‘House’ recap: Like father, like son
Finally, my favorite doctor-doctor couple got back together in what would have been a very special Father’s Day episode of House. It was thoroughly fulfilling to witness House and Wilson shouting acute psychoanalyses at one another during the funeral service for House’s old man (oh, hey there, Dr. Freud) because the make up scene was awesome. Watching the two of them at the diner, working through a differential to help save the patient, and later sharing a brief moment of real emotion in House’s office, was so satisfying that someone (who isn’t me) could probably have used a smoke.
Yes, before that Wilson tossed a bottle of booze out a stained glass window in a private viewing room at the funeral home, while a dead old lady was not resting in peace in a casket just a few feet from the fight. This was after House yelled at Wilson, “You’re scared to death of losing anyone that matters, so you dump the person who matters the most to you.”
Sniff, so true! I, too, was ready to ditch the show I love if my favorite witty repartee duelers didn’t patch up their wounds and return to battling one another. Their blowups actually end up blasting mental roadblocks out of the way so that emotional health is even a possibility for either of them. I can’t really think of another show (mostly because I am exhausted) where the characters bruise one another with accusations of psychological weakness so that catharsis is possible in each episode.
When Wilson loudly insisted he had moved on (from House) during the big-baby brawl, he was really admitting to being in denial about with his fear of losing House (who did almost die in the bus crash with Amber). House always rips the old skin off his colleague’s wounds like a burn unit nurse scrubbing off dead tissue to get to the next painful (but eventually healthy) layer of skin (or some such medical simile). The more we learn about the intricacies of their relationship, the more confusing it becomes. Which one needs the other more? Does Wilson even really have a say in whether or not he’s House’s friend? Could House really have intuited Wilson’s pain as he carried around his divorce papers at that medical convention so many years ago, and bailed him out in an act of kindness… or was it really just because he was bored?
NEXT: Father knows best
We also got quite a peek into House’s complex father complex. He didn’t want to go to his father’s funeral because he hated his Marine Corps dad, who we learn is not House’s pop at all. (It turns out that Mrs. House hooked up with some guy who looks like Sean Connery while her husband was in Okinawa.) When House reluctantly gave his crappy one-minute eulogy for the old man in the box whom he hated, House was describing himself, obviously:
“If the test of a man is how he treats those he has power over, it was a test my father failed. He was incapable of admitting any point of view but his own. He punished failure. He loved doing what he did. He saw his work as some kind of sacred calling. “
Okay, we got it. And House did too. He stopped during this revelation to fake cry by the casket so he could snatch a tissue sample from Mrs. House’s dead husband with a fingernail clipper and test the DNA to confirm that this effed up man was not his father. And, even though this class-act duo was not a genetic match, House is his father’s son (see crappy eulogy) and he eventually did falter at the realization that his father was really dead. (And didn’t you just know, from the sheer flippancy of Wilson’s earlier dismissal of the idea, that House would be right about his lineage?)
So one mystery was solved — and, though I was not on pins and needles (a pun!) wondering about the patient’s medical mystery last night, I did note that there was no shortage of pins or needles in this episode.
Cuddy got evil pleasure out of dosing House with something stronger than Sleepytime tea so that he would pass out and Wilson could kidnap our antihero and take him to his father’s final goodbye party. I love that she chose to jab a needle full of night-night medicine into House’s gluteus maximus, after insisting that this “anti SARS drug” worked better if she shot it into his hindquarters. Ah, did you feel sexual undercurrent there? I expect a lot more from this kinky couple soon.
I was mesmerized by the aha! moment when House solved the mystery of the alcoholic patient who fell ill while searching for her birth parents in a Chinese temple run by scam-artist monks. (BTW: Did Scooby Doo write that opening sequence?) I’m not sure how House guessed that the patient was in danger of being killed during her imminent MRI because her father stuck 3 pins (!) into the fontanel of his baby girl’s head when she was still an infant. The powerful magnet that is the imaging machine would have caused these metal interlopers to shoot out of her brain if the procedure was not stopped in time. Ow. Plus…ow! Now they’ve gone and touched off one of my biggest fears.
So, a little inadvertent House PSA for Goth kids: Always remember to remove your piercing before an MRI so your jewelry doesn’t get sucked out of your body.
What did you guys think? Did House’s statement about parents messing up their children put too big a bow on the episode’s theme? And how much would you have given for a flashback to that medical convention where House and Wilson met?