If somehow you missed the running theme of this episode (though I don’t know how because it was brought up at least once in every discussion) it was lies. Or, more specifically, lies our parents tell us. Oh, come on, I had to say it! How often can I tie House to Buffy? ;)
While I saw the common thread throughout the ep, I didn’t see it tie together until the very last scene. Early in the episode House commented that parents “lie to us because they love us.” It’s an echo of a criticism that he has made since the very first episode - people lie. And when people lie to him in the course of his job, people can die. (If the father had told them that he owned a scrap business instead of a construction business, would the son’s fate had been different?) Yet, emotionally, House seems to understand, even desire, the benefits that can come from lying. Compare how House reacts to his father’s honesty about his condition and the way he chooses to live versus his mother’s, “You’re absolutely perfect just the way you are.” Hell, we all know it’s a lie when our parents call us perfect, no one is perfect, but it’s what we like to hear. Even need to hear sometimes. When Cardel confesses how scared he is, his father tells him he‘s going to be just fine. The truth is too painful and what purpose would it serve?
My initial reaction to House’s father was the standard, ‘What a jerk!’ as he dishes out platitudes to House. ‘You‘ve got two legs.‘ “You just don’t know how lucky you are.” And while true on some level (considering House’s line of work he knows there are people worse off than him), you can’t put yourself in that person’s shoes and fully understand how they suffer. His dad doesn’t even seem to make an attempt to ask questions, to find out. But Wilson’s comment to Cameron, “You know what I figure is worse than watching your son become crippled. Watching him be miserable.” lead me to have a more sympathetic view of him. Wilson spoke from personal experience. He’s tried to get House to free himself from his self imposed state of misery with little success. If it pains him to see House live the way he does, what must it be like for a parent?
I thought this episode provided some very good forward momentum for all the characters. Have we had an episode prior to this one where we’ve seen the team work so well together? Each coming up with hypothesis that aren’t countered with mockery or derision by House. I’m not sure if he was just preoccupied by his parents impending visit or GASP! Does he have a growing respect forming for the opinions of his people?
Cameron’s maturity continues to develop, slowly. However, I had some issues with her going to Wilson to reveal the real reason behind his dinner plans with House. It’s not that she went behind House’s back, it’s that her motivation seemed born of nosiness rather than concern. And it was rather presumptuous to invite herself and everyone else to what would have been a very uncomfortable dinner party.
Chase seems to have finally made his way out of the dog house. He made a damn good joke in reference to the loan, “Bad night at poker or great night with a hooker?”, beating House to making the self-deprecating remark. And House seemed to admire his efforts in his own way, “Thank you for saving me the trouble of deflecting that personal question with a joke.”
Seriously, I don’t think we can use the term “subtext” with House and Wilson anymore. I lost track of all the double entendres and innuendo. Wilson just needs to hop on the back of the bike so they can get a room already. ;)
And how cute was Wilson taking charge in House’s absence and utilizing the white board? Cameron and Chase’s reactions to trying to figure out what the hell he was writing were priceless too.
I was actually a bit concerned as to why House needed to borrow money from Wilson. I always figured he was well paid for his work and he doesn’t seem to live extravagantly. I should have known there was a reason besides need. He wanted to measure just how much Wilson loves him. : ) I’m guessing had he continued on he could have bought himself a boat.
The exchange regarding the loans lead to the biggest LOL moment of the night for me…“I’ve been lying to you in increasing amounts ever since I told you you look good unshaved a year ago. It’s a little experiment. Ya know, to see where you’d draw the line.” And why wasn’t RSL nominated for an Emmy last season?