HOUSE: You Must Remember This - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: You Must Remember This

February 15, 2011 by  

The opening moments of this week’s HOUSE crystallized the dangers of having too much information at your disposal. As a kid, it was fun to memorize the state capitals or who the 22nd President of the United States was. Those memory games were silly excuses to feel smart, not a lifelong burden. It is daunting to imagine the weight of carrying your legacy in the back pocket of your brain. Thankfully, most of us are spared that responsibility by old age, lost brain cells, and old-fashioned forgetfulness.

Only a handful of Americans live each day with “superior autobiographical memory,” including actress Marilu Henner, but the recent 60 Minutes piece describing their powers of recall was impactful. Though House’s patient of the week, Nadia, was ultimately diagnosed with a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, her inability to remain blissfully ignorant caused Princeton Plainsboro’s finest to examine their own capabilities to forgive and forget.

(It was Grover Cleveland, by the way…)

Here are my thoughts on the stories featured in “You Must Always Remember”:

*House & Wilson’s friendship returned to prominence, due to the latter’s insistence on using a cat to guide him through the stages of breakup mourning. I was surprised at how many fans immediately took to Twitter to express their outrage about Wilson’s new roommate. Each season, longtime fans consistently critique the showrunners for ignoring the show’s history. In this case, Wilson is revisiting a familiar bad habit, a behavior that does reflect his inability to make clean transitions between romantic relationships. As Robert Sean Leonard himself says, Wilson is a dark guy who makes odd choices in life and in love. It explains why he flaked on creating whipped cream memories with his favorite barista, and why House is so concerned about seeing him spiral down a sedentary path. Wilson appears destined to end up alone, just like his best friend, so where is the inconsistency in this storytelling? After all, House is only giving him ten days before an intervention that is bound to include alcohol, strippers, and debauchery.

*House & Cuddy’s romantic arc was a background player this week, allowing other characters to breath. I remain a huge fan of Hugh Laurie’s subtle approach to making House a more tolerable person, and applaud writer Kath Lingenfelter (“Pushing Daisies”) for bringing back the jauntiness in House’s directives to his team. The razor sharp barbs over Taub’s test failures and subsequent attempts to seek validation were essential House-isms, and a return to form for the Diagnostic team dynamic that has been inconsistent during Season 7.

*Foreman and Taub’s living situation could easily become a guilty pleasure for viewers. With an emotional divorce and costly financial strains on his back, it is easy to forget that Chris Taub still misses his friend Lawrence Kutner. For all his adulterous impulses, what Taub really needs is male companionship. Here’s to a half-season of video games, cold beverages, and bonding for the new odd couple…

*Tina Holmes, the actress responsible for Nadia’s file cabinet of days gone by, is a familiar face to primetime drama fans. As a veteran guest star on ER, Six Feet Under, and Prison Break, Holmes was last seen by the dozens of viewers who tuned in to NBC’s summer experiment, PERSONS UNKNOWN. As Moira Doherty, a sensitive woman with a steady, measured tone of speech, Ms. Holmes lent gravity to a show that was destined for B-movie mediocrity. The cast and crew of HOUSE sets a higher bar, and Holmes cleared it by allowing Nadia to be unlikable and stubborn. The audience had to understand all sides of Nadia’s situation, particularly from her sister’s perspective. By choosing a less sympathetic approach throughout the episode, Holmes added real stakes to her ultimate decision to accept a medicated, less distinctive lifestyle.

*”You Must Remember This” is hard to compare with the rest of Season 7, which has been full of extreme highs and lows. I would characterize it as a solid placeholder, one that will be enjoyed for years during USA’s endless weekend and holiday marathons.

What was your immediate reaction to this episode? Does it rank among the best or worst of Season 7? Is Wilson’s new roommate a harbinger of dark times to come? While we’re on the subject, will Foreman & Taub’s new living arrangement be helpful to those characters? Are House & Cuddy still troubling longtime fans? I’m always curious to read your opinions, so please chime in early and often!

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One Response to “HOUSE: You Must Remember This”

  1. EL on February 15th, 2011 1:15 pm

    Although as you say this season has had highs and lows I have loved the general direction of the show. There is an added richness to the storytelling and the relationship between House and Cuddy has tempered the House mystique without softening it. Laurie just gets better and better as an actor and the cast seems to rise up with him. Good times.