‘House’ recap: Everybody on stage for the big surgery number!
So who has the cancer scare?
Of course, because Mother Nature (and the staff writers) aren’t fair, it’s Sundance, alias Lisa Cuddy.
Cuddy wakes up, and instead of having a pre-shower roll in the hay with her boyfriend, ends up having blood in her urine instead (no fun!) and the wheels of her life start to fall off. The best thing about this week’s episode was how the writers use Cuddy’s health crisis to put the actors into several fantasies under the guise of dreams of nightmares.
First is Cuddy dreaming in multiple-camera sitcom convention: A cop brings home Rachel, now flirting with tween-dom, after she’s caught shoplifting at the mall. Wilson is on stage, and House (wearing a two-toned, retro bowling shirt a la Charlie Sheen in “Two and a Half Men” – what a coincidence -- there’s an opening on that show!) enters to canned laughter. Are you her dad, the cop asks. No, he explains, but ever since her mom died, the tyke is his favorite, little tax deduction. More canned laughter.
The “B” story this week is Ryan, a troubled teen who has half a dozen symptoms, including blood in his urine, or as House puts it, “Looks like peeing blood is the new black.” (And when I call the kid “troubled,” I mean he builds small, improvised explosive devices for fun. High school sure has changed since I was there.)
Back in waking life, Wilson ultrasounds (can I use that as a verb?) Cuddy: She has a mass on her kidney, which has to be biopsied.
House isn’t unaffected by Cuddy’s trial. In fact, initially he’s in denial over her condition, in insisting she’s fine. Meanwhile, she makes out her will.
When it’s revealed she is ill, House is distracted from young Ryan's case. House can't bring himself to be at Cuddy’s side –- but then, that’s House, right? Cuddy’s just another patient he doesn’t want to talk to.
House dreams that his team has turned into zombies and that they’ve descended on Cuddy, who is screaming for his help (the highlight of this season has to be House using his “shotgun-cane” to blow a zombified Masters down the hall. That’s my boy!)
Cuddy undergoes scans so the surgeon can get a better idea of what to expect when he takes a peek inside, but the news isn’t good: She had masses across several lobes of her lungs, or as Foreman helpfully points out, it’s exactly how kidney cancer looks like when it metastasizes. “She’s dead,” House replies.
Cuddy has a nightmare in black and white, like a 1950s sitcom (“Honey, I’m home!”), with House in the role of the Little Woman. When she notices in the dream that House isn't limping, she realizes it can't be real.
In her hospital room, Cuddy later has a dream that she and House are in a hideout that happens to be surrounded by the Bolivian federales. House (Butch) tells Cuddy (Sundance) that he has an idea where they can go next: Australia, the home of Midnight Oil and Olivia Newton John. Locked and loaded, they burst out into the daylight to the sounds of guns blazing.
As Cuddy undergoes anesthesia for surgery, she has the Busby Berkeley of all nightmares: “All That Jazz” meets acid trip. “Get Happy” never sounded so ominous. But at least Hugh Laurie gets to exhibit more of his substantial musical talent. (The choreography is by Mia Michaels.)
As Cuddy awakens, House is at her bedside. It’s not cancer — the tumor was benign, he tells her. The masses on her lungs? Allergic reaction to antibiotics she had been taking.
It’s while talking to her that he figures out what’s ailing young Ryan: A staph infection caused by cooties that collected in small shrapnel wounds from his IEDs.
In analyzing her dreams, Cuddy discovers that in each, House was eating candy. He’s using again, she concludes. She confronts him, and he confesses. She tells him she can’t go on, not with an addict. He begs her not to end it, but she’s adamant.
Looks like the “Die, Huddy, Die” bloc got its prayers answered. With a song and a dance.
-- Linda Whitmore
Photo: House (Hugh Laurie) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) take on the Bolivian cavalry. Credit: Fox.