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TV Review: House, M.D. – “5 to 9”

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It’s a typical day in the life of Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital’s dean of medicine and chief administrator on House, M.D. Up at 5:00 a.m., she starts her morning yoga routine, only to be interrupted by the screams of her baby Rachel, who is apparently sick. It is a mere harbinger of her day to come.

Running later and later, Lucas comes into the house after a nighttime stakeout with House (they must’ve made up since “Moving the Chains”). Lucas convinces Cuddy to be late in order to indulge in a “quickie.” And, yes, I do mean that in the literal sense of the word. Cuddy goes off to work sexually frustrated, but Lucas’ may have another agenda—a bet with House with fifty dollars at stake.

But Monday’s episode of House was a peek behind the scenes at Princeton-Plainsboro, a place where Cuddy lives between the usual lines of script and in between the goings on in the hospital’s diagnostics department. This day, like all days, Cuddy must deal with House and his innovative yet high risk medical practice—like trying to diagnose a patient by giving him malaria. Defending herself against charges of favoritism of House, Cuddy must also fend off the chief of surgery, upset because Chase has left his service to go back to work in diagnostics. (And, he argues, after he only gave the job to Chase as a favor to Cuddy). But these are the least of her problems.

By the opening of “5 to 9,” Princeton-Plainsboro is in the end-stage of negotiations with a major insurance company over reimbursements. Being dealt what she believes is an unfair “final offer” from the insurance carrier, Cuddy has decided to play hardball with the corporate negotiator. Not believing that Cuddy is tough enough, the (rather sexist) negotiator refuses to deal, but he is wrong as Cuddy threatens to terminate their contract entirely—a game of brinkmanship of which she’s not entirely confident.

In the meantime, the pharmacy is reporting a case of drugs ordered, but gone missing. Her immediate reaction is to think “Vicodin” and “House,” concerned that House has backslid. But her fears are misplaced as she learns a seemingly valued pharmacy tech has been skimming drugs. Like the insurance negotiator, the pharmacy tech doesn’t know Cuddy quite as well as she thinks she does. At first playing on Cuddy’s sympathy, the slightly overweight tech pleads that she was only trying to lose weight by stealing phentramine. And Cuddy, promising not to rat her out to the DEA (yet firing her), seems to feel the young woman’s pain. But Cuddy isn’t quite the pushover she seems to be, and both the negotiator and the tech vastly underestimate her resolve.

It’s neat trick, seeing the hospital, House—and even the clinic—from Cuddy’s point of view. Just as we saw things from Wilson’s perspective earlier this season in “Wilson,” this week, we see them from Cuddy’s. We get House in short bursts, annoying and seemingly capricious; wise and serious. It’s nice to see House slide into this role as an honest advisor to Cuddy, especially as her confidence erodes during her game of brinkmanship with the insurance company. He seems to know everything that’s going on, from the details of the negotiation to the issue with the pharmacy tech. It’s almost as if he’s in the background guarding Cuddy’s back, knowing when she most needs his brand of honest consultation. And when she’s at the end of her emotional rope, feeling as if she’s lost the power game with the corporate big guns at the insurance company she flees to the solace of her car, certain the game is over. House finds her there, counsels her, and from that she seems to derive resolve and gain confidence.  

But Lucas, too, has his place in this picture (for now, at least), and figures into nailing the lying pharmacy tech, who’s not as sympathetic as she appears to be. it’s interesting to see the difference in Cuddy’s relationship with both men: one with whom she has an uncomplicated and easy relationship and the other with whom her relationship is laden with history and an intimacy that transcends the physical—but is intensely complicated.

Lisa Edelstein does a great job showing Cuddy’s frustration, fluctuating confidence and ultimate resolve. She knows how to play the game and isn’t afraid of the big boys. I like this Cuddy, and I like the way Cuddy and House relate to each other, perhaps getting back to some sort of normal—for them. It is truly a pleasure to see the wry grin of obvious pride House holds for Cuddy as she addresses the entire medical staff at the end of the episode—victorious in every way.

On a Personal Note: Apologies for the brief and hasty write-up. My mother passed away Friday morning, and (having seen the episode in advance) I wrote this review during the endless hours of waiting as doctors from toxicologists to infectious disease specialists and intensive care experts tended to her until the end, when it was clear that anything more would be futile and unnecessarily invasive at her advanced age. From her I got my insatiable curiosity about everything scientific and my passion for writing. I dedicate this column to my Ellen’s memory.

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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)."
  • kat

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    You have my deepest sympathy.
    Thanks for a great review too.

  • Nat

    Yes, sorry for your loss. the review was more than fine. grabbed every detail necessary.

  • Jacquelyn

    Barbara, my deepest condolences. I look forward to your column ever week almost as much as the episode, and love your writing style and thoughtful observations. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  • 60 plus

    Thanks for even thinking of doing this in the midst of such sadness–and, as usual, doing it so well. Your mother not only gave you the gift of and passion for writing, through you she gifted all of us who share the fruits of that gift.
    You have my heartfelt sympathy.

  • PH

    Our deepest condolences Barbara.

  • Belle

    Barbara – my very deepest condolences. Having also lost my mother very recently I sympathise with your pain and saddness at this time. Thankyou for your professionalism and grace in completeing this review in such a difficult time for you. Take care of yourself. Belle.

  • Meena

    Barbara, I want to extend my deepest condolences. There are no words, really.

  • Ruvy


    I rarely ever look at these reviews – “House” is a meaningless TV show to me. But those who do read them testify to your professionalism as a writer.

    I caught the part in the comments section about your loss and wanted you to know that a good mother leaves good children to follow in her footsteps – as you evidently do.

    May you hear no more bad news, and may G-d console all the mourners of Israel.

  • Barbara,
    I really appreciate you writing this column at this difficult time. I lost my own Ma only a few months ago.

    I wish you long life.

  • Grace

    So very sorry, Barbara. Somehow I don’t feel like discussing Cuddy right now. 🙁

  • shel

    Sorry for your loss, and thank you for this review of a brilliant episode

  • Sue

    My deepest condolence for your loss. It must be very difficult to concentrate on a medical show when you are in the midst of one yourself.

    I wonder if at any point in your mother’s illness you wondered where was her Dr. House? I know that several times over the years I have wondered this myself when relatives and friends were ill.

    I hope that you will not read these comments until you are in a better stage.

    Two small corrections: the episode is “5 to 9” and the drug that was pilfered was ephedrine, which is used for making meth.

    Will we ever see Huarani’s face?

    Seeing Cuddy’s daily routine makes me believe House would never fit in to her world. He is too complicated. Dealing with him is like walking on marbles-you never know the stability of the next step you take. He may be supportive and he may have her back, but she would have that whether or not she was in a relationship with him. What she needs is a more emotionally stable, more predictable man who will be supportive of her and will not complicate her life.

    We actually saw a facial reaction from 13!

    It will be interesting to see where they take this window into Cuddy’s life. Will they take us down the road that will favor Huddy or Luddy?

    Would anybody watch a day in the life of 13 or Taub? Nah!

    I’d love to see a day in the life of House.

  • Andree


    sorry for your loss and my deepest sympathy. It is never easy.


  • jules

    I hope you are doing alright.

  • Epiphany

    Sincere condolences for your loss and my deepest sympathy.

  • nc

    Deepest sympathies for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    They always are with us, but inevitably they leave us too soon.

  • Orange450

    I am so sorry for your loss, Barbara. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Debbie J

    Barbara, I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family at this most difficult time.

    Excellent review, as always.

  • Mally

    Dear Barbara,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I lost my mom when I was 15 and I know what a difficult time it might be for you.
    I hope you have plenty of memories to keep with you and still have her near to you forever.
    my deepest sympathy.

    thank you so much for putting up this review anyway. you’re a real pro and I always love reading you.
    much appreciation from a faithful reader!

  • Heather

    I am very sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. A wonderful synopsis of the episode and I agree with what you said about the way that House and Cuddy relate to each other. It is very touching.

  • Donna

    Oh Barbara, I’m so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.

  • pao31

    Barbara, from reading your insightful columns, I feel as if I know you and were so saddened by the loss of your mother. She must have been quite a role model to have produced such a strong, talented daughter. My sympathy is with you.

  • DJ

    I lost my mom 2 years ago as well. I hope you are well. Thank you for still writing.

  • Ruth

    My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
    May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.

  • Celia

    May you be surrounded by the love of family and friends to comfort you at this time of harsh grace.
    Our Mothers are engrained in our very DNA and never really leave us. They are always that ‘wise voice in your head’ when you need them. Take care.

  • andree

    Barbara, deepest sympathies on the loss of your mother, Ellen. I appreciate your personal note and congratulate you on taking care of your readers while enduring such a personal loss. Great work as always. Take care of yourself and your family.

  • SueElio

    Barbara – My immense condolences to you and your family for your loss. I can only imagine how difficult and painful this must be. In the midst of it all, thank you for posting this and for your note. Your work, as always, is wonderful and we thank you for it. All the best to you and your family.

  • savta

    Barbara – My deepest condolences on your loss. May your mother’s memory be for a blessing and may her teachings continue to guide you and your family.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Dear Barbara,
    I am so sorry. So sorry. I hope that you may find some comfort in the thought that your Ellen had a long and beautiful life – you most certainly must have been a joy and a blessing to her.
    I will not post any comments here until you give us a signal that your pain allows you to get back to the daily activities that seem so meaningless in a time like this.

    My deepest sympathy and admiration for a great review, under such circumstances – your professionalism is admirable.

  • Ruvy

    May your mother’s memory be for a blessing and may her teachings continue to guide you and your family.

    Amén v’Amén!!

  • RobF

    Deepest sympathy and best wishes for you and your family as you deal with this.

  • amy Blumhardt

    I am sorry for your loss, My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Veresna

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Please take time to take care of yourself and your family.

  • Lily

    Barbara, I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m a regular reader of your column, and although I’ve never left a comment before I just wanted to thank you for still writing your wonderful reviews in such difficult times. Take care.

  • Anonymous

    What was the title of the song playing at the start of this episode? Does anyone know?

    More importantly, however, accept my deepest condolences for your loss. I lost both a grandmother and an uncle in the past eight years, and the loss is never easy.

  • Thersites

    So sorry to hear about your mother – losing a parent is one of those passages that is no less painful for being universal. Admire your professionalism in posting your review.

  • Jackie

    So very sorry to learn of your mother’s passing. Sincerest condolences to you and your family at this time.

  • Chrisden

    So so sorry to hear of your loss Barbara, my deepest sympathies go to you and your family during this difficult time.

  • hilary

    much as I like Cuddy, and am glad she prevailed, the show is called “House,” not “Cuddy.” I felt a little ripped off.

  • Jane

    Very sorry to hear your loss. Deepest condolences to you and your family. Thanks for posting this review even during such hard times.

  • cj_housegirl

    Sorry to hear of your loss Barbara. I lost my mother a few years ago. It is a painful loss no matter if you were prepared for it or not. Thanks for writing the review. You’re amazing.

    My best to you and your family.

  • pawpaw

    My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Thank you for still writing.

  • Ann

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you & your family during this time.

  • Yohel Amat

    Sorry for your lost and thanks a lot for doing your job even under that conditions. Thanks.

  • IM

    So sorry for your loss!

  • Chen

    My deepest condolences Barbara. Thank you for continuing to write these wonderful reviews during what must be such a hard time in your life

  • Mary Marguerite

    I am so sorry for your loss of your mother. May she rest in peace, and may you find comfort in your memories of her.

    And thank you for posting your review, despite your grief; my “House M.D.” viewing is never complete until I see what you have to say about an episode.

    My condolences to you and your family.

  • simchasd

    Baruch dayan emes. May your mother be a “maylitz yosher”- a good advocate on behalf of you and your family. May you be comforted amongst the mourners of Israel.

  • tigerfeet

    Barbara, my deepets sympahties. Thank you so much for still writing, you are the best.

  • simona/italy

    barbara, my deepest sympathy.
    And thanks for the review, I know it’s not easy at all to go on in such a painful moment.

  • RobF

    When I read the news of Barbara’s mother’s passing, the last thing on my mind was posting comments about fictional characters. Still, she did this review and posted it, so I hope it will not be seen as insensitive if we post about the show.

    The Book: Prominently featured next to Cuddy’s alarm clock was Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende. The relevant themes of this book: a) Inés is a heroic figure whose enormous contributions to the foundings of Chile went largely unrecognised; b) the personal story of Inés focuses on her relationship with two men — her husband, a handsome and pleasant man who was in the end dishonoured and humiliated; and her lover, the great hero of the founding of Chile. (I haven’t read it, so I’m going by reviews.)

    Workaholism: Season 5 examined how House was using Vicodin to treat pain that has since been shown to have been mainly psychosomatic. His addiction to Vicodin was a way of dulling the emotional pain of his less-than-satisfactory personal life. Now we see that Cuddy is also addicted for essentially the same reason. She is addicted to work, to feeling indispensable to the hospital and her child, when she really wants to be indispensable to House. She, like House, has become enormously effective in her professional duties.

    Micromanaging: Something that often goes hand-in-hand with workaholism is an inability to delegate. Why isn’t an employee who steals dealt with by an H.R. manager? Why isn’t a guy who has legal issues with a hospital bill talking directly to the hospital’s legal team? Under a micromanager who won’t delegate responsibility, employees tend to act like helpless children. This is certainly the case at the hospital — the pharmacy staff do nothing on their own initiative; the doctors squabble (and even fight) like children — all reinforcing Cuddy’s self-image as the only one who can get anything done.

    Lucas: In the previous episode he was a ridiculous villain, but in this one he is shown in a more sympathetic light. He obviously cares about “Lisa”, bringing her lunch and trying to protect her from dealing with problems at home during her hellish day, even at the risk of looking like a fool himself for mixing up the phones. But then there’s the bet with House — how stupid could he possibly be?

  • NJB

    May i offer my sincere sympathy on the death of your mother.
    I did not like this episode. It started to go off on me when cuddy found time to run to a restaurant to confront the CEO but couldnt find time to run home to find out what was going on with her kid. Just found that creepy – and i thought the hidden microphone bit was a tired old trick – and when she said she wasnt going to tell the DEA – so much seemed off. Your review was better than the show

  • barbara barnett

    Although I am still in the midst of a week long “shiva” period of mourning and won’t get back to writing formal comments on the show until next week, I did want to stop by and thank you all for your incredibly kind remarks and condolences. They have been a real comfort to me! Please feel free to comment on the episode and debate amongst yourselves. Be back next week!

  • Flo

    I’m sorry too for your loss. My condolences and all my thoughts with and your family.

    Thanks for the review. Kudos to you for writing this in this difficult time. It says a lot about your generosity and professionalism.

  • Eve K

    Im so sorry for your loss, Barbara.

    Here is my take on “5 to 9”

    I agree with ew.coms review:
    “I guess it was nice to see Cuddy in the spotlight for once, but her lack of confidence was just baffling. She’s not incompetent – everything she wanted to happen in this episode did – but she’s hanging on by a thread. On some shows, I guess that would be sympathetic, but on House, self-possession is a requirement; watching her flail wasn’t endearing, it was pathetic. That “yes” at the end didn’t feel like much of a triumph, it felt like a cop-out.”

    I think the director and the writer, and I guess also Lisa E. who seems to have influence over the character developement, struggles to much to make Cuddy feminine and vulnerable – sexy. In fact, I think she would be much more feminine and sexy if she was tougher. Now she seems pathetic. They would never had shown House or Wilson on the verge of tears and afraid of not being good enough in a work situation, even when alone. I dont think Cuddy would have survived for so long at that hospital if she was so nervous on the inside as she seemes in “5 to 9”.

    Rob F, again you have some very good observations, Cuddy is indeed not a very good delegator. The way she comes across in this episode, she is not a good boss.

    I had high hopes for this episode, I was disappointed.

    Upsides – to get to see House from yet another perspective. Now – lets get him back in the spotlight.

  • sunnysea

    Barbara, My deepest and heartfelt sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your mother. You will all be in our thoughts.

  • Annabelle Fox

    Barbara sorry for your lost too and you have my admiration for writing your (again perfect) review despite of such situation. I lost both my parents in my 20 so I can imagine how you feel.

    Sue: “Seeing Cuddy’s daily routine makes me believe House would never fit in to her world. He is too complicated. Dealing with him is like walking on marbles-you never know the stability of the next step you take. He may be supportive and he may have her back, but she would have that whether or not she was in a relationship with him. What she needs is a more emotionally stable, more predictable man who will be supportive of her and will not complicate her life.”
    Exactly! I agree. If you watch Cuddy’s busy morning with yoga practice, crying ill baby, preparing for working day etc. – can you imagine House in the middle of all this? :o)) So I think the best resolution for Huddy is friendship instead of romantic relationship. It fits them both the best.

    I must trully say that since 5×10 for all rest of season 5 and whole season 6 I didn’t like Cuddy. She very disappointed me with her strange change and I had enough of her. So I waited I will dislike this episode, but surprisingly I liked it and Cuddy suddenly was more sympathetic to me. I wish it lasted…

    Eve K: „I think she would be much more feminine and sexy if she was tougher. Now she seems pathetic.“
    It also seems to me that Cuddy used to be more stronger and determined and mostly knew exactly what to do without thouse pathetic interludes. And such Cuddy I found more attractive and admirable. In most situations now she didn’ look like professional manager such she used to be.

  • Greeblygreebly

    I am so sorry for your loss, my prayers are with you and your family.

  • simplethings


    I love your writing! You got me thinking about this show and television in an entirely different way and now I write reviews for House on BuddyTV.

    So sorry to hear about your mom. I lost mine when I was 14. Very huge part of what shaped me.

    Anyway, I’m thinking of you. Just know that your writing really inspired me to write and to continue writing.

    Lisa (LPinLA on twitter)

  • rbrown205

    It is interestingly coincidental that this episode of House is about a mother with a daughter.
    My condolences to you, Barbara Barnett, as one daughter to another.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Barbara, i still feel odd posting comments on the show here while you are experiencing such a hard time. But since you gave your permission for this, i’ll try just a few ideas:

    The first time I watched “5 to 9”, i didn’t like it. I watched it again two more times and i changed my mind. It is a fast paced episode, the rythm of it meant to suggest the rythm of her life. It may seem superficial or too fast at some points, but that was the very point of it.

    I agree with RobF on workaholism, but i do not relate it to the current House-Cuddy situation or to that relationship at all, in fact. She has always been insecure and emotionally imature, so her professional life is what she has always focused on to compensate for her personal insecurities. I agree on micromanaging, and we already knew that she is addicted to control, House always points that out.

    On the book, it’s also meaningful that Isabel Allende always (really, always) writes about love stories that survive through time, lovers that find each other again after huge periods of time etc. Of course, the two men in her life thing is also significant.

    On Lucas: i believe that we were now fully shown the role of Lucas in Cuddy’s life, and that is to supply human contact and companionship, to act as the interface between her hectic professional life and her home and baby, thus easing her guilt about not being a good enough mother, to nurture her “family life” illusion and to take care of the woman who gets lost taking care of everybody and everything around her. Whether that is or will always be enough, it remains to be seen.

    On the bet: at first it seemed improbable that House would join Lucas on his watch after last week’s blood shed, or that Lucas would call him. But i guess it was House’s way (and Lucas’s way too) to search for a bearable way to both fit into Cuddy’s life, at least until one of them kicks the other one out, and have a pissing contest in the meantime… And it was hilarious – the call during sex, the malaria and the breast milk, all of which were only won half way: Lucas bets House can’t get her to stop morning sex with an emergency call (and Lucas wins, even if its by really bad sex), House bets Lucas that he can get Cuddy to sign off on malaria as a treatment (which House wins, but also half way, because Foreman actually stops him from starting the treatment), and they also bet on whether the cancer guy can get her to write a prescription for breast milk, which House loses, but again only half way, because some other doctor is actually convinced to write it. Classic “House” brilliance.

    On the “pathetic” issue that Eve K brought up: House and Wilson are constantly shown dealing with difficult professional situations in far, far, far worse manners than Cuddy’s “on the verge of tears” thing. Wilson gets so personal when confronted to a professional issue that is out of his control, that he sleeps and moves in with dying cancer patients and donates parts of his liver. House has been shown to respond to “hard to solve professional problems” by becoming abusive of his team and other hospital personnel, and often to his friends (Wilson and Cuddy), by trying to numb the frustration by the use of drugs or alcohol and, of course, first and foremost by the self protecting “i don’t care if they live or die, i just want the puzzle” attitude.
    So the fact that Cuddy was shaken up by the professional situation she was in and she got a little angry or a little teary seems to me the healthiest emotional response to such a situation that we’ve seen on this show.

    I have an entirely different take on this episode than that review you quoted: the very fact that her victory was hanging on by a thread and that she was shown as vulnerable and insecure is the fact that keeps this episode from becoming a stereotype about “the all mighty robotic business woman”. This is a complex character, whose essence lies in the way she blends great qualities and profesional success with deep insecurities and emotional imaturity. If they had shown anything else, it would have been a different character and, even worse, it would have been a clichee.

    If anything did bother me, it was the all too happy ending. It was unusual for a “House” episode to have such multiple happy endings on every issue that came up in the episode. That’s what made me feel it was leaning a bit towards a clichee-istic portrait of a woman on top, managing to juggle her professional and personal life and getting a present with a big bow at the end of the day. But the fact that she was by no means shown as the all mighty professional who walks on water makes the ending bearable – and it was, in fact, a typical “House” structure: multiple challenges and multiple intermediary solutions that don’t work, the epiphany about how to solve the drug stealing employee issue, and the surprise in the end, when it all ends well after nobody still thought it would. We see this quite often in the usual episodes, the only thing that was different here was that this being entirely from one person’s perspective, the ending was just too happy and too perfect, with nothing to ruin the optimism.

    Just one more thing: she found the time to find the CEO in the restaurant because she thought this would be a big move in order to solve the problem: threaten him with the PR campaign she had planned. She was on a strict deadline, she was fully focused on the Atlantic Net issue and i understand why she didn’t try to find time to go home and see Rachel. Even is she showed and felt panic at the thought of the child’s condition, in her rational mind she knew that there was nothing serious wrong with Rachel. As a mother, i always experience this type of double-standards: deep in my heart, i go out of my mind with fear and compassion when my son has a cold, but when i use my rational mind, i know that it makes no sense putting all forms of life and activity on hold until he stops sneezing (even if sometimes i do go that far…). So she prioritized, that is a natural thing to do in such a crazy situation, confronted with so many serious problems at work. I don’t think she would have done it on a regular day though, she semed pretty affected by the thought of Rachel having a rash (yeah, i know how that feels:).

  • Visitkarte

    @ Barbara

    I’m so sorry for your loss. No mater if our parents are 40, 50, 60 or 99 when they pass away, it’s always a great loss, and it’s always devastating. I’ve lost both my parents as a grown up person, but as my father passed away, barely so (I was only 23 back there). My mother lived longer than the devastating 55 my father made, she went up to 68, but it was probably the worse loss I’ve ever had. I hardly did anything but function and sleep. I admire you for being capable of keeping up with your column and going on. All the respect and condolences as well as best wishes for you and your family.

    Thank you for your review, it made me feel a tiny bit better about this episode.

    @ Eve K

    Most of your view covers more or less my point of view of the last episode. I didn’t like seeing a whiny Cuddy all the time, fragile and insecure every time she leaves the headlights. She would have had a nervous breakdown with the job if she really handled pressure like that. Sadly, I feel her Character very consistently written, and thinking back about Airborne, Joy, Big Baby… Well, she seems constant in her weakness… But it needs also great strength of character to act strong when you feel insecurities, so she is strong as well.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    PS: Annabelle, i don’t think she changed. I think we got to see what’s behind the professional facade, that’s all. If you take her scenes with House and other scenes about her profesional activity in six seasons, we usually see her while she tries hard to maintain the appearances, and very rarely when she is alone or when she gives up on the restraint and lets all the emotion show.
    We have always seen her being extremely insecure and vulnerable when it comes to House, when it comes to her abilities as a doctor (she always doubts herself, i think she knows House is right about her being a good administrator, but a “second rate doctor at best”) and when it comes to her difficulties in personal life (for instance, her complete breakdown with the child in the shower and the incontrolable crying in her office in season 3 – she feels like she is better at her job than she it at personal things and she has always had major doubts about her potential as a mother etc).
    When she deals with her employees, patients, families etc, she feels like she is in control, so she handles it with professionalism and determination. But again, there were quite a few moments of complete vulnerability that we got to see up to this episode, and i am positive that behind the scenes, she has always been like this, it’s just that we didn’t get to see it shown.

  • bibliotekar

    Wanted to send my sincere sympathy. Lost my Mom when I was 10. It was very devastating.

  • hwl40

    Thank you for your insights in the midst of loss. Life going on and loss endured, a very Housian theme.

  • Eve K

    Delia_B – lets agree to disagree.

    And on that note – I would love for Cuddy to deal with things in a far worse manner than being on a verge of tears!


    So sorry love , my very sincere condolences , it will get easier , “god gives the back to carry the burden “..xxxxxx

  • Babyjay17

    Just wanted to say how sorry I am about the loss of your Mom. I lost mine 4 years ago and I think about her and miss her everyday. And to thank your for your professionalism in the face of personal loss. I may not always agree with your take but I respect your point of view. In this case, I agree that House makes an excellant “wartime consigliere” and I really enjoyed the scenes between he and Cuddy in this episiode.

  • Flo

    Okay, once again, I totally agree with Delia _Beatrice (#61). It really starts to be an habit!

    I also think the episode needs more than one viewing to fully understand his inner construction and all the insights it gives us about Cuddy, House and the life of the hospital.

    Cuddy has a hell of a job and we can see that in her worst stressful days like this one, House is actually the least of her problems!

    I didn’t know who Isabel Allende was, so good insight. It is interesting.

    I agree about Lucas, it was interesting to see him and House try to help Cuddy in their own way. It showed us how different their relationship with her are. There were some good interactions between Cuddy and both characters.

    I also agree that Cuddy always had a vulnerable side. It is not new but that doesn’t make her weak.

    Never in this episode Cuddy was “on the verge of tears”. I think it is a wrong statement. She was stressed out, which is an understandable feeling considering the difficult position she was in.

    After EIGHT MONTHS of rough battle, it’s ‘money time’ and she is not that sure to win. So she has her moments of doubts. I believe anybody would have. But she was not about to cry, she was just wondering if her decision was the right one. After all these months of negotiation, was it possible that she could have done something differently and end it sooner?

    I didn’t see the “on the verge of tears” thing and I don’t think she was presented as weak. What about seeing this in another way and see her strength?
    The fact that, all in all, despite the doubts, she kept on her strategy is a sign of strength. That is not acting weak. She was tough enough to shut down her vulnerability and lead the negotiation to the very end.

    That’s what makes her strong and I think that’s one of the reason why House likes her so much.
    To be able to go beyond doubts, to take risks (terminate the contract was a big one) and to stand up for your own convictions and decisions, is a thing House is trying to teach to his team and something he always praised.
    I believe, that why he was really happy for her at the end of the episode. She was under great stress and wasn’t that confident in her plan but she was able to overcome this and consequently, she won.
    I think we never saw House more proud.

    Sometimes you have to ignore the difficulty of a situation and do what you have to do. What you think is right.
    House always do that with his most mysterious and difficult cases.
    So I agree with Delia about the formula that didn’t quite changed. She resolved this problem by daring to put herself (or more so her job) in danger and do whatever she felt right.
    House can relate to that and that’s why I think he was here, behind her back, trying to protect her and just be here for her. The car scene was like old times (except she is the one who has the epiphany).
    But she is tougher that she might appear and goes according to her plan through and through. she wins, he is proud, the end. Perfectly logical.

    I didn’t quite like the big “yes!” on the other hand. It was completely corny and out of character. I think if she were to have a celebration like this it would have been more on the elevator, alone, than in the lobby in front of everyone.

    Agree with RobF. She is a workaholic. It’s not new. She admitted in JttW last year, to be totally screwed up in regards of social matters and personal relationships. But she is good at her job.

    As for delegating, she certainly has a issue with this. She feels the need to take care of all the problems.
    Like for the drug stealing thing, I think as the Dean she has to be informed of what is going on and I believe it’s her job to call HR manager but like it was a good employee and she didn’t want to give her away to the DEA, she prefered to see the employee herself first.
    then, seeing that the pharmacy tech has a personal grievance(?) against her, she just decided to take care of it personally. Okay. Maybe.
    But yeah for the “trial over thumb problem”, she could (not to say should) have told that lawyer to talk to someone of the law department.

    Ultimately, it was a very interesting episode. A very fast paced one, which needs more viewings to see all the layers and details. The fact the we can have a different take of a situation in differents viewings is what makes this episode one of the best of season six so far.
    Also kudos to Lisa Edelstein who was really great. Fantastic job.

  • sdemar

    Barbara, I wanted to wait a few days before commenting because of the passing of your mom. My deepest sympathy for your loss.

    In spite of it all, you managed to present us with your review. When I knew Lisa E was going to be the center of an episode, I was skeptical at first because I wasn’t sure whether she could pull it off. I should have known better to doubt her as she was exceptional and it seems many of the media reviews of this episode acknowledge the talent of this lovely woman and gave her a big thumbs up for this episode. Big kudos to Lisa E. I hope this translates into more screentime for her as her scenes have been minimal this year.

    Cuddy is far from perfect and she has her struggles and has admitted she has failed at all of her relationships. Having said that, she handles her position in a strong manner. She played hard ball and won while at the same time showing some of her insecurities. That’s what I like about the character.

    The car scene shows how well House and Cuddy know each other. It is these type of conversations that I have missed most this year. House and Cuddy have a deep connection to each other and underneath all the bickering, they trust each other. Their silly little game playing is how they relate to each other as asinine as that seems. I have missed their moments this year.

    Anyway I loved the episode and am glad that Lisa E got her moment. Thanks for taking the time to provide us with your review.

    Take care of yourself, Barbara.

    Post your comment, or make changes above.

  • Annabelle Fox

    Delia_Beatrice I agree with you and the fact that we got to see behind Cuddy’s professional facade is not the problem to me. I understand her weaknesses and inner problems and that she can be on the verge of tears in any horrible situation she must facing in her work or personal life. As I sad I quite liked her personality in this episode. But she always was intelligent and witty woman, the only person who always could manage House and his excentricity and resolve all problems resonably and with dignity. The „strange change“ for me was her acting about personal relationship with House, because I think that even if it had to be complicated and emotionally demanding it could be also handle much more better. After the kiss in „Joy“ she very well knew all that difficulties and reasonably thought about it, but in 5×10 she suddenly run wilde and started chase and seduce House and after he was frightened and backed she started punish him with stupid childish and embarrassing pranks. Whole that thing with the occupation of his office, mixing hydrogen sulfide, moving furniture… She alone asked him for the kiss, in open public space – it had to be very uncomfortable for House so I really understand his reaction (and Cuddy does not need to humiliate herself this way). So this all I really didn’t like and with every other episode it was only worse to me. And after House returned from Mayfield, he changed, no more tormented her, suddenly started act more like she wanted before and showed her he is interested in her and she panished him with her stupid pranks again, without any serious reason. Really very very hard middle-age crisis, but I would wait from intelligent and witty woman something else.
    I was glad that in this episode Cuddy was more like she used to be and also her scenes with House weren’t so unpleasant to watch to me. It was almost like in old good times :o))
    And I must say that watching whole episode and all characters, including House from the perspective of Cuddy was very special and unusual, for me even more then from Wilson’s perspective. But interesting, really.

  • Elena

    Barbara, I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathies for you. And thank you for excellent review.

  • Rebecca

    Dear Barbara,
    My deepest sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your mother.
    Allow me to quote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry : “He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.”
    Your mother will indeed be a part of you forever and in that sense you can never lose her.

    Even though this is my first post, I have had the pleasure of reading your articles for some time now. I am really greatful to you for all those brilliant insightful essays that have enhanced my appreciation for this great show.

  • Sharon

    Barbara, I add my sympathies to the chorus. I have always enjoyed your blog, and I wish you the best.

    I am motivated to post a comment for the first time by some of the previous comments indicating that Cuddy was emotional and week. To me, she was somewhat emotional, which was entirely appropriate given the stress that she was under, but that should not be confused with being weak.

    In a small way, I have a job that is similar to Cuddy’s. I manage about 40 staff, including “difficult” lawyers, and I have legal practice responsibilities as well. I totally related to her day.

    The scene that most resonated with me was the one with the clinic patient who was berating her. I can tell you, this is a hard thing to deal with when you are having the day from hell. Quite honestly, she dealt with the patient better than I sometimes have with my clients under similar circumstances. She also dealt with him better than many of PPTH’s doctors regularly deal with patients.

    It’s nice to think that a manager ought to be able to deal with piled-on adversity with no emotional reaction, but that is not the reality I know, among both women and men in that position. In fact, I thought that Cuddy coped reasonably well by continuing to push through difficulties with (mostly) sensible strategies despite her stress.

    Based on my experiences (and those of friends and colleagues who manage much bigger operations than mine), I thought that Cuddy’s actions and reactions actually were better than what I would expect in reality, especially given that she had very little support. That, my friends, is what makes it fiction.

  • Sandra

    Hello Barbara, I am sorry for your loss. My own father died a month ago and I have quite an idea how you are feeling now.

    Your review was excellent though, and I also liked this Cuddy very much.

  • nitemar

    Sorry for your loss Barbara. First time poster here. Thanks for your wonderful insight on Cuddy’s ordeal and triumph. We knew Lisa E could do it and boy did she, she was as triumphant as well as Cuddy a role she knows so well!. Thanks again, and G-d bless.

  • Puppet Master

    Not sure why you thought the Insurance rep was sexist. He seemed to respect Cuddy.

    I got no sexist vibes at all from him. I think he liked Cuddy, you could tell he was happy when she got the 12%, even though it cost his company and probably him a good sum of money.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Puppet Master, it was his “my wife knows” comment – one could read through the lines that it had a “women belong at home, raising their children” subtext.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Flo, Thank you, it is beginning to turn into a very nice habit, agreeing like this all the time:)))

    Eve K – of course we can agree to disagree. One of the wonders of “House” – the layers are so subtly built, that they bear a lot of different interpretations, and the real fun comes when these different views are confronted, with all the questions that emerge from that:)

    Annabelle: I have a different take on “Let them have cake” and all the other episodes. House’s response in ep 10 was due to the fact that he realized that Cuddy’s behavior was part of a game – a sexual game of teasing and seduction – while he was already aware that he wanted something much deeper with her and he was also aware that this real, deep relationship cannot be achieved through game playing. That’s why he pushed her away, and it also explains the title of the episode, the allusion to the famous Marie Antoinette line, “if they don’t have bread, let them eat cake”.

    During all seasons so far, current one included, Cuddy was never capable of fully facing her feelings for House. Deep down inside, those feelings are crystal clear, and her eternal actions of protection towards him prove it – her subconscious reaction is always to jump and help him, with whatever cost. But on a conscious level, he was always too scary for such an emotionally imature and insecure woman.

    During season 5, she toyed with the idea of a relationship. Her response to the kiss in “Joy” was complete, because the surprise and her emotional vulnerability at that time made her lower her defences. But after that, she joined House in their reluctant two steps forward, ten steps back dance. Her attraction and her feelings for him were sometime very strong, too strong for her to be able to look away. But all she dared and could do about it was play games, reluctant and juvenile, because she feared the rejection and she feared the real, deep intensity of this relationship.

    I personally blame all the bad Huddy in season 6 on “Epic Fail”, not “Both Sides Now”. I think the kitchen scene in “Epic Fail” clearly shows that she waited for him to come back and find out the truth. She asked him about her place in his life, she openly regretted his leaving, she said she would miss him. After that, she just tried hard to move away. One could hardly begin to imagine how humiliated she must have felt, how much of a fool, to have hung around so long for a man who never seemed to be certain that he wanted her.

    Her behaviour in season 6 is indeed painfully different from previous seasons, and i miss the usual Huddy interactions with all my heart. But i believe this is the prelude of something bigger, better and REAL between them. I personally believe that she disclosed the details of House’s hallucination to Lucas in order to convince him of the necessity to protect House. I think she played those games in “Ignorance Is Bliss” because she feared House was toying with her and what she dreaded most of all was falling back into the old games-insults-humiliation recipe, with a man she has always been interested in. She cherished her illusion of finding the right thing in Lucas, she bathed into the comfort of an apparently normal relationship, and she did all she could to avoid encouraging House’s games. She had almost no reason to believe that it was more that the usual game, meant to prove how House can toy with her – his behaviour in “Ignorance” certainly was no indication of that, even if perhaps “Braveheart” and the dance in “Known Unknowns” could have been a clue. But a clue of nothing much, to a woman who had already decided that she had had enough suffering and humiliation and loneliness and frustrating games.

    Sharon – i completely agree. The best proof of how right you are was my husband’s reaction after “5 to 9” – he manages his own business of about 100 employees and he could TOTALLY relate to her problems and reactions. He was impressed (and trust me, it’s damn hard to impress him) by her respond and solutions to the issues she was confronted with. He thought she did a hell of a job, and he actually thought that, emotionally, she was unbelievably together, under those circumstances.

    PS: my favorite conclusion from this ep is that Cuddy is a believer just as much as House. She believes that what is right is damn well worth fighting for, and that puts her responses to House’s usual “situations” in a much more beautiful light: she always put a lot at risk in order to help him because she, also, believes that fighting for a right cause is worth any cost. She is an idealist and a believer and they are so much alike, it’s breathtaking.

  • sunnysea

    Barbara, I have a question for you (also anyone feel free to jump in). When H and C were in her car, her first comment to him was “You owe Lucas the money. We were having sex when you called” She is obviously at her lowest point and feels completely defeated. You can see that this admission is painful for her and she knows it will be painful for House. I can think of many possibilities but none that are satisfying. I’d really appreciate your insights because these things don’t happen w/out a reason. Also noted was the fact that she said having sex not making love but then we all know it’s not love….. Thanks for your ideas….. 🙂

  • RobF

    Cuddy resented (as of course she would) an intimate moment being part of a bet between Lucas and House.

    By telling House, she accomplishes two things:
    a) she gets back at House by telling him that she and Lucas have frequent sex, knowing that her physical intimacy with Lucas bothers House;
    b) she gets back at Lucas by letting him know (when House gives him the money) that she has talked to House about their sex life, knowing that her emotional intimacy with House bothers Lucas.

    The episode showed several examples of people underestimating Cuddy and trying to take advantage of her “nice” persona, only to be smacked down by her. The pharmacy employee and the insurance negotiator took it for granted that the normally accommodating Cuddy would back down in a fight, only to learn how wrong they had been. House and Lucas were playing a macho game, thinking of her as a prize to be fought over, but they also learned not to underestimate her.

    I think the main point of this episode was to show that Cuddy is going to be able to stand her ground in a relationship with House, that he will not be able to manipulate her as he does pretty much everyone else. He can infuriate her, hurt her, drive her away… but not get her to do what he wants.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Sunnysea, i have given this tons of thought. It bothered me greatly, because the idea of her trying to hurt House at that particular moment feels completely out of the spirit of that scene. So my conclusion was this: I don’t think she was trying to get back at House (or Lucas, for that matter) right then and there. It was a moment of “game over” for her. She was ready to admit defeat and walk away, had House not pushed her out of that state of mind. She was sitting in the car, thinking about everything that had blown to pieces that day. She was counting her losses, summing up her defeats, drawing the line and counting the “casualties”. So i think that she added the bet as one more thing on that list. It was a painful thing for her and a loss of sorts, to have Lucas trash her intimacy like that and House playing in on it. So she admitted it, and her passive tone indicates that she admitted it to herself more than to House. His reaction also indicates the same thing: he seemed to ignore her answer, but in fact he understood it’s true significance. He didn’t seem hurt by it, he didn’t try to push the discussion further on that issue (which he had been doing all day). He interpreted it as a sign that she was at her lowest point and that it was more the confession of yet another loss, than the confession of a private detail of her relationship with Lucas.

  • RobF

    I agree House didn’t seem hurt by the revelation, although we’ve seen that he is clearly bothered by Lucas’ close relationship with Cuddy.

    Through much of the episode, and especially at the end, we saw House being supportive of Cuddy during her trials and then very proud of her success. House is shown to have respect for Cuddy, which bodes well for any hypothetical future relationship (which we all know is as inevitable as tomorrow’s sunrise).

  • sunnysea

    Delia and Rob, Thanks for sharing the way you saw that scene. I was leaning toward Delia’s absolutely defeated state of mind and I still see it as the most logical but I also agree that this episode shows us that Cuddy IS an absolute match for House and in fact is a much stronger woman than most people give her credit, except for House who knows exactly how good she is! Thank you both for responding…

  • Chrisden

    I have not posted my opinion of the episode because my thoughts had already been posted by others. I will just say i loved it.

    Regarding the declaration of the admittance of the sex from Cuddy to House i have a slightly different take.

    I agree with Delia_Beatrice in that it was game over and she had just had enough but i think that she had said that because she still thought House was only there to get answers from her as to whether he won or lost the bet and she was tired and at her wits end so gave him what she thought thought he wanted to know.
    Throughout the episode House had cleverly disguised his reasons of being here there and everywhere she was as only being about his patient and the bet, though when he did not react in any way to her confession and changed the subject about the breast milk guy i think that is when she she realised he had been supporting her/watching her back (in his own way)all along.

  • barbara barnett

    sunnysea…Thought your question would be a good point to pop back into the conversation after the difficult couple of weeks behind me.

    I felt that House was not hurt by it (nor was Cuddy intending to hurt him). She was simply telling him (he wanted to know earlier if he owed Lucas money). She was feeling defeated–and it was an way of breaking the ice by making a reference back to their earlier conversation.

    I thought the vibe between them was greatly eased and she allowed herself to listen to him and internalize what he advised her. I so loved House’s place as her wise advisor (something that Wilson could not do for her.) For all his adolescent behavior, House can be an honest and genuine guide.

  • simona / italy

    beautiful remarks guys :-))

    and barbara, welcome back! I’ve missed you a lot :-)………..

  • simona / italy

    oh…and I think that House has always been an awesome protective man. I love him!

  • Flo

    Barbara, glad to see you back! 🙂

    The car scene is a really good one and I think it was important for Cuddy to talk first.

    By making this confession she is setting the tone of the conversation.
    This is an invitation to have a heart to heart, honest talk with him. House took the invitation, making confessions himself and responding to the ease, intimate tone of the discussion.
    That’s why it was easy for Cuddy to listen to him and take his advice.

    There were back to an old familiar territory and when they are in this one, they are pretty supportive and efficient.

    They don’t have many talks like this in the show but we can see how really at ease with each other they are in those times.
    I like those private, calm, little discussions.
    Like at the end of “Act Your Age” about the May/October couple or also the scene in her house in “Half-Wit”.
    He was here also when she lost Joy, and I liked how he confessed to her that he didn’t sleep since Kutner’s suicide in “House Devided”.

  • RobF

    I agree that Cuddy was at the end of her rope at that moment, and was in no mood to deal with House on the subject of Lucas.

    But, instead of saying something along the lines of “stop meddling in my life, House!” — as most of us would have done, and which would have been perfectly reasonable — instead her reply placed her above the House/Lucas bet.

    Either asking or demanding that House stop intruding would have been playing House’s weird game. But simply saying, “yes, we were having sex — go get your $50” placed her outside the House/Lucas game.

    I also agree House hadn’t come to her car at that moment in order to talk about the bet, but because he was worried about her. Still, he got the message, and I think he was pleased with it.

  • Teb

    I have been wondering if House has really been a guiding presence to Cuddy in this episode. No doubt he was in her office, stalking her at the stairwell and in the car, but his words to her were always to mock her decision and advise her to reconsider her actions. Was House using reverse-psychology to help Cuddy stand firm in her decision (although I don’t quite buy that myself)? Personally, I am more incline to find House behaving timid/conservative, but that’s not unexpected when it concerns people who matters, like when he was treating Amber in S4. What do you all think? On the same line of thought, when House didn’t applause with the rest of the audience at Cuddy’s closing speech, I thought maybe House was regretting that he had been more of a hindrance than a help to Cuddy and so didn’t feel right celebrating/clapping for Cuddy.

  • Flo

    I think House knows Cuddy well enough to know that she wouldn’t fold.

    He didn’t really mock her or her plan, that’s just his way of guiding. He was his usual self and everytime she doubted he was there.
    I think he just wanted to give her the reassurance that she is stronger than the negotiator and perhaps herself think she is.

    At the end he didn’t applaud but he was really proud of her. She overcame her doubts and she won. House is not the clapping/celebrating type. But he had nothing to feel sorry for. His expression was one of pride.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Barbara, i am glad to have you back here. I am very sorry for what you have been going through these past two weeks, but i hope you found some peace of mind and the power to accept the new place that your mother will hold in your heart and spirit from now on.

    I have a question that might seem stupid, but particularly after this episode, it bothered me a lot: i came across this article about Lisa Edelstein in “Jewish Exponent”, the February 8th issue (http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/20630/), which hints that Lisa Edelstein has achieved all she wanted on “House” and is now ready to move on. Could this mean that a Cameron-like maneuver is being prepared for Cuddy? Could the writers be thinking abour writing her out? I have always thought that the House-Wilson-Cuddy triangle is pivotal to the show and thus unbreakable, but the seeds of doubt have been planted in my mind…

  • Flo

    Okay Delia I’ve just read the article on line and I’m not worried.

    It seems to me that the article was written by someone who is not following the show ” she was, in fact, the doctor who OPERATED on him against his will, leaving him walking the line … with a cane.”
    That is really wrong. She was never a surgeon and she was following Stacy’s will.

    Plus, the article says that “she feels fullfield right now”.
    The “seven years of satisfaction” thing leading to a new phase can be interpreted as a reference to the famous “age of reason”.

    Anyway I wouldn’t read much into it.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Thank you, Flo:) You are right, of course – it’s not the kind of article one should read too much into – it tries hard to be “witty”, but it misses essential elements (or gets them just plain wrong), while repeating stereotypes that were all over the media on Cuddy and Lisa Edelstein.

    But it did get me worried, as a first hand reaction. I am very reluctant to being taken out of the “House” comfort zone, with the one notable exception of getting over the splitting of the original team more easily than i had expected, thanks to the very lively and often funny “selecting a new team” episodes and, of course, thanks to the fact that the initial characters stayed on the show.
    But all other major changes i did not like (writing out Kutner and most of all Cameron, i dare say that i even enjoyed “Broken” less than its brilliance deserved, because it was so different). I love the fact that the show has grown and the characters are being revealed to us more and more, and i love how the dynamic of the show is volatile enough to keep us interested, i am fine with the relationships between the characters growing and changing, that is a natural process, even for fictional characters, but i firmly vote against anyone of them being written out – and of course, that vote is even “firmer” when it comes to Wilson and Cuddy.

  • barbara barnett

    Hi Delia and all–

    The guy from the Jewish Exponent attended the same conference call I did. Lisa basically said she could not want any more from the House gig (in other words, it’s that fulfilling for her)–that’s the context. So I came away with that impression, not what’s been bandied about lately. So, never fear!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Hello, Barbara!
    Thank you very much for your answer:) I had a feeling it was just a misinterpretation (it tends to happen in mass media…), but after Kutner and Cameron were out of the show in about six months, i cannot be too confident about anything.
    Thank you again, i feel much better:)

  • bakerstreet blues

    I love the fact that in the opening scene Cuddy immediately assumes (the worst) that House is behind the missing drugs, but yet later has no problem using his clout as MOST INNOVATIVE DIAGNOSTICS DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY in order to up her hand with the insurance. This is the behavior that all of PPTH assumes throughout this series. I am reminded of Merry Little Christmas when Cuddy, Cameron and Wilson all use House while he is suffering through withdrawl and excruciating pain, yet leave him as soon as he does what they NEED from him. It has always been my belief that House cares for these people much more than they care for him. I also think of the faces of everyone on The Bus when House’s heart has stopped while he is trying to find out who is dying from the accident. Cameron is the only person who seems concerned that House may be dead. Foreman seems blank, as do everyone else on the bus. I understand that House wants no one to care about him, but at this point 5-9 it should be obvious to everyone in his orbit that not only does he feel and care about these people, but would go to great lengths to help and protect them. Cuddy of all people should know this by now. I hated the fact that she was so obvious about assuming the worst in him. His game playing days completely stopped in Ignorance is Bliss. However I have to say that he did nothing different than Cuddy did to Cameron during Saviors (Marking her territory)….except House was honest to Lucas and Cuddy belittled House to Cameron..saying that NO ONE should Love House. Talk about the lies we tell ourselves. That has always been my problem with Cuddy. She judges House on his inability to open up, yet she is exactly the same. Only difference is that House accepts that about her. I can think of at least 2 particular times that House point blank asks Cuddy about how she feels about him (The Softer Side..”why do you care if I am happy”, Let them eat cake..House:”are you screwing with me? Cuddy: “are you screwing with me?..House: “that depends on your answer”. Had Cuddy been honest at either of these questions everything would have been different. Not to mention, if it had been ME (during LTEC) and I truly wanted to thank someone for a wonderful and romantic gift I would still have gone into the office and asked to speak with House alone and told him the truth. Cuddy has always been as big a coward as House when it comes to dealing with her emotions about him, only difference is that she belittles him about those same weaknesses. For gods sake she can’t even be honest with Wilson about how she feels about House.