Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pardon the Interruption: House 8:11 - Nobody's Fault

Overall: 9.2

FINALLY! A good episode of House! Commence the dance of joy!

Plot Synopsis: has a recap here.

The Skinny:

This week, the folks who delivered the brilliant House's Head team up for another round, and while the result doesn't quite live up to the aforementioned fourth season classic, there is still much here that is worthy of praise.

Number one, I think this is the first time ever - EVER - that the writers have used Chase's status as House's longest-serving fellow in such an emotionally effective manner. I particularly love Chase's explaining to Cofield that House's attempt to run a DDX in the middle of his - i.e., Chase's - embolectomy was merely a cover for House's concern. "So you're saying that House's complete lack of caring is actually evidence of his deep caring?" YES! As far as I'm concerned, that absolutely, positively fits what we know about House -- and the fact that Chase believes this too evinces a deep understanding of House's inner workings that is eminently logical given their ten-year working relationship. I also like how Chase responds to House's apology at the very end. I'm going to echo some remarks I've seen elsewhere and argue the following: Chase does not rebuff House's show of remorse because he's especially angry -- or, at the very least, anger's not the dominant reason. Chase blows House off precisely because he knows how difficult it is for House to admit to any sort of vulnerability. In essence, Chase dons a mask of indifference in order to allow House to save face. And personally? I think that's oddly sweet.

Number two, the writing for House is pitch-perfect. The team behind this episode effortlessly strikes that necessary balance between keeping House recognizably House and humanizing him in increments. Crucially, House never loses his basic confidence in his "process." To the end, he insists that "good things usually happen, bad things sometimes happen." But does that mean that House completely ignores the consequences of his actions? No. House is a moralist. He always has been, and he always will be. As such, he refuses - refreshingly, I feel - to accept the idea that his genius clears him of all wrong-doing. Some folks have complained that Cofield's wuss-out is lame, but I disagree, and I disagree precisely because of House's reaction. When House erupts and calls Cofield a coward, I cheer.

So yeah -- I now declare the shark officially unjumped. And it's a good thing too. After spending so many weeks slogging through mediocre filler scripts, I was starting to suspect that House had permanently lost its spark.

Writing: 9.0

Interesting format, excellent characterization.

Acting: 9.5

Jesse Spencer is given a rare opportunity to display his chops -- and, of course, Hugh Laurie is awesome.

Message: 9.0

You just have to appreciate House's bullheaded failure to accept excuses.

1 comment:

  1. just read that this is the last season of House. Wish they had stopped after last year.