Angela Nissel, the writer who perhaps has made the most of her or his association with
Scrubs, is credited with this amiable episode, and while she does offer a few good, wild concepts, one of the true pitfalls of the aging sitcom is in evidence here: the attempt to make well-rounded characters out of roles which are best preserved as devices. Bob Kelso, grounded just enough so that he isn't just a two-dimensional, two-faced ogre...is funny and at times sobering or acidly touching (most obviously in the episode where the audience gets to see what he hides from his staff, how much life and death decisions take out of him every day). Bob Kelso, tragic figure who has to depend on Elliot and Carla and, for goodness's sake, eventually Cox to rescue him from forced retirement: considerably less effective in every way.
But, then, that last wasn't the only unlikely development in this thinly-plotted but incident-rich episode. The A-storyline: Turk has apparently returned from a week's visit with his brother, and is acting out in all sorts of machismic, if basically good-natured, ways, many of them involving wrestling to see who gets to control the breakroom tv set. He gets the best of JD on several occasions in this manner, often while JD's infant son is present and being acerbically instructed by Dr. Cox as to JD's inadequacies. When the husband (episode director Michael McDonald), of a desperately horny woman who attempts to seduce JD in the cold opening, confronts Dorian, it's Turk who chases him away. JD accidentally finally bests Turk in a wrestle, and in the chase that follows, JD and Elliot learn from Carla that Turk was actually gone for a week to recover from having one of his testicles removed; Turk confesses to overcompensating while he and JD work out a compromise face-saving for both of them among their peers.
The B-line: Kelso lets Elliot know, by pretending to have a phone conversation where she can overhear it, that the Sacred Heart board of directors are forcing him out as the hospital's chief adminsitrator (though how he knew she was hidden in the restroom at the right time for that bit of theater isn't spelled out)...though the fact that Elliot is hiding in a mens room stall allows Nissel to drop a "booty" joke or three over the course of show; the funniest: Elliot seeing hers rated "9.2" and exulting that the hospital's male staff is so overwhelmingly white and therefore presumably more likely to appreciate her somatotype (Kelso also somewhat improbably takes the wind out of her sails by noting that the 9.2 is on a scale of 100). Elliot and Carla eventually come to realize that Kelso, in his backhanded way, is asking for help in keeping his job.
C-line: The Janitor, insulted by Kelso, joins with such other often-disregarded characters as the surgeon Todd, pathologist Doug, and lawyer Ted (when the others can be bothered to note that Ted is present) to produce a paper/online newsletter,
The Janitorial, which can offer up to three issues/updates a day; when Cox insults the Janitor and their newsletter, the Janitor retaliates by fabricating an interview piece with Cox in which the prickly doctor supposedly cries out for the hugs and physical affection from his colleagues which he can't ask for in face to face encounters...and, as a result, he gets them, many more than he can stand, till he apologizes.
Thus, these various challenges to manhood (or simple personhood, particularly in Ted's case) are presented for nearly all the important, recurring male characters in the series, as well as for a young male patient of Elliot's, also goofily if undogmatically machismic, who is devastated by a diagnosis of breast cancer. And for a man so obviously in good physical tone, Turk's health is a litany of problems, most notably his diabetes and now this loss due to testicular torsion, the result of an accidental kick from his daughter.
But JD's daydream of finding Turk's excised testicle and planting it, only to grow a slightly smaller and inarticulate vegetable Turk, is one of the more inspired bits of dream-logic the series has offered, and Sam Lloyd's Ted and Robert Maschio's Todd are given good bits, even if Neil Flynn never quite gets to fly in this episode. Also interesting that a script by Nissel gives the women, with the partial exception of Elliot, so little to do...
And thanks to GDenisePR for providing a quick transcript and translation of the purely Spanish dialog sequence in last week's episode.
NBC is shifting
Scrubs back to 8:30p ET/PT as of next week, presumably in a trade of slots with
30 Rock--though somehow
Scrubs always struck me as a natural transition between other sitcoms and
ER. Most doctors I've known see
Scrubs as the more realistic of those two series (the most realistic of all the American dramatic series, in fact), in its portrayal of the medical life...and one wonders if anything will do all that much better stacked up against the latter halves of
Lost, or improve "flow" that much for NBC, on that crowded night.
For more on
Scrubs, please see our
Online Video Guide.
Angela Nissel the writer who perhaps has made the most of her or his association with Scrubs is credited with this amiable episode and while she does offer a few good wild concepts one of the true pitfalls of the aging sitcom is in evidence here the attempt to make well-rounded characters out of roles which are best preserved as devices Bob Kelso grounded just enough so that he isnt just a two-dimensional two-faced ogreis funny and at times sobering or acidly touching most obviously in the episode where the audience gets to see what he hides from his staff how much life and death decisions take out of him every day Bob Kelso tragic figure who has to depend on Elliot and Carla and for goodnesss sake eventually Cox to rescue him from forced retirement considerably less effective in every wayBut then that last wasnt the only unlikely development in this thinly-plotted but incident-rich episode The A-storyline Turk has apparently returned from a weeks visi