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House: Season 5 - Joy (Review)

House, Dr Cuddy

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from current television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the latest episode of House: Season 5 entitled Joy (as aired on Sky1 on Sunday, June 21, 2009).

What’s the story? An ailing man suffers from blackouts and sleepwalks, leading the team to wonder if his sleepwalking is a symptom, or how the man is becoming exposed to something else. When the man’s daughter grows ill as well, the team must provide a diagnosis before both die. Meanwhile, Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) adopts a newborn but when the birth mother displays a rash, she has to make a decision between putting the mother or daughter at risk.

Was it any good? Is it me, or is House becoming more melodramatic and personal with each new episode? We’ve already had House’s road trip with Wilson and more revelations about Thirteen’s private life. Now, Cuddy takes centre stage.

Don’t get me wrong… the decision to focus a little more on every character is to the show’s benefit. The hard work has already been done in creating characters we care about, so it’s nice to be able to finally dig deep into what makes them tick.

And, of course, each new revelation about the supporting players gives us more of an insight into the House psychology, too. He cares – only he has trouble showing it.

This time around, the main focus of the episode was on Cuddy’s decision to adopt and House’s determination to make her see the error of her ways.

Initially, House behaved like a kid to demonstrate how his boss didn’t have the temperament to deal with one – although throwing baby vomit over a woman’s top is never a good idea!

As Cuddy got more and more involved with her surrogate mum, first admitting her to hospital and then being forced to make a potentially life or death decision, House turned up the heat. The support she sought… even counted on, never really came.

House pulled her out of a surgery to concentrate on her managerial duties and constantly badgered her for a response that would prove he was right. Yet, throughout, there seemed to be something else nagging at him. A regret, maybe…

The push and pull between Cuddy and House has always been engaging – but now that more personal emotional issues are at stake it’s absolutely riveting. Both Laurie and Edelstein seem to be enjoying the chance to really delve into their characters, and strike great chemistry off each other.

The episode’s final moments were particularly enriching, as House went to confront Cuddy and offer some form of sympathy after the surrogate mother decided she wanted to keep the child.

At first angered by House’s apparent gloating, Cuddy then broke down into tears… only to find herself in a passionate clinch with the grumpy doc that must have taken everyone by surprise.

The two parted company immediately after the kiss and will doubtless spend the next few episodes figuring out what it meant. It should be essential viewing for us too…

What did you think?

Read our review of Lucky Thirteen