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October 9, 2015

House: The Tyrant

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 6th 2009 1:50AM
House (Hugh Laurie, L) presents Cameron (Jennifer Morrison, R) and the team the case of President Dibala (James Earl Jones), the leader of an African nation who is admitted to Princeton Plainsboro, in the HOUSE episode 'The Tyrant.'|
(S06E04) "I thought I had detected the sickly sweet smell of maple syrup and socialized medicine." - House

Early on in this episode, House exclaimed "It's three years ago!" when he realized that he was working with the old team - Foreman, Chase, and Cameron. It became apparent rather quickly, though, that things at Princeton-Plainsboro are still very far from normal. He may be back, but House isn't back. Right now, he's more like the little kid that your co-worker brought to the office and he just won't leave your cube. That and the little kid is way smarter than you are.

Since House doesn't get his license back for another month, that leaves Foreman in charge with House, per Cuddy's request, "advising." Of course, we all know that means belittling and undermining Foreman's choices and deductions every chance he gets. It didn't help that the first case with the old gang together again featured what's arguably one of the most polarizing patients they've ever dealt with on this show. African dictator President Dibala, wonderfully played by James Earl Jones, certainly didn't win anyone's sympathy here and it was amazing how his character continually caused shifts in the team - especially with Chase and Cameron.

With the potential of releasing someone with plans to start a genocide vs. just being a doctor and doing your job, the answer isn't all that easy to arrive at. Initially Cameron seemed in favor of letting Dibala die and then her stance softened. Chase was the exact opposite and his stance solidified after Dibala essentially told him he'd do whatever it takes to protect his country, even if it meant killing half the population.

Now here's where House's absence plays a role. With House around, Chase never would have considered fudging that blood-work and sealing Dibala's death. However, with Foreman in charge, it's an option. Foreman is a pushover and Chase and Cameron both see that. He has no faith in his own medical opinions and being in the presence of someone like House, whose deductions are right 99.9% of the time, doesn't help. It's doubly frustrating, as Foreman experienced here, when it turns out that this happened to be an instance of that 0.01%.

As for Foreman and Thirteen, things don't look so good. Yes, he was able to get her a job interview at Princeton General, but when she pressed him about his job and why he didn't risk his career to save their relationship, he buckled and laughed it off. Whether Foreman wants to admit it or not, his job is his priority. He should get used to working with Thirteen though, because with Jennifer Morrison's impending exit, there's going to be an opening on the team again and I'm guessing Remy will get it. As for Taub? Well, Peter Jacobsen's name wasn't in the credits and it was reaffirmed that he quit at the top of the ep, so who knows if he'll actually be back. I've yet to see any news though.

A few more thoughts on "The Tyrant" --

  • House's little mystery romp as he dealt with Wilson's crotchety neighbor was fairly mundane. Bottom line - I just didn't care about Murphy, which is too bad, because I loved David Marciano as Billings on The Shield. Wilson made an excellent point - House doesn't know when to not get involved and in this case, it was to the viewer's detriment. The guy needs his job back ASAP.
  • Two fun homages - Wilson doing his best Bill Compton (True Blood) impression and House pulling a Dexter when he injected Murphy with the syringe.
  • It's not just the fact that House was still in charge the whole time, it's the way he does it. Rather than yell out answers like an underling, he still made the other three work for the solution. Then he took it one step further and mimed out his suggestions. Very funny stuff. Well... funny if you're not Foreman.

Two big things to look for as we go into next week. First off, is Foreman going to be able to deal with his House complex? He can't keep supporting wrong decisions just to prove his authority over his former, and soon to be again, boss.

More importantly, though, is Chase. This guy is not a killer and he just fudged a world leader's blood-work, knowingly watched him receive the wrong medication, and then half-heartedly tried to save his life as he choked on his own blood. The amount of guilt that's going to come with that is gonna be way above Chase's threshold. I don't know how he's going to handle it.

[Watch full episodes and clips of House, as well as other shows, over at SlashControl.]

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Adam L

It's absolutely pathetic that the DEA would want to control what the writers of this show can and can not do with their character. I mean, these organizations are trying to convince you folks of what reality is just so they can keep their jobs until the War on Drugs becomes the War on Something Else and they can simply transfer to another huge part of your terrorist government.
Gotta keep the kiddies safe from the wrong message. And the "wrong message" usually means "the truth."

October 09 2009 at 5:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eli Burke

Theory: Chase wasn't the one who faked the bloodwork. He just took credit when Foreman accused him, because he wants to protect Cameron. In a couple episodes, the truth will come out and that's why she will be fired from the team / show.

October 06 2009 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked this episode a lot, probably because I hate Foreman and 13, who weren't important to the storyline. I'm liking where the season is going so far with a focus on Chase and Cameron instead of the other team members, thought I hope there will be more of House in future episodes. Full review of the episode.


October 06 2009 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Aussiello said a cast member was leaving the team, but not leaving the show (and that was Taub)?

October 06 2009 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"They gave the DEA final script approval over all episodes of House. Talk about big brother. Then again, "big brother" is the very essence of drug prohibition."- Bruce's comment.

These shows are produced at too fast a pace for the Government to review scripts while a show is in active production. If that were the case the show would never make the air... Government moves to slow and TV drama's are shot in 7 to 8 days (including re-writes and re-shoots). If they are that involved with House... They would have been that involved with Sons of Anarchy...

However, I have heard that they had been sending letters of concern since the show began. Which, on the Govenments part, is a waste of time. There are far bigger fish to fry, but it does not surprise me that they would flood productions with letters "suggesting" a different direction.

October 06 2009 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm in school while this show is on and I don't have any sort of recording system... so I read TV Squad's review of the show to help fill me in. I EXPECT spoilers so I know what happens in the show. People that read the this thinking that there will be no spoilers IN A REVIEW, need to get over themselves. If you don't want any spoilers, don't read the review. It's that simple.

October 06 2009 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

another vote to keep the spoilers coming! I think that if you don't want to know what happened in the episode, don't read the review. Taub's absence is nothing new, and was addressed last week. Readers need to stop complaining about the wealth of knowledge that's given on this site, and learn to either appreciate it or stop reading.

October 06 2009 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to alk02g's comment

The complaint about the spoiler had nothing to do with the review of this episode. It was about spoiler information for future plot lines being included. Doing so without warning has been considered bad form for a long time. I'd say it's a perfectly valid complaint.

October 06 2009 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you're referring to Cameron leaving, this is REALLY OLD NEWS by now. I've seen it in two magazines and half a dozen websites, easy. Not to mention twitter. And yeah, it did fit the episode review, since it looked at Foreman's character needing to evolve if he'll ahve to work with 13 more exclusively in the future.

If you're referring to Taub, the fact that his name wasn't in the credits is info I didn't think of looking at, and it fits a review of what was seen/learned in the episode.

October 06 2009 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Foreman did the right thing by burning that piece of paper at the end, but to the extent Foreman was chewing out Chase for killing someone, he sure seemed like a huge hypocrite to me. It was only a few seasons ago that Foreman committed attempted murder on Cameron when he injected her with his infected blood when he was sick and dying - so she'd have to save him to save herself. That is blatant, intentional, willful attempted murder. And there were no consequences for him. So why should there be for Chase? Surely the attempted murder of a good person equates (at the very least) with actual murder of a genocidal tyrant who says he plans to kill many more people.

October 06 2009 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment

didn't like foreman much before that, haven't been able to stand him since. very good point.

October 06 2009 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just want to address the first poster. . .the amputee doesn't mirror House's leg pain. The amputee's arm isn't there, hence the pain is psychological. . .whereas House's leg IS THERE, hence REAL pain (which he's tolerating now without medicine, mind you.)
I liked that the show tackled such a polarizing topic and I think they showed several varying opinions and were able to provide some unexpected depth in under an hour.

October 06 2009 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really really really wish they would get rid of Foreman. He's the exact same character he was at the start of this series and considering he was never an interesting character, that's bad news since they've decided to focus on him so much.

I'm assuming Chase's decision has something to do the 'spoiler' posted in the review (which I won't repeat lest I incur the wrath of TVSquad commentators).

Overall, this was a pretty decent "monster of the week" type episode with some curveballs thrown in. The problem is that they really set up the series to kind of move away from that with the first two episodes...yet here was House acting pretty much the exact same way as always, except now he gives lip service to the fact that he's 'changed.' I suspect as the season goes on we'll move more and more away from even mentioning the fact that we were forced to watch 2 hours of House ostensibly addressing his problems.

October 06 2009 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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