HOUSE “Family Practice” Season 7 Episode 11 - Cuddy’s mom Arlene is back as the patient of the week and she makes things difficult for House (not to mention Cuddy) by not letting him treat her in the “Family Practice” episode of HOUSE.
Uh-oh: abbreviated credits and rain. That means we’re in for a heavy episode-with House in a lab coat for part of it, no less, making my world askew. The actual medical issue is fairly interesting and it’s been a while since Lupus was thrown out as a possibility so that’s fun. I love Candice Bergen and she’s very good as the not always likeable Arlene, but Paula Marshall is completely wasted as Cuddy’s very bland sister. The mother-daughter relationship drama rings true even if “I love you both, but I like her better” is more than a little harsh. I like that Arlene and Cuddy reach an understanding at the end of the episode without having everything completely tied up with a pretty bow.
Lines are crossed all over the place with people going behind each other’s backs and betraying each other willy-nilly. Taub looks at a scan for ten seconds and thinks he knows enough to break several ethical rules and go to a family. Cuddy lies to her mother and Masters spills her guts to the elder Cuddy’s doctor, but the biggest offender is House. He threatens everyone and sets Masters up to such a degree her career truly could have been destroyed. I wasn’t expecting him to become that unhinged. His moment of raw honesty when he tells Cuddy he did all this so she wouldn’t someday blame him for her mother’s death makes me think for the first time that maybe these two really are in it for the long haul. They survive a real fight where House remains House and doesn’t evade the way he has been and Cuddy doesn’t lapse into passive-aggressive mode. Progress.
I’m not sure how many more times House can fire and un-fire Masters or how much longer she can actually stay without it being hazardous to her health, but I liked their very tense scenes tonight and that she indirectly leads to Arlene being saved is interesting, as is using her to show the depth of House’s feelings for Cuddy. “I need you to protect me from doing something Cuddy will regret.”
Rachel’s ready to move on, which apparently means Taub has to earn more money, so she gets him a job with her nose punching brother. He takes it because he apparently wants her to want him back even though he wasn’t exactly the world’s happiest married man. Unfortunately five years of therapy and a stress ball don’t keep Taub from getting another broken nose. Even with the semi-touching moment at the end (yay, Foreman, for calling her), I really am over this storyline. Let’s move Rachel on off the show and find Taub something new to do and get him a little bit out of his own head.
“If you’re going to dress like an Italian hooker, at least make it this year’s Italian hooker.”
“Relax. I was crowned Homecoming Geek.”
“Should we consider STDs?”/”I think I just caught one looking at those photos.”
“Not according to the recent Supreme Court case of Bite vs. Me.”
“Why do you think I let the truth fairy know about the bug?”
“Pop quiz, hot shots.” I haven’t heard a ‘Speed’ shout-out in a long time.
“If you stay here, you’ll be treated badly, but you’ll live.” That should be the show’s tag line.
There are a lot of threads in this episode of House: Arlene’s illness, the clandestine doctoring and ethical debates; the House vs. Masters battle royale, the House vs. Cuddy come to Jesus talk about the difference between what she says and what she means and her inability to confront her mother, and of course the actual mother- daughter drama. While the episode occasionally feels chaotic and scattershot, it holds my attention and mostly ties the threads together well by the end. My biggest complaint: where in the name of all that is holy was Wilson?
What did you think of the episode? Did you like the emphasis on Cuddy and her family? Is Masters’ relentless need for honesty too much to take?
Follow me on Twitter @michstjame