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.

Gut Check Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (65 Votes)
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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