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House Season 6 Episode 5: Brave Heart

courtesy FOX network

courtesy FOX network

Okay, this parkour thing has gone far enough. I draw the line when I fast forward through the opening of my favorite show because I think it must be a Mountain Dew commercial. Once I hit rewind and started over, I must admit it was a pretty cool change of pace for an opening of House. The changes kept coming as Chase continued to wrestle with the Dibala case and House continued on the road to recovery.

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October 19, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Television | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on House Season 6 Episode 5: Brave Heart

House Season 6 Episode 4: Instant Karma

house_6_4_Instant_Karma

courtesy FOX Network

Just four episodes into the season, House has already served up some big-time changes. The good doctor getting emotionally invested in a serious relationship, turnover on the staff, a huge ethical dilemma with an equally huge guest star, and now–an episode intro without a sudden onset of symptoms?

Granted, this isn’t the first time an episode of House has started with a whimper instead of a bang, but I don’t think it was a coincidence tonight. Last week’s episode ended with a shocking revelation courtesy of Dr. Chase, and tonight we started to see what other changes could be coming our way very soon.

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October 12, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Television | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on House Season 6 Episode 4: Instant Karma

House Season 6 Episode 3: The Tyrant

House-Ep604_Sc15_3022

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.

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October 8, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on House Season 6 Episode 3: The Tyrant

House Season 5 Episode 24: Both Sides Now

I am a colossal fool.

I actually bought into last week’s episode and the House-Cuddy hookup that wrapped it up. I can’t believe I didn’t even see this coming.

I’ve said it about a million times–we know that the patients on House always parallel what’s going on outside the exam room. Tonight the patient had ‘alien hand syndrome’ as a result of a procedure to split his brain in two. Oddly, I wasn’t even tipped off to the outcome of the episode when Thirteen made a totally obvious comment about the question of identity raised by their patient. My suspended disbelief even stayed intact as the episode got more and more ridiculous–with House announcing his Cuddy hookup to the entire staff after being encouraged by Wilson to be a bigger asshole than normal! Ultimately, the big reveal showed us that House quitting vicodin cold turkey was just a bunch of shit and that everything since his conversation with Cuddy last week was just a vision.

Despite my disappointment with the reveal, I enjoyed a couple parts of the episode immensely. House treating Cuddy’s potential feelings like an illness to be diagnosed was both funny and true to his character, although ultimately this led to the climax and my disappointment. Better still was the appearance of Carl Reiner as clinic patient Eugene Schwartz. At first I thought this was just an excuse for Reiner to cut up and give House/Cuddy something to fight about. I wasn’t prepared for the heartbreaking revelation that Eugene really had pancreatic cancer all along.

The good lines were spread around tonight:

  • House – “It’s like locking the barn door after the horse got out and it’s had its face between your breasts for an hour and a half.”
  • Wilson, responding to House’s update about getting busy with Cuddy – “Wow. You were sober AND SHE was sober?”
  • Thirteen to Taub about Chase/Cameron – “It’s always a sad thing when sperm comes between people.”
  • House – “Great advice, you pretend I’m gonna do that.”
  • Cuddy to House about his announcement to the staff – “What you did is beyond asshood!”

Another thing sticks with me about this episode. When House retrieved Wilson to assist with the patient in the MRI lab, he told Wilson he needed his special skills. Wilson came and talked the patient in a way that kept him preoccupied while the team could look for the underlying problem. I was left with the impression that even House realizes that Wilson has a talent for interacting with people who have mental problems.

The following are the three notes I wrote, in the order I wrote them, during the big climax scene in Cuddy’s office.

  1. What is going on with House?
  2. Is this whole thing a hallucination?
  3. Are you fucking kidding me?

As I watched the closing montage, I found myself unfulfilled by the Chase/Cameron wedding, even though I wanted them to be together. More importantly, I was shocked to see House actually allowing himself to be taken to rehab. At least I thought it was rehab until I saw the sign over the door that said Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. Was House actually committing himself? I guess we’ll find out for sure in a few months, but he made it pretty clear last week that vicodin-induced hallucinations would be easier to overcome than being a wacko–at least from a career perspective. This makes me think it really is rehab, and that it just happens to be a very serious program that actually takes place at a mental institution.

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

House Season 5 Episode 22: House Divided

Last week, when the episode ended with a vision of Amber (aka Cutthroat Bitch) greeting House at his apartment, I was not excited.  It seemed like a weak attempt to fill out the cast after the sudden departure of Kal Penn’s Dr. Kutner.  In addition, I really felt like we had already done the whole ‘vision of Amber’ thing back at the end of Season 4 when House was remembering the circumstances of the accident that caused in her death.

The opening of the episode was excellent.  While I have no experience being deaf, I felt like they did an outstanding job of recreating the experience from the patient’s perspective, especially the way they created the symptoms of Exploding Head Syndrome.

House’s greatest hits of the night:

  • Showing up with the giant 80’s style boombox and the hilarious sunglasses.
  • Calling imaginary Amber “Gazoo” (Flintstones reference for those who didn’t get it)
  • On Wilson helping plan the bachelor party – “What, there were no retired ministers available to plan it?”
  • About Dr. Cameron – “Says the soon-to-be second prettiest Dr. Chase.”
  • Wearing the bluetooth headset so he didn’t look like a crazy man talking to himself.
  • Adding chemical burns to the death certificate after his practice in the morgue went wrong.
  • Secretly throwing the bachelor party at Wilson’s apartment so he had no choice but to attend and end up wandering through the streets with no pants.

This was one of those great episodes of House that gave us both a great patient mystery and an outstanding non-patient story. Watching House go from dismissive of Imaginary Amber to completely reliant upon her was intriguing, but not nearly as interesting as the revelation that his subconscious thoughts were not to be trusted. It’s one thing to take advantage of the excellent recall of distant memory, but another to allow your base instincts to nearly cause the death of Dr. Chase.

Near the end of the episode, we also saw a rare vulnerable side of House, as he admitted to Cuddy that he had not been able to sleep since Kutner’s suicide. It’s rare to see this kind of honesty from House without it being immediately followed by a smart-ass remark. Then, as the episode closed and House awoke after a full night’s sleep, he is greeted by Imaginary Amber, who asks, “Sleep well?”

Far from a desperate attempt to fill the Kutner void, I think this may actually have been the best episode of the season.

May 3, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on House Season 5 Episode 22: House Divided