Season 3, Episodes 11/12
To take them in the production order:
"Needle In A Haystack" really did nothing for me. I spent most of the hour discussing how annoying that I felt the parent characters were, and how if the situation happened to me I wouldn't want my parents acting like that. Every time they showed up, I hit the mute. I understand their function in the story but I think it was a little over the top. That said, I enjoyed that the solution to the case was something so mundane rather than some usual wild disease (not that there's anything wrong with that, just that it was a good change of pace). I also liked the closing scenes with Omar Epps. I always appreciate when he gets more screen time, because he seems to be the least used of the three ducklings on the team.
Can we please stop stacking the show with female characters who somehow "match wits" with House? At one point, Cameron and Cuddy were both rumored love interests. Then we brought back Stacy. Then we had Ali, the jailbait. Then we had the rape victim from "One Day, One Room," who while not being romantically interested in House, continues the trend of women gravitating toward him. Now we have this new researcher character, who didn't really move me either. My personal belief is that House doesn't need a love interest, period, but if they're going to go that route, I wish they would pick one. This is an annoyance of mine about TV in general, however; does anyone else remember when the romantic subplot actually wasn't a requirement on a series?
As far as "One Day, One Room" goes, that's not my real gripe about the episode. My real gripe is that it provides yet another 'excuse' for House's behavior in revealing the random revelation that his father was abusive. What? When I think of child abuse arcs, the one that comes to mind is that of Detective Tim Bayliss on Homicide: Life on the Street. That revelation fit his character perfectly. Here, with House, it seems like another plot twist done for shock value. I don't know if it's the network or the writers or who's responsible, but there seems to be a pressing need this season to come up with an explanation for why House is who he is. I believe it was in "Finding Judas" that it was vaguely alluded to that he might have a preexisting medical condition that made him that way. In my opinion, that cheapens the character. He's not the product of his parents' dysfunction. He's not sick. He's just a cranky, genius old doctor, and that's why we love him.