Every so often, House will break out a theme episode where the cases and the doctors' lives intertwine. Those episodes often seem contrived, but they do have a purpose: They give us a window into the characters that we couldn't get from the typical House formula. "Mirror, Mirror" was one of those episodes, and it gave us some insight into the doc-testants still in the running for a job on House's team. To read my thoughts on the episode, just read more
The vehicle for this insight was the patient of the week, who was diagnosed early on with Mirror Syndrome, a condition that makes the patient mimic the person he's with — or, as Wilson pointed out, whichever person in a group he perceives to be the most dominant. Each time a doctor interacted with him, he would quickly take on their personality. As I was watching, though, I didn't think the patient revealed all that much about the characters; the revelations came more from their reactions to what the patient had to say.
Some of the discoveries weren't shocking: Amber knows people don't like her (how could she not?), Thirteen is afraid of screwing up, House thinks Thirteen is hot and Cuddy has nice breasts. Others were more interesting: Taub's kinda crushing on Amber, and Kutner is a masochist (though we learned that more from the way he gave himself a shock with the electric paddles than from anything the patient said). Oh, and there was some stuff with Never Talking Guy, otherwise known as Brennan; he wants to go back to saving lives in Third World countries but is stuck duking it out for a job with House because of his fiancee. I hope they break up, because Brennan is terribly dull. Also, no Cole this week?
There was another level of mirroring going on in the episode, as Foreman returned to work again with House, the former mentor whom everyone thought he was becoming. Thirteen, meanwhile, saw in Foreman someone who had accidentally killed a patient, just like she had — her own mirror. Has Foreman really changed? He's more compassionate than House, I suppose, but that's not saying much.
Some other thoughts:
- I'm still not sure I get how Chase and Cameron will be used every week, but for now, I like them on the edges. Chase taking bets on who would be the next doc-testant eliminated — and then cutting a deal with House for half the profit — was hysterical.
- Cuddy got some good lines tonight, finally, and it was good to see her and House pranking each other again. I liked the overflowing clinic better than the pill switching, though; Wilson is immature enough to switch House's painkillers for laxatives, but Cuddy?
- In terms of one-liners, it was one of House's better nights in a while. Some favorites:
"Just in case I need them, where exactly will Dr. Foreman be keeping my balls?"
"Mind if we play through?"
"Mail order. Seen the diploma. Two N's in University."
- The revelation that House was dominant over Cuddy was about as shocking as the one that House thinks Thirteen is hot — but it meant getting to see House's funny dance at the end, so I'll take it.
Your thoughts? Too many mirror metaphors for you? Or are you glad to get a deeper glimpse into some of these new characters?
Photos courtesy of Fox