Did I miss something here? If I’m struggling to find an interesting angle in which to write this review, we have a problem. In an episode titled, “Unplanned Parenthood,” House gets to be the parent he never wanted to be. This episode was far too on the nose, especially since the writers have yet to give any of the team members an interesting storyline this season.
Last season at this time, Chase had killed a dictator, House was wrestling with his living situation, and Foreman and Thirteen were on the outs. I’m happy to see that the writers are working more from a comedic standpoint, but really, is this the best we can do given the talents of the regular cast and a guest star like Jennifer Grey? I thought the other episodes were a bit lacking, but this one unfortunately takes the cake. Bear in mind I am one of the show’s biggest fans, and my disappointment is coming from the high standards that the people over at House set a long time ago.
J-Grey AKA POTW
Jennifer Grey competed against herself tonight. Do you think she told her family to watch Dancing with the Stars or House? Either way, she played a 40-something mother that decided to have a baby. But it wasn’t her first, and her daughter made that abundantly clear throughout the episode. My hunch is that older daughter wasn’t planned and lived her whole life feeling that way, whereas new nameless baby was completely planned for and popped out ready to be loved and cared for. Unfortunately for nameless baby, mom wasn’t long for this world. Oh, the irony. And then of course, Jennifer Grey’s daughter ends up with the baby in another parenthood that was unplanned. This episode reminded me of “The Down Low,” that was heavy on humor — House and Wilson both try and date their hot neighbor and treat an undercover cop that dies — with a downer ending. The big difference is that “The Down Low” was ultimately a much better and more thought-provoking episode.
The team stuff bored me this week. If there’s going to a be a subplot about Taub and picking a woman for the team, let’s inject some more humor into it. Maybe the writer was trying to create a balance between the funny House-as-babysitter stuff and a serious case, but put Chase, Taub and Foreman in a room together that House isn’t in and we should have humor. Instead, we actually got a more interesting female doctor and now she’s gone! I liked Dr. Cheng and her maturity, but if she is actually mature, she’s right. She probably wouldn’t last long on a team that House is leading. Silly Taub, tricks are for kids. And Dr. Cheng used to be on Gilmore Girls, in case you were curious.
Two Men and a Baby
Most things worked for me with House, Wilson and the baby. One, because Rachel was very cute and had very comical facial expressions. Two, because every time House or Wilson looked at her, they looked as though they’d encountered an alien life form. Had the whole episode been House’s adventure in babysitting, it would have been too much. However, I like that two adult men, and not only men, but excellent doctors, are presented with a 2-year-old that they can’t handle. Hence “Unplanned Parenthood.”
Can House be a parent? Honesty would have been a first step in proving to Cuddy that he could handle it, although she shouldn’t be too surprised to find out he lied to her because he was scared of her wrath, or her withholding of sex. Wilson and House’s revving of their respective engines was great, although even I was terrified for Rachel to be alone for a few minutes. Wilson is a defacto parent because House can’t handle Rachel on his own. His eagerness to shift the responsibility of her care to Wilson is very typical of him.
Looks Familiar …
All the scenes of House and Cuddy sleeping looked familiar. There was one shot that was an overhead of Cuddy on her side that was very reminiscent of the opening shot in “5 to 9.” In the other shots, we’re getting references to last week’s episode “Massage Therapy” that showed House alone in bed. Now they’re sleeping with one another, which is a big step for both of them.
Anytime in an episode of House where he manages to barely speak to the patient, something feels lacking in the episode. That was the case this week when House barely dealt with Jennifer Grey’s character. The patients and parents of patients get much more interesting when House visits. There’s no way House didn’t know that Taub would completely outfox himself during his little hiring spree (don’t excuse the pun). This isn’t the first time House has set Taub up. Remember the episode last season called “The Choice”? In it, House manipulates Taub using various reverse psychological methods and his regular bag of tricks as well.
1. Rachel barely spoke during this episode, but she knew enough to implicate House about the dime? Love it even if it’s ridiculous.
2. “She opened up a Chinese food bag to eat money. What an idiot!”
3. Did that men’s room scene imply that House and Cuddy had sex in the bathroom?
4. “I know about the Jew, the black and the croc hunter, but when did our Asian persuasion on?”
5. House telling Cuddy ‘I’m just new to all this,” while looking for a dime in Rachel’s stool was perfect. New, indeed.
6. House and Cuddy are still using sex as a bargaining tool, but they are now sleeping in the same bed together. Some forward motion, but not much. Let’s see if these two can connect at a deeper level. This would require some deeper writing, so basically watch this episode, and go in the opposite direction.
I realize my criticism has been rather harsh, but we’re given characters that we have known for years and years. Let’s reveal something more about them! TPTB can do whatever they want within reason with these characters, so take a step back and think about what would be challenging for each of them and do it! We’ve got the House/Cuddy relationship challenge, but that doesn’t mean the other characters should be given nothing to do. House, you have been challenged.
(Image courtesy of FOX)