Finally watched House episode 8x03 "Charity Case" and I felt like blogging my thoughts. Mind you I'm not writing this to convince anyone to watch or not watch, I just feel the need to get out my thoughts on this season as I did last season. I'm not going to go through the entire episode but list the things I liked and disliked and why.
Things I did not like:
Foreman. He serves no purpose. Once upon a time he was a thorn in House's side because he was Cuddy's eyes and ears on the team. But as Dean of Medicine, do any of us really think House is going to listen to him? Ok so he can send House back to jail if he wants, but I don't think that's going to be a deterrent for House, not really. Do you? Besides do we really think Foreman is going to send House back to jail for anything? No matter how crazy House might be, Foreman still trusts House's judgment over his own when it comes to Diagnostics. Also, when House and Wilson were walking down the hallway debating the pros and cons of the POTW donating his kidney, what exactly was Foreman's purpose? There wasn't one, he simply let House and Wilson banter back and forth. As we all know, if it had been Cuddy, she would have been arguing with both of them and then told them both to shut up before she proceeded to talk to the patient and find out if he really was in his right mind to donate. If he was, she would have let him proceed. . Foreman's presence seems forced yet because Cuddy is gone, there has to be someone to keep House from indulging in his diagnostic madness. Foreman is just a poor substitute for Cuddy as Dean of Medicine, Hospital Administrator and the One Person Who Can Keep House In Line. Period.
Adams and Park. I mention them as a pair because as a pair they are more exciting than solo and that isn't saying much. They're boring. I get Park is really young and naive, still living at home with her very traditional and old-fashioned parents but her cuteness, soft voice and Velma haircut doesn't do anything for me. Then there's Adams who doesn't have any sort of chemistry with anyone there and really seems out of place. Bring back Chase. Notice I didn't say Taub? That's because I really don't give a crap about Taub. Taub bores me. Chase and House together again has some potential. Just don't make the mistake of hooking Chase up with Adams. Please!
The lack of House at home scenes. Ok ok we're only three episodes in, going on four but I already miss House's apartment at 221B Baker Street. By the way, while we're at it, what about the music? Hugh Laurie is a fantastic musician and we miss House playing his piano. I can't believe he didn't play the piano in one single episode in Season 7. So many missed opportunities there. Remember "Cuddy's Serenade?" House composed for Cuddy specifically for Rachel's Simchat Bat in Season 5? We know how much Hugh loves his music and incorporating that into the series. Music is House's solace, his outlet, it's how he translates his pain into something meaningful and productive.We miss it.
Things I liked:
House cutting his hair, trimming his beard, now he looks normal again. Notice that Hugh's not wearing a hairpiece over his bald spot. Long hair looks awful on him anyway. He looked like a new man after the haircut, I really needed that. I say Go Hugh!
House saying "new life, new look"...well at least he's trying to be functional. He'll never be able to have a new life, not really, but at least he can figure out how to move on from the mess he made of his life last season.
House going to Wilson to discuss the case. Not exactly like old times but a start. Just NO chickens please!
Thirteen admitting to House on the phone that he had been a friend to her when she needed one. Who could ever forget those pic three words from Season 7's "The Dig" when he said to her "I'll kill you". Touching indeed. (Yes, it actually was).
The look on House's face when he rounded the corner of the lobby and saw Thirteen with her girlfriend. House knows what it's like to have someone to love and what it's like to feel loved and even though he's damaged beyond hope and that damage has deprived him of a relationship with Cuddy, the one woman he really loved, he's not going to watch someone he actually cares about, someone with a very short life-span have to live in the same misery as him. There was nothing to be gained for House by firing Thirteen. Nothing. He actually did something selfless for someone else.
House was not the nasty jerk in this episode that he was in the previous one. He was snarky but not overkill and he wasn't mean. Of course it was funny that he wound up getting Park to swindle money out of Adams to get his car out of the shop but that wasn't mean that was just House. I was worried TPTB were going to turn House into a mean jerk in every episode. That's not the House we know and love, not by a longshot.
The POTW case was mildly stimulating but not among the best and haven't we seen this whole "nice guy really isn't so nice" case before?
All in all, I did not cringe in this episode as I did in the last one. I could barely get through "Transplant" while I was able to sit through "Charity Case" and be ok with it. With Shore's idea of getting back to the basics are we only going to have scenes at the hospital? Will the show be just about the medical cases and nothing else? House and his relationships with the people closest to him were a huge part of the show and always intertwined nicely with the cases, it would be a shame to see an end to exploring House and his relationships with others in favor of just pure medical stuff. There's only so far that will go till we get bored.
We know House is remorseful and sorry for his actions after the breakup with Cuddy, we know he misses her. You can just tell by the look on his face, he's so sad and miserable without her and over everything that's happened. House is a man of action not words, and Hugh does a brilliant job conveying House's feelings through facial expressions. I still root for House. I want so bad for House to find happiness and have some kind of life but given everything he's been through in his life I just don't see it as possible. Cuddy was the one woman who was his equal match in every way and really made him happy and now she's gone. I don't think that throwing himself into his medical mysteries each week will be enough for him and hanging out with Wilson week after week will get boring. I want redemption for House so he can move on but sadly it cannot come without Cuddy. And so week after week we'll sit there and watch House and have hope just to be slapped in the face by TPTB.
While it is refreshing to see House 's humanity in actions such as telling the POTW that wanting to be with his family his "healthy" and firing Thirteen under the guise of being his typical ass self but really doing it because he wanted her to go and be happy, thing is....how long will this last? Shore himself has stated in so many words that House's journey is about trying to change but constantly failing. House's life since the infarction is a series of one step forward two steps back. When it comes to Gregory House, we want to root for him, we want him to be a survivor, we want him to find some happiness, all this while being a damaged, masochistic, misanthropic pain in the ass. Shore gave us hope in Season 6 and then ripped that hope away from us midway through Season 7. Here we are only three episodes into Season 8, and I already find myself holding tightly to the armrests of my lazyboy recliner and biting my lip anticipating that next bad thing the TPTB will do to ruin House's life and further tank our once favorite television show.
Only time will tell.
I miss the old dynamic. I can't help but think about it every week. Good Times.