Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scrubs, "My Cuz": Sam he am

Quick spoilers for last night's "Scrubs" coming up just as soon as I make myself a TV critic hat...

It's a pre-requisite of these kinds of victory lap seasons to bring back as many memorable guest stars as possible, so it makes sense that we would see Kim and Sean again, and it's even kind of amusing that JD's baby mama and one of Elliot's two long-term boyfriends would wind up together. That said, Kim is a character the writers struggled to make funny (despite Elizabeth Banks being an actress capable of being very funny) outside of her first appearance and the episode where she gave birth, and while Sean was a more amusing character throughout his run (Scott Foley's equally good at light comedy and "Unit"-style ass-kicking), he didn't really seem like the guy I remember from the early seasons. So other than the introduction of the idea of Wiener Cousins (and the revelation that there are so many Cousins at the hospital), the comedy felt strained. I'm glad to get some closure on those characters, and this presumably sets up JD's exit from the hospital(*), but it could have been better.

(*) Is a 37-minute commute really so terrible? I used to work with a guy who commuted two hours from Bucks County, PA so he could spend time with his son, and he stayed in the job for years.

The Turk/Cox storyline, and Kelso's first dealings with the interns(**) were better, even though there's no way Turk (who's only a year or two out of his surgical residency) would be considered for such a position, even in a hospital as small as Sacred Heart. Cox's disdain for Turk, and Turk's refusal to take no for an answer, are two character traits the show has always used to good comic effect, and it was great to see Bob back in the hospital proper and not just lurking in Coffee Bucks.

(**) Has he met Denise yet? I know Denise has threatened to beat up an old man before, but I can't remember if Bob was the specific old man. Those two would be kindred spirits; if they haven't already had a scene together, I really hope they do before the end.

Only two episodes left, with the May 6 finale running an hour. It's been fun, hasn't it?

What did everybody else think?

40 comments:

Brandon said...

I think Denise was talking to Kelso when she told him she's beat up an old man before. And he said he likes her because she has girl-balls. Right?

LA said...

Bajingo sisters, hee.

I laughed throughout, thought it was a great episode. Kelso's walk through the hospital with his gown open in the back was a classic. Loved that Mickhead took a picture with his cellphone.

I can't believe there are only two left. Damn, this season's been fun.

Anonymous said...

So, Alan, does JD/Elliot/Sean/Kim qualify as an interesting love quadrangle, as you asked about re "LeFleur" a few weeks back?

Q Ball said...

Alan, I think JD living about 5 minutes from Kim as opposed to 37 minutes makes a huge difference for JD being in Sam's life. After all, JD is a doctor who works long hours and by living 37 minutes away he isn't able to spend that odd half-hour with his son or pick him up from school when Sam gets older.

So to me JD moving closer to Sam felt very in-character and a decision I can stand behind. He's been looking for that father figure in Dr. Cox for these last 8 years and I can believe that his greatest regret would be leaving Sam without a strong father figure.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, I think JD living about 5 minutes from Kim as opposed to 37 minutes makes a huge difference for JD being in Sam's life. After all, JD is a doctor who works long hours and by living 37 minutes away he isn't able to spend that odd half-hour with his son or pick him up from school when Sam gets older.

No, I understand that. Which is the same reason my co-worker lived way out in PA, where his son was.

My point is that, if they use this as the excuse for why JD would be leaving Sacred Heart, it doesn't make sense. He can live closer to Sam and still work alongside all of his friends.

Alan Sepinwall said...

So, Alan, does JD/Elliot/Sean/Kim qualify as an interesting love quadrangle, as you asked about re "LeFleur" a few weeks back?

Not really, no. If Kim had been better-written, maybe.

Theresa said...

My point is that, if they use this as the excuse for why JD would be leaving Sacred Heart, it doesn't make sense. He can live closer to Sam and still work alongside all of his friends.Agreed. We had the same discussion here while we were watching it. "Only 37 minutes?"

That said, the whole Sean/Kim thing felt like some odd incest to me when they introduced it, so I'm glad they established "Wiener Cousins." Speaking of that, was that Donald Faison's stand-in (Deante something, if I remember correctly from commentaries past) that he's Wiener Cousins with? Did they both sleep with Carla? Such confusion. Also, JD and Dr. Cox would be Wiener Cousins; I'm surprised JD didn't use that to his advantage.

Marsha said...

I didn't like the quadrangle aspect much, but it was nice to see all those people supporting Turk, and Cox realizing what a good surgeon he is (although i spent the whole episode laughing at the idea that Turk could ever get this job in real life).

Next week, according to my TiVo, we get to see more of Gooch!!! Yay!!! Ted and Gooch is one of the best things about this season.

David J. Loehr said...

When I lived in NJ, I knew someone who commuted from Wilmington, DE, to NYC three times a week, then to DC twice a week, for work and family. And, at the time, my father commuted an hour each way to NYC, not counting time sitting in traffic trying to get to the train station's parking lot.

So 37 minutes? Has the writing staff lived out in the real world?

Loren said...

It bothered me a bit when they insinuated that Laverne had had TWO one-night-stand affairs with hospital staff. I remember that the show didn't always paint her marriage as rosy, but you'd think her faith would've kept her from sleeping around like that.

Also, this episode was begging for a reference to the fact that J.D. and Kim didn't actually have sex when they conceived Sam.

Alan Sepinwall said...

So 37 minutes? Has the writing staff lived out in the real world?

What's weird is that they all live in LA, where everyone assumes it takes an average of 40 minutes to get anywhere, regardless of distance or time of day or traffic level. So most of them likely have a commute as long as JD's would be if he moved closer to Kim and stayed at Sacred Heart.

Jordan said...

It's certainly been an enjoyable run. I can't believe there are only two episodes left.

Also, I think Better Off Ted is a suitable replacement, it was hilarious last night.

So Cal said...

I am so happy to see the show go out on a high note, another strong episode in my book.

It's been a pleasure watching this season and i can't believe there are only 2 eps left! 'sigh'

Jordan said...

More than two...don't forget Bob.

Loren said...

What's weird is that they all live in LAHave they ever actually confirmed the setting as LA? I seem to recall they avoided establishing a firm location for Sacred Heart.

Admittedly, it always *seemed* like California in general (the Sea World, Turk's 916 area code), but nothing ever screamed specifically "Los Angeles" to me. According to Wikipedia, the cast and crew refer to the setting as "San DiFrangeles."

Anonymous said...

I think Alan meant the writers all live in LA, so a 37-minute commute shouldn't seem out-of-the-ordinary to them. Having spent two summers in LA, I would be inclined to agree---I didn't know anyone who lived in LA permanently and that didn't have at least a 30-minute commute.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Sean and Kim were together. Because lets face it, J.D. and Kim would be terrible parents. Sean will be there to save Kim, while Elliot can carry the load for J.D.

ithor6 said...

When Dr. Cox first brought up the Chief of Surgery my first thought was whatever happened to Dr. Wen? Also, I don't think there has ever been a Chief of Surgery shown, for all we ever knew Dr. Wen was just an attending.

If anybody with actual knowledge of hospitals could clue me in, who actually runs the place? In Scrubs it's always been the Chief of Medicine, but in Grey's Anatomy it's always been the Chief of Surgery. Of course at Seattle Grace, there doesn't seem to be any doctors besides surgeons, which has always bugged me a little.

hpfric said...

no one else got a strong vibe there's something wrong, health-wise, with kelso? his stay in the hospital was weird, to say the least. i get that he missed playing doctor but it also felt like he was covering something up.

anyone else?...

Marsha said...

ithor6, Grey's mostly focuses on the surgeons, which is why that's most of what we see, and why the Chief of Surgery is in charge. But we've met other docs, notably the dermatology folks and their calm, calm waiting area.

Daniel said...

I don't know for sure, but I thought that, last we checked, Kim lived in Orgeon.

LA said...

If anybody with actual knowledge of hospitals could clue me in, who actually runs the place? In Scrubs it's always been the Chief of Medicine, but in Grey's Anatomy it's always been the Chief of Surgery. Of course at Seattle Grace, there doesn't seem to be any doctors besides surgeons, which has always bugged me a little.To answer your basic question, Kelso (and now Cox) should have been called Chief of Staff all these years.

But as a general rule, don't use television as a guide for the hierarchy at hospitals, or really, for much else that goes on in real world medical centers. Don't get me started on Grey's. Or House.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Kim was in Oregon for a while, but she moved back home (or, at least, 37 minutes away) before Sam was born.

And, yes, I was referring to the writers all living in LA. "Scrubs" makes the most sense if Sacred Heart is somewhere in Southern California, but the show tends to be vague about the location.

Cait said...

Kim was living in Oregon during the pregnancy, but she moved back to Scrubstown after JD found out she hadn't miscarried at the end of Season 6, and she's been local (albeit offscreen) ever since.

ithor6 said...

Thank you, LA, I should have realized that neither show would have it right.

And now that I've learned my "you learn something new everyday" thing, I can shut down my brain and let it be turned to mush by TV (to be later eaten by aliens, hopefully Alec Baldwin).

dez said...

no one else got a strong vibe there's something wrong, health-wise, with kelso? his stay in the hospital was weird, to say the least.I also got that vibe. I kept waiting for the big reveal at the end, but it never came. Which was a huge relief, to say the least. Bob Kelso must live forever!

A2A Addict said...

Ack! Ack! Ack! Only 2 more episodes left?

:(

I love this show so much...it got me through college, law school, and the bar exam, especially when I was sick and would just blaze through all the seasons.

On the plus side, are we that much closer to learning the janitor's name? Oh, Bill Lawrence, don't let me down like Sex and the City did.

jcpdiesel21 said...

I thought this episode was much stronger and funnier than the two-part Bahamas episodes, which I found to be strained at times. "Weiner cousins" is a great new Scrubs term (as is "bajingo sisters," hee).

I also expected Kelso to be sicker than he was letting on, so I was relieved when the other shoe didn't drop in that storyline. I love me some Kelso.

Anonymous said...

I think it made sense that Sean wasn't the happy guy that we saw back in season 3. Elliot broke him , which probably took awhile to get over, and now he finds out the girl he's dating has a kid by JD? Sean can't seem to escape JD's orbit and it's worn him down a little bit.

A little part of me is still made at the writers from breaking up Elliot and Sean. I'd rather see them together than JD and Elliot.

Chris Carter said...

I just realized this:

The Janitor's name could be perfectly revealed in this manner:

JD is walking away from the hospital, and the Janitor yells "wait!" and whispers something in his ear.

JD says, "Hey! That's my name!"

Then the Janitor scowls at him.

timburns said...

Agree with anon above on the Elliot and Sean thing. Of course, I like Elliot and Keith too. In fact, JD and Elliot always annoyed me...I think it's because I'm a guy. You know people can BE friends.

At any rate, I am so sad there are only two episodes left. BSG and Scrubs....all that's left is Lost and terribly insulting reality TV.

Although in the end, as I approach 40, I can see TV not caring about what I like anyway. In five years, they won't care at all.

Kensington said...

Yeah, the 37 minutes thing really amused me. With the exception of a seven-month period in 2004 when I had a five-minute commute, I have had commutes of more than one hour for the entirety of my adult life.

It's been so normal for me that I pretty much thought everyone else had similar experiences, too?

How long have these short commutes been going on, and how do I get one?

Kensington said...

By the way, I really want to applaud the series for how well they managed to make J.D./Elliot 3.0 work, because I thought initially that getting them back together again was an obviously bad idea.

Little did I know that the way to make it work was to simply make it a fact-of-life for them without any real angst or drama whatsoever this time. Yeah, we've had some mini-angsts throughout the season but nothing that ever threatened the foundation of their relationship this time. Nice!

So Cal said...

The finale episode is scheduled to air at the same time as Obama's proposed speech on May 6...I wish the cable nets and PBS would carry them instead of EVERYONE.

Hope we still get to see it on 5/6!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Obama's proposed speech is next week, which means it would pre-empt the penultimate episode, not the finale.

Either way, it seems like a typical development in the life of the perennially pre-empted "Scrubs."

So Cal said...

gThanks Alan- got a bit ahead of myself!

TV Fan said...

Question - JD and Sean are obviously weiner cousins via Elliott, but I don't think they are via Kim, right? I seem to recall a particularly memorable quote about JD impregnating Kim via the "airstrike" phenomenon.

Word verification: presetti - a type of pasta

Anonymous said...

It's been brought up before, but it bears repeating- why is the Chief of Surgery job open? What happened to Dr. Wen?

UneFemmePlusCourageuse said...

TV Fan--
Question - JD and Sean are obviously weiner cousins via Elliott, but I don't think they are via Kim, right? I seem to recall a particularly memorable quote about JD impregnating Kim via the "airstrike" phenomenon.Yes, but then JD and Kim dated for a while during the pregnancy, and I'm fairly sure they had sex.

Pamela Jaye said...

oh, you meant the writers live in LA.
Cause the fact that Sacred Heart is not in LA was brought back to me recently when Turk complained that JD had promised they'd take their "first" trip to Disneyland together.

I never liked Kim, and I've never seen EB on anything else, so this probably wasn't my favorite ep. In fact, I don't remember a lot.
I did a 45 minute in the am, 60 minute in the pm commute for two weeks and I was having phone conversations in my sleep. (a friend called after I got home to remind me of a chat and she told me the next day that we had, indeed, talked. I asked her what I said. She said I said I hated [working in] Billerica)

It's not safe for me to have long commutes. That might go double for doctors with long shifts. There was an ep of Grey's where they covered long shifts and driving... the one where the guy from Kumar and whoever drove into a pregnant lady.

37 isn't bad - if it's really 37. I try to stick to 20. sleeping drivers aren't good.