House: Guardian Angels
(S04E04) Wilson -- You're quite impressed with yourself right now, aren't you?
House -- Who wouldn't be?
After a brief baseball break, House returned with a pretty decent episode. Not only did we get to see a further fleshing out of the new characters, but also witnessed additional connection between the old and new team members. Plus, we found out that trying to find a job outside of Princeton-Plainsboro when you worked for House was not the best thing to do.
Gallery: House: Guardian Angels
I'm going to do things a bit differently in this reviewcap that should please those who enjoy the recaps and those who don't give a flying bowel movement about them because they already watched the show. I'm sure you'll let me know what you think about the format in the Comments section. So, without waiting another moment . . .
The Medical Mystery
Irene, a 24-year-old funeral home cosmetician (she pretties up the dead people) is brought in after having a seizure in the middle of her work shift. During the seizure she hallucinates about getting raped by one of the dead people down in the morgue. Being that nothing is ever simple for House and his team the first diagnosis is Mad Cow Disease, which one of the corpses seemed to have had when it was brought into the funeral home two years ago. House determines the best way to rule this out is to dig up the dead guy, take a piece of his brain, and run some tests.
I'll stop right here. Look, I'm certainly not a doctor -- I don't even play one on TV -- but if someone, even a dead someone, had Mad Cow disease wouldn't the virus have already spread to everyone at the funeral home already? While it was a good excuse to have a grave-digging scene the diagnosis just didn't seem to fit. Oh, and isn't what the team did to that poor dead guy probably fall under grave-robbing or some other crime like that? Gee, since starting in the program they've already committed several crimes that will look just wonderful on their resume when they look for another job.
Turns out it wasn't Mad Cow, so it was back to the drawing board for the team. While conducting further tests on Irene the team discovers that she is hallucinating and talking to her dead mother. When Thirteen and Amber confront her later she not only talks about her mother but references Stark, the wheelchair-bound patient who died, along with his dog, in the previous episode of House.
This freaks the entire team out and they go back to Greg, who finally meets up with Irene. While he's trying to ask her what's going on she hallucinates seeing House's dead grandfather Willy. House seems shocked. However, this isn't because she was right. He reacted that way just to spook her out and to come up with a reason why this was happening. After talking with her again and listening to the symptoms her mother had before she died he diagnosed Parkinson's Disease.
The 'dead mother' thing actually threw me as I thought her mother was actually alive when Irene was being placed in the scanner. I should have realized that the mother 1) didn't follow Amber and Taub(?) behind the protective glass and 2) that her mother wouldn't have been in the scanner room in the first place. I'm hoping that I wasn't the only one who thought her mother was alive.
As all of Irene's hallucinations were going on I thought this was all due to some traumatic incident that occurred to her, or occurred to her mother, while she was young. Her hallucinations of being raped, her anger at being tested, the appearance of her mother as a steadying point, and a nightmare later in the episode where she thought the doctor's were stabbing her pointed in that direction. Boy, was I wrong! By the way, isn't early on-set Parkinson's Disease fairly rare? That's what I thought when Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with it nearly a decade ago.
Back to the mystery. It wasn't Parkinson's. After a pretty intense nightmare Irene woke up to find her arm bleeding due to a number of lesions on the surface. Henry (aka Bosley) suggests retinal vasculitis as the cause, even though Taub says that there's no way it could be that. So, Amber and Thirteen handle that particular test. That's ruled out once Irene pukes blood onto the floor. A quick surgery by Chase, accompanied by Cole, reveals a whole mess of internal bleeding.
Henry and House both still think it's a form of vasculitis or something that is blocking the blood from flowing. So, Cole has a go at testing. Just before he goes ahead he whispers a prayer into Irene's ear. Irene decides to thank him by giving him a grope. Since that test was a failure the team is back to square one. That is, until Amber comes to the conclusion that it's ergot poisoning from the organic rye bread that Irene was eating. The poisoning had the same effects as being on an extended LSD trip. With Irene coming to terms with that her mother's image faded away.
I really should have put this all together. The hallucinations, the bad dreams, the groping, her asking for seven boxes of Twinkies. They all added up to her being on some type of trip. But, I'm just a poor reviewer of TV shows, so what do I know. I did enjoy the twist, and liked how someone other than House figured out what Irene had. Was this the first time that's happened or did someone from the team determine what the astronaut had in the second episode? I also really enjoyed what happened before Amber revealed that epiphany, which I'll tell you about now.
Yay, Cole! Anyone who punches Greg House in the face is okay in my book. Sure, he was being manipulated by House just to win a bet, but it was well worth it!
We learned a few things about Cole (aka 'Big Love, aka Dark Religious Nut) this week. The biggest, other than he has a mean uppercut, is that he's a single father. Add to that he doesn't know where the mother is. That's a meaty piece of subject matter to use through the rest of the season. He's also not shy about talking to members of House's former team about the man who is goading him on. He definitely got the most out of Chase before he found out that House was listening in the gallery.
I like Cole. I think that's because he's honest and stands with his convictions, no matter what anyone else says. Yet, I think there's some repressed anger in him, maybe due to the fact that the mother of his child left without so much as a good-bye. He is a near-perfect foil to House due to his religious beliefs, and I think that House sees that as well.
Thirteen and Amber
What can I say about Amber (aka Cut Throat Bitch, used only once this episode)? Even when she tries to be sincere she's still manipulative. However, it's just not working as well as it did for her when she started out. Everyone seems to have built up an immunity to her (just like many children build up their immunity to their parents' guilt trips) and scoff whenever she tries to get them to leave the team. She tried that early on the episode with Taub, but he just wasn't biting.
As to her relationship with Thirteen . . Amber still tries to manipulate her, but she's also very intrigued. Throughout the entire episode she tried to get something, anything, out of Thirteen (aka Thirteen) about her past. She thought Thirteen had lost her mother after an incident with Irene. She felt Thirteen wasn't over the death of Mr. Stark and his dog when she found a dog collar in one of the labs (which Amber had put there in the first place to break her down). I guess that's why she works together with Thirteen so much rather than some of the other doctors vying for a spot on House's team.
Thirteen should stay. Amber? Well, she's probably staying. She'll be good for people like Cole and Thirteen as an evil counterpart.
Henry and Taub
There was tension between these two this episode once House revealed that Henry wasn't a real doctor. Taub was all over him about his credentials every time Henry spouted off a diagnosis that House agreed with. When Taub finally confronted House about it I thought that his time at Princeton-Plainsboro was over. Boy, was I wrong.
Damn it all! I liked Henry. And, truth be told, so did House. You could see some genuine affection on Greg's face when he had to let him go. He even used Henry's real name when he did it. But, I guess it wouldn't have been that fun if both Henry and House thought the same way. The success of the show House is the conflicting personalities of the team members.
The title of this episode of House represented not only Irene's hallucinations, but also Cameron's new role as guardian angel to the new candidates. Her first target was Cole. By making a bet with House that Cole would kick his ass Cameron was working with Cole to stand up for his convictions. Needless to say, it worked like a charm. Cameron is definitely a different person this season now that she is out of House's grasp. She is now a peer to him rather than him being her boss. So, she has more confidence in the way she talks to her former leader. While some may say this makes her less interesting I actually like the way she's turning out.
Somewhere early on in the episode Taub mentioned to Amber that being fired by House would probably be a good thing for a doctor's resume.
It certainly wasn't for Eric Foreman (even though, in reality, he quit), whose little stunt at Mercy Hospital last episode cost him his job. It seems that Eric has been blackballed by the medical community. Well, most of the medical community. Cuddy definitely wants him back to try to control House. Foreman isn't biting, but neither are any other Chief Medical Officers. So, he decides to return to Princeton-Plainsboro only if he gets a salary increase, his own office, and a personal assistant. Cuddy says no to all of that because word has trickled down to her about all of the doors being shut in his face. Regardless, he takes the position anyway.
And, that's how Foreman returns to House's life. We knew he would, we just didn't know in what capacity. Again, I see a relationship change between Foreman and House just like Cameron has had. If anything it may be a bit more tense as Eric will now be the herder for House's antics. I wonder how long that will last.
If you can bare with me a few moments more, some additional highlights from this week's episode:
Cuddy telling Amber where file sexual harassment and stress complaints before the girl even asks her anything
House playing the game Surgeon and failing miserably at getting the pieces in properly.
For the second week in a row a mention of the afterlife by House. Even Wilson is getting a bit tired of it all.
House's comment to Cuddy how there aren't any really bad choices in the group of remaining candidates. I don't know if he was kidding or not.
Good Morning, Angels! -- How House treats the candidates at the beginning of the episode.
The flower ceremony at the end of the episode which imitates, of course, The Bachelor. I wonder if he's going to do a weigh-in next week to imitate The Biggest Loser.
Next time . . . the return of Eric Foreman.