I love an episode title that bodes well for juvenile antics from House. Though I suppose any episode title bodes well for juvenile antics from House. "Act Your Age" is full of fun character moments and reinventions of relationships, and brings us a phrase coming soon to a t-shirt near you: "Never is just reven spelled backwards." However, although there were satisfying twists along the way, the medical mystery's final unraveling, related to the father's use of a male enhancement cream, left me as limp as ... well, I won't go there. I'll be a mature adult.
The episode takes its title from the miniature patient of the week, six-year-old Lucy, who has the symptoms of a much older woman, including heart problems, arthritis, and a stroke, stemming from her abnormally thick blood. Her older brother Jasper would seem to be your typical eight-year-old boy, at least one who recently lost his mother to brain cancer and is therefore acting out, getting into fights at school, disobeying his father, picking on his sister, and developing a Chase-sized crush on Cameron, complete with stolen flowers for his beloved.
Cameron and Chase could take a lesson from the episode title. After Cameron abruptly ended their no-strings-attached sexual arrangement once Chase started developing strings, they can't stop sniping at each other. Who would have guessed that a friends-with-benefits arrangement could go so badly between coworkers? Anyone with a brain, that's who. House of course loves the latest development, since it allows him to torture the ex-lovers further by throwing them together at every opportunity.
An even greater non-surprise is that House isn't immune from the childish antics in "Act Your Age." He and Wilson get into a twisted mind game involving Cuddy that I'm not sure either of them won. It all begins when House offers Wilson tickets to a play, a gift from a grateful patient who apparently decided a lawsuit for emotional distress wasn't the way to go since House saved his life, after all. House refuses to go with Wilson: "You thought this was a date? ... Dudes only go to plays if they're dragged by women they want to see naked." Wilson drags Cuddy, which fuels House's puerile mischievousness and his suppressed jealousy.
There's a lot of badly suppressed jealousy in "Act Your Age," an indication that the root of the age-inappropriateness in the episode comes down to sex - something that's never particularly surprising on this show. Wilson toys with House, letting him believe he slept with Cuddy, watching House's tortured reaction, then admitting he was kidding. House toys with Wilson, but in doing so, is the author of his own barely hidden jealousy.