Reasons to do the happy dance:
1. NO THIRTEEN!!! That's worth a happy hora right there. Not only no 13, but House basically seeming to not give a shit.
2. An actual case, which the balance of the show was devoted to solving. Which didn't even have a direct connection to House's issues. And guess what? Everybody still lies. No scummy parent secrets this week, but the patient holding something back that impedes her diagnosis. Furthermore, House actually seemed to care about solving the case, so I cared whether he solved it or not. Multiple differential scenes and actual medicine. Shocking, I know.
3. WILSON-Yeah, I know he was basically in cheer-leader mode, but it was pretty much passive-aggressive cheer-leader and YOU KNOW that RSL is playing the jealousy subtext, even if the writers won't give him anything to work with. Again, almost like the show I used to love. Amazing.
The scene in Wilson's office with the placement of the hand...good stuff.
4. Blood puking! Whoooo-hooooo. That's ol skool house for you.
5. Clinic duty. Yeah, I know, it's a re-write of the Myron and Ramona plot because the old guy and his son can't be honest with each other, but it was actual clinic duty complete with snark. House even reverted to his old self by once again getting caught up in solving the diagnostic puzzle. I'd have preferred it if he'd also found a way to keep the money, but call me easy tonight.
6. The House/Cuddy fight at the end. Hugh finally decide to let House be the truth-telling bastard he is and it was glorious.
7. Chase was awesome! (Even if his secret is that he's shtupping 13.) I love you Chase.
8. I still refuse to believe that H/Cuddy can work long term, but I thought the acting was better this week. Enough that I could see Hugh play some more playful levels of enjoyment, rather than the singular notes of revolving stupidity and pathos he was stuck with last week.
ETA: I know it's incredibly shallow, but I was thrilled to see House's hair back! I HATED the way the short, cropped style made Hugh look. One reason I felt last season wasn't my House was that Hugh didn't LOOK like House. Now he does again. Not sure whose choice this was or why or much Hugh might hate having to be fluffed and puffed to create the effect, but it goes a long way to making him look "right," making the lines sound better and making him look like he's actually enjoying himself.
On the other hand...let's face it, the show is still in free-fall.
1. STFU TAUB
Taub was working my last good gay nerve something fierce and I realized the problem. They're giving him the absolute worst aspects of Season 1 Cameron, without even the slight amount of UST that was visible between House and Cameron. Hey, I'll give any slash possibility a look-over, and you know what? It ain there. So you have Taub doing the touchy, feely, self-righteous crap with no interpersonal pay-off whatsoever.
2. Cuddy's going to get someone else to "supervise" House? LOLWUT? She is the hospital administrator.
For a second, I thought Wilson raised the issue so he could somehow get the job and be in "charge" of House thereby taking back whatever power he's losing as long as House thinks he's happy in a House/Cuddy relationship. But that's fanfic thinking and it went nowhere.
3. Not sure if I buy the anvilicious idea that House can't make good decisions if he's happy with Cuddy because he won't fight her as much, but the blow-up at the end felt right, so let's see what happens.
4. Cuddy's kid needs to die. Because obviously, they don't want to play Daddy-House which means that the excuses to keep Cuddy away from the kid are going to get more and more ludicrous. Get the kid sick, have House fail to diagnose, and let that give Cuddy something she can't forgive to match the thing that House still shouldn't be able to forgive.
ETA: Two examples of really bad writing just on a technical level. A. Was there any reason for Wilson to be in House's office when he came in, OTHER then to avoid a separate scene for House to drop the Cuddy-bomb again? Could the writers not have come up with SOMETHING? At least put a plate of bagels on the table for him to be scarfing? He was just sitting there doing NOTHING as though he'd temporarily joined the team, but then left, so obviously he was only there to get the news. BAD WRITING.
B2. Could you guys watch where you hang those lampshades please? "So this call was purely expository?" Yes, we all know how the show works and that some calls are only made to catch us up on medical events while a plot unfolds elsewhere. We know it. You know it. It's called suspension of disbelief. Don't rub our faces in it.
5. And just to round things off: STFU TAUB.