Monday, November 14, 2011

[H]ouse, M.D. Episode 8x06 "Parents"

Well surely we expected this week's episode to be at least as entertaining as last week's episode, right?



I guess since Bueller isn't answering I should get right to the reason I'm here. 

What I did not like:
The POTW case was just not interesting. I wish I could say this case interested me but it was dead in the water. Nothing about the patient, his family or the illness jumped out at me and screamed excitement. I do wonder why the biological father not in jail for molesting his son 12 years ago? And how on earth did House come up with that epiphany? He knew there was some big secret reason the mother would not let her son have contact with his biological father, then the father comes in limping and House notices he walks funny and then makes mention of molestation and syphilis. Normally the way in which House reaches his epiphanies makes sense (except for the one in episode before last where he's looking at the ortho x-ray and the "Y" thing hits him). This one came out of nowhere.

Is too much Taub a bad thing?
Oh come on, what do you think? Do I even have to answer this question? I read somewhere that Shore was considering a Taub-centric episode and I also read that fans were opposed to it.  There's a reason for that. I don't even have to elaborate. 
House's obsession with the paternity of Taub's kids.
Oh we know House doesn't hate babies but for crying out loud when is he going to stop picking on Taub? Ok let me rephrase that. I'm all for House picking on and belittling Taub as often as possible but I'm so over the paternity thing. May we move on?
We were baited. We were also robbed.
We got mention of House's parents and we were all like "Yes! Finally!" (I personally was dancing around in my underwear celebrating LOL!) and then just as quickly as it was given to us, TPTB snatched all hope away. I love any reference to House's parents because it gives me hope that TPTB will finally delve into who he is as a result of his upbringing. But alas, we were disappointed once again that this opportunity was passed over for more what can only be described as obviously more intriguing plots.
Remember when Cuddy was trying to choose a sperm donor and House tried to deter her telling her "who you are matters" and "genes matter"? (When what he was really saying was "choose me") Well I never forgot that, neither have the fans. House is who he is because of two major influences: his life experiences and his genes. They matter! He didn't become a misanthropic, narcissistic pain in the ass after the infarction. He was already one, the infarction only made him worse. His father had a lot to do with the way he is through upbringing and it is possible that his biological father was an influence as well, through genes.  I like what Chase said to Adams, and I paraphrase---about the team doing what they are now and being so good at it, to fill that hole left by dysfunction in their childhood. I would say that really describes House.

TPTB have left an incredible gold mine untapped for so long and it's a real shame. I had hoped in Season 6 with the references to House's biological father as author of that book House was reading and also in the episode Braveheart where House was talking to his dad before he went to sleep (I do hate that TPTB chose to cut out that wonderful flashback scene of House as a little boy with his dad.  However you can click HERE for that deleted scene between  young Gregory House and his father from episode 6x06.)  I hate that we never got any kind of real storyline about House and his childhood, it's so much a part of who he is. It's kinda funny that a man who spends his life solving puzzles is the biggest puzzle of all, one apparently we will never have a crack at solving because TPTB keep the pieces from us. I suppose it's because they think we can't handle it.

I still don't like Adams.
It's not just that I don't like her, I can't like her. Something in my rational mind won't let me. There's this disconnect not to mention she's dry and just not entertaining. As we found out in this episode, the poor little rich girl had a great childhood with parents who loved her and she hated it because all her friends came from dysfunctional families and she felt left out. So we're supposed to believe she's dysfunctional because she was functional? She likes the idea of working with screwed up people like House because it makes her feels normal.  I liked the conversation House had with her on their way out of the hospital. I loved it when he said, "It's normal to be screwed up, it's not normal to romanticize it."  The look on his face always says so much more than the words he speaks. For some strange reason, Adams romanticizes the idea of working with a screwed up person. How screwed up is that? I love though that she's just a puzzle to him and in the end he got his answer. Poor Jessica Adams's little secret is out, the poor little rich girl was loved too much. Boring! 

The new DDX room.
My philosophy is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" which could essentially apply to the entire show after Season 5 but I digress. Couches? Stocked bar? Seriously? Cuddy never would have allowed that, which could be why House indulges in it. He knows he can pretty much get whatever he wants out of Foreman, I don't care how much Foreman claims otherwise.

House as an ex-con.
It still doesn't resonate with me that the guy we've known for so many years, who, despite being a lonely, misanthropic jerk, really does have a heart that he shows in the tiniest, most unusual ways,  is an ex-con on parole wearing an ankle bracelet.  I still cannot grasp the idea the House I knew before is the House that's being given to us now. Sorry, I will never accept that change. Oh wait, according to David Shore, people don't change. So either the House we have now is the same House we had in the past seven years (not!) or people change. Ha!

What I liked:
House attempting to remove the "lo-jack" on his ankle.
Did any of us think there wouldn't be an episode where House didn't try to get this damn thing off? When the red light started beeping and that ex-con ran out of House's office with his tools I was laughing my ass off. Yes, I laughed. I loved when House attempted to cover up by soaking his legs in the hot tub. My only dislike about that scene was that House had too many clothes on in that tub :)

Referencing House's parents.
Which only happened what--twice? A girl can dream right? At least we got something. Well that....and House eating like a pig. Speaking of....

House steals Wilson's food.
Longtime fans know that Gregory House has probably not paid for a meal since...since...well since never. He's always stealing everyone else's food especially Wilson, who just lets him do it. I love it when Wilson cuts up one half of the sandwich into two pieces to share it with House but House just reaches over and takes the other half that is not cut. So typical House. Good Times. Sort of. Would have been better if Cuddy had been there with them but I digress.

The hooker reference.
Seems like old times--almost. Wouldn't be a House episode without a reference to hookers now would it? Does not mean I approve of the the debauchery of late S7. Just sayin'.

The Boxing match & Wilson being manipulated by Foreman.
What do you expect? As Cuddy once told Foreman, he's "House-lite". He threatens to send House back to prison but seriously he's just like him. Remember back in Season 3, House told Foreman, "you've been like me since you were eight years old". Hello? Foreman is going to try and use House any chance he gets just as House will do the same to Foreman and Wilson. Speaking of Wilson,  my goodness it is still so easy to pull one over on him. Will he ever get wise to it? I have a feeling in the next episode he'll be seeking revenge.
When I saw House/Foreman at the fight I thought "Oh hell no! House would never choose Foreman over Wilson!" and then I realized "Oh hell yes he would!"  Given that Shore has turned House into an even more selfish bastard that he used to be, of course he's going to continue to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. (Generally the only person who could keep House on a short leash was Cuddy and seriously, if anyone thought Foreman would be able to do that, they're an idiot.) In House's world, it didn't really matter to him who he was going to the fight with or how he got there so long as he was there. The only way he was going to that fight was with Foreman's blessing so he did what comes naturally and manipulated Wilson...through Foreman of course. Because no matter what, House is still the master manipulator, the diabolical (yet benevolent) puppet master and even though Foreman is the Dean of Medicine (*hack hack*), he is still one of House's minions. He always will be. 

Overall, the episode wasn't bad, it's just that it wasn't that great either. There were a few good moments with Wilson and Chase and of course, Hugh is always memorable as House, but the episode just didn't do anything for me. It's not one I'd speak of at the water cooler the next day, and you know there have been many many episodes talked about near the water cooler!  

Alas, the problem here is that I am spoiled rotten. I have been spoiled by the excellence of what I affectionately refer to as "Classic House MD". I expect so much from this show because of the absolute brilliance we've been given in the past. Shore and his writers are capable of giving us so much more than they have given us recently. Hugh can take good writing and turn it into a masterful performance, it's what he does, and we love him for it. We just don't like the writing. The writers give us the "what" and the actors give us the "how" and really the "what" is seriously lacking here. It wasn't that long ago that [H]ouse, M.D. was a show that we could not get enough of. I compare it to that really great book you can't put down because it's so good you don't want to miss a thing. The show has kicked ass in syndication because people can't get enough of it. There's a reason for that. Although I'll add in here that a lot of people are finding it hard to watch the old episodes knowing how the direction the characters are headed. Took me awhile to go back to watching it in syndication on Cloo Channel. I just had to separate the "then" from the "now".

One of the biggest questions I have is why in Season 8 (and in Seasons 6 & 7 though I will say that 6 was much better than 7 in regards to House's character) are we not getting the same brilliant and exciting stories that we did in earlier seasons? We know it is possible because it's been done!

Alas, before I end this, I will say it wouldn't be right to post my review without giving a great big old shout-out to my #House pals Michelle, Veronique, Anne, Iane, Kelly, Claudia, Katie, Andree, Anthony, Lisa, Max, Mindy, Meg, and Maya for mucking through the good and bad with me and for the banter, laughter, tears and screaming that we have endured! It would not have been the same without you!


  1. Anonymous11/15/2011

    Addams is a joke--in someways (not all ways)she's a mish-mash of everything we've ever seen of any female character that's been through PPTH (but written badly), and the last thing we need is another young female (or any) lookin' at him with googley eyes, "That's why I wanted to work with you..."....til you get a car driven through YOUR home. This isn't even just the Cuddy fan in me talking this is in defense of all the estrogen having ever dealt with the man...even Cameron and that's saying something.

  2. He saw right through that. For House it was all about the puzzle.

  3. Anonymous11/16/2011

    Does David Shore hate women? Or is it how he reacts to portraying them because maybe they don't like him? Either way, the two new girlie docs suck with boring personalities, no depth and no fire/energy/spark. Both look like it's their first acting gig and are learning on the fly. God, what would it take to get Lisa Edelstein/Cuddy back on this damn show? Jess, great review. You're completely accurate that this show has let viewers down in the writing department (and casting and contract negotiations departments but i digress). Nice job as usual. FYI, new story on Fanfic by Andree "Change of Heart." Check it out. Will tweet this separately in a minute.