'Scrubs': The perils of Perry

Johncmcginley_scrubs_s8_240 For all his misanthropy, narcissism and near-pathological need to be the smartest or most competent guy in the room, Perry Cox has, in fact, usually been the best doctor on the staff at Sacred Heart. So it seemed perfectly in character on this week's Scrubs Power Hour that he would try to take on every last detail of his new job as chief of medicine.

Yeah, that's not going to work.

Since we're friends now, I can show you my spoilers.

Both episodes dealt with Perry's transition into the new job and his efforts to deal with all the responsibilities that come with it, in addition to continuing to teach and attend to patients. That's pretty much impossible, even for a superdoc like him, so what we got instead were a couple of vintage Cox blowups and a very real sense that he's in over his head. Even his new buddy Kelso can't convince him that he's biting off more than he can chew.

Cox being Cox, though, he bulls ahead with all those things, and in the process of trying to do everything at once he manages to alienate the nurses, get played by the Janitor over a picture, lash out at J.D. over a patient and forget to pick up Jack at preschool (more on Jack in a bit). Of course, he won't admit that he can't handle it. He shouts down the advice of Carla, J.D. and Kelso by claiming he's so in control that he can even control J.D.'s words: "Say something annoying." "I just ..." "Ta-da."

Jordan, of all people, finally sets him straight: "You're not capable of giving up something you care about, whether it's a patient or your never-ending quest to please me sexually," she says. Which, um, OK -- but she is able to get through to him, and in his Coxian way, he manages to give up a little bit, allowing Carla to revise and change the nurses' schedule and firing Ed for being intensely, over-the-top lazy about his studies (and if that was the only note the show was ever going to play with Aziz Ansari, I won't be too broken up about his departure). He also makes a heartfelt apology to a mentally challenged patient whom he promised to be with during a procedure but missed because he was so swamped.

The Cox story was the meat of both episodes, but there was a lot more going on this week as well. Let's take a look, bold heading-style.

Samlloyd_scrubs_240 Ted's in love: The B-story of tonight's second episode was a showcase for the fantastic Sam Lloyd (he had some fine moments in the first episode too, notably his "I imagine it's what a hug feels like" line). From his a capella rendition of "Don't Fear the Reaper" with the Worthless Peons to his exquisite dry mouth to finally finding the confidence to go have coffee with Stephanie the ukelele player ("You're the most beautiful, perfect ukelele player I've ever seen -- which I know isn't saying much because they're usually fat Hawaiians, but ..."), Lloyd got as much to do as he ever has.

I also like Stephanie (played by Kate Micucci), and I hope we see more of these two later on in the season. We already know there's going to be a wedding at some point -- might this be the happy couple?

Kelso and Cox, BFFs: I said it last week, and I'll repeat it here -- hooray for keeping Ken Jenkins around, because he and Cox are gold together. Their backyard chat (which reminded me a little of the Boston Legal balcony scenes) had several outstanding bits, including Kelso waxing poetic about the "friendly little stone people" in the yard and the look of horror on Cox's face as he recalled what he saw at Nurse Roberts' above-ground pool party five years ago.

Also great: Kelso needling J.D. about how buddy-buddy he is with Cox. "Last weekend we went to the movies together." "So?" "Just thought you'd be interested." "Was it a romantic comedy." "Yes." "Gaaaarrgghh!"

Bits and pieces: We were Turk-free this week, most likely due to budget constraints, but his presence was felt early in the first episode as intern Katie was forced to play messenger girl between him and J.D. Katie: "He liked the drawing you did ... he never saw himself as a deep-sea diver." J.D.: "Tell him you're welcome, and here's a little something for your bottom [grabbing motion]."

  • Little Jack has always been cute, but he was screamingly funny on a couple of occasions tonight. His takedown of J.D. and Sam -- "Janice, you have one ugly baby. Seriously" -- was great, but the results of his stapling escapade in Perry's office nearly made me fall off the couch. "Hey guys -- I finally have a brother!"
  • Apparently J.D. and Elliot don't much care if people know they're together, as the hour opens on them making out. Katie butts in, to which J.D. responds, "It's inappropriate to interrupt an attending when he's hitting that."
  • Three words: "Licked by Janitor." And one more: Ewww.
  • Loved the shot of the Janitor's calendar as he was setting up the meeting to discuss the "urinal-cake issue" -- every day was free, except for Bongo Monday once a week.
  • Ted finally explains how he became a lawyer: "I took the bar exam in Alaska. They only have four laws, and they're mostly about when you can or can't kill seals."
  • Elliot singing "Sweet Low, Sweet Chariot" over the credits of the first episode proved just why Carla booed her off the stage at karaoke night.

How'd you like this week's Scrubs? Is Kelso Denny Crane to Cox's Alan Shore, and are your rooting for Ted and Stephanie the ukelele player?