Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Scrubs, "My Finale": Sacred Heart, unbroken

Spoilers for the "Scrubs" finale -- be it season or series -- coming up just as soon as I take the reins...
"I'm real sorry there, newbie. But this is not a special day for me. It's just a day." -Dr. Cox

"Endings are never easy. I always build them up so much in my head, they can't possibly live up to my expectations, and I just end up disappointed. I'm not even sure why it matters to me so much ow things end here. I guess it's because that we all want to believe that what we do is very important: that people hang on to our every word, that people care what we think. The truth is, you should consider yourself lucky if you even occasionally get to make someone, anyone, feel a little better. After that, it's all about the people you let into your life." -J.D.
"My Finale" made me happy. And it made me sad. Seems about right for the ending of a show that so often expertly balanced comedy and tragedy.

For that matter, "My Finale" did a nice job of being both a definitive ending for J.D. (and for Kelso) and just another day in the life for Cox, Turk, Carla and all the others are staying behind. Whether or not the show continues with a reconfigured cast, I like endings that acknowledge that the characters' lives continue, even though we won't get to see any of it.

Written and directed, as it should have been, by Bill Lawrence, "My Finale" hit all the necessary points. It gave us all those flashbacks to J.D. in the pilot, to show how far he's come -- and, for that matter, to show how much the characters around him grew and changed with him. (He humanized Cox, and Cox in turn humanized Kelso, more than either man would like to admit.) It featured a bunch of "Scrubs" Greatest Hits, whether it was Cox reciting the final lines of his greatest rant ever, or Turk giving J.D. his biggest and best "EEEEEAGLE!" It gave us a payoff to the debate about whether J.D. put a penny in the door -- and in doing so, brilliantly and permanently changed my impression of the J.D./Janitor rivalry -- and it gave us The Janitor's real name (Glenn Matthews), then immediately pulled the rug out from under the idea by having someone else walk by and call him "Tony." (And in so doing, it gave fans everywhere license to keep calling the guy whatever they want. He could really be Glenn, or Tony, or Jan I. Tor, or Neil Flynn, or Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate. It's all up to you to decide.)

It gave us that sweet J.D./Carla moment where they thought back on how he used to be "Bambi." It gave us one Turk/J.D. hug after another (along with the guys' delight at Carla and Elliot's mock girl-on-girl hug). It gave us a reminder that J.D. and Jordan slept together once upon a time, and it gave us that wonderful line-up of guest stars and minor characters from over the years, including, but not limited to: J.D.'s brother Dan, The Todd, Tasty Coma Wife, crazy Jill, Laverne, Rex, Ted's band, Dr. Wen, Colin Hay (who did appear on camera a few times), Lady, Keith Dudemeister, Dr. Mickhead, both the character Randall Winston (the little person custodian) and the producer Randall Winston (as the hook-handed security guard), the studly gynecologist, Mrs. Tanner (repeating the advice she gave J.D. at the end of "My Old Lady"), Colonel Doctor, Snoop Dogg Attending, and Hooch (now in a straightjacket, because Hooch is crazy!).

It was every bit the trip down memory lane I would have liked, without actually closing down the hospital or killing off anybody else major.

And then the show that always used music so brilliantly did it three more times at the end, first with Peter Gabriel's "The Book of Love" playing over J.D.'s imagined home movies of life after Sacred Heart (and, as with Janitor's name, it was presented in a way that allowed the audience to accept it as what would really happen, or not), followed by the guitar part of Lazlo Bane's "Superman" over J.D. driving out of the parking lot one last time, followed with the closing credits behind-the-scenes reel being accompanied by The Blanks singing their own version of "Superman."

Nice. Very, very nice. And that's not even mentioning maybe the best, most serio-comic moment in the whole hour: Cox delivering a heartfelt speech to Sunny about how much J.D. really means to him, with J.D. sneaking up behind him halfway through. (Like The Janitor, he staged a little play to get what he wanted, and I loved Sunny's horror at realizing the long-term implications of her involvement in it.)

I could go on for a while about the other moments in the finale (including Christa Millers' hilarious delivery of "I want to touch it but I don't!" as Jordan studied the blotch on Ted's skin), but "My Finale" deliberately put me in such a nostalgic mood that what I'd really like to do is let you waste some of your evening the same way I wasted much of this afternoon: by looking back at some classic moments from the eight-season run of this wonderful series. The YouTube links below are by no means complete, both for time and because not everything I wanted was posted (copyright issues prevent the "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" sequence from "My Last Words" from playing with sound, for instance), but here's some quality ones (in addition to the ones already linked to above, and feel free to post more of your own in the comments:

Ben's funeral

"Waiting For My Real Life to Begin" from "My Philosophy"

"Guy Love"

JD tries to comfort Dr. Cox in "My Lunch"

Turk dances to "Poison"

Turk rewrites the "Sanford & Son" theme

Dr. Cox's back problem

• The best of Ted's band

Dr. Cox gets payback on JD

J.D. tells Janitor a riddle

• The complete saga of "Dr. Acula"

And before I go, I want to post an excerpt from a column I wrote at the start of the show's last season on NBC, when it looked like the show was limping to the finish line, instead of this wonderful, unexpected victory lap on ABC:
At a time when the traditional sitcom was beginning its death rattle, "Scrubs" proved that a little imagination and a lot of gusto could create a new kind of comedy that was funny without a laugh track. In the brilliant John C. McGinley's Dr. Cox (a kind of proto-House -- and, frankly, a more interesting dramatic character than House, though Hugh Laurie gets better jokes these days) and Ken Jennings' venomous chief of medicine Dr. Kelso, the show gave us two hilarious updates to the old TV cliche of the crusty but benign boss.

Before "The O.C." and "Grey's Anatomy" made it de riguer to close episodes with montages scored to cool indie rock songs, "Scrubs" was regularly making beautiful use of off-the-beaten-path music. The show also had a knack for doing its own ingenious musical numbers without making a big deal about it, like suicidal hospital lawyer Ted (Sam Lloyd) commenting on episodes with the help of his a cappella "band," or Turk celebrating the chance to remove J.D.'s appendix with a funky song and dance called "I Get To Cut You Open."

Because it debuted in the waning days of NBC's comedy empire (even briefly airing after "Friends," but so irregularly that it didn't help build an audience), overlapped with several other laugh track-free comedies that got bigger ratings and/or more award show love ("Malcolm in the Middle," "Arrested Development"), and comes to the end of its run with so many other shows having cribbed from it, "Scrubs" never got and probably never will get the credit it deserves. But at its best, it was as funny as any other comedy on television, as moving as any drama.
And with that, I bid farewell to "Scrubs" -- at least to this version of it. Whether or not the show comes back next year, regardless of what it's called, who's in it, and whether it's any good at all, we'll always have these eight seasons, and they'll always make me smile.

What did everybody else think?

95 comments:

Michael said...

I caught the reference to the "Cheers" ending when JD mused about how he wanted things to end like a sitcom.

But I was very happy with this, it was a good finale and stayed true to the spirit of the show's history as well as honoring the show's fans.

dan s. said...

I completely agree with this post. "We'll always have these eight seasons." Amen. Great, underrated show. Great ending that didn't overdo it or underdo it.

Dan said...

"My Finale" truly was just that: a finale each of us can feel as our own. Being a Scrubs fan has been a labor of love for the last 8 years, but I personally wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you Bill Lawrence, Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, Judy Reyes, John C. McGinley, Ken Jennings, and the countless more who brought the denizens of Sacred Heart into our homes for so long.

Anonymous said...

I loved the finale and I think you did a great job of summing it up. Scrubs remains one of my favorite shows and it went out the best way possible. Kudos to everyone.

Jordan said...

Thanks are in order to Bill Lawrence, for the last eight years and the last hour. That was anything I could have hoped for and more from a finale.

Hooch is crazy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_AzCm8Vass

The Todd's High Fives

Will Eidam said...

Anything less than a Colin Hay song to end it would have been disappointing. That's what gave me goosebumps, above all other things.

GabbyD said...

i only discovered scrubs when it moved to ABC. it was good! makes me wanna go back and watch the first few seasons...

mj said...

Wonderful finale. Beautifully analyzed, Alan. That was Bill Lawrence pulling down the screen at the end, right?

Will Eidam said...

And the fact that it was actually Peter Gabriel (Really?) doesn't ruin it for me. Lol, next time I'll read your review before I post.

But imagining it was Colin Hay really made it 100 times better.

Anonymous said...

really liked the finale, but the peter gabriel version of "book of love" was definitely a step down from the Magnetic Fields original. unless he's being sledgehammered in a clay-mation fashion, I really do prefer to keep the gabriel out of my tv

Alan Sepinwall said...

That was Bill Lawrence pulling down the screen at the end, right?

Yes. I'm surprised J.D. didn't recognize him from the Bahamas episode.

Theresa said...

Stephanie D'Abruzzo! Stephanie D'Abruzzo! So exciting. Great, great finale. It felt so finale-ish...I really want it to be.

Anthony Foglia said...

I thought it was a solid finale. Not the best, and could have done without the three endings, though they worked well together as a whole.

I'm glad "Scrubs" came back this year with a great season, and I'm going to miss it.

I'm not sure the penny thing works. Wasn't the janitor fixing the door as J.D. entered? And/or, didn't the janitor remove the penny from the top of the door? At least that's how I remember it.

Anonymous said...

Gabby, if you haven't seen the first seven seasons of Scrubs, its like reading the last book of Harry Potter before the others, or watching Return of the Jedi before the other two movies. You need to go back and watch these episodes. Probably one of the top 10 series ever to grace the small screen.

That was finale was on par with M*A*S*H, and that's high praise. Dr. Cox's final rant brought me to tears, and I'm not one to do that easily. For a show that was built on "fantasy flashes", the future fantasy flash brought everything together so perfectly.

To bring Scrubs back is like having Secretariat try to run for the Triple Crown five years after his win. It shouldn't be done. The ending was graceful, emotional, and cathartic. This was exactly the way it should have been. Major kudos to the cast, crew, and all who made Sacred Heart come alive every week.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the guy who walked by called the janitor Tommy and not Tony. Also, it's Ken Jenkins, not Ken Jennings.

I thought it was a good finale. But it was also very much a series finale. I think it would be sort of ridiculous for them to try to come back after this. And I think not being able to properly call it a series finale took some of the wind out of its farewell. (Also, I had the closed captioning on and when Zach Braff wrapped it said "That's a series wrap on Zach Braff" even though the audio said "season." Hmm.)

Chris said...

In JD's final fantasy, was that supposed to be Izzy being engaged to JD's son Sam or just some random dude?

Wade Kwon said...

I threw in a few more "Scrubs" videos in my tribute.

Alan Sepinwall said...

In JD's final fantasy, was that supposed to be Izzy being engaged to JD's son Sam or just some random dude?

Definitely Izzy and Sam -- Turk and JD's ultimate fantasy is for them to become family. They had the babies pretend to kiss each other last season.

adam said...

i wish it didnt have to end like that cuz its not scrubs with out J.D. its just another show. If it did come back named something else i'd still watch it on the off chance J.D. comes back to visit but Scrubs isn't Scrubs with out J.D.

NCKIDYIT said...

I love Scrubs. It's my favorite show... and it had every thing. It made me cry, laugh, and even got taught me a few life lessons. I'm going to miss it dearly, but I enjoyed the ride, and the finale. Thank you for everything Scrubs!!! =)

Omagus said...

Also, I had the closed captioning on and when Zach Braff wrapped it said "That's a series wrap on Zach Braff" even though the audio said "season." Hmm.--
I did not have the captions turned on and I heard "series wrap on Zach Braff."

I think this was a fantastic finale. Whether it ends up being a series finale or simply the end of the Lawrence/Braff era is immaterial to me at the moment. This was the closing of a chapter and it was wonderfully done.

pdf said...

Wow, am I off the reservation on this one. I hated this finale. There were a couple of funny moments, but overall it tipped way over onto the wrong side of the sloppy-sentimental/absurd-hilarious line this show has always trod. An hour is too long to listen to Zach Braff's solipsistic b.s. This episode needed a lot more jokes and a lot less navel-gazing.

srpad said...

Alan,

I just wanted to say a thank you to you. Your review of My Own Personal Jesus in the Ledger many years ago was what convinced me to try out the show and I have loved it ever since. So thank you.

EAGLLLLLLE!!!!!

Mark said...

Gotta agree with everything Alan said and more. A perfect finale. And like everybody has said, a very fitting coda to the most underrated show to so perfectly hit it outta the park with comedy and drama.

But clicking the links Alan posted, I saw something new, and I didn't think it was possible to see anything new after seeing the older episodes and bits so often. In that great "My Philosophy" song, when Kelso and Ted are singing, sitting between them is the actress who played Lady. Apparently the future Mrs. Glenn Matthews was on the show way back in the second season. IMDb confirms it, and her name is Kit Pongetti.

I've seen that clip dozens of times (I've stopped flipping channels when I saw that ep was on, just to catch that song)...and yet I still found something new with the 50th viewing. I bet I keep seeing new stuff every time I watch this show. Just part of the charm, I guess. A great, great run.

kentgreen said...

Oh man. I am going to miss this show so much. I know it was time for it to go; that does not make it easier. I felt like I've sort of grown up with J.D., and he and Turk's relationship mirrors the one I have with my best friend. Scrubs may have gone a little zany for a while, but it always helped me sort through my life on top of giving hours and hours of enjoyment.

Here's one of my favorite moments, and what I think is an underappreciated one: The Janitor fessing up to Elliot after their "date." Flynn nailed the part, and no where else would saying a name be so touching.

Zack Smith said...

An excellent finale. However, I disagree about the penny revelation. I assumed J.D. was just trying to get the Janitor to finally shut up.

Also, I will always assume the Janitor's name was "Victor." You know, like the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse.

Sigh. That home movies sequence made water come out of my eyes. Bye, SCRUBS. Hooch WAS crazy...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Here's one I had forgotten about (I was looking for a good Heather Graham clip): Elliot and Molly Clock explain rap to Turk

Alan Sepinwall said...

Multi-ethnic Siamese doctor

Anonymous said...

Okay, I cried like a freakin baby. Even though I think it's definately time to end, I'm really going to miss Scrubs.

So many of the characters have become such a part of my lexicon, my everyday references...really my life.

Way to go to Bill Lawrence et al. for delivering a great finale.

-- Kidd

Alan Sepinwall said...

The Rerun Dance

E.M.B. said...

The final montage at the end with Peter Gabriels book of love playing?

Perfect. Amazing finale. The montage at the very end almost put me into tears. A perfect ending.

Anonymous said...

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I can't believe no one has posted one of my favorite Scrubs scenes, Keith's Spontaneous Proposal.

Finally, the culmination of JD's realization that it should have been him. Great ending.

kentgreen said...

"Cancel the Cobbler!"

Tom said...

Johnny Kastl, if you're out there reading this, know that at least one person noticed your absence from the finale. Though in a way, it was Doug Murphy's ultimate screw-up.

aaron said...

It was a great finale. Who knows if they will have more next season for sure, but it's hard to top ending a Serious much less a season that well.
I fell like I've lost a friend, but I am completely satisfied.
Scrubs rocks. Goodbye five anyone?

A2A Addict said...

Perfect.
Just Perfect.

My eyes started to well when he started his walk down the hallway.
And then I totally lost it when I saw Laverne.

By Hooch, I had the biggest smile on my face.

Thank you, Alan, for sharing your thoughts all these times.

Thank you, Bill Lawrence, for creating such a one-of-a-kind show.

And thank you, the entire cast and crew of Scrubs, for making me laugh all these years.

*sigh*

Perfect.

*hugs*

the2scoops said...

J.D. tells everyone off who's judging him for pursuing Tasty Coma WifeI'm grateful they got this last season in. This finale was the perfect tone for the show, and Alan and all the comments capture everything I love about this show. I started watching from the start and along the way I've been turned on to music, great performers, and some really funny, classic episodes along the way. Thanks everyone.

Nice to see so many old friends, (including both his Old Ladies) in the hallway - shame NBC blocked Masi Oka (Franklin the lab tech) and Sarah Lancaster (Gift Shop Girl) from appearing. And I can only assume they couldn't get a schedule to work with Brendan Fraser popping up one last time.

And yeah, the montage with Book of Love was just another song in the long line of Scrubs songs that just kill me everytime. Thanks again.

MikeS said...

Just like Alan said, this show did a fantastic job of combining sober, touching moments with silliness that borders on absurd.

Throughout it's run, it has made me laugh and cry. Thanks to Bill Lawrence and the writing staff for the show for this long.

Goodbye, Dr. Dorian.

BigTed said...

Sigh... There are a lot of things I like about this show, although I wouldn't have complained if it ended three years ago. But I have to disagree with most others' assessment of the finale, because it was heaviest on the aspect I dislike the most -- J.D. being infantile, ridiculously needy, and basically an idiot. And apparently that's the part we're supposed to remember most fondly? The idea that he's supposed to be a mature and competent doctor now, but at the same time still has the emotions of a 3-year-old (and forces them on everyone else), bugged me too much to enjoy anything else. Even the fact that he still had that ridiculous almost-beard in his imaginary wedding made me unaccountably annoyed. I guess what I'm saying is that "Scrubs" has finally managed to make me as grouchy as Dr. Cox.

Deena said...

a favorite scene:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3emnr3GaIk

Anonymous said...

99 Red Balloons is one of my favorite music moments on Scrubs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg-vUGFz9Jk

I love how Amy Smart goes bat sh** crazy in that scene.

ithor6 said...

Me too, Tom!(*) I kept saying, "Where's Doug?" He was always one of my favorite recurrers, right up there with Ted and The Todd. In fact, the only time we've seen him this season was the small parts in both My Soul on Fire's. Is Johnny Kastl on some show I don't know about?

(*)Incidentally, my actual nameThere were, of course, a lot of people missing from the final line up, but I find the only one I'm disappointing wasn't there (besides Doug, who should have had an actual goodbye anyway, not just be in a lineup) was Richard Kind as Mr. Corman, the hypochondriac.

I have to believe both would have been there if they could. I imagine Bill Lawrence invited all of the major players of the last 8 years. Otherwise, a great finale, pretty much perfect.

RobinM said...

I've been a long time reader, never poster, but I had to do so for the ending of Scrubs. I've actually been watching from the beginning (I've been fortunate enough to have a DVR that found it more often than not) and I think this was a wonderful finale. I laughed most of the way through it, had a few "awws", and at the end with the future montage, I lost it completely. Crying but still laughing all at the same time. (OK, could be in part b/c I'm getting married on Saturday... so my emotions are pretty near the surface, but I think it just hit every right note; the perfect chord, if you will :)

Zug Zug said...

I gave up on Scrubs about two years ago. Just like I have given up on a lot of other shows that lost their way. It was okay, but it was such a shadow of its former self that it just wasn't working for me.

I'm so glad I came back and watched this year. It was really worth it.

dez said...

Good night, best friend [sniffle].

LA said...

Bravo, Bill Lawrence, take a well-deserved bow. Ditto cast. And crew.

(BTW, how cute was Christa and Bill's real kid at the beginning of the clips? ADORABLE!)

One tiny gripe. Continuity error in Elliot mentioning her apartment. Apparently they forgot she bought a small house in season 6 or 7 and lived there with Keith. Oh well, doesn't really matter.

Got a bit weepy the last 15 minutes, so great to see some of those old favorites (especially Colin Hay). I was kind of hoping Elliot's dad would be in the lineup, I'm a Lane Davies fan (what?). I also noticed Doug was missing, but I cracked up when Mickhead professed his innocence. Glad Mrs. Wilk made it for the final bow. She was one of my favorite patients.

Loved that Dr. Cox worked in one more Hugh Jackman shout-out, and who knew when they wrote and filmed this last year that Hugh would be such a huge star when this finally aired. Nice bit of karma.

JD's vision of the future kind of had a 6 Feet Under finale vibe for me. I really liked Izzy and Sam getting engaged and JD fainting. I'm choosing to believe that his final fantasy is how it plays out.

A2A Addict said...

I'm still sad, but the links do help.
:)

I really enjoyed the behind-the-scene credits. It was a nice touch because it reminded me of when shows sometimes broke the 4th wall at a finale and bowed to the studio audience. I miss that.

LeeZy said...

I too enjoyed Mickhead saying he didn't do it... that had me in stitches...

I'd like to thank ABC for picking up the series and showing it the respect that NBC never had for it.

I'd like to thank the cast for 8 wonderful years. This show actually struck a deeper chord than any of those popular shows that went away (Friends, Seinfeld, etc.)

It was a truly beautiful ending. Thank you.

LA said...

Donald Faison was just on Jimmy Fallon, came out doing the Poison dance.

Starts at the 5:30 mark.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6iuoWFRzk0&feature=channel_page

Rich C said...

So Elliot really is the Mother...

(sorry, couldn't help myself)


This really was a perfect ending for Scrubs. Great job all!

So Cal said...

Incredible episode...Cox's speech and the use of Peter Gabriel's song had me misty eyed.

Bravo to Bill Lawrence and crew for a fantastic 8 seasons of quality television!

Anonymous said...

Aw, I bawled like a baby. It was a grat finale for an underrated show, and I'm glad it had this extra year that ABC gave them to finish things off with a relative bang.

*sniff*

Cathryn said...

Perfect. Completely perfect.

I started crying at about 26 minutes in, and I'm still crying now after reading everyone's comments.

I'm going to miss JD.

bsangs said...

Two comedic finales have brought me to tears -- Cheers in 1993 and Scrubs, last night. I thought it was brilliant. And when Hooch appeared at the end and delivered his line, "Hooch IS crazy" complete with straight jacket, well, I don't mind saying, I nearly wet myself. Goodbye Sacred Heart - at least in this form - you will be missed.

Oh and Alan, thanks for the Randall Winston info. I knew it was inside gag (I'm pretty sure Lawrence pulled the same thing in Spin City if I recall the mayor's name correctly), but I had no idea that Security Guard with Hook was THE Randall Winston. Thanks!

MikeS said...

The Blanks doing their a Capella version of Lazlo Bane's Superman was simply phenomenal...especially as a fan of that song, which you never really heard, even though it WAS the theme song.

Henry said...

I loved the finale. Right mix of sentiment and while it lacked the more outlandish and hilarious gags that Scrubs has done so many times over the past eight years, it had heart behind its comedy here. They earned every joke and Bill Lawrence gave those faithful who have followed the show through the years a great victory lap. LOVED the montage of moments in JD's future. Had no idea it was Sam and Izzie telling JD and Turk they were getting married. It would explain why JD kept hilariously fainting.

Oh, and for some reason the DVR frakkin' blacked out during the end credits screed. Can someone tell me what the heck happened?

Marsha said...

The Blanks' version of Superman is on their CD, along with other songs you know from the show. It is well worth picking up.

Thanks for all the clips, especially "Waiting for my Real Life to Begin" from "My Philosophy." I watch that clip all the time, and the whole song sung by Colin Hay is fantastic - I bought it and it's become a big favorite of mine.

Scrubs, I'll miss you! Thank goodness you run 24 hours a day in syndication.

Ben said...

Alan, great thought about having the last eight years. Yes, the last couple of years were awkward and uneven to say the least, but overall it was a great ride.

This finale hit the highlights, brought back plenty of former guest stars and left the future open to interpretation in a great way.

Never really understood why the show didn't get a larger following - maybe the rest of America is Hooch-like crazy - but I'm soooooo glad I found it.

Now, throw me a muffin...

Larry said...

Wait. Was that Laverne or Shirley? Personally, I was hoping for both to have been in that hallway.

Anonymous said...

@LA: I wondered about a Six Feet Under finale shoutout when JD got into his blue Prius to drive off out of the parking lot (He had a Prius, right? Not a Civic?); I didn't even think about the Future-vision! But yes!

And while Elliot did keep talking about her place, she mentioned having leased out her house, so they kept up the continuity there.

Mr. H said...

Great finale, great series. Alan, as a Star-Ledger reader, it was an early review that you did of Scrubs when I realized that your tastes and mine were similar. Back then, not too many people liked this offbeat dramadey. So since then, I've followed your advice... and you've led me to some other great TV (Mad Men, etc).

Funny story - my wife and I and one of my friends who is an actor went out to a bar one evening after a show in the City. Among the people at our table that evening were Zach Braff (J.D) and Donald Faison (Turk). It was a number of years ago, probably in the first or second season of Scrubs, and at that time Faison was much more famous than Braff due to his Clueless fame.

Anyway, it was a psudeo-karaoke bar (no stage, just a mic being passed around), and a while later Faison stood up and sang a Bel-Biv-Devoe song to our table. It was a pretty surreal experience, considering that "JD" was there and the song choice and the way Faison was dancing, it almost was like being in a real-life episode of Scrubs. All it needed was a voice over.

Anonymous said...

Where was Colin Farrel????

Doug Norrie said...

I loved how JD's thoughts drove the last few minutes because that is really what the whole show was about.

Omagus said...

the2scoops: And I can only assume they couldn't get a schedule to work with Brendan Fraser popping up one last time.--

There were quite a few bigger name actors that could have shown up:

Heather Graham
Courtney Cox
Matthew Perry
Michael J. Fox
Tara Reid
Rick Schroeder

There are probably a lot more that I missed.

And I also am sad that Doug wasn't in the season finale.

Anonymous said...

Betrayal five:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl9ZZsUX00s

Beautiful finale. Funny, touching, perfectly acted and directed. I don't know what to say except I was suprised at how affecting it was. The funniest thing was definitely Janitors name 'reveal' and his walk - dramatic pause - then hunched walk away at the prospect of being friends with J.D

Zach said...

Oh Mandy Moore, where were you..? lol

Held it together until the Braff/Faison/Chalke/Lawrence group hug in the credits.. then, the waterworks.

So great to see such an outpouring of clearheaded support for this terrific 8 years of television, some of the hands down best comedy writing and performance anyone has done anywhere.

Good on us for staying with them, and good on you, Sacred Heart cast and team. You're your own milestone in television history now.

Zach said...

And has nobody mentioned JD's opening gift of the OED-sized custom leather bound volume (edged in GOLD LEAF!) of Every Dr. Cox Rant and Quotation Ever, with Glossary Index and Cross Reference? Only microns short of a reference to 'words of Cox in Red'...


Flawless, just pitch perfect.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent recap of the finale to my favorite series ever. You clearly appreciate the show as much as I do. I'd also like to thank you for the video links, mainly because the Dr Acula video is one of my personal YouTube videos!
~blue1231

Anonymous said...

Also, I just noticed my Eagle video, thanks again!
~blue231

Scott J. said...

Many people have said it already, but I have to echo: perfect. Especially that final fantasy sequence. Especially because I, myself, very recently discovered and fell totally in love with the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs, from which the song comes. I can't recommend it enough.

When Scrubs premiered, I felt right away that it was something remarkable, a rare sort of show worth treasuring. But 8 seasons later, as much as I still enjoyed it, it had become diminished in my eyes, and I thought maybe it was never as special as I'd once made it out to be - it was just a solid sitcom (still a fine thing to be, but...).

This season and this finale have done so much to remind me how I care about these characters. And thanks, Alan, for putting into words the things that have come to be taken for granted about this show. How ahead of its time it was. It truly is something special.

Geoff said...

Great show, great ending.

I wouldn't mind it coming back, but I don't think they should call it Scrubs. If anything, the new show should be a spin-off of Scrubs or something, rather than continuing without JD.

Pamela Jaye said...

oh, it was Cheers!
i thought of MTM...
I watched it twice last night and am still awaiting Baylink. TV makes him cry. I like that, and I think JD would too.

Piscine said...

Seems so blasphemous to call that song "Peter Gabriel's Book of Love" when it is actually a butchered version of a great Magnetic Fields song.

Loved your analysis other than that little blip, thanks Alan!

Anonymous said...

Posting my favorite:

Polyphonic Spree

Alan Sepinwall said...

Seems so blasphemous to call that song "Peter Gabriel's Book of Love" when it is actually a butchered version of a great Magnetic Fields song.

It's Gabriel's version of the song. What was I supposed to call it?

Piscine said...

Haha I wasn't too serious with that, you called it the right thing. My judgment is just clouded because I am a die-hard Magnetic Fields fan.

Keep up the good work!

Piscine said...

P.S. If you like that song, then you would be well rewarded for the effort of seeking out "69 Love Songs," the album from which it originated.

Edward Copeland said...

It's too bad they couldn't have had Dick Van Dyke in the hallway. Also, in his future vision, though I only saw it once, didn't it seem as if the only kids were his and Elliot's? Where was Sam since he was the whole reason he was leaving in the first place?

k42 said...

One of my favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExFIrV4QpXY

I'm choosing to believe that the Janitor's name is actually Glen Matthews and that the final 'home movie' sequence actually did happen. Part of the Janitor's explanation was that "People don't want to know a janitor's name." With that in mind, it makes sense that a random employee would call him "Tony," and that the criteria for the Janitor being truthful would be JD's actual sincerity in asking the question. As far as the future scene, it originally annoyed me that he closes the monologue about fantasies coming true with "just this once," but the more I think about it, the more I realize that this might be the one time one of JD's fantasies will actually come true. Why add that line otherwise? But I still think it's open for debate.

I liked the finale a lot, not only for its closure but also for the fact that a lot of it felt like a normal Scrubs episode... new patient, new medical dilemma, lesson learned in the end. The fact that the final story integrated itself perfectly into the show's larger narrative was its biggest strength.

Heather said...

I agree. I think Scrubs introduced many things that would end up popular on a number of other TV shows and got only 1/2 the credit, if even.

The finale was great (though I wonder since this show might be renewed) and everything I wanted. I still believe the Janitor's name is Neil Flynn and that Elliot and JD didn't get together together was great. I also saw Cox finally recognizing he actually likes JD!

Best part of the montage though was when Sam and Izzie announced they were getting married. Turk and JD's reaction was predictable, but that didn't make it less funny.

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

No attacking other posters. Period. You can disagree without being rude about it.

Anonymous said...

i'm actually okay that some better known guest stars weren't in the hallway. i think it would be too distracting.

and it was great to some reoccurring character get love. i totally screamed: "Slagathor!" when I saw Debbie again.
:)

Steve said...

Alan, great write up for a pitch-perfect finale.

Everything about it was phenomenal, and I don't need to rehash your re-cap.

I laughed out loud several times, and I got very sentimental as well.

The home movies/potential future was done beautifully, and gave che actors and the viewers closure.

The "coda," or whatever the credit scene is called with the footage of the actual cast was a gift to the viewers.

It wasn't always my favorite show, but it was a great one.

PS, Thanks for all the links. Was I the only one that had to save the Turk Poison dance until the end?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the posters that the finale was great. I remember reading that the "real" JD, Jonathan Doris was going to appear in the last episode. I think he was the doctor that said "adios" when JD was walking out of the hospital. Can anyone confirm.

erin said...

I watched the entire 8th season in the last two days (i'm home sick), and besides the few eps in the middle that were just so-so (11 and 12, I think), I thought it was wonderful. It vaguely reminded me of Cheers, which was so crappy in the end until the last season, and then miraculously got good right as it got the ax.

Scrubs really picked it up, and connected the emotion to the humor like the good ol' days in the first few seasons. The second half of the Bahamas ep made me cry during Ted's Hey Ya montage, and when the end scene came in the finale--I was definitely crying. Very poignant, very real to the show. I gave up on this show a few seasons back, but I'm glad ABC gave it a wonderful send-off. And I hope that's what it is--a perfect send-off. I want it to go out on a high note!

I've loved all the links, many of which I had forgotten about. Loved all the comments of things people enjoyed (these shows are made to be appreciated for the throw-away humor). Thank you, thank you, thank you!

pgillan said...

I know, I know, the finer points of the plot shouldn't really matter in the context of a series finale, but I spent the whole episode distracted because I couldn't quite figure out why JD was leaving Sacred Heart.

I thought he was moving so he could be closer to his son, but what's the deal with Elliot? They mde a big deal about how she was moving in with him, but was she moving into his new place, or his old place? If it was his new place, how come she can commute all that way? If it's his old place, is he moving out and leaving her there? Or is he not moving at all, and just getting a job closer to his son? If that's the case, I don't get it.

None of it made any sense, and it totally dulled the emotional impact of the episode.

So Cal said...

Somebody posted the end of the show with the music on youtube.

Get it before its pulled down!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP8A2Fbj9dY

LA said...

I remember reading that the "real" JD, Jonathan Doris was going to appear in the last episode. I think he was the doctor that said "adios" when JD was walking out of the hospital. Can anyone confirm.

11:15 AM, May 08, 2009
Good catch, anon. I don't know the answer, but I imagine BL will reveal all when season 8 comes out on DVD.

Here's the clip, BTW. The "adios" in question is at about the :25 mark.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUQq_uV0X3o&feature=related

Jack said...

Well I finally watched this--it was on the DVR for the last week. I have watched Scrubs since the start, no matter what time slot they put it in. I always felt it was one of the finest shows on TV and sorely overlooked. Rarely have I seen a show that can so easily explore comedy and drama. They made it seem so effortless. And yes I laughed and I cried at the ending and will probably raise a toast later and shed a few tears again for the ending of this show. I'm grateful to have experienced it.

Anonymous said...

Scrubs is renewed with Braff agreeing to 6 episodes...

Humbled said...

Before seeing this episode I was so afraid that it wouldn't live up to my expectations. When it got out a friend of my told me he had cried. My surprise disappeared as Dr.Cox speech about J.D., (though cheesey, but that's what this show loves and well I love cheese to) made some moisture appear in my eye. As he walked down the hall seing people from his past I was bombarded by loveable memories and nostalgia. When he finaly got outside and started the film roll with "The Book of Love" I could not hold back anymore. Tears rolled, and I'm a fullgrown man who nearly never cries! For me, Scrubs has always been more than just a TV show. It was got me through the cold and dark months servering the army in one of the most deserted places in Norway.

Thanks to scrubs, for giving me so much more than just a funny show!

Dan B said...

Scrubs was more than just a Comedy/Drama sitcom, the life lessons and happy memories its given me will always stay.

After following all 8 seasons, I've found my life and JD's being all too similar. The end of Scrubs makes a little part of me feel missing.

Plus 'My Finale' wrapped it all up so so well.

EEEEEEEAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGLLLLLLLLEEEE!!

Q Ball said...

I'm commenting about 2 years later, but I just wanted to say rewatching the series has been so rewarding and a confirmation of how great this show was.

Kudos to Bill Lawrence and company, may Scrubs live on!