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House Recap: Episode 11, "Joy to the World"

House Rundown: Episode 11, "Joy to the World"

This week's episode of House just plugs along like normal — a confusing case, a blown diagnosis, maybe a little extra holiday spirit but nothing that out of the ordinary — until suddenly, in the final 15 minutes, it takes one big honkin' emotional turn. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but I was pretty surprised by all the twists this episode took, and it sets up some pretty interesting stuff for when House returns in 2009. Want to chat about it? Just


Major developments first: Cuddy's getting her baby! And in a most unusual way, for a number of reasons: It's she, not House, who finally diagnoses their teenage patient; the baby's supposed to be dead but instead has been kept alive by a couple of squatters; and now she's going to become at least the foster parent — and at best the adoptive mother — of the daughter of a patient who really resonated with her. The story took a lot of turns to get to that resolution, and I'm not sure I really believe all of them (The baby's alive? The squatters don't put up more of a fight? The patient's parents don't want to raise the baby?), but it's sweet and emotional and a good holiday tale — especially with House's "Merry Christmas, Cuddy" at the end. I wonder if this baby will also be named Joy?

While all of this is going on, House takes Wilson up on a challenge to be nice — kind, even. So he goes to the clinic, full of "if you can't be nice, why be a doctor?" speeches. The woman with the inhaler is an instant classic, but House's response to the question about whether a woman can get pregnant from sitting on a toilet seat really made me giggle: "There would need to be another guy sitting between you and the toilet seat — but yes, absolutely." Also, House fakes a virgin birth (to Bitsie Tulloch of Quarterlife!) rather than have to tell his patient's fiance that she cheated on him, which is apparently how you do "nice," House-style.

Foreman, meanwhile, keeps doing very House-ian things while insisting he's not like House, and this episode's case in point is the way he's treating the patients in his clinical trial — like numbers and data points rather than people. It's what he's been trained to do, but he ultimately lets his human side show through. Even while apologizing to Janet, he's not exactly the picture of warmth, but Foreman does care (at least a little) or he never would have gone after her at all. And then Foreman and Thirteen kiss! I buy their chemistry at least a little bit, but that still seemed sudden.

Some other thoughts:

  • Kutner was a bully! I guessed that as soon as Taub sarcastically pointed out that as an adopted Indian kid, school must have been a breeze for him — but I still liked him showing up on the doorstep of the guy he tortured.
  • This week's patient just made me sad — and afraid for all teenage girls in the world. I wouldn't go through that again if you paid me.
  • Wilson's story about Irene, "the one who got away," had me laughing from the start. Taub's so gullible! That said, his "a love like this needs to fly free" speech was one of my favorite moments of the night.
  • Speaking of Wilson, line of the night No. 2 for me (after House's pregnancy thing) is: "If it's a subpoena, he's gotten that kind of present before."

Do you buy the "Foreteen" kiss? Are you happy for Cuddy? And how did you feel about our "medical miracle"?

Photos courtesy of Fox

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