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Life and Death

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1x04grimreaperconnect4

J.D. plays Connect 4 against the Grim Reaper. ("My Old Lady")

The themes of life and death are often explored in Scrubs episodes. Because the series is set in a hospital, death is a common theme.

"My Old Lady" Edit

1x4 JD Sits with Mrs Tanner

J.D. with Mrs. Tanner.

Listen, Dr. Dorian, there's not one thing I regret as I lay here right now. I'm ready. I really am.Mrs. Tanner

In "My Old Lady", J.D., Turk and Elliot each have their own patient, and, statistically, one out of three patients dies. The title directly references J.D.'s 74-year old patient, Mrs. Tanner. Turk's patient is David Morrison on whom he operates, and Elliot's patient is Mrs. Guerrero .

At the end of the episode, all three patients die and the three doctors have their first experiences with death. Mrs. Tanner dies because she declines dialysis that would keep her alive (she believes she is old enough and has lived a full life), and David Morrison and Mrs. Guerrero die due to their sicknesses.

"My Super Ego"Edit

That kid is eventually gonna die. Whether it's today, or tomorrow, or a month from now. There's nothing I can do; nothing works.Nick

"My Super Ego" has two characters that deal with death: Turk and Nick Murdoch.

During a surgery, Dr. Wen notices an odd smell, and Turk is scared that he might have nicked the colon.

1x7Nick Breaks Down

Nick depressed over the dying child.

However, it turns out that The Todd just farted during the surgery. Even though nothing happened, the event startled Turk, and he explores how one mistake could be the difference between life and death.

Nick, a promising and talented doctor, breaks down when his patient, 7-year old Peter, is dying. Saddened by this event, Nick quits his job at Sacred Heart. After he has left, J.D. (in voice over) confesses how the scariest thing about Nick was that J.D. thought he was the strongest out of all the interns.

"My Heavy Meddle"Edit

Even though I see death all the time now, I still react the exact same way I did when I was a kid.J.D.'s narration

1x16ElliotandJD

J.D. talking to Elliot about Mr. Peters' death.

In "My Heavy Meddle", J.D.'s old high school teacher, Mr. Peters, dies. He was the reason J.D. got into medicine. When J.D. first heard he died, he made a joke (by saying he is "doing a lot better than Mr. Peters"), and figures out that he needs to find a better way to let out his emotions than by ignoring them. At the end of the episode, he talks to Elliot about Mr. Peters' death, and decides to let out his emotions by throwing fruit off of the hospital's roof.

"My Sacrificial Clam"Edit

1x21Syringe

J.D.'s is accidentally stuck with an infected needle.

You know, I could be really sick here!J.D.

In "My Sacrificial Clam", J.D. is accidentally stuck by a blood-filled needle, from a patient with Hepatitis B. He then talks to a group of doctors who are patients in the hospital, and they tell him stories about colleague's who got sick from patients (such as a doctor who got rabies, and another who got leprosy). Because of this, J.D. starts to be scared of his patients due to the fear of getting sick form them, and especially struggles with his meningitis (a disease which is extremely contagious) patient. However, at the end of the episode, he understands that, in order to treat patients, he has to give up his own sense of safety and well-being.

"My Occurrence"Edit

Wait, why would you want a picture like that? I thought you said that posed pictures aren't real?J.D.

Come on, J.D. None of this is real. You know that.Ben

My Occurrence

J.D.'s fantasy, in which he relizes it is a fantasy, because Ben said he hates posed pictures.

"My Occurrence" marks the first appearance of Ben Sullivan, Dr. Cox's best friend and Jordan and Danni's brother. Ben comes into the hospital to be treated for a nail gun accident, but over the course of the episode he displays symptoms that worry Dr. Cox and J.D. (such as bleeding from his wound hours later), and he is brought back to the hospital. Dr. Cox orders tests, and just as J.D. is about to read the results (which is leukemia, cancer of the bone marrow), he holds back as he remembers the mistakes with other patients (Elliot's patient was misdiagnosed as pregnant, and Turk's patient almost had his testicle removed, despite coming in for an appendectomy), and begins to doubt the results. First, he confirms that the Ben Sullivan file is the correct file with the nurse who messed up with Turk's patient. Next, he asks Franklyn, the lab tech who messed up with Elliot's patient, to recheck Ben's tests again. Lastly, he consults with the hematopathologist to recheck Ben's blood smear. The results come back, and it turns out that Ben is okay. The group gathers for a photo, which J.D. takes. J.D. then asks, confused, why Ben would want a picture like this, as he had said earlier he hates posed pictures. Ben replies with "Come on, J.D. None of this is real. You know that", and J.D. realizes it was all a fantasy as he thinks about the clues people gave him, such as Kelso telling him to "stop looking for trouble just because you like this patient, and face the facts", Carla telling him "either your instincts are right, or your brain is trying to protect you from the truth" and the hemapathologist asking him "do you actually think I made a mistake, or do you just wish I did?". J.D. is taken back to when he was originally going to tell Ben about his leukemia, and he finally does.

"My Hero"Edit

I've been thinking about death a lot lately. I think it's like New York.Ben

1x23Ben starts Chemo

Ben starting his chemotherapy.

"My Hero" is a continuation on from My Occurrence, and it deals with Ben's leukemia, which Ben is starting to take seriously and starts thinking about death. Ben starts chemotherapy, but Dr. Cox fails to show up to his first treatment, because Ben isn't another patient whom he can distance himself from, but his friend and he is scared. However, at the end of the episode, Dr. Cox gets the courage to be with Ben during his illness. Ben starts to talk about death to Dr. Cox and, although uncomfortable with the topic, Dr. Cox listens to his friend.

"My Five Stages" Edit

We'd been there before when someone died. But this felt different.J.D.'s narration

"My Five Stages" deals with the eventual death of Mrs. Wilk's, an elderly patient who has become a favorite of the staff (including Dr. Cox, J.D., Carla, Turk and Dr. Kelso). The title of the episode references to the "Five Stages of Grief", which include:

1. Denial

My Five Stages

J.D., Dr. Cox and Dr. Hedrick with Mrs. Wilk.

Oh, why are we still doing this, I've seen people in Mrs. Wilk's shape turn it around, right?Dr. Cox

She could totally turn it around!J.D.

2. Anger

Ah, you know what, to hell with you, Hedrick!Dr. Cox

Group, can you tell me what stage of grief Dr. Cox is going through?Dr. Hedrick
Anger.Group

3. Bargaining

Tell you what. I'd do anything if it meant she'd pull through this.Dr. Cox

Me tooJ.D.
Hey, that sounds like bargaining. That's the third stage. Oh, and by the way, I wasn't just hiding down there just so I could pop up and say that. I was -- I was plugging in my iPod. Oh, um.Dr. Hedrick

4. Depression

We were definitely in the depression stage. And bless Hedrick, he didn't say it. All he said was...J.D.'s narration

She was lucky to have you two as doctors.Dr. Hedrick

5. Acceptance

She was a great old gal.Dr. Cox

She was.J.D.
Hey! Acceptance!Dr. Hedrick

Mrs. Wilk, along with J.D. and Dr. Cox, go through these stages during the course of the episode.

"My Lunch"Edit

5x20 Dammit

Dr. Cox after losing the third, and final, patient.

I was obsessed with getting those organs.Dr. Cox

In "My Lunch", Dr. Cox inadvertently kills three patients who received organs from Jill Tracy, who died from rabies (this wasn't known until the organs had been transplanted). Dr. Cox had ordered the organs to be transplanted.

The three patients were Mrs. Sikes, Mr. Dennison and Dave Bradford. Mrs. Sikes got a new liver, Mr. Dennison a new heart valve, and Dave a new kidney. However, the patients become infected with rabies after the transplants, and the staff attempts to keep them alive. Mrs. Sikes died first, then Mr. Dennison, and finally Dave.

Because of their critical conditions and would have died in a number of hours, the two first patient's death weren't Dr. Cox's fault, and J.D. consoles him with his guilt. However, when Dave dies, Dr. Cox has no one else to blame except himself, as Dave could have lived another month without a kidney.

"My No Good Reason," "My Long Goodbye" & "My Words of Wisdom"Edit

My Long Goodbye

Carla says goodbye to Laverne. ("My Long Goodbye")

At Sacred Heart, Laverne and Dr. Cox debate religion. Being a religious woman, Laverne argues that God has a plan for everything that happens. Dr. Cox tries to remind her of terrible things that happen such as diseases, painful accidents, and deaths, but Laverne sticks to her guns against the argumentative Cox. After leaving the hospital, Laverne is involved in a car accident and falls into a coma. ("My No Good Reason")

Because her prognosis is so bad, the staff begins to say their farewells to their friend and colleague Laverne. Carla grows upset that everyone is giving up on Laverne and refuses to say goodbye. Her friends eventually talk with her and help her understand that refusing to accept reality isn't going to change it and that death happens to everyone. Carla eventually says a tearful goodbye. ("My Long Goodbye")

My Words of Wisdom

Laverne's funeral. ("My Words of Wisdom")

On the same day, Jordan gives birth to Jennifer Dylan Cox. Dr. Cox doesn't want their daughter's birth to be associated with Laverne's death so he is hesitant to tell everyone. The catharsis of a life beginning and a life ending at the same time is lost on Perry, and he is filled with shame. Eventually everyone shares a toast as the bar to honor Laverne and congratulate Perry. ("My Long Goodbye")

In the days after Laverne's death, the staff attends her funeral. After the funeral, Carla is upset that everyone enters their old routines without being glum about Laverne's absence. She raises a scene, but realizes that most people are focusing on work so they don't have to think about her death and get sad. ("My Words of Wisdom")

"My Last Words"Edit

My Last Words

J.D. and Turk make a tough decision. ("My Last Words")

J.D. and Turk decide to cancel their long-running tradition of "steak night" to be with a terminal patient, George Valentine, as he passes away. After running out to buy him beer as his last request, they sit in his room as he undergoes the five stages of grief and talk about his life. They admit that even though they've been doctors for over seven years they are still afraid of death, and that every time a patient dies it is difficult to handle. ("My Last Words")


SCRUBS FORMAT & NARRATIVE
Comedy Comedic TechniquesPratfallRecurring gagsSlow Motion GirlsNicknames
Drama Dramatic TechniquesMusic
Themes ApprovalEducationFamilyFriendshipLife and DeathLoveMentorshipRivalriesSex
Narrative
 Techniques 
Alternate realityBreaking the fourth wallClip showCultural referencesFantasiesFlashbacksJanitor storyMeta referencesNarratorsStory episodes e

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