Viewers who thought the creative minds behind House MD had destroyed the character in the season 7 finale are in for an unpleasant surprise. Apparently House can still be plumbed for new depths, while being stripped of whatever compassion, sense of ethics, and humanity he may have possessed in the past. Moral turpitude found new lows in last night’s episode of House, “Risky Business.” At the time, the episode seemed merely stupefyingly dull. However, in the cold light of morning 8x04 is simply hideous.
To the tune of "Morning Has Broken," the patient of the week (Michael Nouri) is a business magnate who intends to move his company to China, thereby losing thousands of American jobs and destroying family tradition. His daughter vehemently opposes his decision. Unfortunately, her pro-America argument is interrupted by Nouri finding his hand very small.
Once we’re back at the hospital, Adams strides in, in a low-cut black dress reminiscent of the sorely missed Cuddy. Except that Adams is barely out of high school and the costumers had to pleat her chest to give her cleavage. As always, her cascade of hair is impeccable. It’s a bit disconcerting when she’s bending over the patient—wouldn’t a real doctor wear a ponytail or a braid to keep stray hairs from getting everywhere? (Your faithful correspondent has long, flowing hair, so I know whereof I speak.) Even Thirteen used to pin some of it back. Oh, wait, that was when this mess resembled an actual television program. Adams yammers at Nouri about ethics, which seems rather odd when he’s in an MRI. Aren’t the patients supposed to remain silent? (Correction: he was being radiated, as a commenter pointed out. My narcolepsy must have kicked in.)
House lectures Adams about the 99% and why they deserve to get the shaft. And why she should drive her car through her ex-husband's living room.
Oops. That was when David Shore et.al actually cared about what they were doing. My respect for Hugh Laurie drops another ten points with each episode. He practically slept through this one. (Not to mention that his hair and beard are still that bizarre ginger color.)
The bottom line: House buys stock in the company when it drops because of the news of Nouri’s ill health. He then makes a huge profit when Nouri decides to move the company to China! He urges the magnate to sign the press release, in front of the magnate’s horrified daughter. Way to go, you rascal House, you! Insider trading, ruining thousands of lives, losing thousands of American jobs, AND wrecking the magnate’s family in the process!
Pardon me, I had to pause writing the review so I could vomit.
The show has moved me, it has made me think, it has angered me, it has bored me. But except for last season’s finale, I have never felt utter DISGUST. Is this supposed to be cute? Is this “going back to the fun”?? What do they do in the writer’s room, torture kittens?
Dr. Park floats around the periphery, her disciplinary hearing won because, well, she’s just so adorable, how can you fire her? (Besides, she's signed up for the season.)
The POTW’s illness is described quickly with some medical gobbledy-gook. This season, the MagiCam has been used to (loudly) distract from whatever diagnosis House is spouting. The visuals have become as confusing as everything else. Can someone tell me what the diagnosis was? It involved a lot of spinning red discs, that much I know.
At the end, House buys back his old department with his ill-gotten gains and Wilson (who is on for a few nanoseconds) a check for $5000. I suppose this is supposed to make up for all of the money House owes Wilson, and it conveniently buys his friendship for the rest of the season as well. Which is nicely symbolic of Robert Sean Leonard keeping his job.
In the last moments, we discover that Adams is going through a divorce (gag me) that will supposedly give her character some depth. Given her age, she must have been married down South. House hands her a baseball bat and watches, grinning, as she destroys the orthopedic equipment that has occupied his “office,” as “Morning Has Broken” plays on the soundtrack. Yes, nothing says “catharsis” like trashing expensive medical equipment out of spite.
As one friend wrote to me:
The $5000 was money he stole from Wilson - he was just returning it.Crimes committed by House in this episode-
Insider trading (twice)-
Blackmail of patient for money-
Theft of $5000 from Wilson-
Theft of a $200,000 piece of medical equipment (he pawned it somewhere presumably? must be a great pawn shop!)-
Assault on ortho guy (shining a light in his eyes designed to make him ill*), near assault on ortho guy (only saved by having an epiphany at the last moment)
Pretty good record for a guy on parole....
* I shall be honest and admit I had to cover my eyes during this section, because I have a mild medical condition where I cannot look at flashing lights.
On the positive side…
On the positive side…
Wilson looks hot.
Foreman’s character is being fleshed out beautifully, after years of standing around looking sullen. He projects authority, intelligence, and humor.
Not to worry, House will have his minions tearing up Foreman’s office for no good reason before season 8 is over.