“The operation was a success, but the show died…”
This week’s episode of House comes on the heels of the expected announcement that this this will be the show’s final season. While that comes as no surprise, and while I think that’s probably a wise choice, it was something that lurked in the back of my mind during the story.
We begin with Chase (Jesse Spencer) still recovering from the stab wound and paralyzation thingy he had going on last week. Physically he’s getting better, but emotionally? Yeah, not so much. It’s quite telling that he spends much of the episode unshaven, limping around on mobility devices, engaging in casual sex and doing medically unethical things. Any resemblance between him and the title character of the show is probably totally coincidental.
Anyhow, Chase is doing his clinic hours and a pair of nuns come in. Did you know that Carmelite nuns apparently wear blue head thingies when going through training? I didn’t. This particular nun is going through that training and has enlarged lymph nodes, a sore shoulder and a lump in her breast.
The team begins their usual run of trying to figure out what’s going on. As this happens, Chase and the patient spend a lot of time chatting. Our pal Chase is, you might remember, a lapsed Catholic and had been training to be a priest before he decided to change jobs. They bond over that and surfing, as he and the patient are drawn to each other, something that remains true even after she loses feeling in her foot and starts to vomit.
Soon it’s very clear that Chase and the nun are falling for each other. Fortunately before that can become a major ethical problem, it turns into a minor one, as she’s apparently cured and has decided to leave the nun business. Chase knew about the first part and finds out about the second when she turns up on his doorstep. The two go inside and, yes, forgive me for putting it this way, come to know each other Biblically (I’m sorry…it had to be done. Forgive me).
The following morning, the two are lying in bed trying to enjoy themselves when the now ex-nun starts coughing up blood. Chase rushes her to the hospital, thinking that she’s about to have a stroke. Her neck swells up impressively and someone needs to do surgery. The only person around who is qualified? Yep.
This was a fascinating episode in many ways. I liked seeing the story focusing on Chase, since he’s never been very well-developed as a character. Depending on the season, he’s usually acting either as a suck-up to House or as a foil to him. I’ve always thought there was more to the character than that.
It was also really fascinating to see how far down the road he was going toward turning into House (Hugh Laurie). Leg injury, not shaving, using crutches, sleeping around, doing ethically questionable things, being a jerk to everyone…he was a good way down that happy path, and I was glad to see that House had some words with him about it.
I was less entranced with the subplot that featured House trying to get the drop on Taub (Peter Jacobson). Taub is taking self-defense classes, which he believes will prepare him for the unexpected. House disagrees and spends most of the episode trying to do various things to Taub. It’s in keeping with the character, I suppose, but it seemed like the episode might have been stronger without that subplot.
This is probably the last episode we’ll have that focuses this much on one supporting character, which is a pity, because it was well-done and I would have liked to have seen more. But such is life.