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October 13, 2015

'House' - 'Open and Shut' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 27th 2010 9:00AM
Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard and Cynthia Watros on
(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.

Other observations:
- 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].

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The message of the show is "Everybody lies." Taub, stupidly, brought up the concept of open marriage to his wife. Unexpectedly, his wife agreed to it. At least temporarily. Once she realized that she couldn't bring herself to allow Taub to do it, everything went back to normal. Taub lied to his wife about her being the only one he needs. He lied about not cheating.

Taub, as pointed out by his wife, went through a lot of trouble to convince his wife that his past "misdirection" was just that and he will never do anything like it again. Yet, he is actively seeking to "flirt" with the blond, "bendy" nurse. He might have convinced his wife, through lying, that he is done cheating, but he is far from it. At this point nothing will stop him. His mind is so fixated on cheating (he brought up open marriage to his wife!) that he does not care anymore about the consequences of his actions. He will do anything, including lying, to get what he wants: cheat. It isn't event about sex, it is about chasing something he doesn't have.

April 29 2010 at 2:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I felt rather ho-hum about this ep, aside from the Stephen Colbert pic in the background

I hope he makes an appearance soon...maybe as good as his Law and Order CI appearance

April 27 2010 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't really understand the focus/fascination with Taub. The whole cheating storyline has just been done so much on so many TV shows that you wonder why they keep bringing it up on House and why they're apparently making part of the main story.

April 27 2010 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry MaryK, one thing House NEVER is, is boring! I never got all those beautiful women hanging on Kissinger either, so looks are not really important. The interesting thing was the facial reaction of Taub's colleagues.

April 27 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Meh. Another episode of "Desperate Housewriters". Whenever TV writers are out of ideas, they fall back on tried-and-true filler like having people go bedroom hopping. Having exhausted most of the possibilities of the core cast, they now have to bring in ringers. That a nebbish like Taub would come off as a Lothario is preposterous; the actress playing Wilson's ex is only signed for a story arc, so we know that's going nowhere. And having a brilliant physician like House waste so much time on the sex lives of his associates is ludicrous. House is bored with solving cases, the writers are bored with House solving cases, the viewers are bored with House solving cases. If they can't come up with something more original, they should bow out gracefully.

April 27 2010 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I tell ya, the word "stupid" wasn't the one I shouted at the screen when Taub went off to have another tryst. I'm ticked off and disappointed at the character's actions and can only hope he gets an appropriate comeuppance.

April 27 2010 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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