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WTF House... - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
WTF House...
Okay, Tuesday was just a bad House episode, though I'm glad the Tritter plot finally ENDED. No matter how badly.

I won't even go into the patient of the week, whose plot was too stupid for a parody of the show. But the hearing? Solving it by having Cuddy perjure herself?

Dude, there are so many problems in Tritter's investigation that whatever lawyer the hospital hired should be sued for malpractice, starting with the fact that he had no probable cause to investigate House in the first place. What judge would issue a warrant based on, "I feel icky about this guy, and he was mean to me"? Even if you take the traffic stop and pills in his pocket, the guy does have a prescription somewhere, and there was no reason to continue the search, except for a vendetta. Yes, a good prosecutor could probably get around a crooked cop's behavior and press a case, especially against an inexperienced public defender, but I doubt a hospital would hire a rookie, and the issue of illegal searches wasn't even raised.

I know that a lot of House fans are glad he was faking with the Vics, but I kind of wish they'd get him off them and onto something a little less narcotic for the pain. It's not necessarily a moral thing, it's just getting kind of dull. The only thing Tritter said all season that I agreed with is that whatever he does on Vicodin, he can do off of it (presuming that the pain is controlled in some other way). And extended rehab could give him a whole new source of people to snark at! Personally, I loved him taking Andre the Giant as his Higher Power, and basically being a sarcastic ass the whole therapy session. But I guess they'd probably get into trouble if he got off pills in a non-standard manner, even though everything else on this show is cured in a non-standard manner.
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stephantom From: stephantom Date: January 11th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the resolution with Cuddy lying on the stand seemed ridiculous to me. What you said was exactly what I was thinking - he shouldn't have gotten a warrant to House's apartment in the first place. In fact, he never should have even been able to search House's person. His justification for that was that House took a pill during his exam and that his eyes were now dilated (nevermind that it was dark out).

And the patient's story was very badly done... I'm usually pretty good at suspending disbelief with the medical stuff, because I know very little about it and am not as interested - but even I couldn't swallow the EST crap. It does not erase memories, and even if you could do that, no one would just jump to trying that before trying something else, and I feel that therapists and lawyers would have to get involved in something like that... Really, this patient served as nothing more than a rather clunky metaphor. "He's a guy whose brain is trying to kill his heart," said House. And he's someone who now has a clean slate and doesn't know what to do now, but must be reminded that he has people who love him.

I was actually disappointed that House had been taking vicodin in rehab. I guess the writers decided that House wouldn't be House without his trade-mark vicodin dry-swallowing, but. One thing this episode lacked was those moments with House, alone, where you can get an idea of what he's actually feeling/thinking - because of the surprise ending, we weren't able to get House's POV. But I wanted to see some impact from the fact that he nearly killed himself in MLC. (And it still bothers me that no one is at all affected by the fact that he was shot. Or that the shooter was for some reason (despite having to walk out of a hospital) never found.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 11th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I wasn't going to comment too much on the EST, but dayyum. It was less realistic than the swollen-tongue guy in the season finale last year.

I was also disappointed with him staying on the Vics, but not surprised, as both producers and large segments of fandom seem to think that's what makes him tick. The incompetence of the legal part was what just came off as nails on a blackboard. I mean, maybe if they'd established that there was a huge moral outrage in the area over inebriated doctors, and there was an ugly witch-hunt mood like the daycare child abuse cases in the '90s, I could buy that they'd accept the silliness that Tritter did, but there was nothing to indicate that!
stephantom From: stephantom Date: January 11th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, since the tongue-swollen guy was almost entirely a figment of House's unconscious, I let that one go easily.

They at least threw in a motivation for Tritter besides just disliking House, which was that apparently he'd had a really bad experience with an addict(s). But for the whole legal system to go along with him... Actually House would have been more likely to get in more trouble with the medical board than with the state/federal court. They actually don't usually send people to jail in that situation - dctors usually just get fined and have to do a lot of community service - their main punishment is considered to be from the board, who will suspend their license. Anyway. I had been able to brace myself for the Cuddy thing from reading spoilers, so I was happy that it came off slightly better in action than it did when I read it summarized. I think the fact that it seemed sort of like it was the last straw for the judge helped - she seemed to say that the whole case was pretty weak and that, yeah House was slightly suspicious, and very irritating, but that probably all this was unwarranted (no pun intended).

The Vicodin... Well, they've made it very ambiguous on the show. I go back and forth. It's not that I think it makes him tick - it's just that him not being in pain lets him tick, and the vicodin lets him not be in pain, and he's apparently convinced that nothing else really helps. I wish they'd confirm whether he's actually tried other medications, or if he's just never stopped taking it since the surgery on his leg six years ago. I've been able to sympathize with him when he freaks out and tries to get it on his own when other people (Cuddy and Wilson) have cut him off from it - like he told Foreman once, "Pain makes us make bad decisions. Fear of pain can sometimes be an even bigger motivator." But after the OD, I figured he'd realize that maybe he does have a problem and, since it's his own decision, that he'd be able to detox willingly in rehab. He managed to do it in "Detox" without cheating. Ah, well..
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 11th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, since the tongue-swollen guy was almost entirely a figment of House's unconscious, I let that one go easily.

That was kind of my point. It was a hallucination and still more believable.

I guess I don't care enough about the show to pay attention to spoilers, though I think that would have just prolonged my WTF moment with it. It's not so much that she did it that bothered me (though it does) as the fact that it was about as logical as doing EST to erase the total memory of a patient who has a psychological problem. There were just so many other perfectly decent options... why go there at all, except to set up drama? And if the only way you can set up drama is by forcing not just the characters but the entire milieu to behave in ways that the characters and milieu don't behave, then the drama will be weak, since it's always viewed through eye strain caused by extreme rolling.
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: January 13th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)

What makes him TICK?

It's not that I think it makes him tick - it's just that him not being in pain lets him tick, and the vicodin lets him not be in pain, and he's apparently convinced that nothing else really helps.

Well, I don't think it's specifically the pain being gone that makes him tick, or even the Vicodin itself. I always got the impression that it was the opiate IN the Vicodin. I think that might be what makes him tick.

I'm not a doctor, but if I remember correctly from a Toxicology class I took a few years back, Vicodin is part Hydrocodone (an Opiate) and part Acetaminophen (Tylenol). I think that in one of the earlier seasons, one of the other characters even made some comment about that. That what House really liked was "getting high."

*shrug* I don't know. I definately thought the episode could have been better as well, but I did sort of like seeing House apologize to Tritter. We usually don't get to see House seeming that sincere, so it was new. I had to wonder a little what he was feeling/thinking then...
stephantom From: stephantom Date: January 13th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: What makes him TICK?

By "tick" I was thinking "do his job really well" which isn't related to the narcotic. He's a medical genius on his own, and if anything the vicodin has got to cloud his thinking. I do think he enjoys that feelings and hates having to lose it, but I think his claim that he can't work well when he's in pain is legitimate as well.

And yeah, there were parts of the episode that I enjoyed as well. Despite the fact that he started getting his hands on vicodin after being in rehab for a while, I think some of the stuff he said was surprisingly sincere - his description of what he experiences to Tritter, his apology to Wilson, and even some of the stuff he said in group therapy, like not being able to submit to a higher power, and believing that the people in his life have no expectations of him.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 13th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: What makes him TICK?

cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: January 13th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: What makes him TICK?

lannamichaels From: lannamichaels Date: January 11th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
But is it at least completely over? Tritter isn't coming back? I stopped watching when the plot started. I just couldn't suspend that much disbelief.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 11th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
The case was pretty much dismissed for lack of evidence. There will likely be fallout from how they resolved it, but the actual investigation seems over. I hope.
phylogenetics From: phylogenetics Date: January 11th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, I don't watch House for great plotting. I watch it because Dr. House is a snarky, bitter old coot who gets these wonderful one-liners and the people around him work off of that. I find most of the episodes to be formulic and derivative after the first couple of seasons, so I don't bother trying to suspend disbelief anymore. But as long as House continues to deliver wonderful dialogue and great characters, I'm willing to overlook the plotholes.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 11th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had the same reaction that you had Fern. I originally could not stand this plot line. I missed the episode that it started from and did not get the full 411 on the way House was stopped. And I also thought that it was ridiculous that the court would help Tritter get access to House's home and colleagues.

I am just glad it is over. I am sorry to see that he was faking though. He suckered me too (like Cuddy and Wilson). I thought they could have gotten more mileage from having him try to stay clean but I guess that would make him someone else and not House? I am also extremely disappointed that they had Cuddy perjure herself...I thought that this was out of character for her.

Hey one funny thing I couldn't stop laughing when I 1st heard House refer to his "Keeper" as Voldemort. Hey Fern I think your crossover with Fenrir Greyback would have fit in better than the absurd plot line they had going this week. I wonder if Hugh Lorrie (sorry about spelling) put this in or if it was the writers having fun and tipping their hats to JKR? What do you think?

lilacsigil From: lilacsigil Date: January 11th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I'm one of the few people who didn't mind the Tritter storyline, but, even so, that was a dreadful ending.

Also, there's nothing wrong with House being on narcotics longterm, but Vicodin is not a good choice - it's hydrocodone plus acetominaphen, so he should be taking a maximum of 8 a day or he'll destroy his liver with the acetominephen. The narcotics are the least of his problems. This safe maximum dose was the "insufficient" dose that Cuddy gave him after the junior doctors refused, so if that's not enough, he should be on some other form of medication and use the Vicodin for break-through pain. He should be in a pain clinic, not rehab.
saeva From: saeva Date: January 12th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm someone that deals with fun levels of pain from multiple sources and, you know, I think that bothers me most about House's medicine at this point is the facade that the Vicodin is working and/or what House would choose.

First, Vicodin is shit when it comes to serious pain management (narcotics as a rule aren't terribly efficient without knocking you out), and second, if he's in so much pain he can't function without a couple of Vicodin every couple of hours (see first) then he'd have jumped to something more effective long ago. Because he's, we've established, not a moron and has no particular pride when it comes to pain medication.

But I don't watch House for the logic, lord knows.

- Andrea.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 12th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Honesty, I'd mostly like to see him off the Vicodin because as long as he's on it, another "I'm going to get the druggie doctor!" plot is all too possible.

The Tritter plot wouldn't have been bad for an episode or two, especially if it had some resemblance to a real investigation. But it just pushed too far and went on too long, and tried to invest too much jeopardy in a situation you can't sell--the audience knows perfectly well that House isn't going to jail.

I mostly like it for the snark, but I also like it for the use of the brain to solve problems (even if it's not necessarily accurate). Some of the soapy interpersonal stuff is kind of interesting, mostly because House is such an ass and that makes it different, but mostly, I don't care. I pretty much dropped E.R. when it became obvious that they were more interested in the lives and loves of Abby than they were in fixing patients' problems, or dealing with E.R. related issues. The last season I liked was when Carter and Lucy got stabbed. I hope House doesn't decide to go in an E.R. direction.
stephantom From: stephantom Date: January 14th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Just out of curiosity, have you looked into any House fanfiction at all? There is some good stuff there. (Some bad stuff too, obviously.) Most of it is character-based, though a lot of people do good research to incorporate medical things into their fics. I'd recommend namasteyoga - I think you'd like her stuff. She's got all her fics archived on ff.net too. pwcorgigirl is another one I'd recommend.. Both very good gen writers. (I actually made a rec-list for House and Wilson each, arranging several gen fics into a timeline of their lives: here and here respectively. If you get interested in finding House-fic.)
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