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TV: House (S06E04)


Episode quote: "I made the right decision." (Dr. Eric Foreman)

Year of Broadcast: 2009 (20 days behind US)

Starring: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Sean Leonard, Jesse Spencer, James Earl Jones, David Marciano

*Spoilers Follow*

Summary: The team attempt to diagnose an African dictator who is said to be preparing for a mass genocide in his home country; Cameron has a particularly tough time treating the patient; Wilson has trouble with a grumpy neighbour but asks House not to get involved.

Thoughts: So House still wasn’t quite back on the team yet, despite being back in the room and sitting in on the differentials.  Apparently you can’t immediately reclaim your medical license after admitting to being a hallucinating drug addict and spending time in a psychiatric hospital.  Bureaucracy, eh?

With Taub and Thirteen gone we had a proper old-school reunion this time around, with Chase and Cameron helping out on the case.  I don’t know how permanent this is going to be (especially as at least one of them is supposed to be leaving this season) but it was nice to have the old team back together, even if I’d rather we didn’t permanently lose Thirteen and Taub (who wasn’t in this episode at all, along with Dr. Nolan).

The case itself wasn’t particularly interesting with its symptoms, but was much more focused on the nature of the patient himself, an African politician responsible for some atrocities back home, as well as suspected of planning large-scale genocide.  It was interesting seeing Cameron’s reaction, actually advocating letting him die to avert hundreds of thousands of deaths.  I liked that it made sense to her at first as both an emotional and logical idea, but changed her mind when Dibala became aware of her views and challenged her to kill him herself or accept that she can’t truly be in favour of killing somebody for the greater good.

I also liked Chase’s journey down the opposite path, initially firm in his belief that you can’t allow a patient to die because he’s ‘evil’ and being repeatedly won over by Dibala’s charm, only to be told from the man himself than he does intend to commit genocide, prompting Chase to actually sabotage the case and cause him to die.  Though Foreman apparently intends to cover for him, it seems unlikely that Chase is going to get through this unscathed, even if the repercussions are personal rather than legal.

I speculated last week that Foreman genuinely didn’t even consider stepping down to save his relationship with Thirteen, viewing it solely as a choice between breaking up with her or firing her (presenting her as the problem), and he confirmed that this week when he said, “I had two really crappy alternatives.”  Ouch.  Combined with him stating that he believes firing her was the right decision, he wholly undermined all the goodwill he gained by securing her a job offer elsewhere.  That would seem to rule out Thirteen returning to the team, unless House really gets manipulative, which he shouldn’t really be doing in his reformed state.

On that subject, House’s new character was put to the test this episode thanks to Wilson’s grumpy neighbour, a one-armed Vietnam veteran.  House did try to be the good guy but it really doesn’t come naturally, resulting him in accidentally spying on his mail, entering his apartment and confronting him as a fraud (which was incorrect).  When the conflict culminated in House drugging the man like Dexter Morgan (of the TV show Dexter) and tying him up in a chair I really couldn’t tell what was happening, but of course House pulled through, curing his phantom pain and earning his gratitude.  Still, he did seem to skip a few of the steps between coming up with the plan and forcing the treatment on him.  Presumably he might have been a little receptive simply to the offer of being able to cure the pain, unless of course it’s less effective if the patient knows what’s supposed to happen.

It does seem to imply that House isn’t exactly a reformed character, which should keep things entertaining as the idiocy and lies of the patients begin to get to him in the weeks ahead.

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