'House' recap: The ties that bind us
A boy makes a grave error while trying to help his younger brother, a teenager is running away from the pain of her brother's death, and Wilson tries a little reverse psychology on his work bro
‘House’ recap: The ties that bind us
In last night’s opening sequence of House we found a woman pleading with her factory coworker for a monetary donation to help a comrade. A young woman who seemed to be the shop foreman tried to persuade the guy to part with some coin because his stricken pal had helped out Mr. Cheapskate in the past. A colleague tried to tell him that they are family, but the man pretty much said, “Nah, we just work together.” Old Skimpypants was clearly not gonna help a brother out, but last night’s episode was all about the myriad ways that bro rapports work and don’t work.
House and Wilson had a few fascinating interactions. Wilson decided to say nothing about House’s stalled relationship with Cuddy so that his lovelorn pal could fill in the gaps regarding his schoolboy shyness with his lovely boss and act on his own impulses. House clearly felt lame because he didn’t ring Cuddy’s bell, and he wanted a psychological shove from his sidekick to get him back on track. There was no way the curmudgeon could abide Wilson’s silent manipulation: “I want you to stop thinking that acting inscrutable makes you anything more than annoying,” he said. And then he shouted, “Holding things in can give you cancer.”
Whoa. And that pronouncement was the big clue to the diagnosis for this episode’s main patient. A 16-year-old girl (the factory line boss) first claimed she was emancipated because her parents were deceased, then said it was because her dad raped her. Ick. I felt immediate sympathy for this girl because she seemed to be doing so well on her own despite a really crappy start. Eventually we learned she had lied to hide an even more disturbing truth, and then we found out that she had cancer in the form of leukemia.
(Speaking of not holding things in, a side note: Often one of the diagnostic procedures on the show is the drilling of the skull to look for lesions or something while the patient is still wide awake and talking to the doctors! I know that last night Thirteen was just adjusting the machine when Taub pulled his I-have-Huntington’s disease routine, but this visual still freaks me out every single time. See, if someone was poking at my brain I would not be able to converse with that person because I would be obsessed with the fact that someone was touching my brain! Just had to get that thought out of my noggin before I continued.)
NEXT: Taub calls Thirteen out
So, the 16-year-old girl had a great moment with House when he looked into her eyes and demanded that she tell him what bad thing she had done and was now hiding from everyone. She then confessed to killing her younger brother. Yikes, that’s not good. She was supposed to watch him while he was in the bath and we’re lead to believe that he ended up drowning. Now she believes that her parents hate her for causing her brother’s death. Even with all the lies and fake-outs, this was a really sad revelation that kept me tethered to the story line.
Yet another sibling relationship, this time featuring two cute blonde moppets, came to near-disaster. Foreman broke away from House and tried to solve a case all by himself (if you don’t count Chase and Cameron’s input). But in the case of the 4-year-old lad whose über responsible older brother pumped him full of too many kiddy vitamins, which led to iron poisoning, Foreman nearly killed the kid by venturing to solve the medical mystery without his professional older bro (House) keeping an eye on him.
Ultimately this episode was about sorting out the right balance when helping another human being. Older bro wanted his wee giggly baby bro to grow big and strong but ended up nearly killing the boy he loved most. The girl with leukemia lost her brother permanently via neglect. And Wilson, the notorious helper man, did nothing in order to force House to do something on his own (but House rejected this rejection). Additionally, House backed off from Foreman, who rebelled and fought for his independence only to fear flying too far away, but that tough-love move turned out okay (though the result seemed lucky rather than skillful since the patient nearly died of cardiac arrest).
Meanwhile, Taub and Thirteen explored this delicate relationship dance during their search of the patient’s house for clues:
Thirteen “He (Kutner) needs everything to be nice. He wants to see the best in everyone.”
Taub “Yeah, friendly is a dangerous thing.”
Thirteen “There is such a thing as too trusting.”
Taub “The corollary is there’s such a thing as not trusting enough. Too much, you get hurt. Not enough, you don’t live.”
Thirteen “So the object in life is to get hurt just the right amount? Excuse me if I don’t take relationship advice from you.”
Whoa. So convoluted, yet so potentially full of life lessons. And Taub didn’t stop there when it came to calling Thirteen on her attitude toward life and patients. I think it was mainly his insight that “nothing’s ever personal” with her, that got her to go above and beyond for the young girl. (That’s right, folks. Dr. Remy Hadley to the rescue.)
At the end of these emotional tests and this very clinical seeming trial, I’m just looking forward to House getting through Cuddy’s front door. Yeah, whoa.
Are you happy with things moving really, really slowly with House and Cuddy? Who’s looking forward to next week’s hostage episode? Check out this clip of House and Cuddy making out, and report back on how many of you are watching this kiss on repeat. Also, yay or nay on the song chosen for this re-edited clip of the historic moment?