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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 23: Under My Skin

You sure can tell that we are approaching the end of the season–they just don’t make episodes this good in November. Cue the spoiler-rific analysis…

The patient story was okay tonight, but as it is with the best episodes of House, the patient story isn’t really that important anyway. I will say that I looked up Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis and a highly recommend that you avoid Google Images on this one. For your sake, my link is to a Wikipedia article that contains no pictures. It does however confirm exactly what the episode told us, that this is a 1 in 1 million reaction to medication. It was interesting to see the team finish the case without House present, and it’s also funny to see Chase reinserting himself into the team. My only other comment on the patient is that no, her boyfriend was not Jonathan Brandis from seaQuest DSV.

As entertaining as it always is to watch House attempt to diagnose a patient, it’s always better when he is trying to diagnose himself. That’s exactly what made the season four finale great, and tonight was much the same. While it was obvious that we were leading to up to House confronting his Vicodin addiction, we still got some great television along the way including House actually apologizing to a patient for his methods. And even though he’s experimented on himself before, I really enjoyed House putting himself into insulin shock.  In fact, it really made me think about what a great Dr. Jekyll/Hyde we would get if Hugh Laurie was ever so inclined.

Ultimately, House faced his addiction head on, although not in the way I expected. When he walked into Cuddy’s office and announced that he was quitting, I thought he was doing it so he could secretly go to rehab. I didn’t expect him to make himself vulnerable by giving up control and putting it in Cuddy’s hands. We’ve seen House go through withdrawal before, so what we got next wasn’t entirely new territory. What was new was the exposure to House’s subconscious we got thanks to Imaginary Amber. On a quick side note, I’m somewhat disappointed that, while we see a very shitty-looking House in withdrawal, my research says there is just no way someone taking that much Vicodin could be through the worst in one night. 

After a long night, House awakens to find that the only annoying sound in the room is Cuddy’s breathing, and Amber is gone. This leads us to Cuddy’s departure, and the moment we’ve been waiting for since episode six this season. After episode six, I said I was glad that House and Cuddy didn’t jump in the sack right away and now I know why. This was a much better story to drive these two together. Cuddy loves taking care of House, and she is the only person with whom he is willing to show his true self. I know they won’t be happy-ever-after, but I believe they really do belong together at the end, whenever that comes.

House’s lines of the night:

  • Foreman wants to know why House was talking to the patient–“I think skinless women are hot.”
  • Wilson thinks that the vision of Amber means something–“Yeah, the irrational part of my brain picked the rational part of yours.”
  • Telling Wilson not to use the “cancer voice” with him.
  • What’s worse than death? “Double death?”
  • And for the romantic in me–Cuddy: “You want to kiss me don’t you?” House: “I always want to kiss you.”

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on House Season 5 Episode 23: Under My Skin