A few episodes ago, there was an episode of House seen through the eyes of Dr. Wilson, appropriately titled, "Wilson." It was an interesting idea, although I felt the execution missed the mark, preventing me from getting what I'm used to from the show: baffling medical mysteries, frantic, board-uncertified behavior from House's team and some well-chosen insults hurled by our favorite curmudgeonly doctor. Wilson is just too damn nice, and nice just doesn't necessarily mean interesting.
This time out, they tried it again, only from Dr. Lisa Cuddy's perspective and with far better results. We know Cuddy as the harried boss who has to deal with House's endless bizarre requests, constant torment and various brushes with the law. Not only that, but there's a romantic undercurrent to their relationship that complicates things further. For years she's been portrayed as a cat's toy for House to bat around, but that's because we've never seen things through her eyes. As it turns out, she's a much more complicated character, and by the end of the episode, we learned beyond a shadow of a doubt why she's in charge.
Maybe it's because I've been underwhelmed by this show for a few weeks that I had low expectations going in, but this episode totally caught me off-guard. In short, it was amazing. Perhaps the most important idea I took away was how insignificant Dr. House seemed in light of all the other craziness going on at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital. It's not every show that can take one of the most well-liked characters on television and push him aside. This wasn't the same thing as in "Wilson" - that episode just showed the other side of the House/Wilson relationship with both characters prominently involved. "5 to 9" was something different and raised the level of difficulty exponentially. In this episode, Dr. House was simply an item in a long list of far more important things for her to deal with, an afterthought, if you will. It was also a great showcase for Lisa Edelstein, whose acting chops got a workout as she ran the gamut of frustration, understanding, vulnerability and fortitude.
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