Tuesday, January 9, 2007

House--Words and Deeds

Tonight's House double-header featured a rerun of "Merry Little Christmas," the last episode aired before the holiday break. In all the bustle of the holidays I managed to not review this episode, but it was an interesting one, featuring House detoxing while he diagnoses a little girl afflicted with dwarfism. Wilson, recanting on his decision to testify against House, is pushed farther into a corner by Tritter, who continues his crusade. At the end, House finally approaches Tritter, telling him he's ready to take the deal. But Tritter has, once again, changed the rules.

On to "Words and Deeds." The case for the night is a firefighter who displays erratic behavior after emerging from a burning building. In the meantime, House appears in court, where it seems he has little chance of staying out of jail. (His lawyer, interestingly enough, is played by Kadeem Hardison. Anybody remember A Different World?)

As a last resort, House throws himself on the mercy of Tritter and offers an apology, which Tritter rejects as insincere. Distracted by his predicament, House seems uninterested in the week's medical mystery, and decides to check himself into rehab.

Chase, Cameron and Foreman are left to make the diagnosis on their own, while House attempts to endure rehab. They still consult with him, and House suggests an unorthodox treatment for the firefighter (there's a shocker--literally this time).

Tritter visits House in rehab. He still refuses to bend, even in the face of House's sincere effort to kick his Vicodin habit. House goes off on him. But rehab must be getting to him, because he offers Wilson a sincere apology.

During the hearing, House gets a call regarding the patient's allotted major plot twist, and walks out to return to the hospital. When he returns, Cuddy presents a piece of evidence that changes the course of the hearing.

I think the thing that has bothered me the most about this story arc is that it's so similar to the first season story arc with Chi McBride, even down to the story beats. House and the team face powerful opponent, one of the team turns traitor, everyone is backed up against the wall, House caves, but when he caves the powerful opponent changes the rules to maintain the power balance on his side. Watching the Season One DVD set at the same time as the current season made the similarities seem even stronger, to the detriment of the Tritter arc. Also much like the Vogler arc, the conclusion here is rather unrealistic and not entirely satisfactory.

Vyto Ruginis, the prosecuting attorney, played Russell Winters in the pilot episode of Angel.
The song at the end of the episode is "Season of the Witch," by Donovan

In other House news, Jennifer Morrison (Cameron) and Jesse Spencer (Chase) got engaged over the weekend in Paris. (Why Paris? Why not someplace fun, like Detroit?) I wish them a future full of health, happiness, and few if any undiagnosable ailments.