On the surface, House is anything but chivalrous. Of course, in tonight's episode of House, "Knight Fall," we get to see just how House deals with someone playing the role of a chivalrous knight. Throughout season six, we've gotten a slow evolution of House's character, but throughout all the seasons, we've always known him to show some level of chivalry to the people he cares about. Is House, as Wilson puts it, the "beneficent puppet master"? Or is he trying to manipulate the people in his life for his own selfish reasons?
We start, as always, with a patient who collapses and whose eyes turn a demonic red. His name, which I usually don't find important in the POTW is Sir William. I noticed off the bat that Sir William had to fight someone by the name of Horace. Horace. House. William. Wilson. Nothing is an accident on this show. William is all about loyalty, bravery, and strength. He is a giver, not a taker. Sound like Wilson?
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Without much of a warning, House is introduced to Sam, Wilson's new, yet former girlfriend. Naked. I think she's spunky and likable. This makes House hate her right off the bat. Not to mention the points against her for taking Wilson away. What House didn't count on was her being any sort of match for him.
He first enlists Cuddy for help, appealing to her loyalty to Wilson and her common sense, knowing how long it took for Wilson to recover from his marriage with Sam after they broke it off years ago. I love how House played it and loved the reveal that, once again, Wilson is only loyal to House, spilling Cuddy's secret about sleeping with her father's best friend. Finally, a fun Huddy scene! Cuddy decides to leave well enough alone, knowing that meddling might end up pushing Wilson and Sam even closer together, and her and potentially House out of the picture.
Meanwhile, the team gets down to business to diagnose while House takes a break from playing with his sword to, well, playing with his sword. A trip to the Renaissance Faire revealed one false lead after the next, in true mystery medical format.
I think the team has really been coming into its own. Everyone has such nice rapport with each other and it doesn't feel so transitional anymore. Cheers to a little regularity streak with the Foreman, Taub, Chase, and Thirteen foursome. I've already decided to call Chase and Thirteen "Race" if and when they get together, (Remy and Chase). I liked Thirteen covering up her Renaissance Faire cleavage with her hair when Chase checked her out and Chase's failed attempt at kicking the knight's locked door down.
This episode deals well in authenticity as opposed to dishonesty. If you're a knight, you have to live the knight lifestyle in all its honesty and not play games. But isn't pretending to be a knight in 2010 in and of itself a game? This is why House disrespects the knight's lifestyle immediately. Don't play a role as a knight. Just be one in the present.
But is House honorable in the role he plays? He pushed Foreman towards his brother, on some level he's accepted Cuddy's happiness in another relationship, and he's pursued Cuddy as honestly as he knows how, but he's done these things the House way, the game playing way. Can a knight play games and still be a knight? Is there only one way to be noble and honest? And if so, is House starting to recognize that he is capable of staying on that path?
As is typical House, he does his best to try and best Sam. First stop, naked. Next stop, tranny. Only problem is that Sam likes the transvestite prostitute and House's plan backfires horribly. I like that Sam is a rather understated version of Amber. She seems to understand House and is able to handle him, but she isn't as harsh as Amber was. When the nudity, tranny, and straightforward, "You are a cold-hearted bitch" talk doesn't seem to scare Sam away, House enlists his least favorite P.I. Lucas to dig up the dirt as he desperately clings to the idea that there's got to be something wrong with her. He can't be making her miserable all for his own good. He's doing the noble thing and trying to expose her true colors to Wilson.
And what about Sir William? Well, Sir William happens to be in love with King Miles' beloved Queen. He's brave when it comes to fighting, but when Thirteen gets him to admit that he's in love with his friend's fiance, he shrinks and uses his chivalrous attitude about his love's happiness as an excuse not to say anything to her. It all seems like the right thing to do on paper, but does that mean he really follows a true knight's code of behavior? Thirteen thinks not, and plays House to the parallel of Wilson.
As for House, he ends up destroying the shrink notes that Lucas found for him, deciding to give Sam and Wilson a chance. For now. The patient, however, we find to be dishonorable. He had taken steroids to win against other knights during the battles. How much honor is there in a win if it has been attained dishonorably? In the end, House does the honorable thing, and takes a knee in his battle for Wilson.
Meanwhile, Wilson decides to do the brave thing and jump into his relationship with Sam. This is where Wilson and Sir William differ. While William was an idiot to try and win the strength game by taking steroids to cheating and not taking real emotional risks, Wilson is trying to play the game fairly, getting back into a relationship he's scared, but trying anyway, knowing he might lose.
Throughout the episode, House is in greater and greater pain. We start hearing the familiar sounds of pill bottles. "Ibuprofen," says the label. I think all the extreme close-ups of the pills and House rubbing his leg are foreshadowing that Ibuprofen might not be ibuprofen for much longer. Hang in there, House.
Foreman: House, what are you doing? (House is swinging the sword around.)
House: Filling in for Rabbi Schmul at the Goldstein bris.
House (After slicing a plastic model of the body in half.): Try doing that with a pen.
House: What am I going to wear? All my cereal boxes are at the cleaners!
courtesy of Fox)
B. Palmer, BuddyTV Fan Columnist