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TV Review: House, M.D. – “Now What?” In Depth

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There is moment in the season two episode “Need to Know” crucial to understanding the inner workings of Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie). After pursuing Stacy (Sela Ward) for months, he has finally won her back from her husband Mark. She’s prepared to leave him and make her life with House. But House has second thoughts, not about his love for her, but about his own ability to be functional in a long-term serious relationship—which is the only sort of relationship House seems able to desire (beyond the basic necessity of hookers). 

He tells Stacy to return to her husband because a relationship between them could never work. She will expect him to change, to be somehow transformed by their renewed love. But he can’t change—believes himself incapable of it. Stacy is perplexed because she hasn’t asked him to change, but House, steeling himself for the worst, avoids the possibility of disaster by avoiding the relationship. He sends the speechless Stacy back to her husband, and House heads to the roof to brood. End of story. 

In the House, M.D. season seven premiere “Now What?” House and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), too, come to this juncture. But unlike House and Stacy, they confront House’s fears squarely in the face. Talking it out, they both want this to work. 

What a great way to start season seven! Picking up moments after the end of “Help Me” (actually beginning with a pivotal moment from the season six finale), we find House and Cuddy pretty much where we left them at the end last season.

Losing a patient under tragic circumstances in “Help Me,” House is at the end of his emotional tether. Returning home, House’s self-loathing and agonizing pain send him into the depths of near-despair. Even Foreman (Omar Epps) is concerned for his well being. 

But season six ends with the appearance of House’s rescuer, Cuddy. Declaring her love for him—despite her better judgment—she informs him that she’s ended her engagement to Lucas Douglas. The season ends on their clasped hands as they stand kissing in House’s bathroom.

As season seven opens, they are still holding hands, now in House’s bedroom, where he still can’t quite believe this is all real. Lightly caressing her hand with his thumb, House seems almost in  a dream, as if he can’t quite believe this isn’t some figment of his exhausted brain.

Noting the very real blood-soaked bandage on his collarbone, Cuddy needs to make sure he’s okay. Her touch is reassuring as she examines the hastily stitched laceration gained in “Help Me.” Cuddy leaves his side for a moment to get towels; House ponders his hand. Disbelief pours off him after she goes? Is it real or some tortured hallucination? He barely says a word; makes a move. 

When she returns, House is an obedient child, House lets Cuddy remove his shirt, wash his chest, his dust-covered face. There is nothing sexual about her ministrations: they are loving, but with purpose. House is astonished yet still silent. His eyes seem to search for confirmation that she is not some vision of his tormented mind conjured by exhaustion.

Then she goes for his belt buckle. We would expect House to make some sort of lewd comment by now, but almost certainly when she goes for the buckle. Instead he is shy. At first, he seems unsure that he wants her to do what he thinks she’s going to do. But he doesn’t stop her. Then, she does the unthinkable. On her knees, Cuddy pauses at the scar—the deep disfigurement of House’s right thigh, caressing it. The scar: a wound, years old, that still causes both physical and emotional pain is not something House wants touched, or even shown. 

“Don’t, please don’t,” he pleads quietly. But Cuddy reassures him that “it’s okay; I love you.” And then she kisses him there, in that hated spot: the source of so much (but not all) of his anguish. He allows it, and then lifting her in to his arms, plants her on the bed where they make love. There is an incredible tenderness to their lovemaking: there is no devouring, nothing is taken for granted; all is savored. And when it’s over, House asks the inevitable question. “Now what?” Roll credits.

This is how the House, M.D. season premiere begins. For those of you who have viewed the pairing of House and Cuddy with some degree of skepticism, I think they’ve got it. Even the musical underscore is perfect for that scene: the opening stirrings of a concerto: chamber music, perhaps.

Doris Egan’s wonderful story and collaborative work of the House creative team has made the season premiere memorable for many reasons. Yes, there is much we’d expect: hospital scenes, humor, House’s snark, but there is much more, but never out of character. We are always aware that we are, after all, watching House, M.D. Resetting the series once again, this new storyline has tremendous potential, offering House, perhaps, his greatest challenge yet: a mature, romantic relationship with his boss.

House and Cuddy have different ideas about what’s next, now that they’ve had sex, which they explore in the afterglow, cuddled up in bed, House’s thumb gently caressing Cuddy’s arm and other accessible parts. Cuddy is being practical: go home, shower and return to the office. What they’ve shared is but the beginning of a journey for them. So leaving, picking up her life to resume and then return to House’s arms later that day or the next seems perfectly natural.

House has other ideas. He wants them to take the morning to explore each other—to be with each other, to discuss the ramifications of the entire enterprise. What does it mean—to each of them, to their working relationship and the way in which House functions at the hospital? Cuddy suggests that House not overanalyze things between them. “Why can’t it just be nice?” she asks—a parallel to Lydia’s question in last season’s opener “Broken.” Lydia was looking for a fling; House never does, it seems. For him, analyzing—or at least further exploring—is important. Being on the wrong page with Stacy in season two and with Lydia in “Broken,” only succeeded in House’s heart being broken.

They are interrupted by Cuddy’s Blackberry and House takes matters into his own hands, telling her new assistant (who I adore already) that whatever it is, he can handle it himself. Claiming to be Cuddy’s nanny, House proclaims Cuddy sick and requiring a day off. Except, the problem, it turns out, is that the hospital’s only available neurosurgeon has just fallen ill. This wouldn’t be such a huge deal if was not for the fact that without a functioning neurosurgeon onsite, the hospital has to forfeit its Trauma Center status and virtually close down significant parts of the hospital. 

Cuddy is unaware of the developing crisis, as House effectively shields her from hospital business, while keeping himself quite in the loop as his team tries to manage things (and cure the sick neurosurgeon ASAP) without involving Cuddy. The hospital storyline serves as a nice counterpoint to House and Cuddy’s cocooning, providing humor and way to take the viewers to a venue other than House’s apartment. 

Wilson also provides a humorous diversion when he comes a-knocking at House’s door, certain that House is depressed or on drugs after losing his patient. And when House refuses to let him in, naturally, Wilson breaks in, thinking the worst: House is back on Vicodin or worse. And for a brief moment, we, and perhaps, House consider the possibility that he’s right when Cuddy hides out of sight, and is nowhere to be seen. 

So, now what? House has never been one to be into dalliances (at least from what we know of him). He had a serious and intense relationship with Stacy before we met him; and when she appears back in his orbit, his first sense is not to have a fling with her, but to embark upon a real relationship. He is astonished when Stacy initially doesn’t seem to be planning on telling her husband about it, much less forsaking him for a life with House, which is what House is offering.

When he does have a brief affair with Lydia in “Broken,” it is not without a lot of trepidation, soul searching and hesitation on House’s part. And when she, too, leaves, House is devastated. House is not one for half measures, and this clearly applies as much to his love life as anything else. 

House gently tests the new relationship around the edges, suggesting that perhaps Cuddy would prefer a casual, open relationship with no commitments (while taking a bath for two), something Cuddy disputes. House wonders whether Cuddy is ready to go public with their affair, or keep wants to keep it secret. Is she willing to take an impulsive vacation with him to faraway romantic local—one to which she’s wanted to travel for a long time? Yes—and no: yes, she will go with him, but not tomorrow. She has a child to look after and a hospital to run. 

Courting  Cuddy with small romantic gestures House reminds us of just how romantic he can be: the “lame” corsage he buys for Cameron (“Love Hurts”), Stacy’s prescription for her heart condition, the desk he procures for Cuddy from her mother’s house, the medical text purchased long ago and intended to give to her for a special occasion. His actions in “Now What?” flow from House’s genuine romanticism that leads him in “Baggage” to convince the patient’s husband to stop badgering his wife and court her; that leads him to suggest to Foreman that love causes us to do the “stupid” things (“Lucky 13”); that has him plucking petals from a daisy while thinking about Lydia (“Broken”). 

In “Now What?” House’s gestures are sweet and intended to woo: he tries (disastrously) to untop a champagne bottle with  a sabre. He produces a “gourmet” home-prepared breakfast for which he gently flaked stalk of fresh corn (corn flakes, get it), and produces a sick looking cracker with ketchup on it as a gourmand’s delight. He draws Cuddy a bath (although it’s also a diversion when he does it), which he tells her is full of spices and good herbs, and is really a bizarre (and uncomfortable potion) of Old Spice aftershave, scope, Epsom salts and some other stuff House keeps on the bathroom shelf. 

We learn that House likes cuddling, kissing softly and caressing: he loves and craves contact—something we rarely see in him. He and Cuddy seem comfortable together: sitting on the sofa actually talking—honestly about their future together; playing boggle, finding exotic places on the Internet while lounging—au naturel—in bed. 

When Cuddy straightforwardly asks House why he hasn’t yet said the “L” word (since she’s already taken that step), House doesn’t have a quick reply, giving Cuddy pause. But then House reveals Boggle cubes, which spell out “I lobe (sic) you.” Claiming he forgot to grab a “V,” we (and Cuddy) are led to assume it’s a deflection. And maybe it is. 

In the end, just as Cuddy is about to leave, House expresses his fear that their relationship can’t work ultimately because he can’t change enough to make sense for her. And we get the biggest reveal of the episode (yes, including the physical reveals). Cuddy refuses to accept House’s pessimistic stance and insists he explain.  Taken aback with the rawness of House’s confession, she listens as he explains the inevitability of her deciding to leave him, ultimately unable to accept his behavioral flaws. Her being with him at this moment in time is a fluke; she has been swayed, he believes by one event experienced in a cramped hole at a disaster site. It’s an aberration. He has not—and cannot—change sufficiently.

“I am an insane choice” for a woman with a child, he argues. He has even locked the door, as if afraid that once she walks out of the sanctuary of his apartment and back into her real life, she will sober up and realize her folly.

But Cuddy stuns him, saying that she doesn’t want him to change. She is not seeing him through rose-colored glasses; she knows he is screwed up. Yet, she asserts “You are the most incredible man I’ve ever met.” For all his flaws, all his problems, she sees and understands—and loves him because of—and in spite of—it all. It is this moment that House says words we haven’t heard from him since that fateful day years ago, just before his life is irrevocably changed by a surgeon’s scalpel. “I love you,” he tells Cuddy, looking into her eyes.

And then there’s the “13” mystery. She’s going far, far away, but doesn’t even wait until she’s had her party cake (and neither would I since it’s not “good luck” her colleagues are wishing—it’s happy Bar Mitzvah!?). Does House know that 13 is taking a leave?  And poor Chase, who’s not shy about asking 13 if they can have sex—since she’s headed out of the team and he has no time for proper build up to the question. Needless to say, she say “no.” And 13…er…Olivia Wilde is off to do a movie (and then perhaps another one). Will she be back? And when? And will Cuddy allow an all-male diagnostics team? 

So, what now? In episode two, “Selfish,” House will tackle a great case, and House will host one of its best clinic patients in years as the new couple try to figure out how to make the relationship thing work. It’s a great episode, more back to basics, but with the added tension of House and Cuddy really, really (and quite seriously) trying to secure their infant and completely out-in-the open relationship. What a great start to the season, don’t you agree? So, stay tuned!

Thank you for all your well wishes on the official launch Sunday night of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. They are much appreciated!

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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

    Looking back at The Itch, Cuddy already knew how this would end. I LOVE CHILDREN…..SO FILLED WITH HOPE. Come on people, how can this possibly end? I’ll tell you. Lets look at Esther (All In), after 12 years House could not let that go, he still had to cure her (closure). When Cuddy does break up with House it will absolutely cost him everything. Since we know what does happen, it surprises me that Cuddy refused to let House break up with her (while he was drunk Recession Proof), however it is perfectly fine for her to do it 4 days later. What a skank. Good riddence to Cuddy. Like watching a train wreck….ugh. again I LOVE CHILDREN…SO FILLED WITH HOPE.

  • Nickel

    I completely see Cuddy as a VULTURE in this episode. She swooped down on House at his absolute lowest point in his life. Which makes perfect sense considering Cuddy could never control House if he was HEALTHY which is why she rebuffed him all through season 6. Healthy, House was not as attractive to her. ( gee a bit like Cameron). Women like Cuddy are so offensive to me that it embarrasses me to be female. Cuddy has always reminded me of the lion tamer who thinks that he/she is more powerful than the lion. What she never considers is that House has always allowed her control of him. My biggest question about this relationship is this…..HOW THE HELL CAN A MAN LOVE A WOMAN WHO HAS JUST SAID “SCREW YOU” AND THEN FOLLOWED IT UP WITH EVERY NASTY THING THAT SHE COULD THINK OF. UGH. Oh House I had such higher hopes for you.

  • Eadon

    As a matter of fact, the chemistry between House and Cuddy vanished. There is no spark there any more.

  • Eadon

    Series seven, including the first episode, has been pretty weak. There are flashes of the old magic, but the house-cuddy plot is tedious and implausible.

  • Oo

    I found the part where he asked the Now what? quite sexy as he is peering at her with one eye.

  • Flo

    Delia (#106) Yes Stacy and Cuddy are different but Stacy was very important to House and perhaps, if he didn’t have a long serious relationship with her, he wouldn’t be able to attempt this relationship with Cuddy. Who knows?

    I understand your point when you said Wilson and Cuddy are mommy and daddy somehow (they provide the sort of concern and care that parents do) but I wouldn’t go that far. Otherwise the House and Cuddy thing and his friendship with Wilson would be far more creepy. LOL!!
    I don’t think House has a Oedipian thing going on. He doesn’t really see Wilson and Cuddy as parental figures. I don’t believe Wilson is wrong so often because he is supposed to be the “father” figure. It seems far too far-fetched for me, sorry.
    First of all, a guiding father is not always wrong and can be more right than a mother figure;
    Second of all, Wilson is not more of a guide than house is for Wilson.
    Third of all, House protects Cuddy too.
    So does that mean that House can be a mother or father figure for his two friends too also sometimes?
    Even if House has mom and even more daddy issues, I feel like your reasoning is a bit flawed here. It seems too obvious to me.
    Or maybe it is just me misunderstanding you.
    It is entirely possible and if so, I’m sorry.

    I still don’t believe in unconditional love and I still don’t believe that House believes in it either but I understand your point and agree with you.

    You are right to say that House and Cuddy are afraid of what it might take from them to make their relationship work, but I also believe that they are afraid to actually succeed completely. For now it seems that they kind of need the challenge and the trouble to be comfortable, if you see what I mean. However, yes I totally agree with your statement.

    Interesting take on the looks at the end of “Now What?” I agree.

    ps: Sorry I seem to be very confused and confusing tonight.

  • Michele1L

    I agree with those of you who feel House and Cuddy would or should never break up. Seriously, what would they break up over? House would have to do something truly horrific at this point to make that scenario make any sense at all — like deliberately mame or kill one of her family members. What hasn’t he done already that would make anyone other than someone madly in love with him lower the gauntlet and say, “that’s it!” Clearly, Cuddy is willing to be dragged through the mud and back by this man — and House, my goodness, he was positively manic after discovering Cuddy’s relationship with Lucas and then fell into quite a depression over it afterwards. It’s possible, as you say, Delia_Beatrice, that he could self-sabotage (which he, in a small way, has already tried with Cuddy) but what would he do? Go back on vicodin or something worse just to make her run for the hills? Continue to sleep with hookers (Whoops! That one could possibly work!)LOL

    Hugh Laurie, in a recent interview, said he didn’t necessarily believe the relationship would have to fail, so … we shall see.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Flo: i don’t know about the hiatus, but i do know that all the air dates that have been issued so far are until November 8th. You are right, i feel the same way, one long break and then continuity is better than the whole season being discontinued like last year.

    You are right about Stacy, that’s what i meant by her low level of commitment. Cuddy is different in many, many ways. For starters, Cuddy has had a very special role of savior and nurturing mother in House’s life, for years. He is used to her being the one person in the world who really understands and supports him (unlike Wilson, who gets him wrong so often, given his role as father, who guides more than he nurtures) – so his trust in her is higher to begin with, on a very deep level.

    Then, there is the way Cuddy handled the Lucas relationship. Unlike Stacy, she did not spend this year flirting with House and going home to Lucas. House has a very deeply ingrained fear of duplicity and deception and Stacy did not meet his standards in this regard. Cuddy played the whole thing as fair as possible, staying true to her own standards of honesty and truthfulness. It is also significant that she broke up with Lucas before having an explanatory conversation with House. She stayed true to herself, true to the self-awareness she had so bravely reached.

    You are also right about Wilson being very wrong about this. House does not want to be miserable, that is so true! And it is precisely why he gave up on Stacy: he knew that she can’t help him heal, given the conditional nature of her love. Like i wrote above (and i am so weirdly quoting myself, because i don’t have time to reformulate – i am sorry about this):

    We know that House always presents himself in the worst possible light, always in the least flattering perspective, so that he can be sure that the love and loyalty he might get are completely true and that the people who do stick by him do so in full awareness of his flaws and the love he does receive is as unconditional as possible. In his sub- and unconscious search for healing of his inner wounds, House forces himself not to accept anything less than what he instinctively knows he needs: unconditional love that can validate his existence and that can finally help him to give himself the permission to live and be happy.

    It is the reason for which he pushed Stacy away in “Need to Know”: he knew she would only love him if he changed. The reason why he never really acted on his attraction to Cameron: during their date, he clearly spells out to her that her interest in him is motivated by her wanting to heal him. “Wanting to heal” means wanting to change, and that is something he just cannot accept – because it would only lead him to misery and pain.

    Hm… About them being afraid of the success and the failure equally… I would put this differently: i think that they are afraid of what it will take to make it succeed. I don’t think that either of them has any doubts in regard to this being the ultimate, absolute choice for them. I am very happy that this relationship started after BOTH of them reached full awareness in regard to the depth, intensity and absolute nature of the love they feel for each other. They are both fully aware, they both know that this is the grandest chance they ever get at being with their ultimate match, in the ultimate relationship that can fulfill them and give meaning to their lives.
    But they are scared – of it not succeeding, of course, since the stakes are so, so high. I don’t think they are afraid it will work – i think they are afraid of all that it will take to make it work, afraid that maybe they won’t be able to manage it, that perhaps the sacrifices and effort will sometimes be debilitating.
    Which ultimately means they are afraid it won’t work, because they will be incapable to do all it takes to make it work.

    The looks on their faces in the end – i read them as follows:
    The look on Cuddy’s face: fear and compassion: fear of how difficult it will be to make House happy, compassion because he is so wounded and scared, after he gave her such a naked display of vulnerability and the full measure of his fears.

    The look on House’s face: fear and concern, that maybe he will never be able to feel happiness and abandon himself to it, thus hurting her too and ruining his chances of ever breaking the cycle of misery and loneliness.

  • Flo

    @Barbara (#88) Yes I know that she apparently put his ringer back on as House says so but why did she do that? She accepted early on to stay at his apartment, she has no idea what’s going on in the hospital so why unsilence his phone? I think maybe the answer to that is in some cut scenes.

    Greenhouse (#102) The fact that Cuddy broke off her engagement with Lucas before talking to House about them is really significant. In a previous message here I wrote that, in a way, Cuddy dared to do what Stacy couldn’t do.
    It is really significant because, as much as the talk at the end of “Now What” is a parallel to the one in Stacy’s office in “Need to Know”, the talk between House and Cuddy at the end of “Help Me” was already a parallel to the talk between Stacy and House on the roof in “Need to Know” IMO. In this talk, House was surprised and disappointed Stacy didn’t talk to Mark yet and I think it played a great role in his decision to let her stay with Mark.
    She loved Mark too, had a good life with him and she wasn’t really ready to let him go.

    Wilson did say that House broke it off with Stacy because he’d rather be miserable but I don’t think that is the reason he sent her away. That’s not the reason House gave her and I think he was honest with her. Wilson was wrong and he made a rather stupid comment there, especially for someone who is House’s best friend and therefore he’s supposed to know him well.
    House doesn’t want to be miserable, he never did. He often tries to do something about his life to be less painful and less miserable (it’s linked) as the ketamine treatment and the methadone one tend to prove it.

    As for House and Cuddy, it could work as it could end in a disaster. For now I think it’s fifty/fifty.
    What’s interesting here is that I think, right now, both Cuddy and House are as much afraid of its possible failure as they are afraid of its possible success.

    Wait and see!

    ps: Delia (#103) Is it confirmed about the hiatus? If this long break means less 3 weeks breaks as it was last year, then I’m actually okay with this.

  • I stayed away from this article all week because I was caught up in reviewing series premieres and didn’t get to House until last night, but what a fascinating look at a great episode! The depth and background you give really enhanced my enjoyment of the scenes, as you caught plenty of stuff I missed, or things that had happened previously that I had forgotten about. It is awesome you get so many comments.

    And I am about 100 pages into your book. I had no idea the whole Sherlock Holmes connection, and now I feel like an idiot for my twitter interaction with you about the Holmes movie. You obviously know way more about the detective than I do. However, I can honestly say, I’ve liked this series for a long time, but your writing has led me to some connections I hadn’t made, and I feel like I can enjoy it on a whole deeper level now. Thanks for your awesome work!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Aaaaaahhh… I was planning on answering all of your interesting thoughts, but the perspective of no “House” from November to January is too devastating for me… GOD! Noooooooo…

    OK. Briefly, so that i can run into the bathroom and cry:

    I am happy beyond words about the positive response to the premiere that Barbara and Janine talk about. It’s exactly what i hoped would happen, and i am sure the ratings can increase after a few awesome episodes, that prove to people (who are willing to listen) that the show has gained immensely from taking the big Huddy step.

    TVTherapy, SeraG and Greenhouse: i am happy to see we are on the same boat regarding Huddy staying together. I agree to everything you’ve expressed and i have immense confidence that the writers envision the whole show as House’s personal journey, that they will not take stupid steps back (pointless, as Greenhouse put it) and that they do not have in mind ultimate and irreversible destruction for this beautiful man that 60 million people in the world have come to adore.

    @Greenhouse: in short, i believe that are GRAND differences between Stacy and Cuddy, as well as season 2 versus season 6/7 House. Cuddy’s level of commitment and unconditional love is far superior to anything Stacy proved to House at the point of their renewed relationship, and that had the magical power of allowing him to give himself, and Huddy, this chance. THE chance, to be correct.

  • Greenhouse

    After reading all your comments, I decided to watch “Need to Know” again.
    It was really weird to see how exactly identic the two conversations are (the one with Stacy in Need to know, and the one with Cuddy at the end of Now what?). The same “I’m a jerk, I won’t change.” and the same response “I don’t want you to change” from the two women.
    Still, he decided to end it with Stacy, whereas he decided to give it a go with Cuddy. The only difference between the 2 is that Cuddy broke off the engagement before talking to House, and House has had therapy in the meantime, and the realisation that he wants to be happy.
    I was wondering if the fact that Cuddy broke it off before going to him, unlike Stacy, influenced House.

    Wilson says he broke it off with Stacy because he rather be miserable.
    Will that be the deal breaker? He thinks happiness affects his intellect and he rather be smart than happy. (Just like the episode where he takes methadone.) As we haven’t seen them in the workspace yet, it’s hard to tell…

    A week has gone by since the premiere and I’ve come back to my sense. I can see House ending the relationship in a few months because he can’t work correctly which will bring us back to a season 1 House. But what would be the point?

  • TVTherapy

    @Delia_Beatrice You’re right! I based my assumption of their future breakup on two things: one being that anyone interviewed about the show spoke about its demise and two, that nearly every couple that has ever gotten together after a long period of unresolved sexual tension seems to inevitably be broken up by some reason or another.

    So, if you’re right, and they do stay together and the show works, I’m all for it. I think they make a smart, sexy couple.

    I hope that they don’t break up period, but especially for the second reason you spoke about. That would be a devastating end to a long journey, and one that would thoroughly depress me.

    @Barbara I’m glad to hear that you read my review and enjoyed it. Of course the feeling is mutual, but I’m even happier to hear that the people that you’re talking to enjoyed the opener. I’m even more curious what people will think about “Selfish.”

    @Janine That’s comforting news. I hope it goes up even more. I wonder what’s going to happen if/when Lone Star is canceled. What will go in that time slot?

  • Sera G

    Hello, Barbara and all.
    Delia-Beatrice, thank you, thank you. We are all predicting doom and gloom for House and Cuddy. I won’t let my mind go there. I agree with Barbara, they have the potential to be Frank and Joyce; a couple whose love and fidelity were crucial underpinnings to the show, but not the focus of the show itself. At the end of the day, Frank and Joyce would provide comfort, playfulness and emotional support. I loved them as a couple and see the same for House and Cuddy.
    I agree, if House and Cuddy broke up, it would be devastating. He has allowed himself to trust and give his heart again. He would not survive the loss. Also, I think it would demean the six years building to this point.
    I don’t want to know what is ahead, but I have faith that David Shore, Katie Jacobs and team will treat this with great care.

  • Janine

    in regards to breaks, i just found this on House daily dose
    According to Ausiello, from the beginning of Nov, to the end of January, we get ONLY ONE EPISODE #8! 🙁
    That sucks, but at least its a long break insted of a bunch of short ones.

  • Janine

    If you look on Wikipedia they have a list of teh first 8 or so episodes with airdates and there only appears to be one skipped week in the first eight, most likely due to baseball. Of course this is subject to change, but at least as of yet there are no long breaks planned. Unfortunately though there are only 22 episodes again this season, but hopefully they will negotiate teh breaks better (unlike last year where it came back for two episodes then took another month long break) I would almost rather have one super long two month break than several two or three week breaks.
    I understand your worry about teh ratings, but the season premier (although nay sayers like to emphizie that it is down 6 million from last seasons premier) actually has the same number of viewers as teh finale, so no viewers have been lost. Also for every person I know who hated the premier and decided to quit, I found a person who liked the idea and decided to start watching again. So even if the ratings don’t go up they should remain consistant. Also, there are show with much lower ratings that stay on the air, and House is still the number one drama of the night.

  • So many comments to reply to. So sorry I’ve been scarce since Monday (I’ve been reading, but with little time to write comments). The holidays are nearly at an end (phew).

    TVTherapy, I always enjoy your reviews, and this week’s is no exception. I do think this is a pretty insightful, albeit likeminded, group who reads my column. No question. But I’ve been talking to a lot of casual viewers over the last couple of weeks as I’ve been around (my) town talking up the book (and the show). People really liked the premiere. A perfect example is a person I know–a good acquaintance (a man). He has been soured on the show for a couple of seasons and on my urging watched it. He phoned me the moment after he watched only to tell me how much he loved the episode–this was the character he really gelled with and where had he been fro the last year! Interesting. I’ve talked to men and women who watch the show for different reasons. And, uniformly, they loved the premiere and can’t wait to see where it goes.

    I see the H-C pairing with the potential of a Joyce Davenport-Frank Furillo pairing (from ye olde Hill Street Blues). Tangy, sexy, smart and contentious. It was never THE focus of the show, but an important thread. Back into the fabric of the series to give it tone and substance, but not necessarily to overtly change the texture or fabric. (I’m terrible at metaphors)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Jackie: thank you for the schedule info. That sounds really amazing, you made me very happy:) I really hope that this season we face breaks no longer than 2 weeks – longer than that, it is a huge challenge to keep people in tune with the continuity of the stories. Last year, i have “House”-watching friends (not lunatic fans like myself) who simply couldn’t keep track of the schedule and they were missing the episodes, because they just assumed it wouldn’t be on “this Monday either”.

    I also watched Sir Hugh’s interview with Tavis Smiley. I enjoyed it greatly, he was as amazing as always. I particularly loved the approach he had on Huddy. It is EXACTLY what we all have been saying here for the longest time (do you guys reckon Sir Hugh reads Barbara’s reviews and our comments?:))). Procedural show versus character drama is something that was never a dilemma for any of us, but we were all aware that some viewers simply don’t go as deep as we like to, in understanding the show.
    However, Hugh’s approach was beautiful and very correct. Describing it as a “gamble” and defending the storyline like he did… He seemed very warm about it, they all obviously “lobe” Huddy.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    PS: actually, there is a deal breaker that i can think of, but it makes me shiver and i really doubt they would go there.

    If House is really damaged beyond the
    possibility of any healing, if he really can’t experience any real happiness, then he might be the one to demand the break up, as a final self-sacrificing act.

    But that means that he would be heading for complete distruction. Mental illness, severe drug addiction or suicide… And apart from the fact that this would ruin MY life and make ME suicidal, i really doubt that TPTB created this amazing character for the sole purpose of crashing him completely in the end. It would be like killing off Harry Potter – really bad for business…

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @TVTherapy: we obviously agree on most things (glad about that:), so i’ll jump straight to the question you posted in the end. Why do you assume they will split up?

    I don’t. I have said this so many times, i honestly think that the inner coherence of the show and the psychological continuity of the characters demand that they stay together – through thick and thin, and with many bumps along the road, but nevertheless – they cannot live without one another.

    In regard to the interviews that actors and producers give about the future of Huddy, i didn’t expect anything else. Since Huddy is now the main theme of the show, they can’t really be open about the ultimate evolution of it, can they?… It’s like spoiling the final minute of the final episode of the series… They will keep beating around the bush, going with general lines about how screwed up House is and how the show is not about happiness… Which, by the way, we don’t expect or wish – but it doesn’t mean that it can’t show the authentic, lucid and veridical evolution of the deep, beautiful connection between two screwed up, complicated characters.

    Another reason to go with the “House is screwed up and Huddy is doomed” approach is not to piss off the Huddy-hating fandom even more. If everybody went on along the line of “they will be together forever”, then the interest and passion of Huddy fans would maybe diminish (or not?:)))), and the hatred in the anti-Huddy faction would increase.

    I really, generally don’t believe what they say in “spoilerish” interviews. “House” has always been about keeping the mystery and the secrecy about major plot twists, so to say that they will break up for sure sounds really phony to begin with. It’s too revealing to actually be telling the truth.

    Also, the only one who has usually been pretty accurate and honest in his interviews is David Shore. Lisa, Hugh and Katie Jacobs have been lying through their teeth for the longest time. Just read and listen to the interviews Lisa and Katie gave before “Help Me” aired… They seem hilarious now, the way they were not just avoiding the answer, but just plainly lying.

    So i wouldn’t exactly count on things being as they sound from the interviews. And to really, really answer your question: i cannot imagine a deal breaker. Absolutely cannot imagine anything that would break them up, no matter how complicated things get and how hard it is for them to find some sort of peace and happiness.

  • MamaShante

    Wow. Sorry for the multiple typos above. I Blame the iPhone.

  • MamaShante

    I am so pleased to have found this place. What an extraordinary place place to come to and discuss House.

    What do you guys think about Cuddy taking the vidicon away without confronting House about it??

  • TVTherapy


    I don’t have too much more to add. I hope you took a look at my review as well. What really struck me about this whole episode was just how right the level of intimacy was. After I first watched it, I admit I was a little worried that some of the snap and crackle of House and Cuddy’s relationship would be hung out to dry, but I have confidence in the writers to keep a good thing going.

    What I do worry about is the ratings and I hope that the show can keep them up. Regardless of how happy I am with the direction of the show, putting House and Cuddy together is a divisive move and will leave some fans ignoring the new episodes and just watching reruns on Bravo and USA.

    I think that the people that comment on your column are all fairly like-minded. We view the show in very similar ways and that’s due to all of us being highly attuned to House’s behavior and nuances from day one.

    I couldn’t believe another reviewer’s opinion that said that House and Cuddy’s romance came out of nowhere. I feel like some viewers just aren’t like us. They catch a few reruns and think they’ve got a handle on the show. This is the price House pays for being a procedural. It’s a trade off. It’s great because a lot of people have grown to love it and jump on the bandwagon late in the game.

    But I wonder if everyone realizes quite how smart the show is? I know everyone here does, but I wonder if all the people that review the show have actually stayed with it the whole time it has been on.

    I’m excited about the direction and am really curious about how exactly House and Cuddy are going to be split up by the writers. Everyone involved in the show has alluded to their relationship’s inevitable failure, but I just can’t picture what the deal breaker would be.

    I know House could attempt to self-sabotage a thousand different ways, but Cuddy knows how he is. I would think she’s well prepared for most things he’d throw at her.

    Anyway, just food for thought.

    Loved everyone’s comments. Especially about the doors. I would have written about that in my review if I had the word space. 🙂


  • Jackie

    October seems to be pretty much intact regarding the airing of the episodes. There are at least 3 consecutive October shows – on October 4th, 11th and 18th. The episode on the 4th has Amy Irving as the patient of the week and the one that airs on the 18th has Jennifer Grey. Not sure what will happen on the 25th – my guess is that there may not be an episode that week -because it’s World Series time again and Fox has the WS (but not the league championship division series).

    Barbara – your review of this episode was terrific as always. Thank you for your preview of “Selfish” as well.

    The “Now What” episode had a lot of similar dialogue towards the end that waa reminiscent of House and Stacy in “Need to Know” – from the reasoning on his part that this relationship won’t work, that he will revert to doing horrible things again (or as he said to Stacy, “It’s House being House” and at some point that she would need more…something that he couldn’t give her. When Cuddy said that, “He was the incredible man she’s ever known” and followed that up by a will ever know – I saw a flashback to Stacy and House in “Honeymoon” – with her comment to him that, “You’re the one. You always will be.”

    When Cuddy started to get up from the couch near the end, she took House’s hand and he gripped it. He said his, “I love you,” to her and the Joe Purdy “Good Days” song started to play. It is a moment and a melody that has stayed with me. I read the lyrics to the entire song and it was very apropos to this particular episode and what the future might hold.

    I am so looking forward to this season. Hugh Laurie was on the Tavis Smiley program last night and he said that this was a direction that the show chose to go in regarding this relationship and they all know it is a gamble – some will like it, some won’t but the show is more than a medical show. It has character development and in order to see this it was a necessary move.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Barbara: I jumped on the preview as soon as i saw it, earlier today:) Thank you very much, i am literally breathlessly waiting for it – actually, for every episode this season, apparently:)

    I would give my right hand to see a full DVD collection of “House”, when the show is over, that has every scene that was ever cut from the show in the “extras” department.

    I remember that one of the early promos for the season 7 premiere had Wilson’s voice on House’s answering machine, saying: “where are you? You haven’t answered my calls all weekend. I have come by your place and you seem to have redecorated your bathroom with a sledge hammer”.

    Also, there was an interview of Katie Jacobs, saying that House and Cuddy take off on a roadtrip for the premiere (that was supposedly called “Thunder Roadtrip”), that bares a secret significance for them.

    It makes me wonder about the beach pics. I wonder if it was all a decoy (them going out there to film an imaginary scene, the fake promo with Wilson, fake interviews and fake spoilers) – GY tweeted that they were determined not to let the real script leak in any way, so they came up with a version designed to fool us.

    But perhaps that was the initial plan (it would give an extra reason for Doris Egan to write the premiere, she is the ultimate roadtrip writer) and then it changed and they decided upon their intimate lockdown at House’s place?…

    Also, many people have said that the beach scene, the motorcycle trip, the scenes filmed outside the Redondo Beach Club will be a part of a later episode this season – and that indeed there was a decoy intended to keep fans away from the real script, but that storyline is not imaginary and it will air at a further time.

    Confusing, huh?…

    PS: my dear Barbara, have you heard anything about the air dates this season? I am very, very worried that a great season would be ruined, again, because of 8 weeks long breaks and a completely discontinued schedule…

  • Flo–House remarks to Cuddy aghast: why did you put my ringer back on? She actually unsilenced his phone.

    I’m aware there were rewrites throughout the script, but the result was great. There have been rewrites in lots of the scripts (even 11th hour rewrites). Parts of DNR, for example, never appear in the final episode (sadly). Honeymoon’s end was revamped, and that’s only season one. What matters is what’s on screen, and I think they really nailed it IMHO.

    I’ve posted a preview to “Selfish” BTW. Check the BC front page for the link 🙂

  • Flo

    I’d like to know, why House’s phone rang after the champagne scene since it was on silence before (ie the breakfast scene). Doesn’t make any sense to me. Maybe the answer is in one of the scenes that were cut.

    Like Delia I’m not unsatisfied with the result. The episode was a good one IMO. 42 minutes heh!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Greenhouse (#85):
    – the editing issue was also obvious from the differences between the promos and actual episode. I don’t mean the sex scenes – part of them were obviously too daring to air at 8 pm, so they were shot exclusively for the promos and, maybe (luckily:))), the DVD.
    I mean that there are differences between other scenes, like the champagne scene and the cuddling scenes in bed, and there were promotional pictures released that were missing from the episode.

    It’s understandable. They worked hard to fit the essence of such a grand romance into about 20 minutes or so of the episode, so it makes sense they struggled with it.
    However, i am not unsatisfied with the result. The slow pace of the episode is somehow distracting, as is the unusual format. And the difference of tone and nuance between the comic scenes with the team and the emotionally loaded, very sweet and intimate scenes with House and Cuddy can be felt as a disruption.
    I still think they made great choices. The scenes they picked portrayed the essence of Huddy at its best: the deep communication and mutual knowledge, the tenderness and generosity, the gentle approach to a slightly scary new beginning, the joy of being together, the tension of House’s doubts and disbelief, and the unimaginable chemistry that fills every scene with tons of magic.

    – In regard to a Huddyless universe: glad to see we share that boat:) I am at a point right now, where i cannot imagine who would want or could see them apart. I know that there is a guerilla war between “House” fans over this, but after seeing them in the premiere, i cannot help but think: if love and chemistry of those insane proportions don’t conquer the world, then there is something wrong with the world…

  • Greenhouse

    @LizzieE (#70)
    ” I know I found the editing problematic and very choppy – maybe illustrating D. Shore’s comment that they have not done an episode like this before. It almost seemed as if there was an episode checklist where scenes were rewritten and reshot to illustrate a certain point and then spliced together – they knew where they wanted to go but were unsure how to get there (too many cooks?).”

    I agree. And maybe the answer is in the Fox site recap (http://www.fox.com/house/recaps/season-7/episode-1.htm#).
    “It’s Chase: the assistant has called the Department of Public Health to report the hospital’s lack of a neurosurgeon. “When DPH shows up, they’re going to shut down our E.R. This can’t be fixed. It is what it is, House.” House remains unconcerned. Cuddy’s anxiety wins out, and she tells House that she’s going to get changed and go to work. He can’t persuade her to stay, but mysteriously a fuse has gone missing from her car. “Are you afraid this will end as soon as I walk out that door?,” she asks. “Are you afraid everything will go wrong if you stay?,” House asks. He hands over the fuse, and Cuddy says she’ll stay.”
    Apparently, they rewrote several times the premiere and chopped off scenes. I imagine it must be very hard to stay in the 42 minutes time frame and you have to make sacrifices… (like the Harry Potter movies…)

    @D_B (#30) : nice catch for the ring-finger in the bath!

    @ruthinor (#74): I get the Bar Mitzah = 13 thing. But I don’t get the “Ephraim” on the cake… Or maybe it’s just a private joke (it’s one of David Shore’s Brother said Barbara)?

    @ruthinor (#74) and Michele1L (#83) : I totally agree with you that Lucas’s proposal was the real deal-breaker here. It was obvious she was uncomfortable during season 6 and all her conversations with Lucas were about House. I thought it was quite obvious she was pining for him. If she took the big leap with another person, then she would never know “if you[House] and I[Cuddy] can work”.
    “And of course, Cuddy was so thrilled to announce she was going to marry Lucas and really looked like a woman in love. (NOT)” => LOL and so true!

    We’ve never seen Cuddy smile so much as in the episode (and in the previews for the next!)

    @D_B (#84) : “i can no longer imagine a universe in which they would be apart.”
    I’m with you on that. They seem so comfortable with each other, they know each other so well…I do hope they don’t break them up.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Barbara: thank you for your response. I cannot wait for the preview, however short. The episode looks thrilling, and as David Shore already mentioned, apparently House and Cuddy don’t get much tranquility to settle in this new situation. I am sure they can manage, though…

    PS: it’s just insane, how badly i wish them well… To know that they are extraordinary together and perfect for each other is one thing. To actually see it, like we have in “Now What”, brings things to a whole different level – i can no longer imagine a universe in which they would be apart.

    @Michele1L: yes, yes, yes and yes. So right you are!

    I also think that Lucas represented the illusion of normality, that she thought she wanted, and she needed to get out of her system. Cuddy is a tormented character herself. She is as passionate about her job as House is, and just like him, she fails to find ultimate meaning and satisfaction in it, despite her exquisite results (“what you’ve accomplished makes you proud, but you are still miserable”). She is as true to herself and her beliefs as he is and she fights for what she thinks is right, just like he does. And she used to be as helpless in regard to her personal life as he was, lonely and incapable to find the answer to the “what’s missing?” question.

    She had exhausted the dating game, it did nothing for her. She thought that a child could fill the void, but it did not, even if she does love Rachel. And then she thought that playing along with the illusion of normality, trying for a somewhat conventional relationship with Lucas would bring her peace and fulfillment. Obviously, it did not.

    I completely and totally agree to your chronology of the “season 6 hints”. It’s the same one i had in mind, when i tried to understand Cuddy’s perspective in season 6.

    I would also add the look on her face in the end of “Ignorance Is Bliss”, after Lucas wonders whether House is all that bad after all. Also, her spontaneous, unguarded response to House in “Known Unknowns”, when they start dancing – the joy of being with him is sparkling out of her, until she catches hold of herself. Later on, in “K.U.”, her look of utter guilt and regret. And little things, like in “Ignorance”, she is looking at the clock at Thanksgiving dinner, thinking about House and feeling bad. Or in “Teamwork”, ranting to Lucas about how worried she was about House. Or in “Moving The Chains”, as Lucas was giving one of his insufferable speeches about his doubts in regard to House, Cuddy shut him up with a kiss that was perfectly hypocritical and condescending.

    And the little hint of the body language in her entire history with Lucas, which spoke of love and passion and desire and intimacy and chemistry and pleasure and joy and ease and comfort. (NOT) – ha ha ha, Michele:).

    Which kinda brings me back to the glow on her face in “Now What”… I have never seen so much love pouring out of a woman’s every pore… She was beautiful beyond beauty, lovely beyond words and i will just leave out the “natural” part, because i try hard to think of another on screen couple that shines like them, in that continuous flow of love and joy and chemistry, and i just can’t.

  • Michele1L

    ruthinor#74 – In the episode “Humpty Dumpty”, House told Cuddy, “you need for everything to be perfect, which means two things; one, you’re a good boss, and two, you will never be happy”. I think Cuddy’s involvement with Lucas was an attempt to create a “perfect” environment for her daughter, Rachel — a family unit. While Lucas was far from perfect and not always there when she arrived home at night, he did accept Cuddy’s role as a mom, which we all know House’s fought over this tooth-and-nail with her. Naturally, she could never be happy with Lucas while knowing she was in love with House, but she had to exhaust that possibility. I don’t believe she ever truly bought into that relationship because I believe in her mind it has always been House for her. She never “changed” her mind in my view because her mind had already been made up. She was simply fighting it, just as Delia_Beatrice mentioned.

    There were several episodes where it was clear to me she was contemplating resigning herself to the inevitable; the episode you mentioned about her telling Wilson to ‘go for it’ in his desire to pursue a relationship with his ex-wife — I think Cuddy was regreting having not given House a shot — even in the episode where he purchased the cappuccino machine for her, there was a look on her face after he left her office that made me optomistic. — Then, of course, in “The Choice” when after refusing her dinner invite, for the first time House revealed candidly, while looking her in the eyes, (friends)”is the last thing I want us to be”. The simple fact that she extended that dinner invitation to him at all suggested to me that she really wanted them to be more than friends. She had intimated that in the 2nd episode of season 6 after House had resigned from the hospital when she went to his condo and asked, with a lovely vulnerability, “what am I to you?” (Of course House, at that time, blew his opportunity to take their relationship to another level by simply saying, “you’re not the reason I left” (the hospital). Their friendship never really stopped, which was evident in “5-9”. And of course, Cuddy was so thrilled to announce she was going to marry Lucas and really looked like a woman in love. (NOT)
    Due to my interpretations of these scenes here and there, when Cuddy finally admitted to loving him, my response was , “it’s about time!” — It hardly came out of left field for me.

  • Delia_B–I’m thinking about doing a preview of “Selfish,” but a short one, on Sunday.

    It’s a super episode, back to basics–medical case, life and death decisions and all for everyone–but also very much how that all fits in with House and Cuddy.

  • hwl40

    Barbara, would you consider writing an article about the references in House and how they add to the story? For example, the Bergman that resonated with Simona even though she wasn’t aware, Nolan’s reference to House “skulking around like some manipulative Iago”, the little piano piece that Lydia played in “Broken” entitled “Strange Lands and Foreign People” and written by the institutionalized Schumann, Room 12B from Sat Night Live, the Wilson comment “Godot would be faster” in a long ago episode when House and team were waiting for something, and many more that others caught and passed me by.

    I don’t think these references are random and, if we catch them, add to our understanding of what the writers are telling us, much like the Yiddish references which I loved once you explained them. I miss probably most of this stuff and would love to read how you think they play in. Anyway, just a thought.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT (please forgive me, those of you who hate the very word) – it’s only a very general question, no specifics, but still…:

    @Barbara: will you be posting a preview to “Selfish”?
    Based on the promos and sneak peaks, i had a disturbing feeling, that Cuddy’s wonderful confidence and sweetness will fade under the burden of the personal/professional dichotomy.
    Could you please give one tiny hint, as to whether we will still get to see the lovely, strong, understanding and generous woman in love we saw in “Now What”?

    Thank you very much:)

  • simona

    @hwl40 #72
    Do you know that I didn’t remember the reference in Baggage???!!! so amazing… Probably my conscious side didn’t remember it but certainly my unconscious did. For me this is further evidence that House speaks on many levels and that it needs to be understood during a long process of assimilation. Perhaps we all, House’s addicted, need a digestive system similar to that of ruminants…. or we already have it and dont know yet 🙂

    @Delia_Beatrice #76
    you’re welcome 🙂
    “He throws all of it in her face and waits for the verdict” is so beautiful housian.
    And he always knows when she is lying.
    I think one of the scenes I most appreciated is near the final, while Cuddy is going away and she realizes that House is dismayed, frightened, tormented, doubting, puzzled and in need of reassurance. And she understand all this emotions with her heart. In a little scene the writers (and obviously HL and LE) have been able to make it clear, and very gently, that kind of deep emotional connection between these two human beings.
    Perhaps that’s why the promos, so focused on sex, have disturbed me. Because they didn’t correspond to the profound truth of this episode. Sex has been just a “vehicle”, a tool to further test the undeniable complementarity between them.

    I think this season could be unforgettable…

  • ruthinor

    D_B, I did read it and I think we agree at least in part! You just don’t suddenly change your life completely after only one night under a pile of rubble. That was only one factor. It’s like WW1. The causes are always described as both immediate (killing the archduke) and underlying (all the factors that led to disputes between the countries involved). The events in Help Me were the immediate cause. But there were already several underlying causes at work.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Ruthinor (#74): your question is very interesting, i had spent a great deal of time considering it myself. Please forgive me, i will not answer it here, because there is too much to say…

    I made a very, very, very detailed analyses on Cuddy in season 6 and her decision in “Help Me” in May and i had posted it as a comment to Barbara’s interview with the finale’s writers.

    If you’d like to read it, it’s here.

    (comment #42). I hope you’ll find it interesting, i really focused on the Cuddy issue at that time, because i was pissed at the viewers who were claiming that her actions and words in the final minutes of “Help Me” were “unexpected” and “forced”. I fully, fully disagree, obviously.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Greenhouse (#45), Sera G (#51), Rebecca (#57) and Simona (#61): thank you so, so, so, so, so, so, so much for your appreciation. I can obviously return the compliment. I loved your comments on this episode, as I generally do, and I think all of the comments, but yours and Flo’s and Orange 450’s especially, led me to a little something. Here it is:

    I did this little experiment tonight: I re-watched the premiere (for the 6th time) and I focused exclusively on House. The interesting thing is, his facial expression has always bore a shadow of concern and tension. Yes, there are moments when he smiles or laughs or fixates Cuddy with intense tenderness, but his face and eyes don’t really express relaxation or happiness, but mainly concern.

    I think the explanation lies in the first minute of the episode, after Cuddy leaves the room to get water, thus breaking away from their handhold, House is looking at and touching his own hand – in disbelief and awe.
    I think disbelief is what marked him for the entire experience. He keeps her under lock and key in their little world, trying to make it last longer by sweeping her away to France immediately. But most of all, he fears that what he is experiencing is not real-real and will disappear as the bubble breaks.

    The fear explodes as she approaches the front door. He expresses it openly and desperately. The one thing he overstresses is that she might only be there because she thinks he can change. His greatest fear is that his “one stupid moment with a dying girl and a pile of rubble” has convinced the emotional Cuddy (bath scene) to make an impulsive decision (bath scene), based entirely on her hope that he can change. Which, interestingly enough, he can – and has, a lot, during the past year. So?…

    I think that what we got there was House in his emotional nakedness, fully in character. We know that House always presents himself in the worst possible light, always in the least flattering perspective, so that he can be sure that the love and loyalty he might get are completely true and that the people who do stick by him do so in full awareness of his flaws and the love he does receive is as unconditional as possible. In his sub- and unconscious search for healing of his inner wounds, House forces himself not to accept anything less than what he instinctively knows he needs: unconditional love that can validate his existence (as opposed to his self worth issues) and that can finally help him to give himself the permission to live and be happy.

    It is the reason for which he pushed Stacy away in “Need to Know”: he knew she would only love him if he changed. The reason why he never really acted on his attraction to Cameron: during their date, he clearly spells out to her that her interest in him is motivated by her wanting to heal him. “Wanting to heal” means wanting to change, and that is something he just cannot accept.

    So during “Now What”, he lived the bliss of all his dreams coming true and the nightmare of maybe his greatest fear: allowing himself to experience happiness that is not real (happened to him in the end of season 5, with devastating effects). He confronted Cuddy on it with desperation and imploration in his voice and eyes:
    – He presented himself in the worst possible light (he is the man who had done and will do “horrible things” to her, an “insane choice for someone who has a child”)
    – He spelled out to her that her only motivation might have been her hope that he can change – of which she got an inkling during the “stupid moment with the dying girl”, a moment of such incredible truth and intensity, that he now mocks and belittles on purpose.
    – He claimed that he has not changed and cannot ever change – he is lying or just simply loathing himself, “valuing his failures more than his successes” (Nolan, in “Broken”), after an amazing year in which we all watched and applauded his efforts to change and the impressive progress he has made.

    He throws all of it in her face and waits for the verdict.

    And only after Cuddy, clearly in shock (because she hadn’t felt any of it, she had simply been a woman in love fully experiencing the joy of finally being with the love of her life), gives him the perfect answer, he can let go of the disbelief and fear. He can even utter the words now, the words that seal the deal and make him as open, vulnerable and committed as possible. Obviously, he had avoided anything that would have made the experience even more unbearably real than it already was. He was guarded, even in his most emotional moments. He didn’t tell her he loved her, he didn’t really consider the idea of going public. Cuddy was right – he wasn’t ready, but for other reasons than she thought. He wasn’t ready because he feared it wasn’t real, it wasn;t dependable, it wasn;t there to stay. So what was the point of making plans with long term impact and putting his heart out there even more than it implicitly was?…

    His playfulness, his ease, his comfortable behavior, his joy – they were all just him playing along, allowing himself to feel the magic, but fighting hard to keep aware of the dangers. The ultimately true moment, in which we catch the image of what House is really feeling, deep down, is the “I love you” scene. He finally believes it, he can finally let himself go. And what we see is not ease or playfulness. His face is hard, immobile, concentrated, his eyes full of tears, the grip on her hand dramatic. When he finally allows himself to believe that it’s real, what he feels is that his life depends on it. Which is, of course, true.

  • Eileen

    You know what’s so much fun??? Coming back to this sight days after B.B.’s wonderful review and finding people STILL adding their thoughts and comments to this amazing show (and this wonderful episode, in particular). House sticks with you — in a good way — which not everybody can understand. But all of you can. And for me, that’s wonderful!

  • ruthinor

    I can’t recall whether or not it was on this site that someone pointed out the Bar Mitzvah cake for 13 has two meanings here..It never occurred to me. The age of the Bar Mitzvah boy?

    I’d like to get people’s thoughts on why Cuddy finally made her decision (other than TPTB). My own feeling is that she had been thinking about it for a while, before the crane collapse and subsequent events that night. If Lucas hadn’t asked her to marry him, causing her to really focus on the future, would she have been content to just go on as before?

    I can’t recall the name of the episode in season 6, but House was in Cuddy’s office and they were talking about Wilson. Cuddy says” you won’t believe the things that Wilson doesn’t tell you”. Then House gets all snarky and says “you mean the fact that you slept with your father’s best friend?” Cuddy says, almost under her breath, “I’m going to kill him”. Later in the episode, Wilson seeks out Cuddy in the cafeteria to get her thoughts on his getting together with Sam again. She seems, not rude, but distant and a bit cool towards him. At first I thought, she’s still angry about Wilson telling House about her affair. But on second thought, Cuddy knows that Wilson blabs everything to House, so I don’t think she’s angry. She seems thoughtful, and when she tells Wilson to go for it, I think she’s also thinking about her own situation.

  • Amanda

    Thanks for writing such a well-thought-out and spot-on review of “Now What?” I’m hardly a devoted “House” viewer, nor am I a “Huddy” (House & Cuddy) fan, but I totally enjoyed the 1st episode of season 7. House & Cuddy were engaging (and sexy!) to watch on screen together. Their love-making scenes — and more importantly, the “before” and “after” dialogue — were sensitively written and acted, creating a truly intimate, but in-character, feel. And the witty banter between the two was very “House,” and prevented the show from veering too far off-course from the formula that fans have come to expect. What’s more, Hugh Laurie & Lisa Edelstein really aced the material.

    The secondary plot-line involving the doped-up neurosurgeon was substantially weaker than the main House/Cuddy story arc, and, at times, seemed a little over-the-top. But it was essentially harmless and mildly fun to watch.

    What’s really going to make me tune in for next week’s episode is my curiosity over how the whole House/Cuddy relationship saga is going to play out. House is such an interestingly flawed, complex character that I’m sure that this next stage in his evolution (this time, in the sphere of personal relationships) will prove as entertainingly topsy-turvy and tortured as everything else involving Dr. Crankypants. In other words, I’m sure we can expect a bumpy — but intriguing and infinitely watchable — ride, regardless of how the Huddy romance unfolds.

  • hwl40

    Simona@61 So glad you mentioned Scenes from a Marriage. Do you remember in “Baggage” toward the end when Nolan says “Relationships…” trying to tease out what is going on with House and House can’t come up with an answer and so takes it like a word association game and says “Bergman”. “Scenes from a Marriage” has got to be the reference. Don’t remember the movie very well but the little I do recall was a downer, a perfect association for the man who assumes that no relationship will work for him.

    Orange@62. Not being Jewish, never heard of Teshuva but think I might convert if that part of the philosophy as that belief would, as my southern relatives say, “get you up the hill”. Maybe that’s what Cuddy can bring to House. Thanks for sharing.

    Barbara: Yep, that’s the one. Love St Doris but she’s not the only one who can write. For those who haven’t read the whole piece, it is really lovely and very true to the characters.

  • Puick: Not sure exactly what you mean.

    hwl: you mean this little passage from “Pictures at an Exhibition?”:

    “Cuddy moved yet closer as she massaged, so that her body was even with his knee, firmly stroking the outside of his leg from the knee to the hip with her right hand as her left worked the remaining muscle of the damaged area and his inner thigh. House sighed as he felt the pressure increase and subside, causing sensations of pleasure to course through every nerve ending in his body. House perceived a very slight change in the way Cuddy was manipulating his leg. Her strokes were becoming more languorous and less precise; he thought for a brief second that she had scraped her nails gently across the junction between his leg and his pelvis. But it was too brief to be certain, and, in any event, surely a momentary lapse on her part. And then it happened again, as her hands approached the area just below his groin twice more, sending signals right to the pleasure center of his brain.

    And then he experienced something new as she kneaded, stroked and prodded his scarred leg: the unmistakable pressure of Cuddy’s moist lips. House gasped. He was lost to the chaos of sensation, aroused and intrigued.

    “Cuddy,” he pleaded. She stopped, looking up at him, suddenly embarrassed. It was the last thing he had wanted—for her to stop.

    “I’m sorry, I… Did I hurt you? I must’ve…I’m…”

    “No. I…” Their eyes caught and held, each looking for permission that had already been more than granted. House pulled Cuddy up to the sofa from where she had been seated, sending the chess set tumbling, forgotten, to the floor.”

    Rory Alex: Believe it or not, I make the argument in CZ that House is like Batman in several ways.

  • LizzieE

    Thought provoking comments from all as usual.

    Orange #62 – I too would have preferred something more from House at least indicating his resolve to try not to do “terrible things” to her. I doubt if anyone I know would still be in the room after such a declaration from the person you love. And yes, I get that Cuddy doesn’t want him to change but I would think that is in reference to his professional, not his personal life – they both rely on the rhythm of their interpersonal dynamic in the workplace. To me though, there have to be some boundaries that can’t be crossed and some recognition that, at the end of the day, your significant other will be there no matter what. I hope the writers will explore those issues in a more cohesive way than was done in this episode. I know I found the editing problematic and very choppy – maybe illustrating D. Shore’s comment that they have not done an episode like this before. It almost seemed as if there was an episode checklist where scenes were rewritten and reshot to illustrate a certain point and then spliced together – they knew where they wanted to go but were unsure how to get there (too many cooks?).

    I too am venting to an extent but that’s only because I care about the relationship and hope that it can be protected and nurtured not developed only so it can fail (glass half full not half empty).

  • andreec

    Great insight by everyone. A couple of thoughts to counter some observations by others:
    1. the goodbye scene after the door closes. To me it symbolizes their need to be together. When together, they don’t doubt themselves. Apart, they fear how things might go awry or end when they clearly want more than anything for this to work. They need to be together and are stronger for it.

    2. Cuddy hiding in the closet: Seemed to me she hid because she knew House wasn’t ready but she also knows Wilson has a big mouth and will let the news out before either of them are back at the hospital. She was right. House was also right in protecting her from being outed before she was ready. They are both in the throes of experiencing this budding real relationship together. Worrying about what others think or gossip isn’t a stage either is ready to confront just yet.

    3. I lobe you. House was testing Cuddy’s reaction. Her sweet smile but slight doubt after he semi-deflected the situation let him know she was ready to pursue this relationship to the max and not just for sex. He played it right holding back just enough. His declaration he loved her was his way of letting her know he trusted her fully after she told him she didn’t want him to change and wanted him as he truly is. Thought it was the height of vulnerability for both of them within seconds of this truth.

    4. House keeps Cuddy in the Dark: House not letting Cuddy know of the neurosurgeon issue was perfect and not him playing his old tricks. He attempts to solve the problem through Chase because he knows things won’t come to the point a neurosurgeon won’t be needed in the next few hours (given based on past infrequency?) I saw it more of House trying to give Cuddy time to enjoy herself and not be rushed. Of House wanting to enjoy her all to himself instead of competing with Rachel and the Hospital for her time. He was right when he said “This is important.” Cuddy needed him to point that out.

    Lastly, I loved the hearty sex romp of the two of them falling on the bed together (okay, LE’s hips and curve of her bottom were clearly nekkid, these two actors have no secrets anymore!). So energetic and spent. House hugging her back and embracing her. Her petulance over him ‘hiding’ her from Wilson.” These two are so into each other they haven’t bothered to think past each other and how others will react or what will happen that far down the road. The couple just needed to be for a while before clarity and reality set in. Cuddy realizing House was protecting her made her realize she hadn’t bothered to think how he might want their news to be revealed. Then she realized they both had a stake in this from numerous angles.

    I’m very pleased with the episode and at first (gulp) felt slightly let down at the end of the epi when the two looked worried about their new status after the apartment door closed. I can only hope that House continues to be his wonderful wacky self but doesn’t push her too hard or tease her so mercilessly that it becomes borderline sadistic. He tends to hurt her sometimes. If he’s respectful of her and doles out the sweetness he’s capable of and works at this situation, then he’ll find happiness.

    I do fear the writers will make House a bit unpleasant in ways that are new (too neurotic about when and how it will all come crashing down) concerning their new couple relationship. I do hope to see House recognize he is in control of his future and theirs as much as she is of herself and their relationship because both have to give and take, both have to want it to work and not rely on the other to accept whatever bad behavior might happen. House, I fear, might just stick to “you knew I was screwed up when you got into this” and that’s not mature enough to sustain this type of relationship. House needs to be cognizant of his actions and deeds if he wants Cuddy to be there longterm. How he handles it will make Season 7 worth watching. If he regresses to meaness or crankiness out of habit, he’s a goner and so is season 8. Lets hope for the former option!

  • Michele1L

    Flo#44 – Yes, when House in the champagne scene says,”slightly wrong”, that totally sounded like Hugh to me — especially when he said, “slightly” and the ease at which he smiled.

    Greenhouse#45 – When House tells Cuddy he loves her, I think it was another one of those parallels the directors/writers of this show draw. It reminded me of the scene in House’s bathroom where Cuddy finally admitted to loving him. She was standing above him, he, again, below her, only this time, he’s the one saying it. Not sure what the whole thing about him being below her is about. Perhaps because she is more often than not his rescuer.

    ruthinor#46 – Thanks for the info on the boss/subordinate thing.

    rsg#56 – Yaaaaaay! The apartment is back! I’ve missed House’s personal space so much because I’ve always loved it! It has always felt so enveloping to me — like a warm coccoon.

    Leodie#59 – Good point about “House”‘s weaker episodes being better than other series’ best episodes. So true.

    Simona#61 – “Avoid promos”, good advice! I was just so desperate at the time I had to go to Youtube and watch the different regional ones posted there.

  • Rory Alex

    I had an epiphany. As a long time Comics fan, i just realized that House is actually Batman/Bruce Wayne(in Comic verse) in a white coat, rather than a Bat suit. That would make Cuddy his Catwoman, Wilson would be Alfred and the rest of the cast the extended Bat family. The patients would be rotating cast of villians! If you’re a comic fan, you’d know what I’m talking about. Gotham has merely been tranplanted to a hospital. Tell me I’m crazy.

  • Orange450

    @simona #64

    I also hope we get to see House’s therapy process continue! I can imagine how illuminating and fascinating it would be to witness sessions with Dr. Nolan as they tackle House’s relationship building/maintenance experiences, obstacles and hopefully – revelations 🙂

  • Puick

    This isn’t a review, is a summary

  • simona

    @Orange #62 – “I’m sort of sorry that it took Cuddy’s declaration to get him past the barrier”.

    House did not finish the treatment (I hope it continues), he is still in mid-stream, he is still full of insecurities because he has not finished compiling his own past. Maybe that’s why he needed a little push? 😉
    And I love it when he smiles too, his smile goes straight to my heart…

  • simona

    @Flo 60 – “Regarding Cuddy kissing House’s scar on his leg, I don’t read fanfic so I wasn’t aware that it was something fans had already written in some way. I didn’t find it cheesy or cheap. For me, it was just the follow up of House’s forgiveness in “Help Me”. When he confessed to Hannah, that he made the wrong decision regarding his leg, he was also talking to Cuddy, admitted to her that he was responsible. At this point, he forgives her for what happened, soothing her long guilt feeling about this and he stops resenting her for it.
    In “Now What”, she’s telling him that’s it’s okay, she loves him. It’s her “I get it” to him, she got the message. I took this kiss as a gesture of closure on this matter. I could be wrong though.”
    You have been able to express very well what is my thought about that moment. I totally agree. Thanks 🙂

  • Orange450

    I wanted to add a thought I had about the concerns that House has about his ability to sustain a long-term serious relationship. It may be that I’m being influenced by the current time of year on the Jewish calendar, with its emphasis on introspection and efforts in personal evaluation and growth! But even though House’s knee-jerk reaction to the idea of a serious commitment is understandable and not at all unexpected, it’s also disappointing (to me, IAC), especially in the face of the year of therapy just behind him.

    I’m sort of sorry that it took Cuddy’s declaration to get him past the barrier – and that, only after he’d predicted the inevitable ending of the story. I know that the contrast between this exchange and the similar one with Stacy was drawn with intent. But I’m sorry that Cuddy had to tell him that he’s the most incredible man she’s ever known (no matter how very true that is :)) and that she knows how screwed up he is AND WILL AWAYS BE.

    Before she had to say that, I would so have loved to hear him express the idea that while he knows how screwed up he is, and what his predilections are, and he can anticipate his typical pattern of behavior – this time he’s going to TRY to get on top of the terrible things he’s done to her in the past. And even if he’ll end up doing terrible things to her again – and who among us in long-term relationships doesn’t have way too much to apologize for? – at least start off with the explicit intent to TRY. Not the knee-jerk bow to the inevitable “nobody ever changes, nobody can change” in defeat!

    Don’t mind me; I’m just venting 🙂 But being conscious of the fact that there’s an entire philosophy and significant world-view that rests on the notion of Teshuva – that by dint of sincere soul-searching and hard work, it IS possible to be in the same place and NOT make the same mistake again – I dearly hope we get to see House at least make the effort. Because I love it when he smiles 🙂

  • simona

    Barbara, your reviews become ever more beautiful and moving, helping me to think and to desire to enter more and more in this wonderful series and in this wonderful character that is gregory House. Thanks so much for that. This reflection’s place is irreplaceable. And again thanks to all of you because with your various comments stimulate me to reflect, to develop hypotheses, to test the thesis and keep in touch with my emotional side.
    I’ve seen this episode only one time so what I’ll try to express are only my first impressions.
    You, Barbara, write in your review (scattered references): – “I am an insane choice for a woman with a child, he argues”, “But Cuddy stuns him, saying that she doesn’t want him to change”, “she knows he is screwed up. Yet, she asserts ‘You are the most incredible man I’ve ever met’. “It is this moment that House says words we haven’t heard from him since that fateful day years ago, just before his life is irrevocably changed by a surgeon’s scalpel. “I love you,” he tells Cuddy, looking into her eyes.”–

    I was deeply moved by the mutual declarations of love of these two characters, because both were consistent with themselves and “who” they are and above all they both are laid bare by the enormous effort to declare what they have always struggled to said to each other. I’m not ashamed to say that they made me cry and I cried again reliving the scenes in your written review.

    @33–Flo: “House and Cuddy history is made of missed opportunities. A bit like doors that could have been open but stayed shut, doors that were open at the wrong time etc.”
    Very interesting, it reminds me the movie ‘Sliding Doors’ and so many open questions: what determines our lives? destiny, fate, personal choices (and the constant reference to karma during the season 6)…

    @36-Michele1L: “I have to say that in some respects I was a bit disappointed in this episode. It’s probably due to the promos I watched. The love scene was greatly minimized,the intensely passionate portions removed”.
    I agree. For this reason I will try with all my might to avoid the promos 🙂

    @39-Delia_Beatrice: “Perhaps hoping that House will grow and heal enough as to think that “happiness can last” is a bit much. Let’s lower our expectations (ha ha) and simply pray that damnation and destruction are not the only possible fate for this superb man… Damaged, complicated people can, and often do, find a kindred spirit (thanks for the quote, Sir Hugh) that manages to bring some glimpse of light and peace in their lives.”
    Without hope the life would be a terrible ordeal and perhaps that is why House is stubbornly looking for someone or something that allows him to believe. So I strongly hope he succeeds….

    “I take you and i love you as you are – damaged, scarred, dirty, covered in the rubble of your past and your pain”.
    So moving and I just want to add that Lisa Edelstein’s interpretation was excellent.

    P.S. I don’t know what debate there has been but I want to tell you that I appreciate your comments and I don’t find them inappropriate. Your comments rather show that you are a person with an insatiable desire for more depth. And I like it 🙂

    @49–Kristin: “If it ends, it does but for one another there will probably never be a love like this one in their lives. Sweet, bitter, real. At their age I think they know this fact in their souls.”
    So well said! :-))

    I don’t know if any of you have seen ‘Scenes from a Marriage’ by Ingmar Bergman, a movie that initially presented the two main characters as a couple in enviable position and serenity, then following the separation, a series of wrenching tug. The movie’s moral is: I can’t live either with you or without you.

    The love story of House and Cuddy seems to follow an inverted path. If we go back in time we realize that we’ve seen them from afar, somewhat close but far apart. We have seen these two wonderful characters walk “together and away” for six long years of their and our lives (it’s impressive if I think about all this time!!). So after all this time can we say that we know them a little? 🙂 Yes? Ok, then I can say that I think that House and Cuddy embody all the moods that gives or requires love and this is why I love them so much: because they are “unreal”……real!
    And this gives me hope. Call me insane 😉

  • Flo

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words. I appreciate your insights too. 🙂

    @Rebecca, You’re totally right about those two scenes. House’s speeches about being unable to make people happy cause he can’t change are very similar. It’s a great parallel.

    Also, what’s interesting is that Stacy and Lydia were married women. It made things real complicated for House. Stacy loved her husband Mark and didn’t want to hurt him.
    Lydia never expected something that serious with House and made it clear it was temporary.
    Cuddy is not married and want things to get serious.
    In a way Cuddy did what Stacy wasn’t really willing to do: she broke off her engagement. You can argue that breaking off an engagement is a bit easier than breaking a marriage but the fact remains the same.
    Stacy was reluctant to tell Mark, Cuddy did’t hesitate to end it with Lucas. She is realy available for House.
    Prostitutes aside, House doesn’t believe in one-night-stands. He’s only interested in serious relationships. Lydia didn’t want that with him (not that she could anyway). Stacy didn’t know what she wanted, and didn’t know what her night with House in “need To Know” meant. Cuddy knows. She acknowledges House wants to be serious with her, that he doesn’t want a simple affair. So she makes herself available for him, telling him that’s she wants him, that their on the same page. She wants and is ready to have a serious relationship with him. No regrets.

    Regarding Cuddy kissing House’s scar on his leg, I don’t read fanfic so I wasn’t aware that it was something fans had already written in some way. I didn’t find it cheesy or cheap. For me, it was just the follow up of House’s forgiveness in “Help Me”. When he confessed to Hannah, that he made the wrong decision regarding his leg, he was also talking to Cuddy, admitted to her that he was responsible. At this point, he forgives her for what happened, soothing her long guilt feeling about this and he stops resenting her for it.
    In “Now What”, she’s telling him that’s it’s okay, she loves him. It’s her “I get it” to him, she got the message. I took this kiss as a gesture of closure on this matter. I could be wrong though.

  • Leodie

    #28 Edward. Have to disagree with you, this is THE television show.

    I don’t think it was THE best episode ever though but how great is it that even weaker episodes are still much better than most good ones on other tv shows ? I am a major Huddy shipper but the show wouldn’t survive several Huddy centered episodes, something I am sure the PTB are aware of. Still I guess it was a necessary episode to set the décor for that new season and as usual it was handled as well as it could.

    Being a bit caricatural here, I think that for a while now, the show has stepped back from its trademark “jackpot” backbone which was edge of your seat, patient centered plots. It has matured into a less exciting but deeper and more insightful character study, which was already there but on the back burner. I think it has decreased slightly in quality, but like every living entity, great shows are bound to decline and the end comes faster if the formula never changes and the writers run out of interesting stories to tell. This has not happened on House (yet ;-). The show has successfully and with a lot of courage negotiated a tricky crossing into adulthood, something that even the great Xfiles couldn’t achieve. I am still waiting for new episodes like a junky expecting its fix but hope with HL that when its time has come, the show will die with a bang and not dwindle forever. I have too high an opinion of the show to enjoy watching average new episode. I’d rather watch good reruns.
    Barbara, I will have CZ on my Christmas list (like the major spoilerphobe I am, I will thrive in expectation and hope it won’t be sold out by then). Even if it were dull and uninspired (which I’m confident it won’t be) I would still have it just to thank you for that fantastic blog of yours I’ve been reading for free for a year now.

  • hwl40

    Barbara, yes, your fanfic, I think it was “Pictures at an Exhibition”, but I could be wrong.

    I gratefully second Rebecca’s and other’s appreciation of DB, Flo, Byzantine, Orange and many others’ comments and particularly Barbara for creating this “little corner of the net”

  • Rebecca

    Dear Barbara, I’ll repeat myself by saying that it’s always a delight reading your reviews. And there’s not much I can add after all those brilliant comments…
    Your article and hwl40’s comment (#48) made me realize the symmetry between two particular scenes involving the two most important women in House’s life: 1) House letting Stacy go (Season Two, “Need to Know”) and 2) House and Cuddy in the end of this season’s premiere.
    In those scenes House confronts both women with the truth (or what he perceives as the truth).

    In “Need to Know” he tells Stacy that their renewed relationship is doomed to fail. Stacy loves him deeply but she realizes he is telling the truth. She protests only mildly, because she knows what is really at stake for her. For both of them actually. Their chance for real happiness was lost long ago and they were acting on the illusory belief that they could recreate what was lost. What I find interesting is that House’s motives are not simple. He is protecting himself but at the same time he is protecting Stacy.

    And then it’s Cuddy in the end of “What Now?”. Once more House reacts in the same way (it’s like an automatism to him). In this scene he is primarily confronting himself with what he fears to be the truth and secondarily Cuddy. But she doesn’t retract. She acknowledges the truth and still doesn’t walk away from him. And that is simply because those two are finally in the same place emotionally.

    There’s a unique poetical symmetry in the screenplay and visual narrative of these two scenes.

    @ Delia Beatrice: I always look forward to reading your comments no matter how long they are. Barabara’s reviews never fail to generate intelligent discussion. It’s one of the reasons why I am particularely fond of this “humble little corner of the net” (to quote Barbara). People here take time to think, analyze and elaborate, with respect for the author/ “host” and the other “guests”.

    @Flo: I enjoy revisiting an episode (episodes or a whole season) with you as my guide. Kudos for your analysis focusing on the “door” metaphor.

    @Byzantine: Thumbs up for pointing out the b/v significant “detail” (there’s definitely a carf under this particular bull, if you ask me!). You always add the scholar’s touch to the discussion.

    @Orange: Thank you for bringing up the powerful deathbead scene from Betty Smith’s novel “Maggie Now”. Such a poignant literary reference…

  • rsg

    Oh, shoot.
    Forgot to thank Flo for the excellent analysis of the door scenes seen in House. Always big scenes, and meaningful scenes shot with doors! Never noticed.
    Enjoyed your writing as usual; Thanks!

  • HLW40–It was a great scene in the show. Thanks so much for your kind words (and everyone else, too, of course). What was the fanfic (one of mine?)

    Very good points Orange. So many powerful pieces to this.

  • rsg

    YAY! You’re back and the season has begun! Loved your review as always. Also happy to see familiar names back up posting with their excellent writing talent and outstanding insights! Too many to mention all, but in particular this time— Rob F with getting the ‘Bar Mitzvah” was ’13’, and Byzantine mentioning the ‘B’ in lobe could actually be ‘V’ in another alphabet, (how perfectly Housian), ….brilliant!!!

    I cannot say enough good things about the first episode. I loved spending time in House’s apartment. After it’s absence for most of season 6 I missed it! I loved how the House/Cuddy relationship came across as two adults so at ease being together, and so familiar with each other. I think watching this progression was perfect and not overdone as some suggest. House’s response to Wllson’s concern and then Wilson’s break in was hilarious!
    I started caring about 13 in “Lockdown”, where she finally came across as person to me. Now we see her go and I’ll actually miss her.
    The patient of the week was different and not as strong as in the past, but offered a good balance of humor to the episode.

    I’ve been reading CZ, and as someone who has seen House episodes many, many, (OK– many, many, many… ect!!), times, I have really enjoyed it. You’re book has made me smile at my ‘favorite’ parts, and also appreciate new insights and information. I’ve just reached the episode break downs and love the method used in reviewing them! Thanks:)
    Here’s looking forward to the rest of the season. CHEERS!

  • Orange450

    Hey Barbara, thanks for a great review! A wonderful way to start what will hopefully be a wonderful season.

    My husband is OOT on business, but he called me last night right after the opener, to let me know that he was watching too. And he called just a little while ago, and we had a great time discussing the episode. There was a point I was planning to mention here, and I’m glad that my husband and I agreed about it 🙂

    Last night, when Cuddy called House on not saying “I love you” back, when she said it to him, and he told her that actions count, I enjoyed the reference to the pilot:

    Rebecca: Does he care about you?

    Wilson: I think so.

    Rebecca: You don’t know?

    Wilson: As Dr. House likes to say, “Everybody lies.”

    Rebecca: It’s not what people say, it’s what they do.

    Wilson: [Pause] Yes, he cares about me.

    Sure, “what people do” is important. But for someone like House, actions are the easy way out, because for him, the hard part is expressing his emotions in words; it’s what exposes him, and renders him openly vulnerable. It’s something he’s had trouble with since we know him. Actions are absolutely necessary – but in loving relationships, they’re not sufficient. The words have to be there too. How many times have we heard someone say sadly “I know my parents loved me, they worked so hard to give me everything I needed – but they never told me that they loved me in so many words.” And while the hard work is acknowledged and appreciated, the simple words are sorely missed.

    Did you ever read Betty Smith’s lovely novel “Maggie Now”? It’s not as well-known as “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, but IMO it’s more poetic. It contains a poignant deathbed scene – a wife of 25 years is dying in childbirth. Her husband – a reticent sort – has never said those three words to her. She says to him “in all our years together, you never said…..” And he says it then, just in time for her to hear it.

    I was really glad to see that House was able to make the leap, and didn’t wait until Cuddy was on the other side of the door to tell her how he feels about her. I mean – even *he* wanted to hear his father tell him “you were right”!

  • hwl40

    Barbara, as an aside,the initial scene of Cuddy caressing House’s leg was reminescent of a wonderful piece of fan fiction I read awhile ago. You are a very gifted lady.

  • Sera G

    I couldn’t wait to read further comments today. I am happy to see that most of us are happy with last night’s episode. Big surprise, I thought about it all day and will probably watch it again tonight. (I am a dinosaur who still video tapes!)
    The last scene of Cuddy’s face really bothered me. Barbara had a fine comment, “out of the cocoon into the real world.” However, I might be totally off base, but I think it was Cuddy realizing, again, that she needs to be the strong one in the relationship. As with hiring House, keeping him within boundries (as much as possible), saving him literally and metaphorically over and over, that she will need to do that to keep their realationship healthy. House will try to ruin it, either consciously on not. Cuddy will have to be the one to remind him of what they have, how long and hard they worked to get to this point. I think House loves and values her tremendously, but he is always sure that things will fail for him. As in the scenes in “5 to 9”, when Cuddy is alone she can allow the mask to slip and fear, self doubt and insecurity can show.
    I agree with so many of you who appreciate this complicated story of more mature lovers who know the risks of starting a relationship at this stage of their lives, with partners who are not ‘easy’. I, too, commend DS, the writers, etc. who are willing to take this journey. I think it can be amazing! I just pray they don’t take the Grey Anatomy route and break them up only to reunite them ad nauseum.
    I am proud to say that I love this show.
    One last comment, LE and HL are incredible.
    O.k., one last, last comment; Delia_Beatrice, I love your ideas and insight. They always offer something new to the discussion. Kudos to Barbara for having a place where all are wecome and respected. Done!

  • great review, and (for me) also a great class of english!
    thanks a lot.

  • Kristin

    You all write so beautifully and express yourselves so very well. This article is excellent. I agree with your analysis.

    For me one of the most touching parts on top of it all was when Cuddy did tell him he would always be the most incredible man she has ever known. It was like in that moment I felt like no matter how they may succeed or fail, she will never view any man on the same level as him. I feel that I already knew this about Cuddy, but this sealed the deal for me. If it ends, it does but for one another there will probably never be a love like this one in their lives. Sweet, bitter, real. At their age I think they know this fact in their souls.

  • hwl40

    Barbara, I have been thinking about the parallels you drew between House’s withdrawal from Stacey and his efforts in that regard with Cuddy. He was committed to Stacey and then suprised when he learned she was hedging her bets by not telling Mark. He concluded based on this and previous history he could not make her happy over the long term and he told her so in no uncertain terms. He seemed mortally wounded by her second rejection following on the heels of her previously demonstrated inability to weather the hard times with him, concluding “I’m better off alone” because he was so toxic as to be completely intolerable.

    Lydia was different because she truly liked him the way he was and valued his fine qualities even though she was never interested in a long term relationship and told him so. I think he saw himself in a different light through her eyes.

    In this episode, Cuddy shows herself to be very different these other two ladies. She knows him and she loves him and she wants it to work. She is committed, has no illusions about how difficult it will be, but does not back off – even when he turns his lazer like analysis on himself in as stark a manner as ever he did on any friend, colleague or patient. He expected the home truths about himself which he so ruthlessly catalogued to end the situation because, based on previous experience, he considered himself unredeemable.

    I really hope the writers don’t let him go down for the count ’cause it looks like he is going to make every effort to prove himself right.

    No doubt everyone else already got this but it’s great to have a place to say it. Thanks, Barbara.

  • ruthinor
  • ruthinor

    “Is it generally allowed in places of business for a boss to date a subordinate? I thought that could only happen if the couple was married. ???”

    Michele1L: I believe it is permitted as long as they sign certain contracts that prevent the workplace from being sued should the relationship not work out. In fact there is a very funny promo from, I believe, next week’s episode in which they are in the HR office.

  • Greenhouse

    I’m not very good at elaborating (and everyone here does it better than me) so here are just random thoughts:

    As a Huddy shipper, I loved the episode but I think for non shippers it may have been a bit disappointing. True it is slow paced but it is a great opener to a season I very much look forward to watching, with the banter back!

    @flo : “Chase putting a Cameron on 13 was hilarious!” LOL. And I agree.

    I also loved Cuddy’s personnal assistant.

    @D_B : I always very much enjoy reading what you have to say. And you always express what I feel so much better than I would…

    Didn’t anyone else think House’s “I love you” looked very much like a proposal?
    He was lower than her (even if it was only sitting down and not on his knees), holding her hand and he said it very seriously, looking into her eyes.

    Actually, I think he was afraid of saying it earlier because he was unsure that it would work. It was a way to keep a distance, not be hurt, if at the end of the day, they decided that was it. So by saying “I love you”, he was accepting this relationship. To give it try.

    I must admit I was surprised to see how much they made Cuddy the mature one, the one that really gets him and confronts him with his doubts. If the writers go on like this, the relationship can’t not work…
    I do hope it does work. The chemistry is great. And I still can’t believe TPTB decided to go for it!
    It seems (from certain previews) that it will be so much fun…

  • Flo

    I’ve just realized I forgot to talk about a couple of things.

    First, I love the last scene with Cuddy and House looks, uncertain of the future. For me it was like they weren’t sure if this ride will be as great as Cuddy just said. They didn’t dare to keep smiling just in case it would curse what they have.
    As Delia put it it is also the fact that, now, the little “out of the real world” thing is over and that they acknowledge that it’s gonna be difficult.
    They didn’t dare being fully happy here, they don’t know if it’s gonna be great, but they want to believe it so much.

    Second, Some of you talked about the Champagne scene, and I must admit that this scene seems to be a bit different to me. I liked it, but yes, it really felt like there was more of Lisa Edelstein and Hugh Laurie than House and Cuddy in it.
    In my first vision, I even thought it was an improv. The laughs of the actors & the way House said “it’s slightly wrong” sounded just like Hugh Laurie. Now I think that maybe that scene really made the actors genuinely laugh and instead of doing another take, Yaitanes just decided to keep it.
    It was kind of weird but cool in a way to see this.

    Okay it’s all for now.

  • Janine

    I have and hour tomorrow where I will be at school but have no classes, so hopefully I can find an online version of the episode ot watch again.
    There are a lot of issues with a boss dating her subordinate, but I think that will be covered (if you have seen the promo where the man asks “what is the nature of the relationship” and House replies “Have you seen wild Kingdom). That man is probably the HR man making a note of the relationship, as almost all couples who work together and have a relationship must do.

  • RJW

    As usual,I really enjoyed this episode.My husband and teenage son watched right along with me.We loved it when House poured the Listerine into the bath water!

  • genagirl

    Not a fan of the Huddy. At all. I liked Wilson popping in through the window and Chase asking 13 to have sex with him, but the rest of the episode didn’t do anything for me. I liked the fire between House and Cuddy when they were in the “will-they-won’t-they” stage but it’s fizzled and I hope the writers find something better to concentrate on.

  • OK. Great review and comments…”In-Depth” is a huge understatement. Everyone covered so much. Don’t know why, but I envisioned a hot-cold situation where House would be thoughtful and affectionate to Cuddy in public but the opposite at the workplace. They fleshed out a lot at House’s place. Excellent cast and writing!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Flo (#37):
    – i generally agree with you (shocker!) and all you’ve pointed out
    – fully agree on the doors; it is a significant metaphor and, on a lighter note, in this episode, i think it’s the first time in Huddy history we saw House gently and politely closing doors in Cuddy’s face:))))
    – i saw their reflections in the piano; the teenagers in love vs troubled adults dichotomy is valid, as is the fact that in this episode, the only glimpse of “persona” we saw was in that reflection on the piano; they were both authentic beyond authenticity, their deepest true selves, like we have never, ever, seen before

    @Eileen (#38): thank you so much:) Really, i was a bit bummed today and hearing your kind words means a lot to me.
    Also, i am happy you agree to the ideas that i hold dear. Perhaps hoping that House will grow and heal enough as to think that “happiness can last” is a bit much. Let’s lower our expectations (ha ha) and simply pray that damnation and destruction are not the only possible fate for this superb man… Damaged, complicated people can, and often do, find a kindred spirit (thanks for the quote, Sir Hugh) that manages to bring some glimpse of light and peace in their lives.

    @Michele1L (#40): i felt that the two essential elements of the opening scene (the scar kissing and the bridal-position) were both predictable on some level. But i think that was intentional, using such simple and clear symbols to express their feelings and experience. They were both exhausted and overwhelmed and i think that scene was perfect in its understated, symbolic simplicity and classicism.

    @Susan (#41 & 42): i think Cuddy had cleaned up before she came to him. Her hand was clean during the handclasp that ended “Help Me”.
    However, i think it’s meaningful they did not clean up – or, at least, House didn’t. It would have been a symbolic image to show them bathing together or Cuddy thoroughly cleaning him up before they made love. But it is relevant that that did not happen: it speaks volumes about the unconditional character of their love – mainly Cuddy’s. “I take you and i love you as you are – damaged, scarred, dirty, covered in the rubble of your past and your pain”.

    I was initially saddened by their expressions as the door closed, too – it was like they had been pretending for each other’s sake, and then the mask fell and the fear and confusion were visible. But i think i was wrong. It would have been infinitely sadder if they had been delusional and dreamy about it. The only chance they have is to stay absolutely true and honest to themselves and each other. This is not an easy journey they have begun – and the more aware they are, the better their chances of making it work.

    Besides, i don’t think they were faking or putting on masks. They were both genuine, their embrace and smiles, after House’s profession of love, were genuine and authentic. It’s just that they were transformed in each other’s presence, the positive force of their love filling them up, the need and want and joy of being together were overcoming the fears – at least for Cuddy, who was glowing, radiant, confident and simply superb, the very embodiment of a woman in love. When that door closed and they were alone again, the darker thoughts emerged – and yet, not in a dark way. Their expressions are not sad per se. They just acknowledge the difficulties and the risks, but there can be no regrets, no hesitations. They are both fully aware that this is IT, for both of them.

    PS: House happy and playful and joyful and naughty: a vision of sheer heaven for me. He was magical, just magical. The scene in which he describes the “secret bath” to Cuddy in the doorway: he looks sexy beyond words, and so warm and sweet and funny. The champagne scene, the answering machine, the “lobe”, the planning of the trip… Both of them, magical. The most beautiful, addictive couple i have ever seen.

  • Susan

    I also felt that they should have washed before the love scenes. House was filthy and I wonder about Cuddy – had she changed before coming over?

    And I agree that the champagne scene seemed very real. I noticed how different their laughter was (House is great when he’s happy).

  • Susan

    I came to this site right after I saw the episode (on DVR). I love Barbara’s insights and the comments of all the devoted readers. Thanks for being here.
    P.S. My heart jumped when House told Cuddy he loved her. And I was a little saddened by their expressions at the end of the show. This relationship is the best on TV or anywhere, and has to succeed.

  • Michele1L

    Aaaah .. finally the new season is here! Good to see the “House” Blog back in action, Barbara!

    I have to say that in some respects I was a bit disappointed in this episode. It’s probably due to the promos I watched. The love scene was greatly minimized,the intensely passionate portions removed, and the teaser included scenes from a forthcoming episode I expected to see in this one.

    hwl40 – Hugh said in another interview for viewers to not be so sure the relationship would fail — so you can’t always trust that Hugh. He’s such a kidder.

    I’m all over the map here, but I just wanted to remark on some of the comments I’ve read …

    ruthinor – I felt the same way in watching Cuddy clean House’s wound and then take the same towel to his face. And she did a poor job of cleaning him up because she couldn’t resist kissing him prior to wiping all of that soot from his face.

    nno13 – I agree that overall this was one of the weakest episodes of “House” — especially for a Season Premiere. Generally, with “House” we’re used to kinetically-energized episodes, and this one was sort of sleepy with a not-so-exciting medical mystery, and the drama surrounding 13’s “temporary” departure was just dreary and depressing. Despite this, there were some stellar moments between House and Cuddy that saved this episode for me. In particular when Cuddy admitted she wouldn’t want House to change and that she thought he was the most incredible man she’s ever known. I’d always imagined she felt that way about him — and why would she expect someone she fell in love with as he is to change?

    Libby – I wondered the same thing during the champagne bottle scene. LE and HL are such gifted actors, but their laughter in that scene seemed too natural to be acted.

    DebbieJ – The kissing of the scar scene was awfully predictable, but, having said that, I think Cuddy would expect House to be ashamed or uncomfortable about it and would want to reassure him.

    The Wilson scene where he is rolled away from the kitchen window is visually comical and I did laugh out loud. I also laughed when they were in the tub, knowing that those ingredients House poured into the water would not lend themselves to a soothing bath experience.

    Zay – I don’t think it was out of character for Chase to ask to sleep with 13. He had already set the ball rolling in that direction in the episode called, “The Choice” when he asked 13 if he could “borrow her car”.

    Is it generally allowed in places of business for a boss to date a subordinate? I thought that could only happen if the couple was married. ???

    Interesting stuff coming up. Looking forward to it, as well as the temporary replacement for 13. — New blood. Fascinating.

    Anyone see Hugh on the “Tonight Show”? Hugh made a point of saying the laptop he is “wearing” over his man part in the vacation planning scene with Cuddy was “a 17 inch”. — Hilarious.

  • Ellen

    Amazing episode. The look on House’s face when Cuddy caressed his scar, and then kissed it….I thought my heart would stop.

  • Eileen

    I absolutley LOVED this episode!

    Barbara, your review was lovely and insightful as always. I thorougly enjoy reading the comments that follow your reviews, and especially look forward to reading Delia_Beatrice’s comments because I adore her analysis of House (the character) and his interactions with Cuddy. I know there are people out there who don’t want this relationship to last but, I, for one, hope that it does. Using D_B’s analyses, I would love to see House grow and change (slowly, and not always moving forward of course) in response to receiving unconditional love from “the woman of his dreams”. Watching House’s personal journey during this part of his life is amazing. I want him to eventually see that “happiness can last”, although it may ebb and flow over time. And, as many people have said, their faces at the end of last night’s episode plainly convey their feelings of trepidation about this relationship because they know how huge it is and what it can mean for them going forward.

    So D_B: don’t change anything about the way you write your comments! I love them.

  • Flo

    Thank you Barbara for this great review.

    I usually like the “break the formula” episodes and this one was no exception.
    I liked the slower pace of the episode and the quietness of the House/Cuddy scenes especially in the first one.
    I agree with you assessments and I have few things to add:

    – It seems to me that the doors are really important in this show, for the House/Cuddy dynamic.
    House interrupts one of Cuddys date by knocking on her door. She asks him if he likes her on the front porch.
    First time House and Cuddy kiss in “Joy” it’s across Cuddy’s front door which is shut. The hallucinatory kiss and make-out in the season 5 Finale begins across House’s close front door. It was open but he shut it before kissing Cuddy.
    House can’t bring himself to ring Cuddy’s doorbell in “The Itch”.
    In “Remorse” he wants to go apologize to Cuddy but just stops at the door when he sees Lucas in Cuddy’s office.
    The last scene of “Help Me” was filmed from the open bathroom door.
    And I can’t count the numerous times they slam door to each other.
    I think it is interesting to see that, in the first scene here, both House’s bathroom and bedroom door were open.
    House and Cuddy history is made of missed opportunities. A bit like doors that could have been open but stayed shut, doors that were open at the wrong time etc.
    The first scene of this episode was shot from the exterior until she began to wash him. It’s like we were outside observant who wanted to leave them their privacy. I like this shot, with the open bathroom door, where they got together at first, and them in House’s bedroom in the same shot.
    All those doors will remain open throughout the episode excepted for his front door that will be carefully locked. Open and shut. Free to go wherever you want except the outside world.
    It’s also in front of this shut door that House will confess his biggest fear and that he’s gonna dare to smile, hopeful, after having unlocked it.
    I think it’s highly metaphorical of their relationship and important for what is at stake in this episode.

    – I love the lighting. It was truly an aesthetically beautiful episode. Thumbs up to Gale Tattersall for this.

    – Doris Egan really wrote this episode very well. The discussions House and Cuddy have are adults and very straightforward. No more games, no more pretending. As the end of “Help me” told us, it’s time to come clean. No more BS. No more mask on.
    They are naked in every sense of the term, literally and metaphorically.

    – Am I the only one who saw House and Cuddy’s reflections in House’s piano in the beginning of the scene where he brings her breakfast? Dichotomy. House and Cuddy enjoying their day like two teenagers in love but also House and Cuddy the insecure adults who try to survive to their doubts. Two facets of them that we’re gonna see during the episode.

    – I think if we overanalyze we can see that, the chemistry that ruined their good time in the bathtub by burning parts of them can be viewed as the “toxic” (as Cameron put it) aspect of their personalities that can ruined their relationship as easily as it ruined their bath time, if they’re not careful.

    I agree with @Delia (#15) (yes I know, that was predictable) about Cuddy being the hero here. The fact that she accepted to confront and be confronted is pretty normal since she does this on daily basis as a Dean of Medicine. Not that she were the type to avoid a confrontation either way, as her sudden break-up with Lucas demonstrate. Only here, she confronts House and her relationship with him. That’s the only thing that they both always avoid to deal with. Considering this, I found her very brave throughout the episode especially at the end, when she dare to look at House in the eye and not accepting his pessimism by telling him she doesn’t want him to change. It must have taken all her courage to reassure House like this despite all her own doubts and fears. She feels unsure herself, but she just simply spoke a truth they can both cling on. Nicely done Dr Cuddy. I also agree that Lisa Edelstein was very impressive last night which is saying something.
    It rang true to me.

    I found the balance between drama and comedy really nice. In the House/Cuddy scenes (Wilson’s interruptions was golden) and by the case. As Barbara said, it was a welcome fun counterpoint to the introspection scenes in House’s apartment.
    Even if, @Zay (#16) has a point that it felt unfinished, I think it was supposed to feel that way. As Cuddy says: “this is just the beginning of it.”

    Chase putting a Cameron on 13 was hilarious! I agree that it came totally out of the blue but it was fun. 13’s face, when he said it!! He apparently didn’t go out much since Cameron left him and since he likes 13 he may have wondered: why not? Haha! Sorry to say it like this but he really needs to get laid.
    I found interesting that 13 hugged him anyway at the end with a sad expression on her face. She didn’t do that with Taub or even Foreman who was particularly nice to her in this episode.
    I’ll really miss her.

    All in all, this episode did what he was supposed to do as an opener: set the themes and tone of the season and beg questions that will have to be answered eventually. And it managed to do it in an original, unique way.

    I’m ready for this ride. Bring it on!!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Janine: i watched it three times last night, in a row:)
    I live in Eastern Europe, so i stayed up until 3 am and watched the final episodes of season 6, then i watched the premiere live and recorded it, so after it was over, i watched it again twice… They are just mesmerizing, that chemistry, good Lord!

    GY tweeted about a week ago that the beach photos are not from the premiere. Additional info says they are from the episode in which Huddy goes double-dating with Sam and Wilson – presumably, ep 3 or 4. But i wouldn’t count on that. They played us with those pics – they wanted to detour people with fake spoilers, so that the real script remains a secret. However, those scenes will be included in a further ep, can’t be sure which. Not that i care much – there are so many wonderful moments ahead…

    There is a huge amount of sensational details in the premiere. Do watch it again, it’s so worth it! I will watch it again twice tonight, and probably every night, until the next ep… Their acting/natural chemistry are simply monumental. Lisa made me drop dead, literally. I have never ever ever seen her so beautiful, so radiant, so natural and so lovely.

  • Janine

    I didn’t even notice the ring finger thing. I guess I’ll just have to watch again and again and again (LOL). I wonder if thoses beach pictures we’ve seen will be from a later episode where House and Cuddy actually do take a vacation or if that was just an idea for the premier that got scraped.
    BTW Hugh is going to be on Ellen today at 4pm, hopefully he will talk more about the premier and what’s to come.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Janine: yeah, the move with the pills was very Cuddy-ish:)

    @sdemar: i know what you mean:)

    And the mix of comic and romance was amazing. The funny, unconventionally romantic gestures and games and little jokes were very fluent, flowed by so naturally. I can’t even comprehend whether that was because of the good writing, or maybe the same scenes would have been much less magical if played by a less organic couple. Their chemistry, the flow of intimacy and closeness and the simple, complete comfort are just addictive.

    Also loved House’s indications towards his eternal attraction and focus on her – the “Sleeping Beauty”, the screensaver she had of Mount Saint Michel…

    Have you guys noticed how House was caressing her ring finger, while in the bathtub? Right before he wondered whether the emotional turmoil of the previous night had pushed her to make an impulsive decision. He was probably thinking that, just the previous morning, she was wearing Lucas’s engagement ring on that finger…

    And also in that marvelous scene in bed, planning their trip, he tells her that she ended her engagement for him, but she’s not willing to bend her schedule… Her reaction was so sweet, immediately finding a compromise and an explanation that he understood (if she was to leave Rachel with her mom, she needed time for preparation). I wonder how familiar House is with Cuddy’s family life. He does seem to know inside info on her relationships to her mother and sister.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Barbara: thank you very much for understanding. The very idea of competition is absurd. I don’t have a blog, nor do i intend to get one. I don’t post reviews or anything else online, i only comment here and on my personal facebook page. I am just a regular citizen, madly in love with the show, who sometimes gets carried away with the analyses, like other “regulars” here also do, bless them for making me feel like less of a nutcase:))))

    It has always felt natural that, after i read your reviews and agree to mostly everything in them, like i always do, I try to come up with additional theories and focus points, and i didn’t think about it before – it just seemed alright to carry the discussion further, like it always happens here. You have always been kind enough to participate in these discussions, not just initiated by my posts, but by other regular posters too, and i think it benefits us all to view this incredibly complex and layered show from as many points of view as possible, since nobody can capture everything on their own.

    Anyway, thank you again for creating this place – the slice of heaven for those who live and die for “House”:)

    @HWL40: thank you, you are most kind. You made me feel much better, i had had a little “oh, my God, have i been that misunderstood?!?!” moment there earlier today…

  • Edward

    Relax people. It’s only a television show.

  • John Wilson

    Great episode about grownups and love, insightful review and excellent comments. Worth re-reading.

  • Janine

    Wonderful episode! I’ve only read one bad review (by Ken Tucker on ew.com is anyone wants to see it for themselves) but even there most of the fans in the comments section disagreed and some even accused the writer of being on drugs! So many wonderful scenes of romance mixed with comic releif. I loved the bath scene and laughed the whole way through thinking “how are they sitting in there?”. I think by far my favorite scene was the one with House opening the bottle, so natural and the first time we’ve seen House smile like that (my sister actually said out loud aww he’s smiling). Then of course there was the “”I Love You” which I honestly wasn’t expecting to here till later. I’m glad teh Wilson thing will be addressed because it is not like him to just let something like that go, although I understand why he gave House his space, after basically proving he wan’t on vocoden. Did anyone notice when Cuddy was helping House clean the glass that she subtly took the two bottles off the floor and left teh room with them? I thought that was a nice little interjection to include. i agree some lines wer a little “Grey’s Anatomy” but they are different when said by House and Cuddy because they are not whiny perfect people,they are both insecure about if this wil work. House is hard to read so Cuddy asking why he hasn’t said the “L word” makes sense, prying like that is the only way to know what House is thinking.When something like that happens on Grey’s it just makes the characters seem pathetic (no offense to Greys Fans) because the characters don’t hace as many problems.
    I think my only problem with this episode was the Chase/Thirteen thing which came totally out of the blue. I think that was just thrown in to appease the “Chirteen” shippers before Thirteen left. It was an interesting twist that she lied about where she was going. I wonder if we will find out where she went before she comes back (which according to Ausiello isn’t going to be until well into the season)

  • byzantine

    Thank you DebbieJ. Genius I am not, only a byzantinist 🙂

  • sdemar

    Thank you for this review. I loved this episode. We all know there is the tender and sensual side to House and it was on full display in this episode. They were playful, sexy, tender and very natural with each other.

    There were so many scenes I loved-from the humor, which LE and HL do so well (loved his look when he opened up the closet door and her look of almost shame). They work well together and you can see the natural chemistry they have.

    However, it was the final scene that got me. The look of fear on both House and Cuddy’s face at what House said. How far have they come that the next scene was on them sitting down and talking about his fear. Two adults talking, which is something we rarely get with House and Cuddy. It was beautiful. House understood he was loved when Cuddy, tears in her eyes, told him he was the most brilliant man she ever knew and would ever know. He will always remember those words. She wasn’t backing away but instead was embracing him with all his warts. I loved it.

  • seriouslysilly and D_B: There are several regular readers of this column who post lengthy comments. I don’t mind the long commentary.

    I’m not as thrilled when someone excerpts their own published reviews here from elsewhere on the net (with links). Delia’s not doing that at all and I don’t view D_B’s comments as competitive with mine.

    But I totally appreciate your protectiveness of this humble little corner of the net! 🙂

  • sdemar

    #13-Libby–funny you say that. I thought that scene could have actually been a practice scene because it totally looked like Hugh and Lisa. But what was sweet about it and the scene for that matter is you see how comfortable they are with each other. Very natural and warm.

  • DebbieJ.

    @byzatine #12 – I like that theory and I’m sticking to it! Genius!

  • hwl40

    Barbara, you are now for me as essential to the show as the writers, actors, crew and all the exceptional people who have created this show which touches me on so many elemental (your word) levels. Thank you.

    Am really enjoying your book and the cohesiveness that your comments bring to the show as it has developped. Great job!

    By any chance did you or anyone see the ET review where Hugh Laurie said the relationship is doomed? Please, someone, say it isn’t so!

    DB – love your comments, they add a lot. They are long but you have something to say and no one has to read them. En avant, mon amie!

  • DebbieJ.

    Can I just tell you how giddy I was coming home last night, praying that I wouldn’t get into an accident because then I would miss it? LOL

    Hugh was just amazing. Lisa was terrific. I found the scene where they picked up (right after the hand holding in the bathroom where they’re now standing in his bedroom) was so sensual, and they still had all their clothes on. When they’re hands were still in an embrace and he gently caressed her fingers with his own. Guh! How sexy.

    Also, the next morning, when he asks her, “now what?” and is caressing her arm and his reply to her after her response, “yeah”, was so damn sensual. So resigned. Do you notice a pattern here? I found all of the caressing more of a turn on than the actual deed. And he was still House. He was not emasculated. He was just a man making love to the woman he loved. Gah, it’s getting hot in here.

    One thing I did actually cringe at was when she knelt down after removing his pants to kiss his scar. Do you know how many fan fics I’ve read where Cuddy or Cameron have done that? (rolls eyes) I just don’t think it was necessary. I think she could have caressed his scar post coital – maybe in a week or two. But why did the writers feel it was necessary to get it out of the way and in such a lame way? I feel that is something that they would work through and talk about, not in depth, but it is important. I fear that because they had her kiss it, it was their (the writers) way of acknowledging it and then never to be mentioned again. I hope I’m wrong.

    I did however, love his response to it, how uncomfortable he felt. That was how I would have expected him to react. I think it would’ve been better if he had took a firm but gentle hold of her hand and led her to the bed that way. I think it would’ve been much more realistic. I mean, even if he just hadn’t gone through a physically hellacious experience, I think it would be near impossible for him to carry her to bed. It would’ve been very clumsy.

    I am thrilled to bits that all of their fears and insecurities about giving it a go were brought up. He acknowledged he’s impossible. He acknowledged he hurt her many times over in the past and she might come to resent him because he knows he’ll still hurt her, because he won’t/can’t change. I loved her response that she doesn’t want him to change or want to change him. He is difficult and exasperating, but he is the most incredible man she has ever met. (I bet he’s the most incredible man anyone has ever met!) She knows he’s so unique and that was one of the many things that attracted him to her.

    I loved the bath scene. He is such a romantic, but I’m glad they threw some comic relief in there! I was scratching my head, wondering how in the world are they staying in that water with all those chemicals swimming around at once! Their exchange about her lady parts and his anus was hilarious!

    I’m glad they both mentioned Rachel and how she won’t be a plot device to be there (or absent) only when it’s convenient. At least that’s how I think it’ll play out.

    I love how after she left and they were on opposite sides of the door, although they declared their love for each other, they both had obvious doubts about whether this’ll work or not.

    And how could, with all the Huddy tonight, did a House/Wilson scene steal the episode? LMAO I never laughed so hard as when Wilson was stuck half way through the window and House opens the window more and rolls him the rest of the way through with the table? OMG I was laughing hysterically! LOLOL

    The subplot with the neurosurgeon was quite comical. I don’t know the actor’s name but he is a wonderful character actor. I thought he was hysterical and he and the fellows were great together, especially 13.

  • great comments everyone! mp3–I agree with you. I occasionally write politics here, but find my voice is a decided minority opinion on BC. But I don’t think the site has a point of view at all–and there are political writers from all over the spectrum.

    Zay, you’re right. it is incomplete because the other shoe hasn’t dropped and we know it will. Whether it will and when it will are always going to be lingering questions until that happens. Wilson’s belief that House is hallucinating and is in deep emotional trouble because of Hanna’s death will come into play next week.

  • Aaron Scott

    I’m sorry, but I must disagree with the positive reviews of this episode. I consider this one the weakest I have ever seen. I am a big House fan, but in this episode our anti-hero was reduced to an adolescent. He reminded me of nothing so much as a teenage boy in love, unable to get off the phone with his girlfriend.

    Cuddy was the mature one in this. Yes, we’ve made a big step forward and we’ll continue it over supper tonight perhaps, but right now we have to be adults and go to work.

    We all love House when he is up to adolescent pranks, but we also realize–or at least hope–that that is something of a front, a cover for a much deeper, introspective, mature adult. We see glimmers of it in the things he does that seem contrary to his irascible presentation.

    But in this episode we see him become a little boy falling all over himself for another roll in the hay. Worse, he actually puts the hospital in peril just so he can have a little more down time with the reluctant Cuddy!

    Very simply, I wish House had kept his mouth closed in this episode. Instead of being the over-eager boyfriend asking “What now?” perhaps he could simply have looked at her with tenderness, content to let fair wind of life take them wherever it would.

    Yes, we’ve all wanted House and Cuddy to get together, but this episode make our “hero” look weak and wimpy. We want the “in control” House, not this one.

    Then, as if sensing that they might have “jumped the shark” with the House-Cuddy relationship, the writers start backing away, trying to retrieve some of that tension that was there before. House declares that “It won’t work,” as if to say, “We have made a lot of people happy by getting together, but people prefer us to dance around each other than with each other–so let’s break it off right now.”

    A big part of the fun on House was the games House and Cuddy played. Did they, didn’t they? Would they or not? Love or hate? Etc. Now that that’s over, viewers will not settle for just going back to normal. And yet what kind of House will we have if there’s not a Cuddy to toy with, to make him happy and miserable?

    Holmes needed his Watson AND his Moriarty. House needs his Watson AND his Cuddy.

    This was handled as if written by a teenage boy in love. Perhaps it should have been titled “House Dies.”

  • Zay

    I have to disagree just a little bit with the previous commentors.

    I had really high hopes for the premiere (which can be fatal to my enjoyment, I know, I know) and I did find it gorgeous (and a little awkward – my parents were right next to me and giving me awkward looks during the cuddling). But for me, it felt like half of a really strong episode.

    I know this is transitional and that House and Cuddy were meant to be our focus, but think about it holistically. We get this great scene with Wilson breaking in, but he leaves thinking House is high. We get this fun medical mystery in the back, but it finishes too quickly and Cuddy never even knows what’s happened. We get Chase – in a completely out of character, out of the blue move, IMO – telling 13 he wants sex and then 13 rolls out of here. The House and Cuddy stuff was lovely but the rest of the unfinishedness made me a little uncomfortable.

    That being said – I just about died of joy when House finally told Cuddy “I love you” in the end.

    So a strong epi, in my opinion, just…incomplete.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Good Lord! Barbara, thank you for the wonderful review.
    David Shore et comp, thank you for having the courage and talent to explore this amazing relationship.
    Everybody involved in “House MD”: thank you, more than i can properly express, for giving the world this unique, most authentic and true couple the screens have ever presented.

    And now that i got that off my chest, i will say this: it was wonderful. Wonderful, because it was natural, authentic, genuine and in character beyond words. Wonderful, because it went along the brilliant line of coherence and psychological continuity that the show has always treaded upon. Wonderful, because it was a truly glorious experience to witness the charming intimacy of this supremely beautiful couple.

    More into details: the script was perfect – nothing out of character and romance as we rarely see it: genuine, absolutely no stereotypes or clichees, but genuine emotion, deep feelings, charm and magic – tons of it.

    The true hero of this episode, for me, was Cuddy. Lisa Edelstein, whom i have always loved and admired, turned a new page with her stunning acting and presence in this episode. Mesmerizingly beautiful, natural beyond nature, lovely, delightful, playful, flirty, sweet, funny – and authentic in every emotion, nuance, gesture. Perfect, perfect episode for her.

    Cuddy… Cuddy was the ultimate woman in love, enjoying herself, giving herself, expressing herself and living it all to the fullest. Also, Cuddy is what she’s always been: House’s archetypal mother, his supreme source of unconditional love, understanding and acceptance. She took on her role as his healer and guiding light in the most natural manner possible: it’s the role she was born to play, the ultimate meaning and purpose of her life, apart from her motherhood or professional career.
    Of course, the way she guided him towards their physical union and, most of all, her kissing his scar were the ultimate wordless expressions of the depth and fullness of her commitment.

    She was gentle and sweet, always careful with his emotions, always giving, always caring. Understanding and accepting like no other – perhaps we had reason to believe she would be the one reluctant to making “us” public – she has more to lose than House, the dean of medicine dating the outcast troublemaker doctor. Instead (unlike Stacy, for instance), she showed no hesitation whatsoever. Even more, she managed to accept House’s hesitations and respect them as such, careful not to push him in any way.

    Her reaction to the delightful “i lobe you”: again, Cuddy at her best. Open about her own feeling, showing respect for his limitations and hesitations. Again, confident, loving and so certain of her choice.

    Finally, Cuddy offering the ultimate reassurance – again, the profession of unconditional love – was sublime. Her strength, her self-awareness and her understanding of him were, again, most impressive.

    The expression on her face as the door closes behind her is something that took me aback at first – but made me glad later on. She gave out absolutely no sign of hesitation while she was with him. She was confident and certain of her choice, loving and generous, and genuinely happy. But she has her own burden to bear – she, too, is scared. Just like House, she is aware of the greatness of the journey they embarked upon. Fully aware that she can never love anybody like she loves him, she is worried and concerned with their future, but willing to do whatever it takes to make it work.

    House was as we’d expect: in awe, happy, but fighting the feeling. Fearful, scared beyond himself. Full of doubt. And yet, more free and playful and joyful than ever, ever before.
    I believe that the most telling moment was, of course, the “i love you” scene. He had been fighting his doubts all day long. From touching his own hand as to check upon the reality of her hand having really been there (a gesture that beautifully reminds us of one of House’s most humane and emotional moments, the final scene of “Fetal Position”), to his “yeah” uttered in a small lost voice, as she says “i’m hoping this is just the beginning of it”.

    Notable exception: his response to her supreme gesture of healing and acceptance (the kissing of the scar) was to carry his supreme symbolic bride to bed in his arms, oblivious to the pain in his leg. This was a scene that will bring tears to my eyes time and again, because it is a perfect expression of how their love transcends all wounds and limitations, heals all pain and makes them step out of themselves and walk the extra mile, in the name and under the power of the intensity and depth of their union.

    House’s fears… From his need to check again whether her profession of love was triggered by the extreme emotional state she had been in – in the bathtub scene, to his need to practically lock her in his house and have her all to himself, for fear this all would vanish if she went out into the real world. From his hesitation to going public (which would add extra drama, were she to abruptly change her mind), to wanting to take her far away as soon as possible – again, to steal her away from reality and, if this were an illusion, to dwell in it as long as he could. Finally, his hesitation to say “i love you”, because even if actions mean more than words, these particular words do mean the world to him, and saying them is a paramount step that frightens him.

    Which brings us to his breakdown – as she gets ready to leave, his fears explode and he expresses his darkest doubts. Openly, honestly – what an amazing step forward! He has tears in his eyes – he would rather be hurt now, were she to change her mind, then allow himself to feel this insane happiness and lose her later. He, too, is fully aware he could not survive that.
    But he fights his fears and manages to listen to her with an open heart. He begs her, tears still in his eyes, to tell him “why he is wrong”. He actually begs her to tell him THAT he is wrong – the most open and obvious expression of what we had been discussing about for many years: that for his entire life, House had been waiting for somebody to prove him wrong, to show him, beyond lucidity and cynicism, that unconditional love does exist and healing is possible.

    Which Cuddy does – yet again, the clear and true profession of completely unconditional love. Which stuns him and shakes him – his hand grips her fingers – it’s not a handhold, it’s the grip of the sinking man, holding on for dear life. Tears in his eyes and a voice that seems both sure and broken, he says the words. “I love you” – their meaning as deep as the universe, since it is obvious how much uttering them means to him, and how much he does love her, and how much he is risking.

    Finally, one more thing: i was moved and impressed beyond words by perhaps the greatest quality of the premiere: how natural, now genuine and how beautiful these two people are together. The match made in heaven between the legendary Hugh and Lisa chemistry and the impeccable writing has given us the most charming, true and compelling couple i have ever had the joy to watch.

    Their expressions as the door closes between them show happiness and fulfillment, and then change to show fear and concern. It is not a bad sign. It is an excellent sign of how AWARE they both are.
    Precisely the reason why this relationship has a real chance at working. The journey ahead is long and bumpy. House’s inner wounds, his issues with self-worth, trust, happiness are grand. Had they been shown all starry-eyed and delusional, i would have been scared for them – scared for House, who i firmly believe cannot survive the breakup and still keep his mental sanity or stay alive. But they weren’t. They were shown as they are, and they were shown like never before: fully honest, open, aware. In full awareness of both their adoration of each other, as well as the obstacles and risks they are facing. Which is why i believe that they will work, in their own uniquely dysfunctional way. I believe that time is a crucial factor, and as time goes by and Cuddy keeps reassuring him and loving him unconditionally, House will find the strength to mend small parts of his wounds, enough to allow himself to feel some extent of happiness and peace.

  • FunnyBrit

    Barbara, you raised an interesting point (as usual!) The words “I love you,” when directed at Stacy, were followed by a huge change in House’s life. The relationship began to unravel from that point on. Might the same words, directed Cuddyward, signify a positive change? He says it after Cuddy reassures him that she accepts him as he is and gives him the finest compliment he’s ever received. He is quite possibly on his deathbed when he tells Stacy he loves her; I’m sure he’d said it before, and thus felt safe reiterating it. With Cuddy, it’s new and scary territory, and his “I love you” comes at great risk, as he seemingly still can’t accept that things could work out in his favor. But he needs Cuddy to know. The scene in which she kisses his scar echoes the exchange between Hannah and her husband, when he reassures her, “It’s just a leg. I love YOU.”

    Beautiful episode, great review. I hope I was relatively coherent. It’s 10 minutes B.C. (before coffee!) Looking forward to the rest of your S7 reviews!

  • Libby

    Did I dream it or did House really say, when he was about to unstop the wine bottle, “You have to commit to it,” and then smash the bottle? I don’t have a way to look back and see until next week when the video is available on the Fox site so if someone could confirm I would really appreciate it. I loved that scene and was wondering if the reactions of House and Cuddy were genuinely Hugh’s and Lisa’s. I don’t think I’ve ever seen House laugh like that and Cuddy actually snorted which was a first also.

  • byzantine

    I cannot help but chime in about the “lobe” word. It could have been a deflection, of course. It is House we are talking about. But it could have been something else. I am probably looking for a calf under the bull here, as my fellow countrymen would say (calves can be seen under cows, not bulls), and yet I cannot help it. House is a polyglot and in Greek as well as in languages which use Cyril alphabet b stands for v. So he was telling her he loved her, but in a playful way. This type of letter games would not be out of character for House for since antiquity intelligent people engaged in such games to keep each other entertained and alert.

    On a different note–the nakedness was besides the obvious metaphorical. They were getting to know each other and there was no other way but to take their clothes off, the literal and the metaphorical ones. I am intrigued by the fact that Cuddy wore House’s shirts all throughout the episode but have no idea yet what to make of it.

    And how should we think of Wilson a la carte (sort of)?

    Thank you Barbara for the wonderful review. This was such a fabulous start of the season.

  • nno13

    As a huge huddy fan I was in love with this episode, but must admit it was lacking if you weren’t pro huddy. It was almost too heavy on them for the opener, which I’m shocked I’m saying. I’m just comparing it to last seasons opener broken that to me was a masterpiece. Still, I’m very excited. I don’t think though on the mass level the episode will be rated as high as others. Still, there were so many wow moments, I can’t wait to watch it again. I love Lisa E so much!!!

  • Val S

    Barbara, wonderful to have your reviews back and to read the wonderfully expressed and analyzed episode!

    I know we are going to get a lot more great comments here so I am just going to add my bits of thought:

    First, being on the west coast, I streamed a live east coast viewing on the internet and then watched it again at the regular time on the west coast. Glad I did because the second viewing brought it all out. It was great! I think my first viewing was so out of whack because I really wasn’t used to seeing House so happy. Not just happy, but hopeful (and I think he was), and having adult conversations and not deflecting, yet still being the House we know and love. For example, it was completley in character for him to forgo saying the “L” word because he is much more a man of actions than words; we know it, Cuddy knows it. But he did say it, and from what I’ve learned of him, he wouldn’t say it unless he meant it because he knew she needed to hear it. Needless to say, by the second viewing, I was all smiles.

    I, too, loved Cuddy’s new assistant. I can completely picture him continuing to get involved in duckling schemes, almost like a little brother tagging along with his older siblings. Didn’t Cuddy mention she hired a new PA in “The Choice”? Good choice, Cuddy!
    I am glad those looks of concern at the end of the episode will be followed up on next week. It was one of the things that bothered me upon the first viewing. By second viewing, I am more confident that it is likely an expression of both their fears…wondering if they could really pull off this great thing they started.

    Last, but not least. I will miss 13 immensely. I hope she is not gone too long. I have liked her since day one…she sees House as no other fellow does. I think she is the only one who can (and does) see him as clearly as Cuddy or Wilson. She is the one who pointed out how much of a romantic he is…

    I am really enjoying CZ and stayed up reading late into the night I first received it! Am now at the great episode guide (have never read one quite like it) and will read it as I continue to make my way through the series as I try to do every summer before the new season.

    What a wonderful opening we had tonight. Now it’s time for the ride.

  • andante

    OMG What would I ever do with out your wonderufl reviews?! What an amazing episode! It was the best one ever! Thank you again for your wonderful review.

  • Barbara barnett

    Ephraim is one of David shore’s brothers

  • RobF

    Some reviews have expressed disappointment that romance-House was not an insensitive, sarcastic jerk. I’m glad to come here, where everyone is well aware that insensitivity and sarcasm are House’s defense mechanism, that inside the prickly exterior is a soft, gooey centre.

    Soft and gooey it was, wasn’t it? All the “you haven’t said you love me”, “are you sure you’re ready to go public with us?”, “I can’t be redeemed so you mustn’t love me” seems like material straight out of a teenage vampire angst-fest. Yet somehow it worked with House and Cuddy, precisely because they are not whiny teenagers with perfect hair. They have been through the wars to get where they are in their lives, and they have no idealism about each other. Each knows how devastating this relationship could be if it goes wrong, and they know how hard it will be for them to keep it from blowing up in their faces. Yet they have taken the leap of faith, and chosen to be happy against the odds.

    That said, while I wish them well, I don’t know how much cuddling, board games, and bubble baths I can stand to watch. I love these characters, but please torture them some more for my amusement.

    As for the other characters:
    I love how everyone always expects Chase to meddle in their lives, when he never does. Not because he respects their privacy, but because he is so self-centred that he doesn’t care.

    A couple of seasons ago, I wouldn’t have been sorry to see Thirteen go, but the writers turned her into an excellent character who will be sorely missed. If only they could work that same magic on Foreman!

    (Bar Mitzvah = 13, har har — but why “Ephraim”?)

  • sam

    Small typo. I believe you forgot the word “accept” in this sentence on page 5.

    “Taken aback with the rawness of House’s confession, she listens as he explains the inevitability of her deciding to leave him, ultimately unable to his behavioral flaws.”

    As always, fantastic review. Really appreciate the level of detail you go into.

  • ruthinor

    Well it’s still pretty early here on the west coast and I just saw the premiere. Enjoyed your review Barbara, and CZ finally arrived from Amazon! I will need to see it again to really take in what I saw.

    Loved Cuddy’s new officious asst. George Wyner was great as the neurosurgeon. I wonder where 13 is really going. On first viewing, I wasn’t as thrilled by the opening as some others. Probably because I’m overanalyzing, but I kept thinking, ye gods, you really need to do a better job of cleaning out that wound, and don’t use the some cloth to then clean his face. Maybe it’s my mother’s influence of CLEAN!! However, to me, the most powerful scene was at the end when Cuddy tried to reassure House (and herself). I thought the acting in that scene was terrific. I’m really looking forward to next week when we see how all this impacts their lives at work.

  • You are so welcome, SeraG. It’s all a labor of love for me. Great episode, and so glad you liked CZ! Thanks for letting me know!

  • Sera G

    Dear Barbara,
    Hello! It has been a very long summer. Sept. 20 is finally here! I have stayed away from the internet (and sadly, your column; that was a sacrifice I tell you!)
    to remain spoiler free. Except for the promos that Fox aired, I wanted to come to the episode ‘clean’. I am so glad that I did.
    I loved “What Now?” As you so beautifully stated, it was tender, romantic, fun and deep. I loved seeing House and Cuddy really talking with each other; recognizing how well they understand and ‘get’ the other.
    The loving scene at the beginning had tears in my eyes, as well. I also cheered as Cuddy recognized that House fears happiness. She didn’t shy away from it, acknowledging that this was not impulsive for her. She is afraid of what is ahead, as she knows it will not be easy. However, he and they are worth the effort.
    The bumps in the road are very real; job hurdles, Rachel, House’s personality, etc. They are however, managable. I hope!
    I am proud that the House team (producers/writers) is willing to take this leap along with them. I have every confidence that the journey will be truly Housian. I know this clever/smart team will do these characters justice.
    Without giving too much away, it was delightful watching them relax and BE with each other. There were no games (well, sweet ones) and you could feel the yearning from them both. Wonderful, charismatic acting and excellent writing from Ms. Egan.
    I can’t wait for next week.
    By the way, I devoured “Chasing Zebras.”
    I read and enjoyed it far too late into the night. It is a must for every House fan and a great source for those just coming to the party. I loved your episode recaps. Thanks again, Barbara, for all that you do to make the House experience complete.

  • Hi mzmraz–

    They both looked worried. Like stepping outside that cocoon was a step away from their little secure world. Ep 2 is a great response to both of their looks.

  • mzmraz

    Wonderful review as usual! And what a very heart-warming episode!

    I was wondering if we should look into the last scene where Cuddy paused outside House’s doorway, she looked a little bit worried don’t you think?