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House: Emancipation

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 19th 2008 10:35AM

House: Emancipation

(S05E08) What is Foreman's role in House's little kingdom? From the deep recesses of my dusty brain I recall a conversation he had with Cuddy that his job was to be some sort of monitor to make sure House didn't, you know, rip the lungs out of a live patient just to make sure they were really and truly pink and healthy. But, to be honest, I haven't seen much monitoring going on over the last few episodes.

I have seen lots of sitting and moping and an all-around indecisiveness in Eric since he returned to Princeton-Plainsboro. Maybe he was regretting the decision he made, maybe he was still trying to learn from the feet of his mentor, or maybe he was reliving his past life as suicidal County General doc Dennis Gant from ER. That may have changed this week as, finally, he decided to branch out on his own.

Weeeellllll, on his own -- with a little help from his former colleagues. But, he did figure out what was wrong with his patient...after he almost killed him. Um, maybe Foreman needs to go back to sitting around House's conference table again.

More on Eric later. Let's get to this week's main medical mystery.

It was a good one. Not for the maladies that the team encountered, nor for what they diagnosed before each commercial break. What made it interesting was the patient's deliberate manipulation of the truth that threw the entire staff into a tizzy. You could tell from the start that the focus was going to be on the patient then on what bodily fluids were oozing out of her. That's because she was a chatty Cathy throughout this installment.

Kutner and Thirteen were the focus this week. Since they like to talk up cadavers on a regular basis you knew there was going to be some back-and-forth between them and the patient. What we got were the best(?) elements of both of them. With Kutner, it was the innocent belief that the patient, "Sophia" (in quotes because it wasn't her real name) was telling the truth about her parents dying, allowing her to be an emancipated teenager. It was only the technically-advanced medical equipment that told him the patient was a big, fat liar with her pants on fire.

With Thirteen we saw the usual butting in to the patient's life. Geez, you'd think she was Cameron's sister or something the way she acts! In this situation she was trying to convince Sophia that she would need to have her parents come to the hospital to perform a bone marrow test, This, despite the patient's absolute statement that her father raped her and her mother just watched. Because Thirteen was so convinced of this she ended up going to her supposed parents home, only to find out they weren't her parents after all. Huh. I guess her nosiness came to good use after all.

While these lies disappointed and angered the team, they really came to a head when House finally confronted the patient. This was inevitable because, well, they diagnosed her illness early. So, the good doctor had to come in for a bit of closure. Boy, did he get some! There aren't many times that House is left speechless by a patient's confession. The only problem I had with this scene was we really didn't know how "Sophia" killed her brother. It seemed like an accident, but it was hard to tell in-between her sobs.

Taub was part of this episode as well, but stayed on the sidelines but for two scenes, both with Thirteen. The best one of the two was a scene in one of the surgery suites where they were performing a brain biopsy. Thirteen was chatting her up about something, trying to convince her that her parents were needed. But, she wasn't saying the thing that Taub thought she should. So, he ended up telling "Sophia" that he was the one who had Huntington's Disease. Man, did Thirteen have a look on her face! If she was equipped with laser beam eyes he would have been disintegrated right then and there.

Let's move on back to Foreman's patient, who seemed to go downhill quicker than"Sophia". When he decided to take on the case from Cuddy, after demonstrating his own form of protest against House (what we call a snit), it looked like it would turn out to be a disaster. This seemed even more true when he enlisted the assistance of former colleagues Chase and Cameron. What came to mind when this took place was that Foreman really hadn't grown since he "quit" Princeton-Plainsboro back at the end of season three. It was only when he had the epiphany on what was wrong with his patient and after he told rather than asked House that he was going to participate in a clinical trial, that we saw some inclination that Foreman was beginning to go out on his own.

Last thing to talk about this week are House and Wilson portraying Kirk and Spock. It was terrific to see Wilson reacting to absolutely nothing that his friend was saying about his confusion on Cuddy. Usually, it's Wilson who pulls his hair out due to House's reactions. Every time he muttered a 'Hmm' or said 'interesting' it reminded me of the relationship Star Trek's Kirk and Spock had in the good old days. I wouldn't have been surprised if, at one point, Wilson raised one of his eyebrows and uttered 'fascinating'.

Folks, that it for this week's House. Next week, Princeton-Plainsboro's lack of security allows a gun-toting patient to kidnap House and Thirteen. DVR Alert: This is an extended episode, ending at 9:08 pm. So, have your fingers on your remote once 9:01 hits.

Fringe' Show & Cast Photos

    FRINGE Walter (John Noble), Peter (Joshua Jackson), Olivia (Anna Torv) and Broyles (Lance Reddick) enter a governement warehouse to examine a mysterious cylinder found among the debris of a construction site explosion in the episode "The Arrival." Airs Tuesday, September 30, 2008.

    Fox

    FRINGE Peter (Joshua Jackson), Olivia (Anna Torv), Walter (John Noble) and Broyles (Lance Reddick) return to the lab to gather more information on a mysterious cylinder found among the debris of a construction site explosion in the episode "The Arrival." Airs Tuesday, September 30, 2008.

    Fox

    FRINGE Olivia (Anna Torv) chases a suspect through the woods in the episode "The Arrival." Airs Tuesday, September 30, 2008.

    Fox

    FRINGE Walter (John Noble, L) and Peter (Joshua Jackson, R) examine a mysterious cylinder found among the debris of a construction site explosion in the episode "The Arrival." Airs Tuesday, September 30, 2008.

    Fox

    FRINGE Olivia (Anna Torv) chases a suspect through the woods in the episode "The Arrival". Airs Tuesday, September 30, 2008.

    Fox

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Actress Jasika Nicole attends FOX's "Fringe" premiere during the 2008 New York Television Festival at New World Stage on September 13, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jasika Nicole

    Getty Images

    Executive Producers John Wirth, Josh Friedman and James Middleton arrive at The Paley Center and TV Guide

    Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Molly Stanton arrive at The Paley Center and TV Guide

    Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson arrives at The Paley Center and TV Guide

    Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com

    Mark Valley arrives at The Paley Center and TV Guide

    Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com

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itsy

Very insightful, Martin! I hadn't thought of that but now that you say it it makes a lot of sense.

It was a pretty subtle hint, though; I hope that's not an indication that it's in fact going to go nowhere...

November 24 2008 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Martin

The patient's life or condition usually parallels what is going on with House. This leads me to wonder, What did House do so bad that he thinks he doesn't deserve to be happy. Did anyone catch this. He knew there was something she did, which means he is obviously in the same boat, and has done something terrible that we don't know about yet, (do we?))

November 21 2008 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

The show is now so formulaic that I don't know if even the brilliant Hugh Laurie can save it. I think it's over either by the end of this season or next. When I can almost write the script it's all over for a show. . .

November 19 2008 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Phil's comment
MarcDom7

Tell that to the viewers, who are giving the show consistently unbeatable ratings. It's formulaic, yeah, but that's not going to be the reason it goes away.

November 19 2008 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MarcDom7

No mention of the fact that Thirteen finally revealed her first name?

November 19 2008 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kim

If every diagnosis required a team of brilliant doctors, most people would be dead! Sometimes I hate how this show demeans doctors (except, of course, the brilliant House).

November 19 2008 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sbooks

What was up with Wilson? I believed him about wanting to go out with Cuddy. Is he sulking? Is he hoping House gets bored with the chase?

The scene with House and the patient was incredible.
The way Hugh Laurie can communicate with just his eyes is incredible.

November 19 2008 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

"Weeeellllll, on his own -- with a little help from his former colleagues. But, he did figure out what was wrong with his patient...after he almost killed him. Um, maybe Foreman needs to go back to sitting around House's conference table again."

I don't know. Almost killing your patient seems to be straight out of the House playbook.

November 19 2008 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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