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August 21, 2014

'House' Season 7, Episode 14 Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 1st 2011 7:00AM
['House' - "Recession Proof"]Hugh Laurie hires a marachi band for the latest episode of

Something feels like it's been missing from 'House.' It's an odd sort of feeling, like it's something ridiculously obvious or something that should feel like a no-brainer, but still manages to be elusive and shifty.

It doesn't feel like the first few shows, which is an understatement for even the most steadfast and ardent 'House' fans. Just about every audience member feels like it's strayed from its foundation since Cuddy and House decided to give that crazy amusement park ride called "Love" a whirl.

Last night, it hit me. And the funny part is it wasn't an episode of 'House' that brought it bubbling up to the surface. It was an episode of 'Jeopardy!'. I'd like to see IBM develop a computer that can do that.



I've been catching up on my TV watching since work picked up and in the wake of Watson's decimation of what's left of the human spirit, I've actually enjoyed playing along with their recent "Teen Tournament" because it's slightly easier than the normal show, and it's way easier than the "IBM Challenge." However, an answer popped up that stumped me, basically it asked the literary character that 'House' was created around and it took me by surprise: Sherlock Holmes.

Regular fans might be screaming "du'h!" at the screen and demand I deduct double the points from my pretend score for being an extreme dumbass, but it was like a mini-epiphany for me. The mystery and problem-solving element has been so absent from the show lately that even the fact that the show is based on the works of the world's most brilliant detective had completely slipped my mind. That's when it hit me: 'House' really needs to unlock his inner Sherlock again.

I've been complaining about the lack of attention to the medical mystery element of this season's episodes, particularly last week's abysmal attempt to use the power of children to make House realize the error of his loveless ways. This week's attempt was a major improvement because it stuck with the things that made it good the first time around. It's almost like the show's producers read my mind from the past, which is probably something else IBM is working on in its never-ending quest to build robots that can destroy us.

All of the usual melodrama and needless confrontation between the team -- and particularly between House and Cuddy -- were pushed to the side, almost as an afterthought, and instead the episode focused on the gripping medical case. The outcome of House's attempt to save another life from the mystery disease drove the other stories in their necessary directions and not the other way around, just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did with his famous detective and his aggravated sidekick.

More importantly, House felt more like House. He wasn't just getting in people's faces or creating havoc for the sake of creating it. Everything seemed to have a purpose from his hilarious opening scene with Amber Tamblyn, who I'm pleased to see is still around since she's been one of the shinier spots in the seventh season, to his mysterious preparations for Cuddy's big award dinner. It felt like he was really bored with the situation, both professionally and personally. He reacted the way House -- or rather Sherlock Holmes -- would have in between the more complex murder cases, minus the firearms or fencing swords that no hospital in America would allow anyone to carry within its walls (except, of course, Texas).

Even his trusty sidekick Wilson who has been almost as distant and absent as Thirteen lately got time to shine and share in the madness of House's twisted little world. He's always been the perfect confidante for House but the show really hasn't given him the potential to be used by House the way he did tonight, particularly in the final scenes where House decides to skip Cuddy's moment because he's afraid of what the relationship is changing him and his work. Watson's Wilson's exchange with House felt genuine, and it actually helped House and the audience understand why House is, well, House.

The only time it really fell apart was at the very end when House admitted his relationship and even his need for happiness is changing him in ways he couldn't have imageed. Characters pouring their hearts out to their loved ones after they've poured one too many drinks for themselves is a such an easy cliché. Plus, it didn't have to be so definitive an ending. It would been more exciting if they left it on an open-ended cliffhanger, or even if he'd decided to dump her but started wrestling with himself at the last minute, forcing me to wonder if he would hang up either his heart for Cuddy or his detective hat for good.

Of course, he chose the former to some degree. Then again, I guess every great love requires some relationships to be put down. Unfortunately for us, that could be House's relationship with his audience.

'House' airs Mondays, 8PM ET on Fox.

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Heidi Schulman Roger

Love House. My question from RP episode is: Is the look on Cuddy's face at the end because she is overwhelmed that House can love her so much that he can let go of his need to be the best doctor in the universe or she is thinking she needs to end the relationship because it is more important for House to be a better doctor? I don't think she will have any time to think about this in next week's episode from what I saw in the coming attractions.

March 01 2011 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Reza Ebrahimi

I think its not house slackng, its you. This episode was a spectrum of True Housedom. First we know House only takes patients with considerable disease and Interesting cases. He was never fully interested in the case and until the end he realized he slipped and cared for the patient who died. Throughout the episode House never spoke to his patient which he always does or even met with him(odd scenario but useful for creating new sides to characters). This episode was a blueprint to have the writers build off from to create more intense drama this late in the season. Drama such as Foreman and Taubs relationship, the potential friendship/relationship/guidance of Chase to Masters and the never ending suspenseful relationship of House and Cuddy. Through all this new material though, true House has not gone missing. Although you say it was children showing House how to love in "Two Stories" remember during the talk with the principal that he solved his case with an impulsive insight from the princess and the pea poster he saw, which is what he usually gets to solve cases, which is very reminiscent of early House. Also you have to realize there have been 6 seasons of straight case solving. Not really much deep character development and story lines that exist episode per episode, but with Cuddy and Houses relationship we have a thread that carries through each episode in order for us to have the characters be human in a way that their hard ass personalities can put down their shields and let them be people other than life saving doctors. This season pays homage to the audience, its giving us what a great show should, and I'm happy with each new House episode. All in all house will end catistrophically for him, we forget his leg and the pains he feels alone, maybe Cuddy is a temporary fix, but to me House is a tragic hero, he saves lives, but cannot save his own.

March 01 2011 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
spoilerchicka

Recession-proof, the episode last night on House was great on many levels but foremost on the Huddy concerns House has identified some time ago in previous seasons that happiness and effectiveness are mutually exclusive. RP had House confronting that concern and realizing how destructive he was to himself and others by choosing effectiveness to the detriment of everyone and everything else. House choosing to be happy and to be with Cuddy who makes him happy had him realizing he can't save everyone and its not his place in the world to be a martyr about it. By choosing to be happy and by choosing to be with Cuddy, he is a better doctor because he's A) employable B) capable of interacting with other doctors (his team) and C) aware of things people lie about that he was clueless about before - understanding how love and relationships cause people sometimes do the things they do. This issue has been at the edges of House's relationship with Cuddy - will he or won't he dump her to be the best doctor he can -- and having made a decision -- a healthy one for House -- he can live his life with a sense of direction, not guilt. House is learning to accept himself as he is. Just one man doing the best he can. He's losing the God-complex he had based on his genius. Even geniuses aren't perfect and deserve to be happy.
I was thrilled to see the writers address this issue because personally I was getting a little bored with the angry guy who gets away with ludicrous behavior because he's a genius. Having House come to terms with himself and what he wants and needs was a long-overdue subplot that needed to be addressed. You may not have "got" the point in this issue but I'm sure I'm not the only viewer who did.

March 01 2011 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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