Thursday, 17 March 2011

House, M.D. - S7 E16 - Out of the Chute

The team treats a dude who got trampled on by a bull while House slips out of control after his split from Cuddy.

Spoilers after the jump.

Gosh that was pretty much terrible. The last five minutes or so were great, but up until then, something felt off. The dots are easy to connect in this one. The patient lives solely for the 8 seconds riding the bull and House is seeking a similar thrill. The execution this week was weak and inconsistent and the flow of the episode was weak. It seemed to jump very sharply from scene to scene with witheringly disparate tones without any chance for reflection.

No longer constrained by a relationship with Cuddy, he acts out in the worst possible way, with vicodin, booze and hookers. Checking into a hotel, not showing up for work (though he can't resist phone contact) and allowing Wilson and the team to view the depths of his craven debauchery are measures clearly intended to provoke Cuddy into caring, but she is not taking the bait. Wilson tries to guilt her into taking him back but her logic is still as sound as it was last week. As sad as it is that House has slipped so far out of control, she has to be concerned with what's best for herself first and foremost. Her response to his antics is pretty weak though. She's backed down from him in the past, but this seemed particularly egregious considering House was clearly trying to kill his patient on the operating table.

House is overly concerned with trying to impress people, or at least try and convince them that he feels perfectly fine about the break up. First, trying to bribe Wilson with free massages and room service which was never going to work because Wilson is one of the only people in existence who actually cares about him. Throughout the episode, he buys or solicits attention from the concierge, the hookers, his team and at the end, the rowdy sports watchers. Most of his team brush it off as typical House behavior but only Masters, not having experienced this side of him before, realizes that this time something is really wrong. The risks he takes get progressively more dangerous to the point where high on booze and pills he leaps off the balcony of his hotel room and fortuitously lands in the swimming pool.

I posited in the last episode that it would have to be Wilson who set House straight. He goes through cycles of trying and enabling here. Witnessing the jump will finally snap him into some real action, whether it is forcing House to face reality or abandoning him. Masters was adorable as usual in this episode, with her crush on the patient, it's just too bad that it came out of nowhere and made no sense in the context of the episode. I would make some comment about the blood being spurted into Chase's eye considering the patient "got around" but whatever he might have, Chase probably already caught. With a little reflection, it wasn't such a terrible episode, but it was definitely on the low end of what's expected from House.

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

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