Season 5 Episode 16

The Softer Side

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 23, 2009 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
536 votes
  • A really good episode

    In this episode of House, the following happens. We open with a couple being told that their baby has both male and female parts and they have to decide the sex of the baby. We then jump forward 13 years, to a little boy playing a basketball game. The game ends, and the little boy, Jackson collapses. We soon learn that the parents haven't told Jackson about his condition and so the team have to keep hiding his true condition from him. Also House is n a very good mood, which is worrying for both Cuddy and Wilson. When they got to question House, they find him "a sleep". Only he isn't a sleep, but in fact he's not breathing. Luckily, Foreman manages to get him breathing again. Everyone starts to think that House is on Heroin, but he soon admits that he's on methadone. And since he has been taking it, all of his pain has gone away. When Cuddy tells him that he either has to stop the methadone or quit, he chooses to quit. Also 13 lets slip to Jackson about his condition and so his parents have to tell him the truth. After running some more tests, the team believe that Jackson has a condition, which is going to lead to his death. Cuddy caves in and offers House his job back, as long as he follows a list of requirements, which includes either Cuddy or one of the nurses giving him his methadone. But soon they realise that, it can't be the case with Jackson and his improving condition, and so the team come up with another diagnoses. We soon learn that he is ill due to having too many energy drinks. The parents are told that after a few weeks of dialysis, Jackson will be ok. House soon realises that Jackson may be died, due to his happy mood, and him not following his instincts and so he stops taking methadone.
  • Two thumbs up!

    This episode was so FFFRESH! Fresh in the sense that House was pain-free! We all know how much it affects him, poppin Vicodin like Skittles is the norm. So NOT seeing it, made this episode that much more interesting..

    It was good to see everyones reaction to this 'new' House. I knew it wouldnt last (I mean cmon! really) so I enjoyed it while it lasted. Good to see a glimpse of that 'softer side.' Overall, the case was very meh. But as I've made clear, the fact House was kind and softer in this episode, made it so sexytime! One of Season 5's finest for sure.
  • Much more like it.

    The last two episodes have been absolutely superb, and a much needed return to form after a shaky fifth Season. The patient is once again interesting, and it was wonderfully written and acted as the family faced a dilemna. I emphasised with the patient and the families choices. Thirteen's behaviour was very human, and it was much more classic House how the situation was dealt with.

    House is also tryin to alliviate his pain, which made for some interesting moments, especially the part where he almost died. Wilson and House's relationship was as amusing as always, and I have to admit I thought he was going to leave and find a new job at St Sebastians! It would have made an interesting plot twist!

    Nevertheless, House gives up on the methodone at the end- I thought that was disappointing. He obviously wanted to change, but failed to do so.

    Overall, this was a brilliantly well written and acted episode. The humour and drama were spot on- classic House.
  • House tries out a dangerous but effective method to alleviate his pain, and we get to observe the results.

    Another episode orientated on House's character more than anything else, which is what we had missed and what mostly makes this series so special. With Hugh Laurie's amazing acting and the great chemistry between him and Cuddy or Wilson, you can't miss! And not only that but we got a very special patient case as a treat, that was unsolvable until the very end, when House came in to the rescue and figured out what noone else could.

    In more detail, House quits Vicodin and goes on Methadone because he discovered it is the only drug that leaves him completely pain-free. The repercussions for his health are so severe that he nearly dies, and is in danger of dying any minute. Wilson and Cuddy find out and at first try to make him quit, but then change their mind when they notice the amazing change that has come over him. He shaves, wears a costume, tries to take care of his health, is in a good mood and looks happy. So Cuddy settles for regulating his dosage and letting him get on with it. The glitch in all this is that House's good mood makes him succumb to the demands of the patient's parents, doing an unecessary exam and thus causing him to be severely ill when at first there was nothing really wrong with him. That makes House question his judgement under the Methadone, so in the end he goes back to his old routine. "This is the only me you get", he tells a baffled and genuinely concerned Cuddy.

    I loved the scenes between Cuddy and House, they were so intense and emotional and we can clearly see, there is something much more than mere friendship or professionalism there. They clearly care about eachother, and very much so. Also, the tension of whether Forman and 13 are going to get fired or not is finally relieved in this episode, House calls their bluff but he doesn't seem inclined to do anything about it. They prove with their performance that their relationship isn't an obstacle in their working efficiently together. And then there was the issue of sexual and social identity, and how over-protectiveness of parents can sometimes be destructive. Though the opposite side, that of coming clean and telling the truth, is also blown when 13 makes the mistake of thinking the kid is depressive. So the truth lies somewhere in the middle. In the cruel but honest line House delivers (one of his best so far in my opinion): "You gave birth to a freak of nature, doesn't mean it's a good idea to treat him like one". The abnormality is there and you can't overlook it, but there's no need to overreact to it and turn it to an unsolvable problem. I wonder if House will follow the same principle for himself, and stop abusing himself like he usually does because it hurts him to not fit in.
  • A painless House worries everyone and paranoid parents with a secret almost kill their child using the nice House.

    First of all, the medical case was another labyrinth of interwoven conditions. I really enjoyed the way that the mixture of parental protectionism ("He's not ready") and the mother trying to reinforce their own choice ("Basketball or Hockey"!), resulted in the unfolding of their secret (and nearly poisoning the herma-child to death).

    I agree that nice House was so jarring, it was almost scary. We were scared of losing the House that we know. Which was exactly how Cuddy & Wilson felt. Wilson helps Cuddy see the silver lining in this, and she eventually finds out that this could potentially end both their misery.

    Which personally think what scares House away from Methadone. He realizes that connecting to other people will erode his intellect in the end. Although I think Cuddy put it nicely: "You're afraid of change."

    If the writers decide to use this episode as a pivotal point in the House/Cuddy relationship, I would be seriously impressed.
  • An amazing episode

    Oh my god i can't believe this episode...I mean when they had him shave i thought i was going to cry...and he was acting nice which is so totally not House so this was a very shocking episode....and it is true that you don't see him take any Vicodin the entire episode...which is totally a House thing...this was a great episode but you can't change House that wouldn't be right.....but I LOVED THIS EPISODE. House will hopefully not do this again because if he does i could be the end of the show and i would not like it!
  • House goes on methadone and eliminates his leg pain, but finds out being pain free makes him mess up his job.

    Excellant episode. I am starting to get comfortable with kutner and taub on the team. I wonder how long it is going to take for House to find out 13 and forman had a fake breakup. I didnt really like the patient plot this episode. It was kind of weird and left you wondering about the kid's future. I also wonder if maybe House is going to fake not taking methodone anymore, to parralell the way 13 and forman are faking being broke up. Thats about it I guess. Now we have to wait 2 weeks for the next new episode.
  • 13 gets a lot of screen time again, surprise surprise.

    Clearly the only reason House being happy is because he slept with Cuddy. I am sick of the writers pushing Huddy so hard, whether it is Wilson or Cameron or the SWAT guy or whoever else. The scene at the end shows why they will never work together. House doesn't want to take the medicine if it risks interfering with his work while Cuddy wants happy House. A major sticking point between House and Cameron in season 1 is House thought Cameron just wanted to fix or change him. He now KNOWS Cuddy wants to change him.

    Taub's imitation of Foreman on his happiest and saddest days of his life was funny.

    So the only reason House can't walk is because his leg is in pain? What about the muscle he is missing? And the whole episode is about House getting rid of his pain and then he decides to go back on the Vicodin. They have been having a lot of episodes lately that set up new storylines only for nothing to change in the end.

    Again they tease us with getting rid of 13, even if it is just for the case. When was the last time they didn't mention her bisexuality, Huntington's, or teasing with getting rid of her? And of course she is the one to get close to the patient, got to give her as much screen time as possible.

    House expected Cuddy to give him a letter of recommendation but she wouldn't give Foreman a letter? I'm pretty sure House has done a lot worse things than Foreman.

    They already had dehydration get masked by other symptoms in the CIA episode.

    No Cameron and Chase again, twice now in three episodes. I guess Cameron being in 3 or 4 scenes last week used up her allotted time.
  • Without pain

    I most say I really liked this episode.. that different kind of House.. that different kind of attitude.. yes, it was not the House we usually see but for one episode, it was ok.. the way they all wanted to figure out what he is on and how they got to the truth.. had emotions, had mystery..

    And I did liked the case too.. 13 change to prove something or ruin, the side of point... and then the way the case only happened when they sent him to MRI.. and it happened because House was nice.. it is a good dilemma he build - does he need to be mean to be good doctor.. and the desperation Cuddy wanted him to stay of drugs.. and he knew there is only one kind of House to be...
  • Best episode ever!!!!

    This is the best episode of House ever! Everyone must see this episode, I mean it!, How House started with those drugs, he´s walking normal, he quit his job, he shaved! he wore a tie! It was amazing and especialy when he almost died, Again! And an interesting case too, but I was so glad when House got his job back, and I was so shocked when House told Cuddy he quit on his new drugs. I don´t know what to say any more so I´m just gonna stop with this review with these min. 100 words, haha haha haha!
  • Change has side effects.

    While the team treats a boy with mosaicism, Cuddy and Wilson try to determine the cause of House's sudden niceness. 13 and Foreman deal with the knowledge that Taub and Kutner know that they haven't broken up.

    What I really enjoyed about this episode is the focus on House's determination to try and change, even if it literally kills him. For a brief moment, the writer's give us a glimpse of what House would be like as a nicer person who has little problem being what people think he should be. Even House seems to enjoy being a changed person, until he realizes that his new found pain reliever comes with an unforeseen side effect. The final scene between House and Cuddy was pivotal moment in their budding relationship. House finally realizes that Cuddy can't accept him for who is, while Cuddy seems disheartened at the prospects of loving House just the way he is. I also enjoyed the scenes between the patient, his parents, and 13. I found myself showing more empathy for the boy than his parents. I was unsympathetic towards the parents who did everything they could to prevent their son from finding out about his unique condition. 13's involvement with the boy was welcome and necessary to get the parents to finally be honest with their son.

    The sub plot regarding Foreman and 13's relationship was interesting. Continuing their quest to make House and the rest of the team think they broke up, they soon learn that they really haven't been fooling anyone. 13 and Foreman's conversation regarding their decision not to see other people was nothing that I didn't hear before on other shows but in it's own way, it also served as a pivotal moment in their relationship. My only complaint about the episode was the writer's unwillingness to decide if Cuddy likes House for who he truly is or the person she desires him to be. After enduring her juvenile pranks and mental torment about House's inability to put his feelings about religion aside and attend a Jewish baby naming ceremony, we have to watch her eyes light up at the thought of House finally changing, even if it's due to his methadone use. House is human, not perfect and the very least the writer's could do is finally get Cuddy to the point where she herself is capable of understanding that House doesn't see a need for change.
  • House goes on methadone. A child with both male and female DNA.

    In one of my classes there was a discussion about what the best show on television is/was. A girl threw out "House". The teacher responded that it was good, but stated how every episode is the same where they are stumped with a medical case and suddenly at the last moment discover they missed something and solve it.

    Well, his theory was right tonight and House and company could not help a boy with male and female DNA until House pointed out the energy drinks. This was not a bad episode at all, but this story was just done on Private Practice on Thursday, so it was hard to get as emotionally invested in it as I was then.

    Luckily, Olivia Wilde got a lot of screen time here, who gave a good performance from an acting standpoint, and of course is always easy on the eyes. She does a great job playing the sane character in an office full of crazies. Hugh Laurie had some solid one-liners, as did Kal Penn to round out an entertaining hour of House.

    Not a series classic by any means, but I am glad I tuned in tonight.