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Scrubs: My Inconvenient Truth

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 9th 2007 1:31AM
Scrubs: My Inconvenient Truth(S07E03) Based on the first two episodes, I was tentatively hopeful that the final season of Scrubs was going to be a good one. Now, after this third episode, my confidence in Bill Lawrence and company is almost fully restored after last season's awkwardness and inconsistency.

What worked this week? Well, having Tom Cavanagh come back to play J.D.'s older brother Dan always helps. But, like last week, we had a refreshing lack of insanity, punctuated by some funny situations that came out of the characters' personalities instead of zippy lines.

As I mentioned, there weren't many repeatable lines in this episode, except for maybe sad-sack Ted's description of how his mom rides with him on his bike. And the most interesting visual joke was the head-shaped sweat stain Ted leaves on Kelso's pillow. But otherwise, nothing that stuck out. The one fantasy sequence, where Turk and J.D. suffer the consequences of asking Carla to get on the new patient scale (below left) didn't quite land the way it should have.

Scrubs: My Inconvenient TruthWhat was funny in the cold open was Cox's effort to drown J.D.'s whining out with white noise, and the horrific prank Turk and Dan played on J.D.

Back to the Dorian brothers in a second. It's interesting that so far this season, there's been a limited amount of J.D. / Cox interaction. Yes, last week Cox gave J.D. a Coxian talk about being a parent, and this week he told J.D. in no uncertain terms that he needs to grow up. But those scenes are the only meaty ones between mentor and mentee. I miss 'em. Seeing Cox bait and ridicule Elliot about being a hypocrite about a patient who isn't eating just didn't have the same impact as even past Cox/Reid showdowns, much less the harangues he gives J.D. Maybe it's because Elliot deserved this one, getting self-righteous about how all the doctors are hypocrites. And Cox's lifting and carrying of Elliot over to the scale made me feel a wee bit uncomfortable. If this was real life, Elliot would have sued Cox in an eye blink.

Because the show was part of NBC's "Green is Universal" week, they needed some environmental plot. So it seemed fitting to give it to the Janitor, driver of an ancient gas-guzzling van and stuffer of dead animals. I thought his best punishment was the wasp's nest in the cars of people who parked in the carpoolers' spots. Turk didn't seem to get too swollen from all the stings, though...

Ok, now on to the main plot. Yes, J.D. needs to grow up. He can't drive a scooter to go see his kid, who Kim has conveniently moved 40 miles away (which means we likely won't see little Sammy until the finale). The "Hedging Symphony" was an interesting way to show that everyone -- including Elliot! -- felt the same way as the audience in general has for some time. I thought it worked OK; I just liked the looks on everyone's faces as they hesitated to tell J.D. the truth (Sarah Chalke's faces were the best... she looked like she was in pain at times). It was a nice turn of events to have former loser Dan tell his little brother that he needs to grow up. And watching Cavanagh do a funny dance and ask a lot of questions didn't hurt matters, at all. In fact, I kind of wanted to see more of Dan, on this episode and on the show in general; it's hard to believe that it's been almost two years since been on the show.

Oh, now that I think of it, Turk's basketball face and the fake bouncing J.D. was doing with it was pretty funny, especially when J.D. went "between the legs." Also, any reference by Carla to how much more intense J.D. and Turk's guy love is than the one she and Turk have is always amusing.

And when Carla told Elliot and Janitor that all they're doing is being human, I was saying to myself, "didn't Carla just say that a couple of weeks ago?" Of course she did, and we flashed back to that moment, with Carla saying "pay attention so I don't have to say this again in two weeks." Nice circular moment by the writers; I wonder if they inserted that joke in the premiere at the last minute when they realized what was going to happen in episode three.

So we're going down the path of J.D. finally becoming a man (for crissakes, it's about time; the guy is 32!). I'm very curious to see where we're going with this. Even if we *do* get that J.D. / Elliot reunion that only half the fans really want, at least both people might be better able to handle the relationship. Otherwise, what's the point of getting them together again, right?

Who's your favorite all-time Scrubs guest star?
Tom Cavanagh165 (16.1%)
Heather Graham153 (14.9%)
Heather Locklear24 (2.3%)
Elizabeth Banks24 (2.3%)
John Ritter52 (5.1%)
Michael J. Fox187 (18.3%)
Richard Kind6 (0.6%)
Scott Foley13 (1.3%)
Freddy Rodriguez27 (2.6%)
Brendan Fraser373 (36.4%)

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Does anyone else see a heart attack in Dr. Cox's future? They're referenced his stress management, or lack thereof, many times... Just wondering.

November 11 2007 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know, I've loved scrubs for years now...and I was sad about them going off. But now, after reading this, and realizing that they really don't have anywhere else to go on the show...I'm kinda glad they're ending it. It'll be nice just to have all the good episodes without them trying to relive the same things over and over.

November 11 2007 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How could you forget about Matthew Perry in "My Unicorn?" One of the best Scrubs episode ever. (Don't believe me? Go back and rewatch it for all the subtle moments.)


November 10 2007 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Brendan Fraser was by far my favorite, but I must note that Tom Cavanagh ties for a close second with Nicole Sullivan.

November 09 2007 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Erm... where's Jordan's Sister = Tara Reid?

I loved her because she played herself ;-)

Brandan Frasier was good too but honestly Tara was a big part of the early seasons as well!

November 09 2007 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We must conquer the roof toilet...

November 09 2007 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Viewer

Au contraire, MadMup, I thought it was a very funny episode. The environmentally friendly plot with the Janitor could have been really forced, but it was actually very good. I also enjoyed the "all doctors are hypocrites" debate, and especially the return of J.D.'s brother (Tom Cavanaugh is probably my all-time favorite "Scrubs" guest star).

Altogether, there was a lot of good stuff going on, and it may have been the best episode of the season (no pressure to focus on whether J.D. loves Kim or not etc.).

I watched the entire comedy lineup, and interestingly "Scrubs" was the only one to actually have a Green plot without parodying the entire concept ("Earl," "30 Rock") or slyly avoiding actually talking about the environment ("The Office"). Nonetheless, I thought that "Scrubs" did a good job with it.

You are right, this season is a big improvement over the previous one. Now if only those writers would stop striking so we could have a good ending to "Scrubs"...

November 09 2007 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i almost passed out laughing from the basketball head scene. "Bounce Me!" The look on his face was priceless. Might be my favorite scene in years from Scrubs.

November 09 2007 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The whole episode last night felt forced - "We MUST have a green theme!" - and wasn't as good as Scrubs could be. Worst episode of the season thus far.

(Yeah, yeah, I know that only makes it #3, but still!)

November 09 2007 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No Mandy Moore in the poll?

November 09 2007 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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