Episode 10: My Nickname
Episode 11: My Own Personal Jesus
By: Carlos Uribe
Scrubs is about a bunch of doctors. It aired from 2001 to 2008 on NBC and from 2009 to 2010 on ABC.
The episode “My Nickname” deals with the relationship between Carla and J.D. The two had began with Carla being protective over J.D. She was his guardian angel, helping him with his medicine and with Dr. Cox. It was a relationship that worked for a while. She knew more about practicing medicine than he did. This helped to define their interactions. The problem is that there comes a time when the doctor's training comes in and he's able to outsmart the nurse. This happens in this episode. J.D. knows more about medicine and this changes the dynamic of their relationship. It's not one of Carla being a protective work mom to J.D. anymore. Just like how he doesn't need her help in medicine, he gets angry at her when she stands up for him to Dr. Cox. He even attacks the nickname that she has given him. This upsets Carla. She's even more upset when she reveals that she didn't go to college and he makes a joke about it. The episode ends with the two of them being friends, but they're working out a new friendship. One where J.D. still gets called “Bambi” but it's still not going to be the same. It's going to be a bit different.
The sub-plots of the episode involve putting Dr. Cox and Elliot together along with Turk and Dr. Kelso. There's also a small plot of the episode where the Janitor gives J.D. a new nickname. One would thing that's where the title of the episode comes from, but it would actually refer to the “Bambi” nickname since that symbolizes the relationship between Carla and J.D. Dr. Cox and Elliot get a patient together. Elliot likes the patient because it's essentially a version of her. When Dr. Cox finds out that there's nothing wrong with the patient, he tries to have her discharged but only runs into an obstacle. That obstacle being Elliot. It's a fun story and it's one where Elliot is able to examine herself at the end. The sub-plot works effectively partially because of how character-based it is. Turk and Dr. Kelso fight over a bench that brings peace to whoever sits there. The bench is an escape for Turk away from the hospital and Dr. Kelso believes that the bench solely begins with him. Turk gains some of Dr. Kelso's respect when he refuses to give up. The sub-plot is inconsequential but it is laying down the seeds of the kind of relationship that the two are going to have.
While that episode might have dealt with Carla and J.D.'s relationship, “My Own Personal Jesus” is an episode that dealt with Turk's faith. It's always a warning sign when a comedy decides to deal with religion. Many comedies have little respect for religion and merely see it as a punching bag. While this episode does make fun of some churches, it does have respect for Turk's faith. It has more than respect. It has an understanding of why Turk needs that faith. This is the Christmas episode for this season, which is also a perfect holiday for that faith. When Turk is on call for Christmas Eve, he experiences numerous holiday accidents and illnesses. It brings into question his belief in Jesus and this doubt changes him. He goes from someone who is able to deal with being a surgeon to being depressed. Without his faith, Turk is a mere shell of himself. It isn't until he's miraculously able to find Elliot's pregnant patient that he regains a sense of faith. He goes back to being his old self. He doesn't get the answers that he wanted but he does get a sign that there is a God out there and that's all that he needs. While our narrator may not have faith, J.D. does get a new appreciation for faith that he didn't have before.
While Turk is having a crisis of faith, Elliot has to face discrimination from Dr. Kelso. She might be in internal medicine but Dr. Kelso believes that she will end up in family practice. This upsets Elliot because she has no interest in working solely with families. She is resisting Dr. Kelso's statistics. In a way, Elliot is fighting traditional gender expectations. While this episode concentrated on Turk, it left our protagonist in the background. He spends the episode having to deal with Dr. Cox's demand to tape the birth of some family friends. The taping goes wrong and this gets him in trouble with Dr. Cox and Jordan. It's funny enough but it doesn't really have any importance. Both episodes were funny but they both worked really well because they had foundation that was based on the characters. A lot of the humor worked because the episodes were about the characters.