Wednesday, February 06, 2008

House, "Don't Ever Change": Amber is slammin'

Spoilers for last night's "House" pre-strike finale coming up just as soon as I figure out how many of my Canadian relatives went to McGill...

What really strikes me about this episode is how well it works as an unintentional season finale. The new team now has a few episodes under their belt. Cutthroat Bitch, the most indelible character to not make the team, gets to return in a recurring capacity and demonstrate some real growth. And one of House's fundamental beliefs about people is proven wrong, both with the patient and his friend, leading his heart to grow, oh, a half a size at least.

There was a lot of discussion last week about whether the adoption revelation served any purpose. To me, all it did was to once again confirm House's "everybody lies" theory, and not even in a way that was medically useful. Three and a half years in, we know everybody lies. We don't need to be constantly reminded of that, especially when it doesn't have any bearing on the case. On the other hand, to see House recognize that he's not always right, that some people can surpass his low expectations of him? That's interesting. That's something we haven't seen before, and it's a nice note to give Hugh Laurie (and, for that matter, Ann Dudek and Robert Sean Leonard) to play.

(Not that the show needs any more characters -- see (or, rather, don't) Cameron this week -- but it might be nice if Amber wound up with a radiology job at PPTH, so she could consult on the occasional case.)

I really liked the Hasidic couple story (featuring Sarah Silverman's sister Laura), both for the characters themselves and for the way the new team interacted with them. After they spent the entire Super Bowl episode harassing Cameron, it was good to have them in the thick of things, applying their own personal biases to the case in the same way the old team (Cameron in particular) might have. I especially liked Taub's spiritual semi-awakening, and then Kutner's comparison to the varying degrees of geekdom was a funny agnostic touch.

What did everybody else think? And how many more days will I have this cough before I'll need to find a real-life Dr. House?

23 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, Amber became the first person in the history of the series to understand that the easiest way to win an argument with House is to just agree with whatever obnoxious theory he throws out there.

CarolMR said...

I preferred the Mira Sorvino episode.

Re "Don't Ever Change": I think they could have found a more realistic-looking beard for the Hasidic husband. And - I'm not Jewish, but I grew up in a Hasidic neighborhood and I can tell you that NO Hasidic woman would show as much of her hair as the Laura Silverman character did.

Jeff W. said...

Amber's return does add something to the show, but I agree that it's facing a serious character overpopulation. Nothing meaningful has been done with Cameron, Chase, or Foreman since last season's finale, and I don't understand why they're still around. Is Fox afraid of losing audience if they really let the original cottages leave?

That said, Wilson has had some great lines in the last couple of episodes. It's nice to see him being developed, questioning himself and his relationship with House, but also managing to return House's assaults most of the time. Also, Sarah Silverman's sister was surprisingly good.

Okay, now the strike needs to end.

That Guy Ryan said...

Could I get a little help? Could someone explain the "adoption" part from last week? Did I have a stroke or something?

I liked how Amber glanced on the board, gave one guess, and then moved on. She is indeed SLAMMIN.

CarolMR said...

The "adoption" part was not from "Frozen," it was from the week before with the little girl and her sick mother (Janel Moloney).

dez said...

I thought this episode was hilarious, especially all the back-and-forth between House and Wilson over CTB.

You should probably go see your own Dr. House soon. Make sure your kidneys aren't floating (your back teeth, however...).

Alan Sepinwall said...

She is indeed SLAMMIN.

The question is, is she as slammin' as the Amber who inspired the original "Amber is slammin'" speech?

dez said...

^She's more slammin' because she's actually intelligent :-D

treved said...

i don't watch this show, but i did go to mcgill. anyone care to indulge me and explain the reference alan made?

Mark B said...

Amber was wearing Wilson's McGill sweatshirt. (There was a reference to Canadians in the previous scene, but I don't have it at my recall.)

BrĂ¼nnheather said...

Kuttner made a comment about Amber's legs going all the way to Canada, and House said "so do Canadians', but I don't want to date one" or something to that effect.

Pamela Jaye said...

What I noticed is that the original ducklings (I refuse to use cottages) are still in the opening credits (which this show still has - how many show have an opening anymore?) and the new ducklings are not.

(of course Grey's now has enough main cast to fill a calendar (did I say that *here*?))

afterwards, I watched an ep of Boston Legal (I'm very behind and Scott's coming next week - I need to have all my context, just in case I need to have it) but couldn't make it till the end.
this morning I could barely remember that House was on last night.

Loved Wilson (that's ongoing) and I think you used a "him" when you meant to use "them" in your review - can't remember and it's not on this page to check. it was something about change...

Has the media messed with my mind on Hassidics - they don't have curls? (the men)

treved said...

thanks!

Anna said...

Oh yes! I am so glad you agree with me about the Christmas episode adoption revelation. All through this episode with House's "People don't change" broken record playing I kept thinking, "Please let him be wrong, please let him be wrong, please let him be wrong." And then he was! It was excellent! I mean, if it had turned out that the patient's spirituality was a form of psychosis, that would've insulted me on A WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL than the adoption thing. And the thing with Amber & Wilson was great too.

So the only thing that really bothered me about this episode then was the thing with 13 (does she have a name yet? I can't for the life of me remember it). I have no problem with her being bisexual, but i do have a problem with how completely random it was. I mean, where did Foreman get that from?? Also, why do we care?

dez said...

^So when she gets fired, she can't say, "Is it because I'm a bisexual?" out of the blue :-D

dez said...

^BTW, that's not a spoiler, just a joke. I have no idea what they've got planned for any of the characters.

Bruce Reid said...

Having ex-seminarian Chase come up with the biblical justification for fooling the patient was inspired; having house tell the husband "I am Yahweh" was good for a laugh but sufficiently blasphemous that it should have sent him running back to again demand another doctor, no kidding this time.

House and Wilson's interactions have been my favorite since day one, so these last few episodes have been right up my alley. ("I use the French, because you're an ass.") And while I'm ignorant of medicine to the point that literally about a third of the dialogue each show flies right over my head, it was a nice, understated wrinkle that (if I followed this correctly) the bride's celebration dance at the wedding was what jiggled her kidney loose.

Anna: "I mean, if it had turned out that the patient's spirituality was a form of psychosis, that would've insulted me on A WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL than the adoption thing."

Agreed, though I'm equally grateful that four years in they've shown no temptation towards an epiphany that shakes up House's atheism.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I was just glad to see Spider Eyes getting more work.

Averil said...

But did anyone else notice Amber appears to be three/four months pregnant??

dez said...

^Next week on House: "Rosemary's Baby Revisited"!

The Alden said...

This was, quite possibly, the best episode of the season and a great impromptu finale.

Anne Dudek was excellent here, the best she's been in the show. Really hoping she becomes a recurring, or heck, even a regular. Not only is she good with Wilson, but she all of a sudden has this really great chemistry with House. In fact, at the end of the scene in her apartment, I was thisclose to thinking he was about to kiss her. They did the close-faces thing, and there was something in his tone that just made it seem oh so possible.

Also, throwing a bone to the House/Wilson shippers (though I'm not one, they are legion on the 'net) was a nice touch. It made me smile, especially how disturbed House was to realise it. His face in the restaurant... priceless.

There are so many moments in this I wanna go back and rewatch - the apartment scene (actually, already did) the one in the restaurant, the Cuddy/Wilson scene.

The Hasidic woman's case not only tied perfectly into the theme, but was excellent in its own right. We even got development on all three of the newbies, though 13's was pretty minor. I realy liked it.

Great episode all round. Ones like this remind me why S4 is the first season that kept make sticking around beyond 6-7 episodes since S1.

Byron said...

I still say they're building up all these characters to prepare for Hugh leaving the show.

P "N" K said...

I find that highly doubtful...it seems to me, and I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this, that without Hugh, there really is no show. Ducklings can come and go, but House is the Sun in the solar system here.