Tuesday, February 2, 2010

House “Moving the Chains” Moves In The Wrong Direction

Pranks take center stage in House “Moving the Chains, ” while, as always, the patients seem to take a back seat. Dr. Greg House (Hugh Laurie) also decides to have a little “fun” with Dr. Foreman (Omar Epps) when House decides to hire Foreman’s brother Marcus (Orlando Jones), who was just released from prison. The episode was silly and ridiculous on many levels.

I usually like to get the patient of the week out of the way because the formula is always the same – patient gets ill, House’s team is called in to diagnose, they screw up several times, and House figures it out. There was really no change in this formula in this episode, where the patient was a football player, Daryl (Davon McDonald ), trying to make it to the pros. He gets into a rage on the field, after beating on his own players he begins to take is rage out on himself. He’s concerned that his hospitalization and treatment will mean he will miss his big try out event and will miss a chance at the pros, of course, House saves him in time by finding a tiny melanoma on his foot which is causing his body to react badly. A dull case.

There is also a secondary patient, a soldier whose tour of duty was technically up but he was being redeployed The problem is his wife is having a baby and he doesn’t want to go. He fakes symptoms to House and of course House is on to him. Realizing he has to take more drastic action to get out of the tour of duty, the soldier shoots his own foot. House continues to call the soldier’s bluff, and when the toe gets infected and would require amputation, House tells the soldier missing his little toe is not enough to get the soldier out of the army. House seems to plant a suggestion that if the infection was left alone and spread to more of his foot more would have to be removed. At the end of the episode we see that the soldier has apparently followed House’s suggestion, as the soldier is being wheeled away, missing his foot. House seems to look at the soldier with shock, as if House never thought the soldier would take it so far to get out of being deployed. I am sure by now that House should already know that you shouldn’t plant ideas in the minds of desperate people, but I guess House totally blew that one, seeing that he seemed uncaring to the soldier’s situation. I am not saying House should have played along with the soldier’s first ruse, only that he should have gotten the psych people involved once the guy shot at his own foot. This could have not only helped the soldier get out of his tour, but also prevented an unnecessary amputation.

The episode’s main focus was two-fold: House and Wilson being pranked, and House trying to help Forman mend fences with his brother Marcus. I suppose in the fantasy world of Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, House can just hire anyone at any time for any reason, and lucky for him Foreman’s brother, who just got out of prison, is the perfect man to be hired as House’s assistant. Since I have never worked in a hospital, I wonder if it would really be that easy for someone who just got out of prison to get a job in a hospital. But since this is PPTH, we know that reality isn’t always their strong point. Foreman, of course, is quietly apoplectic about this turn of events, and while Marcus continues to feed House more private details about his brother to House, the friction only worsens. It’s made worse by the fact that Dr. Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) really seems to care less about it or about Foreman’s concerns, after all, Cuddy has no backbone when it comes to House. When Marcus makes the mistake of telling House that their mother died a few months prior, a secret that Foreman kept to himself, House uses this information to further humiliate Foreman. But House’s plan all along was to make both Marcus and Foreman hate him equally enough that they would find it as the common point that would bring the brothers back together. Orlando Jones did a great job in his role, too bad it was wasted on such a ridiculous premise.

The battling between roommates House and Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) takes a bit of a turn when House decides to use the oversized bathtub off Wilson’s bedroom, and Wilson apparently has told House it was off limits to him. When Wilson orders House not to use the bathtub again, Wilson later comes home to find an opossum in it. Wilson, of course, accuses House of putting the opossum in there, adding that the animal ruined the tiles in the bathroom and left it’s “droppings” all over the place. House denies he did it but House isn’t buying it. Later, when House uses the bathtub again, he reaches for a grab bar to get out of the tub, and the grab bar breaks off the wall, cutting House in the face and causing House to slip back into the tub. My first reaction was that Wilson would never do something this dangerous, so right away I suspect someone else is behind the “pranks.” When Wilson denies doing it, House also later comes to the conclusion that someone else is involved, saying that the opossum was also likely meant for him and not Wilson. When House suggests they stay up all night in the kitchen and wait for something to happen, the indoor sprinkler system goes off, soaking everything, including their huge TV set. Wilson knows House would never do anything to damage that TV, and they both begin to really wonder who is doing all these things.

Of course, the minds of viewers already has figured out that it is likely Cuddy's man Lucas (Michael Weston), or at least someone having to do with the condo which Wilson got by outbidding Dr. Cuddy. But House and Wilson remain somewhat oblivious, that is, until, in the cafeteria, they walk right past Lucas without even seeing him, and Lucas just so happens to stick out his leg in order to trip House. This, coupled with the grab bar problem, shows that Lucas isn’t just pranking, he wants to hurt House. It seems Lucas wants to retaliate for House stealing the condo from Cuddy – even though it was Wilson that really did it. Lucas also tells them that if they retaliate, he will tell Cuddy that they were the ones that took the condo of her dreams away from her. But Lucas’ mean behavior takes an even more creepy turn when he is openly discussing the matter with Cuddy, who knows full well that House and Wilson are living in that condo, and she seems to have accepted the matter just fine. Lucas plays dumb with her as far as who is playing all the pranks, and of course the bubble headed Cuddy is oblivious to his real involvement and the fact that she and her daughter are living with a lying, mean, creepy guy.

Are they now trying to make Lucas seem like a wacko creepy guy by displaying his jealous, angry, and hurtful side so viewers will wish Cuddy wasn’t with him? In my opinion, they didn’t need to go this far because I never liked Lucas to begin with, even when House first hired him as a private investigator. The character has been a nuisance at best, and his relationship with Cuddy laughable. They didn’t need to do anything to make viewers not like him, the could have just had him disappear after his usefulness to House as a private investigator ran it’s course, you know, like after the first episode in which he appeared. I would like to think that House and Wilson would care much more for Cuddy than to worry what she would think if she found out they bought the condo, instead leaving her, and her child, to live with a guy capable of such mean and hurtful behavior. And do House and Wilson think Cuddy is really that dumb and oblivious that she wouldn’t already know that they moved and where they moved to? I can’t believe that all of them would be so stupid. But clearly the writers must think the viewers are dumb if they expect them to buy this whole turn of events. Hopefully, they will find a reason for Lucas to disappear quietly, and maybe take the whole Lisa Cuddy drama thing with him. It seems the more this series involves Lisa Cuddy in the story lines, the more the series lowers the quality of the story lines, and the whole series is dumbed down because of it. If anything, “Moving The Chains” just moved me in the wrong direction.

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Brian said...

Da'Vone McDdonald was amazing as the sicko of the week, he Guest Stared as Daryl, the ailing college football star. He should have been the star of Blind Side.


Anonymous said...

Well, I think this was a good episode. Not one of the best of course but I enjoyed it. I think the worst episode this season by far was Teamwork. On the other hand this season is sometimes a little soapy. All the Cuddy/Lucas drama needs to end. It´s not funny. The producers finished the Cameron/Chase drama and that was pretty good for the show but there is still a lot to fix.