As much as this entire journey will be for House a greater emotional risk—a far greater emotional risk, since it has been so long since he’s been involved. I hear in my head, Wilson’s admonition to Cameron back in “Love Hurts” about the potential fallout if things don’t work out.
On the other hand, it is six years later and House’s psyche (“therafied,” drug free and anti-depressed as it has been for a year) may be able to better withstand the rocky shoals of a real relationship than he has been in years. For Cuddy, the risks are different but just as great. As dean—and House’s boss—she needs to prove both to herself and the hospital staff that she can rein in the village maverick. But she also needs to prove to House that she really can control him. He is so good at finding the weak spots, that if she doesn’t show him right off that he can’t get away with more than he had before, chaos will reign.
Interestingly House has no interest in testing Cuddy's authority nor the bounds of her position as his boss). House is solicitous to a degree not seen since the end of season four. Astute fans (and my readers are among the most astute on the planet) should recall another time when House has been so destructively deferential (and against his better judgment). That, of course, was in “Wilson’s Heart,” at the end of season four.
Back then, House was concerned about Wilson. Over and over in that episode, House backs off the riskier (and perhaps more effective) choices to resist making waves with Wilson (and perhaps risking their relationship).
Cuddy is taken a bit taken aback at House’s compliance. You would think she would appreciate this new and more malleable House, but she seems unsettled by it. And this forms the core conflict of their first week as lovers as they grapple with how their relationship can possibly, and at all, work while keeping the hospital standing and the relationship secure. “I just don’t want our relationship affecting our jobs—or the other way around.”
When Della requires a lung transplant and her body rejects the donor lung, the 14-year old and her parents are faced with an impossible choice. Della’s brother is a match, but a donating such a significant organ may cut his lifespan even further, perhaps in half. Do the parents ask this of themselves and their son—or risk losing both of them: Della immediately and her brother within a few short years?