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TV Review: House, MD — “Unfaithful”

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Albert Einstein once said, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” What is it that brings a priest with a rare, but hidden (and incurable) medical condition to the attention of a master diagnostician on a cold winter night? Who is to say whether it’s coincidence or an anonymous God opening small doors of oblique opportunity that brings Daniel into House’s den? Are his visions of Jesus a simple whiskey-soaked hallucination, or the hidden miracle of coincidence? By the end of “Unfaithful” both the atheist priest and the atheist doctor aren’t completely certain anymore.

Daniel is a disillusioned priest. Accused of child molestation four years earlier, he has been transferred from parish to parish and when we meet him, he is a wreck of a man. Opening the door on a cold snowy night, he is greeted by the vision of a bleeding Jesus. Seriously freaked out, he goes to the Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital emergency room. 

Needing a diversion for the rest of the team while he copes with the adverse effects of the Foreman/13 relationship, House raids the ER for a throw-away case. “It’s either alcohol or exhaustion,” Cameron wearily explains, ready to discharge the man. But it’s what House is seeking, as he gives Foreman and 13 an ultimatum: either leave his team or stop dating. They have until the case is solved to decide.

In the meantime, Cuddy plans a simchat bat for baby Rachel, “a Jewish tradition dating all the way back to the 1960s,” as House explains sarcastically, but correctly. A modern response to the exclusively male ritual of the “bris” (a ritual circumcision and formal welcoming into the circle of Jewish life of every eight-day old Jewish baby), the simchat bat is a baby-naming ceremony just for girls that has no basis in Jewish law, yet has become a popular new tradition among Jewish families.

House (of course) declines Cuddy’s invitation, which is, she tells Wilson, what she really wants, anyway. But Cuddy’s contradictory behavior regarding House and the simchat bat reflects her own ambiguous feelings towards his involvement in this important life-cycle milestone.

Cuddy knows what House will do at the affair. He’ll stand in a corner by himself, drink and sulk. And observe — everything. It will tarnish her enjoyment, and make half the room uncomfortable. So, she doesn’t want him there. Conversely, House is clearly very important to her. You could argue that she’s in love with him (or not), but she certainly loves him. She wants him to connect with Rachel, and his (even half-hearted) acceptance of her is important. So she also wants him there.

She acts on her ambivalent feelings by engaging (even involving Wilson) in an awkward series of mind games with House. Like Cuddy, House is ambivalent, but in a different way and for different reasons (in my humble opinion). His true feelings about it are betrayed only in the privacy of him home through the eloquence of his piano composition. House calls Cuddy a hypocrite for suddenly finding religion, and even then picking and choosing as if religion is an ala carte menu. “Have you suddenly started keeping kosher?” he asks. For House, no compromise is possible, either you are or you aren’t. Follow all the rules or none. It’s very House, whose own view of morality is very black and white — except when it’s not.

He sees no value in religious “hokum.” The prophet Isaiah, who railed against the performance of empty ritual while great injustices were being perpetrated, would probably agree with wholeheartedly with House’s viewpoint (ironically enough). But I think a more significant reason for House refusing to attend the ceremony is his knowledge that he would be (and feel) out of place at the joyful event, stand in a corner alone and sulking — and only end up pissing off Cuddy.

Finding nothing wrong with Daniel except the easily-dismissed hallucinations, the team is ready to discharge him. Except for one teensy tiny problem. A toe, completely necrotized, has fallen off Daniel’s foot. (Ouchie!) This hitch has turned Daniel in to a real case. Unfortunately, it’s too late for Foreman and 13. Having ignored the earlier ultimatum, Foreman is summarily fired. Citing Foreman’s actions during the Huntington’s drug trial, House believes that, together, the couple known as “Foreteen” is useless to him and his diagnostic practice. Not even Cuddy will give Foreman a recommendation, siding with House and reminding Foreman that he compromised both the study and the hospital by his activities.

As Foreman and 13 each try to save the other’s job, clashing angrily in the process, House, Taub, and Kutner diagnose the dying Daniel. Learning of the priest’s disillusionment and his alleged pederasty, House decides to meet the man face-to-face, his “ridicule muscle” at the ready. But the priest’s bitter words — a rant against the pain and suffering inflicted by a cruel God who has forsaken the world (and him personally) — strike a resonant chord in House. Daniel’s words could just have easily come out of House’s mouth, and have (in one way or another, at one time or another) over the course of the years we’ve known him.

Visiting Daniel a second time, House notes the “stink of faith” on the priest as he wonders why Daniel hasn’t abandoned the priesthood, feeling as he does. Daniel defends himself by confessing that church work is all he knows, something House doesn’t quite buy. House believes that still Daniel holds out some residual hope for a renewed faith, something Daniel neatly reverses onto House.

“You say you don’t care about anyone or anything, yet here you are saving lives,” he observes. This is an all-too familiar trope to House, who has been analyzed by his patients too many times to count over nearly five seasons. On the other hand, Daniel is trained to be perceptive — to look for the oblique and the hidden — just like House.

House rejects Daniel’s presumption. “Solving puzzles. Saving lives is collateral damage,” House retorts falling back to his Rubik’s complex default position. It’s a position that his actions have disproven many, many times. Daniel’s response seems to unnerve House and interest Kutner and Taub who are working on the patient.

“I don’t think you’re hoping for someone to prove you right, I think you’re hoping for someone to prove you wrong. To give you hope. You want to believe, don’t you?”accuses Daniel. The intensely private House glances warily at Kutner and Taub, preferring not to pursue this uncomfortable line of debate.

But not even Daniel’s certainly unwelcome prying deters House from popping by his room again, this time to mooch his lunch (something usually reserved for Coma Guy). They debate relationships and House’s “thing” for Cuddy (and her “thing”). But House’s social call is interrupted by Kutner with the news that Daniel appears to have AIDS.

Insisting that he can’t possibly have AIDS, because he is celibate, Daniel refuses testing, realizing that getting tested is a virtual admission of guilt. No matter the result, he will certainly lose what little credibility he has left.

Taub, giving Daniel no benefit of the doubt, defies House, seeking out the priest’s teenaged victim. But Ryan’s disinterested reaction to Taub’s AIDS alert suggests that maybe Daniel isn’t lying after all. And, later in the episode when Ryan visits, it is not to confront Daniel, but to ask his forgiveness. “For everything.” And in a transformative moment for both of them, Daniel, still the priest, no matter the damage caused by Ryan’s “confusion” four years earlier, grants him a sort of silent absolution.

When an angry rash appears on Daniel’s chest, House revisits his white board, trying desperately to make all of the pieces fit. As House considers the options, Wilson interrupts, to change his mind about the simchat bat. “Overlook her hypocrisy,” Wilson counsels. This of course leads to House’s patented epiphany moment. Ignoring Wilson’s arguments about Cuddy, House begins to instead “overlook” the various symptoms decorating the white board. He pauses at the top of the list, visions that brought him to House in the first place. Eliminating the religious vision as a hallucination, the constellation of symptoms finally makes sense to House. Dismissing Daniel’s visions as the product of excess alcoholic consumption, House confirms Cameron’s initial assessment. He diagnoses “Job’s Syndrome,” a rare genetic disorder, which can be treated (but not cured) by long-term antibiotic therapy.

Daniel wonders at the convergence of circumstance that has saved his life. House argues that everything can be rationally explained and can be interpreted as mere coincidence. Ah, but Daniel counters, quoting Einstein on God and coincidence. “That’s a lot of coincidences,” he concludes, leaving House uncharacteristically quiet and pondering.

So in the end, House stays away from the simchat bat, and instead goes home, not to two hookers, not to a full body massage with gallons of Jell-O, not even to a Brubek album on his Sota turntable. He returns his dark and empty solitude, his drink, and his piano. And this is where we find him: playing a seemingly mindless medley of slightly exotic musical motives.  But this piece, composed by House star Hugh Laurie for this episode and played so gloriously on House’s new Yamaha grand (I frankly liked the old one better) is not a simple random series of song fragments. It is a pouring out of House’s heart and soul.

In five-plus years of House, MD, I never have I wept quite so hard as I did hearing that music played over the episode’s closing sequence. It is clear as House plays that he is thinking about one thing, and one thing only. And that is Cuddy, her baby, and the religious service he has chosen not to attend. (Okay, so that’s three things, but you catch my drift.)

The more plaintive modal motives of Jewish folk music weave a simple but evocative niggun (wordless song) that give way to the more childlike and whimsical melody of the shtetl (Eastern European Jewish villages that died with European Yiddish culture during World War II). As House takes a drink, but with his hands still on the keys, his emotions take him next to ecstatic of celebration, freylach (Yiddish for "joy") and filled with exuberant delight.

What is going through House’s heart and mind as he plays? We’ll never know, not for sure. But a sudden musical turn finds House playing what might be the opening strains of Van Morrison’s classic song “Have I Told You Lately (That I Love You)?” The song, coincidentally (or not) composed as a prayer by Morrison, is also one of the most glorious love songs written in the last 50 years. Or is the first measures of the Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which has become a sort of signature piece for the show.  That would also fit "Cuddy's Serenade," as the composition is called. As much as she "wants" House at the ceremony, as the song says: "Sometimes you get what you need." And maybe House knows that she "needs" him not to intrude upon this particular moment. I leave it to you (and your comments) to interpret what House was thinking — and feeling — as he played it.

In an interview back at the beginning of season two, Laurie told Elvis Mitchell that music is House's most articulate emotional language. And in “Unfaithful,” Dr. House could not have been more eloquent.

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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

    Definitely one of my favorite episodes (not just because I hoped momentarily that Foreman and possibly 13) were leaving. I absolutely wanted to throttle Taub. (gotta tell you I certainly hope that if I ever need a doctor, I don’t get one as judgmental as three 4 little piggies). The coolest thing about this episode was the fact that Cuddy showed all four corners of her hypocrisy. Cuddy both religiously and personally (in the way she dealt with House). Also noticed who’s friend Wilson really is. When did Wilson become such a good friend of Cuddy’s anyway. Loved the fact that Chase actually defended House’s actions in regard to his ultimatum to Foreman and 13. The interaction between the priest and House was priceless. Did anyone else notice the subtle reaction that House had when Cuddy finally was honest with him and told him she did not want him at her ceremony? Hugh Laurie is a terrific actor. The subtle shoulder drop and look on House’s face at Cuddy’s honesty about not wanting him at the ceremony was heart-breaking. Of all the patients who analyze House, this priest is actually the only one who gets it right. Too bad Taub and Kutner didn’t learn anything from the priest’s assessment. Cameron also proved again how she really feels about House and gives him a little respect if only to Cuddy. I loved the fact that House held Foreman to the exact same standard that Foreman held Cameron and Chase last year. Talk about hypocrisy throughout this episode. Cuddy’s inability to decide if House is good or bad is getting really old. I loved how at the end House realized that Cuddy wanted to ask him over, but was afraid….House being the bigger person took that decision from her in the best way he knows how, both gracious and kind. Knowing House’s feelings about his white board, the amount of effort it must have taken to erase the original symptom also told me something big about where House is emotionally. This entire season House has been reaching out (searching) for something, anything to hold onto as a life raft. The teenager (which Taub so deftly broke the law and his ethical obligations to find and speak with) was such a nice surprise. Loved this all around.

  • ns

    Thanks, Kitty!

    Thanks, Barbara, I will check it out!

  • Clare

    Just found this today.

    Stephen Colbert’s cameo on House (Unfaithful) after he added Dr. House to his collection of honored TV doctors.

  • barbara barnett

    ns–thanks for chiming in. Great comments. My review of Softer Side will be up later today. There was much to digest and consider, so stop by later and have a peek.

  • Kitty

    @ns : what a brilliant ending to your 2 comments! 🙂 Indeed, you can’t always get what you want.

  • ns

    ….And another thing….(ha!ha!)…Sorry, can’t help myself. The best episode by far this season is the one where Cuddy drugs House and Wilson takes him to his father’s funeral. The relationship between House and Wilson is far more interesting than the one between House and Cuddy. And I don’t mean that in a gay way (not that there would be anything wrong with that), but the friendship between them is compelling and hilarious and should be given more air time. I know I’m going to butt heads with all the bleeding heart women fans out there (of which I am one, by the way) but I think the fan base would increase even more exponentially, especially with regard to male viewers, if there wasn’t so much emphasis on the need for House and Cuddy to get together. One of House’s most compelling characteristics is the fact that he doesn’t NEED a romantic relationship, that he is obsessed with solving mysteries (and does solve them) and that he is a doctor hooked on painkillers and his stuggles therewith,(I guess that’s 3 compelling characteristics). Anyway, the only authortative position that I can stand on is that I am a die hard fan, I have seen every episode of every season of House, and some 2,3,4 times (sad, I know). I know what I wanna see. And what I don’t wanna see is House chasing Cuddy, needing Cuddy, pining over Cuddy, trying to figure out how he can possibly reconcile his tortured existence just to be with Cuddy, etc., etc., etc. What I do wanna see is House playing tricks on Cuddy, undermining her authority and making crude, snide and sometimes sexual inuendos in more efforts to undermine her authority, and any authority for that matter. Sorry, it’s just more fun. I’m ok with them spending the night together as long as they wake up the next morning saying “What a MISTAKE!” That’s just my opinion…But…you can’t always get what you want.

  • ns

    Though this particular episode was good, I thought this week’s episode was WAY, WAY better. In “The Softer Side” the focus turns to House and his struggle coping with the fundamental issue in his life…and the show… which is his pain. He was totally willing to give up working at the hospital (regardless of any of his personal relationships) in order to be without the pain. In the end, he gives up the methadone because it caused him to make a mistake on his job. Thus, exploring the other fundamental issue on the show, which is the fact that he was willing to forego the medication which took away his pain in order to do his job to the best of his ability, but not maintain any personal relationships. The basic struggle on this show is the struggle that House has, as a character, between resolving the issue with his pain and the issue of being the great doctor and great mind that he is. Clearly his work is the most important thing to this character. If relationships work out in the end, they do, if they don’t, they don’t. But, this is what I love about the show and why I watch it, it’s a personal struggle that, when it is thoroughly explored in the show (like this week) is absolutely brilliant.

  • ns

    Hugh Laurie……..brilliant.

    Please – GOD – don’t put House with Cuddy. Cuddy and Wilson would make a much better match and much better longevity for the show.

  • mychakk

    I’ve been watching this enjoyable and insightful discussion for a while and finally feel I’ve two cents worth being added too.

    Jaim wrote: “I do find it ironic that House, who is known for taking huge even crazy risks, is so timid when it comes to taking things further with Cuddy. Even when Stacy came back into the picture he did alot of obvious things that proved how much he wanted to be with her. Either House loves Cuddy in an even deeper way than he did Stacy and that has scared him into inaction or he doesn’t feel strongly enough to finally make his intentions known.”

    This is an interesting comparison you’ve made. I want to believe that he loves her more, but we don’t know for sure. At least not yet… 🙂

    But I’ve been wondering if the difference in his approach to Stacy and Cuddy is a result of the simple fact that he has been with Stacy in a five-years-long relationship and because of that he knew what she’s capable of; better yet, in a way he knew he’s able to survive without her in his life. He might not have been the epitome of happiness when Stacy left him but he somehow moved on with his life.

    Maybe he’s afraid of committing to Cuddy, or taking their relationship on a deeper level, because it’s a completely *new* aspect of their relationship. We know Huddy has a one night stand in the past, but nothing points to the fact that they had a relationship that has ended (like House and Stacy did). What’s more it seems that Cuddy has been in his life almost constantly; and has never left. We don’t know how she’ll react if their relationship backfire. Personally, I think she won’t leave his life like Stacy did, but House… his previous experiences are preventing him from seeing it, IMHO.


  • Orange, Thanks for the link to the article about Ms. Stiers. The information about the way researchers are seeking medical answers from our genetic maps was fascinating. The repeated connections to House MD was also interesting, especially how reality diverges from the heightened 42 minutes we experience each week. I could have done without some of the personal history of Ms. Stiers that seemed to have little relevancy to the poor woman’s present life or her disease. At one point, I felt like I was inadvertently invading her privacy. Journalists…it’s difficult these days to acquire knowledge without having to make a little compromise to get it. But it was well worth it to read all the way through. Thank you again.(-:

    Jaim wrote, “I felt that House and Cuddy once again choked at the last minute. The only difference this time was that they did it together. Maybe that can be considered progress?”

    I liked your ruminations…House feels more deeply about Cuddy or the opposite? Good question.

  • Grace

    Sorry but I strongly disagree with the person who said that House and Stacy didn’t have any chemistry.
    I also don’t see ANY chemistry between Wilson and Cameron. (Someone asked).
    I’m thinking that House and Cuddy won’t ‘get together’ until sweeps. Just a guess….
    no spoiler.
    Barbara, I don’t know if this will help at all but if you or your husband, or son/sons, daughter/daughters, have been/are veterans, anyone in the family can get married on government property such as a park or gazebo for free.
    When my daughter got married, my husband just had to show them a piece of paper, and we were allowed to use the gazebo for her ceramony. It was beautiful. Just thought I’d put that out there.

  • barbara barnett

    I agree that House doesn’t make it easy on those who love him. He pushes and pushes until they give up and then he feels hurt when they actually do go away or need to be away from him.

    No problem Orange putting the link. If I can figure it out, I will fix it so that it’s actually a link (which is Blogcritics standard style.

    I read the article, and I find it interesting that when House started, there was no specialty as “diagnostics” now there is. One of the things that House’s team is able to do by A) His double specialties, encyclopedic knowledge and probably photographic memory B)surrounding himself with three to five additional specialists and by taking a wide-angle view of the patient (and looking at the problem laterally) is avoid the specialist approach entirely.

  • Jaim

    I really enjoyed this episode. It has been the first time in a while that a patient has really kept my interest during the whole episode. I enjoyed House’s interactions with the priest as well the team members reactions to them.
    I felt that House and Cuddy once again choked at the last minute. The only difference this time was that they did it together. Maybe that can be considered progress?
    Anyway, they were both standing at the doors unwilling to leave each other but also wanting nothing more than to leave each other, because of the awkwardness. Eventually, they both parted ways leaving in opposite directions. I almost wonder if this was a subtle hint that this is why the relationship won’t work yet. They both know what path they want to follow and neither is ready to leave their chosen trail for the uncertain dirt road in between. It saddened me to see these two so afraid of reaching out to one another. Chase/Cameron, Taub/His Wife, now even Foreman/Thirteen have more functional relationships than House/Cuddy. Hopefully, they’ll start to take some more risks with each other. I do find it ironic that House, who is known for taking huge even crazy risks, is so timid when it comes to taking things further with Cuddy. Even when Stacy came back into the picture he did alot of obvious things that proved how much he wanted to be with her. Either House loves Cuddy in an even deeper way than he did Stacy and that has scared him into inaction or he doesn’t feel strongly enough to finally make his intentions known.

  • Orange450

    Barbara, I hope it’s okay to post this link here, for the benefit of those who don’t get to see the Sunday New York Times. Today’s issue contains a fascinating article about the Undiagnosed Diseases Program of the National Institutes of Health (USA).

    As I was reading about the N.I.H.’s concerted team effort to bring new understanding to the fine art of diagnostics, I was constantly reminded of House. And then – much to my surprise – about three pages into the article, the author went into a fair amount of detail about House MD and his process (drawing a contrast between House and the real-life state of diagnostic art). Very informative article, and well worth reading.

  • Thak you for your excelents articles, i dont speak english so well, but i try to understand every article taht you writte….maybe in a little bit of time i could writte more, tahk for spend you time making us have more argues of de serie.

  • Sheelagh wrote, “On further reflection however, I think the Simchat Bat was a smoke screen in this couples’ dynamic; just the latest battleground where these two isolated characters squared off trying to resist being pulled into the others’ orbit. My guess would be that Cuddy, who is less emotionally stunted than House is going to have to open her heart to him first. Either that or DS will break MY heart !”

    I enjoyed reading your considered take on the current state of House and Cuddy. I plan to celebrate when they finally drop their deflector shields. I think I’ll have to be quick about it before their shields reassemble.

  • Sheelagh

    I would like to amend my prior comments on ‘Unfaithful’ in light of a second viewing of the episode and the excellent remarks from J.I.M.

    I agree that House provoked Cuddy into leveling with him that, given his attitude, she did not want him at the Simchat Bat . He did need to be called on his behavior. The same as when Cuddy walked away from him after the breast groping incident.Behavior has consequences.
    Hugh Laurie’s clenched jaw and his dropping of House’s usual mask during those few moments of painful truth were impressive acting skills. You felt his hurt.

    On further reflection however, I think the Simchat Bat was a smoke screen in this couples’ dynamic; just the latest battleground where these two isolated characters squared off trying to resist being pulled into the others’ orbit.

    House, specifically, is terrified of intimacy , his own neediness and vulnerability. He finally had to admit them to Wilson when he discovered the huge void Wilson’s departure left in his soul…but it was an admission that was a longtime coming.

    House let Wilson empty out his office before he finally admitted that he felt ‘like crap’ about Amber’s death . Unfortunately his genuine display of vulnerability at this late date didn’t stop Wilson from walking away from him. It then took Wilson closing the door in House’s face to get House to admit the real reason for his visit to Wilson’s apartment i.e. ” How are you” (he was desperate to know how his friend was ; if he was coming back) . Wilson again closed the door on House when House reverted to hiding his vulnerability under a clock of bravado and clinical issues.

    Cuddy muddied the waters in this episode by trying to control and manipulate House’s behavior from the start and bears partial responsibility for the hurt both suffered.
    But as they stood at the hospital door looking out at the snow, reluctant to part from one another (it reminded me of when they lingered while breaking off from their one & only kiss) , she clearly made a heart felt, albeit incomplete attempt to draw House back to her . He saw what was coming and cut her off…nicely this time, but he still dodged away.

    House is still trying to rationalise his feelings for Cuddy as merely sexual in nature : the kiss was due to ” those two big things in her bra”; when the priest stated House sure seemed to have a ‘thing’ for his boss : ” It’s her thing I have a thing for”. Only when alone & with his music is he able to articulate his need for an emotional as well as physical intimacy with Cuddy.

    Given all the missteps House took while trying to salvage his friendship with Wilson, I think Cuddy and House will collide a few more times before one of them drops their deflector shield and the other follows suit. My guess would be that Cuddy, who is less emotionally stunted than House is going to have to open her heart to him first.

    Either that or DS will break MY heart !

  • barbara barnett

    I think House was sincere when he made that comment to Cuddy about not missing it for the world. I also think he was hurt by her seemingly honest statement as to why she wants him to stay away. It was grown up, but hurtful. And while I think House was appreciative of the games stopping and her finally telling him what he thought she really meant (was that confusing enough?)

    These two are so reticent…

  • Orange450

    j.i.m., you draw an interesting comparison of House, Cuddy, and the priest, with their respective degrees (or lack there)of social and personal responsibilities.

    House and Cuddy have now each missed a real opportunity to connect – House missed his at the end of The Itch, and Cuddy missed hers at the end of this past episode. In real life, unfortunately, missed chances can go on forever and never resolve. But in good storytelling (and I think the House team are a bunch of enthralling storytellers!), there has to be some sort of progression to a denouement of one kind or another, and there’s a limit to how long these mistakes can go on.

    Over almost five years, we’ve seen storylines weave in and out through the seasons. Some take longer to tell (like Cuddy’s desire for a child) and some go quickly (like the Tritter arc). And some will take the entire series and yet may never be completely told in the end – like figuring out what makes House tick 🙂 I think the House/Cuddy dynamic is being given an appropriate amount of time to work itself out, and will soon be positioned at a point where some sort of resolution can organically occur – in one way or another.

  • carolyn

    thanks Kirpio! I think you’re right. It just tears me apart that House openly says his feelings, for once, when Cuddy’s playing games – and when she’s ready to tell him her real feelings, he’s too hurt to hear it. Such a good show, but I hope the writers have them together soon! I don’t know if I can take anymore of this tension, when they both need, want and love each other so obviously.

  • Orange, I like your idea that Cuddy is moving beyond House socially to widen her circle of friends so Rachel can be better nurtured and supported. Cuddy is taking the next step in preparing her nest for her small family by connecting her home to her community. That is how adults take on responsibility for more than themselves. The priest was an extreme case of taking on social responsibility while having no personal life. By contrast, House admits to no social or personal responsibility which negates any intimate personal life. Opposite extremes, same effect. I hope House figures out how to support Cuddy with her nest building in some meaningful way.

    Cuddy’s new office furnishings are a bit troubling because they resemble a home (albeit a perfect one). Isn’t that going both directions at once?

  • Pat

    Maybe you get the relationship you deserve. House would rather be miserable alone than joining the party; Cuddy is too scared to even bring herself to ask him to come when she wants him there. I find it hard to feel sorry for either of them.

    Thank you for the information on Jewish customs. It was very interesting.

  • Kirpio

    Carolyn – I’ve just rewatched it, I’m sure he means it. This combined with his expression when Cuddy says she doesn’t want him there makes me believe he wants to be part of her life.

  • carolyn

    question: do you think House was serious when he said, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world”, in the elevator? I can’t figure out whether he meant it or was just going along with the game . . .

  • barbara barnett

    “To me, the look on House’s face tells it all – I have feelings and you’re trampling all over them. The reason House acts the way he acts is because people treat him gently instead of coming to him and talking to him like an adult – hence the reason he says, “I feel like an adult now.” IMO he’s telling them, all ya had to do was tell me not to come – why play games and ask me to come when you don’t want me there”

    Absolutely, Peachy. I think that’s dead on right.

    Wynkybx–thanks! I agree. Poor House–he’s a pretty private person when it comes down to it, and having his emotions exposed to the crowd makes him very uncomfortable. Especially since he really, really spends so much energy hiding himself away.

    KMC–huh! Interesting observation. Every little tiny thing in this means something, doesn’t it?

    “And as much as I adored seeing House playing the piano (and as much as I like the song that Hugh wrote!), I still find it hard to believe that seemingly out of the blue House has fallen in love with Cuddy. I’ve never loved a TV show as much as I’ve loved House, and it deeply saddens me that I’m not getting the same enjoyment out of it that I used to. I’m hoping that old feeling will be back again soon! 😉

    On another note, it just occurred to me that Taub’s first name is Chris. Since when is a Jewish person named Chris???”

    Hey Sassy–Great to see you here! I did want to say that I think House’s feelings about Cuddy haven’t really come out of the blue, but have been there for a long time–maybe originally, even out of gratitude for rescuing him (as he noted in Humpty Dumpty). But I do think that the sparks have been there since the beg. of season one. He suppresses them as he does all emotion, but it sometimes gets the best of him and has from time to time. Maybe it’s just the right time for him to reconsider. After what he said to Amber in Wilson’s Heart; after he almost lost Wilson’s friendship; after his father died. He’s been through the mill…so, maybe it’s just the time.

    Chris is undoubtably a strange name for a Jew. But it’s not impossible. I have a good friend named Chris who is Jewish (but not born that way). Maybe Taub’s mother isn’t Jewish. Or he has a non-Jewish grandparent who he’s named after…

  • Peachie

    I loved the scenes between House and Cuddy.. Just loved them. However, I must say I felt sorry for House when Cuddy told him she did not want him there at the party and when Wilson tells him to go get drunk instead. To me, the look on House’s face tells it all – I have feelings and you’re trampling all over them. The reason House acts the way he acts is because people treat him gently instead of coming to him and talking to him like an adult – hence the reason he says, “I feel like an adult now.” IMO he’s telling them, all ya had to do was tell me not to come – why play games and ask me to come when you don’t want me there. I would love to see Stacey come back. Boy, that would really push Cuddy to admit some of her feelings for House. That would also make House choose between the woman he lost and the woman he may loose.

    Anywho… I loved the ending of this episode. I didn’t cry, but it was a great moment.

    Personnaly, I think Wilson and Cameron have more chemistry than Chase and Cameron. Is that just me? Has anyone even recognized this?

  • Eve K

    Ok, Wnkybx, I might have done the same myself, opening Houses private business up for discussion amongst everyone (As Cuddy does). I guess its because she AND Wilson sometimes sees House as a (basket) case. (POTS- patient of the series)

    But then I do feel protective towards House, because I feel he is socially challenged and that its not his fault. And that they should respect that as part off his genius.

    But maybe its better that they – his “friends” – have boundary issues than not to care at all. Then he’d really be lonely.

  • Wnkybx

    Barbara, thank you for this wonderful, insightful review. I always enjoy reading your thoughts, but this review was especially great because you gave those of us who are not Jewish more insight into Jewish culture, which was very helpful in appreciating this episode even more.

    Now that Huddy seeds have been planted earlier this season, I think we are in the germination phase. Although House and Cuddy were engaged in a particularly awkward dance, we as the audience have received more confirmation about how deeply they feel for each other (despite their inability to act maturely on those feelings). You guys covered most of it. I will return to House/Cuddy in a bit.

    The POTW re-introduces the topic of religion to the show, but I read his purpose in the storyline not as someone to challenge House intellectually about religion on a rational level but to challenge House on a much more personal level, pushing him to question what is missing in his life. The answer for House wouldn’t be faith in a god, but perhaps to acknowledge and celebrate his own fulfillment from finding meaning in other people. If he were truly just about puzzles, he could run a lab and try to find a cure for cancer, a huge puzzle. But no, he is a physician. I loved that House connected with the POTW, and for a while, because they mirrored each other’s outlook on faith (or the lack thereof), House was for a brief moment not alone. When the POTW returned to his faith, House was once again left alone (the way 13 was at the end of Lucky 13 when the POTW didn’t end up having a terminal illness) and was forced into a deep but quiet rumination. I don’t think he was questioning his stance as a non-believer but was questioning what he could cling on to in his lonely universe.

    As for the Foreteen situation, I do think House was employing a method to “try out” the idea of relationship really working in the workplace. When House gave Foreteen the “split or quit” ultimatum, he could not have really expected either of them to give up their relationship after witnessing the risks Foreman took for 13’s sake. If he had truly wanted one of them to leave his team, he would have fired 13, who could have easily found employment elsewhere and who is not as essential to the DDx process, as seen by the lackluster DDx sessions when Foreman was prominently absent. By choosing to “fake-fire” Foreman (House even kept this badge in his desk rather than chucking it into the trash, and I believe that House had Cuddy in on this move to make sure Foreman couldn’t leave), House was testing whether Foreteen could function as individual thinkers and if the quality of their work as doctors could remain uncompromised by the joy of their romance. In setting up this elaborate although somewhat painful game, House seemed to be exploring, with his ducklings as his lab rats, whether or not he and Cuddy could start something while still maintaining the same standard of excellence at their respective jobs. He sat back and watched as Foreteen “fought” in a passionate manner not unlike the way he and Cuddy used to fight. I don’t think for one second that Foreteen ever hoodwinked House, but they do prove to him that they can make it work, giving him objective data to put in the “hope column” of his inner debate of whether he and Cuddy could ever be together.

    Eve K, as for how everyone knows House’s business, I can tell you from working in a hospital that everyone is in everyone else’s business. I do love that Cameron and Cuddy are becoming friends. It’s a nice change in dynamic. I am not as bothered by everyone else that Cuddy is not being portrayed as the “strong confident” foil to House. She is still a strong, confident woman in most realms of her life but is completely neurotic when it comes to men and love. This is something I can identify with and is something I see often. For me personally, I think I have been falling in love with Cuddy’s flawed character as it has been developing on the show.

    Anyway, I’m really enjoying reading everyone’s thoughts. Can’t wait ’til next Monday!

  • KMC

    Great review! Loved your insights as usual.

    One lovely connection that I seemed to have caught, but none of my other House watching friends noticed, was this:

    The opening scene shows Daniel putting up fliers in the church that say “You Don’t Have To Be Alone” (or something like that, sorry I never record epis so I can rewatch them during reruns and still have them feel fresh!)
    The closing scene has House, alone, playing piano, and I kept thinking back to that flier: He doesn’t have to be alone, yet he choses too.

    This ranks as one of my fav epis so far this season.

  • Jackie

    Just a postscript to my previous comments re: “Cuddy’s Serenade”. There is a video clip on fanpop, which simply is listed as Cuddy’s Song-Huddy Video-Fanpop, and at the 2:00 minute mark you can hear “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and then at the 2:09 mark you can hear “Have I Told You Lately…”.

    One last observation, minor though it maybe. When 13 comes into the closing scene with Foreman, she does an arm flourish bow. Homage to Hugh I guess. Whenever he is with Band from TV or is introduced as a guest on a talk show that is his trademark. I guess I am getting carried away. I too am looking forward with great interest to the upcoming “The Softer Side” episode.

  • Eve K

    Gill – if you bother writing critical on this blog at least come up with some original complaints!

    I think the situation between Cuddy and House was very real. Both afraid to hurt the other, both afraid of being hurt.

    I think House couldn’t have gone to the party. He just couldn’t. So many reasons. But Cuddy couldn’t NOT invite him, so it was a difficult social situation. One that we all could meet one time or another.

    What does bother me is that everybody seems to know about Houses private business. The patient, how did he pick up on Houses thing for Cuddy? And Cameron – when did she know that inviting House had become an issue? Is everybody gossiping about it? I dont see Cuddy and Cameron as close personal friends, even if she and Chase was invited. I think Cuddy AND Wilson have boundary issues when it comes to dealing with House.

  • Gill

    As much as this was a good episode, its all been done before. House vs religon, I am sick and tied of being played with by TPTB, get House and Cuddy together or not at all, I am now sick of waiting. I am also sick of this love TPTB have for 13. She is the most boring uninteresting character there is, and yet they keep on and on shoving her in our faces. I am done with the show. I adore Hugh Laurie to death. But I hate what they have done to this once brillant show called House!

  • sassydew

    Hi, Barbara! Another great review, as usual! Even if I don’t care for an episode, I always enjoy reading your thoughts – and sometimes I even view episodes differently after reading them. 🙂 And I have been reading your reviews and the wonderful comments left by others regularly, but I’ve been a bit disheartened with the direction of the show lately, so I haven’t commented.

    I have always really liked Cuddy and I am glad that she got the baby. I have always seen House and Cuddy as dear old friends who care about each other a great deal, and I could even envision them spending a night together here and there, but I am having a hard time believing that suddenly they are seemingly in love with one another. As you know, I have a bias regarding House’s relationships (House/Stacy), but I honestly don’t think that is the reason I have difficulty with this House/Cuddy relationship; I think it’s more about how it’s being executed.

    I have been quite disappointed with Cuddy’s behavior, particularly when she caused House physical pain by setting up a trap to make him trip; when she realized that she had stooped to House’s level, I was glad and I thought that behavior would stop. But, alas, here she is again, playing silly games in “Unfaithful” – and getting Wilson to collude with her. For me, it was a flashback to “Meaning” and “Cane and Able” in terms of them having the desire to control/manipulate/change House. It was up to Cuddy whether or not to invite House. After inviting him, she needed to leave the decision of whether or not to attend up to him. We cannot control the behavior of guests invited into our homes. And if she wanted House there, she would need to be prepared for whatever he might do or say. I keep getting the feeling, however, that she wants House to be someone he isn’t – that she wants House to adore Rachel and make himself an active part of Cuddy’s and Rachel’s lives, and that’s not House. Finally, I was awfully disappointed in Wilson for playing along with Cuddy’s silly game. I get that House is awkward and, at times, socially challenged, but Cuddy has never been presented that way, so making her appear that way now doesn’t sit right with me. I like the seeing strong and confident Cuddy.

    And as much as I adored seeing House playing the piano (and as much as I like the song that Hugh wrote!), I still find it hard to believe that seemingly out of the blue House has fallen in love with Cuddy. I’ve never loved a TV show as much as I’ve loved House, and it deeply saddens me that I’m not getting the same enjoyment out of it that I used to. I’m hoping that old feeling will be back again soon! 😉

    On another note, it just occurred to me that Taub’s first name is Chris. Since when is a Jewish person named Chris???

    Once again, Barbara, thanks for your reviews and for making this a friendly place to discuss the show! 🙂

  • Kari

    Great review of a great episode. So far this is my favorite this season.

    I loved Hugh Laurie’s “Cuddy’s Serenade” piece. Of course, I think it’s great any time we get to see/hear the very talented Mr. Laurie at the piano. That being said, I do not hear “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” in that piece. I do hear “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” I just sat here playing “Have I Told You…” (it’s on my iPhone) alternately with rewinding and replaying that last section of “Cuddy’s Serenade” and I still don’t hear it. I don’t have “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” on my phone or my laptop, so I can’t play that to compare right now, but I am pretty sure that is all I am hearing there.

    I will readily admit that I am a Huddy, but I think the Rolling Stones song makes more sense than the Van Morrison song here, not only because it is sort of a theme song in the show, but also because it more clearly underscores the situation. And while I do believe that House does love Cuddy (as I agree Cuddy loves House whether they are in love or not) I do not think House is at the “Have I Told You…” stage yet.

    (PS Call me crazy… I also played that clip of Cuddy’s Serenade to see if Shazam or Midomi might identify it with no luck… neither app could identify the song.)

  • Val

    Barbara thanks once again for your review and thoughts on, what I thought, to be a brilliant episode…definitely on my favs list. I was wonderful to see it up so quickly…kudos!(Now, if a clinic scene could have been thrown in there it would have had all the pieces to the House episodes we all love…even the beloved white board returned). I am enjoying all the comments and all the different perspectives that come to light.

    With the current format, a second viewing w/o ads is essential for me and a couple things stood out for me…thanks to the excellent direction of Greg Yaitanes and Hugh Laurie’s always brilliant performance.

    I know I am in a minority when I admit that Thirteen and the relationship of Foreteen is actually something I enjoy seeing played out especially with regards to House. 13 has always been a bit of a puzzle and, as we know, this fascinates House. And, now he sees two of his employees (co-workers) wading their way through a relationship…another puzzle he seems to be seriously contemplating. In Unfaithful, each time we see 14 discuss or argue in front of House, he seems to observe intently. Foreteen’s final heated discussion about the priest’s last symptom has shots focusing on House’s baby blues bouncing back and forth as if he was in attendance at Wimbledon. I believe he is truly interested in whether their relationship succeeds despite his insistance that the “department is broken”. I think he may see the Foreteen relationship as parallel to a possible relationship with Cuddy. Thirteen has some displayed some House-like characteristics and, like House, it seems her childhood wasn’t an easy one; she is certainly not like her predecessor, Cameron. Then Foreman becomes more Cuddy-like rather than “House-lite”. I think this is why House has taken such an interest in Foreteen, as we’ve seen.

    I agree and also noted the unease House faced in his discussions with the patient that were in front of the new ducklings. I think the illustration of the difference between how he interacts with the old team and new team is noteworthy. Foreman’s reaction to the pain House was experiencing in ‘Painless’ was different from Kutner’s. The old team saw House fake a brain tumour. What will the new team experience?

    And, “Cuddy’s Serenade” had to be the most beautiful scene I’ve ever seen in House. The music, the directing, the acting…everything was perfection. As to the question of Van Morrison or Rolling Stones? I think the beauty of it was that it was either and both (if that makes sense). When I first heard it and saw the ending, I heard “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and that seemed to fit perfectly, but after reading your review, Barbara and the other comments that made the argument for “Have I Told You Lately…” I could also hear that tune.

    The ending is beautifully filmed. The scenes go between Cuddy’s place, Foreteen, and House. When the first chords of the songs in question begin I noted Foreteen happy and together…”Have I told you lately that I love you” then to Cuddy’s place as she takes Rachel and sadly glances at Wilson…”you can’t always get what you want” and House, himself, intertwined through out the whole piece playing the Serenade. In the end, I can only see it as being both.

    What an unforgettable episode all around. Two weeks was long, but DS and Co. delivered. On to a “Softer Side”.

  • barbara barnett

    Dee–you are entitled to your opinion of course. If you thogh it was disjointed. It is probably because it was intended that way.

    Noodling on the piano keys mindlessly playing whatever comes into your fingers. Yep

  • Dee

    I didn’t like HL’s composition. It was disjointed. Definitely not an easy listening piece. And I have a CORRECTION to offer you. House said he was interested in Cuddy’s thing – meaning a particular part of Cuddy.

    I found the juvenile Huddy freak show – juvenile. And trying to pressure House to connect with a baby she claimed to want just increases my Huddy hate. I cannot wait until they do the deed so we can see the end of this truly ridiculous story arc.

  • Chrisden

    Regarding “i won’t last a day without you”
    i mean the bit where it says ” when there’s no getting over that rainbow…….” that is what i initially heard.

  • Chrisden

    Hello all from the UK.
    This is my first post and i am relatively new to being a House fan (last six months or so) though am fast becoming a bit of an obsessive.
    This is by far the best review/light hearted debate forum i have come across. Well done Barbara and all who make this a very interesting and intelligent read.
    Getting to the point: The music House plays at the end of his composition is “You can’t always get what you want” and not Van Morrison though when i first heard it i thought it was “I won’t last a day without you by The Carpenters”.
    The only issue i have about this sight is the abbreviations, i really struggle with most of them, the only ones i have understood are POTW and TPTB.

  • barbara barnett

    OH Orange…have to address that kippah thing 🙂
    It’s like my house. A completely disorganized array of kippot from countless different events. I think we don’t even have two that match. And they’re mostly suede and crocheted, admittedly, but I think Cuddy would have those satin things sitting about. And at least they weren’t plain. That didn’t bother me.

    Love your take on Isaiah.

    Ah, marie–How I wish. I am so busy now and so poor now (wedding, kids college, bad economy, writing…) It’s a kind offer and I’d love to visit and House marathon with you. I’m still thinking about how to do a virtual House-viewing/discussion if it’s even possible.

  • Orange450

    Barbara, thanks for the great review. You’ve said everything there is to say about HL’s music. What an amazing guy – and House, too!

    Like others have said, I got the very clear impression that Cuddy initially really wanted House to attend the simchat bat. She tried hard to persuade him, and knows him well enough that the idea of his quietly mocking everyone wasn’t going to faze her. But when he started with his Philharmonic nonsense and accusations of hypocrisy, then of course the poor longsuffering woman had second thoughts. Those two have really made progress as the poster children for missed opportunity this season!

    Sometimes I’m ashamed at how long it takes me to figure things out, and this is no exception. At first I thought it was harsh of House to accuse Cuddy of being a hypocrite – I thought that surely he’s sophisticated enough to know that a recognition of one’s cultural heritage doesn’t necessarily mean taking on the whole megillah, so to speak. After all – even he played Silent Night on his piano late on Christmas Eve.

    But then I realized that his objection had nothing to do with her level of religious observance per se. Instead – I think he was connecting the cultural heritage thing with Cuddy’s taking on a new identity as a family person with more active cultural affiliation than she had before – as often happens when children arrive to previously less-affiliated parents. And IMO, he was registering his discomfort with it, and with the impossibility of his ever fitting into it. I think he’s been quietly wondering about their potential places in each others’ lives for a while already, and may have been beginning to make his peace with the idea of Rachel. But he could definitely see this new development as something that will take Cuddy even further away from him. Not implying any kind of intolerance on his part. Far from it. But I could easily see him shying away from the community-oriented cultural trappings that he’s afraid she might be buying into. So what does he do? He does what comes naturally – he accuses and deflects.

    After all – he knows Isaiah’s words don’t relate to Cuddy! In the very same chapter that Isaiah rails against empty ritual, he gives the injunction to rescue the oppressed and defend the orphan – which is precisely what Cuddy has done!

    I thought everyone else did a good job too. And even though I’m sure House is on to them by now – I loved the victory dance performed by 13 and Foreman! 13’s bow after her “performance” was adorable, and very well done by OW. My one quibble is with the kippot at the party. Why do TV shows and movies always have to use the stereotypical old-fashioned kind when there are perfectly nice crocheted and suede versions available that look far more natural on anyone? Even on House 😉 Although he could just have easily have worn his travelling cap, if only Cuddy had invited him at the last minute 🙁

  • Kirpio

    Having read the article and comments, I felt compelled to go back to ‘Cuddy’s serenade’, as while I heard the Rolling Stones, and Sunrise Sunset, I also heard a bit of the Beatles ‘with love from me to you’… I stand by that, but I also picked up on Morrison – thank you for that insight.

    What can I say that hasn’t been said? Yet again I was on the edge of my seat willing House into action, just as ‘The Itch’. I was with Cuddy as she opened the door, my heart sank with hers, and then I was with House as he exquisitely expressed his feelings. I love the emotional rollercoaster the ‘House’ team take you on every week; last episode I was crying for Wilson, this time for Huddy, who next week?

    Another word on this episode with regard to ‘shipping’. It has been clear to me from the start that House and Cuddy had more chemistry than anyone else, there’s a lot of trust – Cuddy told House about the IVF, Wilson wouldn’t even tell him about anti-depressants – a lot of banter, a history… Stacey and House didn’t have that chemistry, and Cameron and House, to my mind, was a schoolgirl crush being met by a very flattered man who doesn’t believe he deserves such attention. Cuddy is his equal and opposite – he sees the gaping chasm between the ideal and the real that she fails to see. I was truly touched when he spoke the line ‘I wouldn’t miss it for the world’, and hope that the rebuff of this by her telling him he didn’t want him there after all hasn’t pushed him too far into his shell. I look forward to where the writers take this next week 🙂

    I just wanted to add – Chase’s line about office romances did make me smile with regard to Jesse/Jennifer.

  • Alessandra

    Hi Barbara! As Unfaithful has become one of my favourite episodes ever, this, I think, is one of your best reviews ever. I just want to thank you for the explanations regarding Jewish tradition, which fascinates me a lot.
    Regarding Cuddy’s serenade, I have to agree that is not a ship problem: I love H/C relationship and I support it, but above all the shipper stuff, this time House had a lot to think about. The scene at the PPTH door speaked by itself: he knew that his presence would have been “out of tune” just as Cuddy knew she wanted him with her that evening. But she didn’t tell him “please, come”, in front of that door: that was her last possibility to speak sincerely, to end the game, and an eyesight is too less for him to believe. He wants proofs. If he hasn’t any, he could think about it, but he’ll never Believe: just like religion. And the sad truth is that he can’t have any proof…neither from Cuddy (she’s messed up just as he is) and from his patient.
    I’m so sorry I can’t speak English well enough to make my thoughts clearer… Hope you understand my point, anyway. See you all after The Softer Side!

  • marie

    Barbara , still waiting for you to jump on that plane and fly over here to Northern England to watch a House marathon with me and then chat to our hearts content about it…. that said , thank you once again for a fabulous review ,I just loved this episode except for the boring foreteen arc yet again , being a religious episode I was praying that either one or both of them would really go , but alas … anyway Hugh Laurie was magnificent in this episode and much like the House of earlier seasons I thought. I just cant praise him enough for his interactions with Cuddy ,the Patient (who was excellent by the way ) Wilson , Taub and Kutner , even the short scene with Cameron at the beginning was just so much ‘House’ ,I love this guy , I know the scripts are phenomenal and bravo to the writers , but bravo also to Hugh Laurie for his delivery of them , oh wow !!!!!! I love this guy , and the end at the piano , I cant say enough about it so I wont even try , I love this guy …did I just say that !!!!!!.thank you Barbara for all your views especially on the music part and the Jewish influences ,and even the information on the ceremony for baby Rachel which I found fascinating knowing nothing about it before your explanation , …………………….. I will get the spare room ready for you lol..x

  • Jackie

    Great review as usual Barbara. Thank you for your insight as to the inclusion of “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”. I initially was only hearing “You Can’t Always Get Want You Want”. I went back to the video and replayed the closing segment again and again, and it does start with a “Sunrise, Sunset” link (“Is this the little girl I carried” – at least I heard that part anyway). Segue into the European motif as you stated and then what I thought was only “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” did morph into “Have I Told You Lately..” Hugh’s brilliance never ceases to amaze me.

    Back to the plot – The scene in the elevator was very telling, when Cuddy says that House “For better or worse will always be a part of her life,” and a few moments later regarding the simchat bat, House says with all seriousness that “He wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I think if not for the Cuddy ‘he’s coming/he’s not coming’ mindset, he would have attended. Cuddy did start to ask him just prior to opening the hospital door when she was talking to House, re: shoes, weather, sister. The handing off of Rachel to Cameron so that Cuddy could answer the door only to be disappointed when it was the elderly couple and not House displayed her disappointment and regret (watching her face and Wilson’s a few seconds later), that this scheming has shortchanged both she and House. For those asking about the “Cuddy Serenade” labeling: Closed Caption did show this to be “Hugh Laurie’s Cuddy Serenade” or words to that effect. I am certainly looking forward to how the rest of the season plays out. Maybe by the series finale (3 or so years from now) these two unhappy souls, Cuddy (as told by House that she will never be happy at the end of “Humpty Dumpty”) and House (as told by Cuddy in “Fetal Position” to “Be happy” (which he mouths to himself) and Stacy (“Three Stories”, “You don’t think you deserve to be happy?”) might just find what they need in each other.

  • Meena

    This is my first post here, Barbara, and I wanted to say thank you for writing such thought-provoking analyses about House, and for inspiring such witty dialogues in the comment sections afterwards. I just started watching this show for the first time a few months ago, and suffice to say I’m now a full-blown fan.

    I liked that though there was a priest, this week’s episode was really not about God or religion but about finding a path back to ‘faith’ – be it with another human being, with the concept of love/relationships/sacrifice, with God, etc. When does the lightbulb finally go back on? Also, this was not really about whether God/person deserves our trust or belief, but whether we can make sense of the things we want to believe in enough for us to jump in. Very interesting.

    In particular, I found the line, “religion is the placebo of the masses” quite profound (instead of religion is the opiate of the masses). I thought that metaphor had been beaten to death, but this was something new. Placebos are more ambiguous than opiates – they can potentially cure you just by believing they can, even without any rational/medical evidence. So if religion/love/person is a placebo, its ‘validity’ is not as essential as whether it can ‘cure’ you (whatever that means-still mulling this thought over). Don’t think House would see it this way though – I think he studies world religions just to be able to hurl better-aimed criticism at them:)

    Finally, the music at the end, so evocative and despondent, with strings of different, eclectic pieces dancing one after the other. I loved that nothing was tied together, and we aren’t even sure which pieces he exactly played. Though past episodes have shown music as therapy for House, this was just about wallowing in mournful longing and expression.

    Poor House, he’s got it bad.

  • Gina

    Mary, I wholehearlty agree. I am not a shipper of any kind and I love – and most importantly, get – the House/Cuddy relationship. To each their own. And contrary to people’s beliefs, it IS a very popular pairing, perhaps the most popular pairing on the show along with House/Wilson (be it romantic or bromantic). If only people would get out of their comfort zones to realize that.

    Anyhoo, that was a lovely review, Barbara. I, too, was moved by “Cuddy’s Seranade” and it might be one of my favorite ending sequences to date. Simply beautiful. I could have done without Foreteen making out in the montage, but like Jagger once said “You can’t always get what you want”.

    As for the POTW? Loved it. Love how House once again connected to a patient, loved his take on love and religion. And I’ve been a fan of Jimmi Simpson for quite sometime.

    My favorite episode of the season, along with The Itch.

  • barbara barnett


    Thank you. I admit I lean a bit House/Cuddy, but I don’t look at everything (or even most things) on the show through that lens. I observe what the writers, director and actors are telling me. They may tell me one thing, and someone else another. Like you said potato potahhhhto.

  • Mary

    “Maybe it’s something only a Huddy shipper can understand, I don’t.”
    Um, I’m sorry, but it’s not. I’m not a “Huddy” shipper and I agree with every single point Barbara made. I can see it, it’s real, and it’s there. Maybe it’s something only bitter people who would rather see House with somebody else can’t understand.

    Potato, potata.

  • Sheelagh wrote, “I was even more struck by House’s face when Cuddy leveled with him as to why she did not want him at the gathering. The hurt on his face! It was like House had been slapped.”

    I was of two minds about that scene. Any honest communication between House and Cuddy is valuable and a step forward, even when it causes pain. But the forlorn and naked look on House’s face was difficult to witness. His reaction was also a bittersweet reminder to Cuddy of his humanity. Luckily Cuddy realized the strong effect her words had on House.

    During a second viewing, this scene stood out for me because of the honesty. House did provoke Cuddy when he categorized her with whores and hypocrites. Cuddy’s response, “The last thing I need is someone filled with loathing and contempt.”, can also be interpreted as her rational thoughts about House in general, not just for the celebration. She wants him but she doesn’t need his dark side of loathing and contempt. I think he took the wider message to heart.

    It seems they have a long way to go. House did, after all, immediately refuse what seemed like the beginnings of an invitation from Cuddy for a Friday night, perhaps to attend a classical concert together. House still has time to participate in Rachel’s 1st, 2nd or 3rd birthday party, if “The Powers That Be” allow it before the series is over. (And if Rachel survives.)

    If the priest is right and House wants someone to prove him wrong about his dark view of life, then this episode came and went without that proof surfacing.

  • Flo

    I really liked the episode (I didn’t cry though, but I never cry anyway).

    Very good review (again) barbara and thanks for naming the jewish parts of music, I don’t know anything about jewish music and didn’t recognise any of it.

    For what its worth I, too, heard Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately?” but I maybe wrong.

  • C&T

    A special thank you for your thoughts on “Cuddy’s serenade”.
    Lovely to have the different musical parts of the serenade named with the correct Yiddish words.
    My first thought on hearing the last bit of the musical piece was “Oh, that sounds like ‘Have I told you lately'”. Only here in the discussion I read about it being ‘You can’t…’.
    I’ve been listening to those three pieces for half an hour now and come to the final conclusion that I do here House’s piece echoes the latter A BIT. But then, if I say it echoes that one I must say it almost COPIES the first.

    I’m not sure what that exactly means for House’s feelings towards Cuddy, or what I want it to mean,
    or – following the plot of the episode – if this choice was a COINCIDENCE.

    PS: Fox only calls it “Cudd’y Serenade”. They didn’t give any of the other two titles on their site.

  • Clare

    I really enjoyed reading this article and all of the comments. I can’t believe FOX is making me wait a week to see the ep on FOD!! I’m looking forward to it very much. (that, and crying!)

  • I’m not so eloquent as some and I don’t have HL’s talent for music to express myself but..

    This episode blew me away and so did your review.
    I hardly ever cry but the end scene provoked some tears..

    One of the best episodes of this season!

  • maddy

    Even thought I feel like I’m repeating what’s been said 1,000 times, I loved the review and the episode and the comments : )

    Barbara, I just want to know your thoughts on one thing. When I watched the scene where Cuddy was in the elevator and House said, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world”, it sounded like he was actually telling the truth. And then when Wilson started talking to him about not going, it really dawned on him that Cuddy had lied to him again. So when she told him point blank that she didn’t want him to come (even though she really did!! sigh), you could just see the hurt on his face because he knew for sure he was right about her. He really wasn’t playing any games, despite what he said to Wilson. It’s obvious he loves Cuddy, even Daniel picked it up point blank. So I feel like him going along with what she wants, this episode and last, is just his way of proving that he does love her. He can get no gain except making her happy by doing so. And I agree with you, he didn’t go at the end because he knew it would be perhaps better for the both of them. They both have to get over their own inhibitions before they can be with each other, which is the one thing that will make them both happy. hopefully the writers arrange for that to happen in the end, because I don’t know if I can take another sad episode like this!

    what do you think? It’s my personal theory that he might be straightening out for her in the next episode . . .

  • Nani

    Barbara, I LOVE YOU !

  • Cath

    I love love love this episode! Thanks for a fantastic review Barbara!

  • Eve K

    A very good review B.
    By the way – was there anyone else who unintentionally started laughing when the hallucination-Jesus came on? Doesn’t matter, it was a very good ep and the actor who played Daniel was great.

    About the song in the end. I think the ambiguity of is it “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” or “Have I Told You Lately” (who is a prayer? I didn’t know that) is intended. Very much so.

    It starts out with the first song and moves over to the other. Very suddle, very tough provoking. They are ALMOST identical. I think HL must have had this as his idea when he started composing. I just loved the ending of this ep.

  • Reine

    I love your reviews Barbara, I always read them :D. And I agree when you say that not going to the party he was giving Cuddy what she needed but not what she wanted and I think it was really sweet of him. I also think he really doesn’t know what he feels for Cuddy and Rachel, sometimes he wants to be part of their life and sometimes he just thinks that kind of family thing is not for him.

    And the song: wow, it was really perfect and the episode was so beautiful. We got to see more of House’s feelings than in “Let them eat cake” for example, or even “Joy”, ’cause the kiss was beautiful too but it could have come from passion not love but in “Unfaithful” I felt that he really has “a thing” for Cuddy and even her baby but (as I said before) he isn’t sure what it is or how big it is. I even liked the patient this week xD.

    Thanks for the review 😀

  • Chris

    Your review once more touched me Barbara!

    This episode was the one that made me really cry in the ending…. and I haven’t cried with a House episode since “Joy”‘s finale… Only this time I cried for House! For his choice to show his feelings through this amazing piano composition… I think that this season is doing amazingly great job getting more personal and I love the naturality of things… I am still quite shocked by this episode that I cannot form a coherent thought, point is: HOUSE ROCKS!!!

  • barbara barnett

    Sandra–I wanted to come back to your comments. House dropping the ONE symptom at the end was not out of character for him. He considered everything, and then went back over the list to see if only one thing didn’t fit. He has actually done that before–“Need to Know,” Occam’s razor to name two early episodes. House is extremely objective. If there’s something awry with his analysis, he’s the first to acknowledge and change course.

    I really liked the patient, as, apparently did a lot of people. We’re all fans of the show; some of us like one relationship and some others. Some hate all of the relationship stuff and simply want the procedural/medical stuff.

    I disagree with what I view as your belief (and I may be wrong so apologies in advance) that enjoying the current exploration of House and Cuddy’s strange and awkward dance is somehow a minority opinion and less valid than, say enjoying a Cameron/House relationship. Respectfully disagree. 🙂

  • sharp2799

    Thank you Sandra, you said what I thought.

  • barbara barnett

    How much fun to wake up to this great discussion and all of your good points! I want to address a few of the questions you’ve raised.

    Grace–he specifically mentioned Job’s syndrome–something I’d never heard of until he mentioned it; it’s another name for IgE syndrome, the genetic condition Daniel has. House called it by both names.

    Hugh Laurie composed “Cuddy’s Serenade.” As such, the Jewish motives and sensibilities he used in the composition were improvised; they were reflective and used the distinctive musical modes (Jewish music is usually modal–using ancient scales rather than modern major-minor scales)found in traditional Jewish music. The music is by nature evocative of emotions: laughter, tears, intense prayer, depths of despair, heights of celebrations. (I could give a dissertaion on Jewish music, but I’ll spare you all ;))

    So the strains within the composition were original, but the influences were there. How would House know any of this? How does he speak Yiddish? How does he know what a simchat bat is (and that its tradition is a new, rather than ancient) concept? He just does.

    Sandra–I also love where Cameron is headed. She has settled into being a strong and mature doctor–a far cry from the naive girl she was in season one. Bravo to her.

    I see the awkward dance that House and Cuddy are playing as two reticent and socially inept people trying to reach out, but ambivalent about the stakes. Your mileage may vary. House has always been attracted to Cameron, but I don’t think he sees himself with her. I love Cameron with Chase, and I hope the powers that be keep growing that stable relationship as THE stable relationship on the show. think about it, no one else has that. They are like the old married couple of the entire series. Comfortable and loving.

    simcha sd–There is absolutely nothing hypocritcal about a simchat bat, even if you are completely secular. It’s a welcoming into the “mishpocha” (the family) of Judaism. Of course she could have had a “formal” babynaming at a synagogue, (and I don’t see why she couldn’t–I am assuming that the baby’s natural mom is Jewish or Cuddy has done what was needed to make her Jewish–offstage)

    But at any religious Jewish event (which a simchat bat certainly is) it is proper to wear a kippah, whether in synagogue or not. I found nothing out of the ordinary with Chase in a kippah. It’s not a religious garment, but a sign of respect. Now if he was the one wearing the tallit rather than the rabbi, then I’d raise an eyebrow!

    simplethings–welcome! In addition to saying it in the “closed captions,” the House site over at FOX lists it in the Music section.

  • Grace

    P.S. “Job’s” was not mentioned in the episode (that I remember). Where did you come by that?
    Did anyone think the priest seeing Jesus at the door was a bit much? I did.
    Oh, and thank you to whoever mentioned that POTW was on LETTERMAN last night. I KNEW I knew his face from somewhere, but just couldn’t place it….DUH!!! 🙂
    So, is it hormones that House messes with next week? So many things point to it.

  • Grace

    Barbara, Did you say that some of the songs in Cuddy’s Serenade are traditional Jewish songs, or did I misunderstand? Because I was wondering, if they were, how would House know them? Several people are hearing “Sunrise, Sunset”, in the beginning of the piece. I didn’t hear it. Not knowing the words I wouldn’t know if it would fit in.
    I really don’t have anything else important to say about the episode. The ending was all that really mattered to me.
    But I would like to know all the songs that were played in the piece and their meaning.

  • sandra

    “It’s very House, whose own view of morality is very black and white — except when it’s not.”
    So true…

    But I see as Huddy shipper you guys do have a different view on episodes as everyone else. Personally this episode was more than disappointing. The case was rather boring to be honest, and House dropping symptoms just like that is more than unusual. It’s like House is not House anymore.
    Most important, TPTB need to move on and drop this desperate Huddy thing. It’s start to get really annoying, them trying to make it believable that House actually wants all out of the sudden to be with Cuddy. He does not want to love that’s obivous. It is obvious with her, and it was obvious with Cameron (recommendation at this point, read “House and Philosophy: Everybody lies”, they’ve explained that very nice). Cuddy behaves like a teenager instead of a confident, independent woman (which she used to before this Huddy arc started), not knowing what she really wants and too… I don’t know what… scared, proud… to say clearly what she wants from House. It makes me really sad seeing her like that! Their friendship and boss/employee interaction was so much fun to watch, but this is awkward and somewhat even embarrasing. Maybe it’s something only a Huddy shipper can understand, I don’t. I think it would be clever to have Cuddy move on with Wilson. Am I really the only one who noticed how good Wilson is with Cuddy and the baby? Okay, the question was rhetorical, because I know I’m not – I’ve talked to quite a bunch of people about this, and they all shared my opinion. These two are perfect for each other, they just have not realized it yet (even Hugh is a fan of the on-screen chemistry between RSL and LE, so bring it on!).
    Well, the one really positive thing on the show right now is Cameron’s incredibly wonderful character development, it’s like she and Cuddy switched places. Now she’s the one knowing what she wants, being all self-confident and independent. I love it, and I’m really proud of her!

  • Barbara, Thank you for this engaging, fun, and enlightening summary of “Unfaithful”. I laughed when I read your assessment of House’s morality, “It’s very House, whose own view of morality is very black and white — except when it’s not.” That is the gift who is House!

    I love Van Morrison’s work and his song/prayer, “Have I Told You Lately” is a classic favorite. The lyrics, “I love you, there is no one above you…”

    In addition to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, I think I might have heard chords blended in at the very end of Bob Marley’s, “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright” aka “Three Little Birds”. The lyrics, “So don’t worry about a thing…a melody pure and true, this is my message to you…” Which Bob Marley, in turn, partially includes in the melody and lyrics of his other great song, “No Woman No Cry”. The lyrics, “I remember when we used to sit…observing the hypocrites…my faith is my only courage…little darling don’t shed no tears…” What gives House courage?

    I was bowled over by the acting throughout. One of the scenes with Cuddy and House in the elevator was almost scary in its intensity. Cuddy uses the truth in her subterfuge when she tells House, “For better or for worse, you are a part of my life”. This short phrase had an instant effect on House. Momentarily, he focused his full attention on her as he seemed to want to peer straight into her brain to find the truth there. His sudden stillness was palpable. She didn’t seem to notice as she was busy with her ploy. Does part of Cuddy want to be free and clear of House? The self-preservation part.

  • 60 plus


    Thanks again for a right-on review. Your articles and the comments here are always a font of wonderful insights into House and his intriguing world!

    I, too, found “Cuddy’s Serenade” to be amazing. I was especially struck by the fact that, as I listened to it, I heard a House composition…not one from Hugh Laurie. Just another example of HL’s brilliance. It seemed to me that he made a deliberate choice to compose it as House would, with House’s mindset. He knew how House would write the piece and used his own extraordinary musical ability to do it. It’s this kind of attention to detail that sets HL apart. Unfortunately, because it is understated, it is all too often overlooked.

    I don’t think it makes any difference as to which theme is represented at the end. It could even be bits of both–House’s feelings for Cuddy and Rachel combine with his ambivalence in the poignant music that, as you said, is a pouring out of his heart and soul.

  • simchasd

    It is always a pleasure to read your analysis and the critical thinking of others on these House episodes, which are laced with all sorts of undercurrents. Thank you.
    However,I just want to approach “Unfaithful” from a purely superficial viewpoint. What hypocrisy is there in throwing a party in honor of (adopting) a new baby? As you cited earlier in your article, House admits that there is little religious significance to the whole thing. Everyone already knew the name Cuddy gave the baby. It was more of a celebratory thing in which Cuddy involved (somewhere in the crowd) a Rabbi.
    There are more formal, religiously significant ways of acknowledging the birth of a baby girl within the context of Judaism, but she couldn’t avail herself of these options due to certain limitations.
    The most comical thing at that Simchat Bat was when the camera lingered over Chase unnecessarily wearing that kippah on his head. Of course House could have never attended that party, could you imagine him wearing a kippah? How out of character is that? I am convinced Mr. Shore had that visual in mind all along.

  • quin

    One more thought,the music links Cuddy’s Jewish musical heritage, the conflict between the two, and House’s Christian musical heritage because Cuddy’s Serenade sounds like a hymn at the end. (I’m assuming Christian since he played the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” in the “House vs. God” episode.)

  • Sheelagh

    A beautiful and frustrating episode. A terrific part for the POTW who turned in a stellar performance. Frustration for all the miscommunication and unintentional hurts between House & Cuddy. The piano serenade was melting beautiful, but I think I was even more struck by House’s face when Cuddy leveled with him as to why she did not want him at the gathering. The hurt on his face ! It was like House had been slapped. Then Cuddy’s face as she yearned for his presence at her gathering & hoped he was the one at the door. That’s when I teared up. Clever writing both on the medical procedural & character driven side ; wonderful acting. This episode really engaged my emotions to the point that I thought ” I love this show & these characters so much …. please DS let them have a moment of tenderness & peace, or I may not be able to bear watching it much longer”. It’s gotten almost too painful for those who love his characters.

  • Amy

    Barbara you are amazing with your insightful interpretations of what transpires in each delightful episode of “House”. House’s serenade to Cuddy was spectacular! And I think he knows a lot about how he feels about her to be completely honest. That’s why he is such an expert at evading and mocking any conversation that even considers his feelings for Cuddy. I just wish that we could get more insight into how deeply she feels for him. I mean we did get some insight into her feelings for him in “Let Them Eat Cake”, but with House he says things that make us think that is how he feels for Cuddy without coming right out and saying it. Like when he told Foreman that when you love someone you do stupid things. So maybe him being an ass and mocking and evading his feelings for Cuddy is his way of doing stupid things for the woman that he loves. If only the both of them weren’t so afraid of their feelings for each other. I mean they are afraid of all of their feelings to begin with, but all of this dancing around each other will get old before anything else. They can’t avoid their feelings forever can they? I mean they have avoided them this long, but I think we are going to go nuts if they don’t at least talk about their kiss for real just once. Oh and I loved the way Cameron was pursuing the issue with House to Cuddy and encouraged her to tell House that she wanted him there. And the fact that he did not go home to hookers and create his own twisted version of the philharmonic is extremely heartwarming, because he was too busy serenading Cuddy from afar. I could go on for days about House and Cuddy so I am going to stop here.

  • someone

    I’m pretty sure he’s ending ‘Cuddy’s Serenade’ with ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’. I loved the last two lines of this article. It gives an already very moving moment in House’s history even more meaning.

  • simplethings

    Where exactly in the episode does it say that Laurie’s piece is called “Cuddy’s Serenade?” I looked for it in the credits and couldn’t find the title anywhere.

    I’m new to making comments, but I love reading everyone’s insights from week to week. This show is making me think more deeply about writing and its purpose and it forcing me to realize that writing is something I need to come back to.

    Still thinking about those last 3 minutes…

  • Quin

    I cried during the lovely, and loving, serenade also, that was beautifully composed and played by Hugh Laurie.

    Luisa Borges made a comment about Cuddy’s toes being cold (cold feet) but I wonder if the mention of toes was related to the POTW whose case wasn’t taken seriously by the team until his toe fell off. Also, I wonder if you, with your religious background, could relate that to the biblical feet of clay story? The priest certainly had feet of clay, and Cuddy says at least House has shoes that cover his toes, perhaps as a metaphorical armor against feet of clay? I don’t know.

  • barbara barnett

    Linda–I think House’s mind game with Cuddy is that he’s not playing with her at all.

    You are all very kind with your lovely comments about my space here on BC. I am blushing.

  • Sera G

    Once again, Barbara, a wonderful review and deep insights into House.
    I, too watched the last scene with tears in my eyes.
    “Unfaithful” is one of my favorite episodes this season. I was feeling aprehensive; being Catholic, I didn’t want to see ANOTHER pedophile priest. I should have trusted the amazing HOUSE team to not take the trite route. I liked the actor/character of the priest and enjoyed his conversations with House. Those were some of the highlights of the show.

    Now, as to the Cuddy story line. I know that we are being stalled as to some resolution (positive or not) regarding their relationship. I feel such sadness and frustration with the seeking out/pulling back that they both do. You can almost feel her reaching out to him, that she wants his acceptance and involvement and yet she is afraid that he will disappoint or mock her. As I have written here before, I think she loves and is IN love with him. You can’t be hurt or disillusioned by someone for whom there are not deep, deep feelings. The scene when Cuddy answers the door and the slightest disappointment in her eyes when it is not House, is so real and beautifully carried out by Lisa Edelstein.
    I think it is fascinating that these two people who know each other very well, on one level, are still surprised, confused and even off balance with each other. She is amazed, yet again, when he solves a case that isn’t a case and he thinking he has her figured out, is bewildered and frustrated with her ‘hypocrisy’.

    IMHO, House wants so much to be part of her life. He, too, fears rejection or not being able to live up to her expectations.
    I just want these very smart people to talk to each other! Of course, that is not the Housian way.
    Thanks, again for these reviews. It never feels like an episode is quite complete until I read what your take is and how other viewers respond.

  • Linda

    To echo everyone, I ADORED Cuddy’s Serenade and the fact Hugh Laurie wrote it!! It made me so sad, but in a good way.

    I found it interesting that House is so compliant with Cuddy now. When she told him that she genuinely wanted him to come because he was a part of her life (pity she was lying…I was so excited for a minute), he said he wouldn’t miss it for the world. But when she confessed that she really didn’t want him to come, he agreed not to go. It’s like in “The Greater Good” when he just went along with Cuddy’s pranks. What does this mean? Is he just playing mind games again or does he really respect her feelings now?

  • Luisa Borges

    Loved that it was called “Cuddy´s Serenate” too.

    Just perfect!

  • Luisa Borges

    Barbara and fellow commenters,

    Where do I begin.

    I really loved this episode, because it showed so much of House, his struggles, his need to make sense out of everything, his rightfulness and his grouchy side too.

    The POTW was an interesting case throughout, I really got into the differential and the clues. There even was a time when I tought House was treating himself (but them I remembered that was POPW – patient of past weeks). House felt at ease with him, he picked up on the tension with Cuddy and they even talked about that in a way that I haven´t seen House do in a long time. With Wilson he always deflects more.

    I liked Wilson, his talks with both House and Cuddy where very good. I like the way he makes the undercurrent issues to light. His stirring of the pot helps make the stew.

    Cuddy was very ambivalent in her feelings. I did think he wanted him to want to go, and did want him there. But feared that with him there she would be out of her confort zone, I think that House and Rachel (and the possible response from the first to the latter) are issues close to her heart.

    His last line to her, about her sister´s deciding the roads where too dangerous to drive there, show that he knows a lot about her relationship with her family. I liked that bit of dialogue, their awkward small talk, she hinting on the fact that he was better equiped to deal with the cold, coldness of feeling and that she was having cold feet (second thoughts?). Liked that Cameron picked up on Cuddy wanting House there too.

    And the end. Ah, the end. Barbara I cried too, like a baby I might add. What a perfect, beautiful scene, so much feeling in it, all that House tries so carefully to keep tucked away inside, came bubbling out. A beautiful string of melodies, written together like a dialogue, I really felt it like that. And House likes Shubert, the most innovative and romantic composer (both very melodic and lyric in his pieces) he was a true poet. How very fitting.

    Hugh´s performance in this whole scene is perfect, and made all the better by his own music.

    I loved “Have I told you lately that I love you” in the end, like a silent prayer really. That and “Happy Man” are my all time favourites as love songs, and thanks for the background on the song, I was not aware of it.

    Also I would like to point out that I really liked the directing in this episode, all the close ups (the use of close ups) was just great.

    The rest, I liked Kutner (Thirteen lost most of her zesty dialogue that I used to love), Foreteen´s game on House seemed kinda obvious to me but it got them acting like he wanted them to so I guess his objectives were met, the “sword of justice” Taub was good even more so because he backfired on his preconceived judgment of POTW.

    I´m sorry that I´ll miss next weeks epi (is carnaval in Brasil and I´ll be going to Argentina to run away from it, so no Itunes House epi for me until march, 2). Obama could make me happy and do another tv address.

    Anyway, on march 2nd I´ll get double the joy, watching two episodes in my very own House marathon.

    All the best to everyone.

  • sdemar

    Lovely analysis, Barbara. I knew you would have this up quickly and you did not disappoint.

    I loved that the song House played was “Cuddy’s Serenade”. It was beautiful and beautifully played. The emotion on House’s face was breathtaking.

    This was one of the first times in a long time that I cared about POTW. As I am typing this, the guy that played him showed up in the previews of David Letterman. Coincidence? Perhaps.

    While I adore everything about House/Cuddy, it was great to see RSL in so many scenes.

    I loved this episode.

  • barbara barnett

    the first eight measures of both songs are almost identical if you think about it… but then he diverges from either song into something else entirely, but it seems closer (to me) to the van morrison song. But I could be wrong (hey, wouldn’t be the first time).

    I love the fact it’s called “cuddy’s seranade,” something I didn’t know before writing this piece.

    I’m going to revise the article just a bit to reflect the ambiguity of the piece.

  • Janine

    Wonderful analysis, but doesn’t House play, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”? I’ve listened to the piece many, many times and I am not hearing “Have I Told You Lately.”

  • JL

    Hi, Barbara. Great to read your review (even if I haven’t seen the episode yet).
    Just a query, though: in your lovely analysis of House’s piano piece, you’ve noted the final song as “Have I told you lately…”, which is what it sounds like to me.
    However, most other people I’ve read around the net seem to think it was House’s sig tune, “You can’t always get what you want”. Apparently, they’re getting this from watching the episode with closed captions (which also listed the first part of the piece as “Cuddy’s Serenade by Hugh Laurie”).
    Obviously, while both songs speak volumes about House and his feelings about Cuddy, they emphasise different aspects.
    Any way to confirm which song it was?

  • hl_lover

    As someone unfamiliar with Jewish music and culture, I really appreciate your analysis of the piano piece House played in this episode, and the interesting comments and explanations that you regularly add to your columns, Barbara! Thank you.

    Another fabulous review of one of the better episodes of season 5. Bravo!