When Cuddy faces her own health crisis on Monday’s episode of “House” the show that has tackled a thousand health crises takes a departure…into a Western.
In one of five featured dream sequences, Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) and House (Hugh Laurie) recreate the end of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” guns and all.
“Lisa channels a mean Robert Redford,” joked director Greg Yaitanes.
The episode also features a sitcom version of House, complete with a sitcom-version of House’s apartment and sitcom costumes, as well as a horror film, a 1950s scene and a musical number.
“We had a lot of fun doing the different styles we did. It was like having a week off and just playing around,” Edelstein said in a recent conference call.
As with everything on “House,” the dreams have meaning.
“These particular dream sequences are, like dreams, they are more revealing in what they don’t say directly than what they look like at first glance. It’s not a dream like she’s going into a fantasy world — they’re actually dream sequences filled with subconscious information,” Edelstein said.
“Every dream is significant to what Cuddy is going through,” said Yaitanes.
Edelstein said her favorite bit was the musical scene, which was choreographed by “So You Think You Can Dance” regular Mia Michaels.
“Getting the opportunity to dance for Mia Michaels, as little as I did, it was incredible. I was a dancer as a kid and to kind of in a minor way live out that dream was a really satisfying experience,” she said.
But she didn’t have much time to prepare. “It’s no “Black Swan” -– I didn’t have a year to go into training,” Edelstein joked.
Yaitanes said he thought of Michaels as soon as he saw the script.
“I was a fan of (“SYTYCD”) and had met Mia a couple of months prior to getting the script to this episode, which basically said ‘House and Cuddy sing a ‘House’-ian version of ‘Get Happy’,” he said.
Yaitanes said Michaels ended up having input on everything from costumes to set design. “She really directed that sequence,” he said.
The sitcom sequence features House and Wilson and an eight-year-old Rachel Cuddy in a take on “Two and a Half Men.”
“Every (sequence) required a different style of acting, a different style of lensing, a whole different approach — so it was like making five films within the (episode) and also wrapping it around the show of ‘House’,” Yaitanes said.
Elsewhere in the episode, according to Fox’s description: “While House is distracted by his concern for Cuddy’s well-being, the team treats a teenage patient whose worsening symptoms and suspicious body scars indicate more than just physical illness. Sensing the teen’s troubled emotional and mental state, Taub turns to the patient’s personal life for clues and uncovers disturbing home videos that could put the lives of his peers in danger.”
“House” airs at 8 p.m. on Monday on Fox.