On ''House,'' Cuddy out-crazies House in her efforts to save the POTW's unborn child, Cameron and Chase's no-strings arrangement gets a little knotty, and House tries to go on vacation

By Michelle Kung
Updated April 04, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
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”House”: Baby blues

As usual, subtlety made itself scarce at Princeton-Plainsboro last night. A wannabe mother and a doctor going overboard to save her doppelgänger patient? Check. The seemingly less invested half of a benefits-only couple actually being the one to fall in love? Also check. A crotchety old doctor melting at the touch of a teeny-tiny fetus hand? You betcha!

Although I wasn’t blown away by last night’s episode, I did appreciate the return of the show’s balance of character development, medical mystery, and plot. All season long, one of the three elements has usually overshadowed the others (see: the Tritter arc, last week’s veritable soap opera), whereas last night’s very special ”Touched by a Fetus” episode ticked off all three in a reasonable manner.

First off, Helen Hunt’s kooky sister from Mad About You made for a decent Cuddy stand-in as an unmarried pregnant photographer suffering from strokes and jaundice courtesy of a long-named disease that basically boiled down to sick baby, sick mom. The celebrity shutterbug’s story, however, wasn’t quite as dramatic as the Fox promo monkeys had advertised — I felt bad for the patient, but Anne Ramsay’s performance didn’t move me to tears. I was relieved when both mom and baby survived, however; offing either the parent or the unborn child after the latter goes into distress seems to be a rule of prime-time drama.

The photographer’s illness also finally let Cuddy ”win” a case over House — albeit through pure dumb luck. (I love how the crazier a doctor is on the show, the more plausible he or she becomes.) Given her professionalism, it seems difficult to believe that Cuddy’s biological clock would prompt her to go so far beyond the line of propriety as to almost electrocute a fellow surgeon in the operating room, but I suppose I’d risk it all for a fleeting chance at hope, too. And Wilson is ”Cuddy’s Cuddy”? Nice. Now, just give RSL some more screen time, okay?

Chase and Cameron’s burgeoning hookup is also starting to grow on me. I was never too keen on the characters’ getting together, and the writers are heavily foreshadowing that Chase is about to have his cute but badly dressed (blue-striped sweater vest over a yellow striped tie?) Aussie heart stomped on. But he was glowing!

On a minor note: I didn’t quite understand all the chatter about House’s constantly shifting vacation plans. Between the quasi-planned trips to Argentina and Cambodia to merely settling into his living-room couch, the doc did get out quite a few genius one-liners — from ”my uncle’s a turtle” to explain why he wanted to visit the Galápagos to ”I’m an insane genius” for undergoing an altitude-sickness prevention regimen in advance. The wisecracks (and studly B&W portrait pic) almost made up for the calculatedly sentimental shot of the unborn baby placing her rice-grain-size fingers on House’s fingertip. To cover up his embarrassment, he snarked the most brilliant line of the whole episode: ”I just realized I forgot to TiVo Alien.”

What do you think? Did the unborn-child story tug a little too hard on the heartstrings? What’s your take on the show’s interpersonal relationships? And are you missing yourselves some Wilson?

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Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein star in the hit medical mystery series
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