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

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Confession Episode Review

"Nothing has changed"/"Everything has changed" summarises this episode well. We see House's old "team" office from an angle that makes it look huge and empty (without Taub and Chase), but when they join the new team things begin to morph back into the ways of the past.

It was an extremely humourous episode, very old school. One of my favourite lines was "You probably want to boil the kids for a couple of hours when you get home". In terms of favourite (comedic) lines, The Confession wins for me so far this season.

This leads me to Taub, his Taubettes and the question of legitimacy. This storyline is a parallel to that of the patient. The imposing question is: Is it better to know/tell the truth despite the consequences? Taub confesses to "his" daughters that he needs to know the truth but that he will love them regardless. However in the end he decides that in this case the heart weighs more than the head. The patient, a man beloved by his community, has the urge to confess his affair to his wife, to free his yoked conscience. Later, confessions become symptomatic, and there is no barrier between reality and fiction. The patient pushes people away with unconscious false testemonies to past actions.

The POTW then develops an extraordinary skin peeling condition (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) and confesses even to several muders (to Chase which is brilliantly ironic). This does however, lead Chase to have a Housian epiphany and diagnose the patient's confessions as fabrications. Chase shadows House as he did when he "left medicine", taking time off while House was in prison.

Near the beginning of the episode, Taub utters the classic line "Everybody lies". This plays throughout the episode. People deceive one another, sometimes for personal gain, in the case of House trying to find out about Taub (which leads to the fantastic cafeteria scene where Taub philosophises about House's actions being a projection of his own inner feelings, and is then abruptly cut short by Wilson). Or, deceiving someone to pacify a situation or prevent pain, in the case of the patient lying to his wife at the end about the affair. It's a heavy moral dilemma. Confessing is the alleviation of the conscience, so do people do it out of respect for the other person or to take away their own pain?

House confesses to Adams what he says she already knows, that every man who sees her wants to sleep with her. "Most people find it easier to ignore the truth".

I loved the end scenes with the offices. Now he can pester Wilson whenever he wants. It's endearing to see him connect himself in such a way. House needs the comfort of familiarity. It was also very funny.

A nod to Cuddy was also very nice to see, acknowleding her rather than pretending the past does not exist, which would not be very realistic. This is the last big blow of the confessions. Wilson tells Foreman that Cuddy constantly asked him for advice about how to deal with House, and look what happened. Foreman again relies on Chase to tell him that House is screwing with him by not screwing with him. He's still finding his footing.

Great episode! I really enjoyed seeing the new team all together and more comfortable, balanced dynamics.

Ps. The bracelet is now officially a character on the show.


  1. Wonderful review!! I'm so glad I found you because of the refreshing nature to actually watch the show before you make up your mind.

    I loved this episode and for me this season it's the best behind 8x01. I was very happy to see Wilson finally take a stand to just be House's friend and not the be the go between for the Dean. It never ended well for anyone, especially House.

    The parallel between Taub and Potw was good and I enjoyed both stories. Only thing that I was a little thrown on was House not seeing that the confessions were a symptom. He generally sees those connections but it was a chance to showcase Chase so all's good.

    I'm hopeful this season is going to be brilliant based on the forward progression and am looking forward to next ep and of course your take on it. Thank you!

  2. Thank you!

    I feel this episode really cemented the strength of season 8 and hopefully of the episodes to come.

    It was definitely interesting that Chase was the one to solve the case. House's protégé, he has proven himself many times, although he doesn't really come close to the man himself.

  3. Wonderful analysis! You touched on everything I was thinking.

    I also loved how Wilson is back to being the best friend instead of House's keeper.

  4. Thanks very much!

    Also very happy to see that the Hilson bromance is back on track.

  5. Great Review
    I especially loved the great insight into Wilson. When he is telling Taub about the bet, he laughs. Reminded me of Birthmarks and House telling him "You love what I do" but then he immediately has to go back to this good guy persona and declares he was betting on Taub being the dad and besides he was going to give the money to charity.


    Really helps put Wilson's House fetish into perspective. Great episode great show great review.

  6. Excellent Review, Steph.

    I loved all the aspects of this episodes. And I loved all your review too.