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November 23, 2014

Review: 'House' - '5 to 9'

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 9th 2010 1:13AM
Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein, R) asks House (Hugh Laurie, L) for some advice in the HOUSE episode '5 to 9.'
(S06E14) "You can do it." - Cuddy

I get the reason for making an episode like '5 to 9.' Long running show that's popular. Established characters and story structure. The desire for David Shore, Katie Jacobs, and the rest of the 'House' crew to try something different is to be expected. However, that doesn't mean they should have done it. '5 to 9' wasn't a bad episode (in many ways, it felt like a back-door pilot for Cuddy), but it was, in a word, pointless. At the end of the day, '5 to 9' doesn't really add anything to the world of 'House,' and its outside-the-box attempt at being different just ended up being forgettable.

'House' has been on for six seasons now, and the key to that is something I already mentioned -- these characters are established and then some. There has never once been a moment where the goings-on in a day in Lisa Cuddy's life seemed foreign. We know them intimately. So to then see an hour of 'House' from her perspective, on a day where the stakes were ratcheted so high that it became comical, almost felt surreal. It was too perfect storm-ish. But in that sense, it had to be or why bother telling this story at all?

We know House annoys the hell out of her. We know the hospital board is always breathing down her neck. We know that being a single mother and dealing with Lucas (who might as well be House's manchild baby brother) has turned her home life into a circus sideshow. We know her life is stressful period.

So what didn't we know? Well, turns out that Cuddy can play hardball just as well as House. She finally got the insurance company to cover more costs, and she completely fooled the pharmacy tech who had been stealing drugs for her husband's meth lab when she recorded their conversation for the DEA. Cuddy definitely has a bitch switch when she needs it.

Unfortunately, though, none of that made up for the fact that House and his team had a far more interesting case going on (this, too, was perhaps over the top for extra punch). Regardless, the guy was covered in boils! House wanted to treat him with malaria and just when he had his "ah ha!" moment, the elevator door closed! The real opportunity was lost when not one second of this intimate look into Cuddy's life explored any of the feelings she has deep down for House.

But even House seemed to realize that he wasn't part of this episode since he spent some of it getting a massage from a tall blonde masseuse. I hope this doesn't became habit, though. Not the massages -- House can keep getting those. I mean the plot. Just thinking about a day in the life of Foreman makes me cringe.

[Watch full episodes and clips of 'House' over at SlashControl.]

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