Even though by showing it tonight, as the last episode of
Scrubs NBC intends to air, it violates internal chronology (Bob Kelso is magically back in charge at Sacred Heart), I can see why they kept this charming episode for the season finale. And possible series finale, though it does seem more likely than not (according to various sources on this site and elsewhere) that ABC will commission and run at least a few more episodes to make a full season's worth for the last set.
Using a framing device that, as others will remind you, resembles that of William Goldman's novel
The Princess Bride and the film made from it, we have the intersecting stories of Elliot and JD attempting to diagnose a young woman patient of Elliot's who seems to be getting worse no matter how her symptoms are treated, and that of a bedtime story Cox tells his young son which is inspired by the day's events in the hospital, including Kelso's maniacal drive to ensure no doctors are working overtime, and therefore Elliot and JD's hiding from Kelso while they search for what's actually killing the patient...and argue as to who was about to kiss whom in a tryst that didn't quite happen some weeks before.
Cox is puzzled, as well, when consulted about the young woman, but offers some advice that turns out to be more useful than it seems at first blush: Try to remember even that which you weren't listening to. Some junior staff playing a medical variation on
Jeopardy! within earshot of JD and Cox earlier in the day, it turns out, cited the disease the patient has, Wilson's...which in the deftest parallel between Cox's bedtime story and the day's events, is characterized by copper deposits around the patient's irises, looking like a golden ring...a golden ring being the talisman necessary to dispell the ghostly monster that is the disease's analog in Cox's fable.
The in-jokes for longtime viewers in this one (Aloma Wright's storyland character is much put-upon, at one point literally; the Todd's fantasy analog is a fairy, if one who is, of course, obnoxious and obsessed with high-fiving to celebrate his own feeble wit) are at least a little funny in themselves, and would be for new viewers, which puts them ahead of similar references in most of the weaker episodes of the past two seasons...I suspect Zach Braff has been waiting for years to deliver lines as cheefully disgusting as tonight's about his hairstyling products. (The secret ingredient, atop manure and mud, is more manure...)
Keith, the Janitor, and Ted all get good turns, even if Keith's seems particularly odd after the later episodes we've already seen, and Cox's irritable conflation of Carla and Turk into a two-headed creature named Turla (playing, among other things, off Turk's recent testicular surgery) is delivered with brio by all concerned. We learn that Cox also definitely is among those who thinks Elliot and JD should be a couple, even as they themselves seem to decide otherwise, though probably not forever (in the fable, at least, they admit that they were mutually attracted on that night of some weeks before).
And in wrapping up the bedtime story with a happy ending, but admitting, as Cox does to his wife immediately afterward, that the real patient might not've lived happily ever after,
Scrubs reminds us that it has never been solely all about goofy comedy.
If this is the last episode to be broadcast, they could've done a lot worse. We'll look forward to what ABC has to say about their new season orders.
(Coincidentlally, running at the same time as this episode that flips back and forth between fantasy and more-or-less reality, with special effects and vaguely medieval costumes, PBS offered on its
Live from Lincoln Center a performance of
Camelot on a dark "limbo" set and featuring black modern costumes...which made for an interestingly reinforcing experience, when I'd flip over during commercials.)
For more on Scrubs, please see our
Online Video Guide.
Even though by showing it tonight as the last episode of Scrubs NBC intends to air it violates internal chronology Bob Kelso is magically back in charge at Sacred Heart I can see why they kept this charming episode for the season finale And possible series finale though it does seem more likely than not according to various sources on this site and elsewhere that ABC will commission and run at least a few more episodes to make a full seasons worth for the last setUsing a framing device that as others will remind you resembles that of William Goldmans novel The Princess Bride and the film made from it we have the intersecting stories of Elliot and JD attempting to diagnose a young woman patient of Elliots who seems to be getting worse no matter how her symptoms are treated and that of a bedtime story Cox tells his young son which is inspired by the days events in the hospital including Kelsos maniacal drive to ensure no doctors are working overtime and therefore