House S03E21 to S03E24

House S03E21: Family

From Amazon Prime: House and his team go to extreme measures to diagnose a young boy so he can in turn save his dying older brother’s life. With Nick’s immune system completely wiped out from chemotherapy, Wilson is extremely cautious about keeping him healthy before the transplant.

Like Doctor Who S01E10: The Doctor Dances, this was an ‘everybody lives!’ episode; though without as much joy at the end. For a bit during the intro scene, I was wondering if I was watching a flashback to Dr Foreman’s youth.

I’ve been noticing a tendency in Season 3 for the episode titles to be slightly double meaning, and since then I’ve tried to seek out the double meaning ahead of time. So here there’s the family dynamics of the two brothers willing to die to save the other; and of how the team of doctors is not a family, culminating with Foreman resigning (but, of course, he’s left his own family, too…), as we saw in the last episode.

But no major ethical or epistemological bombshells in this particular episode.

House S03E22: Resignation

From Amazon Prime: Foreman hands in his resignation while the team races to diagnose a young college student who coughed up a mouthful of blood during karate class.

How many meanings does the title have in this episode? There’s Foreman resigning his job, House resigned to his quitting and not willing to do anything to keep him back; and the patient of the week’s depression; which afflicts her with a little too much resignation? Her suicide attempt went wrong, and now she’s resigned to life, but is going to die anyway unless the mystery of the week is solved.

Also notable because House and Wilson drug each other; which leads to a late-season twist. In my opinion, too late in the season to have any major impact on the narrative.

House S03E23: The Jerk

From Amazon Prime: Obnoxious 16-year-old chess prodigy Nate is admitted to Princeton-Plainsboro suffering from intense head pain that came on after he attacked his opponent during a speed chess tournament.

The jerks here are the patient and House himself, but we face the question of why the patient is a villain, and House is an antihero. My reading: Nate is a jerk because he enjoys being a jerk; and House is redeemed slightly because his jerkness is in the service of the truth. We saw this in the last episode too, where he was so thrilled to tell the patient about why she was dying, and was astonished that nobody cared.

Meanwhile, the late season drama, again too late in my opinion, of Foreman quitting and Chase being fired in his wake, continues. Very unsatisfying.

House S03E24: Human Error

From Amazon Prime: A couple travels across the ocean in search of a diagnosis from House.

If there was a double meaning in the episode title, I didn’t notice it this time.

This was a very unsatisfying season finale after the previous two. Oh, it was symbolically rich – heart stopping, the power of love, heart restarting, House demanding God takes credit for bad miracles too, pace Pratchett, and so forth; but it had neither narrative style, nor high stakes. Well, I suppose the stakes to get the team back were high, but that was just wadded up and thrown away, all to make some point about House suddenly being comfortable with change. Meh.

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