‘Scrubs’: ‘My Own Worst Enemy’

Posted by SH

Hope you weren’t staying up nights wondering if J.D. and Elliot would resume their ill-advised romance, because the suspense was over pretty quickly, and dispensed of like so much medical waste. As J.D. ponders their impending lip-lock, eyes closed, he opens them only to find he is kissing air. Eliot apparently moves very fast when there is romantic disaster brewing. “How did you do that?” J.D. asks, incredulously. A long time to wait for such a tame gag.

The hopeless pair decide that their near-smooch wasn’t about their feelings for each other as much as their anxiety over their current relationships. Elliot concludes that she doesn’t want to marry Keith after all (bummer for the Dudemeister!), but J.D. believes he has genuine love for Kim, and that his dalliance with Elliot was yet another attempt to sabotage himself.

Later on, he makes a public declaration that he is done being a “self-saboteur,” which prompts an extended fantasy sequence starring Dr. Cox as host of the inaugural “Who Cares?” awards, where he mocks everyone’s personal revelations. Besides J.D., there’s Turk stressing out over what candy bar to choose for his rare sweet-tooth indulgence since contracting diabetes (he goes with Bit O’Honey), Elliot and her inexplicable surprise at Keith’s newfound hatred of her since the breakup, and the Todd … well, all I remember about the Todd is his shirt (Shhh … Dong Sleeping). The Todd aside, it’s a lot of work for not much payoff.

Carla is reduced to playing mother to the gang, first with Turk and that candy bar, then with J.D. and Elliot, telling them “You’re human.” She does get in one great gag, though, when telling of her own bit of self-sabotage. Even though she knew Turk was watching, she decided to forgo using a napkin to clean her lip, and instead used her tongue. The Todd happens to walk by (still wearing the Shhh … Dong Sleeping shirt, with an arrow pointed down) and looks at his crotch and says, “Oh, hello.”

Another bit player contributes the best sequence of the night when J.D. refers to him as Snoop Dogg Intern. “Hey!” Snoop says, indignantly. “I’m sorry, Snoop Dogg Resident.” “Huh-uh.” “Snoop Dogg Attending?” So it is. Between that and his well-received declaration of love for a squeaky-voiced intern, Snoop emerges as a major playa.

Janitor also shows up in a ho-hum bit about having a girlfriend (I thought he was married), who happens to have the unlikely name of “Lady.” Meh.

When he’s not torturing his co-workers, Cox actually finds himself liking one of his patients, a man with a mysterious ailment and a winning smile. “Call me Joe,” he says, melting the hearts of Cox, Turk and even Bob Kelso as they wrack their brains to figure out what’s wrong with their new buddy. After an all-nighter, which ends with Cox waking up to find Kelso’s sleeping head in his lap (His response: “Fair enough.”), the little-seen Dr. Beardface (that’s Be-ard-fah-chay, you idiots!) unwittingly presents the solution. They shave Joe’s head and find unmistakable proof of Lyme disease, Cox’s original diagnosis.

Elliot backslides with Keith, only to have to dump him once again, and she gauges his hatred of her by how many adjectives are in his insults. “Skanky, straw-haired pig whore” apparently is worse than just “pig whore.” Carla tries to help, telling Elliot she is not straw-haired.

J.D.’s happiness is short-lived, after he realizes he in fact doesn’t have strong feelings for Kim, but is intent on staying with her because of the baby. To which I say … Jeez, people, did last season even happen?! Didn’t we go through all this, again and again? Elliot’s waffling over Keith is especially maddening — though he is pretty much a tool — but there really is no reason for her sudden change of heart. It’s hard to see where she is going to go after this, other than continuing to be a flake and fantasizing about Mexican apple thieves. As for J.D., I’m hoping this final season will bring some definite change to his life, and less of what one suspects is Zach Braff’s own “Garden State”-ing of the character. He’s at his best when he finds the strength to stand up for himself, and still feel comfortable ordering an Appletini. The show deserves better than what this lackadaisical season-opener seems to promise. But, for a few more months anyway, there’s always next week.

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