'House': Phineas Gage reborn

Robertseanleonard_house_s5_240 After several episodes were it felt that House was turning into Desperate House-docs with all the tangled romance story lines, tonight we got back to the relationship that started it all. House and Wilson.

The POTW: He's a book editor who suddenly loses his social filter during a book release party and says all the mean and/or inappropriate things that pop into his head. So, he's House, only with a neurological diagnosis regarding why he's a jerk. That diagnosis is frontal lobe disinhibition and his inability to control what he says nearly ends his marriage and alienates his daughter, not to mention convinces him to go through an extremely risky bit of brain surgery that ends up being rather unnecessary.

ForeTeen/Huddy: When the POTW chooses Cuddy over 13 as doctor he'd most like to do naughty things to, it's revealed that House arranged the psychological wet t-shirt contest for Cuddy's benefit. And she does seem pleased. 13, on the other hand, seems slightly annoyed, but like she doesn't want anyone to know she's annoyed. More annoyed is the POTW's wife.

Wilson: It's seems he's keeping secrets from House. You would think he would learn it was futile, but there are none so blind as those who will not see. Or perhaps the fact that House cuts right to the point saves him the work of of slowly processing his own emotions. Either way, House immediately knows he's being lied to and spends more time investigating the whys of that than the ails of his POTW.

There are a few tense moments where it seems that Wilson might have cancer or suicidal depression stemming from having cancer. But House digs deeper and finds out that in reality, Wilson's long lost brother, who suffers from schizophrenia, has resurfaced after over a decade MIA. And Wilson is going to visit him. It seems as if watching his POTW's behavior push away those who once loved him causes House to do some self-exploration and he decides to stop relentlessly interrogating Wilson in favor of supporting him.

At least until they get to the psych unit Danny Wilson is being held in and House starts probing Wilson for why he feels so guilty for his brother's illness and/or disappearance all those years ago. Which reveals that when Wilson was in med school, he once hung up on one of his brother's paranoid and rambling phone calls and that night Danny ran away. House starts to point out how Wilson changing his persona in response to hanging up the phone was a total over reaction to a situation, but when Wilson asks if they are still talking about his brother (and not perhaps House and his persona?) House gets his epiphany.

The Epiphany: After the lack of positive results form the brain surgery, the team went back to the drawing board without House and did a full body scan. The results of which eventually a small and benign fibroma, that his body was over reacting to by sending out the death squad of his immune system to deal with it. Also known as Doege-Potter Syndrome.

Highlights: I loved the reference to Harry Potter and Superman, but that's because I am a huge geek. So, here's a couple of my favorite zingers.

House: Hey. Cyrano de Berkowitz. Let it go. (in response to Taub obsessing about the POTW telling him his nose was too big)

Wilson: Taub. Another graduate of the House School of Being a Dick.
House: A private dick.

I also loved the entire end scene, where Wilson and House discussed their own lack of a normative social contract and what the implications would be if they implemented one. Namely, that House would get to watch Wilson slowly drive himself mad trying to figure out what House's motives were. Beyond that, I thought this show was one of the better ones this season. Chase's reaction to House talking about the POTW's continued condition requiring surgery being a "quality of life" issue and drawing the comparison between himself and Wilson was interesting. But will the show be able to do anything with those great little moments with the expanded cast keeping so many balls in the air? And what's with all the patients resembling House lately?   

SHARE IT ON: