Tuesday , May 21 2024
House messes with Bond... James Bond.

Goldfinger, Blofeld, a Cat, and Gregory House

Now, I like House as much as the next person… well, almost as much as the next person, but I simply don't approve of the show going off and misrepresenting James Bond and/or James Bond villains. House may be a great character, but James Bond is my hero, and you don't mess with my hero, even if you're a great character.

No, this isn't a small, little thing. This is messing with one of the greatest characters of all time. That's simply not acceptable.

You see, House was sitting there last night, smoking a cigar, stroking a cat. He was pretending to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld and he said, "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." Don't give me any excuses about how it was Thirteen who suggested he was Blofeld, not House. House accepted the statement that he was pretending to be Blofeld, House thought he was pretending to be Blofeld, and it worries me that the writers thought the same thing.

Sure, famous line from the world of James Bond: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." Great line. It was uttered in fantastic fashion while Bond was strapped to a table and a laser was about to bisect him, starting with his genitalia. It is a line said in what might be the most famous scene from one of the most famous Bond movies by one of the most famous Bond villains. Sure, Ernst Stavro Blofeld is one of the most famous Bond villains, but Ernst Stavro Blofeld wasn't the guy who said "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." It was said by Auric Goldfinger… in Goldfinger. Blofeld wasn't even in that movie, SPECTRE (Blofeld's organization) wasn't in the movie.

The writers of House have, repeatedly, proven themselves knowledgeable about pop culture and this was a pretty easy reference to correctly source. So how did they miss this?

Well, my big worry is that they didn't. I've liked their writing, I've liked how they haven't treated viewers like fools, and now I'm worried that they have, that they did. I'm worried that they were well aware that the line House quoted was originally said by Goldfinger, but Goldfinger didn't have a cat and they did. Perhaps someone originally suggested that they use the line; someone else pointed out it was said by Goldfinger, not Blofeld; a decision was made to use the line and reference Blofeld anyway. The problem is that such a decision might imply that the writers figured that we, the audience, wouldn't notice. Such reasoning would mean that they decided to treat us as foolish, as uninformed, that they figured it was okay to pull a fast one on us.

It's not okay to pull a fast one on the audience like that, and I don't want to think that the producers tried. What then were they thinking? Did they honestly not realize they were misattributing the quote? Had no one in the writers' room seen Goldfinger?

I tend to think that the most likely answer is that they knew they were misattributing the quote and decided it didn't matter. They weren't trying to pull a fast once on the audience, they just didn't think that misattributing the quote mattered, Blofeld stroking a cat was a great reference and they felt that it was something House might say and do. Fine, but that doesn't really please me — you don't mess with James Bond references, you just don't.

Let me just say that one of the other big possibilities is something I can't accept. Some of you might suggest that no one in that room knew who said the line or that House inspires such fear in his minions that no one would dare speak up. I refuse to accept either of those ideas, the first because I find it impossible that House and Thirteen would know the line but not the speaker and the latter because House's minions talk back all the time.

So, tell me, what exactly do you think took place with that line?

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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