This week's episode of House finds the team chasing around a "death cat," a little gray kitty named Debbie who's come to some amount of fame (at least local TV fame) by predicting deaths of nursing home patients. Meanwhile, Taub thinks he's found a way out of some financial and personal misery, but that ends up being a trickier proposition than it looks. To chat about it, just read more.
I suppose if this episode had a theme, it would be "believing in stuff" — and, as usual, House seems to come out ahead. His adherence to facts and science gets him not just an explanation for the death cat but also keeps him from falling prey to a con artist who wants to take all his money and run (ahem, Taub). There were some funny moments, and it's always nice to see Judy Greer get a job, but episodes like this where House's beliefs aren't really challenged always turn out to be a little on the dull side for me.
I would have liked it better if the writers had really gone full-force into showing everyone's superstitions. Instead, we just got poor Kutner edging his way around the ladder as he leaves the room and tossing salt over his shoulder. I'm not surprised he ends up becoming the victim of a particularly mean-spirited House prank ("do you like cranberry juice?"), though he seems to have gotten some revenge at the end with the cat pee — or, perhaps, "cat pee" — on House's chair. The show draws a little parallel between the patient being superstitious because her son died and Kutner being superstitious because his parents died, but it didn't have a ton of oomph for me.
Even though it's a tangent, I actually enjoyed Taub's storyline on its own. He's apparently going through some tough financial times — he's not making high-powered plastic surgeon money anymore, and he lost a bunch of money in the stock market — so when a guy he maybe kinda remembers from high school shows up at the hospital and thanks him for treating a minor problem with cigars and expensive scotch, he sees a chance at a different life. But his golden parachute turns out to be a major scam, and Taub's only saving grace is that he didn't turn over his money. So it's back to the team — with a big box of donuts, just as House predicted — to a job he never really liked in the first place.
The death cat story itself seems pretty lightweight, but it has its moments, including House's James Bond reference and the rather evil decision to test the cat's death-predicting powers in the coma ward. While House hates the whole idea of cat as omen, he doesn't seem to mind the cat itself, considering he rustled up a litter box and some genetically modified mice for it.
A couple of other thoughts:
- I did like the patient's argument for why she believes in things: "If there's no greater purpose in the world, that's not a world I want to live in."
- Love how House so accurately predicts that if Taub doesn't actually have another job lined up, he won't follow through with quitting.
- House, when the cat is making particularly nasty-sounding noises in the elevator: "Stop it, Dr. Wilson! It's just not cute anymore!"
- Also, House to Cuddy when Cuddy suggests the hospital will end up getting sued for House's work on this case: "I wish there was a lawsuit cat that would warn you."
What did you all think? And was the heavy emphasis on Kutner and Taub to make up for all the Foreman/Thirteen earlier in the season?
Photos courtesy of Fox