The Husband:

After a week off due to, what else, the inauguration, Scrubs is back with two new episodes. (It’s tough for me when this show misses a week. I’m so used to it on the verge of getting canceled year-after-year on NBC that even now that it’s on ABC, its absence gives my stomach that sinking sensation. Hopefully that’ll wear off soon.) And while I’m not entirely positive about a potential spin-off and/or continuation of the series with a whole new set of interns, I do appreciate getting to know them in such depth this season. It’s sort of a more confident but mildly less funny version of Scrubs’ first season, and that’s a nice approach for this show.

8.5 “My ABCs”

In the first episode, J.D. begins imagining Muppets everywhere for no reason other than the show is now on ABC (and Muppets are awesome), being yet another fantasy that mirror his own id. These rascally creatures aren’t in the episode enough for my tastes (put any kind of Muppet show or movie on the television and I will sit and watch until it’s done), merely making cameos, but it did lead to such gems as The Todd’s new “Grover Five,” The Janitor finding a new friend in Oscar The Grouch (although he cannot, unfortunately, keep his eyes open as long as the Grouch) and J.D. posing the following question after Elmo hits on intern Denise.

“What is Elmo? A seal?” – J.D.

In the real central stories, each of our main doctors starts mentoring their respective interns. Elliot gets the two-faced kiss-ass Katie, Turk takes on the immature and lazy but bright Ed and J.D. continues his quest to make the cold and cruel Denise have more empathy for her patients. By the end, Elliot realizes that Katie secretly has no respect for her, Turk realizes that he’s being sexist in selecting one of the interns for a special research project (technically, he picked Ed for the project because Ed signed his name in multiple colors thanks to one of those sweet chunky multi-color pens) and J.D. realizes that he sometimes puts too much of his feelings in his work. (Or is that the next episode? The J.D.-Denise drama has been bleeding through several episodes.)

That Elmo! He tickles me so!

That Elmo! He tickles me so!

Other than the Muppet appearances, I don’t know how much was really exemplary about the episode, but I like Scrubs specifically for the fact that it doesn’t always try to strive for the biggest joke, and is willing to sacrifice some of its laughs for drama. I like Denise, I like her problems and I like her vulnerability. And while Ed hasn’t had too much to do so far this season other than just be obnoxious, I enjoyed his DJ scratching sounds.

“Sa-sa-sa-syphilis!” – Ed

Some of the other quotes I wrote down from this episode:

  • “It’s a good one! The letter’s ‘J.’” – Turk on Sesame Street
  • “Mark my words. I will zwa you by the end of the day.” – Cox
  • “Denise: I like bangin’ dudes.
    J.D.: I hear that’s nice.”

8.6 “My Cookie Pants”

A more emotionally involving episode that also managed to be far funnier than the previous one, this one finally picks up the J.D.-Elliot relationship and reveals them to be a more mature couple than they’ve been in the past seven goddamn seasons. Now, I’m definitely a J.D.-Elliot ‘shipper, but I will agree with some viewers that it has been far too much back-and-forth with too much of the same neuroses being blamed for breaking them up each time. But in this, where Elliot gets a day off from work where she can bake cookies and thus allowing her to wear her stretchy cooking pants, we see her complete attachment to the hospital, and how J.D. is now in a position to help her become more of a regular person. It’s especially difficult for Elliot to have a day off when she can’t even contact Carla, who is out of the country due to her aunt falling out of a balloon. (Hu-wha?)

J.D. has other issues to deal with at work, and that’s finally getting Denise, however slowly, to stop insulting the patients and telling them that their illnesses are really bumming her out. It’s so bad that J.D. uncharacteristically goes out of his way to insult her:

“I’ll see you tomorrow. If you’re not here, I’ll just assume that demons dragged you down to hell to chew your face off.” – J.D.

Fed up with her, he finally threatens to fire her if she doesn’t shape up, and we as viewers finally see J.D. become a truly confident doctor. No matter where the show goes after this season, this Zach Braff’s final one, so we only have less than 20 episodes to see him finally achieve his goal, which to me is to be as good of a doctor as Cox without all the self-loathing that comes with that label.

And Denise…well…she slowly begins to attain J.D.’s great amounts of empathy for his own patients.

Speaking of Cox, he has finally been offered the position of Chief of Medicine, but after being warned that it’s a soul-sucking, bureaucratic nightmare of a job that alienates one from their family, Cox gets in his own way and refuses the position. After getting a talk from Jordan and also realizing that it’s what he’s wanted for so long (and that Kelso was just trying to warn him and not outright shoo him away from the position), Cox relents and does, in fact, accept the position, fully aware of all of its drawbacks. Cox is finally making decisions as a father and a husband and not merely as a doctor, and that is his path toward redemption.

There were a lot of small gems in this episode, but my favorite (and I’m sure many others agree with me) is this final exchange between J.D. and Elliot.

“J.D.: You look amazing.

Elliot: Even in cookie pants?

J.D.: Especially in cookie pants.”

Other quotes:

  • “Elliot: Stop throwing dirty clothes at me!
    J.D.: Stop saying sexy things!”
  • “These are my muffin slacks. Bam!” – Kelso
  • “Are fraidy-cat’s ears too tiny?” – Cox to J.D.
  • “If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right.” – The Todd on sex