It's J.D.'s last day at Sacred Heart hospital. He's expecting a big sendoff. Think he'll get it? More importantly, you think he'll finally learn the Janitor's name?
Elliot puts her bed in J.D.'s place without him knowing. She's been "sneak moving in" her personal items for days. J.D. doesn't mind; he just wishes she would have told him they were "living together." So, it doesn't look like Elliot will actually have to say goodbye. But he's still expecting a big bon voyage from everyone else at Sacred Heart. Turk doesn't disappoint, as he drapes a giant "Goodbye J.D." sign over the entrance.
The Janitor wants J.D. to admit that he stuck a penny in the door that got jammed on his first day. He's saved the copper piece of evidence for eight years. J.D. finally admits that he accidently put the penny in the door, but didn't want the Janitor to be mad at him. The Janitor knew it all along, as he saw him do it. He's been torturing J.D. ever since because he failed his test of character.
Later, J.D. asks the Janitor, "What is your name?" Surprisingly, he tells him. We're talkin' without hesitation! Ready? It's Glen Matthews. J.D. wonders why, after eight years, he's just telling him now. The Janitor says, "It's the first time you've asked." Come to think of it, he may be right. The joy of knowing the Janitor's real name is short-lived, as an orderly walks by and says to him, "Hey, Tommy." Classic stuff!
Kelso goes back to work as a traveling physician. Ted has a little trouble processing this tidbit and keeps repeating the phrase, "Finally gonna stop hanging around here?" Only a few swift kicks from Carla can stop this record from skipping. Someone covers the "J.D." in Turk's sign so it reads "Goodbye Bob." When Kelso asks J.D., "What the hell did you think leaving this place was going to be like? J.D. admits he thought it would be like one of those great old sitcom finales.
SMASH CUT TO THE FINALE FANTASY SEQUENCE as J.D. thoughtfully heads out the door, turning back for one last look before shutting off the lights. But remember, this is Scrubs. That flip of the switch shuts off all power in the hospital, sending all of Sacred Heart into a panic as patients are coding left and right. Fortunately, J.D. flips the switch back, all the while wondering why they wired all the power through one switch.
Back to reality, Carla shares a tender moment with J.D. when he asks why she never tortured him the way she does Dr. Cox. Her answer is simple. "You were Bambi. Somebody had to teach you how to walk." J.D. thanks her for that and asks if he can return the favor. She wants him to tell her that her husband loves her more than him. "It's about the same," J.D. says. That's good enough for Carla. And us.
J.D. treats a woman with a disorienting, incurable brain disease. He informs her adult son that it's hereditary and there's a 50-50 chance he'll get it, too. There's a test that can be done to see if he carries the gene, but there's no way of knowing when he'll get sick and, if he does, there won't be anything they can do to treat him. The guy decides he doesn't want to have the test. Once you learn that information, you can't unlearn it. This way his future is still his. It can be whatever he wants it to be. J.D. appreciates this as his last day draws to a close.
J.D. gives Dr. Cox a book of all his past rants. He wrote every one of them down with a ranking of how much each dig wounded him emotionally. This book really is the perfect gift. Still, Dr. Cox won't give up the emotional goodbye that J.D. craves. That's just not who he is. But when an intern says J.D. is no better than any other doctor, Dr. Cox has to disagree. Here's his speech, word for word:
"For the record, he was the best that ever came through this dump. John Dorian was the first and only doctor I ever met who cared as much as I do. And you can forget about him being just an exceptional physician. Because the fact of the matter is...he's a damn exceptional person. That's why people gravitated toward him. That's why I did. He was my friend."
This scene went from extremely touching to totally riotous in like a millisecond. Dr. Cox's speech is so heartfelt that it brought tears to our eyes. But the look on his face when he finds out J.D. has been eavesdropping the entire time is beyond priceless...beyond hilarious! It's perfect.
As the show draws to an end, J.D. makes the long walk down the corridor toward the exit. The hall is lined with the many Scrubs friends we've seen come and go over the years. Before he walks out the door, J.D. gets a glimpse of what the future holds via a home movie montage featuring shots of his wedding day with Elliot, the holidays with Turk, Carla, Cox, Jordan and their kids, and Turk's daughter getting engaged to J.D.'s son. You can't help but be moved by the moments, though Dr. Cox still won't embrace J.D. during a holiday hug scene. Like we said, it's both touching and hilarious. A rare accomplishment, indeed.
This episode was obviously shot as a Series Finale for Scrubs. The last scene features J.D. saying goodnight to a cleaning person (played by series creator Bill Lawrence) as he throws the "Goodbye" banner in the trash. There's even some behind-the-scenes footage of every actor's last scene with Lawrence saying, "That's a series wrap."
But this won't be the end for this one of a kind show. Scrubs will return for a ninth season. How can they possibly come back after such a perfect ending, you ask? Well, if there's one thing Scrubs has taught us over the years it's this: Things have a funny way of working out for the best.