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House, M.D.: Anticipating “Bombshells”

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As House, M.D. fans (well, nearly everyone who reads my column) breathlessly anticipates the much-hyped (and from what little bits I’ve seen, well-deservedly so) “Bombshells” episode to air Monday night, I thought it might be time to take a deep breath and step back. 

At the end of this week’s episode “Recession Proof” Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) declares that given a choice between happiness and being a genius doctor (a choice that is in his mind more than reflective of reality), he chooses to be happy and in love with Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). This is an enormous thing for House. I’m not going to go back through the episodes to cite chapter and verse about why; I go into that in my “Recession Proof” review.

What I do want to delve into is House and Cuddy’s relationship, now nearly 10 months old. (Season 7 begins moments after Season 6 ends in the series narrative.) Season 6 ends on Cuddy’s disclosure that she’s broken up with her boyfriend Lucas Douglas (Michael Weston). Choosing the relative safety of being with the goofy, affable, but more-stable-than House Lucas, Cuddy sacrifices what she truly wants for the stability of what Lucas can bring to Rachel, Cuddy’s young daughter. But in the end, she realizes that stability is no substitute for happiness (even if it brings a certain amount of misery along with it) and real love, something she admits when she tells House that as much as she wishes it weren’t true, she loves him.

For his part, this disclosure makes him wonder if he’s not started hallucinating again. But she’s real, and assuring him at the end of “Now What?” that she understands who and what he is, House accepts that and begins to open up to a possibility that hasn’t existed for him for years.

Cuddy sees in House what lies beneath. She knows he can be a jerk; she knows he’s needy and self-absorbed—a narcissist to the core. But she also knows (and reminded in the Season 6 finale) he’s dedicated and passionate as a physician and healer. He can be self-sacrificing and compassionate, and even selfless if the situation demands. House is not good on the niceties—the little things that convention demands whether it’s dealing with a patient or in his relationships. But the big things, he does extraordinarily well. Grand romantic gestures? Career-risking heroism? He’s your guy. He can be sweet and tender, but it’s not like Cuddy is so taken by this that she’s blinded to his considerable baggage—something that hits home by the end of “Recession Proof.”

In Cuddy, House sees someone who’s smart and beautiful and with a sense of humor that can appreciate his. She’s not above being his partner in crime, enjoying the ride. It’s probably freeing for her to be with House—in many ways. She can be herself, let her hair down and not be judged. He’s loved her for years (in my opinion, that subconscious recognition came toward the end of Season 2) and I’m pretty sure it’s unconditional. House sees her as an equal, a woman with whom he can go toe-to-toe and not always win.

This relationship was never intended to be easy, something House articulates in “Now What?” Understanding and fearing the path upon which they are about to embark, he forewarns (before they take more than the first step) that he will likely do things that will be repellant and “horrible.” “Get out before we’re in too deep,” he’s almost saying to. “Don’t put me through the inevitable breakup.” Because, he says, one day, she’ll wake up and no longer be able to put up with him. The glow of sex and new love will, of course, fade away into the realities of a committed relationship.

Cuddy has more than herself to think about, no matter her intentions. She has a child, and while she doesn’t need House (or anyone else, for that matter) to raise Rachel, being involved with a man like House can be like having a second child. And the question on her mind at the end of “Recession Proof” has to be whether it’s ultimately in her best interest (and Rachel’s) to be involved with him—no matter how she feels toward him.

During the first third of the season, both House and Cuddy seem to be acting from a position of fear. House plays games; he lies—he’s testing the new relationship, wondering if her breakup with Lucas was impulsive. Cuddy tries to distance her relationship with House from Rachel, keeping him out of that important part of her life. In the back of her mind, she probably wonders the same thing, but also if House is stable enough to be involved with her—and be a surrogate father to Rachel.

Both walking on eggshells, they try to be what each thinks the other wants, and by the end of “Selfish” they both realize that by not being themselves at work, they stand a good chance of not only torpedoing their relationship, but losing patients along the way. House needs to practice medicine the way he always has. That means he will argue, lie, obfuscate, and manipulate.

But House’s fear of sabotaging the relationship leads him not only to cheat to get his way professionally (something I believe Cuddy accepts), but he lies to keep her from knowing that he’s done it. There is a difference, she suggests between the two things, and it’s an important distinction. “Do what you need to do,” her words suggest—“but in the end be honest with me that you did it.” To do otherwise is insulting. And that’s a reasonable request.

Once they mutually understand this (which takes a couple of weeks), House promises that he’ll never lie to her again. It’s a lie; Cuddy knows it’s a lie, but as long as the lies are in the patient’s interest—and not to keep it from her—she seems to be pretty good about it. He’s lied freely ever since. I know that sounds convoluted, but we’re talking about House and Cuddy here, so convoluted works!

The striking thing about these early episodes is that despite the arguments and fear each has, I believe that both House and Cuddy are committed to making the relationship work. House doesn’t back away from her—or the argument. The conflict within the relationship is played out maturely, which is surprising considering what we know of the relentlessly childish House. I loved the scene in “Small Sacrifices” where House and Cuddy are arguing about House’s lying (and who knows if it will escalate into a breakup?). Mid argument, they dress for a formal dinner. Wordlessly, Cuddy turns her back to House and he zips her dress. It’s such a small thing, I realize, but it says a lot about the relationship: “yes, we are arguing, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still involved and together.”

And so the season goes on. But “House is House.” And his petty annoyances begin to mount up for Cuddy. He leaves the toilet seat up; he shirks his male responsibility to take out the trash. He uses (and macerates) Cuddy’s toothbrush. This juncture in House and Cuddy’s relationship reminds me of House’s final conversation with Stacy Warner in Season 2 (“Need to Know”). Telling her that he is afraid to get involved with her again; he knows what will happen. “How do you think this is gonna end?” he asks her.  “We’ll be happy for what? A few weeks, few months; and then I’ll say something insensitive, or I’ll start ignoring you. And at first it’ll be okay. It’s just House being ‘House.’ And then at some point, you will need something more. You’ll need someone who can give you something I can’t. You know I’m right. I’ve been there before.”  

“Two Stories” plays out (and plays on) this scenario of House’s worst relationship fears. But he’s in too deep to run away from the relationship. He has tasted (perhaps only for the second time in his adult life) what it is to need someone. Instead, he concocts an elaborate and grand scheme to show Cuddy that he’s not so self absorbed, and that he does care for her—even if appearances may suggest otherwise. The scheme backfires terribly, but Cuddy, from within her anger about it, can’t help but be touched that House has gone to so much trouble, just to prove himself to her. It’s a long way from “I don’t want to go there again” with Stacy to his relentless desire to make this relationship work.

What I like about Cuddy during all of this is that she allows House his flaws, and despite whatever reservations she might have about his stability—and his self-absorption she doesn’t doubt his earnest love—not in the end. She gets angry; they argue and talk about it. Like two adults they try to surmount the annoyances and petty grievances in favor of something more.

But by the end of last week’s “Recession Proof,” Cuddy seems to be asking herself if House is worth all the anxiety, aggravation and worry. Losing a patient, House broods upon the possibility that he had been too distracted to have made the correct diagnosis earlier in the case. Sitting alone in his office, House deflects the loss, lightly saying “It happens” to Wilson. But House never takes a patient loss lightly. He is ever asking “If only I…” taking responsibility in a way that would stun his team.

But when Wilson leaves, House gets plastered in a local pub, the weight of this loss—and every other loss he can recall—on his mind. “They’re all dead, Wilson,” he says when his best friend locates him in the pub. All evening, we can imagine, House has been turning this in his head, believing that his happiness comes at the cost of lives otherwise saved.

This isn’t a new revelation to us. We know this is something with which House has grappled for years. But his angst here isn’t due to the burden under which he’s placed himself, but because he is agonizing over what to do: give up Cuddy—or give up the notion that the entirety of his existence is tied up in medicine. This is a huge decision for House; he’s come a long way from his insistence that medicine is all he is and all that he has.

His decision made, he goes to talk to Cuddy. Ah, but where is Cuddy’s head at this momentous decision point? What should she be thinking? House has been by turns annoying and endearing; disrespectful and admiring. And as the “honeymoon” appeared to have ended with House’s neglect of the “little things” and Cuddy’s irritation at House’s neglect, House screws up “big time” in “Recession Proof,” not showing up at an important evening in Cuddy’s honor.

So as he comes staggering into her home, soaking wet, bleary eyed and drunk, declaring his undying love, Cuddy must be wondering if this is really what she wants for herself—and for Rachel. In a way, it’s the flip side of House’s decision. Is loving House worth all the work involved in this high-maintenance man?

Yes, she knew what she was getting herself into (as much as she can know), going in with her eyes open, but sometimes what you get isn’t what quite what you expect, eyes open or not. But in Monday night’s episode “Bombshells” none of this will matter—and all of it will matter, as Cuddy’s health becomes a big unknown.

So come back after the episode and discuss freely. I won’t get to see it until several hours after it airs, but I’ll try to post my post-episode commentary sometime Tuesday. Meantime, enjoy this clip!

 

 

 

 

 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Sdemar

    For me I will always think they will be able to see past the flaws as they have something unexplainable that keeps them joined at the hip. I love their twisted and unconventional relationship.

  • Barbara barnett

    I agree, but maybe it’s not enough fit this kind of relationship. I honestly hope they stay together, or if they do regrettably end it, it will be temporary.

  • Ibsen

    It’s so strange and unexpected for me, but the writers have truly convinced me that both characters love each other very much. They’re such a strange pair: dysfunctional, strong-willed, highly-intelligent work-a-holics who have failed in every relationship they’ve tried. The odds have been highly against them from the start. In spite of that, I know they could make it work, but I doubt it will work out. Because I think this show is mostly about unremitting sadness, with only a brief, occasional respite before climbing back into the fray, because no couple works out in this world, because when they break up it will be good drama and that’s very tempting, because House has to be miserable. In short, the writers have done a good enough job to where I haven’t a shadow of a doubt they could make things work between the two because they’ve handled it so well (as you’ve illustrated quite clearly here), far surpassing my expectations. But I know the show well enough to be 99.9% that it won’t work out. There are a million scenarios they can choose from to do this. As the finale draws near, I’m bracing myself for some painful times in House’s life, as per usual, and an enormously likely breaking apart of House and Cuddy’s relationship.

  • also barbara

    IMO writers are handling this season very well .
    It’s not easy to get together two, wonderful, strong characters and not sacriface the show at once. They’re balancing it perfectly.
    I think House and Cuddy have a chance to be together for good. Writers,directors and actors prooved to us that this two are really(REALLY) in love and need each other ( not to say about their past).
    As long as it’d be challenging, uncommon and complicated it can work – just HOUSE’s STYLE 😉
    Ofc they deserve a few nice, tender moments – but that’s not what this is about. We want to see House struggling with his life – not smooth sailing. He is who he’s always been, only circumstances are different. Another part of his journey.
    Its great to see characters development thru the years. Love to see them grow.
    I keep my fingers crossed for [H]im and Cuddy and for the writers ofc;)
    love the show.

  • Amy

    I have enjoyed the way their relationship has been portrayed this season. I’m worried about their relationship following this episode.

  • yahnis

    Barbara barnett
    “I honestly hope they stay together, or if they do regrettably end it, it will be temporary.”
    You said just what I think, and inspite of David Shore’s words about break up and rejoining that he didn’t think it match to this show, I hope that it’s not bad idea. But in ideal I want them together and happy without pain of break up.
    Thank you Barbara for you staying with us in this jorney, named “House”!!!

  • sjoes

    Nice summary of the Huddy relationship so far. I like how you tied all the loose ends together. Thing is, after such an explanation, which every Cuddy fan has to embrace, it is impossible to imagine she would even consider a break up now. A smart, intelligent, strong woman who has given up so much to pursue this irrepressible passion, has gone beyond that point. Your explanation makes me accept the tooth brush/garbage/toilet seat irritations and I think Cuddy has so too. The essence of what they have is not in pettiness.
    It is in hiring a Mariachi band without feeling the need to witness its effect on Cuddy, or boasting about it. It is a grand romantic gesture but only for her to enjoy (and Wilson gets a whiff of how this works between them). It is beautifully intimate like that zipping up gesture mid-argument.
    It is in opening the door and being ‘home’ to a sentimental, soaked and utterly vulnerable drunk and hearing out his incoherent ramblings because she speaks his language, she understands the true message. The barely noticable pat she gives his shoulder as he nestles ‘on her vagina’ is her again giving in to this force of nature that is their love.
    To have her walk away from all that at this point would be ridiculous and incomprehensible, to Cuddy fans at least. Huddy is recession proof in the privacy of these two. Next step has to be personal drama (the bombshell of Cuddy being ill) which has to be played out in public (doctors, hospital, friends and relatives). I have been wary about today’s episode but this little essay has made me anticipate it differently. Hope the writers won’t mess it up.

  • Laura Saxon

    I think their relationship will survive the rest of the season, and in light of Cuddy’s kidney crisis tonight, their relationship might even get stronger. House will probably take some time off to take care of her, since she has always taken care of him in the past, and she will recover quicker that way.

  • DrDiagnostic

    As always Barbara, lovely assessment of the House/Cuddy romance thus far. I do agree that Cuddy may be doing a little soul searching after House’s drunken confession. It’s a lot of work for her. As Lisa Edelstein mentioned in her interview with Greg Yaitanes, Cuddy is contemplating how House enriches HER life. What is Cuddy getting from this relationship? There has to be so much fear on her part, mostly because of Rachel. Cuddy could probably tolerate House, but is House turning out to be a postive force in Rachel’s life as well. Can Cuddy count on him as much as he counts on her? It’s an interesting dilema and one in which I’m sure will be explored more in tonight’s episode.

    All that being said, I love how the writer’s are taking on this relationship. You can tell by the writing how in love these two are. They are handling things in a realistic, mature manner to a point where it’s so hard to see Shore and Company tear them apart. However, I always take the pessimistic side when it comes to House and Cuddy. I am conditioned that way. But it is a beautiful romance and what would be more Housian than the person to least likely succeed in a romance on House turns out to be the most successful?

  • DebbieJ

    @#4 – also barbara – what does OFC stand for.

    Also, anyone, how do you pronounce Greg Yaitanes’ name?

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    DebbieJ
    It’s Y-tay-nes

  • http://wellwellwelles.livejournal.com/ Flo

    Nice article. What makes you think that House fell in love with Cuddy again at the end of season 2?
    I don’t deny any sexual tension in earlier season but for me all thisn stuff really started mid-season 3.

    About the episode, the only thing I know is that the musical part better be more “Fred Astair classic” than “Moulin Rouge” otherwise it will be awful.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    I think he maybe subconsiously began to recognize it after Stacy. I think it might have been “Forever” when House was so concerned about her well-being, and his gratitude (expressed in Humpty Dumpty) might have begun to morph into something else. By Who’s Your Daddy it became more clear that House’s interest was more than gratitude, admiration and lust.

  • also barbara

    @DebbieJ OFC = of course

  • DebbieJ

    thank you to the Barbaras, for answering my questions!

    I think sometimes I’m at an advantage by NOT following GY’s tweets or delve too deeply in behind the scenes stuff before an episode has aired. I had no idea there was such speculation and fear and now, a sense of relief for knowing what the dream sequences are and are not. I just take it as it comes, absorb it, enjoy it or not (I’ve enjoyed about 99% of the episodes).

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    Spoilers from this point on…so if you haven’t seen it…
    What did you think of the episode?

  • Orange450

    Sheer, brilliant genius. Talk about bombshells. But when he sat on his bathroom floor just like in Help Me and looked up at the door because she should have been standing there…Noooooooooo!!!!!

  • eileen

    Good, interesting, until the end. Very sad and disappointed at how TPTB took this episode. House and Cuddy are phenominal together. Period.

  • Penny

    Is it me or has House just gotten Terribly Goofy? This has been my favorite shows since it’s beginning. But now it is just too silly.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    Orange–I agree. The ending was just a killer. There he is back in an exact replica of the season’s start.

  • http://wellwellwelles.livejournal.com/ Flo

    The episode was great! We knew trouble was coming and Cuddy is right in the end.

    That was really intense!

  • MusicandHouse

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I was expecting an Epic episode and insted I got my heart broken. Overall, I thought the episode was a little disjointed and the POTW was completely unnecessary IMO. The dreams made a lot more sense once the ending came along but I’ll have to rewatch to be sure. I honestly don’t know how I feel about that ending. I’m devistated that Cuddy broke up with him and that he took vicodon but I’ll have to see what plays out next.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    Penny–Goofy? The goofiness was in the dream sequences. That ending was a sucker punch to the gut

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    House is who he is. It wasn’t about the Vicodin in the end, it was about House being able to allow himself to hurt in such a fundamental way without it. The ending was simply raw.

  • Annie

    HOLY CRAP.

    Barbara I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but never commented until now…
    Of all things, I was NOT expecting that.
    But this means there’s a bigger chance that they’ll get back together, right? Even though DS said that it was unlikely? I mean, if they broke up in the finale I wouldn’t think that they could get back together, but since this is only about midway through the season…

    Gah, I guess I just need someone to say that everything’s gonna be alright.

    But seriously, HOLY CRAP. Springing something like this on us…wow. TPTB wants us all to die.

    Which, by the way, I did in the last scene. HOUSE BEGGED HER NOT TO GO. AND SHE DID. AND HE TOOK VICODIN. AND SHE WAS CRYING. AND HOLY CRAP.

    And in the promo pics for the next episode, they’re talking again! What??!?! It looked like things were back to normal.

    I don’t know what to think anymore. Brain dead. Want to cry. Aglasdhflsdjfldks.

    This was just cruel.

  • eileen

    Agree. But c’mon….He LOVES her. Just C’mon…

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    That promo was intense. House is in very huge emotional trouble, it seems. Normal is not what that promo seemed for House.

  • Jacquelyn

    I found House’s actions to be really pretty expected. Actually, during that last dream sequence, all I could think was how trippy it was. Like drugs.

    I found Cuddy’s actions to be completely unexpected. To love someone is to accept them. To work with them. Practical concerns aside, I can’t believe she’d give up on him that quickly. There are deal-breakers, but this just isn’t one of them.

  • farmboyjad

    come on, writers. do you have no creativity at all? you could have had limitless plotlines stemming from house and cuddy’s attempts to balance their personal and professional demands. instead, you go for the first, easiest idea you could and completely undermined an entire season’s worth of character developments. good job.

  • Annie

    @Barbara Oh, actually I wasn’t talking about the promo (which promises a lot more heart-wrenching things to come) but the promo pictures from 7×16 that were released a while back. House and Cuddy seem to be arguing, but it looked like the “normal” kind of arguing…

    That’s why I’m so surprised about what happened in this ep.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    farmboyjad–House has always tried to numb himself from pain. Cuddy’s issue is that in order to bring himself to face her pain–to be with her, he had to numb himself with Vicodin. That’s her issue and it’s important. It’s not the drugs.

  • eileen

    Barbara, I don’t get what you mean by saying “that’s her issue.”

  • http://wellwellwelles.livejournal.com/ Flo

    Seriously people need to calm down. Things doens’t revolve around “huddy”. It’s about House.

    I totally agree about barbara that it is not the vicodin. like Cuddy says it is what it represents. House couldn’t handle to be hurt that way without this “help”. In that regards their break-up make sense. House has still a long way to go. Actually his trip will be even longer now.

    What about next week? The promo was wow. I mean House on the balcony????

  • FunnyBrit

    Barbara, I need a hug.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    Eileen–this is what she’s upset about; she’s not upset about him taking something. She’s upset about why.

    Flo–Promo next week–Jeez

  • Orange450

    @jaquelyn #28

    Yes, I also thought that she might just be acting somewhat too harshly, but she was just coming off her own incredibly stressful set of traumatic experiences. It’s possible that she was reacting to that. I’m hoping that the relationship isn’t an irretrievably sunk ship just yet.

  • Sandy

    Should have seen this coming since he licked the vicodin in the last episode. That is why Foreman looked so concerned throughout tonights show. He likely knew they were missing from his coat pocket.

    So sad – devastating really.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    OK–I need to re-watch and write up my article to post later tonight or tomorrow morning. I’ll check back in a little while.
    Bombshells indeed.

  • eileen

    Barbara…got it. Thanks.

    Only, I don’t feel any better.

  • ValentineBaby1950

    I am mentally picketing the writers!!! They don’t seem to want anybody in a lasting relationship. Chase/Cameron’s marriage lasted about 5 months. Taub & Wilson’s marriages zapped. I was so floored by the ending. I don’t think I like Cuddy anymore. What about all that unconditional love in the “What Now” episode. I hope this was a “Dallas” dream (nightmare)!!!

  • LizzieE

    Barbara: I get that Cuddy was upset that House needed to numb himself with vicodin in order to face the pain of her situation but I think a major trigger leading to her breakup decision was House leaving the pills at her home where Rachel could find them (the unloaded, unlocked gun around children senario). Any parent will have a zero tolerance for that behavior which I think caused Cuddy’s strong reaction and declaration to House that he will always put himself first. If it was just Cuddy in the senario, I doubt that her reaction would have been so strong – they are adults after all. Even though she knew intellectually House is an addict, Cuddy never connected it directly to Rachel’s welfare. At her core, she’s just a mother protecting her cub.

  • http://wellwellwelles.livejournal.com/ Flo

    @ValentineBaby1950, I don’t think that the whole “I don”t want you to change” of NW have anything to do with what happened here.

    House chose to took vicodin again on his own. He did it because he wasn’t able to face the emotional situation he was in with Cuddy’s medical issue. He was worried and scared & he couldn’t face that without the vicodin. As much as it has something to do with her condition at that time, this has nothing to do with Cuddy herself.
    If this episode proves something, is that House has still a very long way to go to be really “cured”. Despite all the huge steps he took so far, it wasn’t enough for him to be strong enough for this type of crisis. He can’t handle being in such a position of worrying & suffering in a very personal, emotional crisis like this one. He’s not ready yet. And it is not Cuddy’s fault IMO.

    It is his issue and his battle to fight. I don’t condemn what Cuddy did.

  • fatOlady

    Why? Comes to my mind. Thinking about TPTB and the polarizing effect of this episode (oh yeah they sure got that right)!

    Arlene’s words come to my mind for DS, SH, GY, “It got you fired, you smuck”. The TPTB have just alientated 2/3 of the fan base.

    I cried for House. The total look of pain and sorrow on his face was heartbreaking. No one deserves this much abuse, not even a fictional character. He has spent his whole life turtured and it’s not right. House was abused and unloved as a child and faced most of his adult life alone, shunned, existing in physical and emotional pain.

    It was more crule to let him have a taste of happiness then rip it out of his hands. Hugh Laurie played that scene so well I am crying. It hurt, it really physiacally hurt and it was just plain cruel.

    I just came back to the show this season after being gone for 2 years. I came back because I thought House was going to get a little bit of happiness. The reason why the romance and happiness for this character would have worked on this show where it hasn’t on other shows is because he would have appreciated and valued it. He paid for this chance with blood and agony.

    This was so unfair and cruel. As Barbara said, TPTB “deliberatly” sucker punched the loyal fans. We need to defend ourselves, this is just wrong. I say we boycott the show.

  • http://wellwellwelles.livejournal.com/ Flo

    @Lizzie, very good point about Rachel. It was very ill-considered and even unforgivably dangerous to leave the pills in a place where Rachel could get them.

  • Sandy M

    I liked this episode…it felt real to me in that it was a natural progression in their relationship. There have been several signs over these past few episodes that seemed to point to Cuddy ending the relationship. Everything from mild annoyances to real concerns.

    In the “Help Me” episode she told House she didn’t want him to change. And he didn’t change. He kept pushing her buttons and she finally got fed up.

    I’m not convinced this is the end of Huddy. I think it’s just one more piece in the progression of their relationship. It’s real life which is messy sometimes.

    I think those last five minutes were very honest and some of the best stuff I’ve seen in a long time from House. HL made me cry. I can’t wait for next week. Loved the preview.

    Loved the dream sequences. The dialogue during the Butch and the Kid dream was wonderful. In the end, House was not there for Cuddy. That, for me, spelled the end of the relationship (at least for now).

  • FunnyBrit

    @Flo & Lizzie: The pills on her nightstand were hers. I forget the name of the med., but it wasn’t Vicodin/hydrocodone.

  • http://wellwellwelles.livejournal.com/ Flo

    OOOOOHHH @FunnyBrit, thanks for the correction! You’re absolutely right! The pills were Cuddy’s not House…..

    My bad. Okay people forget what I said in #44

  • Mozzo

    Beautiful article, Barbara!
    I thought this episode would have surely brought House and Cuddy closer…I guess in some way it did by giving her a deeper and final understanding about who House is.
    I’m utterly heartbroken, however, that House is back on vicodin. (Where’d he get it..?)
    It truly was an emotional rollercoaster of an episode, but no matter the outcome, it was very well done. As grudgingly as I may do it, I still give kudos to the writers. I just hope they can satisfy and ease us restless fans next week.
    Fingers crossed!
    (:

  • Sandy M

    More thoughts…

    I’m watching it again right now…there were all kinds of not so subtle hints that she was going to end it. But, as someone already said, we’re only a little more than half way through this season. And, based on the promo for next week, there may still be some hope.

    If TPTB finds it necessary to have House and Cuddy go their separate ways then so be it. I think they will always love each other, but just maybe can’t be together.

    The thing House did NOT do was yell, get angry, accusatory, self righteous “I told you this wouldn’t work” kind of stuff that I would expect from him.

    I’m not convinced the ride is over…I’m hoping it’s just another bump in the road.

  • FunnyBrit

    @Flo: Small comfort that is… :(

  • FunnyBrit

    @Mozzo It must have been his secret-secret-secret-secret-secret stash. :/

  • ruthinor

    I haven’t actually seen the episode yet since I live on the west coast and actually like to watch it on a TV set, but if you read the interview with the 2 writers of this episode (scroll down), you’ll see that, IMO, House writers never meant for this to be a permanent relationship. So I don’t know what that bodes for the future of House.

    Again, Copy and paste does not work for me on this site (and ONLY on this site..haven’t a clue why). Also, enjoy all the photos!

  • Sandita

    A definite emotional roller coaster of an episode. Beautifully acted…especially the scene where House finally shows up at Cuddy’s bedside. Hugh Laurie is a magnificent actor. I cried during that scene and at the end. I didn’t cry because their relationship appears to be over, I cried over the sheer intensity of the emotion they showed.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    Episode commentary will be posted at 11:00 CT (after the WC airing). It’s finished.

  • Dmckoy

    Great Barbara, I’ll reserve my thoughts for then…oh boy, what a bombshell!!

  • Sera G

    Barbara, beautiful summary!
    I am soooooooooooooooooooo depressed. I braced myself, because I had a feeling from some of LE/GY interview that there might be trouble ahead, but that was agony!
    This is what I have feared all along that the writers would let House accept that he could be loved and have happiness and still be a medical genius and then it would all be taken away.
    I hope the Huddy haters/miserable House lovers are happy, because that is what we now have.
    The man was sober for a year and a half and now it is all for nothing! I will watch the show until the bitter end, but I am so saddened that it is now back to the beginning for him. Will House have the strength and courage to try again? I am worried that he will not.

    Are the writers trying to please the fan faction that doesn’t want him to be happy? Did they chicken out of making House/Cuddy work? I think, as many have said, that they could and should be a phenominal couple that can go the distance. For all the reasons you stated, Barbara, this couple could have endured.
    I am afraid to let myself hope that they could reconcile. I don’t judge Cuddy but I wish she could have given him another chance. The man has made so much progress, and yet there is still so far to go. The scene with her crying to her sister is heartbreaking, as she loves him deeply.
    I know this is rambling, but I couldn’t sleep without checking in with my ‘friends’ at this site.

    Now, how can they possibly work together after this? She will be defensive, he will be cutting/obnoxious and ignore and demean her, etc. Are TPTB trying to punish us for wanting to see this pairing? Is it “I told you so!”? In the first season, House was rude, sarcastic, insulting, but Cuddy gave it right back and the audience could see it was a game for them. Now I fear the pain and anger is too real. I don’t want to see them hate each other. I don’t want to see them miserable. I don’t want to see her try to move on with another man or him sleep around.

  • Hosh

    I’m going to try to be succinct.

    Huge fan of House. Never leave comments. Hated this episode so much I had to leave a comment.

    Why? Poorly written; poorly directed; poorly choreographed.

    After “Recession Proof”, House loses yet another patient and in past episodes this has caused him to put himself into a drug-induced coma (i.e. Amber) or to return to abusing vicanin (but Cuddy saved him).

    This is the episode after “Recession Proof” where House comes to the realization that choosing to be happy makes him a poorer doctor but he will accept his love-bitten dumbness because he decides to be with Cuddy. This type of life-altering realization, from the House that all of us have come to know and love, should have shook him to his brilliant core…

    Instead in the very next episode, he’s distracted by Cuddy’s health concerns, taking him away from his patient yet again, and does not give one ounce of input into his team’s diagnoses until the end. Does that seem like the forever rational, but highly flawed, genius we have all come to adore? That after such a spiritual awakening he would not reference it again? Instead, House flees from any form of self-inspection and returns to drug abuse. What made matters worse was that the illusion of Hugh as House (the most brilliant character portrayal of the last decade on television) was shattered as his British accent began leaking out during his painful singing/dance number. Hugh is a gifted musician and vocalist – but that’s Hugh, not House.

    Moreover we have seen Cuddy brought to tears on many an occasion. In this episode she confesses that she is feeling more scared than ever. Yet she stays quite calm during this time even though she was abandoned by the man she loves. Personal growth? Maybe. But again, hard to swallow. Where was the mini-climax to all the turmoil that Cuddy must have been experiencing during this time?

    As for the dream sequences, when April was dying the dreams alluded to a deeper mystery that rewarded the viewer for paying attention and investing their time to watching their beloved series develop. Yet the nods to monumental moments in television and film history cheapened Cuddy’s psyche. Cuddy’s brilliant and complex and the best her psyche could do was have House continually ask for candy while enacting an inner-monologue of her thoughts to over-done hommages? Please! That you could so carefully craft Taub’s character development and yet sloppily portray House and Cuddy befuddles me.

    Even Mia Michaels’ choreographed dance sequences were devoid of any message being conveyed which is the quality that raises her work above all the others. However this could be a result of extremely poor editing and direction. The dream sequences didn’t alleviate the dramatic tension because the dramatic tension was never built. The dreams were too long, misguided, and poorly-written which resulted in only distracting the viewers from what should have been an uber-dramatic episode.

    So I say this to Mr. Shore and the rest of the producers/writers of House:

    Please, please do not begin falling down the slippery slope of cheap antics, poor plot design, and sloppy character development that so many of your brethren are prone to do. Continue to reward the diligent and intelligent viewers that fanatically follow your show.

    If a network is willing to increase your budget so that you can include lavish dance sequences and Western shoot-outs step back and proceed with caution and prudence. Grandiosity is not the magical element that turns good television into timeless television. Less is always more if it means less sensationalized gamesmanship and grandstanding. Less is never more if it results in less respect for your audience and duller storytelling. Up until this episode, you have concocted television magic when you have honored us with fascinating characters, exquisite dialogue, and artful plot twists.

    It is out of respect for your talent that I criticize because I believe you still have greater depths to your powers. I, we, deserve better.

    This episode could have been epic. Instead it was colic. I have forgiven you for this bombshell transgression but I may not be able to if the future holds more base bombardments. This comment is merely my advance notice.

    Until then, I will continue to watch, hoping for House to arrive.

  • Jenny

    I loved your summary. They were handling everything so maturely. Now I don’t think I can take this anymore. Seven years, and they’re back to square one? Not something to brag about. I started watching again because House struggling to deal with responsibility and adult life was interesting. Even if it’s not with Cuddy, I want them to go there. I liked watching him grow and change. And I don’t expect him to be perfect or magically cured, and I don’t think Cuddy should either. I was disappointed that he took the Vicodin, but I was also disappointed that Cuddy didn’t anticipate that at some point, and her first instinct is to dump him. She said she didn’t want him to change, and I’m not sure she was completely honest with herself. And the idea of him being a bad boyfriend? In this episode, okay, yeah. But what about when he worked really hard to get Rachel admitted to school? There are worse boyfriends out there. Oh, well. Back to square one. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time on this show. House is an addict again, probably with at least 4 or 5 episodes of emo brooding involved? Ugh.