HOUSE: Knight Fall - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: Knight Fall

April 20, 2010 by  

Amidst the chain mail and corsets of the Middle Ages, this week’s House sought to answer long-standing questions about honor. What are the boundaries of its impact among friends, family, even thieves? As the close of Season Six approaches, we are on the verge of a seismic shift at Princeton Plainsboro. Between the return of a lost love, a new potential pairing on the Diagnostic team, and House’s struggle to manage his pain, change is in the air.

Outside of the character-centric episodes that were the creative high points of this season (“Broken,” “Wilson,” and “5 to 9″), loyal viewers have not seen enough forward momentum during Season Six. New storylines have disappeared as quickly as they were written, Foreman’s brother being the most obvious example. That’s why the opinion that I am about to share is accompanied by cautious optimism.

“Knight Fall” was the most significant episode of Season Six, as much for what its events could lead to as for what actually took place. If you have been waiting for a single event to “shake up” House’s world, Cynthia Watros’ introduction to the cast may be just what you’re looking for. Since I attempt to be careful with language, I would point out that the term “significant” does not necessarily have a positive connotation.

Before we get to the Wilson/Sam/House implications, viewers need to prepare themselves. Though I have absolutely no spoilers about this topic, it seems obvious that Chase & Thirteen are becoming a couple, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Since “Foreteen” was such a divisive topic in Season Five, I anticipate that every glance or flirty aside that Jesse Spencer & Olivia Wilde exchange will be met with visceral reactions. Fans of Thirteen will be excited to see her with a nice guy, closer in demeanor to Wilson or this week’s patient. The anti-Wilde factions will be frustrated that her screen time will be enhanced for romantic expediency.

What do I think? Even though I loved the character of Cameron, it is wholly appropriate for Chase to move on. Unfortunately, I think that Olivia Wilde will suffer from such a lazy creative decision. If you rewind over the past several weeks, Wilde has developed her character into a far more stable presence in the hospital. She has comforted patients with empathy, injected previously untapped comedic chops into scenes with Wilson and House, and gave my favorite performance in “Knight Fall.” Remy Hadley was just starting to become her own woman, and we appear destined to see her relegated to the role of eye candy as Chase’s partially clothed companion.

As for Sam, I welcome the idea of injecting authentic tension into House & Wilson’s friendship. Most of their onscreen battles have been grounded in ethical disagreements or disputes over Cuddy that do not stand up to logic. It is fun to watch them fight, but Sam’s presence is the stuff that real grudge matches were built on. It was no coincidence that this episode opened with a battle for the heart, because Wilson is now the Queen that Sam & House are wrestling over.

Since I know Cynthia Watros best from her role as Libby, it is possible that my thoughts about her first episode are clouded by the paranoia that LOST fans have been conditioned to expect. In one hour, Watros made Sam a woman of great charm, cunning, and competitive zest. Though I am not sure which direction she will ultimately take, Sam’s final exchange with House rang truest. By asking whether flawed people should retain the right to learn from their transgressions, Wilson’s first wife gave the writing team a host of interesting options. Sam can’t be 100% good or 100% evil, or else the point is lost. I enjoyed Watros’ chemistry with both Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard. In fact, I may never enter a kitchen again without peeking around the corner first…

The uproarious moments, from House’s impression of the “Naked Chef” to the transgender dinner party, were silly, memorable, and ultimately harmless. What will make this story captivating is Hugh Laurie. How will he loosen his grip on the only person whom he can always call a friend? When is it more honorable to wish for another’s happiness over your own? Will that selflessness lead to a dark ending for him?

As I mentioned before, we are headed into the home stretch, and I hope the producers maintain an aggressive approach to these new stories. Love them or hate them, the new set of story arcs are keen topics for debate. Speaking of debate, I want to know your thoughts about this interesting week for House and his team.

What do you think about the addition of Sam to Wilson’s world? Are you rooting for them to find love a second time, or for House to keep them apart? Were you impacted by the patient’s story? Why or why not? What am I supposed to call Thirteen and Chase, now that their pairing has been foreshadowed? Let’s chat!


8 Responses to “HOUSE: Knight Fall”

  1. Erik on April 24th, 2010 12:59 pm

    Was it something I said? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  2. RickyBoy on April 24th, 2010 5:33 pm

    Hi there Erik. I guess I’ll ‘break the ice’. Haven’t posted since ‘5 to 9’, which up until ‘Knight Fall’ had been my favorite episode of this season. I, too, thought that this episode was a good ‘locomotive’ which will drive exciting new (or not so new – i.e. Chase and Thirteen) plot lines from now to the season’s end.

    The fact that the episode opened with House wrestling with a bottle of ibuprofen (!?) clearly sets the stage for some interesting possibilites on the pain management front. The (re) emergence of Sam in Wilson’s life and the pressure which that injects into his and House’s friendship will inevitably lead to a “somethings gotta give” moment in the not-too-distant future. Wilson professes a fear of being alone; however, I believe he is actually more afraid of the emotional pain which would arise from being burned again by (or losing) ANY woman than he is desirous of making a serious long-term relationship actually work. In my view he is nothing more than a “hopeless romantic”. House is the one who has the biggest fear of being left alone and we all know that “an addict alone is in bad company”.

    Should be some “fun times” coming up!

  3. Julie on April 26th, 2010 3:45 pm

    Do NOT want to see the Thase (what do ya think?) thing happen. I agree about 13 finally having some fun, and I do believe she actually smiled last week.
    I still think Cameron should come back, b/c if she can’t make her marriage work with Chase, she is doomed to life as a Cat Lady, as in he loved/loves her so much. I don’t know about Sam/House/Wilson, although I do think that Sam can handle anything House can, and will, throw at her.

    I liked the patient story – every mother’s nightmare, no matter how old the kid is. Also thought the explanation for the disappearance was totally plausible, unlike some of the other “House with a lightbulb over his head” endings.

  4. Erik on April 26th, 2010 4:34 pm

    RickyBoy: Thanks for returning to the discussion thread. If you’ve been underwhelmed since “5 to 9,” you are not alone. I thought “Lockdown” was a well-executed episode, but this week was a return to moving our current characters forward.

    Your description of House’s imminent challenges was far more cogent than my own. There is a void in House’s world that is filled by Wilson’s company, and Sam’s power to take that away is daunting. At this point, I think House is actually in the wrong, because of his stubborn refusal to accept that people can evolve, which is inconsistent with what his personal journey has been since “Broken.”

    Looking forward to reading your thoughts about this week’s episode.

  5. Erik on April 26th, 2010 4:43 pm

    Julie: I have never had a strong feeling about the character of Thirteen, so I have felt free to praise or critique her storylines without emotional investment. After spending two seasons writing about House, however, I know that I am in the minority. Olivia Wilde elicits heated feelings from the audience, and has been a target for the online community’s ill will. When Wilde is allowed to exhibit more than a grim facial expression, I am entertained by her playfulness. On the other hand, if we are on the path to another workplace romance with her, I hope that Wilde takes bold choices to avoid rehashing her dynamic with Foreman.

    It’s funny that you mention Cameron’s absence and Sam’s introduction in the same paragraph, because I found myself appreciating Cynthia Watros’ performance for the same reason I always loved Jennifer Morrison. Unlike Cuddy, who will always have a variation of idol worship for House because of their past, Cameron (and now Sam) refused to play second fiddle to House, particularly in the most mundane situations or conversations. Sam holds something over House, and the tension that is resulting should provide fascinating TV for the rest of Season Six.

  6. gbbg on May 22nd, 2010 8:13 am

    Hey Erik!
    You forget CTB!! She was the best foil for House, and sometimes I still miss her from the last season.
    I am playing catch-up with the last few episodes and just now finished Knight Fall.
    One thing I don’t understand is the doctors’ (more often 13) imposing their ideals and morality on the patient. Be it the sociopathic patient earlier or this epi’s “Sir William”, I didn’t like 13 preaching him on what to do and how to do it. But that’s just me. I felt it was in a way taking advantage of the patient’s weak situation or a show of the patient’s strength (if he/she manages to stick to their conviction).
    On the likable front are the introduction of Sam, House’s pain management worries, his being a lesser jerk, and more importantly movement in Wilson’s story arc.
    Unlikable is the alleged Chase+Thirteen, departure of Cameron without essentially closing her character (showing her as permanently flawed-so far), and Cuddy’s slip to the background.
    What I would like to see is a proper fitting departure (if imminent) to Cameron’s story. It just doesn’t seem right if this is indeed the last of her!!

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