Last year during the end of season five of House
, I had to quit watching 24
to balance out my stress levels. How could I watch Jack Bauer torture/be tortured when Kutner just killed himself and House was hallucinating?
Tonight's episode was a welcome relief from the intensity of last year and a break from the House/Cuddy back and forth that has been making my head spin this season. It opened like the beginning of a mafia movie with a drug deal gone awry. Ethan Embry as a drug dealer was difficult for me to swallow from the get-go, but I suspended my disbelief for the purpose of enjoying the show.
While it was a relief from the intensity of last year, it wasn't without its typical House themes. "The Down Low" was all about deception in order to achieve what everyone would like to think is their own greater good.
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Chase, Thirteen, and Taub decide Foreman needs some humility so they trick him into believing they're all making more money than him. Of course, he immediately goes straight to mommy with his complaint and Cuddy is uninterested in his pleas for a better salary than the ducklings that supposedly work under him. Is Foreman deceiving himself into thinking he's actually a step above the people he's working with?
Meanwhile, House and Wilson are mistakenly pinned as a gay couple (an easy mistake since they are shacked up) by someone both men have a crush on. The difference between the two men is their approach. Wilson opts for the truth, telling Nora he's not gay and hoping she will go out with him. After he is denied, he continues to want to expose himself to her, trying to convince her of the truth so he can get what he wants.
House, yes, even post-rehab House, plays dirty and gay getting what he wants (massage time with Nora) and shutting Wilson out of the picture. His end game being to best Wilson, get the girl, and possibly even a deeper reason: to have Wilson all to himself. We've seen House be jealous of those in his best friend's lives. It's why he had so much trouble with Amber when Wilson started dating her and it's also why he tried so hard to convince Cuddy she wouldn't be a good mother when she wanted to adopt. House is scared of losing the people he loves so the greater good according to House standards is to hold tight to them regardless of their happiness.
But back to the patient: as it turns out, the POTW is an undercover cop, deceiving all his drug dealing buddies and betraying them for the greater, legal good, but what about the greater moral good? And what about Eddie's devotion to our patient? We're made to feel sorry for him even though it's revealed that he had killed someone, but should our allegiance be to Eddie because he clearly cares about Mickey and is being deceived or to Mickey who is working for the law to put away criminals?
Of course, by the end of the House/Wilson/Nora charade, things get out of hand in the best way possible. House is just working his way into Nora's apartment, on schedule with his plan when Wilson comes into the restaurant, finally resigning to the idea of deception maybe leading to what he wants. Only this time, his goals have changed. He wants to beat House at his own game and aptly does so with an oh-so-public marriage proposal. No getting the girl now. Wilson's grand gesture left the two men alone to drink their wine and celebrate their fake engagement in silence.
Just as I was enjoying the lightness of the episode, I was hit over the head with a patient of House's actually dying! Does it count if he's dying because of something incurable? He was correctly diagnosed, so technically his death was unavoidable. Regardless, we're given a rather depressing montage with us left with having to guess if Eddie knew his drug dealer friend gave him up to the Feds. I am guessing he did know. Busted and betrayed. Not a good night for Eddie.
And what about Chase, Thirteen, and Taub? They were also busted. Foreman kept their joke going for his greater good: revenge.
By the end of the episode, we're left with House and Wilson returning to more of the same (and a little of House redeeming himself, telling Nora Wilson is a good guy). They will be best friends, bromance or no bromance. I could kill my DVR for cutting off Wilson's rendition of "One."
Additionally, I thought Thirteen was written a bit differently in tonight's episode. She was highly likable to me and was taking charge at every turn.
"The Down Low" has multiple meanings here. Whether it means a gay relationship undercover, or just keeping things quiet like a drug deal or an undercover cop, it worked for the purposes of this episode.
While I usually embrace the more intense episodes of House as my favorites, I can't help but love the lighter episodes. Wilson singing from A Chorus Line and sitting with House in comfort juxtaposed with Eddie being arrested and Mickey dying was smart. One bromance used deception with dire consequences while the other will play games until they both die of old age sitting on that ugly orange couch together.
I look forward to the episode two weeks from now where it looks like Thirteen will be the proud owner of her very own single white female.