Wednesday , May 25 2022
This week's House episode "Man of the House" just did not sit well with me.

TV Review: House, M.D. – “Man of the House”

The one thing that really bothered me in last night’s House, M.D. episode “Man of the House,” was the all-too-easy resolution of House’s marital dilemma. Admittedly, we do get those neat little wrap ups every once in awhile in a House episode, but there’s usually a clear, logical reason for it.

There were so many places the writers might have gone with the story. Why is House helping his faux wife Dominika in the first place? Is it really the $30,000 she has promised him? I doubt it; I do believe that it’s House’s latent nobility, refusing to ignobly place Dominika in the deportation queue to save his own skin. And I would have liked to see a bit more of that in action. Instead, we got situation comedy and a cop-out ending tied up neatly—just like a situation comedy.

Wilson is a sap to play into House’s madness by agreeing to lie for House to the immigration people (but with a terrible, but very funny, fake British accent). I’m actually glad he’s outed by House’s genuine (and genuinely pissed off) neighbor. But the dilemma into which this puts House and Dominika is serious. “Be in my office at 10 a.m.,” says the immigration officer threateningly.

But for all the bluster, the episode ends with the official letting House and Dominika off the hook way too easily, allowing her to stay—and keeping House out of jail. This is after both continue to lie to the guy. And I said Wilson’s a sap? Sheesh!

The immigration official has no reason to be so lenient—especially given the pair continue to lie throughout their meeting with immigration, and the official knows it. So it makes no sense to me. All that buildup and—nothing. I would have liked to see the implications of House’s green-card marriage played out a little more seriously.

That said, I did like the interactions between House and Dominika, and I also liked House trying to do the noble thing and protect her from deportation. There’s actually some dramatic red meat there, left untouched, sadly. Hopefully the writers will pick it up at some point between now and May.

And Wilson, for all his initial resistance to House’s plans, gives in and helps House present an air of domestic bliss. After all, he’s been married three times, albeit unsuccessfully, so he is experienced at it. But, like I said, Wilson is a complete sap. Funny as hell, but a sap, in a sitcom-ish sort of way.

The patient of the week is a Phil Donohue (Google him!) wannabe, with a wife (played by Rena Sofer) looking much like Donohue’s wife Marlo Thomas (That Girl). He’s a real ‘70s guy with a knack for the sort of sensitivity training needed by men of that era. Except he hadn’t always been that way, starting out as a macho sexist pig. Why the change? Is it a symptom? Of course it is!

Initially, the symptoms, which include incontinence suggest multiple sclerosis, but the team rules it out when the patient starts having double vision. Now, interestingly enough, double vision is actually a symptom of MS. I’d probably wouldn’t have given it much thought, except I’d recently seen a 1995 film called Go Now (which you should all see; it features some stunning performances), which deals with a the sudden onset of MS and its effect on a loving relationship. Anyway, double vision was one of the first symptoms exhibited by the film’s central character. So, it bugged me that the team gave up on the MS diagnosis so quickly.

And while I’m venting, I have to say that House’s decision to foment conflict amongst the team, given the context of Chase’s stabbing just a couple of weeks ago really disappointed me. I get that he’s probably trying to “get back to normal,” but I was hoping the lessons of that episode would have lingered a bit longer.

On the brighter side, however, I am very much looking forward to next week’s episode, which features the return of House’s mom Blythe. I can’t wait for that encounter!

House airs Monday nights at 8:00 ET on Fox.

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About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org).

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