‘House’ recap: Doctors without boundaries
Last night’s episode opened with a bang…literally, as lucky Thirteen had a horizontal naked party on her mattress with a lady, while the Kills’ excellent and sexy single 'Cheap and Cheerful' thumped out a fitting lyric: “I want you to be crazy/’Cause you’re boring, baby, when you’re straight.”
And yet, despite the provocative girl-on-girl premise (which a delighted House described as Penthouse Forum meets medical mystery) and some goofy prank one-upmanship by Drs. House and Wilson, this episode had a really weak pulse for me until the final scene, when we learned that Cuddy is adopting a baby! I know! So happy for her, right? Not House, of course. It was stunning to see Hugh Laurie in action as he reacted to this news in the baby store. House could not fake happiness for his boss, and despite all that the new mom and her secretive character reference know about their emotionally stunted pal, Cuddy and Wilson also looked stunned by Doc House’s marked lack of a reaction. That one final sequence jump-started the episode, which I had feared was on a bridge to nowhere. Now, of course, I am eager for next week to happen already.
Besides the revelation that we might soon be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet in the hospital halls, the most interesting stuff on House this week came from the cranky doc’s diagnosis of Foreman as having a case of the dulls: “You haven’t done anything stupid, spontaneous, or even vaguely interesting since you were 17, and that’s sad.” So, of course, Foreman asked Chase for a second opinion, only to be told, “Yes, you’re boring. That speech was boring. You don’t let other people’s problems affect you. You never let your own problems affect you. You’re never out of control, and it’s the screwups that make us interesting.”
You know what else is really boring? Watching a show where people talk about being boring and then writing about how boring that moment was on the Internet. I began wondering why Foreman was boring, and why Thirteen was also boring, instead of paying attention to the patient’s typical near-death drama. Thirteen certainly suffers from the same dreary funk as Foreman, but she, at least, is ill with Huntington’s disease. Her death was upgraded to sooner rather than later, which is depressing and sad. And yet I found the whole girl-gone-wild subplot to be more contrived than authentic, with this as a prime example of why:
Thirteen checked her ex-lover for spider bites in an exam room. Uh, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t there some oath where Hippocrates said a practitioner of the medical arts isn’t supposed to play doctor (wink, wink) with a patient? Wilson was called on this no-no by House back when Wilson hooked up with one of his oncology patients, but then again, this is a hospital that looks like it was decorated by the Design Within Reach people, so I must learn to stop my quibbling about authenticity on television. And yet, it was all such an obvious excuse to show some skin and get the extra titillation points that I couldn’t take it seriously.
NEXT: Thanks for the pranks