Tuesday, February 9, 2010

House 6.13: Cuddy's Perspective

A standalone superb episode 6.13 of House last night - a day in the life of Lisa Cuddy.   With all the talk about a House spinoff, this episode shows that a new show about Cuddy could work very well - except that she would still be needed on House, and House would be needed on Cuddy.

The integration of Gregory House into the Cuddy show was done deftly.   We get just snippets of his cases.   In one fine scene, the elevator closes with Cuddy inside, as House continues talking about his case in the hall.   This captures the essence of the episode, all from Cuddy's perspective.

She reluctantly seeks House's advice - here, House is playing the Wilson role - on Cuddy's most dangerous "case".   She playing wicked hardball with an insurer, holding out for more favorable rates, even though Princeton-Plainsboro is a small hospital (her counter-argument is that Princeton-Plainsboro has the most brilliant care, aka House).  Plus, she has an employee who has been stealing and dealing drugs, a lawsuit from a patient unhappy that Chase saved his thumb (!), a crying baby at home with a fever, and, well, you get the picture.

It's interesting to note the role that House plays, other than his advice, in Cuddy's hectic life.  At least on this day, he's much less of major distraction and dangerous wild card to Cuddy than we might think, based on what we've seen of House and Cuddy from House's perspective on House.   And this makes sense - Cuddy has lots of problems, real and potential, and House is not always one of them.   From her perspective, House can be a pain, but just one of many, and also a pain that can be a valuable ally.

Maybe not coincidentally, all of Cuddy's problems resolve, after she talks to House.   The insurer caves (and her job is saved).   Cuddy stares down the drug-dealing employee's threats of blackmail.   The aggrieved owner of the thumb sees the light.   And the baby is better.   She's back home in bed with Lucas, who can make up for what he failed to complete in the morning.

All in a day's work and life for Lisa Cuddy.  It's a measure of how deeply the characters are drawn, how true their intellects and emotions ring, that House can be just as superb from another character's perspective as from House's.

5-min podcast review of House

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

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