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TV Review: House, M.D. – “Wilson”

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First and foremost: apologies for not filing a review last week. I was a bit overwhelmed finishing a large project and dealing with Thanksgiving. I promise to catch up with it during the House hiatus (no more new episodes until January).

I watch House because it’s about House (the ever-amazing Hugh Laurie). I like the other characters; I enjoy them on screen and in their interactions with House—and with each other. But I don’t watch the show for them. They aren’t written as central characters, and although they all have interesting lives away from the House-universe, they are never as interesting to watch as House. I also love Robert Sean Leonard (who plays Wilson). He has a fantastic deadpan comedic timing, and he and Hugh Laurie have great chemistry.

So, I wasn’t sure how I would like a House episode focused on someone other than House.

After finding myself too easily distracted during the first half hour of “Wilson” (to me, that’s never a good sign), I realize in retrospect how much I really loved the episode. No, I wasn’t riveted—breathless with anticipation during the commercial breaks as I’ve been with some episodes–at least not until halfway through it.

But I realized that "Wilson" not so much furthers Wilson’s narrative, although it does that, as it provides us insight into House’s current state of mind nearly halfway into season six. In seasons past, when life-altering events occur to House, they have been long-since forgotten within several episodes. They don't affect him long term because "people don't change," and House always reverts to type.

We also, since “Known Unknowns,” haven't really had access to House’s inner life. Having been rejected by Cuddy—and humiliated by Lucas, House reverted to a more destructive sort of meddling mode. As Wilson noted in “Teamwork,” what happened had to have devastating to House, but House has insisted he’s OK. We, like Wilson, knew that was impossible. But we got no clues—no access to House’s inner thoughts or his emotions. And after "Teamwork" and "Ignorance is Bliss,"  I began to wonder if House was slipping back into a more defensive and destructive posture.

It is early morning at the episode’s start, and House has clearly been up for hours. Overnight, he has moved several musical instruments and many of his trinkets and books to Wilson’s apartment. What is late-sleeper House doing up so industriously at the crack of dawn? Is he not sleeping? Is that a clue? Or is there some greater purpose in annoying the Felix Unger-esque Wilson with his mess? (And the Felix-Oscar motif reflects nicely in House's reference to the "Pigeon sisters," Oscar and Felix' upstairs neighbors.) Or is House simply being annoying? 

Wilson is going hunting with another friend, Tucker, who is also his cancer patient. It’s obvious that House and Wilson have argued about this annual event before, and House doesn’t approve. He dislikes Tucker, calling him a self-important jerk—kettle, meet pot. OK, so maybe House isn’t so much self-important as self-absorbed, but still…

Tucker collapses in the forest, unable to move his arm. And as Wilson diagnoses and treats him, we have the opportunity to observe Wilson in his own practice.

Like House, Wilson has fellows—only more of them! He also has an assistant (love to see more of her). I had always believed that Wilson’s office next to House’s is not in the oncology department so he can keep an eye on House. And that he had an entire staff somewhere else in the hospital. Cool.

Wilson tries to apply Housian reasoning to Tucker’s case. He’s learned enough from House over the years that he tries to find an innocuous zebra in Tucker’s illness (transverse myelitis), which is more appealing than considering the possibility that Tucker’s leukemia has recurred.

We learn that House has been monitoring Wilson’s cases in the aftermath of his euthanasia paper in “Known Unknowns.” He’s not being so much intrusive as worried that Wilson’s guilt will propel him into more career-tanking behavior. 

House believes that  Wilson is wrong, and that Tucker has cancer, betting him $100—a bet Wilson takes. But House is right, of course, and Tucker has a treatable leukemia. But it’s resistant to the chemotherapy drugs, and Wilson wants to pull a “House” and double the dosage. House thinks this is a bad idea. Doubling the dose of what is essentially a poison could destroy Tucker’s liver. “It’s exactly what you would do,” Wilson points out.

But House insists that there's a difference in temperament between them. I actually don’t know that House would have taken this particular risk. He’ll take lots of risks with patients, but understanding the likelihood of liver damage, I would suspect that House would have done the math and realized the risk was too high. But Wilson insists and doubles the dose against House’s advice, and Tucker’s liver predictably fails.

House continues to intervene into the case, as he has from the start. He comes running (OK, running is too strong a word) into Tucker’s room dripping wet, having identified a potential liver donor. The dripping wet part is important. House explains (rather lamely) that he had been in the ER doing some sort of test on a patient. It’s obvious that he’s lying. Clearly, House has been stalking the ER, hiding in the shower, awaiting a potential liver donor. I have to wonder if House remembered that Wilson had provided a transfusion for Tucker during his initial treatment. And, knowing that Wilson might do something insane like volunteering his own liver, sought an alternative. But there's a problem. The potential donor never signed a donor card and the sister refuses to allow her brother's body to be defiled on religious grounds.

With the liver's shelf-life running out, House drags Wilson to persuade the sister. Why together? Why not just tell Wilson that the potential donor’s sister refuses to release the organ? Of course, House realizes that Wilson would be reluctant to do what has to be done to, especially if that means browbeating the potential donor’s sister. Then Tucker would die—and Wilson would be devastated. And that's what House really fears here.

It’s interesting to watch House and Wilson appeal each in their own style to the sister of the potential organ donor. Wilson appeals to her on helping his patient, but House understands that it's not the donation per se–it's the that her beliefs won't allow it. So House appeals to that, giving her a legal fiction that enables her to OK do it without compromising her beliefs. It’s persuasive—and effective. We’ve seen House persuade family members and patients this way before. It’s not “browbeating” so much as giving them an "out"–a rational way for them to agree to something they don’t want to do. It’s subtle—and something House does well. But they’re too late and the liver is no longer viable.

So then we get to see a real jerk in action–and I don't mean House. House can be a jerk; we all know that. But House isn’t anywhere in Tucker's league. Exploiting his ex-wife and daughter’s love, he hits Wilson with a guilt trip blaming Wilson for killing him before his time. He wants Wilson to donate a lobe of his liver. Neither House nor Cuddy think this is right, but Wilson is undeterred.

This sets up an enormously important reveal about House. For five seasons, House has claimed ultra-self-sufficiency: he doesn’t need anyone. He can’t need anyone—because he knows love is conditional and he has to close himself off to ultimate disappointment. But something has changed fundamentally in House. And when Wilson asks House to be with him for the surgery to remove a piece of his liver, House refuses. And Wilson is stunned.

But House explains in a raw emotional disclosure: “If you die, I’m alone.” And he can't bear to watch Wilson die–if the surgery goes wrong. It’s honest, sincere, and raw. Wow. No deflection—just simple honesty.

But House ultimately confronts this fear because he knows Wilson needs him. He makes it into the surgical gallery just in time for Wilson to see him there. And post-op, he sits at Wilson’s bedside worried as he comes out of anesthesia. He’s not playing his game or texting–or even reading a book. He’s just sitting there sitting vigil and never taking his eyes off his friend. And as Wilson recovers, House stays with him, keeping him company or working at his bedside while he sleeps. Wilson can have no better friend here.

House wonders if Wilson is angry when he finds out Tucker has exploited their friendship–not to keep his family intact for a little longer, but so that he can run off with his (very) young girlfriend. “Disappointed,” Wilson replies. When House call him a wimp for not getting angry, Wilson reminds him that “a table is a table.” People can’t change who they are any more than a table can be something other than a table. And then House stuns us. Dr. “People Don’t Change” turns around and tells Wilson all you need is a “can of paint and the guts to use it.”

Any suggestion that House’s experience at Mayfield has been forgotten is now out the window. He has internalized much of what he learned there, and has come far. Wow.

And then there is the Cuddy-Lucas situation. House’s immediate reaction after rejection was to interfere and break them up. But at the end of the last episode, House told Wilson that he was accepting the relationship. But neither Wilson, nor we, believed him. And we were wrong.

Cuddy and Lucas are moving in together and House is hurting—but accepting. When Wilson asks him if he’s “OK,” House brushes him off, but only initially. He eventually confesses, “No, I’m not OK, not even close.” But again, internalizing his experience at Mayfield, House is trying to accept what he can’t change and move on. Again, wow!

And what of Wilson taking a coat of paint to his table by buying the Condo that Cuddy wants to purchase for her and Lucas? Is it unfair of him? He hasn't really outbid her, since her offer was refused by the owner. But Cuddy won't see it that way.

It’s an interesting place to leave us at the season’s midpoint and before a the long winter hiatus. House is learning—and changing. Or trying to. But what’s driving him? There are three things we now know House must be afraid of: pain, loneliness—and the return of the delusions. Until season six, House’s biggest fear has been the pain. But something’s changed. We see House in this episode favoring his bad leg as he walks; he’s rubbing at it more; he’s sitting more. He’s obviously having pain issues. But what’s the one thing House fears more than pain? It has to be the loss of his mind. And he came awfully close at the end of season five. And I’m sure he doesn’t want to go there again. Ever. Has House really changed—at least in some ways? What do you think? Tell me in the comments below!

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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.
  • RobF

    I think the big change this episode was that Wilson, who has always remained neutral while caught in between House and Cuddy, finally took a side.

    The decision to boot Cameron off the show now makes some sense to me. With her around, Wilson knew there was somebody who would often see and support the House behind the grumpy façade, which is something House desperately needs. With her gone, House needs Wilson to back him up, which means he can no longer remain neutral.

    Wilson doesn’t really want to “punish” Cuddy, but he knows that’s the way House plays it.

    As for the changed point of view for this episode, it was nice to see just how ridiculous House’s team’s antics appear when you look through the eyes of the other hospital employees.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    Rob–great perspective and you are correct. House needs his advocate and it can’t be both Cameron and Wilson.

    Catch the monty python reference?

  • http://www.notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Wilson gets a backbone! Nice. I just wish it could have been with Tucker rather than Cuddy. Okay, Wilson doubled the chemo. Tucker was well aware of the risks though. If Cuddy was turned down by the owner, she has no right to be mad at Wilson.

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    exactly the point NancyGail. She offered and didn’t up the offer (at least that’s what’s suggested)

  • RobF

    I had a feeling Wilson used his influence with his ex-wife to make sure he got to out-bid Cuddy. Even if he didn’t, Cuddy would understandably be mad at him for bidding against her.

    I didn’t get the Monty Python reference, nor the Odd Couple reference, even though they were said in a way that made it obvious he was refering to something.

    I wonder if there was anything to House not wanting 13 to come into the room when she came to tell him the test result. It might just have been a throwaway, showing that there’s always some drama on House’s team.

    When Wilson used House’s team behind his back, it was funny that Chase was the one to mention that the correct diagnosis was cancer. In the last episode, House had mocked Chase for offering only “predictable” input in the brainstorming sessions, but maybe he’s on the team because he persists in seeing horses instead of imagining zebras.

  • Reba

    Hello Barbara,
    Thanks for the review. I am so glad you got the time to do it, I know how a day full of other work and commitments can make enjoyable tasks another chore.

    Anyway, I really liked this episode. I didn’t know what to expect, but I found that it both told me more about Wilson, a huge deal about House and tons about their relationships. It offered a development and an insight into their friendship that was most welcome. Of course I also enjoy that Wilson is seriously irked by Cuddy rejecting House.

    And as RSL said in the interview. Wilson is perhaps not such a nice guy that everyone thinks.

    Interesting that Cuddy did not up the offer on the loft. I agree with RobF that Wilson played a role in her not getting it. But it may also be a sign of being hesitant, as House actually pointed out.

  • Amy B

    What a great review. I loved this episode (as with some of the episodes this season–not so much the previous two before this one.) Loved when House said to Wilson that he was proud of him and then says “baby steps.” I can’t wait until January and hopefully a resolution to the Lucas/Cuddy relationship and well, you know..HUDDY. ;-)

  • http://www.twitter.com/housiandaze Jo (housian daze)

    Thanks for the great article.

    I think the most telling line was Tucker saying to Wilson – the person you want when you dying is not the person you want when you’re living.

    That’s the point at which Wilson realises that House is exactly the person he wants in both situations.

    One thing – it didn’t seem obvious to me me that House was hiding out in the clinic shower to save Wilson’s liver. It seems more likely to me that this was another example of some ‘House radical’ plan to show the flip side of what we usually see.

    And it seemed odd to me that Cuddy would want to move into an urban loft with Lucas and Rachel and not stay in her perfectly sized suburban home with a garden.

  • Val

    Nice review Barbara.

    There’s not much I can add to the review or the comments so far. They seem to be spot on with my thoughts.

    Though, I have to say I liked ‘Wilson’ from the very beginning. This episode had all the elements that I love about the show…and as we all saw it came back to House in the end.

    I could be just me, but one thing I felt was not only showing an Felix/Oscar side of House/Wilson (didn’t notice that reference), but also felt more of the Holmes/Watson dynamic which I think had been missing the past couple seasons. Doyle told stories from Watson’s POV and I really got that feeling with this episode (particularly since I am in the midst of reading a collection of Holmes tales,lol)…using Housian methods of observing with his own patient and seeing that he does have his own patients outside of consulting and supporting House.

    I was quite impressed with Wilson’s purchase of the flat and didn’t see it as any planned malice toward Cuddy. Simply something good for he and his friend (finally he’s out of Amber’s apart) and annoying Cuddy in the process to help House. A win-win situation for House and Wilson! and a great way to go into the LONG hiatus.

  • KMC

    While I too realize that House is the main character, Wilson is my favorite supporting one, and it was a nice change of pace to see a “day in his life”, so to speak. To see that he has a department and an assistant and staff and patients, and to see him function as a doctor on his own…not just as a sounding board for House. Also to see the sometimes craziness of House’s team’s behavior which we don’t usually notice, since we’re looking at them from the inside. And finally, to truly see the depth of House and Wilson’s friendship. Those scenes of the two of them during Wilson’s recovery were worth the price of admission.

  • katie

    What an amazing break from all the Huddy drama. Loved the episode. I could watch Wilson and House all the time.

  • Liz

    I think it is very interesting how often the ER is mentioned in this episode. Wait a minute, who worked there again? Oh yes, the person I still miss most! ;-)
    I like Luddy btw, and the break from all that annoying Huddy stuff was good too. I’ll never be a Huddy fan, so more eps like that. And Wilson-centric is even better.

  • Orange450

    Barbara, it’s good to have you back on the beat! I really depend on you to help me see the many delicate shadings that I often miss while watching an episode, and this one is no exception :)

    While I still don’t think that this episode was as “deep” or complex as some of the more recent ones of the season, I certainly agree that some specific angles of the House/Wilson dynamic got a good airing. I thought that some of the more dramatic moments were fairly predictable – although it’s possible that they were meant to feel that way. For example, I knew perfectly well that House would indeed stand vigil at Wilson’s operation, even tho’ he’d refused when Wilson asked him. And I was also pretty sure that Tucker would go back to Ashley at the end, no matter how his attitude towards his family seemed to have changed. And I was expecting Wilson’s “milk of human kindness” to curdle over Tucker at the end.

    I must admit that I feel somewhat vindicated, seeing even more evidence that House is indeed growing and changing since Mayfield. I’ve seen strong evidence of that growth even in the most recent episodes – which were so emphatically disliked by so many vocal viewers! One aspect of his personality that may have changed somewhat is that he seems to be better at biding his time and knowing when to pull back, rather than push. IMO, that’s what he’s doing with the Cuddy/Lucas situation (having planted that seed in “Teamwork”, with :”I got help. And she got Lucas, who bought me a ginger ale…”)

    More than pain and loneliness even, I think House fears the loss of his emotional center, i.e., Wilson. I mean, Wilson is the only person who even comes close to providing the unconditional love that House craves so deeply.

    Anyway, thanks for a great review!

    p.s. I thought that the whole “House’s case that we only see obliquely through brief intercuts” was really well done. The singing patient was silly, and I don’t think House has ever treated such a ludicrous PoTW when his case has been the episode’s focus. I guess PPTH only has the capacity for one intense and character-revealing PoTW at a time!

  • MRose

    Lovely review, Barbara. I was so proud of House for 1) admitting he’s not OK and 2) straight up telling Wilson how much their friendship means to him. Even if he still thinks it’s more fun to “be a kid” as he put it, I guess he’s learned that he can’t take it to such a dysfunctional level without undermining himself. Well done! On a related note- wasn’t House prescribed antidepressants, or did I dream that? If so, should we assume he’s been taking them properly?

    I loved this episode. I couldn’t stop smiling after “If you die, I’m alone.” Warm fuzzies all around. I wonder how long House has been thinking that- if he’s just realized it recently, or if he had just been taking it for granted. I agree that the new apartment will be good for both of them, and hopefully for their friendship. Bright future for these two?

    Lucas still makes me uncomfortable but I’ve come to accept their relationship as an indispensable stepping stone to Huddy. That is, it would have been too easy for House to detox and then win Cuddy over right away. This is a huge test for House and so far he’s passing it. As obnoxious and awkward as it has been, this obstacle is necessary for them and for the show. Yes, House and Cuddy are both “moving on” but everyone knows the pre-Huddy tension isn’t going anywhere.

  • Epiphany

    This episode, which felt like a welcome breath of fresh air, had me from the moment I recognised the opening chords of George Michael’s Faith. Ah, Hugh – is there nothing you can’t do?

    I loved the insight we got into our Boy Wonder oncologist – so caring and dedicated (like we expected anything else).

    In addition, what a hoot looking at House’s world through everyone else’s eyes (soaking wet House, the running gag of the running gag and Taub’s dry delivery of House’s “jazz fusion” dance from Cuddy – I’m still laughing at that one!). Not to mention the hilarious TV references too (Room 12a, the Pigeon sisters).

    Such a welcome touch of humour after a couple of uneven episodes revolving around the annoying Lucas/Cuddy/House triangle.

    One thing’s for sure, we won’t forget this POTW in a hurry: Josh Malina struck exactly the right note as the “self-important jerk” and the way he elicited first our sympathy and then our disgust is a testament to his acting and the writing.

    I am so glad the interminable Cuddy/Lucas quotient was low (urgh!) because it would’ve just cheapened this episode permeating with real emotion (“If you die, I’m alone” – “She hurt my friend”) and yes, true love. House and Wilson’s relationship will never cease to be this show’s USP.

  • Eve K

    Very good review this time, Barbara. It all makes more sense now. I thought this ep. was rather slow paced. I read about this astonishing scene RSL was supposed to do, but it never happened. (I must stop reading Yaitanes tweets) HL was amazing though. I loved the Monty Python reference, one of my favourites!

    About Cuddys move, I do think she is testing the relationship by moving to an appartment first. A house is the next step, no pun intended.(-;

  • Eve K

    I always wonder if HL like to use the Monty Python references, because they were sort of competitors back in UK. (I know HL and co. came later, but still) But then again, maybe it is his idea? Monty Python are more known in the states than any other English comedians i guess.

  • Flo

    Barbara, it’s so great to have you here again! I was really looking forward to your review. I hope your other project went well.
    I guess this break from your articles made us realize how important and even essential they are for all of us (at least for me).

    I don’t have too much to add to your review or to the comments, you all pointed very well the important moments.

    I watch the show as a whole and I think this episode was an interesting new way for the writers to talk about House by talking about someone else. Through Wilson, we learn what friendship means to House, why the one with Wilson is so important to him and how House truly is as a friend, now that he is out of Mayfield.

    The Wilson/House dynamic has always been good (mostly) but in this one, it was great because it was in Wilson’s point of view and it was interesting to know more about him and to see House through his friend’s eyes.

    To develop House as a character you have to know more about the person who are close to him and after five years, I think it is a good idea to change the formula for one episode and just do that.

    I think Wilson is wrong when he thinks that House would have doubled the chimio but it is a constant in their relationship. Wilson may be House’s best friend, he is wrong about him a lot.
    I agree about the “wow” moments from House. I think it is the first time in the entire series that we see him playing no games and being totally honest to another person in a whole episode.
    The “if you die, I’m alone” scene really was one of the most import scene in the show.

    On another note, Wilson has weird taste in friends but Tucker is actually worse than House! what a douche! As a “West Wing” fan I must admit that it was great to see Josh Malina. He was good. His character was a total real jerk here. The way Tucker used his family is undefensible.
    House is a much better person. At least he is honest and I like that, in the end, Wilson recognized that with the “actually it’s James” and the condo thing.

    Speaking about the condo, on the cuddy/Lucas/House front, I don’t have much to say other than I think the “Cuddy mid-life crisis” comment by House is very interesting. He knows her very well and it sure wasn’t idle talk. I’m with Reba (#6) and Jo (#8) on this. I think the whole condo thing may be more revealing about Cuddy’s state of mind and her emotional state than we might think right now.

    All in all, a great interesting episode that I think deserves multiple viewings to really get appreciated.
    I like the fact that the writers are not afraid to shake things up and try new things. I must admit, this new new way of talking about House seems like a really good opportunity to see him in a new angle.

  • PH

    Great review as always BB.

    As soon as I saw the ‘garbage and guitar’ mess in Wilson’s living room, I recognized the Housian tactic. (Remember the subtle pup-tent scene in Brave Heart? LOL) This was House’s method of getting Wilson to make their living arrangement more permanent. House needs his musical outlet and has been without for too long (the viewers included). The clutter would force Wilson to recognize their need for a larger place. I also think it was House wanting Wilson to finally move on from Amber.

    HL’s ability to have me on the verge of tears, with just one word, is astounding to me. His emotional “No” to Wilson’s request was absolutely perfect!

    I have noticed the last few years that TPTB have cut away from HL’s emotional deliveries far too quickly, unlike the previous years! Yet they transfix on lesser actor’s deliveries. I’m guessing they want to ‘spread the wealth’ a little, trying to have a well-rounded show/cast. Problem is.. none of the other actors are as proficient as Hugh in the emotional display category. Instead of cutting away so quickly from his close-ups, let us have a mere 2 seconds more. It helps us relate and the episodes would not seem as cold as they have been.

    Bravo to Wilson for choosing his friend over Cuddy. I do like Huddy, but I gotta say she deserves it. They should have a House-warming party (pun intended LOL), with Cuddy at the top of their invite list.

  • bluehue

    PH – I like your point about House wanting Wilson to move on from Amber…thus connecting with those “whispers thru the vent” scenes a few eps ago as well as motives for the guitar clutter and invasion of the frozen jello shots…(I was trying to make sense of all that). Also, I like your House warming notion..I too thought not that exactly..but a loft warming present for Wilson, a doormat that says-“I am not a doormat ! ”
    BB: Good Review here per usual, MANY good points. I do think House has changed, however..so far, as House emerged from Mayfield to his former life… Wilson seems to be the only one to actually recognize and appreciate that he has changed. This aspect of S6 has been frustrating to me. I would have expected more visible support for what House went through – especially from Cuddy. But then, I guess that is how it is for people who go through some kind of hell or rehab…meanwhile life just goes on for everyone else. Considering that, House has been strong and steady as he goes…but does seem to be leaning a bit harder on the cane this ep.

  • Celia

    I want to comment more on RSL’s performance in this episode. I always expect HL to rock my world, but I especially love it when HL & RSL get to play off each other.
    I think Wilson’s alcohol fueled fight with House was terrific. RSL speech had just the right amount of slur to it and his gestures were just a little too expansive. Wilson’s propensity to throw things when really angry came down on Houses’ shooters & books. Wilson telling House to get out scared me for a moment as I didn’t know if House would act on it or not. RSL sounded really fed up with his friend.
    The acting moment I loved best from RSL was the pause outside House’s office after House had refused to be with him during surgery. Wilson turns & leaves the office & in a moment we all know House must have seen too from his desk, Wilson stumbles to a small halt like he’s been kicked in the stomach and staggers a little before regaining his balance & normal pace. You didn’t even need to see RSL’s face to know how devastated Wilson was by House’s refusal ( and House knew it too).
    The eye contact and smile from Wilson to an uber tense House up in the OR Gallery as Wilson slips into the anesthetic had to be one of the other most touching moments.
    And finally Wilson avenging his friend’s humiliation at the hands of Cuddy & Lucas by purchasing the desired condo (which I assume Cuddy summited another bid on)…the devilish smile that showed Wilson’s mischievous & manipulative side (the House relates easily to) was cool. We found out Wilson is a caring guy, but he is no Mr. Rogers.

  • Amanda

    To your question as to whether House has really changed/is really changing, or not:

    I think that the doctor at Mayfair did for House what House does for his patients–what you articulated in this review that House did for the sister of the potential liver donor. The doctor (and I’m totally embarrassed that I forgot his name) gave House an out: a way to accept, or to consider valid, those impulses, thoughts, reactions, and actions that he had previously discounted or internally overridden. It’s not that he’s having new thoughts; he’s just able to access, accept, and act on them from a new frame of reference, a frame of reference that–thanks to the doctor–he is able to reconcile with his internal code, beliefs, whatever.

    So is he changing? Yes and no. Because of an enabled perspective, he is now free to act on a wider range of behaviors and impulses than his previous, limited set of self-destructive ones. He’s not been changed, so much as *augmented.*

    I love this show. Pulled me in from years of not watching TV, and now I can’t miss it and my husband accepts this other love in my life.
    :)

    I can’t wait to see where they take us all next.

    ~Amanda

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    My husband is equally indulgent and is resigned to share me with my weekly obsession. I agree House hasn’t so much changed as accessed heretofore deeply buried parts of himself. He’s only changed insofar as recognizing and acting upon a new reality. House is being adaptable.

  • nno13

    Favorite parts: House singing in the begining, admiting if Wilson dies he’s alone(SO powerful my jaw dropped), House being by Wilson’s side during/after surgery, and the final scene where Wilson buys the place out from under Cuddy.
    I agree that it wouldn’t be good if every episode was like this, but I very much enjoyed the brief change in perspective. I cracked up when the team went wizzing by Wilson with the patient on a gurny saying it wasn’t what they thought. Funny. What that team would look like to outsiders! House and Wilsons friendship is really beautiful. Did Doris Egan write this one? She’s very much the House/Wilson writer.
    The worst part about this one, knowing it’s about 6 weeks till the next…sad.

  • nno13

    PH (#19) laughed hysterically about your House warming party idea. Cuddy is acting like a punk lately, I think it would be perfect! (although I love huddy too…but seriously woman?? What’s up?!)

  • Cate Malone

    Ok, can I first comment on how awesome your reviews are? They ALWAYS give me something to think about and a new perspective on the show – brilliant! Secondly, I really loved the episode. I’ve always loved Wilson and I was glad to have a break from Huddy. Like many others, I could watch House and Wilson all day. I think House has come so far and is clearly trying to make permanent changes. I don’t get the Cuddy/Lucas thing at all. Cuddy chases House like crazy before he goes into Mayfield, then humiliates and shuns him when he’s clearly trying to get better…. I don’t get that.

  • Gertrude

    Loved this episode and a great review. Only thing I’m not sure I agree with you on is the perspective of why House was wet, hiding out in the shower. I think it’s a long bow to draw that he was hunting for a donor, but that’s just my point of view. I believed what he said about treatment.

    The scenes of House and his team functioning from an outside perspective were interesting, especially given we had so little information about what was happening to those patients. To me, it was a reminder of just how much I hope I never have a doctor like House at my bedside if I’m seriously ill!

    The only scene I didn’t like was when the bed rushed past with House’s team performing CPR on someone. To me that seemed clunky and even slapstick — I was waiting for Taub to pull out a hooter from his back pocket and go “toot toot”! lol

  • Grace

    I loved every minute of this episode. Seems I can’t get enough of House and Wilson. I do have something to add that no one else has mentioned. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I thought House was a bit rough on Wilson knowing he had a friend who probably had gotten his cancer back. I think House could have been a bit more supportive. Not that he wasn’t watching out for Wilson, but it was what he said and how he said it that upset me a bit. Anyone agree with me?
    Hugh singing and playing guitar….gold. Hugh doing anything…gold.
    Did I mention I ADORE Hugh Laurie?
    Anyway, I’ve got to run. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this episode. Thanks Barb for another great review. Oh one thing I didn’t get at all. WHY was House soaking wet again? THANKS!

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Barbara – I have not checked in with you in a while, and I have not been able to watch House in several weeks! (I’ll have to go back and read your views on my missing eps)And to think I missed one about liver transplantation! My son is on a transplant list – waiting for a new liver. Sounds like they were not exactly following UNOS protocol – but House is not the sort of show that you watch for the complete medical accuracies. I do love medical dramas no matter how spot on they might or might not be – because of the character development and interactions, and they’re just damn exciting! Anyway, good work as usual Barbara!

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    thanks all for your kind comments. The thing about the ER is pure speculation. House had been monitoring W’s actions the whole episode and he comes breathlessly running in to tell W they have to get quickly to the sister. I don’t think it was coincidence. That would completely be in character for House do have been lying in wait like that. Completely.

    Did you also notice that he is freezing cold throughout the next sequence. While sitting in the car, he has his arms wrapped tightly around him. The shirt is buttoned up to the neck and in the home, his coat is buttoned, while Wilson’s is not. He would not have had time to change, so he went along still soaked to the bone. Nothing on House happens for no reason when it comes to the subtleties like that. I think it was meant to show the sort of friend House is to Wilson, knowing he would feel guilty if Tucker died.

    It’s set up nicely when House tells him initially why he’s monitoring his actions–he’s concerned that should Wilson lose another patient (never mind a friend)he will try something foolish–like give another self-destructive favor.

    I also think the mess in the house was House’s subtle way of saying something to Wilson. Whether about moving on from Amber or something else, I’m not as sure.

  • fangirl

    Does anyone else think that House is thinking about Cuddy as he sings the first stanza of George Michael’s “Faith”

    Well it would be nice
    if I could touch your body
    I know not everybody
    has a body like you…

    Perfect song right?

  • Epiphany

    It could be about Wilson too… if you’re a Hilson.

    :-)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    I find it to be a very beautiful move on the part of the writers to do two episodes dedicated to the other two key characters on “House” – Wilson and Cuddy, in which we’ll see everything exclusively through their perspective. Cuddy’s episode will be in February, very similar in structure to Wilson’s episode. To see their personal non-House lives and also to see House, Princeton-Plainsboro and everything on the show through the eyes of these two amazing characters is very useful, for us to understand and know them better. I think it’s a great way for the writers to acknowledge that House, Wilson and Cuddy are the pivotal triangle of “House” and the show can be pretty much the same without any of the team members, but never without Wilson or Cuddy (I am sorry to have lost Cameron too, i would give up both Foreman and Thirteen to get her back, but for me, the most magical moments of House are the ones with Wilson and Cuddy).
    Actually, the writers tried to prove this to us, in two parallel strings of episodes, in season 5 and season 6. We have had 3 episodes without the regular House-Wilson interactions last year and now we have a series of episodes without the usual House-Cuddy dynamic. The writers made the similarity even more clear, by using the character of Lucas as the replacement in both situations – last year, Lucas replaced House’s companion in the absence of Wilson, this year we have him as the main reason for the change in the House-Cuddy relationship. I salute the writers’ ingenious way to draw attention to how much Wilson and Cuddy, in their usual interactions with House, make this show so wonderful – it most certainly worked… I didn’t like the show without Wilson and i don’t like it without Huddy. These two relationships are the most enjoyable things on the show for me, and it’s nice that the writers have decided to pay tribute to them.
    That said, I must add that I loved the “babysteps” in this episode – and I don’t think they were babysteps at all, neither for House, not for Wilson. I think they were huge steps on the moon on both their parts. I believe that the “If you die, i’m alone” line represents pretty much the first time we have seen House being absolutely open and true about his deep feelings and his vulnerability TO ANOTHER PERSON IN HIS LIFE. Of course, we, the audience, have a pretty clear picture of what both Wilson and Cuddy mean to House and how much he cares for them and needs them. But i don’t remember him actually saying out loud anything, to neither of them, that might reveal the real magnitude of his feelings. It’s also a magestic way for Wilson to show his loyalty to House and also how much he has learned from him:)))). And this brings me to the down side of this fall: i miss Huddy. I am a Huddy fan, but that is not the only reason i miss it. In the entire “House” dynamic, the key-elements of Huddy provided us with great enjoyment and powerful emotions. In my opinion, there are a lot of great things about the House-Cuddy relationship (as they are about the House-Wilson relationship, amazing, amazing interaction, chemistry and connection between these two “pairs”), but the most poignant ones are these: 1. the funny side: the sexual tension, the bantering, bickering and teasing & 2. the deep, emotional, very touching side: the profound understanding of each other and the mind-blowing, supreme loyalty. The truth is, the loyalty was mostly visible in Cuddy, she has done a number of incredibly brave and selfless things in her determination to always help and protect House.
    I’m pretty sure we’ll get Huddy back too, actually, a new and improved version of Huddy:). Meanwhile, i sit back and enjoy these amazing House-Wilson episodes, admiring the great progress House has made.

  • madfashionista

    As always, Barbara, a penetrating and insightful review!

    Like others, I was knocked over by “If you die, I’m alone”. That whole scene was, well, staggering, pardon the pun. House has always more or less worn his heart on his sleeve where Wilson is concerned (cf. “Birthmarks,” “Lucky Thirteen,” “The Social Contract,” etc. Any time he thinks Wilson might be hiding something from him or is in trouble, he becomes obsessed with finding out what it is and trying to “fix” it or “ruin” it because almost EVERYTHING could interfere with their friendship).

    I think Cuddy is trying to create the illusion of a healthy relationship, even to herself. But the Lucas/Cuddy relationship, while interesting (and I like Michael Westen), is clearly not going to end happily. Did you see the look of sheer loathing Rachel gave him at the end of “Ignorance Is Bliss”? House went to his default, i.e. conniving, and you’re right, he has matured enough to know when to back off.

    RSL was fantastic, although I have never been able to make out the smile under the anesthesia mask (and I’ve looked for it). It was fun to see HIS deparment, and his assistant, who was pretty funny herself.

    And I think the writers were having fun with the looking glass aspect of the episode. The fat tennis player scenes were hilarious (Taub’s “It’s not the tennis!” is priceless). I could almost believe House’s story of why he’s dripping wet.

    The POTW’s complete and utter jerkiness escaped me until the second viewing. I thought he and Wilson seemed to be having fun on their hunting trip, and Tucker seemed sincerely glad to be with “Jim”. (I am convinced that “Lim” was short for “Limp” as in “Limping Twerp”.) I believed Tucker when he embraced his family and asked Wilson to keep an eye on Ashley. I didn’t even see how he guilted Wilson into the organ donation…it seemed reasonable the first time. It wasn’t until the end, when he dumps his wife (again) that I could see what an SOB he really was.

    On a second viewing,knowing that, it was a lot clearer. As I’ve said before here, “House” is a show that continues to reveal nuances with repeated viewings.

  • madfashionista

    Gertrude, I have to disagree with your take on the running episode. As I said, the writers were having fun with the “outside looking in” aspect of “Wilson”, and honestly, it was just so damn funny. A great sight gag. I also loved Foreman’s “coming through!” with the second patient to the OR.

    Maybe one reason it seemed off kilter to you is that House is usually the only one to get good sight gags.

  • Orange450

    madfashionista, if you go back one more time and watch the scene where Wilson goes into surgery, look to see his cheeks curve upward as he looks up to the observation gallery and sees House. If I recall correctly, we don’t see his mouth, just the effect of his smile on the rest of his face.

  • RobF

    Something that just occurred to me — House fighting throughout this episode to warn Wilson he was being played by his friend was presaged by something House said when giving Wilson’s euthanasia speech: “I am incapable of turning my back on a responsibility. My friends take advantage of that fact far too often.”

    House was certainly talking about himself when he said that, but in this episode it was a different friend using Wilson.

    It’s ironic that House has spent this season learning to deal with people in an honest, mature manner, but then had to act like a jerk by destroying Wilson’s frozen food to accommodate his Jell-o shots, just to put Wilson in a mood to stand up for himself.

  • NewFan34

    Barbara hi, my post is off topic of the episode but i have just discovered your site and just started reading your episode reviews and they are so great, you seem to have more of an understanding of House than any other critic that i have read.
    I am a new fan of the show since season 5 was aired in the UK on Sky and then followed on into season 6 and have quickly become an addict, Hugh Laurie is just amazing.

    Sorry again but a question i need to ask is ” why does House have a department of diagnostic medicine” which is funding his salary and 3 team members when he only treats one patient per week, is this not a loss to the hospital?, i know it is only a TV show but why?.
    We have the NHS here which is free but private services if you want to pay and receive quicker treatment but as i understand in the USA you pay for all services.

  • andree

    What I found most interesting was the song House was singing to while playing the guitar at the start of the episode. “Faith” by George Michaels. I took it to be twofold in meaning. First in reference to Cuddy (“i want to touch your body….”) and possibly 2ndly to his own faith in behaving better. I do find Cuddy’s behavior to be rather normal as she should be more Luddy focused and is careful to keep it away from House directly. Interesting was Wilson’s reaction to Cuddy as she began explaining the loft his exwife found for her to purchase. Wilson quickly led Cuddy out of the patient’s room with House in earshot (and hiding in the bathroom). Anyway, Barb, thank you for the excellent column. I’m bummed we won’t get a new episode til Feb. Please post some spoilers if you can find them! We need our House fix!. By the way, just saw an excellent older movie by Huge Laurie called Maybe Baby gives a great precursor to his House abilities. Hope you find it to rent and watch during the next six weeks.

  • PH

    Andree(#39) the next new episode will be Jan. 11. Still a long wait though.

    **What I found most interesting was the song House was singing to while playing the guitar at the start of the episode. “Faith” by George Michaels. I took it to be twofold in meaning. First in reference to Cuddy (“i want to touch your body….”) and possibly 2ndly to his own faith in behaving better.**

    I think House is telling himself to have faith that she will eventually come back to him. Which means he could possibly be setting himself up for a hard fall.

    ** By the way, just saw an excellent older movie by Huge Laurie called Maybe Baby gives a great precursor to his House abilities.**

    Loved your typo here, makes me recollect Emma Thompson’s eel remark. LMAO

  • hwl40

    As I watched this episode again and after reading your wonderful review, Barbara, I was struck by the “X” formation in the Wilson/House relationship. Wilson has always been the giver, the caregiver, expecting little in return and House the taker providing entertainment and genius. He clearly cares deeply for Wilson (witness “House’s Head”, Wilson’s Heart”) but he is not a caregiver, a friend to go to, to count on because he is too internally entangled to reach outside himself in any consistent way. Wilson doesn’t seem to expect that, understands his friend’s limitations but it is, therefore, not a reciprocal relationship.

    In “Broken” at the fund raiser party as House embarks upon Nolan’s assignment of “opening up”, he says to one of the party goers, “I take advantage of my friends, uh, friend, I only have one,” and then quickly abandons the acknowlement in favor of playing games with Lydia by impersonating philanders, porn producers, etc. – anything to avoid returning to the direct reveal. But the words are out there, however briefly.

    In “Known Unknowns” he takes it a step further and says with Wilson’s voice under an assumed name (Dr. Permutter) something to the effect of “I never give less than my best, I never walk away from a responsibility., My friends often take advantage of this fact.” Through the convoluted back door that is House’s psyche, he takies typically radical steps to save Wilson from destroying his career and states unequivically how he values his friend. Wilson is deeply touched, but House doesn’t speak in his own voice.

    In “Wilson”, in spite of House saying he won’t be with Wilson during his operation, he’s there taking care of Wilson, through the surgery, watching over his friend and entertaining him in his recovery. No more hiding, the friendship is outed and House’s protective shield is both pierced and made more resillient.

    In the process Wilson is increasingly released from his chronic need to be nice and defends his friend in a Housian way, unapologetic, cruel if necessary. The friendship is somehow different now, more solid, more balanced.

    It is wonderful and amazing to see a show and writers who can develp characters whose struggles are so haltingly revealed, whose triumphs at first are hardly visible but eventually limp into existence over uneven terrain so that the viewer is both exhausted and breathing easier at the end of the show. Yes, I too watch House for House and Hugh Laurie, but Robert Sean Leonard has also created a complicated and complusively watchable character who has every bit as much gravitas from the polar opposite perspective. I, too, loved this episode.

    One other thought: Once again we see that only House is House. When Wilson or Chase try to adopt his methods, trying to be what they are not, the internal disconnect creates dissastrous external results. Chase takes a life. Wilson almost kills a patient by administering a lethal dose of chemo in the hope of a miracle. House’s judgment is tied to his genius. He cannot be imitated.

    On other, other (final) thought: I thought Cameron’s actions were consistent. Taking a life is a bright line in any context but an immutable one for the medical profession, one she considered crossing and rejected. Tto stay would have made her complicit and she could not live with that.

    Sorry to be so long winded. Thanks for listening.

  • siciln

    How do I find the cast of the episode “Wilson”? aired on 11-30-09

  • madfashionista

    Look on IMDB.com, go to the search for “House MD” and you can look up individual episodes.

  • mabf

    I think House has not changed. The motto of this show is “people don’t change”, I believe it to be true and still present in this season. House has still the same personality, he still has the same reactions, emotions, desires, the difference is he CHOOSES to act differently on them, or even not act on them at all. Wilson is also still the same person he has always been, just choosing to act more assertively. House has always longed for people, love, friendship, but at the same time he knew most people around him couldn’t handle a relationship with him and his raw honesty, nonconformism and passion, most people including Wilson couldn’t live up to his expectations. He is still that uberhonest jerk, he still thinks not very highly of people, he still believes love is conditional, but he sees that part of being a friend is to accept people’s shortcomings, accept that even your most loved friend like any other human being is inherently incapable to love unconditionally 100% of the time. He decides to accept Wilson and himself in their own pathetic selves, even when in his opinion his friend makes horrible, misguided decision, House chooses to put himself out there without knowing what the ultimate outcome will be (will our bond survive? will i be rejected? will i suffer a loss?) He does that for Wilson on sheer hope of him surviving and wanting to still be his friend. So to answer your question again, do I think House has changed? Absolutely NO, people do not change, we are who we are, but we can choose what we do with what we’ve got, especially with some guts and paint :)
    On a side note: I love how Wilson knowing that House will NOT punish Cuddy anymore, that he won’t allow himself to act on his actual emotions and desires, does it for him. He too says to his friend I accept you the way you are and am willing to side with you and even go where I myself would not go, because I know you can’t. GOING BEYOND OURSELVES IS IN FACT THE DEFINITION OF LOVE.

  • maddy

    The thing I was worried about, from the time Luddy was introduced, was that the writers would use it as the stimulus to make House fall back into his old habits. The last two episodes seemed to point in that direction – but this episode shows just the opposite. The situation has been used to show House still improving and to bring House and Wilson closer together. I’m a total Huddy fan, but I’m waiting for it to happen naturally.

  • hwl40

    Thanks, madf, liked your insights, reminded me of Andie in Autopsy.

  • RMBIII

    Don’t forget what a step it is for Wilson. He is finally moving out of Amber’s apartment, and thus moving on himself with his own life. I know the show is about House, but this is an important step for Wilson as well.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Mabf,
    i think you are right about House not really changing. The thing that made House such an amazingly appealing character is that he was the type of person who does good without anyone really knowing it. First of all, as it was so often pointed out on the show, he is a bitter misanthrope making huge efforts to save lives every week… And on the personal side, there have always been great moments when we, the audience, saw the truth beyond House’s actions, and very often he was trying to help and protect his team members, Wilson, Cuddy and the patients. Of course, he did it in an abrupt manner, which often led the people around him to be oblivious to his good intentions and just feel the agression. As Cuddy pointed out in that amazing speech she gives him at the beginning of season 5, he tries hard to achieve a nerve-deadening and emotion-obliviating life, without really ever succeeding.
    So the only essential difference we’ve had this season is that House seems to have learnt to swallow his fears and deal with his gigantic vulnerability. Put himself out there, take emotional chances and trying hard to accept the unwanted consequences. And that is a big difference, but only in terms of communicating his feelings and intentions to the others. The inner life of House is the same, it’s just that he’s letting others see it for a change and he’s acting on his feelings more openly than before.
    Maddy,
    i completely understand – i shared your fears. It felt like such a cruel choice, to make Cuddy be the reason for his fall, after all the years in which she was his most loyal saviour. But he seems to be dealing with the Cuddy disappointment well enough and from what i’ve heard, there are rays of sunshine at the horizon. Apparently, by the end of the season we’ll get Huddy back (perhaps in a new and improved version) and the reason for his fall is different. I’ve heard talk about Thirteen dying, for instance, but of course we will know absolutely nothing about the season finale until it actually airs. I only hope it won’t be because of her, because as i said many times before, i think that the great partnership triangle House-Wilson-Cuddy feels like the backbone of the show for me and i want the Huddy and House-Wilson relationships to stay as beautiful and deep and charming as they always were.

  • ann uk

    I am puzzled by the question of House’s pain this season. The writers seem to have opted for the theory that it is psychosomatic, but this makes nonsense of previous story lines since it suggests that House’s long struggle with pain and addiction was self inflicted and could have been avoided if he had had a ” better” attitude.All that was needed was a psychiatric guru and a few cookery lessons and,hey presto, the pain is gone.

    This seems factually unlikely and seriously weakens House’s character.
    On this subject there is an interesting paper by a researcher at Imperial College , London about chronic pain and its treatment in HOUSE.

    That said, I still love HOUSE and I could watch Hugh Laurie reading the telephone directory.This episode at last allowed us to see the real House again . I think that Wilson has never quite understood just how much he means to House and, even more , how much House matters to him.The revelations of House’s deep feelings about him and about Cuddy’s betrayal were very moving.
    And, did you notice House’s bitter remark as he turns away from the obstinate sister- another person killed by religion?
    I love the idea of taking over Cuddy’s love nest, serves her right,but I would really prefer House to go back to his own flat which is such a symbol of his personality.
    I hope the HOUSE team will let us see the real House in all his fascinating complexity fron now on.

  • RobF

    “I would really prefer House to go back to his own flat which is such a symbol of his personality.”
    ———————

    It was indeed a symbol of his personality. It was a dark cave where he could be isolated, drink, play music, take pain killers, and feel sorry for himself.

    The new loft is a symbol of his new outlook. It is open, full of natural light, and there’s actually another person living there.

    The series has had many False Dawns, so this new outgoing, drug-free, responsible House may be in for a shock. But it’s nice to see while it lasts.

  • blacktop

    So many excellent comments to digest here, but I am particularly in sympathy with those by Delia_Beatrice, and not only because she combines my own name with that of my best friend for her screen name!

    I was happy with, but not thrilled about this episode. Josh Molina was strong in his selfish, sniveling way as the patient, perhaps the best guest performance we have had since James Earl Jones this season.

    I loved all of the reverse perspective action on House’s case this week. We really saw the world through Wilson’s eyes this time and felt how utterly random, hectic, and nonsensical the behavior of House and his team can appear from the outside. I thought that was the point of the gurneys skidding through the hallways and of the sopping wet House. We just know that he was undertaking some wacky, dangerous and ultimately successful treatments to save his patient but that was destined to be a story without an ending because we were focussed this time on Wilson.

    I thought that House was purposely making Wilson’s apartment filthy and crowded in order to force Wilson to finally bite the bullet and move on from his Amber obsession. I don’t think that House particularly was interested in moving in with Wilson, but he was vitally concerned with seeing his friend heal and move on.

    It was crucial to understanding House’s emotional weather this episode to observe that his admission that he was truly not OK with the continuing Lucas/Cuddy affair was followed by the equally important admission to Wilson that he feared being left alone in the world.

    With Cuddy’s attention and affection diverted elsewhere, House is feeling his loneliness more deeply than ever. His reaction is to over-react to Wilson’s liver transplant proposal. As a doctor House would know that the transplant of a liver lobe, while a major operation, is rarely a fatal one for the donor. (A close friend of mine donated part of his liver to his daughter to replace her cancerous one a few years ago. He recovered swiftly and was never in any particular life-threatening danger.)

    I think House’s heartfelt statement to Wilson about his fear of losing his only friend was a direct reflection of the gaping void left by Cuddy’s defection.

    I agree with other commenters that I don’t think House has really changed so much as accessed the underlying desires of his heart and the emotional tools and vocabulary to go about getting what he needs. The trauma of the hallucination gave House searing insight into what he most wants — reduced pain, detox, and a passionate loving relationship with Cuddy. The Mayfield experiences gave him the emotional clarity to be able to pursue those goals. He is being a good friend to Wilson now after years of doling out abuse and now he has to figure out a way to be a true loving partner to Cuddy.

    Brilliant observation above about the parallel intervention of Lucas in the House-Wilson friendship last season and the House/Cuddy relationship now.

    The show runners know what they are doing and I am interested to see how they lead us through this current painful interlude with the House/Cuddy relationship in dormancy.

    The classic elements missing from this show right now are the white board, the clinic patients, House’s piano, his apartment, and the Vicodin. I hope that all except the Vicodin return soon.

  • ann uk

    But, RobF,an outgoing, pain free House is a much simpler, more conventional character than the unique,complex person of the first 5 series. That person is wise and childish,strong and vulnerable,playful and melancholy.Heconfronts an amoral universe honestly and stoicaly and with a fundamental generosity which far outweighs his apparent failings.That is the House I don’t want to lose.
    Yes, I find his confessions of love and need very moving , but I don’t believe in a ” happy” House because his loneliness and sadness spring from much deeper roots than from any particular relationships.

    That is why I regret his old home because it represented both his defeats and his victories.It was where House was most House.

    And I don’t think House has ever wallowed in self pity-his style is usually to deny his pain.That is why his confessions this time are so moving

    Pain and his struggle against it were essential elements of the character so I don’t think it can be sidelined in the way it has been in series 6.

  • maddy

    Delia_Beatrice: Oh Gosh, I hope 13 doesn’t die. It starts to sound like a soap opera, you know? But a new and improved Huddy would be so nice : )

    ann uk: I completely agree with you about the pain. It’s been such a focus of the show since the beginning to just dismiss now as having been “all in his head,” able to get over with one detox. I wish the writers would not lose sight of this crucial characteristic and provide more analysis/explanation.

  • Veresna

    Are you going to review “Ignorance is Bliss” as well? Or is the silence regarding that episode intentionally deafening?

  • http://twitter.com/b_barnett barbara barnett

    Oh, Veresna. No, I’m just mulling it over (with the advantage of having more time to think about it). Part of me loved that episode; part of it made me uneasy. So I’m still thinking about it before I write.

    I feel that whenever we can’t trust House’s body language and tone, the show suffers. He was too good an actor with Cuddy and with Lucas. I really believed him (and I don’t think I’m alone). Which is fine, except that how do we ever trust that in him. We have unique to access to House that no one else does (as viewers),and I felt manipulated. So…I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about that.

    Also, the patient was too good a patient to not have had one more converstaion between him and House. I had a strong sense that there was a missing converstaion in there that was omitted from the final version. The one longer conversation would not have really connected them the way they seemed at the end. (“tell your brain that I said goodbye”) I wasn’t thrilled with what Cuddy did, on the other hand House’s stated objective was to break up Cuddy and Lucas and he asked for it.
    Even giving Cuddy the tickets at the end was a test/ruse to see if she’d take them. We couldn’t trust that there was anything honest about what he was doing at all. So I’m ambivalent. Liked Wilson lots better, :)

  • KC

    There is not much I can say that hasn’t already been said. I really liked this episode. It was really interesting to see how house and his team look from an outside point of view. The last time the show did this was “Locked In” when we saw things from the patients'(Mos Def) point of view. They also did this with tritter and vogler to show how a person on the outside would react to house. Growing up I was a big Taina fan so I was happy to see Christina Vidal as Wilson’s assistant. I hope to see more of her.

  • delia_beatrice

    blacktop,
    thank you for reading my comments and for making me laugh when you talked about my “screen name” – which is, in fact, my real name, exactly like that on my birth certificate. That was funny:)

  • Nickel

    The biggest difference in House (the man) since leaving Mayfield is his razor sharp mind. I definitely agree that the therapy and anti-depressants do make him HAZY. He seems to be treating more symptoms this season instead of using his true gifts. And of course knowing what we know about him, this cannot possibly be worth it. Once he looses a patient because of what he considers his lack of sharpness, he will re-think the anti-depressants.

  • nickel

    Barbara, lets not forget that Cuddy “Marked her territory with Cameron” in Saviors. Also if you think back to Need to Know, she was pretty quick to tell Stacy “You left him for a reason”. Nice of her to forget about her part in ruining Stacy and House’s relationship. If you also recall in 3 Stories, House told Stacy that he loved her with Cuddy in the room just before he went into the coma……so exactly how CLOSED up was he prior her leaving. Sorry, but I have never been a Cuddy fan. She has always been too manipulative for me. She reminds me of the Lion Tamer who thinks that because he controls the LION, that makes him more powerful and the lion. Not to mention that every time she makes a decision about House she instantly blames him. Babies and Bathwater for example. She did not do what she did to protect House….she did it because she did not want Vogler doing to her what he did to House. Remember that House told her he didn’t expect to be there at the end of the day. He has always protected her just for her, and she only does what helps her control him. It has always been about control with her. Keep in mind that Cuddy walked into court(Words and Deeds) with the forged inventory logs and the look on House’s face was clearly surprise. OOPS what do you know….conditional again. I especially loved her idiotic statement to Wilson in Painless when he told her to be more like men…..she said “what, be lazy…blame others?” UGH I hated her in that moment. No wonder Lisa E quit House, she had to have hated her character….I know that I did.