Tuesday, January 30, 2007

House—One Day, One Room

Cuddy totally owns House's ass now, as House is sent to clinic duty. House is bored silly and obnoxious in his House-like way, until Cuddy makes a bet with him concerning how many patients he can diagnose without actually touching them. Out of the stint in the clinic comes a rape victim who for some reason wants to bond with House, and a cancer patient, treated by Cameron, who insists he must die in pain in order to be remembered.

This was a strange episode, and not just because of the major departure from the usual Nearly Unsolvable Medical Mystery plot. It seemed to be overly focused on navel-gazing and philosophizing, in an on-the-nose manner that's atypical for this show. Departures in a show aren't always a bad thing--often they allow the actors to stretch and take their characters places they wouldn't normally go. But in this case the episode struck me as less of a show than what we normally get from House, with all the usual layers of characterization and clever writing peeled away to leave behind a didactic mess. The writers finally rallied at the end, giving us some nice moments with Cameron and House and their respective patients, but it wasn't quite enough to save the episode as a whole. Kudos to the writing team, though, for at least trying something different.