Following up on my original, hopeful take on whether Scrubs was really going to end two years ago, another is-it-or-isn’t-it the end episode aired last night. First and foremost, give the cast and crew of Scrubs and ABC (yes, the network) all the credit in the world for ignoring the absolutely awful, rather pointless seventh season and believing in the show enough to give it one last go. The entire eighth season was strong, beginning to end, and the fact that the lead actors took turns being MIA in some episodes due to cost-cutting, showed that the writers still knew what they were doing, even after two weak seasons.
It’s still up in the air whether the show will continue sans Zach Braff, whether they’ll focus on the interesting-but-not-quite-interesting enough interns, or whether they’ll simply end it last night.
Let me officially place my vote for “simply let it end.” The finale was all-but perfect. They took the risky direction by not wrapping up the stories, and even calling out the fact that endings really are just beginnings, and life isn’t all-about simple wrap-ups. There’s the dramatic decision to make a change, but after it happens, there are simply more unknowns to be faced, some even scarier than the original moment of “conclusion.” JD’s “what if” fantasy at the end worked a lot better than some sort of tacked on “20 years later” third act, a la Will & Grace.
The End of Scrubs, The Sequel gets four-and-a-half stars. Funny, poignant, dramatic, and the classic Scrubs’ depressing in a happy way non-resolution. And they picked a Super-Duper song for the last “dramatic montage over indie music” which I knew beforehand! [Peter Gabriel’s cover of “The Book of Love” originally by The Magnetic Fields.] Coming full circle, one of the reasons this site was started stems from hearing a really good song which I stumbled across in 2005, then heard when I was watching the third season of the show en masse in 2006 and patted myself on the back for knowing it before I saw the episode… then I found out that the CD which was playing that song when I heard it was from a playlist consisting only of songs played on Scrubs. That’s right. The mirror is facing another mirror which is facing me. And I’m not smiling. Anyway, minus half of one star because the show could continue which would make this a “very special episode,” not a firing-on-all-cylinders, pitch perfect series finale.
The finale of the finale.