HOUSE “Bombshells” Review

HOUSE (FOX) "Bombshells"

HOUSE “Bombshells” Season 7 Episode 15 – Cuddy’s cancer scare leads to surreal dream sequences and a retreating House while the team tries to help a troubled teen with an odd collection of symptoms in the “Bombshells” episode of HOUSE.

Before getting to the House/Cuddy revelations and dream sequences, the lesser patient of the week is Ryan, a teen doggie paddling in the sea of misery with whom Taub over-identifies. He apparently thinks that if he can just help, the lambs will stop screaming. The team’s discussion of torture after Taub learns Ryan like to play with bombs is a highlight of the episode. “I never wanted to kill anyone. I just wanted to torture them slowly in my basement. Preferably with acid” is the best line Masters has had, especially since it’s followed by “So, what have you all thought about doing to House?” And a thousand fanfics are born.

We go from zero to eighty in terms of Cuddy’s health crisis, which is certainly jarring (and I didn’t for one second believe she had anything seriously wrong), but the dream sequences are very well done. The Two and a Half Men and Leave it to Beaver/Donna Reed (with House as Donna Reed) sketches are two sides of the same coin and I love that Cuddy can believe everything except that House isn’t limping. Domestic tranquility was never on the table. House hunting his zombie team with his axe cane and shotgun cane is beautifully shot and a nice manifestation of House’s fear that he can’t help Cuddy and that their relationship was always dead on arrival. The chaotic and psychedelic “Get Happy” is perfect for an anesthesia dream with just the right tinge of dread and fear under the peppy lyrics. My favorite is the ‘Butch and Sundance’ homage with the chatter about the karaoke bar and French fries and then Cuddy facing the soldiers alone. The candy threaded through Cuddy’s dreams is a nice touch, especially with the candy cane in the musical sequence and it’s a believable link to House taking vicodin. Oh, and what do you know? Last week’s vicodin licking was indeed foreshadowing.

Between the lack of a title sequence and House and Cuddy’s lovey doveyness at the beginning of the episode, it seemed clear the two would be calling it quits. “You’ll choose yourself over everyone else over and over again because that’s just who you are.” Interesting callback to drunken House telling Cuddy he would always choose her over medicine, especially since it took vicodin for House to be there for her surgery. In order to (not) deal with their relationship, House will turn to the nearest bottle or pill. He’s an addict, after all. He may have been a recovering addict, but he was/is still an addict, something Cuddy has known all along and even though she claimed she didn’t want to change House, she clearly expected him to change on his own. I certainly don’t blame her for breaking up with House, but it seems disingenuous that it took a cancer scare for her to realize House will always choose himself and/or pills. House’s quiet plea to her wrecks me, though. Hugh Laurie plays it with the perfect combination of desperation and resignation.

So, does this push the reset button? While we see House taking vicodin at the end of the episode, next week seems to be a study in extreme behavior, so will this be a case of House bottoming out quickly before going back into recovery or will he go back to House circs season 3? Wilson says this episode he’s not going to play anymore, and I’m curious to see how long that lasts because Wilson has always been House’s lifeline.

Favorite lines:

“My urethra is not for public entertainment.”

“Feel free to tip your other server.”

“Looks like peeing blood is the new black.”

“I was sleeping. What could go wrong?”

“Hate the statistics, not the statistician.”

“As opposed to everyone else in the world who goes looking for pain like it’s buried treasure?”

There was so much hype about this episode of House that I was afraid it was going to be awful. Thankfully, it wasn’t, but I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, either. It doesn’t flow as well as it should and while the dream sequences are well crafted and enjoyable, they probably aren’t all that necessary. I’m sure there will be much debate about the House/Cuddy break-up, but my only concern going forward is that we can get backthe House and Cuddy of days gone by. I miss them.

What did you think of “Bombshells?” Do you think House will keep taking vicodin? Is the break-up permanent and are you happy or sad about it? Please post in the comments.

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