Spoilers for "House" coming up just as soon as I figure out who won our "When does someone finally have lupus?" pool...
A good episode for the most part, with the Cuddy's thong subplot providing Hugh Laurie the opportunity for many, many hilarious moments. (My favorite being the back-to-back scenes where he realizes that Big Love did, in fact, get Cuddy's thong.) I'll miss Big Love, as I thought the actor and character bounced better off of Laurie/House than some of the remaining people, but then, I still wish Scooter was here.
Now that the contest has only one episode/firing to go, though, I want to focus more on that than the episode itself. (Though feel free to discuss it in the comments if you want. The Wilson/House foosball game was another nice moment.)
I'm still annoyed that the representatives of the final three actors leaked the news to the tabloids, as it's sucked some suspense from the last batch of episodes. But for a thought exercise, let's pretend none of us knows who's staying and who's going, and let's look at these final four to decide who should stay and who should go.
(Note: while we knew Taub's specialty, the other ones -- not to mention some of the first names -- come from a Fox press release.)
Thirteen (Olivia Wilde)
Specialty: Internal medicine
Pros: More willing to stand up to House and less vulnerable to his mindgames than anyone, including the Cottages 1.0. House's frustration with his inability to manipulate her gives Hugh Laurie some amusing notes to play. Medically-speaking, has been right more often than anybody who's left. And I don't object to having Olivia Wilde on my television screen.
Cons: Finding out about her possible Huntington's diagnosis takes away a lot of the character's mystery, both for us and for House. While she inspires funny moments from House, she herself isn't that funny.
Amber/Cutthroat Bitch (Anne Dudek)
Specialty: Interventional radiology
Pros: The writers love her; without having put a stopwatch on it, I would guess she's had the most screen time/dialogue of any of the remaining candidates. Her ruthlessness provides lots of possibilities to toy with the series' standard formula. She and Taub have nice chemistry together. Brilliant (if completely inappropriate) nickname. I don't object to having Anne Dudek on my television screen.
Cons: Once she has the job, what is there for her to be cutthroat about? While Foreman was arguably first among equals in the original configuration, there's no real room for advancement within the team. How amusing is she if she doesn't have a goal to achieve? She and Taub may be redundant. Kind of cartoonish.
Chris Taub/Mini-Stud (Peter Jacobson)
Specialty: Plastic surgery
Pros: Jacobson's a strong, funny actor who plays well off everybody. As a near-contemporary of House and someone who was very accomplished in his own field (albeit a less-respected one), not to mention someone of independent means, he can stand up to House in ways the others can't or won't. Has nice chemistry with Amber, but also has a moral complexity she lacks, making him more unpredictable.
Cons: "Chris" Taub? Huh? There may be Jews out there named Chris, but I've never met any. Again, do you need both him and Amber?
Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn)
Specialty: Rehabilitative and sports medicine
Pros: He's played by Kal Penn. Kal Penn is awesome and needs to be in my viewing life more often. his enthusiasm and recklessness provide colors that nobody else on the show provides, whether the original Cottages or these newbies. Funny.
Cons: By far the biggest screw-up left; even though he was right several times in this episode, the others have seemed much more on the ball, and none of them have lit patients on fire. I feel like we know far less about him than any of the other remaining candidates (not to mention past firees like Scooter, Grumpy and Big Love). He doesn't even have a nickname, for gosh sakes.
If I got to choose, I'd probably pick Amber, Taub and Kutner. What say you?