At last, the best sitcom on television is back... alas, for its final, short season.
Synopsis: Picking up with the season finale's emotional cliff-hanger, J.D. (Zach Braff] and Elliot (Sarah Chalke) are about to kiss. J.D. speculates that they are both afraid to commit (even to this), but after seeing Elliot close her eyes, he readies himself, only to discover that Elliot is about to call them both to their senses, or at least to get them both to wonder why they keep pulling themselves and each other out of serious relations. Elliot decides she can't marry Keith (Travis Schuldt), and tells him so, only days before the wedding; he doesn't take it so well. After a week of insulting Elliot at every opportunity, Keith arranges to pick up his stuff at her apartment with the proviso that she'll not be there; she can't abide his hostility, though, and shows up hoping to make things at least civil between them. Instead, they become impulsively romantic... leading to Elliot breaking up with him again, several days later. Meanwhile, J.D. queries Turk (Donald Faison) for hard truth as to why J.D. would attempt to mess up his own budding relationship with Kim (Elizabeth Banks), gravid with J.D.'s child. Turk suggests that J.D. barely knows Kim and was deceived by her almost immediately, thus he has no strong feelings for her and is sticking by her solely because she is pregnant by him. J.D. can no more accept that than he can that the Janitor (Neil Flynn) has a womanfriend whose name is Lady, but nonetheless strives to go a whole day without sabotaging himself in any way. Meanwhile, first Cox (John C. McGinley), then Turk, and finally Kelso (Ken Jenkins) all find themselves charmed by a patient who'd just like you to call him Joe (Kevin Rahm), and strive desperately to find a diagnosis for what seems like Lyme's disease, although the patient doesn't show the telltale symptoms. By the end, nearly everyone is more or less on the way to feeling better, with Carla (Judy Reyes) comforting Elliot. The exception is J.D., who's realized that he really has trapped himself into a relation that might always be loveless.
While not as packed with comic business as the funniest of the episodes of the series, this was one of the most effectively dramatic, particularly since the potential tragedy isn't a matter of death so much as of growing desperation. J.D., mocked throughout the episode by Cox as a "whiny, annoying boy-man," is at his worst precisely that. But he has also demonstrated loyalty and usually an eventual honesty, among other positive attributes, that keep him from being contemptible. We can only speculate how he'll handle being forced to take on a consistently adult role as the series draws to its conclusion. Elliot seems to have lucked out, in comparison, as she extracted herself from a parallel situation, with fewer disincentives for a breakup.
Meanwhile, as noted, this was not the funniest of episodes in the series, but it was by no means lacking in the wit and deft redoubling of jokes that is the show's hallmark. Last season particularly saw a few episodes where they seemed content to run self-conscious variations on previously established jokes and situations, making the show, if not quite airless, then less amusing particularly to those who were seeing it for the first time. Those of us who'd been watching from the beginning could get the references, but also wondered if the writers and the rest of the creative staff were finally feeling the stress of keeping up with high bar set in the first several seasons. There are few sitcoms that have sustained themselves for multiple seasons, and few sitcoms that have been as brilliant as
Scrubs is at its best (and few that have been so taken for granted, frequently slighted so that series ranging from the only nearly-as-good
Arrested Development to more consistently-popular bland or supposedly "edgy" shows might be overpraised in comparison). It's a tribute to its creators' desire to simply do the best series they could, after the veterans among them had often banked their fires in doing work that simply wasn't their best, that so many disparate elements have hung together so well on the series... that, for example, a frequently (at least momentarily) surrealistic comedy should be perhaps the most realistic of our current medical dramas (medical personnel I know assure me that
Scrubs captures the reality of the profession much better than the soapy hour-long series).
This episode is a promising start for what might well be a
tour de force of a last season. I'm glad it's getting the opportunity to wrap up.
At last the best sitcom on television is back alas for its final short seasonSynopsis Picking up with the season finales emotional cliff-hanger JD Zach Braff] and Elliot Sarah Chalke are about to kiss JD speculates that they are both afraid to commit even to this but after seeing Elliot close her eyes he readies himself only to discover that Elliot is about to call them both to their senses or at least to get them both to wonder why they keep pulling themselves and each other out of serious relations Elliot decides she cant marry Keith Travis Schuldt and tells him so only days before the wedding he doesnt take it so well After a week of insulting Elliot at every opportunity Keith arranges to pick up his stuff at her apartment with the proviso that shell not be there she cant abide his hostility though and shows up hoping to make things at least civil between them Instead they become impulsively romantic leading to Elliot breaking up with h