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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

House- "Unfaithful"

It took way too long to get there (no thanks to the President) but last night we finally got a confrontation between House and "Foreteen". But that's getting too far ahead of myself...

Last night's patient was a down-and-out priest in name only who has a Jesus hallucination. Doesn't sound like a case for House, but the good doctor is in dire need of a case so he can put his plan to break up Foreman and Thirteen into action. With little to no reason for doing so he orders tests on the patient for epilepsy. While designated delegates Taub and Kutner (seriously, these two should ask for raises, they do 90% of the actual work) run the tests, House delivers his ultimatum to the couple no critic cares for (yours truly included): Break up, quit, or I'll fire one of you at the end of the case.

This seems imminent (well, until you remember it's an hour-long drama) but the patient loses a toe, as in, it just plum falls off. (I know, pretty cool, huh?) So it turns out that House really can pick 'em, as the show itself alludes to (I like meta when it's understated.)

Meanwhile, Cuddy invites House to some Jewish thing I've never heard of (of which I've never heard?). Does she really want him to go, or is she inviting him so he won't come? House declines, then accepts when he thinks he's figured out the game, then politely withdraws when Cuddy tells him flat out she doesn't want him.

Oh, and did I mention that Fr. Nine-toes is a suspected pedophile (by rule, Catholic priests can not appear on television unless pederasty is at least mentioned)? This suspicion leads the ever-indignant Taub (sure is judgy for an adulterer, isn't he?) to want him discharged even if he is sick, while Kutner fills the Cameron role of believing the patient, presumably because he has an honest soul.

As if there wasn't enough going on in this episode, Foreman is fired after both doctors refuse to quit. Thirteen gets another job in an effort to get Foreman his job back, but does so apparently without his consent. He gets mad and they have a fight in House's office and are at each other's throats the rest of the episode.

Back to the patient: There's some rigmarole in there about is it AIDS, he says it can't be AIDS, the kid he abused should be tested (Taub goes so far as to track him down), the kid he "abused" shows up to ask forgiveness for lying. Short story shorter the priest has Wiskott-Aldrich, which sounds a lot like AIDS without the sex.

What I liked: I enjoyed the banter between Taub and Kutner, who seem to closely resemble the Chase-Cameron dynamic without the pesky sexual tension (well, so far.) I also liked that we got to see House and Wilson converse for once. Their conversations were a nice bookend to the back-and-forth between House and the patient, whom House actually seemed to enjoy spending time with!

Oh, and it turns out Cuddy really did want House to show up, and he wanted to go but couldn't think of a way to admit it. This was actually handled pretty well, I though, considering that it's the kind of lame contrivance that usually plagues terrible romantic comedies. Here however, it felt more like a naturally arising consequence of House's personality. I was rather moved by the close, as we see House playing the piano alone while those people closest to him are at Cuddy's for the celebration (except Foreteen, who are engaged in their usual mangling of each other's faces.)

What I didn't like (broken record warning): Damn you Foreteen, how dare you play me like that? They got my hopes up by faking a fight so they could both keep their jobs, which angers me for several reasons. One, House should not be outsmarted by these two lightweights. Two, if Cuddy won't recommend Foreman for other jobs, why would she allow him to keep his current job? And third, Olivia Wilde may be very striking, but she just can't act. Watching her try to express warm feelings for Foreman was painful. Hopefully the resolution of this episode means that their relationship will be undercover and mercifully off-camera in future episodes, but I doubt it.

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