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House: Lines in the Sand

Honestly, I got worried early on when I realized this week's episode was going to be about an autistic boy; I spent a year working with autistic children and am sensitive to misjudgments and misrepresentations. I've gotta admit, though, the writers and actors did a senstive and impressive job portraying the whole deal.

The first scene shows the boy and his parents eating dinner together. Suddenly, the boy starts to choke and seize; they rush him to the emergency room. The interesting part of this episode, which was tricky, was showing the subtle differences between the symptoms of the boy's autism and the symptoms of his new ailment. Maybe he wasn't newly sick at all? If he was always flailing and yelling, what made this new flailing and yelling any different? The team finally agrees this is for real when his heart goes out; that definitely hasn't got anything to do with autism.

Quick sidenote of a disturbing Foreman moment. He's trying to make some point about the boy's screaming and goes: "Well, last night I had a date and she screamed so..." Xaerpoeiurpeoai?!$% Moving on.

We also had the treat of seeing that seventeen-year-old chick obsessed with House again. She's fully stalking him now, coming into clinic, showing him her goods, putting on lots of shiny lip gloss. He, of course, gets a kick out of it, but once I could tell he wasn't actually considering bagging that, I could rest easy. Good line from House: "You're more than ten years younger than me." Ha! Try...thirty? Anywho, Cuddy finally forces an end to all the girl's visits, and House performs this over-the-top soap opera-like scene with her - of which she totally misses the irony. When she starts to cry, her tears are creepy and milky; House goes, "Damn!" He's finally realized why she's so up on his grill; and it's not the blue eyes. When she was in Fresno with her father, there was an earthquake and she inhaled these spores that cause milky tears and, sometimes, loss of inhibition. I'm sure this is like 1 in 74 million, but it was a cool plot idea nonetheless.

Cuddy and Wilson sidenote. While they were doing their little vaudeville evil villain routine, talking about House in the stairwell as usual, they get real close, and Cuddy asks why they're there. Wilson explains, but adds: "Unless you wanna make out...?" Ah! Although... I could kinda dig them together. Wilson as a baby daddy?

Back to the kid. The choking and heart problems continue, in addition to his eyeball rolling back in his head. Gross. Does anyone ever notice how much eyeball stuff they get into on this show? House finally cracks the case when he gets the boy to "tell" him he was eating from the sandbox. House connects this with the little squiggly lines the boy obsessively draws, and realizes the boy must be seeing those squiggly lines in his eyeballs. Double gross. He's got worms! They've taken over his body, causing seizing and rolling eyeballs and lots of other nasty symptoms. A dose of meds and he'll be good to go. House doesn't exactly see it this way, though. He hates that he can fix the sickness, but could never fix the larger problem of autism.

The final moment was touching and - I admit it - got me a little teary. House is sitting there all depressed, bumming about the futility of it all, when the little boy approaches him with his little Play Station. He makes real eye contact - something he's never done - and then hands House the PSP. Tear!

But damn that Fox. Just as we're getting into the groove of things, they go and take it all away again. "House" won't be back until Halloween! Double tear.

-Amy Maloof

Posted by Amy on September 27, 2006 4:07 AM
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