As Scrubs winds down what may be its final season, the show struggles to find the balance between keeping the same rhythm that’s been established so well between the characters and wrapping up its several lingering plot threads. Unfortunately the character most affected by this uncertainty is the show’s lead as Zach Braff’s J.D. seems be getting left behind as his co-stars mature while he stays as childish as ever. This week’s episode puts J.D. in one of those mature situations he is virtually incapable of dealing with when he runs into his now pregnant ex-girlfriend, Dr. Kim Briggs, played by Elizabeth Banks.
Back in the beginning of season six, J.D. discovered that, after their first date, co-worker Dr. Kim Briggs was pregnant with his child. The two decided to stay together and have the baby, but a surprise job opportunity in Tacoma forced the two apart. Feeling that J.D. was not ready for such a serious commitment (not that I blame her), Kim lies to J.D. and tells him that the baby was miscarried, allowing J.D. to go back to Sacred Heart and live his life. Now, several months later, Turk and J.D. go to a medical conference where they run into the now visibly pregnant Dr. Briggs and J.D. naturally addresses the issue in the most childish way imaginable – embarrassing her in the middle of a presentation then running away after she asks for help.
Back at Sacred Heart, Elliot Reid frantically plans her wedding, going through all the neurotic obsessions sitcom brides-to-be go through and the Janitor takes advantage of Dr. Kelso’s absence and assumes the role of Chief of Medicine. Dr. Cox needlessly questions Elliot’s motivation for marrying Keith until his wife, Jordan convinces him to stop. The damage is done, however, as now Elliot doubts whether she actually wants to marry Keith or if she just wants to get married in general.
Adding to the drama, prior to J.D.’s encounter with his pregnant ex-girlfriend, he moans to Turk about how much he wishes he was with Elliot (again) and Turk tries to convince his best friend to let it go. This, of course, all leads up to the point when J.D. returns to his Sacred Heart only to find the two women in his life waiting for him – with Elliot questioning whether or not she should marry Keith and Kim asking why he ran out on her.
One of the problems with J.D. as a character is that his entire appeal stems from his charming immaturity. Now, six years later, with him still having the same daydreams and the same childish reactions to serious situations, it’s getting to the point where his antics are beginning to hurt his likability. His last break up with Elliot ended so horribly that the apparent push to pair the two up again seems more and more forced the further they go with it. If this is the last season, then I hope they manage to make J.D. at least somewhat respectable, as right now he just seems to run away from every single problem he’s faced with. And even with fictional characters, it’s somewhat unsettling to know that sort of guy ended up being a father.
-George Freitag, Buddy TV Staff Columnist
(Photo courtesy of NBC)