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Where Is This Relationship Going? Lisa Edelstein on House‘s Fifth Season

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It has been a long time since I wrote anything about House. I can give many excuses for my lack of enthusiasm for writing but I knew that House fans had plenty of other resources, including Barbara Barnett’s Blogcritics column, for in-depth discussion and episodic dissection and analysis. When asked by friends, family, and readers why I stopped writing, I could not put my feelings about this column into words, but after some soul-searching I have to admit that as our friend, Dr. House would say: "It's one of the great tragedies of life — something always changes."

I am no longer the kind of fan who scours the Internet searching for new news about the show or for every obscure little morsel of information I can find on Hugh Laurie. I still love House but I like to think that my relationship with the show has evolved beyond a passionate obsession, and blossomed into a more mature kind of emotional attachment.

In my opinion, the show has changed as well. House is still full of intelligent stories, witty dialogue, cutting sarcasm, playfulness, drama, and surprises. And while the medical maladies are still interesting, it is the ever-evolving cast of characters as portrayed by some of the most talented actors on television today that make me tune in. It is no longer the patient of the week and his or her medical mystery that drives the show – it is the personalities and changing relationships of the Princeton Plainsboro staff that keep me enthralled.

I suspect that I am not the only fan who feels this way. In a recent phone conference with Lisa Edelstein about upcoming episodes, I felt that other critics and viewers might share my opinion as well. Of all the questions put to Lisa, only one was slightly focused on the medical mystery aspect of the show. What all of our inquiring minds wanted to know revolved around the fact that finally, after five seasons of wondering whether it would be Cameron or Cuddy, we finally know that lucky Lisa will be the one to lock lips and seal the deal with Dr. House.

When asked about the kissing scene with Hugh Laurie, Lisa said, “It was great. I wouldn't complain. I have a great friendship with Hugh, and he's supersexy, so who could complain about kissing him?” She also said that the sex was apparently good – although we will not see her get naked or anything, the scene is “pretty hot.” It took about five takes, so that the cameras could get all the right angles, but that seemed to be fine by her.

Lisa was coy about where this would lead for House and Cuddy. She would not elaborate on how it happens or what the repercussions would be but she did say, “I don't think it's a passing thing. It's been going on for a long time whether or not they've acted out on it. I don't necessarily think it will ever be a satisfying relationship in terms of both of them kind of settling in and saying this is what we're doing. But she has a complicated relationship with men it seems. She likes the screwed up ones. I totally relate.”

Lisa could not divulge the details but did say that we will have to watch to see how sleeping together will ultimately affect the relationship between House and Cuddy. She said, “It's a beautiful, complicated adult relationship between those two characters. Neither person is one thing or another. They're dynamic individuals. That’s what makes it such a spectacular show to be on because that’s where all the characters have gone.”

And how will the diagnostic team react to this new development? According to Lisa, “I think that the rest of the staff is pretty much waiting for them to get together. I don't think it's a secret. Sometimes when people have chemistry with each other, it's just so obvious. It's not like he doesn't talk about it. He's constantly referring to her body and teasing her in front of everybody else. It's like schoolyard banter. He might as well be chasing her and pulling her braids.” She goes on to say, “I don't think Cameron feels jealous. Part of her sees the House-Cuddy relationship as the right thing, and maybe a part of her will always have that crush on House. Like we all carry a torch for somebody. But no, I think if anything, Cuddy worries about Cameron.”

According to Lisa, the last two episodes of the season are really exciting and she can’t wait for them. Her favorite moments? “I certainly would not complain about the kissing scene.” She said she couldn’t really tell much without ruining it, but I know that I am certainly intrigued.

So besides the Cuddy hookup, what do the final episodes of the season have in store for us? On May 4, House and the team take on the case of a ballerina (guest star Jamie Tisdale) whose lungs collapse in the middle of a performance. When the treatment causes her skin to fall off, the dancer faces not only the prospect of never dancing again but also of dying an agonizing death. The team must use their imaginations to carefully choreograph ways to test and treat her delicate body without killing her. Meanwhile, House continues to suffer from a severe lack of sleep and is still haunted by hallucinations. While enlisting Wilson’s help to diagnose himself, he is willing to do the unthinkable to make his visions stop.

On the season finale, which will air on May 11, House and the team are intrigued by Scott, a man whose left brain and right brain operate independently, leaving him with two distinct personalities and no control over some of his actions. As the two sides of Scott’s brain struggle for dominance, his warring personalities make it increasingly difficult for the team to figure out what is causing the unique problem. The team is forced to use some unusual methods to get him to cooperate with their necessary testing. Meanwhile, when House refuses to make an appearance in the clinic, Cuddy takes an unconventional approach to force House to make up the time with a particular patient (special guest star Carl Reiner.)

So, as in seasons past, House will end the year with a bang. For those who have asked, I will return to writing about the show, and re-visit those episodes that I missed reviewing the first time around. I may no longer be an obsessed House geek, but I still consider myself one of the show’s biggest fans.

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About CindyC

Cindy is a Connecticut writer and member of the Connecticut Critics Circle. She has had many changes in her life, but one thing has always remained the same: her life-long love of theater.
  • Ruthie

    Thanks for the information from a former obsessive fan as well. I still enjoy watching the show but from a more calm and objective position than in seasons past. You’ve intrigued me enough that I’ll definitely watch the last 2 episodes of the season. Welcome back.