Dr. Cox is offered a position as Chief of Medicine and Kelso takes a moment from mowing down his muffins to lay out the limited pros and abundant cons of the job. Elliot looks to Turk for ways in which to make J.D. happy, and J.D. is still hard at work trying to get Joe to be a bit more sensitive.
Dr. Cox and Kelso begin the morning like any other by exchanging some nasty words. Cox takes a minute to reflect that Sacred Heart has become a captainless ship since Kelso’s retirement. As if to prove this point, the Janitor walks by the two of them, dressed in scrubs and covered in blood. "That can’t be good," Cox mutters. Kelso confesses that Sacred Heart is in need of a new Chief of Medicine.
J.D. takes a moment at work to remind Joe to try and be a bit more sensitive. He heads back to his apartment where Elliot has set his piano matt down as a burglar alarm, and has also baked two dozen cookies. She heads into the bedroom to change into what she calls her "cookie pants"–comfortable pants which fit loosely around the waist. The next morning Elliot mentions to J.D. that they have been back together for a full week and haven’t even had sex yet. J.D. says he doesn’t want to rush things this time, but changes his mind immediately when Elliot suggests they do it later that evening.
Joe confesses to J.D. that she is annoyed by her patient’s heart disease. She tells the patient that his condition was a real buzzkill to her day. In an attempt to open up and heed J.D.’s advice, she readjusts her patients pillow when he complains of back pain. At some later point, J.D. tells her that she’ll never be a good doctor until she learns to care for her patients. They argue over which test to run on their patient, and J.D. gives her specific orders which she contradicts. When the results from Joe’s test come back, it is discovered that the patient- Laughlin- has stomach cancer, and her judgement was sound even though she went against J.D.’s advice. J.D. apologizes: "I thought you were being insensitive, when you were just being thorough." Joe is annoyed that J.D. would apologize and tells him that she likes when he is tough on her, because it is the only way she’ll ever get better. Joe is reminded of Freemont’s passing (from the previous week), and J.D. tells her that maybe her indifference is just a defense mechanism. He tells her to go empathize with the patient. Joe gets as far as telling Laughlin that she can’t even imagine how much it must suck to have cancer, to which he agrees. She puts her hand on his shoulder to comfort him, and he asks if she’ll be alright.
How the Devil was born
Dr. Cox has been offered the recently available position of Chief of Medicine. Jordan tells him how proud she is that he no longer gets in his own way. Once Kelso throws in his piece, however, Cox is left uncertain. Kelso tells Cox that the moment he became Chief of Medicine everything got bigger: paycheck, office, secretary’s breasts…Kelso admits that he originally got into medicine to help people, but once he became Chief of Medicine, people learned to hate him, and he became estranged from his wife. Cox decides not to pursue the position, even when Jordan yells at him for not doing so.
Elliot spends her time in this episode trying to find out how she can be the best girlfriend for J.D. She calls Carla and records a one sided conversation with herself on Carla’s message machine, which illustrates just how much she is stressing over this situation. She pelts Turk with questions regarding her problem, and Turk finally relents saying that his relationship with Carla works because they don’t have to do anything to make things perfect between them. He suggests to Elliot that she stop trying to make things perfect, and see how that works.
The biggest enemy
Jordan confronts Kelso and commands him to change Cox’s mind. Kelso tells Cox that he is a "’fraidy-cat" and that is why he won’t take the job as Chief of Medicine. He makes Cox aware that he is his own worst enemy- always pushing against himself. Even though Kelso enjoys watching Dr. Cox fall apart he admits that Cox is the man for the job, and confesses that it was he- Kelso himself- who recommended Cox to be his replacement. Their scene ends with Cox looking at Kelso and saying: "You don’t really think we’re becoming friends, do you?!" Kelso replies, "Dear God, I hope not!" Oh, and they hug, too.
When J.D. comes home later that evening he finds Elliot exhausted and sitting on their bed.
"You look beautiful," he tells her.
"Even in my cookie-pants?" She asks, concerned.
"Especially in your cookie-pants."
This episode is pretty cut and dry-nothing too deep, save for the emotion juiced from the reunion of J.D. and Elliot, and the kindling friendship of Dr. Cox and Kelso. I gotta say that the 20 or so minutes of showtime were as heartwarming as the concept of cookie-pants and a dozen fresh baked cookies. And though writing that last sentence gave me the kind of stomachache I would expect to get from eating a dozen cookies, I’ll admit that the experience was enjoyable.
The way I see it there are three major conflicts in the episode; Cox and Kelso, Joe and her inability to empathize, and Elliot needing to be perfect for J.D. What I’ve come to understand from watching other episodes is that not everything ends the way we want it to. Take, for instance, the previous episode where Cox, J.D., and Elliot work so hard to reform their interns only to fail bitterly in the end. Well, this time they gave us what we wanted, and you know what?
…sometimes it’s nice when everything works out in the end.
Recap by Jonathan Friedler