Wilson assumes Cuddy has asked and House has always been ready with deflections or a million excuses why not. And House never dispels that. Throughout the first part of the episode, I wondered, like Cuddy whether House is hedging his bets, having second thoughts or really unwilling to take that further leap into intimacy. It didn’t make sense to me, knowing what I believe I know about House.
But then there is the AHA! moment for the audience, and it all comes together: clarity for us; clarity for the patient, and clarity for House and Cuddy. Fear couched in House’s perpetual testing of the relationship’s boundaries parallels Cuddy’s fear of taking another step with House: letting him be part of Rachel’s life—and spend the entire night with him. It’s not that House doesn’t want to play with Rachel or wake up in the morning next to Cuddy. It’s that Cuddy hasn’t offered that part of herself to him. She too is afraid. And House calls her on it. Good for him!
These are two huge steps forward for Cuddy. House wonders why she isn’t ready to take them. His earlier conversation with Wilson suddenly sounds less like indifference towards Cuddy’s needs and family consideration and more like hurt. He can’t admit to Wilson that it’s Cuddy who has commitment issues here.
But instead of insulating himself from it, House asks her why. Of course it’s precipitated by her own accusation that House is trying to sabotage their relationship (which would be very House) by flaunting a hooker masseuse in her face. Massage therapy, indeed!
Two notes: I will be a guest this evening on the Canadian radio program KW Magazine with John Maciel (CKWR in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario) to talk about House and Chasing Zebras. I will also be interviewing Robert Seidman from TV by the Numbers. With all the talk about ratings these days in not only the House fan community, but all ‘round the ‘Net, he will try to demystify it all for us. So look for that article later this week.
A new House episode airs next Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox.