'House' - 'Open and Shut' Recap
by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 27th 2010 9:00AM
(S06E18) "When you think about it, tons of couples do what we do. It's just that with most of them, one spouse doesn't know. We decided things work better when people tell each other the truth." - Julia, the patient, on her open marriage to Tom
Last night's episode had a theme that didn't involve lessons like eating nothing but rabbit meat is lethal or that hemlock can cause tachycardia and uncontrollable salivation.
It was all about relationships and trust. Some were obvious like the never-ending drama between Taub and his exasperated wife and some not so much like the unspoken one between Wilson and House and the woman who has come between them.
And just so you know, this episode doesn't end with unnecessary double-male spooning, so feel free to read on ahead while you enjoy that tasty Jimmy Dean pancake sausage on a stick.
It was a refreshing take on a show that already has a fairly solid formula for knocking out episodes. I'm not knocking the formula. It's one of a kind. It's unique. It's original unlike some of television's cookie cutter approach to script writing and running. It's just nice to see 'House' tackle a plot line in a new way, like the recent "Lockdown" episode.
This time, a very frisky housewife in an open marriage is admitted to the hospital following a fling that her husband walks in on in a funny opening scene. The awkward tension between the polite husband and the other man was a nice change of pace from the usual serious opener. In fact, some kudos are in order for the funny writing throughout this episode. It had a light veneer of funny throughout but it didn't hide in the crosshashed shadows of the canvas.
This strange case leads to relationship and trust issues throughout the staff from Taub's stupid decision to even hint at the idea of having his own open marriage to the one between Wilson and House that's being interrupted by his new/old flame Sam. House hinted that he might have accepted Wilson's new/old relationship in last week's closing act, but, surprise, he's up to his old tricks again, even if they are a little less, shall we say, dramatic than usual. No transsexual hookers this week, folks.
Taub's eventual tryst outside of his marriage was interesting and certainly heavier than even the patient's calamity, which didn't get much attention compared to the rest of the cast. It's either sheer stupidity on his wife's part or just blind luck on his that they are still together, but the hinting at the concept of "open marriage" was an interesting test to see her reaction, at House's behest, and a good one since it ping-ponged back and forth from worst case scenario to best outcome possible at least twice. His decision to play the field once more with the blonde resident screamed of stupidity, but it's sure to set up some tasty possibilities for the rest of the season.
Still, House and Wilson won the heart of my eyeballs. They have this great Felix Unger-Oscar Madison thing going and now that a new bird has flown into Wilson's hothouse, House naturally feels a little pushed aside and maybe even replaced. I can't say if Sam will stay or go at this point, but House is sure to get all up in their business as their relationship becomes more cemented. I'm sure he's got the transsexual hooker's card in his Rolodex.
- The scene between Thirteen and Taub in the observation room where they try to use science to explain Taub's cheating ways really lost me. Sure there might be a chemical imbalance in Taub's brain that causes him to cheat, but if it didn't work for Tiger, it sure as hell ain't gonna work for him.
- This week also saw the glorious return of the framed Stephen Colbert picture on House's desk. Is this a sign of things to come? Will the mighty power pundit finally make a non-framed guest appearance as an orderly, a lunch lady or even an gnarly looking patient suffering from Pemphigus Vulgaris?
[Follow Danny at @thisisdannyg on Twitter].