House
Detox

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No Pain, No Gain

I'd wondered when the always-reliable junkie-upchuck scene would make its grand entrance, and here we are, watching House bralf into a wastebasket as the Foley team's Barf SWAT Division works its magic. Foreman enters. House registers him, spits a few times, then trots out a joke, just as a formality: "...Cafeteria. Stay away from the sushi." Foreman won't play: "What happened to your hand?" This time House goes with "it got stuck in a drawer," and Foreman starts with the withdrawal lecture, but House cuts him off -- he's going through pain, actually, and pain causes nausea. True, but Foreman still won't play: "I took this job to work with you, not cover your ass." He reaches into his pocket and puts House's Vicodin down on the table. House looks between the bottle and Foreman a few times; cut to Foreman, looming over him and working some truly wicked Snidely Whiplash eyebrow action. "That's your solution, is to give me drugs? Interesting," House wheezes, but Foreman says pointedly, "No. Now I'm covering my ass."

Several rewatchings later, I still don't think I understand that line; it feels like it was written more for how it sounded than for what it meant. I mean, not that I don't get it at all; I understand that either Foreman needs House not to fuck up for the sake of his (Foreman's) career, or that if Foreman doesn't recommend that House take his pills, he (Foreman) is acting unethically by knowingly contributing to Larry's potential demise, or both, but it's more ambiguous than a line in this specific scene should be, in my opinion. But whatever it means, Hugh Laurie goes yard in the Emmy home-run derby with the flat, naked look he gives Foreman in response. "Take your pills, before you kill this kid." Foreman leaves; House stares after him, exhausted and angry, then down at the pills. He picks up the bottle, and I can't help noticing that his fingernails seem kind of long for a doctor. He turns the bottle slowly in one hand, then flips the top off and dumps the pills out onto the desk. A shot of his face, in which he looks almost turned on by seeing them. He picks one up and fidgets with it, giving viewers time to wonder whether it's more of a cliché if he takes it or if he doesn't. In any event, although it's taking every sweaty ounce of his strength, and although Laurie, in acting the shit off this sequence, is communicating that House thinks it's somewhat clichéd too, and is annoyed by the entire situation, he doesn't take it.

Larry's bedside. Cameron is grimly explaining that standard lupus treatment can no longer help Larry. "Because you lied," Dad whispers angrily. "Because House wanted to play games with my son's life." Cameron looks like she wants to defend herself, but lets Chase jump in with some CYA "there's no way to really tell what progression" blah blah, then changes her mind and interrupts, "You're right. And I'm sorry." Chase cuts her a "cheese it, the cops!" side-eye, and Dad scoffs, but then asks in a milder tone, "So what do we do?" "He needs a new liver," Cameron tells him. Dad is at a loss.

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House

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