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Because Will doubted me, yes, these are excerpts of actual e-mail exchanges. Some day researchers will isolate the nerd gene.

Brother: Just finished watching “Judas“. The one thing about the show is that it goes into unsafe territory enough that I actually wasn’t sure whether or not they were going to hack that little girl’s limbs off. Any other show I would have known there would be a last minute reprieve, but this show has killed babies, so you never know. To me, this is a good thing. Not that I think killing babies is good, I just like to be kept in suspense.

I didn’t dislike (or not love as much as other episodes) this one as much as you did. Yes, House is nasty and unlikeable. I agree with everything you said about him. I just find this turn of character interesting, and want to see how it turns out. I’m not saying I’d want to see him like this for the rest of the show’s run, just that I like the new dynamic.

Of course, I say this after trashing the first few episodes of the season. Change is bad, unless I like it.

Me: Your opinion of “Judas” seems to be exactly my friend’s, on the other side of the love-hate line. I agree with everything you said. I just didn’t particularly like that episode. And yet it engaged me way more than say the first and third episodes of the season. It got me frustrated with the character more than the show (though I have my little annoyances about how they keep saying pretty much the same thing about his pain/addiction conundrum).

Brother: Two against one. We win. You have to like it now.

Me: You’ve convinced me. I like it now. I’m going to print a retraction.

Brother: And I finally get to see Chase punched, except that I’m on his side. Oh, well. I’ll probably clip that bit out and loop it on my desktop anyway.

House wasn’t nearly this nasty when he voluntarily went off the Vicodin when he had the bet with Cuddy. He wasn’t exactly happy, but he sure didn’t sink to this level. And he even has a supply now, just not as much as he’d like.

Me: Yeah and I’m comparing this episode unfavorably with “Detox,” which I thought did a much better job of raising the same issues and being more entertaining and thoughtful and complex.

But I’ll have to see where it goes to know how I feel about the storyline in general. I admire that they’re willing to risk having him be that irredeemably nasty, but it didn’t pay off for me in the short term, and if they don’t go anywhere different with it than what we’ve seen before, it’s probably not one that will pay off for me in the long term either. I’m waiting for them to get back to the usual pill-popping funny bastard House, and yet if that’s all this is, it’s like we keep going in circles just to add a little drama.

I initially worried about the Tritter storyline because I feel like they don’t do ongoing stories very well, like the Vogler thing, or the Cameron crush thing, or the Stacy thing. Then I enjoyed it at first, but now … I don’t know, it’s starting to feel pretty familiar and like it can only end with a whimper again.