Wednesday, October 15, 2008

House and Wilson: BFF Again

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Last night’s epsiode, “Birthmarks”, reunites Dr. Greg House (Hugh Laurie) and Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), after their short but painful separation, apparently over the death of Wilson’s girlfriend, Amber. There was a medical case in there somewhere, but it clearly was in the shadow of the big House/Wilson melodrama.

The medical case involved a young Asian woman who was trying to connect with her birth parents in China. They didn’t want any part of it. While dealing with the rejection, the woman becomes ill and throws up blood (never a good sign). She eventually gets to Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital where the staff tries to figure out her problem. To make a long story short, the “one child” restrictions in China were a problem for the parents, so they tried to kill her by sticking needles in her head, which later in life pressed on centers of her brain and created all kinds of problems. If they took the pins out she’d be fine.

I’m glad that’s out of the way, because that really wasn’t the main story.

The big news was that House’s father had died, and House doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with the funeral. He never liked his father. His mother, though, wants House at the funeral to deliver a eulogy, and he avoids talking to his mother about it as he does not want to go. But, to force House to deal with it, Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) drugs him under the guise of being a shot to guard against SARS, which they thought the patient who'd been in Asia had contracted. But, it really was something was to knock out House, which he later does so, dropping down, out stone cold, onto the floor. Needless to say he is a little annoyed when he wakes up in a moving car, with Wilson at the wheel. Wilson tells him, "I am not doing this because I care."

Apparently House’s mother called Wilson to enlist his help to get House to come to the funeral. Of course, he felt the need to oblige. While on the way, House tells Wilson that he believes his father is not really his biological father, and that he’s suspected it since he was a child. House also creates trouble when he asks to make a bathroom stop, and manages to knock Wilson’s car keys into a drain grate. While Wilson – always prepared – asks House to hold a flashlight he had in his trunk so he can see what he’s doing while he fishes out the keys, House throws the flashlight down the drain too. Luckily, Wilson has a second flashlight and apparently a long coat hanger or some other long wire and he is able to retrieve his keys.

House also sees a police car ahead on the road and uses his cane to press down the accelerator so the car would speed past the police car, and Wilson is pulled over. They are both soon arrested when it’s discovered that Wilson has an open warrant for his arrest from Louisiana. Wilson is not shocked, he just looks annoyed.

While sitting in the police station, House and Wilson argue. Wilson tells House "You told me you'd taken care of this. First words you ever said to me." It seems Wilson had been charged with vandalism, destruction of property, and assault. As Wilson begins to explain, he also says that House was avoiding his father's funeral, which gets the officer’s attention.

Wilson further explained that at a medical convention in New Orleans, he had set off a bar fight by throwing a glass at an antique mirror after someone wouldn't stop playing Billy Joel's "Leave a Tender Moment Alone." House apparently bailed him out even though he didn't know him at the time, House saying that he was bored at the convention. Wilson comes to the realization that the whole foundation of their friendship was that House was bored one weekend. After all this, the office tells them they were free to go because Louisiana didn't want to pay to get Wilson sent back, and tells House to "stop acting like such an ingrate and go pay your respects to your father."

At the funeral home, House’s mother Blythe (Diane Baker) is thrilled to see him. But, you know things will not go well when House gets up to say a few words about his dad. He painted a picture of a controlling man who enjoyed his work. He also said he was who he was because of his father. He approached the open coffin, bent over and kissed his father on the forehead, and while doing so, out of sight of the rest of the mourners, clipped what look like a piece of his ear so he could do a paternity test. One odd thing here, I swear I saw blood coming from his dad’s ear lobe after House clipped it. I didn’t think dead people bled, especially after being prepped for burial.

In another room in the funeral home (another body is laid out) House and Wilson argue loudly. House tells Wilson that Wilson was the one who is afraid of losing their friendship, which was why he walked away from it. He taunted Wilson, repeating, "Admit it! Admit it!" and Wilson, in frustration picked up a bottle of liquor and threw it through a stained-glass window. House’s reaction? "Still not boring," House said.

At the end of the episode, Wilson comes to House’s office, where House is having what seems to be a celebratory drink. House tells him it’s because he got the DNA results, and his DNA did not match his father's. But for House, after all this time, it didn't seem to make any difference.

Regular readers of my blog may recall that last February. I wrote about House and Wilson being TV’s power couple. It seems that they are trying to cement this relationship even more for viewers but I think they are going a little overboard. I preferred the more subtle House/Wilson friendship with the occasional jabs, innuendos, and practical jokes. I always had the understanding that they were very close friends, and really didn’t care to know more of a back story. But, just as House must overdo it on the Vicodan, viewers must be forced to sit through an overdone story about their long friendship. I know that sometimes people become friends over sometimes strange circumstances, but this one seemed just too contrived. I just felt indifferent to the whole thing, and as result, the whole bit at the police station and then later at the funeral home seemed forced. In fact, House and Wilson seemed like two teenage girls who have been nursing a hurt for years. It really did seem like they were having more of a girl fight than a guy fight.

I also am appalled at Cuddy lying to House and then drugging him. Dangerous, very dangerous. Who knows what pills House is taking and in what dosage? She could have killed him by adding her knock-out coctail to the mix. Also, he could have fallen over and hit his head on the desk. People have been killed simply by falling and hitting their head like that. I don’t know where Cuddy’s brain is, but it’s clearly not in her head.

And frankly, I had zero interest in the medical case, and zero interest in the other doctors. The whole chemistry of the show is messed up a bit. Again, Drs. Cameron and Chase have minimal screen time, and even Dr. Foreman and the three new doctors seem to be just window dressing. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the writers are running out of fresh ideas for the show. And, even after House and Wilson patched things up, I am still not sure that their relationship will be any better off than it was before – House will probably still be the user and abuser, and Wilson the whipping boy.

I’ll admit that the problem may even be me. Am I simply falling out of love with the show, or the characters? Or, are the characters becoming too one-dimensional and the medical stories too formulaic? Is the playful spontaneity in the relationship between House and Wilson now gone? Either way, the show just doesn’t grab me like it used to. I think it may need some medical attention of its own, stat!

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1 comment:

samfan said...

I liked the show more then last week, but I agree they need a more interesting story, and chemistry between the characters. I really like House, especially since L&O isn't on, I just hope it gets better.