Lisa, our House Fan Columnist, recaps last night's episode. Was is a disappointment? Find out. If you're interested in writing and love TV, think about becoming a Fan Columnist.
Two weeks ago, an episode of House aired that was titled "Known Unknowns." While "Known Unknowns" explored false assumptions and answers, "Ignorance is Bliss" shows the viewer and House that sometimes it might be better not to know.
The POTW is a genius and he chooses to be less intelligent in order to stay with his wife. He realizes as a genius he's also a jerk to the people who are less intelligent than him, and he'd rather know less and be happy than know more and be alone. House parallel, anyone?
Where we saw a passive House watching over Cuddy and Lucas last week, we find House bound and determined this week. House wants Cuddy. And he's excited about it. So excited, in fact, that he's barely present at his differential diagnoses and spends the better part of the first ten minutes of the show trying to find Wilson to share his plans.
House barely pays attention to his patient in the midst of all his Cuddy hunting and it's mission accomplished when he scores a Thanksgiving dinner invitation to Cuddy's sister's house. Picking out ties instead of diagnosing, he actually wishes half of his team a happy Thanksgiving. We haven't seen House like this since he thought Stacy was leaving her husband in Season 2 or last season when House thought he had slept with Cuddy and detoxed.
He's plainly ignoring the fact that Cuddy may actually be in the right relationship for her right now. He sees his actions as getting him and her what he wants and he does it honestly for a change, all the while choosing to remain ignorant of Cuddy's feelings for Lucas. Never have I seen House exposing himself so openly, and each time in this episode, he is brutally rebuffed by Cuddy, who after tonight's particular brand of cruelty may no longer be one of my favorite characters.
Chase has every right to maintain his melancholy in this episode after Cameron left. Saying no to everyone who offers him a drink, an ear, or Thanksgiving invitation, Chase ends up punching House, the ultimate scapegoat that said one wrong thing that unlocked Chase's "rage."
Back to Cuddy. I understand her rejecting him. She's in a relationship. But does she have to do so in a way that's immature, hurtful, and manipulative? Especially since House is still fragile after his treatment? She's taken a few pages out of the pre-rehab House's playbook and she's playing them a little too well. I had a bad feeling she might pull the Thanksgiving Day house swap. At least the viewer was privy to Cuddy looking slightly guilty at the dinner table. Not guilty enough, if you ask me.
Still ignoring the signals Cuddy's throwing at him, House tries again, with a less earnest and more manipulative plan. Get fake-drunk. Confess love. Has House been a victim of selective memory loss? He knows that Lucas is smart. Why would Lucas break up with Cuddy even if he had thought House's drunken ramblings were heartfelt (which they were, I'm sure). Glad to see him admit what we already knew: he loves her.
Back to manipulation tactics and downright bitchery as Cuddy knocks on House's door and plainly tells House there is no us after she was the one that played dirty sending him out to the boonies on Thanksgiving! Ouch. He again ignores the clear messages that she sends and asks her out again, this time with a broken face, the physical manifestation of his broken emotions and heart. House seems sure she'll say yes. There isn't hope. He knows. And this is why it hurts that much more when she has to clearly say no to him at least twice more before the episode is over.
On a side note, I love how protective House was regarding Chase. It shows his empathy of Chase's situation and his loyalty, and this is before Chase even apologizes, showing the two men have a camaraderie.
The POTW, turns out to have been making himself dumber on purpose with cough syrup. Of course, he also has sixteen spleens, just to make the TTP diagnosis more interesting. This bizarre case reaffirms Taub's and Thirteen's choice to come back to the team as they bathe in the afterglow of seeing multiple organs light up on the MRI.
Side note two: thank you for a great clinic patient!
Our POTW decided to choose drugs and remain ignorant regarding his wife's smarts. House used his drugs less for social reasons and more so that he could function and numb the consistent pain in his life physically and emotionally. I worry that after this week's many emotional blows, his coping mechanisms may waver and he may soon be turning to some dangerous old habits.
House admits by the end of the episode that ignorance is bliss. His ignorance of her happiness made him more blissful in his attempts to date her. Knowing that Cuddy is happier without him hurts and perhaps by the end of this episode he realizes he might have been better off not knowing that his efforts to be with her would go nowhere. Finally, he peels off the Band-Aid from his "nose" (sounds like "knows") and is willing to go through the pain and try to move on.
Chase plays the patient's opposite, pushing every social attempt away. He'd rather drown his sorrows in a bottle and forget then face the reality of his situation. Chase's ignorance is in his willingness to avoid any talk of what happened with his wife.
Is giving up knowledge a sacrifice or a gift? This season, House has played both sides. I just hope in the end House does what's best for his psyche. I also hope TPTB will give us our original Cuddy back, because this one made me want to throw my remote at the television.