Even when House is wrong, he’s right. In last night’s episode, "Living the Dream," Dr. Feelbad kidnaps, drugs and bribes — all in the day’s diagnosis. You know, normal House stuff.
The episode opens on the set of House’s favorite soap opera. As the fake Dr. Sterling Brock (Sex and the City‘s resident hunk Jason Lewis) leaves for the day, his chauffeur is, you guessed it, a cranky guy with a limp.
You see, House is kidnapping Dr. Sterling, aka Evan Greer, because he is convinced from watching the show that the actor has a brain tumor. Wow, now that’s what I call a dedicated fan. Actually, House claims he is saving Evan because he wants to know if the baby turns out to be his on the soap. Like I said, he’s a dedicated fan.
The episode is part spoof on stalker fans, part existential examination of happiness. You see, Evan isn’t very happy. Sure, he’s a ridiculously handsome fellow and a beloved star of a hot soap. But he’s not happy with his work. The episode also gives us the brief return of Cameron and an even briefer peek into Thirteen’s personal life.
While House tries to convince his unwilling patient that he is actually sick, Cuddy is trying to convince House to actually follow the rules. The hospital accreditation inspector has arrived early, and in order to keep her job she must keep House from running around "like a monkey in a banana factory." Yeah, good luck with that.
As the teams starts a litany of tests, some consensual, others nonconsensual/sedative-enabled, each of House’s assumptions turns out to be wrong. No brain tumor. No B6 toxicity. No thyroid issues. No problems with little Evan, so to speak. Yet, instead of his phantom illness being all in House’s head, Evan actually gets worse. Like heart attack, 106-degree fever, coma worse.
But back to everyone’s existential happiness. About the only person who seems genuinely happy this episode is Wilson. In fact, the kindly oncologist and his cutthroat girlfriend, Amber, are so happy they’re shopping for a new bed.
The rest of the team exists in varying states of misery. Cameron, who on Cuddy’s behest is back working on House’s backlogged patient files, admits that she misses the puzzles of working diagnostics, but not the man himself. And Thirteen flat-out admits to being "not particularly" happy when asked by her teammates. Of course, if I were known only as an integer by my bosses and co-workers, I wouldn’t be particularly happy either.
But happy or not, Thirteen does give us another oh-so-short glimpse into her life when, while watching the soap with House & Co. for "diagnostic reasons," she suddenly thinks she recognizes one of the actresses.
I love how she casually says, "I think I dated that nurse, though." House and Taub’s reactions were pretty priceless. You can almost see the fantasy scenarios forming in their heads. This dribs and drabs approach to Thirteen’s sexuality is tantalizing. I’m glad it’s at least being mentioned in each episode. But, of course, I want more. Much, much more.
I also want the mystery romance Olivia Wilde alluded to in a recent interview to come to fruition. Who will it be? Was House foreshadowing this week when he offered Cameron back her old job?
Please, Cameron, think Thirteen is hot.
In the end House (big shocks) breaks the rules and gives Evan a potentially lethal dose of steroids to cure what he thinks is an allergy to chrysanthemums. Once the tests are done, it turns out he isn’t allergic to chrysanthemums. But who cares? He got better anyway. He was allergic to the quinine in the fake gin and tonic he swilled on-screen. Like I said, even when House is wrong, he’s right.
So, did you like House’s obsessed fan act? Were you happy to see Cameron back in the fold? Do you think Thirteen has a thing for candy-stripers? Discuss.