Thursday, August 16, 2012


Episode 14: My Drug Buddy
Episode 15: My Bed Banter & Beyond
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.

Spoilers Ahoy!

The Alex storyline is ended with “My Drug Buddy” in a rather surprising manner. She was introduced in “My Blind Date” where we didn't see her but J.D. asked her out anyways. “My Balancing Act” had J.D. realize that he had to prioritize their relationship above his work. “My Drug Buddy” ends the relationship rapidly when Alex is revealed to have a drug problem. It's a reveal that the entire episode worked on and it was a sort of misdirection at first. When some drugs go missing, Elliot assumes that it's a former drug addict who had asked for them. Alex defends the man and asserts his innocence. J.D. is drawn into the middle of the conflict as they both ask for his opinion. Since J.D. only wants to please people, he doesn't really want to take a side. He eventually decides to back up his girlfriend Alex. It seems like the story is about who to back but it's really about Alex. It turns out that Elliot was wrong since Alex was the one who took the drugs. J.D. is forced to end things with Alex just as he was about to sleep with her for the first time. How J.D. found the drugs is a bit convoluted but the scene is effective once he has them in his hand. That whole ending narration as we see both of them talk and her eventual disappearance was one of the best scenes this show has done to date.

While this was going on, the episode also spent some time developing other relationships. For instance Carla and Dr. Kelso are paired together for the episode. When Carla accidentally misses her bus, Dr. Kelso is forced to give her a ride. It isn't until Carla stands up for herself and doesn't seem to care what people think that Dr. Kelso starts to respect and like her. He even gives her preferential treatment, which turns the other nurses against her. Carla might not care what most people think but she does care about her colleagues' opinion about her. When Carla hides from the nurses rather than be seen with Dr. Kelso, this turns him against her. It's a nice way to reinforce how Dr. Kelso respects people while at the same time helping to show that Carla's humanity and sass. Meanwhile, Turk and Dr. Cox get paired for the same time when Carla gives a simple command to Turk: try to get to know Dr. Cox better. Turk decides that the best way to do this is at the bathroom since they seem to have a similar pee schedule. They fail to connect and it's eventually revealed why: Dr. Cox has feelings for Carla. He's not the kind of person to break up a couple but this does limit his relationship with Turk. The episode was very good and one of the strongest of this season. The next episode is the best episode of the season so far.

As we move into the next episode, it's worth noting that the Alex relationship and it's end did lead to a significant ending: Elliot and J.D. sleeping together. The episode “My Bed Banter & Beyond” picks up directly after that. The episode employs a unique story structure. It tells the story of J.D. and Elliot's two week relationship while flash-backing to that first day they slept together numerous times. During the flash-backs, we see a pizza that J.D. order slowly disappear as it gets eaten. When the episode ends, the pizza box is empty and the relationship is over. It's an effective way to chronicle the relationship and it's degradation. It begins with the two of them being in a honeymoon stage but quickly devolves as the two annoy each other to no end. To have Dr. Cox superimpose that real life relationships aren't like those on television and that not all couples are going to have a happy ending drives the point home. The series played the will-they-or-won't-they card and it looks like they did but it didn't work out. Of course, they'll try again until they succeed but we're going to pretend we don't know that for the sake of these reviews.

In the Rescue Me review “Butterfly” I brought up how therapy can be a good way to reveal what characters are thinking. This is an episode that similarly uses therapy to reveal just where characters are personally. Dr. Cox might have been burned in his relationship with Jordan, but he does believe in true love. While his character is rather cynical and is full of self-hatred, it does help to show that his character has hope for redemption. Carla and Turk take the time to reveal that not only are they in love but the episode makes it clear that they're happy together. They're the kind of relationship that Dr. Cox never had with his ex-wife and that J.D. and Elliot couldn't have: a happy one. The one flaw, if you can call it that, of this episode is when Dr. Kelso reveals just how miserable he has made his wife. I'm not entirely sure if it was supposed to be funny, because it was too dark to work as a joke. Although I did laugh at the punchline to his grandfather's story. This episode largely worked well and it's definably one that has stuck with me after I have seen it.

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