House Review: En Garde

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No immediate weekly theme to House jumped out on "Perils of Paranoia," but 'll take a stab and say the episode was about breaking out of one's comfort zone.

Let's start with Foreman, just to get him out of the way. Congrats, House writers and producers for giving Foreman a storyline. Granted, it's another one in a series of storylines that don't make women look so great, but so what? He's got more screen time! And a hot skinny former America's Next Top Model runner-up as a girlfriend! 

I'll try to give the show the benefit of the doubt here and say that Foreman is definitely stepping out of his comfort zone to date/sleep with this married woman. And that for Foreman, maybe that's a step in a positive direction. He's not exactly the riskiest of guys, which is how he earned his "Boreman" nickname. 

With a Fake Gun

So if this House was about stepping out of one's comfort zone, perhaps Park might have also been victorious. Throughout the hour, she went to House to discuss the others in her differential clique and if they liked her. Park wants to be respected, and is just that, but is she liked? 

By the end of the episode, she doesn't seem to be swayed either way necessarily, but she does seem to accept her colleagues' treatment, so much so in fact, she flat out asks Chase out right in front of Dr. Adams. Gasp! One of the only times I laughed tonight was when Chase was attempting to weasel his way out of a date with Dr. Park. Turns out Chase's game isn't good enough to get him out of an unwanted date, and I couldn't help but enjoy Dr. Adams' discomfort in being bested by her awkward coworker. 

Not sure if that elevator shot was accidentally made to look like Chase and Adams were Park's parents, but it did.

But where does the patient fit into this? Everyone except for Park assumed he was paranoid. Instead, he had a disease that easily could have been prevented with a vaccine. So not-really-paranoia plus idiot-who-didn't-get-vaccinated equals...? Again, going out on a limb here and saying that this man's wife wanting them to leave their home without protection (arsenal) and the patient coming with her showed us that the patient is leaving what is safe to him. 

Are we supposed to recognize that everyone should leave what's comfortable at times? If so, I can accept that message, even if it was muddied up with some rather bizarre Hilson hijinks this week.

I know that House and Wilson have their own relationship and that everything they put the other through typically has a deeper meaning. And, by the way, Wilson in that net was the other moment that made me laugh aloud. But is there a deeper meaning to House saying he doesn't have a gun, Wilson saying he does, and then pranking each other repeatedly to find/hide said gun? By the time these two had finished torturing one another, Wilson produced a gun that House owned. But it was a prop; it wasn't real. So House isn't "protected?" Or House is actually being smart and not risking owning a real gun on his parole?

Was pulling out the sword at the end of the episode showing us:

  • He misses his father, the former owner of the sword?
  • He misses Cuddy, since the last time we saw this sword was when House used it to destroy that bottle of champagne last season in "Now What?"
  • He is outside of his comfort zone, owning a sword (weapon) that could put him back in jail?
  •  He feels safer with the sword around?
  • None of the above?

Honestly, this was the House fall finale? What are we supposed to be excited to come back to? Park and Chase's awkward date? Foreman's infidelity? House's sword? I sincerely wish the people over at House would have laid out some kind of arc for House at the point. Instead, I feel like I have no idea where he is mentally or physically. 

It was a weak ending to a mediocre eight episodes. Bring back the laughs. Give me some kind of window into House's soul beside him staring indiscriminately at a sword owned by his father. And give Adams and Park personalities I care about. Stop drawing on their opposing looks for substance. 

I'll be back in January. And I'm ready to be impressed. So please try this time, House


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (113 Votes)

Having been a fan on and off since its' inception, I must say the change of characters over the length of the series really adds to the viewing pleasure. I think adding new characters for House to screw with helps a great deal with the show's longevity. I mean I would still be watching if Cameron and Thirteen were still attached, but I think House's character sucks all the mystery out of them. They have to go away, do something new or change something about themselves, before coming back to the clutches of the puzzle-master.

Lisa palmer

Ok, so apparently I missed the whole "real gun" thing. My fault. Or perhaps it should have been made clearer? Either way, my complete lack of knowledge regarding guns doesn't help this either. Neither does being called a retard, Mike. Regardless, not sure this real gun helps my theme, although it does create more mystery regarding House. Thanks for the correction, all.


With all due respect Shane, I don't think anyone is having a tantrum. Maybe we're spoiled because TPTB made us that way! We've had such greatness for so long, it just seems weird NOT to have it. No need to resort to labeling or putting us in groups here. We do all have something in common....we LOVE the show. It's just that well...put it this way, we've seen better. We aren't the ones who set the bar high....TPTB did that by giving us an amazing show with amazing characters and stories. Given what we've seen them do in the past why should we expect any less now?


Alex, are you serious? You think "Hilson" is a typo? It's referring to the part of the plot involving House and Wilson.


I see the cult is out in full swing, stamping their feet in tantrums because people don't share the same "every episode of House is a WOW episode" ideology. Let's get for real. If you've trule set a standard, then some epis will fall short. And an opinion is an opinion. These angry attitudes are beyond ridiculous! Lisa, The gun was real and probably was part of the Marine weaponry handed down after his death. It's perfectly understandle to miss the point since they intentionally buried a lot of details in this script. Thanks for the review!


Arrggh this episode was so frustrating. I felt nothing watching this episode. I like Vincent Spano but the POTW case did nothing for me. I did laugh three times in this episode. Once when Park was getting picked on in the beginning, then again with Wilson getting caught in House's net, then with House being locked in his bathroom. Usually the POTW story and House's personal subplot seem to mirror but I found absolutely zero connection this episode which seemed odd. The whole discussion of paranoia and guns in the cafeteria with Wilson and House was fine but then the whole "You have a gun" - "No I don't" seemed out of place and forced in there as a plot device to bring about the final scene with House in his closet. It's really annoying that nothing seems to be building on anything else this season, everything seems to be "stand alone" there's no growth or character development here. I know Lisa gave several possibilities of what the sword could mean but honestly, from the look on House's face, it almost seems to be that the sword and gun brought back feelings of regret for House. Regret for what? His father? Cuddy? Both? How about things never said, never done. (We never realize until it's too late what we really have do we?) House may very well feel regret for the relationship he never had with his dad. It's possible House had some great moments with his dad sporadically in his childhood and he feels conflicted as he gets older. It could be the older he gets and the closer he seems to get to his own mortality, he needs to feel the connection he never had with his dad and it pains him that he can't. He may damn well love his dad and hate him at the same time. There could also be some anger and resentment perhaps related to a feeling of being cheated out of having a real father and not really knowing his biological father. House is a man who likes puzzles, he wants to know how and why things happen. And the one puzzle he really hasn't solved is his OWN puzzle. He's never really figured out WHO he really is and WHY. Also, House may have regrets (given their 20+ year relationship, it would be impossible for him NOT to have regrets) for the what he never said/shared/did with Cuddy.(I bring up Cuddy because it was the sword he used with Cuddy in "Now What?" and may have been the last time he's even touched it which could trigger memories of one of the happiest weekends in his life). House may regret that his screwed up upbringing (including daddy issues) led to his inability to get close to Cuddy and really communicate his feelings to her (essentially letting her "in") caused him to ruin his one chance happiness. Remember he feels HE screwed it up as evidenced by telling her "it wasn't your fault" in "Moving On". The problem is folks, we are playing a guessing game here because really we don't know WHAT House is feeling because we're getting very little real insight into his character. I learned more about Gregory House in the first few eps of Season 1 than I have learned about him so far this season. I will say this in closing, the lyrics to the song "Waking Life" used at the end were really appropriate for House. Sad and appropriate and it (plus his facial expressions) at least gives us some hint that House is hurting. Part of it goes: "There's an anchor that's pulling on my heart
And it's deep int he water but it can't take me down.
Tracin' faces with fingers and we're just the same as we were,
Just our eyes never found what I see now,
That my feet are on the ground. Cause I'm not lost, just looking for footprints.
I'm taking it, one step at a time and I'm getting by. By the way,
It's you on my mind,
It's you on my mind.
And here comes the night pulling puppet strings on my heart again,
Shows me all of this time I've been blind to this waking life.
Now I see it everywhere." I found those lyrics so perfect for House. Hugh conveys with facial expressions what House can never convey in words. His eyes, his face, say a million things his character can never speak. It's one of the reasons I just love this man, he's just amazing. All in all, I'm really disappointed in this lack of development from TPTB. They can do better. Why they won't is beyond me. It's their responsibility to give us the "what" and the actors give us the "how". Hugh never lacks in the latter but TPTB's "what" just sucks. :(


It is good that Laurie is finding other jobs even if it is voice over in cartooons since this show is dying.


This was an interesting episode for reasons others have mentioned but also for a bit of insight into House.The ceremonial sword is engraved John House and the box holding the gun House.The fact that they're both together makes me think that they both belonged to House's father ,after all why would you need to label a box that holds a gun in your own home with your name?
So House is hanging on to souvenirs from his father ,that's intriguing considering their relationship but it also reminds us that when House first came out of psychiatric treatment and lived with Wilson ,he said that he was also remembering the good times with his father and not just the things he rebelled against.Being able to keep his father's things is a sign of maturity.


I've never read an article from this site before but I have to say I'm disappointed. The gun was real, House dropped the pencil all the way in after Wilson left so whoever wrote this article must not of been watching the episode too closely.


Good review, if kinder than I would have been (or will be). For those reading this, John House was in the Marine Corps and that is an engraved ceremonial sword. The gun belonged to House; we already saw him shoot a corpse in the head in "Euphoria." I recognized it instantly. (Can we saw "retcon"? And congratulations on trying to work out what we were supposed to take away from this episode. Weak finale indeed. By the way, when did we start calling mid-season episodes "fall finales"? Oh, marketing departments, you are the clever beasties.

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House Season 8 Episode 8 Quotes

[simultaneously] I'll take Taub.

Chase and Adams

She probably also believes that Salma Hayek's breasts are too big.