Case in point, I spent literally 3/4 of the episode being cranky and annoyed, making "WTF?" comments and wondering why in the world they would introduce something as constrictive as House having cancer. And not just any cancer, inoperable cancer that will kill him within a year! I couldn't understand it. Were they planning to pull out some miracle cure in 11 months' time? Because forget Grey's Anatomy, House, M.D. is a show that literally cannot exist without its main character, and this powerhouse show exhibits no signs of going off the air any time soon, so...yeah. Now, if I'd had spoilers, I would have realized that it was ridiculous to even entertain the notion that this plot line was credible. But I'm stupid and naive, so I didn't. Not until it was actually spelled out for me/the ducklings. (who, by the way, looked really stupid grinning and cheering like idiots on the other side of his door. I...I don't even have a word. It was like a sketch on a comedy show or something. "GUESS WHAT? YOU DON'T HAVE CANCER! AND YOU WIN A PONY! VICTORY DANCE!")
I didn't understand why the ducklings were getting so weepy-eyed over him for most of the ep, either. So the guy has terminal cancer. He looks the same now as he did yesterday. He's not in any more pain than usual, he's not lying in a hospital bed too weak to move. He's not going to be dying in the immediate future, is my point, so you shouldn't be at the "I LOVE YOU YOU CAN'T DIIIIIIIEE! *wail*" stage just now. But to paraphrase House, you know who IS dying in the immediate future? Your current patient, who is the one you should be working your tails off to help. Not House. House can wait. Really. He can. He has appointments scheduled with other doctors. Doctors who will *not* be shirking their regular duties by helping him.
Although it was totally worth it just to see Chase declare, "You're dying. I'm going to hug you." And then actually hug him. For about ten seconds. Slash fans squeal and make icons, pointing and flailing wildly as Chase grows misty eyed. I sit there and giggle hysterically because it's just so damn funny to see Chase almost crying on his boss' shoulder while House stands stock still and looks annoyed.
Another thing that was worth it was to see him go to Cuddy's, and after she zoomed into Comfort Mode at his "I need you," and hugged him, he squeezed her ass...and she just chuckled, without taking offense. That was what made it perfect. Such a quirky pair they make. And that is why they're the first ship that I've really been able to get behind on this show. Honestly, if this were the first episode I'd ever seen, I would have fully expected her next words to be an affectionate "I love you."
What was very much NOT worth the whole fake cancer scare was seeing Cameron make out with House. I've been dreading this moment for a good three weeks. It was actually WORSE than I imagined it. It was sheer torture to sit through that, especially when they kept dragging out the sexually charged tension before their lips even touched. And it just went down from there. Me: "STOP! Make it stop! Oh God, WHY ARE YOU DRAWING THIS OUT? EW! Oh my f**** GOD why has this scene not ended yet..." (though, yay for him stopping her as she reached for the syringe in her pocket. Hee)
Will someone please slap Cameron for her smug "You kissed back" line? Of course he kissed back. I know you didn't see him roll his eyes before doing so, but in case you haven't noticed he's kind of an opportunist, so when a pretty woman gives him free rein to stick his tongue in her mouth, he's going to take advantage. *refuses to speculate on the meaning of his Look when he touched his lips after she left*
And oh, the Wilson scenes! Always made of win. Loved the first bit with a distraught Cuddy coming to talk to him, loved the look on his face when he confronted House the first time, loved even more the look when he came to confront him at the end. I could do with slightly less platitude-preaching on a weekly basis, but I will never ever tire of his incessant attempts to rescue House from a life of bitter, miserable solitude.
-it never ceases to amaze me how someone as cantankerous as House can produce such beautiful music from the piano. It's the kind of music that, when heard at school, makes me put down my flute and sit curled up in the neighboring practice room with my ear against the wall (and temporarily fall in love, if I know it's a guy playing), listening in rapture. I try not to let House do this to me too much, otherwise I start to understand why fanbrats write sappy pieces about Cameron (or a random Mary Sue) convincing House to play for her.
-it took me the entire teaser to recognize
-I'm mad at the ending. DUDE, that guy was a FANTASTIC MUSICIAN. So what if he could end up with a "normal life"? He still has to learn everything, and the progress will be slow. [Smith's character] (I never bother to learn names of gues stars) stated flat-out that he didn't mind taking care of his son, and I should think that taking care of someone like that would be taxing and grating on the nerves - so if that part doesn't bother him, why take away a legendary talent just to fix something that isn't a problem? The patient isn't going to know the difference. Also, I bet when he's 50 and struggling to pay the rent and has just gone through a horrible breakup (or never found love at all), I suspect he'll be bashing his head against the wall and wondering why his idiot father ever subjected him to "normal life."
The Class: is over for the year, which is a pity, because over the course of the last few weeks I've been slowly downsizing the number of comedies that have appeared on my watchlist, until this was the only one left. And now it, too, is gone. Sigh.
For the last week, I've been squawking at the preview in shock, and cursing "You'd better be as misleading as all the other handhold promos lately, or heads will roll." And it kind of was...but kind of wasn't. I'm getting ahead of myself, though.
I've been resisting writing this post, because once I do...it's over. And I'm praying hard, but I don't know if it will get a second season. It SHOULD - it deserves it - but Rules of Engagement is alarmingly successful so far, so I don't know. This episode was clearly set up with a second season in mind, as it introduced countless storylines to follow, but there's no official word yet. This is why I hate picking up first-year shows. The uncertainty is unbearable. And maybe I should shut up and start discussing the content of this ep already. It'll end up plenty long as it is.
"The Class Goes Back to the Hospital":
First of all, I'm getting sick of Yonk's squat daughter Penny and her dog-like obsession with food. (and by dog-like, I mean that if she sees/scents/hears of food, she makes a beeline for it and is none too polite in voicing her demand to have some) It's gross. And just further reminds me why I take itty-bitty bites and barely finish half what's on my plate whenever I eat with other people. Second of all, awesome on the funny quote front. This is my absolute favorite:
Kat: [My heart] is getting locked in a box. Inside a safe. Surrounded by sharks. With guns.
or maybe this
Ethan: But - it makes no sense! Me and KAT? We're total opposites!
Kyle: Yes, and mm, how does that go, opposites...are indifferent to each other?
and a little giggle for this one
Kat: What's with all the birds? (figurines in a display case)
Duncan: They're my mom's.
Kat: What's with living with your mom?
And now for the relationship fronts.
Kat/Ethan: Okay, fine, I can wait a little longer for it. I can! I got to see him hug her several times, didn't I? That's higher on the Checklist of Cute than kissing, especially since the series is still young. And the look on his face before he overrides her protest and pulls her into embrace...especially when he is quietly saying things like "Look. I'm telling you - you are amazing, you're beautiful, and...there's a guy who's gonna see that, and he's gonna love you for it." (Kyle, upon hearing this conversation reiterated later: "Were you the guy?" Ethan, after much whining and denial: "All right! It's me!") Oh! But the very best part was the beginning...where she viciously whips grapes at him for setting her up with Benjamin in the first place, and he finally retaliates and chucks one at the back of her head. "Would you LISTEN?!"
See, the thing with them is that I think even if they did date for a while and broke up, they'd stay friends. It would just add to the repertoire of things they could trade semi-harmless insults about. I see them very much like Jerry & Elaine on Seinfeld. Admittedly with much more romantic chemistry, but that same base friendship.
Richie/Lina: Squick. Major squick. When I have a puppy love couple, I don't really want to picture them doing it in a broom closet. (Are you listening, Bones? ARE YOU?) Not that we had to see it, but it was bad enough just hearing Richie think about it. It became even more intensely uncomfortable when he tried to translate his fantasy into an actual suggestion to Lina, but started to chicken out and ramble ineffectually instead - in such a way that she thought he was trying to propose. Cut to a shot of me, wanting to crawl into a hole in the floor. Apparently this is a weird individual quirk, but I am so easily embarrassed that I can't even bear to see other people be embarrassed. It makes me cringe in pain. I hate those hidden-camera shows, and sometimes I even cringe during COMMERCIALS where people get mocked. So I was not a happy camper here.
That being said, there were also several adorable moments with this couple. (1) The very beginning, when Penny appears - "Uh oh...we're between her and the lasagna." "Whatever happens, I love you" - wins for the way he draws her in close and nestles his head on her shoulder. See, even comedic moments can be Cute! (2) Upon hearing his sex-in-the-hospital idea, she whacks him on the leg in disgust; he automatically whacks her back because "you're the one that made me ask you! *whack* I did not just do that." (3) She storms off; he comes after her, "I'm so so sorry, I promise I'll never ask you anything dirty again..." Now that I approve of. That's the side of Richie I prefer. And while I do not approve of Lina mumbling 'It's not that. I like the dirty...", I approve of it in the sense that 'submissive and apologetic' is where Richie was trapped in his marriage, and I like that Lina isn't going to lord her power over him. I LOVED the end of that scene...
R: Okay, I am so, so sorry.
L: (sitting at the table and refusing to look at him. Sulking) You should be.
R: I am. Come on... (leans forward and taps her shoulder)
L: No. (slaps his hand)
R: (undaunted, taps her again) Please?
L: (swats him again) No!
L: (is beginning to lose her resolve)
R: I loff you!
L: (melts down all the way, smiles in spite of herself and wraps her arms around his waist)
And even though I think it's a little soon for Richie to want to rush into another marriage - has he even drawn up divorce papers on the first one yet? - I'm willing to be all gooey and squishy at the sweet and offhand ending. "Hey...you want to marry me?" "Sure."
Nicole/Yonk: Who is this quiet and subdued stranger and why does he look like Yonk Allen?! Jeez-a-lou. Damn it, he is not supposed to look vulnerable and scared and needy in ways that make me feel sorry for him! *headdesk*
"My husband just had a heart attack, I can't just walk away--"
"And I wouldn't want you to. But what about when he's better?" (bolded for my reference, as further proof of why Duncan is arguably the most amazing guy on this show)
"I don't know."
*smacks Nicole across the face* Woman, I like you. I do. You took the longest to warm up to, but now I'm on your side. Or at least I was, until this week. How can you even look at him and tell him you're suddenly "not sure" if you'll ever be able to leave Yonk?!
Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of Duncan polishing his armor until it shines. He just told you he would wait for you "a hundred years, if I knew you were gonna be with me at the end." A. Hundred. Years. Knight's armor doesn't come much shinier than that, sweetheart, or have you forgotten how many times he's already laid his heart on the line and literally professed his undying love for you?
How can you even think about staying with Yonk forever, anyway? He has proven time and again that he doesn't know anything about you; isn't mean but is insensitive and doesn't even know when he hurts your feelings. He begged you "don't ever leave me" because right now, as he said, he's scared. He's sick and hurting and wants his wife to tell him it'll be all right. But a year or two from now, when he's swaggering around right as rain, he'll be back to his old ways. You'll be miserable again. And I promise you, in a year or two if you want to leave him, it won't break his heart. He won't like it, but it won't break his heart - not figuratively, and not literally. I am sure of this. Please give your poor patient knight, waiting in the wings, some hope to nurture.
Kat/Duncan: a/k/a "Damn promo which had better be misleading." Well, what it essentially boiled down to was a comfort fuck. (or possibly revenge sex, I couldn't decide) Phrases like that should not even exist in my vocabulary; I don't know where those two came from, but they're coming to mind so I'm not going to argue with it. They've both just had their hearts broken, and they're totally crying over a romantic movie while staunchly denying this fact, and it's convenient. So they go at it. It's not an image I want to see on my screen EVER AGAIN, and this was the only bit I fast-forwarded through, but at least I know that they're not actually falling for each other. Bear in mind that I expect this to be a one-episode fling, and should season 2 get the greenlight, I don't want to endure some half-a-year arc where they casually date each other just to avoid dealing with their real problems.
Although really, I think it was a foregone conclusion as soon as he admitted to buying the house "as a surprise" (for him and Nicole, though that much is only implied). That came closer than anything on the history of this show to launching me sobbing into a pillow, and I find I really can't blame Kat for wanting to hit it right then and there.
In conclusion: I HOPE AND PRAY that was not the series finale. I need my cute, smart, sweet and hilarious comedy! But if it was, I a) demand that it be put out on DVD because I will buy it instantly, and b) decree that the following things will happen offscreen: Richie & Lina get married without a hitch, other than possibly Kat trying to get out of wearing a bridesmaid's dress. Nicole changes her mind about Yonk and officially ditches him a year later, after which she goes to live with Duncan/get married/have his babies. Aaron continues to go on frequent out-of-country trips so Kyle can continue his awesome existence as the random tagalong friend, but their relationship remains intact because they're cute like that. And Ethan eventually gives Kat the rose, spills his guts, endures initial resistance and derision, but eventually wins her over, and then they date and are perfect. At least for a while. They may or may not last forever as a couple, but they will always remain friends.
Oh, and Holly gets shot to death in a dark alley by a deranged Fern. Damn, my imaginary canon is awesome; I feel so much better now!