Category: House

House recap: The big sleep-over

Masseuse Black & Decker power drill bit into a skull, male prostitution and the Oedipus complex. All that in 44 ½ minutes of snappy dialogue.

A woman, whose husband knows her as Margaret (but thanks to House & Co. must eventually reveal her birth name), vomits in her husband’s arms.

Not the Valentine’s Day episode.

Ow, it’s her stomach, she tells him. Ya think? I thought it might be a sprained ankle!

Meanwhile, back at Princeton Plainsboro, Chase has hired a new victim -- uh, highly trained professional, Dr. Kelly Benedict, who has just wrapped a psychiatric residency, to replace Cameron. As if anyone can replace Cameron.

House immediately recognizes her medical talent, nicknaming her "Sham-er-on." And we’re off.

Scans reveal the patient, "Margaret" (not her real name) had broken several ribs years ago, but didn’t mention in. When confronted, she explains to the docs and her confused husband, Billy, oh, I cycled when at UMass. Fell on a sprinkler head. Surgery was at the hospital up there.

This is the beginning of a cascade of lies that lawyers in "The Social Network" would have trouble itemizing.

Gratefully, the House+Cuddy romance has been nestled where it belongs, as the B story, behind our Patient of the Week (POTW, who will soon be discovered to be a liar, liar, pants on fire). On her way out of House’s house, Cuddy passes House’s "masseuse." Yeah, it’s exactly what you’re thinking, except no more happy endings, now that House and Cuddy are Huddy.

Problem is, that’s seldom good enough for the GF, is it? GFs can be so, well, snitty when it comes to their men spending quality nude time with other females.

"I won’t see you until you stop seeing her," Cuddy succinctly puts it. She wants to give House the name of a therapist they can both live with. Ah, women. Can’t live with them, can’t explain that the "endings" are "sad" now.

Point of reference: They haven’t yet slept overnight at each other’s place. Trouble in paradise?

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'House' recap: Everybody lies

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A writer, an imaginary friend, a suicide attempt.

This episode had it all, including a go-cart chase and cameos by Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman.

Wait. Not those last two; they appeared in those campaign ads that are on an infinite loop on my TV. When is this election again?

But we weren’t kidding about the other stuff. Amy Irving, who elevates everything she’s in but isn’t seen as often as she should be, plays mystery writer Alice Tanner, the only 21st century writer who still uses a typewriter. (Do they still manufacture ribbons for those things? Oh yeah, you can buy them in a little shop right next to the one that sells buggy whips).

After polishing off her latest – and presumed final – novel in the Jack Cannon series, she speaks to a young man in the room who may or may not be there.

Turns out, he’s not. He’s all in her head. In her hand, however, there’s a pistol, and it’s real. She raises it to her head….

But – wait for it – it’s time for someone to have a seizure. And that someone is Alice, just as she’s awkwardly trying to insert the barrel of the gun into her mouth.

Bang! She misses!

Great opening. You had me at the typewriter and the imaginary friend.

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'House' recap: Back in the swing

House2 A return to formula this week. And by that, I mean that before the opening theme:

1) The person you least suspect will collapse.
2) The person you least suspect will have a seizure.
3) Bus or plane crash and/or building collapse.

After the credits, of course:

4) Misdiagnosis; incorrect medication/therapy (Note to House’s team: It has NEVER been sarcoidosis, amyloidosis or lupus. If it was, “normal” doctors could cure the patient, so don’t bother pitching those!)
5)  Seizure/heart stoppage/vomiting/anal bleeding (come on, you know it's happened!) in the hospital bed at or near the bottom of the hour.
6) House solves case, coming up with the solution during a conversation unrelated to the medical mystery: Wilson’s taste in women, Taub’s marriage, Thirteen’s sexuality, Cuddy’s shapely derriere, etc.
7) Singer-songwriter musical interlude, then a happy ending. (Except this week, not so much.)

The person who collapses in this case is a teenage girl, Della, whose wheelchair-using brother happens to have muscular dystrophy. Besides that, the girl’s healthy as a horse (of course, of course, because helllooo, otherwise House wouldn’t be interested in the case).

Meanwhile, House+Cuddy (Huddy) report to HR, to come clean about the relationship. The HR flack asks: “How would you describe the exact nature of the relationship?” To which House chimes in: “You ever seen ‘Wild Kingdom?’”

Huddy must sign a “love contract.” Put your John Hancock here and here, initial there and there, and promise never to show favoritism or bias toward the other party. (Remember when interoffice romance merely resulted in snitty e-mails, stalking, transfers and lawyers? Oh, wait. That’s later.)

Cuddy’s budding relationship with House is similar to Delilah’s with Samson: House seems fitfully cowed. No more snitty comments about J-Date, mood swings or low-cut blouses. It’s yes, ma’am, no ma’am -- and don’t think the team doesn’t notice. The turning point is when the two explode in a very public mongoose-and-cobra fight.

By the way, where’s Lucas? Cuddy tells House in last season’s finale that she’s broken it off with Lucas. Shouldn’t we see him soon?

The B-story is an amusing tete-a-tete between a father and son -- but not like any father-son duo you’ve ever seen.

The scales fall away when House has a conversation with the sick girl’s brother, presenting their parents (the mom is played by Progressive Insurance’s Flo, Stephanie Courtney) with a “Sophie’s Choice”-like decision: shorten one’s lifespan to lengthen the other’s. Sorry, Flo, the Progressive price gun won’t help with this decision, and the clock, unfortunately, is ticking. It’s agonizing, and a bit manipulative, but then, that’s “House."

It will be interesting to see where the writing staff takes the Huddy office dynamic. Sex changes everything. And will Cuddy’s daughter, Rachel, cotton up to the prickly new boyfriend like she did with Lucas? Onward.

-- Linda Whitmore

Photo: Omar Epps, from left, Peter Jacobson, Stephanie Courtney and Dwier Brown. Credit: Adam Taylor / Fox

Jennifer Grey dances into your 'House'

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If Jennifer Grey didn't make you cry Monday night when she was remembering Patrick Swayze during her first rehearsal with Derek Hough on "Dancing With the Stars," you must not have been watching.

Soon, there will be other opportunities to cry with Grey. She is guest-starring in the Oct. 18 episode of "House."

Grey will play Abbey, a woman whose newborn daughter becomes a patient of Dr. House and his team immediately after she's born. Abbey is forced to make a heart-wrenching decision about her baby's medical care, and by the end of the episode, viewers are guaranteed to be in tears, a Fox spokeswoman said.

Oh, Baby.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez
twitter.com/writerchica

Photo: Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough on the premiere of "Dancing With the Stars." Credit: Adam Larkey / ABC

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Ratings roundup: ABC, CBS and NBC can crow a little, but Fox's 'Lone Star' flames out

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The broadcast networks officially kicked off the fall television season, and although NBC, ABC and CBS can all find something to crow about, there won't be a lot of smiles at Fox.

While all eyes were focused on the new shows launching, including CBS' remake of "Hawaii Five-0" and NBC's big-budget drama "The Event," it was ABC's old reliable "Dancing with the Stars," which this season has contestants ranging from "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson and ex-NFL great Kurt Warner to "Jersey Shore" sensation Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, that dominated the night. ABC averaged 17.7 million viewers, good enough for first place, and it also was on top in the 18-49 demographic that advertisers covet, followed by CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW.

Overall, about 47.4 million people tuned in to watch the premieres of five new television shows and new episodes of nine other series, according to Nielsen. That's a drop of about 5 million viewers or almost 10% from the first official night of last year's television season.

But the decrease in viewers can pretty much be squarely put on Fox, which saw its medical drama "House" return to relatively flat numbers compared with last season in the 8 p.m. hour and "Lone Star," the network's critically praised drama about a Texas con man, flame out at 9 p.m.. About 10.5 million people watched Monday's night's "House" and then more than 50% of them bailed out on "Lone Star," which averaged about 4 million viewers. Last year, a two-hour episode of "House" averaged over 17 million viewers.

Fox knew it would have hard sell with "Lone Star," and it was facing off against particularly tough competition from CBS -- which had a season premiere of its hit comedy  "Two and a Half Men" followed by "Mike & Molly," a new romantic comedy -- and NBC, which was launching the heavily hyped "The Event."

"Lone Star," which stars James Wolk, David Keith and Jon Voight, received mostly favorable reviews, and there will no doubt be second guessing within the industry over whether Fox might have been better off premiering the show a few weeks into the season, after some of the competition had already launched their shows. However, Fox is challenged somewhat in its fall scheduling strategies because it carries postseason baseball in October, which eats up a chunk of nights. The network will scrutinize Nielsen's numbers on digital video recordings of the show in hopes that there is an audience that was curious about "Lone Star" but wanted to watch it on their schedule.

CBS' big event for Monday night was its new take on "Hawaii Five-0." The show, which replaced "CSI Miami" in the 10 p.m. slot, averaged 13.8 million viewers, making it the most watched new show for the night. The performance was only 3% off from what David Caruso and his gang did last year in their season premiere. "Mike & Molly" also got off to decent start, with 12.3 million viewers. Although that was a drop of 15% from its lead-in of "Two and a Half Men," it was only 5% off from what "The Big Bang Theory" averaged in its season premiere in the same 9:30 p.m. slot a year ago. This season, CBS has moved "The Big Bang Theory" to Thursday night.

NBC, which is trying to recover from last year's disaster of a television season, can take some encouragement from the performance of "The Event." The program, a serial about a plot that affects everyone in the country and outer space, stars Jason Ritter and Blair Underwood and is NBC's big bet for the fall. It averaged 11.2 million viewers, which is not a spectacular number given the show's cost, but is much better than what the network did last year in the same time period. More important, the audience for "The Event" grew in the second half-hour, which is a good sign. The real test, though, for a big-budget premiere like "The Event" is how many people stick around after the second episode, which won't have the same special effects.

Another factor in Monday night's numbers will be the performance of "Monday Night Football," which featured a nail-biter between the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, that went down to the final play when the Saints kicked a winning field goal. UPDATED: Indeed, about 15.1 million people watched the game on ESPN, making it the second most-watched show of the night after "Dancing with the Stars."

HBO, which on Sunday night premiered its expensive new series, "Boardwalk Empire," about Atlantic City corruption in the age of Prohibition, said it was renewing the show for a second season. The premiere averaged 4.8 million viewers in the Sunday 9 p.m. hour. It was HBO's best series premiere since "Deadwood," which had the benefit of a "Sopranos" lead-in when it made its debut in 2004.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: A scene from CBS' "Hawaii Five-O." Credit: Mario Perez /CBS

'House' recap: Hallelujah, Huddy fans

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When last we saw our heroes, House had just lost a patient and had rushed home to excavate hidden Vicodin vials. Cuddy arrives, marches into House’s bathroom (why does so much of their relationship take place in his bathroom?!), and admits that despite her recent engagement, she could think of only one man -- and it wasn’t her fiance. Lips are pressed.

Hallelujah! Six seasons of sexual tension released! About the only medical mystery solved during this season’s Episode 1 is where babies come from. House and Cuddy (heretofore to be known as Huddy) are hot and heavy (She’s hot; he’s a wee bit heavy. Girlfriend, that yoga has paid off -- I’m sold!)

No patient roulette in this episode (You know, when Thirteen says, “Patient No. 1: Bleeding from every orifice.” And House says, “Boooriiing!”). The case this time is dropped into their laps by Cuddy’s new assistant (whose role model is evidently that teacher’s pet from “Leave It to Beaver” -- ew). He reports that Dr. Richardson, one of the resident neurosurgeons, has vomited in the operating room. A Technicolor yawn would be most people’s reactions when observing surgery, but as Richardson is a surgeon, this is an anomaly. Richardson subsequently has a mini-psychotic break and starts peeling off his clothes faster than, for lack of a better term, Huddy in the bedroom. It later turns out to be food poisoning from the local “Seafood Convention,” but “psychotic break” sounds so much sexier than “Steer clear of the uni.”

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'House M.D.': A section of the brain just for hope?

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This season, it appears the "House" writers have realized that breaking away from their usual maybe-it's-lupus formula makes the show much more compelling. Monday night's episode, "Baggage," was presented as a session with House's therapist, Dr. Nolan.

House has slowly been circling the drain toward the man he was at the beginning of the season. Though he hasn't turned back to his Vicodin addiction, he has been self-medicating with alcohol to stave off the pain in his leg (and in his heart ... aww). He's become increasingly manipulative and abusive, and though he's not as devious as he once was, there's very little evidence that he's healing.

We take a walk through House's mind as he describes his latest case to Nolan. I know this might shock you, but House's behavior in diagnosing the patient actually reveals his true feelings about ... who else? Wilson and Cuddy. As much as the different formulas have helped to break up the monotony of the season, there are only so many times we can discover that House is unhealthily dependent on Wilson and still hung up on his feelings for Cuddy.

We get it.

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'House M.D.': On that midnight train to Georgia

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Monday night's "House" episode, "The Choice," was arguably one of the best of the season. Sure, it fell back on some of the weakening crutches that have plagued the season: Taub's miserable infidelity story line, and House and Wilson's stubborn refusal to accept their codependency. I could've done with a little more Cuddy - ever since her solo episode, she's been criminally underused.

But all is forgiven, because there was karaoke.

At first I was underwhelmed by Wilson paying the team to take House out, and even more unhappy that House actually went with them -- even if he did go with an agenda. I quickly changed my tune when I saw House and Foreman singing Pips backup to Chase's "Midnight Train to Georgia," complete with choreography. They pretended to be a train, Show Trackers. It just doesn't get any better than that. Ever.

Taub's infidelity has really been dragging the show down. Between Jesse James and Tiger Woods,  and everyone in between, the media have been positively saturated by unfaithful men apologizing for their wrongs. It's frustrating to watch Taub treat his cheating as if women are quicksand and he just can't help but sink. Even when he calls off the affair (which is hard to believe), he says it's "one day at a time." If he's got a sex addiction, then he needs treatment. If he's just being a sleazeball, then he needs to take responsibility for his actions instead of blaming some kind of inevitable biological imperative.

With Taub bringing the mood down consistently, the only cure was a serious dose of fun, and Chase, Foreman, and House certainly wrote the right prescription. Check out the hilarious video below!
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'House': Taub meets everyone's lowest expectations

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"Prison Break's" Sarah Wayne Callies guest stars as patient-of-the-week Julia on Monday's "House" episode, "Open and Shut." As usual, House and the diagnostics team spend more time obsessing over Julia's personal life than they do over her inexplicable stomach pains.

Julia and her husband, Tom, enjoy an open marriage. According to Julia, many couples cheat on one another, and by accepting that fact and being honest about it, she and Tom have created a solution out of the problem. That might have worked, but Tom isn't being honest at all. While Julia rendezvouses with sexy younger men with names like Damien, Tom sits idly by in secret monogamy. Oh, and he's squandered their life's savings, leaving her without medical insurance in her time of need.

Despite the obvious dysfunction in Julia and Tom's relationship, Taub somehow sees them as some sort of paragon of health. Though he's trying as hard as he can to keep his relationship together, he can't help eying a young nurse.

Prompted by House's incomparable power of suggestion, Taub brings the idea of open marriage up on a dinner date. To his surprise, his wife agrees, after some consideration. He can sleep with other women one night a week as long as she never has to meet them or hear about them. She doesn't trust him to be faithful to her but doesn't like the idea of him lying to her, either.

Taub has become increasingly weak-willed this season. He seems to shuffle through his life, accepting his own faults as inevitable, as if his own mistakes are happening to him instead of being caused by him. Even after he assures his wife that he only wants her, he still kisses the nurse and drives away from the hospital with her. Really, Taub? His wife can do better.

In other news... House is still meddling in Wilson's love life, but Wilson and Sam are still successfully dodging House's bullets. If anything, House's attempt to drive a wedge between Sam and Wilson this week only brought them closer together, clearing up 10 years of strain between them. As much as I love the hilarious back-and-forth between House and Wilson... this is getting old. At some point, something has to give. House has to address his codependency.

Oh -- and Sarah Wayne Callies' abdominal pain developed from a vascular issue called Henoch-Schonlein, which resulted from a bee sting. You know, in case you're one of the four people who cared.

--Carina MacKenzie (let's chat on Twitter @cadlymack)

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Photo: House (Hugh Laurie) examines a patient (Sarah Wayne Callies) who has seemingly routine symptoms but leads an unorthodox lifestyle. Credit: Fox

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'House M.D.': Don't forget to demonize two demon eyes

House-Ep618_Sc18-20_0058 Knights! Witches! Swords! Kings! For a moment, I thought that "House" had been preempted in favor of a Heath Ledger movie. Monday's episode, "Knight Fall," started off looking like a period piece until the king whipped out his iPhone to call for help when one of his jousting knights collapsed.

The patient of the week is William -- er, Sir William -- a man who has spent the last month living as a Renaissance fair knight. He's in love with the queen, who, of course, "belongs" to his best friend, the king. Seriously.

House's team spends most of the episode ruling out various environmental factors. It's not food poisoning (even though the guy has been eating cow eyeballs), it's not lead poisoning (even though he plays with little lead knight figurines) and it's not magic (even though he's got a secret locked room in his house with a bunch of pentagrams and a book called "The Necronomicon").

In the end, it turns out that the king accidentally poisoned William with hemlock (it looks just like wild carrots!) which, when combined with the steroids William was using to boost his jousting performance, nearly killed him. Yes, William was juiced up. With a little hair gel and a spray tan, he'd be Snooki's perfect match.

As usual, House is distracted. He's kicked his Vicodin habit, but his leg is still causing him a lot of pain, and Ibuprofen is not really cutting it anymore. He tries to keep his mind off of it by doing what he does best ... meddling. Wilson is still dating his first wife, Sam, and of course House isn't happy with it. I'm starting to believe that Wilson should just give up on having any kind of social life whatsoever. He's forever doomed to wake up to House shuffling around the kitchen naked.

When Wilson, against his better judgment, asks House to join him and Sam for dinner, House makes a desperate attempt to disrupt the meal by inviting a transvestite prostitute as his date. Sam is unfazed, though -- she and the hooker bond over cupcakes and House is, once again, miserable. To apologize, House cooks dinner for Wilson and Sam, and all goes well until Wilson steps out of the room ... and House calls Sam a word we can't use. Luckily, she returns the sentiment.

Ultimately, House puts (a tiny bit of) faith in Sam by throwing out the extensive file he had Lucas dig up on her, and goes back to popping his Ibuprofen. I'm not sure how long House can resist that familiar prescription bottle when he's this uncomfortable -- and this lonely. I do hope that the show isn't building toward a season finale relapse, but it might be going there.

I'm also sensing the possibility of a future hook-up between Thirteen and Chase. They're both single, they're both absurdly attractive and they seem to be getting thrown together relatively often these days. Chase got his Cameron closure last week, as painful (and pleasurable) as it may have been, and now it's time for him to move on.

Do you have any predictions for what's coming up next for House and the others? What do you think of Sam? Let me know in the comments below!

-- Carina MacKenzie (catch up with me on Twitter @cadlymack)

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Photo: Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) enjoys dinner with ex-wife Sam (guest star Cynthia Watros). Credit: Fox

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

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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.
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'House M.D.': Blogging might just save your life

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After a monthlong hiatus, "House" returned with a bang last night. The episode, titled "Private Lives," guest-starred longtime television favorite Laura Prepon as Frankie, a blogger who obsessively reports the minutiae of her life to her online followers. 

Frankie is obsessed with being completely open and honest with her readers, so she blogs everything: from arguments with her boyfriend to the state of her sex drive.

Things grow more complicated when Frankie's heart valve needs to be replaced. She's faced with two options. A plastic valve would last but require drugs that cause birth defects, while a pig valve would allow for a healthy pregnancy but require replacement every 10 years. Frankie's husband, Taylor, has been hoping for children, but it's not him she consults about the dilemma, it's the blogosphere.

Though her blog may be destroying her marriage, it does help the doctors diagnose her condition. Over the years, Frankie developed a tendency to post in the middle of the night. Day-night reversal indicated liver failure. Ultimately, however, House found the cause of her liver failure (Whipple's disease) by examining the one part of her life she didn't blog about ... her bowel movements.
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