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TV Review: House, M.D. – “You Must Remember This”

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Self-exile is a state of being all too familiar to Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie). But this week’s House, M.D. episode “You Must Remember This” it is not House who finds himself on the outside looking in.

I remember an episode from season three (one of the series best) called “Half-Wit.” The final scene of the episode finds House at the door of a tavern, afraid to enter and have a drink with his fellows—afraid to rejoin society after so many years of exile from it. Here we are four years later. House has been through a lot, and this season has found some happiness with Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). He is on the other side of that door, looking out at others still trapped in exiles old and new.

This week’s patient, Nadia (Tina Holmes) is a waitress—with a seemingly perfect memory. She suddenly falls, her legs paralyzed. When her sister Elena (Claire Rankin) comes to visit, she makes matters worse; clearly the two have a troubled relationship. Unable to forget anything from her past, the patient holds onto the worst of her memories—holding onto them like stones surrounding a fortress. She cannot let go; therefore she cannot forgive. Even after the sister donates a kidney, the patient hangs on obsessively, refusing (or unable) to let go.

Eventually, House diagnoses her behavior as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)—and a symptom of a rare genetic disorder. Her seemingly perfect memory is really an obsession with remembering everything, and why she can’t forget—even when she tries. Nadia has perhaps 20 more years to live. It’s a miserable existence she has—unable to let go of past hurts and perceived betrayals. It has rendered her unforgiving and hard. But Chase (Jesse Spencer) provides Nadia with an out—a way to allow her to reconnect. But it comes at a price.

Chase prescribes antidepressants, which, he explains, can sometimes treat the symptoms of OCD, encouraging her to try again to reconnect with Elena. But, he adds, the antidepressants may cause her perfect memory to vanish. She can exit her self-imposed exile, but only if she’s wiling to sacrifice what “makes her special.”

It’s a dilemma in which we’ve seen House so many times over the past six years—but not this year. The episode asks a fundamental House question: Is it worthwhile to sacrifice what makes you special for a bit of normalcy and the chance at a relationship? But it’s asked through a different lens—one that’s inverted, with House’s situation nearly inside-out from where it was even two or three years ago.

Faced with the choice of taking Chase’s advice to use antidepressants to deal with her OCD or ignoring him, thus preserving her perfect memory and remaining in exile, Nadia argues that her obsessive memory makes her special: it is who she is. How many times has House been in that position over the course of the series, whether confronted by his own subconscious (“No Reason,” season two) or actual choices (“Painless,” season five) he needs to make: whether to sacrifice what he believes makes him special? Going all the way back to season two and Wilson’s accusation that House let Stacy (the love of his life) leave in order to remain miserable and a better diagnostician, House had most often “chosen” to keep his uniqueness at the peril of losing perhaps a last chance to be happy. “Merry Little Christmas” in season three reminds us that even if he cannot be “normal,” it’s not something he would choose if he had the chance really to alter his life.

Now, by season seven, House has changed his life. Forced at the end of season five to give up on opioid drugs to control his chronic pain, and under the care of a psychiatrist, House found himself by the end of season six in a position to love again (and be loved). And, although it’s never been directly addressed, House is still a super-diagnostician—still the cracked genius he’s always been.

So here he is at an opposite pole to his patient, who is faced with House’s perenniel dilemma. And in the end, Nadia makes the choice that sacrificing a bit of what makes you unique may be worth the risk if it can lead to less misery.

The corollary question is whether House’s risk has paid off? Is House happy? I agree with Cuddy, who says in “You Must Remember This,” that part of House doesn’t really believe that he deserves happiness—and that happiness is fleeting at best, and always conditional. But he’s as secure with Cuddy as he’s been since we first met him nearly seven years ago. So, although he can be distracted (he’s always been distractable—since season one) by his relationship, he doesn’t seem to have given up much (if any) of his diagnostic super powers.

But the season is still young (we’re just halfway through), so who knows what challenges and obstacles will lie in House’s path. And we know they’re coming. And I have to wonder if there’s a certain amount of foreshadowing in Nadia’s choice.

By the way, it is nice to see sympathetic side Chase again: empathic and caring. He was recently given a wake-up call, reminding him of who he really is—after months of drowning his sorrows.  In the aftermath of Cameron’s departure (and the Dibala assassination in season six), Chase’s misery and loneliness seemed buried in meaningless and shallow encounters. Obviously trying hard to fulfill his worst self-image, Chase seems to be beginning to find his footing. The empathy we’ve seen in seasons past seems to be re-emerging.

Taub (Peter Jacobson), who is also dealing with the misery of not living up to his own expectations, has been having just as tough a time. Now divorced from Rachel, he lives in a hotel; he is at a low point in his life—and to make matters worse, the poster boy of Princeton-Plainsboro has flunked his pathology board exam!  

Although Taub prefers to suffer alone, House has other ideas and insists that he work with a tutor to assure he pass the exam. Taub chooses Foreman (Omar Epps), with whom he has developed an interesting relationship over the past several weeks. Over the course of the episode, Taub loosens up—and in turn—loosens up the chronically uptight Foreman along the way. Both men, living as islands a bit adrift, find friendship and someone with whom to share the misery. Taub’s issue is self-confidence; he sees himself as the failure at life and medicine, Rachel’s brother suggested in the last episode (“Family Practice”).

In the end, Taub’s self-confidence fails to re-emerge and he ends up cheating—buying a copy of the exam in order to pass it.  (I find it completely plausible that House arranged for the buy himself to assure himself that Taub would pass. It would be perfectly Housian to do it, especially given Taub’s throwaway line early in the episode that House is actually concerned for his well being.)

I loved the role reversal scenario between House and his best friend Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). Being involved in a meaningful and stable relationship, House finds himself in an interesting position. Wilson is recovering from a bad breakup and this really bothers House. And never one to leave anything (or anyone) alone, House tries to get Wilson back into the dating scene. He is especially concerned that Wilson has taken the extreme measure of adopting a diabetic cat, something House believes is akin to waving the white flag on living.

Cuddy wonders why Wilson’s loneliness (and unattached state) makes House so uneasy. She theorizes that House feels guilty for his own happiness—that he somehow doesn’t deserve it. And only by getting Wilson out of his funk, can House feel right. The dynamic between House and Wilson is fantastic, and in the end, when House is resigned to leave well enough (and Wilson’s cat) alone, he demonstrates his love for Wilson by infesting his home with cat food (in the form of—probably very expensive—white lab rats). It’s a gourmet delight for Sarah the cat.

(Interesting bit of trivia about the cat: apparently, the cat used for the episode also appeared in Hugh Laurie’s film Stuart Little several years ago. Writer Katherine Lingenfelter noted in a videoblog that the cat seemed to recognize his former co-star, purring relentlessly in the scene where House holds it!)

I loved the scenes between House and Cuddy in this episode; their sparring in the first half almost led me to believe that we were back in an earlier season. The final scenes, however reassured me that House and Cuddy have found something special and worthwhile. She understands that he may be off and running back to the hospital at a moment’s notice—off on the hunt for a diagnosis. Their comfort with each other is evident and lovely to see. 

Bravo to new House scribe Lingenfelter on a great first outing. So what did you all think of this week’s House? And what was on House’s mind in that final scene as he and Cuddy lay in bed. Clearly something was on his mind. I think perhaps he was considering whether this new situation in which he’s found himself has come at some cost in the aftermath of Nadia’s case. But, hey, that’s just me!

New House episode next Monday has House participating in a school career day! I have no idea how he got himself into that scenario.


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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • Lucy

    I’m also a Huddy fan but I agree with #34-mychakk: I don’t necessarily need huddy to be the focus of all episodes.
    Also, while I love Cuddy, I also think that too many episodes have been (or will be) centered on her, especially since her relationship with House already gives her an important role this season.

    However, I liked this episode a lot, definetely one of the best of the season for me. It was not too dramatic but not superficial either, and all the storylines were really well balanced.

  • Nikki–Glad you got the book 🙂

    I’ve always seen Chase’s first season “brat-ness” as a defense. There’s reason he wanted to be a priest and we see parts of that in flashes during the first season (from Damned if You Do). I’ve always found Chase to be one of the most well-written characters on the show, and Jesse Spencer really gives him a lot of depth. He has grown tremendously as a character over the seasons, and his breakup with Cameron really set him back. It’s nice to see the real Chase re-emerge.

    Chase has a very difficult background–a dad who abandoned him and a mother who he had to care for from a pretty young age–and who was an alcoholic besides. He’s overcome a lot!

  • mychakk

    Jacksam4eva #37

    Thanks 🙂 I agree with your post wholeheartedly as well 😀 Especially about the part of the ‘mystery’ or things left unsaid for the viewers to interpret. I think this was one of the appealing things about the series from the beginning. We’ve been shown one thing (not exactly ethically correct one) and then we were show characters’ reactions or facial expressions that made us wonder what are their true thoughts about it. 🙂

    Nikki 38#

    I agree with what you said about Chase especially about his background and the impact it had on him. While it explains him, it doesn’t justify. The truth he WAS a selfish brat. And the fact that he has overgrown this vice makes him so lovable and fan favorite. 🙂

  • Nikki

    Dear Barbara, I have ordered your book and read especially the Chase parts with much interest and delight. As much as you seem to observe House and have fundamental knowledge about how the character is working, I have my own little obsession about Chase from the beginning of the series on. It’s lovely to see how he’s turned into one of the viewer’s favourite, however, I somehow disagree on the ‘Brat’ term. It may be a little off topic but, to me, he has always been one of the most tragic and underestimated characters on the show. If you look at his childhood, all of the ‘bratty’ behaviour is so much easier to explain. In my understanding, he’s used of being abandoned, and has learned from a very early age to look out for himself because there was no-one who would do it for him. The Vogler incident was a short circut because he felt like House would fire him first. He clung to the job because for the first time in his life, he had found a place and he wanted to keep it with all means. He can act in his own interest (which often can be interpreted as being selfish), but it’s highly understandable, given his background, and I think even House acknowledges that. I think there was a huge lack of confidence which he overcame while working for House.

    You also mentioned, in your book, that he has an issue with obese people, whereas I would like to think that he has an issue with addictive behaviour per se. It makes him uncomfortable so he lashes out. Same thing happened with the allegedly alcoholic mother in Socratic Method. As far as I recall, he never made personal attacks on the patients, it was their life style that appalled him. Having to grow up with an alcoholic, I think that indulgence (if not ‘justified’ like House’s pain killers) frightens him. But that’s another page. Just wanted to say that really most of his actions (and reactions) could best be explained by traumatic childhood experiences. I think he was given that sort of background for a reason, and I would have loved to see it further explored, on the show. He is a rich and potential character, plus portrayed by an extremely talented actor. Wish they’d give him more to do.

    I’ll step off my soap box now. 😉

  • @Mychakk: I cannot agree more with everything you said.

    I’m glad that everyone here seemed to enjoy the episode, as just like Crazy4House (at the very beginning) said, a lot said it was a filler. To me it was the best episode of this season so far. I really liked the fact that the writers didn’t try to psychoanalyze everything as much as they did earlier this season. The sudden drop in the Huddy screentime was a very clever thing to do right now because first and most importantly, it allowed us to focuse again on the other characters (just like a lot here said, the show is called House M.D after all, not Huddy M.D) like Chase and Taub (and even Wilson) who had been a little negleted earlier. For example, I enjoyed digging deeper into Taub’s character, and see some of his insecurities we had seen in Lockdown resurface, yet in a very different way.

    Moreover, I think the few Huddy scenes we got were terrific because they actually made us use our brains for once this season, trying to understand what House is thinking instead of just saying it out loud. Ever since Now What, the writers keep telling us what’s going on, pointing out when there’s a problem here or there (i.e he lied, he feels insecure with her Mom) which, I think, is good most of the time, but sometimes I also enjoy watching shows that make me think about the characters psychology myself instead of being told almost everything. This scene at the end can be interpreted in a lot of different ways, and I love the oppurtunity this new writer gave us.

  • dvbfan–thank you for writing (and all the way across the globe). This was definitely one of this season’s strongest episodes, and I believe it is because there was something in it for everyone: interesting story touching on fundamental House series values, character development for pretty much every character in the series.

    I agree with those who’ve said that Chase’s redemption is really interesting to watch. He’s come far from the brat of season one (I talk alot about that in Chasing Zebras, actually ;)) I’m very curious to see what’s next for him.

    Yahnis–thank you for writing all the way from Israel (lots of family there!). I wish I had that sort of power, but I don’t. (Actually I don’t wish to have that sort of power on the other hand :))

    David Shore loves to yank fans’ chains. That I know, so I have no idea what’s planned. I am trying to arrange a couple of writer interviews over the next few weeks–one with Ms. Lingenfelter and the other with Friend and Lerner (who’ve been very absent this season so far on the scriptwriting front).

  • Boeke

    This episode was very interesting, and it’s brought me back to watching House after a period of benign neglect. Perhaps because I can identify with house more than in the past. Like House, I wonder if I can ever be happy, and then I worry about counterfeit happiness, and then I worry if happiness is good enough.

  • mychakk

    Nikki #31 I may be in the minority here but the reduction of Huddy was a welcome relief.

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one 🙂 I AM a die-hard Huddy shipper, but it’s [H]ouse MD not [H]uddy MD. 🙂 And if I wanted solely a romance drama I would either switch on soap opera or read fanfiction. 😉 I DO enjoy the Huddy storyline but it WAS the focus of the series a bit too much lately. That’s why I loved this episode. Because the Huddy was still there, yet in the background. House was himself messing with Wilson’s life, we had a story oh Taub/Foreman friendship and a focus on Chase/the PotW, but we still knew that Cuddy and House are together and happy and content and understand each other. That’s the way I always wanted for Huddy to be done in the series. A background aspect of the show, not the focus of it. I know that some stuff needs to be addressed but in a way it turned to taking the whole screen time.

    ***SPOILER ALERT!***

    That’s why I’m not happy with the upcoming episode that will be focused on Cuddy once more (I love her, she’s my second fav character right after House, but seriously? again about her?)

  • kent

    I am always amazed at the way the writers of house manage to maintain the standards series after series. The acors must love working on it as they won’t often have many scripts as good as house.

    I can’t wait for it to get over to the UK.

  • mychakk

    Hi All 🙂

    First of all I REALLY loved this episode. I’ve read some comments on lj about Hilson fans getting their hopes for a Huddy break-up and got a bit worried but thankfully, unnecessarily. 🙂 I really loved the House/Wilson plotline. I’ve missed their bromance and felt it was a good thing they have filmed this episode. 🙂 It was sweet of House to care for Wilson so much he felt he needed to help him in getting back onto the dating scene. I’ve always felt that House was the better friend of the duo (don’t get me wrong, I DO think Wilson his House’s great friend, but I cannot forget how he disregarded House’s health in Wilson’s Heart and how he treated House in Dying Changes Everything. Or how he assumed he understand House in the premiere of Season Three and forced Cuddy to lie to House about the diagnosis – which ultimately led to his downfall in the first part of the season. Sorry for my ramblings!). Anyway I kinda missed House/Wilson bromance and enjoyed it immensely in this episode 🙂

    Also Taub and Foreman! There have been a lot of focus on Taub this season, and I don’t mind it that much personally, although I can see why people get frustrated with the character’s screentime. Foreman is not a fav Ducklings either. Yet I find their friendship heartwarming and an interesting thing. I hope we’ll see more in the future.

    Chase. My favorite Chase that has done a lot of character growth in the series. (Personally I think he is the one Duckling that has grew the most and changed the most). He is a VERY dynamic character and I love him. I was happy to see his warm and empathic side show this episode. I loved the little scenes/hints about House/Chase relationship. I’ve always felt it’s kinda fatherly/sonly like. I remember the punk who went running to Vogler in season one and the wonderful man that has gone with House bowling in season five. I always felt House was the most fond of Chase. And it’s a fact that Chase knows him longest right after Cuddy and Wilson. I REALLY liked how House told Chase that the PotW should apologize to her sister and he simply nodded. And then how Chase said that he thought even House didn’t believe in dying alone for everyone. It shows how those two characters know and understand each other.

    About the last scene… I think House was pondering the point of his life he found himself at right now. He is happy. And he sees that others (who might – in his twisted mind – deserve this happiness more) are not. He is still the best doctor he was; he diagnoses and save his patients regularly. Everything is ok. Good. Great even! And it’s worries him. I think that the line ‘Everyone dies alone’ House told the PotW has actually thrown him off. It was something he would/should say. A Housian view of the world, one he expressed a lot, one he always believed. I think he felt he should say it once more. And when he did it shocked him how untrue and insincere it sounded even to his own ears. He pauses then leaves the PotW, and you can say he’s unsettled. He doesn’t express his grim satisfaction at delivering the ‘pessimistic/realistic view of the world’ of his. I think this interaction with the patient as well as the Wilson storyline has made him realize he has actually changed. He’s happy and everything seems to be working out. He’s happy and he’s ok with it. I think he might have worried about an unavoidable fall-out but then Cuddy turned to him in her sleep and he recalled her words: ‘You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling happiness’. I think he realized there is no point in worrying; what will come, will come and then he’ll face it. Thus he closed his eyes contently and with a slight smile fall asleep beside the woman he loves.

    I think this scene (which to me was a peaceful, content one) might be actually a calm before the storm. We might see some great drama and maybe even angst in upcoming episodes. I love how this episode feels like a filler but actually moves forward the storyline and set up more possibilities in the upcoming episodes 🙂

    This said I must admit it was strange there has not been the aftermath of last week episode. I was not surprised by this (I knew about the switching of episode 11 and 13) but it still felt strange.

  • Nikki

    I really enjoyed Chase in the ep. Kudos for the new writer. She seemed to have based his character on his early background which was superbly interwoven (secretive, failed priesthood, the ability to forgive and take the good out of the bad things, a deep empathy that reminds of House’s own), until he became barely recognisable during the playboy arc so I really, really felt happy with this weeks ep. It brought back the Chase that I fell in love with. There was a melancholy and sadness about him that is very poignant and I missed this a lot.

    I may be in the minority here but the reduction of Huddy was a welcome relief. I also found myself puzzled by the ending when House said to Nadia that she can either be special or not but she’ll always die alone (something to that extent), and I liked how Chase gave Nadia the chance to make her own desicion when he offered her the SSRIs. You won’t be so special anymore, but you might learn to be happy. Is House happy? Is he a happy genius instead of a miserable genius now? Does he need to be driven by misery or will he find his fulfillment in family life with Cuddy? To be honest, I find it hard to imagine that this will last. As it is in Houseland (and in real life often, too), you can’t have both. It will be interesting how ‘Huddy’ plays out.

    On a side note, I enjoyed Taub and Foreman. It’s weird but I enjoy the buddy parts so much more than the relationship drama. Now with Huddy on the show, I just hope they’ll spare us a Chase/Thirteen hookup or a reconsiliation of Taub and Rachel.

  • yahnis

    Barbata thank you for this review and for others. Sorry for my bad english. I am russian jew from Israel.Do you know any more things about this tweet from GY and things that KJ told to Ausiello?Can you put any oil on our wound?It’s just such sad thing if they are going to break these amazing couple. Please do something about this, becouse you communicate with some of creators.I really understand that you can’t change their mind but maybe they will obey to zillions fans votes.And you are the best fan that they ever had.You are simbol of House fans.Please help us not to end Huddy.

  • dvbfan

    Hello Barbara, I am from Iran and one the house biggest fans.
    To be honest,I did not like the first 5-6 episodes of season 7 – as much as previous seasons – but it becomes more interesting as the series goes on.
    I like this episode . It is an ethical episode about forgiveness and dealing with the truth I think .About the last scene of the episode,House is not sure about his happiness and he does not know is it going to continue or it would an end to feel a little bit happy and back to his misery .
    And I should say that it is very enjoyable to read your review about House and can not wait for the next episode and reading your review.

  • House_stalking

    Loved this episode – nice to see Wilson back (and for that matter the awesome Robert Sean Leonard – how can someone be this gorgeous!).

    Just a pity that the writers turned House into a doormat in most of the episodes!

  • pawpaw

    Barbara – can you elaborate a bit more on this; I don’t understand:
    “I think perhaps he was considering whether this new situation in which he’s found himself has come at some cost in the aftermath of Nadia’s case.”

    Thanks! Great review as always:)

  • Michele1L

    This episode did seem to be out of sequence when considering all of the drama of the previous one involving Cuddy’s mother. I fully expected that episode to leave a trail, when one considers how infuriated Arlene’s doctor was with House and Cuddy.

    Someone had commented on the ratings being up for that one and then dropping back down this week. Not suprising for two reasons; 1., That happens around SuperBowl time, 2. To fully appreciate that entensely dark and dramatic episode, one would have to have been watching this entire season. People were curious to check out the show based on the snarky humor of the “Mean Joe Green” spoof, but that episode was far from humorous. Wouldn’t have been my choice to air that one post-Superbowl. — Something a bit lighter probably would’ve sustained more newbie viewers for this week’s episode, which I loved!

    I especially loved, as many of you have said, the scenes between House and Cuddy. I enjoyed how Cuddy stopped House from bouncing the ball by leaning over him and allowing her wet hair to drip over his face. So playful. I truly believe that the only plausible reason the writers could come up with for this relationship not sustaining would be the couple’s conflicts at work. She, as Dean of Medicine having to enforce a code of ethics and his literal/physical ‘never-say-die’ attitude towards medicine; saving patients at any and all costs, ethics or not, are clearly in direct opposition, but on a personal basis, they, in my view, are perfect for one another.

    Taub and Foreman are a pleasant, developing surprise. They can be very annoying separately but are amusing together. I can almost hear House getting his licks in over this developing bromance.

    I’m going to say it again — please bring back House playing music! I so miss that!

  • julieann

    When I originally watched this episode, I have to admit that I didn’t care for it much — I wrote it off as my least favorite of the season. Couldn’t get excited about the POTW. Taub-Foreman thing seemed a too little forced. Cuddy-House subplot seemed a little too blah. House-Wilson storyline was the only one that caught my interest.

    But then I read the initial reviews and some of the comments and watched it again. What I was thinking the first time? It really was a lovely episode. The patient wasn’t very sympathetic, but her condition was interesting. The subplots were all entertaining and showed intriguing insights into the various characters. I loved the role reversals — Taub, once the cockiest members of the team after House, feeling deflated; Foreman, the most detached, showing that he really does care about someone he’s not sleeping with; Chase, this season’s party boy, turning into the wise sage.

    And then there was the total irony of watching House trying to get Wilson to be more social — what a difference a year makes! (At least House didn’t pay people to take Wilson to a lesbian bar or out for a night of karaoke.)

    It does seem that House has turned a corner, and it’s fascinating to see him as the most functional and relatively happiest person the room. (Admittedly, a low bar on this show.) In this episode, House was almost — dare I say? — sweet in the way he fussed over Wilson and in his interactions with Cuddy, and even in bringing mice home for Sarah. The look on his face at the end — what was that? Pensive, yet not unhappy, perhaps contemplating how he got from his not-long-ago days as a miserable misanthrope drug addict to here in Cuddy’s bed.

    On the other hand, the bar scene showed us that House hasn’t changed all THAT much — “Bartender, champagne for everyone!” — not to mention how his love for Wilson was basically expressed through manipulative, devious gestures. House certainly has his own distinctive take on friendship ….

  • DebbieJ

    Re the whole diabetic cat scene: I used to work at a vet hospital and you wouldn’t believe how many people give their cat up just as soon as it was diagnosed with diabetes, because, you know, it’s just too much work. On the other hand, we had many clients who would go to the ends of the earth for their diabetic furbabies. The House page on Facebook showed us this clip and I just had to share it with 2 of my former coworkers who are vet techs. I don’t know if they watch House but I’m sure they could appreciate the scene!

    Also, on a purely fan-girl side note, did anyone else notice how incredibly handsome House/Hugh Laurie was in the final scene with Wilson, right after Wilson asked him to give him time? The perfect camera angle, the way House’s was leaning on the counter and looking up, just made my heart skip an extra beat.

  • hwl40

    Another parallel: The ptow doesn’t want to take meds because she is afraid to lose what makes her special. In “Broken”, House doesn’t want to take the same meds for the same reason. Both push past these fears, and so far, House keeps putting one foot in front of the other – alternating occasionally, as Barbara said, with one or two steps backward.

  • Sera G.

    Hi, Barbara, wonderful review, as always.
    I loved this episode. I was wondering what could possibly follow last week’s as I thought it was superior.
    “You Must Remember This” had some really fine moments and I enjoyed the character interplays. Kudos to a first time writer! I am finding Foreman and Taub and oddly likeable pair. They are both arrogant and condescending, yet their vulnerabilities are similar (ego over loved one, career over most anything). I got a kick out of watching them play that game together.
    Now we are back to the Chase that I care about. His scenes with Nadia were pure seasons 1/2. He always had a way with patients, even if he wasn’t always sincere. I liked his moments with her. Best line from Chase, “I don’t think House even believes it anymore.” (Dying alone.)
    Now, on to House/Cuddy. I agree with both ruthinor #8 and eileen, #15, I saw contentment on House’s face. Cuddy was percepitve and reassuring; he has no need to feel guilty for being happy, even though Wilson is not happy (for now). She understands him and articulated what he might never say aloud. I loved the gentle stroking of her elbow. It would be a grave mistake, IMO, to break these two up.
    The writers have so carefully crafted the quiet moments between them, the touches, the communication without words, etc. It would take a huge backslide from House or an enormous wound to make it believable. If they do, I am afraid, a lot of credibility will be lost.
    Got a big laugh from the Stuart Little cat story. I watched that movie many times with my nephews when they were small. That is an old cat!
    *****Spoiler Alert**** Barbara, did you read the title of next week’s epi?

  • Mimi

    I enjoy the house and cuddy relationship and hope they stay together till the end on the show…maybe i’m asking too much but i hope so

  • ruthinor

    RobF, I could be wrong but I think the Cuddy’s mother hospitalization episode was originally supposed to be # 13 and was moved up. I don’t know why they did this, perhaps it was sweeps week or for some other reason. So this latest episode should have run before last week’s story. In any case, it’s often hard to tell in this series how much time has elapsed between episodes, e.g House said that Wilson had been pining over Sam for 3 months.

  • DebbieJ

    This episode was solid story-telling and I agree with whomever said that the new writer must be a fan.

    @#10 Barbara – Actually, Foreman tells Taub who Keyser Soze was 😉

    @#12 Andrea – This isn’t the first time House suggested drowning a cat with a bag in a river. He said it to a clinic patient in one of the earlier seasons when she complained about inheriting her deceased mother’s cat. And I’m sure he was being his sarcastic self when saying it and not really meaning it.

    #14 bluehue – I agree. I took the final scene as a sign of contentment on his part. I believe he was pondering what Cuddy said to him earlier in the episode and at that point realized she was right.

  • hwl40–and also Hill Street Blues! But I can’t imagine that House won’t backslide at some point–maybe the season finale. Even though at this point it may be 2 steps forward and 1 back rather than the 1 step forward and three back that marked House’s journey in seasons 1-6

  • hwl40

    Great review, Barbara, loved this episode and that the writer – and I also assume David Shore – had the courage to let House actually have a relationship that is workable and growing. Perhaps not for long but, as I recall, there was a series called MacMillan and Wife where the relationship was an integral part of the show and they didn’t have to break it up to keep the fans. Here’s hoping the producers and writers have the courage to explore this relationship on an ongoing basis as it is as dramatic, entertaining and touching in quiet moments as it is in extremis.

  • RobF

    Great review — good catch on the ending of “Half-Wit”!

    I don’t think House believes he doesn’t deserve happiness. It’s just that he doesn’t feel comfortable wallowing in happiness when he sees so many people without. Instead of looking in through the window at the happy people, House is now in the position of a person enjoying a fabulous restaurant meal while he can see homeless people outside in the cold.

    It was nice to see Chase and Foreman do more than stand around in white coats. I liked Chase having a bit of fun at Masters’ expense — “Go on! You can tell the truth _and_ help the patient’s diagnosis!”

    Taub’s test troubles seemed barely plausible, and stood out as an obvious plot device designed to get he and Foreman talking. I won’t complain if this leads to a real story arc for either of them.

    Also, I know this episode was supposed to be a break from all the tension, but it is hardly believable that the group would be continuing as though nothing happened with Cuddy’s mother. Even if House is still practicing, they would be too worried to think about Wilson’s cat or just laze about in bed happily.

    *** Spoiler Alert ***

    Kevin Spacey is Keyser Söze.

  • eileen

    Loved this episode. I love House and Cuddy’s beautiful relationship so much! Watching House’s face when Cuddy lets him know that it’s okay for him to be happy while being with her was great. Very well written and acted.

    Also, I think it’s terrific that Taub is moving in the Foreman. It’s a nice continuation of the friendship that we saw when they played basketball against each other a few episodes ago. Didn’t expect this and really like it.

    Season 7 has been wonderful watch so far. I look forward to each new episode.

  • bluehue

    A little more cat commentary…(agree with andrea..perish that thought..glub glub!). And just to say, I love your line, “adopting a diabetic cat, something House believes is akin to waving the white flag on living.” (purr-fect).
    I laughed when House opened the window to toss out the ragweed..and then hesitated for a moment in closing it. Wonder if Wilson put 2+2 together about his former 3-legged siamese.

    Clever catch too, (it never occurred to me that House may have helped the cheat..cheat).

    Hmmm..what was awake House thinking in bed next to sleeping Cuddy..softly petting her elbow..while an almost split-screen Wilson is petting cat-Sarah? Que sera sera…what will be will be..oops..drifting. Sacrifice..yes, and I also hope he pushed worries of Wilson aside to allow a wave of pure contentment to wash over him.

  • Action Kate

    First of all, men with cats are quite sexy. Any guy can have a dog; it takes a certain strength of character for a single guy to have a cat in his life. The special-needs bit is all Wilson, I’ll admit. Second, House has already demonstrated gentleness with cats in “Here Kitty.” Third, Hugh Laurie, as the wonderful Bertie Wooster, also showed a gentleness with cats (Bertie was originally written as “having a way with moggies”).

    Harrumph. 🙂 With that out of the way…

    I am surprised to hear that this episode was from a new writer. Cuddy says to House “You think you don’t deserve this [relationship, happiness],” and he responds, “Have you MET me?”

    Way back in Season 5, Wilson and Amber are mattress shopping, and he gets the one she wanted instead of the one he wanted. She asks him what the hell he was thinking, and he says, “I love you… I want to take care of you.” And she responds: “Have you MET me?”

    So I thought this was the same writer. (It’s a great line; I’ve used it myself.)

    I was a little surprised to see Taub and Foreman thrown down the “Wilson and House move in together” route, but they actually play off one another pretty nicely. They’re certainly more interesting than Foreman and 13 (who, I swear, I had actually *forgotten* about entirely — hubby had to remind me that she and Foreman had been knocking stethoscopes).

  • Andrea

    Grrrr at House for suggesting that Wilson drown Sarah the Cat in the river. But major kudos to Wilson for saving the diabetic cat and being willing to give it its shots every day and a good home. There are worse things than being a cat lady (or a cat man) and I strongly suspect Wilson would find that there are many women who’d find it an attractive quality. I loved the final scene with Wilson holding Sarah.

    I didn’t find the patient of the week overly sympathetic or the case that interesting. I did enjoy Taub and Foreman’s scenes and hope for an odd couple storyline there.

  • Caz

    This episode is definitely in my top 3 of this season so far.

    A great episode to show case the present reversal of roles between House and Wilson.

    I think House has been mildly concerned for Wilson since he broke up with Sam but thought he was just moping and would get over himself in time. How very Housian that his mild concern turned into real concern after the discovery of the diabetic cat since he remembered Wilson had got a 3 legged one after his second divorce. What ensued in him trying to fool Wilson into believing he was allergic to the cat and him taking Wilson to a bar to try and hook him up was entertaining and very touching.

    Great pick up from House about Wilson’s subconscious being afraid of dying alone and it coming out as gibberish and sneezing. How many times has Wilson warned House of that? My how the tables have been turned…for the time being at least.

    Loved Wilson accusing House of being a hypocrite and his “Until recently your lifestyle of choice was self-exile” and House’s “But I never got a cat”.

    Loved House’s speech as Wilson approached the girl in the bar “Hi there! Wilson…James Wilson. I’m a doctor” and then House mocking him to himself “hoping that’s enough to close but then I’m also a social moron and I’ve got a cat” very funny.

    House telling the patient that we all die alone and then Chase telling the patient that he doesn’t even think House believes that anymore was very telling of how much House has grown emotionally in the teams eyes.

    Glad they shown House’s doubts about him thinking he doesn’t deserve to be happy and it being Cuddy who picked up on those doubts and put it into words for the audience.

    Really liked that in the end House accepted that Wilson needs the cat for the time being and even enabled him with the gift for it.

    I never usually like Taub and especially Foreman but I really like this growing connection between them, I think they bounce off each other well.

    Overall I really enjoyed the little push that this episode gave to move the story forward and predict more angst from here on out which I am dreading in a way but also really cannot wait for, there has been too much fluff this season.

  • koji

    Of course! That was a riot with House spoiling the ending of Usual Suspects for Wilson. That was completely evil.

  • Koji Attwood

    I loved the Usual Suspects inside joke.

  • ruthinor

    Very interesting review and food for thought.

    Several weeks ago “60 minutes” had a segment on people like Nadia. They gathered 5 or 6 people (very rare condition) who could remember what happened on every day of their lives, as though they had calendars in their brains. Among them was the actress Marilou Henner who appeared in the show “Taxi” many years ago. They examined their brains and found that there WERE differences when compared to the “normal” brain. Interestingly, if I recall correctly, some exhibited signs of OCD, but none were ill like Nadia.

    I disagree with Liz. While Taub, and especially Foreman, can be dull relative to the others, IMO, together they are far more interesting than either alone. It never occurred to me that House might be behind the “cheating” by Taub, but it does sound Housian!

    At the end, I thought House looked content. I guess we all see what we want to see! If you think about it, House is actually very lucky. He has a best friend and a lover who understand him better than anyone else in the world. They accept him and love him in spite of how hateful he can be at times.

    I loved the scenes with House , Wilson and Sarah. If you listened carefully, you could actually hear Sarah purring when held by House. The only thing I find somewhat troubling about Wilson’s story is how can a guy have so many “loves of his life”. I really felt for him when Amber died. But when Sam left, I just didn’t get that same feeling. She never left an impression on me and her leaving seemed somewhat out in left field.

  • Liz

    The idea of a Taub/Foreman bromance gives me the creeps I hope this is not going any further. They are both boring – what a waste of screentime!

  • Nola

    Well I have been unhappy with much of this season but I loved this episode. Great to see the show get back to the basics.
    I adore Sara the cat and the scenes with Wilson this week.
    Great interaction with Foreman and Taub. Especially the line from Taub about Foremans home….I thought it would be more Mod Squad. (Since Omar was in Mod Squad)
    Classic House move…..Champagne for everyone….then walks out the door.
    Nice scenes with Cuddy yet the entire relationship was kept more in the background while the focus stayed on the POTW, who was also interesting.
    Sadly the ratings were back down again this week. I think last weeks ratings boost had much to do with SuperBowl ads.

    And yes, I think that last scene is very telling of whats to come.

  • Orange450– Couldn’t agree more, with everything! The ending scene, the ball, concern for Wilson… This writer writes from the perspective of a long-time fan! If only the lollipops would make a return appearance!

  • I loved this episode! Thanks for your spot-on review!

    I was struck by House’s interest in whether Nadia thanked her sister for saving her life and, if not, that Chase should see if she would consider it.

    Mr. ‘Numbers Don’t Lie’ guy is doing the math here. I think he’s trying to understand in his rational/logical way how his happiness adds up. House claims to understand and appreciate Nadia’s view of her memories. Untarnished, unfiltered, factual. Add to the equation her sister’s willingness to give up her kidney to save Nadia’s life. Does that trump the total of what Nadia considered her unforgivable moments?

    Throughout Season 6, House was busy fixing and helping his team’s personal/professional problems often behind the scenes. Wilson’s line “Your boss is secretly a very nice man.” comes to mind.

    In ‘Small Sacrifies’ Taub said something to the effect of “I thought she had forgiven me for everything, but all those hurt feelings never really went away.” I think House could not rationally understand why he should apologize for lying to Cuddy to save his patient’s life- that’s nothing new. What she needed was the gesture and that he understands. “Words don’t matter, actions matter.” Of course we know he knows words matter, and hurt! He has always been quite good at gestures, especially in the romantic gesture department!

    In Broken, Dr. Nolan taught House that an apology, although intangible, can heal. He did not need to suffer equally, feel the equal measure of pain he caused.

    For too long House has been convinced he does not deserve to be happy. The obsessive nurturing/protecting/testing of the relationships with Wilson and Cuddy House probably considers selfish on his part. But, it stems from his deep affection for them both. Hopefully he will shed his unease and find comfort in this happy place.

  • Eve K

    Hello there!
    I said some months ago that this shows characters had lost my interest, but clearly I had to keep watching, to see if it would get better.

    And this weeks episode was a genormous step forward. The quality is comparable to the shows finest, season 1, 2 & 3. So Im not surprised that you mention a lot of old episodes in your excellent review, Barbara.

    Allthough it started a little predictable, with the thypical “everybody lies” story (the man and the woman in the cafe), it got better fast.

    The theme of remembering and forgetting is compelling, and it was masterfully done by the new writer. It is a deeply ethical theme, and it bears inside it the themes of forgiveness or bitterness, suspicion or trust.

    I would like to mention a play by August Strindberg, called “The dance of death” about a marriage. The clue of surviving in that marriage is “to erase and move on, to erase and move on.” If you remember every quarrel, all the bad blood, you cannot go on.

    As clearly stated in this episode.

    I think that House comes to understand that specific dynamic within the human relationship and pounder about it. He knows that he and Cuddy will argue, and there will bee trouble, but the mind is set to forget the bad times, and hopefully they will move on together.

    Strindbergs play did not end well, but his observation was a good one anyway. (-:

    I have to say that I think the quality of this episode had something to do with the pace and flow of the show. Lately each episode has turned into a marathon of text. The characters all sounds like they are coming from the same character, all a version of House, in the housverse.

    But this episode sounded more real, and the patient came in centre, even though House was as central a character as ever. It is a fine balance and I think sometimes the writers get a little blind, from have been on the show for so long.

    For the director, I also loved the flipping of images when she remembered her past, it told the story in a very subtle and melancholic way.

  • Orange450

    Wonderful review, Barbara! I agree with your perspectives, including your take on what may have been on House’s mind during the last scene.

    I think it’s telling that while he continued to stroke Cuddy’s arm, he closed his eyes and seemed to compose himself for sleep, right before the fade-out. Signifying, perhaps, that for the moment, he’s made his peace with whatever he was wrestling with. Had he not, I think the episode would’ve ended with him staring up with his eyes wide open, as we’ve seen him do before.

    I hadn’t been aware of who wrote the episode until you mentioned that the writer is a newbie. Well, kudos for a terrific first try. IMO, this was one of the best “regular” episodes of the season, thus far. I couldn’t get myselft motivated to comment on last week’s episode, which was fun, but just too anvillicious for me. But I really think this one was almost pitch-perfect. I loved the inversion of the dilemma. It felt just right to see House be the one in the “better” situation for a change.

    The small things really counted for much in this one: I loved the way House handed Cuddy the ball he’d been bouncing against the wall – just like a schoolkid who’s been caught in mischief 🙂 It was fun to see this “thinking” activity of his again – took me all the way back to “Failure to Communicate”. And I can’t say enough good things about RSL’s performance in the white rat scene. The way he yelped and leapt for the skillet – no one does that sort of thing better. I haven’t cared much about Taub or Foreman for months. Chase neither. I’m very grateful to this new scribe for awakening my interest in all three. I agree that it was wonderful to see caring, sensitive Chase again. I’ve always felt that this is his true character, and attempts to portray him as a player haven’t rung true to me at all.

    And just how touching was it that House was suddenly deeply and truly concerned that Wilson had a drug problem?? Awwwwww. (And this coming from the guy who’d had one for years.)

    Great job all around, by all. Including you 🙂

  • Crazy4House

    I really loved this episode, although I know a lot of others felt it was “filler”. I thought it was great and moved everything foward. I loved all the personal dynamics and the Foreman/Taub friendship is really nice. I usually don’t like when they have storylines, but when they are together, they are much more interesting and entertaining.
    Interesting about the cat. I noticed that it looked a lot like the cat from the film, but those types of cats are very common, I never would have assumed it was the same cat!