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House Recap: Episode Seven, "The Itch"

House Rundown: Episode Seven, "The Itch"

On this week's House, a few of our doctors have some major fears to confront. We finally see Chase and Cameron together again, seemingly at a crossroads in their relationship. Meanwhile, House and Cuddy reach a crossroads of their own after their surprising kiss. This episode wastes no time picking up in the awkward aftermath of that smooch, and it builds to an intriguing ending, so to talk about it,

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For an episode that's all about avoidance, in the end we're left with only one coward: House. Every story in this episode has at its heart a major (if irrational) fear — that of leaving the house, of letting someone deeper into your life, of pursuing a long-simmering relationship. And, though the paths to get there are winding, everyone in this episode beats those fears except House. As Cameron's clearing out a drawer for Chase, and the patient is taking his first steps outside, we see House so very nearly ringing Cuddy's doorbell but then turning and slinking away. Why is House so afraid?

It's odd because, as Wilson points out, House's entire worldview is that everything falls apart in the end, anyway. So why should a presumed outcome of "guaranteed breakup, guaranteed ugliness" keep House from exploring something that could bring him temporary pleasure? To be fair, it's not like Cuddy is exactly running to House with open arms; in her conversation with Wilson — after Wilson has tried, hilariously but unsuccessfully, to convince Cuddy he has feelings for her to make House jealous — she essentially plays out the entire future she sees for her and House. "We'd realize the flirty hostility is just hostility," she says, and they wouldn't speak for two months.

Even though I'm not sure I want House and Cuddy to be in a real relationship, their reluctance to do so is particularly interesting against the backdrop of the other stories in this episode, in which people who have been burned before finally suck it up and move on. Cameron lost her husband, but she finally clears a little space for Chase. The patient lost his girlfriend, but he takes his first tentative steps back into the outdoors. And even Taub's wife decides to forgive his infidelity, or at least momentarily take up with him on the couch. House is the only holdout.

Some other thoughts:

  • Still mulling over all the symbolism of House's maybe-metaphorical mosquito bite. Seems like the sort of thing someone should write a pseudo-scholarly paper about: Was the itch real? Why didn't he just swat the dang bug? Etc.
  • It's nice to get a status update on Chase and Cameron's relationship, but I'd prefer to see them together a little more frequently. Before Cameron laid out the details in that first call with House, I wasn't even 100 percent sure they were still a couple.
  • Loved Wilson's childlike reaction to House's "I kinda hit that" — "Like making out? Or full-on sex?" House's awesome response: "I've got a chart laid out with all the bases. I'll take you through it."
  • Really, Taub is the best surgeon on the team?

So, what's your take? Is House a coward, or is he right that being with Cuddy would just be miserable for everyone? And why isn't Cuddy being more proactive? Were you happy to see Chase and Cameron together, or did it just remind you of how little we still know about the new team?

Photos courtesy of Fox

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