Wednesday, September 26, 2007

House: Season 4, Episode 1

So last night was the season premiere of House and I couldn't be happier to again share my Tuesday nights with Hugh Laurie, the sexiest thing with a cane since Mr. Peanut. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't spend the last four days watching Season Three in it's entirety to prepare myself for tonight's premiere. I'd also be lying if I said that I didn't eat Cool Whip for breakfast, so who knows if I'm a credible narrator.

Last night's episode, titled "Alone", opens with a young man standing in the parking lot of an office building, trying to convince his girlfriend to leave work so they can go see Star Wars (Episode 4) in the theatre, which makes me wonder how this guy has a girlfriend in the first place. When he starts to apologize for getting upset with her, perhaps relieved that he'll have the freedom to masturbate in peace, the building starts to tremble and eventually collapses.

It's never really explained why the building caved in but suffice it to say that I added "Freakish Building Collapse" to the list of reasons I'm glad I'm unemployed, right above "Can Spend Weekdays Pretending Neighbor's Springer Spaniel Is My Own". Oh sure, I don't have insurance and I'm out of so-called "solid foods" but at least I'm not going to be buried alive under a pile of rubble and rebar and toner cartridges.

Cue the Massive Attack, opening credits, and commercial break.

We find House alone in his office, playing the guitar and wearing a graphic tee from OmniPeace. OMG! House shops at Kitson! I read the OmniPeace website and their mission statement says that by 2025, they would like to feed the remaining African children that haven't been adopted by Angelina Jolie, apparently by selling t-shirts made by Asian children.

Cuddy barges into the office and yells at him for not having a team, tells him he's spent the last two weeks doing nothing, and what does he mean he doesn't have insurance? Sorry, that last one was my mother. His team--who at the end of last season resigned (Cameron), got fired (Chase), or quit (Foreman)--wasn't to be seen in this episode, since they were styling their bangs (Cameron), styling their bangs (Chase), or coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers (Foreman).

Cuddy insists that he hire a team while House claims that he can solve the girl's case on his own. House starts by writing symptoms on a dry erase board and by collaborating with the janitor (who suggests "lupus" as a diagnosis, a winking remark by the show's writers that made me insanely happy). The janitor is then given a lab coat, christened Dr. Buffer, and sent to speak with the family, illustrating that cleanliness really is next to playing god-liness. I'm pretty sure that this is also the typical career path for most of the doctors who work at the local PrimeCare.

House and Wilson go break into the girl's house to look for environmental clues. While Wilson clips Tide coupons, House reads her diary and notes that she used to be depressed but over the past few months, has had a decidedly improved outlook. He concludes that she must be on anti-depressants, a fact that affects her treatment. I revisited a couple of my recent journal entries ("Ate box of brownie batter. Cried" and "Watched QVC. Cried") and made a mental note to ask my janitor for a prescription.

When they return to the office, House goes to play his guitar and finds that it's been kidnapped. I add "Guitar Won't Get Stolen" to my list, even though I don't have a guitar. House races to Wilson's office to confront him about the missing instrument. It should be noted that Wilson has a teddy bear dressed in a lab coat on his bookshelf. Wilson also has a vagina. It was Wilson, however, who took House's TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLAR guitar in an effort to make him hire a new team. Twelve grand for a guitar? Twelve grand?

Confidential to Me: See if neighbors have any items that could be held for ransom.

Anybody know what a Springer Spaniel is worth?

Back at the hospital, Ben the Boyfriend, and Megan the Patient's Mother are in Megan's room noting that she is possibly on the mend...and then she starts convulsing. Anyone who considers treatment at Princeton-Plainsboro hospital should know that this is the way things happen:

  1. You'll get an initial diagnosis and show signs of recovery before...
  2. Developing additional symptoms and receiving additional treatment that you won't respond to. Repeat as necessary before...
  3. You begin frothing at the mouth and/or bleeding out of the butt (check and check!) and...
  4. Start loading your things into Death's U-Haul before...
  5. An offhand, seemingly unrelated comment makes House realize he missed something important and
  6. You'll most likely be cured and will be so relieved that you won't even consider suing the hospital for the unnecessary tests, botched diagnosis, or the fact that they cut off your legs/removed your eye/blew up your liver/etc.
So hang in there, Megan! You've got 28 minutes left in this episode!

Although right now, they determine that she's suffering DTs, since she is an alcoholic. Boyfriend Ben protests and says that he would've noticed if she'd been drunk all the time but House points out that he didn't notice that he "was basically living with Sylvia Plath". BURN!

They begin treatment by giving her IV alcohol, which I'm pretty sure I had at my friend Scott's Halloween party last year. Problem solved, until Cuddy notices that she is silently screaming, and we are rewarded with a closeup of her swollen, scabby face (Megan's, not Cuddy's) and I immediately regret my decision to have a late dinner.

Now Megan has developed pancreatitis (#2) and after she bleeds from the butt (#3) they operate. During the surgery, House notices her giant uterus and discovers that she has recently had a procedure done that rhymes with shma-shmortion. After putting the clues together--the anti-depressants, the alcoholism, the birth control pills--they surmise that she is a member of Chi Omega's Fall pledge class.

House is no closer to solving the case, no closer to recovering his guitar, and definitely no closer to hiring a new team. Cuddy sends a memo to the hospital staff telling them not to cooperate with him. When he stands in the crowded ER and no one speaks to him, he asks "Am I in an M. Night Shyamalan movie?", which also explains why his next patients are Howard, Bryce D. and Speak Of, Those We Do Not.

Of course Megan isn't getting any better (#4) and has developed an allergy to antibiotics (#2) that can't be explained. House paces his office, stares at his white board, and sits in the dark. Until Wilson stops by to ask about one of his patients that House has stolen in response to the guitar theft...and #5 happens. Wilson's offhand comment about the patient's chart makes House stop. He stares into the distance, tilts his head downward...the revelation has come! Or maybe he just has gas.

The symptoms were correct, as were the diagnoses. The reason Megan wouldn't recover is because, well, Megan wasn't Megan. She is actually Liz, Megan's drunk, pill-popping, Pro-Choice co-worker who was also in the building collapse. And, sorry Ben, the real Megan died yesterday, which just proves that boys apparently don't pay attention to anything important since both Ben and Liz's boyfriend ID'ed each of them incorrectly.

Ben could probably identify each StormTrooper in the Galactic Empire but has no idea who the chick is that he's been dating for years. He immediately breaks down, not because she's dead, but because if he'd known yesterday he still could've gone to the movies.

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt though, because I think the same thing happened to my ex-boyfriend when he started sleeping with someone else and then kicked me out of his house. He actually thought that she was me and that I was an imposter even though I'm young and supple and his new girlfriend looks like Grendel if it shopped at Ann Taylor.

Cuddy says that even though Liz is alive and doesn't know that her boyfriend is also retarded, this proves that House needs a team because Cameron wouldn't have accepted that Ben didn't know anything about his girlfriend (except, um, what she looks like), Foreman would've tried to debunk House's multiple diagnoses, and Chase would've tried to debunk Foreman if they were alone together in the employee locker room.

The show concludes with House--recovered guitar in hand--addressing a room of students who are all vying for the chance to be his new team. I can't wait until next week. And neither can my new Springer Spaniel.

Note: This was also posted at DeadOn. I will post recaps on both sites so that my 8 readers may enjoy them too.


Scooter said...

You used a Grendel reference? You must think we're English majors or maybe vikings? Harsh that you didn't even compare her to Grendel's mother. Did he at least buy both of you matching jewelry for a while so he didn't have to remember which g/f had which present?

Edward said...

Oh man, a Chi-O joke. That takes me back.

J-Money said...

Scooter, I'm glad he didn't think of that. Perhaps I'll suggest it for the future...either that or maybe tagging their ears.

And old habits, Edward. Old habits...