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Scrubs: My Finale (series / season finale)

by Joel Keller, posted May 6th 2009 11:25PM
Scrubs: My Finale
Since I have no idea whether this is truly the end for Scrubs or not, I hedged my bets on the season vs. series finale label. I will say this, though: If this is indeed the end for the folks at Sacred Heart, they couldn't have gone out any better than they did tonight.

Tonight's finale hit on all the same themes that have carried the show for eight years: people grow and change, but life at the hospital just keeps going. Someone leaves, someone dies, someone makes a life-changing decision, and life keeps going. "It's just a day," as Cox almost-convincingly said during one of J.D.'s attempts at getting an emotional goodbye from his mentor. He's right. And as Sacred Heart didn't make such a big deal out of J.D.'s departure, neither did the show. He didn't even turn to look back at the ICU as he turned the lights off. Well, he did, but I'll talk about that after the jump...

Scrubs: My FinaleThink about what it was like on the last day at any job you've ever had: people may shake your hand and wish you well, and you may even get a cake, but for the most part, you walk out alone to face a hopeful but uncertain future. It was good to see J.D. do the same, even though his brain filled the hospital's entry hall with everyone alive or dead who crossed paths with him during his eight years. But what also happens on your last day is that work still needs to get done, which was represented well here by J.D. having to tell a patient that his mom has Huntington's Disease and that he may have it, too. Again, life and work don't stop just because you're leaving. So it was good to see J.D. experience that, as well.

I also enjoyed the fact that there were no big resolutions to everyone's storylines. Kelso's going to become a traveling doc for Locum Tenens, Elliot has sneak-moved-in to J.D.'s house (nice move on her part, sacrificing her commute so J.D. can be closer to his son), Jordan's trying to be nice "for her stupid kids," and we know the Janitor's name. That's about it.

Oh, and what is his name? I think his final fake-out for J.D. was to call himself Glenn Matthews, and that orderly who called him Tommy (or Tony... he seems more like a Tommy to me) was probably closer to the truth. But knowing how much Janitor has lied to everyone over the years, you can never be 100% sure of what his name is. Funny that he knew all along that J.D. dropped that penny in the door all those years ago, but it was even funnier that he kept it.

The rest of what J.D. saw projected on his "Goodbye J.D." sheet only represented what his future might hold: marriage and kids with Elliot, his son marrying Turk's daughter, Christmases with the Turks and the Cox/Sullivans. But even J.D. knows that it's all just speculation. At least he felt good about his decision to leave, even if it affects his primary relationship -- with Turk, silly! -- forever.

My biggest laugh-out-loud moment was Cox's reaction when he realized that J.D. heard the entire heartfelt speech Sunny prodded him into giving. Good to see that, under all the rants and professions that he cared less about J.D. than he did about Hugh Jackman (man, I'd love to see that rant book J.D. made), we all knew he felt otherwise. But the high praise he gave J.D. -- he even called him "my friend" -- surprised even me. And the fact that, after all that, he still didn't physically reciprocate on that hug J.D.'s been waiting for eight years to give rang true to me. The fact that he didn't punch Newbie in the face as he was "going in" was probably about all the warmth J.D. was going to get from his mentor.

More fun stuff:
  • Ted's broken-record reaction to Kelso's leaving and his helpfulness in giving Jordan something to insult, namely his blotchy face. "It got like that on its own!"
  • "Hooch is crazy!"
  • I think they hit just about everyone except Tara Reid and Mandy Moore in that hallway walk fantasy sequence. Even Kathryn Joosten, who shined in the pivotal early season one episode "My Old Lady" was there. Oh, on second look, Masi Oka wasn't there, either. But he's a bit busy.
  • Janitor calling M. Night Shyamalan "Muhnight."
  • Nice job by Denise to over-play her dramatic exit during her "play" with Janitor. And it was good to see J.D. use the same technique to get Sunny to prod Cox into that speech.
  • Jordan carrying over her "walk away when bored" move from the previous episode.
  • Bill Lawrence showing up in the final scene as the janitor who takes the Goodbye J.D. sign down. That man's acted more this season than he probably has in his whole life combined.
  • Scrubs: My FinaleNot much Judy Reyes in this episode, but Carla's last scene with J.D. -- calling him "Bambi" for the first time in years -- was understated and touching. And how could Carla and Elliot not have gotten the point of the J.D./Turk hugs until now. "It's happening!" was all Turk could say when he saw it.
  • Nice to see the goodbye between Turk and J.D. happen in "My Chief Concern" and not here. It was fitting that their goodbyes flamed out early, with the ultimate "Eagle!" spin.
  • Oh, and I loved how Lawrence and company made fun of the whole "turn and shut off the lights as you leave" scene that has ended too many series finales. I always wondered how all the lights at Cheers turned off via one switch, for instance.

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, but I leave it to you folks to discuss it here. You know how I feel about the show coming back (and so does Mr. Lawrence). Hopefully, if he brings it back, it'll be in a different-enough form that it becomes a whole other show, a la Frasier and Joey. Let's just hope that the new show is closer to the former and not the latter.

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As someone who actually has been working as a medical resident for the past 4 yrs, and a locum practioner 4 years before that, this show has provided upliftment and laugh though many a bad days at work.

My younger peers prefer to watch serious dramas like 'House' & 'Grey's Anatomy' to get pumped-up and empathic about their roles as doctors, but this was the show that did it for me. Partly because I get to live and see the mundane toils depicted by House and Grey's, and all I want to do when I get home, is to be offered some cheerful perspective of what I have done for the day.

Through much of the show, the producers and actors on Scrubs dished-up just that for me.

I was shocked to see that these were the last episodes, I do not reside in the USA/UK, so I am not a witness to the hypes.

Thankfully, it was a great ending, and much better than some other forgettable, and in some cases, regrettable sitcom finale.

I will surely miss it.

May 09 2009 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the episode as a whole was pretty disappointing. There were few real surprises, with each character saying goodbye in the exact way you'd expect them to. But the last ten minutes with the imagined future hit me in the gut and made me choke up a bit (what was the song, by the way?), and the outtakes preceding the credits made me feel all warm inside.

Anyways, off the top of my head, I've been thinking about the missing guest stars for the last couple of days, since there were promises at the beginning of the season of, like, every person coming back, but I guess that was just that they invited basically everyone. But here's who I didn't see, with their characters in brackets if you forget:

Masi Oka as Franklin and Sarah Lancaster as Julie/Gift Shop Girl; both their absences were because NBC refused to let them do it, according to Bill Lawrence
Ryan Reynolds (college buddy Spence)
Matthew Perry (Murray)
Mandy Moore
Michael Weston, the soldier with the brain injury
Keri Russell, Elliott's sorority sister who dated J.D.
Courtney Cox
Aziz Ansari
D.L. Hughley (Turk's brother)
Turk's mother.
Carla's brother.
Jason Bateman as the ostrich guy
Cheryl Hines as Cox's sister
Scott Foley ("Nobody cares, Sean!")
Rick Shroder (Nurse Paul Flowers)
That touchy-feely-crazy head of surgery Turk hated that J.D. thought was just a sensitive guy
That chick in charge of surgery that dated Cox
Bonnie, Turk's early rival from surgery
Jay Mohr as Cox's former intern who betrayed him
Heather Graham
Sean Hayes (the perfect intern who then had a mental breakdown in season 1)
Sloppy Joe cafeteria worker
Tara Reid
Brendan Fraser
Sam, that con guy who faked pain to try to score drugs from Elliott, then Jordan.
Kylie. Don't know actress's name.
The cast of St. Elsewhere.
Julianna Margulies as the malpractice lawyer who sued Turk and slept with J.D.
Colin Farrell
Clay Aiken as that cafeteria worker laid off in the "what if my life was a sitcom?" episode
Dave Foley (that psychiatrist who pissed J.D. and Cox off for how he was frank about death and accused them of going through the five stages of grief)
Basically every Spin City star they had on, even if I don't know all their names (as actors, or characters). Michael J. Fox, Heather Locklear as the Plomox girl who Cox dated, Richard Kind as the hypochondriac, the black guy who was competitive as a doctor with Cox and had a possibly autistic son, the (religious?) guy whose wife never talked and he was upset he had some sort of problem with his penis because they only communicated in the bedroom, etc.

May 08 2009 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Espy

That ending was as satisfying as Hy's dream in 'Raising Arizona'.


May 08 2009 at 3:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved it and I haven't really liked the show in a while. I thought it was perfect though. If anybody missed it, you can catch it on Fancast. http://www.fancast.com/tv/Scrubs/91744/full-episodes

May 08 2009 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And the Janitor's name really should be Neil Flynn. :)

May 08 2009 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I kinda wish Hugh Jackman made a cameo before the show ended. Playing himself or a patient.

May 08 2009 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No Doug Murphy though. Gr. I had a little issue with Huntington's cropping up (or maybe I am just bitter with the direction House has gone this season). Still, perfect finale.

Even if it isn't a real future, I still was estatic to see Sam and Izzie get engaged. Another great part: JD popping up to hear Cox declare that JD was his friend.

May 07 2009 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

An outstanding ending. One of the best finales to any show ever. To be honest, I had been disappointed with Season 8. I think it has been far inferior to earlier seasons. Scrubs has always been one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, but this season has focused way too much on the interns. It was great when it was the main cast as interns, but I don't like focus being on a 'new class.' That's like Saved By the Bell: The New Class. That didn't work. At all. Still, a bad season with a perfect finale is fine with me. The end montage with JD watching his life unfold could not have been done any better. Even though I always want more Scrubs, they can't top it so there's no point in bringing it back for another season. Scrubs: Interns wouldn't do it for me. Even Denise, who is funny, isn't a character I have any emotional attachment towards. Leave it be. Well done cast and crew.

May 07 2009 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is not related to this episode, but I was just re-watching My Philosophy, and holy crap! The actress who played Lady was a researcher at the hospital.

May 07 2009 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Verene's comment

Lady works in the hospital. She said something to Janitor/Glen/Tony in last week's episode about going upstairs to work and then about stealing his sandwich from his cart one day.

May 07 2009 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with most of the posts here. It was a great finale. I loved the hallway scene, a little bummed not to see Brendan Frasier, but with Lonnies hair and Hooch really being crazy I didn't mind at all.

I repeat the sentiments to the cast, writers, and mainly to Bill Lawrence a man who actually seems to get it. BRAVO!

May 07 2009 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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