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TV Review: House, M.D. – “A Pox Upon Our House” in Depth

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From the 1950s until the 1970s babies were routinely vaccinated against the often-fatal and highly contagious disease. Many of us can still see the scar left by the vaccine (on the upper arm near the shoulder—it looks sort of like a brown flower tattoo). But smallpox was eradicated from the face of the earth more than 30 years ago; the supply of virus was largely destroyed (small amounts were sent to specific, well-protected labs for research). The decision to destroy the vaccine supply came in the aftermath of the accidental exposure of medical photographer Janet Parker. Which brings us to this week’s House, M.D. episode “A Pox on Our House.”

Julie, a teenage girl, picks up a medicine bottle from 18th Century slave ship wreckage off Bermuda. The slave ship had been sunk because it was believed that the passengers were infected or exposed to the deadly virus. When the girl breaks out in a suspicious rash after cutting her hand with broken bottle, House (Hugh Laurie) thinks she may have smallpox. Despite Foreman’s (Omar Epps) protestations to the contrary, confirmatory tests do seem to indicate that she has it.

House sees something in Julie’s symptoms that don’t’ quite fit a smallpox diagnosis. But in the meantime, the hospital has been quarantined—because it might be smallpox, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) comes in to take over the investigation from House and the team, leaving them with little else to do but twiddle their thumbs and wait for results.

Minor rant: Okay, so there’s only one thing that bugged me about this episode. It makes complete sense to call in the CDC, but his complete dismissal of House doesn’t make sense given House’s expertise. House is not only as a diagnostician (he’s world famous enough for the CIA to have called him in on a consult in “Whatever it Takes,” which aired season four), he’s also board certified in infectious diseases (and nephrology).  That’s quite a pedigree to have him shoved aside by the CDC guy like he’s some sort of provincial hospital doc.  On the other hand, maybe the CDC honcho does know about House and just doesn’t like his way of doing things—or maybe he’s just arrogant. It just bothered me a bit – and it bothered me that House didn’t really push it. End of rant, and now returning you to your regularly scheduled House commentary.

Foreman, Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Taub (Peter Jacobson) are content to read the paper and wait out the CDC. But the earnest and eager newbie Masters (Amber Tamblyn) wants to continue the differential. “What looks like smallpox, but isn’t?” is a question we might expect House to ask.

But House isn’t exactly biding his time by doing the New York Times crossword; he’s doing research. The CDC may hold the keys to the quarantine room, but the resourceful House has located the captain’s log from the sunken ship. But it’s in Dutch. Now, I would guess that House has at least a passing knowledge of Dutch, but would not be fluent enough (or fast enough) to translate all that Dutch (especially 18th Century Dutch) quickly and efficiently. Which would explain why he enlists a Dutch cyber-hooker to translate the journal. (Okay, that’s not the only reason!)

The historical perspective places House on another path, but neither reason nor manipulation get House anywhere with the CDC doctor. Although House considers that the African men who got sick on the ship actually died of cervical tuberculosis (scrofula), he can’t really get near enough to test the theory before Julie’s dad keels over in pain.

House plans a sneak attack to get a needed head CT, but humoring Masters, he lets her try using her more honest approach. Surprising (to House, anyway) it works, but before they can transport him, he shows yet more symptoms, with more evidence for smallpox—less for the “scroffulicious” cervical TB.

But after the dad develops pustules, even House is convinced that Julie and her dad both have smallpox—for the moment. But soon, House sees something else that doesn’t fit after Masters notices that Julie has no telltale pustules on her palms and soles of her feet. House believes that the dad is reacting to the smallpox treatment he’s been receiving, but the CDC doc isn’t buying House’s earnest argument, to which he seems just as immune as he would have been to House’s “Jedi mind tricks.” (I had to get that in, along with Hugh Laurie’s spot on Obi-Wan Kenobe impression.)

But House defies the CDC doctor, exhibiting his own brand of arrogance by slipping into the quarantined room. House knows it’s not smallpox, therefore there’s no danger. Right? But his meds don’t work and as Dad dies, House realizes he may have condemned himself by his own misguided self-confidence.

After he tries futilely to revive the dad, the fight evaporates from House as he begins to understand the consequences of his actions and the inevitability of his own death. He is cornered, doomed either to die of smallpox contracted from the dad before he donned the hazmat gear, by asphyxiation once his limited air supply runs out or by exposure if they dare to swap out his Oxygen canister. There are still hours to go before the lab results come back.

Although House is helpless trapped in isolation with the Dad’s still oozing corpse, Masters becomes House, refusing to give up the fight. After reconnecting with House’s unusual translator, Masters learns that the ship captain’s cat lost its fur and died. Now viewing the problem as House might, she goes to the isolation room window to convince him it’s not smallpox after all. Appealing to him in a way she believes will get him to get outside himself, she gets House to snap out of it and take the very dangerous yet necessary risk of removing his gloves to inspect the highly infectious corpse in the room. And it is only by so doing that House notices the eschar signature of the rickettsial infection; something unique to that, and not to smallpox.

Running parallel to the medical story, House and Cuddy’s (Lisa Edelstein) relationship continues to confront its own challenges when House suffers the consequences of lying to Cuddy in last week’s episode “Office Politics.” Cuddy would expect House to lie, cheat and steal for “the answer” and to save the patient. But perpetuating the lie after the fact, and after the patient had been saved, maybe not so much. House usually comes clean when confronted, and last week he didn’t—probably out of fear for Cuddy’s reaction. So, he compounds his lie by not admitting it when he had the chance. And Cuddy is hurt by that.

House first realizes that something’s up when she chases him from the clinic. Cuddy is miffed and doesn’t want him anywhere around her. And when he asks about it, House is astonished she hadn’t confronted him. But she had been “waiting” for him to act—and apologize; something he doesn’t believes he owes her. It’s business, he insists and nothing personal.

House doesn’t understand why she’s unable to compartmentalize their business and personal relationships. So they are at an impasse until House recklessly lets himself into the patient’s isolation unit—without a biohazard suit. All is forgotten as Cuddy worries whether House is actually in real danger of succumbing to smallpox. Despite her anger and his annoyance, there is sense that none of that matters while House’s life is in danger.

Even when they go back to status quo: House annoyed and Cuddy angry, there is no real sense that this is anything other than a relationship obstacle that can be overcome, if not completely eradicated. Cuddy cares enough about House that she stays at the isolation unit window as close to him as she can be. And House’s “I’ll be right back” when he has to momentarily leave his window perch is a quiet plea that she not leave. It’s a somehow very intimate little moment in the chaos of the crisis.

I like Cuddy setting this line in the sand. She understands what House sometimes needs to do (even lie to her), but what he did was disrespect her in a way that’s intolerable. I don’t think he did it to hurt or even to perpetuate the lie for its own sake. House acted out of fear of how Cuddy would react, and now suffers for it. But at least they are talking about it, arguing about it.

Will Cuddy stay angry? And what will House do to ameliorate the tension between them? That’s left for next week to ponder as they attend a wedding. But I really like that there is no pat, easy answer for them; no breakup and no quick reconciliation even after House puts himself in such danger. There’s no makeup sex or longing glances. As soon as the danger is past, the tension resumes. It feels real (at least within the House-universe), and I like it.

Lawrence Kaplow’s intricate, tightly woven script makes this one of the best House episodes of the year. “A Pox Upon Our House” weaves together themes of family, bonding, honesty and how we react to a crisis sometimes changes dynamics, if only temporarily. Families form and stumble awkwardly toward the next inevitable step as life: living—and dying—changes things.  A random act connected to a 200-year-old event necessitates the formation of an entirely new family; Wilson and Sam’s unexpected stint babysitting a sick child leads them to wonder if they have what it takes to deal with having children.

Love trumps anger between partners in times of danger, but what happens when the threat passes? Almost dying, as House has said, changes everything—but not for long.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m really liking House, M.D.’s newest character, Martha Masters. I’ve been trying to pin down why I like her so much. I’m usually annoyed with characters who are “as smart as” House because no one should be smarter than House. So what’s going on?

One of the best things about her is that she doesn’t dismiss House, but she also hasn’t drunk his Kool-aid. She’s brave enough to challenge House without his provocation, idealistic enough to insist that moral outlook is sensible and right, and self-assured enough to push her own theories without prompting.

A medical student, but one with two PhDs under her belt, Masters, like House has a larger universe from which to draw inferences and obscure references. She sees the way House sees, putting together disparate bits of truth and clues. She buys into House’s way of thinking, but not his modus operandi. She loves the game in the same way he does; she wants to rescue the dying in the same way House does. So when House is in isolation, she completely buys into House’s use of the Dutch hooker to translate and goes back to her for another piece of the puzzle. We’ve never had a character on the show quite like her. And since all the characters reflect House in one way or another, I find her especially compelling.

Next week’s episode looks great, and no I don’t have access to a review copy this time, so I will be watching with everyone else come next Monday night. And for those who have enquired, a video of my television appearance on Fox’s Chicago affiliate to talk about the series, this blog and Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D.

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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)."
  • bakerstreet blues

    anyone think it was overtly obvious at how quickly Foreman/Taub and Chase were willing to give up on House’s life??? Thank God for Masters or this show would have ended on this episode. I have always contended that Taub and Foreman especially cannot learn ANYTHING from House. They both are incapable of learning anything because they’re both too narrow minded. Taub is the most judgmental of the fellows, Foreman truly believes that he already knows everything. Chase is the most teachable, open minded and willing to learn. The growth that Chase has shown in the past 7 years has been great. I still don’t like the Cuddy/House relationship….Cuddy cannot tell House that she doesn’t want him to change and then expect him to jump thru every hoop that she gives him. I just don’t like her, never have. I thought even in the Pilot episode her snide comment about House not having anything to go home to was especially nasty, then after learning that her ethical lapse is what caused not only his leg injury, but also the loss of the love of House’s life (Stacy) that comment really comes off as just plain BITCHLIKE. I agree with 2centworth that House has much more in common with Sam. Not to mention I noticed that anytime House ever interacted with Stacy (whether he was in trouble with her or in harmony with her) he ALWAYS looked at her with SOFT EYES. You could just see that he was completely and totally in love with her. He never said anything mean and personal to her. House never looked at Cuddy with those eyes. I always thought that House believed that Cuddy’s acceptance of him is what made him think she was right for him.

  • 2centsworth

    I’m so surprised to read that a number of fans dislike Ms. Watros/Sam- I think Sam is a good character, well played. To me, the Sam character is potentially a much better match for House than Cuddy is…. which offers possibilities for interesting future twists.

    re: their compatibility…In the episode where Cuddy’s too “adult” to be interested in go-carts any more, Sam’s take is, “So cool! Haven’t done this since I was 12!” And: when everyone’s rolling their eyes at House for being a “Jack Cannon” fan, Sam’s all, “Sure! I’m team Deacon!” Neither is interested in kids, or has any rapport with them…

    House & Sam also seem to have similar histories, first as overbearing narcissists, & now as people sufficiently sick of lonliness that each of them is now trying to “recalibrate” enough to sustain a relationship. They could understand each other!

  • Viola

    @ Eve_Venn I also though they didnt speak dutch but after a few times going back I heard that the doctor did speak dutch he said: Ik zal mijn best doen etc. what the other man said I dont know but it sure wasnt dutch.
    btw he spoke with limburg accent maybe venlo?

  • doctorwhat

    really enjoy house
    and usually pretty spot on medically
    but just plain wrong this week…R-pox is not lethal
    it is in fact a mild self limited disease

  • Sera G

    @Leodie, #49.
    Interesting idea with regards to why Cuddy is having such a hard time with the lie. She does have control issues. She is great at her job for just that reason.
    My thought is not nearly so complex. I think she is just human. We say we want something, we even think that we really do, but often when we have it, we don’t react the way we think we will. Cuddy thinks she wants to keep work/home separate; and she probably does…but people are funny. When she discovers his lie, it feels more like a betrayal now that they are a couple. Before she might have been upset but able to ignore it. Now it feels like the man she loves doesn’t really respect her. (Even if intellectually she knows that he does.)
    Emotion and love does change things.
    I am with Barbara, I think it is a storm in their relationship that they will deal with and be able to move on stronger.
    Looking forward to Monday’s show and dreading the looooong winter break. That must be why God invented DVDs. (Ha!)

  • pieter

    @ Eve_Venn:
    I’m also a native dutch speaker and I did manage to understand some of the words on the slave ship. The docter guy is hard to follow but he does say ”ik heb alles daarin opgeschreven” and ”als er ook maar eentje zoveel als hoest…”
    The 2nd guy says ”Ik zal m’n best doen. Maar blijf op anker tot je van me hoort, want het volgende schot zal geen waarschuwing zijn.” It’s even consistent with the english translations.

  • Susie

    @Leodie :
    Your Eureka moment is so right ! I have never thought about Cuddy in that way, because usually in TV shows, the man is the one who has the commitment issue. And we know after six seasons that House is after all a romantic dude 🙂 (btw Barbara wrote some GREAT article on this topic)
    But will they ever talk about it ? I assume that Cuddy – as strong as she wants to appear – needs to be confronted to these things, but I’m afraid House won’t dare to talk about her commitment issue. As Sam said, their relationship is pretty much based on lies, and ever after the rule Cuddy set up in “Selfish” about being “brutally honest with each other”, I don’t think House will ever confront her – because he has himself some issues. Sometimes I wish I could be their couple counselor 🙂

    Anyway I’m so eager to see the next episode, but this damn hiatus will be unbearable!

  • Leodie

    I’ve just had a Eureka/House moment in my bathtub. I think that Cuddy is acting weird because she’s freaking out. She’s having control and commitment issues.
    Just because House is so “relationship challenged”, we assume he’ll be the one with commitment issues, when in fact it’s Cuddy who does. It’s consistent with their histories. For all we know, the only long term relationship she’s had in her life was with Lucas and when he proposed, she ran away. House moved in with Stacy one week after meeting her and has been in a five years relationship with her. That’s the only explanation I could find for her turning suddenly the tables on him since he has started making baby steps towards commitment, asking to be introduced to Rachel : She wanted to keep business and personal separate but all of the sudden she can’t compartmentalize. She didn’t except him to change but suddenly she does.

    I can’t wait to see how it is really going to play out.

  • ruthinor


    The article below contains info about next week’s episode. It also contains a review of an appearance by Jesse Spencer, Omar Epps, Lisa Edelstein and Peter Jacobson at SAG (screen actor’s guild) in which they talked about House and answered questions. Sorry, but copy and paste doesn’t usually work here for me (the only place!)

  • MamaShante

    I also do not understand why Cuddy is still upset at House. She has not even made any effort to talk to him about it, which is totally out of character. I do hope they resolve this soon. They are dragging this out and it is getting boring and quite frustrating. House was indeed wrong for not understanding how he had hurt Cuddy, but at the same time Cuddy’s expectations contradicted what she told House at the season premiere.

  • pawpaw

    I also don’t get why Cuddy is so pissed at House. Or maybe it’s Hugh Laurie’s superb acting skills and how he’s playing this out but I really feel for the guy. He’s in the dog house because in a way Cuddy did, IMHO, changes the rules on him. As House keeps telling Cuddy, “I didn’t do anything wrong,” except be himself – the most incredible man she will ever know….I also feel bad for House because we got to see how he actually agonized and deliberated over the decision.

    On a different note, I didn’t like Masters at first (although so love Amber Tamblyn) but she has really grown on me in just one episode! Masters and House play off each other really well; I find their scenes together funny and poignant, like how House called her “annoying,” and that look on House’s face (as only Hugh Laurie can do)when he takes off the head gear of the Hazmat suit…really , really liking it so far into season 7!

    BTW, I didn’t mind the Sam/Wilson so much. Could be because I thought the little girl pulled off what could have been a tough act to play & make her character cute and sympathetic instead of bratty and indulged because she is so sick.

  • RobF

    I thought the best moment in the episode was the look House gave Martha when he took off his helmet, knowing he was safe.

    The other three team members had been uninterested in the case, essentially punching the clock. Only Martha refused to accept the obvious and had the passion to solve the puzzle. (Actually, I think the writers were a little heavy-handed with the way they made the others look useless, but it got the point across.)

    As for the House Cuddy stuff, I didn’t really buy into it. Wilson and Sam were cuter, although that plot feels tacked-on.

  • Michele1L

    I agree with Orange450. I think Cuddy’s anger with House is excessive and, based on her over twenty years of knowing him, doesn’t make sense. So much about her is so contradictory. She says she can’t “compatmentalize her life like that”, yet tells House she wants to keep their private and professional lives separate. — Is that not compartmentalization? She says she doesn’t want him to change, yet is disappointed in discovering that he hasn’t. If I were House, even with all of his intelligence and insight, I, too, would be confused about what in the heck she really wants. Either she is just afraid that their relationship is going too well and is looking for an excuse to push him away, or she lied about not wanting him to change. It will be interesting to see this finally come to a head.

    I enjoy Master’s interaction with House.

    I’m enjoying the changes I’m noticing in Foreman. He has gone from being combative with House to understanding and excepting House’s rogue methologies, the same ones he argued against with Chase and Cameron in the early years of the series. Nice progression. It’s nice to see expressions on his face other than the disapproving ‘hang dog’ one. He`feels a lot lighter and actually somewhat likeable. Chase, too has grown in that he’s not so much the weasel he was early on. Taub can often be snarky and annoying, but is ultimately clever and entertaining.

    I don’t know why some don’t like Sam, but I think she’s cute and good for Wilson. I think it’s nice that Wilson is actually, probably recently inspired by his interaction with Cuddy’s daughter,thinking about having a child.

  • Andrea

    I doubt Cuddy picked Masters to give House someone to parent. She saw a rising star with a moral compass that might make House give some thought to his own.

  • Orange450

    @j.i.m. #36

    It’s so nice to see you posting here, on Barbara’s column at BC 🙂 I haven’t seen you in a long time!

    You raise an interesting idea with the thought of Cuddy hand-picking Masters in order to prep House for a relationship with Rachel. I’ll have to think about that. But notwithstanding what House said about Masters to Cuddy, if Masters is a young “anybody”, IMO she’s more a young House than a young Cuddy. I know that Cuddy was very succesful in school, and certainly accelerated on a fast track professionally, but I think her general social skills (I’m not talking relationship skills) were always better than either House’s or Masters’. Certainly they are now 🙂

  • Leodie

    #38 Jacksam
    It’s allright about the cheese (although i AM questioning your frenchitude) i’ll have your cheese and you can have my frogs thighs. I don’t care much for them.

    I am afraid we’re digressing here.
    I’ll go sacrifice a virtual lambie and cover my head with virtual ashes in atonement for this sin at once.

  • Yay! Proving ze french cliché iz rong hahahaha

  • Flo

    Jacksam4eva, Leodie, as a French, You crack me up. As Frenchies usually suck in foreign languages we are to demonstrate a grat capacity to it. The “Froggy’s Barbara Barnett House of Worship” is funny.

  • #37 Leodie : And there I have to disagree, I must be the only French person who hates cheese xD! However, the “Froggy’s Barbara Bernett House of worship” would definitely be interesting. xD

  • Leodie

    #36 j.i.m
    I like your idea of Cuddy imposing Masters on House to try and develop his paternal streak.

    #35 Jacksam
    My grand-mother was an english teacher and i don’t think it’s a coincidence if my father can’t conjugate a verb in english. The passing down of knowledge between generations is often complicated, for all kinds of…irrational reasons.

    BTW it looks like there’s almost enough of us on this blog to start a “Froggy’s Barbara Barnett House of worship” here in Paris 😉 where we could assuage our obsessive need of overanalyzing each and every second of every House episodes in communion around all kinds of stinky cheeses.

  • from Orange, “How interesting to see House try and hide his less-than-ethical plans from Masters. It shows respect on his part – in his typical left-handed fashion. I don’t think he ever went to as much trouble to hide such intent from Cameron!”

    House, always the covert operator!

    I haven’t been as immersed in House this year as before but I am enjoying it along with Barbara’s reviews and the comments here. This show walks such a tight-rope of character exploration, handing out glimpses into inner monologues like water in a drought. In the conflict between House and Cuddy over the lie, Cuddy’s been suddenly absent similar to the episodes where she was engulfed in her world with Lucas.

    Masters as Cuddy’s long thought over choice for House’s employee may be a clue to what she hopes to build with House personally. Masters may be a young Cuddy as well but I think Cuddy was using the hiring of Masters as an opportunity to provide House with some training wheels before he has to ‘ride the bike’ of a long-term relationship with the purely innocent Rachel. Cuddy is planning ahead for the deeply desired success of her family. Only when House and Cuddy manage their trust issues will Cuddy be able to entrust Rachel to House, as so many of the parents were forced to do with their own children this episode.

  • @Orange450 : The dutch thing with the stripper was cool even though the House not speaking dutch thing also bothered me. Can he really speak like 5 languages and still ignore his grandma’s ?

  • Celia

    THANK YOU ‘servingthealien’…the irrational medicine is ruining the show for me. The plot line just got sillier and sillier as they went on and THEN Cuddy tells the Guy who’s life motto is ” everybody lies”, to never lie to her. How long has she known him ?? Stained my credulity to the breaking point.
    PS: I wouldn’t worry about Sam, she positively flinched when Wilson suggested pregnancy.

  • Sera G

    Barbara, again, another great review. (You were terrific on the Fox program. Very articulate and poised.)

    I don’t have anything new to add, as others said what I had been thinking, probably a lot better. Just a few thoughts, though.

    I, also really enjoyed Masters. I love her lack of ego. There is such a quality of pure intelligence about her. She studied languages just because. She earned two PHds, before the age of 30. She embodies to me true love of learning and a super brain used to its full potential. House is super genius, don’t get me wrong, but there seems a different quality to his intellect; almost a ferocious aquisition of learning. Does this make any sense? For lack of a better way of expressing it, she learns for the love of it and his is a need.

    I love Wilson. Although I think Amber was a more complex character, I enjoy Sam because he does. I hope there is happiness ahead for them.

    I agree with Barbara, about the realism of Cuddy’s anger. She was with him all the way when the crisis was upon them, but when life was back to normal, the fight is on. That is very true to life. I think it’s a TV cliche that all is forgiven after trauma. No, you are mad at your kid for breaking the vase, after you make sure there is no major bleeding.

    I agree with all who said they are both wrong and both right. My take on it is, yes you can lie to me about the procedure you performed, but you can’t lie to ME, now. We are together and you should have my back as I have always had yours.
    I have a sense that this is a fight ‘created’ so that we know that House is still House, not easily changed by love and so that we feel don’t feel their relationship is easy. They are two different people, their professional roles are opposite and that will lead to occasional conflicts. As others have said, they can be overcome, if House and Cuddy talk it out. I don’t think this will be the end of them. Neither one has had to please or compromise in a relationship in a long time. They will find a way to make it work.

  • ruthinor

    When Sam told Wilson that their relationship was so much better than the one between House and Cuddy, all I could think of was Wilson telling House how he always agrees with Sam, no matter what contradicting statements she makes about her father, all so he can have sex with her. I guess everybody lies, whether by commission or omission! IMO, compared to Amber, Sam is a pale washout. I’m anxious to see whether or not the “baby” leads to their tying the knot, or breaking up.

    Also, I never saw Stacy as smarter than Wilson or Cuddy or Amber. She lived with House for 5 years so she actually knew a lot more about what could aggravate or get to him than anyone else in his orbit. I didn’t find their interchange any more amusing than House/Wilson, House/Cuddy or House/Amber. Again, just my opinion!

  • Orange450

    Barbara, thanks for a great review, as usual.

    This episode had me riveted to the edge of my seat (excuse the mixed metaphors :)), unable to catch my breath until the very end. One of the best of the season – truly an accomplishment in a season that has been little short of stellar, IMHO.

    When House told Cuddy that she has to practice compartmentalizing, I involuntarily spoke out loud to my TV, and said “he’s right – she does.” To me, this whole dilemma of theirs feels like a trumped up situation being presented for the sake of “exploring how House and Cuddy deal with a serious relationship issue” (quotations marks mine). I mean – the man lies. About anything and everything. To anyone and everyone – including himself. It just doesn’t feel realistic that Cuddy would be so profoundly affected by this recent occurence – even if he did continue to the lie after the fact. Additionally, I thought Sam’s observation to Wilson – that House and Cuddy’s relationship is based on lying, while her’s and Wilson’s is not – was a spot-on and valid commentary on the different premises that underly different relationships. And Sam hasn’t even been a witness to House and Cuddy’s longtime interaction model for as long as we have!

    But I’m content to wait and watch them work this out… Although if she continues to deal with things by “waiting for him to apologize”, then I’m going to get a little worried. I mean – HOW long has she known him??

    I think Martha Masters is great. I’ve been waiting for House to have an equally balanced intellectual sparring partner for years. He hasn’t had one since Stacy left, and oh my goodness, does he ever need one. (Part of the very great appeal that Stacy held for me was appreciation of the perfectly matched brainpower she brought to her dealings with House. She was every bit as smart as he was, and he knew it and respected it. And acted accordingly.) Not that Martha can yet match Stacy’s wit and sophistication, but then she doesn’t have to. (I also love the complete lack of any sexual connotation whatsoever attaching to House and Masters’ interactions. So refreshing.)

    How interesting to see House try and hide his less-than-ethical plans from Masters. It shows respect on his part – in his typical left-handed fashion. I don’t think he ever went to as much trouble to hide such intent from Cameron!

    Did anyone else find it amusing that while House is able to read medical articles in Hindi and Portugese, he has trouble reading Dutch – purportedly the native language of his Oma??

  • Flo

    Well, I’m gonna be the killjoy in here cause I thought the episode to be a little “meh”.

    I liked the idea of the small pox and I liked the idea of putting the personal stuff into another professional perspective for House and Cuddy but I ended up being disappionted in all aspects.

    The small pox thing was great. Great medicine storyline. Only, where I expected to see more of an interesting confrontation between the CDC doc and House I got almost nothing.
    Also, Masters is a good character but I highly dislike how she eclipses everyone else in the team. I have to ask: Do Chase, Foreman and Taub have any usefulness (utility?) now? They seemed useless and dumb in this episode and I hated that. They maybe not had 2 PHDs at 23 (BTW neither did House) but they’re not dumb and they’re usually more useful and resourceful.
    I understand that Masters is supposed to be a little House and to confront him but if the show begins to be just that, it’s gonna become boring very soon.

    Cuddy totally overreacted in her office. I know she is really bad at relationship as she admitted it in “Joy to the World” in season 5 but she had one week to calm down and try to analyze what happened. It bugged me at first.
    After some thoughts, I think that she may be under a great stress from the Board. I think it was a good thing to be honest and openly report their relationship to the Board and to Human Resources but I wonder if the members of said Boards are not concerned by this situation (knowing House) and that perhaps she had a bit of reflections about her dealing with House. After all, the show being mostly in House’s POV, we don’t know how it went for her at work.
    However, she needn’t doubt herself. She managed to handle him before there’s no reason why she can’t do it now.
    I liked the scenes between House and Cuddy when he was in quarantine and supposedly dying but the rest felt a bit forced to me.

    I like Sam. I find her interesting. I think Watros does a good job for the little she has to play. I like the fact that even if she doesn’t know House and Cuddy very well she is able to be insightful about them. I also like the fact that she is totally honest about her fears and weaknesses. It was a nice paralell to the House/Cuddy thing who for now don’t seem to be able to be honestly open to each other.
    Wilson and Sam scenes in this epi were good. It’s never easy to act in a presence of a child. I could totally relate to Sam.

    Also, I thought that the rythm of the episode was a bit off. I don’t know why exactly, perhaps the editing and the order of scenes (how they switch from House to team to Wilson/Sam).

    All in all a very interested subject and an interested episode but a bit wasted in unbalanced team scenes (too much Masters) and a overdramatic House/Cuddy thing.

  • Dmcky

    However, it is true, that just because ur in love with someone, does mean u always know how to love in the way they need

    sorry, meant does NOT mean..

  • Dmcky

    @26 – Jacksam4eva:

    truth be told, House knew he loved Cuddy way before that moment. He was simply stalling with all the “I lobe you” stuff etc..IMO, wht he wanted to do was test her love for him first cuz he wasnt ready to go out on a limb yet until he was sure of her feelings..subconciously, all of the “this isnt gona work” worry maybe have been apart of the test, or consciously?..However, it is true, that just because ur in love with someone, does mean u always know how to love in the way they need..its hard, and i think the writers are capturing that realistically..Cuddy silently picks up the Vicodine because she’s in love with him, but perhaps talkin to him about it may have been the best way TO love him..who really knows???

  • Oh yeah and I also wanted to say how much I enjoyed the “hey I’m a screenwriter” joke. The writers making fun of themselves? What could possibly be funnier?

  • Okay first, Delia-Beatrice (#25), I totally agree on your “on cuddy’s attitude” statement. I’m actually a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see the aftermath of that moment in which Cuddy “steals” the vicodin. I think it would have been interesting to know that of course he lies, but maybe he does it because she doesn’t really trust him for the things that matter anyway.

    On Wilson : I looooooved Wilson’s storyline. I think that Wilson wanting a kid is probably one of the best ideas that the writers have had so far in this season, trying to understand the “I want a child” storyline (that was already explored in great depth with Cuddy) with a male perspective. Wilson is the now world famous “handsome man with a boyish face” and seeing him with a kid is his version of a middle-life crisis. He’s taken care of Rachel recently, he has always been good with kids, he’s with a girl he loves and knows (they’ve already been married after all) and I think that sometimes, middle life decisions can be good for people. He would be an incredible dad, I would really like to see his BFF’s perspective on this (your gf has a kid, that’s one thing – your BEST FRIEND wants a kid, that’s another) and I actually like Sam. So go Wilson ! I’m really excited for that.

    @ Dmcky (#24) : Yeah the writers probably wanted to get past the “when will he say it?” phase as quickly as possible. I don’t actually think he was pressured either, I just think that he didn’t understand at first what telling Cuddy those three words right away implied. In a “normal” relationship, (and his relationship with Stacy was probably the closer you can get to that with a character like House) you get time before saying “I love you”. There are steps that you take that lead you to that admission. His relationship with Cuddy is different : he’s settling right away. Once he says “i love you” he has to really commit and try to make it work. And even though he does know her pretty well, he might be learning the hard way that those three words are actually just three words. The feelings attached to them are much harder to understand. Will he regret it someday? I hope not but who knows?

    @ Susie (#23) : Alors, on cogite ? C’est cool de voir d’autres français(e) ici.

    On House and death : I just wanted to point out that House and his new reaction to dying actually represents incredibly well the general change we’ve observed in his character so far. He’s still reckless but is able to regret it afterwards. He won’t give in but he’s torn between his old self and his new self. That’s why he still goes in the room and doesn’t care and then tries to do everything he can not to be infected.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Dear Barbara, congratulations on your TV apparition – i watched it with delight and you were marvelous. Also, how does is feel to be named (repeatedly and deservedly) the ultimate reviewer and source of “House” insight?:))))))

    On “Pox”, i view it as the best episode of season 7 so far. It was compelling in every way.

    My opinion of Masters has improved tremendously since last week. I appreciated her character a lot in this episode, for precisely all the reasons Barbara lists in her review. I also found that the “brilliant nerd” stereotypical details that bothered me last week (mostly in regard to her body language) are toned down in quite the right way.
    Loved the “sexiest American man” moment, as well as the “do you have a boyfriend?” discussion, as well as her “blind spot for sarcasm”, as well as her purely housian manner to get to the answer.

    Robert Sean Leonard has a bunch of videos online, in which he brings to life, in a hugely funny manner, a little lamb-shaped puppet named Lamby – that was a very cute reference in this episode.
    Other than that, i agree with Sue and Heather, i really don’t like Cynthia Watros or her character and i never cared much about the Sam/Wilson storyline.
    Also, Wilson’s advice about relationships are nothing short of catastrophic.

    I find it of great significance that it was obvious how the danger he was in affected House – he showed fear, living or dying DID matter to him. In full opposition to the way we’ve seen him dealing with the consequences of his reckless actions, this time, it was clear that he finally has something to live for – something that he values in his life, something that gives him meaning and makes him cling to life. I had been very worried about this episode, wondering whether he would take that risk in his usual manner, and i am happy that the change was very visible.

    The glass wall between House and Cuddy was a symbol of the rational/emotional dichotomy, that many of you have talked about. They can see each other, but they cannot reach out and truly be together, mentally and emotionally, because she is stuck in a negative emotional state, that she expresses and explains badly – or not at all, while House is stuck in his rationality and hasn’t yet been able to transcend that and understand her feelings.

    The glass wall is also the enabler of some terrific, intense emotional moments – out of which “i’ll be right back” was truly amazing.

    On Cuddy’s attitude: i believe it to be strongly motivated by fear, and also by her need to be respected. The need for respect is what she verbalized, the fears she is keeping quiet (maybe even to herself) – which maybe indicates that the fears are actually the deeper and stronger motivation. It reminds me about how she lifted the Vicodin bottles off the floor and secretly threw them out in “Now What”… I think she feels that accepting the idea of lies, deception and lack of honesty, lack of open communication in their relationship puts them at great risk, when it comes to bigger issues (like the temptation of Vicodin, like the pain, like depression or other things House would not talk to her about). To her, it rings dangerously close to the old version of House – not necessarily the one who lied to her at work, but the one who was never open with his emotions and who never asked for help, when confronted with his pain and addiction.

    On the factual note of the conflict: Not telling her the truth, even after the deed was done and the patient was saved, kinda mixes personal and professional, in my opinion. To lie in order to get approval for a treatment that saves his patient is professional – and i am as sure as Barbara is that Cuddy understands and can accept that. But to extend that lie by keeping quiet about it longer than the necessity of saving the patient required – that kinda rings personal to me. It’s like he kept lying to her, by omission, even after they got home and started talking about their day…

    I believe that Cuddy needed to feel some understanding coming from him. House refused to even acknowledge the emotional impact his actions had on her, he simply dismissed all of her emotions. He was condescending and completely blind to all of the emotional complexity of her position.

    Barbara (#13): fully agree.

    Finally: I believe that “You don’t get to lie to me anywhere” was just Cuddy being hurt all over again by his condescending, dismissive attitude, and overreacting to it by shutting down and abruptly ending the conversation with that harsh line.

  • Dmcky

    Great review Barbara, as usual..

    So, 2 observations before i get started:
    1. Is it just me, or did Cuddy look fantastic in this episode??
    2. That little girl in the Sam/Wilson subplot was simply adorable..
    Ok, now the show..
    Could it be that the writers had House say it so early because they didn’t want to be like every other show that plays on the “when will he say it” theme? I don’t know, maybe. But beyond that, I think he said what he meant, without pressure, since he’s not one to be pressured. I do think he is now learning what loving Cuddy and being a relationship with her entails. I say “with her” because everyone is different. She isn’t Stacy, and the dynamics of their relationship is completely different. House’s “I love you” meant that I am willing to go through whatever is next to be with you. thoughts?

    As for the Huddy bump in the road, well, as many have said, they’re both right and they’re both wrong. A simple apology from House would have potentially fixed the whole thing, but 1) House is what I call an honorable liar. Sure he’ll lie, but usually with good reason, not out of malice (mostly). In this case, he doesn’t feel like an apology is warranted. And 2) will a simple apology suffice for Cuddy? I mean at first maybe, but now they are at the point where she needs him to understand why she is hurt, so that a repeat performance might be prevented..

    Instead of House just saying well, thats too bad, you need to separate the 2, he should take a moment to understand her POV..but at the same time Cuddy should try volunteering her POV instead of just walking away..they both need to communicate

    I did love all the scenes with her by his side during the crisis..they love each other and they will work it out

    Great ep overall!

  • Susie

    @Jacksam4eva : I agree with the fact that we should get more analyze about House’s feelings, it’s been left since “Selfish”. And I can’t give you an answer because I’m still cogitating about those three words !

    @Barbara : Great review as always !
    This episode is so far the greatest of this season, because the character part was very good (I truly love Masters !), and the case too (I think old diseases are fascinating). But I’m worried about the House/Cuddy thing : he is wrong, she is wrong, I hope TPTB will be working on that next week and not in january…
    PS : I’ve just got your book, and the first pages are awesome ! Reading CZ between Stendhal and Dorothy Parker is a pleasure 🙂

    [Again, sorry for the mistakes, French people suck about languages…]

  • I also really liked the episode and consider it probably like the best one of this seventh season so far. However I have a question for you guys and I’d really like to have your opinion ’cause I think it would be very interesting, both from a Huddy and a non-huddy POV : How do you feel about House’s “I love you” in Now What?

    Okay before everyone starts going all angry and annoyed at me at me ;), I’d like to get this straight : we have been, since “Now What?”, exploring House and Cuddy and their relationship, and in a very House-ian way, I think that the writers are really doing a good job by trying to show how House’s over-rational mind may interfere in his relationship. Just like a lot of you pointed out in your comments, this episode was definitely a Cuddy’s emotions vs. House’s brain episode and since we all know that love is probably the most irrational feeling that human beings can experience for one another, this episode really got me thinking about his ability to tell her he loves her right away and really mean it.

    Again, trust me, I know about the fact that he’s already told few people he loved them and I know that it doesn’t really seem to be the issue here. When House admits experiencing irrational feelings (of any kind) it takes him to a whole new level of commitment. But still, don’t you feel like Cuddy has much more understanding of what she feels than he does? She acknowledges the fact that she’s irrational BECAUSE she loves him, which House, according to his reaction in A Pox On Our House, isn’t able to understand. Yet.

    I don’t actually have an opinion on the writers’ rightness (or wrongness) when they made House say those three words. I still think that the end of Now What was incredibly beautiful and emotionally strong but I’m wondering if you think that, by making House say those three words at the very beginning, the writers may have answered one of the most important questions of this season and might end up repeating themselves in the end (wherever direction the end takes us to). IMO, when House tells Cuddy he loves her, he also tells her that, under the right circumstances, he could eventually act irrationally because of his feelings. Today, I am a little disappointed by the fact that even though the question of House’s emotions was somewhat discussed in Selfish (when he admitted having no real idea of the reason why he was agreeing with her “safe” approach), it has been left out ever since. Once again he’s the one who’s always analyzing how Cuddy feels, acting according to what he thinks she believes is the right thing to do in a relationship and ignoring the way he said he felt about her.

    If he hadn’t acknowledged his love, this situation could have led to a strong wake-up call at the end of the season with an “in-love” Greg House who would have to face the limits of his rational mind (and that, of course, has always been to me one of the most important recurring themes of the show). Since he’s already told her he loved her, I really wonder where the writers are going with this.

  • Leodie–always happy to be agreeable about disagreeing! I think we’ll both have to wait to see how it plays out. I didn’t mean that the Men are from Mars…was gender specific, jut that the two (whether from Dean/maverick doc, man/woman, impulsive/not, etc) they are different pages as to the importance of the lie.

  • Leodie

    #13 Barbara

    You have me worried here, maybe after all i am from Mars too since i don’t get it any more than House 😉

    Really, i see where you’re going with this. Love does make people do irrational things as House himself pointed it out to Foreman back in season five when he was considering torching his career out of love for Thirteen.

    But i guess we will have to agree to disagree about the way it’s done. Too soapy and Ooc for the show’s outstanding writing standards imho.

    Kudos for the “i will be right back” moment though.

  • 54

    Barbara, I’m so glad you pointed out the “I’ll be right back” comment House made to Cuddy! I thought that was the single most touching moment between House and Cuddy in the whole episode. It’s those subtle, intimate moments in House that strike a chord in me.
    Thanks for another wonderful review!

  • Eve_Venn

    Great review, as always and I loved this episode.

    Just one thing.
    The Dutch spoken on the slaveship was not Dutch. I, a native speaker, didn’t understand a word that was said.

    I thought that maybe with a Dutch born executive producer as Gerrit van der Meer (who they named the cat after) they could have gotten the pronounciation right.

    However, the Dutch accent of the cyber hooker when she spoke English was spot on 🙂

  • LucyM

    Barbara – I wrote my comment before reading your answer to Leodie. I get your point, and I hope you’re right re: what’s really bothering Cuddy. I’m really curious to see how this’ll play out in ep. 8.

  • LUcy M–You’re right. Neither of them are communicating well. That’s how fights happen in relationships. What’s compelling is that despite her anger and his frustration, when the chips were down and he was dying, she was right there at his side. That’s the signature of a loving relationship (esp. at this early stage of it)

  • LucyM

    I agree with Leodie.

    I’ve watched the episode only once so maybe I’m wrong, but it doesn’t really seem to me that Cuddy’s main problem is that House wasn’t honest with her after faking the test results. She told him ‘you don’t get to lie in any case, I can’t compartmentalize like this’, which means, to me, ‘in the past, you used to lie to me at work, but now that we’re in a relationship you can’t do that any longer because it would hurt me on a personal level’.

    Which is a problem because we perfectly know that House will always lie to her to save a petient, if needed. I can easily understand Cuddy being frustrated and hurt, but she cannot ask him to completely change his MO like this, even if they’re together.

    Then, sure, House should’ve been more open with her – just telling her how bad he felt at the idea of lying to her would have helped. But IMO Cuddy’s ‘you can’t lie to me, shut up!’ attitude was not really a great starting point for a real discussion.

    Probably, at this point they both need to take some time, think about it and then discuss the problem… hope that’s what we’ll see next week.

  • Leodie

    #9 Servingthealien :
    “Vaccination immunity declines over time and is probably lost in all but the most recently vaccinated populations”
    Thanks Wikipedia

  • Leodie–I think we have a men are from Mars… situation. Cuddy is making a point by her anger. I think had House lied for the patient’s sake and then when Cuddy asked him about it, told the truth (which he will do) she would have been fleetingly angry and it would have been over. But this is different (in my opinion). And House doesn’t understand the difference. It’s not like Cuddy’s communicating her POV well. She’s not. But I think this is (despite what she says) why she’s so upset and hurt. This is what House isn’t getting.

    Andrea–HOuse’s reaction to his potential death struck me in exactly in the same way. He IS a man with something to lose now, and it matters to him that he stay alive to be with Cuddy. It was a subtle moment but incredibly well played.

    I will be writing much more about the story arcs of S7 during the hiatus. There are many to explore: House-Cuddy, Masters’ storyline, Wilson and Sam, the team, etc. and where it’s going.

    It’s been a breathless autumn…

  • Andrea

    The smallpox vaccine may lose its effectiveness without regular booster shots and they stopped giving the boosters after it was eradicated. On the other hand, I think the smallpox vaccine was given to key personnel after 9/11 when they were afraid it would be used as a weapon. I wonder if House would have been among them. Maybe the suit is just a precaution.

    I’m on House’s side in the whole House-Cuddy argument, though I think he IS guilty of lying/not telling the whole truth in the personal and professional sphere. If I were Cuddy I’d have been a lot more troubled and hurt by what happened with Rachel. If she’s adding up all the lies he’s told her including the most recent one, maybe that’s why she’s acting this way. They have to learn how to talk to each other and they aren’t, which is the problem. I liked that House ignored Wilson’s advice and went directly to Cuddy’s office and asked her if she knew he’d lied. At least they put the issues on the table in this episode and stopped the lying.

    I also read House’s reaction to his possible death as a positive sign. He charged in with his typical arrogance and overconfidence but he put on the suit and stayed away from the body when he realized there was a real risk. He’s now a man with something to lose and he knows it. He also knew Wilson would have been there at the window freaking out if he had known, which is why he didn’t tell him. He saw that Cuddy WAS there when he was “dying” even though she was mad at him, which should boost his emotional security somewhat. I saw more frustration and bafflement in his reaction to her anger, not real desperation. Since the next episode is called “Small Sacrifices” I’m wondering if House’s “small sacrifice” will be an apology for hurting her, if not for lying. Then again, maybe it will be having to get dressed up for a wedding and dance with Cuddy to get back in her good graces.

    I liked the scenes with Geerte the Dutch phone sex worker. I also really liked every scene Martha Masters was in, especially the way she handles herself with House. She calmly tells him that whether or not she has a boyfriend is none of his business. House calls her “honey” and she zings him right back with “sexiest American man” and a giggle. She has his ability to pull together seemingly unrelated pieces of trivia and spin them into a diagnosis no one else would have thought of. The other fellows are sitting around reading the paper while Masters is busting her butt to get the diagnosis and help House. That bugged me a bit, along with the lack of airtime for Foreman, Chase and Taub. They should have been trying to save him if only because their jobs are on the line if he dies. None of them are capable of running that section on their own. House is mean to all of them but he’s also helped save Taub’s marriage, covered up for Chase’s murder and went to great lengths to save Foreman when HE was dying. A little more effort would have been nice there.

    I liked Wilson and Sam with the little girl and Sam’s apology to little Eve for lying. I wonder if Wilson will propose in the next episode since they’re going to a wedding?

  • Leodie


    “House does’t get where she’s coming from.”

    What do you mean by that ?

  • Barbara barnett

    TantaV, house said that to foreman in s2.
    Re:Cuddy–there are some things we react to irrationally strongly. Maybe this is one of them, especially since their relationship is still new and her expectations inflated possibly.

    She is digging in her heels. And I think it’s all pretty magnified in her mind right now, Especially since House does’t get where she’s coming from.

  • One thing that bothered me was after House went into the room, when the CDC was still under the assumption it was smallpox. House is American and 51 years old. He’d have been vaccinated. They could have decontaminated him and let him out (I’m assuming there’s an airlock/decontamination area near the quarantine room, there almost always is). He was at no risk of becoming infected himself. It’s holes like that that bother me and can gnaw on my brain almost to the point of ruining an episode.

    I also think Cuddy is making much ado about nothing about the lie. Did she REALLY think House would turn into someone else just because they’re dating?

  • Leodie

    Sorry but i didn’t buy it. Correct me if I’m wrong but what Cuddy is asking of House is to not lie about anything. She’s not merely mad at him for not coming clean after the deed. As someone said before, commenting your preview Barbara, House’s priority is the patient, Cuddy’s the hospital. There is always going to be conflicts, asking House to change his MO when a patient’s life is at stake is just unrealistic and wrong. But what bothers me the most is that it is out of character for Cuddy who has always been one of the few to consider the bigger picture with House. Bitterness I can understand, flat refusal I can’t, it’s not like her. And I am not even considering the whole “I don’t expect you to change” argument (Ok, I am).

    She said herself that she can’t compartmentalize and although I can understand it would be very hard for her, I don’t see how this can work if she doesn’t. I guess the right thing to do for House would be to fess up and apologize about the Rachel fiasco (after all he was about to engage into a serious medical procedure on the little girl without telling her mum. If that’s not disrespecting his gf, I don’t know what is), but stand firm on the professional ground. But this is not what he will do and that’s where things get interesting. Or he will do the right thing like he has done sometimes in the past when the situation was dire and balance a bit this relationship where Cuddy has been (or seemed to be) the strong and self-confident one up to now.

    I can see how it is interesting to parallel House’s insecurities with the Rachel incident (I can’t tell her or she will kick me out) with Cuddy’s insecurities in last week’s episode (I can’t control him at work, but could she ever ?) but imo they are pushing it too far with Cuddy to be credible.
    I am really interested in knowing other people opinions on this.

    Two things I did like were Masters who am I really starting to like, although I agree, she is too House like and it would become redundant if she stayed too long. I also like how Cuddy and House weren’t all over each over after it turned out that House was out of the woods like it would have happened in over corny shows.

  • Heather

    @Sue, I agree, I couldn’t stand the Wilson/Sam storyline either.

    My biggest problem with all of the Wilson/Sam storylines is that I think Cynthia Watros is a terrible actress.

    I’m sure some people love her, but I admit that I don’t “get” whatever people see in her as an actress.

  • Grace

    Unlike Sue, I enjoyed Wilson and Sam’s scenes very much. Really liked how Sam apologized to the little girl.
    I like MMM BUT should she be smarter than Foreman, Taub, Chase, AND House? I don’t like how she seems to be taking over. I think she needs to be toned down just a bit.
    I thought Hugh was very good in this one.
    Cuddy on the other hand…well, I’ll let it go for now.
    Thanks for the review, Mrs. “I was on FOX news”! 🙂

  • Sue

    Good episode – didn’t care for the Wilson/Sam story line. I agree with you about the House/Cuddy situation and can’t wait for next week. Hopefully House finally shows some remorse, not for saving the patient, but for hurting Cuddy.

  • tantevespa

    Spot on analyse as always, except for one, not insignificant detail: House said: ‘dying changes everything, almost dying changes nothing’; which is exactly the (unspoken) arch around which the Cuddy -House dynamic in this ep. revolves. and that is, indeed, so true to live…

  • HouseMDFan

    Great episode, interesting case and I agree with you about Masters. She should bother me, but she doesn’t. I like her and I like that she seems to get House in a way nobody else does.

    I still disagree about House’s lie, though. I still don’t think it’s simply intolerable or only his fault and it’s not only Cuddy who drew a line, House did, too. They are both right and they are both wrong. They are both lying to themselves about their own motives. They are both caught up in their own egos. And they aren’t talking about it, House is trying to belittle it and Cuddy is running away and being passive-aggressive. Maybe because she can’t deal with her own conflicting feelings right now, but she certainly isn’t handling the whole thing better than he is. Her harsh “You don’t get to lie to me anywhere” isn’t talking, it’s dismissing him and still trying to control him.

  • BeeJ

    I really loved this episode too! Once again, great review Barbara!

    I feel like we’re at the point where the season has settled into a definite rhythm now. With the exception of what’s going on with Thirteen and the upcoming Taub/Rachel storylines we’re hearing about…we now have an idea where Huddy is going and even Wilson/Sam.

    I agree, I love the fact there wasn’t just this simple make-up kiss or sex scene. Cuddy’s anger felt real. However, I am a little steamed at the fact Cuddy simply walked out! Umm, wouldn’t breakfast with your boyfriend be a perfect time to explain to him why you’re so upset?

    This is the only scene that bothered me. Cuddy isn’t helping the situation by being mute and walking away. House really did seem confused. Now, we get the synopsis for episode 8 that he’s trying to “impress” Cuddy. Why? Is he still gonna be in the “Dog House” and has to act out to get her to talk to him? IDK, guess we’ll have to wait and see next week! I know it’s the last epi til 2011…I really hope we get a nice ending to this particular House and Cuddy angst storyline. Would be nice to see them smile again, at least for now!

    Anyways, POTW and the storyline was cool. I really love Masters. More character development and depending on if Amber Tamblyn stays on for a season or two…I could totally see a spinoff…just sayin’ lol!

  • Gino De Lucia

    One of the best episodes ever; so far, this season of HOUSE has been absolutely awesome!