Back when Amber was competing for a job as one of House's fellows, I sometimes thought of her as House's perfect counterpart — his mirror image. Well, I didn't mean it literally! But in this week's House, Amber is essentially haunting our cranky doctor, showing up as a hallucination and speaking his thoughts. What does it all mean? Help me figure it out when you
Everywhere House turns these days, Amber is there. He assumes it's just an effect of insomnia: he hasn't been sleeping much since Kutner died. But as we see at the end of the episode, even a well-rested House still sees Amber. She's in his brain, in his thoughts. And for all her wry smiles and clever banter, she's kind of an evil little friend, isn't she?
Had this been anyone but Amber, I probably would have rolled my eyes and assumed that Grey's Anatomy had forever ruined any plotline involving the return of a dead character. But I absolutely love watching Anne Dudek and Hugh Laurie play off each other. It's this great mix of flirting and fighting, and it kept me laughing even as House sets up Chase to go into allergic shock at the bachelor party. Whatever part of House's brain Amber's inhabiting is clearly the part that enjoys scheming; House even looks a little shocked when he realizes he knew about Chase's strawberry allergy. I loved the way Amber calls out House's thoughts in Wilson's office, urging him to knock over a pencil cup so he could get a clean shot at the file they were reading. Is this what it's like inside House's head all the time?
Between Amber's appearance and the story of the deaf teenager, this could have easily been a very serious episode. (And speaking of the teenager, his story is one of the few medical stories in House recently that's truly held my attention. Everything about it seemed to work well, from the mom's conflicted reaction about the cochlear implant to the sweet interactions between the boy and his girlfriend.) But I was surprised at how many times I laughed. I loved House striding down the hall with his ridiculous old boom box and Kanye shades; I loved the idea of throwing the bachelor party at Wilson's place so he couldn't escape it. (Might I suggest to Wilson that if he wants to get away from House's over-the-top bachelor parties, he marry a woman he won't divorce?) I especially loved Taub awkwardly grinding with a couple of the "dancers" at the party.
But what happens now? Amber's still there, and House knows she can do bad things — or that his brain wants him to do bad things, though I imagine Amber makes them even more enticing. Whatever comes next, I feel more invested in House than I have since the last time Amber showed up. What about you?
Some other thoughts:
- Foreman's never been my favorite, but it's still nice to see him solve a case.
- That's not the only great Foreman moment: He and Thirteen get some of the best stuff in this episode. I love their stripper research — and it doesn't surprise me that Foreman would pay $50 to watch his bisexual girlfriend do a body shot.
- Even at his worst, would House really try to kill Chase just to prevent someone else's happiness?
- I'm also not convinced that Chase would really give a patient a cochlear implant on only House's orders with no paperwork to support it. You know how much he lies!
- Love Cuddy trying to sober up all the fellows so they can go solve their case (and sending them off with breath mints, to boot).
So, what's Amber doing in House's brain? And what will it take to get her out?
Photos courtesy of Fox