam's similar love for danger and adrenaline have led them to be described as having a Bonnie and Clyde type of relationship. Several of their storylines have revolved around adventure with an "us against the world" theme present. The theme has been in place since the couple’s first meeting in the Port Charles Police Department, where they were both arrested for aiding and abetting Sonny Corinthos. They have been on the run from law enforcement more than once; most notably in early 2005 when Sam was framed for kidnapping and Jason was the only one who believed her innocence, in the summer of 2005 when they went on the run with Sonny's oldest son Michael Corinthos (then Dylan Cash) to protect him from murder charges and again the fall of 2006 when Sam was being framed for murder. The couple was referred to as a real live "Bonnie and Clyde" onscreen on July 31, 2009, when they were arrested while trying to track down runaways Michael and Kristina. The theme is further reinforced by the fact that the couple always turn to each other when dealing with high pressure situations, even during times of discord between them. They also have a similar comfort with living outside of the law and making their own rules. Former General Hospital head-writer Robert Guza, Jr. describes Sam as "the last and only woman able to go toe to toe with Jason in action mode." 
Jason Morgan first met Sam McCall in 2003 in the PCPD interrogation room. They both had been arrested for aiding and abetting Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), and Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner) stuck them in the room together in an attempt to pit them against one another. But Sam and Jason turned the tables on Scott when Sam refused to testify against Jason, and to show his gratitude Jason offered to cover all of Sam’s legal expenses. Sam later became involved with Sonny. During her relationship with Sonny, Sam witnessed someone putting a bomb in Sonny’s car. As a result of what she saw, she was stabbed and Jason was assigned to protect her until they could find the bomber and her attacker. During their time together, Jason and Sam fought a lot and in the beginning, they did not get along at all. Sam believed that Jason disapproved of her, and Jason wanted Sonny and Carly back together, so he continually pushed for Sam to end her relationship with Sonny. This conflict caused a great amount of tension between the two. In early 2004, Sam found out that she was pregnant with Sonny’s child. As Sonny’s lieutenant, Jason asks Sam if he could pose as the baby's father so that Sonny and wife Carly (then Tamara Braun) could stay together for the sake of their son Michael (then Dylan Cash), but Sonny soon learns that Sam is carrying his child. Sam agrees to Jason's request and they almost marry, but Sam backs out because they are not in love and she still has feelings for Sonny.
Jason switched Sam’s paternity test and everyone thought that he was the father of her child, except for himself, Sam and Sonny who all knew the truth. Over time, Jason and Sam began to bond and care for each other. They continued to grow friendlier as Jason protected her from her abusive ex-boyfriend Nico Dane and helped give her mentally handicapped brother Danny McCall (David Greenman), a better life at a specialized school in Hawaii. When Jason's grandmother died in the summer of 2004, Jason and Sam decided to name her daughter Lila Morgan after Jason's late grandmother Lila Morgan Quartermaine (Anna Lee) in honor of her. Sam and Jason start growing closer, trusting each other and falling in love. In November 2004, Sam’s daughter, Lila McCall is stillborn. Jason grieves with Sam and helps her make the choice of donating her child's stem cells to save the life of Sonny’s other daughter Kristina Corinthos-Davis, who is suffering from aplastic anemia. Sam is heartbroken by the loss of her child and outraged at Kristina's mother, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn), for her role in the tragedy, but is comforted when Jason tells her that part of her daughter will always live on in Kristina. Jason and Sam eventually fall in love, but Jason decides it would be best if they do not pursue a relationship, worried that she would fear his work as an enforcer. She moves out, unable to continue living with him as "just friends," but soon moves back when they realize they do not want to be without each other.
Sam and Jason admit their love for one another, and after getting engaged in January 2005, Sam agrees to care for the child of a young mother named Bridget Daly. Jason names the baby Hope, but Bridget decides that she wants her baby back. To avoid a court battle, Jason decides Hope should be returned to her mother. Sam is hurt and angry at this decision and leaves Jason briefly, but they reunite after Sam is accused of kidnapping Kristina. Jason believes Sam is innocent and the two of them search for Michael, Kristina, and Morgan, who they later find out have been kidnapped by Faith Rosco (Cynthia Preston) on orders from Jason's brother A. J. Quartermaine (Billy Warlock). After finding the kids, Jason and Sam try to help Michael recover from the traumatizing event of being kidnapped. When things cooled down, Jason and Sam went on a romantic vacation on Sonny's yacht, but they were kidnapped by phony police. They were taken to a private island and met a woman named Allegra Montenegro (Meg Bennett) who wanted Sam’s help. They also met her daughter Alicia Montenegro who looked identical to Sam and was being held captive in the basement of her home. Allegra needed Sam to impersonate her daughter Alicia, and marry her rich fiancé named Andrew Olsen in order to keep the rich lifestyle that the Montenegro's were accustomed to.
Sam reluctantly agreed to her plan in order to save Jason and herself. Jason and Sam eventually escaped after Andrew was killed but Allegra kidnapped them again and Sam was arrested as Alicia for Andrew’s murder. Allegra helped Jason break Sam out of jail, get the real Alicia arrested, and got them both off of the island. In the fall of 2005, Jason began to suffer from life threatening headaches, seizures and amnesia. Sam is there for Jason when he eventually loses his memory again as a side effect of his illness. Sam convinces Jason to undergo a controversial treatment administered by his old girlfriend, Dr. Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough). He and Sam fall in love all over again and he proposes to her a second time before he begins his treatment. After the treatment, Jason gets his memory back and remembers his life with Sam, but the procedure causes a brain aneurysm. Jason initially refuses to have surgery to repair the damage, and he and Sam move to Hawaii to live out his last days peacefully. However, Jason eventually realizes that he wants to live in order to be with Sam and returns to Port Charles to have the surgery, which ended up saving his life.
In 2006, the encephalitis virus invaded Port Charles and Sam became deathly sick. Jason and Carly Corinthos (Laura Wright) teamed up to investigate the illness. They rescued a kidnapped Lucky Spencer (then Greg Vaughan), found the antidote in the Markham Island and returned to Port Charles with the antidote. Unfortunately, they were not in time to save Courtney Matthews (Alicia Leigh Willis) or Sam’s brother Danny. Alexis was chosen to receive the last antidote instead of Danny. Before he dies, Danny tells Sam how glad he was that their parents "chose her." Sam is angry and blames Alexis for her brother's death. However, DNA tests reveal that she was adopted and Danny was not her biological brother. She and Jason find records indicating that Sam was born to a 16-year-old Alexis, who Sam already blames for all of her recent problems. Sam is shot by one of Jason's enemies and is rendered infertile. He confronts Alexis telling her that Sam is her daughter and that she's dying. Alexis comes to Sam's hospital room to try to comfort her. Alexis pressures Jason into breaking up with Sam for her own good and after months of trying to win Jason back, Jason tells her that he can't love her anymore. Sam subsequently gets into a heated argument with Alexis over her mother's meddling ways, during which Alexis calls Sam derogatory names and orders her to leave and stop "poisoning" her younger sisters; infuriated and hurt, Sam gets drunk and has sex with Ric Lansing (Rick Hearst), Alexis' husband, afterwards. Unfortunately, Alexis and Jason, having both returned in an attempt to apologize and patch things up with Sam, witness this.
Heartbroken and angry, Jason then sleeps with Elizabeth Spencer (Rebecca Herbst). Elizabeth becomes pregnant and the baby was initially believed to be the child of her husband, Lucky Spencer. Sam and Jason are able to reconcile and work through their issues. When an angry and vengeful Ric frames Sam for obstruction of justice, collusion and evidence tampering, she and Jason go on the run and with the help of Damian Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) they are able to clear Sam's name. During a hostage crisis at the Metro Court, Jason learns that he is the father of Elizabeth's son, Jake. Jason and Elizabeth decide not to tell Sam or Lucky, who still thinks the baby is his. Sam eventually learns about Jake's paternity and immediately becomes hurt, angry and jealous. While Jason is awaiting trial for murder, Sam witnesses Jake being kidnapped and does not intervene; Jason subsequently gets out on bail and rescues Jake from his kidnapper, who tells him that Sam saw the whole thing and did nothing. Sam visits Jason in prison and breaks up with him, citing his lies and emotional unfaithfulness as her reasons. When Jason is released from prison and starts a relationship with Elizabeth, Sam, in a jealous rage, hires two armed goons to threaten Elizabeth and her sons at gunpoint to remind her that Jason's enemies are everywhere, but her plan works too well and Jason traces the goons back to Sam; confronting her in her own home, Jason openly threatens to kill Sam if she tries anything against Elizabeth's family again. Despite the severity of Sam's actions, the break up was received with mixed reviews. Monaco explains to Soap Opera Digest in a 2008 interview, "I feel Sam and Jason was so abruptly ended without any explanation, really, as to the coldness that was so one-sided [on Jason's part]. Of course, Jake came into play, but I felt like Jason and Sam were always strong enough to overcome. Who knows [what will happen] down the line?"
In Fall 2008, former ABC Daytime president, Brian Frons began hinting that more Sam and Jason interaction would occur in the future, because the audience wanted to see more of that. In late 2008, while still living their separate lives, Jason and Sam began to soften to one another again. In early January, a man named Joe walked into General Hospital with a bomb strapped to his chest and demanded that his pregnant wife get treatment. Joe and his wife had previously been turned away from GH because they didn't have health insurance, but Joe would only accept the best care for his wife and forced the doctors at the hospital to treat her. During the lockdown, Elizabeth ran into the hospital with Jake, needing to see a doctor because Jake had been in a house fire. Joe initially refused to let any of the doctors help Elizabeth and Jake, but Sam managed to convince Joe the Bomber to allow Jake treatment. Soon after, Jason arrived at GH and he and Sam fell back into their old pattern and worked together to stop Joe and get the hospital off lockdown. In April, when Jason's nephew Michael was shot and fell into a coma, Sam went to comfort Jason at the hospital. She also helped him track down Ian Devlin (Seamus Dever), who was the man responsible for shooting Michael. Jason and Sam then went their separate ways for a few months, but they both maintained a mutual friend in Spinelli and this sometimes caused them to cross paths.
Jason and Sam later crossed paths again due to their similar conflicts with Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roche) and the Russian mobster Andrei Karpov. Sam was working undercover to bring down Karpov's illegal drug ring that was making patients sick at General Hospital. Jason, who was at the time, boss of the Corinthos Organization was having territorial conflicts with Karpov. Sam was kidnapped by Jerry who wanted to use her for his get away, but she was rescued by Jason. After the Russian’s burned down Sonny’s coffee shop, Sam offered to help Jason bring them down. Jason was hesitant but Sam insisted and started to help him anyways. In November 2008, the mob war heats up and she and Elizabeth (along with Jake and Cameron) are tortured by Russians out at a remote cabin while Jason is distracted in Port Charles. When a shootout occurs, Sam sends Elizabeth to the back, and tries to head the guys off, even though her gun is out of bullets. Elizabeth shows up and saves Sam from being killed by a Russian. After the shootout, Jake is kidnapped and Sam helps Jason rescue him. Sam also began a new friendship with Lucky's ex, Elizabeth. The two women bonded from all they endured in the cabin together and made amends.
In early 2009, Sam and Jason are inside General Hospital when it is locked down again due to an outbreak of toxic poisonous gas contained in tiny balls. When the hospital starts to burn down due to an outbreak of fire, they stay together and stay behind to find Spinelli who is still trapped inside the burning building. Once they found Spinelli, the three of them escape. Later in the year, Jason and Spinelli find themselves entrapped by the FBI, and Sam manages to destroy the evidence against her friends. Jason, in turn, helps Sam and Spinelli set up a private investigation firm. When Michael Corinthos (then Drew Garrett) woke up from his year long coma, Sam supported Jason and was there for him when he needed her, encouraging him and giving him advice. When Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) causes Sonny's latest wife Claudia Zacchara (Sarah Brown) to crash her car and lose her unborn child, Kristina and Michael run away to Mexico. Sam and Jason track the siblings and Sam is kidnapped by Jerry, luring Jason into a trap. During the ensuing shootout, Jason is pinned beneath a pile of rubble and Jerry shoots Jason twice and leaves him to die. Sam escapes and returns just in time to rescue Jason and takes care of him. Jason starts hallucinating that he is in Hawaii with Sam. Jason and Sam grow closer as Sam nurses him back to health and at the end of the ordeal, they end up making love, but decide not to talk about it. Once on the road again, they find the teens and return to Port Charles. After they return, Jason and Sam remain drawn to each other and they soon admit they have feelings for one another.
Jason and Sam find proof that Claudia was behind Michael's shooting. When he brings the evidence to Sonny, Claudia is brought down in front of the entire town by Sonny for getting Michael shot. She kidnaps a pregnant Carly who suddenly goes into labor as Claudia gets away. Jason and Sam go looking for them, but Michael finds them first and kills Claudia. Sam takes Carly and her newborn baby Josslyn Jacks to the hospital, while Jason helps Michael deal with killing Claudia. Sam and Jason continue to grow closer in their relationship and admit that they are in love with each other right before Christmas time. Sam, Carly and Lulu Spencer (Julie Marie Berman) are taken by the crazed artist Franco (James Franco). Jason rescues Carly and Sam while Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) rescues Lulu. Sam was never in actual danger, but Jason feels bad when it is believed that the only bomb Franco set nearly killed Lulu and Dante. Thankfully Lulu and Dante do survive; he later reassures Sam that he does not regret coming after her first. Later, Jason argued with Sonny on how to handle Claudia's death and Franco since he left town giving Jason a warning that he will kill for every person Jason kills.
Jason was supportive of Sam and helped her deal with her own emotional pain over her past abusive relationship, when it was discovered that Kristina was being abused by her boyfriend Kiefer Bauer (Christian Alexander). Later when Kiefer was killed in a hit and run, Jason helped Sam deal with the fact that her mother had been the one to run him down. Due to semi-doctored evidence Sonny was accused and put on trial for the murder Claudia. In an attempt to protect his father, Michael confessed to the murder and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Jason made a deal with prosecutor Claire Walsh (Dahlia Salem) and had himself sent to prison to protect Michael. While upset, Sam agreed with his decision and supported him protecting Michael. Before Jason turns himself in, they go away together and spend a few days at a cabin. When Jason finally went into prison, Sam remained supportive and visited him regularly. Dante and Claire soon got Michael released but Jason had to stay behind. He was finally released as bait to catch Franco. The hunt for Franco ensues and Franco shows up at Jason’s penthouse to taunt Sam when she was there alone. Jason and Dante track Franco to California to stop him and once he is presumed dead, Jason is sent back to prison. However due to a loophole in his plea bargain, he is permanently released from prison and free to resume his life with Sam. In late 2010, Sonny's old flame Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) returned to Port Charles on the run from the Balkan, an international crime lord whose son was killed by Brenda. Jason was appointed her bodyguard and she moved into the Penthouse with him, which left Jason and Sam with very little time to spend together. Determined to get Brenda out of the penthouse quickly, Sam and Jason with the help of Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) began searching for the real identity of the Balkan, so that they could stop him and Brenda would be safe.
Sam finds out she could have a procedure done that could help her get pregnant. Sonny and Brenda would get married, but when they were about to leave for their honeymoon, the car supposed to take them exploded, with Brenda supposedly inside. However, when the officers pulled the body out of the car, it turned out to be Sam, alive but unconscious. Jason stayed by Sam's side when she woke up and was dealing with temporary hearing loss, even communicating in sign language with her to express his love. After Jake got hit by a car and died on the operating table, Sam and Jason revisited the idea of the procedure to help Sam get pregnant, and decided she should get it done. Sam had the procedure done, and found out she would be able to carry a child to term. Jason decides to propose to Sam soon after during a romantic dinner on the roof, and Sam accepts. Jason ends up getting into a car accident, and is admitted to the hospital with a head injury. Jason pulls through, determined to get better in time for his and Sam's wedding. Overwhelmed by the wedding planning, the two of them decide to drive around on Jason's motorcycle. They end up at a Chinese restaurant, where the owner happens to be an ordained minister. Jason and Sam get married in the restaurant's garden. They leave for their honeymoon to Hawaii. Soon after, Franco drugs them both, locking Jason in a room, and making him watch while he takes Sam to the bedroom and places her in bed, before turning off the camera. Jason later gets back to Sam, but both of them come to believe Franco raped Sam after turning off the camera.
The two return to Port Charles. Soon after, Sam finds out she's pregnant. She and Jason have a paternity test done, which establishes Jason as the father. Meanwhile, the two decide to figure out the mystery behind Franco's DVD. Sam seeks the help of Heather Webber (Robin Mattson), Jason's biological mother's cousin, and finds out that Franco is Jason's fraternal twin brother, sold at birth by Heather. Sam has another paternity test run, and is devastated when she finds out Franco is the father of her baby. Eventually, she tells Jason, and the two of them start to drift apart as a result of this news. Sam eventually moves out into a motel room. In the middle of a rainstorm, Sam ends up giving birth to her son with the help of John McBain (Michael Easton). Sam wanders out into the storm, looking for help, and passes out. While she's unconscious, Heather and Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) switch her baby with the stillborn son of Téa Delgado (Florencia Lozano). Jason finds her and has to tell Sam her son is dead. After Sam is admitted to the hospital, she tells Jason she wanted to name her son Jason Morgan Jr. Meanwhile, Téa names "her son" Victor Lord III. After Téa and Todd leave for Llanview, it's revealed that Heather switched the paternity results: Jason is the father of Sam's son. Though Jason wants to make things right with Sam, she blames him for the death of her son. After John kisses Sam and Jason kisses Elizabeth, Sam and Jason decide their marriage is over. Over the next few weeks, they are not able to speak to each other. Later, they agree to get a divorce. Both end up being involved in the poisoning of the Port Charles water supply by Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roché), and are admitted to the hospital in what seems to be the last hours of their life. Sam shares with Jason a dream she had where her son was still alive. Afterward, Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) gives Sam's baby's chart to Jason and Sam. After Patrick leaves, Jason looks at the chart, and this is when he begins to suspect that the baby Sam buried wasn't hers.
Jason eventually gets proof that the child Sam buried isn't her son, and also finds out about Téa Delgado and her newborn son. He asks John to get a sample of Téa's son's DNA to confirm his belief. The results are proven negative, but Elizabeth later confesses that she switched the DNA results, and that baby Victor is Sam's son. After she leaves, Jason calls John and shows him the results. By the time they find out, though, Heather has kidnapped the baby. Jason and Sam go to the hospital after Heather contacts her son, Steve (Scott Reeves), and ends up attacking him. Heather comes to the hospital with the baby and runs to the roof, where she's cornered by Jason and Sam. Heather decides to jump off the roof with the baby. Jason, however, manages to grab the baby before Heather falls, and they are reunited with their son. Sam gives her son the name she gave him in her dream: Daniel Edward Morgan. Jason asks Sam to bring Danny home with him, saying he's ready to love Danny as his own son; the two reconcile. They bring Danny home, where Jason gets an urgent message from Bernie Abrahms (Richard Fancy). Jason finds Bernie being shot by Joe Scully Jr. (Richard Steinmetz), and Jason kills Joe in self-defense. However, when he tries to find out what Bernie wanted to tell him, he gets shot by Joe's "boss," Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan), and thrown into the harbor. Despite efforts by Sonny, Sam, and rescue divers, Jason is presumed dead when his body isn't found. Sam refuses to believe Jason is dead. Sam finds out soon after that Jason is Danny's biological father. "Duke" is revealed to actually be Cesar Faison (Anders Hove). When Faison is arrested by John, he comes and tells Sam that Faison shot Jason and let him drown. Sam begins to accept that Jason is gone.
Recurring themes and symbols
A recurring theme that has occurred several times in Jason and Sam's romance is the appearance of stars. The theme of the stars first appeared on November 19, 2004 after Sam's daughter was stillborn. Jason and Sam were grieving for her and started talking about heaven. Jason said that when he is near the ocean, he feels like he is a part of something "bigger than himself." Sam replied that for her it was the stars.
|“||Sam: For me it's the stars. Just looking up in the sky and feeling just small and important at the same time, scared, yet happy to be a part of it. Do you think there are stars in heaven?
Jason: I think there's everything you'd want for the baby -- love, you know, security, happiness, and stars.
— Jason and Sam first discuss the stars 
Sam later went outside to gaze at the stars and feel closer to her baby. However she wasn't completely healed and passed out on the roof. She was found by Alexis, who took her back inside. Stars next appeared on April 20, 2005. Sam and Jason were in Italy looking for Michael and stopped to gaze at a shooting star. Jason promised Sam that he would bring her back to Italy to spend time together. The star gazing later inspired Jason to buy Sam a star shaped necklace, which became a tangible item of the theme of stars in their relationship. Jason later gifted Sam with the star necklace on May 11, 2005 and Sam wore the necklace daily.
On July 7, 2006, during Jason and Sam's first break up, Jason refused to resume a relationship with Sam for her own safety. After a fight at the hospital she ripped off the star necklace and dropped it in a janitor's bucket, symbolizing the brokenness of their relationship at the time. When Jason and Sam reunited later that year on December 26, 2006, Jason gifted Sam with a new star necklace for Christmas. On February 1, 2007 during the Metro Court Hostage crisis, the star necklace was ripped from Sam's neck by one of the gunman. It was lost until Alexis recovered it from one of the police department's evidence boxes. After Jason and Sam broke up for the second time and Sam went to Jason's penthouse to pick up the rest of her belongings, she left the newly recovered star necklace with him because she didn't want any reminders of "what could have been." 
The theme of stars re-emerged when Jason and Sam went star gazing after their wedding reception on September 28, 2011. Later, after Franco's attack on the couple during their honeymoon, Jason held Sam as they gazed at the stars because they made her feel safe. Jason and Sam star-gazed several times throughout the year. Stars emerged again on February 8, 2012, after Sam and Jason learned that they were going to be parents. Jason took Sam back to the honeymoon cabin he had built for them and they stargazed. They also promised each other that they would teach their child all about the constellations.
A replica of Sam's star necklace has been made available for fans to purchase and was described as a fan favorite design. Sam's wedding ring, which formerly belonged to Jason's grandmother, Lila Quartermaine (Anna Lee), also became a best-selling jewelry item and was brought back for consumer purchase due to popular demand.
Dragon and Phoenix
The Chinese mythological symbols of the Dragon and the Phoenix have been used to represent Jason and Sam individually as well as their union as a married couple. Throughout their relationship Jason and Sam have had an affinity for Chinese food. When they went to escape the stress of their wedding, they ended up in the Asian Quarter of town at a little Chinese restaurant. The couple’s wedding was infused with a lot of Chinese tradition. During their wedding ceremony in the garden, Jason stood under the symbol of the Dragon and Sam stood under the symbol of the Phoenix. In Chinese mythology, the Phoenix symbolizes luck, success, beauty and prosperity. The Phoenix was considered the goddess of all winged creatures and was often the symbol of the Empress. The Dragon symbolizes protection, strength, wealth, good fortune and vigilance. It is regarded as the ultimate being amongst all creatures and was often the symbol of the Emperor. Together, the dragon and the phoenix represent the ultimate union of yin and yang. They represent wedded bliss, harmony, happiness in marriage, people who are “meant to be,” success and prosperity, as well as many offspring, and the beginning of a dynastic family. For Christmas on December 23, 2011, Jason and Sam exchanged dragon and phoenix figurines. The couple's only son, Daniel, was also born in the year of the dragon. During their wedding ceremony the minister, Robert Yi recited these words on the dragon and the phoenix:
|“||Jason, you stand beneath the symbol of the dragon. Sam, you stand beneath the symbol of the phoenix. For the union between a bride and a groom is the union between phoenix and the dragon. The dragon, the symbol of strength, can scare off evil spirits, protect the innocent, bless those around him with safety, and bring wealth to those who hold his emblem. The phoenix, goddess of all winged creatures, harvests luck, success, and prosperity. She can turn bad luck into good. Together, the phoenix and the dragon are the ultimate sign of yin and yang. Male, female. Strength and beauty. Alone, they bring happiness, but together, they bring double happiness.||”|
— Robert Yi marries Jason and Sam 
Reception and impact
The pairing of Jason and Sam has been a fan favorite couple for years, praised for their great onscreen chemistry. In 2008 during the couple's separation there was a notable outcry for their reunion. Soap Opera Digest stated that their mailbag was being dominated by "very vocal" General Hospital fans who wanted to see Jason and Sam reunited. In 2009, the couple was named one of the best soap opera couples of the decade. Also in 2009, the couple's reunion was named one of the Top Nine General Hospital Moments of 2009, in conjunction with the promotion of the academy award nominated, musical-romantic film Nine. In 2010, the couple was included in an ABC daytime special three-hour program featuring classic couples. A scene from couple's post-prison 2010 reunion appeared on the ABC primetime drama Detroit 1-8-7. Also in 2010, the couple was featured in a Soap Opera Digest article on how soaps were bringing love in the afternoon back to the screen. Academy award nominated actor James Franco was involved in the couple's wedding. When their wedding date was announced on the official General Hospital Facebook, a social network created for fan feedback, the announcement was met with tremendous fan satisfaction and support. The anticipation of the fictional couple's wedding also spanned outside of the soap opera medium when they were featured in Cosmopolitan magazine and The Celebrity Bride Guide, which also features articles on celebrities and public figures such as Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
During the week of the couple's wedding and reception festivities, according to TV by the Numbers, General Hospital's ratings hit a 2-month high in their coveted 'Women 18-49' demo. General Hospital was also the most watched show in ABC Daytime for that week, surpassing other shows such as The View, and they ranked second behind The Young and the Restless in the top 5 daytime programs for Women 18-49. The couple has also gained some famous and notable fans; in 2012 Jason and Sam were mentioned in a USA Today interview as being the favorite daytime pairing of New York Times best selling author and romance novelist Carly Phillips. Phillips, as a lifelong fan of soap operas stated that Sam and Jason were the couple that she, as a romance writer admired. Daytime Award winning actress Robin Strasser, who played the iconic Dorian Lord on One Life to Live from 1979 to 2013, is also a fan of the pairing and tweeted that Steve and Kelly partnered as few soap greats ever did. Reigning WWE Divas Champion, AJ Lee also took to Twitter to show her support for the couple. She tweeted about her displeasure at their most recent separation and shared her hopes of a reunion for the pair.
General Hospital ratings soared to a 19-month high, during the week of October 15–19, 2012, and the show received its highest ratings since executive producer Frank Valentini and head-writer Ron Carlivati assumed their positions. In total viewers, the show had its highest numbers since February 2011 at almost 3 million viewers. The major events of that week - the culmination of the baby switch storyline involving the couple's son Daniel, and the reunion of Jason and Sam with Daniel, were among those credited with this large increase in ratings. In the summer of 2012, Jason and Sam won the Gold for General Hospital in Zap2it's Summer Soap Couple Olympics. In November 2012, Jason and Sam were praised on TV Line.com's weekly column on major happenings in primarily primetime television. In early 2013, thousands of fans voted to see an episode featuring Jason and Sam in SOAPnet's Valentine's Day Supercouple Marathon. Jason and Sam won a spot in a marathon and were featured alongside other popular General Hospital supercouples. Also in 2013, Jason and Sam were named one of General Hospital's great supercouples of the 2000s in People magazine's tribute to General Hospital's 50th anniversary. In February 2014, Jason and Sam were the only daytime soap opera couple nominated in the People's Choice Awards Valentine's Day poll, for most romantic TV couple of the 2000s. Jason and Sam placed second in the competition.  Regarding Sam and Jason's spot as the only daytime couple in the competition, People's Choice editorial director Nuzhat Naoreen said, "We asked the fans to nominate their all-time favorite romantic TV couples and GH's Jason and Sam received a flood of submissions [...] they were the only soap couple that garnered enough write-ins to land a spot among the four couples featured in the All Time Most Romantic TV Couple poll. Fans wrote in to say that Jason and Sam had all the qualities that make a great couple and that the pairing made them fall in love with [the soap]." 
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