'House': Be not afraid ...
James Wilson: Fine, upstanding oncologist or low-rent porn star? You be the judge. "House" is topsy-turvy this week, with our little Wilson learning the secrets of love from wood nymphs, while House cracks open a book of sermons for a little light reading.
Patient of the Week: We're treated to a guest performance by Laura Prepon, who plays a blogger. Hmm. [Tries not to interpret entire episode as expression of writers' feelings toward bloggers] Frankie, our blogging hero, has come down with a nasty case of unexplained facial bruising and bleeding gums. Bummer. She blogs about everything in her life: arguments with her husband, sex problems, and (of course) her doctors. And you have to admit, Foreman can be pretty condescending.
When Frankie's heart begins to fail, her husband tries to draw the line at writing about her choice between a pig valve transplant which will require surgery in 10 years (his preference), or a plastic one which will require drugs that cause birth defects (hers ... or perhaps her readers'), but Frankie insists on it because editing what to blog about is dishonest. Unfortunately for Frankie, that compulsion to be honest to an audience of strangers doesn't extend to talking about her poop, which turns out to be the secret to diagnosing her ailment. Rather than Sjogren's syndrome or lymphoma, Frankie's failing liver and heart are the result of Whipple's disease: a G.I. infection that caused malabsorption of nutrients. Um ... valuable life lesson about excrement-related blogging honesty? Luckily for you guys, I'm not sure this lesson is gonna take in my case.
"Feral Pleasures": I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with a young James Wilson, in college and living with a film major who pushes him into starring in a cheesy student film dressed in animal skins, a matted wig, and antlers, running around romancing a sleeping maiden in the woods. There's also a bonfire at one point. Years later, one Gregory House rents said film in a blessed coincidence. But before he's able to watch it, Wilson returns House's rentals to the store and claims to have lost the incriminating DVD, hoping House would be none the wiser. Not so.
House tracks down "Feral Pleasures," which has been upgraded to porn status thanks to recasting Wilson's part in a few choice "bonus" scenes. "Be not afraid. The forest nymphs have taught me how to please a woman" may be one of the greatest fictional film lines of all time. This. Is. AMAZING.
House promises "from this moment on, my lips are sealed," but the cat juuuust might be out of the bag since Thirteen immediately after reassures Wilson to "be not afraid." And what follows may be the greatest promotional campaign a porno has ever received. House has decorated Wilson's office with "Feral Pleasures" posters, and he's just getting started. The nurse accompanying Wilson to his office thinks she'd better thank whoever taught him how to please a woman. "Maybe it was the forest nymphs." Beautifully delivered.
- "She discovered he was part stag...but ALL MAN!"
- "The nymphs taught me secrets no man was meant to know!"
- "His touch released the pagan ecstasy in a lover's soul."
- "He was a wild love-god in a world grown too tame."
How quickly can we get these T-shirts made up, people? And hey, I just got a condo and need some art for the walls ... hint, hint. ... Seriously, that over-the-shoulder shot of Wilson's wild gaze with the crazy hair and antlers is 1,000 times better than any over-the-shoulder red carpet shot could ever be.
House's clean little secret: Wilson is now, of course, out for revenge and asks Chase what he could get on House. Chase: "Couldn't you just ask the love nymphs for the secret?" Ha! Chase discovers that House is pretending to read "The Golden Bowl" by Henry James, but is actually reading "Step By Step: Sermons for Everyday Life," a book of sermons written by a Unitarian minister. Wilson is worried that House is struggling in some way or another to be suddenly turning to religion, but Chase takes the opportunity to call the author up and order copies for the whole team.
Wilson puts the pieces together after seeing the dust jacket: The book was written by House's biological father, the family friend. House claims to be curious enough to read a book, but not enough to make a phone call. Uh-huh. Wilson is pretty harsh throughout about House suddenly and hypocritically studying something he previously thought of as "crap," which seemed like an extreme reaction to me. I mean, for all we knew he was reading it to pick apart the arguments for fun. That seems like something House would find entertaining.
Wilson finally suggests that House was just searching for a similar mind out there, since he's so alone in his thinking. It seems to me like it would be natural simply to be curious about a book written by a father you didn't know well, without any deeper motivation required. Honestly, though, I agree with Wilson's interpretation -- this was an attempt by House to piece together what makes him so different from everyone else. Unfortunately, "underneath the God stuff, more God stuff."
Poor, beautiful Chase: Wilson drags House and Chase speed dating, because apparently attractive doctors have a really hard time finding women. In fact, House bets Chase that women pick men based on attractiveness, instructing him to pretend to be unemployed, slow, and American. It's both hilarious and awful. Mostly hilarious. And good call on House's part making Chase jettison the accent -- that's definitely a good 25% of his attractiveness. Needless to say, House wins $100 when women pick Chase in droves. Sigh.
Awkwardly, Chase asks Thirteen how good-looking he is, and decides that he's been deluding himself about actually connecting with people. Yeesh. Thirteen talks him off the ledge, and again when he wonders if he and Cameron got together for superficial reasons. Though my honest answer would be "maybe" to that second item. I'll add here that "The Golden Bowl" is apparently Cameron's favorite book ... and Chase doesn't even know what it's about. Marriage and adultery, mostly. You could certainly analyze that one.
For the record, Wilson's speed-dating experience consists of a bunch of women talking about cancer (at a certain point wouldn't you stop being specific about what kind of doctor you are?), and House busts a speed-dating phony. It's all very swoft.
- Cashier to Wilson: "Be not afraid. It's exact change."
- Wilson: "What are you doing tonight?" House: "Masturbating. I'd invite you, but people are already talking."
- House to Cuddy, after discovering Frankie's liver disease based on blog posting times: "That was cool what I did. You wanna make out?"
Was tonight's episode worth the wait? What was your reaction to Chase's existential crisis? Would you watch a porn starring Wilson? (Even if the NC-17 scenes were recast?)