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House and Cuddy: A Love Story Six Seasons in the Making

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It’s been several years in the making, but this year “Huddy” will happen on House, M.D. That is, House (Hugh Laurie) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) are about to embark on a relationship. According to the show’s Powers That Be, the two will really try to travel this road, fraught though it may be with potholes and other obstacles (including, I’m sure, House’s considerable issues and attitudes).

Season six ends with the camera focused on House and Cuddy’s clasped hands as they embrace standing in House’s bathroom.courtesy of FOX Nearly a mirror image of House’s season five delusion about Cuddy in “Under My Skin,” Cuddy once again rescues House from the depths of despair, this time with a simple declaration of her love, and more significantly this time for real.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think the House brain trust initially intended for House and Cuddy to wind up together six years after House’s “thin line between love and hate” rant in “Occam’s Razor.” House doth protest too much when Wilson suggests there’s something more than antagonism between House and his boss, hence the “thin line.” House retorts that this metaphorical line is long, deep, and quite heavily guarded.

No matter House’s feelings toward Cuddy at the beginning of season one, television characters often take on lives of their own (sometimes much to the chagrin of the writers and authors who create them), and here we are. The X-Files creator Chris Carter insisted for years that any sparks flying between Mulder and Scully were purely incidental and no romance had ever been intended for the FBI partners. But a mystical ingredient called “chemistry” happened between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and unresolved sexual tension replaced any other sort of tension between the characters. The characters took on lives of their own, and (for better or worse) at times it drove the series narrative almost as right alongside aliens and the “the consipiracy.”

Some fans (a minority, in my opinion, but a significant minority) are afraid of this thing House creators David Shore and Katie Jacobs have released, calling it the series death knell, the jumping of the proverbial shark (and much worse). But I trust the immense creativity of the writing team to maintain a light touch on this relationship. And by light, I mean not fluffy, but handled gently. I also trust Hugh Laurie not to ever make House too happy, too healed or too hopeful. And I trust Lisa Edelstein to relish the relationship, but not to let Cuddy get too starry-eyed.

The series writers have often played with the conditionality of love; it’s something about which House is certain. “All love is conditional,” House argues in “Son of Coma Guy.” Sometimes we just don’t know where the boundaries lie. House is pretty certain by the end of season six that Wilson’s love is unconditional, and he tells his psychiatrist in “Baggage” he can say anything to Wilson, knowing that he won’t abandon their friendship. That friendship has withstood quite a lot, especially with House’s need to test its boundaries: Amber’s death, House’s incessant game playing and manipulation, and interference in Wilson’s love life. House’s love for Wilson has also withstood a lot of battering, mostly from Wilson’s sometimes destructive meddling and manipulation.

As the relationship between House and Cuddy is about to heat up exponentially, I wonder what the future holds for these two characters. Will they mesh or will it end up being a mess? Will their relationship burn bright, burst into a chrysanthemum of fireworks and catastrophically crash, destroying their personal and professional relationship? Or will it do a slow burn, heat up and settle in, rewoven into the fabric of the series narrative?

We all know that House lies — all the time. And some of us have known he has lied most vehemently about his feelings for the Cuddy since the start. With House (the character) nothing is ever simple, and his feelings for his boss are complex and conflicted, a mix of admiration, caring, and (probably) a giant dollop of resentment (especially in the first years of the series). Add to that, for the first season and a half, House is dealing with those oh-so-buried emotions about his ex-significant other Stacy—and his attraction to Cameron.

Of all the characters orbiting House, Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) has, since season one, perceived something behind all of House’s leering, sexist commentary about Cuddy’s body parts, clothing, and actions. Equating House with an adolescent boy who “likes” the smartest (or prettiest) girl in class, he sees House’s attitude as akin to pulling on Cuddy’s braids or dipping her pigtails in a metaphorical inkwell. He knows.

So what’s the story with those two? According to series canon, House and Cuddy have known each other longer than any other two characters on the show. When House was at the University of Michigan Medical School, he met a first year student. It’s not absolutely clear, but it’s implied that Cuddy, like House, was in medical school. He sized her up quickly and accurately by glancing at her course schedule, and was intrigued enough to seek her out at a fall dance. The interest was apparently mutual, since Cuddy also stalked House, auditing an endocrinology class in which he was enrolled and also trying to find him at the same dance. Their brief encounter made enough of an impression to House that his subconscious pulls it up obliquely in his “Under My Skin” delusion about her.

Spending the night together, House had intended to follow up, but learned the next morning that he had been booted from the first of three medical schools from which he was expelled. (The second was Johns Hopkins; at this point we don’t know the third—or where he finished his medical degree.)

We learn this bit of information in “Known Unknowns” (6×07) and can only speculate about what that night was like—and perhaps why in season five, House retrieves Cuddy’s medical school desk from her mother’s house to surprise her (“Let Them Eat Cake,” 5×09). That desk holds some significance for him, and since he disappeared from her radar after that one night, one can only guess why. (Is it getting hot in here?) Anyway, I digress.

Presumably they both finish medical school, perhaps not really thinking of each other like two ships passing in the night, significant only for that singular encounter. House meets Stacy, fall in love and a couple years later, House gets a clot in his right thigh—which brings us to the next significant milestone in the history of these two.

There is little, if any, recognition between House and Cuddy during “Three Stories,” a season one flashback, revealing the history of House’s leg and his relationship with Stacy. It is the real only peek backwards in the series’ history, and the fact that neither House nor Cuddy acknowledges each other in the episode is interesting, given what we know now.

It’s possible that so early in the series history, there was no intended back-story to House and Cuddy. It’s also possible that the one-night stand from years earlier was ignored by them both (or dealt with off screen). How’s that for “fanwanking?”

By “Humpty Dumpty” early in season two, however, the suggestion that there might be “something” going on between House and Cuddy beyond simple snarkiness becomes more explicit. All three of House’s fellows wonder about their unusual relationship. Cameron is curious as to why Cuddy hasn’t yet fired House for his attitude; Chase and Foreman wonder why House seems to know where Cuddy keeps her spare key. Wilson calls out Stacy for her curiosity about House and Cuddy’s relationship. And in the end, House asks, “Why does everyone think we’ve had sex?”

But season two (at least the first half of it) is devoted to House’s pursuit (and eventual winning) of Stacy; there is little to suggest through those episodes much of anything special between Cuddy and him. And by “Skin Deep,” Cuddy deeply wounds House by treating him with a placebo during a week of devastating pain (pain that Wilson attributes—significantly—to the end of House and Stacy’s brief affair).

Things begin to change by the end of season two when Cuddy asks Wilson to dinner (“Forever”). To me, this will always be the turning point—signifying the moment, perhaps, when the House creative team began to understand that they might really have something to play with beneath usual banter between the two characters.

In “Forever” (one of the last episodes of season two), House is almost pathologically curious about this dinner invitation. Wilson insists that “it’s a date.” House is equally adamant that it cannot possibly be. “You’re too nice for her; she’s not needy enough for you,” he points out. House is always curious—about everything—particularly when it involves either Wilson or Cuddy; this involves both of them. But when House realizes that Cuddy may have sought out Wilson because he’s an oncologist, and therefore she might have cancer, House is immediately concerned. Hovering around Wilson as he surreptitiously does some DNA marker testing on Cuddy’s saliva, House is so anxious to know, Wilson wonders about why. House denies it, deflecting with a comment about Cuddy’s evilness. We know he’s lying; so does Wilson.

It’s not cancer; Cuddy is trying to conceive via artificial insemination, using fertility meds to improve her chances. Wilson is but a potential sperm donor—not a new boyfriend. House deduces this by observing the pattern of Cuddy’s moods and eating habits as clues to her hormonal state. Anyone that aware of another’s behavior has to either be a stalker, insanely curious—or just insane. But never mind that; the most important bit of information we can gather is actually what he does (or doesn’t do) with the information.

House, who is almost as big a yenta as Wilson when it comes to everyone but himself, keeps her confidence, not even telling Wilson. By the next episode, “Who’s Your Daddy,” Cuddy enlists his aid, asking House to help her both with the needed fertility injections and with selecting an anonymous sperm donor. The fertility injections are an intimate and private affair to Cuddy, and the fact that she trusts House to help her I believe touches him profoundly. The first of the two injection scenes in “Who’s Your Daddy” is one of the sexiest medical scenes I’ve seen as House swabs Cuddy’s tush with an alcohol swab—thoroughly. She seems to enjoy it as much as he is, and House’s gentleness and professionalism remind her that, yes, House can be serious and… medical.

Although House helps Cuddy with the injections, he disapproves of her choice to use an anonymous donor. You might think that the uber-rational House might approve of removing the messy humanity from procreation as Cuddy is doing. But House thinks she’s wrong, and that selecting someone she trusts and likes is a much better way to create a child. He goes about it awkwardly, and I don’t think he’s suggesting himself as a donor (although I think he’d like to be asked), but I think that he’s disappointed that she’s removed all emotion and personality from the process.

I think she takes what House says to heart, and for a brief moment, Cuddy may consider asking House to be her baby’s father. But she backs away from the idea in a very charged scene between two very reticent characters. Would they have taken another step towards each other? Perhaps, but whatever might or might not have happened is thwarted by the season two finale when House is shot and nearly murdered.

“No Reason,” the season two finale, takes place (nearly entirely) in House’s mind—a hallucination while he lies bleeding on his office floor after he is shot in the neck and abdomen. Although the hallucination is a stinging self-indictment of the series’ central character, seeing into House’s subconscious and for the first time we catch a glimpse of how he really sees Cuddy (as well as other characters).

In his hallucination, House perceives Cuddy’s desire to cure him of his chronic pain (but paralleling his experience with Stacy in “Three Stories,” Cuddy performs a procedure on him without his consent). Throughout the hallucination, he is furious at the betrayal, believing that the cure will adversely affect his genius. How dare she (and Wilson) conspire to trample on his rights and potentially kill his career in medicine? But in the end, briefly regaining consciousness as he is wheeled into the emergency room, House listens to his Cuddy subconscious, requesting her to treat him with ketamine, an experimental veterinary anesthetic to “reboot” the pain centers in his brain. House’s hallucinatory savior is a role played by Cuddy several times over the following seasons.

Season three is a very difficult time for House (at least through the first half of the season). Pain-free weeks disintegrate into legal trouble as he misguidedly tries to deal with renewed leg issues when the ketamine treatment stops working. Cuddy colludes with Wilson trying to get House to “change” while he’s still healthy and relatively happy (“Cane and Able”), and then again later in the season, trying to manipulate him into rehab by denying him needed pain meds (“Merry Little Christmas”). They are not on the same page much during these episodes. House is a pain in the ass to Cuddy, whining about his blood-stained carpet having been replaced (“Lines in the Sand”), but that pales in comparison to the very “sharp stick” with which he pokes her in “Finding Judas.” He tells her the unthinkable—that it’s a good thing she never became a mother, because she’d be terrible at it. Ouch. He makes her cry, and she believes there may be an element of truth to his painful words.

That, of course, does not stop her from perjuring herself in “Words and Deeds” to resolve House’s legal difficulties. She lies to keep him from going to jail for 10 years and losing his medical license. Although House would likely attribute it to her protecting the hospital’s “biggest asset,” Cuddy likely does it because cares a lot about House.

It is in the last half of season three that we begin to be able to pick up on more intense feelings between them. House is jealous in “Insensitive” when Cuddy has a date with nice (and wealthy) guy. He teases and mocks, but is a deer caught in the headlights when Cuddy suggests that House’s interest in her is more than professional. Her date observes that Cuddy is “different” when she’s engaged in conversation with House, suggesting that she thrives on this unique relationship and implying that she’s unavailable to anyone else.

Then there is that lovely little interplay in “Half Wit.” Cuddy’s concern over House’s health mirrors his concern about hers in “Forever,” and when House visits her late at night at her home and she hugs him (in friendship), he grabs her tush. She doesn’t slap it away or even push him away; she accepts it for what it is and appreciates House for who he is.

We dive back into House’s subconscious again in “Top Secret,” where Cuddy once again is there, this time to help him solve the case. But she’s also there because House connects her with his patient—eventually. At the end, we get a wisp of a hint that House and Cuddy had a night of… something, although that “something” is never quite spelled out. Cuddy tells House to get over her: to stop fantasizing about her and interrupting her dates. “That ship sailed long ago,” she reminds him. But has it? Nah.

House is jealous that Wilson has expressed an interest in Cuddy in both “Act Your Age” and “House Training.” He goes so far in “House Training” to seek out an ex-Mrs. Wilson (Bonnie, wife #2) to understand how Wilson works his charms. And in the season three finale “Human Error,” Cuddy visits House late at night in his office as he ponders a patient alive only by artificial means. The patient has traveled thousands of miles through significant danger to see him, and Cuddy believes that House is reluctant to turn off the machines because he doesn’t want to disappoint the patient’s husband and destroy their dream. House denies any romanticism in his calculation, but as we know, House lies (most of all to himself).

Also interesting about that scene is his observation that he likes the way the dim light of the room plays off her legs. At the time, I remember commenting to fellow fans that I thought House and Cuddy had begun an off-screen affair (and even wrote some fanfiction about it!). But it becomes clear in the next season that they haven’t. But that’s for part two.

To be continued, so stay tuned!

On a personal note: thank you to everyone who has emailed and tweeted such kind words about Chasing Zebras, which came out this week. It is greatly appreciated!

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • Jackie

    Debbie J – They (Craig and Hugh) do know each other from the UK during their comedic days.

    I know what you mean regarding other appearances on the Leno show that seemed strained and uncomfortable. The only time that he had a full hour (well a bit less if you count commercial breaks) was when he appeared on “Inside the Actors Studio” with James Lipton.

    I am looking forward to season 7. House and Cuddy have been leading up to this since the first episode of the series. Other episodes have delved into their chemistry – “Humpty Dumpty”, the one with the performance review – can’t remmember the title though, her part in “Three Stories”, “Human Error”, “Who’s Your Daddy?”. “Cane and Able”, “Lines in the Sand” and “Words and Deeds”, just to name a few of the more than 130 episodes. I don’t think that it will be the undoing of the series. Katie Jacobs said at the outset that this type of character can have layer by layer peeled away and this is exactly what is happening. With Hugh as an executive producer and having a say in what goes on, I really don’t feel that the plotlines will run amok. Monday, September 20th, should be interesting to say the least.

  • DebbieJ

    I really enjoyed last night’s interview. Jay seemed to behave himself and actually gave Hugh time to answer questions! They seem to gel last night where in previous interviews it felt strained and uncomfortable for Hugh.

    I enjoyed the little sketch in the beginning and am glad he stuck around until the end of the show.

    I cannot wait for him to appear on Ferguson again (and this time of year I would expect him to, to promote the new season). They seemed most at ease with each other and I believe they genuinely like each other. Maybe even know each other from the UK.

    I’d also enjoy an appearance with Conan. But like you said, Jackie (#85), it would be wonderful if a full one-hour magazine type show was devoted to him. Also, could you imagine him on Oprah?!

  • Jackie

    I don’t care for Leno either, but I managed to stay up and record Hugh’s appearance. I am hoping that Hugh appears on Craig Ferguson’s show in the near future and on Conan O’Brien’s new show when it premieres in November on TBS.

    Hugh was great as always and a joy to watch. He looked terrific. The 12 minute interview (from midnight on) could have gone til 12:37 as far as I was concerned. I wish someone would have him for an entire hour. I am hoping that one day CBS Sunday Morning or 60 Minutes would have a segment on him before the final series credit roll on “House”.

  • Janine

    I am a letterman person too

  • DebbieJ.

    @Janine #82 – Leno *always* talks about himself and always interrupts his guests when they’re speaking. It’s very frustrating and the reason I don’t watch him. I will only watch him when someone I really really like is on. I love Letterman’s style much better.

    For those who haven’t seen it, marykir’s clip is very comprehensive, which includes the little sketch before Jay’s monologue and Hugh’s appearance during the next guest’s segment.

  • Janine

    hate leno, but I caved and watched. the interview was pretty good but it seemed like leno wanted to talk about himself a bit. fave parts: the watershed joke as well as the 17 inch laptop joke with picture! (won’t elaborate for those who don’t want to be spoiled)

  • ruthinor

    I’m a Letterman fan myself and never watch Leno, but he wasn’t a bad interviewer tonight. I didn’t see the show (I live on the west coast), but saw a video online.

  • DebbieJ.

    @ruthinor #79 – ACK! No thank you! I’d rather stick a needle in my eye! I dislike Jay Leno immensely! I’d rather wait to see just the Hugh parts of the show either on youtube or marykir’s site in a day or two.

  • ruthinor

    For those of you who don’t mind spoilers etc, watch the tonight show with Leno tonight. Hugh Laurie is on. I’m on the west coast so I haven’t seen it yet, but someone on another forum said to watch it from the very beginning, i.e. even before Leno’s monologue. I think they are showing some clips from season 7.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Simona: you make excellent point on both the Lydia arc and the future of House and Cuddy. I fully agree.

    The easiest way i could find to get hold of a book is by bookdepository.co.uk. They are amazing, very quick and no taxes.

  • Janine–I haven’t seen the premiere yet. I’m looking forward to it like everyone else! But, yes, season seven’s start look like it will be great.

    Thanks all for your great comments and keeping things talking while I’ve been away for the Rosh Hashanah. Simona–I think the book (in English) should be available at amazon.it. There is talk of translating the book (and one deal, I believe has been reached), but I don’t know about other languages.

  • DebbieJ.

    @Anna #60 & @Simona #74 – I couldn’t agree more. Lydia was a vital part of House’s recovery and discovery that he is capable of love and to be loved. She was a catalyst in his ability to be with Cuddy. She did change him. And for that I am grateful and thrilled!

  • simona

    barbara sorry, best wishes for your book CZ! will it be distributed in Italy?

  • simona

    Thanks Barbara and all for the discussion!
    You said almost everything! 🙂
    I just want to quote @anne uk #60 – “I don’t think we should forget Lydia.I think she had a profound effect on him and without her he would never have been able to confess his feelings for Cuddy. With her he lets down his defenses completely – something he has never done even with Stacy. By loving him and then leaving him she both heals and deeply wounds him, but after her he can no longer reconstruct his defenses. As he says in Lockdown, ” She changed me”.”

    I think that this is a very good point. I liked the Lydia’s arc because it was very meaningful to the process of changing House. It showed us how important it was for him to admit his own loneliness and understand that surrender to another human being could be a way to suffer less (to be “happy” at that time was still a big word). For this reason the House’s feeling for Lydia, even after the rejection of her, never turned into resentment but remained as an intact sense of gratitude to another human being who helped him to unlock, so it’s not accidental that he talks for the first time about Lydia in the episode titled “Lockdown”.
    After the experience with Lydia House probably felt he could better handle his loneliness surviving also a rejection. This experience has left a braver House, a man more willing to risk in the desired relationship with Cuddy.
    And speculating on the possible evolution of the relationship with Cuddy I really can’t see a definitive “end” between them. They are two adults who know and love each other deeply, who have both suffered, who have had past experiences of failed relationships, which have been sought for years and finally found themselves at par in recognizing both weak and unarmed, naked facing each other. I do not see them give up very easily facing the difficulties that surely there will be but that could be overcome if they choose to walk together. I predict there will be ups and downs, big conflicts.
    In the words of a famous Italian song (that I try to translate): “two different characters catch fire easily, but alone we are lost, we feel almost nothing”.

    I’m “patiently” waiting for the start of season 7! 🙂

  • ruthinor

    OOPS, let me rephrase : Wilson is not a “that”. He is the only established character WHO….

  • ruthinor

    Wilson is the only established character that calls Cuddy Lisa when the two of them are alone. But he refers to her as Cuddy when he and House talk about her. I think House addressed the book to Lisa and Lucas because it would seem very strange to use last names in that situation. (In fact, it was a very strange present, as Cuddy pointed out!).

    I wonder if it sometimes feels awkward for LE to be called by her own name in some of these scenes, so I hope they stick to Cuddy and House.

  • DebbieJ.

    Stacy wasn’t an established character. She came later in season 1. So when she referred to House as Greg and to Cuddy as Lisa, it seemed natural and not forced. We could assume because she’s always called them that. But when all of the established characters have always called each other by their last names since S1:1, for them to change – even when they’ve become intimate – seems fake and somehow not natural. DS and KJ have promised us that things won’t change much in regards to House, so I’m hedging my bet that he will continue to call Cuddy Cuddy – even in the throes of passion! LOL All I know is that I cannot wait to find out!

    P.S. Anyone else having trouble previewing their comment before they post? The adverts below seem to be in the way.

  • Janine

    I had actually totally fogoten about that.

  • Greenhouse

    Let’s not forget House’s inscription in the book “To Lisa (and Lucas)” signed “Greg”
    WHich would imply they could use first names in a more intimate background

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Personally, i think they will stick to the last names in professional situations and many personal ones, but use “Lisa” and “Greg” in very emotional and intimate moments.

    @Janine: i read that – it sounds fantastic.

    @DebbieJ: I fully agree that it sounded forced with Chase and Cameron, but this is House and Cuddy we’re talking about:) And the kind of chemistry and emotional baggage and intensity they have, they can make a first name sound like the ultimate declaration of love, intimacy and closeness.

  • Janine

    Good poin, I forgot about that. I guess its just because she wasn’t a doctor.

    Ausiello just posted that he seen the premier and some scoop about it. Have you seen it yet?? Based on his few little scooplets it sounds really good.

  • Jay

    @Janine, Stacy also called Cuddy Lisa. I think she’s the only character to have used both of their first names.

  • Janine

    I agree it sounded foced between Chase and Cameron (which could have something to do with their real life past) but I always loved when Stacey called House Greg, it somehow made it feel as though they had a more intimate connection.I’m torn because House and Wilson never use first names ,but then again thats a guy thing.I feel you may be right DebbieJ though, perhaps just out of force of habbit they will stick to last names.

  • DebbieJ.

    @Janine #63 – imo I think an emphatic NO! I think they will always call each other by their last names, intimately as well as professionally.

    When Chase and Cameron called each other Allison and Robert, it sound so forced, so fake.

    Well, we have 10 more days to find out for sure tho!

  • Janine

    Just an added tidbit to this discussion while we wait patiently for the premier and part two of this article. Do you think House and Cuddy will call each other by their first names now? When she confessed her love she stil called him House. IMO they will only call each other by their first names and stick to last names in the work place and maybe in non intimate outside things (kind of like Chase and Camerson did)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Greenhouse: I am also very happy to see that i am not alone in the way i view this. And thank you for your kind comment.

    I think House’s motivation for fighting Cuddy so hard on her desire to adopt a child was based on two things:

    First, his unbelievable insight and deep understanding of her made him certain that her wish for a child was immature on some level. She wanted a child because “what you want, you have no clue. What you need, you run away from” – his simple and true formulation of what we only became fully aware of in “Help Me”: Cuddy was not mature enough and honest enough, to herself, to admit both her love for House AND the fact that she was stuck up on wanting an illusion that did not really fit her. She wanted a child as a last bastion of normality, the illusion of the “normal” family and the house with the white fence… She wanted Lucas for the same reason and it took her a long, long journey of self-awareness and honesty to admit that neither a “normal” partner, nor just a child and a child alone can make her feel truly fulfilled and whole. In other words, she was wrong and House knew it – her motives for wanting a child were tainted with her self-delusion and lack of self-awareness.

    The second reason, of course, is his love for her and his wish to have her all for himself, which, obviously, he himself was not ready to face or admit. Her role as a mother figure in his life made her real child a true threat to him and his jealousy was both that of a child and of a man in love.

    But she has undergone this difficult journey of facing her true self with great courage. She is now at a time in her life when she has managed to develop a true maternal bond with Rachel, despite their bumpy start, and a somewhat functional balance between her professional life and her motherhood. She has also faced and admitted her feelings for House and the vital place he occupies in her life.

    Which means that it is House’s turn to take the same journey towards accepting all that this woman is. At first, his hunger for Lisa will be so (justly) enormous, that he will want her all for himself and he will find it very hard to accept that sometimes she cannot be available for him, because she needs to be available for her daughter. It will make him jealous and frustrated, but I think he will try to tone it down, because he is aware of the fact that fighting against Rachel’s place in her life is a taboo mined zone that he should not attempt to attack.

    So he has to make the effort to find a functional compromise between the two major zones in her life: him and Rachel (let alone the professional zone, another point that requires effort and compromise). He is basically forced to work on that, to work on trying to at least be a part of Cuddy’s life as a mother – even if it’s just as the silent third party during her time with Rachel or the man who stays at home or goes out with Wilson when she needs to take her baby to the park.
    The next step of it is for him to try to actually be a part of Rachel’s life, not just Cuddy’s life with Rachel. It is not easy and it cannot happen fast, no matter how gifted House is for authentic and honest interactions with children.

    The one thing that help make it happen is the healing process that her love will start in him – as he grows more confident in her love and his fear of losing her will diminish under the force of her gift to him, he will grow increasingly capable of accepting that he needs to share her, hopefully to the point where his place in the mother-daughter life will be a natural one, even if at first it only means adoring the mother and merely tolerating the daughter. In time, I think this can grow towards a “mutant” family life, in which House can use his originality, his honesty and his understanding of children and people to be an active part of the child’s life – never the traditional “daddy figure”, but a brilliant and authentic adult that Rachel can trust and open up to, have fun with and maybe even bond with.

    Another thing that can help the process, once House manages to really accept the status-quo, are his childhood traumas and the way they shaped him. He is such an aware and lucid person, that he really understands how a child should NOT be raised. He is obviously aware of the ways in which a child should not be hurt and damaged, and as many other wounded children, now adults, manage to do, he would be capable of fighting hard for a child to be raised as healthily and as beautifully as possible. He understands that children should be treated with respect and honesty, and that makes him a valuable person to have in a child’s life.

  • ann uk

    B.B., yes , please do an article on House’s attitude to society’s outsiders, one of the things that reveal his essential nobility.Remember his bitter comments on Cameron as a “cicle queen “?

  • ann uk

    Just a few random comments to contribute to this interesting discussion.

    I don’t think we should forget Lydia.I think she had a profound effect on him and without her he would never have been able to confess his feelings for Cuddy. With her he lets down his defenses completely – something he has never done even with Stacy.By loving him and then leaving him she both heals and deeply wounds him, but after her he can no longer reconstruct his defenses. As he says in Lockdown, ” She changed me “.

    About Rachel: House is actually good with chidren and treats them with respect and I think he will be able to make a good relationship with Rachel, but he would find it more difficult with a boy. The trauma of his childhood would inhibit him – he has only the worst of models to follow.

    I DO think that his relationship with his mother and his biological father would be interesting lines to pursue because they clearly had a profound effect on his character and I am sure , like all lovers , they will want to explore each others past,so much of which they share.

    As regards the anti- huddy lobby, I agree that HOUSE is essentially a biography of a unique character , not a medical version of CSI ( a very boring show in my opinion ).

  • sdemar

    One more comment:

    One of my wishes is for a situation where House saves Cuddy. We have seen it numerous times with Cuddy but I want to see the situation when House steps up. I can’t think of a more risky move than when Cuddy perjured herself and I don’t think for one minute it had to do with saving a hospital asset. Cuddy knew in her heart that sending House to jail would be a death nail to him emotionally and physically.

  • sdemar

    Barbara, thank you for writing this delightful piece. I have been waiting to hear what your indepth thoughts were regarding House and cuddy.

    I think you are spot on when chemistry overtakes where TPTB intend to go. DS stated the same in the Paley Event when he said that no matter what he wrote, there was an underlying sexual tension between the two characters.

    I congratulate TPTB for going down this courageous road which has been taboo in the past, thanks to Moonlighting. Why do I think HL & LE will sell it for us? I suspect it is because they know this is inevitable and they know they are in delicate territory. I expect it to work the same way that I suspect their romantic relationship to work. I firmly believe these two characters are meant for each other and both will have a way of having a positive impact on their screwed up way of viewing the world. So far all promos have shown a total comfort they have with each other.

    I can’t wait to read Part 2.

  • Greenhouse

    Wow. What a great way to make time fly by, waiting for the 20th! Thanks Barbara!

    I really enjoyed reading what everyone has to say about this great relationship. And I hope to read more (12 days to go)!
    I am also really glad I’m not the only who thinks they cannot break up. Their bond has been there much too long. They depend too much on each other. That is, I think House needs/depends on Cuddy and Cuddy loves House too much.
    And also that Cuddy has always accepted him as he is, that Wilson is the one who wants to change him. I really liked D_B’s explanation of the Mother/Father figure. Especially since I ressented WIlson for wanting him to change so much. But that explanation made so much sense!
    I just loved that last bathroom scene for that : it really shows she loves him as he is : “you decide to take the pills or not. you think I can change? I don’t know. I’m screwed up. I know”

    And that’s why I also think Cuddy does love him unconditionally. After all she’s been through with him, after all the mean and harsh things he said to her, she still loves him. And as he is.
    When in Joy, he says she wants a baby to be unconditionnaly loved, I actually think he has it wrong. I think she has the need to love unconditionnaly and having a child will provide that for her.

    Which brings us to the child issue. I think the problem with Rachel is that House may be jealous of her, of Cuddy’s affection for her. She’s competition.
    And that’s why it can be a problem in the relationship. House will have to understand she can love them both equally. Or will he want her just for himself?

    Great insights about when the writers decided to have a go at the relaionship. I love that is has been built very very veerrrrryyy slowly with small hints every 3 episodes.
    I must admit I was surprised at the end of season one to find out that House had been in a long relationship and was still in love (with stacy). I remember thinking “wow, never thought he was the type!” I always thought he was a sherlock holmes kind of guy. It was the first time I started seeing House as a “real” charcater instead of a stereotype.

    Sometimes, I wonder if the writers really had all this in mind (and that maybe we are looking to much into this), or do they plant tons of seeds and see which ones grow?

    I love their backstory also. Star-cross lovers type. It brings a kind a frustration, a “what-if”. It added to the tension. They (House and Cuddy) had to act upon it eventually.
    And I love how absolutely honest they are in that last scene. No games. No lies. Her, about her love. Him, about his leg and screwed-upness

    Hope the banter comes back in season 7. I missed it in season 6. But the lack of it was understandable.

    @Stephanie : Thanks for proposing a fun alternate scenario!

  • I agree that House has a history of being great with kids (and btw, with the elderly and other “vulnerables” and societal “others.” I may just do an article on that. I’ve thought about it before and just haven’t done it. This year may give me that opportunity (and it’s something I do touch on in CZ)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @savtaof5, Stephanie & Grace: thank you for your appreciation.

    @Janine: i understand what you meant, i just felt the need to clarify it further beacuse… well, i was upset by Sally’s comment and i wanted to defend the writers the best i could:)

    The discussion about the beginning of House and Cuddy as a possibly romantic storyline is very interesting.
    In an analyses I made about The Pilot episode of “House”, my impression on Cuddy was this: joining the rest of the characters in the unbelievable inner coherence and continuity of the show, that stayed true to the essential nature of its characters for 6 seasons and counting, from the very Pilot episode, Cuddy appears to be good-hearted and so sharp, brilliant in her own way. Good sense of humor, she understands and pushes House’s buttons in an unique manner. Very honest, very open, very fair. And the great chemistry, from the first second they share the screen.

    Later on in season 1, what really stands out about Cuddy in relation to House is her way to be as blunt to him as possible. She seems even abrupt sometimes, and that is only just response to House’s own way to insult and tease her, but i think there is more to it: Cuddy’s very direct lines are based on the same mechanism as Wilson’s funny sarcasm – to point out House’s mistakes and push him to correct them, but in a more honest manner and using less manipulation. What stands out most of all at the beginning of season 1 is her very abrupt way, albeit funny, to constantly remind him of his handicap. Notice how often House says „nice…” to her, in response to her blunt remarks about his physical inabilities? I believe that her attitude is (partly consciously, partly subconsciously) destined to get him to acknowledge his infirmity, to accept it and to learn to live with it, to be able to move on. From the Pilot ep, we can see that he is in denial and that he is ashamed of his handicap. He is angry and he is still incapable to face his situation as it is and accept his new, physically damaged self. Of course, he still blames Stacy and Cuddy for it to some extent, and it all reinforced his belief that „the world hates him” and he doesn’t deserve to be happy. „You’d rather let me see your soul than your leg” („Frozen”) is a later reminder of this situation, and his silent call for Cuddy’s help to stand up in „Help Me” is the first real sign that he has made peace with his handicap.

    And then there is also the way she understands his deep, unspoken reasons and the confidence she has in him as a doctor, plus, of course, the always impressive loyalty that shines through now and then, in big and small situations.

    So I’m guessing, some of it was already there: the banter and bickering as the charming under-layer of the conflicts, thus making their antagonism so much more delightful and meaningful and open for development. And the involuntary chemistry of Hugh and Lisa, which is so visible, that it adds subtext to any scene they ever had, from day one. And the deeper layers of Huddy, that are already visible, like the intimacy, the wordless profound understanding, the loyalty and the trust.

    Of course, the real beginning of Huddy as a romantic story was in season 2. My guess is that the original plan involved the writers searching for an interesting way to build this antagonist relationship between authority-fighting-doctor and his unconventional, good natured, sexy boss. Hugh and Lisa’s natural, spontaneous chemistry did the rest. However, at least since Stacy has left House’s life in season 2, the House-Cuddy relationship was built with utmost care, adding brilliant brick by brick, episode after episode, in such a deeply coherent, continuous and well-thought of manner, that I cannot help but think that it was premeditated. Perhaps the writers were not rooting for Huddy per se at that point, but they surely tried hard to continuously feed the option of someday turning their story romantic.

  • Jaim

    I always thought that the casting of a smart and attractive female as House’s boss pretty much had future love interest written all over it. The creators say it wasn’t planned but it seems like a trope often used in series television. There is either a male boss and female employee that eventually have a complicated love relationship or a female boss and male employee in a complicated love relationship.
    I hope that David Shore surprises us with this pairing, by not doing what he usually does, breaking them up in the most awful way imaginable. I think it would be much more clever to let them stay together through the end of the series and discover ways to explore this deepening relationship. Besides it would be really amazing if House, the most screwed up person in the world, could be the one character to maintain a relationship when all the other characters have failed to do so.
    As for the Rachel question, I think that he’ll warm up to her. I never get when people say House hates kids or doesn’t get along with kids because anytime I have seen him interact with children he is kinder, respectful of their curiosity, and willing to understand their point of view. He always seems more comfortable with kids than adults. Although he resented Rachel in the beginning, I think that once he is around her more and sees the effect she has on Cuddy, he will start to let a piece of himself open to the idea of being in the little girl’s life. A real question could be will he be Uncle Greg or Daddy in the future? What role would he feel most comfortable playing?
    Barbara, I would love if you could weigh in on the House/Rachel relationship. One day you should do an article all about House and kids there really is so much there to analyze.

  • Flo

    I’m with Barbara, I don’t think TPTB thought things ahead in the first season, for House and Cuddy. Also, I agree that Cuddy was pretty much a one-dimensional character in season one. She started to get really interesting in season two especially since she wanted to have a child.

    Anyway, I already wrote a whole piece about the reason why & how the whole House/cameron thing was written and how it was directly linked to the future House/Stacy thing, so I’m not gonna elaborate here but House interractions with everybody is dependant of the way the other characters are written and acted. We knew more about the ducklings and Wilson in season one, so it is logical that the most interesting interractions took place between all these people.

    When Cuddy stopped being one-dimensional and we got informations about her and her shared past with House, it became more interesting to see them interract. Also, actors were at the time more comfortable with their roles, knowing their character better, and also we’re comfortable with playing with each other. The rest is chemestry which is something you can’t fake or provoked. It is a 100% natural thing that nobody can control. Either it’s there or it’s not. Obviously, for Edelstein and Laurie it is there and the sexual tension went on almost all by itself.
    I think Shore already admitted that the whole House and Cuddy thing was created by Laurie and Edelstein in some ways.

  • Jay

    You asked a fantastic question Deva! I think that their interactions in season 1 definitely showed that there was more to their relationship than just simple antagonism. Season 1 showed so well that Cuddy knew exactly how to handle House. Even Volger said that Cuddy seems to like House and she doesn’t reply to this comment. But, I don’t think that the writers took this anywhere since it was too early in the show to focus on a relationship between the two leads.

    I remember that David Shore made a quote about House and Cuddy on a piece that was done about him right here on BlogCritics: “To a great extent, you see what’s working, you see where relationships go, because quite often things just happen,” he explained, offering an example: “House and Cuddy, there seems to be a sexuality to them no matter what I write.”

    I absolutely love the scene that you reference, Barbara, in the episode “TB or not TB.” It’s weird that even when House was with Stacy or interested in Stacy, there was still that playful banter between House and Cuddy. I’ve really missed the banter since it was pretty much non-existent in Season 6. 🙁

  • ruthinor

    Interestingly, there is a vocal constituency in the blogosphere (the rabid anti-Huddies) that really dislikes Lisa Edelstein because she apparently had the temerity to discuss a possible back-story for House and Cuddy with the writers of the show. She felt, and rightly so to my mind, that her role in season one was not a particularly interesting one, and would have no where to go w/o such a back-story. In fact, w/o some history between them why would she ever have hired House? While there was chemistry between them from the start, I don’t think it really flowered until, due to that history, one could see that Cuddy was not only his boss, but cared for him too and defended him. Now, who knows where this will all lead? If not happiness, I at least hope for satisfaction!

  • Deva–The writers are that good, but I don’t think this was on the radar as early as season 1. I think (and I also think David Shore has said) that Cuddy was House’s adversary. I do think that the creative team started acting on the chemistry in Season two, when even some of the antagonistic scenes (there’s a scene in TB or Not TB with Cuddy putting on lipstick IIRC) had some sexual undercurrent.

  • Deva

    Barbara this is a great insight on Huddy journey that took place in the last six seasons. I have been asking myself the same question: When did the writers decide to go in that direction? Because just as you wrote, at the very beginning of the series, Cameron’s interest in House was hinted and she appeared as the only posible love interest for him until Stacy arrived. Apart from the sexual remarks House made about Cuddy and their constant bickering, the chemistry was there, yet the possibility of a relationship between those two was not even mentioned. I have been rooting for them to become a couple since the early episodes. And when Cuddy throws away the birthday card she got for House in 1×06, The Socratic Method, I thought that the writers might have planned something more for them. I mean even the fact that she got a card for him gave me some hope. After six seasons, despite there are people who do not agree, I still think they are the hottest couple on TV. What makes them unique is that the characters are rather sophisticated than simply being good looking. Retrospectively, considering they have a long history, House and Cuddy appear as the star-crossed lovers of our era. Maybe the writers planted small seeds in the early episodes and paved way to this romance very slowly. What do you think? Can they be that good? 🙂

  • Grace

    Barbara, I have your book on order and am looking forward to reading it. I don’t really have anything to add here. Was it Delia-Beatrice who spoke about House’s parents b/c I think she has it down pat! Some fans want to see his mother again. I never want to see her again unless it will bring House and his bio dad together. One thing I thought House might be thinking is, Does my bio dad know that I am his son? Has that ever been established?
    Also speaking of psycho-somatic pain. That ep. really bothered me. It seemed that not only Cuddy, but Wilson as well, wouldn’t acknowlege that House’s pain was anything more than psycho-somatic and that was a large dis-service to House. Seemed to me that House was in real pain and they didn’t really care. Were they misguided, well-intended? Maybe, but it didn’t FEEL like that to me.
    Much luck with your book, Barbara. May it sell a billion copies!!!! 🙂

  • I love all the sharing/debate about our favorite characters. I wonder if the writers use any of our feedback/musings when they think up new scripts. Or does it all come down to the mundane viewership numbers and advertising.

    I particularly agree with Delia’s comment that ” it is a highly lucid show about humanity and the psychological particularities of the sensational characters they created”

    These work these writers do and the subtlety they do it with is just amazing. I love the quality of writing on this show and hope FOX doesnt bow to pressure to cater to fans who want the focus of the show to just be about House’s romantic relationships. Sure i have vicarous thrill for him everytime he does connect but would like them to continue unravelling his very complicated character in the funny, painful, completely outrageous way they have been doing.

  • Janine

    I love the House/WIlson relationship too and I fully agree that the focues is now and will for a long time to come be on House and Cuddy and I am very happy about that. Both relationships ar very important (as DB explained) but I feel like the House wilson relationship has had its turn and its time to put the focues on the only other person in House’s orbit who has such a profound effect on him. It is also important that the rationing was at Wilsons request. It furthers the idea that Cuddy loves him uncondtiionally and isnot in this relationship to try and change him.
    @Delia B
    I understand what your saying and I agree about the mother and father figure. My post to sally was more or less saying that Hous is not with Cuddy because he has mommy isues, the “mom”is just aknowledging the big role and power she has over him, I just didn’t feel like explaining in detail before because I was in a hurry.
    you’re probably right about not responding, for all we know Sally could just be some troll trying to stir up trouble because she knows what a debate it will spark (god knows it happens all the time on Ausiellos page)I also agree with everything else you said in your post

  • savtaof5

    Delia-Beatrice I agree with your analysis and that of other posters. I do think this new acknowledged relationship is critical to House’s well being and in some form will continue until the end of the show.
    I also agree about the roles Cuddy and Wilson play in House’s life. They are stabilizing forces, necessary for his emotional survival.
    Ruthinor hit the nail on the head with her last sentence. I have been bothered by Wilson’s refusal to tell House he was correct in his Addison’s diagnosis b/c he was too cocky for his own good and because his diagnosis wasn’t based on science, just on an AHAH moment. Wilson insisted that Cuddy go along with it. House was bothered by his (supposed) failure for a long time. There was no reason to give him that pain.
    I haven’t always understood the House Wilson dynamic. Sometimes their interactions seem coarse and hurtful. I just chalk it up to a guy thing type of interaction that I will never understand.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Flo, of course, you are right. Very right, if i’m allowed the poetic license.

    But… There is much non-argumentative and non-smart non-debate out there, and it feels unjust. Not because i am a stupid fangirl shipping Huddy and i take offence at this couple being insulted, but because i have nothing but admiration and appreciation (ok, worship is the accurate term…) for the creative team of “House” and i am hurt by the lack of understanding and easy “criticism” that is directed at them.

    I take it personally, on some level, because it is the same as superficial and misguided judgements being passed around at the grand cultural figures that hold a very special place in my education and emotional life. It is hard for one to respond with nothing but indifference when the brilliance and amazing artistic vision of such creators is beind dismissed and insulted, even though it is obvious that they were misunderstood and not really appreciated to begin with…

  • Flo

    I really don’t understand why people respond To Sally’s post. She obviously just needed to rant.

    Note that it is useless to try to offer counter arguments when she didn’t offer one herself. She said that, for her, the H/C thing was the worst thing of the history on TV but she didn’t explain why. She didn’t take the time to put not even one argument to denfend or even explain her point of view.

    When people just rant but not in an argumantative way, then, there is nothing to respond. It was just a rhetorical rant from an angry (ex?) fan. She has the right not be be happy about the show anymore.
    However, I agree with all of view that there is a way to express your disappointment that does not have to include insults or rudeness of this sort. Like Barbara said, lets remain civil and respectful.

    It’s quite known now that not all the people who understand the House/Cuddy development and find an interest in it (whatever it is), are not all “huddy” shippers and certainly not all “fangirls”. I, for one, do not ship at all. I don’t make favorite which means that I don’t make least favorite. I watch the show as it is written: as a whole. I like all the characters and all the interractions interest me. It is obvious that I’m not the only one as anyone who read this blog frequently could easily see.

    There is no “fangirls” here. Even a quick glance at these articles and comments would tell anyone. I believe it is just a way to evade the question. After all, someone who watches this show just for the medicine and asks us if we really understand this show, all while this same show was always a character study and not really a medical procedural, has to understand, at some point, if SHE understood that show in the first place, and that perhaps it wasn’t what SHE expected.

    Favorite, least favorite = biased. It is only human and Sally has the right to think that and to post her dissatisfaction here. Only, if she can’t provide real, interesting, coherent arguments, there is no point to answer.

    Just saying to you guys. Let her say what’s on her mind and move on.

    ps: @Sally, I know I said that it was useless to respond to you, I maintain my position, but I just want to say that, if you want to participate in a smart argumentative debate where you can defend your point of view, you’re welcome here as long as it is respectful, as Barbara said.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Barbara: we posted at the same time, and on the same idea, more or less:)
    That is exactly what i was saying. As symbolic mother and father in House’s life, the joined Cuddy and Wilson “interventions” have shared a pretty constant and clear pattern. Cuddy is the one who understands him, accepts him even at his worst and respects his opinions and choices, trying to protect him at all cost, while Wilson is the one who tries to change him, teach him lessons and stir him onto better paths. It’s simply classical, textbook mother/father roles.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Janine: my take on it is that he does view her as a mother figure – a Good Mother figure, which is an archetype whose real-life expression he did not know with his actual mother.

    The Good Mother archetype refers to a person who provides unconditional acceptance, understanding and support, functioning like an interface between the child and the world, filtering the negative emotions and frustrations inflicted by the world and protecting the child from them and all other sources of harm. Cuddy has functioned as Houses archetypal mother nearly at all times: she understands his motivations and trusts his choices, also providing the boundaries that are meant to protect him from himself and his personal demons – very significantly, as an archetypal mother, she protects and supports him even in regard to choices that she does not approve of. She has always protected him and been loyal to him beyond any imagination, and as opposed to his real mother, she has always been most honest with him, even blunt at times.

    Wilson functions as House’s Good Father archetype. The Good Father is the one who sets limits for the child, trying to help him adapt better to the requirements of the real world. He does so in an accepting and tolerant manner, always understanding and forgiving the child’s mistakes, but keen on making him learn valuable lessons from them. It has often been noticed that Wilson’s understanding of House is not always perfect – sometimes, Wilson misunderstands House, generally for the worse, and hurries to offer advice or scold him. That fits his profile as Good Father, because the father’s role in the child’s life is primarily to offer advice and guidance, as opposed to the mother’s, who is the source of understanding and acceptance.

    The show has clearly played upon these two archetypical roles – just think of how many times we’ve seen Wilson and Cuddy embracing the parental roles in House’s life, joining forces to stir him onto the right path or dead worried about him.

    In regard to House jokingly calling Cuddy “mom”, I view that as an acknowledgement of the profound role she plays in his life, which can be explained not only by the Good Mother archetype, but also by many other theories, including Freudian theories, as well as transactional analyses theories. Nevertheless, I see no reason why a sexual and romantic relationship would be any less interesting because of this. On the contrary.

  • Janine–and that, too, was at Wilson’s behest. I like House’s relationship with Wilson, and I devote a huge amount of space to that relationship in CZ, but at this moment in time (and perhaps for the rest of the show’s run going foward) Cuddy is romantically in House’s life. Full Stop.

  • Janine

    ALso i nregard to House/Cuddy vs House/Wilson i agree that it is wilson who always tries to change House the only time i can remmber of Cuddy is druing the tritter arc when she retioned his meds, but that was to save Houses job. THink of itthis way sally, you ship House/wilson which got a lot of air lastyear, and not everybody liked that,so maybe you should let the people who do like huddy be.

  • Janine

    he calls her mom to be sarcastic, not because he actually sees her as a mother figure. Plently of couple do that regularly (JOhn Lennon frequently called Yoko Ono Mother). Delia Betrice summed up a counter argument prett well so I willleave this be, but I just thought I’d point out your error. Also, to insult these viewers is rude. Clearly we all see the chemistry and development that was there so we do watch and understand the show, perhas better than you.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    In regard to the previously discussed idea, that we are all thinking about the possibility of a breakup before it even began, i stand firm on that one: i do not think they can break up, even if perhaps sometimes they will want to, not without both of them, surely at least House, being devastated for life, beyond any possibility of mending.
    I believe that their places in each other’s life hold such complexity and depth, they have invested each other with such vital positions, that it is impossible for them to experience life together and then manage to go on separately. In regard to House, i have already made my point clear about the limits of his healing process and how i do not believe he can ever heal so much as to become emotionally self-sufficient on a healthy basis. Which only means that House without Cuddy equals destructive addiction (like nothing we’ve seen before), mental illness or suicide. I don’t think i’m the only one who hopes this miraculous journey we have been on for 7 years will not end with the complete destruction of this superb man…

    It was said here that this is not a show about happiness. Of course not. But it is a highly lucid show about humanity and the psychological particularities of the sensational characters they created. And within the limits of such lucidity and the scientific proofs brought about by psychological studies and clinic experience, it is possible that a middle ground can be reached, that would permit the characters to remain who they have always been, but still manage to allow House to partially live out his beautiful humanity and find A BIT of balance and joy in his life.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Sally: i did watch the show before. And i believe that i did and do understand it. And i also believe that asking those questions is a bit insulting, but let’s just let that slip.
    I find no reason to defend my point of view, but here are just a few little things that your post made me think of.

    What i am interested in watching in this stupendous show is this extraordinary character being revealed and developed before our eyes. I am interested in everything about him: his intelect, his emotional self, his traumas, his past, his musical preferences, his religious viwes etc etc – AND his romantic self. I do not believe that the depiction of a grown up man can be complete without addressing the sexual and romantic side of him, and i do not think that exploring that part of him takes away something from the show – but it adds more depth and complexity.

    I also believe you are wrong in regard to the maternal aspect of the House-Cuddy relationship. It is very insulting to this complex and layered storyline to be reduced to just that, but since you mentioned it as your number one counter-argument, i need to mention that i do want to watch that, because i find it fascinating how House’s childhood traumas have found some level of healing through his adult relationships with Cuddy and Wilson. These are fascinating psychological processes that create subtle bridges between past and future, very deep and complicated human truths, and why you are so eager to dismiss them is beyond me.

    In regard to Cuddy constantly wanting him to change, i couldn’t disagree more. Out of all the people in his life, Cuddy is the one who has shown the most unconditional acceptance towards House, and that was a constant trait of their relationship ever since season 1. Perhaps you can explain your statement, since i have no idea what you mean.

    To expect a creation such as “House” to be confined to showing nothing but “House/cane, House/vicodin, House/awesome medical cases, House/clinic duty, House/ORIGINAL team and House/Wilson” for seven years is just non-realistic. A series that does not permit its characters and storylines any growth or development is a series that limits itself stupidly, betraying its comittment to being veridical and authentic and proving to search for nothing but the quick gain of previously-tested recipes for success – luckily, that is not the case here. The writers and producers of “House” knew better than that, and even if some fans cannot understand the creative processes and reasoning behind a brilliant show such as this, they will stay true to the coherence, continuity and originality of their vision. I applaud them for that.

    One more thing: please, do not use the term “fangirls” in regard to Barbara and the people who post here. It’s truly rude to sink so low in trying to express your anger, especially since, if you’d bother to read the messages here, you’d see that most people have an intelectual and cultural level that qualifies them for “really smart fangirls”, at least…

  • ruthinor

    I don’t think that the writers ever pursued the House/Cameron thing. It seemed to me that Cameron had a “thing” for House, and that House was going to take advantage of that fact. Plus, while he found her attractive, he was never going to pursue her in any serious way. Remember, he told her he hired her because she was pretty! As for folks who say they can’t see any chemistry between House and Cuddy, and that he calls her “mom”…she’s his boss, so she’s the one who has to say yes or no to his actions. Remind you of anyone in your family? As for wanting to change House, if you’ve really been watching the series and you love House-Wilson, you would have realized by now that it’s Wilson who always interferes in House’s life, wanting to change him. He frequently drags Cuddy along in this pursuit,much to her regret in the end.

  • Edisto

    I really enjoyed this article. I agree in particular with what you said about the change in relationship in ‘Forever’. I watched House from the very beginning, it wasn’t one of my favourites, but I watched it regularly. And I didn’t ship anyone. I never got that House/Cameron thing that TPTB tried to pursue at the beginning and I didn’t feel that he was romantically (seriously) interested in Cuddy. Until I saw ‘Forever’. When I watched that episode I instantly became a Huddy shipper and have been ever since.

    And now I’m going to watch ‘Forever’ and ‘No Reason’ and maybe ‘Who’s Your Daddy’. 🙂

  • Barbara barnett

    Sally-all opinions are welcome as long as the conversation remains civil. For the record, I really don’t consider myself so much a “huddy” as someone who goes where the writers take me. I won’t defend that I like this relationship, and that there has been something growing for several seasons.

    If House and Cuddy break up (which might be inevitable), I will still love the show as long as the writing is still sound and hous’s journey remains compelling to me.

    I will let the book stand on it’s own. I think it’s pretty even handed, although you may disagree. It is only slanted in that I vehemently believe that House is House’s story and he is the main character in it’s narrative. It is NOT a huddy tome and would have been foolish as writer hoping to appeal to the entire fandom to have made it one.

    As far as this season goes, the PTB have decided to put them together. Agree with that or not, it is a simple fact.

  • marie

    OH WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just that for the time being,… I just want to savour all that I have just read , it was wonderful as ever Barbara .

  • ann uk

    Thanks to all my fellow addicts for an absorbing discussion of the House enigma. I can’t think of any other TV drama which explores its main character in such depth or with such insight, or any other actor who could convey it with such truth.

    I look forward to Series 7 with fear and trembling because it raises the dread question of how the whole series will end. Will it end like great music in a beautiful resolution, or in a crashing discord ?

    Like Hugh Laurie , I would want it to end in bang and not a whimper ,but does this means that House is ultimately a tragic character and will end tragically?

    How typical of the HOUSE team that they close with that shot of House and Cuddy’s clasped hands rather than the conventional kiss with which almost any other drama would end.It conveys so much more of their deep and complex bond.

    It conveys so much more of the bond between them

  • Sally

    Since you spammed my friends page by posting this not only in Huddy comms (which I do NOT watch) but also in general communities, I assume you don’t mind non-Huddy-fans’ opinions. I’m sorry but for me (and many others) Huddy is not a love story, it’s a big fail story. I just hope for you Huddy fans that you don’t really expect this to last. Otherwise I need to ask – did you even watch the show before? And understand it? Anyway imo Huddy is the biggest mistake in TV’s history. They don’t match, Cuddy constantly wants House to change and behaves like she’s his mother, while House… well… he even calls her mom. Do I want to see this? No! Especially since I love the show for the medicine, for House as Doctor not as Huddy “love” sclave. The only ships I pursue is House/cane, House/vicodin, House/awesome medical cases, House/clinic duty, House/ORIGINAL team and House/Wilson (all of that in a non-sexual way, of course). And I guess the ratings will show now more than ever, that most viewers share this opinion. We’re just usually not as loud as the obsessive type of fan called fangirl 😉
    PS: Thanks for the warning that you’re kind of an Uber-Huddy, Barbara. Nothing against you, but I don’t want to read a book tainted with the Huddy perspective, so I’ll step back from my order right now. Good luck anyway and enjoy Huddy while it lasts. I’ll come back to House MD when it’s back from Huddy MD to House MD 😉

  • Am enjoying all the analyses of the Huddy relationship. One other complicated scenario (as if it isn’t already) is for cuddy to be pregnant with lucas’s child which would be a huge deja vu situation for house – his possibly having to raise a child who is not his in a relationship with cuddy – paralleling him being raised (badly) by his non-biological dad.

    How would he handle that in addition to her already having rachel and his trying to be in a “normal” couple relationship? too much maybe.

    Might be good time to break them up end of Season 7, Huddy to go back to Lucas, and make House’s last season about hooking up with Kate from “Frozen” episode. Always thought they would make an intriguing couple – she figured him out so quickly in the short time they interacted. Might make for better closure at the end of whole series as can’t see hugh laurie wanting to do many more years of this. Could end on a high with him finally having a successful real relationship with Kate – his efforts with cuddy being just more training!

    Ah, roll on Season 7!

  • Janine

    I totally agree that part of the attraction between them is the mystery and that they will soon find out they have a lot to learn about each other and that will all be part of the fun of season 7

  • byzantine

    Thank you Barbara and your wonderful and insightful readers for the comments re. House and Cuddy relationship.

    I have a sense that as someone already mentioned above a lot of the relationship is based on mystery. I am not certain that the characters know each other that well outside of their professional milieu. And I think that this is what drives them toward each other: the secret, the veiled unknowns. Just think how titillating it is when there is something covered before you: wouldn’t you want to lift the cover and see what is hiding behind it? For example, Cuddy in a domestic situation is, in my opinion, a mystery to House. And he is driven by mysteries. I am not saying that there is no chemistry between them, there is, a lot. But there are questions that have remained unanswered for him so far, such as what does Cuddy do when she goes home, how does she look in her yoga outfit while striking a pose, what does she say to Rachel when putting her to bed and so forth.

    Again I am not arguing for them not having feelings for each other, I am simply trying to add a different dimension to this fascinating tandem.

  • Janine

    I loved friends but the ROss and Rachel thing got really annoying. I can’t even stand to watch the “we were on a break episodes” in reruns. Bt I agree House is much better written and I have tons of faith in the writers

  • Janine

    oh thanks Barbara, I hadn’t seen that episode in a while so I was confused. I forget the iplication of graduation from Weber.

  • ruthinor

    Since Doris Egan is apparently the author of the first episode in season 7, I think we’re in good hands. It’s too bad that this will be her swan song for House, since she’s on to other projects.

  • Janine–House says to Cuddy in Known Unknowns: It was the first of three medical schools I was expelled from (paraphrasing). The idea of Hopkins first is “fanon” not “canon” Distractions gives the impression that Hopkins was later during med school, nearer to graduation as Weber implies.

  • Flo

    Jay, yes Doris explanation of the scene in “Known Unknowns” is interesting and gives great insights.
    This scene was interesting, because House’s recollection of the past and his perceptions of people can be really flawed as we saw over the years.
    House and Cuddy’s relationship is so long that it gives a good example of that.
    It’s also what makes it good. I always said that the fact that Cuddy is the only one who knew House before he became a doctor is fundamental in the way they interract.

    Their relationship is complex and also quite mysterious, in the sense that, we don’t know many things about their backstory.

    When I wrote an article about that few months ago my head was spinning with all the questions that their past and relationship and personalities beg.

    Not only House’s memories and speculations are not always realiable, but we still don’t know that much of Cuddy. We can draw some few conclusions from what we know but all there is left are hypothesis.
    Trying to reconstruct their past wasn’t easy to do and left me and us with more speculations and still a uncertain future.

    Janine you are right, 7 pages just for a 1st part that covered just the first three seasons, it says a lot of all the level of complexity and all there is to say about those two.
    As for Ross and Rachel they were one of the worst TV Couple ever and “Friends” was one of the most overrated Tv show, ever. The writing of “House” is better and I’m not too worried.
    House really has great interractions with children and I imagine that the writers are gonna have fun with Rachel and him. It also would be a good way of exploring his Daddy issues again.

  • Jay

    @Ruthinor, thanks for the compliment, but everything in my entry from “In this obsessive spirit…” to “and there’s nothing more poignant than knowledge that comes too late” is Doris Egan’s writing that was featured on her blog. I just forgot to put quotations around everything. My apologies. Also, she made the comments in reference to the season 6 episode that she wrote entitled “Known Unknowns” and also since so many people were asking her about the continuity issues with House and Cuddy’s back story. For more about this, you can read the specific blog entry.

  • ruthinor

    Jay, very good synopsis of the two divergent ways in which House and Cuddy remembered their first encounters at Michigan. That’s why she ran away from him at the dance. What a jolt, particularly since she was now involved with Lucas, and had been for some time, all the while assuming that the man she really wanted was unavailable to her. Also, the age difference between them (about 7-8 years) supports the fact that she was an undergrad while he was in med school.

    I believe I heard or read an interview with LE which led me to believe that House has to babysit for Rachel, and she was like an “alien” to him. This would surprise me, because as a doctor, House relates to kids better than he does to adults. He’s a kid himself, so he knows how they think. She just needs to tell him to think of Rachel as his patient!

    One other thought. It seems to me that Cuddy is the one who gives up control in this relationship. She tells him she loves him and gives up another relationship for him. Furthermore, she refuses to assume any control over his taking or not taking drugs. He better come through for her! In any case, I hope they continue to banter and be the William Powell and Myrna Loy of TV.

  • Janine

    thanks for clarifying up the undergrad thing. THat is what I had always assumed because House is obviously more than three years older than Cuddy.

    it is funny that we are talking about the mbreaking up already but in a way it almost has to happen unless, as barabra said it gets slowly woven into the story, but i don’t see that happening unless this season or the next one will be the last because this is not a show about people finding happiness. I am hoping that House and Cuddy end up together in the end (or at least that House ends up happy with someone) I just don’t want them to become Ross and Rachel. I do think that if they break up the story will be good. To be honest ir they do break up, I don’t think any one thing will have caused it, after all HOuse and Cuddy have put up with a lot from each other over the years. I feel like if the relationship doesn’t become a permanant part of the show, it will be because it simply ran its course and House and Cuddy jsut couldn’t get anything more out of it. Speaking of Rachel though, I can’t wait to see House’s interactions with her, he has always had a great and simultaniously strange and akward chemestry with children

  • Janine

    I was watching “words and deeds” the other day and i sort of came up with this theory about House and CUddy. House has always had feelings for her but they got put on the back burner after he got expelled and met and fell in love with stacey. When he started working for Cuddy the old feelings came back, but House did not act upon it because of his residual feelings for stacey as well as his feelings about his leg (we can’t forget that Cuddy had a big part in that). House has always been kind of scared of rejection and in a way of someone not being as invested in a relationship as him, which is why he is usually so defensive towards this topic imo but After Cuddy purgered herself, jeopordizing her career to save House, he realized just how much she cared about him, and it was then that he realized that Cuddy was someone he wanted to be with.
    When you see all of this information about House and Cuddy’s relationship but into word (seven pages with more to come!) you can fully realize the complexity of their relationship and the concrete fact of its existence. I find it so hard to believe that fans (even the minority) could deny the chemistry and the existence of a relationship between these two characters. Although to be fair, many of these “fans” (especially the ones who lurk around the ask ausiello page) complain about every little change that is made in the show claiming that it’s going to be ruined. I can’t wait for season seven and (without giving away anything) from what i have seen in previews, House is his same old self, in fact perhaps even a little more snarky than last year during his recovery.
    on a side note Barbara, I thought that House went to Johns Hopkins first than Michigan and then that unnamed third school. At least that was what was implied in “disctactions” (season 2) despte the fact that House tells Cuddy he was expelled from his “fist medical school” implying michigan in Known Unknowns” Can’t wait for part two!!!!

  • Jay

    One more thing. Delia_Beatrice, you mentioned that you don’t know how their relationship might end, but I think that Rachel might have something to do with it or House will call it off or something- it’s highly unlikely that Cuddy will be the one to call it off. It’s funny that we’re talking about how they’re going to break up when the season hasn’t even started yet! 🙂

    By the way, great comments about his parents, Delia_Beatrice. Taking in all that you said, I don’t know how House will learn to be a good parent to Rachel, but I’m very suspicious of the fact that the show’s writer will just have both House and Rachel bond over the course of one episode and then have it done with. I still think that there’s so much potential with the story line between House and Rachel and Cuddy, but I just know/fear that the writer will gloss over it.

  • Jay

    Thank you Delia_Beatrice and Flo for your FANTASTIC comments and analysis! 🙂

    Barbara said that House meet Cuddy when she was in Medical School too, but actually I found this explanation about their backstory on Doris Egan’s website that says that she was a first year (as Barbara said), but she was an undergraduate.

    In this obsessive spirit, when we first started talking about how House and Cuddy might look back at their first meeting, I originally wanted them to have entirely dueling versions of it, a kind of Rashomon meta-joke on the occasional continuity tangles a show in its sixth season can get into. But as the scene was refined, I realized it would work better for them to have more or less the same memories, but interpret them differently. I loved the idea of House in the campus bookstore, a local legend who could mercilessly analyze innocent students from their syllabi. So there’s Lisa Cuddy, at the opening of the semester, one of a line of students halfway around the block. She gets to the counter, gives the guy her list, and gets a load of unasked-for and troublingly accurate personal information along with her books. She goes away, intrigued.

    For House, of course, she was one of the teeming masses of students looking for books. He doesn’t notice her till later, when he hears her arguing with the professor in endocrinology. He doesn’t remember her from the bookstore; he doesn’t even know (then) that she’s an undergrad. But he’s intrigued. He tracks her down at a campus dance. It’s their first dance together, and from his point of view, this was all his own idea. He picked her out; he pursued her.

    He goes on thinking that as the next few months pass. Cuddy knows differently. One night they’re at a party given by one of their classmates, a mutual friend, and she makes her move. They spend the night together.

    And then he disappears. She gets that something happened, she gets that he’s not around – but not even a phone call?

    So all this time, House has assumed the determination of their relationship had been in his hands; that he had planned it and courted her. Actually, it was strong-willed Lisa Cuddy who’d singled him out; Cuddy who knew what she wanted in school and (she thought) in life; Cuddy, the future endocrinologist, who talked her way into attending classes undergrads weren’t supposed to get into; Cuddy who came out of the whole thing thinking that maybe what she’d wanted this time just hadn’t wanted her back. And that’s colored her relationship with House ever since.

    So House learns that their relationship didn’t begin the way he thought; and Cuddy learns that their relationship didn’t end the way she thought. There’s nothing more poignant than knowledge that comes too late.

  • dharma55

    Is this show still on?

  • Eileen

    Great review, Barbara. I was hoping all summer long that you would do a piece about House and Cuddy’s long and very deep relationship. Can’t wait for part 2. Also, I wish you (an early) L’Shana Tova!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Ha ha. It’s a quote from the profecy that marked Harry’s destiny, about the connection between him and Voldemort: “Neither can live while the other survives”. I switched it to fit House and Cuddy – in my opinion, with them it’s “neither can live without the other”, no matter how disfunctional their relationship or how unhappy one of them or both of them really are.

    Their connection is so deep, and it will get even deeper, that it is truly vital (IMO). The role that House has invested Cuddy with in his life is obvious, as is the fact that Cuddy’s efforts to separate from him, last year, were a self-mutilating experience for her. So this is the point where the conditional nature of their unconditional love (hm…) is questionable. What, if anything, can break them up?… Personally, i think nothing, but that is not the point. As i said before, the battle lies elsewhere. It’s House’s ability to find some sort of inner balance and happiness – but i don’t think their relationship really depends on it. As was pointed out many times, Cuddy loves him as he is, so him being miserable is not something that would cause her love to change or end.

    I think that, ultimately, the stakes stayed where they have always been: in House’s field. Is a bit of redemption really possible for him? Well, if he was ever to get a chance at exploring that, this is it. Can’t wait to see it.

  • Flo

    okay Delia, it just depends on what we mean by uncoditionnal. Yes there are contracts of sort. There are conditions to every human relationship IMO.

    Interesting thought on his family, of course he still needs a lot of therapy.

    I didn’t quite undertand your Harry potter referecne though? can you explain what HP has to do with what you mean?

    I agree with you and Jay, we don’t know it it’s gonna work and House could be “fatally flawed” as Laurie put it.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Flo: i believe that there is a contract attached to all human relationships, thus agreeing to your non-unconditional love theory. In very profound relationships, such as House and Cuddy’s and House and Wilson’s, the dissolution clauses in that contract are only few, and grand. In “Baggage”, House made it clear that he understands what those clauses are in his contract with Wilson, and he agrees to not trying to trespass them.

    I believe there are clauses of that sort in his contract with Cuddy. There are boundaries that he pushed in the past and hurt her deeply, and I believe there are a few tabu areas in their common life that he will need to be very careful about, because they are powerful enough to threaten to break their relationship.

    However, I believe in the unconditional nature of Cuddy’s love for him, not in the sense that it completely lacks a contract, but in the sense that it is precisely the type of love and protection that he should have got from his real mother. It is unconditional in every way that he needs it to be: accepting, giving, protective, deeply knowing, very true, very honest, very enabling and always, always saving him.

    There is this statement Lisa Edelstein gave to “Official House MD Guide”, that explains my perspective more:
    “In some ways she is a mother cub who will fight to death for him and she is extremely protective of him. That’s why she gets so mad when he is hurtful of her, because it is a deep betrayal. She does everything to make sure he is safe, even to protect him from himself. He is attached to her; he appreciates her for what she does for him. I don’t think he is capable of doing much more than lashing out. It is the classic story of abandonment. The most abandoned will abandon everyone else to maintain their abandonment…”

    This is what has been happening so far, but I believe the circle is closed now. I believe that House will never abandon or purposely hurt her again, not even to confirm his own belief that he does not deserve to be loved and has to be abandoned yet again. But I do believe in what Jay said, and Hugh confirmed, that one version is that House might actually be beyond the possibility of actual healing, no matter how hard they both try. In which case, I still believe they will stay together, because their connection is absolutely vital and indissoluble for them both, whether they are functional or not, happy or not…

    Nevertheless, that is not what i bet on. I think that healing to some extent is possible and will happen over time. I hope that is the case, with all my heart, because otherwise we will be left off mourning for the never-fulfilled humanity of this beautiful man. Which is a sad, sad, sad scenario.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Barbara: that is an additional nuance to it, that i hadn’t thought of. You are right, when both real and psycho-somatic pain are involved, it is very difficult to assume that either are the sole cause of the suffering, and dismissing the real pain is hurtful to the person fighting it every day.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Jay and Flo: thank you for your interest and appreciation.

    @Jay: you captured that quite right. The battle that will be fought here is between House and his personal demons. Hugh Laurie already gave an interview in which he says that House believes that he needs to fill their lives with symbols of happiness and certain experiences, because he is (yet) unable to embrace the happiness that should come from within.

    In regard to House’s childhood, what we know about it so far are the following:

    THE (legal) FATHER: House is the result of an adulterous affair his mother had with a friend of the family, John House not being his biological father. John House was an abusive parent, imposing inhuman discipline standards on child Gregory and punishing each „mistake” with abuse and humiliation. In „One Day, One Room”, House talks about how he was made to sleep in the yeard, bathe in ice or not eat for days, when he had failed to meet his father’s unnatural requirements. These are severe forms of physical and emotional abuse, that have scarred Gregory deeply. In „Birthmarks” we also find out that John House also practised a particularly harmful form of abuse, the absolute non-contact, completely ignoring Gregory for two whole months and communicating through written notes, thus denying his very right to exist and be noticed.

    In regard to House’s trust issues, let’s acknowledge the fact that the man who raised him as his father was dangerous and threatening. Gregory never really knew what to expect of him, and he learnt from an early age that the safest way was to avoid him. There can be no talk about openness or trust or real emotional communication here.

    THE MOTHER: In regard to his mother, what we do know is that she did offer her son affection. But it hardly makes for the type of unconditional love and devotion that a child needs. His mother lied to him all his life about his very identity, never revealing the truth on his paternity and thus being the origin of his pathological lack of belonging, lack of recognizable identification, which made for his identity problems and the constant search for answers.
    His mother never protected him from the man she knew was not even his biological father. House makes it clear in “Daddy’s Boy” that his mother is the type of person who avoids conflict at all cost, and both the episodes in which we saw her (“Daddy’s Boy” and “Birthmarks”), she makes constant efforts to bring John and Gregory House together in a superficial, social manner, without ever showing any sort of interest for the underlying problems. It is so evocative how, at John House’s funeral, she tells Gregory the ultimate lie, “He was your father and he loved you”, thus once more denying his true identity, as well as his suffering and pain.

    John House’s abuse, doubled by his mother’s lack of protective response, made for his fragile sense of self-worth, for his low self-esteem (later on transgressed into extreme narcissism and ego-maniacal bursts, at times) and for his incapacity to attach a sense to his life.

    When a child is ignored and abused, when he is made to feel like he is always wrong, when nobody stands up for his rights, when his parents treat him like his presence on this earth is not worth all that much, his very sense of being is shattered. Parents should build their child’s self-worth by constantly showing him unconditional love and acceptance, by showing how welcome he is in their life and on this earth, and by helping him believe that he deserves to be alive and he deserves to be happy, that his life matters, that his being here has a meaning. Gregory got none of this, and he spent his adult life looking for unconditional love and acceptance, for validation of his right to live and be happy. Also, as an adult, he spent his life making subconscious attempts to heal himself by nurturing and fully expressing his wounded inner child.

    His mother was nurturing to some extent – and this harmed Gregory in regard to his trust issues more than his father’s abuse. Faced with constant abuse, children learn how to deal with it in a very “war time” manner – adjusting to it and learning to survive. What is really damaging to them is when their trust and needs are betrayed by people whom they are emotionally attached to and who play by double standards, whose attitude towards them suffers from severe inconsistency. His mother was his primary source of nurture and emotional contact, of protection and understanding. Except that she fundamentally failed to fulfill her duties as a parent, by lying to Gregory about his paternity and thus shaking his sense of identity and, of course, his trust in her & also by failing to protect him from John House’s abuse. Whether that abuse was mainly motivated by that man’s own control and violence issues or by his doubts and anger in regard to Greg’s paternity, we don’t know. What we do know is that his mother had alternatives: admit to the truth and end the marriage or use other means to protect her son. She chose the comfortable and cowardice choice of not doing anything.

  • TVTherapy

    It was a hard choice today. Read your book or read your article. I’ll just have to pick up on the book a little later today. Can’t wait for part 2. I’m so glad you addressed the fact that this relationship probably wasn’t ever what the TPTB intended, but chemistry is chemistry and the more they bantered, the more the heat between them emerged.

    I can hardly wait to see where they take it, as I am heavily invested into how this relationship will turn out. I have faith in the writers too, but I don’t envy the task they have: to keep us viewers interested, to stay true to the characters, and to attempt a true love for House. A tall order indeed.

    Love the book so far, although I fell asleep before I could get much reading in last night.

  • I made the comment about Skin Deep in the context that House must have felt wounded that his “real” pain was being dismissed. The placebo effect plays a significant part in a placebo’s efficacy on pain. The fact that he had less pain both from the placebo and the distraction of the case (which had not been distracting him from the case before the injection) is not evidence that the source of his pain is his wounded heart.

    the final scene in SD shows House trying to believe what Cuddy said as true, but failing miserably in the face of the reality of his leg.

    But, of course mileage always varies depending on POV and interpretation 🙂

  • Flo

    Great article as usual Barbara. There are really a lot to say about them.

    I must admit that I, too, disagree with you about “Skin Deep”. Once again, I agree with Delia.

    As for unconditional love, I, myself is not convinced, such a thing exist. I’m like House, I believe that it is conditional even if we don’t always know what the conditions are.
    For House and Cuddy to be together, I believe that all the conditions were needed and they were needed at the right time, for them to be finally on the same page. I don’t believe it is unconditional.
    I could be wrong though.

    I’m pretty sure House and Cuddy never discussed their one night stand before “Known unknowns”. If they had, I believe, Cuddy would’nt have been surprised at House confessions that he wanted a follow up.

    I explained this, talking about my article on House and Cuddy backstory I did a few months ago, with commenters.
    I really do believe that the ONS was somewhat a taboo between those too and their refusal at confronting their shared past, the reason why all this came back to blow up in their faces later on (especially in the kiss scene in “Joy”). House and Cuddy were able to talk about anything, excepts this.

    They really are both screwed up and their relatationship most certainly won’t be a smooth ride.
    As Delia well put it, now it’s about “how do you make the dysfunctional function?” and “can you do it?”
    It’s gonna be interesting.

  • Val S

    Lovely article Barbara! So happy to have them back after the hiatus. I can’t wait to receive my copy of CZ and look forward to the discussions season 7 will bring.

    It’s great revisiting the House/Cuddy love story. I like that you mentioned her deed in “Words and Deeds”. That is about the time I started watching House, and it was something that immediately struck me…that this “jerk” had to be pretty important to her for her to do that and that he was definitely more than a simple assest to the hospital.

    Looking forward to part 2.

  • Jay

    Delia_Beatrice, I love the comments that you made and you were spot on in everything that you said. If things don’t work out for Cuddy, then we know that House is doomed to be miserable for the rest of his life, but he could also be miserable being with Cuddy since one’s own personal misery doesn’t go away just by being with someone. At least that’s what the The Powers That Be have been saying.

    I just wonder how much House was “unloved” as a child. The show never really went into much depth about that. Based on the episode “Daddy’s Boy,” he received much love from his mother- probably unconditional love. The only “abuse” that he received was from his father, but the show doesn’t even go into that very much. Hopefully, we’ll get more information from season 7!

  • Jay

    Barbara, you always have such wonderful comments to make about House in general and I’m so happy that you decided to do an article on House and Cuddy!

    Congrats on your book’s release! I read your article about your thoughts as a new author and it was so genuine! You captured the fear and excitement that everyone probably has when they’re writing a book or when they’re anticipating it’s release.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Barbara, thank you so much for addressing The Issue of season 7 in your usual, wonderful, thoughtful manner.

    I need to mention a little something: i respectfully disagree about Cuddy “wounding” House in “Skin Deep”. She did what was the right thing to do, which is treat his psycho-somatic pain with a placebo, instead of wrongfully treating it with real medicine. The only way in which i perceive that she “wounded” him is providing undeniable evidence about the true nature of his suffering, thus also proving just how well and deeply she knows him and forcing him to face his true, painful feelings.

    In regard to House’s belief that all love is conditional, I have always been convinced that this is a defense mechanism. As has been sometimes pointed out on the show, House is desperately waiting for somebody to prove him wrong about that. It is an essential issue for him, an adult who carries the wounds of a traumatic childhood, in which he was completely deprived by the vital parental unconditional love, thus causing his major self worth, meaning of life and trust issues.

    In regard to how much House can actually heal (and how functional this relationship can be): first of all, I think it’s very relevant that he has had the experience of Mayfield and therapy one year before starting his relationship with Cuddy. It is very important, since he already made the effort to face his issues more openly and acknowledge the need for healing and change.

    As a general rule, people who are scarred by childhood traumas as deep and severe as House’s can never hope for a full recovery. And by full recovery, I mean them reaching a state of mental health that can allow them to find the meaning of their lives in themselves, find fulfillment, allow themselves to be happy, find self-acceptance and develop a healthy sense of self-worth and self-esteem. They are already too broken for the healing to go that far.

    But the gift of unconditional love, coming from a person that they invest with healing authority (a person they respect, love, view as a Good Mother figure and who, as you pointed out in the article, Barbaba, fills the role of ultimate Savior in their subconscious and unconscious) has great, great power. Especially since House has already opened himself up to acknowledging that authority in Cuddy – truth is, if she had given him unconditional love before the journey he underwent the previous year, it would have been pretty much meaningless, since his barriers would have been as impenetrable as ever. House has reached a previously impossible level of self-awareness and that is the most important factor why I believe her love can help him succeed in making some changes. The changes will be gradual and perhaps not very dramatic at first, since the only way healing works for people such as House is if it stretches on a long period of time. His wounds are too deep to respond to fast treatment and he will need much time and much love and much acceptance before he can start rebuilding his sense of self-worth and meaning on a healthier basis.

    However difficult their journey will be, what i believe is that the nature of their relationship does not allow them to separate any longer. Their mutual addiction, the deep and vital nature of their relationship will force them to stay together, no matter how many bumps they have to travel across. It’s kinda like in Harry Potter, only twisted: neither can live without the other, and I bet on this relationship finding its own way of going on, functionally disfunctional. Truth is, that is what i want to believe, because i am as “terrified” as Hugh Laurie admitted to be, at the prospect of this relationship, His One Big Chance, backfiring on House and leaving him utterly destroyed, obviously beyond any possibility of mending…

  • Manu

    Great piece. It was so refreshing to relieve all of the early ‘Huddy’ moments in my head, specially when you take a moment and compare to where their relationship stands right now (ie last night’s promo).

    Also, couldn’t agree more on the fact that those who dismiss the storyline — for whichever bitter reasons they pick — only represent the minority, no matter how vocal they seem to be.

    I can’t wait for part 2.