HOUSE: Carrot or Stick - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: Carrot or Stick

January 25, 2011 by  

This week’s HOUSE dealt with tough love, a concept that is irrevocably linked with my new day-to-day responsibilities as a teacher. Students are not homogeneous, and the demands of educating the masses can often leave a chosen few behind. Kids who fear the judgment of their peers, struggle to reach out for help, and shudder at the thought of appearing interested in their grades.

The best teachers use methods as diverse as the faces who they lecture to or work alongside. Whether they run a diagnostics department or a boot camp for troubled teens, mentors take whatever steps are necessary to get their message across.

Unfortunately, FOX did not offer this episode for advance screening, so I have to abbreviate my traditional, “Pretend I’m an English Major” approach, so that our amazing commenters can share their thoughts. In health care terms, think of this as the HMO-funded recap, and I promise to make up the difference in your co-pay!

*In Huddy news, Hugh Laurie did an amazing job selling the story of House coaching baby Rachel for her preschool interview/play date. Though I am finding Lisa Edelstein’s performance this season a bit stale, alternating between “pleasant surprise,” and “faux anger,” Dr. House has been a convincing partner. Despite protests from many fans who NEVER wanted to see House maintain a steady romantic relationship, I bought every beat of this story. House wants to make Cuddy happy, and logic tells him that Rachel getting into a good school will do just that. He lied, cheated, and swindled to prepare L’il Cuddy for her big day, and established a firm, if reluctant, bond with his de facto stepdaughter.

Am I missing something? Is there anything wrong with a middle-aged man, even one as flawed as House, begin to soften around the edges? After all, the biggest impression that Rachel has made on our favorite curmudgeon was as a promising liar. That has to be worth something, even if you think the writers have gone too far with House as a domesticated man.

*The patient story was genuinely surprising. It threw a wrench into my theory that the mystery behind the drill sergeant and his trainee’s illness rested in the hands of the squirrely young man who was mopping the barracks when Foreman & Masters arrived. The twist, bringing father & son together under dire circumstances, was a tad melodramatic. That may just be the FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS fan in me talking, though, as that show is redefining the “long lost Dad comes home” storyline in Season 5.

*I continue to enjoy Chase’s season-long arc as the fun-loving bachelor, with a sea of young women left in his wake. Jesse Spencer is playing this side of Chase with unbridled enthusiasm and tongue-in-cheek arrogance, and the Facebook photo scandal was a clever form of karmic justice without long-term consequences. As a “C” plot, the writing team cannot do much better.

“Carrot or Stick” was a solid, if not significant, addition to Season 7. Amber Tamblyn continues to impress, and the Huddy storyline is appropriately operating in the background. I look forward to reading your feedback, and to crafting a more creative take on HOUSE’s next new episode in two weeks.

How did you react to this week’s theme of tough love? Were you surprised by the twist in the patient’s story? What did you think of House’s attempts to assist Rachel in her preschool test? If you are not a Huddy fan, are you still finding their relationship to be a negative for the show? Why or why not? I’m curious about your thoughts, so please chime in to discuss “Carrot or Stick.”

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11 Responses to “HOUSE: Carrot or Stick”

  1. Amanda on January 25th, 2011 12:24 pm

    “I am finding Lisa Edelstein’s performance this season a bit stale, alternating between “pleasant surprise,” and “faux anger”

  2. KAREN on January 25th, 2011 12:28 pm

    “I am finding Lisa Edelstein’s performance this season a bit stale, alternating between “pleasant surprise,” and “faux anger”

    Loved House and Rachel scenes

  3. David on January 25th, 2011 12:29 pm

    Well, it’s not like they are giving Lisa Edelstein decent material. She was great in the premiere and in most of her scenes during the atrocious “You lied to me” arc, as well as during the dinner scene last week. I’m sure she’ll be amazing in 2 weeks from now. The promo itself is promising. She had absolutely nothing to do yesterday and her 2 (?) scenes were nothing but convenient. However, I think she’s doing the best with what they are giving her.

    As for the episode itself, I was actually surprised at how much I liked it. The final scene warmed my heart and I was one of those against the House/Cuddy/Rachel family thing. They actually did a fantastic job with it.

  4. Tori on January 25th, 2011 12:37 pm

    I couldn’t be more turned off by Chase’s storyline. It’s like the writers got sick of people clamoring for more of his character and have decided to make him as repellent as possible so that they don’t have to hear it. Murder didn’t work, so let’s try this… Don’t get me wrong, part of him has always been a jackass trying to save himself with charm. But he’s rarely seemed like such a creep. This was the guy who couldn’t say no to a 9 year old? The same guy who went to pieces every time he thought he was losing his relationship with Cameron?

  5. Tweets that mention HOUSE: Carrot or Stick | Give Me My Remote -- on January 25th, 2011 12:41 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Korbi Ghosh and GiveMeMyRemote, Marisa Roffman. Marisa Roffman said: #House fans, have you checked out @FreelanceErik's recap of "Carrot or Stick"?: […]

  6. icedmemories on January 25th, 2011 12:46 pm

    “Though I am finding Lisa Edelstein’s performance this season a bit stale, alternating between “pleasant surprise,” and “faux anger,”

    seriously?! she’s finally having good material and she’s AWESOME. Last year we had the usual “sorry” face everytime H entered a room, finally she’s showing more this year!!!!

  7. Sam on January 25th, 2011 1:05 pm

    “Though I am finding Lisa Edelstein’s performance this season a bit stale, alternating between “pleasant surprise,” and “faux anger,”
    Yes, it is. Her acting is not as good as she and her fangirls wants it. And I could honestly do without Lisa Edelstein in this show at all. Sorry. So it’s easy for me to agree with you.

  8. Kiska on January 25th, 2011 1:06 pm

    Actually i´m fiding Lisa´s acting this year stronger than ever. Well, I liked her character better back in season 2-5 but Cuddy is pretty awesome this season. I found the whole -you lied to me- arc badly written but i think her performance really sold the story.

  9. Loreen on January 25th, 2011 7:37 pm

    “Though I am finding Lisa Edelstein’s performance this season a bit stale, alternating between “pleasant surprise,” and “faux anger,””

    Thank you, finally someone said it!

  10. Jessica on January 25th, 2011 9:10 pm

    Hey Mr. Wilkinson!
    Cool report (:

    ( ps – i’m one of his students 😀 )

  11. GbbG on February 2nd, 2011 12:16 am

    I found the medical case stale.. somewhat disconnected.
    The best part was Rachel settling down on House’s lap, and the scene where he describes Rachel’s lying to his patient. Funny.

    I like Taub’s new role too!