After a week off because of the baseball playoffs, House was back with an all-new episode last night. It was called “Mirror Mirror” and brought us the usual House formula — with a bit of a twist. Since I’m already late in getting this recap posted, let’s just get right down to the details. Here’s what happened in episode 4×05.
Patient of the Week: The show opens with two teenagers hanging out in an alley looking for someone to rob. They soon spot a promising candidate, but when they move in on him and take his money, the guy begins coughing like crazy. One of the teens gets worried enough to call an ambulance, which brings the vic to PPTH.
At PPTH, the competition for the three fellowship positions is still going on, with six candidates remaining. So once again, the bulk of the action revolves around watching the job candidates struggle to come up with the correct diagnosis in time to save the patient.
In the search for clues, House realizes that the patient, Robert Elliot, has Mirror Syndrome, which makes him mimic the personality of the most dominant person in the room. This leads to a series of scenes that give us some instant insight on a few of the regular players, as well as the candidates.
For instance, in an operating room that includes House and Wilson, Robert acts like Wilson, showing us that he’s actually the dominant personality in the friendship. We also learn that Grumpy (the Doctors Without Borders Guy) is there just because he’s bored; Kutner always needs to have something new going on, and that 13 is really a lot more scared than she lets on.
After a bunch of failed tests and treatments, House is finally able to figure out what’s wrong with Robert, thanks to his idea of pretending to be the patient in order to get him to talk about himself. It turns out that Robert was a salesman who regularly visited farms and regularly came into contact with pig feces. He contracted some kind of virus that way, but it’s fully treatable, so he’ll be fine.
Character Interactions: Foreman was back in almost-full capacity this week at PPTH. At first House objected, especially when Cuddy told him that Foreman was basically going to shadow House and be her “eyes and ears.” Of course, no one, not even Cuddy, has any real power over House, so he completely disregarded her. In addition, he told his candidates that if they want to continue to be in the running, they’ll pretend like the Foreman thing never even happened.
House and Foreman lock horns a few times early in the ep, but by the end, they come to some sort of understanding. Foreman has changed enough to be able to deal with House now, despite the fact that House hasn’t changed at all and still won’t be listening to anybody else.
On a side note, we see Chase running a betting pool on which candidate will be fired next. It seems like half of the hospital staff is in on the action, and they all show up at the lecture hall for the big announcement. That’s when House says that all the candidates sucked equally this week, so he’s not firing anybody. Chase wins the bet, and we then learn that he and House rigged the whole thing and will share the profits 50-50.
There were also some shenanigans between Cuddy and House, with Cuddy replacing House’s Vicodin with laxatives, and House threatening to replace her birth control pills with placebos.
My Reaction: I didn’t care too much for this episode. I’m really getting tired of having all these job candidates to keep track of and think the whole competition aspect of the show has already gotten old. Like I said two weeks ago, I just want House to pick his three people and be done with it so we can go back to the regular formula.
If I had to guess right now, I’d say that House ends up going with 13 and Kutner for sure, with the third spot being a tossup between Big Love and Cutthroat Bitch. It doesn’t seem like Grumpy will be around for the whole season and the other guy doesn’t really bring anything interesting to the table, so I think the four I listed are definitely the top contenders. We’ll see, I guess.
I thought I would hate Foreman’s return, especially since he was supposed to be watching over House — which, of course, is a storyline they tried in a previous season. But I found Foreman to be surprisingly tolerable (because he knew that he wouldn’t be able to control House at all), so maybe it won’t be so bad having him around again.
(Incidentally, I loved that scene where he stood up in the lecture hall and told the candidates that he hadn’t signed off on House’s latest treatment idea yet. Three out of the four people candidates just looked at him and continued walking out, while the fourth one flat-out told him that House is the only one they’re worried about listening to!)
I wonder what they’re going to do with Cuddy now that the writers have openly acknowledged that she has zero power over House. Even though she was never going to fire him in previous seasons, she still had ways of making his life miserable, like assigning him extra clinic duty or whatever. But even that doesn’t work now since all House does is send someone else to cover for him. So what is Cuddy’s purpose going to be? How can she keep House in check when he knows she won’t fire him?
Anyway, I didn’t like “Mirror Mirror” that much, but I’m hoping things improve as this very long, drawn-out job interview starts winding down. I heard the competition is supposed to last through episode 8, so just three more weeks!