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I wanted to love last night’s House, and there were parts of it I really dug: Wilson is the most underused character on the show, and getting a whole episode devoted to Robert Sean Leonard was a real treat. But the plotting felt sort of off to me, so while it hit some true emotional notes, the path to that payoff didn’t quite click.
We opened on House’s lack of house-guesting manners and the welcome thrill of hearing Hugh Laurie rock out on “Faith.” Wilson was headed off to his annual hunting trip (Parks and Recreation shout out?) with a friend House IDed as a “self-important jerk.” Please, everyone, make sure your pot/kettle paperwork is all filed by the end of the year. Said jerk turned out to be PopWatch favorite (and avid Twitterer) Josh “Jeremy from Sports Night” Malina as one of Wilson’s former patients. He explained that Wilson’s treatment had helped him beat a six-months-to-live prognosis a full five years ago. He still seemed kinda jerky, though, and then his arm got paralyzed and the whole episode was set in motion: Cancer dude was sick! Again!
Wilson had what he called a “House moment” with a creative inference, but he guessed wrong. “Your caring is clouding your diagnosis,” admonished House, and that was the theme of the episode: Can Wilson be as good a doctor as House, given that he’s a big old softie? Well…no. “I can handle it when things go wrong; you can’t,” House said later in the episode, and again, true. Sure, House is a big stinkin’ jerk, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from 20 years of watching medical shows — and I have learned a lot, in case any of you want me to diagnose your obscure illnesses or explain how UNOS works or what Occam’s Razor is or what “matching” means or what happens if a doctor is exposed to HIV — it’s that being too emotionally attached to your patients isn’t a good thing. In this case, it costs Wilson a lobe of his freaking liver, even with House’s nastily snarled “Don’t be a doormat, Wilson.” Too late.
The best scene of the episode (the best scene of most House episodes, really) was the final fight between House and Wilson. Our beloved oncologist asked his BFF to be with him during his liver surgery, and House balked: “If you die, I’m alone,” he said, and I swear he was close to tears. I know House has taken a turn for the worse, but Hugh Laurie is still all A-game. I think that’s why so many of us are still so invested in the show. It’s definitely why I am.
In related news, Cuddy wanted to move in with Lucas, which is more annoying than anything else: Are we seriously supposed to buy this relationship as anything but an arbitrary obstacle to an eventual Huddy pairing? Cuddy’s a responsible single mother — and she’s moving in with some creeper detective she’s been dating for a few months? Give me a break. Please. Like an actual pause from this nonsense.
At the end of the episode, Wilson was back on Team House, even snatching up the loft Cuddy wanted to move her crappy relationship into; instead, it will be the spacious Chez Hilson. I like these guys living together, but Wilson’s conclusion that “She hurt my friend; she should be punished” was jarring. That’s just not the Wilson we know, even if he’s in the throes of regretting giving up part of his liver (don’t worry — it regenerates! livers are the best!). And if we’re going to keep score, doesn’t Cuddy kinda lose here? Hasn’t House hurt her a lot more than she’s hurt him? And she deserves to be punished for turning him down?
Anyway, a few other thoughts:
++The Pigeon sisters are the neighbors on The Odd Couple, which House referenced when Wilson came home drunk. Snerk.
++ “Right, that’s room 12A” is a reference to a beloved Monty Python sketch, and Wilson’s reaction totally slayed me: It looked like he didn’t get the reference, and was too irritated to even ask what it was.
++ Taub putting his hand out to take the chart from Wilson was hilarious and perfectly timed. There’s such a funny show buried in here sometimes.
++ I get that this House isn’t a documentary, but the totally ludicrous doctor-gives-patient-his-liver plot really irked me, especially because we didn’t see Wilson jump through any hoops. He convinced Cuddy with a 30-second spiel. I wish we had seen him have to go to required counseling or something and really explain himself.
Still, Wilson’s the best, and the idea of him and House achieving domestic bliss together as roommates in an architectural wonderland puts a pep in my step. How about you, PopWatchers? What’d you think of “Wilson,” and, er, Wilson?
Photo credit: Michael Yarish/Fox