On ''House,'' Foreman accuses his boss and colleagues of sabotaging his job interview, Cuddy lobs a crazy offer to keep him, and the POTW reminds us of someone we know

By Michelle Kung
May 16, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
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”House”: Sabotage and snark

Beating House at his own verbally abusive game is hard, so this week’s patient, a 16-year-old with rage issues and searing, spreading pain — not to mention a bizarre resemblance to a demented young Leonardo DiCaprio — deserved a gold star for legitimately getting under Dr. McCaney’s skin. Vicious and without a single redeeming quality (even his mad speed-chess skillz couldn’t trip up House), the POTW was the doc times ten, but without any of the smarmy charm or truly superior mental capacity that set House apart from your standard misogynistic, racist jerk.

Brought into Princeton-Plainsboro after smashing the face of a fellow chess player with a clock, Nate was eventually diagnosed with hemochromatosis, a disease caused by the accumulation of too much iron in the system (bad) that was unrelated to his personality defects (even worse) — but not before hitting on Cameron (déjà vu, anyone?), insulting Chase by calling him Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and accusing him of still having themed birthday parties, and having an insultfest with House (”Age before cripple.” ”Arrogance has to be earned.” ”I can walk.” ”I don’t bleed out of my penis.”). The kid seriously put out waves of revulsion; no wonder even his mother hated him. If he were mine, I’d have only two words for him: Boarding. School.

The mouthy patient, however, was secondary to the true driving plot of the episode: Foreman accused his colleagues of sabotaging his job interview to New York Mercy, setting off an investigative round robin among all the main players. I had no doubt the blame would cycle back to House (he almost had me, though, when he told Foreman, ”I only sabotage people I consider worth it”), but the setup allowed for an equal balance of all the side players, which has been lacking of late. Wilson continued to be the best character after his titular pal by fessing up to his weaknesses (”I’m an enabler”) — although his assessment of Chase, whom he accused of being afraid of House, was off base.

Chase has rather grown into his own of late, so kudos to him for tracing the circle of accusations back to his boss, who accurately predicted Foreman wasn’t ready to leave the nest because he still trusted House’s diagnoses over his own. Points also to Chase for grittingly reminding Cameron of his attraction and refusing to be a peer reference for Foreman; there’s no way I’d help out a guy who recently told me he didn’t like me, ”never have and never will,” either. Nice continuity, writers! Also, was I the only one oblivious to the double entendre of Chase telling Cameron, ”See you next Tuesday”? I had no idea the phrase had a dirty second meaning until my roommate pointed it out. Nice joke, writers!

And finally, how ridiculous was Cuddy’s generous offer to Foreman to persuade him to stay? She may ”have back,” but that’s certainly not the same as common sense. It was not only unrealistic for someone to turn down a doubled salary and the promise of heading his own diagnostic group, but the offer was also unrealistically lobbed at Foreman, who hasn’t done anything to merit it, and rather has caused harm, both physical and mental, to colleagues and patients alike. Now, I’m not saying that Chase and Cameron currently deserve their own teams, but they never went around sticking needles into colleagues they disliked. I’m just saying.

As we count down to Foreman’s (faux) departure, what did you think of Cuddy’s offer? Will House break down and ask Foreman to stay? Does Chase need to stop with the weekly Tuesday reminders? And what happened to hot vegan girl? See you in two weeks!

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