Tonight's episode of House
, aptly titled "The Choice" was about the choices we make for ourselves, with or without others in mind. We're given a nice teaser with a man collapsing before he could say "I do" to his bride at their wedding. Choices define who we are. According to House in the episode "Broken," fairness and justice should exist. So, do our choices define us? And how much control do we have over the choices we make?
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As it turns out, our POTW Ted was in a three year relationship with a man prior to his relationship with his fiance, Nicole (IMDB told me I know her from the movie Saved!). He chose not to disclose any of this information, choosing instead to live a life of heterosexuality. Ted appeared quite apathetic on the surface to me. It could have been bad acting (cough cough Coyote Ugly cough cough), but for the sake of my point, I think he was trying to remain neutral, not wanting to tip the balance in favor of too straight or gay in the slightest. He seemed utterly bland to me. Don't get me wrong. The storyline intrigued me, but the character (or the actor) was apathetic.
While Nicole is trying to decide what she should do given the new information that has surfaced, we find House waking up at his neighbor's house, having stumbled into the wrong place after a night of heavy drinking, presumably by himself. Uh-oh. Sound the alarm. We're not in a good place. Clearly, House has begun to swap out his Ibuprofen for something a little stronger. And we all know the next step up from alcohol is coming.
While House is deciding to ease his pain with drinking, Wilson decides to put himself first and focus on his relationship with Sam. But where does that leave his suffering friend? Wilson asks everyone on the team to keep House company. Does he know that House just needs his closest friends? We're seeing the results of Wilson choosing someone over House and while it might be the healthy choice for Wilson, the effects of Wilson's choice on House are devastating.
We start with Taub going to dinner with House. Like Wilson, he has ulterior motives to occupying House. Taub is looking for time away from the wife and an alibi so he can cheat. House being House invites Rachel to dinner, while simultaneously providing Taub with a ready-made pottery alibi. Surprised House would give him an in to commit adultery, Taub plays along. But we all know House. And while he's acting as if he's condoning Taub's behavior, we know he's just trying to get Taub to recognize that he has a good thing. In the end, Taub chooses his wife and he has House to thank for it.
The next team member to ask House to play is Thirteen with an invitation to a lesbian bar that's impossible to say no to. House saying yes to all of these invitations with his team must mean that either he is trying to become friends with them, or he's barely hanging on. I'm sure his therapist is encouraging him to grab onto some life preservers that don't start with the letter "W," and House needs people in his life right now that accept him.
Thirteen challenges him saying, "My self-pity is optional. How 'bout yours?" House has found a real kindred spirit in someone like Thirteen and a line she said earlier in the episode struck me as being especially significant because it seemed to describe an earlier version of House: "Does it bother me that people hurt others because they're too weak to face the truth? Yeah, sorry." She might have been talking about Taub and Ted, but she described House pre-Mayfield to a T. House deflects to protect himself and only now, when he's finally starting to be more honest are the two of them getting along so well.
I'm intrigued. Not by the two of them starting anything physical, but the two of them having a deeper relationship.
When it's Chase and Foreman turn to give babysitting a shot they take House to karaoke. House had fun and said, "I realized I could be friends with them." They even toasted "To Wilson!" at the bar. Sincerely! The singing was great!
This is a huge step for House, but is it in time to save him from his downward spiral we're witnessing? I can't not watch, and it hurts. House feels similarly with the people he's close to. He has no choice but to watch Wilson and Cuddy prioritize their relationships with their significant others, and unfortunately from his perspective he's not significant enough to be a priority on their radar.
We're left with an amazing Huddy scene. Cuddy, the last of the pack to offer up some House time asks House out to dinner, and although she says Wilson didn't ask her to ask him, he knows she's lying (right?). I love the distinction between her asking him to spend time with him and the others. While he can authentically be with the team as a friend, he knows when he's with her, exactly what he wants and unless he can get that, he wants nothing.
When Cuddy says, "I just want us to be friends," while House may have wanted her friendship in the past, what he needs from her now is to be her significant other. Which is why his reply is, "Funny, that's the last thing I want us to be."
Ode to the angst-y stares between the two. BTW-David Hoselton, the writer of "The Choice" also wrote "Unfaithful" and "Ignorance is Bliss" and left me feeling similarly heartbroken by the end. Without her making him a priority, he's alone. With his team, he can be an equal, but with Wilson and Cuddy, if he's not the priority, he's nothing. He's pitied. And he's opting for self-pity. And for addictions. Poker. Alcohol. He's moving on from pining for what he wants and he's settling for what he thinks he needs.
Nurse Jeffery: Any bed you're in is the wrong one.
House: Don't say 'Ah!'
House: They zapped the fabulous right out of him.
Taub: You're kissmyasthma99?
House: Can't. Papsmear.
Final Diagnosis for our POTW: