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October 10, 2015

Review: House - Brave Heart

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 20th 2009 8:31AM
(L-R) Foreman (Omar Epps), Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) run tests on the skeletal remains of the father and grandfather of a patient who believes he's inherited an illness that kills the men in his family at age 40 in the HOUSE episode 'Brave Heart.'
(S06E06) "I've crossed some line and I'm having trouble getting back to the other side." - Chase

Another week, another case that no one cares about... well, almost. Ever since House's visit to the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital, it's been tough to get invested in anything other than what he's going through. Each week, the case du jour has been largely disposable (save for Dibala) as nothing really relates to anything else. However, it seems like David Shore and Co. must've realized that too because "Brave Heart" made a good attempt at bringing what's become a very segmented story back together.

Notice how I said "attempt?" There was still a lot not even worth bringing up because like I said, it has no bearing on the rest of the plot, but here goes anyway. The case focused on a cop named Donny who's worried about turning 40 next week because his father and grandfather both died of heart failure at that age. Doesn't sound like much and even House said it was merely coincidence and passed on the case initially.

While there were some interesting parts to the case - most notably Donny waking up during his own autopsy after he "died" - there was little to take away except for Chase's epiphany. Donny is a cop and Chase asked him about shooting someone. Donny had the same answer anyone would have - you either deal with it just fine or you don't. We already know which side Chase falls on and after the priest told Chase exactly what he didn't want to hear in confession, the subsequent bender wasn't much of a surprise. Even though House is on a brief hiatus until November, I can't imagine it'll take much more than another episode or two before Cameron finds out the truth.

The part that's come as a surprise is how much of an interest House has taken in Chase's well being. He's forcing him to tackle his demon head on and even encouraging Chase to talk to someone. This doesn't strike me and something that the Vicodin fueled House of yore would have done.

It's interesting to see House acting all high and mighty about the value of speaking with someone simply because it apparently worked for him, even though for a large part of this episode, we were led to believe that it didn't. The set-up was believable - House starts sleeping in a room filled with pictures of the person he hallucinated (Amber) and he starts hearing voices and whispers. Turns out that he was just hearing Wilson talk to Amber before bed via the bedroom's heating vent. It wasn't a shocking reveal, but it was nice to see that a.) House is indeed getting better and b.) Wilson is proof that those who are better still need to make time to cope.

A few more thoughts on "Brave Heart" --

  • "That's not hate, it's foreplay." Good to see that the House/Cuddy plot hasn't been forgotten completely, especially since she "makes him feel funny."
  • If House hadn't pushed, does anyone think Wilson would have really let him believe that he was hearing things? Seems like he might've been willing to keep quiet.
  • Maybe I missed it, but was there a explanation as to why Donny woke up during the autopsy? I assume it had something to do with the bleeding relieving pressure on the aneurysm? If that is the case, shouldn't the same thing have happened to his father during his autopsy 30-ish years ago?

As I mentioned, we have a few weeks to talk about what comes next for Chase. Even though it's looking like it will ultimately lead to this, it still leaves plenty of options for Chase. Will he lose his job? Or at least be demoted? That could lead to the return of Thirteen and Taub. Or could he actually take the advice of the priest and turn himself into the police? Who's got predictions?

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

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When House heard whispering in the office, he quickly turned around and we see a shot of some nurse talking to a doctor walking down the hallway. The way i understood it is that this is what House is actually hearing, but at this point House is already freaked by the situation. i think that the scene was shot to show his perspective, in that House wasn't sure if the whispering was coming from the nurse or not, but in reality it was the nurse.

either that or it was all in his head, and i mean not that he was actually having a hallucination, but that he was just freaked out. when people are scared sometimes the imagination runs wild.

anyway those are the two ways that i would explain that scene.

October 24 2009 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I get the stuff House heard was Wilson whispering but what about the scene in the office when he heard the noises/chatter. Was that explained?

October 22 2009 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jeremy's comment

Jeremy, I've been wondering the same thing. I feel like the writers dropped the ball on this one. Anyone have any thoughts?

October 22 2009 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The best part of the episode was the absence of Thirteen. Thankfully the writers didn't try to insert her in randomly like last week. House hearing whispers which turn out to be Wilson talking to Amber was a great story. The medical stuff in the episode was a step up, but after 5 seasons, there isn't that much that can be done. Full review of the episode.


October 20 2009 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Couldn't they keep the lid on the Jennifer Morrison departure like Kal Penn's? It would have been great press, and deserved press seeing how she is part of the original cast.

October 20 2009 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Edward's comment

I bet they wanted to keep the lid on Jennifer Morrison being dropped from the show but someone leaked it. The fandom erupted, furious at the producers.

No wonder, they've been promising for two years that she would be back.

It's ruined the last few episodes for me. I've been disappointed by the last two seasons and the hope that the original team was going to be back was one of the things that kept me watching.

October 20 2009 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Aaron, on the issue of Foreman.
But I think the ball's been dropped by the writers not the actor. In the beginning of the show the character of Foreman had more depth and heart and was an intelligent part of the lineup.
Over the past three years, the writers have allowed the character to wither and atrophy and it hasn't been pretty.
Ok so he didn't want to be House. Fine, they worked that in to the story line but couldn't write their way out of that corner once the time came for him to grow and move forward. It isn't the character that needs replacing but the writers who have lost that story line.

October 20 2009 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've always considered the case of the week secondary to the interaction of the regulars.

October 20 2009 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Boo, baseball game ran over so my DVR only got the first 15mins.

October 20 2009 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to LRM's comment
Mark Adams

See? You would have been fine if you were TiVO'ing "Lie To Me" as well. Of course, then you'd have only gotten the first 10 minutes or so of that, but you can't have everything.
As for "House," it's time they dumped both Chase and Cameron. Two of the more annoying characters on network TV.

October 20 2009 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was running out the door at 8 for some social thing and was watching the game until I had to go. At 7:50 looking at the score I knew it was going over and added Lie to Me to my DVR. Paid off.

Lesson Learned: If there is a sports game on before your show, record the show(s) after just in case.

October 20 2009 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Reading your review, I think you're way out of touch with what people think about this season. The majority of comments I've read online/forums and people I've talked to are so pleased that House is back to being watchable again. Having House, Chase, Cameron and Foreman together again makes you realize just what has been missing from the show. What a shame that Jesse Spencer was not given more screen time as he has been superb in these latest episodes, unlike the mind numbingly wooden and boring 13 we have had to endure the last 2 years. 13 and Foreman have zero chemistry and yet when teamed with Chase he suddenly becomes interesting again. If the writers have any sense they will keep the old team together, less 13 more Chase please.

October 20 2009 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sarah's comment
Aron Trimble

I agree with sarah on this one.

This season of House has been so refreshing, I really enjoy having the original cast again. Each character has changed in subtle ways, but the chemistry is still spot on.

I also find 13 to be completely boring, she's a pretty face and that's it. At least Cameron is a pretty face with some depth behind it as well.

Taub and Kutner are the only new characters I cared for; but with Kutner dead, that just leaves Taub.

If I had to choose someone to axe, though, it would be Foreman. I'm growing tired of his internal struggle between his wanting-to-be-House side and his despising-all-things-House side.

October 20 2009 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've been saying for years that a character trained in parkour would make for a great police chase sequence and I think this week's cold open was a great demonstration of that.

I rather wish the Cameron news hadn't been leaked so soon, because I think it would have been more fun trying to unravel this plot without knowing. If you pretend you don't know, it would certainly seem that Chase is the one headed for certain disaster. I'm also glad that the producers have the balls to keep Taub and 13 completely off the show and not try to give them a couple of throwaway consolation scenes here and there just to remind us they still exist in the world of Princeton-Planesboro. That way when they return it will feel more like they were really gone.

October 20 2009 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Chase will stay at PPTH because he didn't do it. There is still no clear evidence of him having killed Dibala. Watch The Tyrant again and try just to imagine it was Cameron. There are dozens of clues that she did it!! Plus, we never actually see what is happening.

He doesn't want her to know he knows because it will ruin both of their lives. She lied to him when she said she wanted to save Dibala. She probably did something bad at the morgue by putting his name on the signature sheet.

His confession was role play. He was pretending to be Cameron. That's why he couldn't repent and tried to justify the murder. I am sorry for Cameron if it turns out that way, but given House is no soap opera, I would think that this scenario is much more likely to happen than Cameron leaving Chase for an action she didn't have the guts to do it herself.

October 20 2009 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Nikki's comment

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