Season 1 Episode 4

My Old Lady

Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Oct 16, 2001 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (29)

Write A Review
out of 10
613 votes
  • great

    JD, Elliot, and Turk each get 3 patients with different diseases, and they all bond with their patients. However, at the end of the episode all 3 of them die from their diseases. JD, Elliot and Turk are sad but happy they got to spend time with these people.

    This was pretty emotional. I watch Scrubs for the comedy factor of course, but this episode, whilst being sad, is also a really good episode. It's not the best ever but it was an enjoyable episode from the first season. Had few funny parts and the ending was pretty sad. Final grade- B+/A- or so
  • Emotional.

    "Did you know that one out of three patients in a hospital die?" A brilliant concept taken to all new levels with the Scrubs cast. This show came off as a comedy, but this episode showed it's dramatic side, with a lot of emotional & sad scenes. This episode was perfect, especially for an episode so early in the series, you wouldn't expect it to be this good, but truly it was. JD has an old lady, Carla & Elliot have a Hispanic lady, and Turk has a guy with hernia supposedly. What I loved about this episode, is that every character was taken in depth. JD comes in to self realization that he needs to do more with his life. Or something as simple to sitting in the grass, thinking. Elliot is afraid, in general. Carla shows her true colors when she expresses why she hasn't been getting along with Elliot in the beginning. Turk learns to be closer with patients. An unexpected ending: all three patients die. The narration and editing of this episode was flawless. Definitely a tearjerker in the end. I give Scrubs props for this episode. Great job, Scrubs!
  • Greatest Episode of the season.

    Scrubs has so many great episodes.
    And i think this is the one that set the bar for all the episodes. There are so many great things about this episode.

    First, the old lady herself, she is so sweet! I wish my grandmother was more like her. Even though she is so sick, it is importuned to her to be at the birthday of her granddaughter.

    There is also some comedy. The line between the comedy and drama is so thin. It is written so strong.

    The end made me cry. JD sitting with the woman in his free time. Talking to her and trying to convince her not to give up. When she died, it was perfect. so peacefull. There was no better way to end this episode.
  • A sentimental episode

    This is a slightly less comedic episode compared to the last few. This time around, Eliot, Turk and J.D. try to connect with their respective patients. It's a little more on the dramatic side as each doctor tries to overcome their frustrations at each patient's declining health, but learn to accept it, as all doctors must. Carla and Eliot also make amends, with the help of J.D. and Turk. The episode ends with J.D. taking his patient's advice, sitting on the grass thinking about all the things that have yet to be done. There is also a cool scene with the Grim Reaper. J.D. plays him in chess and I imagine that's how a lot of doctors feel about their patients. I'm new to the show, but I'm glad it shows a softer side as well, along with great laughs.
  • The first emotional Scrubs episode.

    This was the first Scrubs Episode that was a little deeper. It is very, very easy to remember. Even when you haven't seen it in years, it's just one episode you don't forget about. Each one of the three Interns gets a new patient. Each patient unfortunatly dies in the end, but the Intern learn from their expirence. Unfortunaly, there isn't too much Dr Cox in this one. But Mrs Tanner is a very likable character. There is also some development in the Carla/Elliot relationship going on. Usually i do not like these overly dramatic scenes with sad music etc. But the ending of this episode (with the song Hallelujah by John Cale) is a expection. Even though this episode was very serious, it still had a few funny parts!
  • The 3 Interns Are Handed 3 Different Cases, And They Try To Bond With Their Respective Cases.

    J.D. Gets 74 Year Old Mrs Tanner, Who Refuses Dialysis And Wants To Die, She Teaches J.D. A Lot About Life.
    Elliot Gets A Spanish Speaking Patient Who Might Have Lupus And Elliot Hesitates, Wondering To Give Her Treatment, In The End She Did.
    Turk Gets David Morrison, A Young Man Who Has A Hernia, Kelso Tells Him Off For Being His Friend Instead Of A Doctor.
    In The End, All 3 Patients Died :(, J.D.'s Patient Dies Naturally, Elliot's Patient Dies Because Of Treatment, Turk's Patient Died In Surgery, And The Good Thing Is That They All Learned Something From Their Deaths.
  • for an episode like this to be so early in the series is amazing

    The first real dramatic episode of scrubs this episode makes for a real good watch. The ending is unexpecting unless of course you've watched it 10 times or so like me.

    This episode shows the real dramatic side of scrubs and is very powerful. The way the episode is structured and based around the three patients the three doctors have is brilliant and the ending is surprising because of it.

    Mrs Tanner is one of my favourite patients throughout all of the series of the show. She plays this character so well and the way she helps JD deal with death although she is the one dying is quite extraordinary.
  • An important episode.

    Old people have the power to give something back from their life's even if it's just the realization of death. In this episode J.D. learns how to deal with death. Actually all three main character's do that but J.D.'s case is the most interesting one. How to accept that someone actually will die is a very important lesson to learn. In J.D.'s case this person named Mrs. Tanner is something he can learn of and in the end he does. The heart warming and so necessary hug from Mrs. Tanner is the climax of this episode. This emotional episode made me watch scrubs. Since then I watched it a lot and I can truly say there are only a few episode's that are so tragic as this is.
  • For the first time, JD, Elliot and Turk have to deal with death and especially JD's patient, a 74-year-old nice lady, tells him a lot about life.

    I think this episode is one of the best episodes of Scrubs. From all the episodes of Scrubs I have watched this episode stays best in my mind and made me think about death and life.

    In the beginning JD tells us that one out of three patients die in the hospital, but in the end not only one but all three patients that the interns are treating die.
    The episode has three storylines, each dealing with a patient who's very sick and may die. JD's patient Mrs Tanner tells him that she is readfy to die and JD spends a lot of time trying to persuade her not to die. Elliot's and Carlas' patient Mrs Guerrero isn't speaking any English and suffers from Lupus. Turks patient David is very lonely in the hospital and so Turk eventually connects with him.

    This episode is very moving and wonderfully accompanied by John Cale's Hallelujah. The mood of the episode is very melancholic but also very life-affirming. This episode shows for the first time that a comedy show doesn't have to be funny all the time and can have emotional moments. And I thinl this episode shows one of the reasons why this show is so great: emotions and real life
  • Each of the main characters gets a new patient. Unfortunately all three of them get the raw end of the deal and they all lose there patients. "So they say that one in three..."

    One of the most powerfull episodes in the series, nay in all of television. I gave it a ten for several reasons. The beginning was entertaining and hooked the viewer. Then each character had individual conflicts to deal with through the episode. Then, everything begins to go wrong. One by one they lose their new patients. The music during this section is "hallelujah" as sung by Howie Day. The combination of the moments in the episode with this music is powerful and very moving. After the night ends, each character shows the fact that they learned something from the experience that they just went through.
  • Jay D, Ellot, and Turk have patients with different illnesses. There mission is to keep them from dying. But do they do a good job at it?

    I found this a very good episode. It should that ever one makes a mistake, its just about being humas. When Jay D, Ellot, and Turk have been assigned a patient to deal with. Jay D was assigned an old lady with a family that are as cruel as a rabid dogs. Mrs.Tanner (Jay D's patient) tells him to be a man. Jay D learns a lot from her and feels more better around her. Ellot was assigned a patient Ms.Gurrero that might have lupus. Ellot dosen't speak spanish so Carla needed to do it for her. Turk was assigned David Morrison who has a cause of hernia.
    Jay D learns to be more of a man, he also feels connected to Mrs.Tanner, but he knew he had to let her go. He was scared to do it but he did... Ellot is too scared to tell Ms.Gurrero that she has lupus, so Carla helps her out. And thats exectly what she needed. Turk tries to help David, and does his best to help.
    Sadly all 3 patients died, but Turk, Jay D, and Ellot learned something new.
  • The three interns are assigned with three patients each, and supposedly one of them is going to die in the end.

    This is one of my favorite episodes, even though it was way more sad than funny. I loved it, though. At the beginning of the episode, J.D. thinks something like, 'They say that 1 out of 3 patients who come to Sacred Heart die here' or something like that, and then it shows J.D., Turk, and Elliot all saying, "I'm going to be your doctor." J.D. is assigned Mrs. Tanner, a spunky old lady who he calls 'neat'. Turk gets a hernia patient who loves sports and who he likes. Elliot gets assigned a woman who can only speak Spanish and Carla is translating. Because of what J.D. said at the beginning of the episode, you think that only one of these patients will die. As the episode goes on, you don't know which one will die because it is serious with all three patients. Then at the end all three of the patients die. It shows J.D., Turk, and Elliot saying at the same time, "I'm sorry" to the patients's families. Then J.D. thinks, 'They say that 1 out of 3 patients who go to Sacred Heart die here, but sometimes the odds get even worse than that. Like today' or something like that. It was a really good, if not sad, episode that I really enjoyed.
  • The first dramatic eppisode

    Bill Lawrence himself says on the DVD exras that this was a big risk for him. unlike 'My Srew up', the show had not at that point already proven its ability to blend comedy and drama.

    The show started on a great comedic foot with that scene where JD goes back in time in the conversation, but makes all the same mistakes.

    Then, he quotes the fact that of every 3 patients admitted, 1 will die. Its NOT a shame that in this case all three died.
    It was, however, yet another risk; the network told creator Bill Lawrence that it wanted only one patient to die, but Bill was correct in that he wanted to demonstrate one simple fact:

    When you are a doctor, the odds are against you, and you can never bank on things turning out the way they should. And that fact was very well demonstrated in this most holy of scrubs eppisodes.

    If it wasn't for this eppisode, 'My Screw up', 'My Cake' and 'My Lunch' wouldn't have been as good as they were.

    This is because Bill had used 'My Old Lady' to establish the fact that he COULD do dramatic eppisodes, and showed HOW he would accomplish this.
  • A defining episode

    This is the first serious episode in Scrubs. It for me establishes it as not just a very amusing comedy but a truly brilliant show. It was the first (and defiantly not the last) episode that I cried in. It shows the three main characters J.D Turk and Elliot’s insecurities and fears and how for all of them it is their first real loss in the show, they are faced with the reality of their jobs and to their credit they all walk about taking something with them to become better doctors and people. Its episode like this one that is the reason that I continue to be devoted to Scrubs while I love the purely comic episodes, the tearjerkers are the ones that I hang out for and the only I remember long after I have seen them. My Old Lady is defiantly a classic.
  • One of My All-Time Favorites

    This episode is easily among my favorites, second only to "My Bed Banter and Beyond." It won the prestigious Humanitas Award, a writing award, and I can see why. The plot is perfectly paced, and the humor/drama balance that has become the series' trademark is truly established in this episode, and has never truly been equaled in the rest of the series. The song, "Hallelujah," proved two things to me. The first is that nobody does musical moments better than "Scrubs." Nobody. The second thing the song showed me is that "Scrubs" is not afraid to deal with controversial topics, using an overtly religious song in an episode about death. This alone earned my respect, but what truly made me fall in love with this episode was the character development.

    The premise of the episode is that one out of every three patients admitted into the ICU will die there. We are left wondering exactly who it will be as J.D., Elliot and Turk each get a patient that will eventually help them overcome their biggest weakness. J.D. is a relatively new doctor who is afraid of death, so the writers pair him with a woman who is ready to die. Elliot is having a fight with Carla and isn't sure of herself, and so she meets her worst nightmare when she has to have Carla translate to a spanish speaking patient who has a disease that requires making a tough call. Turk, being a surgeon, doesn't like getting close to his patients, so he is paired with one of the most sociable patients around. Eventually, these patients help them overcome their biggest fears, but then they die. I'll never forget J.D.'s narration at this point: "They say that one out of every three patients dies here. But some days the odds are worse than that. At times like that, the best you can do is hope you took something with you from that experience." Death is a natural part of life, and serves to teach us something about the value of life. J.D. learns to take some time for himself and start to really live life. Elliot learns to trust herself and gets a stronger relationship with Carla. Turk learns to spend more time with his patients and get to know them better.

    This is undoubtedly one of the best episodes that "Scrubs" has ever aired. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.
  • A sterling example of the Scrubs magic: laughter through tears.

    As so many others have noted, Scrubs excels in its ability to maintain its irreverent and sometimes surreal sense of humor while still giving us the chance to experience very powerful emotions--sometimes joyous, sometimes very painful. My Old Lady is an extraordinary example of that blending. As the show begins, we have no sense of "A very Special" episode of Scrubs. We have the usual gruff admonitions from Cox, the menacing threats from Janitor, and petty bickering between Carla and Elliot and a Time Machine, which J.D. uses --although his attempt is futile--to give himself the chance to hold his tongue, just once.

    The appearance of Kathryn Joosten as J.D.'s patient (the "Old Lady")is the first sign of things to come: this wonderful actress can only be a harbinger of good things. After several scenes of hostility between Carla and Elliot, we see them begin to let down their guards and bond: Judy Reyes' smile is so engaging when she allows herself to feel affectionate towards Elliot: these moments would pass for "emotion" on any other show, but the folks at Scrubs are just warming us up.

    As the bad news begins to pile up--Turk finds the tumor, JD gets the test results back, and the monitors indicate that Elliot's patient is failing--we are given a sense of the interns' confusion, hopelessness and fear. Thanks to the very engaging performances by Joosten and Travis Wester (Turk's patient) we find ourselves really saddened at the thought either of them might die. Kudos, too, to Esther Mercaldo, who gets our sympathy for her Mrs. Guerrero without speaking a word of English.

    One of the most affecting scenes comes as J.D. Sits with Mrs.Tanner, going over his list of things she should accomplish before she dies. She has, of course, crossed each item off her list, and when she tells J.D. that he should be "out there", crossing items off his own list, he makes a move to leave, but is unable to do so. When she asks what is bothering him, he turns to her and says "I'm scared". It is a simple statement, but so full of meaning. She holds out her arms, and he sits on the edge of the bed, curled in a fetal position and lets her hold him--the patient comforting the doctor. Well--if you're not crying now, you're just plain dead inside.

    I had the benefit of seeing this show out of sequence; I only started watching Scrubs recently--in syndication--and I think I had seen almost every episode EXCEPT this one, so I pretty much suspected that the "one in three" thing was a red herring, and that the odds were going to be closer to 3 for 3. Nevertheless, the writing, the performances and, as always on Scrubs--the musical score, made this a terrifically moving, thoroughly satisfying half-hour of comedy, drama and pathos.
  • Sad scrubs moments

    Off the top of my head there are 4 tearjerker moments in Scrubs. this is number 1.

    1. This episode at the end aided perfectly by the piano of Hallelujah which is of course the ultimate tearjerker song for me. I cried for the first time durine Scrubs when i watched this episode. It was almost like watching another show.

    2. Season 5 when the three transplant patients die. Cox's teary eyed gaze at J.D had me crying myself to sleep. There is something to do with the number 3 and death in scrubs I think!!

    3. Season 5- When Coz's and J.d's favourite patient dies. Up on the roof "at the beach". So sad she was gorgeous.

    4. Season 4- my Cake John ritter's tribute. Knowing that he had actually died made that episode even sadder than it should've been given we'd only met J.D's dad once. I was quite shocked that they didn't put the epilogue on the dvd.

    I never thought scrubs could pull off a tear jerker but it has done so much more convincingly than other typical tear jerker shows.
  • Such a touching episode.

    From the moment the episode starts with: "One in every three admitted here will die here" I knew this could either be a very bad look at death or a very touching story. I knew the answer though, because of course, it’s Scrubs. I think this episode was especially well directed when all three heart monitors flat lined. There was a split screen effect showing JD, Elliot and Turk; that was also well used in the episode "My Catalyst" of season three. This story shows the three medical interns as they deal with death in the hospital. Showing that when things are really bad all you can hope is that you learnt something from the experience.
  • The first Dramatic Episode of Scrubs.

    this was the first dramatic episode of Scrubs and it was done very well, in His commentry of the episode Bill Lawrence said that the Executives thought it was too soon and i kinda agree maybe they should of established the humour side of things before jumping to drama, i thought it was a good episode and was very funny in places and very dramatic in others and really developed some characters but i still think it was a bit too soon for a dramatic episode. Overall a good episode that was more dramatic than comedic. Also Zach Braffs acting whent he ton of bricks falls on him is awful.
  • JD, Elliot, and Turk each lose a patient to whom they are very close.

    This is my favorite episode, even outclassing the still fantastic My Screw Up and My Lunch (Numbers three and two respectively)
    You bond with the characters, obviously not to the same extent as Brendan Frasier's character Ben, but the Old Lady in question and Turk's Hernia patient (and to a lesser extent, Elliot's spanish speaking patient).
    This show was the defining moment for the series, being both hilarious ("Pretty sneaky, Death!") and upsetting (as all three monitors flatline, a paicked Elliot, Turk, and JD jerk their heads towards the equipment.)
    Hallelujah playing at the end adds to the drama, even though the hokey pokey could be playing in the background and I would STILL be bawling my eyes out.
    I'm horrible at writing reviews, but I think Comic Book Guy could phrase it best: Best. Episode. Ever.
  • The best episode of Scrubs so far (in terms of begiining from the start of the first season).

    One out of every three people who come here die here. With that one of the best episodes of the series begins. Turk, J.D., and Elliot (with Carla) each get their own patient. J.D. an old nice lady, Turk a fun young man and Elliot a Spanish speaking woman. Every one of the patients goes from ok to worse. However at the end of the episode all three of the patients die. The episode shows a development of every major character. It shows all of their soft sides and how they were affected by each of their patients deaths. A great episode and a must see for every Scrubs fan.
  • Turk, Elliot, and J.D. each have to deal with a patient who is probably going to die.

    For me, this is the episode that got me hooked on scrubs. The ending, the fact that if you know anything about television you think that only one of the three will die, and when this doesn't happen WOW! This is not a perfect episode, but it made me get involved in this series, and the show as a howl is one of the top 3 or 4 on television. The character of Elliot is realy established in this episode, as is J.D. . My Old Lady is a crown jewel for the Srbs mantel and if you want to watch just one episode to see if you'd like a series, watch this one.
  • This episode is the best of Season 1!

    This episode is pretty cool and I think that is really cool, because the three of them JD, Elliot, and Turk are asigned to a patient that they like very much. JD is asigned to an old lady that apparently teaches him something about life and death, but JD likes her so much that he does not wants to die when she decides to, so he tries to give her all the things that she should do before she dies, but in the end it turns out that the old lady has done all what JD ever imagine, which causes him to believe that his life has no sense at all, but in the end it is just an end in order for JD to find out that he doesn't has to pass all his time in the hospital, but needs to enjoy his free time. Meanwhile, Turk begins to make friends with an hernia patient that is really cool, and in the end they turn out to be really cool friends and when he operates him he dies, and makes Turk feel terrible, but his father convinces him that at least his son had a friend before dying. While Elliot is asign to a patient that speaks Spanish, and later discovers that she has a terrible illness and must decide to whether let her live to suffer more or kill her for once and for all. In the end, the three friends' patients die, and they end up finding out that they must enjoy life.
    This episode is really, really great!
  • My Old Lady

    This is the episode that took Scrubs to the next level. It seperated itself from other comedies by having a very serious storyline. The great intertwining of the three storylines of JD, Elliot and Turk is down well and their are good jokes throughout to lighten the mood. One example is when JD gets hit by a ton of bricks falling from the ceiling that he signed off on. Zach Braff put in an awesome performance and shows why he is such a great actor. This is one episode I just love to watch over and over again just cause it is so moving.
  • More than just another Scrubs episode

    Such a beautiful episode!
    I think this is one of the times when a sitcom is more than just that!
    I really love what the boy\'s dad said to Turk at the end of the ep! Sometimes having a friend in your last moments is not enough, but still very important!
  • First emotional episode

    Every now and then, Scrubs tries to do a serious episode which deals with emotions and most shows can't pull this off. That is how Scrubs stands out from other shows, it can mix comedy and drama so well, and for the first emotional episode, this was very good. The twist at the end is also surprising and that you don't see coming since at the start it is hinted that one out of three patients die and three patients are shown in this episode, one each treated by Turk, JD and Elliot. There are funny and serious moments in this episode and it works really well.
  • This is the sort of episode that defines Scrubs

    Comedy and drama rarely mix well. Most dramatic moments in comedies come across as sappy, poorly written/acted and make you cringe. But not Scrubs. This is the only show in recent memory that achieves this art with a consistent level of success.

    This episode in particular stands out as the perfect example. We are told at the start of the episode that (excluding maternity and emergency wards) one-third of all patients admitted into hospital will die there. We then follow the stories of 3 patients, each being treated by one of Eliott, Turk and JD.

    Each doctor ends up facing dilemmas toward the welfare of their patient, each of whom faces life-threatening complications. As a viewer, you become engrossed in the relationships formed, and spend so much of the episode wondering who will live and who will die.

    'My Old Lady' is the defining episode for the early stages of Scrubs.
  • To me, this is the defining moment of the show.

    Scrubs is essentially a comedy. It's always filled with clever jokes and gags that often make the show a lighthearted fare. Even so, the show is set in a hospital. It doesn't ignore the fact that not everthing in life is funny or amusing. The show takes the time to explore the sadder things in life and it manages to do so in a way that no other show does. It doesn't fall into the trap of cliches that plague other shows.

    This is the episode that best shows how this show can ballance comedy with drama. I found myself connected to all of the characters and was drawn into this story. If you have never seen this episode I recamend watching it when you really have the time to obsorb it. I envy those who get to watch it for the first time and discover all of this episode's surprises. Even though I know what will happen it always makes me laugh and cry. This is an episode that everyone has to discover.
  • This episode is better than most. A must see for any "Scrubs" fan.

    I like this episode more than others for reason that it is more compassionate than others. The thing about \"Scrubs\" is that it is funny while still being deep and meaningful. At the end of most sit-coms, the end of the shows normally will fade off in storyline. Whereas \"Scrubs\" will always put a moral to the story right before credits which makes the whole show enjoyable to watch.