'House' Fan Columnist: Subjective Math
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Yes, we've seen a lot of ideas from this week's House before. In fact, much of the later seasons seem to be taking ideas from former seasons regarding the show's themes and tropes, but the bright spot in this particular episode is the angle from which House is coming. In "You Must Remember This," the patient of the week, Nadia, has a mysterious illness plus an uber-cool memory trick. She can't forget anything. But is her uniqueness isolating her from forming real connections to others? And what does this have to do with House and the qualities that make him different and typically alone?
The House/Wilson storyline in this episode wasn't atypical from anything we've seen before. Meddle here, meddle there. Do mean things that are actually in someone else's best interest. Yada, yada, yada. What made this one special is that House is feeling guilt for something and his attempts to make Wilson happy through a subdued allergy torture are more transparent than usual. Cuddy hit the nail on the head when she accused House of feeling guilty for being happy. Yes, House wants his best friend to feel as happy as he is, especially since Wilson has helped House limp out of some dark situations, but does House need to resort to getting rid of Wilson's cat to force him to move forward with "Java the Slut"? I think not. And by the end, Wilson and House have an honest conversation. Imagine if that had happened first. Only in alternate universe House-land.
Taubman, Faub or Toreman?
Look out Hilson fans, there's a new odd couple in town. Taub and Foreman make strange bedfellows, but they're almost so odd together, that they just might work. It'd be nice to see another side (is there one?) to Foreman, and Taub seems to be one of the only people to bring it out in him. Remember their little vicodin romp in the hospital basement in last year's "Lockdown"? Looked like Foreman was actually having fun with Taub around, playing that bizarre video game from last year's "Epic Fail" yet again. Now, if we could only bring Thirteen or Masters in to live with them, and we'd have a ready-made Three's Company spin-off. How predictable that Taub would want to cheat on his test. Nice to see Foreman bend a little and show his human side.
I enjoyed this week's patient, Nadia. I remember reading about a woman who could remember everything, and it sounded like more of a burden than anything else. Of course, this episode exploited that fact and even made her memory strength into an unhealthy obsession. House parallel much? Interesting how she claimed to be keeping score of people's positive and negative interactions with her in a completely objective way, but no one seems to have made it into her inner circle. She reminds me of the super-smart patient in "Ignorance is Bliss" that was robotripping to dull his intelligence, so he wouldn't think his wife was a moron. Nadia is the inverse of that, unwilling to give up what she thinks is special to form any connections.
House is the ultimate compromise in both situations. House gave up the drugs, risking his ability to practice medicine because he might be in so much pain. Now he is drug-free, still a genius and has a loving girlfriend. He's no longer alone, but it would appear everyone else on the show is. This episode, if nothing else, seemed to point out that House, even with someone else, is isolated in his happiness. It's not like everyone else is depressed, but it's definitely not a stretch to say that everyone on House's team, plus Wilson, is feeling a little lonely.
Oh, this boat is going to be rocked soon. I can feel it. And I also have a feeling that Thirteen's return later this season may have some impact on our domestically blissful couple. House and Cuddy have come a long way, but I like that they still have to address the issues from the season's first episode -- and for that matter, the larger question the entire series is trying to address. Do people get what they deserve? Or do they get what they get, as House says.
Does House deserve true happiness? He knows that the things he's done to hurt Cuddy may outweigh the positive effect he has on her life. If that's the case, I'm sure he's wondering, when is Cuddy going to do the math? And if she has, why is she still with him? This comes right back to what Cuddy said to House in "Help Me," at the end of season 6. "I love you. I wish I didn't. But I can't help it." Cuddy loved House at that time in spite of herself. I wonder if House has tipped the scales back in his favor more recently and Cuddy would speak about her love for House differently, owning her love for him completely and not in spite of herself. Nadia talked about how people create small little lies and edit so they don't have to face the truth. House is probably terrified that Cuddy has done that in order to be with him. This can only mean he'll be hitting the self-destruct button soon.
1. "How are we going to get the short guy off the short bus?"
2. Seriously House people, another cat storyline? Who's got a cat that works on this show? Or despises cats? And another Usual Suspects reference? I haven't even seen that movie, but know enough just from watching this show.
3. "Cats aren't named that. Women are. What the Freud is that about?"
4. "It's like having your own button on Lost." Oh, thank you House gods for making a Lost reference. Two of my loves combined.
5. "Too armpit fatty." Oh, Wilson.
6. Interesting that Chase said to the patient that he doesn't think House believes in what he says anymore. House's habit of telling patients they're going to die alone may not hold water when House is happy.
7. And finally, "Java the Slut." Well done, writers.
Next week looks to be interesting. House plus children equals entertainment.
(Image courtesy of FOX)