“Scrubs” Recap: My Soul On Fire, Part I

By Stacey Harrison

Yes, the epic story of Janitor and Lady’s tropical nuptials cannot be told in one mere episode. So the show’s first road trip — better late than never, I guess — gets extended by a week while we wait with bated breath to see whether Janitor and Lady actually go through with the ceremony, if J.D. can patch up things for the 1,039,467th time (give or take) with Elliot, how Cox and Jordan handle spending so much time together, and if Carla can ditch the mom bathing suit and instead tap into her inner hot mama.

But I’m ahead of myself. Things start off swell enough with J.D. reeling in terror because he forgot to get Elliot a present for the 7th anniversary of their first kiss. So he distracts her by telling her to sing her godawful, tone-deaf rendition of “Old MacDonald” for Sam, and even the tot can’t hide his disdain. But it gives J.D. just enough time (an onscreen timer helps us out) to go to the gift shop and shoplift an … electric toothbrush? In his defense, he thought it was a sex toy. Elliot tells him he’s being ridiculous, that they’re waaay past the point of worrying about such petty drama. Then after some sweet lovin’ that night, she proceeds to lay some extreme petty drama on him. She tells him she loves him and adds a bunch of flowery language to elaborate on how she feels, and she is not satisfied with J.D.’s response — a mere, “I love you, too.” Oh no, for some reason she wants him to come up with some profound, earth-shattering details on how much he loves her, but only at the right time. For instance, not while she’s trying to poo.

The Brain Trust meets and decides to give Doug permanent status as previous member Lloyd drowned while snorkeling in his father’s pool. He is represented by a life-size cardboard cutout that is high-five ready, a temptation that proves too much for The Todd. Doug is stoked, but suspicious that anytime someone better comes along, his status will be revoked. That’s a cue for Lloyd to pop back in, very much alive, and explain that he had faked his own death to try to evade a bookie, to no avail. Lloyd is reinstated, only to leave again after revealing more financial troubles. As they leave, Janitor nonchalantly hands Ted a stack of papers he wants handed out to everyone at the hospital.

Turns out those are wedding invitations with not a lot of thought put into them. (Turk’s is addressed to “Black Doctor.”) Janitor and Lady are getting married in the Bahamas in three days. While most people see this for the non-invite it is, J.D. rallies the troops, telling them they should take advantage of this rare chance for a vacation. They all agree, which prompts Elliot to spit out that chocolate donut and Jordan to schedule some lipo.

Turk is excited about having some man-woman time with Carla, if only she could look past her motherly responsibilities. You know, like not swooning over the sounds coming out of the baby monitor while Turk is trying to rock her world. Once they get to the island, his worst fears are realized, as Jordan and Elliot prance around in skimpy bikinis, Carla just plain looks like a dork. Then when he gets her alone in the room, she’s clipping her toenails, then chewing them. He convinces her to come to the ocean for some underwater lovin’, but she gets caught up in yet another phone call from the nanny.

Janitor, meanwhile, is none too pleased that everybody showed up. He and Lady weren’t even planning a ceremony, they just wanted everyone to send gifts. But now Elliot has Lady all excited about walking down the aisle, and Janitor vows to kill J.D.

J.D. just can’t seem to crack this code of when and how he should profess his love for Elliot, so he just gives up on it and tries to tell her they don’t need to pine away at each other like teenagers. He thinks he’s won the day, relishing in everyone else’s relationship troubles, only to find a ticked-off Elliot walking away.

Not much suspense here, and Elliot’s antics are a bit eye-rolling, but for much of the time, it felt like a vintage Scrubs episode. Part of that could be because the interns were nowhere to be found. But the opening segment got things started right, with J.D. and Turk figuring out appropriate parts of their bodies to bump against each other in celebration. Upstairs — good. Downstairs — bad. And it was nice to see Leonard, the hook-handed security guard, make a return.

Highlight: Ted resuming his subservient status to Kelso while they’re on vacation. (“I could kill him here.”)

Lowlight: Whither the Gooch?!

Photo: © 2008 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.