Review: House - Remorse
by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 26th 2010 1:15AM
(S06E12) "Yes, it's hilarious! Great to see what a success your therapy was!" - Wilson
Ever since the season six premiere way back in September, one of the biggest complaints that I've heard or read House fans make is how the show's creative team seemed to abandon any of House's lessons from therapy. He no longer seemed to be getting better and for the most part, House was back to his old crotchety self, thus negating his stay at Mayfield.
That quote up above from Wilson felt like a little bit of an inside joke -- the writers get it, too. So with "Remorse," not only did we get the best patient-of-the-week case we've seen this season, but we also got to see House trying ... a little. But, to make a pun, if it ain't "broken," don't fix it, and crotchety House still works.
Look at it this way -- if House had the same switch flipped in his brain that Valerie had, then he'd be a blubbering fool too, telling everyone how he really felt about them. The way House is now, virtually emotionless and chock-full of sharp-tongued insults that vaguely mask how he really feels, is far more entertaining.
Speaking of Valerie, though, Beau Garrett nailed this role. From that first moment when she showed her "real" personality, to threatening Thirteen, to the very end when she finally started to feel emotions -- it was all very well done. As usual, I didn't really bother to fully grasp her whole story (I'm not sure I cared about the affairs with her co-worker or her spineless husband). But as just a patient with her symptoms, Valerie is easily one of the most memorable House has ever had.
Beyond the case, "Remorse" focused on two other threads. The quiet reconciliation that's been going on between Foreman and Thirteen reached a threshold this week as their constant bickering finally led to some apologies and forgiveness. It seems as though the two of them will be able to work together just fine now and it wouldn't be all that surprising if they ended up together again. Though, should that happen, you know House will do something to stop it, despite the fact that right now he's lobbying for it.
That always has been House's biggest problem, though. What little emotion he does have, he always ends up focusing it in the wrong direction. The return of his old med school acquaintance (they certainly weren't friends) Lorenzo Wibberly brought up plenty of emotion within House (mainly guilt).
But when it turned out that House wasn't responsible for Wibberly failing out of med school (he actually passed and ending up destroying his own career with a gambling addiction), House still couldn't shake his already made decision to give him some money for his mortgage. House acted in his own self-interest, and he needed that feeling of forgiveness for himself.
Like Wilson said, it was easier because Wibberly was practically a stranger. House continues to hurt people he truly cares about (mainly Cuddy), yet he never does anything to remedy those situations. Ironically enough, all the effort he put into Wibberly will result in no proof. Wibberly will never cash the check, and as House walked away from the guy's home, it was snowing -- even his footsteps will be erased. It seems as though no matter how hard he may actually try, House can't change.
[Watch full episodes and clips of House over at SlashControl.]