House Review: Settling for Mediocrity

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Part of the fun of watching a show like House is being in on House's jokes and watching them play out. It's enjoyable to watch people be continually duped by House's genius.

However, in "Gut Check," just like last week's "Blowing the Whistle," we again, instead of laughing with House, feel more like the butt of House's jokes.

I don't like being jerked around, and while I could guess that House was messing with Wilson in some weird way for some House-wisdom related reason, I didn't like that for the second week in a row, the entire episode was hanging on an idea that House completely fabricated for his own entertainment.

What are we supposed to take away from House's game playing?  That he cares enough about Wilson to give him a fake son so he realizes that parenting House is all the parenting he's ever going to need? 

Fine. Done. Check.  Let's let Hilson be Hilson and be done with it already!  They're family, they're flawed, they're bromance-y. But do we really need an entire episode dedicated to a fake son, even if some of House quotes were admittedly stellar tonight?

Chase and Grandma

As far as the patient goes, yawn! Taub is affected by him because he plays the "enforcer" role on his hockey team and Taub is small and used to be bullied. Then Taub gets past it thanks to House meddling, and him and the patient (Bobby) bond over their mutual dreams.

Bobby's dream is to play hockey and not just to get on the ice to start fights. Taub started as a plastic surgeon, but now knows that his real passion is for diagnostic medicine. Taub gave up the wealth for his job under House. Will this hockey player give up the entire sport if it's not his exact dream?

To make a long story short, no. Bobby accepts the three year 2.1 million dollar contract he's offered (who wouldn't?) and tells Taub it's better to be living a half dream than none at all. More on this later.

The other storyline in this episode involves Chase and Park. Park, wanting to escape her overbearing mother, complains to Chase and he offers up his place as a refuge. House, knowing Chase has selfish motives like himself, wants to know the real reason Chase wants Park to stay with him. Guessing it's some kind of guilt, Chase plays the "I'm a nice guy" card and House drops it.

Park picks up where House left off and guesses he misses family. Titillating stuff here, guys.

I think we need to find the space between a boring storyline like Chase's and an overly shocking for shock's sake storyline like "Wilson gets a son for an episode." Some of the stuff this week was so cringe-worthy, I honestly didn't know how to write the review.

But as usual, look to the patient for the answer. I like his statement about living a half dream and it applies to all the situations in the episode. All the characters this week are settling for something they didn't exactly plan for.

Wilson didn't plan on remaining House's parent his whole life, but that looks to be where his life is heading. Taub gave up the money his plastic surgery practice gave him for his meager (?) earnings and constant teasing from working for House.

Chase has all the independence he wants, but has settled into a life of lonely bachelorhood that he never really wanted. Park's grandmother is a welcome distraction from another night either alone or with a one night stand. And Park, who needed a break from her family decides in the end to move back in as she tries to find the middle ground of too much family time and far too little.

I'm hoping that this idea of settling informs the rest of the series considering that all of these characters, and the series for that matter, seem a little too settled on mediocrity. As far as next week's promo goes, I have virtually no idea what to expect and have set the bar low.

It's literally gut check time, House. I'm losing patience with the lack of urgency here and as we continue counting down, all I want is to be impressed by something that happens on this show.

I know I'm picky, but an episode like tonight's is just not going to do it.


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

Hello??? SPOILER ALERT!!! Sheesh...


True House fans will appreciate the small dosage of humor mixed with medical mystery. Angry bitter fans are the ones who keep upping the ante. What do I mean, its a game of poker in which you keep putting more and more chips in until no one is willing to play anymore. Wake up people! You can't keep upping the ante forever or you lose what little joy the game had to begin with. House has always been a manipulator of his coworkers, but it was only during 'huddy' that he became whipped and less of a doctor and more of a spouse. He is getting back into being the evil scientist that we all know and love but somehow that isn't good enough for you. The real fans will be sad to see the show end and we all know there will never be another show like House. Season 8 will be the curtain call, all shows come to an end and we as fans should be greatful that the show lasted this long, filled us with laughter and surprises.


House is so mediocre this season it hurts. I totally agree with you. And i think this is the last episode i´ll watch.


As usual your review is just an excuse to rant about the show, and of course you liked the whole House playing daddy for Rachel because she was Cuddy's daughter but a plot about Wilson's son is stupid, yes right. Your bitterness is boring and don't think you'll be able to fool anyone here, you're still a bitter LE/huddy fangirl


The reviewer is right. I keep waiting for an arc that will take us through the end of the SERIES, but I'd settle for something that builds towards the end of the SEASON, on the theory that maybe these episodes we're seeing now were written under a veil of ignorance about the future of the show. I don't think one needs to be snarky--and I don't think this review was snarky--to recognize that the show has gotten booooring. All I want from good television is to be entertained and last night, I was not. And, believe me, I am a die-hard House fan. (Why else would I be posting here?) So I am trying so hard NOT to be bored. But the patient, the pranks, and the plotlines all left me wanting so much more from my favorite show. Judging by what I've read, we're going to get a final arc over the last 4 episodes, and not before. So, in the meantime, lower your expectations and hang on for the ride.


Sorry, people, but Ms. Palmer is right on this one. This episode suuuuuucked. It was badly conceived, badly written and badly executed. I really don't like any episode that makes Wilson look like such a total idiot or one that makes House behave so utterly contemptibly. Six episodes to go and what are we building towards? Even more confirmation that House is a total dick wad? Message received. Now give me something interesting to watch.


After 8 seasons I think viewers either see the cup half full or half empty. I understand your "been there, done that" attitude about the episode, it's House again showing through manipulation that he cares, about Wilson, about his team. Trying to teach them that objectivity matters, not feelings or emotions. Yes, it's a well worn path, and a lot of viewers have lost interest, judging by the week-to-week ratings drops. This season seems to be about House paying attention to and trying to teach lessons to the team and to a lesser extent, to Wilson. Seems his interest in the medical puzzles is waning, and his focus is the people in his life. Perhaps preparing them for life without him?

Frank lee meidere

I've not watched House for quite a while (liked it, just didn't have the time), so for me it's refreshing to see him playing his games again. A large part of my love for this show has to do with its complete lack of sentimentality. Any other show in which a character starts feeling despondent about not having children would play it out until it reached a tear-jerking Hallmark Moment(TM). Only on House do we see a fantastic and oddly cruel "joke" used to show the character that, as House said in the beginning, he'd "dodged a bullet." And as we can see by his expression at the end, Wilson agreed. (Oh, and the "Can you do an Australian accent" comment as House and the kid were leaving was priceless.)


Please¡ you know they are the "true fans" that actually can give poop wrapped and eat happy.
This is a shame. The drop is very very very hard...
I think exactly like you


if House went to mediocricy i would say your reviews becoming just pure awfull. Sorry i ´don`t have nothing more to say with the exception that you are talking bollocks. Oh and on a side note you know that Robert Seans character name is James Wilson and not Bobby. Not sure what the actors salary has anything to do with the shows storyline. I guess you can`t distinguish between real life and fictional characters.

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House Season 8 Episode 16 Quotes

House: Short man equals bullied child.
Taub: I was never bullied.
Dr. Adams: Until now.

Cheerleaders are the best part of basketball. Without them, you just