So Frank Whaley brought mirror syndrome into Princeton Plainsboro last night, which made him the first patient who was also a diagnostic tool for the psychological shenanigans going on at my favorite mental ward, House’s Department of Diagnostic Medicine.
A lot of people got called crazy in this episode. In fact insanity vied with misery as a name-calling winner — so our cast was either nutjobs (as House described the Mirror) or miserable (as House described contestant Grumpy).
What a fantastic plot device for this show — to have a person whose affliction demands that he mirror the alpha male or female in the room. Who wouldn’t want the magic superpower of reading the truth about others without having to drag a psychic around all the time? In fact, House has a bit of this strength, as manifested by one of his own psychological defenses — he reads people’s flaws, which is one of his most charmingly alarming traits. Nutters often have this frightening acuity — they know their adversaries’ weaknesses and keep them in the crosshairs for future use.
House’s mad skills at figuring out whodunit were demonstrated beautifully when Cuddy swapped his Vicodins for laxatives and he then said to her, ”I know what my Vicodins look like. Do you know what your birth-control pills look like?” Sweet of him to notify her.
I was intrigued by the possibility of solving the mystery of Number 13 and delighted when she stepped in front of the Mirror. He told her he was scared, but when House asked what she learned, she told him that the Mirror likes rhubarb pie and isn’t afraid to love.
We can assume she was fibbing, since the Mirror was shivering in her presence, and you don’t go from ”I’m freaked out” to ”It’s all good, let’s have pie” right?
No doubt House will save that info for a later date (perhaps in more than one sense of the term).
I am happy that the Mod Squad (Foreman, Chase, and Cameron) is back together, though I realize now that I really only like them as a team because Hugh Laurie is such a great actor he ups the game of everyone who surrounds him. It’s less fun, for example, to watch Foreman on another job because the tension between him and House is so thrillingly palpable. House is the defibrillator who knocks the heartbeat back into each character.
Speaking of shocking, I did like how House called the kettle black by telling Kutner (Kal Penn) that he was insane (or had an aversion to towels) for electrocuting himself nearly to death while slamming the paddles on the Mirror’s wet chest.
Now speaking of not so shocking, I laughed out loud when Cuddy confirmed that she liked her breasts in front of the Mirror in a feeble attempt to demonstrate her domination of House. (Ah, so many inappropriate jokes could go here — I know, write your own!)
Loved. This. Episode.
My favorite House Wisdom: The point is not to eliminate misery but to keep misery to a minimum.
Favorite reference to another TV show: When House channeled Tim Gunn in the lecture room and told the Top Doc contenders to ”carry on.”
Favorite Gross Medical Moment: Though sludgy blood sounds yucky, we did not actually get to see it. Instead I vote for Cameron’s Civil War doc moment where she was sticking her entire finger into a knee wound in the ER.
What do you think? How long will Foreman and House’s détente last? Were you disappointed that no one got eliminated? Who should go next? And what is Number 13’s big secret?