House – Epic Fail (S06E02) – Episode Review

Epic Fail sees [[House (TV Series)|House]] quitting Princeton Plainsboro for a career as an obsessive-compulsive amateur chef while the diagnostic team tackle a difficult patient – a video-games maker who asks Google for a second opinion on everything they suggest.

In Cuddy’s office when House quits is Dr Foreman. The door has barely closed behind House when Foreman tells Cuddy he wants to run the department. Describing his ex-boss as an “egotistical, pill-popping lawsuit magnet”, he convinces Cuddy to re-open the department of diagnostic medicine.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the episode is watching Foreman struggle to gain authority and the mistakes he makes. Describing himself to his tech-savvy patient as “Genius 2.0” was a particularly painful moment to watch, especially as the patient has dug up some beach shots of Foreman with 13. 13, in particular, has a major problem with her boyfriend/colleague suddenly becoming her boss.

As Foreman’s ego goes off on the rampage, the patient (Vince Pearson) reveals that he’s posted his symptoms online and is ‘crowd-sourcing’ a diagnosis. He even has two other doctors in his room that Foreman quickly sends packing.

Meanwhile, 13 takes her relationship problems to House. Where else would you get bisexual insults while telling someone your problems?

Back at Wilson’s house, Wilson is suspecting that something is up with House. He had quit his cookery obsession because his leg pain had flared up again, but Wilson sees House walking without the aid of his walking stick. He reveals to Cuddy his concerns that House is back on drugs again.

And although House doesn’t admit it to Wilson and Cuddy, he comes clean to Dr. Nolan – he found the Pearson case posted online and offered the solution (the same one that 13 eventually used). He reasons that the pain in his leg went away when he was engrossed in diagnosing Pearson’s illness, and Nolan suggests that the best thing for House might actually be to return to Princeton Plainsboro Hospital.

It was quite a leap that House would go online and find the exact same case his former team were working on, but all that aside, Epic Fail was a pretty good House episode. Omar Epps deserves special mention for his portrayal of the grasping, opportunistic Foreman. Foreman’s predicament is the classic “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” He craved House’s job for years, but faced with actually being in House’s shoes, discovered that it’s harder – much harder – than it looks. I felt a tremendous mixture of sympathy for Foreman and dislike for his methods and his inability to balance the demands of the new role properly. No doubt House will bring him back to Earth with a bump soon.

Mentioned on the Give Me My Remote blog (great blog, by the way) is the excessive use of computer graphics in the story, both at the beginning of the episode, later when 13 and Taub are investigating the office and then when Pearson has a hallucination. The one at the start caused confusion – are we on the wrong channel? Where’s tonight’s episode of House? But the other appearances of the computer game became very wearing. Well, right up until Foreman got coffee-bombed by his frantic patient.

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