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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Thoughts on Birthmarks, episode 5.04 [public but not posted] 
15th-Oct-2008 09:46 am
Open to public, but not publicly posted anywhere but in my journal.....

First things first.  I was neither particularly disappointed, nor particularly moved, by this episode.  At the end of it, my overriding emotion was one of relief, really, that the entire Wilson-Wants-House-Out-of-His-Life debacle is over, and perhaps now we can get back to business as usual.

What I liked:
  • Cuddy's clever cover story for administration of the sedative [although I do hope that there was actually IG in that syringe as well, because SARS... yeah].
  • Wilson's clever I've-thought-of-everything approach to a Road Trip With House--the used floormats, the empty plastic bottle [although I do think an actual urinal would've been funnier], the locked-up cane, the restricted phone privileges--and most especially, the second, smaller, wind-up flashlight [and btw--this is how they actually come packaged].  And the rationing out of the Vicodin, which was both funny and imparted to us a change in Wilson's previous House-view.  The Wilson of the last year and a half might have made him go without the Vicodin, whereas this Wilson didn't disagree with House's observation that one pill would "take the edge off, but it won't give me enough relief for an escape...."  Which I prefer to see as a silent agreement by Wilson that the pills are for pain.  Whoa--what a concept!
  • The uncharacteristic gentleness with which House recounted to Wilson his memory of Wilson lugging around that unopened envelope.
  • "I'm not even sure anymore we get to choose who our friends are."  'Nuff said.
  • The loving, indulgent smile lighting Wilson's face when House says, "If you're coming back just because you're attracted to the shine of my neediness... I'd be okay with that."  That smile... 'twas a lovely thing to see.
What I didn't like, and/or was confused by:
  • Cuddy's administration of the sedative--no alcohol wipes, and the site was dangerously high.  I know--small thing--but small things add up.
  • House and Wilson's come-and-go seatbelts--Wilson's especially, as he was shown driving without it on for long periods of time.  And it stretches credibility to want us to believe that a man who lives life "expecting the worst" [and more on that later] wouldn't be positively obsessive about his seatbelt.
  • The way the end played out.  I wanted... more.  I wanted one of those warm, mutual, "you know, I really love you" smiles that they gave each other in the montage at the end of Damned If You Do.  That would've been enough.  And perfect.  
And finally, something that made me go hmmmm....:
  • Read this:  House rolls his eyes and calls after Wilson, “You were born expecting bad things to happen; it’s why you chose Oncology.  You expect the worst, and you prepare for it.” [from The More Things Change, chapter eight, 'Child's Play'.]
  • And now this, transcribed directly from last night's episode:  "When things go wrong, I like to be ready."  [Wilson, after House disposes of keys."This is about you, needing to be prepared for the worst.  So you become an oncologist; no surprises there--worst happens all the time." [House, at  funeral, trying to get Wilson to admit to needing him.]
  • But they don't read fan fiction.  And actually, I believe that, and know this is a coincidence.  Still....  
So those are my primary thoughts, for whatever they're worth.
15th-Oct-2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
They say they don't read fanfic but the near repeat of that line from your story.... that's almost too much of a coincidence for me personally.

And I liked the rest of your thoughts on the episode.
15th-Oct-2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
thanks; i felt a bit better after writing it all down.
15th-Oct-2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Do you mind awfully if reference to part of your thoughts for this episode in my own journal?
15th-Oct-2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
no, not at all--have at it!! :)
15th-Oct-2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hm. Yeah, last night was the most Housian episode in a painfully long time. So it gets my vote for that. Hearing House tell Hadley she's fired can't be that much better, can it?

I liked finding out where the Houserents actually lived now. I wish I knew why House seems so ambivalent toward his origins in the case of his mother, but would readily hurl them at his father. It looks to me like she was really no better than John was, as far as shunting aside House's wishes and/or needs to facilitate her own comfort. The fact that House doesn't complain about any of the underhanded acts against him at all says a lot, too. I have theories about his relationship with his mother and none of them are at all pleasant. They bleed over into his handling of what Wilson and Cuddy do to and about him and it's terribly distressing to actually think about.

I didn't see House wanting at all to connect to any biological father, which is telling about his origins, as well. If it was supposed to tie into the PotW story that way, then the fact that he probably never wanted to know anything about this missing link (which, in his case would be relevant for genetic testing) is a clue into how he came about. Infidelity may put a damper on that curiosity, I think, but rape or something similar would kill it instantly. I certainly don't see either John or Blythe as being the sort who would hide that kind of thing from their son. Hell, they let him know every damned thing else he was 'guilty' of -- why should this be any different?

If John stopped talking to Greg for three months because of being reminded (because as californiaquail said, John is not stupid and can count) that he is not his son's biological father then what sort of thoughts did John harbor about what his wife did or went through? If it was rape, he probably agonized over a fallacy that he was supposed to protect her and those words were a reminder from the very result that he hadn't 'taken care of business' or whatever foolishness. If it was an affair, then it's a reminder that he wasn't satisfactory enough in his wife's eyes to be something worth waiting for. And -- again -- here's the result waving it in his face with relish.

Now, the fact that this would be relished in the first place doesn't seem to have mattered. I don't see House as having cared or wanted to say such things if he felt at all loved and I don't see either of his parents making that happen. Holy crap, why is House still alive? Then again, his suicide attempt(s have) failed, too! More self-punishment! Because that's just what he needs! He couldn't even get rid of the problem, himself, and spare everyone he feels he screws over every day. Yay.
15th-Oct-2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
myself, i didn't need all the backstory--nor will i analyze it ad nauseum. i'll just add it into 'what we know,' and go from there. my brain can't handle any more than that.
15th-Oct-2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
But analyzing ad nauseam is...okay, I'm going to refrain from quoting Mal Reynolds from Serenity, but I don't think I'll be able to help thinking it over. I'm just like that.

*mumbles line from Serenity to myself*
15th-Oct-2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Even though I programmed my recorder to run five minutes past the hour, I LOST THE END OF THE LAST SCENE. I was heartbroken. It got as far as "You figured out your father wasn't your birth father?" and then POOF. AUUUUUGGGHHH.

Stupid FOX, shoving the extra commercials into House so that Fringe doesn't have to deal with 'em. I'll know better next time and set the timer to stop at 8:10 instead of 8:05.


I had this flash of a scene in my mind this morning, Wilson showing up at the hospital expecting to pick up a fully conscious House and being pretty horrified, seeing Cuddy wheel a gurney out.

"What!? Is he all --"

"He's fine. He'll be out for at least an hour."

"You drugged him?! Cuddy, you can't --"

"I did. Are you taking him, or not?"


And he never told House because he figured House would never believe it hadn't been Wilson's idea.

15th-Oct-2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
that's odd; check your dvd recorder clock--the episode ran only until two past.

and i like your wee little plot bunny.
16th-Oct-2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
We're in different time zones, and I think it ran a little differently in Central time, because Perspi, who also "pads" her recorder time, had the same thing happen.

BUT!! hithah posted the last scene, late last night, and I have now lost track of how many times I've watched it. OH MY. I haven't seen Wilson look at House like that in ... gah. Way too long. So much love, AND so much love for the fact that he's not coming back because House is "needy" but because of what House gives him.
15th-Oct-2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
I just saw Epi 1 of season 5 and currently I'm not in the mood to watch the others. Hm, I've never thought that I would come out of Houses's spell but it seems it happens with the first epi of season 5. I don't want to watch how Wilson hurts House again and again and again and again. So maybe those epi can bring me back under the spell of House but first I've to watch the other ones. Grrr, and I'm not into the right mood to do that. Well, maybe in the weekend or not. Who knows? But thank you. You let me think about watching the last House epi's.
15th-Oct-2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
i know what you mean, and the best word i can think of to describe how all this is making me feel is ambivalent. i want to continue adoring the show, and i want to adore the current house and wilson as much as i adored seasons one and two house and wilson. but the writers aren't exactly making it easy, are they? sigh.....
16th-Oct-2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
Which I prefer to see as a silent agreement by Wilson that the pills are for pain. Whoa--what a concept! Oh, how I wish this indeed is true... I'm getting so sick & tired of Wilson not taking House's pain seriously! Apart from this, I haven't seen the episode yet, and frankly, all I've read about season 5 so far mostly makes me want to cry or to throw stuff at Wilson. Hopefully it all goes uphill from this point!
16th-Oct-2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
i'm hopeful as well, and attempting a bit of optimism. but i believe i had my hopes set too high for this episode, so it's difficult to maintain a balance between optimism and realism. sigh.....
20th-Oct-2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I loved the roadtrip and it was great fun to see them together again. Loved the key incident and the flashlight, and the expression on Wilson's face before giving House back his cane, knowing he will regret it. Wilson should have known better than to give House the flashlight. But it was not emotionaly satisfying after all the pain and heartache after Amber's death. So now we know that House is more important to Wilson than Amber, but apparently not enough to stop Wilson from asking for the DBS. I don't buy it. I can only hope that future episodes will show a slight shift in how H/W deal with each other. Then maybe all that pain was not in vain. But I won't hold my breath. I still love the show and adore watching HL. In every look and gesture there is so much meaning that I can't pass it up. But I need to be less emotionaly attached if this is going to be another Tritter rewound.
20th-Oct-2008 02:52 am (UTC)
i'm finding my comfort--and my old dear friends house and wilson--easily accessible through writing new stories of my own. i can even read some of blackmare's amazing stories, and have my house & wilson 'voices' remain undisturbed. so i take comfort from that as well. like house himself, i take solace where i can find it. join us in fanfiction land, where [at least in my wee corner of it] the fallout from tritter has been dealt with properly, house is needy and vulnerable and not simply an egotistic idiot, and wilson is caring, compassionate, empathetic.

hey--a fiction within a fiction! how cool is that? :)