Thirteen finds her will to live after a man desperate for a diagnosis tries to get one at gunpoint and House applies his special brand of reasoning to the process
Credit: Richard Foreman/FOX
''Idiots are fun; no wonder every village wants one.'' Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), House Submitted by bono
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‘House’ recap: What is it they say about curiosity?

Who knew that Princeton, New Jersey had its own SWAT team? I was obsessed with that idea throughout the entire episode of House, during which I felt tethered to my seat like the hostages were at one point tethered to the crazy nerdish perp (played by Damages‘ wonderful Zeljko Ivanek) who took House and some patients hostage so that the best doctor in the hospital could diagnose his illness.

The intro was directed like a Radiohead video, with quirky jump cuts and slowed sequences of patients perambulating through the hospital waiting room while music much cooler than Muzak played over the footage. As always, the show looked very sleek — I even coveted the wintergreen colored sheets Thirteen rested upon in the final scenes. Princeton Plainsboro is not very plain at all; the hospital is spotless, the doctors are all good looking, and the furniture looks like the showroom for Design Within Reach. I find it easy to become immersed in the fantasy of the setting, and yet I continue to find it a struggle to suspend disbelief and just go with the flow when it comes to the story lines.

Am I the only one having trouble staying with these increasingly outlandish plots? I’m eager to witness intriguing unsolved medical mysteries puzzled out by my obnoxious Holmesie, Sherlock House and his trusty sidekick Watson/Wilson, but this particular setup really just didn’t work for me.

In last night’s episode hostage dude was very sick and nobody could figure out what was wrong with him, yet not one TV-land doctor referred him to House. Right. So this sick psycho with a handgun ended up in the best hospital in the country with the best diagnostician on the planet by accident? Our perp could have just looked House up on the internet or diagnosed himself on WebMD like I do every time I feel an ache that portends my immediate demise.

NEXT: House goes all Patty Hearst

The point is that I could write pages about all of the implausible bits of drama but much of this show requires that you swallow inane plotlines like House swallows Vicodins — just knock it back and keep moving. So let’s start with the fact that House gave his captor back his gun after the hostage taker was in the CT scanner! What? He WHAT? WHAT? Did that make sense? At all? Was our antihero suddenly overcome by Stock”house” Syndrome? This crazy and illegal maneuver (aiding and abetting a criminal, according to my Law & Order addiction) was explained away by Thirteen, the human pincushion into which House needed to shoot all of the drugs he was planning to use on his jailbound patient in order to assure the dude that the good doc wasn’t spiking a vein with bad medicine.

Thirteen yelled at House, “You’re a coward. You need to know everything because you’re afraid to be wrong. You’re so afraid of being ordinary, of being just another doctor, just another human being, that you’ll risk other people’s lives.” Wait, isn’t a coward someone who avoids danger and runs away from pain? Technically his maneuver was brave and risky. Also, really, really stupid, but the moment moved the plot away from an immediate solution and added tension to the final minutes of a show that despite it’s outlandish premise made me want to see how it ended.

Despite how much he poked and prodded, House never really completed his psychological profile of his abductor. There was a lot of verbal jousting but no conclusive evidence as to why this guy went nuts in a random hospital clinic rather than just Google his wide array of symptoms like every other person with inconclusive anythings.

It was fascinating to note that the SWAT team leader asked Cuddy if she had a husband or loved one who was being held at gunpoint in her office and she replied “no,” but later the cop said, “I hope your boyfriend knows what he’s doing.” Later still we came to the scene where House entered Cuddy’s office (which should have been a crime scene by then but, um, not in Princeton, apparently) and where I anticipated another hug or a kiss or even an emotionally heavy “Thank God you’re okay.” Instead they continued their high-school level crush, bickering about House enabling the patient and Cuddy enabling House. House explained that if the “moron with a gun” hadn’t taken the metaphorical medical establishment by storm, the poor sap would be dead. Now at least he gets to be alive in jail and that’s something, isn’t it?

Cuddy bantered with House for a bit and then just asked him directly, “Do you want a relationship?” He replied, “God, no. Just trying to follow your logic.” Here is House the cowardly liar. He is not afraid to risk his physical life, though he dulls his physical pain with pills, but he is afraid to risk his emotional life by walking away from the slightest possibility of rejection.

And then something cute happened. In the first scene we saw House in Cuddy’s office fussing with her desk. In the last scene she tugged at the furniture’s handle and everything fell out because House has literally gotten into her drawers. It was a fumbling start, at least.

So what did you guys think? Were you all in on the hostage suspense? Don’t you think that House would be brought up charges for returning the gun, or at least under some sort of medical review for going rogue and trying to drug the hostage-taker and getting that one guy shot?

Episode Recaps

''Idiots are fun; no wonder every village wants one.'' Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), House Submitted by bono
Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein star in the hit medical mystery series
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