Wednesday, 9 March 2011

House, M.D. - S7 E15 - Bombshells

House struggles to cope when Cuddy takes ill and Taub is faced with a moral dilemma.

Spoilers after the jump.

Well I think I should have seen that coming. This much hyped landmark episode tried some different things but mostly felt disjointed - it was saved by a great sting in the tail at the end however. This was an odd one. It felt like there was a lot packed in but really, not a great deal happened. Huddies all over the world are whining and crying about it, but I think the right thing happened for Cuddy and the series if not for House himself.

The patient of the week was a real distraction here. While Cuddy's diagnosis was relatively straightforward and the focus was on feelings, the young male patient's case was complex and didn't have enough time afforded to it. One minute we are finding out about this kid's fucked up yearbook, the next we're jumping into a Cuddy dream sequence. It didn't quite work. There was too much going on there to be jammed in with another such weighty topic and the end result was sloppy.

I thought it was curious that the kid's parents didn't really seem to care all that much he was building and detonating pipe bombs in his spare time. While they're obviously more concerned at that moment that their son could die, it was never really followed up on. I'd have liked to know, were they already suspicious or aware of the depth of his depression? The drug dealing angle was also haphazardly introduced. While it's what sets Taub's gears turning that this is not a good kid, the way it came up was jarringly unsubtle for this show.

Taub must be on some Edgeworth-like crusade to find the real meaning behind being a doctor this season. While the marriage, home and wealthy lifestyle he had before have fallen apart around him, he tries to heal himself as Foreman says by getting more involved with his patients. That won't lead to happiness as can be seen from the other two doctors in the hospital who get a little too obsessed with their cases, House and Wilson. Perhaps he'll be able to respect himself again though. By turning over what he knew to the police, he again displayed the overactive conscience shown in episode 11 "Family Practice". This time his fears are more justified.

The signpost was there in last week's episode. A lucid House can't deal hard decisions - even when they're easy. Showing up drunk at Cuddy's house in episode 14 "Recession Proof" to tell her how much he loved her is not something he would have done in a normal state of mind; he'd just blow it off with some snide remark and Cuddy would have known all the sooner that he is incapable of taking on anything straight. Rather than be by her side as the news on her health gets worse, he hides away and only comes to her after relapsing on Vicodin. The fact it was all just a false alarm makes it that much worse. He could have been the one to raise her spirits, assure her it would all be OK. Instead, as always, he assumed the worse and decided to wallow in his own self-pity. That he can only be on a level with Cuddy emotionally when high is not good for either one of them and it's absolutely the right decision to break off the relationship.

She's not playing with a full deck when she goes to him to break up but I'm sure that her long game would involve him focusing more on the only other thing that gives him satisfaction; solving his cases. Instead the episode ends with him popping a few more pills to hide from that pain. Obviously that's not the outcome she wanted but it's better for her than continuing the charade for his sake. In her mind's eye she already knew that he wasn't what she needed, as shown by her dreams - abandoned by House in the Western and the Musical dreams, seeing through his lies in the 50's style dream and him raising Rachel as a hellion in the sitcom.

House also knew, having his own dream of the zombie attack where he fails to reach Cuddy in time. Now it'll be up to Wilson, who kept unsuccessfully trying to prod him to her side in this one, to support him. Will he recognize what's going on in time? I would guess yes, but at some point he has to be sick of it, right? He needs a life of his own, as he intimates in his conversation with Foreman. He has lost hope that House can ever change and knows that if he wanders back in, he will get beaten up and dragged down too.

"Yeah, I mean, who hasn't just idly thought about taking out the whole place with a semi-automatic? *beat* I said idly!" That's the quote that came to mind when Masters was revealing the depths of her twisted imagination. It was also a little Selphie-like, "Blow it to smithereens with a rocket launcher!?" The shotgun-cane was my idea! Damn all these writers for reaching into my head and stealing my thoughts. I would so watch a sitcom where House and Wilson raise Rachel after Cuddy's death, it looked awesome.

"House" airs Mondays on FOX at 8:00 pm EST.

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