After last week's big hostage episode, this week's installment of House went for something a little smaller, and you know what? I liked it better. Almost every character got a storyline, and some of them were awfully clever. Cuddy and House become office-mates, Thirteen starts her clinical trial, and Kutner reveals an, uh, interesting strategy for making money on the side. Ready to talk about it? Just
I really liked the patient's story this week, which is rather surprising since I usually treat the cases as kind of an afterthought. As a personal trainer who'd had gastric bypass surgery to do what she's now convincing her clients they can do naturally, she's a perfect representation of a bunch of House's themes: lying, cheating, denial, etc. Taub, in particular, is wildly offended by her lies — honestly, why does he think he's so morally superior? — and she rightly points out that it's not like he's never been a hypocrite. The ending of her story also surprised me: Faced with the choice of being thin and sick or heavier and healthy, she chooses her beauty over a diet of cookies and cake.
Meanwhile, Thirteen starts her clinical trial afraid she doesn't deserve to be there, which Foreman quickly puts to rest by discovering her nerves have already started to decay. You guys, I really didn't think I cared about Thirteen, but I suddenly do. The episode's peppered with soft-focus flashbacks to young Thirteen watching her mom suffer with Huntington's; eventually she admits to Foreman that she's scared to be around other patients not because she knows what will happen to her someday but because it reminds her of how much she hated her mother.
And Kutner! Jeez, the guy goes online and sets up a second opinion clinic under House's name but doesn't think House will find out? I'm sure House is the kind of guy who has all sorts of Google alerts on his name. Anyway, it all turns out to be an elaborate House punking, with Chase and Cameron in on it and the "patient" turning out to be an actress who got paid to sing the "Lime in the Coconut" song. How quickly did you pick up on this being one of House's pranks? It honestly took me until he showed up in the morgue and started doing CPR on the "corpse." Also, how much of Kutner's money will he actually get now? House gets 50 percent, Taub claimed 30, and Chase took a piece of it, too . . .
House ends up with a few extra hours with the actress that leads to flirting (and other things?), which is extraordinarily unfortunate because right when Cuddy's coming to make nice with him after he somehow finds her desk from med school, she sees them being all cozy and walks away. Argh! Thwarted again.
Some other thoughts:
- How'd you like that sad "Lime in the Coconut" slow jam at the end?
- So did House really have a change of heart about rewrecking Cuddy's office, or is there still a bidet instead of a toilet ("Not in addition to. Instead of.")?
- The scene with House asking Cuddy why she dresses like that (seriously, Lisa, we all want to know) feels so tense, with them so close together and Cuddy saying "everybody knows this is going somewhere." Where it's going, though, is to House's hands on her breasts. Nice one, Mr. Smooth.
- Apparently Kutner's an oversharer: "You told us when you renewed your subscription to National Geographic."
- Best. Taub. Line. Ever: "Sure, but I wouldn't call a meeting of the Lollipop Guild and tell them they can grow if they work real hard at it."
What did you think? Surprised at how much they managed to pack into this one? Feeling any sympathy for Thirteen? And ready for a House-style Christmas?
Photos courtesy of Fox