‘House’ recap: Kindness is its own reward
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What a very special episode of It’s A Wonderful Hospital…er…House. I have to confess to suffering from a case of sudden onset hyper-emotionalism at the end of last night’s story. My tear ducts overflowed with the sadness of it all when Cuddy showed of her new baby to House after finding it miraculously alive in the arms of the junkie squatter. The babe’s dying 16-year-old chubby mother had hidden her pregnancy and thought she’d had a still birth. What a sappy show it was, but I really had a good time watching the whole thing.
First of all, I just loved watching House turn into a nice person. I could have watched several hours of clinic duty where the man pretended to have good bedside manner. When he politely asked the moron patient to demonstrate how she used her inhaler (turns out that she sprayed it like a perfume atomizer) his grin grew so Grinch-like that I thought Cindy Lou Who would be poking her head in the door outing Santy Claus to the other believers.
House tried to be a good boy to win a bet with Wilson. Wilson told his gambling pal, “it’s too bad you can’t be nice to people, you could get a real present that way,” and I had my aha moment as I realized that the whole hour would be about people being good to one another and getting stuff in return. Cuddy was so loving to the dying teenage alkie and ended up getting the kid’s kid (which is a nice addition to the story line. Will House and Wilson take turns babysitting?) A grateful Thirteen thanked Foreman with a spa treatment that evolved into a lip massage by the end scene because Foreman is ultimately trying to save Thirteen’s life. And finally House got a gift from the cheating “virgin” for lying to her husband and explaining this immaculate conception with the idea of human parthenogenesis (I believed House too, alas).
NEXT: Lori Petty’s moving performance
Lori Petty did a convincing job as the Huntington’s disease trial patient — each time I watched her rock back and forth I felt pain and sadness over her plight and impending demise. That’s a rare empathic feeling for me to have while watching House because star doc generally makes fun of all his patients or doesn’t care about them at all. There is so much joking around in the hallways that I don’t respond to the cases as more than plot points. This performance was different — more real, I guess.
This season has been criticized for being too repetitious; the show has visited the idea of the tragic overweight patient twice before. There was the morbidly obese man who just wanted to eat and die in peace (played wonderfully by Pruitt Taylor Vince) and another young girl with a tumor on her pituitary gland, which made being fat not her fault.
Are you bored with the story lines? I tend to watch a lot of old House episodes in syndication and am nostalgic for the old relationships. When Sela Ward played Stacy Warner, House’s paramour, she doused Gregory’s heart in gasoline and set him on fire with the sparks in her eyes. Compared to that rapport, Dr. Cuddy seems like she has a mild case of the flirts. And that might be my complaint. There needs to be a fire starter on the show. David Morse as Tritter was threatening. So was the gent who played the hospital boss who wanted House fired.
My favorite couple is still House and Wilson. I laugh at their repartee no matter how many times they dicker over stuff. When the diagnostic team investigated the origins of the mystery Christmas present on House’s desk, Wilson made up a story about a shy love interest and then blurted out that the reason he has so much intel on the gifter is because, “the secret admirer gave [House] the same book I gave him last Christmas.”
Sounds a lot like how the show regifts plotlines, and I keep tearing them open to see what’s inside because I keep hoping it’ll be new. What do you guys think? Did you catch the holiday spirit? Was House’s real act of kindness the fact that he allowed Cuddy to enjoy her moment of new motherhood without any snark? Will you be following House to Mondays in January?