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House – Running away from absolution?

Let's talk about tonight's episode, 'Runaways,' and determine what the theme really was. Running away, absolution, or a little bit of both?

- Season 8, Episode 10 - "Runaways"

“One of us is in the wrong time zone, and if it’s me I need to talk to a stockbroker and anyone from the Kennedy family, in that order.” – House to the confederate soldier¬†reenactors

One of the things I love most about writing House reviews is that it brings me back to my days as an English Literature major. I loved analyzing books, writing critical essays picking apart the great works … and getting the ‘A’s. I’m not sure I’d be getting an ‘A’ on this review, though, since I’m a bit stumped in finding the connecting theme to “Runaways.”

I thought I had it. As House so often does, the theme centered around the title tonight as well, of course … didn’t it? Not only was the case of the week about a runaway, but Taub was a runaway from connecting with his girls, Foreman was a runaway from a real relationship, House wished he could have been a runaway and actually connected with the patient (What? House cared more about the patient than the diagnosis … and Wilson called him on it too.) because she had the guts to leave a bad home situation. Even the patient’s mom was a a runaway, in the past turning to drugs when things got tough.

It didn’t quite fit like a glove, though, because Chase should have had a bigger thread if that were the theme. He would have talked with Adams all about his past in the priesthood, and maybe they would have tied in what they discussed about Chase’s family in the past episode. And I couldn’t quite make Adams, and the amount of involvement she had in the episode, work with the runaway theme. ¬†She was so invested, and it didn’t make sense that it was because she had run away from her oh-so-hard life as a little rich girl way back when.

Then that whole conversation at the end about absolution came up and changed my thinking about the episode. Absolution is a strong word. For lack of a more accurate (read: religious) definition, absolution is really the highest form of forgiveness. Adams so desperately wanted Callie to forgive her mother — she was inappropriately invested in it. What is that all about? I’ll admit I can’t quite grasp that bit of Adams’ personality … other than she seems to be (or want to be) the catalyst for others in granting absolution, this time wanting Callie to grant her mother absolution.

Was it piggybacking on last week’s episode, when Chase forgave his mother by reconnecting with his sister (thanks to Adams)? Isn’t Chase really a walking, talking example of absolution in most situations in his life (aside from killing Darth Vader, but his motives were different there)? Was that the last absolution he needed to grant?

I’m just not sure. I’m thinking we maybe aren’t supposed to wrap it all up in a neat bow right now, and that a lot of this was set up for next week’s big episode, “Nobody’s Fault.”

This and that:

  • House flexing his new-found freedom from the ankle cuff brought us some entertaining staff meeting locales; Foreman’s secret affair diner, the gun club, and my personal favorite: turtle racing.
  • Funny how they could tell by the shoes that House hired a hooker to pose as a social worker.
  • Yes, the patient coughed up blood … I should be keeping score.
  • Taub seeking advice from Wilson on how to be empathetic was gold … especially when Taub got some advice he could finally relate to: just think about yourself. If football was the common ground Taub could find with his babies, then Wilson is a true genius. And Taub’s as selfish as we knew he was.
  • House brought back an old theme between him and Foreman tonight: whether or not Foreman’s like House. Foreman so doesn’t want to be, but aside from the limp, House is sure he is. And now that he can’t get his adrenaline rush from the affair, he’ll be looking for the next high, says House. What’s it going to be?

What do you think? I’ve circled around something pretty big, I’m sure — can you help me see it? I want that ‘A’!

Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/FOX

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