“The Right Stuff”
October 2nd, 2007
Although the episode might not be labeled as such, I would argue that tonight’s House was really the second part of a two-part opener. After last week established House’s issues regarding bringing in a new team, this week gave us plenty of the House we like while also providing some important revelations. This would make last week a prologue (Although one I was vastly entertained by), and this week finally gets back to the meat of the issue.
And it really did: we learned what happened with Chase and Cameron, we were introduced to the new prospective fellows, and we got to see a new level of House’s unethical behaviour. For all the details, continue on to a diagnostic on the episode.
The Case: An air force pilot up for a position with NASA starts to hear with her eyes and crashed a simulator. She goes to House with $50,000 cash and a plea to avoid any of this going on the record: NASA would dump her in two seconds flat if she were damaged goods. And thus House has to attempt to discover what’s wrong with her without entering her into the system, which obviously makes everything that much more complicated.
The Fellows: I believe there was 40 to start with, each provided a number by House. He fires an entire row to open, and fires more as the episode wore on. Those who remain run a whole litany of tests which involve the patient being set on fire, locking herself in a chapel, and getting drunk on tequila (The last one being intentional). They’re also asked to do the usual: break into her apartment, break all sorts of rules, and avoid Cuddy at all costs.
Standouts include 13 (Olivia Wilde, “The O.C.”) and 9 (Kal Penn, “Harold and Kumar…”), which takes a fair deal of the suspense out of the proceedings when we knew that they wouldn’t be fired. The episode did an admirable job of personalizing the rest of the candidates, however, so the mass firing at episode’s end still felt interesting. It should be interesting to see how the final grouping is pared down over the next few episodes.
House and the Ghosts of Fellows Past: House spent the episode mostly preoccupied with his new charges, but was occasionally distracted by images of his former fellows walking down the halls of Princeton Plainsborro. Of course, Wilson’s lies didn’t help him to discover the truth for awhile, but eventually it was revealed: Cameron has been working in emergency for three weeks, and Chase is working as a surgeon. They each played an important part in this week’s case (Cameron sending her to House and Chase helping during surgery), so they’re clearly back in the game.
Complications: I thought that the case itself was fairly marginal, although I was mildly entertained by how the title of the episode refers to NASA and the competition between doctors parallels to Top Gun, which of course relates to the patient being a fighter pilot. My problem with the episode is simple: at a certain point in time, I stopped believing that Cuddy would ever allow this to happen.
In this episode, House attempted to hide a patient and could have been sued a dozen times over for his hiring practices. Add onto this the fact that he got a patient drunk on tequila (And was drinking himself), and that he clearly scheduled a boob job in order to fix an existing condition, I don’t see how Cuddy could let all of that go.
But I think that you need to shut your brain off for House, just a little: there’s still more cuts to come, and Foreman is apparently actually gone for good…which we all know won’t last for long. What will send Foreman running from New York Mercy? And how will Chase and Cameron fit back into House’s dynamic over future episodes. Also: will Cameron dye her hair back? I’m not cool with the blonde.