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TV Review: House, M.D. – “Unwritten”

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“Unwritten,” the third episode in House’s seventh season features Amy Irving as the author of a popular young adult book series. Finishing her last book about “Jack Cannon, Boy Detective” Alice puts a gun her own head, intending to commit suicide; a seizure throws off her aim and lands her at Princeton-Plainsboro.

Although her book series seems to appeal mainly to adolescent girls, House (Hugh Laurie) is a huge fan of the books and their central character Jack. Chronically curious House must know Jack’s fate in Alice’s new book. But if she manages to commit suicide, the book
series will end, so curing her—and persuading her not to kill herself in the meantime becomes an act of pure self-interest—or so he says. He starts by issuing a 72-hour psych hold on the suicidal Alice, which gives the team some time to diagnose the extremely uncooperative patient, who is determined to get out of the hospital so she can commit suicide.

But why is she suicidal? Is life so painful (physically and emotionally) for her, she’s ultimately decided that life is simply no longer worth living? And is that connected to some underlying illness that, if cured, will give her a less dire view of life?

In the meantime, Alice resents being kept under psych hold, dismissing the team. She “hates doctors” and assumes all they want is to get her to “open up about her pain” so it will all go away. And she wants nothing to do with either their platitudes or tests.

Much of what she says might just have easily come out of House’s mouth in any season (but this one, perhaps). House is equally stubborn in trying to manipulate her, into more tests. And although Alice probably doesn’t know it, House probably understands (and empathizes with) Alice more than he realizes. 

“I know pain,” he says, explaining why he understands her position. “One day you wake up and you can’t handle it. And you either find a way to go on–or you don’t.” I can only imagine House having this very conversation with himself on so many mornings during the years we’ve known him. 

When she reveals to House that she has kills off her hero before his life’s journey is resolved, House is at first stunned that she would do that–cheat her readers. But he realizes that the book may give them answers more honestly than Alice, who has no interest in cooperating. 

Having stolen the unpublished manuscript (rather inventively, I admit) via Alice’s used typewriter ribbon to satisfy his curiosity about Alice’s forthcoming book, House now looks to the book for clues that might explain Alice’s physical–and emotional–condition. Is Jack’s mentor Helen an avatar for Alice? Do symptoms suffered by Helen suggest what’s bothering Alice (if she “writes what she knows”). 

In many ways this is a classic House case: a patient whose secrets and lies obscure the proper diagnosis, but also a patient whose own story deeply resonates with House on some level. We have House being House, stealing a copy of her latest book on her typewriter ribbon and going to extremes to uncover the words. Obsessive as ever. 

“Unwritten” pits the uber-perceptive House against his equally perceptive patient. House must understand his patient through her unwritten, unspoken language. What is she hiding? What is she not saying—and what is she saying through her characters—about her own life. Does it relate to her illness? Can it give House a clue big enough to save her life before she ends it on her own?

There have been many, many episodes in which House and his patient connect on some level: perhaps the patient is a social outcast (“Lines in the Sand”), perhaps the patient is in such pain (physical or emotional) he (or she) wishes to end it all (“Painless”), perhaps they are both geniuses out on a lonely plane that few understand (“Ignorance is Bliss”). Some might argue that it happens too often—so often that it loses impact after a while. I liked this particular Housian parallel. I think making House a fan of kids’ book series, as incongruous as it sounds, is completely in character for House.

What attracts House to Alice’s books? Why is he horrified knowing that Alice has killed her protagonist, and more so, when Alice admits that she didn’t kill him off, but instead left his story unresolved: a cliffhanger without an end, with no resolution. Jack’s story will remain unwritten. Of course this upsets House, who likes no loose end left untied. But does Jack resonate with House on a deeper level? If Jack’s story remains unresolved does House feel it on a more visceral level? 

Does House identify with Jack, the curious detective who seek has yet to discover his real father? Who bears a disfiguring physical scar? Or does House more closely identify with Jack’s mentor Helen–or perhaps with the author herself?

Like House, Alice has her “one thing”—her writing. (By the way, I love how she types on an old-style typewriter, which is analogous to House’s collection of antique medical instruments and his occasional use of low-tech and antiquarian ideas in medicine.) Both are off-putting and brusque to the point of rudeness, but like the other things about them, they tell an unwritten side of the story: a story that you have to work for by reading sometimes obscure clues.

Alice has House’s perceptiveness, as you might expect in a mystery writer—even a kids’ mystery writer, but her hyper-awareness allows her to read House’s fellows–even as House reads her. Refreshingly, Alice doesn’t psychoanalyze House. She never identifies with him as have other patients with whom House connects. Is that an effect of House on his way to recovery? Is he no longer the wounded spirit to whom those in pain have reached out? 

And how does the episode’s main story intersect with House and Cuddy’s story line? While they continue to pursue a relationship, House worries that things are going to well. Happiness probably both confuses him and sets off alarm bells. 

Concerned that they have nothing really in common (besides great sex), House fears that after their honeymoon period, Cuddy will come to her senses about him and leave. “Everybody leaves” and “everything changes” are two of House’s most deeply held beliefs. Of course House’s fears are completely normal—and understandable—but with House it becomes a point of anxiety, and something to obsess over. 

House cannot know the outcome of his relationship with Cuddy. There are no sure things, as the rest of the story is yet to be written. House worries: what if they have nothing in common—not the same music, taste in art, film or board games? 

But relationships are not about what mundane things we have in common with our partners—although they may help any relationship. Ironically, House finds that he has more “in common” with Wilson’s significant other Sam Carr (Cynthia Watros). They are both Jack Cannon fans; they both like go-karting. 

So what? Things in common lead to camaraderie and friendship. Butt here is something intangible—unwritten, as it were, that makes a relationship click, and it has nothing to do with “things in common.” Cuddy recognizes this unwritten thing between them and is happy to go with it, explaining that it makes their relationship far from “common.” Their relationship is unique. House needed to hear that.

There is much to love about “Unwritten.” Amy Irving is great as the depressed, miserable Alice—a mirror image of House. She has more scenes than most patient’s–many of the with House, which helps give the episode a slightly different feel. We are also inside House and Cuddy’s relationship as they try to navigate their work/non-work interactions. House is still very much House, from pilfering flowers for Cuddy from a comatose patient to conniving her into breaking into the patient’s home. In the end, a chance occurrence during their go-karting outing gives House the final clue to the puzzle of Alice’s illness. 

Cuddy tells House that he makes her “better”–a better doctor, a better thinker, a better person? Maybe all three. And maybe part of that is that he makes her a more spontaneous person, more willing to take risk or step outside her comfort zone. She helps him more directly in “Unwritten” than in any other episode I can recall (and without him requesting it). 

Maybe she makes him better as well: her influence is clear (if perhaps a little obvious) when House begins to revert to type at the end of the episode, threatening to reveal a truth to Alice that will only bring her pain and turmoil. 

The House-Cuddy relationship stuff was not intrusive; it was well handled and I feel confident that the show’s writers will be able to integrate the relationship into the show, eventually easing it further and further back into the weave as new subtle bit of shading. This can work, and work well. 

After all the ratings discussion going on (and the huge number of comments on my article) last week, House gained three percent over last week’s numbers, which is great news. And I will be interviewing TV By the Numbers ratings guru Robert Seidman next week to demystify the entire process and what the numbers mean for television series in this age of video on demand, streaming, DVR-ing and other forms of time-shifting. 

Thank you all for your kind comments, emails, tweets and Facebook notes about Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. I’m thrilled so many of you have enjoyed it (and let me, and others, know about it). Don’t forget: House returns next week with “Massage Therapy,” Monday 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

So, stay tuned! 

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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.
  • Maria

    Thank you for a great analysis. Enjoyed reading it very much!!!

  • andreec

    Barbara, well done. I lobed your analysis and the Huddy relationship as well as House’s evolution into a happier being. Could it be this guy can be happy and be entertaining yet be so uncertain and fearful his world will crash. Love the angst and tension that all create! BTW, would you PUL-LEASE do an interview with Lisa Edelstein this season and ask her about how she’d LIKE the season to go? Just thought it might be interesting for all involved.

  • klizma

    Thank you. Spot on, as always.

    Please correct the typo on page 3, paragraph 3, should likely read as “things are going too well”.

  • tigerfeet

    Thank you, Barbara!

    Season 7 has so far been a great pleasure to watch. I love that House and Cuddy are finally together, and it’s been handled beautifully, in my opinion. House’s interaction with the team and patients is fantastic and how it’s always been. May it last “forever”.

    I loved this episode, and Amy Irving was great. If we ever needed a reminder that House is in many ways a big child, this was it. The go-carting… Well, Cuddy’s mom doesn’t seem to know her daughters current interests very well. I don’t know how much significance this has, just an observation.

    Also wanted to tell you that I am reading Chasing Zebras, and it’s fantastic!

  • Bee

    Once again insightful and fun analysis Barbara! I look forward to these every Tuesday after the episode ;)

    Also, glad to hear House picked up 3% over last week! That’s huge, and the critics and scared fans hopefully take notice and relax a bit. I also read somewhere that House made some rather great gains against DWTS and snatched a good portion of that very key 18-49 demographic. Can’t wait for your article w/ the ratings guy!

    The episode made me so proud of this show, the writers, actors, and producers! After a week of being bashed and everyone accusing them of not being able to pull off Huddy and a strong POTW…I think some people were silenced Monday. I agree with your analysis, I have the up most confidence now that the writers can successfully weave Huddy in w/o disturbing the fabric of the show. Exactly what I kept telling myself and some other fans…”wait til they get the Huddy introduction stuff out of the way!” It was two episodes that seemed a little awkward and after the 3rd episode…we are officially back to normal. I’m one of those indifferent fans that doesn’t hate Huddy, yet found myself a little worried after the first two epi’s that this wasn’t being written right.

    Umm, forget all that now. I actually saw romantic chemistry b/w them and I found myself acknowledging them as being a very cute couple. I even had the feeling after Cuddy’s speech of rooting for them and dreading the thought of House breaking her heart! For the first time, I could see the show’s new direction and it works for me! House trying to be happy and in a committed relationship, yet still being all House like w/ the “Houseisms!” This is how it needs to be for the rest of the season. Huddy should be in context and not a filler. I don’t mind sexing, hugging, and kissing if it’s in context!

    But I’m officially back every Monday again! Set the DVR to series record as I watch it live. Hopefully after Bristol Palin gets eliminated from DWTS, more viewers will come back!

  • Zay

    This episode made me laugh so hard sometimes: House writing “Everybody Lies” on the back of Taub’s jacket, House asking Chase to hold the garbage can so he could throw away the team’s food. And then it made me melt: Cuddy’s genuine smile when she said she’d never been happier, House “avenging his lady” during the go-karting, Wilson (in his usual scene-stealing way) complaining that he’s never been on a go-kart before.

    Like you said, there is a lot to love, and this felt like a classic, comfortable yet still fresh episode of House. Reminds me why I’m still so madly in love with this show. Patient story was strong – House was definitely involved – and I’m going to rewatch this one with pleasure.

    & as always, thank you for your insightful review (either you take the words out of my mouth or translate the ones that stay stuck in my head – it’s quite impressive) because House is never complete without you, Barbara.

  • simona

    Barbara I was waiting anxiously for your review and I appreciated it very much as always. You helped me to investigate some “skin feelings” that I had after the first run. My very first impressions: I watched Unwritten with an attitude that I could define bulimic, I swallowed it voraciously (probably my withdrawal symptoms are worse if I can not live without a new House for a week!) and I loved the entirely ep so much. I loved every single interaction between House and the rest of the world. In just 40 minutes we were able to appreciate the deep connections between the writers and the performers. These close relationships, this deep understanding are probably helping to build the great success of an episode.
    Back to the meaning of “unwritten”. For each of us what is really unwritten about our life? The future, our life’s direction (that depends on us, on our attitude, our commitment to stay healthy but also by the case), the death, the end. Our destiny is also entrusted to the randomness and this means that we can not have everything under control. This is a huge challenge for House, the loss of control. And this is why he anxiously tries to prevent the devastating suffering that would cause the end of the relationship with Cuddy: he is psychologically and emotionally “anticipating” the fear of separation deceiving himself to being able to control the pain and not to be annihilated and destroyed by it. All in all a vital impulse, even if currently defensive. In this episode then we realized that House wants to survive with all his might (good for him and good for us that love him!).
    I will not go into depth and examples to support this hypothesis because I think they are there for all (just an example is his inability to resign himself to “the end” decided by POTW for her book character, and perhaps it reflects also our inability to do the same about the [H]ouse’s end….just saying). I would rather dwell on the various stages of the relationship with Cuddy that will probably be mirrored and matched by interior and psychological House’s growth.
    Initially when I felt my attitude “bulimic and voracious” I had not realized how much these definitions fit with the current perception that I have about their relationship: I feel that their relationship is currently setting in the Freudian oral fase (sorry because I’m again trivializing but it helps me to not go on too long), a symbiotic and nutrient relationship (probably this is why I get rather unexplained the absence of deep kisses between them). House needs this, both need this, as probably each of us at the beginning of a relationship because if we are in great love and passion there is nothing more satisfying than getting lost. But this phase is just the beginning of the trail, it can not be a fixation. The goal to achieve is the ability to establish a symbiotic love (sexual) relationship that fully satisfy ourselves and the ability to distance ourselves when needed. A complete person must evolve, must learn to strike the right balance between work and love, between public and private, between the inner child in need of reassurance and care, and the adult who can walk individually on his/her own feet. Could this be another content of the House’s journey during this season?
    Now I’m afraid I have lost the thread but never mind. Enough.
    I just want to add that I really liked Cuddy’s speech on common / uncommon (the indicator of well-being: “I’m never been happier”).
    So there isn’t an ideal relationship model, but any loving relationship needs to be special to keep us hooked, in a unique way for each of us.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Dear Barbara,
    Thank you for this review. You went into the analysis of some very interesting points.
    As usual, i need to apologize for the long post, but i watched the episode three times already and the flow of thoughts and impressions is unstoppable:(

    My two pennies on your question regarding why Alice/Helen refrained from analyzing House: perhaps she did feel that they are connected by the experience of pain, which is precisely why she didn’t analyze him “to death” like she did with his team members, whom she simply wanted to embarrass and ultimately push away. I think that she also sensed that House is ahead of her on the road to some sort of recovery, this maybe making for a barrier between them.

    On the question you raise about House’s interest in the book not being left “unwritten”: I think it is consistent with his character, House being the man who looks for answers and who believes that there is an answer to any question or mystery, finding it so hard to accept that some questions will never be answered.

    Also, he clearly identifies with Jack Cannon: their mission as detectives, the paternity issue, the scar and Jack’s description as “cool, awkward, brilliant, he makes mistakes, funny, sometimes he takes it too far” are clear indications of what a perfect alter-ego Jack is for House. As a plus in comparison to House himself, Jack had something House has always needed and never had: a mother who cared for him so much, that she dedicated painful years of her life to keeping him alive by her writing. Obviously, House is so personally involved with this character and identifies with him on so many levels, that he clearly takes a very keen interest in the final resolution to his fate and finds it very hard to accept that that can either be a tragic fate or simply an unwritten, open for interpretation one.

    However, the ending made it clear that he is now more prepared to take the chance of walking on unwritten paths, as his trust in Cuddy’s love is growing stronger. After all, being able to face the unknown is something that derives directly from self-confidence and faith that the future might hold something good after all. We are witnessing House’s sense of self-worth being slowly restored to a more healthier level.

    I definitely interpreted the literary reference as a self-reference to the show: as a sequel to last week’s parallel between how the team members view the Huddy pairing and how the fandom is split about it, this week, they seemed to focus on the public expectations in regard to the end of a series: how it will end, what fate the main character will have, how the adoring fans will react to the final chapter, even the battle of the shipping fandoms. I think that the final resolution to House’s journey is something that TPTB are already pretty focused on, and I have to say, for me, to quote House, “the way you wrote him always made him feel real to me”, so both a cliffhanger and a miserable fate would be unacceptable and would give me great pain.

    I found the House-Cuddy part of the episode to be perfectly dealt with. They are obviously moving forward on the right track, they are comfortable and more open than ever.
    House is in full accordance to his inner self, his fear of being happy mixed with his fear of losing her are completely consistent with his personality. Also, in regard to his medical performance this week, he was clearly much more himself than last week – thus proving that Cuddy’s reassurance and love are giving him courage and strength to be himself inside the cocoon of her unconditional love.

    I loved their team work for this case, it was natural, effective and it showed them very much in synch.

    Cuddy was, yet again, impressive. She is more at ease than he is – which also makes sense, she has been holding all the cards, deciding to be with him was entirely her choice… And she is happy, flirty, natural and very sweet. The look on her face when Alice/Helen noticed her perfume was very, very sexy. She looked so sensual and in love, bathed in the perfume he gave her, she clearly transmitted a message of deep intimacy that this fragrance envelops her in – like wearing him on her skin all the time…

    Her words to him, about them being uncommon and her being happier than ever were spot on perfect. Exactly what he needed to hear. It’s so lovely (magical, in fact) that she seems to know just what he needs and she is able to give it to him so easily, so naturally and so honestly.

    On a down note: I did not like the go-kart scene. I found every line to be unexpectedly corny, and the acting (mainly of Hugh and Lisa) clearly showed that they were put off by all that unusual cheesiness and platitude – it felt phony, which is incredibly rare in a Huddy scene.

    In fact, I was a bit disappointed with many of the lines in this episode. The writing seemed to be less witty, less brilliant and less dynamic than we are used to. John C. Kelley also wrote “Knight’s Fall” last season, and I remember that the drumstick scene with Thirteen at the medieval site was just as corny and predictable as the go-karts scene, but it had the quality of lasting less…

    In regard to the writing, I was also disappointed by the repetition of the “as your girlfriend/as your boss” and “as your boyfriend/as your employee” dichotomy. These were obvious lines, they weren’t original, funny or genuine enough to deserve the multiple repetition. Too common for the writing masterpiece that “House” is and too common for the magical uncommon relationship of House and Cuddy, IMO.

    The whole episode seemed a bit off to me – perhaps you are right, Barbara, and it was due to the many, many interactions between House and Alice/Helen. However, it didn’t really feel like a Greg Yaitaines episode and it did give me a slightly awkward sensation.

    On a sunnier note: Cuddy’s wardrobe this episode was sexier than ever. It reminded me of something that Piers Morgan said about Lisa being “the thinking man’s guilty TV pleasure”. I guess TPTB are really going with that approach:)

    I am looking forward to the new member on the team addition, i think it will change the dynamics for the better.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Simona: i agree with them being in the “symbiotic and nutrient” phase of their relationship. Which only makes sense, because in the beginning of such a deep and passionate union, the lovers are lost in each other, boundaries blurred, individualities melted in a great process of alchemy.
    As you very well pointed out, this can only be a phase. They will outgrow it towards the “adult relationship” Wilson was mentioning. The buds of that are already visible, House being much more himself in “Unwritten” than he was in “Selfish”.

    This alchemic process is supposed to make them dissolve in each other at first, and then, under the powerful influence of the love, acceptance and security they feel, to have the confidence to separate yet again, finding the freedom to be the best version of themselves inside the union that makes them transcend their limited
    individualities.

    This is a life long process for many couples and it will probably make for a fascinating journey for House and Cuddy, that we are very lucky to witness.

  • Susan

    I also didn’t like the “your boss/your girlfriend” etc. comments. There were too many of them and it was annoying. But it was a good House/Cuddy scene at the end where she tries to reassure him about their relationship. Little by little she chips away at his insecurities about their love. I wish I could stop worrying. Every naysayer on the internet bothers me and makes me want the producers to placate them and their concerns – but NOT at the expense of House/Cuddy.

    In terms of new viewers – my husband is now a “House” fan. He missed Monday’s episode but came home Tuesday and demanded to watch “his Cuddy” on DVR.

    After reading your (Barbara’s) review I get into the underlying meanings of the show – how the POTW mirrors House, and why House is so concerned with the end of Jack Cannon’s story, plus how Jack not knowing who his father is and the scar , etc. are like House. I usually don’t look into things that deeply when I watch – so thank you for your excellent insights.

    I enjoyed the go-kart scene where Cuddy gets energized and yells “Never Again” when House says Sam went after Wilson because she doesn’t like Jews.

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    Thanks everyone for your great comments. I have to confess to coming home at 10 p.m. last night, re-watching and writing this commentary drop-dead exhausted. I really enjoyed the ep and can’t wait to watch it without taking notes later today.

    I did love the “Never Again,” and even my husband smiled at that (of course Wilson and Cuddy are Jewish)

  • Andrea

    I thought House’s interest in Alice Tanner’s series probably had a lot to do with him identifying with the main character. Jack is “cool but awkward,” and “funny, but goes too far sometimes,” doesn’t know who his father is, has a scar and to make things interesting, has a presumed dead true love. Behold Gregory House as a teenager. It sounds like “Aunt Helen” probably has some qualities that remind House of his adult self. The series has characters he relates to and love triangles and adventures that would appeal to the soap opera fan in him. Online arguments would help him turn off his brain like soaps and monster trucks do. House wants to know the ending of his story with Cuddy so he can prepare himself for what he fears will be the inevitable pain. Books have the advantage of giving him the ending. He can’t know that in real life so he’s outraged by a cliffhanger.

    I continue to love Cuddy and House. House’s fear is so real and realistically drawn. This is how a genius with House’s various issues and an overly active brain would react. He’d mull over all the possibilities and be afraid of relaxing into happiness because experience tells him it’ll never last. I’d like to see Cuddy’s thought process too and think she needs a sounding board. Hopefully her mother or her sister will be brought on to fill that purpose.

    House is wrong about the lack of similarities between himself and Cuddy, as far as I’m concerned. What I don’t think he’s taking into account is their similar communication styles: their snarkiness, their love of a good debate as foreplay, the way they are energized by each other. I remember one episode from an earlier season where Cuddy’s date leaves her after he sees how different she is with House and said he wanted to be dating THAT woman, not the more careful, professional image she’d presented him with. House makes Cuddy more animated, more alive. She does and says things with him that she wouldn’t do otherwise. Cuddy IS making House a somewhat better person, since she provides him with an opposing viewpoint that makes him actually consider emotion and ethics in situations he might not otherwise and to sometimes pull his punches. At a superficial level House has more in common with Sam and Cuddy with Wilson but those pairings wouldn’t work. Cuddy and Wilson are so much alike they’d bore each other and House and Sam would inspire each other to new acts of recklessness and eventually burn out spectacularly. What we see in House and Cuddy is yin and yang, the balance and attraction of opposites. Wilson is probably friends with House for similar reasons.

    I’m not sure how they will mesh that essential truth with the more mundane demands of their ordinary lives. Cuddy has a 3-year-old daughter and she obviously can’t make a regular habit of going on double go-karting dates without prior notice. The nanny might have had plans and I imagine Cuddy had to do some scrambling to be free to go along on the date that House didn’t tell her about. I’m glad they will be introducing Rachel and Cuddy’s mom into the equation soon. If House is going to be there for the long term, he’s going to be Rachel’s daddy or daddy-figure and he’ll need to deal with her. I think he’ll be better at it than he expects, actually, and that’ll be the point when he and Cuddy will probably feel even more secure about the future of the relationship.

  • Jane

    I don’t understand why some people didn’t like the first two episodes. I felt that they were perfectly done to address the new relationship that House and Cuddy were committing themselves to. The many bedroom scenes were not vulgar or cheap tv stuff but important dramatically because the story was about House trying to drag out their moment together for as long as possible, lest it ends too soon the moment Cuddy steps out of his apartment. The passionate but gentle and graceful caresses between them expressed the intensity of their feelings towards each other while their harmony represented how they were meant for each other. I really loved how the openning episode. It was a truly satisfying and, in my opinion, the most beautiful episode in the series.

    I was not so impressed by “Unwritten” though. A number of things in this episode annoyed me. House, a fan of teenage girls’ novels?? Totally out-of-character, in my humble opinion. If the PTOW was an author of some ADULT mystery or Jack Connon was Sherlock Holmes, I might have been more convinced. Everything that House likes should add some insights into his personality. Just because Jack Connon has a scar or is a detective does not convince me that House might be personally involved with a fictional character. In “Frozen”, it was pointed out that House didn’t have a single fiction book, which represented his disregard for fantasy. That House was living vicariously through Jack Connon who enjoyed motherly love or his ending was a really strange concept of House.

    @ Delia_Beatrice: I liked the “as your boyfriend(girlfriend)/as your employee(employer)” conversation between House and Cuddy. Although it was an obvious trick and rather corny, I thought it was a good writing device as a forerunner for potential conflict of interest. And, House is capable of being honest and corny when he’s in love. Has happened before, many times.

    I feel that the show is running out and reusing themes for POTW. “Unwritten” felt very similar to season 3’s “Merry Little Christmas” when the teenage mother was hiding the secret of Rachel’s birth. And, usually, when patients are used to mirror House’s story, they tell something about House that is going on now. The patient’s story contributes toward the greater story of House. In this episode, I don’t see how the patient living in pain, punishing herself and being suicidal reflect anything about what is going on with House at this moment.

    From another angle, it might be that the POTW was reflecting who House used to be, so that House was interested in saving her because he wanted her to be better like himself. But I didn’t see any building up to this missionary House. At this moment, House’s and Cuddy’s relationship takes center stage and I would say is the climax of the series thus far. I thought that a POTW story which mirrors their relationship would have been a more powerful parallel story to tell.

  • genagirl

    Well, it wasn’t as boring at the first 2 episodes. Still, I miss House being House.

  • Patricia

    Great review, Great episode, looking forward to next Monday.

  • Janine

    Loved this episode, watched it twice already. Two things I want to mention
    1. the mention of fandoms might have been a slight mocking of the vicious and crazy vocal fans on the internet. I also remember a while back that Taylor Lautner (from Twilight) said he was a fan of House and that KJ joked that they would have to do a twilight themed episode, perhaps this was also a shout out to him
    2. I really hope the whole “leave it on a cliff hanger” was not an indication of how thins show is gonna end. I wan’t a definate ending for House, to know how his story ends.
    Also, I like that they are bringing back the “everybody Lies” more prominately, its been mentioned in all three episodes so far. Can’t wair for next week and I’m super excited for episode 5 which apparantly involves (mild spoiler) House/Rachel interaction.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Andrea (#13): my point exactly on the reason why House loves the Jack Cannon novels – as i already wrote in my comment, i won’t repeat what i said. It didn’t feel out of character AT ALL – thus, i respectfully disagree on Jane’s point of view (#14).
    On House’s presumed disrespect for everything fictional (=non-scientific, non-factual): that line in “Frozen” is contradicted by many things, including House’s deep romantic nature, to begin with, as well as his “weird passion” for soap operas and his vast culture, that obviously points to extensive reading of much more than just medical and scientific texts.

    @Andrea, i fully agree on House and Cuddy having so many essential and deep things in common. The most important one, by far, is their willingness to take whatever risks for what they believe is RIGHT.
    Also, in the past six years, we witnessed them obviously sharing highly similar visions on essential elements like religion, morality, social values – which have made possible Cuddy’s remarkable support for House, through the most delicate and complex situations. Also, they share the same appreciation for truth and bluntness, the same avoidance of duplicity, the same backbone and verticality.

    @Jane (#14): i couldn’t possibly agree more on the first two episodes. I found “What Now” to be the absolutely flawless expression of the essence of Huddy, a delicate tapestry of the emotional depth and complexity of their union, and i found “Selfish” to be precisely in character, in regard to both of them, capturing the special time when interpersonal boundaries were erased under the impact of the awe and amasement they were feeling, dissolving into each other… Both episodes were perfect and beautifully done – in my opinion.

    @Jane: respectfully, a tiny correction: Rachel’s birth was in season 5, episode “Joy To The World”. I found no similarities between “Unwritten” and that episode, which was essentially a Cuddy-centric episode and the medical and moral dilemmas and anguish were very different, in my opinion.

    @Janine: i fully agree on the fandoms as an ironic reference – in a more direct manner than in “Selfish”. And as i said, i share your view on the cliffhanger tease – i definitely hope it was merely a way to tease the fans.

    Anyway, i interpret it as another sign of brilliance and maturity of the writers and TPTB, to include the self-referential themes into the show.

    I can see that we all have various opinions on the go-karts and the “boyfriend/employee etc” scenes and lines. That is the beauty of a place such as this:)

    I agree on one thing: that the “boyfriend/employee” etc lines were designed to mentain a clearly verbalized boundary between their personal and professional lives. A VERY healthy attempt, and quite necessary for their future. I am sure, however, that they will be able to develop less obvious ways to do that.

  • Flo

    Thank you for this insightful review (as always) Barbara.

    After being slightly disappointed by the second episode I really like that one.

    Amy Irving was excellent and I liked her character’s interactions with House and the team.
    House being a fan of books for teenage girls can seem out of character but we all know that House can be immature, and it is clear he identifies with the hero. It was perhaps a little too obvious actually. Too many similarities between Jack and House. We would have understand the link with less.
    Nevertheless, it was really interesting and begged the question of future reference to that theme. In this episode we also had a line mentioning Cuddy’s mother. Is all this a clue that parents and origin are gonna be themes this season? Will House address his own daddy issue?

    Alice was very Housian indeed. It was great to see her being spot on about Taub and Chase. Interestingly, Chase was also housian in his way of declaring he didn’t slept either. House would have done the same.

    It’s official, I really like Sam. I think it is interesting that House finds himself having a lot on common with her after having disliked her so much for a while. They really have everything to get along after all. Sam being as childish as House was pretty cool to watch.
    I liked the go-kart scene because of that. It was typically House allowing people to act as childish as he can be at times. Being a teen again. House was really enjoying himself, so was Sam. It was fun to see them to give their inner child this opportunity to show. It resonated with the POTW who writes for teenagers herself.

    There was a lot of playfulness in this episode. Sam and House but also with Chase. I love the approbation look House gives him when he hands Chase the flower BTW. “He brought a smoking hot date.”
    The “as your boss/employee” and “as your girlfriend/boyfriend” was really playful and a nice continuation of last week episode. House and Cuddy have now reached an understanding and they manage to work better together because of it. I also believe it’s why Cuddy spontaneously helped him so much in this episode as Barbara, well observed it.

    I laughed a lot. There was a lot of good lines. The first date between House and Cuddy at Alice’s house was fun and so housian. The banter and wittiness between those two is really back on full force this season, which here gaves us one of the best funny exchanges of the episode IMO:
    House: “Need your help with Alice, she wants a vigina”
    Cuddy: “Well I’m pretty attached to mine”
    Witty Cuddy is always the best lol.

    Another great exchange:
    Wilson: I can’t be done”
    House: “And people wonder why you never cured cancer”

    The only thing that really bothered me in this episode was the whole “House can’t find things he has in common with Cuddy” thing.
    First of all, I totally agree with @Andrea (#13), House and Cuddy are very similar. They have a lot in common as we saw in the last two seasons. Season 5 even had a lot of episodes that showed how similar they are. They’re both incredibly good at their jobs but terrible in their personal life, they both like challenges and games and can be jerks.
    @Andrea was spot on on her message IMO. Especially with the example of the scene in “Insensitive” (03×14). Cuddy’s date did notice she was another person around House saying: “You should hear yourself when you’re talking to him. Nothing else in the world’s going on. You’re focused, confident, compelling. Don’t… don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d like to go out with that woman.”
    A very observant and perceptive person like House obviously noticed all these facts. Especially that he always was obsessed with Cuddy enough to know when she had her period.
    I understand it was just a way to talk about their unusual relationship and the fear and doubts that it inspires him, but I think it wasn’t a very good one. You’d think that after knowing each other for so long they could find (if they wouldn’t already know) at least ONE thing they both like.

    Still, Cuddy’s speech was good. It rang true, it was honest and it is consistent with what we know of her and what she thinks of them after the first two episodes. She really doesn’t want him to change and being uncommon can be really great. Also I think she was speaking from experience and it speaks volume about her previous relationships including the one with Lucas. She apparently always got bored.
    Again it is very consistent with her character and with what her date said in “Insensitive”.

    So all in all, even if the episode was a bit too obvious in the way it intriduces the themes, it was a very fun, insighful and intersesting episode. I really enjoyed it.

  • blacktop

    This was the third strong episode in a row for what may turn out to be the best season yet. The three episodes fit neatly together and represent a well-constructed and coherent whole as they re-form our understanding of House’s character.

    The season premiere was almost voyeuristic in its intimate look at the opening moments of House and Cuddy’s new relationship. But I think this was a strong way to launch the season as it gave us a benchmark for their future interactions.

    Now, by the third episode we do not need to see them in bed to know that they have a satisfying and varied sex life. It is interesting that in “Unwritten” we never saw House and Cuddy touch at all, except for the constant and emotional eye contact they maintained throughout the episode. House was fearful that the only part of their relationship that worked was their strong sexual attraction, but here we were given ample positive proof that they connect on a deep and abiding level expressed through their intellectual and professional lives as well.

    Our understanding of the House/Cuddy relationship is expanding in scale and dimension with each succeeding episode. We are moving in careful increments from the miniature world of House’s apartment to the wider canvas of the hospital. Perhaps the next step is the world beyond the doors of PPTH.

    As others have pointed out House — the admirer of TV soap operas, video games, and monster trucks — was utterly in character with his adoration of adolescent pasttimes like the boy detective novels and go-karts. Even the breaking and entering date with Cuddy was a playful form of interaction for this irrepressible grown-up kid. Who wouldn’t want to burgle a gorgeous Victorian mansion with an impossibly glamourous woman in tow?

    The go-kart scene was wonderfully composed to showcase the temperaments of each of the four characters: Wilson was geeky, clumsy, and squeamish; Sam was funny, tough and aggressive; Cuddy was out of her comfort zone, but exhuberently competitive when provoked; House was proud of his physically prowess, determined, and devious — the common rules do not apply to him.

    I loved seeing House keen on the trail of several puzzles this week. He wanted to understand what ailment was at the root of his patient’s misery; he was unstoppable in pieceing together the mystery manuscript; and he was relentless in trying to figure out how he and Cuddy fit together.

    I am engaged in the show when House is intensely involved and so I was delighted with “Unwritten.” I hope the season continues in this direction.

    And the upward tick in the ratings is good news indeed. I wonder what the boo-birds and haters will write about now.

  • Val S

    Great review, once again, Barbara. Thanks! Wonderful comments as well. It is great to see all the differing opinions when they are well-presented and respectful.

    All in all, I really enjoyed this episode (as well as S7 so far). Agree with everyone on the superbness of Amy Irving and her interactions with everyone from the Fellows to House and Cuddy. I wasn’t familiar with who she is, but can see why everyone got excited.

    As many comments noted, I too noted the slight self-reference of ending House’s story vs. ending Jack Cannon’s story. I think I would react as House did if his story ends on a cliff hanger or disappointment/misery. But, for now we (luckily) continue the journey.

    One of the best things I find about this episode (and this season) is that despite episodes being on/off the “formula” House has essentially remained the same, what we have learned about him in the past surfaces again:

    we know that House can be a romantic (a cheesy one even). His “perscription to [Stacy’s] heart condition” in S2 showed us how seriously he takes relationships and this hasn’t changed. One of my favorite( and, yes, it was cheesy) moments was Cuddy’s “Peace Penguin”. The exchange was classic House/Cuddy. The exchange going something like this:

    Cuddy: What’s behind your back?
    House: Peace Penguin
    Cuddy: What room did you steal it from?
    House: 2-4-3

    The sentiment was not lost on her, as we see it again later in the episode. House can be a cheesy romantic.

    Treating Alice also reminded me of the House we saw in early S3 particularly in the first episode, “Meaning”. The pain-free House treated the patient in the wheelchair (I forget what he had) simply to try and improve the quality of his life. I felt this is what he was essentially trying to do for Alice.

    I agree that House has certainly shown himself to be a “fan” of popular culture particular via his soap seen as early as the pilot and S4 episode “Living the Dream”. Still completely in character.

    Finally, even though the go-karting scene seemed a bit out-of-place in the episode, it is not unreasonable for House’s character. House’s enjoyment of monster trucks (since S1) to his trip to the carnival with Freedom Master in “Broken”. We’ve seen glimpses of this side of House and here we are seeing more!

    …Flo(#19) I agree. Sam managed to win me over in this episode too. What a twist to have Sam and House have those “common” things in common! Particularly, when he was so set against her. It’s interesting to note that the two women that Wilson has fallen for had been similar or have things “in common” with House. Amber was more parallel to his manipulative, rough side where as Sam has more in common with his playful side.

    Lastly, because I sense this is getting long, I enjoyed Alice’s in-depth, spot-on analysis of Chase and Taub instead of House. Perhaps in her state she could more easily read them. House is not as miserable as usual, whereas Taub is still having issues in his marriage and Chase seems to be on a downward slope: the indignant and indifferent ones…

    So, in the end, I enjoyed this second work of John C. Kelley for Team House just as much as “Knight Fall”.

  • Val S

    FYI…Answered my own question with help from Barbara and my copy of CZ…the patient in S3 opening episode “Meaning” had Addison’s disease. What a great reference tool! :)

  • http://www.svmoms.com svmom

    OMG… I did not realize that was AMY IRVING!

  • ruthinor

    I’ve enjoyed all 3 episodes so far this season. I liked learning more about Sam and how similar she is to House in some regards. I disagree with House’s assessment that compatibility is so important. In fact, I wonder if he actually believes that. How much did he and Stacy have in common? I can’t see her go-karting, watching soaps or liking monster trucks. I can see House and Sam battling it out online over Jack’s future, being different “shippers”, and learning to hate each other! Wilson and Cuddy are reserved while Sam and House are more outgoing. This is precisely why they find their opposites so much more interesting. Amber was so perfect for Wilson that they had to kill her. A happy Wilson just isn’t that riveting. And Amber had almost nothing in common with Wilson.

    With regard to the ending, I can’t see House, even old House, ever telling Alice the truth about her son. Only if he was in extreme pain. That’s when he can be really cruel. I especially can’t see him doing that over what is essentially a fictional character. Old House would have said something sarcastic and maybe called Alice an idiot for ending her series with a cliffhanger. But he would not have destroyed her life. The fact that he went overboard and said something so-unHousian was an embarrassment to him, especially when Cuddy could see him. IMO that’s why he told her to shut up and why she smiled.

    As always, Barbara’s reviews are food for thought!

  • Janine

    Just a question
    towards the end of the episode when the fellows are sitting outside Alice’s room (the same scene where he says that its sad that Thirteen was the only man on his team) and House asks how he could be both wrong and right about the accident and Taub says maybe you weren’t. When House says “I like the way you think, kid” What is he referencing? I feel like this is a famous quote from something but I just can’t place it.

  • RobF

    Good review, and good comments — if you keep it up, all of you might convince me this episode was better than average.

    Count me among those who thought the go kart scene was cheesy. It had potential, but turned out to be too predictable. And I didn’t find Cuddy’s anger about it to be believable.

    The Chase side story had another perfunctory scene. Why is Chase having one-night stands with girls who look like hookers who look like Jessica Biel? (Poor dear Chase, he misses Cameron so much!) If only they didn’t make it so obvious each Chase scene is tacked on to set up some future Chase-centred episode.

    Without Thirteen, the team of “Dopey, Sleazy, and Uptighty” isn’t very interesting. In this episode, they might as well have been three floor lamps in House’s office. I don’t know who the new female doctor will be, but please make it somebody who can carry an interesting side plot or interact in an interesting way with the lead characters.

    The patient of the week was very good, even if the mystery was dreadfully predictable. I agree with Barbara that it was a refreshing change to have a parallel-House patient who didn’t feel the need to bond with House.

    The one part of the episode I found interesting was House’s sudden realisation that changing in a relationship is good. Both he and Cuddy had been struggling to get their work relationship back the way it was before. But when Cuddy mentioned that he was making her better, and she hoped she was making better, House’s expression showed that he knew he wasn’t letting himself become better. So, in the final scene, he gritted his teeth and did something nice. A bit ham-fisted from the writers, but I still thought it was cute.

  • SeraG

    Barbara, you are the best. I loved your review/comments on what I thought was a really great episode.

    I loved “Now What?” and “Selfish.” Long time fans needed to see the beginning of House and Cuddy as a couple. We (and they) have fantasized about how it would work. I loved seeing the caresses and kisses. The bedroom scenes were important, too, as we know that Cuddy “…likes sex.” (“Insensitive”) and that House is a very sexual man, even though his outlet has mainly been prostitutes. (How many is up for debate, IMO.) The love scenes were in no way salacious or crude. I thought they were beautifully done. The physical part of a relationship is very important as it can be an indicator of compatability and building of trust and bonding. Plus, it was just fun to watch the two of them together!
    The relationship development, to me is crucial. We know that he loved Stacy, but that pairing had its flaws as she tells him that she, “Never felt there was room for me. With Mark, I do.” Perhaps that is another reason why House worries about lack of things in common. He knows that he can be obsessive and driven. Would he and Cuddy have enough to hold them together when those moments arrive? It has been 11 years since Stacy left and if nothing else, he is out of practice in considering the needs of another. He has been a loner most of his life and alone a long time.
    I also believe that TPTB are intent on showing new viewers that there are more sides to this man than the cranky misanthrope they have heard about.
    On to a lighter point, I loved the boss/girlfriend exchange. I thought it was a clever and funny way for these two, so used to keeping a lot inside with regards to their feelings for each other, to express those thoughts. Paraphrasing, ‘I admire you, but that was crazy and reckless.’ These two need to talk. The more, the better. Problems have ensued because they didn’t share what they were feeling.
    Amy Irving was terrific. She very realistically portrayed a woman at the end of her emotional rope. She didn’t want to find out why she was sick or get better. We have not had that too often on House and I liked that quality.
    I was a bit worried about the go-carts, but ended up laughing anyway. Personality traits were on display.
    A purely superficial comment; Lisa E. has looked amazing this season. She is always beautiful, but she almost glows. I also like her clothes, sexy, but very sophisticated. That black dress was perfect. (Sorry, guys, it’s a woman thing.)
    I thought Cuddy’s assurances to House that what they had was uncommon was right and true. No one else understands or appreicates the other quite the way they do.
    Call it cheesy, call it easy writing, call it whatever you like, it was an excellent moment when House looks at Cuddy, calls on the “better” part of himself and leaves Alice in her consolation. Then, in a pure House moment, tells Cuddy, “Oh, shut up!” Her smile spoke for all of us. He is House, but perhaps a man on the path to more inner peace, happiness and the realization that he now has more than his “one thing.”
    Long may it last!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S. Wasn’t the Peace Penguin still on Cuddy’ desk at the end of the episode? Sweet.

  • Jessica

    House just isn’t House anymore. I wish the writers could keep their romantic notions to themselves and keep writing these characters as interesting, complicated beings!

    Cuddy keeps telling him how much she loves him, that she won’t dumped him, and she has gone from someone who House repeatedly rejected an emotional relationship with to someone who has the upper hand. How does that make sense?

    And House is more complicated than this. Would he really waltz around with flowers and tell Wilson he’s happy and generally make himself so vulnerable? Remember when he told Taub that Taub was only criticizing him because he’s jealous of his relationship with Cuddy?

    That’s the kind of argument House would have rolled his eyes at if Wilson had tried to use it on him!

    It’s so bizarre.

    House isn’t a classic romantic. It also doesn’t make sense that he’s insecure about a relationship he parades around about. And Cuddy’s not exactly an interesting character… She’s basically Admin Barbie, if they’re trying to make her into an interesting character why not put a bit of effort in and give them some intelligent banter?!

  • PH

    I guess I’m living in an AU, since I can’t believe the notches on everyone’s pistols.

    Blacktop #20: I agree with your, “As others have pointed out, House — the admirer of TV soap operas, video games, and monster trucks — was utterly in character with his adoration of adolescent pasttimes like the boy detective novels and go-karts.”

    What is so OOC, as others have stated, when previous ep’s have detailed how House is a child at heart?!? I loved it.

    The go-karts were a window. It was a funny, light-hearted double date that let us in on the current interplay between the four individuals involved. Between Sam’s driving and her help with the typewriter ribbon, the writers handed us a new twist.

    I appreciate that the writers/crew do the minute details that show us House’s attempt for a lasting relationship… the bouquet of peonies (mmm.. one of my faves, ants included), the choice of the penguin over the beaver (*snicker*), his ‘invitation’ to include her in his illegal investigation of the patients’ home, his lack of a T-shirt since he was going on a date later. Nuances, pieces of the puzzle.

    I think that House personally related to the POTW. Many of her comments could have easily been voiced by House pre-Mayfield.
    I thought it EXTREMELY significant that she tried to end her pain by injecting the syringe into her right thigh. Sound familiar? House’s reaction was breath taking.

    At the end, when House approaches the POTW with his ‘aneurism findings’, the author sees her son. But this time WITHOUT the scar. Is it due to her recollection of him solely as her son, versus seeing him as her literary muse?
    (BTW, if my doc showed me a photo of my deceased son on the autopsy table, I would open up a can of whoop-ass on him, regardless of how depressed I was.)

    Did anyone else catch the part that House seemed embarrassed to have Foreman hear Chase summarize his passion for the boy detective as “for girls 10-14″?
    hmmmm…. Does he actually, down deep, want Foreman’s approval? That’s a change.

    I am whole heartedly awaiting the next intricate episode, I just need a few more edge pieces to complete the outside of the puzzle. Then comes the inside pieces… always did suck at those.

  • Michele1L

    Andrea#12- I agree with much of what you said. I think Cuddy and House are more alike than they are different, despite having differing tastes. (They do both like poker, by the way. Remember that episode, “All In”, when the hospital hosted a fundraiser? It would be cute to watch them play a hand as a team at one of House’s regular games.)

    I digress though about your comments about Wilson and Cuddy being more alike than she and House. Wilson is the ‘high and mighty’ (though hilarious) moral compass to House’s silly digressions. Earlier in the series, when Wilson was staying with House and House was joyfully pranking him, Wilson was initially dismissive of House’s juvenile behavior. He eventually came around (sawing at House’s cane to cause House to take a tumble in the hospital corridor — but it never takes Cuddy any time to lower herself to House’s delinquency. She is immediately right down there with him. — He pranks her, she pranks him back, and vise versa. I don’t think Cuddy and Wilson are much alike at all. Wilson has always been compelled to try and make House change, in some cases to the point of disaster. One incident that springs to mind was when House was right about the patient who needed the cortisol injection. Wilson insisted that Cuddy not tell House he was right, despite the fact that House was clearly suffering for it, while Cuddy was bursting at the seams to tell him. Clearly, despite how arrogant House may be, Cuddy is proud enough of him to validate him, no matter what. There was another episode where Wilson insisted that House was wrong and Cuddy retorted, “No, he’s never just ‘wrong’. Both Wilson and Cuddy have been enablers in House’s life, but, in my view, it has been Cuddy who has been far more willing to accept House for who he is, faults and all. Once she came to terms with this herself, she was able to confess her feelings for him.

    I do agree with your assessment as to why Wilson and House are friends — although Wilson, too, is a bit screwed up, just in a different way.

    ‘Loved Cuddy’s smile and House’s ‘Oh shut up’ at the end of the episode. — Perfect. Love the way this season is going so far. — Everything new is old again. Business as usual.

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    House just isn’t House anymore. I wish the writers could keep their romantic notions to themselves and keep writing these characters as interesting, complicated beings!

    –Involved characters can very much be interesting and complex. The relationship provides new challenges and obstacles for House to overcome on this leg of his journey, IMHO

    Cuddy keeps telling him how much she loves him, that she won’t dumped him, and she has gone from someone who House repeatedly rejected an emotional relationship with to someone who has the upper hand. How does that make sense?
    –Not sure what you mean. House has been chasing her since the end of season two (at least). It makes perfect sense. After he got some closure on his relationship with Stacy, he discovered his attraction (or re-discovered it) for Cuddy

    And House is more complicated than this. Would he really waltz around with flowers and tell Wilson he’s happy and generally make himself so vulnerable? Remember when he told Taub that Taub was only criticizing him because he’s jealous of his relationship with Cuddy?

    Absolutely. S1: the Corsage he bought for Cameron; S2: Stacy’s prescription for her heart condition. Also, his behind the scenes advocacy of Foreman/13’s relationship and his advice that when you love someone you “do the stupid things” for the one you love.

    House isn’t a classic romantic. It also doesn’t make sense that he’s insecure about a relationship he parades around about.

    House is insecure about a great many things. The parading about is a part of his personality designed to put people off. You’re right. He’s not a classic romantic, but he is incredibly romantic–and a romantic figure.

  • Michele1L

    You took the words straight from my mouth, Barbara. Agree with you 100 percent. House has always been a romantic and he has certainly ‘paraded about’ with his business — some of which no one other than he and the person he’s ‘conducting’ it with should know about — throughout the duration of the series. It’s all part of his complex and dynamic nature — and what makes him irresistably watchable.

  • PH

    Can anyone tell me why Taub and Chase were so astonished that the POTW could read their lives? House does it to them constantly. Remember House’s left-field read on drugged Cameron jumping Chase’s bones?
    That part of the scene didn’t add up for me. I understand the concept was to compare the POTW to House, but I would have expected the docs to just roll their eyes and exit asap.

  • Andrea

    I think House has always been a romantic. Cynics are often disillusioned romantics and House is exhibit No. 1. No one but a romantic would get so involved in soap operas or try to persuade Taub to be honest with or stay faithful to his wife, etc. etc. etc. A big part of him still believes in the happy ending.

    On another note, I just rewatched 5 to 9 and noticed once again what an annoying character Lucas is. There’s such a difference in how Cuddy reacts to Lucas and how she reacts to House in that episode that it should have been obvious last season where they were going with this. Cuddy so obviously did not love Lucas and so obviously DOES love House in that episode. When Lucas did annoying things, she wanted nothing more than to get away from him. Sex with him was one more thing she had to do to get through her day and he wasn’t very good at it. He was clueless when she looked in the mirror and told herself she could do it all. House pays such close attention to her that he can decipher the hidden meaning of the quirk of an eyebrow.

    As always she was energized and completely engaged in all her scenes with House. House was who she went to for advice or moral support and the one whose advice she listened to. He didn’t call her a bitch and even if he had it would have been a compliment. At the end of the episode he’s the only one not clapping or smiling but the look on his face is sheer admiration and pride and not a little jealousy. Her being with Lucas REALLY bothers him.

    It’s going to be interesting to see House deal with Rachel, but in retrospect I don’t think Lucas was as good with her as some might think. Lucas was irresponsible enough to turn off the phone’s ringer so he could sleep, didn’t really act concerned about what was wrong with Rachel, who had a fever and a rash, and was quite casual about leaving her to the nanny. House can’t do much worse than Lucas did in that episode. I hope he will end up surprising Cuddy with his kid-wrangling skills. I’m also hoping for an episode where it can be rubbed in Lucas’s face just how much happier Cuddy is with House. So far there’s always a smile on Cuddy’s face when she’s watching House and he isn’t leaving her sexually frustrated. She’s not lying when she tells him here that she’s happier than she’s ever been and most definitely not bored. Lucas bored her.

  • SeraG

    Andrea#3, AMEN!

  • SeraG

    Sorry, Andrea, I meant post #33.

  • pawpaw

    I’m loving this new season so far! Think it just might be the best yet. Loved first episode and thought, gosh, how can they top this? And they did with episode 2, and now with Unwritten, it was just delightful, fun and FUNNY, tender, touching…I can go on (though not as eloquently as the other fans here). Suffice to say that I am feeling calmer about where House & Cuddy are headed. Could have been Cuddy’s declaration and reassurance that she’s never been happier. worked for me & I think (at least for now) for House, too.
    @blacktop-loved your comments, especially: (paraphrasing) who wouldn’t want to break into that fab old Victorian with a beautiful woman like Cuddy in tow…I definitely share that sentiment!

  • Kim F

    Barbara,

    I have to say that I LOVED this episode and your writing of course, which I usually do. I did see the similarities between House and his obsession with Jack Cannon, the scar, his father, and how he has two love interests which people have certain feelings for ;). The obsession with the yo-yo, House and ‘ball-y.’ So, I was thrilled that you wrote that in your article because I thought that I was obsessing over the show instead of my english lit hw. I loved how House was worrying over the ‘eventual doom’ of his relationship with Cuddy and tried to make an effort to find a common ground. Wilson being a ‘gossip’ and telling Cuddy hopefully means that their friendship is back on track after a disastrous year. Which of course meant that Cuddy would bring it up with House and reassured him that their ‘uncommon’ relationship is what makes her happy.

    While, I can certainly understand how certain viewers would feel sacred about the dynamic and how ‘House isn’t the same and they forced Huddy’, it was a natural progression, honestly how many would’ve kept on watching if House never changed and kept going the way he was? It’s no fluke that House is in its 7th season and is the #1 watched show worldwide. For some to say that this came out of nowhere , it didn’t House has made certain strides since day one, he’s learned and grown so much since we first laid eyes on him and that sky blue turtleneck.

    I think that the first two episodes were meant to be awkward, the tango that they’ve normally danced is off rhythm because everything has changed.They aren’t just employer/employee or perjurer/felon, but an item, a couple, something that they both don’t know how to deal with, but are trying to learn. As the season progresses and House and Cuddy learn how to be together so will we. For those who say that the show is doomed… ‘Unwritten’ is the perfect ‘inyourface’ episode.

  • Grace

    GREAT comments from everyone!! I was wondering…. Do you all think that House really called Cuddy’s mom to ask her what Cuddy likes to do? Seems to me he was just joking.
    Someone mentioned Stacy probably wouldn’t like go kart racing. I respectfully disagree. If her relationship with House wasn’t filled with fun times, I’d have to blame most of that on House.
    WHY doesn’t House’s leg hurt anymore?????
    He said he thought it was getting worse. It was hurting more. Then the episode HELP ME where he’s crawling around on the ground. Then the sex. Still, his leg is not hurting.
    I am really perplexed by this.
    And I CAN’T BELIEVE no one mentioned the return of the WHITE BOARD!!! :)
    I liked SELFISH better, but this was a good ep. too.
    And to you Barbara, LOVE your recaps and am looking forward to reading your book.

  • Leodie

    #38 Grace. I noticed the white board too and was thrilled about its return, but couldn’t be 100% sure that we hadn’t seen it at all in the last episodes (season 6 included) so I didn’t comment.

    #33 Andrea. I agree with you, House is a romantic at heart and I see him as a weary and cynical man throwing his delusion about mankind at everyone’s face, secretly but desperately hoping for someone to prove him wrong. Will Cuddy be that person?

    #28 PH. I loved your take on that episode, nice attention to meaningful details. # 32 I was also disturbed by Chase’s overreaction at POTW astute observations when House does the same with his ducklings three times before lunch every day (quite a feat considering at what time he usually pulls in). My only explanation is that he internally is as impressed when House does it but knows better than to encourage him by reacting when it always is at his expense.

    Have to add that short but perfect line which got me hysterical:
    Taub (waking up): … the hell ?
    Foreman : Close, it’s House

  • Andrea

    Grace, I think it’s been established that House has been in contact with Cuddy’s mom before since he arranged with her to get Cuddy’s old desk from medical school. Maybe he just talks to her on the phone and has never met her in person. That would have been an interesting conversation to be a fly on the wall for. Mrs. Cuddy has probably heard some House stories over the years and I think the antics of Greg House (if not the one night stand) would have been someone Cuddy would have mentioned at Thanksgiving dinner during med school. She might not be totally unfamiliar with him.

  • Jane

    I think that Chase’s surprise at the POTW’s astute observation was justified. Although they frequently receive the same from House, to hear it from someone else unexpected would be surprising indeed. Another House–how many times in a lifetime do you get to meet such geniuses?

    Can someone tell me if there is any significance in House choosing the peace penguine over the beaver?

    Granted that House is a child-at-heart, but personally, I still find it hard to accept that House is a fan of teenage girls’ fiction. Even though House like soap operas, I never saw this habit as a true hobby of his but a space for him to think. I never saw him indulging in fiction to satisfy a voyeuristic need and this is contrary to the concept of an ultra-rational man that he is. Yes, I totally agree that House is a romantic and love that he is one. But House is romantic with REAL people, so this isn’t enough reason for me to believe that House indulges in teenage girls’ fiction. But of course, this is only my opinion, and I definitely respect that other fans who have responded to my post earlier hold other opinions.

    Thanks to Andrea (#33) for pointing out that important fallacy that Lucas is a better “domestic man”. I almost fell for that false comparison between Lucas and House. Now I’m excited to see how House will interact with Rachel and if there is going to be any “revenge” with Lucas.

    For the record, thanks to Delia_Beatrice (#17) for the correction on Rachel’s birth, which was in S5’s “Joy to the World”. Well, somehow, I found the secret parenthood plot quite repetitive and unimpressive, especially since it’s supposed to be an epiphany. Well, maybe it didn’t work for me because I saw it coming and so lost the impact of the epiphany that it was supposed to be.

    And again, I don’t understand how mirroring pre-Mayfield House fits into the story-telling. True that House had behaved in similar fashion with the Addison disease patient. But there was a building up to that behavior because the emphasis then was on the different quality of life House was experiencing and how it changed him when freed from his physical pain. Right now, I don’t see a need for the writers to show forth this aspect of House when there is more urgent and greater emphasis on the story-telling of the relationship between House and Cuddy.

    Yes, I agree with Ruthinor (#23) that it was beneath House that he should have wanted to tell the POTW the truth just to get even. House is brash and honest but he always do that to make a point; he doesn’t say things just to be nasty.
    @ PH(#28), Maybe the Jack Connor without the scar was a dramatic clue that the POTW was deceived by House and had altered her memory of her son to a rosier one.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Ruthinor (#23): yes! I had forgotten to mention that, glad that you did! I, too, was certain that “old House” would have still refrained from an act of completely empty cruelty towards Alice/Helen. The key towards her decision to continue her life was the fact that, after all those years, she was capable to free herself from the guilt she had been tormented by. This is clearly stated in the lines (maybe, again, a bit too obvious): “It wasn’t my fault” – “And it wasn’t mine”. To help her find a reason to go on and free her from torment, only to take it away for no good reason, would have been way too much, even for House at his most depressed and most angry.

    In regard to the reccuring “secret paternity” theme – and parental theme altogether (@Flo): i do hope this is a clue towards House’s paternity issue finally being addressed. It is long overdue!!!!!! The paternity theme has been a constant on the show since season 1, we get AT LEAST one episode a year in which the father/parents – child relationship is a major focus. I hope that this is the season when we finally get the explanatory encounter between House, his mother and his biological father. His therapeutic journey is blocked by this unresolved, very important aspect of his identity.

    @Leodie (#39): True. House has always been waiting for somebody to prove him wrong. His cynicism and the mask of absolute lucidity are his defense mechanisms, underneath lies his need that his life be validated by somebody’s unconditional love. And yes, if that person is not Cuddy (which i doubt – i think that their relationship is unfolding in the perfect manner, to maximize his chance at achieving some extent of healing and balance), then there is no one. It’s been said many times by many people, this is IT for him.

  • blacktop

    @Jane (#41), I’ll take a crack at the significance of the beaver vs. peace penguin stuffed toys. House had the opportunity to make a really rude and obnoxious sexual pun by choosing to give Cuddy the beaver to express his feelings for her. Fortunately, he chose to give her the cute penguin, a stuffed version of an animal famous for its elegant good looks, hardiness, tenacity, determination, and remarkable devotion to both its life mate and its offspring. The penguin was a great choice by far.

    I agree with Delia_Beatrice in hoping that this season the issues of House’s paternity are addressed head on. Perhaps the involvement of House with Rachel — another child raised apart from a biological father — will prompt this re-examination of House’s issues in this regard.

    And as many others have said, House is the ultimate romantic. It is completely in character to have him act with grand flourishes and extreme trepidation in this new love relationship.

    It is interesting to me that so far House has resisted his former impulses to rush into living with the object of his passion. Stacy said that they moved in together five days after their first date. Even in the throes of his delusion in “Both Sides Now” House wanted to move in with Cuddy after a single (imaginary) night together. Why is he holding back now that it would seem his dream is realized?

    Delia_Beatrice said that Cuddy is IT for him. I agree and I believe he knows it too. This profound knowledge makes him uncharacteristically cautious at the moment, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

  • MamaShante

    What did House say about wanting to live in the mansion? Did he say “we” or “I”?

  • Michele1L

    Grace#38 – House’s leg still hurts because when it doesn’t,(as shown in the episodes, “Meaning” and “The Softer Side” he walks without the limp. He is just better able to cope with the pain now because he is less focused on it. In previous episodes it has been suggested that some part of House’s pain was psychological — which would explain why, now that he has his ladylove, that it bothers him less. It was also suggested that his addiction to vicodin only intensified his feeling of pain because as its numbing effects would wear off the pain would feel even worse. His now being off vicodin for a year, combined with his happiness I would think, all things considered, would make the pain a lot more manageable.

  • Kristin

    I honestly believe that I have been witness to some of the best scenes I have ever seen on House this season thus far. The scene with Cuddy telling House that they have an “Uncommon” relationship will forever be one of my favorite scenes. It seriously spoke to my heart. I think that too much is made of having “things in common” which can also lead to predictibility and boredom.
    It was a perfect message for a couple I believe could be the most realistic ever written and acted for the TV screen.

  • Jay

    I initially didn’t like this episode, but after watching it a couple of times, I started liking it a lot. I think it did a lot to neutralize Huddy by showing the relationship in a very quiet and subtle way.

    I think that the POTW was very interesting because she represents what House was like in past seasons and seeing her and House together, side by side, in their scenes was astonishing. Their scenes together show how much his pestimistic outlook has been toned down just by being with Cuddy, yet at the same time, he remains the same person that he essentially is at his core. I feel bad for the person that House used to be (and still is in some ways). I loved Cuddy’s speech at the end and she’s right, she has changed him without directly trying and this episode shows that.

    Amy Irving was a fantastic actress and I loved the parallels between House and Jack (the fictional character). I really like Sam also and I would like to see more of her.

    Also, is it just me, or does Hugh Laurie just seem so much younger this season? It could be that he’s smiling a bit more. I also think he just dyed his hair prior to the start of this season and he also just looks healthier. Good for him!

  • Leodie

    I am surprised not to have seen mentioned anywhere Harry Potter.

    A very succesful “old fashioned” woman writer.
    Teen novels driving crowds of teen-age girls fans.
    A mystery solving boy hero with a scar on his face.

    Not being a great fan, i don’t know that much about Potter and didn’t mention it before, but didn’t the similarities strike anyone ?

  • Leodie

    Or it was so obvious that noone bothered to mention it…

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Blacktop (#43): Your interpretation on beaver vs. penguin is imaginative:) I see no reason why it can’t be accurate – on that subconscious level on which we make our choices, based on piles of information, symbols and reference, House might have very well undergone the same reasoning.

    On the moving together thing: i think that the reasons they are taking it a bit slow on that one are multiple.
    There is the caution – House more than Cuddy (or more openly) has a lot on his mind, many areas of concern and worry that he is preoccupied about. Moving in together – with Rachel, obviously – adds major complications into an equation that is already overwhelming for House.

    Further on, the issue of Rachel hasn’t even been brought up yet. I mean, we don’t see the three of them together at all, yet, which points to another reason: they are still in the fusional phase, still so absorbed by each other and submerged in their passion and delight, that they are not yet taking into account more practical and mundane aspects to their relationship and they are not ready for the third party (the child) in the midst of their crazy-in-love haze.

    I don’t know what House was like back when he met Stacy, but i do know what he was like in BSN, when he asked Cuddy to move in with him (just like you, Blacktop, i do think that was a real proposal – he meant it, it wasn’t just a test or merely the drugs speaking). His mental state was very fragile, his reason far from his best. His powerful delusion of salvation had thrown him into a state of confused, blurry happiness, but his psychic at the time didn’t allow him to reach full awareness, let alone expression of what he was feeling. His approach of it was deeply imature and even superficial, even if, we all know, his feelings weren’t.

    Season 7 House is a million miles away from
    BSN House. His level of self-awareness, in regard to who he is and how he loves and needs Cuddy, has developed tremendously. His level of maturity has reached a healthy point in which he is capable to actually take her needs into account and try hard (very hard…) to fulfill them. His acceptance of her role in his life (i, too, believe that he is fully aware that Cuddy is IT for him, which is precisely why they have a grand chance at making this last) is deep and complete – which makes him overwhelmed by caution and concern, because he knows and accepts that he is betting his life and his one, grand chance at some normality and happiness on this relationship.

    So it makes sense that he isn’t rushing into things this time. It makes sense that he is cautious as much as he is drowned in happiness. It makes sense that he really takes the issue of her child seriously and that he is considering Cuddy’s needs and her difficulties in adjusting to the situation. It makes sense that he wants to be as careful and take as many precautions as he possibly can, in order to make it work.

    In regard to your question about how long his caution can last: my opinion is that it will diminish in time, as it is replaced by the confidence and trust she inspires him. So far, Cuddy did her job beautifully. It’s his turn very soon (i hope this doesn’t count as a spoiler, i haven’t really said anything) and i hope he does as good a job as she has been doing since “Help Me”.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Leodie: i am a major “Harry Potter” fan. The connection is obvious, in regard to the woman author and the tremendous success of the series that is centered around a teenage boy.
    But i didn’t refer to Harry because it didn’t fit the situation in more meaningful ways. It would be very hard for me to attempt the smallest of identification of Alice with JK Rowling, who is an incredibly positive and generous woman.
    Also, the essence of the characters is different. Harry is not a mystery solving hero, even if he does do some “detective” work, that is only one of the many means he uses in order to reach his goal – which bares much larger and important significance than mere puzzle solving.

    There were many references to Harry in “House” over the years, but i wouldn’t go to Harry if i wanted to draw a parallel between House and another fictional character. They are very, very different in many essential ways.

  • http://BarbaraBarnett.com barbara barnett

    The parallels, as others have said are obvious. You could however, take other children’s book authors and perhaps make the same parallels (my kids and we have equally loved the Lemony Snickett characters) with the central characters and author.

    House has always been an all-or-nothing guy. He was already hearing life-commitment after sleeping one time with Stacy, giving her a choice to “have a life with (him) or a life with Mark”–not an affair (which is what she seemed to want at first). Now, the moving in together thing, I agree as well has an air of caution that goes along with House’s urge to look beyond the initial and try to forge something real and lasting. It would be in character to be more focused on “when is she going to dump me” than lets move in together.

    His comment in BSN, while serious, also wasn’t. I think he was testing the waters of what believed was happening (from within that blurry, unreal happiness). House was not in reality, his mind had made up a beautiful lie for him that simply didn’t exist. Why not move in?

    This is real for House. He knows the risks, the stakes and he wants it to work. This is an enormous step for him.

  • Susan

    Jay #47 – House looked awful in most of last season’s episodes – gaunt and with that cropped prison-type haircut. He looks much better now with his hair grown in a bit. And the happiness and smiling do make him look younger.

  • DebbieJ.

    @Flo #18 – I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. Lisa has said that Cuddy’s relationship with Lucas is what she thought “looked good on paper”. A conventional, convenient relationship. But like she told House in Unwritten, what they have is so much more complex, so deep, so uncommon. I’ve always gone back to her date with the Eastern Lube guy in Insensitive. He saw the woman Cuddy truly is when she interacted with House. She was the woman much more alive, passionate.

    I enjoyed the go-kart scene, even though I thought is dragged on a little longer than needed. I enjoyed it more for the House/Wilson dynamic than the House/Cuddy or the H/C-W/S dynamic! (BTW, did anyone else hear House channeling Dr. Cockroah, PhD. with a maniacal laugh around the race track?!) I enjoyed it when House realized he and Sam have more in common (besides Wilson) than he first thought.

    I loved how the show got back to basics with a solid POTW. Medical mystery, ethical and moral dilemmas, parallels between the patient and House. And I love how they’ve gone back to House’s tried and true adage, Everybody Lies. I especially loved how he proved his point by writing it on Taub’s back!

  • Andrea

    I did notice the “white board” but I did feel a bit sorry for the team when House swept their lunches into the garbage can with his cane and wrote “Everybody Lies” on Taub’s back like he was the class dunce. House really is the boss from hell, even when he’s in love. On the other hand … the new team members never really caught on with me and Foreman was my least favorite of the original group, so I’m not interested in whatever Thirteen’s latest crisis is or the travails of Taub. Half the fun of watching House is seeing him say what no one else would ever get away with saying out loud. I’m glad they haven’t curbed his sharp and wickedly funny tongue.

    The parallels between the Harry Potter series and the fictional Jack Cannon series are pretty obvious, though I have the impression that the Jack Cannon series is different. I’m picturing something more along the lines of Philip Pullman’s young adult Sally Lockhart mystery series or like J.K. Rowling’s final Potter book, which is more adult and quite a bit darker. The posters for the fictional series suggest as much.

    As for why House hasn’t moved in with Cuddy, I think it’s because he definitely knows this is “it” this time. He’s not a young man anymore and he’s been through absolute hell in the last 10 years. He’s finally arrived at some level of maturity and self awareness through giving up the drugs and going into therapy. I’d love to see his sessions with the therapist and whatever advice he’s getting about what to do next. He’s using Wilson and possibly his therapist as a sounding board for his fears and is really trying to do this the right way.

    As for what he was like as a young man, House is definitely inclined to be impulsive and passionate and make wild romantic gestures when his emotions are engaged, though he apparently wasn’t ready to settle down at any point until he saw Stacy. He was attracted to Cuddy and they ended up in bed when he was in his twenties but he wasn’t at a point in his life where he was ready to take it any further than that. He’s quite a bit older than Cuddy too, so his immaturity probably delayed his graduation from medical school and the start of his career. He’d have been in his late 20s to her early 20s when they had their little one night stand and he failed to call her back. Greg House took a LONG time to grow up. A few years later he apparently saw Stacy and persuaded her to move in five days later. He would have been somewhere in his thirties by then and more ready to settle down, but he was still more interested in his work than in Stacy, by both their accounts. I didn’t have the impression that it was a perfect match temperamentally even before the thing with his leg. His problems in his relationship with Stacy may explain some of his fears about what could happen to end his relationship with Cuddy.

    So far Cuddy has done a lot of things right, which I hope bodes well for the health of the relationship. She’s stood by him consistently for over a decade, gave him a job when he couldn’t get hired elsewhere, protected him professionally and personally and has been as much a friend as Wilson in many ways. She ended it with Lucas BEFORE she came to House to start the relationship, something Stacy did not do, and she isn’t lying to House about the important things. She’s avoided introducing her child into the mix because she probably wants to solidify the relationship first for House AND Rachel’s sake. They both want to make this work and they’re both taking it slow because they want so much for it to work.

  • DebbieJ.

    I just realized something. The boy hero in the book, who parallels House in so many ways is named Jack “Cannon”. The writers here are genius! The whole idea that this episode was written in “canon” by way of the parallels of how the show might end, either without a cliffhanger or worse. And how House spars with others in the fandom online as what should happen to the character. Just genius!

  • Michele1L

    Jay#47 – They had shaved Hugh’s hair down really short last season, which made him look sort of “Middle-aged-inmate-like”, and now his hair is back to his more “housian” length. I also think his sort of more haggard look, especially toward the end of last season was deliberate, because it represented how increasingly depressed he was becoming.

    Just a note -I find that Hugh, when he is on talk shows, looks a great deal younger than he does on “House” for some reason. ???

  • Cara

    @Jay #47: I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about the contrast between old House and how he has grown. I never thought of it like that but it’s pretty cool. You’re right about him being different but still his intrinsic personality remaining the same. He and Cuddy getting together this season has freshened his character up and made him interesting again for me.

  • simona

    @MamaShante “What did House say about wanting to live in the mansion? Did he say “we” or “I”?
    I think he said “I should live…” but I’m not sure

    @BarbaraB “House is insecure about a great many things. The parading about is a part of his personality designed to put people off. You’re right. He’s not a classic romantic, but he is incredibly romantic–and a romantic figure.”
    And about the moving in together thing “This (relationship with Cuddy) is real for House. He knows the risks, the stakes and he wants it to work. This is an enormous step for him.”
    Really an enormous step, this is why it can’t be a wasted opportunity.

    @Andrea “So far Cuddy has done a lot of things right, which I hope bodes well for the health of the relationship. She’s stood by him consistently for over a decade, gave him a job when he couldn’t get hired elsewhere, protected him professionally and personally and has been as much a friend as Wilson in many ways. She ended it with Lucas BEFORE she came to House to start the relationship, something Stacy did not do, and she isn’t lying to House about the important things. She’s avoided introducing her child into the mix because she probably wants to solidify the relationship first for House AND Rachel’s sake. They both want to make this work and they’re both taking it slow because they want so much for it to work.”
    I totally agree about their deep need to make the relationship work and about the fact that they need to go slowly, although I fear that sooner or later House will press heavily the foot on the accelerator, because this kind of challenges belong to him and are part of his nature.

    About what was written by @DeliaB (some comments ago) “in comparison to House himself, Jack had something House has always needed and never had: a mother who cared for him so much, that she dedicated painful years of her life to keeping him alive by her writing”…
    I think that House needed to give an ‘absolution’ to the POTW for the damage caused to her child (irresponsible mother behavior), because he really needs to absolve his own mother to go on with his life. IMO House was already somewhat emotionally reconciled with his father (not the biological one) after the funeral, when he tells Wilson: “my dad is dead”.
    I see more problematic, and then open, the nature of his relationship with his mother and I’m curious to see how (and if) this will be addressed by the writers.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Simona: I think you had a great true intuition on this one:)

    House’s therapeutic journey is partially blocked because of the lack of closure on two very important and profound levels of his inner structure: the paternity – identity issues and his mother’s duplicity and lack of proper protective response.

    So it makes perfect sense to interpret his gift towards Alice as a symbolic absolution of his own mother, an attempt at a partially artificial reconciliation with his childhood wounds.

    I think that the reconciliation and closure in regard to John House were even more visible in “The Tyrant” than they had been in “Birthmarks”. House being convinced by Wilson to try and make peace with his memories of his legal father, by pretending to talk to the inner representation of John House that he carries with him, are obvious attempts at closure and at finally reaching acceptance in regard to his childhood and personal history.

    I hope the mother and biological father issues are addressed this season. Both these issues have a major impact on House’s damaged sense of self worth and his deep, unconscious belief that he does not deserve to live, to be loved or to be happy. They function as barriers against the healing power of Cuddy’s love and i hope some sort of closure and acceptance are reached.

  • Cyndi Tessler

    This season has been amazing. Each week is better and better. The writing is so good, so fine, so touching. A big thank you to the writers for letting us get to know the characters on a deeper level.
    I’m so glad they are not just brushing by House and jumping to make him miserable again. He deserves a this happiness and contentmant. Although, you know he will never be content. Can’t wait to see how he handles Rachel. Hope he loves being a Dad.

  • saif

    your friend is very annoyed accordinghis poor perception about people and relationship and that has carried alot of friction between him and his fiancee,we want to improve his relationship and has asked for your help so what you will do to help him in this matter?