I suspect that few of us have wondered what would happen if House were suddenly transformed into a nice guy, because the fact that he is such a jerk is a big part of what makes him awesome. Yet, Fox decided to show us Nice Guy House anyway. Nice Guy House shaves and wears ties.
POTW: Not wearing ties is the POTW, who is a teenage boy, born with ambiguous genitalia and was assigned to the male sex – something his parents decided he should never ever know. Because they believe in healthy communication. He collapses after scoring the winning point for his basketball team and after his parents demand no one inform him of his unusual genetic makeup. Then they conduct the first round of tests by saying they think he needs an MRI. Nice Guy House allows this despite knowing it is a blind alley. But since the team runs down so many blind alleys anyway, what's one more?
Huddy: No baby drama. Not even a single mention of the baby. Instead everyone is too freaked out by House's apparent good mood as evidenced by him being somewhat polite and agreeing to the parental demands. Eventually everyone decides he's on heroin and they aren't far off. It's actually methadone, which allows him to walk without a cane. Wilson even talks Cuddy into allowing House to keep taking the methadone and keep his job, which is just this side of insane. But love is blind, deaf and dumb. Emphasis on the dumb.
Foreteen: They are more concerned with who knows they are back together. Kutner and Taub both think it's good they were forced to break up, but quickly enough realize that they are still together. They try a couple little tricks to seem like they are trying to stay a step ahead of House, but he's too happy to not be in pain to notice that they are still shagging. I just can't buy them as a couple. They lack the chemistry to carry a real romance. I think it's a combination of Foreman's referenced robotic emotional spectrum paired with 13's constant state of irritation.
The Odd Couples: Kutner and Taub took a back seat in nearly all things except Kutner picking up on House being strangely happy and annoyed that Foreman categorized him as not as smart as House and Taub thinking House did Foreteen a favor by forcing a split. There were no Cameron and Chase at all. Wilson tells people to stop analyzing House being in a good mood and then analyzes it himself, but he's better at it than most people. Just not good enough for House to not catch on, as evidenced by the shot of bourbon.
Clinic: The return of a clinic patient! I wasn't sure we would ever see House in the clinic again and I got all excited for some good old fashioned House-isms. Unfortunately it was just used as a device to prove how this was just more of Nice Guy House. Well, technically, bending a broken finger backwards is not "nice", but he did well enough with the patient that he left smiling. Which is just all sorts of wrong.
The Epiphany: It arrives after House has quit and returned with permission to take methadone at work. However, I suspect House was already off the methadone at this point as he notices Foreteen are still together and figures out that it was a combination of dehydration and energy drink over consumption that caused the POTW's pelvic pain due to overworked kidneys. All of which would have been a simple fix if House had not listened to the parent's wishes and allowed the MRI, as the contrast material injected into the kid's system further hurt his kidneys and caused all the other symptoms thereafter.
Parents: We think he has a blind uterus. We want an MRI.
House: (To 13) Did you text them or something?
Parents: We've done a lot of research on his condition.
House: Who needs med school when you have WiFi?
House: (To Cuddy) I think my penis stopped breathing. Do you know CPR?
Kutner: I don't remember you taking any Vicodin today.
House: I don't remember hiring my mother.
Do you think this episode took the believability of Cuddy's decisions further than usual? While she always lets House get away with more than any real hospital administrator would, allowing him to continue taking methadone was pretty out there. Also, making sure 13 stayed in contact with the patient after the parents demanded she not be just seemed to be asking for a lawsuit. And why is it that nearly every case has to have some connection to 13's Huntington's diagnosis? In this case, it was the idea of parents keeping it a secret, but it seems like they are factoring her illness into everything. Is it just to remind us that she's going to get really sick and die someday?