Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting caught up: House & Terminator

Okay, a couple of side projects have gotten in the way of my TV-watching and blogging for the past week, so I'm going to try to catch up as much as possible today. I'll hopefully have a "Pushing Daisies" double-post on the last two episodes this afternoon (still need to finish last night's episode), and, if I have a chance, will watch and write about "Life." Meanwhile, after the jump, spoilers for, in order, last night's "House" and Monday night's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"...

As a sequel to one of this season's best episodes of "House" (they even gave it a similar title), "Joy to the World" didn't really live up to the original. Lisa Edelstein was outstanding again, but because the writers for once decided to serve as many characters as possible (the exceptions, as usual, being Cameron and Chase), the Cuddy/baby stuff got a little lost in the shuffle. And the other material (Wilson trying to make House's heart grow three sizes, House then using that as an excuse to invent a virgin birth, Kutner being unsurprisingly revealed as an ex-bully, etc.) wasn't so great that it was worth crowding out the A-story. And the less said about Thirteen and Foreman hooking up despite zero chemistry, the better.

"Terminator" was also fairly underwhelming, an episode that brought in bits and pieces of better episodes from this season -- a time-fractured narrative, Derek brooding over his post-Judgment Day life, civilians dealing with the weight of a future with Skynet -- and yet seemed disposable throughout. After being more than happy with the atmospheric character pieces they've been giving us for most of the season, I'm starting to get impatient for the plot to kick into gear, and we only have one more episode before the show sits on a shelf for two months, then gets banished to die on Fridays.

What did everybody else think?

35 comments:

mrsb said...

This was a life changing event for Cuddy, but the whole thing got pushed to the back. Can't wait to see what her taking on a baby will do to her and House's relationship.

The Kutner was a bully thing was just stupid. And predictable. Blah.

Forman and 13? Vomitrocious. Please, please, please make it stop now.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this week's Terminator. I thought it was intense and the episode held my attention throughout. The diner scene towards the end looked a lot like Luke's Diner! I wonder if it is indeed the same set and they just changed the interior deco a little, since both shows are from Warner Bros.

shara says said...

I really enjoyed Terminator this week. I'll definitely own that it didn't do a single thing to move the plot forward, and didn't have nearly enough Cameron (although "He's a human? My mistake" was my favorite line of the episode), John, or Sarah, but it was a good showcase episode for Derek. I liked the gradual reveal of Derek's connection with the family, where we got pieces at a time and it all came together at the end. i thought that the young actress playing Lauren did a great job with her role, and the parallels to her and Sarah were very cool - down to her disappearing with the baby, resolved on protecting a child that would grow up to basically save humanity (by providing the immunity to the terminators' bioweapon). It didn't move the plot forward, but I thought it definitely enriched the story.

I also really liked seeing Derek meeting Jessie (god i love how she talks). Watching their instant connection made the line from a few episodes ago ("Do you think there's a version of the future where we're not together?" "Not a chance") even more meaningful.

The time-bendiness of the sisters' storyline also had interesting parallels to the Conners' storyline - at the end, I was left wondering if FutureLauren, who had saved PastDerek-in-the-Future, knew when she said "Thank you for saving my sister" that this was the guy who had saved her sister twice now - if that little smile meant that she remembered FutureDerek-in-the-Past, and knew that he would wind up going back in time and saving her, after she injected him and saved him. I think that the show handles stuff like this very well.

dez said...

Are the baby's grandparents and father giving the baby to Cuddy to adopt? If not, how is she certain she will be chosen? I wasn't cler on that.

I thought the House/Wilson bits were pretty funny, and I appreciated some focus on Kutner, even if the outcome was predictable. But good Lord, now Thirteen's bisexual? What. Ever.

I liked the "Terminator" ep more than you did, though I was a little confused about that Roger person because my cable cut out for a couple of minutes. Is it worth re-watching on Hulu, or can someone just fill me in on what I missed when my cable cut out for a few minutes in the middle of the ep (Sarah had just caught the mom in the bedroom using the phone when my cable cut out, then when it came back, Roger was at the house). Thanks!

shara says said...

On the House front, it was aiight. I was surprised at the sudden 13-Foreman hookup, because I didn't think that there had been any build-up - but maybe I just totally missed it (I can certainly be a bit dense sometimes). It seemed really out-of-the-blue. The Kutner reveal was predictable, the virgin-birth hoax thing was kinda cool. I HATE Cuddy's new hairdo, she needs to get her hideous bangs out of her eyes. I loved the moment with her and House where she tells him about the baby, and he didn't say anything hurtful or mean. I wished that he would have put his arm around her while they stood there watching the baby, but whatever. My very favorite moment was when House was watching the lady use her inhaler like perfume - the slow grin on his face was absolutely priceless.

shara says said...

@dez - she's always been bisexual - one of the greatest lines in recent house memory was when House and Foreman were talking about something that "could go either way" or "could go both ways" or something like that, and they both look at each other and say: "Like Thirteen". Mr. Shara Says and I have been throwing that into general conversation whenever possible ever since.

J said...

The House writers have, by overcrowding their show, lost the time to pay attention to their patients. Worse, they've lost their funny. The show's been so lame this year that, once it moves to Mondays, I'll happily forego it in favor of Chuck.

Byron said...

I like Kutner, but what was apologizing to the guy supposed to do for him? Kutner gets to feel better about it, but what does his victim gain? What could Kutner possibly say that would make anything better?

LA said...

I found it completely unbelieveable that the parents of the teenager who is about to die wouldn't keep her baby. There's not a chance that would happen in real life.

When House moves to Mondays in January, I'll watch Big Bang Theory and HIMYM instead.

leor said...

@Bryon...by that token, what does apologizing ever accomplish?

i think it's a solid gesture, even years later...think about My Name is Earl - a fictional show, yes, but people can feel better about themselves when someone tries to make amends for a wrongdoing.

shara says said...

@LA - I work in a field where I deal with literally that exact grandparent situation on a regular basis - and from my experience, you're right on. Grandparents will fight tooth and nail for custody, visitation, any kind of access to a grandchild, and those battles get particularly messy when one or both of the parents is dead. That was really hard for me to swallow, and THEN I started wondering if that's exactly where this storyline is going - if Cuddy will again be the victim of second-thoughts, or if she's a foster parent who bonds with the child but when it comes time to adopt, the pain has lessened and one or both sets of grandparents changes their mind, and then she will have to give up the child that she has already been raising. I see stuff like that a LOT - where foster parents want to adopt, but suddenly biofamily members lawyer up and try to take the kid back. Messy, painful stuff.

@dez - you didn't miss much. The woman was trying to call Roger, I guess to warn him that the family was still home and NOT to come for their planned rendevouz (sp?). Sarah walked in, the lady didn't finish the call, and pretty quickly Roger shows up. Then the woman has to admit to having an affair with Roger to explain why he was showing up at the house (and to justify her belief that he's not a terminator). her husband blew up, they started having their whole stupid marital fight all over again.

LA said...

and THEN I started wondering if that's exactly where this storyline is going - if Cuddy will again be the victim of second-thoughts

Shara - Good thinking, you nailed it. I bet that's exactly what happens later this season. It's the perfect setup.

Mrglass said...

And the less said about Thirteen and Foreman hooking up despite zero chemistry, the better.

Oh, but let's talk about it, just to get it out the way. Grumpy Foreman and Whiny 13 hooking up is really the Couple From Hell. My two least favorite characters on the show at least will share their scenes together now. And after Cameron-Chase and House-Cuddy, it inches the show closer to Grey's Anatomy level of soapiness. Don't these people have a life outside of the hospital? (well, House doesn't, but what about the rest?)

That said, I was thrilled with this episode. House going back to clinic duties was a return to roots, return to form for the series. Hugh Laurie was as funny and sacarstic as ever. The virgin birth thing could have been in the first season, or even in the pilot.

Great christmas episode if you can just forget anything about 13/Foreman. In particular, why in hell did it end with them kissing, instead of House congratulating Cuddy on her new child? Usually (always?) House is in the last scene, so it was quite jarring.

Still, the show is back on track. Now bring back the PI, give more material to Cameron&Chase and tone down the 13-obsession, that would be a Christmas gift for fans.

Taleena said...

Yah know, Foreman used to be my favorite of House's elves but they have just ruined him - 13 hooking up with him was the cherry on that awful sundae.

By contrast Chase has zoomed to my favorite.

Plus I knew Wilson was playing Taub and Kutner as soon as he said the name Irene Adler. I crowed in laughter. That makes him Watson in his little tale doesn't it?

Asthma inhaler scene? Priceless.

olucy said...

This ep was just humming along at its usual pace until we got to the last 5 minutes, where it took a sharp turn into WTH-land.

* Cuddy finds the baby! After walking into a crack house in a bad neighborhood...ALONE!

* Cuddy hits the jackpot when NOBODY associated with said baby--even the parents of her dying mother--want nothing to do with the baby, leaving the way wide open for Cuddy. Who wastes no time calling a lawyer. I see they took the pains to establish that she'd be a foster parent first, then adopt, so we wouldn't think she was buying the baby. And I join the previous poster who fears she is setting herself up for another baby loss, which would be a terrible storyline.

* Kutner becomes the male Liz Lemon and reveals himself to have been a Mean Boy. Wow. Two of those reveals in the same week.

* Foreteen kiss! With the aid of no chemistry whatsoever! I agree with the poster who thought the show ending on them, instead of House, was off-putting. I also agree with the poster who is happy that these two will now have their scenes combined. Makes it easier to FF.

Other random thoughts:

*Taub baiting House about Cuddy was pretty funny.

*The virgin birth storyline was evident a mile away and pretty silly. I guess they thought it tied into the other baby storyline, but it was pretty weak.

*I guess House working in the clinic was supposed to tie in to Wilson's challenge that House can never be "nice." But secretly I wondered if he was doing it as an excuse to show a better side to Cuddy, since her office is located next to the clinic. Kind of a reverse of what she did last week. But it didn't really pan out that way.

Christy said...

Wilson is always Watson. It's the premise of the show. But that was an exceptionally cute play on it all. Love Wilson. (I also love Watson).

belinda said...

Not to harp on the where's Chase? thing, but I got to say, despite the few lines and screentime he got in this episode, Chase was able to accomplish in just that one scene at the beginning so much more so than any of the multiple scenes with Kutner and his issues with bullying and bullies. Again, it just makes me miss the old team all the more while they try way too hard trying to write about the newbies.

Which begs the question, who did the two piss off in the writers' table? I still don't understand exactly why Chase and Cameron never get any real storylines while being a series regular, whereas the writers keep us completely bored with all that Foreteen stuff, as well as trying to hard to inject more personality/background (neither of which works or is believable) into Taub and Kutner?

Hm.

belinda said...

Oh, forgot to say, it's nice seeing House back at the clinic again, even though I didn't particularly enjoy this episode clinic story.

Hey! In the old seasons, I remember seeing the team at the clinic as well, doing various weird cases and whatnots. How come I don't see the new team there at all? (or maybe they did, and I FF over it)

Anyway, basically, yeah, I hope they intergrate the clinic back into the show as well as the old team.

OK, I'll really stop complaining about poor Cameron and Chase now.

CAK said...

Maybe they could do a Grey's / House crossover and put Thirteen with Dead Denny and Foreman with Izzie... Or make it a three-way crossover and instead of Thirteen getting with Denny DUQUETTE, there's a wacky mixup and she ends up with Denny CRANE... And then Sam & Dean Winchester turn up at Seattle Grace hunting the ghost of their missing Dad who they hear has been seducing whiny female doctors under an assumed name... If we could just cross party lines and reach across the table, the possibilities are endless.

shara says said...

@CAK - then Nancy Botwin could show up, with kids, DEA, a trunk full of weed, and various gansters in tow, and demand to know why the heck her dead husband is messin' around with some blond trollop.

BTW - my word verification is hodump, which I find highly amusing.

olucy said...

I'm always happy to see Chase, but that scene was weird. They assemble all those kids at the hospital to ask them what they gave the PoTW, instead of sending someone from the hospital to talk to them at school. I thought that was a bizarre choice.

M.A.Peel said...

House saying "I've got to stop being such a jerk" was a throw away line that seemed sincere. Then the white lab coat and clinic, "which isn't a duty, it's a privilege" (or something like that).

But it was the "I was doing so well" after Inhaler Lady that was just great.

As for House and Cuddy at the end, he said "Happy holidays, Cuddy" instead of Lisa. At that moment, he really should have used her first name.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Actually, he said "Merry Christmas, Cuddy," which I found odd, since he had made another Jewish joke about her ("Every Tom, Dick and Herschel") earlier in the episode.

olucy said...

He never calls her Lisa. That would have been almost jolting.

dez said...

@shara says, thanks for the info!

@olucy, I think bringing the kids to the hospital was more effective in getting a real answer out of them because it strips them of their power, plus they were in the observation room thinking they were watching their classmate dying. Much better scare tactic on Chase's part than having him threatening them at the school where they are in charge (compared to Chase, that is).

Pamela Jaye said...

i enjoyed Cuddy getting the aha! moment - or as my brother and i call it, Calluses!

and if someone who bullied me in HS (or even later - John Hancock in the 80's was like jr. high) were to spontaneously apologize, i'd be happy.

love the crossovers and for those enjoying their word verification ken levine is having a contest at his blog , if it has not ended already. ken is in Alan's blogroll on the main page here.

Pamela Jaye said...

that deadline is 9pm tonight

Lori said...

i actually saw the Foreman/13 thing a mile away, and I'm very shocked no one else did. maybe because everyone professes to hate her so much that they try not to pay attention to her scenes, but for at least the last few weeks, the two of them have been having little "heart to heart" chats in almost every episode.

after the whole hostage thing, it was Foreman who was next to the bed when she woke up. they had a talk about her sleeping with strangers during that episode. once she joined his whole drug trial thing, they've definitely been talking and bonding more. it's nothing major, just a short little scene in each episode that made me think they might hook up eventually. i was surprised out how quickly it happened, but wasn't totally shocked.

Stef said...

Whoever came up with "Foreteen" - the nickname - hilarious! "Foreteen" the storyline? Not loving it so much.

And I also really hated Lisa E's new haircut. I kept wanting to give her a headband or something to get those bangs out of her eyes!

I liked the return to the clinic, virgin birth and all. And I'm really enjoying the snarky team of Taub and Kutner. I was never a huge fan of the previous team, so I don't mind that they're getting less screen time. Although Chase is still the cutest...

Bruce Reid said...

Regarding House, I thought it a clever touch that Wilson's charge against House, that he couldn't truly be kind, was actually confirmed twice regardless of how the bet turned out. House foisting the parthenogenesis bull on the young couple wasn't kindness, just keeping their inevitable argument on their miracle baby from exploding while he was around. And it seemed pretty clear that Cuddy had the epiphany this week because House had never cared much about this patient she'd dumped in his lap, and consequently hadn't expended any particular effort to figure her problem out.

shara says: "My very favorite moment was when House was watching the lady use her inhaler like perfume - the slow grin on his face was absolutely priceless."

I saw that in at least a half-dozen promos and it drew a big laugh every time.

Terminator I enjoyed more than Alan. But the show has a habit of thinking they're crafting big reveals out of things that are utterly obvious, in this case the actual target of the Terminator and why.

Anonymous said...

hated hated hated the cuddy baby angle. terrible, cliche and forced... and really, as much as i've come to accept that you have to suspend disbelief with that show, really? i'm supposed to believe that a premature baby is able to survive in a squat in the ghetto? and that she can just swoop in and adopt it? just..no.

i do hope that now that cuddy has the attention she wants, we can get away from the "will they or won't they" angle which is just trite.

also, foreman/thirteen = gross. and perhaps i'm in a minority, but i enjoy the taub/kutner interaction. more of that, more chase/cameron and less thirteen, please.

bombaygirl said...

Like most of the other posters, I liked the Terminator episode. The family bickering actually made it seem pretty realistic...yes, even when the end of the world is near, we still fight about marital boredom! Quite funny, in a sad way. The savior sister (Sydney?) seemed to really have the weight of the world on her thin shoulders...

olucy said...

Have you guys seen this DIY Ep of House blog?

http://www.cracked.com/blog/write-your-own-house-episode/

As Liz Lemon would say....Funny...because it's true!

Pamela Jaye said...

olucy,
yes! and found out Cracked wS ONLINE TOO!

Anonymous said...

I loved the Sherlock Holmes/Watson references, which of late seem to have dropped by the wayside. The giveaway of the book by Dr Joseph Bell (Bell being the mentor of Conan Doyle and template for Sherlock Holmes meant it was obviously from Wilson/Watson. Then the reference to Irene Adler (the one woman Holmes ever loved and lost) by Wilson was an added bonus.
I'd love to see a Sherlock Holmes episode with Laurie and Leonard.