Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: House MD "The Confession" Ep. 8x05


Confession: your faithful chronicler finds herself brought so low as to be groveling for a crumb of ANYTHING. The theme song is back! Amazing how the smallest things can make one ridiculously happy.

Everything's going to be okay! Brilliant of TPTB to wait 4 episodes until the theme song came back, along with Chase, Taub, and the diagnostics office!

Chase! Taub! Wilson! Whiteboard!

What does it say about an episode that the best thing I can say is that it didn't make me angry, and I chuckled a few times?

“House M.D.” is not even trying to be a serious program any more. The show has morphed into a meta parody of itself. The characters becoming caricatures, the "fun" back in the form of jokes that aren't funny, and wild n' crazy antics! And everybody involved knows that, so in later episodes we might possibly be spared any form of gravitas. "House" can't pull it off any more. It's back to hooker-on-a-Segway time. You want serious character development? Sorry, we got tired of doing that.

We open on a pleasant rural town, Cedarville, in the 1950s. Bob Harris, Champion Little League coach, Harvest Scholarship Fund treasurer, and owner of the town's only gas station, is receiving an award for being a pillar of the community at a county fair. (A county fair? Near Princeton?) He is watched by local beauty queen Miss Cedarville.

Quick cut to a motel room, where Bob is putting his pillar to good use having sex with Miss Cedarville. The inevitable happens: he has a heart attack on top of her. Rule Number One on House: Do.Not.Have.Sex.Ever. It either brings you to the brink of death or merely ruins your life. Or you drive your car into your ex’s house.

Suddenly we time-travel to the present. Chase and Taub stand before Foreman’s desk. There’s some old-school banter, then reality jumps the rails once again. Taub was counting on two days off, because he has to look after his two children. It’s not noted exactly why the mothers took off at the same time or why Taub can’t afford a nanny, but what the hell, the babies are adorable and good for some sight gags. Not to mention House torments Taub about the babies’ paternal origin. What happened to Season 4/5 Taub, who gave as good as he got, and more important, DIDN’T HAVE PLOT LINES THAT CLOG THE SHOW AS MUCH AS GREASE CLOGS A SINK DRAIN? He even gets Wilson (the head of Oncology, as if that matters any more) to baby-sit and roll them around the lobby, thus dooming Wilson’s chance of being taken seriously by any of the staff ever again.

The POTW (Jamie Bamber, late of Battlestar Gallactica) has “confessed” the truth to his wife. True to her 1950s values, she will stand by her man. Cutting to the chase (pardon the pun) the patient’s problems include:

Seizure. Check.

Liver failure. Check

Eeeew! Skin peeling off in sheets! Like the ballerina in “Under My Skin” in Season Five! Except this is even more disgusting. (Whatever happened to the cases where people had gone to dozens of doctors before they went to House?)

The entire town of Cedarville time-travels to PPTH to offer Galatica Guy a piece of their livers. However, Galatica Guy “confesses” everything from ripping off his neighbors to embezzlement to being a vampire—oh, wait, that’s another show. Cedarville promptly time-travels back to the 1950s.

If it hadn’t been obvious from the get-go that the confessions are the principal symptom, it’s evident that suddenly the team have forgotten they’re doctors and haven’t noticed Altruist Guy's and Galactica Guy's defining characteristics were overdone and obviously a symptom from the first scene. And both are diagnosed by one of the ducklings in the same crazy way. I mean, come on, it's one thing to repeat plot-lines from earlier seasons, but a plot line from two episodes ago?

Meanwhile, Adams and Park still haven’t learned to act, which makes Chase and Taub back quite refreshing. House rags on Chase for staring at Adams’s non-existent breasts. Later it’s back-story time for Adams, and forgive me, but I wasn’t listening. But it was probably a “confession” of some kind. The scenes between House and Wilson seem off-kilter. I’m guessing the actors are saying their lines and going home.

Without going into the details of House hiring a construction crew and Foreman never noticing, or how Galactica Guy’s skin peels off but his face reminds intact, or Taub’s two goddamn babies, TPOW is diagnosed with Kawasaki’s Disease. And is able to lie to his wife about having an affair. “I knew it,” she gushes, and they return to the 1950s.

The end is very funny but also preposterous. The construction has been to make a wall that rises at the touch of a remote that slides up to reveal—wait for it—
Wilson’s office. Why get into whether or not Wilson knew about it, or where the damn wall goes when it raises up, etc. etc. ?

The best thing to do is to pretend it’s a sitcom and wait for the canned laughter.


P.S. When you respond to this review, please bear in mind that I am always right and do not approve hate mail.


Anonymous said...

Everything you say has truth in it, and as usual you spell it out with hilarity. I didn't hate the episode, but yes...they still have a long way to go to het back to the roots of their former glory.


Madhura S said...

Ah, but you are right... and hilarious as well!

As far as the "new team" is concerned, I had begun to quite like Park (though Adams' acting seems as nonexistent as her breasts). However, this episode brought home the fact and the n00bies have a long way to go before they can come at par with the attention and respect earned by the "old team."

And I'm really glad Chase and Taub are back. They seem to have a new energy somehow that I hope puts some spark back into this show. House the TV show has definitely been on life-support for the last two seasons, IMO.

Thanks for a great review!

Anonymous said...

A fairly decent episode overall but you make a few good points. The ending though silly, was made better by the ever gorgeous & talented RSL.

resourceress7 said...

Pillar. Zing!

One glaring annoyance in the ep for me was that all you need for liver transplants is a blood type match, not a tissue match. So no one should need to come into a hospital, let alone timetravel to 2011 Princeton, to "get tested."

As always, Elisa, I adore your reviews.