House S08E11 (Nobody’s Fault) Late Review

I was doing some work travel and only got the chance to see the episode today. Duh, blood clot! Of course. The thing that can be used to explain away any type of injury. Why didn’t I think of that?? So the actual initial injury is a single stab wound to the chest, piercing Chase’s heart (good aim, psychotic patient!). So House did fix it for Chase after all, he came up with the blood clot diagnosis. Interesting that Chase was chastising House for not being objective when House kept trying to confirm that Chase can’t feel his legs (‘I just said I can’t feel anything. Objectivity, House.”) Of course when it comes to diagnising himself, Chase’s mind immediately goes to the worst possible scenario (something I didn’t catch that causes permanent paralysis). What is up with Taub, Park and Adams performing the surgery to save Chase’s life? Don’t they have a trauma team at Princeton-Plainsboro? If we’re talking ethical breach or inappropriate conduct, that skirts very close to the line too, no?

After all the hype about the battle between House and Cofield and the meeting between superstar acting talents Hugh Laurie and Jeffrey Wright, I actually thought Wright is  better in his short scenes with Omar Epps and Jesse Spencer. The disappointment tinged with regret when Cofield deduced that the reason Foreman chose him to conduct the disciplinary hearing isn’t because Foreman thought he’d be an objective investigator, but because Foreman thought Cofield might be more inclined to save Foreman’s ass compared to other people because of their previous mentor-protege relationship. In the scene between Cofield and Chase, with a few words and gestures, Wright managed to show us what kind of doctor Cofield is – probably not  a brilliant genius like House, but someone gentle, caring and thoughtful towards his patients.

I was keeping track of the word ‘friend’ because of an earlier spoiler – it turns out House balked when Cofield said Chase is his friend (“he’s a coworker”), Taub didn’t say anything either way when Cofield referred to Chase as his friend, and Park referred to Chase as her friend on her own initiative (“My friend is here because you didn’t listen to me”.) The first two are predictable, the last one is a bit of a shocker. I would guess that Park and Adams have known Chase only for a few months at this time (show-wise, we’re talking Episode 5 to Episode 11, just 7 episodes in total). But maybe Chase and Park totally bonded that time she invited him (and only him!) out for drinks.

The blame-a-thon goes like this – Adams blamed herself because it was her diagnosis Chase was trying to test and she probably provoked the psychotic reaction by holding the needle in front of the patient; Taub blamed Chase for bringing a scalpel to a room with a patient suffering from a psychotic break; Park tried to cover for everybody but was so awkward and obvious about it she was found out, and then sorta, kinda implicitly put the blame on Foreman for essentially being a rubber-stamper for House (Foreman is no Cuddy, that’s for sure); House defended his disgnostic method and claimed he couldn’t have foreseen Chase and Adams defying his orders, but then refused to say that he blamed either one of them; Chase told Cofield no one is to be blamed, but actually seems to be blaming House. I’m mostly with Taub; Chase, what the heck were you thinking??? I understand all the talk about House fostering an atmosphere of recklessness, but at the end of the day, House did not bring that scalpel to the room, just as House did not kill Dibala back in Season 6. I balked at Cameron putting all or most the blame on House then, and I balk at Cofield doing the same now. It’s probably a shared responsibility, but I would put more of the blame on Chase himself. Chase recognized this during the Dibala incident, taking full responsibility at that time, so him blaming House this time around feels a bit like plot-contrivance as a set-up for next week’s episode.

I was going to say that the patient’s wife barging in to save House’s ass is so unsubtle and un-Housian, ….. except this show hasn’t really been that subtle and Housian anyway since the end of Season 3. Thank god the reason for the orange hair wasn’t that Chase and Adams are sleeping together; he was using her shampoo while showering at the hospital after a late night of drinking. Chase is right in this instance, seriously House, couldn’t you just tell him to stop coming in late? You’re his boss, that’s your prerogative. And what kind of boss smells his employees’ hair anyway? Creepy. The apology is unexpected, but it would be more touching if I know exactly what it is he’s apologizing for. For his method and process fostering recklessness and disharmony among his team members? For the prank with the shampoo? It’s hard to forgive someone if you’re not sure what they’re sorry about. Initially, I thought it was weird that Chase defended House pretty strongly when talking to Cofield, but seems quite angry at House in the last scene. But then I realized Chase was defending House from the charge of callousness and not caring about Chase’s injury, the anger is about something else altogether, not about whether House cared about him or not.

Q&A With Greg Yaitanes, Director of House Episode “Nobody’s Fault”

Interview with Greg Yaitanes, the director of “Nobody’s Fault”. Apparently this is the last House episode he’s directing, he’s moving on to another show. Some interesting tidbits about the episode:

Who is responsible for recklessness — the person who’s being reckless or the person who creates an environment in which it’s okay to be reckless?

I guess this means Chase is the one being reckless in dealing with the patient, but he feels comfortable being reckless because he’s so used to House’s reckless way of doing things? That’s probably why Dr Cofield was asking House in one of the previews whether he blames Chase or Adams for what happened. House’s answer is that he blames neither of them, which brings up the question, does he blame himself, then? I’ve been catching up with Season 7 episodes, and there’s a scene where Chase was telling Martha M. Masters the med student that working for House has changed him, and not necessarily for the better. So in a way Chase did take Cameron’s parting shot to heart. Maybe you should have left with her back then, Chase!

On the other hand, I thought Cameron was over the top with the “you ruined him, so he can’t even see right from wrong” comment. Does she have so little respect for her husband that she can completely ignore his own agency? Chase killed a patient, for a reason that House won’t necessarily agree with anyway. Granted, House likes playing God, but only to solve the puzzle and save the particular patient they’re dealing with; killing someone to potentially save the lives of others isn’t really in House’s house of dysfunctions. But on the other other hand, he was very cavalier about Chase’s action (“better a murder than a misdiagnosis”), so maybe that’s part of the reckless environment everyone is referring to.

It’s really an episode so rare in television to get the viewer as involved as anybody. We’re just as responsible for what happened because we’ve cheered and laughed and thought House was outrageous. And now someone’s gotten hurt. So I don’t know what show really turns the mirror on the audience the way this episode does.

Aghhh, this again? If I want to be lectured about audience complicity and responsibility, I’d rather watch a Michael Haneke’s movie instead. If the audience cheered and laughed, it’s because the show wanted them to cheer and laugh, and the writers designed the scenes to invoke cheering and laughter. What about the writers’ responsibility?

I agree that Cofield is a formidable opponent and the reason I reached out to Jeffrey to do this was I needed someone across that table that was House’s match. I do feel that House has met his match with Dr. Cofield. It’s very important that you have to have someone on the other side of that table who can also be Hugh’s match. Hugh is such a phenomenal talent that you have to put a phenomenal talent across the table. There was nobody who came to mind except for Jeffrey the second I heard about the story.

Jeffrey Wright is an amazing actor, and I have no doubt that he can more than held his own against Hugh Laurie. I just find it disappointing that every time the show brings in an outside character to go toe-to-toe with House, it’s always a guy (Vogler, Tritter, now Cofield). As if it is not at all possible for House to meet his match with a woman.

I’ve been reading some speculations that this could be Chase’s swan song on the show – Jesse Spencer talking about Chase blaming House for what happened, the preview for the next episode (812 – “Chase”) mentioning a  fundamental disagreement between House and Chase on how to treat the nun – could be hints that Chase will be leaving House’s team. Because he blames House and can’t forgive him, or because he’s afraid the longer he works for House, the more he will change for the worse, or a combination of both. On the forgiveness part, if the show is interested in consistency based on past actions of a character, of course Chase will forgive House; that’s what he always does.

Exhibit 1: Chase told House his father has given him enough disappointment, and he’s given him enough hugs. So, definitely no hug for daddy then, right?

Exhibit 2: Chase told Wilson he’s done waiting for House’s approval after House punched him. So we should expect chilly relationship at the very least, and definitely no hugging when he thought House is dying, no?

I love the economy of the dialogue, by the way – “I’m sorry you’re dying. I’m going to hug you. Anything to say?”. See, House, it is possible to say “I’m sorry” without it being an admission of guilt.

This is why even though the show bugs me sometimes for repeating over and over again how much Foreman is like House, and how Chase is not like House and can never be like House, on some fundamental level, I think that’s actually true. Chase will never be like House, because unlike House (and Foreman!), deep down, he’s a big softie (House would probably use the word “sucker’). He makes a big show talking about not forgiving someone, but always does in the end. And as the show keeps telling us ad nauseum, PEOPLE DON”T CHANGE.


Ausiello’s Spoiler Alert for House “Nobody’s Fault” Episode

Ausiello Spoiler Alert video, on the set of Cougar Town. The House-relevant portion is from 5:15 to 6:25. It’s basically two actors from Cougar Town performing a scene from “Nobody’s Fault”, with heavy bleeping for the spoilery part (mainly to keep the identity of the injured person secret, I guess, although they did let it slip that it’s a HE).

A: I’ve spoken with (bleep) and you know (bleep)
B: Nope
A: Are you really this indifferent to the fact that (bleep) is hurt?
B: Are we going off the record because this is irrelevant, or you’re gonna hit me?
A: Why don’t you just tell the guy you’re sorry?
B: I didn’t do anything wrong.
A: Well, it’s not an admission of guilt, okay. He’s your friend, and you’re checking on him.
B: (Laugh) He’s a (bleep), come on.
A: A (bleep) whom you’ve (bleep), and who nearly died and who’s scared he may never (bleep)
B: What, you’re gonna have me fired for bad manners?
A: Just trying to understand you. Why a man in your position, with your abilities, is incapable of shaking the impulse to act like an ass.
B: All right, can we go back on the record and get this over with? I got somewhere to go.

I’m guessing A is Dr Walter Cofield, the guy who is putting House’s process on trial, and B is House. All hints still pointing to Chase as the injured team member, but it’s a little weird that Cofield would refer to Chase as House’s ‘friend’. Come on, everyone knows House only has one friend! But it’s possible that Cofield being an outsider (not working at Princeton-Plainsboro) might not know the lay of the land so accurately. It’s also possible that when Cofield spoke to Chase, he got the impression that Chase considers House a friend, and Cofield just assumed that the sentiment is reciprocated (ohh that’s so sad, reminds me of that episode when House invited Chase bowling because Wilson was too busy with his new girlfriend, Chase seemed so happy). House’s response with the laughter is telling, the bleeped part is probably him saying something like – he’s not my friend, he works for me, he’s a subordinate – or something like that.

Interesting how Cofield and House interpreted the word “sorry” differently. I’m pretty sure Cofield is going for the “I’m sorry this awful thing happened to you” sympathy type of “sorry”, while House’s mind immediately goes to apology and admission of guilt. There’s an earlier spoiler from TV Guide that says House will eventually say “I’m sorry” to the injured team member, but I’m curious which sense of the word “sorry” he means by that (maybe both).

 “… who nearly died and who’s scared he may never …”. I’m almost sure I heard “walk again” in the bleeped out part, but maybe that’s just my imagination. Lots of options for finishing that sentence – never practice medicine again, never be able to forgive you, never have sex again (hello Downton Abbey!), etc etc. Monday night couldn’t come soon enough, I haven’t been this excited for a House episode in ages. Hmm, come to think of it, the last time I was this excited is when Chase and Cameron were coming back on the team, and we all know what happened then! They stuck Chase with the awful “I killed Idi Amin Jr” storyline and fired Cameron for what seems to me to be no particular reason other than some guys find Thirteen hotter than Cameron. They’ll probably find a way to screw this up too!

Someone at Youtube combined most of the previews and interviews in one video:

More Previews and Interviews for House “Nobody’s Fault”

Behind the scene look with Greg Yaitanes, the director of the episode. Apparently he’s been looking for the right part to cast Jeffrey Wright in the show for a few years.

Interview with Jesse Spencer and Greg Yaitanes. I guess it’s comnfirmed that Chase is the one who got hurt in the episode, since Yaitanes talked about his character having the opportunity to make the audience take pause and consider the effects of House’s crazy actions. “Somebody got hurt, and somebody got hurt in a way that is going to affect them for the rest of their lives”. I wonder what he meant by this? Near-death experience affecting Chase’s judgment and actions from now on? Permanent disability? Chase exchanging his near-total faith in House to faith in God? (This is plausible based on the synopsis of the next episode). So many speculations.

I’m also curious about this from Jesse Spencer: “How does Chase come to the conclusion that House is at fault, and is he really at fault?” Wonder if it is somehow related to Cameron’s parting shot as she was leaving, about the toxic environment House created, and House poisoning Chase until he can’t tell the difference between right and wrong anymore. At the time, Chase adamantly disagreed with Cameron’s assessment, pointing out that he is his own man and not House’s sock-puppet, and that he takes responsibility for his own action. It will be disappointing if his view about this has changed and he suddenly starts blaming House for everything. Please, show, don’t go there, we already have one whiny doctor always blaming House for everything (sorry Foreman, if anything, you’ve gotten whinier now that you’re House’s boss), we don’t need another one. The episode better gives a darn good reason for Chase’s change of heart. Well, I guess almost dying qualifies as a good reason, but we’ll have to see how far House is culpable. Are we talking specific actions he took during the episode, or just House’s general process to push and manipulate his team?

ETA: From TV Guide:

Thanks for the preview of next week’s House. Anything else you can tell me? — Alex
While lots of (deserved) attention has been paid to Jeffrey Wright’s excellent guest turn as a neurologist deciding House’s fate, don’t take your eyes off the rest of the team. The incident that leads to the investigation leaves a major character fighting serious injuries that could upend his or her future on the show. And the crippling fallout will even have Dr. Crankypants uttering the words — gasp! — “I’m sorry.”


House “Nobody’s Fault” and “Chase”

I started watching House again this season after a hiatus of about a season. Thirteen’s gone (yay!), Cuddy is also gone (not so yay), and Foreman is the Dean of Medicine (Seriously? They couldn’t find someone who, I don’t know, has at least head a department for a while to do the job? Wilson? Some other department heads we’ve never seen before? No one?). I like the two new female doctors, Parks and Adams better so far than Thirteen and Cameron. I’m getting really excited for Episode 11 (“Nobody’s Fault) and Episode 12 (“Chase”).  The press release for “Nobody’s Fault”:

When a violent incident involving a patient has serious consequences for one staff member, House and the team are placed under review by Dr. Walter Cofield (guest star Jeffrey Wright), Foreman’s former mentor and current Chief of Neurology. As House and each member of his team recount the details of the dramatic and life-threatening incident, Cofield must weigh the team’s unconventional brand of collaboration against their ability to save lives in the all-new “Nobody’s Fault” episode of HOUSE, airing Monday, Feb. 6.

The press release for “Chase”:

Chase takes on a patient, Moira (guest star Julie Mond), who is a cloistered nun on the verge of making her life-changing vows, and through the treatment process, he and Moira form a unique connection that tests their faith and reason. But when Moira’s condition worsens and requires a risky surgery, Chase’s judgment is compromised. Meanwhile, House and Taub try to remain one step ahead of each other’s pranks in the all-new “Chase” episode of HOUSE airing Monday, Feb. 13.

From the promo photos for “Nobody’s Fault”, I think it’s safe to assume that Chase is the staff member facing serious consequences from a violent incident with a patient (life-threatening injury?) He and Adams are seen wrestling with a patient in one photo; then in the photo where Jeffrey Wright meets with House’s team and Foreman, Adams is there, but not Chase. The format of the episode will probably be similar to season 2 episode “The Mistake (the one where Chase caused a patient’s death because he was too distracted by his father’s death to ask an important doctor-ly question).

What’s interesting is that even though the press release said the incident is “life-threatening”, in the very next episode, Chase is already back treating patients. A few possibilities come to mind:

1) The injury isn’t actually life-threatening and the press release is just hyping up the episode.

2) Months have passed between the event in “Nobody’s Fault” and “Chase”, and Chase has recovered.

3) The events in “Chase” are actually Chase’s hallucination/dream while he’s unconscious/in a coma after the life-threatening incident (similar to House hallucinating treating a patient after he was shot). The not-yet-nun seems suspiciously similar to Chase himself – pretty blond, interest in taking a religious vow, faith versus reason dilemma. Chase could be the one needing risky surgery to save his life after the incident with the violent patient.

4) I’m completely misinterpreting the press release and the promo pictures and it’s actually some random nurse or doctor we’ve never seen before who is hurt.