One of my favorite parts of this episode was the quote I have chosen to put at the beginning of the entry. Wilson accuses House of not liking Cate, the patient, because she is a psychiatrist. House counters that there are many reasons he does not like the patient, and Wilson comes back with that retort. The reason I like it so much isn't because I think it's meant to be about House. I like it so much because I think it's a sneaky little slam on Tom Cruise. Or at least, if that is too much of a stretch, then I like it because it certainly can be applied to Tom Cruise and his very public outcries against psychiatry.
Gallery: House: Frozen
Of course, we know that House actually does like Cate. Very much. He might even be in love with her-- or as in love with someone you have never actually met as a person can be. I think he likes the fact that she is so isolated and dependent on him. She also stands up to him, which he respects. As much as he wants his co-workers never to know quite what to do: be subservient, stand up to him, obey him without question, defy him and come up with answers-- he doesn't have to have any expectations of Cate. She is a patient, so he doesn't owe her anything.
House takes patients because of what they give to him: They are interesting. He really does not care whether they live or die, because everyone is mortal. What he cares about, as has been demonstrated for four seasons now, is the puzzle, the mystery. Even after a patient has died, he will pursue the case until the mystery is solved.
Cate is a psychiatrist stationed in the South Pole, with limited medical supplies. She starts vomiting and has pain in her side, which House thinks is caused by kidney disorder. As a psychiatrist, she has had enough training in anatomy and medicine to operate as her own physician, which is hardly the optimal situation. This all makes the case incredibly compelling. House can disdain her for not quite being a doctor, but he esteems her for standing up to him and for knowing enough about medicine to disagree with him. She refuses to use precious supplies for her own health care unless House can definitively prove to her she needs them. And House can't do that.
Cate reprimands House for solving cases "like a firesale." House has unlimited resources at Princeton Hospital: He can call for unlimited tests and try dozens of treatments in order to eliminate erroneous diagnoses. He has always done this. It might seem like he is not really good at what he does: However, who else is going to know where even to begin eliminating diagnoses? Who else knows what paths to try, what part of the marble on a sculpture to carve away to create the David? House is an artist: He is the best at what he does, and regardless of his methods, he gets results.
However, this episode tests and proves one of his theories: It's better not to care about the patient. If you care, you make mistakes. Cate has to complete a physical exam to test her lymph nodes, because Foreman points out that cancer would explain her symptoms also. Cate and House are communicating with the chat function on their Macs (which is amazing: New Jersey to the South Pole, and I can barely get it to work within the state of Missouri...), and she has to perform the physical exam with him watching. She removes all of her clothes except her socks, which House lets her keep on because it is so cold there. This turns out to be a mistake.
In the meantime, in order to keep Cate to himself and also to teach his flunkies a lesson in standing up to him (aka subplot), House sends his crew to torment Cameron. He ostensibly wants Cameron to exert her influence on the Budget Committee to restore cable to patient rooms, without making the patients pay for it. In this way, House can continue to watch cable in coma patients' rooms: Who in their right mind would pay for cable for a coma patient, though? I loved the inside joke here: Cameron tells house he will just have to make do with broadcast television, and he remarks that he will be fine on Tuesdays. The fact that he said this on a Sunday made it even funnier for some reason, but we all knew what he meant.
Did you catch the other inside joke? Wilson and House and Foreman are all talking to Cate and Wilson remarks that House has called the patient by her first name and House has never done that before. House then retorts back to Wilson by calling saying, "Just trying to move things along, Bob."Wilson's first name is James, but the actor is Robert Sean Leonard: He actually is Bob.
As always, we find out more about House and Wilson both through the patient. The patient investigates Wilson because she thinks he might not be as nice Wilson seems because he hangs out with House. Wilson also points out that House seems more concerned about Cate than he ever has about anybody else, and Cate calls House on it: "You have spent more time with me than any other patient."
And there is the usual conversation about whether or not House thinks everybody is miserable so he won't have to take any responsibility for his own misery. That schtick is getting a little old: House doesn't seem that miserable. Sure, he's putting away bourbon every night to sleep. That isn't necessarily misery. Sometimes that is just getting older.
When Cate slips into a coma right before she is heading outside to test Foreman's theory that if she has an autoimmune disorder, the cold will make her feel better, House's world changes. Suddenly, he can't deal with Cate directly. He has to deal with Sean, the mechanic who had his femoral artery sliced by a windmill blade at the opening of the episode. They tell Sean that he will have to drink Cate's urine in order to help diagnose her, and Sean doesn't hesitate. This leads House to conclude that Sean is in love with her. House covers up blurting this out by saying only that this tells him Sean will do anything to save her-- when actually, House is covering up jealousy, and probably disappointment. If Sean is in love with Cate, and Sean is there with her in the South Pole, what chance does House have of continuing his little online chats once her problem is diagnosed and solved?
Foreman and House get Sean to drill into Cate's brain to relieve the pressure. Then Kutner decides to take House at his word and stand up to him, suggesting that Cate's problems might be caused by fat being thrown off like clots. House realizes that he hasn't seen Cate's feet because of the aforementioned socks. They get Sean to remove her socks and find out she has a broken toe: Bone marrow has been throwing clot-like pieces, causing all of Cate's problems. She never knew her toe was broken because she never removes her socks, and the cold masked the pain. [She didn't remove her socks for weeks and weeks and weeks? or even Days and days and days?]
Sean straightens out the break and that is that: She will splint the toe and she will be cured. She and House have no more reason to speak to each other again. They say goodbye with a look, but they are, ultimately, patient and physician. And caring caused him to let her keep her socks on, which almost killed her. Erego: It's better not to care.
But it isn't enough for House not to care, or for House to be alone. He has suspected for the entire episode that Wilson is dating someone, but he cannot figure out who, so he shows up at a restaurant where Wilson is meeting a date and discovers that it's Amber. Cutthroat Bitch is back.
|No-- it's better when he's alone||168 (19.6%)|
|Yes-- or if not her, SOMEBODY||691 (80.4%)|