Depending on your outlook, Dr. House's behavior in this episode was either pitch perfect or really disappointing. If you come from the point of view that the character is an angry, bitter, sarcastic know-it-all who can't accept his own shortcomings, then this version of House was the one you loved from seasons one through five. However, if you'd accepted the "new and improved" House from this season, the one that was more introspective, vulnerable and open, this episode was a big step backwards. The final shots from the last two episodes said it all: this one had a solitary House staring at Cuddy and Lucas looking forlorn, while last week, he was resigned yet understanding and talking with his friend Wilson. I'll take the latter.
The patient of the week was a male porn star who was brought in because of a severe aversion to the bright lights on the movie set. We learned that he was not your typical porn star - he was in a stable marriage to his wife, also a porn star, and both were working through (or consciously avoiding) the issues of guilt and shame that come with their chosen profession. Like so many episodes of House, the final diagnosis was right in front of us the entire time. It's ironic that a "dirty" porn star was almost killed for belonging to another stereotype: the helpless little Jewish boy with a nagging, overprotective mother who wouldn't let him play outside in the dirt. It was a nice twist, although I'm not sure we can commend the writers for doing away with one stereotype at the expense of another.
The porn star couple made for a nice contrast to Chase and Cameron, who themselves were dealing with issues of guilt and morality. The two doctors came to a decision early on - they announced they were leaving Princeton-Plainsboro, effective immediately. A re-licensed House managed to wrangle them into this one last case, but as the diagnosis became more confounding, he had to reach out for outside help, in his Housian way of not actually admitting he was asking for help. Enter Dr. Taub and Thirteen.
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