When House lost his patient Hannah in the season 6 finale of House, fans were left wondering how this might affect the good doctor. Throughout the episode, he had become attached to not only her, but her story – something that doesn’t typically happen. Coming off of a year of sobriety, fans watched as House, filled with grief, tore apart his bathroom looking for drugs in an attempt to disconnect from his emotions.
As House was surely to relapse, fans were more than surprised when Cuddy arrived to rescue the trouble diagnostician. To an even greater surprise, Cuddy expressed her feelings for House and, as the episode came to a close, the wishes of fans around the world were granted as the two shared a single kiss.
Initiating a relationship between the two main characters of a television series can be an extremely risky - not to mention tricky - endeavor. Throughout the history of television, there are many series that have attempted the same coupling. A seemingly innocent relationship, while entertaining to rabid fans, has the ability to take down even the mightiest television series. What often happens is that the focus on the relationship forces producers to sacrifice the entertaining and intriguing storylines that originally drew viewers to the series in order to maintain and develop that relationship storyline.
Will House be able to succeed where other series have failed?
As House season 7 begins, we pick up immediately where the season 6 finale left off – House and Cuddy are in each others arms. As I’m sure many of you know what comes next (being that they’re both adults and have had feelings for each other for some time), I won’t go into much detail – let’s just say that it’s something that they haven’t done since med-school. While a scene like this can easily become sensationalistic and, let’s be honest, tacky, the producers chose to use a very specific, and unique, style in order to present this scene in the best possible way, with the most emotional impact to the viewers.
The best way to describe this scene is to say that the producers attempted to create the most romantic, beautiful and visually impactful scene between a man and a woman that they possibly could. To their credit, they not only succeed above and beyond anything that you could imagine, but they did so without straying from what you would expect from these two characters.
Aside from the characters initial embrace, and (numerous) subsequent embraces, the season 7 premiere of House is very much a supplemental episode to the series. There are really no major plot points revealed (aside from the mystery behind Thirteen’s departures) and, in a sense, this episode serves as a love letter to the fans who have wanted to see these characters together from the beginning. The majority of this episode depicts House and Cuddy, set up in House’s apartment, enjoying themselves in their newly found relationship. The dialogue between the two, for the most part, always stays positive and playful. Fans will no doubt enjoy seeing a different (read: romantic) side of House.
From House stating that “right now, we are more important than what is going on at the hospital” and proceeding to “cook” her a “wonderful” breakfast of Corn Flakes, to Cuddy questioning House why, while playing Boggle, that he didn’t come up with the word of “love” (even though it was obviously on the board), this episode has the couple tackle many of the questions and concerns that surround their relationship. While House may have feelings for Cuddy, he understands that with her being a mother, he might not be the best person for Cuddy to have around her child. A selfless act no doubt, and something that is discussed in a very poignant scene towards the end of the episode.
Of course, while watching House and Cuddy in an apartment for an entire day might fulfill many fans’ dreams, the episode attempts to balance this out with an extremely watered-down story for Foreman, Chase, Taub and Thirteen to tackle. While House and Cuddy are enjoying each other, House, unbeknownst to Cuddy, sends home Princeton-Plainsboro’s only attending neurosurgeon (he’s sick and throwing up all over the ER) – something that will put at risks the hospitals accreditation. For the better part of the episode, the team attempts to bring the neurosurgeon back to the hospital and make him healthy again. While there isn’t much substance to the team’s story-line (aside from Thirteen’s imminent departure), it’s thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.
…And then there’s Wilson. Since Wilson is one of the few characters who has befriended House, it’s no surprise that he attempts to show up at House’s apartment when he doesn’t show up for work (especially after all that just happened). Of course, that doesn’t mean House is going to let him inside. Instead, viewers are witness to an entertaining scene where House pretends to be an answering machine that’s telling Wilson to go away.
Aside from Wilson banging on the door and then getting stuck trying to crawl through the window, he’s also the first person that House reveals his relationship with Cuddy to. Although, since Cuddy “disappears” when House attempts to show Wilson that she’s really in his apartment, Wilson leaves believing that House is back on drugs. Initially, this concerned me as I wasn’t really interested in spending half of a season with Wilson believing that House was on drugs and that his relationship with Cuddy was false. Thankfully, that miscommunication is fixed in the next episode.
While I would still describe the season 7 premiere as supplemental, upon finishing it I now understand why it was done. In a genius move, the producers used this premiere as a way for House and Cuddy to develop their relationship to such an extent that when they finally make their relationship public (episode two), and bring it to work, they can continue telling the same great stories that this series is known for without having to continuously interject ancillary relationship discussions that feel artificial.
The season 7 premiere of House gives fans everything that they have wanted, and so much more. Not only that, but it’s also a testament to how great writing and a talented staff can overcome one of television’s most dangerous clichés.
House Season 7 premiere's Monday, September 20 @8pm.
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