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

Friday, 20 April 2012

'We Need The Eggs' Episode Review

At the beginning of We Need The Eggs we see what appears to be a couple at a fairground. The girl, Molly, tells the soon to be POTW (who soon after begins to cry blood) to shoot around the star. To me, in hindsight, this was a metaphor for romantic relationships in the episode. Shooting around the star meaning settling for relationships that remind them of the winning prize, the person they really want to be with. Also, instead of dating a woman clearly interested in him, he has a customised doll called Amy as his girlfriend. He explains that dating is far too difficult and that he has had enough of suffering after the team finds out that his doll was modelled on a woman he used to date, who was extremely different from him (who practised yoga) and broke his heart. In fact, it is a gift from that girlfriend that makes him sick, an Indian device which looks like a teapot to flush out the nostrils during allergy season.The House/POTW plotlines are extremely intertwined in this episode. In my opinion this relates to House's relationship with Cuddy. He lost the woman who changed his life, and ended up in jail.

So in the meantime we see House is interviewing hookers because his favourite tells him she can't see him anymore. He asks one of the hookers what her favourite Woody Allen movie is. She says Annie Hall, but not because she 'needed the eggs'. I wrote about the title a few weeks ago because it really interested me, so if you want to check that out: Episode 17

So the episode is based on relationships, and as House says, what everyone does to avoid them; calling the excuses they make their own personal 'sex dolls'...from Adams volunteering during any free time she has to Chase dating patients for convenience. So in terms of subplot we have Taub's fleeting relationship with a woman he meets in a supermarket who he initially tells that his child's mother died at childbirth. When he opens himself up to her she rejects him, though with the funniest expression: 'Was that a different baby?' Adams also opens herself up to Chase and gets rejected. This shows why people are often so reluctant to open up to relationships. At least we see Park jamming in the end with guitar guy. I liked that scene. 

The irony of House telling other people that they are socially inept is of course that his 'sex doll' is a hooker, who he uses more for companionship than for sex. (Why would he care what else they can do otherwise?..Juggle, cards etc.) That appears to be the reason why he has one hooker who he is in a pseudo relationship with, because he wants to feel that something is real, even if it's not. This links to Chase talking to Adams about taking the doll into a procedure room rather than cutting her open in front of the patient: 'You can know something is not real and still love it'. House isn't in love with the hooker, he's in love with the idea that he is in control of the situation, that he doesn't have to worry about all the relationship-y parts, like arguing, exactly like the patient with his doll. So when the hooker tells him she is getting married, House loses control, and wants to gain it back by sabotaging the marriage. It's a nightmare scenario for him because it reminds him of his past, of Cuddy leaving him. Ironically, this time it's the hooker who has the 'fake marriage', which serves as a mirror for him and his actions, and the pain Cuddy must also have suffered. This nightmare scenario manifests itself for the patient in the form of a hallucination of his once-time girlfriend undressing for him (Cuddy: House's Head). She begins to bleed severely from her stomach and the scenes are dark and dramatic to emphasise the mental pain he suffers. Wilson even says, in a passive agressive, reverse psychology kind of way to House that the favourite hooker represents a long term relationship which can't hurt him. Although House tells the hooker she shouldn't leave him because the only real thing about his marriage is the green card, he throws the green card away. He appreciates the companionship. So in the end he continues to play pretend, as we see the patient doing (watching TV with Amy), because real relationships are more than complicated. There is perhaps a glimmer of hope for the patient when he looks down at the bear he got with Molly. Although more likely, the fear of that relationship is greater than the fear of missing out on something great.

So many fantastic quotes from this episode, the writing is so detailed. I loved House talking to Wilson in front of the elevator and the scenes before and just after Dominika seduced the hooker's brother. For me, it's always a great episode when the serious, emotional moments blend well with the humorous ones. One of my favourites this season.


  1. Hi dear, thank you for the brilliant review. I loved the parallel artificial relationships- the doll, the hookers, the fake wife, fake "reality". Like "widower" Taub trying to score a quickie, Adams trying to get into Chase's pants... All of them using "plastic" relationship to avoid being hurt. But even plastic can cause emotional hurt (the hooker dumping him)...

    House trying to hide the letter to try and keep Dom tied to him, knowing that she might even be willing to stay anyway, just maybe, but also knowing she'll dump him for sure when she finds out. He opts for surrogate, almost real romance instead of risking a real romance that could hurt him as bad as the one with Cuddy. So avoiding total plastic (hooker) he opts for almost real but still fake, based on the reason for the inevitable failure.

    Oh, House!

    Love, Visitkarte

  2. I definitely agree that there were a lot of parallels to House and Cuddy's relationship in this episode, and I agree with the parallels you described.

    I am curious though, is House's relationship with Dominika still him playing pretend? Wanting to avoid a real marriage, a real relationship, when he can cling to his fake marriage merely by not showing Dominika her approved citizenship papers? She has a reason not to leave him, if that's the case.

    Or is he striving for something real with her, because, as Wilson said, he has an attractive, intelligent woman right in front of him who he is married to? They do seem to get along and she does seem to find the positive qualities in House that lurk beneath the surface, that others often don't see due to his brash exterior.

    What do you think?

  3. Thank you for your comments and sharing your insights! I do believe that perhaps Dom would stay despite getting her green card but House can't be sure of that. I think House enjoys her companionship and does actually like her, but in my opinion it's nowhere near love. They have fun together, he doesn't feel alone and she is smart and makes him laugh. As Visitkarte said, House exchanges one pseudo relationship for another. They aren't 'fake' in the sense that they aren't actual relationships, they are fake in the sense that they stop him from being with a person he actually loves. Anonymous, if you think of how House reacted to what Wilson said, he appears to see Dominika as a stand in, as someone to help him, literally, to break up the hookers fake marriage, and emotionally, to thinly patch (rather than mend) the gaping hole left after his break up with Cuddy. As I said, she does get along with him well and she is extremely understanding of his ways but in my opinion, she's still a doll.

  4. Tracyhepburnfan-

    I think Dominika originally represented desperation. He desperatly wanted Cuddy back and he wanted to hurt her. He hooped Cuddy would stop the wedding. Now, she's companionship. I don't believe he loves her but he is a lonely man. She gives him the company that he needs. He doesn't want to be alone. That is what I think, anyway.

  5. Sorry Steph, but I really have to object to calling Dominika a "doll". To me, there is a reason why Wilson used "you like her, you have fun with her" to describe her in 8x13, the exact same words House said to him in 8x2. No, it's not a soul-crushing love like House had with Stacy, maybe even with Cuddy, and I even agree that I wouldn't use the word "love" here at all, but that doesn't make Dominika a doll. A certain kind of idealization of romantic love is one of the things that got House into trouble in the first place, and liking Dominika isn't "fake" or a substitute just because it's not OMG!eternal!romantic!love.

    1. I think that an idealization is the perfect way to describe it. I definitely think that he does have respect for her though, and does recognize her intelligence and cunning, as seen throughout their many pranks.

      I do like their friendship, their antics, and wouldn't mind if they got together. I'm unsure if they will though.

      And I think that Chase's quote early on in the episode when Adams is about to cut into the doll, right in front of the POTW really illustrates that the way he feels about her isn't fake.

  6. Tracyhepburn, my thoughts run along the same lines as yours. Thanks for commenting. Esther, think of what House said to the team. Dolls don't just mean sex and plastic, they are excuses for not finding the relationship they truly want or need. For Taub, his kids were the doll, for Park it was her family. I think you misinterpreted my comment. As I said, the relationship they have is not 'fake' it's just not necessarily the real deal. Thanks for the comments.

    1. Except that House hasn't been using Dominika as an excuse for anything here, she wasn't even on his radar. The excuse for House is his self-image and the way that his last relationship went, as well as the hookers he is using for necessity and as something he can control, telling himself that's enough.

      I'm also not sure what you'd call the "real deal" - that implies exactly the kind of essentialist idea of relationships that I objected to in my comment. If it's not soul-crushing love, it's not the real deal? The "real deal" was what crashed and burned twice for House, so maybe the real thing for him might be something else, a more low-key, growing-to-love approach for example. (This is all theoretical of course, not knowing where this is going at all.) It's also way to early in the game to say anything about the way he sees her, he was shaken out of his view of her by Emily and IMO he doesn't even know yet what this really is, and what he should do with it. Hence him throwing the letter away, maybe buying himself some time.

    2. By real deal I meant exactly that, the idea of an idyllic relationship with someone you love. House's past shows just how destructive relationships like that can be, when you ignore reality and the red flags and concentrate only on the fact that two people love one another. I disagree with you that House hasn't been using Dominika though (just as she used him). In my review I mentioned that control was an issue for House, convincing himself things would be alright if he pulls the strings. Him throwing away her green card is a way of him pulling the strings, he took away her choice by doing that, whether she would have stayed or not. I do agree though that he is unsure about how he feels and what he wants to do. For now he bides his time...

    3. Oh, of course he's been using her, but not in the "excuse to avoid romantic relationship" sense this episode presented, he has plenty of other stuff for that. The whole foundation of their realtionship was them using one another for their own goals, but that was out in the open anyway. And of course I agree with you about the control issue, but that's just the point: the epiphany of this episode is that he isn't in control of that relationship, he can't put it in a box labelled "fake" anymore (even if it's unclear what it is instead) - which is why I wouldn't put Dominika in the "doll" category.

    4. Oh, also, I really liked that you pointed us towards the "shooting around the star" metaphor! Really nice! Though I'm still wondering about it, since this strategy did indeed win him the price. To me that suggests that the idea of shooting straight at the dream relationship you want isn't going to work either - the sight is off and the barrel is bent, so you might find something in a place that didn't look like it at the beginning. Or maybe just opening your eyes to a new view of what you think you want.

    5. Of course the way their relationship began was mutual 'using', but I think he realised near the end that this relationship does mean something to him, even if it doesn't come close to what he had with Cuddy or Stacy. At the moment, he's not prepared to throw away something which at least in part gives him moments of happiness or un-loneliness (companionship doesn't quite convey everything I mean here). I still put Dominika in the doll category, even if House only acts the way he does subconsciously. The way he looks at Dominika in the end makes me think he's trying to understand what he has, but I saw an expression of melancholia, nostalgia and regret before he went to bed. I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Glad you liked the metaphor. It struck me when I was thinking about the dolls (in all senses) and what they represent. What you said about shooting at the star directly is in part what I was getting at, the fact that literally he won't win the prize if he does that (meaning relationships are harder than they look/different from expectations). Your idea, as another person also pointed out, about 'opening your eyes to a new view of what you think you want' does interest me though. Maybe he's just tired of being miserable.

    6. I find that I can see equally both of your viewpoints.

  7. It's funny but I find kind of parallel with my favorite book " the Count of Monte Cristo ". Mercedes is the eternal love of Edmond Dantes but at the end, he leaves for an unknown destination with Haydée, who declared her love for him, who never judged him, who was supportive, always. In fact, he accepts to be loved.
    House doesn't love himself.He's very judgemental for himself, and in a way, thinks he doesn't deserve to be loved.
    Maybe Dominika is his Haydée... It's a possibility.
    No hope for this, but it could be. For me, if he ends with her, in a way or another, it wouldn't be odd.
    But I think the end will be darker than that...

  8. Jeanne, thank you for posting your comment, I found your parallel really interesting. I've never read the book but the character does seem somewhat to represent Dominika. In the beginning she had the less than ulterior motive of wanting a green card but I do believe she really cares about House, she doesn't judge him and is very supportive. I don't think Dominika is in love with House but there does appear to be something there, a connection and understanding which I do think is worth considering. I don't think they will end up together though. I agree with you that it's likely we'll have a darker ending.

  9. I think that House, and the producers and writers, are trying to say to us that HOUSE is OUR
    "sex doll" and we need to learn to get along without him/it. "Got along without u before I met you, gonna get along without you now..."
    It's saying, "get a life." IN the nicest possible way.

    1. You know what, I really hadn't thought of that but I like your interpretation, interesting and made me think. Thanks!

  10. I hope House ends up with someone. I really do.And Dominika is a nice person. Why not her?

  11. Before reading, you should know that I didn't know how I would write this comment. This is what I could write:

    Interesting, well done. That's what I always think after reading all your reviews. Your analysis skills are excellent. Your interpretation of "shooting around the star" is quite accurate. I didn't realize this, but it makes sense.

    At the beginning, it seemed that the patient was insane, but then, the truth on the doll is revealed and it was as understable as emotional. These emotions made a solid episode that I liked so much.

    The Park, Adams and Taub storylines were perfect. At the end, Adams was a bit sad though.

    I loved your interpretation on the title. And when House asked if Adams wanted to be his hooker, that was funny. Woody Allen movies, that was a good complement.

    'You can know something is not real and still love it' Loved that.

    And you are right again. The quotes were wonderful.

    5 episodes left. And more great reviews are coming.

    On the other hand, I need to say yo something. Check your DMs.

    Thanks for the review. And.. "Feliz semana".

    Best Regards,
    Cesar (or Should I say Caesar? :)).

  12. Thank you! As always you take the time to read my posts and contribute to the conversation. I also really enjoyed how the superficially strange attachment of the patient to the doll was explained by a much deeper emotional connection to something that was missing in his life. I love how this concept was interweaved into the rest of the episode to explain the complexity of relationships.