Friday, November 23, 2007

Power play -- Episode 405, "Mirror Mirror"

With House's fellowship version of "Survivor" raging on (thankfully, only one more episode!), it's no surprise that there's been little room for clinic patients. And frankly, I'm glad the writers haven't tried. It's been hard enough squeezing in Chase and Cameron, let alone subplot z.

But the clinic itself is still there and, in this episode, at House's disposal. His goal is to get back at Cuddy for rehiring Foreman. So he announces to a crowded hospital cafeteria that the mayonnaise is bad, then directs them all to the clinic and tells them to ask for Dr. Cuddy. But she's played House's games enough to know how to even the score -- she pilfers House's Duckling wannabes to help with "The Great Mayonnaise Panic of 2007." (Of course, it would have been sweeter had she roped House into clinic duty, but we all know that wouldn't happen.) House gets his differential diagnosis anyway -- Kutner and Bitch chime in from exam rooms, while Taub and the guy who stood around a lot throw in their two cents from the waiting room -- then offers expensive tests for all uninsured patients. "Fight the power."

This most recent power play between Cuddy and House is not the first to be played out in the clinic (see "Occam's Razor" from season 1 and "Lines in the Sand" from season 3). But House might care a little bit more about this outcome. The main patient suffers from mirror syndrome, in which he mimics the dominant person in the room. Unfortunately for House, just a few scenes before, that dominant person was Wilson. House may not be consciously aware of it at the time he pops into the clinic, but he's got something to prove.