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TV Review: House, M.D. – “Unplanned Parenthood”

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In this week’s House, M.D. episode “Unplanned Parenthood,” Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) guest stars as Abbey, a middle-aged new mother whose baby is born with serious breathing problems. In addition to dealing with her sick newborn, the new mom is also dealing with the resentment of her adult daughter, jealous that the mom who was never available when she was young, is suddenly so invested in this tiny new life. 

But it turns out that despite trying to take care of herself while pregnant, Abbey has two forms of deadly cancer: melanoma and lung cancer. The metastasized melanoma has been passed to the infant, but (almost miraculously), the antibodies from the cancer are sufficient to fight off the cancer cells in the baby. Blood transfusions from mother to newborn seem to treat the baby’s melanoma; but without treating her own dual cancers, Abbey will die—likely from a blood clot in her lung. Wanting to do right by her baby, Abbey refuses treatment until the newborn has received sufficient blood from her to kill the cancer. Sacrificing herself to save her baby, Abbey dies, leaving her baby daughter in the arms (and hands) of her other daughter.  

The medical story is pretty straight on the nose, and largely handled by the team without House (Hugh Laurie), with the addition of a pediatrician from the NICU, who becomes a candidate for a place on House’s team. She is sharp and has a lot to add, but in the end, she decides to stick with her current practice. That’s too bad; I really liked Dr. Chang. 

In the meantime, House and Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) play their own unplanned parenthood game when Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) asks House to babysit Rachel. There is nothing very deep here, and I’m reminded somehow of an old Dick van Dyke (or some other similar classic situation comedy) episode where Rob Petrie and Jerry Helper (his neighbor) have to do a mom thing; it goes wrong, and Jerry and Rob try to cover it up without letting Laura know about it. Of course it eventually backfires, despite their efforts, care and really good intentions. No surprises here—completely predictable, but very, very funny.

House is pulled in several directions, caught between his natural inclination to avoid things that scare him or have challenges outside is comfort zone. This House is part jerk; part endearing and charming; part fun and funny; part wanting to do the right thing and part not. Is this how Stacy saw in him so long before we met him—before the infarction?  

House has Wilson to be a (rather misguided but effective) guide on this adventure—one the likes of which, I’m pretty sure, House has never before experienced. Yeah, House is great around kids in the clinic. He has the chops to treat them and entertain them. His has a lot of empathy for them when they’re under his care. But this is Cuddy’s kid we’re talking about and not a dying child or societal victim. The challenge is greater than conjuring miracle cures: it’s chasing a toddler around Cuddy’s home. 

House tries to bail on his promise when Rachel wakes up demanding juice. She doesn’t really want juice so much as to have a little fun. There is nothing quite so animated and exasperating as a two-year old knowing she can outrun and outfox you. House is neither physically (or in any other way) up to the task. So, who you ‘gonna call?  Wilson, of course.

House’s plan is to leave Wilson with Rachel. House plays the jerk card and leaves, believing that Wilson would never leave the baby alone in the house. Wilson plays the “it’s not me who’s getting sex from Rachel’s mom” card and threatens to do just that. In the end, neither can really leave her, so both stay to tend to the (impossibly cute) toddler. 

However, it seems that Rachel has gotten into the Chinese food Wilson has so graciously brought with him—and the bowl of popcorn House has left on the coffee table. But neither of those are the issue, as House catches her in the act of eating a coin—change from restaurant. 

Situation comedy ensues when House and Wilson frantically try to figure out if Rachel has actually swallowed any of the change, and a quick tally suggests there is still a dime missing. Of course they can’t tell Cuddy what happened. (Television males can never admit to being inferior at child care. It’s a rule.)

House goes on “poop watch” hoping that the allegedly swallowed dime will emerge as nature intends. But there is a small chance that the dime will become lodged and cause serious intestinal problems for Cuddy’s beloved baby.  So House and Wilson do what any self-respecting duo of comedy males would do and keep watch on the kid until the dime meets its natural end. Which it does—eventually. And predictably, it is Cuddy who finds the dime, right where it belongs, in Rachel’s diaper at changing time—after House and Wilson believe themselves to be in the clear.

It’s enjoyable watching House and Wilson together, totally witless about caring for a child. And trying to be sneaky in keeping the truth of the swallowed coinage from Cuddy. 

The patient story was interesting, if straightforward, but it didn’t draw me in as most episodes do. I have really enjoyed season seven; I enjoyed “Unplanned Parenthood.” I usually adore David Foster’s episodes immensely; they are usually packed with subtext and other little gems. Perhaps the subtext of this episode concerns the responsibility that goes along with parenthood—even when it’s not planned. Abbey, in an extreme understanding of the nature of this responsibility, sacrifices her life for the life of her child. Abbey’s adult daughter, in turn, accepts the yoke of responsibility—of unplanned parenthood—when Abbey dies. 

Cuddy asks House to watch Rachel, perhaps testing his willingness to be a surrogate parent (while testing her own concerns about him—expressed last episode). Can he take on the responsibility of child? Is he capable and can he rise to the occasion? At first, we’re not so sure, but when it becomes a matter or either telling Cuddy about the swallowed coin or becoming a watchful parent, House does seem to take seriously (eventually) his responsibility. It isn’t easy; it doesn’t come naturally—and he is reluctant in the extreme—and it’s completely twisted, but he does it. 

Taub (Peter Jacobson) also has responsibility thrust upon him: to be father to the team and hire a new fellow. He fails, unwilling to follow his own instincts, certain that House is setting him up to fail. And in the end, it is Taub who causes himself to fail. It isn’t quite unplanned parenthood, but it seems to sort of fit the overarching theme of the episode.

It bothered me, however, that House is barely engaged in the case, relegated to the “B” plot. But with the comedic “B” plot being so front and center (and really where the episode’s action takes place), the entire episode seemed slightly off to me. 

The series is off the air for the next few weeks, and will return November 8 with “Office Politics.” Later this week, I’ll have up my interview about the “television ratings game” with Robert Siedman of TV by the Numbers. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet, read last week’s interview with Lisa Edelstein or have a listen to a Canadian radio interview with me talking about the series and House’s season seven.

 

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About Barbara Barnett

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

    I liked this episode a lot, even if it was a little sitcom-y. I never get tired of watching men fail to car for children (and btw real men are incapable of admitting they suck at it too). I think the best part was the last scene when Rachel rats out House, that should be enough to get me through the three week break for baseball, and hopefully FOX will be back on by then I loved the House/Wilson story and I don’t mind undramatic episodes every once in a while. I had to watch on my computer because of cablevision dropping FOX, so I’ll have to watch again for the full effect. Ironically, this episode got a 6.4/10 rating in teh key demo, despite the fact that so many were without the channel!

  • Sissy

    Great episode, I laughed the whole time. looking forward to November

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    I liked it and I absolutely don’t mind the occasional comic episode. RSL and HL are brilliant together. No one does “deer in the headlights” better than HL and both of them are great physical comics.

  • Martha Lee

    I do not feel the need to watch a third time (watched online Eastern time then live my time (central).
    I hate that the show is duplicating diseases. Third time for lung cancer (second with a Mom with lung cancer) and a second time for Melonoma. The House/Wilson/Rachel plot was OK. It has been done to death on various other shows. The series is meeting my low expectations. I am still waiting to be wowed for this season.

  • marykir

    Barbara, is there a paragraph missing between pages 1 & 2? Or am I not quite awake yet?

  • http://idontcareish.livejournal.com/ Jacksam4eva

    We can’t really expect them to find a new desease for EACH NEW EPISODE, the POTW was just fine. Doctors were fun so the case was fun, I think it’s a great balance.

    I liked the ep even if the one from last week was definitely better. I have a question though : was the light in the episode really that dark or was it because the quality was bad when I watched it on megavideo? On my computer, the light was as dark as the ep in which Kutner died and I’m wondering if that was done on purpose or not.

    Anyway, I was really glad to have House and Wilson’s friendship back this week, they are just so much fun together it’s hilarious.

    November 8 seems sooo far away now, I’m gonna miss the show lol.

  • Susan

    I enjoyed the episode but worried that the anti-Cuddyites would trash it all over the internet. There wasn’t enough House in the case and he seems to be very under Cuddy’s thumb. I know he’s trying to show her that he can be trusted with Rachel but he comes off like a wuss. And Cuddy is becoming a caricature with sticking her bosom in his face. Every comment is about them having sex. They should have sex but be more discrete. I’d like more romance and some of the witty banter they used to have.Of course I love that they’re together and that CANNOT change but can the writers make it more romantic?

    I saw “Brave Heart” and “Known Unknowns” last week (thanks to the USA channel House marathons) and loved the scene in B.H. where House confesses Cuddy makes him feel funny and then towers over her and leans in to her. THAT was sexy. The 1980’s dance scene in K.U. where they talk over their past was great, but depressing when Cuddy ran away from him just when he was opening up to her. And I’m glad we’re not going back to the broken House who caught Lucas babysitting for Rachel in Cuddy’s hotel room. I like the new, happier House.

    Question – what changed between “Broken” (with the Lydia relationship) and “Epic Fail” when he ignored Cuddy to Brave Heart and Known Unknowns where he is actively wooing her?

    The baby sitting and resulting medical “crisis” was very cute. I was surprised though when House tried to walk out and leave Rachel with Wilson. Either the writers make him completely heartless or they make him mushy.

    This is turning into a negative review but I want everything to be perfect for the show and for the House-Cuddy relationship that I’ve looked forward to for so long.

    I also saw “Joy” again lately and noticed where House makes a comment about Rachel growing up and her boyfriend wanting to have sex on the desk. Which brings us to the “desk” in “Let Them Eat Cake”. Both Cuddy and House, in different episodes caress the desk. Do you think the desk will be mentioned between them in the future?

    P.S. Fox5 (which shows House) has been pulled from Cablevision because of a dispute over fees. I ended up going to my friend’s house (she has an antenna) to watch with her son (who also has Cablevision in his apartment and didn’t want to miss House). Hope the dispute ends soon!

  • Emily

    You need an editor!!!

  • Andrea

    Nice review.

    I thought they didn’t do a terribly good job developing the patient of the week or her adult daughter. I didn’t find the characters very likeable and didn’t know enough about them to really care when Abbey died. I think the writers could easily have made it an episode where people were sobbing when she was found dead.

    The House/Wilson/Rachel shenanigans, on the other hand, were pretty hilarious. Two men and a baby. House IS a jerk. Rachel at this point is one part rival for Cuddy’s affections and attention and one part his in-route to win brownie points and more sex with Cuddy. He was funny when he pretended to coo over how cute Rachel looked asleep while he was pretending to go to check on her. He’s got the baby monitor there. I assume he can hear the child breathing perfectly well using it.

    There were also some signs of just how important his relationship with Cuddy is and how afraid he is of losing it. I think he’s very, very afraid of losing his temper with Rachel and hurting her, maybe the way John House hurt him, and he didn’t want to risk it. Hence, he calls Wilson, “a responsible adult” and someone he thinks will be the perfect babysitter, so he can’t do any damage. Then, when Rachel swallows the coins and House knows he’s in for it, he’s really desperate not to face Cuddy’s wrath and probably afraid Cuddy will leave him over it. He and Wilson watch Rachel like a pair of hawks, too, and they do take responsibility for making sure she’s OK after their momentary lapse. They know what to do for her as doctors, if not as babysitters. Still, House’s hands are shaking when he thinks he’s going to have to scope Rachel and I don’t think it was due to low blood sugar. He’s terrified that something’s going to happen to the child or Cuddy will find out and leave him.

    It was also obvious that Rachel was completely at ease with House and Wilson, which suggests to me that House has spent more time around her than a night or two. She’s used to him being his snarky self, isn’t afraid of him. He paid enough attention to her to know that she hates the imaginary moose that she thinks lives outside her window. She was completely fascinated and amused listening to House “soothingly” fire someone and be mean to his team. She wanted him to play with her, not give her more juice. She enjoyed watching House and Wilson squabble like a pair of clowns and seeing Wilson climb out her bedroom window. The trip to the hospital was fun. What kid wouldn’t like funny Uncle James the Tickle Monster who gave her lots of candy?

    I’d love to hear the unwritten aftermath of that episode and Cuddy’s conversation with House when she figures it all out after Rachel rats House out. I’m guessing Cuddy is angry; I’m also guessing that she won’t leave him over it as House fears. I’d like to see them address what happened in future episodes. They’ll eventually arrive at some kind of dynamic they can all live with.

  • Barbara barnett

    Marykir and Emily,

    Case of a vestigial paragraph and wanting to get the review up sooner rather than later (blush). Unneeded paragraph squelched. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Susan

    Emily #8 – I know! I just wrote everything on my mind and was too lazy to edit.
    Sorry.

  • http://blogcritics.org/video/article/tv-review-house-md-unplanned-parenthood/ Nuran

    New season so far has been disappointing. This episode was the worst, undeveloped characters, silly Rachel jokes, sex talk talk
    …………

  • andreec

    I am enjoying season 7 and love watching House evolve before our eyes as he allows himself to engage in a real relationship with Cuddy. His cooing firing dialogue with Rachel next to him on the couch was HILARIOUS. Ditto him checking the sleeping child while describing her to Cuddy over the phone. That’s the House we all love. He’s still a jerk but he knows when to cover it up. LOVE THAT. As for House and Cuddy in the early phases of their affair, I thought it was a riot how House couldn’t sleep knowing Rachel had swallowed the dime. How House jumped out of bed at the first sound of Rachel waking up as Cuddy snoozed blissfully unaware. The dichotomy of their opposite expressions on the two pillows was the depth of character we’ve come to expect on this terrific show. I do think some of the fans are suffering a bit from boardroom boredom in expecting freakishly out of this world medical cases every week. I thought the pacing is just right. I mean, seriously, how many murdered dictators/gun shooters terrorizing staff/bizarre far-out diseases do we have to endure to enjoy the pure character development each week? If I wanted hype and melodrama, I’d be watching greys anatomy. No, this season is about the real-ish world were relationships take time. I love that Chase isn’t already skirt chasing hardcore but exploring his options now that Cameron left. Or that Foreman is stirring up hell since 13 left. The lack of standard tv-melodrama seems right, normal to me, and that leaves time for the doctors and staff to explore life outside the hospital a little and let the little things come into view. A kid swallowing a coin? Normal and realistic. Cuddy’s kid swallowing a coin while House was in charge, yes it is the end of the world as House knows it! What’s not to love. Can’t wait for the fireworks of Candice Bergen to take place or the co-worker’s wedding with House, Wilson and Cuddy attending. I love that this show keeps things mellow at times and doesn’t fall for the typical tv-show dramatics that make you roll your eyes. Would love to see a little more clinic time and a little more Huddy interaction at work now that these two are “outed” and staff must know theyre dating. Want to see more of that if possible.

  • andreec

    oops. typo in above comment. Meant to say that Foreman is NOT stirring up hell now that 13 has left. Adding here: Like that Foreman is rooting for House and Cuddy’s relationship. Maybe to prove to himself he too can one day have a successful romantic relationship at work?

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Thank you for your review, Barbara. Delightful read, as ever.

    I felt that the episode was entirely built upon the “planned” versus “unplanned” dichotomy – which, when reported to the delicate issue of parenthood, almost always leaves us with the conclusion that it can never be expected to go “as planned”.

    ABBEY: She had her first child presumably when she was quite young and she seems to have raised her in the absence of much planning – however, with reasonably good results. But later on in her life, she tried for retrospective repair of that experience, having a second child in regard to whom she had planned everything to perfection. Things, however, span horribly out of control for her, forcing her to face an unplanned situation that ultimately cost her her life.

    THE ELDER DAUGHTER: she is confronted with unplanned parenthood of her little sister. Despite the older daughter’s latent resentment towards her mother – which seems to resolve into post-mortem absolution and forgiveness -, she seems to be prepared to handle the situation just right – even though I found her scene with the baby a bit too obvious, the same message could have been sent in far fewer words.

    CUDDY: she had carefully planned for in vitro insemination and then for adopting a baby, but eventually ended up getting one in a highly unplanned and very dramatic situation. As a mother, she had faced many unplanned situations, like the current ones that make for her lack of an available babysitter.

    HOUSE: ultimately unprepared for fatherhood, House faced a very tricky situation. His history in regard to Cuddy’s motherhood is filled with painful experiences: he had first felt that he was losing Cuddy when she wanted to adopt Joy, then he did lose her a bit when she adopted Rachel. The pain he felt through those episodes (“Big Baby”, “Painless”, “Unfaithful” etc) was real and debilitating for him. Then there was Lucas, who had scored points with Cuddy by playing the daddy-figure for Rachel. And then, there is the jealousy he feels because of Rachel’s place in Cuddy’s life (the reason why their romance couldn’t play out as he wished, the reason Cuddy has to rush home every night, the reason they couldn’t go to France…). And, of course, Rachel represents an ultimate challenge for their relationship.

    Despite his baggage of conflicting emotion towards Rachel, House accepted the task of babysitting her and tried his best to eventually make things turn out right, because of his gigantic need and love for Cuddy.

    Faced with the unplanned situation of the swallowed coin, House makes huge efforts to come up with a plan that would keep things under control – that is, the child safe and Cuddy happy. Though he was very thorough about it, his plan did backfire on him – even though I presume that Cuddy will understand and won’t be excessively angry at him.

    House learnt two of the most important LESSONS ON PARENTHOOD in this episode: what it is like to worry for a child’s well-being and that planning simply doesn’t work sometimes, when it comes to children. The first lesson is of great importance. Worrying for a child is the ultimate experience that turns a person into a parent, bringing out abilities and strengths we were virtually unaware of (like having House staying awake at night, worried about a baby’s poop:). Even if his motives were extrinsic (making sure he doesn’t lose or disappoint Cuddy), this lesson still counts as the first step in what might be a minimal and unusual bonding between him and Rachel.

    Finally, TAUB had developed a carefully conceived plan in regard to the task of hiring a new team member, which also backfired on him (just like Forman’s had, to some extent).

    I felt this was a light and enjoyable episode – I am ready to aplaud Wilson’s new addiction to climbing windows this season:)). However, I do need to see House much more involved in the cases (and I am sorry we didn’t get this time, because this was a very dramatic case, which has the potential of drawing more direct and very interesting parallels to House and Cuddy’s won issues with parenthood).

    I also beg for the return of clinic duty. Seriously, please!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    I live in Europe and am at a complete loss in regard to the rating system in the US, but i have a question:

    I had understood that the ratings for “Massage Therapy” were 13,4 million viewers. Yet, on Wikipedia (i know, “reliable” source:(, it is listed at only 9,69 million – which is waaaaay below the regular “House” standards – even in season 6.

    Are there different ratings systems being used for various reports?

    And bottom line, do we have anything to worry about? Is season 7 getting far lower ratings than season 6?

    That would be such a pity, since i am so proud of TPTB for their brave and mature choice of taking chances and doing a really creative and valuable character drama.

  • genagirl

    The House-Wilson-kid part was great. Loved every scene House had with Wilson. But I can’t help thinking back to Cuddy’s reluctance to introduce House to Rachel and her fears that he might disappear from her life and leave the little girl confused. So, does that mean Lucas still comes over to play with the kid? Cuddy was engaged to him, he babysat the child and played with her and now he’s gone. What was with all the “can I risk it” stuff from Cuddy. I know this is all going to end but it can’t happen fast enough for me. I just don’t like House and Cuddy playing house.

  • susan

    Comments on the “House” website on Facebook were very positive……

  • Janine

    I don’t mind the repetition of cases as long as the stories are different and the B stories are entertaining which this was. I also noticed the dark tone and wasn’t sure if it was my computer of not. But I think it was so dark because almost all of the scened took place at night.
    @Susan
    I too was worried about anti huddies but I don’t really care. I liked the episode

  • RJW

    I loved this episode!I found the POTW’s situation compelling,and I’ve been looking forward to House’s interaction with Rachel.Having the mother transmit cancer to her baby while also having 2 different types of the disease was unusual.

  • Leodie

    I was a bit disappointed by this episode. I felt the whole “guys sucking at child care” situation hackneyed although HL and RSL pulled it better than most. House did connect with Rachel in his own twisted way which is good for him and his relationship with Cuddy but it felt awkward that she and him were not on the same page and therefore had no genuine interaction for the whole episode. The potw was ok but not great. I did like doctor Chang, a lot, but I don’t really understand how one of her coworkers acting like a child, would make her refuse the job in House team that she wanted.

    As many have pointed out before, there is no way this kid isn’t at least three or four. Language skills say at least three. Drawing skills (I’m guessing Cuddy didn’t make those on the fridge) more like four. If she was born mid season five she should not even be two. Especially considering that there was no hiatus between the end of season 6 and the beginning of season 7. No big deal but it is a bit unsettling.

    I did like the return of the “panic face” when Cuddy came back from the board meeting and H and W were afraid to be caught red handed. Or House speaking in a soothing voice to Rachel as if trying to charm a snake. House’s “I wish I was nicer” was great too.

    Is it significant that H and C sleep in their PJs while last week H slept in the nude? Is this for R’s sake if they need to get up in the night and go comfort her? That’s more parent than lover like then. I guess that’s a sign.

  • Orange450

    Barbara, thanks, as always, for your good review.

    I liked “Unplanned Parenthood” very much. I was ready for a lighthearted episode, and IMO, this one didn’t disappoint. I thought it beautifully showcased much that we know of House’s character (you nailed him in your description!)and much that we anticipate when House and Wilson get in some serious time together – in the course of some less-than-serious pursuit. Both HL and RSL are individually posessed of impeccable comic timing, but together, their effect is matchless. I don’t know when I’ve seen two actors play off each other so perfectly.

    I also liked Dr. Chang. I admired the way she held her own with Dr. House. I think she knows one of the secrets of working with him successfully – i.e., be very good at what you do, and don’t care what he thinks of you. Everyone is always so self-conscious around him and she wasn’t. I liked her honesty and acerbity, and I liked the way the “unplanned parenthood” theme worked its way into her exchange with Taub, as she told him she didn’t like kids. She taught him a much needed-lesson, and perhaps helped him grow up a bit.

    House’s interactions with Foreman were somewhat parental as well. “Wipe the grin”?? Sounds a lot like an annoyed Dad to me :) By summarily dismissing the new hire, House even taught Foreman a lesson in much the same way that John House might have tried to teach him, once upon a time.

    I would have liked a little more back story on the adult daughter (who didn’t look old enough to have a brief dumped on her desk – or did I misunderstand her reason for not getting to the birth sooner?) I thought perhaps she had been adopted – when she caught her mother saying “the first time”, and she said “technically, it’s the second time” – I wasn’t quite sure what she was getting at. But all in all, I thought it was a solid and enjoyable episode.

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    Maybe it was time for a nice straight-ahead House episode to leave us off just before November sweeps!

  • madfashionista

    I enjoyed the House/Wilson scenes a great deal, although the larger issue of his not really getting involved with a dying baby and mother vs. Cuddy’s kid having swallowed a dime gave me a severe case of cognitive dissonance.

    There’s generally a looser, more jokey feel to the series, I suppose because of the new producers and writers and older ones leaving. It really bothers me to see House walking without his cane for several steps or more. Okay, all of those years were psychological and drugs and now it’s darn near cured.

    This was the only episode this season that didn’t leave me severely disappointed, if only for watching Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard play off each other so brilliantly. Too bad it wasn’t a more original idea. I’d like to see how the “real” House would deal with this situation, not the caffeine-free House lite.

    As to Rachel’s age: the timelines on this show have been twisted so beyond comprehension it might as well be science fiction. Maybe Rachel wasn’t ANOTHER daughter of dying mother, she came out of a pod.

    Your mileage may vary.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Leodie (#21): your question about the pijamas seemed very funny to me. Shows exactly how obsessive we are to understand each and every nuance…
    Personally, i would interpret it as a pragmatic decision, not necessarily a symbol. If Rachel needed attending to at night, grabbing a robe before getting to her would probably do, if they slept naked. But there is also Marina, the nanny, who comes in early in the morning – she might need to come into the bedroom, for instance following Rachel who ran in there… Sleeping in the nude is a very difficult decision to make when there are people in the house, other than the actual couple.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Orange450(#22): i really agree with your comment. I mean, for reals:)

    With one exception: In regard to House being so housian on Foreman – you say that John House might have tried to teach Gregory lessons in similar ways:

    I do disagree on this. First of all, out of everything we know about John House, he seemed to have a propensity for delivering his “lessons” in much more abusive and cruel ways. Let alone, his lessons were focused on issues that were neither right, nor logical, but usually personal obsessions over absurdities. House’s “bear trap” had a great deal of humor in it and Foreman himself didn’t view it as crushing his self-esteem – only “straightening it out a bit”:)

    I do not deny his legal father’s influence on him – which House himself acknowledges mostly as an influence by opposition (in “Birthmarks”, he makes it clear that he made an essential point of principle out of standing firmly against all of his father’s absurd rules and demands, like excessive punctuality, discipline, obedience to hierarchy).
    I do believe that there is more to it than the rebellion: House’s rigorous thinking processes might have been influenced by his father’s example, as maybe was his unique and apparently despotic way of exercising his authority.

    Also, it is usually true that children who were abused by their parents and later on become parents themselves are subject to two very powerful drives: consciously, they try to be as different from their own parents as possible, thus symbolically healing their own past wounds as well as preventing their own children from suffering them. While sub- and unconsciously, in times of psychological frailty, they go on automatic pilot and put into practice things that they have witnessed at their own parents (often, things that they have been badly hurt by, at least emotionally, thus burdening themselves with enormous amounts of guilt for doing them to their own children).

    But House’s parental role towards the ducklings is only subject to the second type of drive very rarely, when House is indeed in a very fragile physical and mental state. The powerplays and the lessons he delivers are his conscious choices and i believe them to be the result of three essential traits – all of them, traits which Gregory developed as a result of the abuse he was subjected to by his legal father, but which do not drive him to follow his example, not even unconsciously:

    – his addiction to what’s right (thus, he is compulsively moving in to correct or at least point out behaviors and beliefs that he views as wrong)
    – his “propensity for having fun”, as he himself puts it: his instinctive reaction of nurturing his inner child, but allowing it to express and enjoy itself fully
    – his determination to put himself in the worst light possible, always playing the evil mastermind, showing the world only the absolute jerk that hides the benevolent puppeteer (in his attempt to avoid any deception in his search for acceptance and love).

  • SeraG

    Hello, Barbara,
    Listened to your interview on Canadian radio. Thanks for the link. Nicely, done! Not that I’m surprised.
    Nothing too heavy from me. I liked the episode. It made me laugh, reminded me of the first time House and Wilson were roommates and the pranks and fights. (Still laugh when I rewatch those shows.)
    I liked the strong connection between House and Cuddy. Watching them ‘negotiate’ sex instead of clinic hours was amusing.
    I enjoyed the team taking on the patient for a change of pace. I, too, liked Dr. Chang. I think Amber Tamblyn is a very talented actress, and I look forward to what she will bring to the show, but I guess I am one of the few who really doesn’t miss 13. I don’t feel her absence too much. I would resent an all male team, I don’t miss the female ‘perspective’ or dynamic yet.
    I was having too much fun getting exasperated by House/Wilson being outmatched by a toddler. Those two can sell anything. I didn’t really stop and think “Oh, I’ve seen this plot before”? I just went along for the ride.
    Anyone who has raised, helped care for or spent time with a young child knows that things rarely go as planned. That is part of the stress, and looking back, the joy of being with that youngster.
    I agree with those who have said that Rachel seemed at ease with both House and “Uncle James.” Obviously time has gone by since last week’s events. I agree, that little girl is adorable. I hope they show us House coming to love and care for her, not just due to his relationship with Cuddy.
    All in all, a good episode.

  • pawpaw

    I liked the House/Wilson scenes which I found really funny and entertaining. Liked Dr Chang, esp. her last scene which Taub when she declines his offer to join House’s team. Overall, I liked the previous 4 episodes a whole lot more. I couldn’t connect with the POTW, perhaps because I didn’t really “get” her or her situation with the new baby and her adult daughter (more of a back story might have helped).

    What I find really interesting though is how House has his arm under Cuddy as she sleeps in this episode (and in previous ones. He’s in this really bad but I hope it doesn’t end badly for him (and Cuddy). I really want this to work for them….

  • Jennifer O.

    Thank you for your articles/analysis, Barbara – they’re great. I must admit that I was extremely excited to see Huddy *finally* getting together, it’s been over 6 years, after all…. and some of us having been waiting a long, long time.

    But I must admit, after the first 2 episodes – the Huddy spark seems to have fizzled – as in, no more sexual tension/passion whatsoever. I know this isn’t House’s favorite show “General Hospital”, or what I’ve heard of “Grey’s Anatomy” (never watched it or any other medical drama for that matter), but the sexual tension is now….eh…. And I knew from the start that the writers were going to make it “complicated”, and in other words, end it in one of the near future episodes – so I knew it would be just the inevitable – no relationship on that show ever lasts (except House/Wilson, of course….)

    For the people who miss Seasons 1-3, what I have to say to them is, “are you the same person you were almost 7 years ago???” The reason I love “house” is b/c I love the character and watching him evolve, and part of that is learning how to have a healthy, adult, sober relationship. Giving up Vicodin was *huge* for House, and of course it’s going to change his personality if he gives up a mind-altering substance. Everything in life is always changing – nothing ever stays the same.

    I say “kudos” to the writers for taking a risk with Huddy – it was inevitable and about time. I love to see House smile for once – what a beautiful sight. We all know it’s not going to be an ‘easy’ relationship for many reasons, and it’s most likely going to end anyways. A once saw a comment from a “House” executive that said something to the effect of, “House” may be a ‘medical drama,’ but in the end it’s a show about human relationships,” and I couldn’t agree more. I just really hope they don’t screw it up – I completely agree that the Huddy relationship is not being written well – it has so much potential to be complex, interesting, funny, sexy…..and so far, in my opinion, it’s just…..not. Hopefully that will change, but I’m not overly optimistic at the moment.

  • MamaShante

     I always considered [H]ouse as first and foremost a medical show.  The secondary characters were an after thought to me.  I suppose I took them for granted.  Season 7 has taught me to watch the show from a different perspective.  I am VERY intrigued! 

    I enjoyed last night’s episode.  I thought it was well written and the acting was magnificent!!  Wilson and House are like rum and coke.  They go so well together!!  The POTW was interesting.  I really like House’s bedroom manners.  Never occurred to me he was such a cuddle bug!!  I love it!  “Huddy” is actually alright.  The employee/employer dynamic is still there.  Only difference is Cuddy can now bargain with sex along with clinic hrs.  So much potential!!

  • Grace

    I adore Hugh Laurie. And I will continue watching HOUSE for as long as it airs, no matter what. And if Wilson keeps climbing in and out of windows, I will enjoy the show that much more. Enough said.
    Oh SeraG: You are not the only one who does NOT miss 13. I hope she never comes back. I like Olivia Wilde, but I find her character very boring.

  • MamaShante

    @ Jennifer O: I agree with you. I never cared for Huddy until this season. I absolutely loved the first two episodes. I think the writers might be holding back on this new relationship just like how House and Cuddy were with each other. They probably do not want to bombard every episode with Huddy tension. It is early in the season. I trust the writers will get the job done.

  • vicpei

    Barbara, I agree this episode felt ill-balanced, but entertaining anyway. The patient part was a little off for me. I blame the inadequacy of acting skills for this lack of balance : the patient and her daughter were a little weak, when HL and RSL were at their top.
    This was an episode for first times : first time I see House buying food for Wilson, at the end ; first time I see another doc bonding better with House himself than with his team. Docteur Chang was a strong, enjoyable woman. I wish we could have seen her for a longer time. It is a pity that these strong female characters don’t stay for a long time.
    I am not bothered by the sex talk and sex bargaining between House and Cuddy, because it is their comfort zone, it has always been. I am not expecting them to hold hands and whisper sweet little nothings to each other, but hey, House is cuddly in bed!! Isn’t it a good sight? Now for the sleeping clothed part… I agree with previous comments : they sleep naked in House’s bed, when they’re alone. In Cuddy’s house there is a kid to attend. You better keep some clothes on.

    And my favorite part was a tiny bit, but significant, to me : House told Cuddy “I have a life, you know”‘. Even if it was meant as a joke, it drawed me back to Help Me, where Cuddy told him “You’ve got nothing, House ; nothing”. And House told Hannah “You’ve got a life… and this… is just a leg”.
    So now, he feels he has got a life, a better one, hopefully ; whether it is the end of addiction, the lessening of the pain, the love of Cuddy, more interest in his job again, I found it very, very promising. I love that House feels happier ; finds meaning in his life. I do hope this sentence was deliberate. Given the usual fine writing, I think it was.

    Looking forward for more happy House. He is still the jerk we love, though.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Jennifer O (#29): i respectfully disagree on your statement that Huddy has lost its spark and that it has to end.

    I found these 5 episodes to have worked perfectly towards building a very solid relationship. All the complications that they have faced were resolved through open communication and a mature approach, or simply by their gigantic efforts of doing anything it takes to keep going. They are both fully aware of how much they mean for each other and how none of them can ever love anybody else again. House especially is obviously aware that any meaning he can attach to his life, any chance at a bit of balance and happiness depend on his relationship with Cuddy. This counts for a great chance at them making it work, in their own dysfunctional way.

    So far, the writing too has given me no impression that doom is planned for them. This is being built with great dedication and seriosity.

    The sparks and the banter have been replaced by tenderness and intimacy, in a way that i find tremendously sensual and very endearing. If yoy watch their faces, eyes, smiles and body language, they speak volumes about how happy they are and how much in love. I find that this is a natural progression of things – they will probably be back to their easy, flirty, teasing banter at some point in the future, when they feel more secure about their relationship. Right now, it makes perfect sense that they both are very emotional and still in awe at this amazing thing they are living – and i think they express that just fine.

  • Susan

    Delia_Beatrice #34 – You and Barbara always make me more optimistic for the future of House/Cuddy. Thanks.

  • Andrea

    I guess time will tell if they’re plotting the implosion of the House and Cuddy relationship. I think there are definitely things the writers could do that would make it pretty interesting without breaking them up. I want to see another episode with House’s mom and biological father and how House deals with all that before the end of the series, too.

  • Anne

    I am hastily responding to your blog without the advantage of reading the preceding comments which I promise myself I will read later. In the meantime, I have to commend you on your comparison of the comedic sequences of this episode with Dick Van Dyke. I recall laughing just as heartily at Dick Van Dyke as I did at this episode. I have lost count of the number of times I re-watched the House-Wilson scenes as well as the House-Cuddy scenes and how much I loved the interactions between House and Rachel. She is a mozic (not sure how this is spelled–I was trying for the Yiddish word for little imp. She is just delightful, impossibly cute and oh so cunning. As with the other characters, she is beautifully cast for the part. I would love to see candid shots of her during filming! I thought the main episode was poignant-Jennifer Gray did a lovely job. And I also hugely enjoyed that the other members of House’s group got to shine. They were splendid. All in all, a very enjoyable episode. And I also love your analysis of all of the subplots, esp. your comments about Taub. I think they were right on the money. Speaking of money, I was amused that Rachel swallowed a coin, of all things, and of Wilson’s description of it as it appeared in the ultrasound.

  • simona

    I liked the episode as a whole even though, on me, it did not have the same emotional impact of previous. I thought it was an episode of transition and I also think that the bad interpretation of the patient’s daughter has had its weight in obliging me to empathize with the clinical case.
    The key to the episode was probably spelled in the beginning, through the words of the POTW (I don’t remember her name! It’s funny, isn’t it?) during the birth scene: “Family coming first”. In this regard took place the entire story, focused on family (and affective) connections that come before everything else.
    Some quotes as examples: “mother’s touch”, “I wanted a chance to be a special mom”, “irrational worried parents”.
    Throughout the episode, in my opinion, the writers wanted to highlight every kind of circular and unplanned relationship. They have highlighted the behavior of each person in unforeseen and therefore not planned situations: House babysitting Rachel, Wilson helping House in babysitting, Cuddy forced to seek help from House in a state of familiar emergency, Taub who must assume responsibility to choose for once in his life, Foreman who seems to have established a more emotional contact with House despite the apparent mockery of the same House, the POTW’s first daughter who had not planned to have a little sister and entered the competition because she feels that her mother was never been really a mother for her, and so on. So the “unplanned” doesn’t refer only to parenthood. And, curiously, the only situation really planned (the pregnancy of POTW) ends dramatically, with the death of the woman who was deluded to control everything without mistakes. In some way has been shown that we all make mistakes and that we can grow only making mistakes.
    Obviously I loved a lot the comic duo House/Wilson, baby Rachel is a jewel, House and Cuddy are a pleasure to see together because their chemistry never disappoints and they interpret their role with undeniable naturalness although I must confess that I lack the passion between them, the team was great, I liked very much the pediatrician and I miss 13. Yes, I confess!!
    And I think that House doesn’t want to hire another female doctor because he is missing 13 too(quote by previous ep: “13 was the only man in this team!”). House has trouble processing separations and he has not yet addressed the 13 abandonment (like many others drop suffered in his life and this issue was already discussed a lot).
    Wilson and the moose reminded me to the ep “A wonderful lie” when Wilson was wearing the moose hat….a beautiful episode. I don’t know if there may be a connection, I have not yet identified it.
    Sorry for the thoughts that I expressed, a little confused…

    On a side note: Barbara, I heard your radio interview! Good questions and smart answers, and you have a very sweet voice :-)

  • Andrea

    Anne, Rachel is a “mossik,” according to an online Yiddish dictionary — a mischief maker, naughty child or imp. That seems to fit. She’s very wide-eyed and innocent looking in some of those scenes. Actually, I hadn’t taken into account House’s bad leg and how hard it would be for him to chase a 2-year-old. He may have had a better reason than thought to call Wilson once Rachel woke up.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Susan (#35): you’re welcome. I only say what i firmly believe, according to the psychological structure of the characters and the inner coherence of the show – to which so far, the writers have stayed 100% true.

    @Simona (#38): i was never a big Thirteen fan, but i can now clearly see how the structure and dynamic of the team definitely needed her. I am looking forward to the new doctor joining the team in the next episode. I think that a change in the pace of the differentials and team scenes is absolutely required – and apparently, her character is of such nature, that we are about to witness tons of sarcastic, ironic, cynical and brilliant housisms directed at her.

    Speaking of the moose hat: House’s 100% parental line in this episode has been “she hates that moose”, speaking about the moose that Rachel imagines is living outside her window. That comment, revealing deeper knowledge of the child than Wilson’s, was priceless.

    On the lack of passion issue: i am still fine with it. You know my point: it makes sense to save very passionate scenes for very meaningful moments, in which they really fit.
    So far, what we are witnessing are bits of the intimacy of two people very much in love, trying to make a life together, working towards a common routine and really enjoying each other. I can definitely feel their sense of wonder at being together, it has not diminished – both of them: House expresses it mostly by fear and panic not to screw up, while Cuddy expresses it by clearly showing her delight and joy at simply seeing him or sharing things with him.
    And i find it very touching and emotional that their interactions are so gentle, so tender, so warm. Just watching their facial expressions and listening to the streak of intimacy and warmth in their voices shakes me up – mostly in regard to House, seeing him like this is a great reward for all the years in which my heart sunk over his misery and loneliness.

  • Janine

    Just curious, does anyone else think the multiple references to WIlson being a mommy were hinting/foreshadowing at something?

  • ruthinor

    Truthfully, I’ve never understood Wilson (although I love watching him). He seems to want or need a woman in his life at all times. He generally marries her, then ignores her, and then divorces her. How can a guy truly “fall in love” so many times? He was so distraught after Amber, yet here he is again “in love” with his ex-wife. He is more dysfunctional than House! He is also, seemingly, less romantic. Surely he could have an adult relationship with a woman w/o marrying her. As for the future of Sam and Wilson, I can see either a break-up, or another marriage. What seems impossible for Wilson is to maintain the status quo.

  • SeraG

    Delia_Beatrice, #34, thanks! I love that we share enjoyment and enthusiasm for Huddy. I agree with all that you said about them. I think the writers also have to tread a fine line; too much time/romance spent on Huddy, people will complain. Not enough, others (like me) will complain. I think they are doing a nice job building a relationship and not just a love affair. We see them dating, sharing work concerns, forging bonds with Rachel (sort of!) and telling us, rather than showing us, that they have a very satisfying sex life. Although, I wouldn’t mind a bit more of the showing.
    I, too, have hope that there is no break-up in the offing. We have spent 6 years getting to this point. As Delia said, who else could mean as much to them?
    Looking forward to November.

    vicpei, #33, nice catch on the “I have a life” line. It made me smile and think to myself, “Yes, you do. Finally.” I didn’t put it in context with House’s plea to Hannah(Help Me). It certainly seems that there are no wasted/insignifigant words on this show. Love it!

  • Michele1L

    The episode did seem off to me as well, both in pacing and in structure. I too felt detached from the patient story. I didn’t care for the mother or adult daughter. I thought some of the dialogue between Wilson and House was cute, but overall was not thrilled with this episode. It had no sparkle or punch like most “House” episodes have had, and the ratings the last two episodes are showing a gradual decline. I hope this trend doesn’t continue or we may not see that season eight after all.

  • Jennifer O.

    Delia Beatrice, #34, Likewise, respectfully, I would like to clarify my comments as I have read all the posts, which are great and reveal nuances r.e. the show that I had not noticed. I do *not* think Huddy has lost its spark, I just realized that I feel the writers could be doing a lot more with a relationship that has been 20 years in the making. I’m a late bloomer to this ‘blogging’ stuff, but I wanted to connect with fellow Huddy lovers, as none of my friends watch the show, and they think I’m “absolutely insane” for thinking that Hugh Laurie is the Sexiest Man Alive. I adore Huddy, but call me a pessimist, when I first found out that there was going to be an actual real Huddy relationship, I thought to myself, “well, how long is this going to last and how long are the writers going to wait to screw it up?”

    I have not seen them on this blog, but there are a lot of “huddy haters” out there on the internet, and they just want to watch the medical stuff, which is fascinating, but gets a bit formulaic/predictable for me, personally, at times (and I am entitled to my opinion and this is why I have refused to ever watch “Law and Order” and other “massively popular” spinoffs – again, no offense anyone – it’s only one person’s opinion).

    I like it when they “shake it up” at times with episodes like “Broken” and the crane catastrophe in “Help Me” – it keeps a veteran TV show fresh.

    @Delia_Beatrice, I very much enjoy your comments, and find them very insightful and thought-provoking.

    I *am* a Huddy fan, I just feel the writers could do so much more with this relationship that is very complex, interesting, funny, sexy, etc – the possibilities are endless, and I do not want it to ever end. Just wanted to clarify that.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @SeraG (#43): thank you. I really enjoy reading your comments too. I understand what you are saying, Huddy fans tend to expect a bit more of the “classical romance” approach. But i do not think that would be necessary, in order to show the evolution and beauty of this relationship.

    After spending years in love with the House-Cuddy relationship, my first thought when it finally happened was that at long last, we get a chance at witnessing a veridical, compelling and authentic couple in a TV series. A couple who walks untouched by stereotypes and “romantic” cliches, but functions based on the unique, layered, complex and profound psychological connection they have.

    I am satisfied with the result so far. The writers are tending to this relationship by staying very true to the characters’ psychological nuances, even if that means taking responsibility for the changes that appear in House’s behavior.

    @Michele1L: I believe that TPTB were aware of the risk of this gradual decline in ratings, that actually started in season 6. In fact, it actually started when House himself began to change. I personally applaud the fact that TPTB stayed true to the psychological evolution of the character and took his story into different directions. Keeping on the beaten track would have probably allowed constant ratings, but it would have been untrue, un-veridical and ultimately a cowardly creative choice.
    I also believe that season 8 is not mandatory to have. I say it with a lot of regret, because i cannot picture my life in the absence of new “House” episodes, but i could settle for only 7 seasons, that have carried House’s story to the point when a bit of healing is possible for him.

    @Jennifer O (45): In regard to my personal expectations on Huddy, i just stated them above – a unique couple, untouched by stereotypes, who share a connection of breathtaking depth and intensity – and i believe we have seen that so far.

    In regard to Huddy haters: that is an absurd concept to begin with… “Huddy haters” can be divided into two categories: those who had supported a different coupling version for House (Stacy, Cameron, even Wilson – which, frankly, is idiotic beyond words) & those who believe that romance should be banned from the show altogether, because “House” is a “procedural show”. What “House” is and always has been is a character drama. What has been most important and carefully developed on the show is the psychology of the characters. Of course that such a show is much harder to understand and enjoy than a simple procedural, repetitive, formulaic show, thus the target audience that is actually capable of comprehending the show is represented by a limited number.

    On doing more with the House-Cuddy relationship: i feel that they are doing quite enough… They are taking it through necessary steps that build a very solid and profound relationship, while allowing House to experience a completely new phase in his life – visibly. The changes in House are big, significant and very true to who he is. And they are the most accurate barometer of how grand this love story is.
    I think that even more intense episodes are coming – episodes that will explore their relationship in dramatic or spectacular ways. I have faith in the writers in regard to Huddy – complete faith.

  • Michele1L

    Jennifer O.#45 – Your fiends don’t get the whole sexy thing with HL, but there are plenty of women, including me, who do. I think the character “House” is quite sexy when he isn’t being obnoxious, but HL himself is always sexy to me. He’s very masculine and such a gentleman.

  • Jennifer O.

    Michele1L#47: Thank you so much for your understanding r.e. why I love “House”, and esp. Hugh Laurie himself – the man is soooo talented – there’s nothing he cannot do – comedy, act, sports, write books, play music, and is simply brilliant in every single way – the new biography by Anthony Bunko describes his life in detail FYI and is quite an interesting read.

    I think the people who do not like “House” do not possess enough emotional sensitivity to understand/appreciate the complexity of the character (that’s why he’s called “The Thinking Woman’s Sex Symbol” after all…) Like my older sisters just wrinkle up their noses at me and say, “why do you like that show???? He’s so…. mean and nasty…..” But as Carl Jung would say, there’s a lot going on behind the facade, and some people are simply incapable of seeing beyond his rough exterior. As one of the producers once said, it’s more than just a medical show, it’s a show about relationships, and that’s why I watch it (besides Hugh, of course). It’s a pure tragedy that he hasn’t won an Emmy.

    Thank you for reminding me I’m not the only woman fascinated with House – watching the show has gotten me through some tough times in my life, and for that I am forever grateful.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Delia_Beatrice

    “absurd concept”
    “which, frankly, is idiotic beyond words”
    “is and always has been is a character drama.”
    “target audience that is actually capable of comprehending the show is represented by a limited number”

    The brilliant thing about “House” is that it allows a lot of different interpretations and viewpoints and that it carries a lot of ambiguity and subtext. I agree that a lot of people who “hate” House/Cuddy seem to be stuck on their limited interpretation of the show, but, frankly, I don’t see you being any different here. I enjoy the exploration of House/Cuddy very much and I think TPTB are doing a good job with it indeed. But I don’t appreciate it in the slightest to be called “idiotic” for seeing a lot of potential in House/Wilson as well. Or being called too dumb to understand the show because I don’t see it the same way you do.

  • Flo

    Thanks for the review Barbara.

    Very late I know but I really enjoyed this episode. As cliché as the Wilson/House/Rachel plot was, I found it hilarious.
    I laughed so hard when House quickly climbed out of Cuddy’s bed to change Rachel’s diaper. His face was priceless, especially when Cuddy came to ask what was wrong. He looked a bit like an idiot with a diaper in one hand and a flash light in the other!

    I agree with everyone who said that the “Unplanned Parenthood” subject was well treated. Things with kids rarely go as planned. It was good to see that despite being a jerk House was really concerned for Rachel and managed to do the right thing (in his own housian way, of course).
    @Simona (#38), very interesting comment (as usual). I also noticed than the only planned thing (POTW pregnancy) ended up tragically. I agree with you about the learning through mistake theme that it induced.
    It made me think about Cronenberg’s “The Fly” where the only natural reproduction (G. Davis’ character pregnancy) will end up in a abortion while the unnatural reproduction worked even if it was a mistake that ultimately the hero will pay.

    It was weird not to see House more involved in the DDX indeed, but the patient storyline was compelling enough to get me interested. I liked the way her death came. It was really quiet and took me by surprise.

    It seems that Cuddy left the house when she left Lucas. In “Help Me”, I was under the impression that she already moved in with Lucas (not for very long but still…) especially when she said “I’m in my new house with my new Fiancé…..blah blah…” Apparently it wasn’t too late fo her to get back to her old house.

    It was the first really comical episode of the season and I think it was well done. I really liked it.

    I like that the fact that the House and Cuddy thing just fits itself in the storyline without it to be the center of every episode. It would be unbearable otherwise, so I am satisfied with what the writers are doing. They manage to make the characters stay true to themselves and to explore this complex relationship while not making it the front story of all of the episode of the season.

    @Delia & @HouseMDFan (#46 and #49) I’m not a shipper. For me “shipping” is quite of an “absurd concept” as Delia put it because when you make favorite you tend to make least favorite and be obsessed with those two extremes. I personally like everyone & don’t see the point of “ship” (but that’s just me, I really don’t get it). Nevertheless, I understand that fans can’t help themselves to like a character or a pairing more than others.
    However, we should all be careful of how the show is written (as a whole). Which means recognising that House and Wilson are (read: “written as”) both heterosexuals who have no romantic &/or sexual interest in each other. They make a fantastic pairing though and it is quite frankly one of the best friendship ever written on TV IMHO.
    Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion but some things are just a matter of seeing the show as a whole and see how it is written. It’s simple at that, but with so many people watching for so many different reasons, I agree with Delia’s comment :”Of course that such a show is much harder to understand and enjoy than a simple procedural, repetitive, formulaic show, thus the target audience that is actually capable of comprehending the show is represented by a limited number.”
    Almost everyone has at least a favorite and is rooting for him/her/them in some degrees. That’s why HouseMDFan is right. It’s all a matter of interpretation.
    I don’t believe the people who are not just casual viewers and watch the show only as a whole without shipping to be a large number. However, I think they are somewhat represented in this column with those smart, well articulated, obsessed fans who are not “die hard” shippers and can appreciate all the many layers of the show. I consider you both to be part of these fans which means there is nothing “idiotic beyond words” here, to quote Delia.

    Peace!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @HouseMDFan: it is slightly redundant to follow Flo’s comment, because she understood and expressed my points of view precisely.
    However, out of respect for you, i need to step in and repeat it myself. I probably didn’t make myself clear, which is why you felt offended.

    To make one point very clear, i discuss this show every day with many people, who don’t all share my points of view. That was far from being the idea of my comment. I do not think that people who disagree with me are “too dumb to understand the show” – my comment was about the haters who spread their unmotivated anger online – and only them.
    I am sorry if i sound elitist or mean, but i cannot possibly believe that people who write about how they now hate “House” because House is with Cuddy instead of Cameron, about how the show is ruined because House became a moron in love, about how the show is unwatchable because it has turned into a soap opera, about how everything House and Cuddy do is out of character (etc etc etc etc) are people who truly comprehend the show in its multiple layers, subtlety and depth.
    Do you?

    “Idiotic beyond words” does sound like a tough line, but i am indeed bothered by that part of the fandom who believe that House and Wilson, two adult men who have always been heterosexual (read “written as”, to quote Flo), are actually harboring hidden romantic feelings for each other and should, at some point, simply turn gay and become a couple. I have nothing against homosexuality and i have every bit of appreciation for the way their sensational friendship is written and acted by HL and RSL, but to take what is written and turn it around into a form of interpretation that chooses to ignore essential clear aspects of the show, that is something that i find is no longer an interpretation of the show, but just mere fanfiction. To quote Flo, “Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but some things are just a matter of seeing the show as a whole and see how it is written”.

    In regard to the layers and multiple possibilities of interpretation of “House”, i am deeply aware of that – and i do my best to dive into the subtext and layers of the show every week.
    However, if we apply this strictly to the House and Wilson as a couple idea, i stick to my initial point: interpretation has to be based on what is actually written. “Intentio lectoris” cannot stand on itself, it has to be founded on “Intentio Auctoris” and “Intentio Operis”. And while there are so many layers and subtle aspects and subtext in “House”, open for varied interpretation, there are also aspects to it that are simply a priori given and not subject to any sort of interpretation. Like the fact that some characters are male and others female (except for Thirteen, as House would put it, LOL), like their ages and professions etc etc. Also, like the fact that House and Wilson are heterosexual men who never gave an inkling about being tempted to change their sexual orientation. So to base an interpretation of the show on the idea that they should turn gay is as far from the “Intentio Operis” and “Intentio Auctoris” as basing an interpretation on the idea that House should become a woman astronaut one day. It is a possible “interpretation”, no doubt, but i cannot bring myself around to believing that it is a valid one.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Jennifer O and Michele1L: i am in love with House as a man and with Hugh Laurie himself. I find them both fascinating, brilliant and unbelievably compelling. So… we should start a club. Or have we already?:)))))

  • HouseMDFan

    @Delia_Beatrice

    Do you?
    My main point was that I think it would be better for everyone if you would just refrain from judging people for the things they like or dislike. Of course I don’t agree with any of these statements and I am just as annoyed by their constant reiteration. I do think that these people are missing a lot. But that doesn’t mean that they are dumb or that I am “better”. They just watch the show for different reasons and nowhere is it in the contract that people have to make an effort to understand every detail and layer of the show. If they enjoy only parts of it – the medicine and the procedural aspect for example – it is their right. (Btw, nobody of us would be able to dissect the show if it weren’t for the casual viewers, because there wouldn’t be a show.) You also won’t logic people into liking something that they don’t like, just because it might make sense for the show (inadvertedly mangling a Cameron quote here). Finally, “understanding the show as a whole” implies that there is one understanding of the show as a whole. That’s what I’m objecting to. That’s also why I think that “capable of understanding” is a very misleading phrase.

    As for House/Wilson – you do realize that you are presenting a caricature there, right? It is in no way about what they “should” do in the future, but about what we have seen so far. The comparison to House turning into a female astronaut is invalid, because there is not a single scene of ambiguity or subtext that would even hint at such a thing, which is not true for House/Wilson. Also, I am under no illusions about the possibility of it becoming “text”. It won’t happen. That still doesn’t make it an invalid interpretation of the characters. (Btw, there is gay and there is bisexual. Just saying.)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @HouseMDFan:

    On House/Wilson: do you think there is a scene of ambiguity or subtext that points to House and Wilson being gay or bisexual, secretly in love with each other?

    Interpretation is not, in its essence, sheer subjectivity. It is a subjective point of view on something objective – a book, a work of art, a movie – that holds both subtext and up-front text – debatable versus non-debatable. The subjective approach has to be based upon the objective, undebatable information that the author presents us with. Therefore, not all interpretation is valid. For me, viewing the House-Wilson relationship as anything else than a layered and deep friendship between two heterosexual men is an invalid interpretation, because i do not believe that the objective tapestry layed before our eyes by the authors holds any reference to their relationship having a sexual or romantic nature. Neither gay, nor bisexual.

    There are such things in the world as valuable and non-valuable, intelligent and not so intelligent, informed and not quite so, educated and not really, logical and illogical. We judge people on what they like and dislike all the time – because their likings and dislikings say a lot about who they are and how they are. Even if these are not absolute values, they still provide a system of reference by which we define ourselves and the people that we connect to.

    If we talk about contracts, then the only contract that applies here is the one between an author, his work and its “readers”. That symbolic contract implies that the “readers” at least attempt to decipher the author’s intentions and the accurate meaning of his work. No work of art is produced in a complete vacuum, without the author having this contract in mind, as a motivation and purpose of his creation.

    That “House” ratings are determined by people who understand the authors’ intentions, as well as people who don’t, that is in no way a reason to give up on the effort to be a part of the first category.

    And yes, i do believe that, in general lines, the is ONE understanding for the show “as a whole” – the one that its authors intended. Which can be deciphered when the show is watched and analyzed as a continuous, constant and very coherent whole.
    The other forms of understanding the show go into two categories: interpretation (our personal reflection, based on our experience, education, cultural background) and fanfiction (results of our imagination, that use elements of the actual cultural product, but that go way beyond the objective structure of it).

    Perhaps my words are not eloquent enough. Have you watched Hugh Laurie’s interview with Tavis Smiley, this September? He talks about how “House” is and always has been a character drama, not a procedural show that tests DNA samples endlessly. About how this season represents a gamble with the audience, because some will understand that the House-Cuddy story has been the direction where it had been going since the beginning, while others simply won’t. He implies the very concept of the intention of the author, versus various interpretations that, ultimately, fit or don’t fit.

    So. I believe that every human being is entitled to his opinion. But not all of these opinions are equally valid or valuable. That is a simple fact of life. To name just two, literary critics and cinematography critics surely do agree.

    It seems we are on different pages and i am ok with just leaving it at that.

  • byzantine

    @Delia_Beatrice:

    “I believe that every human being is entitled to his opinion. But not all of these opinions are equally valid or valuable.”

    I applaud you for these words. I am so sick of the postmodern approach to art, and anything else for that matter, in which there is no objective truth, every opinion is valid and each variation in the interpretation is plausible. I suspect that House will agree with you as well.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Byzantine (#55): you made me laugh so hard!!!!! I am still laughing! I understand you so well, you can hardly imagine!

    But i don’t blame it on postmodernism per se – only on a bad “interpretation” of it, that takes the Opera Aperta and turns it into this undefined magma of a world (artistic and beyond), in which nobody has to make the effort of getting it right. Isn’t that nice and easy?…

    And yes, i second your suspicion about House agreeing:)

  • HouseMDFan

    @ Delia_Beatrice

    Well. We obviously fundamentally disagree and are, as you say, on different pages, but I want to add a few things. If you were talking about me when qualifying some opinions as “less valuable”, thanks a lot. (Not sure how to interpret your words there.) It would also help if you would actually read what I wrote:

    On House/Wilson: do you think there is a scene of ambiguity or subtext that points to House and Wilson being gay or bisexual, secretly in love with each other?

    Yes, that’s what I said.

    That “House” ratings are determined by people who understand the authors’ intentions, as well as people who don’t, that is in no way a reason to give up on the effort to be a part of the first category.

    I never said that. On the contrary, I enjoy to try and understand as many aspects of the show as possible. That still doesn’t allow me to condemn people who don’t enjoy this.

    Finally, on subjective and objective: The subjective approach has to be based upon the objective, undebatable information that the author presents us with.

    1. There is no “the author”. There are a lot of different writers, who each have their own viewpoint. All of these together form a big picture, but this picture can’t be combined to one single truth. Especially not with a show that explicitely refrains from giving you all the answers and wants to make you think for yourself. In addition to that, I strongly disagree that author’s intent defines the one true understanding of something. The world would be so much emptier if that was true. And we would have a lot less to enjoy about the show, because one writer can’t possibly think about all the connections and associations that can be found in an episode. And yes, I have watched Hugh’s interview and I always love hearing his insights and most of the time I agree with him. That still doesn’t mean he holds the single truth about the whole show.

    2. You can’t dissect objective and subjective beyond things like “House is male” or “House has said “I love you” to Cuddy”. Those are indeed facts and every interpretation based on denying things like that is indeed invalid. (For example and relating to this season, the interpretation that romantic!House=automatically OOC is invalid.) However, as soon as we are talking about relationships, about whole scenes with lots of dialogue, body language, subtext, history, associations etc., our perception is limited. There is no purely objective fact there.

    House/Wilson: You said that you “do not believe that the objective tapestry layed before our eyes by the authors holds any reference to their relationship having a sexual or romantic nature”. Don’t you think that your use of “believe” here is telling? You don’t have to agree, but I don’t understand why it is so difficult to accept that other people see this differently and that their opinion isn’t less valuable because of it.

  • ruthinor

    @HouseMDfan: I feel your pain! This is MY opinion: Delia_Beatrice is often very insightful and she frequently sees things that others do not. On the other hand, it seems clear to me that she has pretty much hijacked this thread with her lengthy and frequent posts. She feels it necessary to comment on pretty much everything and this thread is poorer because of it. It is no longer a place in which everyone is free to express his/her opinions, but rather a place in which pretty much everyone agrees with D_B or chooses not to post. I know this from my own experience. I no longer post here with the frequency that I used to because when you disagree with D_B you never hear the end of it. Her analyses are always correct, and you are, necessarily, wrong. She is obviously an intelligent person. I wish she would just let people express their opinions and not feel that she has to respond to each point she might disagree with.

  • Jennifer O.

    MEOW!!!! I sense a cat fight going on….and I am transported back to high school, which is not a good feeling…. The only reason I visit this site a lot is b/c I’m homebound with a broken leg – *this is only a TV show, ladies (I presume it’s women b/c of the user names and linguistic type of interaction going on – men don’t fight like this) – chill out!

    I’m not into politics, but it reminded me of the US Constitution, and Gregory House is a fictional American character after all.

    #1) The Declaration of Independence (1776) enshrines Americans with 3 basic rights: the right to LIfe, Liberty, and *Happiness* (and that includes for fictional Dr. Gregory House)
    So whatever “ship” (a term I find so incredibly stupid….) “House” decides to “sail” – it’s his right to be happy – personally, I think it’s Cuddy partly b/c I think she is the most age-appropriate and they have amazing chemistry.

    #2) The First Amendment (1789): Establishes the freedom of religion, SPEECH, the press, assembly, and petition.

    Quite frankly, I am totally willing to admit I’m not “the ultimate expert” on “House” (if anyone is – it’s Barbara Barnett written in her book “Chasing Zebras” – I learn tons of stuff from that book as I have not been a viewer since day one.)

    Anything I, or anyone else, expresses on this site is simply an opinion, nobody on this planet knows absolutely *everything* about “House” except perhaps the writers/producers – but at times I feel like even they could change the whole course of the show at the drop of a hat.

    Quite frankly, I feel trepidation to express some of my opinions on this site, b/c I know I will be criticized – and I’ve had plenty of that in my life – but remember the First Amendment stated above – the right to free speech??? I was soooooo happy someone had the courage to express exactly what I was feeling about a particular aspect of the Huddy relationship on another site, as it’s not necessarily the “popular opinion” expressed on this site (although I adore Huddy), and I will never profess to knowing everything about anything in life despite having 2 Ivy League degrees (like, so what? Who cares? That doesn’t make me any better than any other human being). I believe Hugh Laurie said something similar about his own life, despite his multiple talents.

    I like this site b/c I like hearing other people’s viewpoints, and things I had not noticed. However, the feeling that I don’t feel comfortable expressing my (and again, they’re only mine – take ‘em or leave ‘em – doesn’t matter much to me….it’s *only a TV show* after all). Putting other people down is very catty and childish, and if it continues, I won’t be visiting no more – there’s enough negativity on this planet right now to be fighting over a TV show.

    Think about it…..

  • http://quarryhillcreativecenter.blogspot.com Ladybelle Fiske

    Wow! Thanks! I have to read all this before I can say more. Ladybelle/Isabella

  • pawpaw

    @Jennifer #48: “watching the show has gotten me through some tough times in my life, and for that I am forever grateful”

    Same here with the tough times;I started watching House by accident, during the writer’s strike when I was home on extended sick leave. House (the show) and House (the character) made me laugh and cry, but more importantly, helped me put things in perspective, and helped me to heal.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @HouseMDFan and Ruthinor: no more of the hijacking. I apologize for that, it was in no way my intention. I do get carried away in my passion for “House”, but i had no idea i had become the Osama Bin Laden of this blog – agree with me or post no longer?!?! I thought we were have argumentative debates here…

    However, @HouseMDFan, the only thing i am going to say is that you should have gotten from Byzantine’s post that my “less valuable” comment was not meant directly at you. What i thought we were having was a debate regarding the concepts of interpretation, objective truth, auctorial intention in all forms of art, case in point, cinematographic.

    PS: “the author” is a general concept used by Umberto Eco and other postmodern analysts to carry on this very form of debate. I am well aware that “House” has many authors, but that was not the point.

    Again, i apologize to Barbara and all my other victims if “hijacking” is what i have been doing. Since online terrorism is not among my to-do list for 2010 (i save it for 2011), i will be extremely careful with it in the future.

  • Andrea

    I enjoy reading Delia Beatrice’s comments and interpretations and have been reading the reviews as much for what she has to say as for the review itself. I think everyone should be able to comment and offer their own interpretations, agree and disagree and carry on a discussion.

    For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think anyone really seriously thinks House and Wilson should be written as gay on the show since they’re clearly written as heterosexual characters. They’re close, good friends who each fill a profound need in the other — House’s to be cared for and to have someone who won’t leave; Wilson’s to be needed and to help someone in the way he couldn’t his brother. They also have fun together and have similar senses of humor. I’ve always thought one likely ending of the show was Wilson and House walking off into the sunset together, though I hope they stick with House and Cuddy as a romance. A romantic House and Wilson is purely the stuff of slash fan fiction, which I have never read and don’t really enjoy. Not my cup of tea.

  • ruthinor

    D_B: In the past, I really wanted to have a discussion with you about House and his father, but you made that impossible. You seem to feel free to criticize others, but you are very touchy when someone deigns to criticize you. You go from “hijacking a thread” to Osama Bin Laden. When you tell people that psychology is your field of study as you analyze relationships on House, what this says to others is that you are the expert and no one else need apply. When I said that psychology did not have all the answers you said that I thought it was “shit” when I never said any such thing. You take every criticism to the extreme. The truth is, we just look at things very differently. My training is in the sciences, and when someone says “this is the way it is” I like to see some proof that this is true. What you accept as “truth” is just based on far less evidence than what I would accept. There is nothing strange about that given our fields of study.

    Do I think that House and Wilson are at all involved romantically? No. IMO I think the whole idea is silly. But I don’t feel the need to write a treatise about it. You are not going to change someone’s mind by explaining to them in mind-numbing detail why you think they are wrong. It’s excessive. Just accept the fact that we all see things through the prism of our own experiences. It’s a TV show, not a PH.D. thesis.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Andrea: thank you. You know i return the compliment: i enjoy reading and often respond to your comments too.

    @Ruthinor: I remember our psychology versus science discussion. I argued that House’s childhood traumas had an essential damaging effect on who he is as an adult, while you argued that brain chemistry and other biological causes are the most likely causes for psychiatric disorders and that the impact of the childhood traumas (as i saw them) was overrated. I stick to my original point, but i add something:
    “we all see things through the prism of our own experiences”:)

    That discussion got pretty heated, and it is possible that i wrongfully sent the message about my “expert monopol” over psychological issues – which i most certainly do not take seriously. I have had wonderful idea exchanges with many of the posters here – yourself included – and Barbara herself, i learnt new things from them, changed my perspectives and ammended my theories. But i did so selectively, based on my personal background and influences – like we all do.

    The Osama Bin Laden thing was a joke – and come on, what is the context of utterance for “hijacking”, if not a famous terrorist?:))))

    To “write treatises” and “PhD Thesis” are sins of which i am guilty of. It’s what i do – along with carrying on debates and discussions – sometimes endlessly. I do agree, sometimes it is excessive to do it here. Thank you for pointing that out.

  • ruthinor

    D_B: I appreciate your reply. Two things I want to point out: I did NOT say that that all psychological disorders were due to biological causes. I said that the most SERIOUS of such disorders, e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and others have been found to be due to disturbances in brain chemistry. Secondly, my argument with you has always been, not that you are “wrong” in your assessment, but rather that we don’t have enough evidence to conclude anything of substance about the relationship between House and his father. A few comments scattered throughout 6 seasons, a short meeting between House and his parents, and the fact that House has been known to lie like a blanket. You accept as “truth” what I would call highly speculative based upon the available evidence. Again, this is not surprising, given our different training and background. I just do not see this the same way you do, and I probably never will. If you had labeled your interpretation of the available evidence as “speculation”, I would have no problem with that. But that is not what you did. You made assumptions based on this evidence and wove a whole theory of abuse out of it which you in turn use to explain just about every facet of House’s life. I just don’t think that the available evidence warrants these conclusions. Bye, Osama!

  • Flo

    Okay, I think we all need to calm down and take a deep breath.

    I also think we should all admit that there is what we want to see and what there really is.

    @HouseMDFan I think that when @Delia asked you if you thought there was a scene of sexual ambiguity between House and Wilson, she was asking for another answer then yes or no. You previously said you did so maybe you can argue your opinion with an example? Ibelive that was what she longed for.

    I ask too because I’m a former cinema studient and now a screenplay writer myself. I spent a huge amount of time to rewatch the whole six first seasons of the show, taking notes on every episodes to write an analysis of how the show was build and how it was written. I’m not a shipper ans I like every character. I rewatch this as a whole and I believe to have now a understanding of its inner construction. However, I fail to see where there was any such ambiguity between House and Wilson. I don’t see where they were written as potentially gay or bisexual even in subtle subtext.
    Now I don’t claim to know the whole truth of the show. I’d be open to such a romantic development and relationship if there was a build up to it. So in just in case I just missed it, can you explain it to me? Can you give an argument, based on an example? I’m really curious cos for me it is cristal cldear that House and Wilson are both heterosexuals. I’m interested.

    @HouseMDFan and @Delia you are both correct: interpretations and opinions matter a lot and we all jugde and form opinions about a book, movie or tv show we like based on our social & cultural background and also on our experiences …and on our intelligence.
    However, I agree with @Delia: every opinion and interpretation should be based on the material we comment on and on what it has to offer (and not what we want or wish it offered). There definitely is the author’s point of view to take into account. A point of view that the author gives in his/her writing.
    A Tv show is written as a whole. Writers don’t make favorite. @HouseMDFan you wrote:”There is no “the author”. There are a lot of different writers, who each have their own viewpoint. All of these together form a big picture, but this picture can’t be combined to one single truth”. I understand what you mean but every writer of the show is under the “authority” of David Shore (who can be perceive as “The Author” since he has the last word). It’s a collaborative work and every writer has to stay true to the characters as much as possible to write a coherent work, season after season. Every season has one (or several) main theme. Even if there isn’t one truth, coherence prevail.
    Unless people can prove otherwise I don’t think that Shore had any intentions to make House and Wilson’s friendship sexually ambiguous nor that I think he ever had the intention to put House and Cameron together. That being said, I don’t think he really planned House/Cuddy from season 1 either.

    My point being, since the show is written as a whole, we should all try to see it as a whole. There is a difference between what we want to see and what is really written. The House and Wilson friendship is really well written and their fans might see a subtext because deep down a part of them really want it, but that doesn’t mean it is really there.
    just like the “Hameron” saw House in love with Cameron or like the hardcore “huddies” overanalyzed every House/Cuddy scenes and saw the word “sex” in everyone of them.

    @Ruthinor, as a non-shipper I post here because it is analytical and not so biased. Every opinion is welcome. It was the only place for me online and I would be disappointed if that would come to change.
    What I like here is that people respond to each other in an interesting way. We can have a real debate. The reason for it is that we don’t all agree but that’s okay because we argument.
    Saying that Delia_Beatrice “hijacked” feels unfair to me. I don’t always agree with Delia but always feel free to post my opinion no matter what. I’m sorry that you don’t feel that way. Know that I am interested in your opinion as in everyone else’s here. I think we are all obsessed with the show somehow but I found you all here really smart and greatly analytical. I think it is good to see we all continuously have something to add to the debate.

    @Delia is really obsessed about the show and can be overly enthusiastic perhaps. But as long as the debate go on and as long as all the comments are well articulated and present interesting arguments, I don’t see what the big deal is.
    All of this begs the question: if you don’t want your opinion to be commented then why post it in the first place? I always feel like this was a place where everyone could arguments about the show and then responds to everyone else to make a somewhat one, unique, long passionate and analytical discussion.

    All in all, I think it is a question of nuance. If there is a nuance between really thinking that House and Wilson are bi or gay deep down and being a fan of them while knowing it will never happen (as @HouseMDFan is), then there is also a nuance between being an analytical, enthusiastically obsessive fan and being a annoying fan who just criticises others.

  • Flo

    okay sorry I took so much time to write my long previous post that I misse”d the last ones.

    Glad people made peace!

    I agree with @Ruthinor that we don’t really know enough about House’s childhood to make much conclusions. However, House always had very raw and honest discussions with his important patients. I don’t think he lied to the girl in “One Day, One Room” nor that I think he lied to Cameron in “Daddy’s Boy” or to Wilson in “Birthmarks”. Something clearly wrong and violent was going on with his father obviously. I believe in the abuse on some level and yes it has important psychological repercusions.
    Nevertheless, I agree with @Ruthinor that all the conclusions have to be made on speculations based on the few confessions House gave about his childhood throughout the series.

    As long as we all speak at the first person in our comment, it will be fine.

    peace! :-)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Flo: thank you for your support. I agree to the points you made, obviously, and i beg your forgiveness if i don’t go into another analyses of those issues all over again. You have understood my point of view and have made very interesting additions yourself – as always.

    @Ruthinor: i appreciate your appreciation:)

    Also, you put me in a very delicate position there: what, oh what to do about the childhood trauma issue you raised?… Should i “write a PhD thesis” argumenting my point of view, or just agree to disagree?!?!
    I’ve decided for a compromise:)

    (On a side note: Of course, i fully agree on the severe psychiatric illnesses: they are caused or at least seconded by severe chemical imbalances. No doubt there. House’s issues, however, are only psychological – not psychiatrical (all psychiatrical symptoms he ever exhibited were induced by head trauma or drug abuse).

    Now, onto the psychological part. I understand why your backgroud demands for proof of a theory. Please note that I DO NOT ATTEMPT to convince you, correct you or sell you chocolates, just explain myself briefly. OK?:)

    There are two types of proof that a psychologist bases his work on:

    1) factual proof that he learns from the patient’s objective history and spelled-out discourse (in this category we have episodes like “Daddy’s Boy”, “One Day, One Room”, “Son Of Coma Guy”, “Birthmarks”, “Braveheart”).

    2) the second sort of proof that points a trained eye into the right direction of interpretation and understanding of a patient is the whole of his psychological map: behavior, attitudes, beliefs, values, fears, emotional reactions, blockages, defense mechanisms etc etc etc.
    They direct a therapist’s interpretation onto the right path, because a trained professional learns to detect which manifestation indicates what deeper mechanism and burried trigger.

    Now, based on observing both aspects in the character of House, i have developed a unifying theory for his personality structure, like i would have if he was my patient, for instance. One thing we can all agree on is that, as a character, House has an impecably coherent and cohesive psychological map. I have yet failed to read another theory, different than mine, that explaines everything about him in a unified manner. I would honestly (HONESTLY) love to, so if you can point me towards one, i’d be grateful.

    Bottom line: you, the scientist, might argue that i am just interpreting what i see as to fit my theory. Me, the psychologist, would say that everything i see (having watched every episode at least 5-6 times) confirms my theory and adds new layers to it all the time. As House would put it, it fits. I believe that my interpretation is constantly being confirmed by what is written.

    And i wrote this in the first person, Flo:)

  • HouseMDFan

    @Flo

    Okay. To be honest, I had already decided to leave the debate, because it is actually rather upsetting. But since you seem to be really interested, I will try to explain my position further.

    My problem with the “seeing the show as a whole thing” is that the show is evolving all the time, that our perceptions can change and that decisions and information which are made and given later on (or even never explicitely at all!) can change how we see certain things in episodes long in the past.

    To give an example completely unrelated to relationships first: Kutner. TPTB found out only in the middle of S5 that Kal Penn wanted to leave and they deliberately decided not to give any hints for Kutners suicide – on the contrary, they even gave us hints that Taub might be the one to do it. But after the suicide, which came as out of the blue for us as it did for the characters on the show, we could go and look back. We could remember a scene from “Wilson’s Heart”, in which Kutner is alone, detached, watching TV after a collegue died and when everyone else was grieving or shocked and looking for someone to be with.
    After he killed himself, this scene got a whole new importance for the interpretation of his character. But when TPTB wrote it, nobody planned for this. (That’s one example why I think that author’s intent only takes you so far. You never know what potential is hidden in the things you write, way beyond your intent.) If Kal Penn hadn’t wanted to leave, TPTB might have taken Kutner’s story in a totally different direction, equally possible for his character.
    More than that, we even have Kutner’s seemingly contradictory statement that it’s people like him who don’t commit suicide (“Painless”). Which means that even what a character says is not an objective fact, carved in stone, but can be seen as him suppressing things, ignoring things, not knowing things about himself, hiding, thinking he is joking when there is a lot of truth in what he says… That’s why it is a dangerous thing to talk in absolute terms about “what is really there” as you put it.

    Now, for House/Wilson. No, there is no obvious text for that (and as I said, I don’t think there ever will be). But I do think that the potential is there. For example, IMO it would have been possible to go down that route after the whole Amber arc (including an episode in which House simultaneously had to come to terms with his feelings for Wilson, Wilson was accused of dating a proxy for House and Thirteen’s bisexuality was explored), after Wilson left, after the “break-up” scene in “Not Cancer” and Wilson’s return in “Birthmarks”. If TPTB would have decided to go down that road, the potential would have been there. (Of course they would have had to write a lot of actual text, to add psychological and historical backstory, but that’s in no way different from the way they added more and more backstory to House/Cuddy.)
    Because of the potential that is there in the characters, I objected to Delia calling the mere idea of it “idiotic beyond words”. It isn’t, it is just a route TPTB chose not to take. @Jennifer wrote that she sometimes feels like TPTB “could change the whole course of the show at the drop of a hat”. I agree. They actually do this frequently, in varying degrees. By adding details to the characters, by revealing them more and making us see them in a new light. Telling us about new aspects of them. And I do stand by my point that there is no unifying single truth that is capable of integrating all of those aspects. (I remember Hugh saying something about House being almost too multi-faceted and too broad a character to be actually possible as a real person, but unfortunately I don’t have the source at the moment. Maybe someone else remembers this, but if not, feel free to ignore it.)

  • Jennifer O.

    Glad to see a tiny semblance of reconciliation amongst you gals, but I still feel the resentments quite clearly.

    Also glad to find another blog where people are not so judgmental, and *seven* people actually responded to a somewhat controversial question of mine in a respectful, informative matter.

    I spent almost an HOUR writing #59 with zero response, and perhaps I should not be wasting my time. BTW, I think a homosexual relationship between House/Wilson is insane (and I love gay people – that’s not the issue) – what’s the problem with 2 men having a close friendship??

    My friend who referred me to “House” years ago reminded me that although I said it’s “simply a TV show,” people do get passionate about various forms of art, as it reminds them of aspects of themselves. But I recently realized in myself, that I do not want to live my life through a TV show – there is a line that has to be drawn at the level of obsession. House is very special to me, as he reminds me of a few aspects of myself, and even, dare I say, things I aspire to be (NOT the mean/nasty stuff)- mainly being able to speak my mind more, but in obviously in a more respectful manner, as I consider myself a nice, considerate, thoughtful person, but to a fault at times.

    As I’ve said before, people watch “House” for their own personal reasons – personally, I find the medical stuff interesting, but it’s not the reason I watch – I watch to see the characters evolve (mostly House, of course).

    BTW, I feel free to admit that I’m unsure if House’s father who died is his biological dad – anyone can clarify me on this as I admit I don’t “know it all” – but I once heard Hugh Laurie say that if he could choose anyone to be his TV father, it would be Clint Eastwood – which would be soooooooooooo cool – hell, if they can afford to hire Candice Bergen, they can afford Clint. And at least he actually physically resembles Hugh Laurie…… Clint, “Make My Day” any day of the week!!!! He’s a bit older now, but he’s a true classic, and I’d loooovvvvvee to see him go toe to toe with House.

  • ruthinor

    @HouseMDfan: You make several good points. And I particularly agree with what you said about Kuttner. Had Kal Penn been a Republican, there would have been no suicide and some other events would have led to House’s breakdown, assuming that this is where the writers intended to end up. There is probably more “ad hocness”, if I can coin a phrase, than we are generally aware of, due to things happening behind the scenes that lead to unintended consequences for the writers.

    @D_B: Here are some of my arguments against your conclusions:

    1. With regard to the “factual proof”: Everything we “know” about House’s relationship with his father we hear only from House’s point of view. There is no objective proof that what he says is true.
    2. House lies, including to his patients, if he thinks it will serve his purposes.
    3. I have to say that I do not understand the concept of the coherent psychological map.

    We don’t really know anything about the circumstances of House’s birth other than the fact that John House is not his biological father. Can we be certain House is correct about the man he believes IS his biological father, based on a single trait, if I recall correctly?
    4. What we do know about John House is that he is a gruff military man. So here is some speculation on my part. Perhaps John House was raised in a military family in which discipline was considered to be of utmost importance. This is what his father instilled in him, and he thought that it was a valuable lesson that served him well. He wanted to instill the same discipline in his son because he believed that it would lead to his success. However, his son was incredibly intelligent, willful, and totally undisciplined. The two of them were constantly at loggerheads. Did John House do things to his son that could be considered abusive? Yes. But I could argue that this was not the way John House may have assessed the situation. His father may have done similar things to him which he, after all was said and done, believed led to his eventual success as a man. John House is far from perfect, but in a situation in which other men might have abandoned their families, he stuck around. His son treated him with a lack of respect and did things that were incredibly hurtful as well, such as telling him he was not his biological father. I just don’t see this as some sort of ritual abuse by a father towards his son. I see two individuals who will never understand each other, constantly at cross-purposes. They don’t like each other nor do they respect each other. I don’t pretend to understand all the forces that lead to the character of an adult. Of course parents are important, but House’s family was military and traveled all over the world, so he was able to be influenced by a wide array of people and situations.

    Sorry to run-on so long! On a lighter note, I don’t know how many of you know about the show “In Treatment” on HBO. This will be its 3rd season, and it’s a very interesting and well done show. Gabriel Byrne plays a therapist, and each season he has 4 patients. This season, one of them is Debra Winger (one of my favorites!) It’s starting up again pretty soon.

  • ruthinor

    Jennifer, I loved # 59. Be not afraid! And John House, who is deceased, is NOT Greg’s biological father. He proved this by removing a sample from the dead body for DNA testing (much to the horror of Wilson)!

  • Andrea

    I’m not sure some of House’s depression wasn’t due to some sort of chemical imbalance, though his life experiences and drug use have definitely triggered it and made it worse. It was probably due to a combination of environment and genetic vulnerabilities and temperament. I think he’s been written as having dysthymic disorder, chronic low-level depression, throughout the show. People with dysthymia are so dour and negative — “Everybody lies” — that people assume that’s just their personality. Most of the time its first occurrence is in childhood and the person doesn’t remember ever not being depressed and assumes it’s normal. Then he had a bout of severe depression, or what they call double depression, that really debilitated him. I wonder if his biological father has any similar tendencies.

    I don’t know that John House was necessarily meant to be seen as abusive. In the episode “Daddy’s Boy” he seemed to want to connect with House by asking about his dating life and day to day life. I’d guess the criticism was meant to be constructive, even though House reacted badly to it. John House’s parenting methods as described by House were harsh but probably intended to get a rebellious kid to shape up and start doing what John House thought he was supposed to be doing — obey, be respectful, be a credit to the family. I can’t see a young Greg House ever doing any of the above. They were obviously a bad match as father and son and Blythe House bears a lot of the blame for not telling the truth, not stepping in and putting a stop to the conflict between Greg and his dad.

  • House call

    @51 – Delia_Beatrice:
    Do you even read what you write? That made no sense at all!
    Are you implying that your comprehension and consequent analysis is the only valid interpretation? That’s a little too simple even for your unpaid opinion.

    @HouseMDFan : Agree with you 100%

  • Flo

    @HouseMDFan (#70) First of all, I’m sorry to have made you continue a discussion you wanted to abandon. I can’t help it, everything interests me, it seems. So I’m gonna respond to that, since I apparently didn’t express myself well previously. Again, I’m sorry.

    When I say “watching the show as a whole” I mean watching it with as less bias as possible and try not to be blinded by what we want to see. It’s almost impossible to not have preferences in some storylines over others or character over others but the writers don’t think like that. They don’t favor anyone. There is a sort of equality in the show. That’s why there is something for everyone. Also, “as a whole” means seeing it as a global process that of course evolve. The show does constantly evolve and I meant that if you want to see just exactly how it evolves and in what way, you have to watch the show as it was written. “As a whole” meaning not just through “hilson” or “huddy” eyes or through eyes that are somehow a bit blinded by the dislike of a character. “House” is a long journey into one mind and the way he interacts with all the characters that gravitate around him is important. It tells us a lot about House himself.
    As a writer, I believe in the “as a whole” because as detailed and step-by-step way the writing process is, there is also a more global one to build a whole season. I’m not sure I’m making any sense right now, but even if new information can change our perceptions of certain situations and can deepened the characters, it won’t dramatically change them.
    Kutner’s suicide wasn’t planned before Kal Penn decided to leave the show, you’re right. However, House didn’t change and the character study was still there. It didn’t make the show any different deep down. Had not Kutner killed himself, the writers would have just written something different but that would have fit in the character study that is the show.
    Not everything is not carved in stone but some things are really there and don’t change. The basics. That’s why David Shore says that people don’t change they just evolve and they (and us along) discover new things about them.
    The character basis for House is that he is a heterosexual genius, sarcastic doctor with a limp and chronic pain that can affect his mood. No matter the direction the show will take, I don’t think that will ever change. That would be totally illogical.
    Otherwise I agree with you about evolution and perception.

    “Now, for House/Wilson. No, there is no obvious text for that (and as I said, I don’t think there ever will be).”
    Who said anything about “obvious text”? You were talking about SUBTEXT and I responded that I didn’t see any between House and Wilson.
    Thanks for the clarification. I personally didn’t see the potential here. For me it was pretty obvious that House was afraid of losing Wilson’s friendship but I didn’t see as more than that. Wilson is the only friend he’s got. He valued this friendship a lot and as someone who doesn’t like change, he was acting as a jealous jerk because of that. That’s how I see it.
    By the same token as my previous argument about character basis, House and Wilson were always written as people who were always been confident in their own sexuality, therefore it would be totally out of character for them to suddenly doubt their sexual orientation.
    That’s why I also object, @Jennifer’s comment about ” changing the whole course of the show at the drop of a hat”. TPTB took risk and seem to take major “turning point” decision every 3 years but the show is always the same deep down. Again, I believe it is about nuance. There is a difference between shaking things up and changing the whole course of the show IMO.

    However, you are right that there are as many interpretations as there viewers so, no, it is not “idiotic beyond words”.
    I hope I’m clearer about what I mean, sometimes I really wish English could be my 1st language. And now we can drop this, I promise I won’t drag it. Thanks for the interesting debate. :-)

  • Flo

    @Andrea (#74) fascinated theory about the dysthimic disorder! I never thought about that.It would be interesting to know what David Shore and co have to say about that.

    About the House/daddy thing, We always assumed that House the way House acts today, (disobey, doesn’t follow the rules, is always late etc.) is the consequence of the way he was brought up. For example, John House was apparently stickler for principles and ponctuality. If House was late or do something that John viewed as bad, it seems that John could be really hard on his son (ice bath). So we assume that that’s why House hates all theses rules now. However, it is just a theory, you’re right maybe he was a rebel before.
    Nevertheless, House seem to have suffer of abusing behavior from his dad. Perhaps we shouldn’t say that John was an abusing father but he clearly had abusive tendencies.

    Maybe, he always knew that Greg wasn’t his son and he took him as the target of his anger instead of directing it against the real father.

    @House call (#75) “Are you implying that your comprehension and consequent analysis is the only valid interpretation?”
    Oh, common that is not what Delia Implied at all. Agree or not but her comment did make sense.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Flo

    First, absolutely no need to apologize, it is my own decision what I want to do or not do, you can’t force me into anything anyway.

    On topic: You still don’t understand what I’m trying to say. This whole thing is NOT about preferences for storylines or pairings or characters. I like House/Wilson as much as I like House/Cuddy, House/hookers, House/medicine, House/nobody – as long as it is well done.
    What this is about is seeing potential, open doors. Take the ongoing discussion about House’s psychological issues for example. We had the episode “Broken”. Two hours that dealt with exactly this issue, so the writers could have told us exactly what they think was the cause for House’s hallucinations, what is his exact diagnosis, what exactly is going on with his leg, they could have had him talk about Cuddy, Wilson, Amber, his father, and let Nolan explain how all of this affected him. Because every one of these aspects is crucial for understanding who he is. But they didn’t. Why not? Because they would have closed so many doors by doing that and they would have written themselves into a corner, narrowing their possibilities for the interpretation of House’s journey so far as well as for the future development of the character and the show.
    This means that a theory about House as a victim of abuse can give as much insight into the show as a theory about House as a chronically depressed person and as much as a theory about House as a headstrong guy who constantly clashes with social rules and authority. (Is House’s personality a result of or the cause of his problems with his father? Or is – and that’s my version – both of this true?) You can find several more theories here. They aren’t mutually exclusive, none of them is the whole truth and if you try to explain the show with one theory only you have to dismiss a lot of details and aspects of it.

    To go back to Kutner, because I’m not sure you got the point I was trying to make. One episode before his suicide, “Locked In”. The general consensus about the basis of the character might have been something along the lines of a nice, a bit too trusting guy, who seeks the thrill of adventure and is a bit superstitious, deals very well with the death of his parents and sees a positive side in “the view from the outside” (“Birthmarks”). (This is a sketch.) Nonetheless, someone with a certain insight might have said at this point: “No, I don’t buy it. He is very troubled deep down, he isn’t really dealing with his life, he is running away. We don’t really know him, he is putting up a facade.” Both of them are talking about the same scenes, but they are interpreting them very differently. And one single event in canon shifts the whole weight of plausibility from the first to the second assessment. Up until then, the potential was there for both of these, though.

    One last thing about House/Wilson: I know we were talking about subtext, I just repeated my previous statement about the obvious text to make that clear. (In case people didn’t remember I said that, sorry.) I’m well aware of the fact that all of the events during the Amber arc (which was only an example, just to make that clear) can be and are interpreted as friendship and that you of course see it that way. I see this perspective myself. I also see that there is the potential for a different perspective. And in my mind I can have both of these perspectives simultaneously. All I’m trying to achieve is that I’m not automatically dismissed, because people think there is only one true way to see the show. Everything I’ve written here was aimed at establishing the simple fact that nobody, not even TPTB can (or would!) claim that there is only one truth. I rather doubt that I succeded, though.

    And just because I’m already here, I want to adress

    @Jennifer: what’s the problem with 2 men having a close friendship? Nothing whatsoever. There’s equally nothing wrong with two man having more than that. Btw, am I supposed to follow this up with “and I love straight people – that’s not the issue”?

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @House call (#75): again, i am redundant because i follow Flo’s comment, but no, that was not what i meant at all… And i’d much rather leave it at that.

    @Andrea: thank you! Really, THANK YOU. You just presented the first unifying theory on House’s personality structure and evolution, that is different from mine, and explains it all. I have never come across that before. Well done!
    I will have to take the books out and read all i can on dysthymia and then maybe we can discuss it further, if you’d be ok with that.

    I fully agree with you on House’s mother and her responsibility.

    @Ruthinor: Andrea has helped our debate greatly, by coming up with another possible theory on House’s psychological structure.

    In regard to your “objections” to my theory, i understand where they come from and here is a bit of a response (i tried not to write a book on it:)))):

    – i have no reason to believe that what House reveals in “One Day, One Room” was a lie; his conversations with the raped patient feel like deep moments of truth to me, in which House gradually reveals deep and very guarded secrets, that put him in a highly vulnerable position; so i base my analyses on the asumption that those statements were true

    – abusive parents (or parents with abusive tendencies) always have their own psychological issues that push them into that direction (in this case, military background, personal upbringing and education, frustration and anger at the disrespectful child and over the suspicion of false paternity)

    – BUT the parent’s issues are concerns for the parent’s therapist, if he is wise enough to get help; they are in no way an excuse of the actual abuse; the damage and pain inflicted by the abusive behaviors in children are in no way eased by them understanding why the parent did those things to them; the trauma is intact, in its whole distructive power, even if such understanding of underlying causes happens

    – given the impressive inner coherence of the show and the character study, i look at what is written for hints about how the character of House was intended by the writers. In other words, i base my interpretation on what was actually written in the show, not on what might have been, but is never refered to – like House’s experience growing up in many countries and the people he might have connected to there etc.

    That being said, i dare say we both made our points very clear and we can leave it at that. I fully understand why your scientific background demands for more factual proof before embracing a theory, while you told me you understand why i am comfortable with the proof and hints we got so far. So… let’s agree to agree on what we agree and disagree to disagree on what we disagree:) Shake hands and move on?:)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    That should have read “agree to disagree on what we disagree”. Sorry:)

    @Flo: yeap, you summed up my point of view about the whole House and father issue perfectly. That’s what i believed so far too, but maybe when we’ll get some more info, we’ll be able to develop our theories further.

    @HouseMDFan: I think that “Is House’s personality a result of or the cause of his problems with his father?” is a very good and very well-expressed point.

    And in order to dig into this deeper, it would be so interesting if we got a tiny bit more on the biological father – and his mother, for that matter… Because if we assume that House’s native personality traits pushed him to collide with his legal father, then the next question would be: are his native personality traits a simple happenstance or are they genetic? And if so, what is his real father really like?…

    When he tried to glimpse into that man through the book of sermons he wrote, House was truly put off by the fact that he couldn’t find a single authentic clue in it. “Underneath the God stuff, more God stuff”. Perhaps that is the whole truth, perhaps there’s more to it. I just wish we could get another clue from the writers.

  • Jay

    In response to the House/Wilson debate going on here, I would just like to offer my opinion. I am in no way saying that my opinion is fact- it is one of the many opinions that’s out there and so I’m definitely not trying to offend anyone. :)

    I think that the House and Wilson relationship is truly a wonderful one. They depend on each other so much and like Hugh Laurie said in a TV special, House probably wouldn’t be able to function without Wilson. As the TPTB are so fond of telling us over and over again, I don’t necessarily think that the show would end with House and Cuddy together (although I would like it to!) since this is not a show about happy people. I think, instead, that it will probably end with House and Wilson eating lunch or something like that…as FRIENDS. I agree with HouseMDFan that in some scenes, viewers could possibly assume a homosexual vibe and see some potential there, but that is because they are such good friends and fit each other so well. Whatever relationship potential there is, I don’t think it will ever be explored since House and Wilson have established time and time again that they are purely heterosexual individuals.

    Again, just my opinion and I am in no way trying to force it on anyone. Just adding a friendly comment to the debate. :)

  • Andrea

    There was actually an interview in Barbara Barnett’s book with a therapist who speculated House has dysthymia as well as reactive attachment disorder. I know enough about dysthymia to think it’s a good fit. I doubt House has reactive attachment disorder, which is rare and doesn’t really fit him. He’s an introvert who’s wary of relationships, but he is capable of attachments. I also don’t care for TOO many labels. It’s canon that House was depressed and prescribed antidepressants and he exhibited depressed behavior from Season One. He’s always been able to function, which is also typical of dysthymia, as is irritability, negativity, inability to focus, etc. Substance abuse is also common, which would fit with House’s implied “drug seeking behavior” before the infarction. He could have been self medicating for depressed mood, which could be every bit as painful as the pain in his leg.

    House sees and experienced his father’s parenting as abusive and resented it; John House probably did NOT see himself as abusive, didn’t intend to hurt Greg and it might have been a parenting style that would have worked on a different sort of kid. Ice baths to calm down a kid throwing a tantrum and uncontrollable otherwise? Maybe it would have seemed like a good option. Making a kid sleep outside in warm weather? Again, maybe it would have seemed like a valid disciplinary option for certain types of misbehavior. House was probably capable of wreaking utter havoc in his youth, with his intelligence and temperament. A summer of the silent treatment for a 12-year-old who says he hates you and you’re not his father? Not the wisest parenting choice ever made, but it could also have been the response of a father who decided saying nothing aloud was better than taking his rage out on the kid and saying something that would scar him for life.

    There are a lot of different ways of interpreting the character. What I saw of John House on screen was a father who was trying to make a connection with Greg by asking him about his relationships, was rebuffed, and offered a criticism that he probably intended to snap Greg to reality and start making him appreciate his life and what he had and try to be happy. House responded badly to that too. The tragedy was two men who were never able to make a connection or understand the other and a mother who allowed her son to be treated harshly and didn’t tell him the truth about his biological parentage, thus giving Greg a reason to distrust women and relationships. His biological father bears some of the blame for not stepping forward too.

  • Andrea

    So far what we know about the biological father is that he was a good friend of the family, has a birthmark on his head that matches Greg’s, resembles Sean Connery, is a Unitarian minister, and has remained in the vicinity of the House family for over 50 years and attended the funeral of John House. There’s no possible way that he would not have suspected he was the father of Greg, given the timing of his presumed affair with Blythe House and John House’s absence during the same time frame, yet he stayed quiet. I’d really like to see them explore that further, though getting the right actor for the role would probably be difficult.

    There’s another option that I think is interesting that hasn’t been introduced. What if Blythe House is not Greg’s biological mother either and he was adopted? Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s it was not uncommon for adoptive parents never to tell children they were adopted. House hasn’t run a DNA test on “Sean Connery” so he doesn’t know if that man actually is his bio dad. Of course, maybe he is and the mother was some unmarried girl he had a fling with and the childless Houses adopted baby Greg after they learned about her predicament from “Sean Connery.” Maybe bio dad was married too and didn’t want his wife finding out. Maybe he didn’t like kids any more than House does. There are endless things they could do with that storyline. Too bad they can’t talk Sean Connery himself into playing the role.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Jay Hi! :) And thank you! I see and understand your point of view. I also disagree with some of the statements you made, but let’s just forget that right now. For me, the whole point of the debate isn’t even primarily House/Wilson anymore, I really understand (and always have) that other people don’t see it that way. The point is that a discussion or even just the statement of differing points of view is only possible if there isn’t one party that automatically assumes that theirs is the only way to see the show.

    Which brings me to

    @Delia: I give up.

  • ruthinor

    HouseMD: The statement below from #78 is an excellent summary and says it better than I have tried to do. There is no ONE true unifying theory here. There are many possibilities because not everything is laid out (intentionally). This encapsulates my argument with D_B. Instead of formulating a hypothesis and seeing what fits and what doesn’t, she develops a theory and then assumes as true anything that fits her theory, and dismisses things that do not. You are correct, there is no point arguing about this! It’s a different world view.

    “This means that a theory about House as a victim of abuse can give as much insight into the show as a theory about House as a chronically depressed person and as much as a theory about House as a headstrong guy who constantly clashes with social rules and authority. (Is House’s personality a result of or the cause of his problems with his father? Or is – and that’s my version – both of this true?) You can find several more theories here. They aren’t mutually exclusive, none of them is the whole truth and if you try to explain the show with one theory only you have to dismiss a lot of details and aspects of it.”

  • ruthinor

    BTW, D_B, House did mention his time in Japan with his family and an incident that stayed with him concerning an “untouchable” who worked at a hospital and was called on in some emergencies. I believe he was an MD. I don’t remember the details, but I remember House’s recollection of the incident and the impression it made on him.

  • Susan

    On another note: Wednesday’s New York Times reported that Fox ranked third on Monday night (after ABC and CBS) as “‘House’ delivered a solid audience at 8:00 with 9.5 million viewers”.
    And this despite 3 million Cablevision customers not having access to Fox network because of a dispute over retransmission prices.

  • Jay

    @HouseMDFan, thanks for your enthusiastic HELLO! It’s very nice to meet you! It’s perfectly fine if we disagree! :) Everyone made some really valuable comments, including D_B and HouseMDFan.

    In my opinion,
    the world would be a pretty boring place if we all agreed on everything. I think that it’s GREAT that we have such a diversity of opinions here! :)

  • Jaim

    Did anyone else flinch when House called Rachel an idiot? I know he’s House and that’s what he does but she’s just a little toddler. Tots put stuff in their mouths to get a sense of their world, just as they touch all kinds of items they find interesting. It made me think that he’ll forget himself with Rachel many more times and say things that are mean and potentially damaging. I hope this doesn’t happen, but House hasn’t really embraced her in his life nor the meaning she symbolizes to Cuddy.

    A pattern I am noticing in the last few episodes is that House is keeping Cuddy out of the loop in terms of their personal relationship. He doesn’t talk to her about his anxiety over their lack of commonalities, he doesn’t talk to her before setting up a double date, he never thinks of telling Cuddy about Rachel or the fact that he may have to put a scope in her rectum(that is nuts on many levels), or that he was seeing his ex-prostitute for massages. Of course, she found out about each situation eventually and they finally talked but that may get old after a while. Cuddy has been handling it all very well, but I could see her feeling similar to Stacy, as if there is no room for her in his life. He makes all these plans for their romance to work out, but ironically he never even considers talking to her first. It reminds me of his conversation with Foreman in season five about putting Thirteen on the drug. Basically, he told Foreman that he wanted to do what was best for her but ironically he didn’t even consider how it would affect her. Foreman was really thinking of what he wanted instead of what she wanted. I think this can be used to describe House’s actions in season seven as well. I hope she calls him on this so that they can remedy the situation before things start to deteriorate.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @ANDREA: oh, don’t get me started on “Chasing Zebras” – i had preordered two copies, for me and another obsessed fan, a friend of mine, and they never got here. I announced the web site, they said they will re-mail them, never happened. I am waiting for a business trip my husband has to London in November – he’ll buy them there and i’ll finally read it.

    So, again, thank you for giving me information from the book. That is really, really interesting.

    I am pretty firm in believing that ice baths and making a child sleep outside are forms of psychological and physical abuse. I cannot imagine how those can be considered acceptable means to discipline a child. But that is just my personal opinion.

    From what i have read, there is the spontaneous form of abuse (the parent who lashes out, exploding because of a load of negative emotions etc) – a form of abuse that does not turn into a pattern – and there is the premeditated abuse, disguised as “discipline”, which is repetitive and performed in full awareness. Both are unacceptable, of course, but the second form is even more damaging to children, because it forms a pattern that makes them feel powerless, humiliated, unloved, unaccepted and misunderstood on a constant basis.

    Finally, i am firmly “pro” the modern theories of parenting, which do not take into account any form of punishment or “disciplinary” means, but empathic communication and emotional bonding (Francoise Dolto, Dr. Thomas Gordon, Dr. Haim G. Ginott, Aletha Solter, Pam Lewin etc.).

    Again, Andrea, i completely agree to your interpretation of the mother’s and biological father’s responsibility. It’s also very true what you say about the biological father suspecting something. We can assume that he didn’t really “know”, but it would have probably been something he at least would question, after his affair with the mother and the birth of a child which fits the timeline.

    I cannot really make any speculation on the adoption thing. There is nothing to point us to that, even though, theoretically, it could be possible.

    @JAY: that was a very nice thing to say. I appreciate it a lot.

    @RUTHINOR: You think that i dismiss important parts of the show that don’t fit my theory. I personally don’t see what it is that i dismiss, but i accept your opinion as such.

    So let me put it this way: I use the theory of the abused child, who never got unconditional love and has extensive damage as a result of his childhood traumas, to understand House’s adult behavior, AS A PERSONAL CHOICE OF A TOOL, that i found useful in my attempt to understand and explain him as a character.

    House’s issues as an adult (depression, low self worth, trust issues, self-distructive behavior etc) are things we all acknowledge. The abuse theory is a possible explanation for it, and it can be used together with the dysthymia theory – which i accepted and was very interested in the moment i heard about it. It can surely be used together with other theories as well, when they present themselves.

    Finally, I always use the first person in writing my comments and that is as much as i can do about it.

    The bushido thing is from “Son Of Coma Guy” – excellent episode that gives great insight into House’s psychology. I didn’t see anything in that episode that infirms the theory of abuse, on the contrary. House projected his own situation onto the Bushido doctor (a misfit that felt unappreciated and rejected by those close to him, but who found that being right, being excellent at what he does helps him have leverage – “they don’t have to like me, but they have to accept me because they need my skills”).

    @JAIM: i was not surprised at that, even though i find it unacceptable to talk to a child like that. But it is consistent with House’s personality, and it is consistent with his resentment towards Rachel, which we cannot expect to melt over night, because it is very deep (his fears of losing Cuddy over her wish to adopt, the fact that he did lose her partially after she got Rachel, the fact that Lucas had an aparently positive and active role in the child’s life, the fact that Rachel is the reason Cuddy is less available than House would need her to be, the fact that Rachel is the ultimate obstacle to their relationship – “i am an insane choice for someone who has a child”). So on that one, i personally wasn’t surprised.

    You make an excellent point in regard to how House has handled things so far. Excellent indeed. I blame all that on his grand fear of losing her, his emotional imaturity and his lack of self-esteem (it takes confidence to openly talk to the most important person in his life about things that he views as threats or reasons for her to love him less or stop loving him). I hope this will diminish in time, after he gains more confidence in her love and their chance together.
    I agree, it is a dysfunctional way to handle a relationship and i think it would be useful if Cuddy did address it directly. She has done, as you say, a great job at soothing his fears and reassuring him, but perhaps a very open and serious discussion about it would be better. But then again, this is who House is and there is only so much change that he can accomplish. I do have confidence that Cuddy is fully equipped to handle him just as he is.

  • Andrea

    I guess my point is that there are different opinions on what constitutes abuse and it isn’t always black and white. Also in Chasing Zebras is a comment by someone from the show that they didn’t intend for people to view John House as a monster and he could argue either John’s or Greg House’s side of things. I’d also suspect that American and European views of child rearing practices are very different these days, which could color your viewpoint. Corporal punishment, physical discipline, etc. are still in vogue in some corners in the United States and would be illegal across Europe. Plus we’re talking about child rearing practices in a U.S. military family in the 1960s, not the 2010s. I guess I don’t necessarily see John House as a monster here, though he undoubtedly damaged Greg with his discipline. It can be seen both ways at the same time.

  • ruthinor

    @Andrea: You pretty much said (#91) what I was trying to say in my speculations about John House. I just don’t think we have enough information to conclude anything, let alone formulate a psychological profile based upon what we DO know. We know nothing about what John House thought about all this nor do we know much about Greg House’s behavior throughout the childhood years. Perhaps D_B will accept this analysis more easily from you!

    @D_B: I brought up the Bushido incident because you said that nothing was mentioned about his foreign travels and how they might have impacted him. I believe that this obviously impacted him profoundly, or he would not have mentioned it. Whether or not his feelings about this incident had anything to do with “abuse” is unknown. House was obviously more intelligent than those around him growing up. He must have felt like an outsider as a child and probably had few friends because he was so different.

    One other thing I wanted to bring up concerning House’s biological father. House believes that he knows who the man is due largely to a birthmark they have in common. However, a large majority of birthmarks are not heritable. So is this just wishful thinking on Greg House’s part?

  • HouseMDFan

    BURAKU. Just for the record. And for further record, here’s the whole speech:

    “When I was fourteen, my father was stationed in Japan. I went rock-climbing with this kid from school. He fell, got injured and I had to bring him to the hospital. We came in through the wrong entrance, passed this guy in the hall. It was a janitor. Friend came down with an infection and doctors didn’t know what to do. So they brought in the janitor. He was a doctor and a buraku; one of Japan’s untouchables. His ancestors had been slaughterers, gravediggers. And this guy knew that he wasn’t accepted by the staff, didn’t even try, didn’t dress well, he didn’t pretend to be one of them. The people around that place, they didn’t think that he had anything they wanted, except when they needed him. Because he was right; which meant that nothing else mattered, they had to listen to him.”

    DELIA, do you see how your “unifying theory” is extending and interpreting that speech? There is nothing at all in it about feeling “unappreciated and rejected by those close to him”.

  • ruthinor

    HouseMDFan: Do you remember what House was responding to when he told this story about the buraku (sorry for the mangling of the term). I recall that “coma guy” asked him a series of questions, but don’t recall the specifics. Thanks.

  • HouseMDFan

    “Why did you become a doctor?” :-)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Andrea and Ruthinor: What this is, essentially, is a difference of opinion on what constitutes abuse and how we view the character of John House. The common point i deduce from it is what Andrea said: “he undoubtedly damaged Greg with his discipline”. I am ok with that, and let the differences be, well, different.

    @HouseMDFan: Of course i am interpreting that speech – i try to understand and give myself an explanation to the following:

    – what the significance of that incident was to child Gregory,
    – what the larger meaning of it is when applied to the adult he became,
    – and what the purpose of the writers was when they included it in the show.

    I tried to do that based on what he actually says, the context of utterance of what he says and all that we know about House as a character.

    I understand that you disagree that House might feel rejected and unaccepted because he was an abused child. Fine. Let’s leave that aside. What are your answers to those questions?

    I think (in the first person) that the whole meaning of that incident for House was that he was identifying with the Buraku. For whatever reason – that he was smarter than others, that he was abused or whatever. But he was identifying with him, to an extent that he was so inspired by that encounter, that he deduced his motivation for becoming a doctor out of it. Which is that he would be needed for his skill, which would make up for him not being accepted for other reasons.

    Perhaps there are other possible interpretations for the following lines:

    “And this guy knew that he wasn’t accepted by the staff, didn’t even try, didn’t dress well, he didn’t pretend to be one of them. The people around that place, they didn’t think that he had anything they wanted, except when they needed him. Because he was right; which meant that nothing else mattered, they had to listen to him”.

    I thought about it, i analyzed it and i chose the interpretation and explanation that made most sense to me. Expressed in the first person. Is that legal?:)

  • HouseMDFan

    *g* Look at me, giving up. Not. What can I say, all hope might be vain.

    @Delia

    One thing first. “Purpose of the writers”. You will know by now and I state it again that I have a problem with this. But moving on.

    I understand that you disagree that House might feel rejected and unaccepted because he was an abused child.
    I never said that. I did say further up that I think this theory might give us some insight into his character. I certainly do think that John’s behaviour toward him damaged his ability to feel accepted.
    What I object to, objected to before and will always object to is the idea that this explains everything he does, everything we see. One of the reasons is internal to his character: it makes him someone who is completely determined by an outside force. It makes him a victim. And every one of his actions is interpreted as an REaction. That’s not the guy I see on screen. Another reason is the one I have been reiterating over and over again: The show is not univocal. It is possible and even meant for to see different perspectives at the same time. You don’t have to take one as an absolute.

    I think (in the first person) that the whole meaning of that incident for House was that he was identifying with the Buraku. For whatever reason – that he was smarter than others, that he was abused or whatever.
    I certainly agree with the first part. That would be what I call a “fact” in this show, he is obviously telling a story about the buraku to answer a question about himself. (Already at this point one could go and subvert the actual text, though. Maybe House has never witnessed such a thing and made up this story because it’s how he wants to see himself. But moving on.)
    The second part of your statement. House says that the buraku is smart. He obviously has to be for this story to make sense. House doesn’t say that the guy is abused. He says that he isn’t accepted by society. That’s a different thing. (That doesn’t mean that House can’t unconsciously and because of his own history see it that way, but again, such a statement has a completely different level of “proof”.)

    Which is that he would be needed for his skill, which would make up for him not being accepted for other reasons.
    House doesn’t say that the guy needs something to “make up” for anything. This story might just say that this was the point when House realized that “fitting in” or being different or being valued isn’t what is important to him. The truth is.

  • Andrea

    House is complex enough so all of the above are probably true on one level or another. He had a tough, demanding and rough disciplinarian of a father whom he hated and fought against — that’s canon. It’s debatable whether others would see his father as abusive but House does and his reaction to his father clearly shaped who he is. I doubt that his father’s treatment explains everything he says or does but it was a major influence. We’re pretty much born with a particular temperament and potential for intelligence, etc. Environment can modify it somewhat in childhood for good or ill but we eventually shape our own environments and pick our own influences. As House said in one early episode, “I’ve been alienating people since I was three.” He was ALWAYS Greg House, pretty much as he is now, and his parents undoubtedly had one heck of a time raising him with that strong personality. How they responded to that personality influenced him too and that and the constant moving around and any social difficulties he had because of that and how other kids reacted to him might have made him strongly identify with the Japanese janitor.

  • ruthinor

    On a totally different note…does anyone know of a “dictionary” of internet symbols? I have no idea what some of these things denote other than happy face or sad face! Thanks!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @HouseMDFan: The giving up part i can understand very well, and yet, not giving up has led to a discussion that has reached a very interesting point for me. So, i am not sorry you didn’t give up.

    “It is possible and even meant for to see different perspectives at the same time. You don’t have to take one as an absolute.”

    Of course i agree to this statement. With one nuance: our backgrounds (personal history, cultural background, education, personality etc) make us subconsciously selective in the way we focus our attention and in the way we assess the importance of what we see.

    As i said, the childhood trauma theory is my tool of choice, because it’s what i am predetermined to focus on. And by childhood trauma, i don’t mean just what i view as his father’s abuse. I also include the damage his mother has done, as well as the damage done by their constant moving around, which i interpret as a very difficult situation for a child who already felt unaccepted and had identity issues.

    I dare say my understanding of House is true, but it surely isn’t the whole truth. Again, for as long as my comments are in the first person and anybody is free to bring arguments against them, i really don’t see what the problem would be.

    Small correction: I didn’t mean that House thinks the Buraku is smart, abused… I meant that House identifies with the Buraku because HOUSE is smarter than others, abused etc etc. That is what i meant by “for whatever reason”. House’s own reason to identify with that man. I didn’t make myself clear, sorry.

    “House doesn’t say that the guy needs something to “make up” for anything. This story might just say that this was the point when House realized that “fitting in” or being different or being valued isn’t what is important to him. The truth is.”

    This is most certainly another possible interpretation of this speech. And a good one too.

    But my interpretation was based on the whole episode, not just this speech. And what made the difference for me is this:
    “GABE: If you could hear on thing from your father, what would it be?
    HOUSE: I’d want him to say, “You were right. You did the right thing”.

    My interpretation is that maybe the Buraku guy doesn’t compensate for anything – but House does. This is a direct line that is drawn from the speech, obvious by the repetition of the word “right”. I viewed the moment he said that line as very emotional, Hugh Laurie did his thing and expressed an ocean of buried pain and emotion. House’s greatest wish, to have his father acknowledge that he is right and doing the right thing.
    I interpret this as the wish of a child who made it his ultimate goal to oppose reason and logic to the arbitrary demands that his father had of him. Arbitrary and absurd, as Gregory probably viewed them, and unstoppable – the child was in a position of complete powerlessness, a helpless victim of the arbitrary, illogical, irrational rules and expectations of his father. So being right became his ultimate refuge. When you are right, protected by thick walls of irrefutable logic and reason, you have the power. Nobody can jerk you around anymore. “Because he was right; which meant that nothing else mattered, they had to listen to him”.

    @Andrea: You have made an excellent summary of all the factors that i, too, believe have led up to House being House.

    One tiny thing that i, personally, feel strongly about: i do not read his statement, about alienating people since he was three, as necessarily pointing to his pre-existing, genetic temperament and personality traits. There are studies that point to the idea that the way a child’s emotional needs are met during the first three years of his life are of paramount importance for the fundamental development of Self (self-worth, self-esteem, identity) and Self in relation with others (trust, communication).

    Other than that, i fully agree to your post.

    @Ruthinor: i am sorry, cannot help. I am lost in the world of all those signs.

  • Skeptic1974

    Delia_Beatrice

    I am really not a poster and more of a reader and I usually really enjoy reading your posts but your obsession with the “House is an abused child” and is mostly the way he is now because of this is getting too much and you are not really taking in what others have posted to you.

    What evidence is there to suggest House was abused and is the way he is other than:

    His dad made him sit in a bath of ice water to teach him s lesson as he stated in ODOR, but! was House telling the truth when he said this? or telling lies to try and put the patient at ease as he was in an uncomfortable emotional position and felt it the only way to try and connect with the patient as she only wanted to speak to him?

    His father didn’t speak to him for a month when he was 12 and slipped messages under his bedroom door though then House revealed it was because he had told his dad he believed he wasn’t his real father.

    His mother stated that the war is over in “Daddy’s Boy”, suggesting House and his father have had many battles but from this I just see a battle of wits relationship with his father trying to instil the discipline from his military training into him and House being the strong minded stubborn genius that he is fighting him every step of the way.

    DB – Have you seen the deleted scene from “Braveheart”?, If not I suggest you watch it (youtube – Deleted scene from braveheart), IMO I don’t think it was deleted for a reason other then they didn’t have enough minutes in the episode to show it

  • HouseMDFan

    @Delia
    As i said, the childhood trauma theory is my tool of choice, because it’s what i am predetermined to focus on.

    Why why why only one tool? I don’t get it! I understand your interpretation (which means, no, you don’t have to explain it again) and I already told you that I see its potential. AND ITS LIMITS. It is such a narrow focus and deprives you of so many other aspects of the show, of so many other interesting avenues of thought. Of course who we are influences what we focus on, but the one reason I’m on this side is to broaden my horizont, to widen my view on the show, so that I’m not always running in circles in my own perspectives. But I can’t do that if I take my own theory for granted and only accept or even acknowledge perspectives that fit into it.

    @ruthinor
    You talking about Emoticons?

  • ruthinor

    HouseMDFan: Yes I saw the emoticons on wikipedia, but there seem to be other symbols that are missing from what is included there. Just want to know if someone is telling me something I’m not aware of!!

  • ruthinor

    @Skeptic1974: Thanks for mentioning that deleted scene from Braveheart. I had never seen that before, and it makes quite a difference to that last scene.

    Another scene I remember is the one at the end of the episode in which John House’s funeral took place. The last thing House says to Wilson is “My dad’s dead”. This occurs after he shows Wilson the DNA results indicating that John House is not his biological father. He said this with some sadness. This leads me to believe that the father-son relationship was very complex and had both its ups and downs.

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    Regarding the abuse: when I interviewed Doris Egan and David Foster in season five (just before Daddy’s Boy), they told me that the way the character had been written in previous references was meant to be ambiguous. Was John House truly abusing Greg? Or was he just trying (and overdoing it) to impose military discipline on his son?

    The writers had slightly differing interpretations about it, but agreed that people could understand John’s actions in more than one way. In today’s world would Social Services rightly be called? Both DE and DF said yes, but in context, maybe not, given that it was 40-something years earlier.

  • Andrea

    In the first three years of Greg House’s life, I would be willing to bet he was very well cared for. He doesn’t seem deprived to me. He’s smart, he’s musical, he was athletic, has manners when he chooses to use them, was capable of falling head over heels in love with Stacy and was unguarded enough at one point to build a relationship with her and trust her with his medical care. A man who’s capable of falling in love like that probably had a mother who loved him and spent time with him and paid attention to his education when he was a little boy. He does love his mom. Once he was old enough to get into things and, most importantly, to talk back and disagree with his military dad, that’s when the conflict would have started and his mom might have cared more about keeping her marriage together than protecting her child. Maybe she agreed with John that Greg had to learn how to behave and thought some discipline would do him good. But all of it is speculation. All we know is what’s on the screen. I saw two parents who loved their son and wanted a closer relatonship with him and a son who was still angry over lies and his father’s discipline. It’s all very complicated.

  • Jaim

    Thanks Delia Beatrice for the feedback!

    I wonder if some of this irrational resentment toward a 2 year old is really stemming from his own difficult background with his non-bio dad, John House? Rachel was abandoned at birth because the teen mom thought she was dead. She was left in the care of two homeless people when Cuddy rescued her. Cuddy then adopted Rachel as her own daughter. In contrast, House didn’t get embraced by his non-biological dad, John House, with the same love as Cuddy or even the homeless couple bestowed on Rachel. I wonder if the fact that Rachel isn’t biologically Cuddy’s daughter but Cuddy treats her as her own, triggers for House the past hurt he felt of never having had that with John House? I have a feeling the day that House embraces little Rachel as his own(which would also prove to him that biology isn’t a prerequisite to feel love and connection) will also be the day when he finally makes peace with his childhood and the betrayals he endured from all his parental figures.

    I agree that Cuddy needs to have a direct conversation with House about his tendency to keep her out of the loop in terms of their relationship. She has talked somewhat about this but she needs to be even more firm about how she feels. She loves him and doesn’t want to scare him off, but if she doesn’t tell him more directly how his keeping secrets act is effecting her, then I could see them gradually growing apart, ironically because they are both trying to please the other. Ultimately, no one actually is left happy and then this relationship could go the same way many of Wilson’s relationships have gone.

    No one has pointed this out, but Wilson has been trying to get House to face things with Cuddy much the same way House tried to get Wilson to face things with Sam last season. It wasn’t until Wilson and Sam had that huge fight that they were able to really understand who they were in their marriage, how they’ve changed, and how they can continue to make better decisions. I think it would be great if somehow Wilson can orchestrate some kind of situation in which Cuddy and House are forced to really talk about the way they’re handling things and realize that walking on eggshells is not conducive to a healthy long term relationship.

    On to a completely different topic, is anyone else feeling like the team is in a funk? I also feel like the interaction between House and the guys is strained. I know it’s weird, but I always look at him and his team as a dysfunctional family unit. I get the sense that since Thirteen’s absence they’ve settled back into their stand-offish attitudes. I like it when there is comraderie and lately I haven’t seen much.

    Something else that has been bugging me is the lack of talk about House’s pain or even his daily fight against relapse. I know he’s happy and that may lessen the pain, but he still is in some pain. Also most addicts relapse a few times before they are completely clean. I wish there was some quiet scenes maybe when House is in bed with Cuddy and while she’s sleeping he’s rubbing his thigh. Or have Cuddy catch him pacing around the living room in the middle of the night because his leg pain forced him out of bed. Just some nod to the fact that he is not healed and still struggling would be great to see.

  • Londongirl

    Thanks Barbara for yet another bang on review. I have to say that this episode left me somewhat wanting, I loved the formulaic House we used to get in all previous five seasons. I do have add though that out of 75 comments here,only about 10 are worth reading. I just wasted 35 minutes reading presumptions opinions providing little insight into the inner workings of the show because a couple of people here tend to lose sight as viewers and assume themselves as writers.

    @Delia, your opinions flabbergast me, I have no idea how anyone can concentrate so much repetitive arguments about this show to the point of tiring the reader.

  • Elena

    @Londongirl, I completely agree with you.

  • UmassGrad

    @Londongirl,I have to agree with you as well,I love reading most opinions when they are concise and reveal new information otherwise missed. Dissecting each move and second guessing thoughts of actors trying to portray a character is nothing short of lunacy, why can’t we just enjoy the episodes while we still have them.Kudos to Barbara for her fantastic review, I enjoy it very much and look forward to reading it.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Barbara: thank you for adding that info. It is indeed very interesting. I agree with DE and DF that today Social Services would rightly be called, and also that at the time, things were entirely different.

    It is also very clear that they have succedeed in creating John House as a character that can be viewed in many ways.

    @Skeptic1974: Haven’t watched that scene, will do. Thank you for mentioning it.

    On the House as an abused child issue: please excuse me, i will not go into it again, apparently, enough talk of it by now. All i can say is that i am impressed with Barbara’s post (#105) and i can add nothing more to that. It pretty much sums up this long debate that we’ve been carrying on here, acknowledging both of the major points of view expressed on the abuse issue. I am perfectly OK with her conclusions.

    @LondonGirl, Elena: sorry about that.

    @HouseMDFan: I understand your point. Will think about it further.

    @Andrea: i will give the “first years of his life” thing more thought. I think you made a very compelling point indeed.

    “All we know is what’s on the screen. I saw two parents who loved their son and wanted a closer relatonship with him and a son who was still angry over lies and his father’s discipline. It’s all very complicated.”

    How right you are.

    @Jaim: my pleasure:)

    You wrote: “I have a feeling the day that House embraces little Rachel as his own(which would also prove to him that biology isn’t a prerequisite to feel love and connection) will also be the day when he finally makes peace with his childhood and the betrayals he endured from all his parental figures.”

    I think it is way too obvious that i fully agree with you on this, as well as the additional reason you thought of in regard to his resentment of Rachel. I won’t go into detail, because people here are getting tired of me repeating myself about it, but just note that i couldn’t agree more.

    You also wrote: “She loves him and doesn’t want to scare him off, but if she doesn’t tell him more directly how his keeping secrets act is affecting her, then I could see them gradually growing apart, ironically because they are both trying to please the other. Ultimately, no one actually is left happy and then this relationship could go the same way many of Wilson’s relationships have gone.”

    I fully agree on this too (the whole paragraph), but i have a strong feeling that this has been just the initial phase of their relationship, in which their emotions and fears have made them walk on eggshells. This status-quo needs to be shaken up. This somewhat artificial situation, in which they are both trying to please each other, maybe at the expense of not being themselves fully, will probably be confronted, sooner or later, with the harsh reality of who they really are and whether or not they can accept it – “for reals”, not just on a declarative level.

    “No one has pointed this out, but Wilson has been trying to get House to face things with Cuddy much the same way House tried to get Wilson to face things with Sam last season.”

    Very true, thank you for noticing that. Well, maybe Wilson will offer some advice, it would be a nice symetry. However, I think both House and Cuddy are aware of the fact that this is an adaptative phase, in which they put their real selves on hold, and they probably need a push to snap out of it. I don’t know if they would have the maturity to face it on their own and really talk it through, but life has a way of putting you in limit-situations in which all gloves have to fall off and who you really are becomes unavoidable – i think that will happen to them at some point.

    I have felt that the team is “off” ever since Thirteen left, too. I agree with you on that – again. But i hope that the new team member will change that and that at least some of the old dynamic will be back.

    I also felt that the pain issue would have needed to be addressed by now. It’s been quite a while. But then again, there were times in season 6 when fans were noticing that he seems to be “abnormally” ok with the pain, and from time to time, little hints towards it, like the ones you mentioned, were dropped. Perhaps the writers are trying not to overplay the pain thing, it’s been such a major part of the show for five seasons and after Mayfield, maybe they just tried to step a bit further and only play upon it in a very subtle manner.
    After all, it is not unrealistic. There were always hints at House’s pain being more than “objective” physical pain: it was presented as psychosomatic too, as well as it was suggested that Vicodin abuse made him think he was in more pain that he really was. So the endorphines caused by Cuddy, the fact that he has been clean for over a year, the therapy with Nolan and the antidepressants we assume he’s still on would have justly caused an improvement on his pain level.

  • DebbieJ.

    In reference to House’s physical pain, or lack there of. I think that it is very erratic how it is written. (I guess it depends on who is writing the episode.) I thought they did a great disservice to the character in Skin Deep, where Cuddy injected him with saline when he thought he was getting morphine. I’m sorry, but someone who is in that much pain would know the difference between a placebo and the real thing, when the real thing is morphine. Yes, he was in emotional pain, but he was in REAL physical pain, too. If/when they finally get back to the subject of his pain (and I sure hope they do), I sure hope they try something else that is more realistic than what they’re adhering to (ibuprofen and messages from hookers).

    Regarding the team. I thought the reason Dr. Cheng gave Taub as to why she didn’t accept the position was a lame one. Especially because she seemed so excited for the chance. And, IIRC, I believe Amber Tamblyn’s character is only a med student, not a doctor. That’ll be interesting, but I’d much rather see a little more diversity in the team than another Cameron or 13 look alike. Besides, Dr. Cheng was attractive enough and ethnically different enough for House to make lots of snark; I think she would’ve been good for and with the team.

    Regarding House/Rachel. One thing I noticed about UP is that every House/Wilson/Rachel scene, Wilson was the one with physical contact with the toddler and not House. He’s the one who took the quarter out of her mouth; he’s the one who put her on the table; he’s the one who performed the ultra sound; he’s the one who was giving her “chocolate” in the men’s room, etc. There has to be a reason. The only time House touched her in any way was to change her diaper and to place her back in her crib, but we the audience don’t actually see him doing these. Any theories?

  • Andrea

    Regarding House and Rachel, I think he was actually afraid of what he might end up doing or saying around her, which is why he called “responsible adult” Uncle James to take over. Hurt Cuddy’s kid and it would be all over. He knows that and he is afraid of it and he can’t screw it up. I’d also guess he doubts his own ability to connect with her. That and he sees her as an interloper and a threat to his relationship with Cuddy. He isn’t very fond of kids. That doesn’t mean he’d hurt her on purpose or that he wouldn’t eventually be able to connect with her, I don’t think.

  • Derdriui

    Delia, I do think it’s worth saying that you dismissing an entire section of the fandom as ‘idiotic beyond words’ while you support this ridiculous romantic delusion the writers have decided to subject the character of House to just shows that you have very little appreciation for “character drama”.

    Try to watch some good TV. Try to watch… Rumpole of the Bailey, CSI, Queer as Folk (although this has male/male pairings and you seem to come across a touch homophobic) etc. Shows that maintain their characters.

    Hugh Laurie should know better than this. It’s a basic rule in UK television that you don’t change the central character. They’ve gotten rid of House’s limp, his vicodin addiction and his cynicism of romantic relationships. He’s living in the suburbs with his boss (who looks like Administration Barbie and gets away with having no control over him at all without the threat of no more sex, what a female role model we have in her), he’s compromising himself completely and buying into the delusions he promised he wouldn’t.

    He took Wilson’s thrice divorcee advice about not doing what you want to do just to be with someone you want to have sex with. THAT’S NOT HOUSE. He told Taub that he was just jealous because House was in love and he wasn’t. THAT’S NOT HOUSE. They’ve ruined the show.

    Hugh Laurie and RSL are interesting. They have good chemistry. If you don’t think that could work, that’s okay. But calling it ‘idiotic beyond words’ while you support the neutering of a character you claim to like? That’s ridiculous.

  • Derdriui

    Also, Jaim and Delia, you think the power of the love he will feel for Rachel will save him from his terrible childhood? Do you think he’ll become the daddy figure she needs, read her storybooks at night and go on family picnics with her and Cuddy? They’ve already set up in the suburbs, why not?

    Are you seriously arguing for the redemptive power of true love? For HOUSE? You think he’ll stop being grumpy, stop taking risks, stop being an addict (it’s pills or alcohol until this Huddy nonsense started)? You think you can take everything bad away from his character and leave a lovely husband for House, a lovely father for Rachel and he’ll just… be rather good at solving puzzles?

    And also, it’s baseless armchair psychology to assume that his character is a result of him not being loved enough as a child. Seriously, if the character is that simple then most of us who watched have been wasting our time.

    When did hormones take over the show? Damn shame.

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think they’ve changed the character in any fundamental way. We’ve seen House meet and adapt to challenges (or swan dive when he’s failed). His leg still hurts (and he still limps and rubs his leg).

    But I think denying us this avenue of exploration doesn’t make sense to me. This is as much a challenge to House (and whether he succeeds or not is undecided) as the ketamine in season three or Stacy’s reappearance at the end of season one.

    We’re seeing (in my opinon) reveals of aspects we’ve seen in House before: his romanticism, his way with kids, his fear, his tendency to self-destruct. I don’t see incongruity, just other facets.

  • Derdriui

    barbara, he’s not like he was with Stacy – biting, sharp and himself – he’s… “in love”, but not in an interesting way. It’s not that I’m saying he’s incapable of love, I’m saying that the character from before Huddy wouldn’t be so willing to change for it. The reason he’s good at what he does is that he does know himself to some degree. I don’t think he needs to be saved. Yes, he was addicted to drugs, but I don’t think that drugs were the only thing that made him unwilling to buy into conventional norms of romance.

    Changing the character like this, making him be vulnerable in the cheesiest way possible (I love you! I love you too! Let me into your baby’s life!) is just so bizarre.

  • tigerfeet

    Derdruie, don’t throw stones please. Who’s being dismissive of other people’s opionins and appreciation of the show here? I know it’s hard for you to understand, but there are A LOT of viewers who still love House the man and House the show.

  • ruthinor

    I don’t see that House has dramatically changed “for love”. He was pretty sappy with Stacy on occasion (of course he was more like his usual bitter self as well, since they had split up, she was married to someone else, and he blamed her for his leg problems). He wasn’t at all biting when he took Cameron to the monster truck rally. Likewise with Lydia, I thought he was romantic rather than acerbic. I’m sure that as his relationship with Cuddy matures, they will be back to some of their usual banter. Of course he is going to be somewhat different off drugs.

    On the job, after initially being very unlike their usual selves, both House and Cuddy went back to arguing about how to handle patients. House told the parents in “Selfish” that they were idiots.
    He’s still the same old bastard with his team, perhaps even worse. The only thing that’s really different in my mind is that he no longer insults Cuddy in front of the team. That’s not much of a change, especially given the rewards.

  • dago

    I also think ,that the situation like it is presented as House beiing in love with a women he was longing for so many years ,left
    him emotionally standing on very feeble legs.
    It may appear that the consistency of his
    character seems unsteady.IMO he always was a bit shy expressing his emotions to people he is close to.( He obviously is not to strangers like in the very first episode when he talks to Rebecca )
    Maybe that leads to insecurity in dealing with Rachel or in talking to Cuddy.
    It is still the first stage of beeing in love so I think he will still need some time to adjust to that ( again because of
    the afore mentioned difficulties he may be more cautious and guarded like ” normal” people.
    Anyway ,apart from the lengthy discussion
    of how things can be interpreted ,I always enjoy your reviews ,Barbara and all comments
    that add to the insight of House as a character.
    CZ is an amazing book as I learned things
    I didn`t know before or where missed on me.
    DB mentioned to someone of the commentors
    she didn`t want to write a book ( here
    meaning her answer ): It wouldn`t be a bad idea after all.
    I understand ,Delia , that you work in the
    psychological field ,and of course every
    treatise is an expression of one`s personal opinion ,so be it.If there is something constructive to add or a situation to be seen from a different angle it will be interesting. There is no black o white to a multilayered personality .It sums up to a truefully colored picture in wich everything is possible.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Derdriui: i will add nothing more to what Barbara (#116), Ruthinor (#119) and Dago (#120) have written.

    @Dago: “DB mentioned to someone of the commentors she didn`t want to write a book (here meaning her answer): It wouldn`t be a bad idea after all. I understand, Delia, that you work in the psychological field, and of course every treatise is an expression of one`s personal opinion, so be it”.

    Thank you very much for these kind words and for your open attitude in regard to the interpretations of House as a character.

    Yes, i have worked as a therapist with abused children.
    I am currently more in the theoretic field, because after my son’s birth, i decided to work from home, so i can be with him as much as possible. I am doing research on small children’s psychology (up to 6 years of age, so far). I am working together with a practising therapist, a friend of mine, who is supplying me with case studies of his adult patients and the effects of their childhood traumas on their adult personalities.

    You, and others, have been very supportive and nice in regard to my “contribution” here, and i thank you. Nevertheless, i will try to keep my comments to a much reduced length and even frequency here. There are people who appreciate my comments and find them interesting and post very stimulating responses, and there obviously are people who… well, don’t (to use a mild euphemism). So ultimately, “writing books” around here isn’t such a good idea after all.

  • Derdriui

    tigerfeet: I’m not “throwing stones” at any one. I’m criticizing the direction the show has taken with an interesting character.

    ruthinor: He was different with Stacy. Not just because she was with another man but because they didn’t mince their words with each other. Even when he was considering taking her back, he was brash. And funny. (When was the last time Huddy was fun?)

    New House goes around the hospital collecting flowers, spells “I lobe you” in scrabble tiles and babysits. The fact that he is even willing to consider compromising his medical ideas for her is OOC.

    Also, we’re supposed to believe he was in love with her while he continuously challenged and humiliated her? She was either a legitimate authority figure he was battling against or the woman he loves. You do not behave in the way that he did to someone that you love. And if you do, the other person should have enough self-respect not to decide you’re the ‘most incredible person’ that they know.

    But now that he’s not behaving like that because he’s suddenly figured out they’re meant to be together, it kind of ruins the show.

    Rebel with a cause… suddenly the boyfriend of the authority and having to think about whether or not he’ll get sex before he makes a decision. Ridiculous. Like Sherlock Holmes getting involved with Inspector Lestrade.

    It makes Cuddy an even less respectable character that she allowed him to disrespect her for years while protecting him and then decided to make herself even more completely vulnerable to him. She’s already Administration Barbie, she’s already sacrificing the respect the rest of her staff have for her by giving House his own department and letting him get away with so much, but at least she can justify all that by saying that it’s her job and she’s working the best interests of the hospital.

    To then get involved with that same character who has undermined her authority just makes her into a farce. I’m sorry but this is just absurd behaviour for the administrator of a hospital.

    Also, with Lydia, House was looking for redemption. It was believable because they’re both fucked up and it was about capturing that moment. He was unsure with her and he was interesting. With Cuddy, he’s just… her boyfriend. Who wants to be in her baby’s life. Who wants to live in the suburbs.

    With Lydia, it was about capturing life. With Cuddy, it’s about settling down.

    Which fundamentally alters the show. If he’s not living fast and addicted to puzzles but rather his leg pain is less and he’s settling down in the suburbs, then he’s just… a guy who bitches a lot while solving puzzles. How believable is his cynicism when he’s just another guy living just another boring life?

    I know it’s an odd point to make, especially amongst all these Huddy hormones and excitement about House solving his troubles with his dad by becoming Rachel’s daddy and all that domestic stuff, but you have to realize that there are certain parts of House that made this show interesting. Taking him apart may be nice for you to watch because you think Huddy makes sense for whatever reason, but the neutering of the character to show that love really can save everybody does NOT do justice to House the character or House the show.

    dago: falling in love is very sweet. It’s just that one would like it to be written in a believable and interesting way… this just looks like a big fantasy about the redemptive power of love, which is odd to watch on HOUSE.

    delia: Of course you don’t have to reply, but none of them addressed your comments about House/Wilson and none of them addressed your comments about wanting House to solve his daddy problems by bonding with Rachel.

    Seriously, there’s a lot of domestic fluff where House is happily living with Cuddy or Wilson or Stacy or Blue the janitor or whatever. Can’t the show be asked to stay interesting and keep the character of House as he is? Love is lovely but House falling in love with Cuddy and moving to the suburbs is an ABSURD direction for the show to take.

    I’m not saying relationships on TV are impossible. Look at the grace Grissom/Sara was handled on CSI. But then again, those characters always had good and interesting conversations and an interesting relationship.

    Cuddy was an authority figure who dressed in an eye-catching way and who House fought with. They never had interesting observational dialog or whatever, she was a side character who represented the sexually harassed face of authority.

    … Huddy makes no sense, either for the characters or the for the overall narrative structure of the show. And if you don’t believe me, watch the last couple of episodes and compare them to House/Stacy or House and Cameron or House just interacting with Wilson or any other earlier episodes.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Derdriui

    I don’t really understand why you are trying to rehash the argument that has already taken place, especially re H/W. Or even re H/Cuddy. Why don’t you give other people the same courtesy you want for yourself: Let them believe what they want and don’t call them idiots or dumb for not seeing it your way. Why is it so difficult to accept that different people judge things differently?

    Re: Stacy
    a) I don’t see how flowers and “I lobe you” are different from prescriptions for heart conditions.
    b) You are right, he was way more harsh with her, sharper, way less afraid. And what happened? It crashed and burned. Twice. So I do find it understandable that if he really thinks this is his last chance and wants it to work, he would reconsider his behaviour and be more afraid than before. Especially after all the traumata he has been through after Stacy, from Amber over Wilson leaving him to his breakdown. In addition, he knew and lived with Stacy for five years. They knew each other so well, it’s not suprising that they interacted in a different way than House and Cuddy at the moment.

    I do understand that you don’t like the way he has changed. That’s your right of course and perfectly fine. Other people, including myself, would find it a bit problematic if all those events he has been through wouldn’t have affected him and changed his perspective on some things.

    Oh and I partly agree on this: this just looks like a big fantasy about the redemptive power of love, which is odd to watch on HOUSE. I do think that the final judgement on that one is still due, though. Just look at House’s scepticism, he still doesn’t trust this love in the slightest and the “babysitting” which wasn’t actually babysitting just illustrated that for me.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Derdriui: i do apologize for the use of very harsh and impolite words regarding the House-Wilson as a romantic couple “shipping”. My only excuse, for whatever it’s worth, is that my initial comment, in which i used those words, was not part of a debate on that issue or directed at anyone here, but simply me ventilating about the amount of hate with which some people throw dirt at the show on other websites. There are horrible things posted online, by posters who don’t explain their position in any way or give any arguments, but simply throw insults at the show and other fans.
    I was out of line with that phrase and i apologize again.

    Other than that, please excuse me, but i am not restarting that debate again.

    On the “redemptive power of love”: i believe that some modicum of healing of past traumas and current psychological issues is possible, when a person gives and receives love and mostly, when he feels accepted as he is. I don’t believe that House can be turned into a whole different person because of it, but theoretically, i believe that SOME improvement is possible, in regard to SOME of his issues.
    However, i fully agree with HouseMDFan that “final judgement on that is still due”. I just made a theoretical speculation on it.

  • ruthinor

    Derdriui: What comes through to me from all your comments is that you just hate Cuddy. That’s fine. Personally I couldn’t stand Cameron. I thought she was a drip, and I found her “romantic” scenes with House to be embarrassing. I’m sure that there are people who either like them both or hate them both. So what? Why not just admit that prejudice and move on? We all have them.

    With respect to how he treated Cuddy: you are correct, he frequently treated her like crap. He also treated Wilson like crap, and pretty much every else around him. In fact, one could argue that the more he cares about someone, the worse he treats him/her. He’s afraid of relationships and this is one sure way to make sure they happen infrequently. IMO there was chemistry between House and Cuddy, pretty much from day one. He had chemistry with Stacy and Lydia as well, and continues to have it with Wilson. Personally I could never see it with Cameron, but I’m sure that others did. It just a matter of taste.

  • Andrea

    Personally, I saw zero chemistry between Laurie’s House and Sela Ward’s Stacy, despite the fact that she was supposed to be the love of his life. I always figured that was why they ended Stacy’s storyline and never brought her back. The chemistry was there between House and Cuddy from the first episode, which I suppose is why they decided they had to explore a relationship. The character has had plenty of chemistry with other female guest stars — the scientist in Antarctica, a little less with the doctor he met at the CIA. At one point I favored a House and Cameron pairing and then I was charmed by Cameron and Chase. Foreman and Thirteen has always gone over for me like a lead balloon. I find them two charmless characters with zero chemistry. But it IS all in the eye of the beholder and viewers will always like different things.

    House treats everyone like crap, especially those he loves. It’s what he does. Cuddy and Wilson have also occasionally treated House like crap and don’t get called on it, probably because it’s House and he’s such an ass that he and everyone else figures he sort of deserves it. But they both love him and he loves them and they all understand the dynamic.

  • Derdriui

    HouseMDFan: I never called them dumb for not seeing it my way. I did call wanting House to change into a man in love with a baby and a wife in the suburbs hormonal, but I’m sticking with that.

    Re: Stacy. Okay, with the flowers and telling House he was jealous, those were two very public declarations. House wouldn’t have done that with Stacy, not in such… sweet ways.

    Secondly, he certainly knew Stacy better, but he also had more chemistry with her. It was more like he wanted her than what you said, which is that Cuddy is his last chance. I guess I’m just reacting in a, “whatever happened to the heroes?” way, in that this just looks like… settling down. It really breaks down the fantasy they’ve been creating on this show.

    Delia: Thanks for the reply. I suppose my issue with this is that I don’t think he has to change. I think he’s an interesting character, even with all his flaws. They made so much fun of Cameron because she wanted to save him. Hugh Laurie himself has commented that that’s why some people like House so much, because they think they can save him.

    … Actually, if House is being drawn to Cuddy and she’s saving him from loneliness, helping him grow as a person and essentially guiding him into mainstream life, it really sounds more like he has mommy issues.

    But love does have redemptive powers and if the writers have also decided to save him then… it’s their show, they can do what they like.

    ruthinor: Hating Cuddy is a bit strong; I didn’t used to hate her, when it was more plausible that she was going through all this trouble to keep House for intellectual reasons, because she knew that he’s good for her hospital, as well as to remedy what happened to his leg. It showed a strength of character. But ever since she started using tripwires, invading his office, and getting involved with him (… turning off her phone while her daughter was not with her, not to mention her very important job), I just feel like she’s become even more of a sex object than they’ve dressed her up to be.

    Also, as for the way he treated Cuddy, you say that that’s his protective mechanism. But you haven’t commented on her willingness to put up with it. I’m sorry but they need to give this character a little more self-respect.

    Overall, thanks for accepting my point of view kindly. I’m glad you guys are enjoying the show!

  • ruthinor

    Derdriui: I’m not sure I understand. You’re upset because Cuddy “puts up with House’s antics”, yet you’re also upset when she tries to pay him back (tripwire..done once out of anger). Why aren’t you equally angry with Wilson? He puts up with even more crap from House. Personally, I liked the way Cuddy just let his crudeness roll off her back w/o reacting to much of it. I preferred it to the tripwire. I don’t think Cuddy’s personal relationship with House and wanting him on staff because he’s good for the hospital are mutually exclusive. Nor do I see House changing much in the long haul. Remember, this is just the beginning of this new relationship. House will remain House. Therapy didn’t seem to change him much after all was said and done. And I believe Cuddy when she said she didn’t want to change him. BTW, isn’t House’s apartment already in the suburbs?? Anyway, the more views the merrier!

  • Derdriui

    ruthinor: She used a tripwire. That’s not “not putting up with his antics”, that’s going lower than even House. The administrator of a university hospital. That’s just nonsense.

    Also, I think therapy has changed him. Now he has a process of what to do when he feels bad. His analysis of his relationship sounded like something out of Sex and the City.

    The personal relationship is very different from the professional relationship. Personally, she must feel like they love and respect each other. She has now announced their relationship (or rather, known that he would and put up with it), he’s in her child’s life and she expects him to be reasonable and reliable.

    The idea that Cuddy doesn’t want to change him makes no sense. Yes, she said it. But it simply makes no sense. She has been trying to get him in line since the beginning. This made sense when she was just his boss. Now that they’re in a relationship and he’s the most incredible person that she knows, she would not in the least put up with his crap. She does expect him to change, to be a reliable boyfriend and a responsible adult in Rachel’s life. She does expect him to know what she wants and expects to be happy with what he comes up with.

    House has changed a lot. He wants to be the person she wants him to be. And perhaps this has to happen to everybody eventually, the loneliness and weariness of life causing them to compromise and settle down. After all, that’s what Wilson does.

    But the difference between Wilson and House was that Wilson always gave in and House didn’t. Even when it was harder to be independent.

    Yes, House might not change much in the long haul, but this is just very out of character. He and Cuddy always had two things going: one is their professional relationship and the second is their odd sexual dynamic, when neither of them would allow the other to be vulnerable. They didn’t have intense and interesting conversations. They kept each other going but it was weird and interesting. Now they’re just… middle-aged and boring, desperately trying to be in love and make their last chance romance work so at least one of them doesn’t have to die alone.

    House’s apartment was in the ‘burbs but his soul wasn’t! But I suppose the ordinariness of Wilson, that side of his character that House always hated, turned out to be basis of the lives they both chose.

    Which sounds like a very ordinary tale of what happens to everybody eventually – very few of us end up not settling – but it’s a TV show and House used to be a bit of a hero figure.

    As for Wilson putting up with his crap, Wilson’s his friend, not his boss. And Wilson’s always been a bit of weirdo. He chsoe to work in a very difficult field and has had at least three visions of domestic romance crash and burn around him. He wants to be boring and normal but he’s not, and House feeds that side of him.

    Cuddy wants a stable life with her kid. She is an administrator. She has never been a fun or kooky character (except for the wardrobe, but that’s more for sexual harassment fodder than anything else). Cuddy putting up with House on a personal level and not expecting him to change doesn’t make sense, unless under all her achivement she really has no self-respect.

  • ruthinor

    Derdriui: I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree! I agree that Cuddy wants a stable life with her daughter, but I also think she wants a bit of excitement. Otherwise, why not stick with Lucas? Maybe she wasn’t in love with him, but she liked him. Marriages have been built on less.

    Re the tripwire, I didn’t like it either, but I understand why she did it and why Wilson sawed his cane one time. Sometimes you just want to hurt someone, especially when they’ve done a number on you. What House did to Wilson and Cuddy over time was 10X worse. He inflicted emotional pain.

    I never saw Stacy as a fun and kooky character. If anything, she’s more conventional than Cuddy. Yet House chose her and their lives together were apparently fairly ordinary. Cuddy knows that she can’t change the essential House, and I don’t think that’s what she’s tried to do over the years. I just think she wants to rein him in when his diagnoses and treatments could lead to serious damage. I also thinks that he counts on her to do this. He may rebel against it, but she’s saved his ass a number of times and he knows it!

    I understand that you don’t want House to be “ordinary”. But it seems to me that if he continued on the path he was on, maybe he would continue to be a “hero”, but most likely a dead one!

  • MamaShante

    We are through episode 5 and still no motorcycle jacket! I wonder if he got rid of it.

    I miss House! Is it Nov. 8th yet?

  • Derdriui

    Ruthinor, agreeing to disagree makes sense! Thanks for a lovely exchange of views :) And honestly, I’m glad you’re enjoying the show!

    Perhaps we are looking at this from different angles: rather than a real person, for whom I’d want love and affection and babies and all that, House represented an idea for me. An idea of isolated brilliance etc., a bizarre and self-destructive stance and the stupidity of the world, showing the way he destroyed himself the world he hated. It’s odd, I know, but I kind of thought that was interesting and different and good TV.

    Also, with Stacy, I just thought they had chemistry, but some people definitely think he has chemistry with Cuddy and that’s far too much of a subjective point.

    But, approaching this from a “if House were real” POV, the turn the show took probably is for the best! Sure, the leg pain reduced to ibuprofen levels is a bit odd but it’s good.

  • ruthinor

    Derdriui: I think I understand where you are coming from. I also believe that House and Stacy had chemistry. I could see them as a couple. But what I don’t see is them as a couple ( House as a “real person”?) along with all the self-destruction, hating the world etc. The two things don’t mesh. Unless you believe he was an entirely different person after his leg problems. And there is nothing that indicates to me that such a thing is true. Perhaps you see it differently. I see a brilliant guy who DOES have a self-destructive streak, but who is also capable of having relationships (Stacy, Wilson, Cuddy), so he is not completely isolated from a world he sometimes detests.

  • Derdriui

    ruthinor: Not isolated! He can’t love puzzles about the world while being isolated. I guess I just don’t understand why they’ve chosen to settle him in such a domestic way, that’s all! Huddy’s rather dull for me, she’s an authority figure to rebel against but now he’s all mushy about that, and they’ve never had interesting conversations about anything other than work, them together…

    And sure, they’ll argue like all couples, but they’re nothing intellectually stimulating about their arguments. It’s just nonsense about falling in love and how hard that is or whatever, and there are far better writers who’ve dealt with that a million times over already.

    Cuddy loses her edge when she’s all lovey, and so does House. But if that’s the way they’ve decided to deal with it, why not :) They’ve provided fodder for a lot of really interesting and complex fanfiction, I don’t mind too much if the show’s jumped the shark anymore.

  • ruthinor

    Derdriui: Judging from the promo I saw from next week’s show, I’d say they’ve both got some edge back! I like that too! I prefer the edgy, sexy banter.