Turk and Elliot are in for a long night at Sacred Heart. Between babysitting the interns and finding ways to care for their patients they take a moment to discuss the pros and cons of being doctors.
The Rule of Todd
Elliot tries to joke with her patient, Robin, an ultra-thin lady who is 32, single, and whose symptoms include nausea, fainting, and hair-loss. Robin isn’t laughing at Elliot’s one liners. She speaks with Turk in the hall, explaining to him that she is filling in the evening shift for J.D. and that they’ll be working together. Turk becomes angry when he learns that J.D. took his son to Disneyland because he had made a pact with J.D. that they would share their first Disneyland experience together to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Once the heat has settled, Turk tells Elliot that they’ll have to keep a close eye on the interns who now think they know everything. To prove his point, Howie walks triumphantly from a patient’s room for having aced a procedure. He throws his hand up for a high five from the closest person walking by… who happens to be The Todd. Todd more or less has a patent on the whole "high-fiving" thing, and he warns Howie not to steal his moves while he’s around. Derek gets cocky over his own success in the OR, and asks Turk to give him a real challenge next time.
Turk and Elliot resolve to humble their interns by scaring the piss out of them. Elliot begins with a ghost story and Turk finishes by popping out of the trash can screaming. Having successfully scared the interns, Elliot reaches to Turk for a high-five… but The Todd intercepts to lay down the rules.
Elliot is convinced that Robin is anorexic, but Robin swears she’s eating. Elliot isn’t buying it and explains that she’s sending in Dr. Paulson, the staff shrink. Robin is angry that her doctor distrusts her.
Turk’s patient, Mrs. Powell, is a nervous pooer but she has an infection and a stool sample is required to make a diagnosis. Turk tries to reason with Mrs. Powell and is willing to settle for a fart. Mrs. Powell insists that she "doesn’t do that," but Turk knows better. "I have a wife and a daughter and they both fart. She farts too!" he claims, pointing to Elliot. "I’ve smelled it. It smells like hot-dogs!" No dice.
Katie’s patient is lying to her and trying to gnaw through the bandages covering his hands so he can chew through the stiches on his hands. He’s a homeless guy.
Another patient suffers from cat-grass syndrome, which means that he believes that everyone is actually an imposter of the person they claim to be. So if you are dressed like his doctor and try to find out what poison he just ingested, he won’t trust you enough to tell you because you’re just an imposter.
Turk and Elliot charge their interns to diagnose their patients. Sonny is assigned to extract a fart from Mrs. Powell’s clenched cheeks, Katie volunteers to keep her new homeless buddy from chewing his hands off, Howie is sent to outwit the cat-grass guy, and Derek and Denise have to perform a procedure I can’t even spell on another lady.
Hard At Work
Sonny approaches Mrs. Powell and immediately takes her side. She blames society for Powell’s irrational fear of farting. Guys get to do it all the time, but when girls do it it’s gross, weird. Sonny offers to fart with her, thinking that perhaps strength in numbers might help Mrs. Powell overcome her fear. Sonny counts to three and… dead silence.
"You didn’t do it!" Sonny accuses her patient.
"You didn’t either!" Mrs. Powell shoots back.
"There were people around…" Sonny explains.
Elliot takes a shot at this one. She levels with Mrs. Powell by explaining that when she was young her mother told her that "farts are demons crawling around in my belly and if I let one out they’ll give my grandma cancer."
Derek pulls out a long needle and warns Denise to prepare herself to witness perfection. Denise marvels at how much Derek is in love with himself. She also calls him a douche.
Howie approaches his patient by explaining that his imposter was running around earlier, and earns his patient’s confidence. He learns that his patient had consumed acetametaphine (tylenol?). Nailing the diagnosis he tries for a high-five knowing that The Todd has gone home… or has he? Howie raises his hand but The Todd appears in his pajamas, unable to sleep knowing that people are getting high fives without him instigating them.
Katie puts a dog collar on the homeless guy and Turk scolds her, even though it works.
Elliot learns that Robin is HIV positive. Katie’s patient hawks a big, green, lunger right in her face. Sonny can’t get her patient to fart. Derek seems to have collapsed his patient’s lung and Howie learns that his patient lied to him, certain that Howie’s imposter was the one who tried to find out what he’d poisoned himself on. Elliot is discouraged, knowing what she has to do. Turk tries to cheer her up by doing the HIVvy dance. He explains that research on HIV has come a long way, it’s not the death sentence it used to be. Perhaps Robin won’t take the news poorly. Elliot’s spirits are not lifted. Derek takes a humble moment to explain to his patient that he is responsible for collapsing her lung. She accepts his apology, but asks that a real doctor take care of her from here on out.
Turk and Elliot discuss the pros and cons of being doctors. Elliot dwells on the cons; patients lying all the time, and having to deliver bad news. Somehow the topic of conversation shifts to what would have been if she and Turk had ended up. Turk points out that this would have been an impossibility because Elliot has no booty.
In another room Denise and Derek are going at it like jack-rabbits. Nothing gets her worked up like a man stripped of his confidence and pride. Derek, having recently blown his procedure is just the kind of scraps she loves to feed on. When he confesses that he used to be a fat kid, she becomes unable to contain herself.
Sonny’s patient finally rips a loud one. She runs to tell Turk that "it’s done." Turk, being a man, asks the only logical question I can think of.
"What did it smell like?"
"Like 30 years of repression… and hot dogs."
Somehow, Howie gets the cat-grass guy to confess that he ate fertilizer.
Misery Wants Company
Robin takes the news very poorly. She confesses that her goals are to get married and have a family. In tears she asks Elliot how HIV is going to make any of that easier. Elliot is at a loss for words, but tries to cheer Robin up anyways. Failing, she asks Robin "Do you want me to shut up?"
"Yes," Robin responds, cryng.
"Do you want me to leave?" Elliot asks.
Robin shakes her head. "No."
Never Look Back
The interns stand around and reflect on their evening. Sonny is unable to get the smell of Mrs. Powell’s fart off of her, even though she’s showered three times. Turk and Elliot go back to their conversation from earlier. Elliot commends Turk for his ability to find joy in every procedure he does, regardless of whether he’s done it a thousand times or if the procedure is brand new. She is certain that Turk will always be a doctor. She is less certain about herself. She feels that her job involves finding out what is wrong with people and then telling them that there is nothing she can do about it. She claims that if there came a time in her life when she didn’t have to work for money, could take time to get married and have children, she would leave this place and never look back.
Though J.D., Janitor, Dr. Cox, Jordan, Carla, and Kelso took the week off, this episode managed to be one of the funniest installments of the season. Most of the laughs came from Mrs. Powell’s awkward situation, proving once again that farts are always funny. Intern roles are occupying more screen time which was good today because they were funny all on their own. Elliot’s confession that the job is wearing her down raises some questions. Is she putting one foot out the door, getting ready to leave? I suppose she’s at a point in her life where her window for starting a family is getting narrower, and her relationship with J.D. is finally secure. Perhaps that’s the move she’s about to take. Regardless, I hope to see more of the original cast characters in the series’ final episodes.
Recap by Jonathan Friedler