Michelle Kung
September 27, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”House”: The doctor gets what he wants

Here’s looking at you, David Shore, for writing an extended Casablanca reference (”We’ll always have Fresno”) into this week’s episode — even if it was to tidily wrap up last week’s rather contrived Stalker Girl story line. So Miss Exposed Thong has spores in her brain from an earthquake? Ho-hum. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, sweetheart. (Before I forget, did everyone catch the reference to Stalker Girl’s classmate Victor? Genius.)

On to the A patient of the week. After a boy with autism is brought into the hospital for a frenzied bout of screaming, House and the ducklings try to find a way into his mind from Wilson’s office, the chapel, and various other rooms in the hospital. House, in typical petulant fashion, refuses to work in his own office until his old carpet — bloodied from when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Casey Jones shot him in last season’s finale — is returned. The man is nothing if not a glutton for mental punishment. After some less than breakspeed tests, the diagnosis is revealed to be: worms. In the kid’s stomach, and they’ve spread to his lungs and eyes. Ick.

Among the ducklings, Foreman gets zinged by House for making his date scream, Chase gets zinged by Cameron for having a negligent father, and Cameron, well, she doesn’t get zinged but she does manage to shrilly contribute nothing medically relevant to the case (and do so while wearing an awfully cute crimson corduroy shirtdress). And House, when not envying an autistic child for his ability to escape normal social interaction, also tastefully throws away the gifts of Wilson’s dead cancer patients — gestures I would be a lot more peeved about if they didn’t set up the big, button-pushing ”Awwwww…” moment at the episode’s end.

And is it just me, or was this episode just a little too shticky and House a little too manic? Taken separately, each of the sardonic House moments and one-liners — the Dog Day Afternoon allusion, welcoming the ducklings to the House of the Lord, and delivering my personal favorite line: ”I was listening to her heart, and it was saying, Greg House. Greg House. Greg House” — were hilarious, but with so many such moments unfolding one right after the other, I wanted to tell the writers to save a few for the next episode. Which, of course, is four weeks from now because of the World Series. Boo. Here’s to Halloween coming sooner than later.

In the meantime, what did you think of the episode? Are Wilson and Cuddy on the verge of making out? How about House and Cameron? Somebody was getting some action in that preview…

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