Tuesday, April 03, 2012

House Review: 8x15, "Blowing The Whistle"

DAHLINGS –

It can be shattering to discover that someone you worshipped has shortcomings. That is what happens to the POTW, Army Biff, in “Blowing The Whistle”, when he finds out his father’s death was not honorable, but a drunk-driving traffic accident in which Dad killed a pedestrian.

Now for the important, shattering, truth: at times I have mixed feelings about House MD. I actually shed a few tears after the episode. Not because of the episode. Your faithful correspondent is deeply saddened that the show she has been intimate with for years is packing its bags and leaving. I know you are all shocked and amazed that I have any shortcomings, but there you are.

With only a handful of episodes left, so it’s hard to tell what is important or unimportant, or unimportant now and extremely important later. In latter seasons, they built up to some major astonishments (for example, in Season 6, discovering that Dr. Nolan, House’s psychiatrist, had been advising him behind the scenes all season without the audience’s knowledge). This episode is surprisingly good, which this season means mediocre in any other season.

Perhaps one of you out there could explain the POTW’s A-story to me. Army Biff (Arlen Escarpeta) leaked a video of a civilian massacre, yes? He will go to prison, yes? His by-the-book brother is well and truly pissed, yes? Army Biff feels it is a matter of honor to let the public know what the military is doing. Biff’s Brother (Sharif Atkins) feels it is a matter of honor not to let the public know what the military is doing. Have I gotten this straight?

Army Biff was a more significant presence than most of the season’s POTWs, with a more compelling story, even if I had trouble following it. Army Biff refuses treatment unless he is given a public forum for the video he leaked and his reasons for doing so. Both sons venerate their late father and each feels in his own way that Dead Dad would approve of what they are doing. Biff knows that his dad died in an accident, but he suspects a military cover-up. However, it is Biff’s Brother who covered up the accident. I did wonder why it would be so shattering to find out that your father killed someone accidentally while drunk…well, perhaps that would upset one a tad. My apologies.

The show might have cast two actors with a passing resemblance to each other. Atkins does a lot with a little, most of which consisted of standing about scowling with disapproval.

House sits with Army Biff and gives a speech about honor. It sounds fairly close to an old-time House monologue :“You’re not doing this for honor. You’re doing this to please your father. And the pathetic thing is, the man you’re trying to please never existed.” (House daddy-issues alert!)

The B-story, taken from “Half Wit” and a few other episodes, has House pretending to have liver failure. In "Half Wit" he faked brain cancer to get experimental drugs to get high. It would have been much more fun if he had let Wilson in on his scheme, as he had when he faked having syphilis to screw with his team in an earlier episode.







"Breaking The Record" for scenes set in the men's room while House is taking a crap

Adams is the one who diagnosises hepatic encephalopathy from a few vague symptoms. Everyone gets very freaked out. He's sick! Maybe he's dying--again! It is obvious that House is again trying to screw with his team. It is Chase, the team member who has known House the longest, figures out how House has been doing it. I mean, Chase has been to this rodeo before.(Note: Jesse Spencer has shaved his neckbeard! God, he’s beautiful. But I digress.)

There were two clinic scenes this time. As often happens, those were some of the best parts of the episode. However, in the first clinic scene, Wilson sounds so much like House that it’s possible Hugh Laurie wasn’t available that day and Robert Sean Leonard was swapped in. But still, highly amusing to see the patient busted for compulsive nose picking. In the second, House has a hungover clinic patient hop on one leg while singing the “iCarly” theme song.

Taub has been freed from the confines of that godawful marital soap opera, allowing him to be the Taub we all know and love. (His gaming name is Taubinator!)

Yet another gaming scene. Taub wins, which means House is dying.

Park gets to be the self-righteous one this go-round, and she is more entertaining to watch than Adams. I may dislike her intensely, but she has a personality to dislike intensely. But if you were deathly ill, would you want someone nattering away at you about right and wrong? If he wasn't so weak, my bet is Army Biff would take a swing at her.

Wilson is around more, which is always a treat. As I wrote above, I do wish House had let Wilson be his co-conspirator, rather than let his friend worry along with the others. Wilson looks harried and unhappy in most of his scenes. I am hoping that this is the character, not the actor. But then, Hugh Laurie has been phoning it in all season and it’s almost over, so why try too hard? It’s still a shame.

After the past two episodes, “Blowing The Whistle” is a definite improvement. Let us hope the upward trend continues. In what fashion the series ends is anyone’s guess. Your faithful correspondent hopes that the series ends with House and Wilson getting married.

Feel free to discuss in the comments. Bear in mind that I am always right.

Ciao,
Elisa and Fletcher






Random notes:

Seizure in the cold open - check
Blood in odd openings - check
Sarcoidosis - double check

Hugh Laurie looks weird.

Thank God Dominika wasn't around.

Nothing can make me care about Adams having sex. Seriously. Nothing.


DISCLAIMER: Before all of the House/Cuddy fans explode, yes, I miss Cuddy and I miss Lisa Edelstein.

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