HOUSE: Epic Fail - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: Epic Fail

September 29, 2009 by  

When hard times stare people down, many of us fall into the trap of “If only…” We attach earth shattering significance to our actions, often with the intention of changing the way we are perceived. If only I could lose these extra pounds, take that new job, start over in a new place. We want to escape the ordinary, and assume that change will lead to the extraordinary. More often than not, those bold moves put us right back where we started, facing a grim reminder about the goal we pursued. In the end, Happiness is a state of mind, not a consequence of our decision-making.

This week, the House team took on the concept of unfulfilled expectations in an hour filled with careful introspection, potent laughs in the kitchen, and a few surprises.

Gregory House left Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital with the intention of casting aside his career at Princeton Plainsboro Hospital. In order to salvage his vice for vices, House embraced his inner Julia and tagged along to Wilson’s cooking class. Ensuing episodes will offer myriad chances for us to analyze House & Wilson’s new odd couple routine, so allow me to focus on the kitchen this week, ok? In a lovely parallel to the season opener, Hugh Laurie openly flashed his wide smile as he and Robert Sean Leonard traded barbs about burning Wilson’s balls. Though it was low-rent humor by definition, any chance to see House in a naturally-induced high is worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, the story arc for Season Six will not be House becoming the Next Iron Chef on the Food Network, so his leg had to take a turn for the worse.

Looking forward, I am optimistic that House’s re-entry into the day-to-day rigors of practicing medicine will reflect a changed man. As I mentioned last week, a rehash of old jokes, shameful putdowns, and narcissistic indulgences would be an insult to viewers who were passengers on House’s profound journey at Mayfield. Will he become a caring and compassionate boss, placing the needs of his students and patients above his own? Of course not. However, there is a balance that can be struck between the old House and the new House under construction.

In taking over the diagnostic department, Foreman was immediately faced with the challenges of being, with all due respect to former President Bush, “The Decider.” For me, this episode was one of Omar Epps’ best performances. As explained by Thirteen midway through the show, Foreman was trapped between incorporating House’s methods and blazing a new trail to assert his independence. For Dr. Eric Foreman’s, House’s chair was the great escape, the trophy that would enable him to feel complete. Once he assumed power, Foreman was greeted with Taub’s resignation and Thirteen’s discomfort. Epps showed significant range in his scenes this week. First, he displayed confidence while dealing with his patient. Next, he allowed his vulnerability to emerge in order to maintain his relationship with Thirteen.

In sharp contrast to Season Five, when the emphasis on the Foreteen pairing sharply divided the audience, I believe that this new approach will be widely accepted. A workplace romance is complicated, but it does not have to be melodramatic. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Foreteen gets to breathe a little, rather than be shoved down our throats.

My only quibble with this episode had to do with presentation. Director Greg Yaitanes is a veteran of past House seasons, but I could not get into the virtual reality approach to telling patient Vince’s story. My approach to recapping shows for GMMR is to celebrate the best of television, rather than nitpick details that are ultimately forgettable. In this instance, however, the cold open and subsequent video gaming scenes took me out of the story. With such a rich story to rely on, any distractions are the responsibility of the director. When I turn on my DVR to watch House, I look forward to one of TV’s best dramas, not the screen shots from an Xbox 360.

As always, the best part of these discussions is your feedback, so I look forward to interacting with GMMR’s amazing House community.

What were your first impressions of this episode? Did Foreman’s struggles to replace his mentor hold your attention? Is House missing his true calling by leaving the kitchen? What did you think of the video game-style cut scenes? Did you think House had actually taken the found pills? So much to discuss, so let’s jump right in!

Erik’s summer was wasted with marathons of The Next Food Network Star and MTV’s 16 & Pregnant. After weeks of comparing risotto dishes and dishonest baby daddies, he is thrilled to be writing about House and Parks & Recreation for GMMR again!


4 Responses to “HOUSE: Epic Fail”

  1. switchkosterice on September 29th, 2009 3:51 pm

    Overall I think the successes of this episode were the plentiful one-liners. I enjoy that we see that House could probably be regarded as a genius in any profession (cooking, as seen in this episode) but the one thing that brings him into sanity and a pain-free life are his medical mysteries. Not even Vicodin can combat his pain anymore. I loved the ending and the “I slipped” bit because it perfectly shows that House WAS trying to do what he thought was best for him, but when he did slip he found himself better and moving forward.

  2. Give Me My Remote on September 30th, 2009 8:28 pm

    At first I was taken out of the show by the VFX. To be honest, I thought for sure we were going to find out that it was some strange product placement. I think the episode definitely could have done without it, but since it was included I must say that I thought it was done really, really well. Very visually appealing. Did it add anything to the episode? Nope.

    I REALLY enjoyed this episode. Much like last week’s season premiere, this episode felt very full. There were so many layers. House becoming a master chef based on his understanding of chemistry was quite entertaining. I like the way House 2.0 interacts with other. He really seems to have a new lease on life, but for me it hasn’t effected the essence of the show.

    While I appreciate the talent of the extended cast, Hugh Laurie shines in every scene he is in. I was very happy the way the episode resolved itself because I really wasn’t looking forward to another week of Foreman imitating House.

    As always, thanks for the amazing recap, Erik.

  3. geebs on October 6th, 2009 11:32 pm

    No recap of tyrant?

  4. Erik on October 7th, 2009 12:43 am

    geebs: Quick note about this week’s recap. My DVR went haywire, so I had to download it from iTunes this afternoon. The Tyrant will be up on GMMR on Wednesday. Sorry for the delay!