”House”: Deep-seated rivalry
Dear House writers: See? Now was that so hard? Sometimes, all a loyal viewer wants is a standard-issue episode sans preachy messages and melodramatic story arcs. Patient of the Week-centric episodes are what this show does best, and last night’s refocus on a genuine medical mystery — complete with diagnostic room action, a life ”lesson” for one of the ducklings, and parental advisory-level gore (seriously, I’m knocking on wood no doc’s ever going to manhandle my intestines à la House plowing through the POTW’s bowels) — demonstrated how entertaining Shore & Co. can be when they lay off of the pseudo-philosophical stuff.
Not that the episode was perfect. The depiction of the patient’s Romany (Gypsy) family felt spread on too thickly for me, and as soon as I saw the dad chewing away at the toothpick in his mouth, I knew it somehow had to be involved in the diagnosis. And my condolences to the actress Jessy Schram, who was dumped by Logan on Veronica Mars and is now, presumably, going to be cast aside by her family-devoted boyfriend after he leaves the hospital — in spite of his speech to Foreman about doctors and their empty ring fingers.
Besides, if protection from loneliness was the take-away lesson, isn’t it less effective when directed at Foreman, seeing as he has a girlfriend? Or has she magically and conveniently disappeared for the sake of that lonely dinner-and-a-journal-article closing shot? Still, it was nice to see the young docs back in rotation.
On the more lighthearted side, Hugh Laurie rocked (or is that rolled?) in his wheelchair standoff with Cuddy and in his High Noon reenactment with Dr. Whitner. He got to deliver a slew of his typical one-liners (”You can’t yell at a guy in a wheelchair,” ”Make way for the cripple,” ”What, you want to see some butt crack?”), not to mention flash a dazzling grin while sliding on the ice just before smacking into his car. House breaking into a genuine smile is such a rare occurrence on the show; it would make a lesser recapper squee like a schoolgirl.
The writers need to give Cuddy back her backbone, however. Although I actually agree that using a cane on ice seems more dangerous than riding an automated wheelchair, last night Cuddy fell for House’s guilt-tripping like she always does, which makes her seem like a one-note character. That’s a shame, considering the chemistry she shares with the doc.
While they played minor roles, the supporting cast brought their A-game — Chase was very convincing while he ”diagnosed” a love affair, and Wilson entertained us with his ”Dr. Ironside” jab and subsequent ”That’s my name, don’t wear it out” retort to House’s rather wordy one. Plus, Cameron got her hair under control. Three cheers for stability.
But how did you find the episode? Were you glad to see House back to its old formatting? And would you like to see the wheelchair-bound Dr. Whitner make another appearance?