Big brother talks "House Training"

My brother actually beat me to a “House Training” analysis — not hard to do, this week — and obviously didn’t love it as much as I did (though he does say he really enjoyed it, so go figure) . Square brackets are me interjecting things now that I didn’t say to him at the time because I’m a horrible sister who owes him an e-mail.

Brother: You know, after the rocky start to the season House has been consistently good, even excellent. I really enjoyed this week’s episode.

I thought the ending was a little forced and lame, but then I remembered that I have a mother who would forgive me for anything without even knowing what it was. I guess moms are like that. What did puzzle me a little was that she forgave him without really knowing who he was. Maybe she still remembers that she loves him, just not who he is. I dunno. Even if it’s believable, it’s still lame.

Me: I think the mom forgave him because he came looking for forgiveness, dumb as that sounds. It’s a trait in many people with Alzheimer’s that they try to fake their way through situations, telling people what they expect to hear, or pretending to know them, or whatever.

Brother: I didn’t know that was a symptom of Alzheimer’s [I don’t think it’s really a symptom, more a coping mechanism of some people in the early stages], although I’ve read of extreme cases (not involving Alzheimer’s) of people who fit their outlook to what’s expected, to the point where they accept situations like awards ceremonies given for them (part of an experiment) without question, or will believe their occupation to be related to their current situation, such as a man in a bar believing he’s a bartender.

My interpretation was sweeter, though. And I don’t believe she would have forgiven House for anything if he asked (not that he would). I believe she would have driven a stake into his heart.

Brother: The funniest bit was Foreman’s and House’s exchange about the treatment for autoimmune diseases. “It’s always steroids.”

I didn’t really buy into them missing a simple infection, though. Simple for them, I mean, I wouldn’t have diagnosed it. I don’t really believe that four doctors as skilled as they are would miss that because they’re used to looking for more exotic diseases. The show was more about the characters than the medical mystery of the week, but it seemed a little sloppy — of both the writers and the doctors.

Me: [I included a link to Doris Egan’s LiveJournal entry where she explains some of her choices for the episode.] She says some of what I was going to say to you when I had time to answer your e-mail, that the reason they missed a simple infection was that it did not have any symptoms of infection — no fever, negative lumbar puncture — and did fit the symptoms of another disease, so like their usual MO they went ahead with treatment that fit the disease that matched the symptoms.

Brother: Yes, it makes sense, but not being a doctor I go by what the characters say, and they all said (I’m quoting verbatim) “God, we were dumbasses to miss that. Any monkey with a stethoscope would have picked that up.” At least that’s what my copy said.

All kidding aside, I see that a GP wouldn’t have thought of the rare exotic disease that they knew about, but it was the characters who told me how simple it was and how they shouldn’t have missed it. Except for House, who wasn’t really too worried about the patient, just that he didn’t solve the puzzle in time. [I’d argue that they didn’t actually say that, in fact Chase pointed out the lack of fever and clear lumbar puncture, and House pointed out that it’ll happen again because it’s the nature of their practice that they save more people by treating based on the diagnosis that fits the symptoms rather than waiting for all the test results. OK, I’m paraphrasing too.]

Omar Epps is easily the most talented of the minions. I really noticed how he used body language to show how his character felt after he left the patient’s room after giving her the bad news. I mean before he punched the wall. Wall punching isn’t really subtle.

After a brief exchange we were spared more of Cameron’s and Chase’s melodrama, although Chase promised he’s bring it up every Tuesday. Hopefully we won’t be around every time he … wait, House is on Tuesdays, isn’t it? Damn. I just don’t want it to be like Sports Night when those two (I know you know the character names, as well as their ages, but I don’t) kept the promise of romance going and going and going until it got ridiculous.

[He means Casey and Dana, aged 34 and 33 respectively. Kidding. I have no idea how old they were. And, yeah, their will-they-or-won’t-they almost ruined the show for me.]
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