Thursday, February 01, 2007

House: Go Sit in the Corner, Wilson

Last time on House, Cuddy saved House's ass by perjuring herself. While I'm not normally a fan of doing someone a favor and then blackmailing them with it, it does seem as if House owes Cuddy. Big-time. Mysteriously enough, Cuddy decides to cash in on that favor immediately, and chooses clinic hours as the repayment currency in order to force some humanity on House.

Hmm. I'm not sure that type of repayment promises the wacky hijinks I was hoping for. Hey, Cuddy: Are you sure you didn't need a date to your cousin's wedding, or a companion on a road trip to Disney World, or a sperm donor? Just kidding. The lack of hijinks was more than made up for by the character development we saw this week.

After seeing a series of clinic patients with a burning sensation "down there," House treats a young woman with Chlamydia and a strong aversion to being touched. He has the insight to correctly deduce that she's a rape victim, but not the desire to treat her, even though he's the only one with whom she wants to talk. The entire episode was an interesting exploration into the challenge of treating a rape victim, or any victim of mental trauma: Is it healthier to let them suppress the trauma in an attempt to move past it, or to make them recount and thus relive the trauma in an attempt to address it and heal?

In House's case, it seems as if he's suppressed the trauma of abuse at the hands of his father for many years, only to discuss it in an attempt to help another trauma victim. I guess time will tell if it helps him to heal, but it was a smart, interesting episode that broke the House mold (diagnose incorrectly, treat with dangerous medication, almost kill patient, diagnose correctly at the last minute, rinse, repeat as needed), and gave Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie a chance to shine.

I'll ignore the abortion debate that was unnecessarily forced into the episode (seriously, it was meaty enough already, guys...and I'm not one to frown on any type of political discussion), as well as Cameron's weird old guy plot. I'll celebrate the fact that Wilson was apparently on time-out for bad behavior, and had practically nothing to do all episode. Woo!