“We’re out here because if I go home and go to sleep, the only thing I’m gonna be able to think about is that I gotta get up tomorrow morning and go back to that place, and you wanna know something, pal? I got nothing. Honest to God, I got nothing.”
-Dr. Perry Cox, Scrubs S1E16: “My Heavy Meddle”
Brief synopsis: Dr. Cox has a breakdown and ends up dragging JD out to a bar in the middle of the night, leading to a discussion on the acceptable way to handle emotions. Turk’s choice of Elliot as a study buddy causes some problems with JD.
Title significance: “My Heavy Meddle” is a play on the term “heavy metal.” Carla’s plotline involves her trying to get Kelso to allow a coma patient to listen to a song by Poison, a heavy metal band. The fact that the music is heavy metal is significant because it seems the very reason that Kelso is not going to allow the request is because his son is into heavy metal music.
But in the title the word “metal” is replaced with the word “meddle.” Carla and Laverne instruct JD not to get involved with Dr. Cox gets into one of his moods. But JD tries to meddle anyway, which not only gets him into trouble with Dr. Cox, but causes him to face some realities about himself. This meddling is actually the most important plot of the episode.
Surrealism:There wasn’t all that many surreal scenes this episode either. We see the Janitor as Turk’s study buddy, JD putting a noose around his neck as a woman speaks to him, and JD headbutting Dr. Cox. I think the one theme all of these scenes have in common is the violence each one of them involves.
It starts out with just some verbal violence with the Janitor asking what JD is looking at in a confrontational tone. This verbal violence ups itself it violence against one’s self as JD imagines killing himself in a passive manner. This finally escalates to violence against others as we see JD knock out Dr. Cox. As Dr. Cox points out, JD is holding all these emotions in and he will have to deal with them at some point, and I think these fantasies show that.
Success of surrealism: I like it. It was a really nice pattern.
What “My Heavy Meddle” does right:
- Dr. Cox – The range of emotions we get from Dr. Cox is incredible. We get rage, depression, a ridiculous amount of glee. The medical profession has a very high rate of depression, and I’m glad we get to see this, especially from Dr. Cox, whom we have seen struggle with the administrative restrictions put on doctors and with his failure to save everyone. His actions this episode are very believable and heartbreaking.
- Elliot, Turk, and JD – I like how Turk and Elliot interacted this episode (for the most part). They really did seem like friends. Turk’s loyalty towards JD and his desire to have his two friends get along felt very believable. The awkwardness and hostility between Elliot and JD was also really well-done, especially given how they broke up. I think it was a great follow-up.
- Turk and Carla – I love Turk’s reaction to Carla standing up to Kelso in order to provide some comfort for a patient. She ditches him even though he was really excited about date night (and had the boxers to prove it), and his reaction was to love her more and tell her that. It was absolutely adorable and really showcased why they work as a couple.
What “My Heavy Meddle” could have done better:
- Poison - I just didn’t find this plotline as engaging or as heartwarming as it could have been. It just kind of seemed thrown on, without any real stakes or emotional connection. Turk, who was only very barely connected to the plot, had the most engaging emotional response to it. It was completely blown out of the water by the other plotlines.
- Elliot’s reaction – I wouldn’t mind it so much if it didn’t feel like such a stereotypical sit com plot device. Someone unreliable (the Todd) tells a character (Elliot) something that’s untrue (that Turk only wanted her as a partner because she’s a geek), and that character ignores the evidence (Turk coming back to help when his plans fell through) in favor of being upset and creating false drama.
- Ted – This kind of goes along with my reaction to the Poison plotline in general. I’m very ambivalent about Ted. This episode went a little to far into creep territory for me. His little whispered “I love you” and “Don’t let go” weren’t funny and were just creepy. Added to it, I hated how Carla responded each time with an innocent “What was that?”
Overall: I really liked most of the episode.