I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, but I was at a loss for anything to say last night. I couldn't even pull out a few lines of dialogue to quote because from beginning to end it was paked with great ones. But as I was lying awake in bed suffering from a headache and trying to distract myself from the pounding behind my eyes, inspiration struck me. 'TB' was an excellent example of how House has managed to avoid what has effected, to varying degrees, many other shows this season - a softmore slump. And this morning my mother made a fascinating point that I completly missed and got me thinking more. Damn her! :p
To begin with, I've been a fan of Ron Livingston's for some time so I was thrilled to see him guest starring. I was extremely impressed with how he held his own against Hugh and Sebastian is a character I would like to see again - maybe in two months when he needs more of his meds? :) But he's not a character that would work on a weekly basis. He's too much like House. However, there two important differences in their personalities are revealed as both strive to help people.
First, and I love that Sebastian pointed this out and received no response from House, Sebastian is able to accept failure. He knows he's going to lose patients even if this was a perfect world where everyone had access to basic medical treatment. It's not as if House doesn't lose patients, but he takes the losses personally. He has at his disposal not only the best equipment and drugs, but the best staff he could assemble. There's no drug company or society's apathy to blame. It's not right for him to think this way, but if someone dies under his care it has to be his fault.
The second difference is one my mother mentioned when discussing her favorite scene - House and Wilson looking down at Sebastian and the press from the balcony. She began discussing Hamlet's soliloquy, "To be or not to be..." and specifically the part about nobility. Who is the nobler doctor? The one, though his intentions are good, playing to the press and getting his face plastered on every magazine cover and TV news show? Or the one who's made medicine his life, shunning any recognition, and saving as many lives as he can? I'm not sure you can make a call.
BTW, my favorite scene had to be in Coma Guys room. And does Coma Guy count as a reoccuring character now? Anyway, I loved it when House abruptly leaves the room and Foreman slips into his chair, watching with Wilson as House becomes part of the drama unfolding. Cut to House and then back to Foreman, chomping away on some snack food, while Wilson proclaims "compeling television". Icons people, we need icons!
Now, why do I think House has successfully avoided the softmore slump?
- I haven't quite put my finger on it, but, somehow, they've made House less abrasive while not softening the character at all. One explanation could be that while he continues to give everyone crap and they still endure the crap, they don't seem to be taking it personally. I noticed this especially with Cameron last night. When House made the fascinating and correct observation that she lost interest in Sebastian as soon as she realized he lived, she didn't seem thrilled with the analysis, but she didn't walk off in a huff or look on the verge of tears either. Are the underlings growing up or growing a thicker skin?
- Speaking of Cameron, I do feel she's being written better this season. She's coming off, thus far, as being much stronger emotionally. She still has feelings for House and other issues that need to be dealt with, but they weren't getting in the way of her job here. And I liked that she went against House's wishes, did the TB test, and it turned out to be the right thing to do. I can't recall which epsiode it was last season, but House complimented her on making the right call on a diagnosis then immediately chastised her for not fighting for her decision against pressure form the others. This time, when House discovers what she's done, giving Sebastian a reason to refuse other treatment, he expresses his anger, but she doesn't back down. And while I see House's point they needed to diagnosis and treat the TB before getting to the other cause of his declining health.
- The show is successfully integrating all the characters. I didn't feel any of the scenes were forced as I did with some last season. The result of 'Hey, they're in the opening credits. We have to work them in somewhere.' Cuddy's scenes relating to the B Story with the disgrunteld patient were an important reinforcement of one theme of image. House is judged on his personality by those who know him. Those who don't might look at the cane and automatically by sympathetic towards him. And then we have Sebastian who because of his tireless efforts to help the less fortunate must be a swell guy. That's the image the media is showing the public. But is he? Nope, he can be just as big an ass as House.
Ack. Lunch is over. Must end here.
Hey, check out the new 'My LJ' feature on your user info page. Very cool. And birthday reminders! Woo Hoo! :)