Lisa recaps the most recent episode of House, "Remorse." If you'd like a chance to write for BuddyTV about your favorite show click here.
Christians have a sacrament called penance that involves confession. With Jews, there's a whole day of repentance called Yom Kippur. On House, it's called "Remorse."
This week's POTW was completely compelling, continually sending chills down my spine. Her ability to understand feelings and inability to feel them made her another patient House was downright fascinated by.
Thirteen was onto the femme fatale early and sensed she might have been lying from the get-go. Cheers for Thirteen's role on the team being more tolerable (at least for me).
When the show opens, we find out House's therapist had told him to apologize to someone he hurt in the past. Of course, House picks the most obscure person in his life to apologize to. Easy, right? He can apologize to someone who isn't a vital part of his daily life and he doesn't have to deal with any repercussions by making himself vulnerable to someone he cares about.
Or is it easy? It struck me as interesting that House picked this person (Wibberly) to apologize to. House experimented with him and got it wrong. When he experiments with patients and gets his diagnoses fatally wrong, he also feels remorse (like with Esther in "All in"). With all the misdeeds House has really committed, it's significant that he chooses to feel remorse for when he was truly wrong while testing a theory, just like he does when he works with patients.
House is interested in the patient not only because she's beautiful and married to someone "ugly," but because he later recognizes himself within her. We see this especially when House looks in on her while she is undergoing radiation. He tentatively tests the water with her, not wanting her to read him like he knows she is capable of. She reminded me of Amber's hallucination in a way, trying to access the worst side of House. House wants to converse with her to validate that he does in fact have a conscience. Our POTW, Valerie, argues that if he knows his conscience is just an animal instinct, he doesn't need to follow it. House leaves quickly to escape Valerie and the worst part of his own subconscious.
Meanwhile, House immaturely defaces Cuddy's pictures in favor of making Lucas look like an idiot. One of which was incredibly meaningful to her, since it was taken by her father who I can only assume has passed away. House clearly does feel remorse for this action, but is unwilling to "waste his time" apologizing. Instead, he turns his focus on Wibberly, wanting to help him pay his house's mortgage since he feels incredibly responsible for his failure out of school.
Foreman is feeling remorse as well as he realizes that his wanting Thirteen to respect him as a leader directly has to do with his guilt in how he treated her when he wasn't just a figurehead. Finally, we see a little vulnerability in Foreman's tough exterior as he admits to Thirteen that he fired her for his career, and not because of their relationship.
House and Wilson's relationship in this episode can be contrasted with "The Down Low."
Wilson and House were more equals in that episode, whereas in this whole episode about remorse, Wilson definitely played the role of House's conscience. When Wilson reminded House that Cuddy was in love with him, I was surprised when House denied it. I'm wondering if House really doesn't get it and that he has been down on himself for so long, he wasn't willing to believe that she was in love with him.
Finally, Wibberly confessed to House that he House's paper received an A and that his problems paying his mortgage are entirely his own fault. However, House wants him to take his check anyway! Anything House has done wrong to the people he's close to is now being projected onto someone rather insignificant in his life. If he can just make one good thing happen, maybe it can count towards others he has hurt.
The POTW turns out to have Wilson's Disease, and by the end, is able to feel real feelings and cry. If House does really parallel this patient, it's refreshing to know that her interactions with people could be fixed by medicine. I had a feeling that the some feelings of remorse were going to be unearthed within the psychopath, but they manifested themselves as anger and rudeness, much like House's feelings typically do.
By the end, Thirteen forgives Foreman and in yet another frustrating, Housian ending, we are left with Lucas getting in the way again. House was ready to apologize to Cuddy, who he realizes deserves it, and of course, Lucas is there with her and his pride and insecurities come back to haunt him. But why change now, says the Fiona Apple song in the background?
Well, House is changing! He did something nice for someone after he already expressed regret and repented towards. House was feeling such immense remorse, that he had to do something right to put towards all of his other mistakes. As he limps through the snow, we wonder if House is capable of making the big changes he needs to make himself happy.
The last few minutes reminded me of the end of several House episodes. I remember all of them because they ended with me groaning at how close House is to expressing himself fully. It was similar to the end of "The Itch," where House was ready to take a chance on Cuddy and express his feelings. It also mirrored Cuddy at the end of "Let Them Eat Cake," where she sees House with the actor/prostitute when she was ready to be vulnerable to him. And finally, "Unfaithful," where we see both characters speaking in subtext, wanting to not be afraid of letting the other in.
It's a process. Nothing is ever easy in House-land. Especially heartfelt apologies.