With such a strong season going, we can allow “House” to be a little uneven from time to time. Last night’s episode had some great moments, but overall, it wasn’t as impressive as the past few episodes have been. Read our review to see what we thought worked, what we thought had potential, and what should have been scrapped.
- Writer: Eli Attie
- Cast: Hugh Laurie, Odette Annable, Omar Epps, peter Jacobson, Robert Sean Leonard
Episode Title: “Parents”
A teenage boy who wants to follow in the footsteps of a father he barely knew suffers an unexplained stroke. As the team struggles to diagnose his illness, they must confront their own beliefs about parenting. Taub must decide whether or not to allow Rachel to move across the country with one of his daughters, and House, believing that all parents somehow hurt their own children, tries to get Adams to admit that her upbringing was not perfect. In the meantime, House tries to figure out how he can get to Atlantic City to see a boxing match without violating his parole.
- House’s humor: This show has always balanced the drama with some sharp-witted humor, but that element seemed to fall by the wayside in recent years, with more focus being placed on the serious side of the show. Thankfully, this season has brought back House’s trademark sarcasm in fine style, and this episode is a good example. The laughs aren’t huge, but they do work, especially when, at the end of the episode, a character realizes that he’s been duped.
- Taub: Having children has allowed Taub to become a more interesting character. His infidelity started to grow tiring, especially since it was never shocking and always conformed to the “everbody lies” theory of House that we’ve come to expect. Taub’s already had to decide whether or not he wants to know if his children are both actually his this season, and with that subplot more or less wrapped up, he must now struggle between doing what is best for his daughter and doing what he wants. Peter Jacobson delivers his best work so far in the series thanks to these developments.
- Adams: We’re still on the fence about the character of Adams. Odette Annable does what she can with the material, but ever since we lost Cameron, the writers of “House” have struggled to fill the obligatory “young and attractive female doctor” role that they apparently believe the show still requires. The best substitute was Olivia Wilde’s Thirteen, primarily because she was not as naive as Cameron, giving us a fresh character. Unfortunately, Adams is just a rehash of what has worked before, and it’s just not all that interesting.
- Parents: “House” has to be admired for tackling serious ethical issues in just about every episode. It also has to be slightly criticized for tackling these issues in a manner that is usually about as subtle as an after school special. All the characters talk about these topics as if it were completely natural to do so; unfortunately, sometimes it’s not. The conversations about parenting in this episode often felt forced, destroying the illusion of the viewing experience.
- Daddy issues: The estranged father in this episode comes off as far too much of a stereotype. In a show that features impressively nuanced characters, it was disappointing to see something so banal and predictable injected into the episode for the sake of plot demands. The whole revelation about the patient’s father isn’t quite a deus ex machina, but it sure feels like one.
For the most part, “House” has been shockingly good this season. Many of us felt as though the show had no need to go on this long, and while that may still be true, it’s at least been entertaining enough lately to keep us from abandoning it. This may be the weakest episode yet this season, but it’s faults are fairly minor.
“House” airs every Monday night on FOX!
How did you feel about last night’s episode?