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'House' Season 7, Episode 1 (Season Premiere) Recap (VIDEO)

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 21st 2010 12:11AM
Lisa Edelstein and Hugh Laurie on ['House' - 'Now What?']

Every rabid 'House' fan has been twitching with nervous anticipation about House and Cuddy's relationship, which officially went from cold indifference to full-on bloom at the end of last season's wrap-up.

It's one of the more interesting relationships on television now because the two are almost professional rivals (he's the patient-saving miracle worker and she's the sensible hospital administrator) and 'House' isn't your typical romantic medical drama. The hero doesn't always get the girl in the end or even keep her, for that matter. Love is for chumps and hearts are things you stick in people to keep them alive. It's the anti-'Grey's Anatomy.'

Of course, even Dr. House, the man with the concrete blood pumper, has a soft spot for Cuddy, and now we get to watch TV's current reigning cantankerous curmudgeon try to (gasp!) trust another human being with his soul and emotions once again. It's like watching your little one learn how to ride a bike for the first time, only with less bruises, bleeding and bodily disfigurement.

The season premiere wastes no time picking up where it left off with the audience's collective jaw still dangling from their skulls as Cuddy confessed her love to House just as he's about to cave into his Vicodin demons. The opening scene is a virtual tunnel of erotic silence as Cuddy cares for House's wounds in a bit of twisted medical foreplay, like the pottery scene in 'Ghost' or the famous food fetish scene in '9 1/2 Weeks.' All you hear is the slow, methodical sounds of sexual tension slowly growing until Cuddy famously caresses House's badly damaged leg and kisses his haggard skin. If pressing your lips against shards of dead skin isn't true love, then ... well, you know the rest.

Of course, the next morning, the couple faces that all important question: "Now what?" Indeed.

Here is where the episode drags on a bit as Cuddy and House find ways to pass time while avoiding just about any contact with the outside world. Naturally, House is weary about letting his colleagues know that he and Cuddy are an item and it gets a little predictable because he's naturally wary of every human with a pulse, but the script finds a new way to deal with an old TV cliche.

After Robert breaks into the house (a funny scene in which House catches him stuck in his kitchen window at "sword-point"), he finally admits that he and Cuddy are together. But when she suddenly disappears from the screen leaving House in a state of bewildered shock, we are treated to the same emotion. Could it be that he had just been dreaming these wonderful tender moments as a form of subconscious expression? Was she really there or was it the drugs talking? It's a great curveball for every snooty viewer who thinks they know what's coming, myself included.

And anyone with a working set of neurons could have guessed that House would try to cut Cuddy loose because of the demons he still faces, but the reaction was an interesting surprise. Things could still go downhill, but House's willingness to at least try to make things work show he's grown as a character and a person. Moments like that are the reason why we watch shows for so long because we want to see the characters grow just like the rest of us have to. It gives us another reason to stay connected to them.

The premiere also found an interesting way to segue into the medical mystery of the week as the hospital's only remaining neurosurgeon has to overcome an illness in order to keep the ER from losing its medical status. The condition isn't as serious or even life-threatening as most of the illnesses or conditions that saunter through the hospital's halls. However, it still offered an interesting conclusion that had me running to the Internet to look it up, and guest star George Wyner -- who will forever be burned into my memory as 'Fletch's' alimony hunting attorney and Colonel Sandurz from 'Spaceballs,' even though his acting resume goes to a much deeper caliber -- does a nice job of playing a stoned neurosurgeon.

It's an ambitious start to what's sure to be an interesting and enthralling season and these days, you can't ask for more than that from a major network show. Well, you could, but all you'd get is derisive laughter and a TV executive's door slammed in your face.

'House' airs Mondays at 8PM ET on Fox.

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What a pay off for Huddy fans, for the first forty minutes it was everything Greg(can not call him House anymore) should be loving,tender,shy,compassionate,strong,sexy,playful etc. then much needed levity with the arrival of Wilson,I expected him to be scared at the end but Cuddy came to the rescue. I loved every moment.

September 22 2010 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked it. A Matt Salinger sighting! (I love Matt Salinger and don't understand why he hasn't had a bigger career).The scenes between House and Cuddy felt more like you were watching a play than your usual tv episode. Last season, I thought they really shot their wad on the spectacular premiere. I'm not getting that feeling after last night. Yes, it was lower key, which I'm sure some fans didn't care for, but as the old cliche goes, slow and steady wins the race. They're taking this somewhere.

September 21 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jeez, so after all this time "House" has turned into a run-of-the-mill daytime soap opera. It was absolutely agonizing to watch House play house with Cuddy as if they were teens playing hooky. The only thing lacking was vampire teeth. Pathetic.

And then we've got Chase trying to lay Remy before she runs off to mysterious nowhere. Seriously, this is a disgusting waste of effort for this franchise. You guys can watch "One Life to Live" and its ilk if you want saccharin romance, but that's not the House I've ... oh forget it, it's just one more example of a network screwing faithful viewers under the guise of growing the characters, BS!!

September 21 2010 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So is 13 off the show for good now? Her leaving the show was much less dramatic than Kal Pen's departure last year.

September 21 2010 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sid's comment

no she's not gone for good, just filming a movie. probably why they didnt have her kill herself

September 21 2010 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The uber-tender romance novel beginning left me wondering if I was going to end up turning the channel. (I'm all for House and Cuddy establishing a relationship, just didn't fit well with the way the show usually runs)
I was happy to see after the title sequence that things went back to a more normal repartee between the characters .
If it stays that way (which from previews of the season suggest it will,)It should be interesting to see how the relationship flows with the show's theme.

The possible hallucination of the Cuddy relationship did make me wonder for a brief second, and that would have been extremely sad for the character , throwing the whole show into more depressing episodes (not unlike the psych ward episodes)
Totally out of character for Cuddy, a type A individual , to allow House to convince her to ignore the hospital completely for a day.Is she self medicating or something!?!

I loved and hated the "psychedelic frog eggs" poisoning. I thought it was hilarious, the reaction the neurosurgeon had to both the meds and the actual poisoning, but really? They just happened to have a "controversial new med" in their back pocket? (yeah I know 13 dabbles, but it just didn't fit right)

The wrap of the scene with the official deciding the fate of the hospital seemed to be rushed and false. I know they had to wrap it up, but making him state how he would treat a medical problem while touching his nose was lame.

Yay! 13 leaving can't be a bad thing. Now maybe they can find a female character that fits the show better. Cameron, worked even though she was so black and white in her views. But it would be nice to have someone on the show who could be a foil to House while not heading off in some extreme direction.

I think it was actually a good idea to flash a bunch of previews of future episodes, after the season premiere was done. Many probably would stop dvr'ing the show if they thought it was going to continue in the lovey-dovey romance venue. The previews suggest all is not perfect in paradise and we are in for some interesting story lines.

September 21 2010 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll always remember George Wyner as Irwin, the much maligned DA on Hill Street Blues. Boy, did Joyce Davenport put tire marks on his back!

September 21 2010 at 7:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not the strongest premiere. In fact, I kinda felt like I went from "Now what?" to "That's it?"

September 21 2010 at 1:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the episode and it was great seeing the romantic side of House that we know exists. Like last year when he spent a season being clean, hopefully this year he tries his hand at a relationship with the woman he has been pining after. On so many levels, they are made for each other.Can't wait to see where this takes us.

September 21 2010 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

New title sequence. Only took them like six years.

September 21 2010 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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