“Scrubs” Recap: My Chief Concern

By Stacey Harrison

J.D. is loving his new proximity to his son, but it hasn’t made him any less of a wuss. In his defense, that was a full-grown Dachshund terrorizing him at the park. But the 37-minute drive to work is kind of taxing, so when the opportunity comes up to take a job at the same hospital where Kim works is too good to pass up, even if the offer does come from a guy named Mantoots. (Go ahead and laugh. I’ll wait.)

Breaking the news to the Sacred Heart gang goes as expected, with Turk and Carla bummed out, and Cox attempting to do a back flip, and failing miserably. But even as he peels his face off the floor, he says it’s worth it. The one who seems to have the most problem with it, though, is Janitor, who isn’t sad  about J.D. leaving so much as he is the change it represents. Change begets change, or so the saying goes. Now that he has his life in order, with Lady at his side, and the Brain Trust firmly under his tyrannical rule, he doesn’t need J.D. to go messing things up. Turns out he’s right about the change part, because it’s not long before he hears that Ted and the Gooch are moving in together, Carla contemplates working from home, and Elliot wonders if she and J.D. should finally move in together.

Turk’s true feelings surface during a pissing match (not literally) between him and J.D. over whether a patient should have exploratory surgery. As the newly crowned chief of surgery (replete with the crazy hat Janitor gave him featured on his ID badge), Turk is throwing his weight around a little and insisting the woman have the procedure, while J.D. favors waiting. While they agree to sit on it for a night (again, not literally) J.D. comes in the next morning to find the patient has gone into surgery per Turk’s decree.

Tensions simmer until the guys are duped into talking it out after being led into a room by their respective women for a supposed quickie. Elliot gets a little too into the ruse and has J.D. take down his pants, so he and Turk have their discussion while J.D. has his scrubs around his ankles. Turk asks him several times to pull his pants up, but J.D. says he’s just not ready. Eventually they do work it out, and they share a half-pantsless hug, agreeing to make a commitment to hang out despite the fact that they won’t be working together or living near each other.

Cox also lets it slip that he feels betrayed by J.D. leaving. Despite professing his admiration for the intern Denise, he wants to stick it to her after she makes a common yet serious mistake involving a patient. Elliot asks him why he’s reacting that way, and he says why should he take the time to encourage the interns when they’re just going to leave anyway. Why, Perry, you old softy!

Reality sets in a little bit for J.D. when Turk calls to cancel their plans for that evening because Izzy needs him — a preview of things to come, no doubt.

While it was a little jarring to not have an episode last week, it pays off now in that we don’t have to wait so long for the finale, which airs tonight. It’s an hour long, and features just about every minor character who’s popped up in the past for at least a cameo. While Bill Lawrence says Scrubs could go on, any ninth season would be an entirely different show. So while this certainly isn’t a conventional sendoff, it seems somehow appropriate for a show that never really played by the rules, and was never the big hit it should have been.

Highlights: The Janitor freaking out his new nephew with plots of revenge against a school bully that require frightening levels of commitment. The Todd has found happiness with a couple that likes to include him in their sex lives. Denise and Derek emerging from the break room having obviously just gotten busy. Elliot and Carla congratulate her on her catch, and share their own disturbed fantasies involving the new surgical intern. In Elliot’s world, for some reason it ends with a killing spree.

Photo: © 2009 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.