Monday, April 30, 2012

[H]ouse, M.D. episode 8x19 "The C-Word"


We debated for weeks what the "C-Word" meant. Some said cancer, others (like me) said change because cancer was too obvious.  In my opinion it stands for both Cancer and Change. Because both are here.

In this week's case, the illness hits close to home. The POTW is sick with an illness her mother specializes in and her mother is desperate to find a cure. The mother joins the team temporarily to help them diagnose her daughter. In the end, she finds she can't be objective.

In our parallel plot, Wilson, head of Oncology and expert in his field is sick with an illness he specializes in and he's also desperate to find a cure. Wilson goes to four specialists, well known oncologists at four major hospitals and finds that all of them concur on his treatment but he disagrees with them. He doesn't want the traditional safe route, he wants a more radical approach that can likely kill him. Like the POTW's mother, Wilson is too close to the patient because he is the patient. He can't be objective here. In comes House to try and talk some sense in to him. I thought for a moment "Wait a minute--they've switched bodies!"

It seems the shoe was now on the other foot. Wilson, the usually calm and rational one was about to do something insane and dangerous and it was up to House to talk him out of it.  Knowing that Wilson was going to find a way to do this without him, House agrees to help him in his apartment. Knowing the risks of going to jail if Wilson should die, House was willing to help him anyway. House's actions remind me of the many times Wilson has enabled House.

Hugh Laurie directed this episode and I must say that he did an incredible job. Hugh is known as the actor's director and for good reason. He pays attention to detail, he understands the actors, he's focused and he has a vision and creativity that is all his own. It paid off for the direction in this episode was outstanding. 

The good moments:
  • House sacrificing his few remaining Vicodin pills for Wilson. Notice that House lied to Wilson telling him he had stashes all over the apartment. When he told Wilson that all I could think of was "not again House!" but I was proven wrong when it urns out while House is taking Vicodin he doesn't seem to be doing it in an irresponsible manner as he did in earlier seasons and after the breakup with Cuddy. Surely we all thought he'd have a stash of thousands hidden in textbooks and walls in his apartment. Not so.

  • House helping Wilson into the bathroom. There was something beautiful about the crippled House leaning down and taking Wilson into his arms and helping him to the bathroom that just made me want to cry. It's always been Wilson doing these things for House, and now House is doing this for Wilson. Make no mistake, House has been there for Wilson in the past. Remember, he gave Wilson a place to stay when his wife kicked him out, he helped Wilson realize his marriage was over and that he had to get a lawyer and move on, he risked his own life to try and save Amber, he brought Wilson out of his post-Amber funk during the trip to John House's funeral, he was there for him after Wilson donated part of his liver.  The things House has done for Wilson have been subtle, yet to Wilson it meant a great deal.

  • House wanting to take Wilson to the hospital but abiding by Wilson's wishes that he did not want to die in the ambulance or in the hospital. Surely I thought that House would break his promise because he cared more about Wilson than some stupid promise. I was wrong. It's not often he could make promises to Wilson so maybe this was his way of making the sacrifice. He knew damn well if Wilson died in his apartment, he'd have to explain himself and likely go to jail. They even talked about it. House seemed resigned to putting his friend's well-being first.

  • House and Wilson sharing the painkiller morphine together. Joking about the cemetery near the park with the lake view.

  • Wilson hallucinating his 8-year old dead cancer patient. That was Wilson's guilt complex taking hold. Amazing scene.

  • Wilson telling House about why he wants the radical treatment. They're in his office and Wilson points to the memorabilia he has related to three patients, all different ages, all who had extremely high rates of survival yet they all died anyway despite the survival rates.  You would think that as a doctor Wilson could be clear-headed and objective but this is his life now. He knows the risks, for him it's all or nothing. 

  • Wilson screaming "WHY ME?" and talking about how House makes everyone miserable and is an ass and implying House should be the one dying of cancer, not him. I was taken back by that amazing scene. The guilt House must have felt in that moment...for all the things he's done in his life and it's his best friend, the kind and caring one who is dying.

The not-so-good moments
  • The patient of the week. I liked this little girl and her case but this case should have been in another episode where it would not be overshadowed by the secondary plot. Also, I would have liked to see House's interaction with the mother as she sat in with the team. House has an issue with parents and the fact that this parent was also the patient's doctor would have made for interesting interaction. 

  • The ever-so-present misogyny on this show. If it's not hookers it's strippers. If it's not hookers or strippers it's women in some sort of undress. The only thing I liked about the very last scene it is how it made Wilson laugh really hard and for a moment he was able to forget about his impending death sentence. Other than that though, more young scantily clad women? Seriously? Could there be just ONE episode?

Other thoughts
  • Was Wilson's behavior out of character? We know Wilson has always been a pretty rational and well-thought out guy. He's not one to make hasty decisions (unless you count marriage proposals). He's careful and weighs his options.  That said, the Wilson we have seen for years never would have underwent such a radical treatment as he did in this episode. It's just not like him. However, given that Wilson has always been a calm rational guy, is it completely out of character to freak out over being diagnosed with the disease you've spent 20 years trying to treat and eradicate? Is it out of character for Wilson to be scared to death of this disease now that he's afflicted with it? Is it out of character for a normally cool and rational guy to suddenly do insane things? Make insane choices? Participate in risky acts? I can't answer that. In my opinion it could go either way. It would make sense to me that the normally rational Wilson suddenly be scared to death. He's watched so many patients die over the years, he's been by their bedside, he's even helped some of them along in the end. The doctor is now the patient. That can't be easy to accept.

  • House and Wilson swapping roles.  Normally, Wilson is House's conscience. Now House has to be Wilson's conscience and he's going to find it's a big responsibility. We see in this and upcoming episodes that Wilson's doing some pretty un-Wilson like things and House has to either talk him out of them or be there with him to make sure he doesn't get himself into trouble. Roles have reversed. How will House handle it? Will House realize what it's like to be in Wilson's shoes? Being calm, cool, rational and preventing Wilson from doing insane things. And will Wilson suddenly realize for a moment what it's like to be in House's shoes? In pain all the time, worried, scared and fearing the inevitable?

  • How will House react seeing Wilson behave in a reckless manner? Can House handle this? Watching his best friend imitate his own behavior? If he has to be Wilson's rock and support, he can no longer put himself first. That's hard for House. Can he do it? What will it mean for his future? 

  •  Did David Shore put plot before character?  Did Shore throw Wilson and House out of character in an effort to go out with a bang? Some say Wilson would never act this irrational after his own cancer diagnosis. Ask anyone who has been watching this series for a long time and they'll tell you that putting plot before character sounds eerily like what took place in Season 7. 

  • Why now? Why is House able to be there for someone he cares about now We're all wondering the answer to this one.  When Cuddy feared kidney cancer in "Bombshells" House had a hard time being there for her. Whether it was making jokes, having his team sit with her instead of his being there, or playing video games with Foreman, House could not bring himself to be there for Cuddy. We know why. He loved her and he was scared to death of losing her and scared to death of the pain he was feeling. Thing is, no matter what he was feeling, he needed to be there for her because she was scared too.  He was finally there for her when he got the news the tumor cells had spread and she was dying (or so they thought). But it took a Vicodin for him to have the courage to be by her side. How is it that House couldn't be what Cuddy needed then (though he did try) but he can be there for Wilson now? 
Here's my random thought on this...House is remorseful, he lost the woman he loved and he knows he did some things wrong and he regrets them. Outwardly he's the same ass we've always known and still hides his pain and his fear. He's opened himself up a few times and gotten so hurt that he just can't do it again. Inside he hurts just as he always has, it's what we love about him. We know he's changed but...   

The problem with the above explanation is that while we believe it because we want to believe it and because that's how it should have been, we've never actually seen it, not this season anyway.  David Shore never shown us any real change in House. We're having to assume he's changed, it's inferred but this is crazy for if the viewers have to assume, what's the point of writing?  For me, Hugh's expressions as House say so much but we need more than that, we need Shore to show us and tell us in House's actions and words. We need to see it for ourselves, we should not be forced to use our imaginations as to what the character is thinking or feeling. We should have been given real hints at House's changes that would lead us to believe that the reason he can be there now for Wilson while it was much more difficult for him to be there for Cuddy is because he has changed, he has learned  from his mistakes and yeah he wants to do better, just like he told Cuddy. Without those steps, it feels incomplete, like we were cheated out of watching this character grow and evolve.

  •  Where are the strong and intelligent women of [H]ouse?  There are no strong women characters left on this show. With the departure of Lisa Edelstein, the show lost its only strong, intelligent, vibrant, sassy, and sexy leading female character.  With the loss of Lisa, the show lost part of the dynamic that balanced the main character, she was part of what made him whole.  Cuddy was House's foil, he needs her as much as she needs him, as much as he needs Wilson or Wilson needs him. These three depended on one another for different reasons, different needs.  Olivia Wilde, Charlyne Yi, and Odette Annable were never strong characters, they weren't meant to be, and they do not make up for that loss.  And while we're at it, where the heck is Katie Jacobs? She was the other half of the dynamic duo that created this series. She hasn't done an episode since early Season 6. None of the directors are women. There are a few women writers left and you'd think that these women (Lingenfelter, Hess, Friedman) could write strong women characters but it's just not happening. Either they're not interested or Shore put a lid on it.

Again, the acting/directing in this episode was terrific. Now, going into the final three episodes next week, I feel like something is missing. I was talking with my friends aka "the usual suspects" (as I love to call them) the other day and we all agreed that it would have been phenomenal if Cuddy had been a part of this episode and those that follow. Can you imagine the three of them arguing over Wilson's treatment, the legal and moral ramifications? Can you imagine House, Cuddy, and Wilson going through this cancer experience together? Trying to balance each other? It would have been Emmy winning material, not to mention amazing closure to the incredible triumvirate dynamic of this show.

I won't stop saying I miss Cuddy. I can't help it! She was an important part of the dynamic and the lives of its two leading male characters. As we're coming down to the wire, where House and Wilson are facing some really incredible life-changing events, I just wish she'd been a part of it. Alas, she is not (unless a miracle happens!) and so I keep watching, because I really want to see this through to the end.  Despite what the writers and Shore have done to change the dynamic of this show, something still binds me to House and his journey. I'm the kind of person who roots for the underdog, wants him to succeed, even after all he's done to others and especially after all he's been through...all the hurt and pain that he has endured in his life. Why? Because in some ways he's me, he's you, he's all of us!

It's this little thing I like to call hope.


In closing, this blog wouldn't be complete without thanking the usual suspects! They know who they are and they better be reading this. Without them laughing, crying, and ranting over this show all this time would have been no fun at all!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NewsRadio: "Rat Funeral" was hilarious!

I miss NewsRadio, particularly the seasons with Phil Hartman. I'm working on writing an exam this morning and felt like watching or rather listening to NR in the background. This episode "Rat Funeral" was hilarious.



Dave: Can I have everyone’s attention please? I have an announcement.  It has come to my attention that some of you may have deliberately setting off the rat traps. I don’t know nor do I care to know why you do such a thing but please cut it out.

Matthew: Yeah uh Dave we actually had a staff meeting about this and we don’t want rat traps in the office.

Dave: You’d rather catch them by hand?

Matthew: Well that’s just silly.

Lisa: Umm excuse me could I just interject here?

Dave: Please do.

Lisa: Dave there’s only one rat.

Beth: Yeah and he’s really really nice.

Dave: What are you talking about?

Matthew: His name is Mike, and he’s all white except he’s got one like black racing stripe down the side of his body…

Joe: And he’s missing most of his tail…

Beth: And he’s cute…

Dave: But he is a rat right? Anyone find that disgusting?

Catherine: Oh he’s cute Dave, he just pokes his little head out when it’s quiet and sometimes we feed him potato chips…

Lisa and Beth: Yeah, and Fig Newtons…

Beth: And little beans…

Dave: Oh gosh does anyone remember anything here called the black plague?

Matthew: That isn’t really as big a deal as people made it out to be.

Dave: No? I’m sorry but you’re just going to let the traps do their job.

Everyone: Oh Dave you can't do that...

Bill: Say Dave, maybe after work you’d like to go by the zoo and shoot goats?

ROFLMAO!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Your tax dollars at work part II

What do you get when you combine three trucks, five guys, and three hours?

A whole lot of nothing.

First read yesterday's post..... 

Yesterday that had two trucks one of which was a bucket truck. Today they had two bucket trucks and a dump truck!

Once again, the physical plant guys showed up in the courtyard behind my building today on campus and proceeded to mark off the area for the big "Moss Pick of 2012". Nearly three hours later, they managed to get two branches done before they took off.

This is what the tree looks like at the moment!

































We shall see what it looks like when they return on Monday for the "Great Moss Pick of 2012"

House takes revenge for the events of "Moving On" (a fic...a funny one at that!)

Those [H]ouse fans who have seen Season 7 all the way through will really appreciate this. Those of you who haven't seen it, well, you need to go watch it all the way through the finale then come back here and read this. No cheating!

This author of this delightful fic is MadFashionista who has graciously allowed me to post it here for the world to enjoy! Only she can come up with this kind of brilliance!

Comes with the usual warnings....violence, etc.



 Title: Get out of the car!
“Get out of the car!”

House shoved Wilson out of the car with a push, then gunned the engine and streaked down the road.  His mind was made up. This had to end. Now. Let out his anger? He’d show Wilson what anger was.

With a screeching turn, he aimed at the building. He braced himself, because this car didn’t have airbags.

But he didn’t care.

The car smashed through the wall, sending wood and glass flying everywhere. A garbage bin overturned, workers scrambled to move out of the way, and House found what he was aiming at:

The writers room.

House knew they were in there, concocting more and ever shittier plots for the Season Eight, and House was PISSED.

He gunned the motor again and flew head-on into the writers room, enjoying for a split-second the panic on the people’s faces, David Shore’s mouth opening, Greg Yaitanes trying to jump back, most of the entire writing and directing staff frozen with horror.

Then there was blissful silence, broken by a fluorescent light dropping from the ceiling.

House pulled his cane out of the car, and limped gingerly out of the wreckage as the moans and screams began. His leg hurt even worse than usual, but what did he expect after after smashing through a television studio?  He made it to the outside, stumbling on overturned cameras and cast chairs. House’s shoulder hurt too; he must have wrenched it.

Wilson was waiting for him.

“You’re right. I feel much better.”

Wilson sighed. “I do, too. Except my arm hurts like a bitch.”

“Did I do that? I’m sorry.”

“Ah, it’s okay. Too bad you couldn’t do that to Comcast.”

“You can’t drive a car through the fifty-first story of an office building, Wilson.”

“If Greg Y has his way, you could. Come on, let’s get out of here before the studio guards start looking for us.”

“We’ll pretend we’re the actors. Make sure you look properly freaked out but don’t say anything. I’ll lean on you and pretend I’m in shock. If anyone asks me, I’ll say ‘no comment.’"

“Works for me, House."

House slung his arm over Wilson’s shoulder and they hastily made their way out of the back studio exit. The fire alarms were Mozart to House’s ears.

He really did feel better.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Your tax dollars at work...

Around 7 am yesterday morning I sat in my office on campus and watched as one of the University's bucket trucks set up shop in the courtyard behind my building. The truck ran for about thirty minutes with a guy just sitting in the front seat. About 7:30, two other guys showed up. The guy in the truck got out and climbed into  the bucket of the truck and worked his way over to a large oak tree where he proceeded to pick moss off the tree branches. In the meantime the other two stood below watching him.

This worker spent a couple of hours pulling/picking moss off one of the branches. I figured he would be working on the entire tree because it was on most of the big branches. At least three hours after they began, the bucket drops to the back of the truck, is covered up and the three guys take off, never to return. I'm left wondering "WTF was that?" Two branches, one large, one small were picked free of moss while the rest of the tree remained covered in it.

What in hell was that all about? We can't get our windows washed because of budget cuts but they can afford to send a guy out in a big bucket truck to pick moss off two tree branches? Seriously?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

[H]ouse, M.D. episode 8x18 "Body & Soul" promotional photos

THE TEAM ANALYZES THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DREAMS ON AN ALL-NEW "HOUSE" MONDAY, APRIL 23, ON FOX

House and the team take on the case of a young boy who has violent dreams of being choked, and then wakes up but still can't take in air. Meanwhile, Park is having intimate dreams involving co-workers, which causes the team to question whether or not there's significance to what each of them dreams, and Dominika discovers a secret that could ruin her relationship with House in the all-new "Body & Soul" episode of HOUSE airing Monday, April 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (HOU-818) (TV-14 D, L, S, V)

Guest Cast: Karolina Wydra as Dominika Patrova; Riley Lennon Nice as Lue; Samantha Cutaran as Lida; George Kee Cheung as Xang; Ginette Rhodes as Nurse Rebecca; Peyton McDavitt as ICU Nurse; Bobbin Bergstrom as Nurse



House shares an emotional moment with Dominika


































 
House takes a personal moment 
























House prepares the team for their next case

 
House listens as Wilson has some important news for him































House listens as Wilson has some important news for him



©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Taylor/FOX

So peeps, what is the secret? If Dominika discovers it, then it's not her secret, it must be related to House or the fake-marriage, or something else? Right?

Cuddy is not returning but is it related to her? Did something happen to her? To Rachel? Cuddy married? Getting married? That would be a secret that Wilson would know but House wouldn't. It would be devastating to House. But is that something that would ruin the green card marriage and make her leave?

Is it Wilson? Is he sick? Is he leaving the hospital?

Is it hospital-related? Diagnostic department being forced to shut down? That is something Wilson would know, he would likely have stood up to the Board and fought against it. Perhaps Foreman leaves it to him to break the news to House?

Is the secret something related to the sham marriage? Was the green card marriage actually not even legitimate? Are they not really married?

Is it something Dominika discovers about herself? Something going on in her life?

Is this related to House? His health? Family? The episode is about dreams. Does House have a dream where he calls out to Dominika (or someone else)? Or is it possible because he's lonely he tries to reach out to Dominika who has no feelings for him and she decides that she can't remain in the arrangement any longer because of that?  

What secret would she find out that would cause her to leave. The photo at the top certainly looks like a goodbye.

Speculation abounds. I for one hope she'll be gone soon! With four episodes left, I've had enough of this storyline.Thoughts?

Remember, don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another crazy ass dream, normal for me....

I had the craziest dream last night and need to talk about it before I forget.

Dad was dead, and for some reason mom had to sell the house and land and moved into a condo. We were really upset over this, we hoped someone hadn't bought it because my sister and I talked mom into getting every person we knew and getting the cash together to buy the property back. I can't tell you how devastated we were that someone else could be inhabiting what has become known worldwide as "Clackum's Corner" LOL I mean nobody will ever live there but our family, it's our land, we own it!

Okay so after we're dead then what? Put that thought aside for a moment.

Anyway, we drove by the place hoping it wasn't sold and sure enough we saw a pickup truck there, someone was living in the house. The land looked nice, like they were taking care of it and they had done some different things to the house, like adding another door where one hadn't been before. Also instead of the pretty yellow color it is now, it was a few shades lighter. The place looked slightly smaller too.

We were devastated to see it was owned so we decided to find a way to boot them out. My sister, mom and me went inside the house and scared them out. We were ghosts, apparently they couldn't see us but we could throw things around and push them and they'd go flying, but they could not see us. It was fun and I sort of felt bad because what if we did wind up getting the house back and someone did that to us? But we kept up our antics until finally they were ready to move out. Turns out they were only renting the place!  We got in touch with the realtor and told her we were ready to take it off her hands. Apparently it was being offered for a very good price. I remember in the dream thanking dad thinking that somehow his ghost had helped us.

Now, dreams never really mean what they appear to mean. My dad is dead, my mom owns the house and land outright, has plenty of money, and is never going to lose the property.

So what DOES it mean? You decide.

[H]ouse, M.D. Episode 8x16 "Gut Check"

The episode title is "Gut Check" for a reason and it didn't hit me until I was writing this how that theme is interwoven in this episode. Mind you, I have not read any other reviews yet, I am going purely on my own "gut instinct" here in writing this. Also, I'm not giving the episode a rating, rather I'm just writing my perceptions of the plots we were given.

My perceptions


House/Taub
It seems as if House is still trying to teach Taub something about himself. House is trying to reinforce to Taub that he should trust no one and that he should go with his instincts, something I don't think Taub was able to do in the past because he was so unsure of himself.  House pushes him to be better than he is and that has helped Taub develop a tougher exterior, something Taub desperately needed.  

I think Taub has grown and changed (contrary to what Shore wants us to believe, people do change!). I remember the days when Taub wasn't so sure of himself. He left the team but returned because he believed what they did mattered. He did it because he wanted to do something more meaningful with his life and he wanted to make a difference. In the past Taub a very insecure man with no  backbone but now I see him having developed into someone who really can stand on his own and is not afraid to stand up for himself. Time and time again we see him standing up to House. House helped make him that way. 

When House is in the MRI machine he tells Taub he's seeing things that are not there. Again, he is pushing Taub to go with his gut. Taub seems very sure of himself. House tells him he sees what he wants to see. I see this as a test. Taub can either go with his gut or he can believe someone else.  

Later, the two have words about Taub's lack of objectivity. Taub wants to be pulled from the case. 

Taub: "You relentlessly mock but not for self-aggrandisement. Ideas are bigger than feelings." 

House: "Here's some ideas.You screwed up, kept on screwing up, everything you said is true except it doesn't mean you walk away, you just learn to trust nothing, everything you think you feel, everything you think you know. Question every call, play through every whistle."

This is as gold a teaching moment as it gets with House. 
It's true that House doesn't put much into feelings, the last time he did that he sabotaged the best relationship he'd ever hope to have with a woman, specifically Cuddy. He opened himself up, or at least he thinks he opened up, and look where feelings got him. Funny thing is if he really had opened himself up the way he should have, he and Cuddy would likely still have been together. House doesn't put much into words or feelings, actions and ideas matter. Aside from that, House knows being personally involved or having feelings when trying to solve a puzzle does not work. He knows you cannot be objective when trying to save someone's life.

Again House is trying to get the message through that you can't be objective and be a good doctor of you can relate to the patient's experiences or if you like them.
 
The gut check: Taub realizes that his objectivity and caring about the patient got in the way of the diagnosis. As House says, trust no one, trust nothing. Taub has an idea, a gut instinct, runs with it and solves the case.



House/Wilson
House has played numerous pranks on Wilson in the past but this wasn't a typical prank, in fact I didn't see it as a prank at all. He didn't do it to hurt Wilson or play a stupid joke, it was more serious than that. It was House's way of trying to show Wilson (granted in a very unorthodox yet Houseian way) that Wilson really doesn't want to be a dad, nor is he ready for the commitment. Wilson was going against the grain here, against everything he knows is true about himself. He's trying to convince himself that he wants to be a parent because society has conditioned him to believe he should be a parent. Clearly he's not ready for it, just the look on his face when Duncan wants to hang out with him that first night, he hesitated. He's not used to having to put aside his own wants and needs for someone else.

Wilson realizes maybe this could be okay with this.
House: "Every little girl wants a pony until they have to clean up after it."

Wilson: "You think I'm going to quit on this, on an eleven year old."

House: "The only relationship you haven't quit on has been with me."

Wilson: "Hmm a needy, truculent, narcissist, I think it's been perfect training for parenthood."

House: "That's not even close, this is the rest of your life, you screw this up you don't get to run away, you get to ruin both your lives, this is a bigger responsibility than anything you've ever taken on and screwed up."

Wilson: "I know, that's why I'm so excited about it."

House knows Wilson, probably better than Wilson knows himself. 

After finding out the kid and his mother will be moving to Costa Rica, he talks to House about it.

Wilson: "His mother is moving to Costa Rica and he asked if he could move in with me and I said yes. I said yes knowing I'm not remotely ready for that, knowing he's not ready to be separated from his mother. This isn't  the act of a mature rational adult. I can't do this House....You were right, this is life, it's real, it just doesn't go away."

Of course then the ruse is revealed.

The gut check: Wilson thinks he wants a child because at this point in his life he believes he should have been married and settled down with a family, it's what we're all conditioned to believe. There is also the fact that Wilson's only brother Danny in a mental institution and Wilson feels guilty and somewhat responsible to carry on the family name. All of the sudden he's presented with a son and he doesn't really  have a choice in the matter. It seems so easy to him at first, the kid is nice, they like the same things, it's working out. But being nice to the kid and opening his life up to him he's not doing what he wants, he's doing what he thinks he wants, what he thinks he's supposed to do because he doesn't have a choice. Eventually he realizes he's not ready for this, he's not ready to change his life, and not ready to change that kid's life. When he finds out he doesn't have a son, he's pissed off at House but it doesn't last long. He's actually relieved and in the end he moves on with his life very easily, it's just another night of pizza and beer with House.



Park/Chase
I enjoyed the storyline with Park and Chase. Park has a family that cares about her, when she goes home she's not alone. She bitches about her family all the time. Meanwhile both of Chase's parents are dead, his sister is an alcoholic and they don't keep in touch. His only marriage didn't last more than a few months. His other relationships outside the hospital have consisted of numerous one-night stands that meant nothing and left him empty. I liked the conversation in the elevator between the two of them:

Park: "This is about Popo. You're jealous of me, my family."

Chase: "Maybe you've got too much and I've got too little."

Park: "I might sleep with you after all." which is Park's way of telling Chase she likes him.

Of course, when Chase told House he was trying to do something nice for Park, House was onto him because nothing is motivated out of wanting to be nice. Could House be right? Did Chase actually have another motive?

The gut check:  Park realizes she's fortunate to still have a family around to care about her. In helping Park realize the error of her ways, Chase does something nice for a woman without expecting sex in return.



Taub/POTW
Taub has the most interaction with the POTW, a hockey player who is really more of a brute enforcer than an actual player. Taub initially tells the hockey player that fighting cheapens the sport and the patient replies that he takes the hit for the smaller guys. That's when Taub changes his tune, he likes the patient because he stands up to bullies and when House shows the video of the incident, Taub sides with the patient.  House knows that Taub has lost his objectivity. It's obvious again when Taub sees the patient sitting on the floor in his room, obviously emotionally distressed. Taub thinks it is a sign of depression due to physical trauma to the head whereas House thinks it's because he realizes that if he can't be an enforcer, his playing days are over.

Later, Taub asks the patient if he enjoys being part of the game, then admits to the patient he had his own plastic surgery practice making lots of money but he wasn't happy because it wasn't why he went to med school. The patient tells him that when he was a kid he loved playing and dreamed of being Mario Lemieux but eventually when he stopped growing his juniors hockey coach told him if he wanted to stay in the game he had to use his size to the best of his ability, which meant using brute force rather than skill.  All he wanted to do was play hockey so he was willing to do whatever it took to just be part of the game. It reminded me of Taub, who for years, stuck with a profession he wasn't happy with just to be a part of the game. (Remember the episode way back when Rachel chastised Taub about having left his own lucrative plastic surgery practice to be--in so many words---a lackey for House?)

At one point the patient is ready to call it quits with the game:

POTW: "You know the best part of my day is when I'm sitting in that penalty box after I beat someone up. It's the only time I know I'm safe. Think Lemieux ever felt that way? I'm not going back."

Taub: "To hockey?"

POTW: "To enforcing. Whatever that costs."

Later Taub is talking to the patient after confirming the diagnosis and starting the treatment.  The patient has changed his mind.

POTW: "Just got the call, three year deal $1.2 million."

Taub: "What about the flooded backyard, pretending to be Lemieux?"

POTW: "That's why I took it, after all I did to get here, half a dream is better than nothing. Maybe my new coach will see what my juniors coach didn't."

Taub: "That'd be nice." 

You get the idea here he doesn't believe it will actually happen. It's been Taub's experience that if you stay in the same place, hoping to move, it isn't going to happen. No, you've got to just take the chance and do it yourself. That's what Taub did and he's a better person for it.


The gut check: Taub was once the patient, he was the guy who was willing to accept half a dream versus not having it at all. It just reinforces to him that he did the right thing and continues to do so, by sacrificing a lot of money and prestige to do what he really wants to do with his life.


Thoughts

It would have been really interesting to see a real "Wilson has a son" storyline, imagine how Wilson's life would really have to change if he had a son he didn't know about. He would trade in his comfy bachelorhood and hanging out with House in order to be a mature adult and role model. That would have been a big change for Wilson and House as well. How would they have dealt with it?

I've been asking the question "Why aren't they delving deeper?" of the last several episodes and I've come to the conclusion that there must be something more that we're not seeing. We think that what we're being presented with is what House should be dealing with but it isn't. Whatever "epiphany" House is going to have has nothing to do with the green card wife, Chase nearly being killed, finding out Thomas Bell isn't his biological father, and playing pranks on Wilson. Though those episodes are important, it's not for the reasons we think.

This season on the surface has not been powerful as past seasons and so I am disappointed for that, for a variety of reasons. The added cast has not added value to the show, the missing cast has taken value from the show. I do think the show is still flawed and I blame that on its creator David Shore because he approves everything that is aired. However, I hold out hope that my friend Anne is right and there is a deeper thread involved here.

It all remains to be seen.



What's to come?

I've seen the previews for episode 8x17 "We Need The Eggs" and I do not think the episode is meant to be about House finding a new "favorite hooker" as much as it is more of an exploration of something deeper about House's character.  I've seen the press release for 8x18 "Body and Soul" and I also think the same message will be present. In that episode we are told "Dominika discovers a secret which could ruin her relationship with House." There are speculations on the "secret" and it is likely to be something about him or the sham marriage but not directly related to her. My hope is that this episode is the last for her character and we can move on. On the surface her presence has served no purpose so one has to wonder why Shore brought her back after ensuring fans he was not revisiting the storyline. I'd like to think that like the other episodes the underlying theme may be present. 

After we trudge through #18, we'll be moving into #19 directed by Hugh Laurie and the beginning of the four-episode arc leading to the finale. In this episode House and Wilson take a road trip, that's all we know now.

To the powers that be I say: Something needs to happen soon! Ratings are down and fans are at their wit's end. While it should have started much sooner but better late than never--it's TIME for the meaning of House's journey to finally be unveiled from cryptic messages to something tangible. We need to believe it. Make this count. It's been eight years. You owe it to the characters, the show, the people who have worked so hard behind the scenes and most of all the fans.



Here's the "I couldn't have done it without you guys" part of this post. Why? Because they have kept me grounded during the best and worst of plots and storylines!

I want to thank Anne for her brilliant ideas and analysis as well as Max and Kate for theirs and for the three of them being so willing to discuss some things which are woven into my last few paragraphs.

Thank you to Veronique, Gaia, Mila, Mindy, Beth, Ana & Ana, Alta, Tammy, Zosia, Rochelle, and Amy for always being willing (okay sometimes not-so-willing!) participants in the discussions.

Thank you to Maya, Meg, Elisa, and Katie for making me laugh with your rants!

Thank you to Michelle for being smart enough to stay away until you read the rants! LOL