Tuesday, October 19, 2010

House “Unplanned Parenthood” Recap & Review

All photos from Fox

The transition is complete for House (Fox) from what used to be a drama, which then became a dramedy, and now appears to be a full-blown comedy show with House as head clown. I have to admit that I did laugh quite a few times during this episode, but I also lost interest a little too quickly in the patient of the week, Abbey, being played by an unrecognizable Jennifer Grey. (I still can’t get used to her “new” nose.)

It seems that Abbey had a baby who immediately experiences problems at birth. The staff tries to work through the case, their first hurdle is that House (Hugh Laurie) immediately fires the female doctor that Dr. Foreman (Omar Epps) hired without her even getting a chance to give input. House then dispatches Dr. Taub (Peter Jacobson) to do the hiring, and Taub seems set on the very capable Dr. Cheng (Keiko Agena). Even House seems to find her a credible candidate. But when Taub acts wimpy about hiring her, she turns him down flat when he finally does get around to making the offer because Taub acted like "a paranoid scared little kid." The doctors find that Abbey has two forms of cancer, and her lung cancer is actually helping her battle her melanoma, the latter already being passed along to the baby in utero. Abbey’s blood can help the baby survive so rather than go through chemo, Abbey decides to continue with transfusing her blood to the baby, a process which later causes an embolism and Abbey’s death.

But this is all a backdrop for House’s latest problem – Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) needs a babysitter and, using her cleavage and tempting House with the promise of sex, she gets him to watch Rachel (played by Kayla Colbert & Rylie Colbert) for the evening while she attends a board meeting. It’s an act of desperation as she can’t get her normal sitter. House finally agrees and when he seems to tire of the process, he calls Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) over and has every intention of dumping Rachel on Wilson so House would be free to leave. Wilson calls his bluff, and before you know it, both of them are back watching Rachel. The problem is that while they were outside both trying to leave, Rachel made a mess of the food that House and Wilson left out, and worse yet, it appears she’s eaten some of the coins that Wilson got in change when he brought over some Chinese food.

House and Wilson do everything to determine what she ate, and believe, based on the Chinese food bill, there is a dime in change unaccounted for. They sneak her into the hospital to do an ultrasound and Wilson is sure he sees a dime. They later try laxatives to get the dime to pass with no luck. House even creates a diversion which causes Cuddy to have to work one more evening so House can continue to tend Rachel and make sure that she passes the dime. But when Wilson realizes that House ordered an extra item with their original carryout Chinese food, they recalculate the change and think there was no extra dime for Rachel to swallow. Later, House seems relieved and satisfied in bed with Cuddy, until Rachel makes a slight noise and Cuddy races to check on her, and finds that Rachel has a dime in her diaper. I found it odd that Cuddy would feel the need to race to Rachel when the sound Rachel made was so slight. Rachel is quick to point the finger at House when Cuddy wonders how she could have eaten a dime.

The episode did have a few worthwhile chuckles, but as far as the medical end of the show, it was completely devoid of drama. As House continues to be domesticated by Cuddy, he’s getting a funnier side, but his edginess is disappearing. It’s nice to see a happy and apparently healthy House, but I lament the disappearance of a character who always seemed to be on the cusp of disaster. The medical cases are also failing to engage. The show is going through the motions, and I feel that I too am going through the motions in watching it. Hugh Laurie still does a fine job in his role and without him this show would be nothing. Still, I would think it would be far better if they gave him something more than just being the hospital clown.

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Anonymous said...

Rachel also said she was thirsty, asked for juice, said that Wilson tickled... so "House" wasn't her first word!

I Like to Watch TV said...

You know, you are absolutely right. I watched those scenes again and I don't know how I missed it. Maybe I was mentally tuning out the kid (just like House wanted to?). I fixed my comment on the issue and thanks for clearing it up for rme.