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House Recap: Episode 19, "Locked In"

House Rundown: Episode 19, "Locked In"

This week's episode of House comes at us largely from the perspective of its patient, a man who had a bicycle accident that rendered him "locked in" with no way to communicate save for blinking and moving a computer cursor with his brain. House — who conveniently crashed his motorcycle and ended up in the hospital bed next to him — becomes fixated on figuring out what caused his syndrome, while the patient is forced to listen to the everyday dramas of House's team with no way to escape the monologues. Ready to talk about it? Just


So, how well did House do with shooting an episode from the patient's point of view? My reaction was mixed. I liked the patient's sarcastic inner comments to some of the team's more inane conversations (in particular his bored reaction to Foreman's story about being bad at choosing jewelry), and I would have loved to see more of that. Sure, it's a little hard to get into the rhythm of his thoughts in the first half of the episode, but then there are a few moments in the second half — like when he's struggling to move his finger — when I really wanted to hear what he had to say. Part of the point of the episode is how difficult it is to communicate when "yes" and "no" are the only things you can get across. But we get exposed to the patient's inner life for a little while, and it was enough to make me miss it when it went away.

As for how much the episode reveals about the team, that's also a mixed bag. To my surprise, my favorite story is Taub's, once again. He's moved by his patient, thrilled when he finds a way to keep him communicating once the eye-blinking fails. At one point, we even see tears in his eyes; this is Taub's big chance to connect with the work he's doing for House. But House keeps stringing him along, asking him to come up with one brilliant idea. In the end, it's Kutner who finds the medical answer — I do love the way he's become the ace of House's new team, despite seeming like a doofus — but he lets Taub take the credit for the diagnosis. House knows it's a lie, but it's the kind of lie he respects. It's a lie that proves Taub cares.

Meanwhile, just as the patient is getting caught in a lie about leaving town (while he was, in fact, sending out resumes from his friend's basement, trying to hide from his wife that money was tight), House is getting caught in one of his own, with Wilson doing some sleuthing. It's always fun to see the two of them trying to out-scheme each other, and this one reveals an interesting fact: House has bee seeing a psychiatrist. Or, at least, he saw a psychiatrist once; he claims he'll never go again. But that raises this question: What would make House go to a psychiatrist now? Is he facing some new issue? What are we to make of that scene from House's locked-in POV right at the end of the episode, when he sees Wilson tell him he'll end up alone? Is that really something House fears that much?

Some other thoughts:

  • Love House's response to the patient saying God sent him: "Suddenly, you're not so fascinating."
  • Nothing makes a piece of jewelry less romantic than diseased rat pee.
  • Mos Def seemed particularly good at expressing frustration when his character reached his limits of communication — the strangled noises at the pain of the catheter, the frantic begging for his wife to stay, etc.
  • It's cute that House's test for the blinking is "square root of nine," but what if the patient had just been bad at math?

A good departure? Or too gimmicky to be taken seriously? Sound off in the comments!

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
raieven raieven 8 years
Edit- Just realized The Kiss was ep. 6!!!
raieven raieven 8 years
I didn't get to watch this episode as we went to see Bonnie Prince Billy and don't have tivo (grr!), but to me it seems like the House p.o.v. at the end could mean he is feeling 'locked in', unable to communicate to others in a normal way. by the way, why no re-cap for episode 18? Was it a re-run? I wanted to hear your thoughts on the Cutty/House kiss!
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
I loved, loved, LOVED this episode! It was really great and I love how Wilson stole House's phone. Mos Def was really good and it was great to see what was really wrong with Taub. My favorite part was when Foreman was telling him about the jewelry and he said something like, "Why don't you tell this story to someone who can walk away?" Hilarious! I'm really excited for the next episode. Is it next week?
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
I loved it. It was a little weird seeing everything through the patient's eyes at first and I still do prefer seeing everything from a 3rd person perspective but it was an interesting take. I liked it.
missvintage missvintage 8 years
i loved seeing the patients point of view of the relationships in the hospital. Mos Def did a great job, it takes a lot of work to show your emotion just through your voice and he did really well.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Ditto pharm chick. Mos Def really is a good actor.
hestah hestah 8 years
i <3 mos def
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I really liked it, all of it. I thought House was reacting more to the fact that the patient could now communicate with him, not really what he said. He was fascinated by the mystery, now that its solved, not so fascinating. lol
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
i really enjoyed this episode! first house ive seen in a while, but it was very good.
mswender mswender 8 years
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is one of my favorite books and it was interesting to see Locked-In syndrome explored on House. Mos Def is amazing!! i actually liked that you didn't here his inner voice because you want to have some perspective of what the doctors are feeling when he stops being able to blink. Fantastic episode!
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I liked this episode. It was a little slow at first but i enjoyed it. Next weeks episode looks really good.
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