Scrubs on ABC

2001, TV Show

Scrubs Episode: "My Last Words"

Season 8, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: J.D. and Turk's steak-night tradition is put on hold when the pair comfort a dying patient instead. Meanwhile, Dr. Maddox (Courteney Cox) reveals her true character.
Original Air Date: Jan 6, 2009
Guest Cast Courteney Cox: Dr. Maddox Aziz Ansari: Ed Deonte Gordon: Shawn Glynn Turman: George Valentine
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Season 8, Episode 2
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Aired: 1/6/2009
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Scrubs Episode Recap: "My Jerks" & "My Last Words" Season 8, Episode 2

Scrubs is back, and the series is apparently determined to get back on track after a couple of weaker seasons on their former network, NBC. Now, as an ABC Studios production on sitcom-weak ABC, one would hope they'd get a fair shake on their new broadcast home, for their 8th and probably last season.  So far, ABC isn't too worried about the "flow" of the evening, as the two-episode debut was sandwiched between two "reality" series — neither exactly pitched at the Scrubs audience — as small as that's become (the end bumper on the first episode even jokes about the Neilsens, who turn out to be dissatisfied patients).

With writer/producer Angela Nissel's "My Jerks," we meet the new Chief of Medicine, Dr. Maddox (Courtney Cox), and a new crop of interns, who bedevil J.D, — including Ed (Aziz Ansari), who has strangely persuasive powers when it comes to creating new rituals around the hospital, and Denice, aka Jo (Eliza Coupe), who lacks any sort of empathy (even when she's clearly trying for some). Maddox (presumably the similar sound to Mad Docs wasn't an accident) for her part seems charming. But Dr. Cox, particularly, is afraid to get to know her for fear of having to be her resident adversary if she turns out to be another Kelso, which, after a fashion, she does, as she's more interested in milking patients' insurance than she is in proper care. She's also not willing to overlook the Janitor's pranks, such as tripping J.D. in her presence, and fires him, even after he presents her with his remarkable "Key to Everything" in and around the hospital. A replacement janitor presents himself at the end of the episode, much to J.D.'s delight. Meanwhile, Elliot continues to spar, or, as she thinks of it, banter, with Keith, whom she left at the altar at the end of last season, and otherwise has seemed extremely self-involved and distracted as she goes about her days. Carla calls her out on this, much to Elliot's dismay, which only deepens when Ted the lawyer informs her that not only does he agree with Carla, but that Keith has been trying to hide his misery from her. Cox and J.D. share a moment wherein they both try to figure out how to cope with their new burdens, while Elliot begins to try to patch things up with Keith and thanks Carla for telling her a the truth she needed to hear.

Courtney Cox, like so many story-arc and one-episode guest actors on Scrubs, does some of the funniest work I've seen from her (Nissel being a much better writer than anyone she had to work with at Friends, certainly). The less well-known young actors playing the new doctors all acquit themselves well, and it was great fun seeing Ken Jenkins back as Kelso who in his retirement likes to come to Sacred Heart just to eavesdrop on the human comedy. Maddox, for her turn, takes no guff from anyone, ranging from board-member Jordan (she unnerves her by noting that she's moved into middle age), to an orderly who invades nearly everyone's personal space — the quickly-fired Jimmy (Taran Killam).

In the second episode, written by story editor and "Squeaky Resident" actress Aseem Batra, Turk and J.D. are interrupted in their regular, and much anticipated, "Steak Night." It's so important to them that they have long since written and consistently performed a song in celebration, and the song's so familiar to their colleagues that Ted can be asked to harmonize as they perform (they've recently choreographed a celebratory dance, as well). Before they can leave, however, a nurse asks them if they would replace an IV for a terminal patient, and they start conversing with him (as he's still lucid and knows that he won't be here much longer) and ask if he would like anything. He suggests a beer, which the younger men bring him. Ted comes in to take care of the patient's last will and testament, but, feeling a bit sheepish about leaving, J.D. asks Jo to take special care of him. She makes a disastrous attempt to relate to him, describing a rather sordid sexual encounter as her part of "getting to know each other." J.D. overhears and sends her on her way (to another tryst with the man she'd head-butted the previous night, putting him in Sacred Heart with a broken nose). Turk and J.D. spend most of the night trying to reassure the older man, who has no surviving family, that death isn't really to be feared. But eventually, they admit that they're also terrified of death and that fighting it as their profession and being surrounded by it doesn't do anything to help with that. J.D. suggests that perhaps the best one can hope for is to die with a happy thought in mind. This doesn't inspire the dying man, but does hand him a laugh, telling J.D. that if he thinks that's deep, he should reconsider.  Nonetheless, the man's last words come not too much later, as he suggests that the beer was very good. J.D. and Turk leave the patient as he goes into his final sleep, and reflect on their evening on the hospital roof.  A fine, if sentimental, episode with the kind of gender-teasing, awkward-moment and bald-faced absurdist humor that series loves to throw into the mix.

A very welcome return. As Scrubs is one of the most widely syndicated series on US television now, one has ample opportunity to see how even the weakest episodes of the series are still mostly well-constructed and amiable. These episodes are at least in the middle range of the series so far, and I'm glad they've had the opportunity to do them (which ABC is clearly willing to at least run out the string, given that widespread appearance on broadcast and particularly cable stations).

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Scrubs is back, and the series is apparently determined to get back on track after a couple of weaker seasons on their former network, NBC. Now, as an ABC Studios production on sitcom-weak ABC, one would hope they'd get a fair shake on their new broadcast home, for their 8th and probably last season.  So far, ABC isn't too worried about the "flow" of the evening, as the two-episode debut was sandwiched between two "reality" series — neither exactly pitched at the Scrubs audience — as small as that's become (the end bumper on the first episode even jokes about the Neilsens, who turn out to be dissatisfied patients).

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Premiered: October 02, 2001, on NBC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,182 ratings)
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Premise: An engaging (and periodically serious) look at hospital work through the eyes of a young intern, coping with unusual challenges presented by colleagues as well as patients. The show is a smart mix of humor and social commentary, and has had a diverse lineup of guest stars, including Colin Hay of Men at Work, Brendan Fraser, Dick Van Dyke and, in one of his rare TV appearances since he left full-time work because of Parkinson's disease, Michael J. Fox.

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