From what I understand, "Frozen" wasn't initially intended to be the post-Super Bowl episode of House: Even guest star Mira Sorvino didn't find out about the episode's prime placement until she was already on set. Considering that, I thought the producers did a remarkable job of making this episode feel special. Practically the whole gang was there (save for Chase), and the case itself was a new spin on the old House formula. Plus, there was some romance — the best part of which we had to wait to the very end to understand. Want to talk more about it? Just read more.
When I first heard the premise of this episode, I was afraid it sounded like "One Day, One Room," another episode where House spent the whole time working on a single, nontraditional case. But as far as I'm concerned, this episode blew that one out of the water. For one thing, Cate had a strong personality — and a pretty serious chemistry with House, especially considering that the two were never physically together. Cate was tough and self-reliant and didn't want anyone's pity; she got a thrill from psychoanalyzing House but also liked him just the way he was. He saw someone in a vulnerable situation who managed to not act vulnerable at all (I mean, she stabbed herself in the chest to reinflate her lung. That's hardcore). Sorvino hinted that she could return to the show, and I would love if she did: There's so much potential there.
The case itself had some dramatic bits, both for the regular viewer and the House newbie — but did it seem to anyone else that it was especially heavy on the gross-out shots? If I didn't already like the show, I'm not sure that leg spurting blood in the opening scene would have been enough to get me to stay, not to mention the skull drilling. But for it all to come down to a broken toe that House hadn't seen out of respect for the fact that Cate didn't like her feet to be cold? That was classic House logic.
The other thing I liked about that: Kutner's personality! Who would have thought Kutner would be the first one to stand up to House? After complaining about the new team not doing much in last week's episode, I now wonder if it was meant to be that way. House clearly wasn't seeing much from them either; that's why he told them to stop being afraid of getting fired. That got Kutner out of his goofily incompetent shell; who will be next?
Oh, and then there's Wilson's girlfriend: Cutthroat B*tch! Who called it? I certainly didn't — I was betting it would be Cameron, actually — but I loved that twist. And good for Amber, or rather for the actress who plays her; I thought she was great during the competition episodes, and I'm glad she's on the show somehow.
Some other thoughts:
- When's the last time we saw Wilson and Foreman in a room together? That was so welcome.
- Also, Foreman's line after learning how House was courting Cate: "Oh God, he's been wooing me for years!"
- Some of the House-Wilson banter seemed to be missing its usual zing (a consequence of the writers' strike?), but this was fantastic:
House: "You're wearing that shirt for someone."
Wilson: "The health department. They frown on topless oncology."
- Loved the meta moment when Cameron told House he'd be stuck with broadcast TV: "I'll be fine on Tuesdays."
Did "Frozen" live up to the hype? And what to make of Wilson and Amber, sitting in a tree, apparently k-i-s-s-i-n-g?
Photos courtesy of Fox