The Wife:

This week’s installment of House felt like an actual House episode and finally did something I’ve been asking for all season by giving Kutner something to do! For once, this show balanced the work on the main POW case with a Thirteen story, a Cuddy and House cat-and-mouse story and a story for Taub and Kutner.

All I want in this world is my job and a piece of fucking cake.

All I want in this world is my job and a piece of fucking cake.

The POW this week was a fitness trainer who actually got thin by having gastric bypass and sells the hope of a healthy lifestyle to morbidly obese people through her DVD series. As it happens, her gastric bypass and new found “healthy” lifestyle was actually making her sick because she has coproporphyria, a hereditary condition that could easily be managed by eating a high carb and high sugar diet . . . like she used to when she was a fat person. When House and Taub recommend that she reverse her gastric bypass surgery in order to eat a diet that would correct the effects of her condition, she refuses and instead opts for drug treatment, proving what is true of many people in our image-obsessed society: she would rather be “pretty than healthy.” (More accurately, because she would have been pretty whether she was fat or not, she would rather be skinny than healthy.)

Thirteen has started to undergo her clinical trials for Huntington’s, but feels uncomfortable around other people in advanced stages of the disease. She tries to get Foreman to give her spot to someone else. Foreman tells Thirteen that she her muscle response times are already slower than they should be for her age, which means her nerves are already starting to degenerate. She starts showing up later and later and missing appointments altogether after she sees a woman in the waiting room who reminds her not of her imminent demise, but of her mother, whom she resented for her sickness. Thirteen later tells Foreman about her mother, a story that we were lucky enough to see unfold through young Remy Hadley’s eyes every time she looked at the woman in the waiting room. Eventually, Thirteen learns to befriend this woman, to make up for neglecting her mother in her time of need, and helps the other patient take her coat off over her shaking, jerky arms.

In the Cuddy and House plot, Cuddy has taken up residence in House’s office while hers is under renovations. She goes out of her way to annoy him just as he has done to her all these years, until Wilson points out that she chose House’s office because she wanted to be near to him, as she could have very well chosen to take over anyone’s office since she is the Dean of medicine at PP. She literally (and figuratively) takes his balls from him just to piss him off and interferes with his diagnoses. She and House almost kiss again when he confronts her about taking his furniture, but House, unable to admit his love for Cuddy, resorts to copping a feel. He then proves himself to her by ordering her desk from medical school for her new office without her knowledge. Cuddy is ready to admit her own feelings to him after this, until she arrives at his office and catches him in the arms of another woman.

Oh, shit. I think I killed a hooker.

Oh, shit. I think I killed a hooker.

That other woman, by the way, was the actress House hired to foil Kutner’s moneymaking scheme. Kutner had put up a second opinion clinic online under House’s name. Everything was going fine until one patient became too persistent about “House” not being able to help her and threatened to sue. Taub agrees to keep Kutner’s secret from House if Kutner will give him 30 percent of the profits. Kutner reluctantly agrees, and all is going well, until the patient shows up at the hospital demanding to see House. Kutner takes her to the ER to see Cameron and leaves her in Cameron’s care. Later, Cameron pages Taub and Kutner to tell them that the patient is singing “Lime in the Coconut” like a lunatic and bleeding out the ear. The next time they check on her, she’s dead, which scares the crap out of them. They visit the body in the morgue, and House comes in to berate them for lying to him about the case and using his name. He insists that the patient was sick with something so simple that she could have easily been saved. House scares the crap out of Taub and Kutner again when he tries to revive the corpse . . . and succeeds. Kutner tells House that he’ll take the website down right away, but House insists that he’d prefer 50 percent of the profits, especially because he owes the actress three grand for her work.

So the House and Cuddy sexual tension will continue, Kutner actually got a story (and a funny one, at that),Thirteen resolved yet another issue she had in coming to terms with her disease and the POW story provided mild social commentary. This is what a House episode is supposed to feel like, and I’m happy to see a Kutner story for once. Although next time, can we give him and Taub as much story-telling time as we do Thirteen?

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