thoughts on pop culture

House Season 6 Episode 3: The Tyrant


courtesy FOX Network

House has posed many intriguing questions during the last five years, and this week’s episode was no exception. Making the doctors question the meaning of “Do No Harm” is exactly the kind of moral dilemma that I’d like to see more shows attempt to tackle. I’m sure the haters out there have simply dismissed the African dictator plot as extremely contrived, but I cannot agree. Other shows are too weak-willed and mainstream to even acknowledge the horrible acts that are committed in countries that most Americans can’t point out on a map. Instead of picking an easier storyline, House went so far as to cast massive star James Earl Jones as the dictator in question. With Boston Legal off the air, it’s great to see another show choosing subject matter that makes viewers think.

I never thought I’d like Jones in another African leader role more than I enjoyed his performance in Coming to America, but this was fantastic. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a show as successful as House could land a star of his caliber, but I just am. However they got him, his performance is what made the story work. I really believed he was just a sweet old man who had been wrongly accused–right until the moment when he turned into a raving bastard who made me believe he was willing to choke the life right out of everyone in Princeton if it suited him.

The secondary story of House and Wilson’s downstairs neighbor was equally excellent. I don’t think I’m the only one who thought House would go straight to the Captain Hook jokes when he met the guy, but I definitely wasn’t expecting the roller coaster the two ended up taking. The pseudo-break-in was vintage House, but the sedative injection was pure Dexter. Ultimately, I find that I’m not hung up on whether the medicine behind the mirror box trick was real, probably because the emotion in the scene felt so genuine. I look forward to an even more powerful moment someday when House is able to end his own pain, the pain that has defined his life ever since we have known him.

If this is the kind of material we can expect all season, I’m thrilled. I try to avoid spoiler info, so I won’t share in the speculation about who may be leaving the show, but this week’s closing scenes certainly gave us a couple very strong candidates. I’m all for moving back to the original staff, so Thirteen and Taub can go on their merry way as far as I’m concerned. However, if I’ve learned anything about this show, it’s that there is no point in trying to predict who’s going to be employed at Princeton Plainsboro by the end of the season, regardless of what Michael Ausiello or Variety might say.


There was some classic banter tonight, especially related to House not having his license back yet.

House, upon seeing Cameron, Chase, and Foreman enter the room – “Oh my god, it’s three years ago. Does that mean I’m still crazy?”

Cuddy as the voice of the viewer – “He can’t practice, but we’d be idiots not to listen to him.”

House, to Cameron while trying to give clues on the diagnosis – “I need you to spread your legs so I can make an ‘H’.”

October 8, 2009 - Posted by | Drama, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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