HOUSE: The Itch - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: The Itch

November 12, 2008 by  

Hugh Laurie, HOUSE

While humans are assumed to be intensely social creatures, many find themselves isolated from one another due to wildly different circumstances. Whether mourning a lost love, caring for a child or aging parent in poor health, running a home-based business, or dealing with other uniquely personal struggles, most of us have dealt with the velocity of sameness that comes from living in a solitary state. There is a danger in following a routine devoid of intimate human contact, especially when our dreams and aspirations can be pursued via iPhone or Blackberry. Are there consequences to having the virtual world at our fingertips? Would we have fuller lives with five friends on our block than with five hundred friends on Facebook? This is a daunting question for a Wi-Fi world, and a dicey subject for prime time television.

Fortunately, the House team made huge strides in addressing this dilemma during this week’s episode. Through the eyes of a lovelorn Dr. House, a strident Dr. Cameron, and a defeated patient, we saw three distinct reactions to the emotional consequences of loneliness.

After the House/Cuddy kiss generated so much attention, I feared that the House character would be dramatically softened in order to be seen as a more viable love interest. Much to my delight, the producers stayed true to House’s inordinate degrees of difficulty, and Peter Blake’s script gave Hugh Laurie opportunities to skewer his subordinates and gently unravel his deeper feelings. In fact, House’s admission to Wilson that he planned to simply ignore Cuddy at all costs speaks to his childish narcissism that viewers have embraced. The maturation of Dr. House, if it is to ever come to fruition, will continue to occur through the scratching of an itch or the panic following a nightmare. Anyone looking for a revealing monologue or a grand gesture of affection needs to set their DVR to record Desperate Housewives.

Jennifer Morrison showcased a whirlwind of talent this week, advancing her overarching storylines with House and Chase while advocating for her suffering patient. Longtime fans had been waiting for Dr. Cameron to return from ER purgatory, and new viewers should be impressed that she is the only female character who knows how to deal effectively with House himself. The conference call exchange between Cameron and House was an effective device in showing Thirteen, Taub, and Kutner how they can deal with House’s penchants for inappropriate personal questions and insightful medical opinions. In addition, Morrison displayed nice range in her scenes with Jesse Spencer as they broke down the Cameron/Chase dynamic. By episode’s end, it was clear why House is vastly superior to a show like Grey’s Anatomy. With this show, two adults can deal with their vulnerabilities and reach a satisfying conclusion (in this case, cleaning out a drawer) without screaming or fireworks. If this had been Grey’s Anatomy, Cameron would have screamed incoherently at Chase for forty-five minutes, only to be “rescued” when Chase showed up at her door, hair flattened from the rain, with just seconds to spare in the hour. Big, big difference…

Our medical mystery of the week was instantly recognizable to John Cusack fans, since Todd Louiso played Dick, the endearing record shop slouch in “High Fidelity.” In a vastly different role as Stewart Nozick, a man who has recused himself from the world around him after a violent shooting, Louiso delivered a performance that ought to be remembered during Emmy season. Many guest stars in high profile shows appear unable to restraining their performances, chewing on the scenery for three solid meals a day. By communicating Nozick’s narrative in hushed messages and forging a tender bond with Dr. Cameron, who had rushed to his aid in a previous situation, a man better known for playing awkward humor against the backdrop of Jack Black’s presence crafted a new type of tragic hero. Stewart was not dependent on the protective walls of his home to avoid the memory of losing his girlfriend on the night he was shot. Instead, when pressed by Dr. House’s team to identify the source of his isolation, Nozick revealed that he was a loner until finding love, and that he hit rock bottom while bringing flowers to his girlfriend’s grave on her birthday. Without a deathbed confession or a life-changing cure from his doctors, I was moved to tears by Stewart taking a small series of steps at episode’s end. This refreshing take on how recovery begins provided fitting closure to Nozick’s story.

So many storylines to discuss, and so many questions to ask! Did you enjoy the House/Cuddy fallout from the big kiss? Were you happy to see Cameron and Chase back in the mix? Was anyone disappointed that Dr. Taub’s story was relegated to approximately 30 seconds? What did you think of Stewart Nozick and his dedication to living a world dependent on computers and solitude? I cannot wait to hear your thoughts, so fire away!

— 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.

Filed under House, House Recap


3 Responses to “HOUSE: The Itch”

  1. John on November 12th, 2008 11:25 pm

    I was very happy to have Cameron and Chase back with a big story line.

    I was quite satisfied with Taub’s marriage getting little screen time. He and his marriage have been covered all I want.

    I can’t see House and Cuddy, or House and anyone, in a serious relationship. House is too miserable of a human being to be in a relationship, or at least in one that did not involve Lady Heather.

    I liked Stewart’s story. He was obviously trying to break out of his self-imposed prison before House’s lecture. If we saw more of him in the future, and I don’t expect to, I doubt he would have a “normal” life outside his house, but he would continue to make occasional forays.

  2. bertas on November 13th, 2008 5:32 am

    Oh it was lovely to see Cameron and Chase again. And is it my imagination or she lost that impish air about her, she is very hm whats the word ballsy? 🙂

    And Erik thanks for reminding me, I knew I saw this week’s patient somewhere I just couldnt place him immediately. Yes I agree the story was good.

    House and Cuddy, ah well. On one hand it would be nice to see House go beyond his childishness finally. But then on the other hand he would not be the grumpy bollocks we have grown to love, would he? 🙂 I just don’t see Cuddy as someone who would make him take that leap finally.

  3. Geebs on November 15th, 2008 3:09 am

    Hopefully, the writers and the people responsible will continue to hold House’s character as it is and not bow down to public demand.
    Had House knocked on cuddy’s door that night, I would have smiled and be happy for a second, but that would probably be the beginning of the end for House M.D. series. And not to mention, a cliche too.