'House': Jennifer Morrison returns for Hugh Laurie's directorial debut

jennifer-morrison-house0412.jpgAll-around awesome person extraordinaire Hugh Laurie was at the helm for this episode of "House," and I definitely enjoyed the new insight into our ragtag bunch of doctors. Also, DAVID STRATHAIRN!!!!!! Sorry, just thought I'd get that out of the way early. Ahem.

Anywaaay ... I think our beloved Mr. Laurie was at a mild disadvantage since the only truly suspenseful plotline -- the missing baby -- occupied a relatively small amount of our time, and the episode was a little more introspective than most, so the pacing was slower and took some getting used to. But come on, Hugh Laurie + David Strathairn = guaranteed success. Add in Cameron's dramatic return and some bonus amusing hijinks, and you've got an episode that's surprisingly well-balanced considering the lack of a big scary disease (and its big scary treatments).  

POTW: We don't really have a Patient of the Week so much as a Mystery of the Week: The Case of the Purloined Preemie. After a baby disappears from her hospital room, PPTH is forced into lockdown, trapping everyone in place until the baby is found. Cuddy, in a marvelous bit of Sherlock Holmes-ing, discovers that a woman on staff is having complex seizures that allow her to function on autopilot, without awareness.

That totally reminds me of an article on sleep-eating I just read. It's crazy what you can do without realizing it ... like kidnap a baby and leave her in the laundry bin, for example. But thanks to Cuddy, baby is reunited with family and we get a pretty straightforward happy ending for once! Well, sort of...

House and David Strathairn(!): House spends his lockdown stuck in a dying patient's (David Strathairn) room. It's a wee bit awkward, since House had turned down the poor guy's case, possibly signing his death warrant. As he points out, he can't take every case, but that's cold comfort to an angry, dying man. To make up for it, he offers euthanasia via "narcotic haze," so David can avoid a long and painful death, and House can avoid watching a long and painful death. Win-win! David wisely suggests that perhaps it's House who's looking for some numbing. In fact, House admits that his pain has migrated up, and he suspects a damaged arterial wall but hasn't gotten the test.

David wonders if it's actually a broken heart, but House throws it right back at him, and hits a bull's-eye. David left his family when his daughter was six, and all he wants is to speak to her one last time. He's too guilt-ridden, though, and waits until she's gone out to work to call. House forces him to leave a message, and it may be short, but kids, it's a tearjerker. David Strathairn is all kinds of awesome. After accepting House's offer of a morphine overdose, David and House agree that they're sorry House didn't take his case. Awwww.

House tells David at one point that he likes being alone, or convinces himself he's better off that way. But instead of talking about the long-lost love we all expect to come up, he brings up the woman he met in the psychiatric hospital (Lydia), saying she changed him and then left. Well, she didn't exactly leave, did she? Interesting stuff, though. I'd imagine David's lonely death must be looking a little too familiar to House, much like when Scrooge sees his untended grave and friendless funeral after he's visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I'm not holding my breath for House to honor Christmas in his heart and try to keep it all the year, though.

Chase and Cameron: Cameron is back! And she brought divorce papers! And in the ultimate uncomfortable situation, she's immediately locked down with an angry, confrontational Chase who wonders if she ever even loved him. He makes a pretty good case, actually, and she confirms that she doesn't know. Or rather, she did love him, but not in a way that would've worked. "I'm a mess ... I'm unfixable." Well I coulda told you that from Season 1, lady. Still, Chase did murder someone, so I'm not going to lay all the fault on either side.

Chase signs the papers, and they reminisce over what they miss about each other. Cue dancing to "Allison" by Elvis Costello, playing on Chase's cell phone (smooth, buddy). And cue kissing. Aaaand cue sex. Well, that's one way to have a "proper goodbye," I suppose.

Taub and Foreman: These fellas are stuck in a storage room with the personnel files, which prove too much temptation for them. Among House's many malpractice cases is a "botched penisectomy" on a patient named Lisa Cuddy. Ha! After taking some Vicodin (you know, to "walk in House's shoes") and briefly starting a fight club, Foreman and Taub get down to business. Seems Foreman wants to destroy his credentials file because he faked a lab result during med school in an attempt to beat his spoiled comrades, and to prove he belonged at such a good school. Taub wonders if he might also feel out of place at PPTH. Oh, Taub. Usually annoying, sometimes surprisingly insightful.

For his part, Taub has a beyond impressive file, but is equally ashamed of it because he hasn't fulfilled the potential implied within. Come on, man -- it's not like you're living in a box under the bridge. You're an extremely successful doctor! Overachievers ... sigh. Foreman leaves without his file, and he and Taub make a "what happens in the storage room, stays in the storage room" gentleman's agreement. Once again surprising me, Taub shreds the incriminating page in Foreman's file after Foreman leaves.

Wilson and Thirteen: Wilson and Thirteen while away their time in the cafeteria playing Truth or Dare. For those of you who are curious, she's never had a threesome. When she refuses to answer questions about Foreman, Wilson dares her to flash Taub. Sweet of him to choose someone else because having her flash him would be "exploitative." I love Wilson sometimes. Okay, all the time.

Thirteen dares him to steal a dollar from the cafeteria cashier: "You're too much of a nice boy, Wilson. Let's let the bad boy out for a bit." Was anyone else expecting something ... badder? And yet he still manages to set off the alarm when he closes the cash register (after distracting the cashier by sending her to get a sandwich for Thirteen's "hyperproteinemia"). I loved the music they used during this scene, and the lighting. Good work, Hugh Laurie.

Thirteen confesses that she hasn't told her dad about her bisexuality or her Huntington's, and lies about her life as a way to point out to Wilson that he's suppressing his life for House's convenience by buying a bigger place so they can live together. She dismisses, however, his claim that he can't pursue a new relationship with his ex-wife because of House. After being called on his chicken-ness, Wilson asks the ex out! This should be interesting. And Thirteen totally flashes Taub on her way out of the building to close out the episode. It's hilarious. 

Final Thoughts:

  • Though there was a lot of humor in the side plots (Thirteen and Wilson, Taub and Foreman), the episode seemed heavier without House's constant wisecracking. The other guys just aren't as quotable!
  • I'm looking forward to next week, when House discovers Wilson's old/new partner.
  • Cuddy is totally my role model. Does that mean I need to buy some tighter skirts and lower-cut tops?
  • Does Thirteen's reluctance to answer questions about Foreman really just stem from their awkward work situation, or is Foreteen going to experience a resurgence?

 

How did you like Hugh Laurie's directorial debut? Were there any game-changing revelations from the team during the lockdown? Were you happy to see Cameron back, albeit briefly? 

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Photo credit: FOX

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