So…I hated the Jake Doe story. But what I hated more than the story were the reveals, the identity and lie. Because well…it all just blew. It was the biggest return from the dead fail I've ever seen on a soap. So this is how I would've played it from December 9 on.
"I apologize. You've been nothing but kind to me and I should've never treated you like that. I'm sorry."
The pain of losing her husband, his subsequent return and the torture of the past weeks bubbled to the surface and Sam saw red. Not able to control herself anymore, she slapped him. Hard.
"You're sorry. SORRY? Sorry for what, exactly? For walking out on me at the church when I'd just realized my husband, or should I say, you, had risen from the grave? Or how about treating our marriage like it was an inconvenience, a loose end to "tie up"? That's pretty much a direct quote. How about the way you just demeaned me at Elizabeth's house? After everything I've done for you before and after you found out the truth. I accepted that Helena had brainwashed you when you took me hostage and you broke into my home to kill me. I accepted all of that and I tried to help you get on your feet after your surgery. I stood there while you told Hayden that if you had a wife, she was better off thinking you were dead. And when you finally decided to find your past, I was there for you. I was the one helping you. Even when Elizabeth was too selfish to think that maybe you had a family that missed you. You kissed me in this house a few weeks ago and I'm willing to bet you haven't told Elizabeth or she would've showed up here again to stake her claim into a husband that wasn't hers. So please, Jason, do tell. What exactly are you sorry for and why the hell are you here?"
Jason stood there, visibly uncomfortable, more and more ashamed of his behavior. And each word she spoke was like a dagger to his heart. But after everything that had happened this past year, all the lies, manipulations, he needed the truth.
"Sam, I'm sorry for all of it, okay? This situation has been-."
"This situation has been a nightmare. But who the hell do you think you are? You don't remember your past life. You don't have the memories I do. You're not mourning the loss of anything. I hate that you felt confused, helpless. I hate that you couldn't and can't remember. But don't you dare stand there and tell me what this situation is. I didn't expect you to run to me and declare your love when you found out. But after everything we've been through, especially before you died, I can't believe you could be so cold and unfeeling."
Unable to stay calm any longer, Jason exploded. "That's not what this is! I tried to find out who I was at the beginning. There was no record of me in the system. And I just wanted to move on instead of walking around clueless as a blank slate. And then I found out who I was and it all made sense. Why I have the abilities I do, why I had certain memory flashes. Of you. And Danny. But it's like I'm looking into someone else's life from a window. It was easier to run from who I was as Jason Morgan when I had pretty much no memories than try to fit into his old life and disappoint everyone, including you."
Feeling her resolve breaking and on the verge of tears, Sam refused to cave and coldly replied, "None of this answers my question, Jason. Why the hell are you here?"
He couldn't help but be a little concerned that she seemed so detached. "What were you so eager to tell me about Elizabeth? What secret is she keeping from me?"
Sam scoffed. "So after throwing me out of Saint Elizabeth's house, you come here for answers? You know, I could tell you to go to hell right now and lie in the bed, or should I say grave, that Helena, Nikolas and Elizabeth made for you. But I won't. Because when you died, a part of me did too and Danny was the reason I got out of bed in the mornings. And this isn't the first time someone's tried to keep you from us. But above all else, I believe you have the right to make your own decisions about your own life, whatever you decide that is or will be." Sam looked Jason in the eye and steeled herself before she continued.
"Elizabeth knew, Jason. She knew for months who you really were. I don't know exactly when she found out or how she found out. I assume Nikolas told her. But she's known longer than you or I have that you're Jason Morgan, not Jake Doe. Not some random guy who landed in the General Hospital ICU."
Jason blanked for a second before bluntly asking the obvious. "How do you know this? Is it a suspicion, are you just guessing because you hate her that much?"
"I overheard Jake tell Danny at Thanksgiving that Elizabeth and Laura had a secret about you. I remembered Elizabeth telling me the day you proposed that she couldn't marry you because of me. I confronted Laura and you could tell by her face that it was true. So I went to confront Elizabeth and that's when you, my dear, naïve husband, walked in."
Jason sat down, trying to process what Sam had just said. One by one, memories started coming to him. Elizabeth telling him she loved him after the Nurse's Ball. Her always being fidgety and nervous when Sam or Danny had been around. Dismissing his dream that Danny was his son. Discouraging him from digging into his past to find answers. Telling him about changing Danny's DNA test and then saying she wanted him to know she was capable of keeping two people who loved each other apart. Keeping a picture of "deceased" Jason Morgan on her mantle. He slowly stood, becoming more and more furious.
Sam watched this all from a few feet away, silent. She couldn't tell if he believed her or if he was in shock that yet another person had lied to and manipulated him. He had to be feeling like the town guinea pig at this point. Helena, Nikolas, Ric, Hayden, Elizabeth. They all used him for their own reasons to achieve their own goals. Sam felt part of her heart begin to soften and when Jason turned to her with an unreadable expression on his face, she jumped to the defensive. "Look, if you think I told you this to get you back, I didn't. All I wanted was for you to know the truth about your life because you deserve that much. And frankly, so do I. So does our son. If this lie about your identity had gone on, Danny would've spent his entire life looking at a picture of you and wonderin—", she trailed off when Jason finally focused his gaze on her with an unreadable expression.
After almost a minute of silence, in an almost mechanical tone, he simply said "Thank you for telling me the truth, for feeling that I deserved to know the truth. I know I don't deserve it after the way I spoke to you or treated you since I found out who I was. But I am very grateful that you cared enough about me to be honest. I just wish I'd opened my eyes and trusted my instincts before I did so much damage. You know, Carly told me to count to ten. That phrase felt familiar. Maybe I should've listened to her."
Unable to stop herself, Sam went to comfort him but he walked to the door and before leaving, he turned around and simply said, "I know I've hurt you. Not just after I found out who I was but before I went missing. I can feel it when I talk to you and I remember it from our talks about Jason. I really am sorry for the pain I caused you then. Maybe you would've been better off with me dead so I wouldn't be able to hurt you now, the way that I have." And with that, he walked out, into the night that was as cold and dark as the vice that was gripping her heart.
Sam let out a deep breath, unsteady on her feet and walked the few steps to the couch before she finally collapsed. Her vision was blurred and she thought she was having a panic attack but she realized that the tears she had been holding back couldn't be held back anymore. Her words to Jason had lit a fire in her heart and she felt the cold that surrounded her heart slowly begin to fade away. And with the cold no longer there to mask the ache, she did the only thing she could do. She curled herself up into a ball and sobbed like she hadn't since Jason disappeared. She cried for her son, she cried for herself and she even cried for Jason, the man who'd been manipulated and betrayed for so long with no memories and no past as a reference point. She didn't even hear the door open or realize she wasn't alone until she felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see Patrick crouching next to her, concern etched over his face. At a loss for words, all she could do was cry as he knelt onto the couch and took her into his arms. No words were spoken. He simply kissed her atop the head and rocked her while she cried, a single tear trickling down his cheek. He didn't know if their next conversation would mean ripping his own heart out or breaking hers or both. But he did know the depth of her pain so he continued to hold her until she fell asleep. Once she had, he carried her into the bedroom, laid her down on the bed and covered her with a quilt. He studied her face for a moment, his heart clenching at the tear streaks on her perfect face. After kissing her forehead, he lay down beside her and just held her hand. Tomorrow would come. But that didn't mean he couldn't treasure the present. And maybe, as the darkness of the night passes and in its place comes the light when the sun rises, the same could happen for them.
As all this unfolded, Jason walked up the steps to Elizabeth's house, the anger and frustration mounting as he remembered every day he spent being lied to and manipulated. Every day and every time he stood next to the woman who'd stolen his life from him. With shaking hands, he opened the door and for the first time since waking up, he felt a moment of distinct clarity and resolution wash over him.