Welcome to Dissecting House: a blog dedicated to the television show House MD, where analytical reviews of season 8 episodes are posted weekly.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Monday, 22 August 2011

Dissecting The Housian Heart

The human heart has four chambers.

I took those four chambers and assigned a label to each one: The Self, Family, Friends, Romantic Love. In order for the heart to function it must pump blood through each chamber. This in turns sends enough oxygen around the body, and of course to the brain.

House is most used to functioning with one full chamber, The Self, and a steady trickle through another, Friends, in the form of Wilson (and Cuddy in the past). During the first half of Season 7, his Housian heart began to resemble that of a happy, fully functioning human being (if such a thing exists).

His relationship with Cuddy and with Rachel filled two chambers that do not usually see much activity, Romantic Love, and even more notable, Family. We saw House's relationship with Rachel particularly blossom during Carrot or Stick. They bonded primarily because of her uncanny ability to lie. House's warped sense of boyfriend duty led him to coach Rachel into trying to get into nursery school. It was actually a very touching episode to watch. His heart began to alter, less of The Self...that doesn't mean his actions were entirely selfless, but it does mean that he was aware of another person's feelings and desires.

The more the chambers are devoid of blood, the less oxygen goes to the brain. In a metaphorical sense, it is a darker state of being, everything is more abstract, less clear. For House, having all the chambers full, hightened his sense of The Self. He focused on every detail, terrified that he would not meet expectations. His mistrust of happiness meant that he was constantly on edge, skeptical and preparing himself for failure and disaster. Arguably, this in turn made him (subconsciously) sabotage his relationship with Cuddy. He took Vicodin to cope with his feelings and to prove that he could be there for her. But I believe he knew, deep down, that she would eventually find out. Cuddy reached a breaking point she previously thought she could overcome. Both were to blame and yet neither were to blame. It was inevitable in my opinion. When the break-up came it destroyed him, but it was not unexpected. Heartbreaking.

House often has incomparable vision when he is in a 'dark' state, he sees the light so to say, he sees clearly. An oxymoron yes, but very Housian. He thrives in his state of perpetual misery. That's not to say that he enjoys being miserable, but merely that he can depend upon it. Happiness is a difficult concept, often fleeting and ever-changing.

The Housian heart works at its best in a concentrated state of The Self . He is not incapable of love, that is clear. However, House gave Cuddy a part of him when he said "I'd choose you", and thus he lost a part of himself. It's not uncommon to compromise in a relationship, but when he chose her over medicine, he gave her his heart which usurped his mind. That's why he is so enraged when he sees the patient in 'After Hours' doing exactly the same thing, choosing love over the mind. Because a person's heart is often in the hands of another, whereas the mind is controlled by the self.

House is left heartbroken. His heart had begun to resemble a 'normal' human heart (in the metaphorical sense). In jail his shattered, shrunken heart will begin to mend, slowly, with the passing of time. But a Housian heart will grow once more; a mistrusting heart, with one chamber more enlarged than the others. House is back to self-preservation.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Charity Case (Episode 3)

We now know that episode 3 is called 'Charity Case', it was written by Sara Hess and will be directed by Greg Yaitanes.

Speculation time:

This time I found it easier to get a piece of paper and a pencil and write down what came to mind when I thought about what 'Charity Case' could mean in terms of episode content. One important piece of the puzzle was provided by Michael Ausiello via TVLine.

October 17th refers to Charity Case. This is my theory:

First I thought about the title: Is it really as straightforward as it sounds (unlikely)? Is Charity the name of the patient? (if so it could mean something all together different from what it implies). Is the patient a VIP?.... It lead me to think that the patient could be connected somehow to the new DoM. 


House is back at PPTH (we know the writers want to get back to the medical side of things). The new DoM forces House to take on a charity case, basically work for free, as House is unlikely to agree to do any sort of charity (more or less use his talent and simultaneously punish and humiliate him- I'm thinking Foreman or Vogler here...). House has no choice if he wants to work again. PPTH is probably the only hospital that will take him back with a criminal record. 

The patient has Huntingtons......AND another disease. The symptoms of both diseases interlink making it difficult to differentiate the symptoms and diagnose the secondary illness. House calls in Thirteen. She feels both guilty and proud for euthanising her brother. She agrees to come in because perhaps, in a small way, helping someone else can make up for being powerless to save her brother ("The Dig"). 

Her knowledge of Huntingtons (notably because of her mother) helps her understand the effects of the secondary disease more clearly. Eventually she helps House diagnose the disease. It is extraordinarily rare to have the combination of the two (that's why they need House). It means that somehow the medication needed to treat the secondary disease helps postpone the symptoms of Huntingtons appearing (adding a few years to the patient's life perhaps). 

Thirteen feels like she has redeemed herself inspite believing (knowing) what she did was right (her brother). It's "bittersweet" because her disease will continue to progress without any extra time to "live life". She leaves again without telling anyone. Not even House knows this time. If it's the last season, as Ausiello said, she won't come back. If not, we may see her again and House may have to keep his promise ("The Dig"). 

Note: Take the "medical" side of my theory with a pinch of salt, what I say may not be medically accurate.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Transplant - Episode 2

So far this is what we know about episode 2 of Season 8. It will be written by Foster and Friedman, directed by Dan Attias and will be called 'Transplant'. We've known about the writers/director for a while but only recently found out about the title.

The word 'transplant' is most widely associated with organs; most commonly the removal of one person's to put in another. It can also mean the transplantation of the same person's living tissue to another part of the body. OR, it can have an entirely different meaning. To transplant can also mean to move or be moved from one place to another.

As I have mentioned previously, [H]ouse titles often have layers of meaning or apply to more than one aspect of the episode (often main plot and sub plot). I will take a gamble and say that in this case it will mean House being transplanted from jail to hospital (hopefully to PPTH to add a controversially dramatic level) to get the treatment I theorised that Annable's character would give him (some sort of surgery: mentioned in "A Close Encounter- The 'Change' Aspect). On a more medical (and more obvious, though perhaps misleading) level it could mean that House himself will be getting a transplant.

I have NO medical knowledge other than what I've learnt through TV shows, documentaries and common sense so forgive me if what I say next is complete nonsense.

Scenario ONE: Say a prisoner dies, someone House tried to save for a while, someone who he became close to (a jail Wilson). This prisoner says that when he dies House can have his organs/living tissue; in this case his thigh muscle. Annable performes the surgery, House returns to his normal level of misery (self-defined happiness).

Scenario TWO: House has some sort of brain surgery that minimises his pain. The medical 'transplant' applies to the sub plot which somehow links to House (a prisoner, someone related to Dr. Jessica Adams).

Without knowing what happens in episode 1, 'Twenty Vicodin', it's extremely hard speculating about what will happen in episode 2. That's all I have at the moment.

Any other ideas about what 'Transplant' will mean in this case?


A splendid chap (aka BF) had a very interesting idea about what 'Transplant' could mean. He shared my view that it could mean House being transplanted from jail to hospital. HOWEVER, he also had the idea that perhaps there will be a case so severe that the patient will have to be transplanted to the jail hospital for House to diagnose; an illness so unusual that no other doctor can diagnose let alone cure. Then I thought that this could also apply the other way around. House could be taken to hospital (most likely PPTH) under police custody to treat the patient. That would be his first time back at PPTH. Fireworks.

Friday, 5 August 2011

You guys ready? [H]


By: yllen27

David Shore - Season 8 Talk

[H]ouse may not ever be the same after the departure of Lisa Edelstein but I'm very excited to see that Shore is going back to basics, to what made the show the tremendous success it has become. 

We find out that House will be spending months behind bars and that the show will pick up months after the Season 7 finale, officially confirming the time warp. This means of course we won't see House in jail for long but I think they will make the most of that aspect in the premiere.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A Close Encounter - The 'Change' Aspect

So it seems that Odette Annable's character will not only become a member of the Diagnostics team, she will make a difference. How? David Shore says that "...he changes her, and she changes him". Shore's mantra has always been that people do not change, they evolve. So I can only think that this connection they share somehow changes their perspectives or their frames of mind. I can't imagine her giving House hope, as after all hope is for sissies. So HOW do they influence one another? I imagine it has something to do with dealing with pain (both physical and emotional). It makes me wonder how this all came about...which perhaps leads back to figuring out why the episode is called 'Twenty Vicodin'.

Shore also says that they will go back to dealing with the fundamentals of right and wrong. They often deal with these matters by giving the patient one perspective and House another. Right and wrong are difficult concepts and are often the foundation premeses of said fundamental issues. I wonder which arguments they will take on.


Greg Yaitanes tweeted yesterday emphasizing the fact that Odette Annable has been the only woman that could change House.

I had one of those 'lightbulb' moments and came up with a theory which I posted a little haphazardly on Twitter last night. I believe she changes House physically. It would make sense considering they do not believe a person can actually change as I mentioned previously.

My theory was initially based around the fact that she changes him via experimental brain or leg surgery. She is a young character, which made me think that she is perhaps a researcher. This in turn led me to the idea that she deals with the brain and perhaps conducts neurological tests on prisoners. Tests are often conducted on criminals in order to assess whether their brains function differently. I thought that perhaps she finds something in House's brain, most likely in the area that deals with pain. Does she manage to end or minimize his leg pain?


 Source: EW.com

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Charlyne Yi - So PPTH in Episode 2?

According to TV Line actress Charlyne Yi will be joining the Diagnostics team in Season 8. We recently found out that Odette Annable has also joined the team in the same capacity. Two new women on the team will certainly shake things up a bit. I know we had Masters more or less fill in for Thirteen but I'm interested in seeing two completely new female characters on House's team. It makes me wonder what their personalities will be like. Will they clash or form some sort of sisterhood in an effort to stand up to House's constant irregular demands. SPOILER! We know that House will be in jail when S8 begins, and according to this article Yi joins in the second episode. Does this mean that we are back at PPTH in the second episode then? I doubt that he will meet both doctors in jail....

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Dean of Medicine

Last night Michael Ausiello posted seven potential candidates for Dean of Medicine now that Lisa Edelstein's Cuddy has left the show.

Not only are the seven characters completely different in themselves, they would deal with House in contrasting ways, some far more enabling than others. In my opinion the most likely candidates are Foreman and Vogler. 

However, this is where it gets tricky in my opinion. On one hand I don't see the board of directors hiring someone who is not strongly authoritative such as Wilson, Taub or Chase. They may be excellent doctors (most of the time) but I don't believe any of them have the 'presence' it takes to run the hospital. Furthermore, the board wouldn't want a DoM who would bow down to House's every whim.

On the other hand, Vogler and Foreman would be strict and have the strength of character it takes to run the hospital and do what needs to be done. However if either of them become DoM, I doubt they would let House back into PPTH. Besides, as Ausiello pointed out, Vogler and his money were thrown out of PPTH in exchange for keeping House. Although I disliked the character because I was of course on our favourite anti-hero's side, the clash would be very dramatic and would make excellent TV. Foreman seems to be the natural successor, having previously been House's "boss". The wildcards seem to be Sam and Dr. Cole who are random choices for DoM in my opinion, neither really 'fitting' the role. They could surprise me though, the writers certainly have done so before.

No one will ever quite fill Cuddy's (Lisa Edelstein) shoes as she was the perfect balance between the strong-willed character it takes to run a hospital and stand up to House (most of the time), and being caring and understanding rather than a cold and solely money oriented boss. It will most certainly be a difficult decision. Of that, I am sure.

Who would be the BEST DoM? Who would be your favourite?