Tuesday, April 14, 2009

House, "Saviors": Amber on my mind

Quick spoilers for last night's "House" coming up just as soon as I start eating healthy...
"People only change after a trauma if they wanted to change before a trauma." -House
Well, they paid more lip service to Kutner's death than I was expecting, but for now it still feels like lip service and little more. David Shore has already said that he doesn't think Kutner's suicide is going to change House at all, so while I welcome another fantasy return by Amber(*), nothing's going to come of it other than some fun interplay between Hugh Laurie and Anne Dudek. And aside from Cameron, kinda sorta (in that she didn't want Chase's proposal to be related to Kutner's death), all the other characters already seem to have moved on from an event that should have a much more profound effect on the series.

(*) As soon as I recognized Dudek's voice as Cutthroat Bitch, all I could think about, again, was what a bad decision Shore and company made in dumping Amber in favor of any of the other three. Yes, she could be one-note at times during the competition part of that season, but from her elimination episode onward, she was the most vibrant and interesting character on the show other than House himself. Dudek and Robert Sean Leonard were brilliant in the season finale, but I'd rather give up that episode if it meant we'd had Amber around all this time. Her elimination is even more frustrating than the writers' non-use of Kutner for the last two years.

Well, at least we got to hear Laurie rock out on "Georgia On My Mind" on both keyboard and harmonica, and the Chase and Cameron fans don't have anything to complain about for one week, but "Saviors" didn't do a lot to change my opinion about the suicide as yet another potential-laden "House" storyline that's going to be ignored as quickly as it's convenient to do so.

What did everybody else think?


Alice said...

As much as I was happy to watch Cameron back in Diagnostics playing doctor, nothing can't make up for having to witness Chase proposing to Cameron. That was painful and sadistic, all I could think about was how uncomfortable that scene must have been for Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer. Shore wasn't kidding when he said after their real life break up that he would pair them up in the show again just to mess with them.

jackie said...

I'll admit this one was lighter than I was expecting and I was very glad Amber appeared to suggest all is not well at PPTH in general and House in particular. But I think this was the calm before the storm. Given how many posts on the forums seem to have loved the tone of this one, I guess DS wasn't wrong to think he should have a lighter ep following the suicide. I'd rather he hadn't, but I'm still expecting big fallout to come.

olucy said...

I will watch this show to the bitter end because of Hugh Laurie, but this ep (and the impending "I see dead people") makes me feel like this show should be wrapping up at S5. They're really running on empty.

Agree that the Cameron/Chase stuff was painful to watch and probably would be more so if they were good actors. Even more painful, all the running around trying to determine who wants to bed House. Cuddy's credibility is now in the minus range.

Didn't really care about the PoTW. Wilson pranking House was great, as was the piano/harmonica playing at the end.

Looking forward to seeing Dudek again, but also frustrated that it's under these circumstances. Wish they had chosen her over the bland Thirteen.

Anonymous said...

I hate all the focus on relationships this year. I don't care about Cameron and Chase or House and Cuddy or House and Cameron. I think the House/Cuddy kiss was one of the stupidest storylines the show has ever done and all of the fans salivating over where their relationship will go makes no sense to me. If you are into relationship drama then watch Grey's Anatomy. But these people who watch procedural shows and then get all worked up over the little crumbs of personal drama (ex: Sara and Grissom)? I just don't get it.

And speaking of Grey's Anatomy...isn't bringing back Amber, a character they never should have killed in the first place, via hallucination getting dangerously close to Denny territory?

Namaste said...

I felt like it was a pretty good "B" story filler for the first half, which really picked up steam in the second. (I've never liked Cameron, still don't.)

But geez, David Shore can't win for losing with some critics. Critics want him to trim the cast and they do, and they bitch about who and why. Here, you say you want Kutner's death to have impact and we see that it has, and you're still not happy. A neat twist with Amber's reappearance as a hallucination, and we just get whining that she left. I think the only thing that'd suit some haters is if "House" suddenly magically became "Chuck."

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention that I HATED the patient this week. I actually wanted him to die because he was so annoying. I can't believe they didn't have House attacking him more so we could watch a lame proposal between two characters who are barely even on the show anymore.

Karen said...

I agree with Anonymous--I loathed that patient. Self-righteous jerk. I would have had no problem with him dying, and I took entirely too much pleasure in his shrieks of pain when his leg broke.

But I digress.

SO SICK of Cuddy/House high school games (played out this week as Cuddy/Cameron high school games). How these people function when they act like such children is beyond me.

And why Cameron couldn't make the same speech she made to Chase at the end when he was sitting at the cafeteria table with her was mystifying. Another example of a clearly doomed relationship because she couldn't say something quite simple when all the chips were on the line.

What I liked? Wilson messing with House. "You manipulative bitch." House and Wilson laughing together at the table over fries during the ending instrumental (it really pointed out how seldom we actually see House laugh from a sense of genuine delight). Hugh Laurie playing--piano AND harmonica! And the return of Amber.

They really need to end the series, because I don't know how much more of this I can take, and I love Hugh Laurie too much to know he's on TV and I'm not watching him.

LA said...

I wasn't an Amber fan in the first place, so seeing her back in hallucination form is kind of annoying. Agree with the person above who said this show should consider wrapping up. Like House, it has completely lost its mojo.

Anonymous said...

Its really astounding how bad some of the decisions David Shore is making are. It seems to be increasingly driven by his personal likes/dislikes & relationships with the actors & his desire to thumb his nose at the fans rather than the best storytelling possible.

So we get 13 rather than the better actress & character in Ann Dudek & Amber; we get the sadistic Chase & Cameron engagement (though I'm in the camp that will take anything I can get of either character) & the ongoing destruction of Cuddy's & Foreman's brains so they can remain stagnant in House's orbit.

This ep is just part of the ongoing downward slide of the show - it was more watchable than last week's blithering idiocy about Foreteen's relationship crisis & being pallbearers for Kutner, but also it highlighted how good it used to be with the House & Wilson interaction, Chase & Cameron as actual thinking doctors working with House & what a wonderful character Amber was.

Oaktown Girl said...

If this show needs to wrap up because it is played out, it may be due more to a lack of imagination on the writers' part than for any lack of potentially good storylines. Even with all the bad decisions that have been made in the past 2 seasons, it seems like the possibility for good storytelling is still very much out there. And either those good ideas simply aren't manifesting in the writers' rooms, or they aren't the ones being chosen.

And if we're going to go with fantasies/hallucinations, let's see House hallucinating that Cutthroat is one of his wives in a plural marriage situation on a religious compound. One of House's other wives is sick, and only Cutthroat holds the key to helping House save her. Will she do it?

Unknown said...

I don't know whether to be glad we finally got to see Cameron and Chase again or to be sad at how banal this show has become. Instead of Amber, we get Thirteen and her endless drama. Instead of Cole or the old guy, we get Taub. Instead of Cameron and Chase, we get more Foreman and the clone team. Instead of interesting medical cases and ethical dilemmas, we get boring soap opera.

Cuddy has become completely pathetic in her relationship with House and he's not much better. It's startling to realize that Cameron and Chase have become the adults on the show.

The best part of the show was the Wilson/House plot. When the 'C' plot is the best part of the show, it's in trouble.

As Anonymous said above, it's astounding what bad decisions David Shore has been making. Giving the large House/Cameron viewership a reason to stop watching as he did here is yet another one.

I agree with others that it was very sadistic making Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison do those scene and it was entirely unnecessary in terms of the overall show. In fact, the complete obviousness of that whole plot is an example of why the show has become so ordinary this season.

Shore either needs to be replaced as show-runner or they need to end this now.

Boffle said...

Sadistic? Asking actors to play a scene? Sorry, no. They are all professionals and it was some of the best acting they have done.

Very nice set-up to whatever comes next. Fabulous Hugh Laurie throughout, but the ending? Excellent. David Shore and writers are brilliant, so I'm not interested at all in second guessing what they mighta, coulda or shoulda done. It's their show and they are, as HL said, gong out on a limb here. Risky to do a business as usual episode and then turn it upside down at the end. BY the way, imho, unspoiled is the way to go, peeps! Writhing in unmet expectations just can't be fun.

Can't wait for next week, next season, and as far as they can take it, which looks to me like a great ride.

lnewcomer said...

Wilson's Touch of Evil poster has moved to the right side of the desk, instead of it's usual spot on the left. On the left, there's now a poster of Ordinary People. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Hated the patient with a passion, didn't mind the rest of the episode. Not one of the best (by a long shot), not what I was expecting, but still enjoyable for the most part.

Shore's pretty much in a no win situation at this point because clearly whatever he does isn't going to be good enough. We've heard lots of whining about getting Chase and Cameron back and now that they were back in a larger role it's not what "we" wanted. And I have no idea why it's David Shore's responsiblity to satisfy shippers when this isn't a show where there's a single group of shippers in the majority. Besides, from where I'm standing they fullfilled the House/Wilson quota (check), moved Chase/Cameron forward (check) and gave us some (very obnoxious) House/Cuddy (check). Three happy ships, one ship that can go back to their fanfiction.

My biggest gripe (other than the obnoxious POTW) is Cuddy. Jeez, she needs to stop being twelve. My other gripe is that even though Cameron was being flaky in her avoidance of Chase, he sure was quick to cut out of there. That seemed a bit silly, imo. Did it not occur to him that maybe she was going through something? Having a crisis? Which, as it turned out, she *was*. I know we haven't spent a lot of time with them and I know that one of our previous short visits with them involved the "here's a drawer" bit, but Chase could have been a little more patient. I know he was pissed, but Chase tends to quietly think things out without a lot of drama, so why he didn't just get straight to the point instead of breaking up with her was kind of annoying.

I'm looking forward to seeing Amber, but I'm also hoping they get the point very quickly. I love Dudek, but I also love Jeffrey Dean Morgan and we see how tedious *that* got. At least we're nearing the end of the season and whatever's wrong with House will no doubt be quickly dealt with and will hopefully involve much less ghost sex.

Melanie said...

I agree with amysusanne above and others here regarding the loathsome PotW, sophomoric Cuddy, and the missed opportunity and welcome return of Amber. But my first reaction to the latter was also to recall Denny/GhostSex. Ugh.

As much as I wish I could put it out of my mind, I am SO taken out of the story by knowing the real-life relationship/breakup details of J. Morrison and J. Spencer. It is a distraction during just about every scene between the two and makes me downright uncomfortable during romantic/affectionate scenes, not to mention them "re-enacting" their engagement and break-up, both during the same episode. But I take issue with the earlier commenter's criticism of the acting and thought both did fine work, especially Chase.

During the montage I grew misty around the time they showed Cuddy's joy at the news. Sniff. Damn manipulative music, gets me every time.

Unknown said...

While I have been vocal in my calls for Cameron and Chase to come back, I wanted them back as doctors challenging House, not as a 'ship. The banality of their relationship has been one negatives about the show these past two seasons. Both characters used to be complex with large dark and scary areas, now they are like a really bad Harlequin movie.

The only ship in this episode that was true to its origins was House/Wilson, the only one that Shore said is better left to the fanfic writers to carry through.

Anonymous said...

>>During the montage I grew misty around the time they showed Cuddy's joy at the news. Sniff. Damn manipulative music, gets me every time.<<

Yeah. But only after I mocked Cuddy for giving herself a mental high five for knocking out another (make believe) road block between her and House. After that, it was a nice moment. {g}

fgmerchant said...

I love that they are back to having Clinic patients, I feel it adds some nice asides that are just for fun, and sometimes it allows House to have an epiphany. I also loved that Chase addressed that House likes to barge into operating rooms because he has epiphanies.

I also hated the patient, as I hate all self-righteous eco-nuts! I did appreciate seeing Lindsey McKeon back on TV though!

Anonymous said...

David Shore isn't in a no win situation. He could ditch ALL the ships and get the show back to what it used to be. If no one is getting theirs, no one has cause for complaint. Making the ships such a big part of the show was a bad, bad move and only led to trouble. Besides turning it in to soap, and not a good soap at that.

Amber's return, likewise, bodes no good. They can't even come up with their own lame gimmicks these days.
Alan is dead on about the treatment of Kutner's death. They did pay lip service to its importance, but that's all. It rang extremely false.

Oh, and for those who wonder why people watch the show and then complain: I watch the show because I remember how good it used to be. I keep hoping that comes back. It's terribly frustrating when something's not broke, and they have to go and fix it.

Pamela Jaye said...

What in the hell????
have the writers on House been driinking Shonda's koolaid?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe that Cuddy interrupted House seeing a clinic patient to ask what Cameron was up to. How LAME, and how totally unprofessional. Unbelievable, really, and bad writing, unless Cuddy is supposed to come off as an immature, jealous idiot.

Pamela Jaye said...

I, too, disliked the patient of the week, Cuddy/House, but I did like Cameron and Chase (and I'm just a little sad as it would have been better last year, when it was real, and I hope it wasn't too painful for them)

I can deal with a little romance on the show. Cam and Chase seems reasonable, Cuddy and House seems insane, Foreman and 13... only matters to me if he's tossing ethics to the wind to save her. Aside from that, it's overkill.

I'll miss Kutner.

but really - when did they decide to go the Grey's Anatomy: soap opera route (as opposed to the Grey's Anatomy dead people route. also stupid.)

The harmonica was fun. Were they running the cardboard food commercials I've seen lately, during this ep? Would have fit.

I do miss Wilson's snide remarks of olde "oh, this is the part where you get an idea and walk away without a word." I loved those, and also wonder how many cases Wilson has solved.

At least there was a clinic patient. Sadly I can't remember a thing about it.

The medical case has become not even secondary, and that is sad (something you wouldn't think you would hear from a fan of Grey's)

I'm looking forward to seeing Amber, but I'm also hoping they get the point very quickly. I love Dudek, but I also love Jeffrey Dean Morgan and we see how tedious *that* got. At least we're nearing the end of the season and whatever's wrong with House will no doubt be quickly dealt with and will hopefully involve much less ghost sex.thanks Amy :-)
I do, so, agree

Pamela Jaye said...

my comments post-quote are running into my quotes on without a paragraph break.

this is new

i'm hitting enter twice, as always. do I have to do a paragraph tag?

dez said...

On the left, there's now a poster of Ordinary People. Thoughts?
A little too on the nose, I thought, and another way to pay lip service to Kutner's death.

How do people "know" those scenes were painful for Jesse & Jennifer? For all we really "know," they've both moved past the break up. It's a silly thing to criticize Shore for, IMHO, when there are real probs with the show (like him turning Cuddy into a third-grader) :-)

The Bgt said...

I don't like head-Amber.
Head-Amber is an insult to the viewers.
If you thought her character was important you shouldnt get rid of her in the first place.

I want the real Amber.
I want this season to be a Bobby-Ewing dream and start next season with Amber alive and kickin.

I am still watching this for Laurie, but for how long? Patience has limits.

Kate said...

I was trying to figure out why I wasn't happier with this episode since I've been wanting so much for Cameron to come back. It suddenly occurred to me that it's because this isn't Cameron. The original Cameron looked sweet and naive but there was a dark and damaged core to her. This Cameron is a blond Barbie and the storyline "she's afraid to commit because her husband died but in the end she asks Chase to propose" belongs in a chick flick on Lifetime TV. No wonder many on the forums loved it, it's a feel-good story and everyone is happy, including Cuddy who now has a clear field. The real House M.D. would have made not only Cameron but this whole story more dark and twisty. I miss the original show.

I think the problems of the past two seasons, too much Thirteen and Foreman and not enough other cast, Cuddy made pathetic, House meaner than ER's Robert Romano, stems from the writers losing their guts and writing the easy version. I doubt the show will win another Emmy because it doesn't have the complexity or guts of Mad Men or Damages.

The show also used to be more about the medicine in that the PotW would echo something in one of the team (e.g. the nun in DIYD). Now the patient is either a huge anvil or an afterthought to the soap opera.

What would make me happy is for House to wake up out of his ketamine coma and find the last three seasons were all a dream. It's cheesy but it may be the only thing that could save the quality of the show.

When they pull out Cameron and Chase and bring back Amber for sweeps periods to pull in more audience, they know what works and what doesn't. They should listen to that little voice.

Melanie said...

dez, I think the Ordinary People poster was up before Kutner's death.

And I don't think anyone here has said they "know" the scenes were painful for C&C. We, or at least I, just imagine that they might be, and find it a little distracting. Nobody "knows", and I don't think anyone has intended any observation along those lines as a criticism of Shore in any way; the fact that they had a real-life engagement is out of his control and shouldn't affect how he writes for the characters. It's just unfortunate.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Nobody "knows", and I don't think anyone has intended any observation along those lines as a criticism of Shore in any way; the fact that they had a real-life engagement is out of his control and shouldn't affect how he writes for the characters.Several comments in the thread (the first one, notably, which uses the word "sadistic") seem to be criticizing Shore for it.

Melanie said...

Okay Alan, that first comment I'll definitely give you. I guess I was reading my own feelings into it too heavily and should speak only for myself; I don't blame Shore for writing those scenes or for my discomfort during them.

And then there are viewers like my husband, who never would have known the actors were engaged without hearing it from me, and most likely has already forgotten. He doesn't care a whit about behind-the-scenes information and here that serves him well.

Pamela Jaye said...

Kate -
"dark and twisty?" really?
it's possible this Cameron belongs on another network, but I think you've overlooked the obvious (and judging from the phrase, not because you are unaware of it) ;-)

not that I am arguing with you.

Pamela Jaye said...

actually, I specifically said I *hoped* in was not uncomfortable for them because I know that I am unaware of where they are at in the cycle of breaking up (not to mention that both of them may not be in the same place)

It would have been nice if these storylines could have been done while they *were* together. since they mostly weren't, it reminds me of a story my brother tells of a woman who signs up for baby magazines and then has a miscarriage - but the magazines (and their spawn) won't go away.

At least these storylines don't happen a lot - as so often, neither of them is on the show. And - in an ongoing peeve, Chase as a surgeon makes a lot of things on Grey's Anatomy seem believable by comparison.

Sam7k4 said...

I am amazed at the fact that people can get distracted by the fact that JS and JM were a couple. I have watched every episode of the show and have never known about the relationship between the actors and honestly couldn't care less. Why are most of you being so melodramatic? It's a tv show!! I therefore watched the scene of the proposal oblivious, and only saw acting. Shore did not do it sadistically or anything stupid like that, it just made sense than Cameron would be worried about another marriage considering what happened to her first husband.

Also, I have been waiting for the proposal ever since the two characters ever got together. If you can remember back to when it first started, when Chase was pining after her, ridiculously in love with her the proposal was all but a certainty. But I still think the marriage may not happen due to the fact that Shore keeps suggesting that Cameron loves House.

Oh, and will Cuddy get together with House already for God's sake! They have dragged this relationship over how many seasons now? It's annoying!

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Every week, I read these comments, and every week, I am gladder and gladder that David Shore does not listen to viewers who complain about his show on the Internet. I feel I must be the only audience member who remembers the dire and pointless subplots that would hijack House for weeks at a time during its first three seasons -- Vogler? Tritter? Anyone? Anyone? They could spend six episodes on nothing but Foreman and Thirteen talking about toenail fungus and it would still be better than every single episode Tritter was in.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this episode a lot. It carried on the death of Kutner instead of just leaving it at that and never mentioning the impact that it would have. This episode wasn't geared towards the patient as much as in the more recent episodes, probably to develop more on the emotions building after the suicide. As for Chase/Cameron, i had no idea where it was going to go, but it did make me smile with the proposal. It will make things a LOT more interesting, especially with House. Great prank with House and Wilson! lol, the "manipulative bitch" really made the entire episode. Great playing by Laurie with Georgia on My Mind. And as for Amber, I didn't really like her before the relationship with Wilson. But, i have to admit that House's Head and Wilson's Heart were probably in the top 5 best episodes. And I enjoy seeing her in these random hallucinations. Maybe House doesn't have his MoJo back yet?

Anonymous said...

Oh and answering Matter-Eater Lad:
Yea, I HATED Volger and Tritter. Those episodes were hard to watch. They got really annoying. I like where the cast is right now.

Johanna Lapp said...

I was surprised to find Stephen Fry on this week's Bones, and more astounded still to see he's a recurring if infrequent character.

How is it that he's never guested on House? Quite frankly, I'd love to see him in the same psychiatrist character he's been playing on Bones.

Anonymous said...

As long as the show seems a bit unbelievable lately, why not have Stephen Fry play the psychiatrist character he's been playing on Bones as well as do a whole Bones crossover show?

Sweeps week pull, win-win for both shows and no more silly than an adult dean of medicine acting like a pining buffoon the last few months.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Denny and Amber will spin off to create their own show ... a remake of the old Mr & Mrs North, ghost detectives.