Oh, Jason Morgan. We’ve had some good times, haven’t we? And some infuriating ones. Mostly the latter. Frankly, if anyone told me back in 1996 that most of the next seventeen years would revolve around the trials and tribulations and miracles worked by this guy, I would not have believed them:
YES, THIS IS AN OUTFIT
JASON Q VOLUNTARILY WORE
(I still kind of don’t believe it? I mean, try saying this sentence aloud with a straight face: He kills people for money and is the show’s moral center. See what I mean?)
Anyway, I’m having kind of hard time taking Jason’s “death” very seriously. Mostly because I don’t like him very much right now? And he’s obviously going to pop up alive and well again the second Steve Burton changes his mind? I’m sure I’ll have more to say later about the convoluted and underwhelming retconny Joe/Duke/Bernie shenanigans that led up to his swan dive off the pier (and about Sonny diving in after him, which may have been the most entertaining and LOLarious thing to come out of this entire mess). Also, have no fear, there will be caps of Sam in that wetsuit, because, hello, gay lady here. These are things that need to be documented.
Still! I have some complex feels regarding late 90s/early 2000s Jason. And for good or for ill, his departure marks the end of a long era, and deserves some sort of eulogy to mark the occasion. So I’d like to take a moment to remember the important things, namely:
The many bad hairstyles and neck sizes of
Jason Morgan né Quartermaine, a retrospective
From skinny and elfin to bulked up ‘roid arms, we’re going through twenty-one years of Steve Burton, guys. Strap in.
Enter Jason Quartermaine, all shiny and new:
THE FACE OF A SMARMY DUDE BRO,
IF I EVER SAW ONE
Note that the neck is normal sized, face appears proportional to the body, and hair is short, yet so very floppy.
Also, there was this:
(It was really hard to get a non-blurry full length shot of this sartorial masterpiece, but yes, those appear to be purple pants with a black crotch diamond, topped with a blue turtleneck and technicolor dream sweater.)
Black t-shirt? Um, no. Jason Q woos the ladies with a BRIGHT NEON PINK tank top and his superior knowledge of boating safety. Also, accidentally kills an attempted rapist on a deserted island and then lies about it to the cops. I guess even then, he had a proclivity for completely unnecessary cover ups?
Here we see him starting to get that pinhead look. Also, what the hair has lost in floppiness, it has gained in height. I’m guessing there’s about an inch and a half of hair standing straight up there? Oh, the 90s.
I have nothing to add to this except that it is disturbingly similar to my current hairstyle.
Also the year of the puffy pirate shirt. Amazing.
Enter Jason Morgan, finally. Brain damage! Sure, it might leave you with amnesia, an inability to lie or read maps, and zero moral compunctions about killing people for money. But it also makes you dress better.
The boy with no past meets the girl with no future. Romance and lots of clinical safe sex talk ensues. Then, the boy with no past meets the girl with no name. Sleazy hook ups, cheesy camera angles, and a lifetime of unhealthy, co-dependent friendship ensues.
But the greatest romance of all is watching Sonny seduce him. Seriously. It’s like a work of art:
Also, if this clip does not get you excited for Sean Kanan, then I don’t know what will:
DRUNK AJ HAS SO MANY FEELINGS, YOU GUYS!
(I’m actually quite sad that Steve Burton’s time on the show didn’t coincide with Sean Kanan’s by even a day. I always enjoyed their brother chemistry.)
He’s obviously fallen into the groove here. Very boring fashion year: black t-shirt, leather jacket, short hair sticking up a reasonable length. Blah, blah, blah.
But remember when Jason had emotions? And actually expressed them? Vividly?
Look at him laughing and crying and getting all angry about everything!
(Also, I feel I should note that while compiling the clips for this post, I totally fell into a YouTube hole of Jason/Robin goodness. YOU GUYS, THEY WERE SO ADORABLE AND SAD. I want to give them all the hugs.)
Hair’s still in a holding pattern, but playing daddy to Michael seems to have inspired him to shake things up a bit with long sleeves and non-black colors:
Then, of course, we have his brief experiment with professionalism after taking over the business from Sonny. Wearing that suit like pro, Morgan:
Also, apparently in 1998, Jason was super religious and it was kind of weird?
This was the year Jason discovered highlights. It was unfortunate.
Also, we’re back to that sticking straight up, just a little too high all over his head thing. He’s like a hedgehog.
See, now this is nice! Stick with this look, Jason.
Spoiler: he doesn’t.
YOU WANT THE HEDGEHOG? YOU CAN’T
HANDLE THE HEDGEHOG!
Back to the highlights! But the sticking up parts are looking a bit more sculpted, at least. And his face looks really narrow? Note how dainty the neck is:
This is where it gets boring for a few years. Highlights: gone. Sides: short. Top: combed forward then sticking up a little at the front. Neck size is starting to grow, though:
(Also, somewhere in there, he gets amnesia again and is briefly horrified by the terrible life of murder and extortion which he leads. But then he gets over it.)
First of all: neck size is exploding rapidly!
Also, hair is starting to get a little shaggy — leading to this poofy, gel-laden mess by the end of the year:
This, of course, leads to…
An infamous year of hair horrors. First, many months are spent with the long, greased back look. I want to wash my hands just looking at it:
Then, when presumably it was so long that greasing it back would have required an entire tub of lard, we got floppy and greasy:
Then, longer still! And alarmingly starting to tread into mullet territory…
… until finally we reach the full Farrah:
(Note also that neck size has achieved somehow-wider-than-his-face status at this point.)
The long follicular nightmare is over! Neck size remains enormous until the end; hair is in standard hit man chic for the duration. All is right with the world.
RIP, HIT MAN WITH A HEART OF GOLD
And there you have it! For my money, 1996 and 2002 were both extremely good years, looks-wise. But then, neck-size preferences are such a personal thing.
Still, nothing really captures the essence of Jason Morgan, super action patron saint of manliness and butt kicking, than his daring, windswept Farrah-haired speedboat ride to Wyndemere during the Black and White Ball:
Farewell, Jason. This is how I’ll remember you always.