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November 26, 2014

'House' Season 7, Episode 12 Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2011 12:20PM
House (Hugh Laurie, second from L), Chase (Jesse Spencer, L) and Masters (Amber Tamblyn, second from R) treat a patient (guest star Tina Holmes, R) who seemingly has a perfect memory in the ['House' - 'You Must Remember This']

It's hard to get over how familiar the episodes are starting to feel.

The episodic formula seems set: Patient has a problem that no one can solve, House's team think they have the solution, then they don't, then they think they don't only to find out they don't, lather, rinse, repeat if necessary.

That doesn't mean episodes have been sucked dry of any entertainment marrow or become a barren salt flat of mindless moral melodrama. They still bear fruit every now and again, but lately, my stomach has been growling for something more substanial. .

The same can be said for this week's episode, an interesting case that's made more bland by the typical opening of a random person going about their daily routine, showing off their uniqueness and then either (a) convulsing uncontrollably, (b) bleeding from a bodily orifice, (c) collapsing without reason or (d) some combination of the above. There have been ways to make the opening more of a grabber in this and the previous season, but this one just screamed for some kind of imagination and a reason to exist other than to set the plot in motion.

Even House's usual brand of wacky antics are starting to wear thin and that's actually in a bad way. His hammy dramatic opening in the x-ray room really got on my nerves and had my brain screaming at the TV to "Get on with it!" in Graham Chapman's British military tone.

He's not even doing it to motivate his team. He's just doing it for the sake of marking his territory or it feels as though he knows the answer or thinks he knows the answer and wants his little minions to figure it out for themselves. If that's the case (and I suspect it's not but the thought crossed my mind more than a few times), then it just feels contradictory to the spirit of the show. It's a mystery series. The detective should be the first one to shoot their hand, scream like Horshack and shout out the answer when they think they know it.

House's battle with Wilson's cat also seemed like it could have been funnier or more entertaining to watch than it was, but their personalities got in the way. House feels like Wilson is headed down the path of cat-hoarding spinsterism, but it's not really made entirely clear except that he really doesn't like cats.

It also feels strange to watch Wilson punish himself for his breakup by not enjoying the well-timed tradition of rebound sex with one of the cuter faces I've seen on 'House' since Thirteen split for "The Grid." At least it set up an interesting dilemma for Wilson that I hope gets fleshed out in the remainder of the season (get your mind out of the gutter, "fleshed out" is just an expression, sickos).



At least the Taub/Foreman deviation was a nice break from the monotony of medical mystery-ology. Taub is the perfect person to find himself facing expulsion from his profession for failing to ace a test he could have done in his sleep in his younger days because he would jump at the chance for the easy way out, which makes Foreman his perfect medical Mr. Miyagi.

Watching the two struggle over just getting the study process started was actually very entertaining and the conclusion I should have seen coming based on Taub's history, but the build up had just the right amount of frustration and emotion that it made for a nice twist. Also, Foreman got in the funniest spoiler joke I've seen in awhile. Naturally as a TV critic, spoiler humor is just naturally amusing to me. Hell, it's comedic heroin.

The main case did have my interest for awhile but it was broken when poor Nadia, the diner waitress with the bottomless memory bank for a brain, suffered one debilitating symptom after another. Once again, it fell into the paint-by-numbers approach of twist, then resolution, then a twist on the resolution and then twist, and finally clear resolution and climax. The worst part is it didn't feel fully colored-in or even finished.

The only savior was the interesting dilemma Nadia's illness posed for the human condition. It felt like something that could have been explored or even made her case more interesting from the get-go on how savantism and the need to uniquely special or superhuman at something always have a trade-off, but they ruined it by giving it the worst thing a phiiosophical story could get: a conclusive ending.

What does it say about as an audience, hell as a species, that we have to have our endings spelled out for us in such definitive terms? Can't a network show leave its audience feeling conflicted or thought-provoked just once? You'll note that I'm not answering that question so you can answer it for yourself.

Try to figure out why.


Other Observations:
- I kept this separate from my regular review, but I could just hear the voice in my head screaming, "Why would anyone but you care about this?", this time with a weird Jimmy Durante quality. Whenever a TV character plays a video game or has to pretend that they are, they just button mash like a NASA test monkey and maybe because I play video games and know the difference, it still sucks the realism right out of the room. Take a tip from the BBC series 'Spaced' and at least play actual video games before you pick up a pretend controller. At least go with the light guns instead. Any idiot can fake that. I should really start an acting workshop for this. At least then I could write off the new 'NBA Jam' I bought for my Wii AND my XBox.




'House' airs Mondays at 8PM ET on Fox

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yanksno1

It took you this long to figure out House's episode formula? They've been doing this since S1. It's the main reason I don't have House higher on my top 10 list, but it is even still pretty entertaining.

February 15 2011 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
voidistant

Classic: House shouts, "Bartender, Champaign for everyone!" then casually walks out of the bar. LMAO.

February 15 2011 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gramof13

Anyone know what song played in the closing scene?

February 15 2011 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gramof13's comment
frank leary

How to Fight Loneliness by Wilco

February 15 2011 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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