Warnings: This may come out a bit "Social Justice Warrior-like," but I'm pissed on behalf of my asexual friends as well as anyone who still cares about this show or just plain decent writing.
Starting with a minor rant, which is probably YMMV.
It bugs me so much whenever any calls House an “ass.” Because in mind they’re not calling him a “jack-ass” or a “horse’s ass” which would imply that he’s a fool, but what they really mean is “asshole,” which refers to his malevolent streak. Because they don’t call him that when he’s being stupid (he’s House, he’s never stupid) but when he’s being egregiously cruel. My feeling is it’s the difference between calling someone a schmuck and calling them a prick. It’s technically describing the same item, but the connotation is very different.
There are so many things that get said on TV that would NEVER have made it past the censor in the pre-NYPD Blue era. Why can’t we call House an asshole when he’s being an asshole?
Moving on…bigger rant. The unbelievably stupid, lead-footed, offensive badly written subplot:
I think, in general, House (the show) has been considered to be fairly good on LGTB issues. Yes, House (the character) tends to be a (ahem) ass about most people’s sexuality, but as Cameron pointed out so long ago, he’s a misanthrope, not a misogynist, or presumably a homophobe. He’ll joke about the tranny nurse and make people miserable about their sexuality, but he’s never refused to believe that such sexuality could exist—until now.
I realize you can read it as him just hating the idea that anybody, anywhere is happy, and seeing such an obvious opening to destroy that (and take money from Wilson) going for it, but as the story line played out, there was basically total erasure of the possibility of true asexuality. Do we REALLY want to go down this path? Was it necessary to make the wife a liar AND the husband sick? How about diagnosing the husband and then dealing with the fallout of a true asexual being in that position?
Bonus rage for Wilson's analogy of a gay person finding out they're straight, especially in light of House winning the bet and (within the show's "logic") proving there are no asexuals. Can it equally be proven there are no gay people?
I know that House can never be wrong, but this just pinged every button of wrongness, especially since there has been so much wank on a similar topic in the BBC Sherlock fandom.
P.S. Whatever you think of Steven Moffat, at this point I would have to say that compared to Shore et al, he is Nabokov, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Mishima rolled into one. (Pick four of your favorite authors, those just happen to be mine.)
Meanwhile, the way the subplot unfolded also pissed me off as hard-core ol’ skool H/W shipper.
Starting with House saying “we need to get you laid.” This is James FUCKING Wilson. I know that it has been Dave N Katie’s fondest wish to have him neutered into a virgin woobie, but we know better. Either he’s fucking House and cheating or he’s fucking someone else and cheating with House. End. Of. Story.
House then launches into his first gay reference of the night, specifically saying that he’ll fuck Wilson himself if no one else will. One has to be impressed with how Greg Yaitanes manages to simultaneous stroke the fanbase by alluding to H/W sex, while simultaneously saying it’s not happening. Although one can still read it as implying they have in the past. That one works for me, EXCEPT the idea that Wilson needs pity sex from House, when theoretically it should be vice versa. Wilson is sexually powerful; House is a cripple who needs hookers and has rejected or driven away anyone who could possibly love him, except Wilson. Are these people not watching the show they’re supposed to be writing=
House goes on to prove that asexuality doesn’t exist, that Wilson wanted him to prove that, and they proceed to sit on a couch smoking cigars, and presumably evoking the good old days of All In. Except the chemistry that once sparkled on-screen is completely gone. There’s no Hugh/Bobby love OR H/W sizzle. Nada. Maybe they were trying to undermine the “no asexual” Aesop by making H/W completely sexless.
The few good things in the episode were:
1. NO TAUB!!!
2. Park’s “Thirty” followed by “Everybody lies.”
3. Foreman solving the case
Other things I hated:
1. Park having nothing to do after that.
2. Chase’s sister. I know there was one fleeting reference to Chase’s sister, but I thought she was metaphorical. Chase’s entire relationship with Rowan in Cursed and every other reference we’ve had to his daddy issues and drunken mummy, implied that he was ALONE with drunken mummy. This is pure ret-con bullshit and if it’s setting up a new character in the form of Chase’s sister to arrive soon, I’ll be mightily pissed, UNLESS Wilson seduces her in ten minutes flat, pissing off House, and then cheats on her.
3. Bad wife! How dare she have sex.
4. Saint Wife for staying with Alzheimer’s patient.
5. I know it would have been a rehash of several episodes, but I was really betting/hoping that the diagnoses would somehow prove he didn’t have Alzheimers. (A la Lucy’s schizophrenia in The Socratic Method or the guy in Meaning.) The wife could still be evil and then leave, but at least there would have been something redeeming in the plot.
6. House’s headgames with Foreman made NO SENSE! Seriously. None. Why is Foreman even playing this game with House? I know. God forbid anyone have character development on this show, because say it with me people, “People Don’t Change.”
7. Which, by the way is how I know that Wilson IS getting laid. It’s what he does, and you know, people don’t change.
8. Portuguese? I know it’s part of his Sherlockian awesomeness to know multiple languages, but it didn’t play as awesome. It played as not credible, and it was hard to tell if he didn’t want to translate because he didn’t want to give her hope OR because he still hates the idea of any kind of human affection being expressed.
9. Speaking of “hope.” Why did they bother to do those three good episodes at the beginning of the season if they were going to slide this far down into a bilge pit again?