TV Club: Scrubs: "My Fallen Idol"

Hey everybody! It's Jef With One F here, and this week I'll be asking the questions because I'm the one who picked "My Fallen Idol" from the fifth season of Scrubs. I'm still going to make Abby load the story though because she's the one who knows how to make those super-neat photoshop titles. I LOVE those.

So anyway, this is one of the sadder Scrubs episodes. Dr. Cox has had three patients die on him in a very short time and it spins him into a drunken depression that the gang all rallies around him to try and break. Meanwhile, Turk was looking forward to having a more bro-tastic environment in orthopedic surgery, only to find his new boss is the touchiest of the feeliest. His boss overhears him complaining of the lack of high-fives and what, and now has to formulate a plan to appear more caring and sharing to get back in his good graces.

JEF: I was always amazed at how truly heartfelt Scrubs could be. This is one of the many episodes that really did bring tears to my eye, which is impressive considering how slapstick it usually is. Does it surprise you guys, that depth of feeling?

ABBY: I haven't watched all that much of this show, here and there on reruns, but I am aware of its surrealistic norm. I imagine it's difficult for the writers to try and blend funny ha-ha with something serious, and I think they did a pretty good job of it with this episode. Although, what is the deal with Dr. Cox's wife's total devoid of empathy? Is she a robot or... autistic or something? And, wait a sec, did they actually cover it up that Cox killed three patients? Because that doesn't seem OK to me.

PETE: I confess, Scrubs always lost me when it tried to do that Fat Albert-esque "I guess we learned something" today crap. I came for the anarchy and John C. McGinley, I left when Zach Braff decided to get all Garden State-y.

JEF: Since I've gone ahead and outed myself as a "sensy" like JD, how about you two? Do your veins contain iron or sugar water?

ABBY: I am only sensitive when people post nasty comments on blog posts that I write that insinuate that I should either die or go kill myself, both of which have identical results. Or when people call me fat.

PETE: All I care about is crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, and hearing the lamentations of the women.

And Abby, this is why you never read the comments.

JEF: Dr. Cox's son's first full sentence is "Daddy drinks a lot." Mine's was "I'm not going to do that." How about you, Pete? What did the girl spawn first say as a sentence? Abs? What do you hope your twins will say?

ABBY: No one knows what my first sentence was because of the fact that "daddy drank a lot." I hope my twins' first full sentence involves them fist bumping and saying, "Wonder Twins power activate! And then one turns into an apple and one turns into snow.

PETE: All my kids went straight from gibberish to Mandarin lessons. Got to keep them competitive, after all.

JEF: Speaking of maternal instinct, Carla is the one who goes all Mama Bear on the cast and makes them take turns watching Dr. Cox go through his dark time. What would you rather do... console a drunk for hours or argue with a pregnant woman about it?

ABBY: I like Carla a lot. She is one of the best characters on the show, I think. She is sassy and sweet rolled into one. I would not want to mess with her; I have to say. Consoling a drunk guy, depending on how drunk he is, could be fun actually. If you are drinking too that is.

PETE: If it's a question of consoling a drunk or arguing with a pregnant woman, I can safely say I'd rather gargle Drano. Drunk people - or those in any altered state - are intolerable unless you're similarly addled. And they should use pregnant women to negotiate with the North Koreans.

JEF: Is there any conceivable reason to own a Knife-Wrench?

ABBY: Of course! And now I know what I will be for Halloween.

PETE: I own a Leatherman and about 12 Swiss Army knives, so yes.

JEF: So much of the show is about JD's relationship with Dr. Cox as someone to look up to, and this episode shows him for the first time that Cox really is fallible and human as anyone else. Do you think that makes the relationship stronger or weaker?

ABBY: What I know of Dr. Cox is that he is something of a ball buster and gives JD a lot of grief. I am sure there is some level of relief on JD's part that someone held up so high, is actually a human being. In about five months, he can totally rub it in Dr. Cox's face. Six months?

PETE: Certainly they wanted to humanize Dr. Cox. Without any sympathetic characteristics, your villains end up like Frank Burns: sent stateside with a Section 8. Wait, what show are we watching again? JEF: This is also one of the very few episodes where Cox calls JD by his real name to his face. I don't know how much of the show you guys have seen, but I liked when he switched from calling him girl names to dog names ("I'm going to start with Lassie to try and ease you into the transition."). Is Cox's tendency to do stuff like this an amusing quirk or something JD should probably talk to human resources about.

ABBY: If it was anyone other than JD, I'd say go to HR, but since JD is an admitted crybaby, I say, suck it up man. Go listen to some Shins and write in your diary about it. I hate Zach Braff.

PETE: Are we judging the work environment at Sacred Heart according to real life employment law now? Isn't this the show where the hospital's legal counsel slept with a terminal patient?

JEF: Elliot doesn't get much screen time this episode, but we do get one of her patented flashbacks to her improbable and ridiculous life. Would you make out with a paratrooper that landed on you?

ABBY: Would I or have I?

PETE: And how!

JEF: Final question... if you were responsible for someone's death how would you want people to react?

ABBY: Ugg... I guess it depends. If I was a doctor, sadly, I think some of that comes with the territory, but then again, it is also your responsibility to keep someone alive. That's pretty much your job as a doctor. I think I would understand if people blamed me and I am sure I would spend the rest of my life blaming myself. No one can make you feel worse than you can make yourself feel. Except my mom, she can make a horse feel bad for neighing.

PETE: Yeah, there are too many variables. Was their death a result of my negligence, or did I kill them with my bare hands, Swayze style? Did my killing them cause Christmas to be saved, or Boxing Day? Am I supposed to feel remorse, or am I allowed to add theirs to my ever-growing necklace of ears?

In honor of Halloween, next week we will be watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. We promise we won't mock it too badly. Watch it with us (for free!) on Vimeo.

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