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House Recap: Episode 17, "The Social Contract"

House Rundown: Episode 17, "The Social Contract"

On this week's episode of House, House once again finds himself treating a patient whose issue seems to be striking a little close to home: The man has developed a condition that makes him say whatever he's thinking, even when those things are horrible. House does that, too, of course, but he kind of lacks that nice medical excuse. That's a nice backdrop for a solid House/Wilson story, though, as House struggles to figure out why, exactly, Wilson is keeping secrets from him. To chat about it, just


We've seen time and again how jealous House gets when he thinks someone is trying to steal Wilson away from him, and that's a driving force in this episode. When House discovers that Wilson has blocked off some time on his calendar (and prevented House from dragging him to a monster truck rally!) without saying why. House thinks he has a right to know what Wilson's doing because Wilson always shares that kind of stuff eventually, but Wilson seems particularly determined to keep this one a secret. It's actually a relief to see Wilson get mad; it doesn't happen much on this show, but when it does, it's proof that House has crossed a major line.

But Wilson eventually apologizes and explains: His mentally ill brother ran away years ago, and Wilson has always blamed himself. Now he's been found, and they're going to meet, but Wilson's wary of telling House because House won't lie to him. House doesn't quite get it at first ("I am fully capable of lying to you. I have, plenty of times!"), but Wilson points out that House doesn't do the "everything will be fine" sort of lies that keep the world turning. And yet, House tries, for a while — but he ends up having his Wilson-induced revelation and calling his team right when Wilson needs a pep talk. Wilson seems to forgive him, though; he and House may not have a normal social contract, but at least House tried.

It's interesting to see that story contrasted with the patient's. House's friends and colleagues expect that he'll be a jerk, but it's a surprise to the patient's family to suddenly be hearing his innermost thoughts. Even if he goes back to having some kind of filter — which, of course, he does at the end — he may never be able to repair things with his wife and daughter. From now on, every time he says something positive, they'll be wondering what he's really thinking but not saying; no matter how he acts, he's not the same person they thought he was.

Some other thoughts:

  • I'm so used to all of Wilson's pain being Amber related that it was strange at first to think he might have other hard things in his life, too.
  • Given the larger revelations to come later, it's funny that this episode starts off with a little, tiny something Wilson's always hidden from House: Monster trucks really aren't his thing.
  • Oh, poor racquetball-inept Taub. He thought it would be useful for Wilson to owe him a favor, but now he knows the House torture isn't worth it. Also, it's funny to see how quickly Taub switched from working for Wilson to working for House.
  • Love that they've kept "MMMbop" as House's team ringtone.

Was it good to see House attempt to act like a normal, human friend? Nice to have an episode focusing squarely on the House/Wilson bromance? A relief to have just a smidgen of Foreteen? Talk back below.

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
This episode was great! I felt bad for the man and his wife, but in my mind I like to think that they got through it together lol. I'm a loser. I liked watching House act nice. I was honestly getting sick of 14 and I'm glad that we had an episode based on the bromance. *sigh* I love House and Wilson. ♥
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
This episode was great! I laughed so hard when the patient was telling Cuddy how hot she was and i thought it was great that she was smiling when the elevator doors were closing.
magalaya magalaya 8 years
I loooved that Kutner quoted Harry Potter. That made me laugh :)
poissondujour poissondujour 8 years
This was one of the best House/Wilson eps... I loved that ultimately Wilson kind of realized he likes that House is bluntly honest. They have such a great dynamic.
bakedbeans bakedbeans 8 years
OMG, what hppened? Did Thirteen only get 10 minutes of air time? How shocking! Also, Wilson is awesome, and Taub playing raquetball really made my day.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
House and Wilson are a wonderful pair. The patient with the "House disease" was given some of the best lines of the night; his interactions with Cuddy were priceless. He'll probably never be able to repair his relationships with family and friends, but he certainly raises awareness about how important filters are for most of us when dealing with others. And then there's House!
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
I was laughing so hard when the patient was telling Cuddy, after she was paged by House, he would do her in a minute. It was so funny! I loved when House had Taub play raquetball with a squash raquet in the mortuary. I felt sorry for Wilson. I always wondered why he was a people-pleaser.
Baluk Baluk 8 years
Love these run downs! Two other highlights last night: House paging Cuddy to hear what the patient would say! House asking Wilson as they walk out the door if he really hates Monster trucks. Wilson responds no of course not!
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
LOL the guy with the "house diease" made me laugh so hard last night! On another note I wonder who is going to play Wilson's brother
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