Friday, December 2, 2011

Pardon the Interruption: House 8:8 - Perils of Paranoia

Overall: 6.3

On balance, it looks like we have ourselves a wash. There were bits in this episode that were hilarious and classically House -- and bits that made me want to scream and throw things at the screen.

Plot Synopsis: has a recap here.

The Skinny:

What I liked: Wilson in that net. That's actually the first time in a while that this show's made me laugh out loud. Actually, that entire subplot is pretty damned amusing. Although -- I was reading the medical review of this episode over at Polite Dissent, and one of the comments there brought up the rather alarming possibility that the writers are establishing that House owns a weapon here for a purpose beyond eliciting chuckles. Are they hanging a literal gun on the wall to foreshadow something they're planning in a later act? For what it's worth, House's committing suicide is one of the two possible finales that SABR Matt and I would actually accept. That's by no means our most preferred ending, but it would still fit with what we believe to be the Ultimate Theme of the series (i.e., that being ruthlessly naturalistic and cynical in outlook is a one-way ticket to despair).

What I felt indifferent about: Everything else -- except, of course, for what I emphatically didn't like, which was Foreman's subplot. Really, I was cruising right along with that one up until Taub suggested that dating a married woman is a "good start" for the aforementioned new Dean of Medicine. After that, things descended into "oh, hell no!" territory very quickly. Seriously, Mr. Moran -- what kind of screwed up moral world are you living in? How can it possibly be okay to go in for a little home-wrecking just because you need "practice" socializing with members of the opposite sex? How in the hell is that going to teach you anything about maintaining a genuinely healthy relationship? Granted, it makes sense that Taub would encourage such a thing, as Taub is a known philanderer -- but to subsequently put your writerly stamp of approval on the whole business is really offensive. Sorry.

Writing: 7.0

The script earns a slightly better than average grade for being funny on occasion.

Acting: 7.5

There's also nothing majorly wrong with the performances.

Message: 4.5

I don't want to give this episode an extremely low mark on the message for the adultery thing because it wasn't a central plot element, but still -- FAIL.

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