And now to the issues fans will no doubt be debating for ages to come: Did House plan this? We never do see what happens with the patient between the time that House finds the twig in his neck vein, and when he’s lying dead on the floor of the shooting gallery, having presumably OD’d.
Sometimes the worst thing about being a pessimist is how often you’re right. I would have been much happier if the hopeful commenters on last week’s recap who said House’s reaction to Wilson’s scan could mean any number of things were right. But they’re not. Wilson is dying; without chemotherapy, he’s got about five months, and he’s refusing chemotherapy.
That wasn’t as bad as I feared. Wilson’s alive (for now) and it looks like next week he buys himself a shiny red corvette. The other patient of the week is a little girl with a genetic disorder that will eventually kill her, and while the team can’t fix that, they do cure her current illness, and her feuding parents are able to make at least a temporary peace. All in all, this was a sweet – at times almost saccharine – and fairly low-key episode, not the grim horror I feared.
I don’t know if others will agree, but I really, really liked this one. Funny, fast-paced, and unashamedly weird (as opposed to just “quirky”), it got at one of the show’s more intriguing core issues – the way the main characters are united by their failure at relationships – while also addressing one of the things that’s creeped me out in the past – House’s fondness for paid female companionship.
That night, Taub finds the patient curled up in a corner, sobbing uncontrollably. The next day, Adams argues that aside from the crying, he’s doing well. Taub retorts that, apart from the guy in the book depository, the Kennedys had a lovely trip to Dallas. He insists the patient is suffering chronic traumatic encephalopathy brought on by repeated blows to the head.
Anyway, we open at the airport, where a young military family – mom, kid, dad covered in medals – are waiting to greet “Uncle Brent”, who is returning from Afghanistan. They’ve made a sign and everything. They’re all very bummed out when Uncle Brent is escorted off the plane in handcuffs, surrounded by MPs, like an African-American Bradley Manning.
After three weeks’ hiatus (NASCAR, double dose of Alcatraz, rerun) House hit the ground running – a young blind man with a complicated love life has to choose between probable deafness and certain death, while House’s mom shows up to tell everyone she’s betrothed to the man House thinks is his biological father. Some partial truths about House’s paternity are partially revealed, and there’s still time for Park to accidentally sample the patient’s LSD and spend a few hours hallucinating the others as rabbits.
As promised, we get something different this week. We open with the camera panning across a room in the hospital in which something very bad has clearly gone down – blood spatter, a bloody handprint, a cluster of Mylar balloons bobbing ironically against the ceiling. It’s so bad there’s not even any music on the soundtrack until we’ve had a few minutes to take it all in.
This week’s premise – “A Different House,” in which we see House caring for a patient as he never has before – is a bit oversold. Pretty much, House stands up for a teenage runaway’s right to hate her pill-popping mother and make a life without her. Though, to the writers’ credit, the parallels with House’s own father issues aren’t pushed too hard.
So, here we are, back at Princeton-Plainsboro. House still has an ankle monitor, Dr. Chi Park still has an interestingly spiky personality, Dr. Jessica Adams still doesn’t have much personality at all. Taub is absent this week, attributed to a sick daughter. House makes a Taub-is-short joke about how he’s got Taub in his backpack.
I know I’m on controversial ground here, but if people read more Victorian literature, they’d be aware that mostly, before vaccines (and decent plumbing), people just died a lot, especially the children. Doesn’t anyone read Jane Eyre anymore? Or the novels of Mrs. Gaskell?