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House returns to us from the tyrannical clutches of baseball with what I’m sure was supposed to be a compelling Issues episode, but honestly it came across a little goofy. However, it featured guest star Ron Livingston YAY! Another one I’ve thought was a sex machine since back in the day (Swingers). And now American women are finally catching on to Hugh Laurie – I’m like an oracle of hotness. And this picture proves it. Ladies, am I right?Ron Livingston (tonight we’ll call him Sebastian) gets off a plane in Joshua Tree. I mean Africa. It’s a village in the middle of nowhere, and all the little kiddies gather round as he hands out chocolate. He also gives them medicine, bitches about the pharmaceutical company, and saves a life on his way out just for kicks. It’s your basic establishing scene where we learn that he is kind to children and a selfless humanitarian. Uh oh! I know a certain grumpy-wumpy widdle doctor pants who isn’t going to like Dr. Sebastian!
OK, looks like, the entire opening is set in Exposition Town. Now Sebastian’s in a boardroom making a presentation to The Man about all the kids they’re killing by withholding medicine. Then he passes out. As they all rush over to him, someone yells, “Isn’t anyone a doctor?” Oi, that wins lamest joke of the evening. I wonder if the actor felt like a schmuck saying that line. I’m embarrassed just writing about it.
Of course Sebastian assumes he’s contracted TB, which is the disease he specializes in, but he’ll be coming into the hospital for a second opinion. There’s a surprisingly timely bit of snark as Cuddy shows House a Newsweek titled “Sebastian Charles: The Real Prince Charles.” Naturally House is full of self-righteous hate. I mean, he loathes Sebastian already, pretty much just for existing. Or caring about other people, or having a lustrous head of hair, or something.
Sebastian’s sitting in the Banter Room with the Outhouses. The way House reacts to that, you think he’s one second away from actually peeing on Sebastian. Serious territory issues. It’s just insult after insult that Sebastian takes in stride while simultaneously hitting them up for donations to his foundation and saying that it’s actually his business people that want a second opinion.
The writers hate Cameron SO MUCH. She explains to Sebastian that he can’t use his cell phone in the hospital, but that there’s a phone in his room. She slowly, carefully tells him that this hospital is different than what he’s probably used to in Africa. I wonder if she could say anything more condescending and stupid? First of all, the guy is American – oh, I don’t have time to go into all the ways that statement was ridiculous. But for some damn reason, Sebastian gets all googly-eyed at her. That skinny bitch.
Cameron, unsurprisingly, wants to be Sebastian’s doctor. He pretends not to flirt while he asks her to tie up his hospital gown, showing her the full moon, shining so brightly. Pan down! Pan down! Damn, no Livingston booty for us today.
House and Wilson do the walk and talk while Wilson tries to figure out what bug crawled up House’s ass today. Is it that House thinks the lives he saves are better than the ones Sebastian saves? Nope, that’s not it. House still isn’t saying what it is, though. Instead, he abuses a clinic patient, telling her she’s allergic to her new cat and probably needs to drown it in a river.
Now they’re submitting Sebastian to all kinds of fun new tests. He’s strapped to a gurney that’s flinging him up and down, up and down. It isn’t putting stress on his heart, so Foreman tells him there’s nothing to indicate a problem with his heart. But House (that jokester!) wants to turn it up to 11, and while Sebastian gets flung about the room and almost barfs, House notices a problem. They think Sebastian needs a pacemaker.
As Cameron wheels Sebastian around the hospital, he tries to convince her to come work with him in Africa, but she says she doesn’t have the guts for it. Wow, a moment of self-awareness from Cameron! Well done. Sebastian gets bored of waiting for the elevator, so he gets out of the wheelchair and takes the stairs. Oh mah gahhhh he’s not wearing shoes! Agh, that is so gross! In a hospital of all places! Bodily fluids everywhere! The bare feet are killing me. In the rest of the scene he asks Cameron out, his arm goes numb, he barfs everywhere, and then he passes out, but all I can think about is the BARE FEET.
Of course, now the Outhouses are all atwitter because they can’t give Sebastian the pacemaker and basically have to start all over again. Before they can go do doctor-y things that I don’t really understand, Foreman has to go do House’s clinic hours. He won that in a bet! The patient (who looks upsettingly like Ann Coulter) thinks she has cancer. He wears House’s name tag, he’s kind of rude to the patient, she tells on “House” to Cuddy, Cuddy hounds House for an apology. Boring-ass b-story.
So Cameron officially tested Sebastian for TB, and the results came back positive. Since he has TB, any other tests would have skewed results, so they have to cure the TB before they can figure out if anything else is making him sick. Cameron brings Sebastian the TB drugs, acting all flirty but still acting all smug about how she doesn’t want to work for or date Sebastian. Sebastian starts ruminating on how easy it is for reasonably wealthy people in first world countries to get medicine, and decides to make his illness political and refuse to take the drugs.
Immediately the media jump to attention, which is exactly what Sebastian wanted. Also jumping to attention? Cameron. Now that Sebastian is dying, she loves him, for ever and ever. She tells him she wants to have dinner with him and holds his hand. God, so pathetic. Thankfully, House comes barging into the room with his own agenda. He turns the AC off, knocks everything on the floor, and best of all sticks his cane in the toilet and then rubs it all over Sebastian’s bed. I actually think House has a pretty good point here – as long as Sebastian is sitting in a hospital in New Jersey, he really isn’t going through what his patients in Africa go through. Sebastian gives a fairly reasoned rebuttal, but I don’t remember what he said because we next see House sitting with the bottom of his cane up on his shoulder. That’s the same cane that was just in a toilet bowl. If this show isn’t going to gross you out with surgery, they’re going to get scatological.
House, Wilson, and Foreman are watching Sebastian’s press conference from another room. House is playing with the contrast buttons on the remote because under the heat, Sebastian should be turning bright red, but instead he’s getting even paler. House runs into his room right as Sebastian goes into cardiac arrest. They save him, and House leans into a camera and shouts “That’s not TB!” “Compelling television,” remarks Wilson from the other room. How very meta. If only it were true.
At the whiteboard, House erases and adds different symptoms and somehow deduces that Sebastian has a tumor in his pancreas. I don’t know. This show loses me at these points. Only three minutes left in the show, so of course House is right and they cure him (and Cameron doesn’t want to date him anymore). I know it’s called a “procedural,” but I feel like that doesn’t have to mean “predictable.” Maybe next week will be a little more compelling. They’re teasing us with the promise of meeting House’s parents!
I’d love to hear from anybody who liked this episode more than I did. Tell me what I’m missing!