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TV Review: House, M.D. – “Teamwork”

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Last week on House in “Known Unknowns,” House (Hugh Laurie) received an unexpected blow. Having attended a medical conference to court Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), he learned she had already become involved with the quirky private investigator from last season, Lucas Douglas (Michael Weston). His reaction to the news was oddly calm. As they sat the next morning they seemed accepting, and even as Lucas blabbered on about House’s delusion and his hospitalization at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital, House took it serenely, despite the look of betrayal in his eyes.

Which brings us to “Teamwork” (6×08). House’s medical license restored, he reclaims his department from Foreman (Omar Epps), treating a male porn star with a sensitivity to light and bleeding. The patient is a paradox. He’s a nice Jewish boy “from the ‘burbs” raised by an over-protective mother who wouldn’t let a cough go by without a visit to the doctor. He is happily married and matter-of-fact about his unusual line of work. Neither he nor his wife (also a porn star) have any shame or embarrassment about what they do. Ironically, it's his clean-living childhood that's made him sick (and the cure is fairly disgusting — a threadworm cocktail). But as is often the case, the medical mystery simply provides a structure for the real action of the episode.

House's team gets the case just as Cameron and Chase resign. Planning to move to another city, they want to get on with their lives after Chase’s assassination of the African dictator Dibala (“The Tyrant,” 6×04). House is left with only Foreman to run the tests and diagnose the sex star.

Again, House seems oddly accepting — at least at first. But House plans to win back his fellows old and new, inciting with the case, but without actually asking them to return to the team.

He visits 13 at her home and at the gym; he stalks Taub at his new plastic surgery practice. He tries to drive a wedge between Chase and Cameron, believing one or the other of them will decide to stay while the other departs. Wilson wonders why, when House could have his pick of any of thousands who would give anything to work for him, he insists on these particular well-worn diagnostics fellows. He believes that House, devastated by losing Cuddy to Lucas, is seeking the comfort of the familiar. But everyone has an opinion.

Chase and Cameron come back on the team to help out Foreman, who is overwhelmed having to run House’s tests by himself. But as the old team runs through the diagnosis process, House conveys the latest theories and tests to Taub and 13. At first they ignore the faxes and personal visits, but in the end, the challenge of House’s high-stakes and high-impact medicine is too attractive, and like a medical Pied Piper of Princeton, House lures them back with an interesting case.

Chase and Cameron are a tougher sell, but House’s manipulations drive doubt into the young marriage. House cannot believe that Cameron has been so forgiving of her husband for murdering the dictator — no matter how evil he may have been. He tells Chase that for her to forgive and forget would run contrary to everything House knows of Cameron and her rigid morality. Murder is murder. No exceptions.

And he’s right, telling Chase she’s forgiving him because he has shame and regrets what he has done. She can live with that. But she has misread Chase entirely. Chase has never given any indication he feels remorse for what he has done. “It may have been the worst thing I’ve done,” he admits. But, “it might have been the best.” However he feels, Chase does believe he’s saved tens of thousands from genocide by murdering Dibala.

About Barbara Barnett

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

    To NLP #50

    YMMV = your mileage may very; meaning, you can interpret it in any way you wish.


  • DumFool22

    Celia! I agree with some of what you said about Cuddy.

    But here are my thoughts:

    I think the breakdown really scared her though she hates to show weakness just as much as House does.
    My thoughts are that she did a lot of thinking whilst House was in Mayfield and decided that she has to move on because she needs stability in her life as she is now a mother and she has realised House could not give her that.

    The iron woman doesn’t seem to have any friends (apart from House and Wilson) because her two babies metaphorical and literal (hospital and baby, or maybe three if you include House) had been keeping her mind occupied, House most definitely kept her mind occupied and I think has contributed in a massive way to how smart she has become.
    With him out of her life for 2/3? Months and the shock to her system from his breakdown, the woman needed comfort (nobody ever seems to comfort her because she always appears so strong and nobody challenges her brain like he does) so she turned to the only male (or even person other than family) that she seems to know of outside of PPTH. Hospitals are a breeding ground for gossip and though they have not shown it I am sure a lot of it has been going on since House has been away.

    As (sort of) proven in this episode she couldn’t confide her feelings to Wilson as he has been unreliable in the past so decided to pursue Lucas because he is outside the zone and thinking it will make her happy.
    I think, as picked up by Lucas in this episode she did intend to use him/date him until House’s return or just long enough to realise what she wants because she didn’t know what to expect when he did return.
    Now he has returned she doesn’t seem to know what approach to take with him. She is worried about his fragile state of mind and has been trying to be as supportive/non supportive as much as she thinks he needs since he has returned to PPTH to try and find a common ground but the waters she has been haphazardly testing have not given her any clues as he is not playing any games and he has been trying to be a grown up and now has even exposed his true feelings for her (Why? So open now, was he that confident after his stint in Mayfield and his connection with Lydia that he could have Cuddy?). She doesn’t know how to deal with it and doesn’t believe he has changed so has been accepting guidance from speaking to Lucas (A LOT!) it seems. (Lucas knew House for how long?).

    Will distancing herself from him work? I very much doubt it (spoiler spoiled but we knew it anyway).

    IMO This Lucas Cuddy relationship is a way of exploring House and Cuddy’s relationship and what they mean to one another, whether it be that they bring them together or they are destined to be alone (especially House) and their jobs are defined as who they are, I don’t know but I will remain a loyal fan throughout the journey.

    No comment on the other events of this episode, you have all expressed very clearly what it was?

  • Angie B.

    “Again she offers her hand, and again House refuses it, unable to look her in the eye. It’s an interesting parallel to “Role Model,” but I’m not sure what it says about either Cameron or House.”

    Says: House and Cameron have this strong bond between them.

    In the beginning of the show, Cameron got out of time because she was the only one who understood the attitude of House and admire him more for this (role model). In addition to protecting herself for love him and not have a solid reaction from him.

    In the last epsódio, she left disillusioned with him.. that the detox would have changed this part sadist and irresponsible of House with human life and manipulate others. She herself says that she loved him, but no longer see salvation .. It´s a Hameronlink,I know you´re openly huddy, but the shipper is there from the beginning of the series and even with the departure of Morrison (hopefully temporary, we hope), Cameron will always be a balance and challenge to House.

    And I agree that the stress that House put on chameron wedding is because he sees how weak it is, for both sides see the truth. And is not explained why House tried to kill Chase last season. For those with a shipper and watched the show since started, like me, maybe there. And is the same romantic line of House that you said, only a difference of muse.


  • Johnna

    Okay, I know there are a lot of comments for this episode, but I have to say that I don’t agree with the general dissatisfaction with this episode. On the contrary, I think that a lot of the major points of the episode can be explained a different way.

    1) About Cameron leaving. I absolutely do not believe that House deliberately tried to sabotage Chase and Cameron’s marriage. He did what he always does…he reveals the uncomfortable truth, especially when no one else has the guts to bring it up. This did two things. It forced Chase to tell Cameron the truth, and it sent Cameron’s moral compass into its biggest tailspin yet. The real reason Cameron leaves is because House has messed with her reality again. She says “there’s no way back for either of you” because she misses when things were simple, and studying under House for five years has taught her that “simple” is the last word to describe House. I believe that Cameron will be back someday; maybe when she returns she’ll have learned that people are not black and white creatures, and that life cannot be put in a box.

    2) Three months in Mayfield does not an unselfish House make. With the expected loss of Chase and Cameron, I find it totally in character that he would try to get his old team back, by any means available. Unfortunately for House, this means that he will use cool medical tests as leverage. His greatest hiring weapon is his unconventional and totally outrageous approach to medicine, after all. How else would he get all those resumes every week without even asking?

    3) Lucas is the safe choice, according to Cuddy. But what I find interesting is that for all of House’s crossing of personal boundaries, never does he let it leak outside the inner circle. He knows a lot about his team, but can we honestly say that he reveals any of that outside of the people who know them best? The balcony shout (which House told Cuddy was wrong in the kitchen scene of “Epic Fail”), is the only time I can recall House publicly humiliating someone in his inner circle. And really, it’s not something that half the hospital hasn’t guessed already, what with all the banter going on…

    All in all, I quite liked this episode. Can’t wait to see what happens!

  • Tom UK

    I’d have to agree with everyone who said they were disappointed with this episode-and attributed much of the blame for this to the writer(s). Firstly, although this week’s patient was sleazy and unlikeable I think Cameron was overly-judgemental in regard to her attitude towards him. This was particularly true when she criticised him for having a career in which he promoted divorcing sex from any emotional content. Isn’t this what she did in season three when she initiated a purely physical relationship with Chase simply because they were busy people who worked in close proximity to one another? She then broke the relationship off when he started to have feelings for her. Ok so everyone is complex and her behaviour in this episode was probably the result of her husband’s revelation that he killed Dibala, but even so this lack of consistency in regard to characterisation suggests that some of the writers need to look at the early series before making big decisions in this way.

  • Jack

    During the scene between Lucas and Chase, I was oddly reminded of Lex Luther on Smallville. It almost seemed like Lucas was going to blackmail Chase. Maybe we will get a view of a darker Lucas.

  • ann uk

    Dear Barbara, I am glad you are also puzzled by this episode , I found House even more enigmatic than usual. Is he comforting himself for Cuddy’s betrayal by drawing his team around him and at the same time demonstrating what a powerfully attractive figure he is ? Their relationship with him and the world of high altitude medecine he creates is ultimately more important to them than any other, even with their lovers.Is he limbering up for the contest with Lucas over Cuddy ?

    That last shot of him leaning over the balcony wathing them like a hawk on a branch doesn’t look very accepting.

    I don’t believe he has suddenly transmogrified into an evil, revengeful,cold-blooded manipulator, but he is obviously shocked and hurt that just at the moment he had plucked up courage to tell Cuddy what he feels, she rejects him in the most insulting and hurtful way. She may not have intended to humiliate him but she certainly does.

    In any case , Lucas is a nice enough fellow but too light weight for Cuddy.

    An PLEASE will someone persuade team House to get rid of that convict hair cut- his tousled hair is part of his personality.

  • Kathrina

    I’m having mixed feeling about this episode and Cameron’s leaving like she did it.

    First of all: Great acting, Jennifer Morrison did a beautiful job here

    But Cameron showed in the end, that her character had no more chances to develop and stay on the show. She kept her youthful and quite rigid view about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, being 100% confident in the values of her own moral values. House himself might say it hundred times, that he is only ‘solving puzzles’, it won’t become any truer by repeating. He might never get ‘all warm and cuddly’, but he cares about his patients and risks everything, often enough his health and his medical license, let alone his job, trying to rescue them. Deeds, not words are important in my world. His deeds show clearly in favor of an engaged House. His seldom interactions with his patients show me a deeply engaged, even in his own weird way ‘caring’ doctor, might he himself deny the fact. He tries to stay as little as possible emotionally involved, because he learned the hard way, that emotion are clouding his own judgment and have a great potential to harm his patients. Like in ‘Frozen’ or en ‘The Softer Side’, he almost killed the boy be giving him a contrast MRI and almost failed to save Kate.

    Cameron thinks House would have almost killed the patient because he used him to play game with his old new to be fellows. Firstly, I’m not 100% sure he was just playing a game. But even if he did, he wouldn’t have gone through with destroying the bone marrow of the patient. That much I know. Cameron telling House, he had no regard to human lives, is just out of line. Who killed Ezra? House? Well, if he did, he had very cute long brown hair. House tends to act borderline or totally illegal trying to save lives. Anybody remember DNR? In doubt House always decides to save a human life.

    House is quite forgiving, when confronted with other doctors deciding to end patient’s life: He told Wilson, that he did the right thing, when he helped his patient to kill himself. He respected Cameron for euthanizing Ezra, and he even covers Chase, even if he calls his actions murder. But there is a long way between forgiving and approving, and Cameron should have known that. Why couldn’t she? Did House really teach his fellows to disregard human life? Or is it guilt talking, because Cameron might just have just noticed that it was her and Dibala’s musing, that planted the seed of Chase’s deed. Cameron is projecting her guilt and her disappointment, and because she can’t stand the idea of the murder being just Chases of even partly her fault, she is more comfortable with blaming House. Guilt by proxy.

    Cameron needs a scapegoat, to deflect from her own guilt, from Chase’s guilt. What’s a better scapegoat than House?

    Chases Decision was bourn out of his own moral dilemma: It’s the classical dilemma of the ‘murder of the tyrant’. Chases decision was bourn out of his own moral dilemma, the only thing he might have learned by House is his ability to do the math: One life here against tens of thousands of the Tsatibi People. A parallel to ‘Nothing Helps’.

    House himself is great in human psychology: He recognizes Cameron’s dilemma and refuses to accept the blame. That’s why he wouldn’t accept her accusations, and he surely can’t and wouldn’t accept her leaving over his alleged guilt. That’s why he WAS able to look into her eyes, ad that’s why he didn’t accept her hand.

    I saw Houses scheming never as his intent to try and get Chase and Cameron apart. He himself stated: “Four for four”. He wanted to win all of them back. But he is a great believer in ‘ripping the band aid fast’: Either Cameron truly forgave Chase or Chase and she are better of without that marriage. Rather then letting Chase leave PPTH for the wrong reasons and being deluded about the fact that Cameron never truly forgave him, because she only chose to blame the murder on House and hoped to get Chase to show deep remorse for his ‘evil deed’. When she noticed that Chase is taking responsibility for his decision and can not see is as completely right or completely wrong, she leaves. House did them both the favor and let them see it as soon as it was possible.

    The POW was a bit less than he could have been. I also missed Houses interacting: It had so much potential in the chemistry House & Porn Stars, and they did a little with that one. Well, there were a lot of threads to get together. And I absolutely loved the very housian irony of the patient suffering from to much, and not from the lack of hygiene.

    Thy psychological background of House wanting to win his old teams back: I think it’s simply House being House. He is not a big friend of change, and he surely loves some continuity in his life. If it’s the old carpet in his room, or winning his old fellows back: It’s the illusion of friendship, last but not least, his dedication to ‘solving puzzles’ (saving lives), which is much better done with a good trained team. In the end, ‘playing (calculated) games’ with the life of this patient tends to help save future lives. He can do the math.

  • madfashionista

    I rather liked parts of this episode. Chase and Cameron breaking up (although they could have at least had two episodes for that arc rather than the way it was, rushed) made sense to me, not only because of her “insane moral compass” but because of all of the hoops she made Chase jump through last season. PDH’s sperm, waffling about true love, not wanting a proposal, etc. Chase almost had to drag her down the aisle. His choosing House’s team instead of being dragged off to Chicago seemed like the sensible (and in character) choice. For some reason, he can stand up to House, but not to his own wife.

    I am happy to have Taub back, but as for Thirteen…the rest is silence.

  • ann uk

    On mature consideration, I think Cuddy had to tell Lucas about House’s breakdown because it was the only way of explaining why he had to keep ” hiding in closets “.

    But has becoming a mother softened Cuddy’s brain?She must realise that it couldn’t stay secret and by not telling Wilson she sets House up for a crushing and humiliating shock. As for her plea of needing a private life, privacy is not the same as secrecy.And why would Lucas submit to this, her concern for House must surely make him wonder who comes first in her estimation ?

    House has steeled himself to risk her rejection, but not relegation to second best by lucas. He must be not only hurt and humiliated but angry.

    PS If any of the HOUSE team read this blog , please tell Hugh Laurie that there are a lot more Triumph bikes in London than I used to see.

  • Grace

    Barbara, I’m right with you in your #25 post. What a mess of an episode!!! As someone else said…it seemed rushed when it shouldn’t have been. There were too many important things going on such as Chase and Cameron’s problem, House finding out about Lucas etc. Cameron’s little *speech* was…what??? I was thinking….what the heck???? And even if House DID know that their marriage wouldn’t work out, he had no right to meddle in their business. He was being selfish and heartless and Chase fell for it. And why wouldn’t Cameron stay if Chase stayed. Aren’t they in love? They just got married for crying out loud!!!
    And would Chase stay and just let Cam go like that?
    House is going to have a lot to deal with on Monday’s WILSON episode. I just hope he’s up to it. Boy if that WILSON writer messes that one up will I ever be MAD!!!!
    Oh and it’s not just us feeling this way.
    Have you been reading the recaps and articles this week? They have been very negative. We DO NOT need that kind of press.
    I sure hope David Shore and Katie Jacobs are reading it all.

  • DebbieJ

    Anyone know what happened to Barbara? I’ve checked back here every day last week for a review of Ignorance is Bliss and here we are a full week later with another episode in the can. I hope she is okay. Sorry to post this here but wasn’t sure where else to comment.

  • Jeanne

    DebbieJ, I’m glad you asked because I was wondering the same thing. Maybe a Thanksgiving vacation.

  • rsg

    Glad also that you’ve posted the question. I’ve been checking everyday! I’m so addicted to the show and her review.

  • barbara barnett

    Thanks everyone for your patience: holidays, illness and a large writing project have delayed me. Wilson review will be up within acouple hours.

  • Lucas

    I remember when I saw “Teamwork” for the first time. I was so sad because Cameron left her husband back, House, the team, the hospital, the show. I knew she was not going back. She was gone. I totally missed Cameron, I loved that character. I don’t know why she didn’t appear anymore. But, I was happy when she returned in “Lockdown”, and again in “Everybody Dies”. But, all the things House did wrong, this was one of them.