House Episode 5.21: ‘Saviors’ Review

Posted on April 15, 2009



TVSummary: Standard fare with some nice character reveals.
Rating: 6.5/10

Review Trailer
The quick skinny on the episode.

An environmental protester collapses at a rally from, of course, unknown causes and Cameron takes a personal interest in the case. Presenting it to House’s team, House forces Cameron to stick with the case, if mainly because she appears to be avoiding Chase. Chase has planned a week-long vacation for the two and Cameron is skittish to go. Everyone assumes Cameron is hung up again on House, which the good doctor would like to prove is true. House also tries to discover why – or for who – Wilson has taken a sudden interest in eating healthy. While the medical case is fairly standard, it and all other points lead to some nice character reveals that look to redefine the post-Kutner House world.

Feature-Length Review after the jump.

Feature-Length Review
The in-depth review.

** Note: Review contains spoilers if you have not seen the episode.**

Following up the shocking events of last episode with a lighter tone certainly makes sense but this episode felt a bit off as a result. A week after Kutner’s shocking suicide, the staff are still dealing with the repercussions. As honest and heartfelt as the previous episode was, I felt that this episode wasn’t quite as sincere. Everyone spoke about being affected by the loss but it didn’t strike me as the feeling. Like I say, I understand why they went with a lighter mood. The people in this show could hardly ever qualify as happy people, so to push them through a few episodes of wrenching grief would probably be too much to keep people interested in the show. Still, it felt a tad bit hollow when someone would mention Kutner and another’s reaction to his death.

That said, I loved the interplay between Wilson and House this week. House has still been somewhat off his game and Wilson steps up to get his friend back on track. That these two are friends in any sense still baffles but that lies exactly at the heart of why the dynamic works. They’ve addressed this a number of times in the series, no more so than at the start of this season and Wilson’s reaction to Amber dying. The relationship is the perfect embodiment of the Holmes-Watson partnership with Wilson both understanding House so well and yet often not at all. He got him in this episode and it was lovely to see Hugh Laurie play the moment when he realizes just the scam Wilson pulled over on him. That Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard apparently get on very well off-set often bleeds into their scenes together on-screen and this was one such moment. Wilson wanted to snap House back into focus and gave him the only thing he knew could do that: a mystery. That it was so keyed in to their personalities and relationship was both fun and insightful.

Perhaps the most interesting outcome of the episode is the reveal of the state of Cuddy’s feelings toward House. This is something that has been teased at all season, which came to a head during Cuddy’s adoption troubles when she and House kissed. Since, they’ve gone back to a “won’t they” state but with a very palpable tension anytime they are in proximity to each other. To see it dealt with as explicitly in the scene between Cuddy and Cameron, where she tries to convince Cameron not to throw her relationship with Chase away, was a nice way to move the storyline forward. Chase is the first to confront Cuddy about it but Cameron drives it home… and Cuddy isn’t surprised by it. She gives lip service about how she and House together is wrong but it’s very clear she’s made some decisions in her mind. She’s not going to come out and say it – where’s the drama in that – but she essentially lets House in on her train of thought. It’ll be interesting to see how they set up House’s next move.

To the heart of the matter, the bulk of this episode is about “Chameron”. For the record, I enjoy Jennifer Morrison’s performance as Cameron, even if the character annoys me at times. That she has become – Cuddy aside – the one to put House in his place is entertaining. I know a lot of people view her as somewhat lifeless and cold but it’s more often than not come across as affectations of her personality that aren’t at the core of her being. That she is very feeling and caring has certainly always been revealed in her actions and convictions but Morrison has also given us glimpses of her gooey center throughout the show. One such glimpse was her open book discussion with House about why she’s avoiding the vacation Chase has planned.

Cameron has discovered a ring that Chase wants to propose with on this vacation. At first thought, you’d think her bristling against this prospect has to do with her past marriage, something House points out to her. However, she’s concerned that Chase doesn’t actually want to propose at the moment and is just reacting to Kutner’s death. It’s a valid concern, but one thing should be absolutely clear about Chase when it comes to Cameron: he decides on something on his own accord and goes after it. That’s how he approached their relationship to begin with, how they got back together and certainly why he’d make the choice to propose to her. Cameron refuses to see this and doesn’t talk with him about what’s going on in her head. Chase allows her leeway as a respectful partner but finally throws his hands up after giving her a number of opportunities to shed light on her stalling. It might seem a bit reactionary but I felt Chase was certainly within his rights.

I wasn’t particularly interested in facing another breakup here. Primarily for the fact that we barely get to see Chase and Cameron on the show as it is and would be stuck with such an ugly situation in the brief moments we do see them. To my surprise, this was nipped in the bud by episode’s end. Cameron stumbling through telling Chase that she was okay with him proposing was endearing. The moment he kneeled down – right there in the locker room – was touching and charming. I’ll admit I got choked up at it, especially that he didn’t actually say the words. It’s funny how a small detail like that can make or break a scene. If he’d actually orated the words, I don’t think it would have been as effective as the scene that played out. It’s not being cynical to say I’m not naive enough to believe that this going to be sunshine and cupcakes for the two. This is House, for the love. In that tiny moment, though, there was such a perfect piece of happiness. Kudos to Morrison and Jesse Spencer for selling that moment so well.

Overall, we got a standard episode that felt a little out of touch with the recent turn of events but allowed us some wonderful looks into the characters. I must note that I got a kick out of seeing the Quizno’s ‘Toasty Torpedo’ guy in the episode as the patient. I can’t stand those commercials but I thought the guy played the awkward perversity of them well. It was nice to see him given more to do. Also, I’m not sure why I noticed as much in the episode, but it really struck me how odd it was that everyone refers to one another by their last names. The practice itself isn’t odd. As someone who has been known as Tucker for a long time, I get it. But why on Earth would a couple who have been dating for a long time still refer to each other by their last names and not their first names?

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