'House' - 'Lockdown' Recap
by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 13th 2010 8:37AM
(S06E16) "I'm going to be dead in a few hours. Your secrets couldn't be safer, unless you're keeping them from yourself." - Nash to House
'House' entered into one of television's most overused cliches last night: the "randomly stuck together somewhere plot line." It's happened so many times that attempting to count all of them would require a NASA scientist, a team of fact checkers and one of those slick-looking slide rules that only a handful of people left in the universe know how to use.
This time, the team gets separated into different parts of the hospital during a lock down. Each has their own interesting stories to tell as they whittle away the hours, and each have varying degrees of success.
It all starts with a rather quiet and touching shot of a baby being brought into the world and her parents discussing possible names for their little bundle of joy. It's an out-of-the-ordinary opening for a show that regularly features a random stranger going through their motions of their life, only to have it interrupted by a seizure or profuse bleeding out of one or more of their bodily orifices.
The baby goes missing and the hospital is put on "Code 7" with various members of the team stuck in different parts of the hospital. And even though the whole episode relied on one of TV's most trusted plot devices to take the characters out of their element, the good outweighed the bad.
The most interesting, of course, is House, who gets stuck in a hospice room with Nash, played by David Strathairn, a patient dying from a heart condition that he tried to get House to treat. Frankly, the episode as a whole would have been more interesting and entertaining if they had just parked the camera in House's room.
Strathairn is a scary good dramatic actor and he brings great pathos to his clearly flawed character. Pair that with House's usual temperament and equally scary-good ability to read people and you've got a great little psychological stage play between two minds trying to read each other and bring out the other guy's emotions.
James and Hadley get held up in the hospital cafeteria and resort to a classic childish round of "Truth or Dare" to pass the time. It's a rather sloppy way of getting into each other's psyches but it leads to some funny moments when Robert tries to steal a dollar from the cash register and Hadley flashes Taub later on in the episode.
It also helped Robert open up on his relationship with House and how Robert is using him as a crutch in his own life. Plus, I could never get sick of hearing Thirteen confirm her bisexuality all over again. I know, I'm sick. I need help.
Taub and Foreman's drug experiment in the records room just felt like an excuse to have a "Cheech and Chong" moment in an otherwise serious episode, with a little self-discovery tacked on at the last minute. It opened some history about the characters, but it just felt so weird and irresponsible that their actions leading to it made the whole moment out of place.
The low point of the evening was Chase's plot and inevitable pseudo-reconciliation with his soon-to-be-ex-wife. Sure it had a few touching moments, but it started on a transparent, melodramatic roller coaster of emotions and ended, naturally, in sex, the way it never does in the real world. Frankly, Chase's plot couldn't have been more predictable if it were running on a train track.