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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

House: "The Fix"

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Good news! House wasn't shooting up heroin, despite the fact that he was cooking a white powder in a silver spoon over an open flame, before injecting the resultant fluid into his arm. House was actually dosing himself with an experimental compound that's been shown to regrow muscle in rats. It's like the drama version of that old sitcom joke about when a guy sees his girlfriend supposedly getting humped from behind by a strange man, only to learn later the stranger was performing the Heimlich on her while they were giving a presentation at a nudist's colony. (You've heard that one before, right? I didn't just dream it?) We've seen House using experimental procedures on himself before, but it's not a road he's gone down that often. Here's hoping "The Fix" marks a whole new chapter in our beloved bastard's life. Maybe before the end of the season, he could get bitten by a radioactive spider, and get all the powers a radioactive spider has, like biting people and having cancer.

Note: I wrote the previous paragraph during commercial breaks while watching tonight's episode, and I finished well before Dr. Science Experimenting Guy discovered the rats he'd been experimenting on—the rats which were taking the drug House had stolen for himself—were starting to die. So I had no idea how apropos that "cancer" joke was, although I'll guess we'll have to wait till next week to see if House busts out the most depressing spandex super-hero suit ever.

Sorry for the overdose of sarcasm up there. I push too hard when I write about this show now, because quite frankly, I rarely have much of anything to say about it. If the episode is significantly better than usual, I can usually respond, and if it's absolutely wretched, there's room for commentary there too. But an episode like "The Fix," which was by and large lousy, but not the absolute dregs, leaves me with a lot of white space, and very little insight to provide. And, shocking though this may be, I don't write these reviews just to see my myself type. (Though I do have wonderfully delicate and graceful fingers, I must say.) And it's really driving me crazy how little I have to say about House anymore. I'm starting to repeat myself as much as the writers on the show do, and that's a good time to start thinking career options. I'll last out the season (two episodes left!), but unless something amazing happens in the finale, I'll probably have to move on.

Admittedly, I've said this before. And you know what's also been said before? Nearly every plot twist in tonight's episode! Okay, not really, but apart from House's suddenly getting successful muscle regrowth in his wounded leg, did any of this seem all that interesting? The patient of the week made bombs, which is sort of a new one, but that was only relevant for maybe five lines of dialog. (And a pointless cold open.) It all really came down to her boyfriend poisoning her because she was cheating on him—which, by the way, weirdly undercut 13's attempts to defend the PotW from being labelled a "slut." (Obviously the patient was the victim, but the show went to great lengths to point out that she had a history of cheating.) We've seen a trusted loved one attempting to murder their romantic partner on the show before, and, as all the PotW cases are these days, it was so perfunctory that there was no chance for any of this to distinguish itself. Which is too bad—Lee, the patient, got a monologue explaining her career choice to 13, and while it wasn't mind-blowing, it wasn't bad, either. Would've liked more of that.

No time for that, though, as House has to continue his spirit journey of agony post-Cuddy, this week fixating on regrowing his muscle (because, as Wilson helpfully explains to us one more time, House wants everything to have a concrete solution) and figuring out why a boxer he bet on lost a fight House is sure he should've won. Apart from the Coke Zero team's increasingly desperate attempts to solve the PotW case on their own (which they did, so bully for them), House's struggle with the boxer was probably the most interesting part of the ep, if only because it was a case that House was actually committed to solving. Again, we've seen him badger someone who doesn't believe they're sick until he proves he's right, and it got a little annoying (and, frankly, unbelievable that the boxer would put up with House's abuse for so long), but it had a little spark.

Can't really say the same for House's experiments in experimental medicine, which started silly and shocking (when I thought it was heroin—and that makes me the idiot), and just turned silly when we learned what it really was. I'd assumed this would be another false hope, yet another trail for House to try and "cure" himself on, despite the real path to wellness being to follow his heart, or something. But then, during the world's lamest bar fight (in a scene that was easily the worst of the episode), House realizes he's gotten muscle growth in his leg. Which means that the show has decided to get very silly, especially once we see that the rats are dying, and watch the preview for next week's episode, which I won't spoil here, except to say it had me laughing very, very hard. And I don't believe that was the desired response.


So, lots of flailing (really, I'm not sure the show ever had a clear idea of what it wanted to say about House's mental process, but at least when it worked, there was a sense he was a mystery worth solving), and lots of time-killing, and a cliffhanger that looks to give us some absolutely marvelous bullshit next week. Guess we'll have to wait and see how that turns out.

Stray Observations:

  • Very much enjoyed Meredith's take on the show last week. (We tried to find someone on staff who had positive things to say about the current season, but could not.)
  • I loved Wilson's victory dance.
  • Line I Should Not Have Laughed At, But I Laughed Anyway: "Your genitals… they're engorged."