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'House M.D.': Buy furniture or admit you're empty inside

March 16, 2010 |  7:10 am
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This season, I've tended to be more intrigued by the interpersonal doctor drama on "House" than by the actual patients they're treating.  However, tonight's episode, "Black Hole," introduced a genuinely interesting patient for the first time in a while.

Abby and her boyfriend Nicholas are on a high school field trip, sneaking sips of vodka at a planetarium, when she suddenly seizes and literally foams at the mouth. After some time in the hospital being poked and prodded -- and tested for an allergy to her boyfriend's semen -- all of her vital organs begin to fail her.

Is it just me, or does that happen to every patient on this show? The one thing about Abby that stood out, though, was the hallucination she had of herself as a child, hissing at her about a secret that could kill her.

House uses the hallucination as an opportunity to try out some fancy new equipment. They measure her brain's reactions to certain images, and then use their findings to build images from her brain. When she says she's thinking of her (completely smitten) boyfriend playing baseball, a clear image of a guy throwing a ball appears on Foreman's computer screen.
From there, the doctors can tap into her unconscious thoughts. First they see a sky, and then an image of a girl with an older man, who they assume is her long-deceased father.

House has one of his typical "eureka moments" while he's talking to Taub, and realizes that Abby's system is being attacked by a parasite typically found in the Middle East, where her boyfriend's father often travels for work. It's not Nicholas' semen Abby is allergic to -- it's "the Egyptian parasite swimming around in [his] dad's semen." According to House, there's no need to explain: "Technically, she was legal!"

Nick manages to forgive Abby. He realizes, as Taub says, that just because she slept with his dad doesn't mean she doesn't love him.

Taub is projecting more than a little bit when he says it, though. Throughout the episode, he's weathering yet another fight with his wife -- this time, apparently, about yoga, but really about whether or not he's cheating on her.

He tries sexting her from work and inviting her to stop by the office for a quickie in the car, but neither assuage her... possibly because House interferes both times. What finally satisfies her is when he gets down on one knee and proposes -- yes, again. With a bigger rock this time.

Despite the promise of renewed vows, though, it's clear that while Taub might not actually be having an affair, he certainly wants to. House watches knowingly (and a little creepily) as Taub cozies up to a blond at the hospital after the case is closed.H-ep616_Sc44b_3001

Of course, my favorite part of the episode featured House and Wilson wrapped up in a bizarre furniture metaphor. I guess that explains why they were living in a giant condo sans furniture for so long -- apparently, Wilson didn't want to buy furniture because it would cause him to feel his inner pain or examine his inner loneliness or... something.

House gets a little too caught up in the deep, meaningful significance of ottomans, stubbornly refusing to let Wilson hire someone else to choose the furniture. In the end, Wilson does just that: He hires Cuddy's decorator to fill the apartment.

The one item he does buy is an organ for House. "I like what this says about you, Wilson," House tells him, and the moment is so sweet that I was half expecting them to make out. Actually, now that I think about it, that's been a recurring theme this season.

What'd you think of tonight's episodes? Did you find House's and Wilson's adventures in furniture shopping amusing or childish? Were you startled by the patient-of-the-week reveal? Do you find Taub as boring as I do? Let me know in the comments below -- and don't forget to come back next week for more on "House"!

-- Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack)

Top photo: House (Hugh Laurie) and Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) argue over furniture. Bottom photo: House examines his patient's body scans. Credit: FOX

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