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”House”: A deadly dilemma
After dedicating so much time to the House-Cuddy-Wilson-Cameron-Chase love, um, pentagon, the show’s writers are finally giving the (s)he-loves-me, (s)he-loves-me-not antics a rest, and the least besotted doc is reaping the benefits. Picking up from last week’s episode, a newly ”timid” Foreman tried to do good by a couple and their two sick sons, but when the worried mom and pop decided against a risky procedure, the doctor ended up repeatedly plunging a huge needle into the younger boy. With no anesthesia. While the child was tied down, screaming, ”No!” at the top of his lungs. And did I mention the big needle? Unsurprisingly, torturing a young boy — however good his intent — forced Foreman to reconsider his career choices, and he concluded he had no option but to give House his two weeks’ notice. Although the resignation is clearly a sweeps stunt (hello, May!) and/or a setup for this year’s season-ending cliff-hanger, his dilemma about wanting to become House-the-super-diagnostician but not House-the-super-misanthrope was pretty compelling. For as House pointed out, Foreman was probably born to be emotionally detached; the older doctor was merely teasing out an ambition and a coldness that were already there. As part of his struggle to come to terms with his own dead patient from last week, Foreman (in a nice bit of continuity) also consulted with Chase about how the Aussie dealt with losing a patient last season.
POTW-wise, I genuinely empathized with the leukemia victim’s family this week. First they were told they’d have to cripple one child to save the other. Then they were told they’d have to kill the initially ailing child to save the newly afflicted one. After that, each brother elected to risk his life (and endure massive pain) to save his sibling. All were insanely tough choices to have to make, and for the first time in weeks, I truly felt invested in the characters, as opposed to many previous episodes, where the science has trumped the personalities. Getting to know a 14-year-old with three recurrences of cancer is painful, and hearing his parents being told, ”You can leave here with one dead son or two,” didn’t help matters.
Chase, meanwhile, is still rocking the atrociously ugly ties and reminding Cameron in a kindly stalker way that he still likes her and wants to be with her. Aw. Also aw-worthy? Wilson’s ex-wife’s dog. Now, I rationally realize that cute fuzzy dog = audience manipulation, but I completely fell for Hector this episode. Being stoned on Vicodin? Mimicking House’s limp? Making sad doggy eyes? So cheesy, yet so adorable. When Wilson was walking the mutt out of House’s office, I really did expect him to trot back to his newest owner, As Good As It Gets-style. And speaking of Wilson, the oncologist seriously needs to grow a backbone. How is it possible that someone with such a kowtowing personality is actually the head of cancer treatment at a high-level hospital? While the House-Wilson banter was a bit off — the former was particularly vicious to the latter, calling him a coward — it did include a genuine apology (about the aforementioned comment), along with the standard quips about Wilson’s self-righteousness. House even managed to get his friend to pay for his new flame-decorated cane. (”It makes it look like I’m going fast.”) AC/DC soundtrack optional.
So what do you think? How long before Foreman withdraws his resignation? Are Chase’s constant reminders to Cameron romantic or lame? And should House have kept the dog?