In this week’s House, we’re introduced to Valerie, a conscienceless corporate consultant, who, after collapsing on the way to a business deal, is discovered to be a textbook-case psychopath (not Ted Bundy-like; just emotionless, manipulating, and uncaring). While going through the usual slew of diagnoses, Valerie constantly targets Dr. Hadley (Thirteen), perceiving her as a threat to her marriage and overall leech-like lifestyle. In spite of Valerie’s hostility and her attempts to get Thirteen fired, it’s Dr. Hadley who eventually discovers Valerie’s true illness, Wilson Disease, curing her of both the issues that she came in with and her already existent psychopathy, which had in fact been caused by the dormant illness.
Throughout the episode, it was clear that the writers were trying to draw parallels between Valerie and House, showing their similarities concerning conscience (or lack thereof) and askew morality. Yet, unlike Valerie, who was entirely and wholly emotionless, House is not. It’s clear in his constant acting out towards Cuddy that he still has intense feelings for her. In much the same way as an unruly child, the only way House can express himself is by acting in the opposite manner as to how he feels, so that every time he acts like an ass, he’s being buffeted by actual feelings for Cuddy.
The entire side story with House’s ex-peer from medical school not only supports this idea, but also fleshes it out even more. House clearly has a great amount of guilt on his shoulders from his inability to show his feelings for Cuddy, which causes him to act out, and so he passes off this guilt by trying to patch up past wrongs. He projects his guilt from Cuddy onto his dealings with his old classmate – who, in reality, he couldn’t care less about – so that he can feel like he’s dealing with them. Unfortunately for him, this is not a solution.
Finally, the entire tiff between Foreman and Thirteen was a bit infuriating, to put it lightly. Their relationship drifted out of the spotlight episodes ago, and should stay in the shadows. Foreman, for the most part, is an uninteresting character lacking a whole lot of defining characteristics. Thirteen is far more interesting, and should interact with someone else who is equally interesting rather than someone whose blandness is appalling.
Friday Night Lights meets House? The episode could go either way, and right now, I’m not optimistic.