Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scrubs: JD's Finale

Warning: This post will contain some spoilers for last night's Scrubs season finale, "My Finale."

So as previously mentioned, last night was the season (possibly series) finale of Scrubs. (I love how most people — myself included — are assuming it's the end of the show when we really haven't been given any concrete idea of its future).

The episode continued with the plotline introduced in Tuesday night's episode: JD would be leaving Sacred Heart to go work at a hospital closer to his son. So as expected, the episode largely focused on JD's desire to say goodbye to the people he worked with (and finally get some recognition/affection from Dr. Cox).

I'll be honest — while there were a couple of minor flaws here and there, I teared up.[bxA]

Scrubs has had its ups and downs over the past couple of years. There were times when plotlines got even zanier to the point of being unfunny, and this might have been the result of creator Bill Lawrence's frustrations over how the show was treated during its seven years on NBC. (Still not much of an excuse). But the show did return to form (for the most part) this season, and we got to see the very human sides of its characters once again.

And I think that's why I found myself tearing up during the episode, even though a part of me felt it could have been a little shorter, or could have focused on other characters if it was going to be that long. The characters on Scrubs have always been a little hilarious and over-the-top, but they're also characters I feel I've gotten to know really well over the last eight years. The audience has seen these people start out as fresh-faced interns in a hospital, who eventually move on to take on major leadership roles. We've also seen them start relationships, get married, have children — and while Scrubs is basically a comedy, we've seen them tackle tougher issues like the deaths of family members and patients, and their worries for their children. Cliched as it sounds, every time I watched an episode of Scrubs, I felt as though I was catching up with some old friends.

So I enjoyed last night's finale for the sense of closure I received. Whether or not the show does return in some form (under the same title, or as a spin-off series featuring the new interns), it was our last chance to say goodbye to JD — a character I loved during the early years and was glad to love again this season. His narration and ridiculous fantasies were the heart of the show, and a huge reason why I got hooked on it to begin with. And it was nice to see JD get his closure too from people like Dr. Cox (even if he was "tricked" into admitting how much he liked JD) and the Janitor (Glenn Matthews? Or Tommy?)

I do wish other characters had more screentime. We never saw Doug — who I feel only had one or two episodes worth of screentime this season — and Carla wasn't in the episode as much as I would have liked. But I do admit that her scene with JD was one of the best, subtle emotional moments on the show. When JD asked her why she never gave him a hard time when he started out, her simple response of "You were Bambi — someone had to teach you how to walk" got me to shed my first tear. It also reminded me how special the relationship between JD and Carla has always been even without Turk in the picture.

Purposely sentimental as it was, I also admit I really liked the moment when JD walked through the halls of Sacred Heart one last time and saw the faces of all the people he had encountered over the years. We got to see people like Laverne again, and we even got to see characters like the elderly patient from "My Old Lady" asking him if he "ever went on that picnic." It was a fantastic way to give a shoutout to the sitcom's past episodes without turning it into a schmaltzy clip show.

All in all, it was a good way to bring the Scrubs saga to an end. Spin-offs are fine and well (though I doubt I'd watch them), but I do hope they're done airing Scrubs after this. The show did return to form this season, but there's no need to drag it out either. Bill Lawrence did recently blog about how last night's finale was a series finale no matter what, even if the show does "go on," and while I'm down with his sentiments, I think we had a good eight years. That being said, I guess we'll just have to see what happens...

1 comment:

  1. I totally teared up too, which isn't surprising since I'm a huge sap.

    Also, next time he has a movie coming out, I will refer to it as the new Ma-night Shyamalan flick. :-D