House: Dying Changes Everything (season premiere)
(S05E01) "This is Dr. House. He's too brilliant for introductions." -- Thirteen to House's patient of the week
Another season of House, another patient with a mysterious ailment. If there is one thing that has not changed in the five seasons that this medical procedural has aired it is the fact that someone is going to enter Princeton-Plainsboro with an illness that can't be determined until the very last minute. It's why House is still on the air. Well, there's that, and then there's the fact that Hugh Laurie is a damn fine actor. Oh, and the others on the show don't do so badly themselves.
So, what can one viewer look forward to for this new season? If you think same-old, same-old then you would be absolutely, totally....incorrect. Because things are a-changing in Greg House's universe -- actually have been changing since the death of Amber in last season's finale -- that he can't, or won't, stop. The result? Well, I would be writing my own death sentence if I revealed it to you here. So, come and join me for a recap of this week's episode.
First off, the cantankerous Dr. House. I've been watching some of the earlier season episodes now that they're airing weeknights on USA and it looks like Greg has gotten grumpier over the years. This time, though, he was downright moody. For good reason, though...he feels guilty that he caused Amber's death. Okay, he doesn't say that until the middle of the episode, but you could certainly see it in the way he confronted Wilson after he returned after a two-month hiatus.
Their reunion was definitely not something you would have seen on an episode of 7th Heaven. For the most part, House picked up right where he had left off before Amber's death. It was pretty clear at this point that Greg wasn't letting his true feelings be known. Granted, he's a cynical realist most times, but even he had to feel some sympathy, some guilt, for her death. But, nothing of the sort came out of House's mouth. In the meantime, what came out of Wilson's mouth was that he was leaving Princeton-Plainsboro.
From an initial look it would have seemed that Wilson was getting away from the hospital because it reminded him so much of Amber. And, that's what most of his associates thought as well. Even Cameron believed the same thing. Since she had also lost a loved one many years ago, she took it upon herself to let him know that the pain eventually would go away and it would be best for him to stay. House also tried to convince Wilson that it was the wrong move in his slightly less comforting way.
Thing is, Wilson wasn't leaving because of that. Nor was he leaving because he blamed House for Amber's death. He tried to, but the medical records didn't prove it. He was leaving because he was tired of House. Yes, tired of his best friend's binges and mocking and fighting and...everything! It seems that Amber had given Wilson something upon her death: a pair. As he left he said one thing to House that probably even punctured that thick armor he calls skin -- 'We're not friends anymore.'
Wow. House actually opened himself up for one brief moment and he got that news slammed down his throat. It's not that he didn't deserve it -- I mean, he is a bastard (he even has said that about himself) -- it just took place at a pretty vulnerable moment for Greg. Then again, it probably made it all more powerful for both him and the viewing audience. House isn't giving up, though, as seen from next week's coming attractions.
Let's move on to House's team, who still don't have their names in the opening credits. They've run into a bit of a predicament diagnosing this week's patient. See, House was so upset about Wilson leaving, and so intent in keeping him at the hospital, he told him he would leave Princeton-Plainsboro and not pick up his pager until his friend came to his senses. So, with no guiding light (or, as Taub said to Thirteen, their training wheels) to move the diagnosis along they were stuck as to how to treat the 37-year-old executive assistant whose heart was failing. This seemed strange to me, since most of these folks were in the same predicament last season. In the episode 'Whatever It Takes', House was away from the hospital treating a CIA operative. While he was out, Foreman took the reins and worked to diagnose the patient. This time, though, Foreman didn't seem to have that same handle as he did last season. Simply put, the team was rudderless.
This didn't stop them from coming up with an eventual diagnosis after a bit of trial and error. They even pulled a bit of chicanery that House would have been proud of (but wouldn't admit) when they performed a biopsy on an abnormal growth of nerves after Chase said no to another surgery. Their final diagnosis: lymphoma. And, with a bit of chemotherapy the patient seemed to be getting better. However, in came House with the correct diagnosis: diffused leprosy. The pretty type -- it clears up you skin. I found this to be a weird coincidence because I saw an episode from an earlier season of House last week where the diagnosis was leprosy.
Now, while it may seem that House was the focus of this episode, he was only in the first half. The rest of the episode focused on Thirteen. Now two months into her Huntington's Disease diagnosis she has become a crusader in the fight to live to one's potential before their death. This is what Thirteen did this week, particularly with her patient. Not only was she adamant with House and Chase she was also pretty determined to get her patient to change her life as well. It seemed to work, at first. But, as the patient got better she decided that she wanted to continue being treated as a flunky rather than living for herself.
All in all, it was a good episode to begin the fifth season of House, even though it was a tad dull. The schism between House and Wilson is a nice way to slightly shake up the status quo in a season that looks to be one of character development rather than one of revamp like last season. With Thirteen now living on borrowed time a new angle is given to her character. Hopefully, we'll get to see some more fleshing out of Taub and Kutner as the season progresses.
That's it for this week's episode. Tune in next week when House tried to get back into Wilson's good graces.
|Good. Nice continuation of the Amber issue||639 (57.9%)|
|Okay. A bit slow in places, but good nonetheless||404 (36.6%)|
|Bad. Not a good start to the season.||60 (5.4%)|