‘House’ recap: Doctors without boundaries
Last night’s episode opened with a bang…literally, as lucky Thirteen had a horizontal naked party on her mattress with a lady, while the Kills’ excellent and sexy single ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ thumped out a fitting lyric: “I want you to be crazy/’Cause you’re boring, baby, when you’re straight.”
And yet, despite the provocative girl-on-girl premise (which a delighted House described as Penthouse Forum meets medical mystery) and some goofy prank one-upmanship by Drs. House and Wilson, this episode had a really weak pulse for me until the final scene, when we learned that Cuddy is adopting a baby! I know! So happy for her, right? Not House, of course. It was stunning to see Hugh Laurie in action as he reacted to this news in the baby store. House could not fake happiness for his boss, and despite all that the new mom and her secretive character reference know about their emotionally stunted pal, Cuddy and Wilson also looked stunned by Doc House’s marked lack of a reaction. That one final sequence jump-started the episode, which I had feared was on a bridge to nowhere. Now, of course, I am eager for next week to happen already.
Besides the revelation that we might soon be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet in the hospital halls, the most interesting stuff on House this week came from the cranky doc’s diagnosis of Foreman as having a case of the dulls: “You haven’t done anything stupid, spontaneous, or even vaguely interesting since you were 17, and that’s sad.” So, of course, Foreman asked Chase for a second opinion, only to be told, “Yes, you’re boring. That speech was boring. You don’t let other people’s problems affect you. You never let your own problems affect you. You’re never out of control, and it’s the screwups that make us interesting.”
You know what else is really boring? Watching a show where people talk about being boring and then writing about how boring that moment was on the Internet. I began wondering why Foreman was boring, and why Thirteen was also boring, instead of paying attention to the patient’s typical near-death drama. Thirteen certainly suffers from the same dreary funk as Foreman, but she, at least, is ill with Huntington’s disease. Her death was upgraded to sooner rather than later, which is depressing and sad. And yet I found the whole girl-gone-wild subplot to be more contrived than authentic, with this as a prime example of why:
Thirteen checked her ex-lover for spider bites in an exam room. Uh, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t there some oath where Hippocrates said a practitioner of the medical arts isn’t supposed to play doctor (wink, wink) with a patient? Wilson was called on this no-no by House back when Wilson hooked up with one of his oncology patients, but then again, this is a hospital that looks like it was decorated by the Design Within Reach people, so I must learn to stop my quibbling about authenticity on television. And yet, it was all such an obvious excuse to show some skin and get the extra titillation points that I couldn’t take it seriously.
NEXT: Thanks for the pranks
Back to being boring. So, simply put, no matter how much of a turn-on her sexual antics may be, Thirteen’s constant dour mood makes her lack any luster. And Foreman seems like a human blood clot to me — stopping the flow of energy in any room where he is present. Foreman couldn’t even get Thirteen’s door open during the breaking-and-entering-under- the-guise-of-finding-clues scene. House had the keys to her place, as he does for the rest of the team. (Subtle much? House’s mission is to have the keys to, and find the answers for, everything. Got it.) Hopefully the writers will give Foreman a prescription for fun, stat. Maybe prescribe him a girlfriend? Foreman is a great doctor with a conscience, but all work and no play makes watching him a dull event.
Meanwhile, I always love seeing the Orson Welles Touch of Evil poster that hangs in Wilson’s office, and it did serve as an apt backdrop to the sequence of joke playing that went on between the two boys. The House broken-chair prank was okay, since it left Wilson flat on his back, but even Wilson’s “I am dating a hooker” lie didn’t beat the weekly torture that Jim Halpert has been known to unleash on Dwight Schrute (a rooftop wait for an FBI helicopter, anyone?) on The Office. Still, it was a nice way to see just how much Wilson can get inside of House’s head. He knew exactly how to play him. That was just one of a few scenes in which one of House’s inner circle knew what he was thinking or where he was going before we did. First, Thirteen knew that House would find a reason to go into her home and snoop around without her. Then Foreman gave House the perfect alley-oop for the the best line of the night, which he anticipated and they delivered together: “Those conversations go both ways…like Thirteen.”
As an aside, I will tell you that I am obsessed by how well Hugh Laurie does an American accent as House. This skill always amazes and amuses me. Check out some clips of my favorite TV actor on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson to see how not boring Hugh Laurie is.
What do you think that Foreman should do to shake things up? And with whom would you rather be stuck in an elevator, House or Foreman? Was I the only one whose heart stopped when they showed what looked like the kiss between House and Cuddy in the preview for next week’s episode? Was House’s non-reaction to the baby news because he thought he’d run out of time to make a real move on Cuddy?