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House: Let Them Eat Cake

by Jen Creer, posted Dec 3rd 2008 12:00PM
House: Let Them Eat Cake
(S05E12) Last spring, I went to hear Ira Glass give a talk about his popular NPR radio (and now TV) show This American Life. He outlined the formula for the show's success, and he also talked about House. Websites have documented the formula for every episode: Every episode is essentially the same. So, why does it work every time? Last night, I was hooked by Emmy the trainer rolling down stairs, and I was then hooked by the discovery of her surgery. I know that every single diagnosis and test and treatment is going to be bunk until the big, strange reveal at the end. However, it's almost like I am the same as House with my need to know what that weird reveal is going to be.

That said, I was thinking a lot about the formula last night. One of the things that didn't work for me so well was the war between House and Cuddy over their offices. Even though I enjoyed it when House destroyed her toilet, the moment was so over the top and so slapstick that it also lost me. It was just too much. I liked it better when they stuck to things like making House's office stink for a time-- a prank without serious financial consequences like the destruction of a toilet. But that is probably something I should discuss with my therapist, seeing as this is television. I just need to lighten up.

Then there's the new part of the formula: Each physician takes turns bonding with the patient. This time it was Taub. Each of the physicians sees themselves in the patient and responds accordingly. In this case, Taub called Emmy on her hypocrisy. She kept insisting that she was getting healthy by having weight-reduction surgery and Taub the plastic surgeon kept throwing back to her that she wasn't actually healthy; she was pretty. Big difference.

I was surprised that Taub didn't reveal more about himself as both a plastic surgeon and a philanderer to Emmy. Instead, he revealed himself to House. House asked him how he felt when he was cheating, and Taub said that he felt superficially very happy, but he suspected that he was really miserable. Were you surprised that he didn't hit on Emmy? I was a little surprised by it, but also proud of him for not doing it, because maybe he has a chance to make his marriage work. Who knows?

We keep getting more little details about Thirteen, this time that she hated her mother. More to the point, she hated what the Huntington's made her mother become. It's not hard to wonder what she is going to do when she starts to have symptoms in earnest. The sad thing is, I don't think we'll ever find out. I think the show will end before then, and her fate will remain a mystery. I like Thirteen a lot, and I like finding out more details about her slowly, as well as her interactions with Foreman. He has taken it upon himself to be her savior, and I look forward to this storyline every week.

Speaking of over-the-top, I dislike slapstick, but I did really love the prank House pulled on Kutner and Taub with the patient who had leaky breast implants and was singing in the ER. That was excellent, and I didn't see it coming. There are so many smaller cases that occur simultaneously on this show that I didn't think it was a huge stretch that Kutner had a case on the side. I didn't suspect it was a fake until House climbed onto the "dead" patient in the morgue. Classic. But I was completely pissed at House for being with her in his office when Cuddy came to thank him for the desk. Do you think he was in his office with her on purpose, knowing Cuddy could come by? Or does House just persistently and tragically always undermine his relationship with Cuddy, without even trying?

Do you wish House and Cuddy would just get together already, or do you like the dance they're doing? I have to go with the dance, because I am afraid of the Sam and Diane syndrome from Cheers (couple finally gets together; show dies).

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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KevinInChains

i think at some point they'll get together, but it'll be like the one House had with Cameron...they'll have one date and maybe sleep together(him and Cuddy...not saying him and Cameron did.), but that'll be it.

December 04 2008 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony

House putting his hand on Cuddy's chest was classic House.

December 04 2008 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alicia R.

I think the first kiss was rushed...

but...

I kinda like the dance. The dance has been going on for a while. IDK though... I just hope the show stays true, and this... sub plot works itself out with House still being House.

December 03 2008 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

I'm enjoying the dance but I do hope to get a pay off eventually. This has to lead somewhere!

December 03 2008 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Takayo

Think you made a mistake on the episode number- this should be S05E10. At least I hope- couldn't bare it if House was already past halfway done for the season! And a non self-destructive Thirteen is MUCH better than how she's been since about episode 2 of this season. You're right that we probably won't find out much about how her disease progresses, unless the show goes on way past its prime (which is likely this season) and into Hugh Laurie's 60's.

Or if they screw realism again in favor of that kind of plotline. I laughed SO hard at the Kutner and Taub situation last night! I had an inkling that something was off when House wasn't grilling them over their pagers going off at the same time and their being late for testing, but I never suspected Chase and Cameron to be in on a prank like that- Cameron especially!

December 03 2008 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Happy Steve

House: And what else floats on water?
*silence*

Me at home jokingly: A duck!

House: The answer is "a duck".

*fall over laughing*

December 03 2008 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Happy Steve's comment
John Heltsley

Very small rocks! Churches!

I did the exact same thing too. He's so good at playing an American, you forget he's a Brit. :)

December 03 2008 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alicia R.

Glad I wasn't the only one who said duck!

December 03 2008 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cherries

When House took that ballpeen hammer to Cuddy's commode, I got so pissed off that I almost changed the station, and I'm a House-freak. Instead, I satisfied my rage by screaming at the TV "oh just get a freakin' room already and have done with it." I also hated the end of last night's episode. I suppose I'm an incurable romantic, but this little dance they're doing is just annoying me no end.

December 03 2008 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
malren

I don't think that this show would suffer from Sam & Diane or Moonlighting syndrome. There's a built-in self-destruct button for the relationship: House. He'll screw it up so badly that the relationship won't have enough time to ruin the show. Then the tension will be fresh: Ex tension in the workplace...then that morphs back around to "Will they?" tension again. By then the show will be getting long in the tooth anyway.

House's misanthropy and misery will prevent any Moonlighting/Cheers dilemmas...trust me. :)

December 03 2008 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Heltsley

Maybe it's just me, but I was sure that it wasn't House that called Cuddy's mom for the desk... but it was instead Wilson, trying to set them up. I suppose it still could be that, but the way they abruptly ended that plot point makes me think I was reading too much into it. Perhaps that's why House and the "patient" were in his office together - he didn't expect Cuddy back, since he didn't do anything. On the other hand, it's not like House and the "patient" were making out. Cuddy saw them together and chickened out, because she didn't know about the prank.

The prank was brilliant, and had me going for the last half of the episode. Somehow I knew it was going to be a prank as soon as Taub said that House would kill Kutner, and then the patient showed up in person. It was just too convenient, and only made me laugh even harder every time the story came back to her. :)

December 03 2008 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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