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House Recap: Episode 16, "The Softer Side"

House Rundown: Episode 16, "The Softer Side"

Only when you're dealing with someone as crotchety as Dr. Gregory House could a good mood be a sign of major trouble. But that's exactly what happens on this week's House, when House's heart suddenly grows a couple of sizes and he starts being . . . well, I wouldn't go so far as "nice," but maybe "less mean." Finding out why House is acting civilized becomes a major focus of the team, which is otherwise working on a medical case that's reminiscent of last week's Private Practice. Ready to chat about it? Just


It's interesting to see the way a small change in House's behavior affects his relationships with his colleagues. Kutner is the first to spot it after House appeases his patient's parents; he tells Wilson, who thinks House must have had sex with Cuddy; when the answer to that is no, he realizes that House must be keeping something from both of them. Each person tries to come up with a rational reason House is acting polite — "Maybe he had a great cup of coffee. Or a tremendous bowel movement." — but when House stops breathing at work, they know there's a real problem. So, of course, they make the logical leap to House being on heroin. Heh. At least they got the drug part right: House has switched to methadone, which makes his pain go away so completely that he tosses his cane into a dumpster in a particularly amusing "Tiny Tim can walk!" scene. It's so good that when Cuddy tells him it's the drug or the job, he chooses the job. Of course, she'd rather have him ("if he buys a new pair of shoes, should we let him smoke crack?"), so she draws up a list of rules — but it doesn't matter. In the end, House realizes he needs his bad mood to be an effective doctor.

About the case: Take last week's Private Practice, age the kid a few years, and you have this week's House patient, born part male and part female. His mom's been pushing him to be all boy, and the kid has been kept in the dark — until Thirteen finds a suicidal-sounding poem and tells him he should ask his parents what his "vitamins" really are. Yeah, turns out that poem was part of an assignment to write like Sylvia Plath (which cannot possibly exist, or every parent in that school would think their kids were suicidal), and Thirteen has just destroyed the kid's relationship with his parents unnecessarily. It's interesting to watch her with this kid: She sees connections to the way her father handled the possibility of her having Huntington's, and she clearly thinks she's doing the right thing by intervening.

Meanwhile, Thirteen and Foreman's attempts to keep their relationship a secret aren't going so well, but I confess: I'm bored again.Kutner and Taub badmouthing one of them to the other made me chuckle, though, with Taub doing his robotic Foreman face face and Kutner telling Foreman at least he won't be dumped for a girl.

Some other thoughts:

  • Signs that House is happy: He shaves, he wears a tie (he owns a tie!), he doesn't make a patient in pain be more in pain.
  • House to Cuddy after Foreman's nipple-twist shocks House's heart back to normal: "I think my penis stopped breathing. Do you know CPR?"
  • I cracked up at Wilson trying to have a phone call about House while House was right there: "Well, that would certainly explain the inappropriate responses."

So: Do you prefer mean Vicodin House or slightly less mean methadone House? Are you still on board with, er, Foreteen? Sound off below.

Photos courtesy of Fox

Jinx Jinx 8 years
300 by Soul Coughing. :)
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I guess we are supposed to believe he gave up methadone even though he is pain FREE on it, because he made the mistake of allowing the mri when under the influence. Yet, he makes mistake after mistake on vicodin, and still has pain, but that is okay. lol
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I thought it was kind of sad that he gave up the methadone, he wasn't in pain finally. I really enjoyed this episode.
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I loved the Foreman impression too! :rotfl: Still hate both Foreman and Thirteen, hate them more together. Not convinced House would give up methadone though.
jhilly123 jhilly123 8 years
I love House usually, mostly for his snarky personality, but I found him so attractive when he shaved in this episode... hope I'm not in the minority, lol. I thought Taub's impressions were funny, and I also thought Wilson was so attractive this episode.... Haha, I'm not even talking about the episode, just the hotness of Hugh and Robert; the case was alright, but it wasn't that interesting... probably because I watched PP and saw the same storyline, though I didn't like the mom at all in this one, way too controlling, lol.
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
I thought this episode was great. :) I laughed out loud several times, so I'm glad my roommate wasn't here. Lol. The moron with the broken finger... Omg, too funny.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Definitely prefer "Vicodin House" over the less mean version. Taub's impressions of Foreman made me laugh; good thing, since Foreman and Thirteen are doing little to cause me to crack the smallest of smiles. House and Wilson both had some excellent lines last night; their wit kept the show going. I, too, wish the patient stories would improve, but at least we're getting a bigger dose of House/Wilson/ Cuddy, for which I won't complain.
Lily-Inferno Lily-Inferno 8 years
Im bored with Foreteen. Theyre annoying and I dont really think they go together. AS for Taub and his Foreman impression, it was great. I like mean House better. His interactions with other ppl on the show are much more interesting. I just wish the patient cases would be a bit more interesting. Didnt we do a he/she patient once with a female model who kicked ass on the runway?
chibarosa chibarosa 8 years
My favorite part - Cuddy to clinic nurse: "Did you give House the moron with the broken finger?" I had to go back and watch that part 4 or 5 times!
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
I cracked up when Taub did his impressions of Foreman. I think it was the first time Taub ever made me laugh.
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