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September 1, 2015

House: Not Cancer

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 24th 2008 12:27AM

Hugh Laurie of House(S05E02) Everyone, meet Lucas. Lucas, meet everyone.

Let's get to know this young man, shall we? He's in his mid-30's and a private detective. He doesn't think he's a good private dick, but in reality he really is and there's a possibility he just puts on a show of being inept. He can be an ass at times, as seen during his introductory moment to the Princeton-Plainsboro staff, and he can also be a bit too honest. In truth, he is very similar to one Dr. Gregory House, who has hired Lucas to check-up on Wilson after his best friend decided to shun him.

There is one difference between House and Lucas...Lucas is likable. That, and he seems to look at the world in a more positive manner than House does. And yet, that cranky old bastard likes Lucas for some reason. Is House going soft? Is he starting to realize the error of his ways? Is the world coming to an end? Am I asking too many questions? For answers to this and a recap of this week's episode jump ahead.

There is no one true reason why House likes the company of Lucas, even though he denies it. Perhaps he's lonely...even more lonely than when Wilson was his only friend in the hospital. Or, it could be that Lucas just has a different perspective, a potentially more truthful perspective, than Wilson did. When you look at all of their accumulated meetings, Wilson was the rug House walked all over. Lucas is more of House's equal and may be given more respect.

Oh, there's still a bit of weakness in Lucas. For instance, his non-insistence that House pay him for his services. I believe that the doctor owes the private detective about $8000. The demand for the money isn't there for two reasons. One, Lucas knows that House won't pay him a dime for his services. The other, he seems to be enjoying his time around House. He considers it a challenge.

Lucas also presents a new avenue to the way House diagnoses the weekly medical mystery. Take this week's conundrum: patients who received organ transplants from the same person are now dying. Instead of the need for House's team to break into someone's place of residence Lucas does the job for them, and a more thorough job at that. He was also the one who found another DNA connection (in the form of a young child) to one of the organ recipients who had passed away. Definitely helpful. Whether or not it's useful is another story.

The most important thing that Lucas brings to the table, besides a thicker beard than House has ever had, is a new avenue for Greg's epiphanies. This is particularly important to House since it looks like he and Wilson are permanently broken up (for the time being). House is a brilliant diagnostician but he tends to have trouble putting all of the pieces together quick enough to come to a solution. Hence, the reason for the Greek chorus that follows him around the halls of Princeton-Plainsboro. He needs that voice of reason, that nonsensical debate on something unrelated, to help him put all of the pieces together. For Greg, that person is now Lucas.

Lucas reminds me of two people. On one side he has the skills and the attitude of Shawn Spencer from Psych. He also also has a bit of Dr. Lance Sweets from Bones in him. Not some of the immaturity that Sweets shows on occasion, but more of his being a sounding wall for others. When you put it all together, Lucas is a likable character who is a decent replacement for Wilson. Unfortunately, it looks like he'll only be around for a few episodes before he gets his own series.

Moving on. Good to see House doing some doctoring this week after his little temper tantrum during the season premiere. At first it looked like that wasn't going to happen since he continued to mull over his fate with Wilson (they should just get married already!) at the beginning of the episode. Still, he had time to do other things while trying to convince everyone that the patient of the week had cancer (which he eventually determined that she did not have). Things like spying on Wilson, and also working on getting a new friend. His "interview" with Dr. Laibson was one of the lighter moments of the week. As usual, he had his 'human' moment with the patient once the diagnosis was determined. Saying that the world wasn't as dark as the patient thought it was came as a bit of a surprise from someone as sour as House can be.

This week's medical mystery featured guest-star Felicia Day, who many of you now know as Penny from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. There wasn't too much about her that really came out on screen other than the lie that she told the wife of the other patient who remained alive after the organ transplant. The lie was so quickly disavowed that there seemed no chance that she would survive the illness. At least she showed some brightness after her head was opened up and the bad part of her brain was removed. She also gave a concise analysis of House when she got her bandages off, saying that he looked sad.

By the way, speaking about this week's diagnosis, I do have a bit of a complaint. This was the second week in a row that they pointed to cancer as the patient's problem. Is this going to be a trend this year? Instead of lupus being the running 'gag' across the season each patient will be diagnosed with cancer and treated with chemotherapy. If that's the case, then the next season will be interesting as House goes on trial for multiple malpractice suits.

Two more things before we leave you for the week. This was one of the grosser House episodes that I can remember. Not only was there a good bit of blood spilled, but we had a scene of vomiting (common place now), some brain slicing, and a surgery that required the doctors to peel off a portion of the patient's head. The grossest, and funniest, scene starred Foreman and Kutner as they ran a test on one of the deceased patients. When all of that poop splattered over Foreman I had to avert my eyes. Ew!

Finally, where was everyone this week? For the most part it was House's show. Yes, his staff was there, but mostly in the background this time around. Of the original crew, only Foreman had some decent screen time. Heck, Cameron was only mentioned this time around rather than seen. And Cuddy? Only one scene with her, and sitting behind her desk? What punishment are the producers wreaking over the young, male minds of America!

Next week on House - More Lucas.

What did you think of Lucas
A good balance to House's sour demeanor465 (74.8%)
Not a good match at all34 (5.5%)
Really doesn't matter one way or another123 (19.8%)

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I think the PI is a good addition to the show but I don't think his character is strong enough for a spin-off. In the same manner, I don't believe that House is slow to diagnose-- most of that is dramatic tension. However, with Foreman also in the diagnostician role, I think the original House persona is now being shared by Foreman and House.
The lack of change in the intro credit sequence could then be explained simply, the original cast is being honored for the roles they fleshed out even if they aren't the ones acting in those roles. Cameron, Chase and Foreman may have been replaced by Taub, 13, and Kutner but their functional roles in the team are still there. Foreman has also become more significant in the diagnosis role to balance House's personal agenda.
Instead of a spin-off, I'd like to see House (the show) take on the format of Law & Order: CI or the original CSI. The old team can come back to take on different cases just like how CI has two detective teams and CSI has day and night crews.

September 29 2008 at 3:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony Scida

Not sure why you think Lucas is working for free (or even why he would be OK with that). They showed in the episode that House was passing that cost on to the hospital/patient: Cuddy held up a bill towards the end and asked why something cost so much.

September 25 2008 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the opening to this epi was awesome. I'm usually rather bored by them. normal life, medical issue, oh no, what ever will we do. Just something about there being several of them and moving though rather quickly to 13's statement: Class is canceled! made it seem like this was going to be a fire-cracker of an episode. I thought it was boring other than the character development between House and the PI. And there was a big EW! factor. But as I've learned with Bones- its not a show you can watch during or right after a meal. It just doesn't usually work out well.

They need to make a decision about what they are going to do with the extra cast members. What made this show thrive was the interaction between them- Chase, Cameron, Foreman, Cuddy and Wilson!! Forman has lost his "courage", Wilson has gotten whiney and they need to move this seperation along quickly, not that everything has to be alright but, you know move it along. Too bad Cameron and Chase broke up in real life- deal with it, either be on the show and work together or leave for another opportunity. Cuddy really shone in the last few episodes of last season-where'd she go?

September 25 2008 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't stand Wilson. I hope he leaves for good. I am sad to hear that the Lucas character isn't staying around long. I like him.

My issue with Wilson is that he had more reason to leave House before...like when that detective suspended his license and froze his accounts because he was protecting House. He should have left him then. Now it just seems petty and whiny.

September 25 2008 at 1:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really loved the PI character. I understand Wilson's anger at his relationship with House. But, the PI gets House and is able to help. He also is bringing show life to this season. Why must he go away? I do not want 'whiny' Wilson back.

September 24 2008 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny how Psych is mentioned in the review, as Micheal Weston was on an episode of Psych in the second half of season 1, "Cloudy, Chance of Murder". In that episode Weston played a rookie lawyer who was mentored by Shawn from Psych. It seems he has learned well.

September 24 2008 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The episode was not bad. I really liked the scene where he just picked one of his collegues at the hospital to be Wilson's replacement, making him pay for his lunch and then he asks so inquisitvely "Do you like monster trucks?" House approches finding a new friend the same way someone would ask someone out on a date.

September 24 2008 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I KNEW he looked familiar! that's right, he was private dancer!

I really enjoyed him as the PI - I was so afraid it was going to turn out like the detective who was after House two seasons ago, but he was the perfect compliment to House, and I do believe he can carry a stand alone show - I'll watch. sweet

Am I the only one who feels really bad for Chase - the scenes he is in, he's usu wearing a mask. He went from star to supporting player, if that. oh well.

September 24 2008 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

definate Scrubs flashbacks here.

First, Michael Weston had a semi-recurring role on scrubs as "Private Dancer"

and was I the only one who thought the final diagnosis would be Rabies? Similar plot on Scrubs where patients who all recieved transplants from the same donor all died because the donor had rabies.

September 24 2008 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another clunker. My high hopes for this season are fading fast.

Lisa (Cuddy) is pregnant in real life - She shot that down as a rumor.

The detective didn't work for me. Spin him off and watch it get canceled in 3 weeks. (unless they wait for Fringe to get canceled and team House and Private Dick together, maybe that would keep it one longer.)

September 24 2008 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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