10/22/09

House: Instant Karma


It is so interesting to see Gregory House in a position where he's not technically in charge. In Instant Karma, House is still waiting to get his license back. Foreman is still in charge, 13 and Taub are still gone and Cameron and Chase have come back to their previous positions in House's diagnostics department. The stage being set, how does House actually work as merely a consult?

We've dealt with father/son patients before, and we've dealt with well-to-do patients demanding the best. The patient in this episode serves as more of an incidental subplot. Of course, as always, the problems of the patient help the main characters get through their personal drama, but this time and in this season more than ever, the patient takes more of a backstage position.

The moral dilemma from last week makes its way into this week by Chase and Foreman preparing a presentation on the work they did to make sure others don't make the "mistake" they made. I love that that this doesn't just go away. That there is no reset button that makes everything ok at the end of the episode. And the way they're handling it has me gripped. With so many changes going on in this season, it's hard to believe they'll just come out of it alright.

Which reminds me. 13 is out of the hospital... but she's still in the story. This makes me believe she'll eventually come back. She's trying to go on vacation and someone canceled her ticket. This turns out to be a major plot point and her and Foreman's feelings for each other keep being called into question. A bad breakup isn't as easy to get over as it seems to be for Taub just leaving. He wasn't brought up in this episode at all.

All this, however, is just an excuse to see House when he's not the boss. But even when he's not the boss, he's the boss! He puts on a show so the Hospital can't get sued, but everyone still looks to him. House knows best, and even though Foreman is technically is in charge, House is the face and the brain of the diagnostics department. What's interesting, however, is that House doesn't want to be in charge. A very interesting scene develops in this episode between House and Cuddy in which he expresses the fear he has that both power and puzzles lead him to the behavior that put him in a mental hospital last year.

I always like House and this episode is no exception. Watch and enjoy!