The men of Princeton-Plainsboro contend with the most difficult puzzle of all this week: wives and girlfriends. House needs to prove to Cuddy that he can be trusted, Taub needs to prove to himself that his wife can be trusted, and Wilson makes a big decision that doesn’t go over too well. Ignore the plot about the patient whose faith gets in the way of treatment; that’s old ground for “House.” The real stories worth paying attention to this week are the romantic subplots, and some work more than others.
Check out our review to see what we thought…
- Director: Greg Yaitanes
- Writer: David Hoselton
- Cast: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Amber Tamblyn, Peter Jacobson, Jesse Spencer
Episode Title: “Small Sacrifices”
House must once again confront the religious beliefs of a patient when a man who believes he has made a pact with God to preserve his daughter’s life refuses to accept treatment. Wilson considers proposing to Sam. Cuddy insists that House was wrong to lie to her and that she deserves an apology. Taub suspects that his wife is having an affair.
- Masters: The new member of the team is fitting in nicely after a somewhat rocky start. She’s still a little too insecure at times, but her insistence on being honest — and on finding a way to make that principle work out in everyone’s favor — makes her a welcome foil for House.
- House and Cuddy: Speaking of House’s approach to principles, the rift between him and Cuddy that was sparked by a lie he refuses to apologize for was handled nicely this week. For a little while there it seemed as though the writers were going to try to milk more drama out of this situation than it deserved, but luckily, things are kept in a nice state of balance this week. Cuddy is upset with House but not to the point where it permanently threatens the relationship, and to his credit, House once again proves that he’s made significant progress when he sacrifices his pride and tells her what she wants to hear. Maybe he doesn’t totally believe what he says, but hey, baby steps.
- The “eureka” moment: “House” is good television, but it’s also formulaic and riddled with iconic trademarks. One of those was openly acknowledged in this episode. You know that point in the show when there’s about fifteen minutes left to go and someone says something completely unrelated to the case that causes House to discover the solution to his problem? When the camera zooms in on his face and the music picks up? When that happens this week and House rushes off to see his patient, Wilsons tells the other guys “Don’t mind him, he just got an idea.” Damn, that runs the risk of being far too self-referential for this show, but the scene is played well and gets a laugh.
- Crucifixion: Faith is known to make pain much more bearable but this episode asks us to accept that the patient could endure crucifixion not once but annually. We’re pretty sure getting giant rusty nails driven through your palms once would be enough to make anyone reconsider this display of love for Jesus.
- WTF, Mate? Chase, c’mon man. Last season you were reasonably distraught over offing James Earl Jones and breaking up with Cameron, this season you’re like Charlie Sheen with a blank prescription pad. Sleeping with three girls at one wedding (not to mention stealing one of them from Foreman) is beyond you, man.
- Taub’s problem: It’s kind of hard to feel bad for Taub when you consider that he’s merely suspicious that his wife is doing the same thing he did to her numerous times. That’s kind of the point, sure, but it makes this subplot hard to be stay engaged with.
- Wilson and Sam: Speaking of being engaged, Wilson’s plan to propose backfires far too dramatically than we should be asked to accept. True, it wouldn’t be “House” unless someone’s relationship was going straight to Hell, but the way this one goes from bliss to agony in three seconds flat doesn’t really work. Even worse, Wilson reacts like it’s something that can be cured with a little bit of alcohol and a visit to House.
- Faith vs. Reason: This is old territory for “House,” and it’d be worthy fodder for an episode if any new insights were made. Sadly, we get them same old “religious patient believes in God, House doesn’t believe, they find no common ground” story that we’ve already seen a couple times before on the show.
Certain things went right this week, particularly involving the relationship between House and Cuddy. Other things, like Wilson’s lady troubles, came out of nowhere. The patient didn’t present too many problems we haven’t seen before, but all things considered, it was a solid episode.
“House” airs every Monday on FOX!
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