The Moralities of House (3×20, "House Training")

“Loss of free will. I like it. Maybe we can get Thomas Aquinas in for a consult.”

Seriously, can a character have a better opening line than that? House opened with this zinger last night … on the Fox network! Sometimes I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

Anyway, I explained last week that I intend to write a short summary of the moral issues in House, M.D. for the remaining episodes in the season. Last week I did 3×19 “Act Your Age.”

First things first – *spoiler warning*. I’m writing with the presumption that readers are either familiar with the show, have seen the episode in question, or are not worried about having plot arc points given away. Also, House treats of fairly explicit themes often (“viewer discretion advised”), so be warned. Enough said …

3×20, “House Training”

Here’s the TV preview spot for this episode:

PoliteDissent provides a weekly plot recap of each episode, and then (helpfully) evaluates the medical claims made by the show. Too bad they didn’t do the bubble test!

The Moralities:

This week’s episode was rather disappointing. Certainly below-par for what I’ve come to expect from the House writers. It focused on Foreman, and his personal drama, leaving pretty much everything else on hold, except for a little development on the Wilson/Cuddy unfolding saga. My random thoughts on a fairly random episode:

1) Cuddy and Wilson continue to play their little game. It’s inconceivable that they both don’t realize on some level that they’re relationship together has no future. Simultaneous self-denial is a dangerous thing.

2) Chase continues his slow approach with Cameron, who seems unable to handle Chase’s more mature, even chivalrous manner. Good on ya, Chase! This situation better get some closure by season end, I must say.

3) House seemed oddly caring, oddly involved and oddly unworried about losing a patient this week. This is distressing since so much of his character integrity involves these exact traits. Is he slipping? The show can’t really tolerate him changing because his antagonism provides much of the show’s drama!

4) Foreman showed some good human development this episode, especially with regard to the relationship he has with his mother. I think the show leaves us with an inkling that he has discovered how a true exchange of love can exist between him and his alzheimers-stricken mother, even with her mental impairment.

5) Sadly, I think the patient of the week (POTW) only served the purpose of bringing some emotional/personal revelations out of Foreman. Even her death just served the purpose of developing his character. Sorry, potw, we never loved you like we should. Perhaps that consult with Thomas Aquinas shouldn’t have been dismissed so quickly.

All in all, this was a very promising episode, with the coolest House opening line to date, that really failed to deliver. Oh well, it makes sense to air a weak episode now before the four week countdown to season finale begins.

Here’s what some other blogs are saying about this week’s episode:

Here’s the TV preview spot for next week’s episode:

More House resources:

Papist nod this week goes to The Whapsters, whose schedule for “Holy Whapping Television Network (HWTN)” this week includes … *drumroll*:

8:00 PM. House, O.P. – Mangy maverick novice-master Fr. Gregory House, embittered from years of suspicion from his superiors (´┐Żnever trust a skinny Dominican´┐Ż), ferrets out obscure heresies on the campus of the Catholic University of America. This week: fears of an outbreak of Montanism paralyze the Dominican House of Studies after unaccounted-for stockpiles of cheese are discovered in the basement by Sister Allison.

Tres clever. I hope the department of diagnostic medicine at Plainsboro hospital got a kick out of it as well:

Well, give them some time to work it out. :P

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