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By the way, no post-show House analysis today, or until new episodes return on January 10 (that’s the date I’ve heard, anyway, but don’t take my word for it – I can’t handle the responsibility). But I’m incapable of writing a one-line post, so here’s a little traditional Tuesday House babble …

Tonight’s rerun first aired back when the ratings were in the “maybe I shouldn’t get my heart set on this show since it’s likely to be cancelled” range, so it’s nice that more people will see the holiday-themed episode in the Christmas season. “Damned if You Do” is one of my favourite House episodes, too. Not only does it respectfully and thoughtfully – and, most importantly, humourously – look at the whole spectrum of faith, from atheist to nun, it also marked the first and maybe only time we see House genuinely smile. Written by Sara B. Cooper, who doesn’t seem to be with the show anymore, the episode was nominated for a Humanitas Prize, which honours “stories that affirm the human person, probe the meaning of life, and enlighten the use of human freedom. The stories reveal common humanity, so that love may come to permeate the human family and help liberate, enrich and unify society.”

“Damned if You Do”’s exploration of science, religion and faith definitely seems to fit. But the pilot was also nominated (neither won – it went to The West Wing). Now, I loved the pilot, but I’m not sure how that particular hour with the morosely sarcastic, Vicodin-loving doctor who insists brain tumours are boring, everyone lies, and humanity is overrated really fits that description. House himself would scoff at the ideals behind it. But whatever. Gotta love the Humanitas people for recognizing that our “common humanity” includes cynicism and pain.