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November 23, 2014

Scrubs: My Dumb Luck - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 25th 2008 12:55AM
Ken Jenkins as Kelso(S07E09) Last week, one of our commenters, perhaps inspired by Shakespeare, left the following comment on my generally positive review of "My Manhood" (spelling and capitalization have not been touched):

what are you doing reviewing a show you obvioulsy disdain? you suck.

While I generally don't respond to witty comments like these, it gives me a good opportunity to remind folks that, yes, I do like Scrubs. In fact, it's one of my all-time favorite shows; I laugh my butt off at the reruns, even if I've seen them a hundred times. When I don't like an episode, it's usually because I'm disappointed. I know the show can do so much better, and with limited episodes left, it disheartens me when I come across a dud. It disheartens me even more when there's a string of a few duds in a row.

This episode, though, was not a dud. In fact, it was pretty funny, and it felt like one of the show's original writers penned it. I'll talk more about that later, but I first want to ask one important question...

Is this the last we've seen of Bob Kelso?

When we saw Bobbo speed away from Sacred Heart, self-commissioned portrait in tow, it made me wonder if Ken Jenkins -- who did a great job this week -- was gone from the show for good. Could they have given him a better send-off than having Kelso reminisce to a scared intern for hours on end? Maybe. But it was good to see Kelso acknowledge that, not only did he like Sacred Heart, but the job of being Chief of Medicine made him into the bastard he is today (though his wife Enid might disagree). We've seen bits of humanity from Kelso in the past, but this week really showed that the old guy really had a heart beating somewhere deep down inside.

That's why it was good to see all the doctors finally rally behind Kelso, with Cox finally falling in line because he'd rather deal with the devil he knew than the one he didn't know, kind of like the patient he was finally able to diagnose after two years (with some help). It was also heartening that he told the chairman to shove it when he was told he could stay. He left on his terms, which is what should happen after you've been someplace for almost forty years.

Kelso's departure opens up all sorts of possibilities. I can see Cox becoming Chief of Medicine, which might give the show a creative boost. Why? Well, for one, it shows Cox taking a positive step in his career for the first time in years, but, mostly, it's because he can intimidate J.D. and Turk again, knowing he holds their job in his hands. I would have put Elliot there, but she's a private practice doc; he can ban her, I guess, but all Cox can really do as Chief is continue to make her cry with his withering insults. I thought Elliot had outgrown that...

Anyway, why did I think this episode was written by one of the old-school writers? Well, it just had the classic Scrubs feel to it. The pacing was right. There weren't any scenes in Coffee Bucks. Cox's rants sounded like ones he did in earlier seasons. He called J.D. by a girl's name. J.D. even called his mentor "Dr. Cox" instead of "Perry." In addition, the fantasy sequences were kept to a minimum, and even though the Love Train fantasy wasn't that funny, it was perfectly plausible that J.D. would want to herd senior patients around in a Love Train, complete with sequined engineer's hat.

More fun stuff:
  • You've got to love Ted. He's the saddest sack on TV today. From his poly-nylon sports jacket to his need to have a black friend to be cool (Turk: "That sounds a little racist, but he's so right." "I should be offended, but he's right."), he was in full pathetic mode this week. Even his moment of joy -- prancing around nude when he found out about Kelso being forced out -- was ended by the grille of Janitor's van. Jeez, the man even bit through his tongue!
  • Though it was touching when Kelso said "thanks for everything" to Ted. He actually appreciated the guy all these years, even as he was abusing him. The softie...
  • Janitor really does have the pulse of the hospital, doesn't he? I wonder if Elliot is now going to make sure he doesn't come in with a cup of acid ("I can't say no to that adorable mug. It almost makes me want to throw acid in her face." "I cannot resist that adorable mug of yours. I would have to throw a cup of acid on it to keep it from having power over me.").
  • Who knew you could diagnose a serious genetic illness by Googling "purple pee?"
  • I was trying to envision Kelso's dogs embedding themselves inside each other when he was talking about J.D. and Turk. Sounds like an apt comparison.
  • The game of "poke the bear" Turk and J.D. played on Cox was funny, as was Cox's bungee-cord revenge. J.D. was right, though, when he said the punishment always falls on him.
  • Carla's boob looks like a sea lion. I loved that napkin drawing Turk made. And I loved that J.D. held onto it.

So we've got three episodes left on the show's NBC run. Let's hope they're all as good as this one.

Will we see Bob Kelso again?
Sure. He'll come back to Sacred Heart to annoy everyone.386 (74.8%)
Nah. He's outta there and never coming back.130 (25.2%)

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Ben Reich

Any truth to the rumor that Kelso's convertible was shot down over the Sea of Japan?

April 29 2008 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gowan

I enjoyed the episode. I liked that Kelso seemed genuinely appreciative of Ted.

As for Jordan, I've wondered what the hell is going on with Christa Miller for a while. Is she getting a lot of plastic surgery done? I loved her back when she was on The Drew Carey Show, but the last few years she's taken on a very Joan Rivers look.

April 27 2008 at 12:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jed

Did anyone notice that the names of Kelso's dogs were on the plaques on the wall behind the bench that Kelso and the intern were sitting on? One was just over Kelso's right shoulder (Jo Jo) and the other (Sparky) was to the left of the intern.

April 26 2008 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MNF

Anybody know what Turk and Carla said in Spanish near the end? Carla was saying it's fun to be able to talk in Spanish about non-Spanish speakers who are in the room because they don't know what you're saying about them. I lost the thread, though, after Turk said, "Like them," referring to J.D. and Eliot. Carla and Turk then exchanged comments about J.D. and Eliot. What did they say?

April 25 2008 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to MNF's comment
emme

MNF, I think that was the last episode, and I'm pretty sure someone wrote it in the comments for that one if you're still looking!

PS Joel, Great review! Thanks.

April 25 2008 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

Something like "those two are bound to get together" and then "some people won't be happy about that".

April 26 2008 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mtrac

Did anybody else notice the look in Dr. Kelso's face after he told Rodney to shove it? When he said "I'm outta here," his voice was so shaky. I believe that this was his last episode, especially because it looked like his last few lines were hard for him to choke out. We'll miss ya big bob

April 25 2008 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RC

I loved the "poke the bear" joke. All in all I thought it was about as good of send off as you can get for Kelso. I hope this is truly the last season otherwise they let him go way too soon.

April 25 2008 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

I loved the ending of this episode, it was very touching and a fitting way for Bob Kelso to go. I loved how he thanked Ted, it was a great moment. Scrubs has become less about laughs for me and more about characters, I really feel like they are real people because of all the attention to their development over the years. I will be sad to see this show go.

April 25 2008 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smikwily

Didn't Kelso's dogs put their heads in a mailbox, as opposed to "embedding themselves inside each other"?

Also, not sure what you use as a browser, Joel, but you may want to check into the following if it is Firefox. It allows you to type up your posts in an external editor: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4125

Just tossing that out there :)

April 25 2008 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kickit

Nice review. Joel, I was wondering if you happened to figure out whether it was in fact one of the older writers or not? I'm sure there is a way to figure it out.. if I get a chance later I'll try.. but figured I'd ask if you or anyone else here has looked?

April 25 2008 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hubris

I totally agree with your assessment of the show. It can be so much better than it's been the last couple of years. First 4, maybe 5 season were amazing; it's tapered off, which makes it all the better when you get great episodes like this.

April 25 2008 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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