Scrubs: My Growing Pains
(S07E05) I really have to give Bill Lawrence and his staff credit; they're really doing a nice job of making the final season of Scrubs a strong one. This is yet another example of how the writers have made the show funnier by making things less wacky. In fact, the lack of wackiness parallels how both Turk and J.D. are becoming more like real adults than either of them want to be.
Were there some tired jokes in this episode? Sure. But the laugh quotient was pretty high this week, and that's all anyone can ask, right?
It really is amazing to me that J.D. still listens so intently to Cox. The man has done nothing but berate him for seven years, even now that they're colleagues instead of teacher and student. You'd think as part of the effort to "grow up" that everyone told him to start two weeks ago, one of the main things he'd do is not hang on Cox's every word. But, of course, that'll never happen; not only does he hold out hope that little Sammy is going to marry J.D. Cox -- Izzie Turk is second choice -- but when Cox tells him he's 32, a doctor and father, but still a child, J.D. takes it to heart, repressing every urge to goof around with his Chocolate Bear.
Here's where some of the repetitious jokes come in. Is it an homage to have Turk try to tempt J.D. back to pranksville by playing "Hide the Saltine" again? Is it still funny to see Hooch go mad to the refrain of "Hooch is crazy?" Do we want to see "World's Most Giant Black Doctor," complete with huge stethoscope, clipboard and pencil? Most of these jokes would seem tired if this weren't the show's last year. Now, though, it seems like the writers are trying to fit in every recurring joke from the last seven years as a tribute. Still doesn't make it any less tired, but it makes the effort understandable.
Why are Jordan and Jack (and I guess little J.D.) still at Jordan's mom's place? Is it just so we can see how well Cox can use a fake webcam (like most webcams on TV shows, they sport the largest and smoothest images of any webcam I've ever seen)? Anyway, his plot was a good chance for him and Carla to exchange barbs for the first time in a while. "So, are you going to hold your hands in behind your head like you always do when you're upset?" She knows him so well. I know these meta jokes can be sort of overdone, but I liked it when he kept his arms up there so long, they got tired.
The plot itself -- Cox tells a kid he has leukemia when his parents refuse to, making the kid grow up too fast -- was a typically poignant one. But the more poignant plot was Kelso's real age being discovered. We all knew why Kelso didn't want people to know he was 65: he was going to have to retire. But the final scene, where the board member tells him the bad news and Kelso asks him to not spread the word, broke my heart just a little. It definitely showed how good an actor Ken Jenkins can be. He can say the phrase "not hittin' that" at the beginning of the episode, do his "two thumbs and doesn't give a crap" routine in the middle, and still be able to give us some genuine pathos at the end that makes the audience still feel bad for him, even if he loved seeing his wheelchair-bound wife accidentally roll into the pool.
The plot also got Elliot and Janitor more involved. Where the hell has Elliot been the last few weeks? I guess she's kind of biding her time while J.D. gains some maturity. At least it was fun to see her go "Awwww!" when Kelso tooted. And Janitor... well, he might be crazier than Hooch. "Bells... wait... they're gone. No, they're back... Nope... gone."
More fun stuff:
- Poor Ted. He blows the decorations for Kelso's birthday party -- Happy Hanukkah, Kelso! -- but gets him a great gift, a power drill. Only thing is, Kelso took Janitor's drill earlier (hey, Janitor offered him anything on his tool belt), and just told Ted he was a copycat. Will Ted kill Kelso in the last episode?
- Turk and J.D. making their respective kids flirt with each other. Also, J.D. having little Sammy make moves like he truly wanted to "hit that" with a random baby in the park.
- As usual, Carla's about as funny as a punch in the groin: Cox: "I'm 47 and I just found out that I can no longer process dairy." Carla: "TMI! Too Much Information, right?" Cox: "I'm going to leave you with Nurse Early Nineties Catch Phrases..."
- How long has Rex been an intern? Three years now?
- In the flashback -- J.D.'s mullet looked better than ever -- Caramel Bear was played by Efren Ramirez, who played Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite. At least he looked like Pedro. How do they know he died after the prank? "His parents came to pack all his stuff and his roommate got straight A's without going to class!" Ah, so at least on TV, the urban legend that your roommate's death gets you straight A's is completely true.
Anyway, so now we have a mature J.D. who still hasn't lost all of his child-like wonder. When are we going to see him begin his slow ascent up Mount Elliot?
|Hooch is cazy!||312 (37.1%)|
|Who has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap? Bob Kelso!||346 (41.1%)|
|Hide the saltine!||61 (7.2%)|
|I am the world's most giant doctor!||123 (14.6%)|