TV Article

Rash Decisions

On ''House,'' with his pain meds at a dangerously reasonable dosage, the doc punches Chase and lashes out at Cuddy

House, Lisa Edelstein | SHOT IN THE HEART Cuddy snapped when House said she'd be a bad mom
SHOT IN THE HEART Cuddy snapped when House said she'd be a bad mom

''House'': It's all the rage

Finally, finally, finally! An episode I can use to prove to non-watchers why House is one of the best dramas on TV. Between the passive-aggressive peanut butter spreading, the inappropriate laser pointing, the bizarre — but not outlandish — disease, and the tense will-they-or-won't-they amputation, this episode, to borrow a Studio 60 phrase, knocked my socks off. I didn't even completely hate Tritter, which is a big concession for me. Thank you David Morse, for actually injecting some sensitivity into your delivery. See what a difference being rational makes?

But most important: House was finally wrong. Yep, after long last, Dr. Infallible screwed up, and nearly lopped off a cute kid's arm and leg in the process. Deprived of even his secret, secret, secret stash hidden away in a lupus textbook, the good doc misdiagnosed the apparently light-sensitive patient of the week and popped a case-cracking Dr. Chase in the face before having to face the enormity of his mistake. I mean, subjecting a kid to scratch tests and blood purification is one thing (although my ''aw'' alert level went off the charts when Alice said she was scared and sad about her parents splitting), but physically maiming her at age six is another. Even if she did look like the English Patient.

My heart also went out to Dr. Cuddy when a purposefully-aiming-to-hurt House told her it was a good thing she never became a mom because she sucked at it. (Speaking of which, is a dimly lit shower stall Hollywood's newest set piece for demonstrating vulnerability? Casino Royale fans get what I'm talking about.) I mean, that's cold. As Cuddy pointed out, House usually insults with snark, but his jabbing at her biggest insecurity was just plain harsh. And hats off to Lisa Edelstein for emotionally spilling her guts to Wilson; she looked like she truly and desperately needed a hug. By showing House's inability to censor himself when it counted, the writers have actually developed his now job-interfering addiction quite well.

Speaking of Wilson, wow. I guess he'd finally had enough, between listening to Cuddy's breakdown and Chase's bitter explanation of how even rational argument isn't getting through to House anymore. I wasn't expecting him to be the one to walk into Tritter's, I guess, office? What is that room, anyway? And what cop sets up shop in a hospital on his vacation to interrogate and mentally — and fiscally — intimidate doctors? Oh, that's right, crazy, obsessed ones who have magical abilities to circumvent the law and free doctors' assets at will. (Although I have to admit, I understood Tritter's explanation to Cuddy about House the addict being unsound for patients. He was wrong, but at least I understood his motivations.) Please, writers, I needed you to resolve this ridiculous plotline yesterday.

But what about you, dear readers? Did you like this episode's darker tone? Do you think House is finally getting what's coming to him? And did you fall for the fake-out eponymous Judas?

Originally posted Nov 29, 2006
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