So, here it is. The House episode I've been hearing about since I started recapping this show, lo those many months ago; the Emmy-nominated script featuring Carmen Electra as herself; the episode that's supposed to be the best of the season, possibly one of the best in television history, and, of course, one of the hardest to recap. Should be fun.
Today's pre-credits medical disaster takes place before the show even starts, as one of the guys who puts the "teaching" in "Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital" is out sick for the fifth time this year, leaving Cuddy to make a deal with House to substitute. Even the promise of two hours of Clinic duty doesn't appease House, who asks why he always gets stuck with this stuff. "Because the world hates you," Cuddy answers. "Or, because it's a class on diagnostics." I don't see why it can't be both. House refuses to do it, and walks out of the office. He gets about five feet away before he turns back around. Cuddy -- who's probably about to offer House more Clinic hours off herself -- hurriedly pretends to be nonchalantly consumed with paperwork when House re-enters, telling Cuddy that she was supposed to stop him and re-negotiate. "And you were supposed to keep on walking. Sorry, I guess we both screwed up," Cuddy says. As we'll see in less than an hour, that quote doubles as both yet another example of how awesome Cuddy is, and as an overall theme of the episode. House says that he'll do the lecture for four hours off Clinic duty. Cuddy sticks with two, saying she knows that House would rather spend the time listening to himself speak than his patients. Foiled again, House goes off to teach.
As House walks through the Clinic on the way to class, the fabulous Evil Nurse Brenda stops him to see a patient. House tells her to go talk to Cuddy, because he's off the seeing-patients hook for now, but then a woman calls out his name. His first name. He turns to see Sela Ward, the mysterious Stacy. She's awash in angelic lighting and sad piano music as she steps toward House, whose face reads just about every emotion except happiness. She asks him how he's doing, and he says that "the last five years" have been like those Girls Gone Wild videos. Stacy asks if House means that he's been living them, or just watching them, and I guess we're supposed to see that she is as quick with the witty comments as her ex-boyfriend is, but that line just makes her look pretty mean, especially considering what we find out later about whose fault it is that House leads such a lonely and unhappy life. Stacy tells House that she missed him, but not so much that she didn't go off and get married to a guy who now needs House's professional help. House didn't know there even was a husband, and this really could not have been the best way for him to find out. I mean, honestly, Stacy. I really want to like you, since I'll be saddled with your face next episode and for at least seven episodes next season, not to mention that I really don't want my two least favorite characters on this show to be women because then I'll start to wonder if I'm just being one of those petty women-hating women I've had such bad experiences with, but you are not making it easy so far.