My Way Home (Scrubs)
|"My Way Home"|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||Zach Braff|
|Written by||Neil Goldman |
|Featured music||"Africa" by Toto|
"Maniac" by Michael Sembello (performed by The Worthless Peons)
"We're Off to See the Wizard" by Harold Arlen (performed by The Worthless Peons)
"Over the Rainbow" by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, arrangement by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (performed by The Worthless Peons)
|Original air date||January 24, 2006|
The episode's references to The Wizard of Oz were called a "sly, circuitous homage" when Scrubs received a Peabody Award in 2006 for "fearlessly smashing traditional comic formulas, all the while respecting the deepest emotional and moral issues of its life-and-death setting."
On his day off, J.D. gets called into work by Keith. It turns out that Dr. Cox told Keith to call J.D. to let him see what it feels like to be pestered over little things, as J.D. had done to Cox as an intern. Laverne's gospel choir is also present, singing a song called "Payback is a Bitch". Elliot is basking in the warmth of being seen as an endocrinology expert to her interns. In reality, however, she is hiding pages of notes and books around the hospital with the answers on them. Turk attempts to convince a family to take their brain-dead son off life support so the hospital can perform its first on-site heart transplant, in which Turk will be allowed to assist if he is successful in persuading the family. Meanwhile, Carla jumps at the opportunity to look after Dr. Cox's young son Jack.
However, the crew finds challenges awaiting them. J.D. just wants to head home and is constantly waylaid by requests for assistance; Elliot is forced to conduct a seminar with several endocrinology specialists; Turk's dishonesty with the coma patient's family damages his credibility; and Carla can't stand having Jack around and begins to doubt if she's cut out to be a parent.
Eventually, all of J.D.'s friends discover they already had what they were looking for all along; Elliot finds that she has been unknowingly memorizing her notes and therefore already has the "brains" to go to the meeting, Turk convinces the coma patient's parents to pull the plug after being completely honest with them and learns the coma patient carried a donor card allowing the "heart" transplant and Carla learns from Dr. Cox that she'll feel differently about her own child than she does other people's and will find the "courage" she needs. Later, as they put their skills to good use, J.D. is finally allowed to go home.
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (February 2017)
The episode is a homage to the 1939 MGM musical film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Some references are obvious, such as: The Worthless Peons singing both "We're Off to See the Wizard" and "Over the Rainbow"; the "yellow brick road" painted on the hospital floor; J.D.'s red shoes.
Several memorable lines from the film are echoed, such as: Dr. Cox saying to Elliot that her endocrinology answers are "falling from the sky"; Dr. Cox telling Carla to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" while cleaning his son; Dr. Cox calling Jordan the "Wicked Witch of the East Wing"; the Janitor mumbling "oil can"; Todd talking about the zoo's "lions and tigers and bears — oh my!" Also, J.D. simply wants to go home (the yellow line leading to the exit), and when he does get to leave, there is a rainbow in the sky. From the point where the yellow line on the hospital floor is visualized as a yellow brick road, the rest of the episode is shot in bright, highly saturated colors, similar to the Technicolor in which The Wizard of Oz was filmed (with the Kansas scenes shot in black and white).
The episode also makes some more subtle references, including various character names:
- Mr. Fleming is the first patient mentioned; Victor Fleming directed the original movie.
- One patient is Mr. Baum; the book "The Wizard of Oz" was written by L. Frank Baum.
- Another patient is Mr. Langley. Noel Langley wrote the screenplay for the movie.
- The potential heart donor's name is Ray Bolger, which is based on the actor with the same name who played the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
- The psychologist who killed himself was Dr. Burke; Billie Burke played Glinda.
- Dr. Cox's nickname for J.D. is "Dorothy"
- J.D. listening to the song Africa by the band 'Toto', on his iPod.
- Dr. Cox refers to Elliot's straw-colored hair.
- The Janitor, while painting the hallway lines around the hospital, spray paints J.D.'s sneakers red (symbolizing the ruby slippers).
- At the 9:45 mark, the four main characters follow a yellow line while "we're off to see the wizard" is sung by Ted's band. At this moment, the color saturation changes from normal to extremely vivid - mimicking the transition of black and white to color that happens in the movie.
- Dr. Cox tells the interns to "flee - now!" The wicked witch of the west told the monkeys to "fly - now!"
- Turk and the nurses "pop up" like the munchkins do.
- Jordan is stuck in a hot room and seems to be "melting" like the witch does when she gets doused with water.
- Carla mentions, "I'm supposed to be the brave one," just like the "king of the forest" is supposed to be.
- J.D. tells Turk he's on his own and just wants to take "Toto" and go home.
- Jack is painted green, referencing the skin color of the Wicked Witch of the West.
- Dr. Kelso mentions that the depressed staff psychologist had hanged himself. This is a reference to an urban legend about a depressed munchkin actor hanging himself on the set of the Wizard of Oz.
- Carla finds Dr. Cox behind a curtain and he tells her "Please ignore the man behind the curtain."
- Todd tells Laverne that he saw lions, tigers and bears at the zoo. Then he says "Oh My!" when he passes a cheerleader.
- Janitor asks Carla for the oil can when he has something in his mouth and his hands are full.
- An extended version of the episode is featured on the DVD box set for Season 5. It contains new scenes as well as different takes of existing scenes, and a commentary by director Zach Braff.
- "Scrubs". Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
- Savorelli, Antonio. Beyond Sitcom: New Directions in American Television Comedy. McFarland. p. 39. ISBN 9780786458431. Retrieved 17 February 2017.