After another long hiatus, House is back Monday night with new episodes, picking up with episode 15 (if you count “Broken” as two episodes). “Private Lives” finds Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) moving on with his life and trying to drag House (Hugh Laurie) along as he goes speed dating as the team treats a blogger.
But what I wanted to do before Monday's episode is to present a House wish list: what's missing from the season thus far; what I'd like to see, how I hope the season winds down. Of course you mileage, as they say in the Internet world, may vary widely. And with that in mind, feel free to agree or disagree–or or add to my wish list.
I have liked this season a lot, there have been some excellent episodes and some interesting play-with-the-forumla offerings. But that's not to say it's been perfect or completely satisfying. A bit too much of one thing and not enough of others.
As we re-enter the House-verse, Wilson and House are still residing together in Wilson’s new condo, which, if you recall was more or less snatched from Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) when Wilson outbid her. Lucas (Michael Weston) avenged this alleged wrong by physically harming House and raining rain all over the upscale abode. Lucas may think he has the upper hand in his rivalry with House (after all he is sleeping with her), but House’s quietly strong supportiveness (particularly evidenced in the last episode, “5 to 9”) may win out in the end.
But for most of this season, Cuddy has seen House through a prism informed by his worst behavior and melt down at the end of season five. And besides his sweetness during “Known Unknowns” (6×07), and his no-strings-attached offer of circus tickets at the end of “Ignorance is Bliss” (6×09), House has given Cuddy little reason to endear her to him. Of course we know his heart is broken and his aborted effort to talk to her at the end of "Remorse" (6×13) showed us how little confidence he has right now.
Foreman (Omar Epps) and Hadley (Oliva Wilde) are broken up but have begun to repair at at least a working relationship ("Remorse"). Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) have split in what seems to have been an overly and unfairly rushed conclusion to their relationship ("Teamwork," 6×08), but there is some speculation (OK, it's more than speculation) that Cameron will reappear at some point over these final eight episodes.
More House. I don’t mean more episodes (although I’m disappointed that the season only offers 22-ish episodes this year), I mean more Dr. Gregory House. I find most of the show enjoyable and entertaining—and I liked both “Wilson” with its focus on Wilson and “5 to 9” with its focus on Cuddy, but the show is called House, after all.
For much of the season, House has seemed disengaged from most of the cases and his story has been often relegated to a secondary thread. It shouldn’t be. We also haven’t been privy to House really struggling his new situation, as life-altering as it should be. The serious side of House has also been largely absent this year. Whether in dealing with his issues or relationship or the patient, House’s more thoughtful side goes a long way to counterbalance his less admirable traits.
Bring back House’s House. C’mon House producers! House has been living with Wilson all season. Yes, I get that House shouldn’t be living alone quite yet. But his apartment is such a reflection of his character: the books, the fireplace, the stereo, the tchotchkes that line every surface of his apartment. I really miss it all, but especially…
More Music. House moodily playing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve (“Damned if you Do,” 1×05), or trying to forestall the pain playing Bach (“Skin Deep,” 2×13), or reflectively improvising a serenade for Cuddy as he thinks about his relationship with Cuddy (“Unfaithful,” 5×15). As much as music has always been House’s emotional language, it has also been one our best access points to get into his heart and head. And we’ve had precious little of that this season. Or any music; and I miss it.
Bring Back the Whiteboard. Perhaps it’s a reflection of House’s disengagement this year and weird passing of his mantle (or at least much of it) to Foreman (and when exactly did that happen, anyway?) as suggested in “Remorse,” but that whiteboard was as much a character as the “ball” or House’s cane.
Continue to Repair House and Cuddy’s Relationship. It was wonderful to see House and Cuddy begin to restore some of the intimacy and trust to their relationship in two brief “5 to 9” scenes.
Revisit Chase and Cameron. They never had proper closure. They deserve it at least as much as (and more, given the longevity of their story arc) Foreman and Hadley. I'd also like to see the Dibala assassination come back to haunt them all and continue to raise the ethical issues nibbled at in "The Tyrant" (6×04).
I am looking forward to Tuesday’s episode “Private Lives” and the remaining episodes of the season, especially episode 17, which Hugh Laurie directed and guest stars Oscar-nominated David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck).
A special note to those who use Twitter: Jesse Spencer (Chase) will be taking questions from fans at 9:00 p.m. Monday night (ET), following the east coast airing of House. Reference @Jesse_Spencer in your tweets to join the discussion. But first be sure to follow him. As always, you can follow my twitter updates by following me.
A personal note to my readers: It's been nearly a month since I've last written a blog entry on any subject. As many of you know, my mother passed away a month ago, and I so greatly appreciate the many notes, comments emails, twitters and even cards (email and snail mail) you all have forwarded to me. They have helped me get through the last month and I look forward to moving full steam ahead with my Blogcritics House feature as the series emerges from its hiatus just as I emerge from mine. And do watch this space over the next couple of weeks for a very important and exciting announcement.
House returns Monday night with “Private Lives” at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.