Tuesday, November 17, 2009

House - Known Unknown, or Liar, Liar

This week, the lucky patient that gets to be treated by House is introduced via every teenage girl's dream. She's standing in line for a sweet party that will be attended by her favorite band, when the band in question comes walking by. The lead singer chooses her and a friend to get past the velvet rope, and they have a magical night of playing Rock Band, fence jumping, skinny dipping, and being serenaded. While retelling all this magic to her uber-jealous friends the next morning, however, the lucky girl becomes not quite so fortunate, as all her joints swell to elephantine size and she collapses.

House is convinced the diagnosis is something called Rabdo, which also sounds like an awesome new Swedish band. Anyway, he wants to close the case quickly and jump town, since he has two tickets to the National Pillow Fighting Championship - a valid desire. But, after some tests, it's revealed that the girl couldn't have done all the things she described (jumping a fence, playing rock band, swimming) because she's experiencing temporary muscle paralysis due to potassium depletion. So, now we have a double mystery: why is she sick, and what did she really do that night?? Oh, the excitement!

Turns out that the girl didn't really care about the emo band after all, but found out that the creator of a super sweet comic and sci fi series (fake Joss Whedon, let's be clear) would be at the party. She couldn't tell her friends this because they wouldn't understand her passion. So, she followed fake-Joss around all night, and ate at the same restaurant he did, having the exact same meal. They postulate that, since no one else that ate the food got sick, she might have bulimia.

Meanwhile, House has jumped town, though not to the Pillowfight Championships (darn). He accompanied Wilson to a medical conference after he found out that Cuddy was also going. Apparently, he has full-fledged plans to woo her now, rather than just sexually harass her constantly.

Cameron and Foreman do the test to determine if the secret sci-fi nerd has bulimia (you can do that, apparently?) and find out that she, does not, in fact, suffer from an eating disorder. Cameron bothers Foreman about if Chase is having an affair, because he's been so distant, yada, yada, yada. Whatever. I am so tired of the "I killed a genocidal maniac and now I am sad" storyline. Man up, Chase.

So, they still don't know what's wrong with the Whedonite, and during their next round of interviews, to determine what exactly happened, she starts making shit up and bleeding from her ears. Not a great sign.

For some reasons, the writers then decided to take a break from this exciting scene and cut to an 80's party at the medical conference. House and Cuddy do the classic thing where they go out to the dance floor in the middle of a fast song, but it immediately changes to a slow dance when they reach the middle of the floor. Uh-oh! So, they slow dance and we find out that Cuddy and House actually had a one-night stand in med school (!) and House never called. We expect his ladykilling ways to be the culprit, but it turns out he really was going to call, but received a call of a very different nature that very morning, informing him that he'd been expelled and should pack up his bags. Downer.

Cameron and Chase are still on the sleuthing trail trying to figure out what super fan did to get so sick, and finally figure out that she came up to fake-Whedon's room on the pretense of returning his journal after sntaching it. First, they think that he drugged her with rufies and slept with her, and he is understandably upset at the allegation. Foreman is able to rule out rufies. They do some sort of lie detecting test, and ask her again what the hell happened. She lies, again, saying that fake-Whedon drugged and raped her. But it's okay, because it's a lie! But seriously, WHAT HAPPENED.

Back in conference land, in addition to House mooning over Cuddy, we find out that the paper Wilson is about to present basically advocates for physician-assisted suicide in cases of advanced cancer. House freaks out, in an uncharacteristically selfless way, because he knows it will ruin Wilson's career. After Wilson doesn't take his advice to not give the presentation, House slips Wilson rufies. He then goes to Cuddy's room, offering to babysit her child (who seems to have aged about two years in the space of three months) but there's another man there! Who's apparently named Lucas! And I gathered there's some sort of history there, but having not watched the show since its inception, I can't really say.

House's next step is to give Wilson's paper in his absence, pretending that he wrote it, so that the blame will fall to him. Actually, at the end, it's a hit, and everyone praised the courage of Dr. Perlmutter (House's assumed name for the conference). While Wilson is arguing with House about the audacity of stealing his paper, House magically solves the case of the Whedonite. It was hemochromatosis, in case you were wondering. She'll be fine, and will stop her pathological lying.

With all that business taken care of, we get a few personal vignettes with our favorite doctors. Turns out that Cuddy's been dating Lucas (who's a detective, I guess?) for awhile, and kept it secret from House. He was sad. Chase finally admitted to killing the dictator, and fade to black.

Okay, House, let's talk. You're a procedural medical drama that rises above because your characters are interesting and support the mysteries. BUT, when the interpersonal drama and stoylines start to take away from the sweet medical junk you do, you give it to the soapiness of other treacle like Grey's Anatomy. I want an interesting case, a few false diagnoses, sarcasm, tension, and finally, sweet resolution. Anything more, and you start to lose me. Please get back to your roots and entertain/scary me with rare diseases. Thank you.

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