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HOUSE M.D. Recaplet: Small Sacrifices

This is mostly for jezziejay , but as long as I'm typing it up, might as well post it here.

I'm going to skip right over the Patient of the Week - a fellow who's been reenacting the Crucifixion as part of a bargain he made with God to save his daughter from supposedly incurable brain cancer. Suffice it to say that it's House vs. God yet again, House lying to the patient to get him to accept an embryonic stem cell treatment, and House lying to Masters to make sure said patient is none the wiser until his life has been saved.

Really enjoyed the rest of it except for a few quibbles (like who invites anyone other than members of the wedding party to the rehearsal dinner, writers??). FINALLY we get to see some good House and Wilson, including both of them in tuxes and a little role reversal, some subtle, some not so much. Cuddy is still demanding an apology for his lie two episodes ago; House insists that he did the right thing in order to save his patient, but in the end he realizes that there's no point in arguing about it anymore, so he delivers an obviously fake little apologetic speech and she buys it. (This is after we supposedly establish once and for all that Cuddy is currently 43 but pretended to be older when she applied for her position at PPTH, and that she knows the divorce laws in Jersey so well because she was married for six days in 1987.) Meanwhile, Taub's wife Rachel has made a friend through an online support group for people with cheating spouses and refuses to stop communicating with him even after Taub finds out and asks her to give up her emotional affair. And Chase betrays Foreman by offering to be his wingman and then walking out with both women.

Oh yes, and Wilson and Sam implode without much warning. How thrilled was I when he knelt in front of her chair at the wedding to propose? (Also, the first scene in which House lay in wait for him at his office and effortlessly dismissed all of his explanations for his tardiness until he confessed to buying the ring? Priceless.) Unfortunately, Wilson (and House) had looked through her files in preparation for a work review and deduced that she had given inappropriate doses of radiation to some of her terminal patients, and Wilson assumed that she had done it deliberately in a last-ditch effort to save them. So when she asks what brought on this sudden urge to retie the knot, he explains that he loves and admires her even more for doing what she did... except that she denies doing it and decides to leave him because he doesn't believe her. It's still not completely clear to me whether she was a) testing him or b) clueless and incompetent, but as Wilson put it, she's calling it quits - again.

The following evening, Wilson turns up at House's apartment hoping for drinks and sympathy but is informed that Cuddy is coming over. "Does she know that you're here?" (FTW!) Yes, she knows, but now that House has taken Wilson's advice and apologized insincerely, he can stop choking his chicken. Wilson doesn't seem too devastated by being booted out for House's booty call. I am, though.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
flywoman
Dec. 1st, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
I should think that anyone who is friends with Wilson would know all about New Jersey divorce laws.

Hee! Well, I was willing to assume that her comment made House curious, so he went sniffing around. But anyone who had recently been engaged to another man might have looked into the local divorce laws. And why would she have looked into New Jersey's laws in 1987? Wouldn't she have been in college in Michigan at the time? Or are we talking wacky Atlantic City escapades on spring break?

I found both Wilson and Cuddy's reactions difficult to interpret. I don't think that either of them consciously wished House and Cuddy to fall apart. Wilson might have been struck by the irony of House taking his advice and lying to rescue his own relationship while he essentially pulled a House with Sam and had it backfire completely unintentionally.

Judging by her reaction to House giving in over Masters a few weeks earlier, one would think that a victory dance on her desk or a few butt-slaps would be called for.

Good point again! I wonder if she's more aware than I implied and recognized that she could drag House to the trough of apology but she couldn't make him sincere. Thus a bittersweet victory at best, with no way to prove that he'd followed the letter of her demands but not the spirit.
(Deleted comment)
yarroway
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:58 am (UTC)
You left out the earlier part where Masters doesn't keep her mouth shut and condemns potw to death, and then gets his daughter so she can be completely traumatized and devastated.

Oddly, this doesn't bother Masters much at all. House lying and saving the patient bothers her because it means he was right. All that other stuff was just...um...wait, wasn't this character supposed to be smart?

The House and Wilson parts rescued this episode and kept me from turning it off. I think this is the first non buffoon-y use of Wilson in ages. Writing that sentence made me very sad.

I thought Wilson was pretty devastated by being asked to leave. However I didn't see much more than funk over Sam leaving, regardless of his protestations of love.

I couldn't make any sense of Sam's position. Was she not overdoing the radiation deliberately? Is she just incompetent? Is she a serial killer preying on the terminally ill who cheese her off?

Maybe she's upset that Wilson didn't want a dog.

Actually, never mind. I don't care. I liked the character but not with Wilson and I am just as glad she's gone.

I didn't understand the whole fuss about House catching Cuddy in a lie. She's lied to him before. Maybe he felt it needed to be one that has happened since they were in a relationship, but if so he need look no farther than her assertion in What Now that she did not want him to change. So, really, what was the big deal?


flywoman
Dec. 1st, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
Oddly, this doesn't bother Masters much at all.

Yes, I left out a whole lot. I disagree that her role in trying to convince the patient by bringing his daughter in didn't bother Masters, though. I thought that she looked pretty upset even if she didn't verbalize it. And she looked like she was having a little epiphany about lying at the end of the episode. Maybe it will stick.

Maybe she's upset that Wilson didn't want a dog.

Hee! I think the most reasonable explanation would have been that she panicked because Wilson brought up kids and remarriage within a short space of time and she wasn't comfortable with either, given that from her perspective (apparently) Wilson hadn't changed. I just wish we could have seen more to indicate that this break-up was the result of a failure to resolve the same issues that originally wrecked their marriage instead of pulling in this weird treatment plot device.

She's lied to him before. Maybe he felt it needed to be one that has happened since they were in a relationship, but if so he need look no farther than her assertion in What Now that she did not want him to change.

I think that it needed to be a lie since they were together (since obviously they had both lied to each other before in the context of boss/employee). And while we all agree that she was lying when she said she didn't want him to change, using that example would have just opened up a can of worms, not resolved the argument (not that the prior marriage route ended up being so successful).
yarroway
Dec. 1st, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
You're right, Masters was upset by the incident with the daughter, but what I was tying, in my pre-coffee daze, to express was that she didn't feel that it challenged her moral stance. Whereas House's lie saving the patient did.

Sam not wanting to commit to Wilson makes way more sense than that whole lying thing.

There were non work related lies before House and Cuddy got involved, but I can certainly see that beginning a relationship would signify a shift in the expectations.
cuddyclothes
Dec. 1st, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I thought that Sam breaking up with Wilson was sloppy writing, which has characterized so much of this season. It came out of nowhere and seemed to me to be completely artificial. Esp. when the character of Sam was so underdeveloped and the character of 3M so overdeveloped, if one-dimensional. I hope that made sense. I am also undercaffeinated.

Wilson did seem upset that House kicked him out. What struck me at the time was when House said, "Cuddy's coming over," he didn't look happy at the news. But then, when have H/C expressed any pleasure with each other since the first two episodes? As I wrote in a ficlet, they don't seem to communicate in any way as themselves, only through sex. Which again to me is either sloppy writing or for some reason it's the undercurrent of what is eventually going to bust them up.

I mean, House telling her she looks stunning and she doesn't even enjoy the compliment? Sometimes I get the impression that he is tying himself in knots to be someone he isn't, and when he tries to play Housian games with Cuddy she gets pissed in a way she never did before. Even when he enraged her with them. It's like Wilson said in the second episode (paraphrase)"You're sleeping with her. Everything's changed."
flywoman
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
As I wrote in a ficlet, they don't seem to communicate in any way as themselves, only through sex.

This is the problem with a relationship built basically entirely on unresolved sexual tension. Once you start having sex, there's no where left to go - either dramatically or in real life (imo). And House didn't seem that excited about Cuddy coming over, whether it was because he felt bad about brushing Wilson off to be with her or because he was feeling disillusioned about the extent to which he was compromising his own beliefs in order to keep Cuddy happy with him.

when he tries to play Housian games with Cuddy she gets pissed in a way she never did before

I think that before, she got pissed, but she was simultaneously outraged and amused by his shenanigans. Now that he's her boyfriend, she takes his actions personally and has lost her sense of humor about them. Sigh.


jezziejay
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you for this! This ep was on last Sunday...but I couldn't bring myself to watch it. It's odd because I see unpleasant things everyday...like the cat's litter tray, my Visa card statements and on Monday, I watched one of my school kids vomit for four hours. And yet, watching House and Cuddy making out, or making lubby-dubby eyes at each other is too much for my stomach!! I was, however, channel hopping and I saw about twenty seconds of House and the new girl talking with a patient - and House was wearing a blue shirt and a tie. Was he going somewhere, or is this how he dresses all the time now? Also, when House is talking to Cuddy, how does he address her? Cuddy? Lisa? Or does he not call her anything at all? And do you remember the spoiler photos showing H&C at the beach...did they ever air this? Has Rachel been put back on the shelf yet?

So, H lied to C about lying...hmmm! Do you have the feeling that he is really trying to make this work because he truly loves her, or is it more about him needing someone in his life? If this relationship doesn't work out, they both have a lot to lose, don't they? Do you think the whole 'it's hard work' arc is getting tiresome?

The fact that she lied about her age to get the job kinda does and doesn't make sense. I have always had a problem with this, as she can't have been anymore than 35 when she got the job, and given that she has an accreditation in endocrinology, as well as a medical degree, she'd have been barely qualified before becoming head of a whole hospital. So, I guess she would have to have lied. Still, she looks amazing for 43 - how could she have made herself look older in her mid thirties? And it's a pretty important job - you would think that they might have checked the basics - like her DOB...

And Rachel having an emotional affair. I'm delighted!! I like Taub, but the whole 'I love you but you're just not enough' thing really made me feel for Rachel. And want to give Taub a kick in the nuts.

Chase going home with Foreman's 'promise', as well as his own? Hah! Still, I would have liked them to do something less predicable with Chase after his marital breakdown.

I'm not the first to say it, but proposing at a wedding is a dicky thing to do. Silly Wilson! Why were he and House looking through her files? Were they being sneaky, or had she asked Wilson for advice?? Sounds like she was pretty incompetent...although I have to say from just reading that the whole theme of lying seems to have been tied up nicely.

Finally (are you still reading?)...I know that many have come down heavy on House for booting Wilson out for Cuddy, and there has been a bit of a 'remember when Wilson was a dick to House' revival...but from a logical POV, this doesn't make sense to me. When Wilson and Sam got together, House did his best to sabotage it...claiming that when she left, Wilson was a mess and telling her that he wasn't going to just stand by and watch her tear him apart again. And yet, when this does happen, he's not there for Wilson? Strange...
flywoman
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
Darn it, I started replying and then my browser crashed on me.

Was he going somewhere, or is this how he dresses all the time now? Also, when House is talking to Cuddy, how does he address her? Cuddy? Lisa? Or does he not call her anything at all? And do you remember the spoiler photos showing H&C at the beach...did they ever air this? Has Rachel been put back on the shelf yet?

He was going to a wedding rehearsal dinner, I have not heard him call her anything recently (help me out, guys?), they have not yet aired the beach episode, and Rachel has not put in an appearance since Greg and Jimmy's Excellent Adventures in Babysitting (TM).

Do you have the feeling that he is really trying to make this work because he truly loves her, or is it more about him needing someone in his life? If this relationship doesn't work out, they both have a lot to lose, don't they? Do you think the whole 'it's hard work' arc is getting tiresome?

I think we're supposed to believe that House loves her in his way - he certainly had been pursuing her for a while. But honestly, if things don't work out, I worry more for his job than for his heart. And I think this arc got tiresome a long time ago, personally...

Still, she looks amazing for 43 - how could she have made herself look older in her mid thirties?

It's even worse than that - supposedly she applied when she was 29! There is NO FUCKING WAY.

Why were he and House looking through her files? Were they being sneaky, or had she asked Wilson for advice??

She had asked Wilson to look over her files (or as House put it, do her homework) for her upcoming work review.

And yet, when this does happen, he's not there for Wilson?

No kidding. I'm not sure if we're supposed to assume that House was making all that fuss because he was jealous, as opposed to protective of Wilson, or what.
jezziejay
Dec. 2nd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Greg and Jimmy's Excellent Adventures in Babysitting (TM) Heeeeeeeeeeeee :D

supposedly she applied when she was 29, oh, purleeze! They just went and made the unlikely even more ridiculous.

No kidding. I'm not sure if we're supposed to assume that House was making all that fuss because he was jealous, as opposed to protective of Wilson, or what. This worries me a bit, because if it was only about jealousy, from which House has clearly recovered, it kind of makes their whole relationship somewhat reductive. Not happy about this at all.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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