Well, that was strange, huh? Tuesday's episode of "House" was chock full of odd philosophical debates about the nature of pain, mostly at the hands of a young patient who latches onto House after being raped. We learn about some bad things that happened to House as a kid, and we see that he can actually be a good guy sometimes, but I'm not sure what it all means. "House" fans, be sure to tell me what you thought of this one.
The episode starts off normally enough. Cuddy assigns House to clinic duty, and because House isn't exactly the kind of guy who thrives on treating the poor and infim, he:
- has his team run unnecessary tests on a guy who ran screaming around the waiting room because of a cockroach in his ear.
- offers $50 to any patient who's willing to go home.
- strikes a deal with Cuddy that he gets $10 for each patient he diagnoses without touching and pays $10 for each one he has to touch.
All of this is cute and fun and leads to some classic House lines, but it's just setup for the real story, which starts when one of the patients reveals she's been raped, so
House tries to get the girl another doctor — I suppose because he's not exactly the sensitive type? — but the girl won't talk to anyone but him, even swallowing a bottle of pills to prove it. When she wakes up after having her stomach pumped, House and the girl — whose name I'm not sure we ever learn, but she looked like a low-rent Scarlett Johansson, so I'll call her Not Scarlett — proceed to have the same conversation for the better part of the next hour. House tells her he doesn't want to treat her because she's physically fine; Not Scarlett says she'll only talk to him. When he tells her to go ahead, she refuses to talk about her rape, so they start talking about why they're not talking. Rinse, repeat. Frankly, it's not the most exciting television I've ever seen.
Cameron, as the only other doctor with a plotline this episode, treats a homeless, jobless, family-less man with advanced lung cancer. He refuses all treatment and insists on dying in pain, both to fulfill his father's pronouncement that he would die miserable.
Eventually, Not Scarlett asks House if anything terrible ever happened to him. House isn't used to, you know, "emotions," so he asks his team for advice. Some tell him to say his life sucks; Cameron tells him to say his life is great. Ultimately, he tells her his grandmother abused him, and he was afraid to screw up around her because he didn't want to have to sleep in the yard or take a bath in ice. Not Scarlett calls foul, and House admits the story isn't true. She then awkwardly brings the episode's title into the conversation, saying life is a series of rooms, and who we get stuck with in those rooms determines how our lives play out. Cuddy interrupts this philosophical moment to tell House that Not Scarlett is pregnant.
Here's where things really get strange. Not Scarlett says she won't abort the baby because that's murder, and House says that's ridiculous. They debate abortion for a while, until House reminds her again that she's physically fine and can go home. She doesn't want to go, and House turns a tiny bit nice and offers to take her for a walk.
Once outside, House and Not Scarlett start pseudo-philosophizing about God and eternity. She says she needs to know her rape means something, and maybe God is challenging her to keep this baby. Not surprisingly, House doesn't see God that way. We work our way back around to House asking the girl again why she wanted to talk to him, and this time Not Scarlett says she sensed that he was hurting, too. House says the grandmother story was true, except it wasn't his grandma who did those things — it was his dad. Satisfied, Not Scarlett finally says, "I'd like to tell you what happened to me now."
House and Wilson are playing foosball when Cuddy tells House the girl decided to abort the baby and is talking about what happened. Cuddy says that's a huge step, but House says that's bull, and (clearly talking about himself instead of Not Scarlett) says: "We drag out her story, tell each other that it will help her heal, feel real good about ourselves. All we've done is made a girl cry."
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