This week's episode of House deals with one of the show's old favorite themes: faith in religion/the unknown vs. a steadfast belief in science and clinical evidence. House and the team treat a young priest who shows up in the ER with a variety of symptoms — including a hallucination of Jesus. Meanwhile, House gives Foreman and Thirteen an ultimatum: Break up, or quit their jobs. And there's a whole lot of passive-aggressive posturing around whether House should go to the naming ceremony for Cuddy's daughter. To talk about it, just
The religion vs. science seems like one we've seen pretty frequently on House in the past, and it never really seems to go anywhere. That's not entirely surprising: House is pretty set in his science-first ways; it's what makes him such a brilliant doctor. But it was interesting to see him make a little concession in this episode — not to religion, per se, but to the idea that sometimes, coincidences do happen. The most unbelievable part of Daniel's symptoms — the levitating Jesus — turned out to have the most rational explanation: scotch. It wasn't medical at all, which House eventually accepted; it just happened at the same time an actual disease was manifesting itself.
Meanwhile, House gives Thirteen and Foreman a "split or quit" ultimatum: He doesn't want them working together and impairing each other's good judgment. Foreman quits first, but it's not like we've never seen that before, and now he's even more dependent on House: Cuddy doesn't want to write him a recommendation letter based on the fact that he should have been fired for monkeying with the clinical trial. So Thirteen goes and gets a job offer, which just makes Foreman whiny because he said he'd handle it and he doesn't want to be beholden to House. Of course, like so many of House's little games, it's not about what actually happens but the appearance of it: It doesn't look like Foreman's chased after Thirteen, but at the end of the episode he's there waiting for her.
And speaking of games, the back-and-forth between House, Cuddy, and Wilson over whether House should attend the naming ceremony is just short of epic. She invites him so he'll decline; he realizes that's what she wants, so he accepts; she yells at Wilson for making House want to go; Wilson makes the ceremony sound miserable so House won't show, etc. etc. etc. Not till the end does someone finally say something honest, when Cameron figures out that Cuddy really does want House to be there, for better or worse. Too bad he's spending the night playing piano instead.
Some other thoughts:
- Taub's moralizing can wear on my last nerve, so it figures he'd take on the case of the possibly molested youth group member all by himself. I'm not sure what to make of the moment with the kid's apology; do you think Taub feels that what he did was wrong in any way?
- That fallen-off toe was just nasty.
- Chase and Cameron's banter about office romances being a very bad idea made me chuckle a little. I wonder if it's hard for them to play those scenes given their real-life ups and downs.
- House to Cuddy: "Hey! I was just talking about you. Not you specifically. Whores and hypocrisy."
Are you tired of House taking on issues of religion, or does that story still work for you? Do you buy the Thirteen/Foreman relationship any more now? And do you think it's time for some more movement on the House/Cuddy flirtation?
Photos courtesy of Fox