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TV Review: House, M.D. – “Moving the Chains”

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As I watched “Moving the Chains,” this week’s House, M.D. episode, I was reminded of a conversation I had with the episode’s writers, Russel Friend and Garret Lerner. We had been discussing another of their episodes, the season six premiere “Broken.” I asked them whether they (as series writers and executive producers) believed that House (Hugh Laurie) had a compassionate streak. Of course he can be jerk, but is there a core of decency hidden beneath the snark and game-playing. David Shore’s oft-stated official line is, of course, that House isn’t a good guy. He isn’t a nice person. Yet in “Broken,” Lydia sees in House a great capacity for kindness beneath the misanthropic crust.

“The tricky thing about the character is that we have this sort of misanthropic, drug addicted guy,” they explained in September. “We want to preserve his edginess. Not betray that. But we always want to see that humanity.”  
At the time they told me they need “to give House some plausible deniability.”

Even if House is being nice, he has to have the cover of an alternative explanation, where it’s safer footing for him. And that safer footing seemed firmly in place during this week’s “Moving the Chains,” as House, the master manipulator was hard at work making Foreman’s life miserable—while (maybe) doing something profoundly important for him.

“Moving the chains” is a football term. Every time a team gets a first down, they “move the chains” down the field to the starting point for the next series of downs. Ten yards at a time, the ball is moved down the field, subject to blocks, fumbles, interceptions sacks behind the line of scrimmage.  It’s also urban slang signifying small but meaningful steps down a relationship’s path towards a “score.”

Each of the plots and subplots marked forward motion towards another start and suggested the pain and sacrifice involved in sometimes moving even a little bit towards a more significant goal. There is, of course, the main plot: a young man felled during a football game—the most direct connection to the episode’s football metaphor. He has a chance to make the pros, being recruited from college by scouts and general managers. He sees opportunity ahead of him—and the opportunity to take care of his mother by becoming a success at something he does exceptionally well. But the best part of the medical story was having House back, fully engaged in the case—smartest guy in the room. It’s been awhile since (in my humble opinion) we’ve seen him quite so involved in the differentials.

Jerk’s jerk Lucas Douglas, takes on House in an unnecessarily cruel and dangerous revenge play to both humiliate him and mark his territory with Cuddy. The “pranks” are intended to place a big “Keep Away” sign from Lucas’ new family: Cuddy and Rachel. But I suspect something a little more sinister than trying to protect Cuddy from House.

 I do not like him (I don’t think we’re supposed to) and look forward to the day he leaves. Although he provides a more real threat to House than Vogler and Tritter combined, he creeps me out. I do have to say the plotline provided some fun. I loved House and Wilson lying in wait for the (then unknown) prankster in the middle of the night. Was that a cricket bat that House was holding as a weapon? Cute inside joke if it was (with the English Mr. Laurie a cricketer and fan of the game).

The meat of the episode is really found in the its main character plot. Foreman’s long imprisoned brother Marcus out on parole—and House plays the grand manipulator (or as House-whisperer Wilson puts it, puppetmaster). Foreman wants nothing to do with Marcus; he’s given him one too many chances and Foreman’s had enough. He won’t even go to the prison and pick him up now that he’s out. The chronically curious House senses an opportunity to play: screw with Foreman and perhaps find out more of what lies beneath the opacity of his stony, humorless surface. So, how better to accomplish this than to hire the new parolee as an assistant.

Or does House have a different agenda to serve—something infinitely more benevolent. Wilson believes there’s something else at play: House doing something nice for Foreman—and his family— beneath the veil of plausible deniability. Wilson believes House’s actions connect to his own tortured relationship with his family, and doesn’t want Foreman to trod the same path. (By the way, I so much like Wilson in this role as friend and verbal sparring mate than as self-righteous lecturer.)

Or, perhaps there is yet another possibility. Is Marcus an avatar for House? After so many chances, is his brother willing to give him another shot when push comes to shove? After so many chances is there any possibility that Cuddy will allow them to begin to repair their own relationship left in tatters at the season’s start? Is redemption even possible when you’ve gone to the well so many times?

I loved Orlando Jones’ wonderfully sympathetic portrayal of Marcus Foreman. He is a man ready to be redeemed after many years in prison; and I can see why he and House connect at this particular moment, when House too is weary of running from himself and ready to try something else.

Foreman took viewers along on his own journey, allowing his defenses down and ultimately give himself permission to connect with Marcus. (albeit at first united against a common enemy in House.) We learn more about what makes Foreman tick in “Moving the Chains” than we have in years. His most significant moment—a turning point that earned his mother’s greatest displeasure: stealing a car something that helps us understand him better. It’s a piece of the Foreman puzzle that helps explain hy he’s so serious; why he always seems to be looking over his own shoulder—and even his attitude to his reckless boss.

And of course there is the stunning revelation that his mother died three months earlier—and he told no one: apparently not even 13. It’s something that the hyper-vigilant House completely missed. Like House, Foreman distanced himself from his mother for years (remember “Euphoria” in season two and “House Training” in season three?). Also like House, Foreman has tried to bottle up that loss behind a wall of silence. For House it became toxic and another contributing factor to his breakdown. I wonder how much that is on House’s mind during the final acts of “Moving the Chains.”

And then there is the final subplot: an interesting clinic patient, who isn’t just comic relief, but serves to elaborate on the episode’s theme of sacrifice and family; and on moving forward to another phase of living. It also serves to illuminate House as a closet “force for good” in the universe. Yes, there would have been more straightforward and illegal ways for House to have helped the young vet, but I like the idea that House gave the patient information to use as he felt needed. It was quite—Houseian.

I had a nice chat via conference call with Lisa Edelstein this afternoon, and I do hope to have my interview with her up this evening or tomorrow morning. Next week’s episode “5 to 9” is a day through Cuddy’s point of view. I’ve seen it—and I like it quite a lot.

In the meantime, what do you think of Lucas’ pranks in “Moving the Chains.” Weigh in below, spread the word about this poll, and feel free to elaborate below in the comments.

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About Barbara Barnett

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

    I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this episode. I liked all the scenes, except the ones where I was hissing at Lucas {g}, but couldn’t decided at the end whether I liked the episode itself. I *think* perhaps that’s because I never figured out what House was up to. How can Hugh Laurie be so good at showing us what House is thinking about some things and keeping other things completely ambiguous?

  • andree

    Barbara, another great recap and analysis. I thought it very creepy of Lucas to do such destructive pranks on House and Wilson. The critter in the tub was dangerous. The loose tub bar was vicious and aimed at House. The sprinkler system throughout the loft was expensive and damaging and really mean. I did like House solving the fact the prankster was trying to hurt the Hilson friendship. Lucas creeps me out, too. Cuddy should be informed of the nature of these pranks especially tripping House. I’d like to see House get even as only he can without getting in trouble for it and not even Lucas being able to prove House did it. Moreover, I want Cuddy to dump Lucas (yeah me and a million other viewers). Please give us some spoilers before next monday. The four minute preview on Aussiellos’ website is great! Lucas is a 2-min. man and Cuddy deserves better. Man I’m way too obsessed with this show.

    Envy your interview with Lisa E.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Am I the first to comment? Well, I must admit I have been waiting impatiently for your review, Barbara, in order to test some of my own input on this great episode.

    Happy to say I agree with your view on the essential subplots. Completely agree on the Foreman issue, and I do think that Foreman keeping so quiet about his mother’s death is the similarity between them that really made House worry for him and decide to push the two brothers together – I’m sure House is by now aware of the devastating psychological impact of his estrangement to his family and his reaction to his father’s death – in fact, to see House trying to connect to the memory of his dead father in “Braveheart” was a very powerful and telling scene.

    Also completely agree that the best role for Wilson is to function as the interface between House and the world, between House and House himself, and between House and the viewers, decoding his behaviour and intentions. I am delighted to see that Wilson seems to have come to trust House’s softer side, I believe that he is now convinced of how much House has changed – or perhaps the fact that he believes House has changed makes him see even clearer the good intentions that were often present in House’s conscience, and which Wilson sometimes understood, but never quite like this, with such confidence in House’s good nature.

    I applaud the return of clinic duty, and with what an interesting patient – two very touching moments made possible by this patient: House’s look after he visited the patient in the E.R. (after the “i’m a dad now” discussion) and the way he looked at the vet and his pregnant wife getting ready to leave the hospital. His expression suggested sadness and regret for all the chances he had wasted, for all the positive and meaningful experiences he refused himself for so many years.

    Both the Foreman brothers subplot and the clinic patient’s story indicate that House has come to value the concept of family in a way that we have never seen before, and this is in itself another highly impressive change in him.

    Also, “chapeau” to the French accent scene, imitating Inspector Poirot (if i’m not mistaken) and the kitchen siege scene – the amazing high-quality “House” comedy, always a joy. And of course, the Taub scenes, ever so fun to watch.

    And now onto less fun issues – i fully agree with you on Lucas, Barbara. I have not liked him in season 5 and I most certainly don’t like him now. His motivations for the pranks are at least equally personal, as they are related to “protecting” Cuddy. Since she was obviously aware that Wilson had purchased “her” condo and was obviously fine with it, and also since she was against the idea of revenge and unaware of Lucas’s pranks, my guess is that his personal motivation was much deeper and stronger than the “knight in shining armour for his girl” motivation.

    My opinion is that Lucas is clearly frustrated by his untold competition with House – he is fully aware of and often mentions House’s importance in Cuddy’s life and her deep concern for him. We have seen Lucas checking with Cuddy very often about the issue of House, trying to make sure and questioning her in various ways. He is unsure of his relationship with Cuddy and he probably viewed the idea of moving in together in that appartment as a great way to escape his insecurities and consolidate the relationship, so to have that pulled from under his nose by House himself (in fact, by Wilson, but Lucas is not equally mad at the one who actually bought the place) must have made him furious.
    He is perceptive enough to feel that he is probably just an intermezzo in her life (Miss Edelstein called him a “boytoy” in one of her today interviews, thank you for that, Lisa!) and he compensates for this frustration by escalating and punishing House in a war in which he takes the liberty of using whatever weapons necessary: cruelty, violence, blackmail and lies.

    I cannot wait for next week’s episode, it’s always a treat to watch Lisa Edelstein at work and to get closer to Cuddy. It looks like a dramatic and emotional episode, and if it’s anywhere near as good and important as “Wilson” was, it’s gonna be amazing. I keep my fingers crossed for real emotional intimacy with House and Cuddy, his progress is so impressive and I really think it’s high time she became aware of it. I also really feel that House should use her troubles in “5 to 9″ in order to make up on the support and loyalty that he owes her, they are long overdue.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    wasn’t the first to post, because i took forever in writing it. Sorry for taking undeserved credit:)

  • barbara barnett

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments so early! I try to shy away from overtly spoiling things in my episode reviews. I’ll spoil a little more in my Lisa Edelstein interview (appearing tomorrow). I will say that I liked it: the story was great and LE held her own nicely throughout. House was in only a few scenes (which makes some sense), but they ere good scenes.

  • Donna

    I really liked this episode too. It was wonderful seeing Omar Epps finally given a story/script where he could deliver his bona fide acting chops vs the muted ones that have limited him for well over a season. Orlando Jones was a great casting choice paired w/Foreman as his brother Marcus. Also the weaving of the “family” and the “MTC” (multiple meanings)themes held the story together. And, as you stated, House was much more involved in the potw’s case than of late.

    Lastly, my favorite funny moment: Wilson trying to save the flat panel TV. Hilarious!

  • barbara barnett

    This is almost the first time I really felt Foreman’s angst. Omar did a great job, and Orlando Jones was fabulous as older brother Marcus.

  • Orange450

    Thank you for your excellent review, Barbara. This was one of the episodes where I enjoyed your review more than I enjoyed the episode itself. But it’s always so interesting to me to see how much all of our mileage actually does vary!

    I agree that Omar Epps and Orlando Jones were both wonderful. But somehow I felt that the “seams” that connected the main and sub-plots were a little too much in evidence. The term “anvillicious” kept popping into my head during the episode, and somehow this one didn’t feel quite as smooth as others this season have felt to me. Not meaning to belabor my point, but I did feel that this episode belabored several. And not that I didn’t enjoy it, but I didn’t even take a single note!

    On the subject of Lucas – I think his character is changing too abruptly. He truly started out as a smart, perceptive and fairly sensitive guy (anyone who is referred to as “one of the 2 guys whom House considers a friend” really can’t be all that bad, to begin with!) But I’m wondering whether he’s being deliberately (and somewhat heavy-handedly) written worse and worse just to put him in an unequivocally bad light with Cuddy vis a vis House. If so, I’m a little disappointed. I’ve been liking him and enjoying his role, and if the plan is to have some sort of denouement for Cuddy, I’d hope that the choice wouldn’t be rendered so obvious for her to make. I’d much rather there was some real tension and hard choosing involved. Maybe there still will be, so I won’t get too upset just yet :)

  • andree

    What do we really know about Lucas? I get the feeling he doesn’t make much money, hangs out at odd hours and if it weren’t for his premature performance, would have wondered if he’d been with someone else that morning.

    I’d like Cuddy to address what it is about Lucas she likes other than him helping her with Rachel. Hoping we’ll get a compare and contrast moment from Cuddy concerning House and Lucas. Would help us to understand her choices and why she’s dragging her feet to choose House now that he’s let her know how he feels. Barbara, lookin forward to your Lisa E article tomorrow. Guessing LE didn’t let much slip. She’s too careful but I hope you’ll give us some spoilers about the Cuddy episode so we know what to expect. Like is Lucas on the way out? Is Rachel the 3rd person in her bed at the end of the episode (Guessing so since the child is sick at the beginning.) Thanks!

  • Val

    Great review Barbara. Thanks for clearing up relevance of the title…I completely missed it not being a big football fan.

    Upon first viewing, I felt it was was a bit blah. There are definitly some great elements, but it didn’t really seem to blend. For me, the PotW came from left field and I am still trying to place him in the overall scheme of everyone: House in particular and even Foreman. Though I did enjoy seeing the CSI-effects return (whiteboard, whiteboard, whiteboard).

    That being said, the other things that did stand out certainly made the episode most worthy. The Foreman brothers were wonderful. Epps put in a fine performance and Jones’ first time out as Marcus was great; really enjoyable! This is the first time I’ve been on Foreman’s side all season. I agree about that important moment re Foreman’s mother and found House’s annoucement of her passing a typical Housian low-blow; not his finest moment. But, I would respectfully disagree (and tell me if I am misunderstanding you)about House being distant from his mother. I would say he avoided seeing Blythe because of his strained relationship with John. My feeling is House felt he was a failure to his dad whereas Foreman seemingly had that issue with his mother, hence the avoidance and not telling anyone about their respective parents’ passing.

    Family. I felt it was a prevelant theme in this episode…another reason I liked it. More than once House said “Family is Family”. I think he’s truly starting to realize the importance of his PPTH “family”. This is a side of House we haven’t really discovered yet. I am curious to see it continue.

    Wilson. I really Love him this season. I agree with your assessment on his role. He’s always been our chorus to House’s thoughts and the fact that Wilson realizes and accepts and supports House’s growth makes it genuine. Favorite seen of the night had to be Wilson telling Chase and Taub they had a nice boss and Taub saying “I know”. I really think he does. Taub and 13 have not experienced the earlier House that Chase and Foreman (and everyone else) did so they experience House differently.

    Lucas. I don’t know what has happened to him. Perhaps he always did have this much potential to be such a flat out mean guy…Poor House and Wilson!. He started out OK even though he was no Wilson and he certainly is no House. I think I saw this thought mentioned elsewhere…but, funny that House initially used him as a sub for Wilson and now, Cuddy is using him as a sub for a House she hoped to have. Well, I do hope she sees the light and she really puts things into perspective before dropping him like a hot potato! I have a feeling she will be none to happy when she finds out he lied to her about messing with House and Wilson.

    So, even though the eppy seemed a bit blah, by the second view it was a good blah and certainly set a stage for possible things to come.

  • PH

    Wonderful review again Barbara.

    I saw this as an episode that had a couple stepping stones that will play out in future shows.

    I love that Lucas’ true colors are showing through. From his male ‘territorial’ breakfast speech in ‘Known Unknowns’, to his devious deeds in this epi, we see his need to “establish his superiority”, as boasted by Lucas himself.

    ** I love the scene in next week’s ‘5 to 9′. Instead of just calling him a weasel (my pet name for him since his appearance last season), I will delightfully be able to call him a MinuteMan as well. ROFL — Gotta give props to the writer for that, I’m guessing it was a she! **

    I liked the slower pace of ‘Moving the Chains’. I think alot of this season has episodes that are so crammed with story lines, the viewer doesn’t get a chance to feel anything. I think it was more in keeping with the pace of Season 1 or 2.

    Plus I enjoyed seeing some more of House’s human side and the Hilson friendship. Wilson ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD his true motive behind his actions.

    Wilson’s recount of the opossum in the tub was beautifully acted, along with Chase’s “What was that?” line. Had me laughing.

    Cannot wait for next week!

  • Veresna

    I liked the show immensely. Looking forward to your interview with Lisa E., but after the barrage of interviews she’s been doing, hope she had some time to have a little fun and maybe give a little more insight with you than the other ‘quickie’ chats I’ve seen in the past two days.

    One thing that I don’t think anyone has mentioned is that Foreman’s mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s, even three years ago she was only sometimes recognizing him. Although I have only seen this second-hand, through the eyes of a friend who went through this ordeal, it seems like you go through a loss and grieving period long before the physical death of the parent. And, of course, mourning is always different from person to person. I think the most surprising thing would have been that he hadn’t taken time off to help his dad at that time.

  • Nancy

    The first viewing of the entire episode was a trip as Hugh Laurie said at the NAPTE panel last week about his directorial debut. Had I known the clinic patient was going to eventually severe his leg to stay home from the war I would’ve had a preconceived notion as how to react to the whole episode. So, in football terms(I’ve never watched football since high school) I can surmise that the players and the coach go down the field “moving the chains”, but ahhh! they can’t predict the ultimate outcome of the game. So, who wins? The clinic patient won on his own terms against a government that doesn’t use the draft to replenish over used troops. The baby will have a Dad, is that the greatest sacrifice? As the football player asked Foreman as they were walking out to the football field to paraphrase “who was he not to sacrifice for his mother?” I guess Foreman had to stop punishing his mother for saying all those years ago after he stole the car that she would pray for him. I remember in the scene with his mother back in S3 she remembered him as her little boy Eric, Alzheimers I grant you but still poignant. So, what did the clinic patient did for his child, will the child reciprocate someday or will the child just not understand that sacrifice. Redemption is often sought after the game has been played and won. The football player wanted so much to help his mother but he didn’t make it to the game. As House advised him he could just study hard and have a life like the other students in school. His mother seemed pleased with that too. I think the portrayal of House, Wilson and Lucas shows the immediate need to defend one’s sacrifice against the unknown forces of life…namely Cuddy. If nothing else this episode shows how men will do anything to please the women in their lives, to protect them, to redeem themselves. House wanted this for Foreman so he hired his bro? As a friend says “oy.” As for Lucas, he is going to be dumped by Cuddy for sure because the two men in her life want to protect her. Their sacrifice is outbidding Cuddy on the loft and living in it together.

  • http://twitter.com/enbeecee nc

    Things I really liked:
    1. POTW could have been portrayed as a “big, dumb jock,” but he was a thoughtful, caring, smart young man who just happened to be the size of Mt. Everest.

    2. Orlando Jones was terrific as Marcus, and seeing the history and dynamic of the brothers’ relationship went a long way toward putting Foreman in emotional context. I always have liked Mr. Jones and his work; I hope we see Marcus again.

    I liked the episode in general for other reasons besides the above, but those were two things I felt strongly about in specific.

    But for me, a shadow hung over this episode for several reasons.
    1. What Lucas did was criminal, destructive, vindictive, and way past “pranking.” Breaking and entering, destruction of property, animal cruelty, some form of assault: this stuff is way beyond the pale. Most PIs I’ve met are very matter of fact about what they do. If this were Criminal Minds, Lucas would be the unsub. I did not like this character last season and I find him loathsome this year. And I just don’t buy his relationship with Cuddy. If I were involved with a guy like that, I’d be afraid he’d planted a hidden camera in my bathroom or was tracking my finances. Or both. Ewww!

    2. Surely House could have found some way to help the young soldier besides hinting that mutilating himself was a way out of his predicament? If we are to accept Lucas’s outlandish antics, surely House could have done something less destructive to help the guy out.

    3. The trajectory of the football player’s illness cost him a shot at a pro career. I’m not a football fan, but I live with one; by osmosis, I have learned a bit about the game and its culture. There was no mention of whether he could have participated in the Combine, a college pro workout, or some other means to get his shot at being drafted or being a free agent. Obviously, diagnosing his problem and saving his life was the first priority, but you don’t just give up a shot at a multi-million-dollar career, especially when it’s tied to helping your family. It was as if his commitment to his mother ended along with his chance to play in the Senior Bowl.

    Just my $0.02.

  • Flo

    I really liked this episode.

    It was well written, the pace was good and the acting great.

    House’s humanity is showing more and more. The family is an important issue for a lot of characters in this show. No wonder why House could relate to Foreman. House can be a jerk but he always protected his team.
    He is like a dad, ready to do anything for his kids to get better.
    The parallel with the future dad clinic patient and Lucas was interesting.

    The soldier was ready to do anything to be there for his future child and Lucas is ready to do anything to protect his relationship with Cuddy from House.

    Only difference is House’s and future dad’s motivations were pure compared to Lucas’.
    Cuddy was fine with House and Wilson getting the condo therefore, Lucas didn’t have to do this. like you all said, it was mean ans unnecessary.
    That being said, I must admit that I found his pranks very imaginative and well played. Like House said, “This guy is good”. The opossum scene was hilarious.
    I liked Lucas in season 5. He was fun. Now, his creepy side makes him just a jerk which is interesting.
    I agree with Delia_Beatrice. I think he is frightened by House’s place in Cuddy’s life. In an earlier episode this season, he asked Cuddy if their relationship was about them or about House. It was a legitimate question, but like Delia said, I think, he knows that, somehow, she will always be faithful to House and he doesn’t know what to do with this. He feels the need to mark his territory. The frustration of being just an “intermezzo” to quote Delia is bringing is creepy side full force.
    We are not supposed to like him for sure and that’s what we don’t but I can see that he is not in a very good place right now and I can also understand his frustration because he seems to genuinely like Cuddy.
    Onthe other hand, the pranks and making House fall in the cafeteria was too much. Unacceptable.

    I think, little by little, Lucas’s frustration and behavior will kill off the relationship in the end.

    Looking forward to the Cuddy episode.

  • janine

    I really liked this episode for many reasons, but there are some aspects I thought should be mentioned.
    First there is the Lucas thing. I agree, Barbara, that we are not supposed to like him, his purpose it that of Tritter, a road block for House. I don’t think that his actions were to protect Cuddy (she didn’t seem to mind about losing the condo and I honestly don’t think she knew the full extent of the pranks Lucas played she only knew about the sprinkelers). Lucas was trying to protect himself. He knows that a large part of Cuddy’s heart still belongs to House, therefore he is trying to keep House away from her at any means possible. I think that eventually Cuddy will find out what a weasle Lucas is and will change her mind about him. For now though, I don’t mind the arc, Lucas is just a guy we love to hate.
    There were two things in this episode that I thought were significant that you didn’t point out. First was the kiss between Lucas and Cuddy. I know a lot of people did not like it because they don’t like Lucas, but if you think about it, it showed Cuddy’s true feelings about House. Before Cuddy kissed him, Lucas was talking about how Cuddy did not want him to continue with the pranks because she did not want House to suffer. He said that she felt guilty about being with him and Cuddy kissed Lucas, not out of love, but to shut him up and distract him. It shows us that what LUcas was saying was true, Cuddy does feel guilty but she has been trying to supress that (imho) since that dance scene in Known Unknowns because she is still afraid to be with House. Second was the final scene with the clinic patient. I felt that when House made the comment about not taking the antibiotics, he was trying to show the patient that he would be an idiot to sacrafice his foot to aviod war, therefore the expression on his face in the final scene was one of general surprise. I felt that House saw himself, shades of Three Stories, in this guy.When Stacey wanted House to give in and lose his leg, he refused, he would have rathered died that sacrafice for the woman he loved. This patient did the oppotist, something I think House would now be willing to do for Cuddy or even Wilson.
    One last thing (sorry this post is so long) but did anyone else think that that line, “you got a girl pregnant, you’re still just another guy” had some sort of significant meaning that we will find out later. I know earlier this year a roumor of the fanile invloving House’s long lost son was dispelled, but I still feel like this line was important. Maybe it is just because of House’s relationship with his father, who was not his biological Father.

  • Eve K

    Thanx for the review!

    Janine – I agree with you that House did not put the soldier up to loosing his foot. House was surprised at the end. The comment “you got a girl pregnant, you’re still just another guy” was about the guy trying to make this about family, in reality it was about saving himself. But still a big sacrifice, and it benefited his new family. (although he may not have a physical job in a while with one leg)

    The question in this epiosode seems to be – are you doing it for you – or for others.(family, friends, lovers, co-workers) And even if you are doing it just for you – why do it at all? All the things who has been done in this episode has great emotional or physical risk for the ones involved.

    We can agree that Lucas is doing it for himself. But why bother? As someone pointed out, he must feel that House is a big threat. And of course House pics up on that and that’s why he don’t seek revenge – for now.

    House is at this point in his life obviously going through some changes, and it seems like he is doing nice stuff for others without having egoistical goals. But IMHO he has always done nice things, and not told anyone about it (We knew). So what’s new? It seems more thought trough, more conscious. And before he was doing nice things to patients, to strangers, now he is doing it to people who are closer to him.

  • janine

    good point about how the change in House is that he is now doing nice stuff for people who matter. It shows he is realizing what is improtant in life.
    I agree totally that Lucas is completely threatened by House and that is why he is feels the need to stoop to inappropriate (albiet hilarious and entertaining to watch) pranks.
    For those of you who don’t like Lucas I think watching the first four minutes of 5 to 9 might make you feel a little better (it involves sex but watch to the end)

  • janine

    forgot to mention this in my two earlier posts, but i think there was a mistake in the episode. When Marcus is telling the story about him and Foreman stealing the car, he says that he was 16 and Foreman was 14. In season one, i’m pretty sure House says that Foreman was 16 when he was arrested for stealing a car. Am I wrong, or did the writers make an error?

  • Donna

    Lucas’ latest behavior displays have really made me uneasy. As nc‘s post stated, his behavior has officially gone beyond the prank level. Lucas literally destroyed Wilson and House’s condo and attempted to physically harm House, at home and in the PPTH cafeteria. As some have already stated, the boy most certainly is threatened by Cuddy’s friendship w/H&W (esp House) even though it’s been pretty much been non-existent of late. I worry that Lucas’ behaviors will become increasingly dangerous. JMO. Hope I’m wrong.

  • barbara barnett

    janine–continuity! Good thing time is not a fixed construct. It’s probably an error. Or maybe House was wrong in season one ;)

  • janine

    House could have very easily been wrong in season one, after all he got his info from Foreman’s old gym teacher. I just though it kind of odd since FOremans age when he was arrested has been mentioned more than once. oh well, a minor snag in an otherwise great episode

  • Delia_Beatrice

    VAL – perhaps you read about that season 5 – season 6 parallel (using Lucas as a substitute, first by House in the absence of Wilson, now by Cuddy in the absence of her desired relationship with House), in one of my previous posts – I have really repeated myself with that one a few times, because it’s significat that the writers chose to build this creative structure and draw this parallel so clearly.

    FLO – thank you for sharing my views:) As I just said, yes, it’s most likely that Lucas’s role in the story is to act as a temporary distration for Cuddy, as a bandaid to her hurt ego and as a bridge towards a better House-Cuddy relationship.

    We all know how lonely she was and how deep her desire for a family has been, we all know that she is insecure and far less mature emotionally than she is intelectually and professionally. We can easily assume that she searched for someone, anyone, who really likes her, in order to heal her hurt ego, to help her move a little away from House and to give her the illusion of having a “normal” family that she so craved. The fact that Lucas also resembles House on some level must have been a bonus:) But this has been going on for quite a while, and it seems like she has tried hard to make things work with Lucas. She forced herself to like him more than she normally would have, she forced herself to ignore the fact that he is inferior to her (and to House) in every single way. She seems a bit tired of nurturing her illusions – i fully agree with Janine that the kiss Cuddy gave Lucas was meant to shut him up, not as a proof of devotion. Her reaction to him in the beginning of “5 to 9″ and the impressive “passion” in their sexual life is further prof that she’s getting sick of it.
    However, I too am worried about the outcome of the “Luddy” arc – several versions for that: a) she breaks up with him because she becomes fully aware of her feelings for House b) she breaks up with him because Lucas disappoints her c)she wants House, but stays a while longer with Lucas, struggling with guilt d)Lucas realizes that he’s lost the game and he breaks up with her, stepping out.

    Eve K – i respectfully disagree about the motive of House’s refusal to fight back against Lucas. I think House actually bought Lucas’s lie, about Cuddy not knowing that they got the condo. At the end of “Wilson”, House and Wilson were worried about her reaction and it is never mentioned whether she found out about it or not. When Lucas threatened to tell Cuddy about their “betrayal” of her trust and friendship, the looks on House’s and Wilson’s faces showed genuine guilt. So my opinion is that House did not want to escalate the war with Lucas, because he actually wanted to avoid hurting Cuddy and fighting with her, to avoid the situation in which Lucas tells Cuddy his version of the story and she is disappointed in House and Wilson.

  • Eve K

    Delia_B I just rewatched the episode and I guess you are rigth about Houses reasons not to fight back.
    A pity though, that House couldn’t see how insecure Lucas is about his relationship with Cuddy. Maybe its because he is so insecure about Cuddy himself.

  • barbara barnett

    Delia–I think you are right about House’s motivations for not retaliating–but also that just like in last year’s episode where Cuddy kept pulling mean stuff on him in retribution there are times he just doesn’t want to escalate. He wants things to go back to normal (or some version thereof)

  • Flo

    Delia_Beatrice you’re really welcome, I think you have very interesting insights.

    Personnaly, I always thought that one of the 5th season theme was about House and Cuddy similarities and I think that the 6th may be the “selfish” season. Cuddy tries to do something good to herself. She lived for the others for so many years as a friend, a doctor and a Dean of Medicine. After Amber’s death and all the consequences it had, and after Kutner’s suicide with also all the consequences this had, I think she just feels the need to distance herself from all this crazyness.
    After all, she was here for Wilson and House when they needed someone. The thing is, nobody asked if SHE was ok. She was the tough one in those situations but she is just a human being and nobody wondered how those terrible events affected her.

    I think, after all that, she feels the need to try something that has nothing to do with Wilson and House. No matter if it’s a good idea, no matter if it’s gonna end well. She just wants to do it. It reminds me of Wilson wanting to move out of NJ after Amber’s death. Cameron said to him: “if you feel the need to do something, do it. But don’t think it is the good choice because there isn’t one.”
    Well, the relationship with Lucas may not be the answer and she may be not realize it yet, but I think she feels she owns it to herself. And why not?
    That’s why I don’t hate the Cuddy/Lucas arc.

    By the way, I also agree with you about the reason why House doesn’t want to retaliate. Seems we’re on the same page :)

  • Visitkarte

    About Foreman’s ‘juvenile record’. I guess House got his information quite informally (talking with his High School teacher). And the teacher must have mixed the age of Foreman, Eric vs. Foreman, Marcus. He might have been teacher of both brothers, back there.

    Such a sprinkler attack causes gigantic damage. I can only guess most of the stuff was still unpacked and that way protected, otherwise House would have become mad, not just amused.

    About the Clinic Patient: The fist parallel that popped right in my mind is House’s refusal back there to give up his leg to essentially save his relationship. Even more, his relationship were destroyed because of Stacy’s decision to value his life more than his integrity and his will. And here comes this guy, who was OK with the chance of being killed in the line of duty, as long as he was only responsible for himself, but not anymore, as soon as there was a family to protect. House who has had a totally different experience with a marine father and valuing the integrity of his own body, seemed quite shocked seeing the damage the young man inflicted to his body for the sake of his young family.

    Was I the only one who got mad because Wilson wanted to deny House the right to use the bad to ease his pain? I was furious! The oh-so-mighty-do-good Wilson, who would do ANYTHING to ease the pain of his own patients, is suddenly denying House this kind of pain relief? After pestering him for YEARS to quit the Vicodin and seeing him go in the loony bin to achieve that goal? I loved him associating with House as soon as he noticed that they had a common enemy, but still… I know Wilson is not the nice guy he wants everybody to believe he was, but this was just one of his all-time-lows.

    I found this episode quite dark, despite the light moments, but I’m welcoming the coming episodes… maybe minus the next one. Cuddy is this season still even lower in my esteem than Lukas… Do I need to add more?

  • Grace

    Well I liked all the House/Wilson scenes. Wished that clinic duty was funny b/c I think that guy should/would have kept looking for a doctor to help him rather than lose his foot. Some of the things Lucas did were CRIMINAL and he should be prosecuted…..there goes his P.I. license.
    The writers gave Taub a few funnies but Chase barely said anything. This MUST change. I didn’t care about anything else in the episode. Thanks for your recap, Barbara, I never miss them. :)

  • janine

    i agree that it was a little strange that Wilson got mad about House using his bath. I think maybe he was just P.O.ed because House woke him up. IMO, wouldn’t House need to use the tub more than the shower anyway. I imagine it would be hard for him to stand long enough to take a shower.

  • RobF

    Wilson: “Your boss is secretly a very kind man.”
    Taub: “I know.”

    That exchange is all you really need to know about this episode. The writers have been dancing around House’s fundamental kindness (lurking under the surface curmudgeon) pretty much throughout the series. But now they’ve decided to bring that into the light. Wilson and Taub both state what many viewers have known for a long time, i.e. that House is very kind to people who aren’t getting help from elsewhere, but doesn’t broadcast that fact.

    The rest of the episode was more of the distressingly ham-fisted redirection of characters that happens fairly often in this show (usually to add or remove cast members). They had to do something to invigorate the character of Foreman, who has been a one-note character for far, far too long, so they back-dated a story about his dead mother and dropped his brother into his lap. They also seem to have taken note of the general audience dislike of Lucas, and decided to shift his character into the realm of cartoonish super-villain. I hope the rest of Lucas’ time on the show is dealt with as quickly as possible.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Barbara, i believe that House’s motivations for not retaliating in „The Greater Good” were the admittance of guilt (he knew that it was wrong to take her away from her newborn so soon) and gratitude for the fact that she did come back for his sake. So he had no reason to fight back – since he knew that he had not been right in the first place and also that he had already gotten what he wanted. And yes, of course, the fact that he was just happy to compromise in order to get the desired status quo back.

    Flo, my intake about Cuddy’s reasons to pursue the relationship with Lucas is that they were connected more directly to House than to the other recent traumatic events. As Lisa says in the interview, she had been putting her life on hold, chasing a man who was completely unavailable for her. I believe that the breaking point for Cuddy was in „Epic Fail”. I think she did wait for him to return from Mayfield and that kitchen scene is very telling. She is obviously searching for answers as to her meaning in his life, she is obviously reaching out to him and she even packs up the courage to reveal her emotions to him („I’m gonna miss you, House”). That is a lot on the part of a woman who had been put through so much… The fact that House was so keen on focusing on his mental health and his grip of reality, that he was unable to do or say anything that she could interpret as reason to hang on for a little longer – that was a very sad thing, their proverbial bad timing.

    So i think that she was hurt and confused and disappointed, feeling like a fool, her self esteem realy down, so no wonder she made the compromise of holding on to Lucas – he is inferior to her on every level (yes, i agree with Barbara, even if i don’t go as far as to assume that he is also interested in her financial well-being – but it’s pretty clear that there is a big difference in their social and professional statuses, their life experience, their education and taste etc etc etc), SO he looks up to her, and he is very open about wanting her and liking her, so in every way he is the bandaid on her ego that she needed. Plus the fact that he is interested in helping her with Rachel, thus nurturing her illusion of the „normal” family.
    Well, what i hope is that House’s new ability to reveal his „fundamental kindness” (well put, RobF) will help their relationship grow healthier.

    This was the first time this season that the leg pain was mentioned. I fear (really, really fear) that this might be the beginning of the end, the pain issue bringing on the temptation of the drugs. It remains to be seen whether House’s new psychological tools can work against the pain and the addiction – the cause-effect relationship was always both ways: his pain brought about a bad emotional mood & also his psychic suffering triggered somatic pain. So I wonder what this will be like under the terms of a far better psychic structure.

    I agree that all characters on „House” take turns in the spotlight, and that is probably the only way to make the dynamic work. I personally prefer to see more of Taub and Chase, than Thirteen and Foreman, on the ducklings side, and I would not mind if half the air time was just House-Wilson-Cuddy scenes:)

    Speaking of Taub, i think that „i know” was a typically half sarcastic, half hypocritical Taub line. I love Taub’s way of being self-serving, in an ironic, transparent and shameless manner. I also feel that the best comic scenes of House involve Wilson and Taub, even if it’s hard to decide amongst the most clever and witty comic scenes I’ve ever seen.

  • Jane

    House is a gentleman afterall. He won’t hurt somebody just for the sake of being nasty. When House and Wilson play pranks on each other, there was always a purpose. And House knows that retaliating on Lucas won’t win back Cuddy’s heart. If House is going to beat Lucas at winning Cuddy’s heart (and I’m sure he could if he would), I’m sure it’ll be a genuine gesture towards Cuddy. House is “secretly a very nice man”. I use the word “genuine” in the sense that he would sincerely want to impress Cuddy, even though he might not act his real self–like how he flipped up Stacy’s toilet seat after peeing.

    I thought House’s last expression at the seeing the veteran’s stump was more horrified than surprised, although I don’t know what to make of it. Since House had advised the veteran about keeping the old antibiotics that’s not working, he must have known it would turn out this way and he must have reasoned that losing a leg would be better than dying away from family. But, perhaps, House didn’t foresee that he would be shaken at the sight of a fellow crippled man, didn’t foresee that he would be emotional about causing damage to another life… yes, it was that exact same shock in his eyes when he caused grievous injuries to his fellow Mayfield patient who jumped off the multi-storey carpark! I think it was a really mixed-up feeling House was experiencing there (or is it just me?)… the rational mind’s need to cut off the leg and the remorse of not being able to do it himself for Stacy’s sake, the guilt of being a force of evil, the empathy of a fellow cripple’s pain and disability.

    Lastly, I must say how I hate seeing House becoming like a little brother bullied by a big egotistical, nick-picking, over-reactive sister called WILSON!. First, Wilson kicked House out of his apartment because of a troublesome downstairs neighbour. Then, he kicked House out again during their quarrel about Wilson donating a piece of his liver. Now, he’s denying House a bathtub?! I get that House is only submiting to Wilson because House knows Wilson’s pissed and House values Wilson’s friendship and hospitality to let him move in, but I really feel sorry for House. Wilson ought to get more sensitive already!

  • Flo

    Delia_Beatrice #31 “Flo, my intake about Cuddy’s reasons to pursue the relationship with Lucas is that they were connected more directly to House than to the other recent traumatic events”

    You’re right but for me it’s both. You can’t separate one of the other. House always took Cuddy for granted somehow and even if I don’t really think that she “waited for him for twenty years”, she always been there for him no matter what.

    Then, House has a break down and has to be put in a mental institution. She doesn’t see him in three months, doesn’t know what’s happening over there and suddenly he reappears saying he wants to quit.
    She always has been there for him because she could. She knew what was going on and could do something about it to help him. This time she doesn’t know and House doesn’t tell her anything. She missed three months, and he doesn’t confide in her.
    So you have an interesting theory about this scene in “Epic Fail”, I also think that for once she feels useless but I also believe that all the tragedies in House’s life cumulating in this break down, that she didn’t see coming, has shaken her maybe deeper than she herself realizes.

    So here comes Lucas the uncomplicated guy. She knows for sure that he won’t have a breakdown! “The bandaid to her ego” I like that. She feels the need to think about her and do something for her instead of always being there for the others, for once.

    The last scene with the cripple soldier is, of course, a reference to House’s leg. It can’t be a coïncidende that, in the salme episode that House’s leg pain returns, there is a story about a guy willing to cripple himself for his family. It is connected. This look is not just surprise it is also about decision that haunts you.
    I’m curious to see if the pain is gonna be mentionned again and how.

    I didn’t particularly have a problem with Wilson in this episode. I liked the fact he called House on his nice behavior.
    The bathtub reaction is maybe over the top but House should have make this bathroom his from the beginning if he wanted it.

  • RobF

    House did not want the soldier to maim himself. He was shocked when the guy shot himself in the foot, saying, “Seriously? I gave you a choice between moving to Canada and shooting yourself in the foot, and you chose the bullet?” When he saw the kid post-amputation, House felt guilty for unwittingly enabling a terrible choice, which fits into this season’s theme of House recognising that his behaviour has unintended consequences. It also helps House’s acceptance of the fact that people naturally look up to him — as Chase said, “Whether you want to be in charge or not, you are. And you always will be.”

    As for the “pranks” — for House, pranks are a way of dealing indirectly with people he cares about (like the old cliché of the little boy dipping the little girl’s hair in an inkwell because he likes her). What Lucas did in this episode was not even close to being an amusing game of this sort. It was violent and extremely destructive (how much will it cost to replace a big TV, hardwood flooring, and furniture, I wonder?), and House has no desire to take part in anything of the sort.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Flo, i’ve never said thae she waited for him for twenty years – that is soap opera material:) I just quoted Lisa with the “chasing an unavailable man” line, and what i think we’re dealing with is this: Cuddy’s affinity towards House has indeed been there for twenty years, on a subconscious level. She was marked by their encounter – as was he. On a subconscious level, we are all capable of sensing the great compatibility and chemistry that are latent in our relationship with a person that we’ve only had brief encounters with. So i think that House has been latent in her subconscious in all the years that followed their one night stand in college.
    I also think that after she hired him, this affinity was buried even deeper in her subconscious, because she feared admitting it, and i think that all her actions as his boss and protector were motivated by a combination of respect for his intellect, fascination with his “originality” and rebellion (which she cannot afford, personally, because of her status, and maybe even because House is right about her being much more skilled as a dean of medicine than as a doctor – sorry, Lisa, i don’t mean to offend:). And that latent affinity was also a part of her motivation to help and protect him. She has always been sexually attracted to him and she has always been very vulnerable to him, because of the very special and deep place he held in her subconscious.
    I only think that she actually started faling in love with him (again – if we can call their one night stand “falling in love”, which we might, since it seems its been a pretty powerful experience) after Stacy left the hospital. Of course, late season 2 and season 3 was also the time when the writers begun playing the Huddy card up front, so perhaps my impression comes from that. But bottom line, i don’t believe she “waited” for him for twenty years, but i do believe he was quite present in her subconscious. And as to what the impact of her brief affair with House was on the rest of her love life, that we cannot know. All i can say is that this type of experiences does indeed have a lasting effect on young people, and just think that “overly ambitious” young Cuddy thought that this guy she had “tracked down” had dumped her after one night – not the best recipe for healthy self-esteem.

    RobF, i wouldn’t exactly say that House was “shocked” to see that the guy shot himself in the foot. It’s too big a word – my take on that scene was the pretty familiar reaction of House being amased at how stupid people can be. Even the choice of words and tonality, that ironic and curious “seriously”, showing that the matter is not serious to him, it’s just interesting and perhaps even a bit funny, as proof of the typical “people are idiots” theory.
    It’s just when he draws the parallel to his own personal decisions of sort, that he starts displaying powerful emotions. My guess is, like Flo said, that he is haunted by his own decision not to sacrifice his ego and physical integrity for the woman who was then his family. But Jane is right too, he must have also been shaken by the depiction of the consequences of his advice. However, the ending is always consistent with the central theme of the episode, which in “Moving The Chains” was the concept of family and House’s new intake on that. So i’m thinking that the essentially, House’s emotions revolved around the sorrow of not having chosen to make sacrifices, compromises and efforts for his own family while he still had one – and by “family”, I mean his father, Stacy, and Cuddy.

  • Chrisden

    Great review Barbara, i havn’t commented yet this season but have been avidly reading your reviews which are always a refreshing change from the bog standard. (House is wearing his glasses/spectacles more and more this season so you were so right that it is to do with age rather than my silly reading too much into it of predicting it meant more last season LOL)

    I really really have enjoyed all of season six (we are only up to ep 10 in the UK until it resumes in March but i have managed to watch online all of the present eps :) ). Is it just me though or have they seemingly dumbed it down a little (IMO to keep the younger audience interested)but i suppose they could relate that to House’s newly aquired coping skills.

    Anyway regarding this ep (which i really enjoyed by the way also): My views have been pretty much covered with DeliaBeatrice’s insight, RobF’s explanation of the clinic patient and Jane’s take on Wilson.

    So i will only speculate further on the House/Wilson relationship.

    We have had the best House and Wilson scenes this season of any other season so far(IMO). They seemed to have developed a real equal understanding, of House opening up to Wilson and Wilson supporting and encouraging House’s development.

    THOUGH!!!!

    I am not saying that Wilson isn’t being there for House in these last few eps (DL – MTC) i am saying he seems to be becoming more iritated by him. The scene in the bath tub this ep where Wilson scolded House for using it even though House informed him he had leg pain was the most clear example of this and the way the camera stayed on House for a few seconds as he looked down seemingly hurt further confirmed it IMO.

    As has been confirmed in previous seasons Wilson is attracted to House’s neediness and also of course the excitement of his uncouth straight forward behaviour but i think Wilson is becoming iritated and bored of their current relationship as it seems it is all about games and one upping each other and not about House needing Wilson as much on an emotional level as he seems to be coping on his own.
    Scenes keep showing Wilson coming to House’s office etc to ‘check on him’ but at this present time House seems to be fine and i think Wilson is a bit lost as he feels he isn’t needed in the area he has self acclaimed.

    This Cuddy/Lucas whatever it is has never bothered me until this ep, what a sly fox he is.

  • Chrisden

    I don’t think Acclaimed is the right word to describe what i was meaing above but i am sure you know what i mean ;))

  • RobF

    On the bathtub brouhaha:

    Wilson knows that House simply has to have access to the bathtub, and he is obviously in the wrong by denying it. I think they wanted to remind us that Wilson is human and therefore sometimes in the wrong, since there a danger that the character of Wilson will become an infallible Obi-Wan spirit guiding House.

    But Wilson is justified in being annoyed by House just taking what he wants/needs without the courtesy of asking. However much we love the character of House, I think we all know he would be an infuriating roommate.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Chrisden, nice to meet you, so to speak:)

    You make an interesting point, fully supported by the things we already know about Wilson – that he moved away from his three wives when they stopped needing him so much. But since then, there was Amber, and in his relationship with her, Wilson has been attracted to very different things than neediness. So i think that things are hanging in between – yes, perhaps Wilson feels that House needs him less, but i think he hasn’t walked away from him emotionally.
    I think that the pranks and the games and Wilson’s rightfulness and irritation at House are their way of being together – it has been like this for the entire duration of their friendship, and it has been like this even in the most dramatic and tragic and deep moments – first thing that comes to mind is the way House persuaded Wilson to return, in “Birthmarks” (!). I never expected Wilson or House to change that essential element of their friendship. So i personally interpreted Wilson’s attitude in both “The Down Low” and “Moving…” as a part of their mutual way of being together – pranks, irony, games.
    I have two versions of interpretation for the bathtub thing – one would be that sleepy Wilson thought House was playing with him – and it does sound like House, waking Wilson up in the middle of the night. I do agree, however, that he went too far – it should have been easy for him to see that it was not a joke. I personally believe the second version to be more likely: just like the two times when Wilson asked House to leave his appartment this season, i think he was overreacting in his parental role towards House and also overreacting in his attempt to protect himself from House’s abuse, which he has the right to fear, now that their lives are more closely intricated than ever.

    Bottom line, what happened in “Wilson” makes me have no doubt whatsoever about the strength of their friendship. To see House admitting his vulnerability and his need like that, showing his care and devotion like we have absolutely never seen him before, and on the other hand to see Wilson putting in action a very House-like maneuver (one that at any other time he would have blamed House severely for), in the attempt to punish his dear, close friend Cuddy for hurting House – that is such an impressive display of intimacy, loyalty and devotion on both sides, that i think they can afford to play games and sometimes be mean to eachother, because they are both deeply aware that their friendship is on very, very steady grounds.

  • Chrisden

    RobF & Delia_Beatrice thankyou both for your feedback and i have enjoyed reading both your comments in Barbara’s blog not only for this ep but for previous ones and admire your understanding & interpretations of these characters.
    We have been in and out of sync with eps in the UK so there was no point in me commenting previously though i have recently found a way to watch online to bring me up to date with the US.

    RobF – Hi! You are probably right about the bath tub scene & i agree House would be an infuriating room mate lol. I am probably looking too far into it as usual though it was just that for me, a little strange that the camera stayed on House when he looked down (hurt was not the right word for my previous comment, contemplating is a better one) when TPTB are always complaining about having to cut this scene and that scene out to fit in with the timescale that they kept that in. You may say it is only a few seconds but why have him do that?

    Delia_Beatrice – Hi! nice to meet you too, so to speak:).
    I really like your understanding of these characters and thankyou for reminding me of Wilson’s different relationship with Amber, i also agree about the games and pranks that they have always played. I look too far into things with this show (as they encourage us to do) though should stick to looking at a mole hill instead of a mountain with small maybe insignificant aspects that probably do not mean anything lol.

    I don’t think though that Wilson should have enabled him as much as he has because House has become too dependant on him and i don’t think it is good for his development. Cuddy hasn’t done the right thing either by splitting heirs. It’s all very complicated & about finding a balance.

    One more thing with the present time on the show: They followed straight from the season 5 finale into season 6. Ignorance Is Bliss was Thanksgiving which i believe to be the end of November, House has one case per week (so we are lead to believe)so “Wilson” was the beginning of December, “The Down Low” beginning to mid-Dec, “Remorse” Mid to near end Dec, “Moving The Chains” end of Dec. What happened to the Christmas and new year?

  • Flo

    Delia, my “waited for twenty years” comment was about the obsessive Huddy shippers fans who said that, this was not for you. I know you didn’t say that and you have good insights:)
    I just wanted to point out that the dramatic events, especially the most recent one and their impact on her were as important as House as a character to explain Cuddy’s life right now.

    About Wilson, I think RobF has a point too. “infallible Obi-Wan spirit” haha, I love that!

    Welcome Chrisden! Thanksgiving is celebrated the last thursday of November in the US so “Ignorance is Bliss” is supposed to take place on Thursay November 26, 2009. The episode aired on the 23rd.
    “Wilson” aired on Novembre 30. Maybe it was supposed to take place in the beginning of december, I don’t know.
    After that the show went on winter hiatus. There was no episode aired on december therefore, there wasn’t a christmas episode.
    The show returned on January 11 so I think that “The Down Low” took place in january too. I could be wrong though.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Chrisden: don’t worry, i think we are actually supposed to look into every detail:) Just like when one discusses the use of semiotics in postmodern literature, the first thing that comes to mind is Umberto Eco, „House” is the first thing that comes to mind whenever we discuss brilliance in the craft of movie making, that involves the use of multi-layered meaning.
    I personally believe that the little details of „House” (cultural refferences, psychological suggestions, scenography etc) are there for two reasons: they are useful in the development of further story arcs OR they are there for the simple pleasure of the writers and the passionate fans who are able to decode and interpret them.
    So analyze away, that’s actually the point:))))

    PS @Chrisden: i live in Eastern Europe and the tv nerworks around here air episode from seasons 1&2… I actually wake up at 4 am Tuesday morning (or never go to sleep at all), in order to catch the new “House” episode live via satellite. Yeap, what passion does to people.

    Flo: since you opened the topic of fandom, shipping or whatever, i’d like to share my view with you guys, because it’s a pity that these things are discussed in very superficial and limited ways around the internet etc:
    As „House” fans, we are passionate about the brilliance of the show (actors, writers, directors, producers) and about House himself, a beautiful, infuriating, sensational character. We are of course interested in anything and everything about him: what he eats, where he sleeps, what music he likes, what he thinks etc etc, and, naturally, which women he is interested in. During the „possibility of a relationship with Cameron” phase, i was interested and i watched their interactions very closely, wishing we would get to see something more happening. During the „winning back Stacy” phase, i wished that House would get her back and i applauded every step forward, even if i kind of disliked the way Sela Ward portrayed her. So the thing is, the romantic interest of House that i support is the one that he himself wants, because he is the one we all love and we all wish the best for (well, fictional best in a fiction in which nothing will ever get too good, but still:).

    Up to that point, i enjoyed the House/Cuddy interactions a lot, because they were really fun to watch and there always seemed to be subtext, which is always catching.
    In late season two/beginning of season 3, the House/Cuddy approach changed pace. Perhaps the writers intended to pursue Huddy from the very beginning (i try not to use the childish „brangelina” trademark, but it makes writing easier, sorry:), or they made up their mind as they went along and saw that the Hugh/Lisa onscreen chemistry is really interesting for fans. I don’t know, but i do know that the writers began constructing Huddy constantly and very carefully.
    At first, i thought it was just another phase of their friendship, showing more intimacy and trust. But during season 4, it became apparent that there was more than that going on, and that was the point when i became „a Huddy fan” – at that time, this meant that i was very, very interested in analyzing their interactions and i wanted more screen time for them. During season 5, another change of pace, this time a much more personal and intimate one. I wondered, as we all did, what his feelings for her really were. The writers gave kind of mixed signals, but all in all on a constant level. The answer was given in a highly dramatic and intense manner, in „Under My Skin” and „Both Sides Now”. House’s „the man with Cuddy” declaration (well, technicly Wilson’s, but you get the idea:) is one of the most beautiful declarations of love (and in fact, of far more than love) that i have ever seen or read. House’s hallucination screamed of passion and as big as life romance, „Both Sides Now” drowned us in sadness. After that, what he wanted and how he felt were so clear, that i cannot help but wish that this highly unconventional, yet very, very romantic love story would get a chance.

    So there it is – confessions of a Huddy fan, please don’t throw stones:). My personal guess is, the writers were determined to turn many of us into Huddy fans, because so many of their essential creative decisions were made in order to emphasize and build the House-Cuddy story arc and make its romantic nature as clear as possible. I chose not to object to that – is it bad?

  • Puppet Master

    Hmm, I disagree with your statement about Lucas being more dangerous then Volger and Tritter combined.

    Vogler could destroy House, he is one of the richest men in the world, with that money, virtually nothing is out of reach, esspecially something so simple as ruining a man.

    Tritter could (and very nearly did) put House away for a decade. I’m not sure House would have even survived a prison enviroment, he really needs some comforts that prisons don’t offer.

    Lucas is more like a knat. It’s really annoying, but it can’t really do any harm. Worst case scenario, you hit yourself trying to slap it.

    On a side note, I don’t know what happened to Lucas. He was good at the beginning of season 5, A little like House, but different in a lot of ways as well, he played well off House.

    I even thought he and Cuddy would be good together, but sadly, I’ve come to hate him almost as much as everyone else.

  • Flo

    Delia, there is nothing wrong as being a shipper as long as it doesn’t make you too biased.

    Some shipper fans are so engrossed with their ship that that’s all they can see. For me that’s when “these things are discussed in very superficial and limited ways” as you well said.

    I am not a shipper. I like all the characters. I watch the show as a whole.

    I explained this in a survey conducted by Barbara about fandom actually. I explained why it is important for me to watch it as a whole and I used my “chess game metaphor” to elaborate, if I’m not mistaken.
    Basically, the show is like a chess game in which the characters are the pawns. If you want to have a chance to win this game you have to watch the whole board all the time. It’s on Barbara’s site, maybe I’ll try to find my commnent.
    Anyway, I think it comes to my years of cinema studies. You learn to how to watch and analyze a film. As a cinema student I always thought that you can’t fully understand and appreciate the show and its inner construction if you watch for one particular aspect and almost don’t care about the rest.
    If you don’t watch it as a whole, you risk being obsessed with favourite aspects, not paying attention to the rest and review (or judge even) the show not on what it is but on how you think it should be. That’s a major mistake and unfortunately a common one in some of the obsessive ‘shipper’ fans. Anything that doesn’t go in the way they want it to be or is not good for their favorite pairing is automatically seen as bad.

    That’s why I don’t ship. Or I ship everyone. I’m kind of like you, I like all the pairings. The House/Cameron thing of season one was interesting. Loved the Stacy arc. Again, maybe it’s because of my studies but I can see why those arcs existed. Like a scene leads to another, an arc leads to another etc. And everytime we learn more about the characters. The House/Cameron arc, was here to prepare the character of House and us, viewers, to the Stacy arc.
    I don’t like the names ‘Huddy’, ‘Hameron’, ‘Luddy’, ‘Hilson’ etc. because for me it somehow undermine and sometimes even deny the individuality of the characters.
    House exists outside ‘Huddy’ or ‘Hameron’ or ‘Hilson’. Same thing with all the other characters. They all are individuals who interact swith each other in many different ways. Even in a relationship they are still individuals.
    That being said, I can understand that we can refer to a pairing like that as a diminutive. like you say, it makes writing easier.

    As for lucas the writers are doing all they can to make him unsympathetic. We are supposed to hate him this season. Though I can understand his frustration and I think he is not that bad (see last season), this year the writing is maybe a bit over the top in the unfriendly and creepy aspect.
    Delia has (again :)) an interesting theory: “My personal guess is, the writers were determined to turn many of us into Huddy fans, because so many of their essential creative decisions were made in order to emphasize and build the House-Cuddy story arc and make its romantic nature as clear as possible.”
    The “Lucas is jerk” storyline might be explained by the fact that he is gonna be compared to House and TPTB roots for “Huddy” and wants the fans to do that too.

    I totally agree with you Puppet Master, I don’t think Lucas is more dangerous for House than Vogler and certainly not more than Tritter.
    I don’t think House, with all the effort to get better and the evolution he had so far is gonna let himself be affected by Lucas behavior and actions as he was affected by Tritter.

    ps: sorry for this really long post

  • Delia_Beatrice

    PuppetMaster, i fully agree too. There is no way to compare the power and distructive effect of Vogler and especially Tritter to the pranks of frustrated Lucas.

    Well, i have to say that my dislike of Lucas has nothing to do with his relationship with Cuddy essentially (of course, this relationship made me dislike him more, but on the same grounds). I did not like the way his character was built in season 5: the physical appearance (those socks, his teenager look and physical construction), his speeches (that way of constructing a deductive argument by talking his way into it step by step, in that soft annoying voice), his way with women (i found his approach of Cuddy and of that woman on the street to be unmanly and childish, a little creepy and also cheap, because of the way he uses that “i’m a weird boy, but hey, i’m persistent” attitude in order to attract them). His resemblance to House was obvious (their inventivity and deductive abilities, their humor and apparent lack of concern with anything conventional), but i felt like the apparently more benign Lucas was also far less interesting and of far less substance, and far, far away from House’s fascinating depths.

    Flo, never apologize for long posts again:) I enjoy “talking” to you immensely:)
    Of course, i generally agree with your views. My personal background involves extensive studies in literature and psychology, so i do tend to focus on particular story lines and particular emotional aspects in a movie. But i do try not to let this get in the way of my enjoyment of this brilliant show and its layers, even if at times it can get frustrating when you have a clear preference towards one pair, one character or one relationship, mostly because on “House” the intentions of the writers and the real meaning of some episodes or scenes are sometimes difficult to understand. So, of course that your very objective way of enjoying “House” is better than my slightly biased one, in the sense that you can fully appreciate everything on the show and keep an open mind on the big picture.
    The thing is, i practice your way everytime with books and movies, but i cannot do it with a series that i am so passionate about. The very essence of a series is that fans get to know the show so intimately, that it’s pretty hard not to develop any kind of particular affinities. When you watch a two hour movie, you take it as a whole and you analyze and interpret it as such. But when you watch prety much the same characters for six seasons, you tend to get pretty emotional about it. I remember reading about the first notable time when something like this happened on a large scale, and that was after “Gone With The Wind”, the novel and then the movie, which a large number of people became so passionate about, that they used to discuss the unwritten future of Rhett and Scarlett at the family dinner table, as if discussing the life of someone they really knew intimately. It’s that same phenomenon that takes place when you have watched or read a series – preferences and personal concern with the future of your favorite characters and story lines do occur more often than not.

    On the TPTB rooting for Huddy thing, what i think is this: on a commercial level (yes, creative perfection has to sell, just like anything else in the world…): romance sells. Especially dramatic, intense and unconventional romance, that faces a lot of obstacles, with a very, very charismatic couple (for instance, it is possible to draw a clear parallel between the Rhett-Scarlett chemistry, especially in the book, versus the House-Cuddy chemistry, and that is just one example of a legendary couple that „Huddy” (yes, i hate it too) resembles in many ways).
    On a creative, story-telling level, the House-Cuddy story is very generous for the writers, who can play with it in a number of very intersting ways. It is a multi-layered story, with deep roots and a lot of history, involving two complicated, charismatic people who work together, mixing professional conflict and loyalty, friendship and desire… Hell, i’d like to explore Huddy in writing:)))).

    I just need to further confirm how right you are about the way that these diminutives dimish (of course) the essence of the individual characters and of the pairings that they reffer to. It is cheap and very typically-tabloid, but it IS easy to use:(

    Cannot wait for „5 to 9”, i bet it’s gonna be a treat in every way. I hope Lisa gets to really show us the actress that she is – i have always liked her, but through the years we only got to see her in a limited typology of scenes, and i was really impressed when i saw her in „Both Sides Now”, the „you’re fired” scene was unbelievable and it’s very hard for me to think of another television actress who could perform it so beautifully and naturally and convincingly.

  • Flo

    Delia, I enjoy debating with you too! Always a pleasure to read your thoughtful posts ;)

    You’re right it is more difficult to be objective with a tv show than with a movie. We do tend to be emotional and we tend to project ourselves more on a tv show than in a movie.
    I’m not saying that I am totally objective. I just try to be as much as I can.
    The thing is, the show is written in a global way, meaning that the writers try to have a story for each character and then see how this interfere with House or more exactly, how House gonna interefere with their storyline to make us discover, little by little, more and more about him.
    I don’t know if I’m making any sense right now. When I said TPTB was rooting for the Cuddy/House relationship I meant that they started this years ago (especially since season 3) and they just developped it. Wether or not it is going to end in a more intimate, ‘romantic’ relationship remains to be seen but they drop hints and have to adress them (and lets face it, the fact they know each other for twenty years and had a one night stand is a plus to write stories for these two).
    All in all, Cuddy and House are still gonna be two individuals and the way they gonna interract will be not just in a “Huddy” way, just like they don’t today. They are boss/employee and friends above all.
    As writers, they have to take all the individuality and all the layers the characters have to write an episode which is gonna fit into the whole season project.
    Again I don’t know if it’s clear (in those times I really wish english was my first language).

    I guess what I mean to say is written as whole (or part of a whole), has to be watch/appreciate preferably as a whole. And for no other reason than the creators and writers see it that way.

    The difficulty of being totally objective is actually, for me, half the fun. I like House more than Foreman, for example but I can understand this character as well and I find him to be in a difficult place to be. I even like 13 and don’t understand all the hate.

    My studies were not only theoritical but also practical. I know what it’s like to write a screenplay and to direct a film. I understand the process. I’m in the shooting preparation of my next short film (that I wrote) as we “speak”.

    That being said, you’re right. After six years of seeing these characters it’s difficult to remain somewhat nutral.
    Interesting bit about “Gone in the Wind”, I didn’t know!!
    Literature and psychology studies? How great is that! As a cinema student I am very interested in psychoanalysis myself!

    I can’t wait for “5 to 9″ either. I think it’s gonna be interesting. Hope to see a lot of insights on Cuddy’s character. Apparently we will. Looking forward to it.

    ps: I’m not sorry for the long post loool :)

  • Chrisden

    Flo, Thanks for explaining the time thingy, i think you are most definately right.

    Delia_Beatrice, Thanks i will continue to TRY and analyze away.
    Wow you are only up to Seasons 1 & 2 where you come from, no wonder you stay up until 4am lol.

  • http://gertrude2034.wordpress.com/ Gertrude

    Another insightful review, thanks Barbara. I think I am going against the tide when I say I like Lucas. It’s not that I like the character – I think his tricks in this episode were extreme and reprehensible. (Who could imagine that removing a grab rail from a disabled man’s bathroom was a fun idea??) More, I like what Lucas’s actions mean for House. It creates an element of the unknown and surprise in the show. And I can see what Cuddy sees in him and why she has chosen him over House.

    I love the new House/Wilson dynamic and I like that their friendship seems to be the focus this season. Much more fun and enjoyable than House and Cuddy. (And I know it’s risky admitting that on this site!) I agree with you that this season’s Wilson-as-House-whisperer and co-conspirator is much more fun than the condescending and manipulative Wilson of previous seasons. Lucas also appears to be part of the reason House and Wilson are getting closer (a common enemy?) and for that I like him too!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Flo – i think that “all about movie making” is fascinating. When i was younger, i used to dream about trying to do some directing or screenplay writing, but somehow life moved on too fast and i lost track of those dreams. Never the less, my love for movies is an important part of my life and since my paramount interest is in words (yes, what i care about first and foremost in a movie are the lines, i use literary criteria in setting my taste in movies…), “House” is the perfect show for me – they have the best screenplay i could ever dare imagine.

    You are right, of course, about the way such a show is thought of by the writers and producers etc. It’s natural that they have the show as a whole in mind and that they use the other characters and secundary story lines in order to reveal House more and more. And i also think that “House” is the kind of show in which the writers are very careful to avoid playing one card too much – the story arcs and the characters alternate in the spotlight and, after all, it’s only House himself that matters. That’s why, even if i consider myself a Huddy fan, i have major doubts about this story ever being pursued in a fully romantic manner – perhaps the writers will keep playing around the idea, but never put it in full act.
    And even if i am a Huddy fan, considering the current state of things, i think i’d like House to actually be in a relationship with anyone, not necessarily Cuddy. I would ADORE to see that side of him, i think it would be amazing to explore the housian ways in such a situation and i really feel that this is a huge gap in the show – i mean, it gets frustrating to see this sensational man that we all adore being in love with unavailable women, and also, dare i say, to see such a sexy passionate character in so very few intimate relationships.

    That being said, i have to take the chance to upset Barbara by opening up the subject beforehand (i promise that i will not go far with the comments before she posts her review) – i was disappointed by “5 to 9″. The comparison to “Wilson” barely stands – “Wilson” had such emotional depth and such revealing power, while “5 to 9″ left me feeling like it was too fast paced and too much based on situational drama/comedy, instead of substantial revelations or insights. And i am really sorry to say that i didn’t like Lisa’s acting much, at least not as much as i thought i would. Of course, that could be because she is best in highly emotional scenes, while in “5 to 9″ everything just went by too fast. Perhaps it’s just my first reaction, i just finished watching it, but i expected more. I really did.

    Do you good people know the airdate and title of the next episode? I’ve heard March 1st, no title yet.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    i have said that i will not comment any further, but i stand corrected: i have watched “5 to 9″ again twice and i changed my mind about it. It was good, it was alert, it was interesting, the House-Lucas bet was hilarious, the serious supportive House was amazing, and the only thing i was unprepared for was the “all happy” ending, which is unusual on “House” and which made me feel like this episode portrays Cuddy more like the wonder woman who can “walk on water” and less like the vulnerable, insecure and full of great qualities woman we have loved for years. But that’s not quite so – the episode is quite complex and the situations she experiences are varied enough not to throw her into the “all mighty business woman” stereotype.
    It was good, i am sorry for not seeing it the first time.

  • Flo

    Don’t be sorry delia, it is extremely comlex. It has many layers and many interesting things in it and the pace is so fast that I think everyone needs more than one viewing to fully appreciate it.

  • Jenn

    Anyone know what book House was reading in the episode “Moving the Chains”? It had a cartoon drawing of a woman on the cover.

  • hip hop mode

    I agree totally that Lucas is completely threatened by House and that is why he is feels the need to stoop to inappropriate (albiet hilarious and entertaining to watch) pranks.

  • Dmckoy

    Before I even read Barbara’s review or ur comments, i have to say that I was with this ep all the way until the end. What a let down? Now I’m usually very positive and tried to see the best in the series this season, but as far as House season finales go, this had to be the worst one ever! I mean honestly, how OOC are they willing to make House? I always knew he was a borderline sociopath, but psychopath? Never thought I’d say this, but I’m not very excited for S8.. I didnt expect much for Huddy in light of LE’s recent departure, but seriously?

    One good thing though, the intense Huddy scene in the hallway..Loved it! But didn’t love this ep…