'House' recap: Are people still pulling for Huddy?

Last night’s House had a too-on-the-nose “this patient is like me” message (genius with a drug problem), a Chase story line that’s increasingly difficult to care about, and a weird turning point for House and Cuddy. Not for the characters House and Cuddy, really, but for us the audience: Do we actually want these two to get together or what?

Once upon a time, I rooted for this relationship, but I’m getting to a point where I don’t know what it is I’d be pulling for — and I can’t tell if the show’s creative team knows, either. What’s here? What’s at the center of this relationship, and what is it that I’d even want to see the show explore if theses characters ever got together?

House and Cuddy’s relationship is a microcosm of the show: The problems that plague them plague the series. When their banter is charged and substantive, the show shivers with organic, real emotional tension. When the show brings back a straw man to stand as a faux obstacle for the suddenly urgent feelings they Are Coming To Terms With, well, it’s more like the chills you get right before you hurl.

Give me something to care about, House! I’m begging you. The problem isn’t just that the characters themselves don’t seem all that compelling, it’s that they don’t seem to react to each other. When Chase punched House last night — which he said he did just so everyone would, uh, leave him alone (?) — no one said anything. I don’t mean no one called him out, I mean the other characters in that moment reacted with complete silence. Really? No one even is going to let out a “whoa” or a “Chase!” or a “heavens to Betsy!” or anything? If the team members can’t be connected to each other, I don’t know how they can be connected to us as an audience.

Of the remaining team members, who is it that we’re supposed to be invested in?

Chase
On the plus side, that punch was exciting for a hot second. On the minus side, ugh, Chase is extremely annoying. He was never my favorite, but now sans Cameron, he has zero meaningful contact with anyone. Remember when he kissed that young cancer patient, and it was all messed up except you almost for a second understood that he thought he was doing the right thing? I remember that. But what I can’t remember is anything recent where Chase seemed like he couldn’t be swapped out for any of the other doctors. Could I imagine Cameron killing Dibala? I actually thought she did. Might Foreman or Thirteen or Taub have crossed the same line? I don’t see why not. We’re missing the essential Chase-ness of this character, unless that core quality is whiney jagoff, in which case, we’re all stocked up. Cameron complaining that he’s just like House? If only.

Thirteen
I just find her tiresome. And that was the least authentic consumption of a tuna sandwich I have ever seen.

Foreman
Again, a bit tiresome, and despite being a character we’ve learned a lot about — and someone we’ve seen rise through the ranks — do we really know Foreman? Have we ever seen Foreman really break, like we’ve seen Wilson, or really win, again, like Wilson? He hasn’t proven himself to be tough enough to stand up to House, but he doesn’t fit in with the other underlings because he outranks them. It’s time for Foreman to let his light shine.

Taub
Taub is the only team member with a sense of humor, which is why I like him generally, but we’ve already exhausted the “Taub’s marriage is rocky” story potential, and also, I don’t care about Taub’s marriage at all.

My suggestion: Bring back Andre Braugher and really push the House-in-therapy story for the rest of the season. Lucas and Cuddy are not cutting it when it comes to creating dramatic motivation, and we need to see Wilson play something other than exasperated. What would happen if we saw someone have a little fun? Or if Cuddy made them all do some hokey bonding retreat? Or if Wilson and House went on vacation? Something? House is in a major rut right now, and relying on residual Huddy feelings that we’ve developed over the years won’t work for much longer.

Are you with me, PopWatchers? Do you think House has hit a rough patch, or do you think this is the beginning of the end? Are you still pulling for Huddy? Which of the remaining team members are you invested in? And what’d you think of last night’s episode?

Photo credit: Michael Yarish/Fox


Comments (84 total) Add your comment
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  • Barbara

    This is not a recap. I have no objection to criticism, but I came in for a recap.

    Also, I was told there’d be cake.

    • Lisa Simpson

      Not even a mini muffin to be had.

    • James

      No kidding, Barbara. This doesn’t even seem like anything more than whining on Pop Watch’s part. Yuk.

    • Liz

      AGREED

  • Matt

    I can’t put my finger on it, but this show really feels like it’s running on fumes. For one thing I just don’t care about the patients anymore.

  • Jeff

    Give House another love interest besides Cuddy. That’s the answer. Maybe a woman battling her own issues. The entire Huddy concept is tired and boring. House comes off as so incredibly weak the way he pines for her episode after episode. I am a House fan from way back, but I need something new from this show if I’m coming back next season. What we’ve seen so far is not cutting it.

    • Diane R

      Remember when House went bonkers for his exwife? That was much better than the never ending Cuddy story.

      • Angie

        House does NOT have an exwife, he has an ex girlfriend who he lived with played by Selia Ward.

    • Therese

      I believe your mistaken, Angie. Sela Ward was House’s ex-WIFE! And I agree with you Diane R., THAT was chemistry! I keep hoping she’ll be back, but I know it’s a dream.

      • Chris

        Sorry, that’s incorrect. House and Stacy were never married, although they did live together.

      • Bob Frapples

        Nope. They weren’t married.

  • KT

    I actually agree with your review. I’m still pulling for House and Cuddy, but adding Lucas who acts like a creepy high schooler isn’t cutting it. When I can come up with more exciting storlyines than the creative team, I worry. What are TPTB afriad of in bringing House and Cuddy together? They can’t possibly ruin the show, because they are in a spiral now. As for the team, I don’t mind them. I think the team was just stunned that Chase punched House. Cuddy found out so someone snitched. I would love to see Braugher back helping House through his Cuddy crisis. As for Wilson, I think we are starting to see riskier sides of him and the stomach to let House fight his own battles. I just hope this Lucas arc ends soon because it’s killing the House/Cuddy fun chemistry.

    • laylagalise

      I agree with you for the most part. I’m all for huddy, but I want it to happen soon and I’d like for all the back and forth to stop. It feels like it’s all to generate ratings and less about what’s in the best interest of the show. I’d like to have some genuinely compelling Forman, Chase and Taub storylines- nothing that is a retread of former issues. And, hey, why don’t we meet Wilson’s brother?

      • jess

        I’m personally REALLY bored of Huddy – I never was pulling for it, but I liked it when in seasons 1-3 it was boss-employee power-play/sexual tension. But I really think the writers messed that up when they decided to listen to a loud fan minority and invent some story about how they’ve actually been pining after each other for twenty years. Puhchuh. If you watch seasons 1-3, House/Cameron and House/Stacy are the only relationships discussed. No-one cared about House and Cuddy. So the writers get bored of House/Cameron and decide to try out Huddy just to see what fans think, a few go crazy, and BAM, suddenly they’ve been “planning it since the beginning, sowing the seeds from episode 1, blah blah blah…” not true. This trainwreck of a storyline really has ruined this show. I’m surprised people are still watching.

        Still don’t understand firing JMo either. Why couldn’t the writers explore Cameron’s back story? We never found out ANYTHING about her excep for the whold dead husband thing. There were so many oppurtunities too – the whole dead baby thing, the whole crystal meth thing (watch hunting – she has a past there), the whole fat-guy thing was she fat when she was a child? or anorexic? There was SO MUCH they could have done but insteaad they focus on Huddy bla bla bla.

        GAH.

  • maiv

    I personally don’t think we’ll ever see Huddy happen until the last season, if even. IMO the show wouldn’t really work with House in a *committed* relationship, unlike other shows with chemistry between two main characters. And this will take a while. You know the writers will wring out every bit of sexual tension they can get from the two! They already did pull the “it was all a dream” stunt…

  • Dana

    I hate the detective character, (Lucas is that his name? or something like it maybe), anyhow I do not like him with Cuddy or him at all. He comes off as immature and needy to me for some reason?? Plus he and Cuddy together is not very believable. I still would like to see House and Cuddy together but only if it happens real soon, like in the next few episodes or move on from that story line already. Of House’s team I like Taub the best the rest of them are kind of boring. I never though I would say this, but I miss Cut Throat Biatch

  • joey_tomatoes

    After the amazingly funny early scene with all the docs and House doing the differential, I could have cared less about the next 50 minutes – it was that funny. “We have tennis elbow and all the money, can’t you give them sickle cell?” or the reference to House feeling like Mike Tomlin but saying Foreman probably really knows what he means (google Mike Tomlin pittsburgh steelers) … entertaining epi IMO

    • Scott

      I loved the Mike Tomlin reference too! Had to explain why I was laughing to my girlfriend.

      • joey_tomatoes

        i mean that reference could not have been any more subtle or obscure unless you totally follow football, right?

      • Lisa Simpson

        That was the highlight of the season right there.

    • Malaika

      I’ve always said that Mike Tomlin looks a lot like Omar Epps (Foreman), so that line was really funny. http://lookliker.com/2008/08/29/mike-tomlin-looks-like-omar-epps/

    • James

      Yes, the Tomlin reference was hilarious! I couldn’t believe they actually played it. Brilliant!

      • Stacy

        Every Sunday Steeler game I’ve thought if they ever made a movie about Mike Tomlin, Omar Epps would HAVE to play him. That reference last night was a great acknowledgement of the resemblence.

  • Michelle

    My suggestion? Just cancel the show already. It’s gotten beyond ridiculous. I’ve had these same complaints for over a year now. Which is why I bailed last year when House started seeing dead people. Hugh Laurie deserves so much better than this garbage.

    • maiv

      yeah, i was thinking they should end the show soon, but I doubt that’ll happen b/c it still pulls in huge ratings, i believe

      • Laura

        I completely agree, Michelle. And if people just stop watching this crap, than the show will end and free Hugh Laurie to do better things. I’ve certainly stopped watching it – if only more people would join me.

  • Sara

    Yes, we’ve seen Foreman break. Remember back when he had some sort of really contagious dangerous unknown disease, and he was in a sterile room with the patient from whom he’d caught the disease, and he stabbed Cameron with a needle so she’d be more motivated to solve the problem, and told her he never liked her? I miss that…

    • Margaret

      Oof, good call, Sara. That totally escaped my memory. (Which… says something, too, I guess?)

      • James

        Any other complaints that you’d like to retract on, Mrs. Lyons? I personally think House is great this season, though Lucas and Cuddy need to end that relationship sooner than later.

  • Sara

    As for the team – well, they’re not really a “team”, are they? Taub and Thirteen are just returning after their absences. Chase is just back with House after years of whatever else they could find for him to do. And Foreman just couldn’t give less of a crap about anything these days. Thirteen and Taub are being stoic about everything because neither wants people to know why they’re back. Foreman’s just numb. It’d have been more out of character for them to react, than for them NOT to react. Cameron would’ve reacted because she cared for House, and that’s it.

  • Alex

    The Mike Tomlin nod was the funniest single line on television this year.

  • time4bedlam

    Bring the Mira Sorvino character down from the Arctic Station to thank House personally for saving her life, and then see what Cuddy does.

    • MiaS

      time4bedlam-
      I second that emotion!

      But, I don’t want Cuddy & House together. Never thought that was a good idea.

    • Therese

      didn’t she die in that episode?

      • Dee

        No. She rode off into the wintry sunset with the dude who drank her pee.

  • noiseboy

    I’ve been loving the dynamic of the team this year, and how they’ve all let House rub off on them in different ways. . . They are much more interesting now that they’re going thru this. . . transformation.

  • HDU

    Chase is the best character on the show, and always has been. IJAF.

  • San Fran

    This recap hits on all the stuff the fans have been griping about for some time now. Where is the House/Cuddy motivation or momentum at his point? Check. Chase is a big limp noodle of a character even WITH Cameron, what now that’s she’s gone? Check. Thirteen is tiresome (boy, do I second that one!). Check. Wilson is underutilized and becoming very one-note (though he’s still the best thing about the show). Check. Everything Foreman does is a yawn. Check. (I get the impression the writers think he’s this mysterious enigma, but if nobody gives a crap about solving your enigma because they’re too busy being stupefied by boredom, it doesn’t count) Taub is mildly amusing, and not much else. Check. House himself is spinning his wheels, and I ceased believing that Cuddy oould be even remotely capable of running a hospital a long time ago. The writers have become completely untethered from everything that made this show great in the first place. Sometimes that’s a good thing. In this case, not so much.

    • jenna

      So agree with all of this.
      The writers lost me last week when they let Cameron go; the only character with depth that was remotely likable.

    • Dee

      San Fran, not only did you hit that ginormous coffin nail right on its head, you made me LOL.

    • Jess

      I also think the all white writers on the show have no idea what to do with Foreman’s character. They have given him all the stereotypical markers television writers give to black male characters. Prior criminal activities. Check. Brother in prison. Check. If only they would give the character the agency to be an individual they may be able to come up with more complex and interesting story lines.

    • Bubbles

      Unfortunately, I agree with everything you said. I also think H/Cuddy bring out the absolute worst in each other and have thought that since Cuddy lied on the stand for him in S3. Huddy is an epic fail in my opinion and bringing in Lucas made it worse. I am watching next weeks epi than taking a break for a while. I hope the show improves while I am gone.:(

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