Tuesday, November 28, 2006

House—Finding Judas

Tritter continues his quest, which is starting to paralyze the hospital, while House and his team attempt to diagnose a six-year-old girl with mysterious abdominal pain. Of course what initially seems to be a simple, if unusual, case of gallstones, becomes something far more serious. House concentrates on the case while the rest of the gang deal with Tritter's bullying tactics, and House resorts to his own bullying tactics to treat the little girl over her parents' objections.

In a way it's almost hard to understand why the team sticks to House so loyally. They all know he's addicted to Vicodin, and he treats all of them like crap. But in another way, it's perfectly easy to understand, because we've seen the relationship these people have with each other, and even though it seems ridiculous that they'd stick with him, it also makes complete sense. They've all, at one time or another, seen past House's facade.

However, House off his Vicodin is even nastier than House on his Vicodin. His vitriol hits Cuddy particularly hard. In the meantime, Tritter backs off, leaving the gang to assume somebody has finally caved in and agreed to testify against House. Tritter goes out of his way to make it look like it was Chase.

But the big confrontation comes when the gang challenges House's diagnosis, which this times proves to be wrong. Though Chase "wins" with the correct diagnosis, he also takes a fist in the face. (The final diagnosis is porphyria, an acute sensitivity to light which some people believe is behind the vampire legends.) In the end House is betrayed, in true Biblical fashion, by the one who is closest to him.

The storyline with Tritter has felt a bit melodramatic from the beginning. Plus we've been down this road before, more or less, with House being called on his addiction and a hospital administrator trying to remove him from the hospital both back in Season One. So in a way it feels like a retread. But it's also not. Basically, I have mixed feelings about the storyline, although the dramatic potential is great and has been mined in a pretty skillful fashion, overall. It's just really pushed some limits, I think, among them the show's believability. One has to wonder, even moreso than usual, exactly why anyone puts up with House in the first place. I mean, those pretty blue eyes can only get him so far. On the other hand, the writers have done a spectacular job using this situation to pull out some really powerful character moments for the entire cast, so it all balances out.