House, MD: “Lucky 13”

I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this episode. After last week’s brilliant “Birthmarks,” featuring a terrific reunion for House and Wilson, important character reveals both for their relationship and for House himself, and that sucker punch of a final scene, I was not so interested in this week’s presumed focus on 13.

I like 13, also known as Dr. Remy Hadley, and I think having a fellow with a dire neurological disease is an interesting plot thread. But the show is called House, after all, and I am most pleased (as are many viewers) when the series is focused on him. So, admittedly, after the network hype, press releases, promos (mental note: must stop watching them!) and previews, I was less than enthusiastic.

That said, I should know better. And trust the writers and show creators to serve up a good episode, if one that lacks the emotional punch I got last week. (Well, they can’t all deliver that sort of a sucker punch.) Episode five of this fifth season of House, MD, “Lucky Thirteen,” addresses life changes, the control (or lack thereof)) we exert over them, and how we deal with them.

In 13’s case, she is dealing with the life altering news that she has active Huntington’s Chorea, an aggressive and ultimately fatal genetic disease. She reacts to her disease by cruising gay bars for women (13 is bisexual), using drugs, and drinking heavily. She tells Foreman that she’s trying to cram as much “living” into her shortened life span as she can. And it’s also clear that her hard-living lifestyle is also designed to let her numb herself to the bleak reality of her mortality. If she’s “having fun,” she can’t think about her impending death. But her crash and burn choices can only hasten the inevitable, something that House sees (and understands all too well).

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