Wednesday, 4 May 2011

House, M.D. - S7 E20 - Changes

House & co. treat a newly minted lottery winner. Cuddy's mom is back and determined to sue Cuddy and House for the treatment that saved her life. Chase attempts to teach Foreman the secret to inner peace.

Spoilers after the jump.

It certainly didn't feel like much got accomplished this week, in fact most of it was just plain contrived. Arlene's dastardly plot to bring Cuddy and House back together wouldn't look out of place on the Upper East Side, but here, coupled with Cuddy's attempt to manipulate House it just feels overly complicated and nonsensical. Exactly how pretending to sue the two of them and place their careers on the line is supposed to bring them together is beyond me. House's reaction is exactly as expected, combative and evasive of meaningful dialogue. It's a reminder to Cuddy of the many reasons they are no longer a couple, something Arlene probably never saw or understood for herself.

Cuddy should probably have consulted Wilson before trying to trick House. Even then, he might still have figured it out by himself. The fact she doesn't want him involved is indicative of the childish way in which he tries to bully Arlene and Cuddy. It's this distraction that prevents him from really engaging in the psychology of the patient of the week, a role taken up instead by Thirteen. Her cynicism does pique his interest but only so far as to work in a cheap joke about her sexuality. Thirteen's struggles with her family have clouded her perspective and rather than any particular stance against the patient's old flames, her troubles are, as Cyrus perceives, an inability to believe that happiness is achievable for anyone.

That feeling of hers is enhanced by the people she's surrounded by every day. House and Taub's troubles are well known. Foreman, as expertly proven in this episode is joyless and collapsing under the weight of the pressure he puts on himself to achieve. Chase spins the story to Foreman about his celibacy and the enlightenment it has provided him, but it is all a lie, a life he would like to have but can't break out of his own patterns to grasp. He beds the nurse he has been chasing for months but it doesn't fulfill him. The truth of it is he misses his marriage and the stability it provided. He needs to find someone who will challenge him that he can settle back down with. Perhaps Thirteen/Chase is back on the cards going forward?

The Thirteen plot thread was good and there was high comedy whenever Foreman was attached to the ECG machine but otherwise this was an unremarkable, steady episode. Overall, the show feels like it is losing steam quickly and it certainly feels to me like the Huddy thing is what sunk it, as I suspected it might once they hooked up in the season six finale. Only three episodes left to save it, with a finale titled "Moving On" let's hope they truly do.

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

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