Saturday, November 12, 2011

House 8.5: The Congenital Liar

Jamie Bamber - of Battestar Galactica and Law and Order: UK fame - put in a fine guest performance on House 8.5 last Monday, as a liar with some serious conditions.

Actually, it turns out that his physical condition - Kawasaki syndrome - is the source of most of his lies, though not his first and last.   Bob Harris (Bamber) gets struck with his first bout during a roll in the hay in a motel room with a blonde who is not his wife.   He proceeds in Princeton Plainsboro to confess to that, and then to defrauding everyone in the town.   When he confesses to Chase - great to see him and Taub back - about being a serial killer, Chase realizes that something else must be going on here.  Correctly diagnosed, Bob is cured, but then lies to his wife when she asks him if he was falsely confessing about the motel room.  He replies that he was indeed lying - which, in that one case, is of course a lie.

I confess to loving this kind of stuff  - I enjoy anything that tips into the paradox of the liar.  "This statement is a lie" - if true, that means it's a lie, but if it's a lie, that means the statement is true about being lie, which means it's a lie - well, you can see how this works.  It's a form of infinite regress, which is the title of this blog, but I assure you everything I write here is true, at least to the best of my knowledge.

As for House, it's good to see lying playing such an upfront role in an episode.  The whole series, certainly House's character, is based on lying whenever necessary.  For House, and often his brilliant assistants, the only thing that counts is correctly diagnosing the patient, and if lying is necessary to do that, well then, that's ok.  And who would really disagree with that?

Is telling the truth more important than saving a life?  I'd say certainly not, if only for the reason that you can correct your lie in you're alive, but can't do anything more, good or bad, if you're not alive.

But the first thing Bob Harris did when recovering from his near-death was lie to wife.   But that's life.  And that's House.  And a part of what still makes this medical show ring so true.

See also House 8.2: Patient Lungs ... House 8.3: Dr. Adams and Thirteen

And see also House and Cuddy on the Other Side in Season 7 Premiere ... House 7.2: House and Cuddy, Chapter 2 ... House 7.3: The Author and the White Lie ... House 7.9: The Vilda Chaya ... House 7.11: The Patient's Most Important Right ... House 7.14:  House, Death, and Cuddy ... House 7.16: Broken Hearts and their Repair ... House 7.17: Deadly Healthy Diet ... House 7.18: Thirteen Mysterious ... House 7.19: Rules ... House 7.20: Cuddy's Mother as Catalyst ... House Season 7 Finale: In Paradise

And see also House Reborn in Season Six? ... 6.2: The Gang is Back and Fractured ... 6.3: The Saving Hitler Quandary ... 6.4: Diagnosis vs. Karma ... 6.5 Getting Better ... 6.6 House Around the Bases ... Four's a Crowd on House 6.7 ... House 6.8 and the Reverse of Flowers for Algernon ... House 6.9: Wilson ... House 6.10: Back in Business ... House 6.11: Making Amends, Mending Fences, and a Psychopath  ... House 6.12: The Progression to Mensch ... House 6.13: Cuddy's Perspective ... House Meets Blogger in 6.14 ... House 6.15: About Taub ... House 6.16: Revealing Couples ... House 6.17: Socrates on Steroids ... House 6.18: Open Marriage

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