Like many shows, “House” hits a lull every now and then, and that’s exactly what happened with this week’s episode entitled, “Massage Therapy.” While nothing too interesting happened among the major characters (saved for some natural House/Cuddy developments), it was a fairly entertaining hour of TV thanks to a mysterious diagnosis that challenged the team. Check out the review to learn more…

The Players:

  • Director: David Straiton
  • Writer: David Shore
  • Cast: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Jesse Spencer, Omar Epps, Peter Jacobson, Robert Sean Leonard

Episode Title: “Massage Therapy”

A young wife ends up at Princeton Plainsboro after displaying, like so many patients in this show, a vague blend of alarming and graphic symptoms. What seems like a routine case for the team takes on new dimensions when it is discovered that the patient has been living under a false identity. Chase hires a replacement for Thirteen, but her inability to keep up with the boys convinces both Foreman and House that she was selected more for her looks than her qualifications. Complications in the Cuddy/House relationship are uncovered when House refuses to hire a new masseuse, one who isn’t a prostitute he used to sleep with.

The Good:

  • Mystery Diagnosis: “House” was originally sold to audiences as a mystery show wrapped in a medical drama, and although by now most of us care more about the relationships between the characters than the bizarre diseases is, it’s still interesting when the writers throw something truly puzzling our way. Such was the case last night; even if you were bored by most of the episode, you probably stuck around just to find out what was wrong with this young woman.
  • Cuddy’s Daughter: It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Cuddy’s adopted daughter, long enough that casual viewers may have even forgot she existed. The fact that House is expressing concern about his role in her life means that his relationship with Cuddy might actually go somewhere.
  • Calling Out Foreman: A while back in the show, it looked as though Foreman would take over as head of the team, and although House has reclaimed the title, Foreman has refused to give up the sense of superiority that his brief position gave him. Chase gets fed up with it, leading to a brief but necessary confrontation that’s been brewing for a long time now. Foreman is an interesting character, and the show is always entertaining when it allows us to get in his head.

The Bad

  • Thirteen’s Replacement: With Foreman and House criticizing Chase’s replacement for Thirteen, we were supposed to wonder whether or not they were right about him choosing her because he was looking for sex. It’s too bad that she never displayed even a meager amount of competence, making it obvious to everyone that Foreman and House were correct. Once again, Chase is trying to get laid, and once again, this is not something we want to see in a character who has just enjoyed a marriage that lasted only slightly longer than most celebrity relationships.
  • Everybody Lies. Everybody: House is a brilliant doctor not only because he understands disease, but because he understands human nature. He knows that all people are capable of some form of deceit, and it wouldn’t be an episode of “House” if the patient being treated wasn’t hiding some dark secret from his or her loved ones. Still, with the show now in its seventh season, the writers will have to come up with some clever ways of keeping this theme going. This episode featured yet another seemingly happy couple whose relationship is threatened by the lies of one partner, and it made the characters seem bland, as we’ve seen these types of people in many previous episodes of “House.”
  • House’s Masseuse: No one wears his heart on his sleeve in this show, House being the prime example. His reluctance to fire his masseuse is actually an indication that he is concerned about Cuddy keeping him at a distance and all that jazz, but it comes off as unrealistic. House is smart enough to know that his girlfriend has a right to be unhappy when he is getting weekly massages from a woman he used to pay for sex.


This episode was somewhat disappointing. The developments that occurred between House and Cuddy were to be expected, the subplot involving Chase’s desire to sleep with attractive women seems pointless, and the patient was a character we’ve seen dozens of times on this show. With that said, that mystery of what was ailing her made the episode worthy of being enjoyed, if not remembered.

Rating: 6/10

“House” airs every Monday night on FOX!

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Were you entertained by last night’s episode? Did the diagnosis have you scratching your head? Tell us in the comments!