I was eagerly anticipating tonight's episode of House, especially with a title like "Private Lives" and a promo showing Wilson, Chase, and House speed dating. We start with a blogger named Frankie who shares every sordid detail of her life with her public, including a fight that happened moments before with her boyfriend.
This raises some serious questions from the boyfriend, echoing us, the audience. Do you have to share everything? Is nothing sacred? And what ever happened to face to face communication?
Immediately after her indirect communication, we see a straightforward conversation between House and Wilson. House is clearly lonely, spending his time with director's cuts of pornography DVDs when Wilson suggests speed dating to possibly alleviate the tension instead of doing it solo.
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The purpose of the speed dating (besides comic relief) was to show us that although communication in person is highly valuable, it still might not be completely honest. House was drawn in by seemingly the perfect woman in front of him. Likes puzzles, quick-witted, thinks everyone is an idiot. Until he one-ups her and figures out she is completely misrepresenting herself. Interesting how the internet has a bad reputation for misrepresentation, and yet it can easily happen in person to anyone who isn't as genius as House.
On the other side, we have Chase, who continually misrepresented himself, but because he was so attractive, still managed to get a ton of numbers from women who were interested in him. So where does that leave us?
Back to House. And Wilson. This week's exchange features the two of them exposing each other. Turns out Wilson's in a porn, but "be not afraid" there was no nudity on the show this evening. Just a lot of cheesy music and dialogue. I loved that even the pornography was artful and added to the show's themes. It was no coincidence that it showed cavemen dancing around a fire, displaying the most primitive form of communication and language. Wilson made a plea to House not to share his sordid past. Question- has he just met House?
Of course, House shares not just with his team, but with everyone. To retaliate, Wilson enlists Chase--btw-who loves the new threesome between House, Wilson, and Chase? Comic gold!--to help him find something House doesn't want public. Ah, The Golden Bowl. Chase, in a very Housian way deduces that House is hiding something beneath the cover of the book (yet another clever hint to what the episode is about, something unexpected under the guise of what appears clear).
A book of sermons? Before we find out why House is reading it, House must be humiliated. His team flaunts the book in his face after Wilson called the author to get the out of print copies. House, alarmed, asks Wilson if he asked the author about him. Clearly the key is not the content of the material that is embarrassing for House, but the author himself.
Wilson figures it out by the end, calling House out (in private, thankfully) on his unwillingness to confront the author face to face. The author, of course being House's biological father. A minister no less! Wilson thinks that House has no trouble typically confronting issues, but Wilson doesn't seem to connect that House's confrontations are never about his private life. He confronts others to get them to speak or take action about their issues, but he'll rarely confront most of his own issues head on.
While House is taking a positive step to explore a side of himself he hasn't before, by the end, he realizes that the answers he's looking for aren't going to be in the book of sermons. For House, the communication will have to be face to face to matter.
I think this highly relevant episode really addresses well the idea of using a medium in place of face to face contact. House, needing to satisfy himself sexually, used the medium of pornography. In order to avoid a painful direct conversation with his biological father, House preferred to search for answers in a book his father wrote. Our patient, Frankie, instead of speaking directly to friends and her boyfriend, would rather blog to internet strangers even with her friend in the room with her.
Is learning about someone after they've expressed themselves through a medium like blogging, authoring a book, or face to face better? With Frankie, we find out that even though she supposedly shared everything, she omitted what would have prevented her illness, and to the doctors, the only relevant information they would find from her blog.
Editing ourselves through books, blogs, and other social networking is merely representing the selves that we want seen. And even during speed dating, the puzzle woman was editing herself. The question is, can you ever honestly represent yourself?
This theme works well with Chase and Thirteen's conversations as well. Duh, Chase, you're an attractive Aussie. Women can be shallow. But don't worry. Cameron loved you for you. Please, House. Don't get too soapy. Don't stick Thirteen and Chase together. Yes, they're both beautiful, but is it really necessary? So much better to keep Thirteen unaffected by Chase's charms and vice versa.
Side note: loved the Huddy scene. I think we're getting closer with those two. Wishful thinking, I suppose.
Anyway, House wants a real connection to his family. But is he willing to do what it takes to get the answers and solve the puzzle of where he came from?
Welcome back, House.
(Image courtesy of FOX)