HOUSE: Black Hole - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: Black Hole

March 17, 2010 by  

I do not know Greg Yaitanes personally. However, I would guess that he was an indoor child with a vivid imagination. Yaitanes, the director of this week’s House, previously showed a penchant for irreverent visuals in this season’s “Epic Fail,” which featured a series of virtual reality gaming segments. In “Black Hole,” older viewers were reminded of trips to the planetarium in adolescence, which in my experience were often accompanied by the soundtracks of Pink Floyd or The Grateful Dead.

Putting aside my fascination with Mr. Yaitanes’ history in his high school A.V. Club, he succeeded in crafting a story that utilized the full resources of Princeton Plainsboro. By returning Dr. Taub to relevance, opening a window to Wilson’s fear of ending up alone, and injecting genuine surprise into the patient’s story, the director and writer Lawrence Kaplow rewarded viewers with an above-average episode.

In sports terms, Peter Jacobsen is the consummate utility player. Steadfastly consistent, content to fly underneath the radar, yet able to rise to the occasion on a moment’s notice, Mr. Jacobsen adds layers to Dr. Taub in a fraction of the screen time given to his colleagues. Far from a sympathetic slouch, struggling to earn a life full of love and fulfillment, Taub is a broadly narcissistic figure. What makes Jacobsen’s interplay with Hugh Laurie so intriguing is that their characters are on seemingly parallel paths, putting their substantial egos aside to pursue a loving, stable relationship. In this single hour of television, we watched as Taub’s entire inner circle pinpointed the chinks in his armor. At the episode’s close, with Taub relishing in the wide-eyed admiration of a young nurse, the audience was left wondering if they, like Mrs. Taub, had been hoodwinked. Jacobsen rarely has the chance to take center stage, but I would be the first to rise from my seat and chant, “Encore!”

Aside from giving House & Wilson more time to spar with one another, their living arrangement has allowed Robert Sean Leonard to play with viewers’ perceptions of their favorite oncologist. Wilson has been a stronger foil to his best friend, less subservient than in previous years. More significantly, we are witnessing a man brutally facing his fear of ending up alone. Watching Wilson shop for furniture was agonizing, and his discomfort in choosing a style was skillfully framed by a shot of Mr. Leonard attempting to recline in what appeared to be a gigantic Cheerio. Even when Wilson was able to concede defeat, hiring a decorator to make the best of his luxurious space, he covered himself. By purchasing an organ for his roommate to play, he made a selfless, yet ultimately self-serving gesture. Wilson satiated House’s needling, but kept himself in a Rooms To Go existence. Season Five taught us that Wilson goes to uncomfortably dark places without the routine of his job and the unique company of his best friend. Can he merge those codependent tendencies with a successful romance? Hopefully, the writers will not make us wait to long to answer that question.

By a show of hands, who had “Abby slept with Nick’s father” in the mystery patient office pool? Unlike so many under the treatment of House’s team, I was fully engaged in Abby’s story, and the manner in which Kaplow’s script wove her relationship with Nick into Taub’s challenges to rebuild his marriage. Though the story built to a provocative twist, the messages of loving unconditionally and overcoming the frailties of human error resonated powerfully. What is it about growing older that gives us pause in believing that our loved ones can fail, yet still be worthy of our devotion? Abby and Nick were a highlight of an outstanding episode.

With the finish line of Season Six approaching, I am eager to hear your opinions about this episode, as well as the overall direction of the show. Let’s get started!

What furniture would you choose for Wilson’s condo? Were you happy to see Taub featured in this episode? Is Lisa Edelstein only allowed one scene per episode after her amazing turn in “5 to 9?” Looking forward, what do you want to see from the rest of Season Six? Let’s get the discussion going…

After writing about good television programs, I am searching for a new favorite “bad TV” show. With Jersey Shore’s season behind us, my free time must be absorbed by something mindless and DVR-worthy. Tweet your suggestions to me @FreelanceErik


2 Responses to “HOUSE: Black Hole”

  1. Meg on March 17th, 2010 6:51 pm

    Where the hell is Cuddy?
    is all I have to say. this season 6 has been very uneven!

  2. Erik on March 19th, 2010 10:35 pm

    Meg: I’m wondering about Cuddy’s whereabouts, too. Perhaps the 15 hour days that Lisa Edelstein worked on “5 to 9” have been converted to comp time 🙂 I’m hopeful that we haven’t seen the last of Lucas this season, or the growth Cuddy showed in that fascinating hour.