On this week's House, a few of our doctors have some major fears to confront. We finally see Chase and Cameron together again, seemingly at a crossroads in their relationship. Meanwhile, House and Cuddy reach a crossroads of their own after their surprising kiss. This episode wastes no time picking up in the awkward aftermath of that smooch, and it builds to an intriguing ending, so to talk about it, read more.
For an episode that's all about avoidance, in the end we're left with only one coward: House. Every story in this episode has at its heart a major (if irrational) fear - that of leaving the house, of letting someone deeper into your life, of pursuing a long-simmering relationship. And, though the paths to get there are winding, everyone in this episode beats those fears except House. As Cameron's clearing out a drawer for Chase, and the patient is taking his first steps outside, we see House so very nearly ringing Cuddy's doorbell but then turning and slinking away. Why is House so afraid?
It's odd because, as Wilson points out, House's entire worldview is that everything falls apart in the end, anyway. So why should a presumed outcome of "guaranteed breakup, guaranteed ugliness" keep House from exploring something that could bring him temporary pleasure? To be fair, it's not like Cuddy is exactly running to House with open arms; in her conversation with Wilson - after Wilson has tried, hilariously but unsuccessfully, to convince Cuddy he has feelings for her to make House jealous - she essentially plays out the entire future she sees for her and House. "We'd realize the flirty hostility is just hostility," she says, and they wouldn't speak for two months.