Tuesday was definitely a night for Olivias on FOX!
House 5.5 - "Lucky Thirteen"
Much of the criticism on the new House M.D. cast-members has been directed at Thirteen, played by Olivia Wilde. I have never really understood that. She's dramatic, funny, interesting, and House is intrigued by her, which makes me intrigued by her. I think the problem is: you can't look at Thirteen as a Cameron replacement. She's her own character.
Tonight we got to see more of Thirteen than ever before. She has Huntington's which I guess is progressing faster than anticipated. This leads to self-destructive behavior on the part of Thirteen, including lesbian hookups! My mom would probably have a stroke, but Hyperion loved every minute of it!
Of course, things not ever being what they seem, Thirteen's "partner" soon collapses, which leads to her being a House patient, which leads to the knowledge that she picked Thirteen for exactly that reason. (Actually, they dropped this line once it was explained. I wish more was done on that vein.)
When House finds out the connection between his new patient and Thirteen, he exclaims, "Penthouse Forum meets Medical Mystery....there is a God!"
Unfortunately, I missed a good portion of the next few minutes, as FOX had technical difficulties. I know there is no one to blame for something like that--life happens--but I was a fuming guy, terrified I might be missing more Thirteen action. (Luckily, that didn't come until the end, this time with a blonde.)
At the end House makes his miraculous diagnosis because of interaction between Thirteen and the patient, prompting this gem: "Another life saved by girl on girl action." Now that's a Health Plan for America John McCain and Barack Obama could support!
In other developments.....
Detective Guy was back! I know the cast is already overcrowded, but I hope they find ways to use him more often. Specifically they were spying on Wilson, who appeared to be sleeping with a hooker. House explained that this was Wilson's Messiah complex. "He's always trying to save women. His first wife had a wooden leg, his second wife was Canadian...." Good times.
Of course (and I totally called this), Wilson was only jerking House around, in fine fettle, as always. Turns out there was something to hide, and that is that Cuddy is adopting a kid! When House found out he got all weird, and put his glasses on quickly. Almost made me think he was crying! Not House, right?
Then, in classic FOX overtelling, the previews from next week's episode seemed to indicate House and Cuddy......could it be?
I can't wait to find out.
Fringe 1.6 - "The Cure"
You know, I was just ready to write Fringe....well, not off, but definitely in the "I can take it or leave it" crowd. Then tonight came.
I think everyone would agree that so far Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) has been far and away the most interesting character. Maybe it's the eccentric genius parameters that allow him to show off a bit, do march to his own drummer. Don't know. What I do know is that tonight's episode ("The Cure") featured less of Dr. Bishop than any other episode, yet it was far and away the best one yet.
I think that's due to the writing.
Finally we get to learn a little more of what makes FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) tick. Yes, she has the whole "Secret boyfriend is a traitor or maybe not who died or maybe isn't dead or may be infecting her brain with hallucinations" thing going on, but c'mon: who doesn't have relationship issues? No, obviously agent Dunham is wound tight from Day 1, and tonight we get some insight why.
Turns out when she was 9 her mom had an abusive boy friend, and little Olivia ended up shooting the creep when he tried to break back in after assaulting her mom. Didn't kill him, though, and he eventually recovered and escaped. Now, the abusive guy sends her a birthday card every year, just to let her know he's still kicking.
(I had a really horrible joke planned about what some women would put up with to get their men to send a card, but after the horrible analogy in the My Own Worst Enemy review yesterday, I am heroically letting it pass.)
Meanwhile, Pacey, I mean Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) finally showed some initiative. But you know what? I'm making a TV Warrior ruling right now, because we don't avoid the tough calls. From now on Peter Bishop goes by Pacey, at least until Joshua Jackson proves this character has more to him. Anyway, Pacey has a nice move.
And I don't mean to short Papa Bishop. In the smaller parts he got he was still hilarious, with the desire for a white HAZ/MAT suit, equalled only by his desire for onion soup, his childlike delight at watching gerbils blow up, and of course the running gag where he cannot remember anyone's name. (He called Astrid "Asterisk.") Noble really makes me believe he's an eccentric genius.
And finally Anna Torv is starting to fulfill some promise too.
For some reason Fringe is taking the next two weeks off (House isn't). By that time I will have seen the same amount of Eleventh Hours, and we can finally put to bed which show is better. For the first time all season I actually find myself looking forward not just to House, but to Fringe.