HOUSE: Birthmarks = Bromance Reborn - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: Birthmarks = Bromance Reborn

October 15, 2008 by  

That may not seem like the hard hitting, thought provoking analysis you visit GMMR to read, but it may be the most appropriate response to last night’s House. If you were otherwise occupied, be it by baseball drama or social obligation, I would strongly suggest that you make your way to iTunes to download “Birthmarks” as soon as possible. If you are at home with the kids, dinner can wait. If you are at work, those reports will still be on your desk tomorrow. This is a call to arms, and the appreciation of Hugh Laurie is your mission.

Dr. House’s face spoke volumes in this episode, particularly in moments of silence. Look no further than the wry smile that came as House recognized Wilson’s face in the car. Despite the looming grief over losing his father, along with Wilson’s declaration, “I am not doing this because I care,” the good doctor could not contain the joy of seeing his best friend again. Later, while delivering a eulogy that revealed the flaws shared by both father and son, House allowed the briefest moment of overwhelming sadness to emerge. Wilson’s reaction to this uncharacteristic show of humanity mirrored the audience’s surprise. While many of our favorite programs appeal to our senses of comedy and tragedy with coercive dialogue, it takes a rare talent to elicit those feelings with a twinge of a cheek or a quivering lip. Just as Steve Carell’s brilliance on The Office often shines in the comedy of pregnant pauses, Hugh Laurie delivered in his role as a tragic storyteller without the need for words on paper.

Despite the morbid events, we were given a healthy dose of funny as Wilson and House reunited to drive to the funeral. Though the average person would express gratitude to an estranged friend who had cared for them in a time of distress, House chose to go a different route with Wilson. Here is the short list: tossing Wilson’s keys and flashlight down a storm drain, provoking a speeding episode that led to both men being handcuffed and arrested, and insisting that the reason for their friendship began with House wanting to alleviate his boredom. I would pay a large sum of money to purchase a line of Gregory House greeting cards. Fox should add those to their online store. Of course, one would have to be a musical card with “MMM Bop,” right? Oh, and House refused to allow his physical separation from the hospital to impair his ability to give Thirteen a new stripper name. Bubbles, meet the team. Team, meet Bubbles.

Plot developments, anyone? The House staff delivered on those, too. Cameron and Chase returned from the TV drama penalty box to serve in expanded roles. Thankfully, Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer appeared to still fit in their lab coats and were readily recognized by the other members of the crew. Not to be outdone, the medical mystery of the week was a forgotten product of the Chinese “one child” policy whose parents attempted to kill her by inserting pins in her skull.

Last, but certainly not least, House confirmed that his biological father was not the man being buried. After a moving eulogy, where he spoke of his Dad as a man who, “saw his work as some kind of sacred calling, more important than any personal relationship,” House took a quiet moment to extract a DNA sample from the body. This jaw dropping moment, and House’s subsequent argument with Wilson over Amber’s death, was gripping television. The House/Wilson friendship, though overshadowed by the introduction of P.I. Lucas Douglas over the past two episodes, remains the emotional core of the show.

It has been my experience that familiar shows often struggle in their fourth or fifth seasons, and become dependent on stunt casting or bizarre plot devices. I do not know if that is a function of burnout, laziness, or creative frustration. Tonight’s House could easily have veered off-course, especially with a road trip we have seen time and time again elsewhere. Instead, the cast and crew delivered an instant classic that will always have a place on the list of House’s best episodes.

There is much to discuss, and so many of you to hear from. What did you think of the House/Wilson reunion? Were you happy to see Chase and Cameron back? Was tonight’s patient one of the more intriguing we have seen? Did you think House would actually take blood from the ear of a corpse? What else is on your mind? Most importantly, in the words of Dr. Gregory House, “Isn’t this fun?”

— posted by Erik

How does Erik stay grounded from his luxurious life as a substitute teacher? He keeps it real with ALF DVDs & Fantasy Football. On weekends, the GMMR HOUSE & SURVIVOR guru spends quiet time imploring the TV gods to bring back Sports Night & Ed. Erik resides in South Florida and spends his summers following Dave Matthews Band.


8 Responses to “HOUSE: Birthmarks = Bromance Reborn”

  1. Jamer on October 15th, 2008 4:59 pm

    missed the episode last night 🙁 but your post helped with my sadness!

  2. Meredith on October 15th, 2008 5:33 pm

    I have a question. Wasn’t it revealed to the audience that House’s father had died. When he had that case where the woman could see her dead mother and communicate with her. That woman also saw House’s dead father? – Just a thought.

    Also, I loved this episode as well. I’m still not on board with the three new doctors, but this episode brought the original crew back which made me happy!

    And Wilson is back, which makes me even more happy!

  3. spacyz on October 15th, 2008 5:36 pm

    Great review. I absolutely loved this episode. I even missed NCIS to catch it live because I am on a House kick from watching some of the reruns being shown on USA.

  4. Carly on October 15th, 2008 6:00 pm

    This is my second comment about this episode- but seriously. That was so great. House and Wilson are officially tied with Jim and Pam for my favorite TV couple.

  5. Erik on October 15th, 2008 7:29 pm

    Jamer: I am delighted that the review provided temporary relief, but you will be even happier when you catch the episode on next week or on iTunes.

    Meredith: Great callback to an earlier episode. I’ll have to check that one out online. I think your other comments illustrate how important it was for the producers to bring the original crew back to prominence sooner than later. As a longtime viewer, what do you think of the Lucas Douglas character?

    Spacyz: Thanks for the feedback. I think USA has helped grab new viewers for House, and I am hoping that Sci-Fi and G4 do the same for Lost when it returns. In addition, I find the commercials for House reruns on USA more interesting than the Fox promos, so they must be doing something right!

    Carly: Since you are a Jim & Pam fan, and Jenna Fischer is my TV crush, I need your help. What clever name can you come up with for the Wilson/House relationship? The traditional formulas result in Wilse or Houson, and those aren’t exactly catchy…

  6. TaraNYC on October 15th, 2008 10:23 pm

    YAY to last nights episode. I loved it!!

    Meredith – i believe it was House’s dead grandfather.

  7. cdawg on October 16th, 2008 10:48 am

    I don’t think that was a REAL emotional outburst, but just an excuse to lean over the casket and get the dna sample.

    house showing emotions? i think not

  8. Erik on October 16th, 2008 4:06 pm

    TaraNYC: Thanks for the pickup on the earlier episode. I was not a regular House viewer until this season, and I’ve been working to catch up via DVD & USA.

    Cdawg: You could be absolutely right, and House’s entire eulogy could have been orchestrated. On the other hand, I was persuaded, both by voice inflection and the cutaways to House’s mother and Wilson, that the section of his remarks that dealt with his father’s dedication to his work rang true. In that moment, House projected a murky combination of honesty and chicanery.