House: Kumar With No Harold Goes to Princeton-Plainsboro
House: I Hear Cameron, Chase and Foreman. With My Eyes.
Forgive me for a quick minute while I try to land that whole thing about hearing with one’s eyes — the primary complaint of Patient du Jour for Season 4, episode 2. Cause I’m really stuck on that sucker. And whether or not I’m actually continually aware that sound enters through the sides of my head alone. And how, since PdJ actually seems to be having a particularly visual acid trip more so than any auditory issues, she decided she was hearing with her eyes rather than seeing with her ears. Or something like that.
I guess I had to be there.
In any case, PdJ — a wannabe astronaut with an envelope full of hush money and a NASA-driven need to remain anonymous — shows up just in time to usurp wannabe tin man Buddy Ebsen as the “make ya or break ya” assignment for the crop of fellowship applicants from whom House must choose his new team. (Guess that little teared-up tear down from last week worked, Cuddy. Good one!)
Never one to resist a hot chick with a cool medical conundrum, he christens her Osama bin Laden and hands her over to the team for a doctorly version of 20 questions. Guess wrong and you’re fired. Sit in row D — no, row C — and you’re fired. Blink and you’re fired.
You get the drift.
After stashing Osama in a hospital room, House sets the remaining contenders to work — one group conducting tests on the patient, one group conducting the requisite breaking into her house (at which point I make a note to myself to pay more attention out my kitchen window, because one of these days I will catch doctors climbing through someone’s window, I just know it.) And one group washing his car. All the better to test your ingenuity, my pretties. And this is a pretty ingenious group.
They give the patient a heart attack, set her on fire, lose her in the hospital chapel and diagnose everything from carbon monoxide poisoning to thyroid problems to liver cancer (handily ruled out by a couple of bedside rounds of tequila) to lung cancer — on which they decide to operate, using a complementary boob job to disguise her scars. Putting NASA on the alert for all abnormally endowed candidates hereto forth, I am sure.
Speaking of tequila, throughout the course of tending his flock, House has begun to catch glimpses of his former team — first a facial-haired Chase, then a yellow-haired Cameron and finally, in the midst of that diagnostic booze binge, Foreman. And even after last week’s hostage crisis with the Flying V, he takes this information to Wilson. Who, let me tell you, has developed quite an appealing little devious streak, calmly inventing pithy story lines for all three complete with hospital names, engagement dates and caller i.d.
Okaaaaaaaaaaay. Just kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidding. Turns out Chase and Cameron actually are there in the hospital — and never really left. Which is a darned good thing for Osama, since it is Chase — observing her surgery from above — who discovers the real reason one hears from one’s eyes (Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome if you just have to know). So much for Cuddy’s theory of him always wanting to prove House right. This here is the new and improved Chase. Surgical staff member. House defier. And rocker of a smokin’ hot 5 o’clock shadow, to boot.
House finds Cameron bandaging booboos in the ER where she can do a daily dose of good without getting her feelings hurt by her very first hospital crush. (Case in point: when she asks him his opinion of her dye job, he offers, “It makes you look like a hooker … I like it!”).
So now what? I imagine for House, it is a little like trying to fall in love with your new girlfriend, while the girlfriend who broke your heart still lives in the house right next to yours.
But for viewers — even those of us who were dead sure we could not be swayed by the charms of other Fellows — it could turn out to be like having our cake and eating it too. Because these newcomers — particularly Olivia Wilde’s cat-eyed Thirteen, Kal Penn’s (he of Harold and Kumar fame) Number 6 Turned 9 and Carmen Argenziano’s Scooter/21 Unless It’s Relevant — are surprisingly good fun.
Next up: Et tu, Foreman?