Sweeps month opened with tonight's episode of House centering on faulty assumptions and sacrifices. Our POTW needs to be seen by a scout at the game on Saturday so he can become a professional football player earning him enough money to set his mother up for the rest of her life.
But as a typical House episode goes, the POTW is merely part of the story. House tells Foreman to pick up his delinquent older brother from jail. Normally, we could assume that House bringing Marcus into the hospital would be designed to anger Foreman and get some dirt on him. However, House told Foreman to go pick his brother up before he brought him into the hospital and gave him a job. If House solely wanted to mess with Foreman, he wouldn't have even bothered letting him know ahead of time that Marcus had contacted him.
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Wilson is the only one in this episode that is making correct assumptions about House's true agenda regarding Foreman. Wilson argues that House is doing it to be nice and bring Foreman and Marcus together so he doesn't screw up his family life like House did. House, unwilling to compromise his manipulative reputation denies this vicious accusation and deflects it explaining that he wanted to find out new information on Foreman he could use later to get what he wants.
In this episode, Marcus parallels House. He's screwed up a thousand times, broken everyone's trust, and is trying to reach out to the one person in his family left that might give him a chance. Of course House would want to help him out. That was him and luckily Wilson stuck around to be there for House, living with him, supporting him, and trusting him.
Meanwhile, Wilson assumes that House is pulling pranks since they had lover's spat about whose bath House should get to use. The old "opossum in the tub" trick. Seems like old school House. Wilson assumes it is.
As for our clinic patient, I typically just want comic relief, but this one served as so much more. House assumes that this "guy" is just another patient that is unwilling to do what he needs to do for those he loves (i.e. move to Canada or shoot yourself in the foot). Or House assumes he doesn't really love his family. Either way, House is unwilling to help him.
Back to the bath tub battles. House's guardrail mysteriously becomes unscrewed, conking House on the head and I'm sure bruising House pretty badly. Only after the sprinklers went off in the place, sacrificing the flat screen TV, did Wilson realize that House was right. They were both being toyed with.
But who? House, imitating Agatha Cristie's character Poirot manages to accuse his entire team. More false assumptions. For the record, I knew it couldn't have been Wilson. When Cuddy was pulling all of her stunts in "The Greater Good," he was the one telling her that House was being physically hurt and that was not okay. Wilson will prank, but not at the expense of putting House is more physical pain.
Back in brother territory, House originally hired Foreman because of his jail record. Finding out now that it was under Marcus' influence that the car theft took place make House think Foreman was even more boring. Until Marcus pulled the dead mother card, that is. As shocker of the evening House finds out Foreman's mother died and he didn't tell anyone about it. Additionally, Foreman refused to speak at his funeral. Sound familiar? Rewatch "Birthmarks" from season five if you need a refresher course.
House is warned by Marcus not to bring up such a sore subject with Foreman. Obviously House ignores this. According to Wilson, he created a common enemy (himself) for Foreman and Marcus to team up against and indirectly reunites the two. Who would have ever assumed House's motivations would be so pure? Reminds me of Cameron's Freudian explanation of House's actions in "Love Hurts."
Let's not forget our football player. Making the ultimate sacrifice, he decides he wants to play even though he may die on the field. More than anything, he wants to provide for his mother like he was provided for. This realization spurned Foreman on to reconnect with his brother and make sacrifices for him to be a part of his life.
In the meantime, the clinic patient comes back literally having shot himself in the foot. House breaks the news to him in his oh-so-gentle way letting him know that unless his foot is amputated, he'll still be wanted in the army. As a viewer, I mistakenly assumed that would be the last I'd see of him.
Now onto my new least favorite character: Lucas, the master manipulator. So he was behind the pranks! Do the writers want us to love him or hate him? After tonight, I can't assume that they'd expect viewers to root for him and Cuddy when we found out he's lying to her and manipulating House knowing full well House really is in love with her. Can't believe how hard House fell in the cafeteria.
House, out of his love and respect for Cuddy (and fear of being caught stealing her condo), opts out of retaliating against Lucas. Wilson's right. House is doing things for the greater good. His motivations have really changed.
The icing on the cake was the second shocker of the evening when the clinic patient rolled by with an amputated foot, stunning House into silence. The act of him sacrificing his foot to get out of war and stay with his family was something House couldn't have guessed.
And by the end, our assumptions were wrong too. A small melanoma brought down one beast of a football player. House, who never plays fair, wants to do right by Cuddy and brings Foreman and his brother together. Cuddy assumes Lucas is the one grain of truth in her collection of failed relationships and Lucas, who we could have at least hoped was truthful with Cuddy, is lying through his teeth and manipulating House.
Cheers to Chase's funny faces, Taub's jabs, and House's French accusations.
Bring on the hour of Cuddy next week. I'm ready.