Kicking off its seventh and final season, Scrubs
makes its return this week, answering a couple of lingering questions from last spring while still giving enough of the clever rants and juvenile fantasies to keep the show going. Picking things up the second where last season left off, the opening episode further explores the relationship between J.D. and Elliot as the two go down parallel journeys, determined on getting to the bottom of their fears of commitment.
Staring into each other's eyes while laying in bed, J.D. and Elliot both close their eyes and lean in to kiss. When J.D. opens his eyes seconds later, he finds Elliot on the clear other side of the room. They discuss why they both seem to intentionally screw up their lives regularly. Both are on the verge of huge commitments as Elliot is marrying Keith and J.D. has a pregnant girlfriend at home. They leave and agree never to bring up the almost-kiss again.
After talking to Carla and Turk, Elliot ultimately decides that she does not really want to marry Keith and is only doing so because she wants to be married so badly. Carla tries to offer some supporting advice, but is interrupted when Turk is more interested in discussing what brand of candy bar he should get since his diabetes only allows him to eat one every six months. The next day, Elliot breaks up with Keith in the hospital parking lot as the entire staff watches.
Later, J.D. talks to his pregnant girlfriend, Kim, on the phone asking if she is okay with him getting drinks with Turk after work even though they haven't seen each other in a while. She says that she's fine with it and J.D. drifts off into one of his inner monologues, wondering why he almost messed things up with Kim by kissing Elliot. Concerned, he talks to his best friend Turk, who reluctantly lays on him the hard truth - that "he knocked up a girl on the first date and before he got to know her she betrayed him, now he doesn't have strong feelings for her and only stuck around because there's a kid involved which means that he'll stay with her until the end whether he loves her or not." J.D. disagrees, convincing himself that he's a "self-saboteur" and purposely makes his life more difficult. He decides to turn over a new leaf and decides to not do anything to intentionally make his life more difficult.
Elliot, meanwhile, is dealing with her own difficulties, as Keith insists on calling her "pig-whore" around the hospital as punishment for breaking off their marriage. Like her husband did for J.D., Carla offers the unwelcome truth that Elliot should just let Keith hate her for while. Elliot disagrees and is determined to address the issue head on and try to make good with Keith.
In the meantime, Dr. Cox is having difficulty finding a cause for a patient. The patient is showing all signs of Lyme Disease, but there is no visible tick bite. The situation is made even more stressful when Cox finds out that the patient, Joe, is so friendly that even he takes a liking to him. Turk, too, ends up taking a fancy to Joe, after telling him how excited he is about his Bit-O-Honey bar being stuck in his teeth.
Later, Elliot ambushes Keith at home, while he picks up his belongings. She tries cheering him up and talks about how she doesn't want to lose him from her life despite what has happened. The too begin to yell at each other, but quickly give into passion and embrace, falling to the floor.
Immediately afterwards, Elliot talks to Carla about what she's done and that her and Keith are seemingly back together again. Meanwhile, J.D. also fails at his new goal of not self-sabotaging himself, when he finds himself in another battle of wits with the janitor, which he again loses. In addition, neither Cox nor Turk, despite some unexpected help from Dr. Kelso, are able to find the cause of Joe's illness and are dealing with the possibility of having to kick him out of the hospital, since his insurance won't cover him without a cause.
In the end, the multiple story lines are tied together under the concept of "Occam's razor" which basically states that the simplest answer is usually the correct one. In the case of Joe, it is somewhat of a pun in that the tick bite was concealed under his hair, and they needed to shave his head with a razor to find the tick bite. In Elliot's case, the simplest answer was Carla's initial suggestion that she simply needs to let Keith hate her for awhile after she breaks up with him for a second time. And in J.D.'s case it is exactly what Turks said - that he is only with Kim because she's pregnant and will stay with her whether he loves her or not.
As sad as I will be to see Scrubs
end, I can't help but believe that the series has run its course. As Turk, Carla and even Dr. Cox have matured and grown over the years, J.D. and Elliot have sort of been forced into becoming increasingly immature in order to keep the show's general theme going. Another concern is that at this point, it may prove somewhat difficult to pair J.D. and Elliot together once again without it feeling forced, since the last few years have seemingly been devoted to developing the two individually. The premiere did have one nice possible hint towards the future, however, when Turk mentions that the only girlfriend he thought was good for his best friend was the ex they named "Mole-Butt." Devotees of the show will remember that "Mole-Butt" is their nick-name for Elliot.
-George Freitag, Buddy TV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of NBC)