House: House’s Head
May 12, 2008

FOX, Mondays at 9:00PM

Genre: Drama

Conceit: Who Needs Bedside Manners?

Every season, an episode begins with House, as oppose to a hapless individual who’s one ridiculous moment away from being House’s patient.  Those tend to be the best episodes in the season.  One such episode, the season two finale, was one of the best in the series.  Tonight’s episode started with House and ends with a bang.

House finds himself at a strip club, with no idea how he got there or how long he’s been there.  After realizing he has a concussion (based on his open head wound), he stumbles into the street to find that he had initially stumbled away from a bad car crash.  And try as he might he can’t piece together what happened.  More importantly to House, he can’t piece together what he’s sure was the medical problem that caused the crash.

House lets Chase put him under hypnosis to see if he can reach into his brain and remember what happens.  I’m not sure how medically accurate real this is, but I’m willing to bite.  And yes, that was Fred Durst playing the bartender.  The hypnosis ends up taking a back seat to increase Vicodin usage, which allows House to hallucinate back to the bus.  When that wears off, he drops himself into a sensory deprivation tank.  Lisa Edelstein, way to keep in shape.  They have such great chemistry.  Part of me wishes the show would get it over with and put them together.  The other part of me knows that the second they’re together, the chemistry is diminished.  Anyways, lesson learned: sensory deprivation may be good for the soul, but its not good for the body.  Though House gets it done, as he always does, not everything is as it seems.  A mystery woman keeps popping up into his visions.  A woman who wasn’t in the crash.  But a woman who keeps pointing to something bigger that he’s missing.  And so the entire cast…er, staff…finds themselves sitting on a bus as house drugs his brain into overdrive.  And when he realizes who the woman is, things go crazy.

Final Grade: A+

House: Living The Dream
May 5, 2008

FOX, Mondays at 9:00PM

Genre: Drama

Conceit: Who Needs Bedside Manners?

House kidnapping someone to treat them.  Well that’s random.  Mostly because House doesn’t care about the patients who come in for treatment.  Turns out the actor who’s pivotal to his favorite soap opera may have a tumor.  Or so House divined by watching episodes.  It was pretty funny to watch House run tests on Evan Grier himself, while digging for plot spoilers.  It was even funnier to watch him drug the Grier so he couldn’t leave (when’s the last time House went that over the top?).  Jason Lewis turns in a rather compelling performance as a soap opera actor who is well aware that he is merely a soap opera actor.

Cudday is taking an accredidation inspector around the hospital, which means she needs to keep House on a leash.  This means Cameron has to sit and do file work in House’s diagnostic room.  That actually was nice.  Since she placed herself on equal footing with House near the end of season 1, no one handles House better.  It was also nice to see that Cameron desperately wants to be in diagnostic medicine again, even if she won’t admit it.  It was nice to see her out of scrubs again.  It was even better when Cameron pointed out what we all know: 13 and Cameron are really inter-posable.  The problem with this is that it really shines a light on Foreman’s impotence in his new role.  He doesn’t really do anything anymore other than run interference between House and the crew.  And it backfired this episode.  It wasn’t until the end of the episode that we saw classic House-Foreman sparring.  We need to see more of this.

Wilson and Amber.  This was rather…well…interesting.  House’s theory that Wilson is dating She-House really proved itself tonight.  Amber gave Wilson a choice on picking their joint mattress.  Wilson did what Wilson does: he picked the one he knew would make Amber happy.  And she yelled at him, in true House style, though more lovingly.  Apparently Amber believes Wilson’s relationships fail because he feels the need to take care of the lady.  She doesn’t need to be taken care of.  She just wants Wilson.  This also leads to a rather endearing moment when Wilson final makes a decision of his own.  Didn’t really work out, though.

But in the end, House was wrong.  And he admitted it.  He figured it out in the end, but he was wrong.  And he admitted it.  Hmm.

Final Grade: B+

House: No More Mr. Nice Guy
April 28, 2008

FOX, Mondays at 9:00PM

Genre: Drama

Conceit: Who Needs Bedside Manners?

Huh.  Well that was something, eh?  Before we get into the nitty gritty of the episode, lets talk about the strong dynamic shift in this show.  For a solid 3.5 seasons, House was above everyone.  He never needed anyone.  Never tried to.  It was only in brief moments that he showed even the slightest bit of vulnerability.  And even then, it was only to one person per episode.  But tonight, House played with everyone on an even playing field.  He went bowling with Chase…by choice.  They actually talked and House was struck by something Chase said.  In what was a rather hilarious, House and Amber set up visitation times with Wilson, who played the neutral “child” to a “T”.  Cudday even got to play Solomon to House and Amber’s dispute, and House respected it (though not without a particularly funny insult).  

The show started off on a rather odd note.  For some reason, the camera kept switching from 3rd person to House’s 1st person.  I had this fear that the show was going to be completely done in 1st person, but three minutes in, it stopped.  Which made me wonder why they did it in the first place.  The patient of the week, a generally nice guy who may be nice because he’s sick, really wasn’t the star of the episode.  In fact, it was the possibility that House had syphilis and that the disease was what accounted for his less than pleasant demeanor.  Moreover was the deeper question: if the clap causes his demeanor, but the demeanor makes him the doctor he is, do we cure the disease?  The debate was cut short when House revealed to Wilson (who revealed to Amber who revealed to Kutner) that he did the old bait and switch.  This was rather predicable.  In fact, this was done before, when House was trying to cure a patient and made it seem like he was sick.  But while that served a higher purpose, this didn’t.  That normally wouldn’t matter, except there didn’t seem to be ANY purpose for this at all.  For all the back and forth, it didn’t do anything.  And that just took the air completely out of the episode.  It kept building and building, and that payoff was just too much of a let down.

One of the highlights were extended scenes with Cameron, Chase, and Foreman.  Since Christmas found old meeting knew, I’ve been hoping that we’d see more of the original group.  I was glad to see just that.  The allusion that House slept with Cameron was a bit unsettling though.  It was also good to see Foreman put in his place by the new trio, only to have House remind him that he’s still on his side (kinda).  But the problem with putting the old trio next to the new trio is the latter fails in the presence of the former.  Taub just did nothing the entire episode.  13 (31 cause she works both ways) is the exact character as Cameron.  The only person who had a good episode was Kutner.  To the surprise of all.

Final Grade: B