Friday, November 25, 2011

Pardon the Interruption: House 8:7 - Dead and Buried

Overall: 6.9

I liked half of this episode. Can you guess which half?

Plot Synopsis: has a recap here.

The Skinny:

Yes, that's right: I liked the House-centered plot. I liked it for the same reason I liked the medical case in Twenty Vicodin. When House is fully absorbed in solving a puzzle - when he's risking everything for the sake of a patient - that is when he is most sympathetic. That is when he is genuinely heroic. I ask you: How good was that scene on the mother's lawn in which House informs everyone present that the second son can be saved? I especially loved House's casually climbing into the back of a police car when all is said and done. The prospect of going to jail just doesn't matter to him right then because he's fulfilled his calling.

The writers do whiff the end of this generally strong A-plot, however. As SABR Matt pointed out in a recent email, the fact that Foreman caves and doesn't send House to jail basically renders House's house arrest a joke. If House can violate the terms of his parole whenever he chooses, what's the point of the ankle bracelet exactly? It's like when the Trek writers decided to come up with a "warp speed limit" and then proceeded to violate it in every episode thereafter. If you're not going to impose an actual limitation on House's behavior, then you should just forget the whole thing. Oh, and also: We'd like Foreman to be at least a little different from his predecessor. He shouldn't be written as "Cuddy with a penis."

And as for the B-plot? Well, the writers were unfortunately jossed by real life on that one. As it turns out, "Sybil" - the most famous sufferer of Dissociative Identity Disorder - was a fraud perpetrated by an overly ambitious mid-century psychiatrist, and a very recent book on the subject has rightfully re-opened the debate on whether DID even exists. Consequently, I wasn't that impressed with the hospital-based plot. I thought it was more fit for a soap opera than for an episode of House.

Writing: 6.3

This is the result I get when I average the 8.5 for House's plot and the 4.0 for the DID plot.

Acting: 7.5

There are no major problems with the performances, but I can't recall anything that truly stood out.

Message: 7.0

There's no thematic awesomeness to be found here, but I do like watching House play to his strengths.

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