HOUSE: Selfish - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: Selfish

September 28, 2010 by  

Seven days removed from a Huddy-centric season premiere, HOUSE returned to its traditional formula this week. Writer/producer Eli Attie was assigned the difficult task of weaving the new romance between House and Cuddy into the show’s patient of the week template. As the scribe responsible for writing Allison Cameron’s departure from Princeton Plainsboro, as well as the fantastic “Lockdown” episode, Attie was a wise choice to calm viewers’ fears that their favorite drama is turning into a soap opera.

Let’s start with the obvious. House and Cuddy’s coupling is going to be a centerpiece of this season. There is no breakup in sight, and the creative team is clearly exploring their relationship from every angle, personal and professional. If you plan to stop watching the show as a result, however, this episode demonstrated exactly what you would be missing. With a heartbreaking patient story, a much needed infusion of humor, and a return to relevance for Dr. Taub, “Selfish” was the prototype for integrating new stories with old favorites.

This is my third season writing about House for GIVE ME MY REMOTE, and I rarely mention the mystery patient of the week. The cases chosen by House’s diagnostic team mostly serve as window dressing, aimed at advancing the theme of an episode. This week, however, I was captivated by the story of Della and Hugo, close siblings who work together to live life to the fullest. Young actors Alyson Stoner and Cody Saintgnue, who I could not recognize from any earlier work, were able to convey the high stakes of their situation without overacting. Hugo’s climactic moment, as he insisted on sacrificing years from his life in order to save his sister, was a rarity in prime time. It was a profound act of love that did not involve an engagement ring or the phrase, “I’m pregnant.” Both Stoner and Saintgnue made the most of their screen time, and their story brought the focus of the show back to medicine, rather than Huddy’s hot baths and European vacation planning.

The Princeton Plainsboro team received word of House and Cuddy’s relationship with mixed emotions, but the emphasis of this episode was on fun. Outside of Della and Hugo’s story, this hour was a romp, with each doctor sharper and more playful than I recall them being in season six.

Chase embracing the bachelor lifestyle again is the right move, and Jesse Spencer is rolling with the change. Beginning with his indecent proposal to Thirteen in the premiere, continuing with this week’s coy reply about dating four women simultaneously, Chase could be a source of comic relief and extrovert behavior to balance the maturity of the Huddy pairing.

As for the controversial couple, I found Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein’s performances completely believable. It was not out of character for House to couch or amend his decisions to avoid conflict with his new girlfriend. In fact, that was the best argument for why this relationship is being crafted in an authentic way. No matter how much of a loner House has been in the past, he is going all-in to see where Cuddy could take him as a man and as a partner. Throw in a few well-placed (and inappropriate) caresses of Cuddy’s bottom, and a spit-take inducing turn with older patients Maurice and Sydney, and you have an hour of House at his most entertaining.

Finally, Dr. Taub was reintroduced as the member of House’s team who truly has the boss’ ear. Peter Jacobsen and Hugh Laurie did a phenomenal job of dissecting the Taub’s marriage last season, and I am eager to see more of Jacobsen as the “objective third party” who will keep House’s focus on medicine, rather than whimsy. In the absence of Cameron and Thirteen, strong women who were able to stand up to House, Dr. Taub is the best foil left on the team.

“Selfish” was a good start down the road to Huddyville, with nods to both sides of that dispute. If you enjoy seeing House and Cuddy together, there was plenty of double entendre and sweet moments for you to savor. If you prefer the medical side of the program, the episode included patient stories that were both life-affirming and light-hearted.

I want to know what you think! In Goldilocks’ terms, are we getting too much of Huddy, not enough, or just the right amount? Where do you think Thirteen went, anyway? What will Wilson do to pass the time, now that House and Cuddy are together? How did you feel about the story of sacrifice between Della & Hugo? It’s your turn to talk back!


6 Responses to “HOUSE: Selfish”

  1. Karla on September 28th, 2010 12:42 pm

    I agree with you, I totally loved this episode, they are doing a great job 🙂

  2. Vicki on September 28th, 2010 2:35 pm

    I had quit watching House shorlty after they broke up the original team. Started watching this new season due to promos and once again enjoying House! Back in my DVR lineup.

  3. Eros on September 29th, 2010 7:24 am

    Selfish was brilliant. The balance was great. This season is bringing my addiction back. I had to stop watching in season 6 because the show became boring but this is the kind of episode i want to watch.

  4. Anja on September 29th, 2010 7:32 am

    I really really like how they are writing Huddy relationship. He’s the same, and yet he’s a bit different. You can feel the love and care for her.
    The story of the two siblings was also very emotional and deep, I cried. The episode was absolutely great.

  5. Kat on September 29th, 2010 4:24 pm

    They did wonderfully with this ep. After the fisrt one, I was afraid this was going to become a soap-opera as well. But, i can see its going back to its original, lovley format:) lots of medicine, with a dash of relationships:) im curious to see about 13, and why chase is so indifferent to it all. Also, i love Taub&Rachel, and want to see more of them. But, MOST OF ALL, i want more Wilson!!!! hes amazing, samrt, and oh so hot!!!
    Oh, and with the patient, i LOVED that moment where she was talking to her brother, it was acted out beautifully, and filled with such emotion (especially for 2 characters we dont really know) Especially when he said “Dont make me live without you” ah-mazing… <3 Cant wait till next Monday!

  6. matt on October 15th, 2010 7:08 pm

    Holy Crap! that was the most awful episode of house i have seen to date! Seriously… I nearly brought me to tears. Of course in a good way. Congratulations Team House.