"Heavy", I've decided, is like a Very Special Episode of HOUSE set in Bizarro World. It's not just that Chase is obnoxious beyond all reason -- Foreman got to be almost equally obnoxious in "Histories" and while he succeeded in ticking me off, the rest of the episode was fairly standard fare as far as characterization and dialogue were concerned. "Heavy", on the other hand, features weird and wacky behaviour by all the characters, not just Chase. Cameron's behaviour goes from sassy to downright snappy; Foreman borrows Chase's bedside manner and tells heartwarming stories to the patient; and House practically wimps out in his confrontations with Vogler, after being House Lite (with 50% less snark!) for the rest of the episode.
Also, there's a totally weird time-warping thing they do right at the end where they jump a few months into the future and then back to the present again, just so we can get a look at Jessica all slimmed down and stuff. Unless they're really expecting us to believe that Jessica lost all that weight in a couple of days, which is what it would take to fit that final meeting with her into the timeframe of the episode. But if you do take it as a look into the future, then by the time "Role Model" comes around you already know that Cameron didn't leave House's team for good, so that kind of takes the punch out of her departure. I must say, it isn't often that you come across a TV writing team that so obviously spoils their own plot developments... but it fits in with the general freakishness of this episode.
As for "Role Model", which I've just finished watching... Quite a solid ep all around, I thought, and with a number of surprisingly moving and effective scenes as House battles his conscience and questions his usual cynicism. I have to say I absolutely loved the House/Cameron stuff in this ep, particularly Wilson mischievously yanking House's chain by claiming he's hit on Cameron and then realizing that there's actually some feelings attached to the other end. I liked Cameron's speech about why people pray, too, and the way that whole conversation turned out.
Lots of great snarky lines for House in this script as well, even if he ended up not having the last word most of the time, and even pushovers like Cameron and Chase ended up leaving him uncharacteristically speechless. Unlike "Heavy", though, I could buy into that for this episode, because it seemed that both the nature of the patient and the black cloud of the impending speech were sufficient reasons for House to be a little off his game. And the ending was heartbreaking, even if "Heavy" (and, well, the rest of S1 and all of S2) hadn't reassured me that Cameron wouldn't be gone for long.
Though after seeing this episode, what I really want to know is, why aren't there more Cameron icons identifying her as "a stuffed animal made by Grandma"? Hee!