House recap: Soap Bauble
There was so much to love about tonight’s episode, but I’ll start with the song that played during the ”let’s run more tests/’cause we don’t know what’s wrong with the patient/he’s gonna die if we don’t figure it out fast” montage right before the big reveal. It was Beta Band’s sweet ode to drug use, ”Needles in My Eyes,” from the album Three EPs, which I am still humming as I crank out another House TV Watch.
So House kidnapped his General Hospital-ish soap-opera obsession and man crush, Dr. Brock Sterling, played by Jason Lewis, who is totally lust worthy, as we knew already from seeing him naked as Samantha’s boy wonder on Sex in the City.
It was hilarious to witness House pine while watching his favorite daytime drama, chilling out with his feet up in the doctors’ lounge and smiling like a gleeful idiot as he puzzled out plot twists. My favorite prime-time doc drama similarly fills me with joy when I can’t quite sort out the mystery till the very end, the same thing that kept me glued to Scooby-Doo as a kid.
It turned out that our biggest clue was in the first scene, when soap doc sipped from a prop cocktail filled with water and tonic (which contains quinine, the substance that caused the dreadful and near-deadly allergic reactions). That drunkypants maneuver was also a meta nod to House’s Vicodin habit. I don’t remember an obvious cold open that foreshadowed the case-solving moment of the show before, but that made it that much more fun when the solution was revealed.
Tonight’s dose of Housian philosophy came during a bedside moment. The soap actor was lamenting his career choice and how it was emotionally bankrupting him, saying that he just wanted to do something that mattered. House retorted, ”Nothing matters. We’re all just cockroaches, wildebeests dying on the riverbank. Nothing we do has any lasting meaning.” When Dr. Goodlooking asked House if he was afraid to change, House responded, ”No, you’re afraid to change. You’d rather imagine that you can escape instead of actually try. ‘Cause if you fail, then you’ve got nothing. And you give up the chance for something real so that you can hold onto hope. And hope is for sissies.” Oh, sniff. House, we know you are projecting your feelings onto another human being.
NEXT: Getting aroused
And this brings me to the scene with Cameron, who had been given the assignment of cleaning out House’s ill-kept patient records. House told her that she could come back to work for him, offering to fire Thirteen, whom he had only hired as Allison 2.0. Whoa. She told House she did not miss him, but her demeanor suggested that their mutual longing would continue (in case we forgot that this show is also a doctor soap opera).
Sex was a main character in this episode. We even got to watch a diagnostic test that measured penile tumescence. The blips on the monitor naturally led to a blood-pressure explosion. My own elevated-heartbeat moment came when I actually had a sympathetic response to Amber for the first time ever. Dr. Wilson’s romantic subplot was annoying me until Amber demonstrated the capacity to care about a person besides herself. When she told Wilson that she wanted him to make decisions for himself and not do what she wanted him to do, because otherwise he would secretly resent her for not having his needs met (phew), I thought, ”Wow, Amber Alert! Cutthroat B—- cares”.
And I care too, about the show again, finally realizing that I love supersmart Gregory House because (a) he is always right, (b) he gets away with everything, and (c) he does not have to do any paperwork. That last bit reminded me again that this is indeed a fairy tale, and my favorite soap opera.
What did you think? Will House’s flirtation with either Cameron or Cuddy go anywhere? Does having meaningful work make people happier? And if you were the hospital inspector, would you have given Princeton Plainsboro a passing grade?