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House season four episode reviews


Season 4, Episode 1. "Alone" What is (frequently) the best show on TV in any given week, returns to TV with one of the best ever episodes. On the surface it's about Greg House trying to work alone, without the team he lost last season. A lot of time is also given to the 'kidnapping' of his guitar, as well as another baffling medical case for the Sherlock Holmes of medicine. The whole point is: Can you just replace one person with another? Will it make any difference? The final twist in the story is a real kick in the gut. Very sad ending, very good first episode.

Season 4, Episode 2. "The Right Stuff" Words fail me.  How could House get any better?  When it's already perfect, why would they tinker with it?  Yet, tinker they did and... better it has gotten.  House spends this episode with approximately 20 new team members.  The sequence where they follow him through the hospital halls (a parody of the shot in the opening titles?) is simply hilarious.  All of the new characters are insantly likable, and several of the new cast (Olivia Wilde, Carmen Argenziano, Anne Dudek, Heather Fox, Edi Gathegi, Kal Penn, Peter Jacobson) are worthy of being added to the regular cast.  The case is as interesting as ever, and the only twist at the end is that House shows a softer side.  That is a twist.  Season 3 opened with some of the darkest stories ever.  The ending to many episodes was bleak, and the main arc from early last season highlighted the worst possible side of House's nature.  This year presents a different side to the character, and the show.  What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a creative team who are very very confident about their creation.  And, based on episodes like this, they have every right to be.  I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next week.

Season 4, Episode 3. "97 Seconds" This series continues to deliver perfection on a weekly basis. Three cases this week, two of them ending in needless deaths. And the doctor who managed to save the third patient... was fired for breaking the rules. That (obvious) twist was not representative of the incredible twists and turns in this episode. The show has a whole new slew of characters, a new dynamic, and the same old bleak tone. House goes to extreme measures to disprove the existance of Heaven. For no reason, really. Other than to be cruel to the dying, maybe? Meanwhile, Anne Dudek is stealing all the acting honours as conniving Amber. She's so my favourite new cast member right now. And considering the people they have brought onto the show, that is quite a compliment.

Season 4, Episode 4. "Guardian Angels" One of my favourite new regulars bites the dust in a good episode about a woman seeing ghosts. The reasoning behind House's dismissal of Henry made perfect sense and the two of them were in perfect sync right up to the end. I'll miss Henry, he brought a whole new dynamic to House's relationship with his team-members. Oh, and it's great to see Cameron back for several scenes. But my heart went out to Foreman as he realised nobody wants him. Because he's... too much like House.

Season 4, Episode 5. "Mirror, Mirror" A patient whose personality mirrors that of the person he's talking to? Brilliantly played by Frank Whaley (and not Woody Allen, heh heh) the character is used to give us fascinating insights into all the new regulars who've joined the cast this year. This means I now find Andy Comeau's character interesting for the first time. Even better, at episode's end, House fired none of them, so they all return next time. Which suits me fine, cos I love them all at this stage. And, on the subject of lovable regulars, it was fantastic to see Foreman back on the team and sparring with House. Missed him. Their final scene, where they walked off together, discussing the new team members, was absolutely brilliant.

Season 4, Episode 6. "Whatever It Takes" With two fascinating A-plots, there was enough material here for two seperate episodes. Or a two-hour episode. Man, it was good. This was the episode that pushed Andy Comeau's Brennan ahead of "cutthroat bitch" to be my favourite new character and then, in the closing the seconds, the show pulling a truly stunning twist ending. And he's gone. Bang! You're out! Meanwhile, the other A-plot ending up by... pulling a truly stunning twist ending. And we've a fascinating new regular character. For a show to make you go "Wow!" outloud at the end of the story is remarkable. To do it twice, within two minutes... Well, that's just showing off, that is.

Season 4, Episode 7. The a-story was called "Ugly" and it featured a disfigured boy. The b-story looked at House's inability to get past the good looks of his beautiful co-workers. When described it sounds gauche, yet the exection was flawless from start to finish and the result/juxtaposition made for another perfect episode of House.

Season 4, Episode 8. "You Don't Want to Know" Ever since his appearances as a magician on Night Stand, I've been a fan of Steve Valentine. And, to my delight, he pops up on House playing... a magician. (If he had shouted "Thank YOU!" to camera it would have been even more perfect. Man, I wish I'd kept my tapes of Night Stand. It was awesome. How can you not love a show that gives you angry black filmmaker Tupac Zemeckis?). Valentine's character, and his magic tricks, is brilliantly used to set up the common thread for all plotlines: "What's better? Knowing or not knowing?" Which comes to startling fruition when we finally get the Big Reveal about Number Thirteen and her secret. Giving Olivia Wilde a chance to prove her acting chops. Finally. Plus, when she drugged House and tied him up, I took notice of her properly for the first time. Majorly. She's no "Cutthroat Bitch" but she has potential.

And speaking of that particular lady, when the Fall Season of 2007 is remembered by future generations, will it be for the debut of Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who, Cavemen? Will it be remembered as the Season that started the long strike? Maybe it will be for the debut of "Cuthroat Bitch": the best regular House has ever had, and pretty much the best character on any show at the moment. Her every utterance in this episode was a delight. This character is a goldmine. Maybe TV's best new character since... Gregory House.

And how about the multiple twists in that ending? Seriously. I'm just so shocked by who eventually got fired. I did NOT see that coming.

Wow, what a show.

Season 4, Episode 9. "Games" This show has done arcs before. It has brought in new characters before. Used those characters in great storylines and then bid them adieu. It has done all of that before. But never, in four fantastic seasons, have they created such an amazing character as "Cuthroat Bitch". I can't believe she's gone. I really am heart-broken.

Season 4, Episode 10. "It's A Wonderful Lie" So, "Cutthroat Bitch" is gone. Sigh. But it's still a great show. This episode brings a mother and daughter to the hospital. Their relationship is based on complete honesty which - naturally - annoys House to a great degree and he sets out to undermine that honesty and find the lie that (he is sure) is at the centre of it all. As it turns out, it's a predictible lie but still a very good episode.

I miss "Cutthroat Bitch". Sigh.

Season 4, Episode 11. "Frozen" "Cutthroat Bitch" is back!! "Cutthroat Bitch" is back!! Wow. What an entrance. And what an episode! The most watched FOX scripted show in ten years? And well deserved. Mira Sorvino is sick at the South Pole and House has to diagnose/save her using a web-cam (and sleazy music). Why isn't Sorvino starring in her own show? A gritty cop show, or something? I'd so watch. Also: Kutner has overtaken everyone (except "Cutthroat Bitch" obviously) as my all-time second favourite House Duckling. His inappropriate responses and ability to stand up to House when it really matters are making him a bit of scene stealer. Who knew?

Season 4, Episode 12. "Don't Ever Change" "Cutthroat Bitch" only has a few scenes in this episode, but I loved every one of them. She's less CTB now, more Amber. She seems softer somehow. Nicer, maybe? But her confrontion scene with House, where they both end up with a gentle smile on their lips, is my favourite House scene in a long time. I hope the writers make a lot of use of Amber in future episodes. I hope she stays with Wilson and I hope she starts to work with House again, soon.

Kutner, meanwhile, continues to close the gap as my second favourite duckling. His comments on Star Trek were well-observed. I could relate to them. He's a really cool character. Actually, all the new characters are cooler than the old ones. It's great. (But I'm fond of the old ones, and I want them back, too.)

Season 4, Episode 13. "No More Mr. Nice Guy" I enjoyed this episode, but it does make me worry. How much of a cartoon can House become before it starts to suffer as a serious medical drama. This episode is driven by a story about a man that is... too nice. And, yes, it does make for some interesting character drama on everyone (especially House) and it gives the show a wonderful downbeat ending, but the sub-plot is also very silly (House and Amber fighting for custody of Wilson). So, all in all, there's lots of silliness in this episode. Too much?

Season 4, Episode 14. "Living The Dream" This episode is driven by a story about a man that is... kidnapped by House. Hmm. While it's good that the show is playing with it's own formula and so forth, I do despair a bit at the full throttle advance into cartoon-like stories. I mean, since when are daytime soaps filmed within driving distance of House's workplace? And what's with all this making fun of daytime soaps? I loved Santa Barbara back in the day, and it seemed like a top notch soap/drama to me. All that aside, it was a (typically) good story, with one superb guest star (Jason Lewis) and one wasted one (Rob Benedict). Oh, and a really hot one (Anne Dudek).

Season 4, Episode 15. "House's Head" A remarkable hour of television. The episode starts with a badly-shaken House, in the aftermath of a horrific bus crash, trying to remember the hours leading up the crash, convinced that he saw something vital to someone's survival. It's a clever concept for a story, and the show gets an A+ from me for that alone. But the execution of the story is beyond superb. Many sequences are filmed like a stage play. A bare stage, almost, with people appearing and disappearing randomly as we are privy to what goes on inside the mind of Gregory House.

It's not the first time the show has taken us inside House's head, but it's the first time we've seen things in such a jumbled mess in there. Plus there are the methods that House uses to get in contact with his lost memories: hypnosis at one stage, an drug overdose at another stage. Amazing television.

The episode has many highlights. The lapdance by Cuddy being one of them. It's a series highlight, never mind an episode highlight(!), and it's one of the sexiest things I've ever seen on TV. Truly, this is the stuff that fantasies are made of. Kudos to Greg House for having such a great fantasy life. I loved the scene for many, many reasons. Not only because Lisa Edelstein has such an amazing body (she has!) but because she knew exactly how to do the dance (those close ups on her mischevious stare being one of the best things about the whole scene). Why, oh why, aren't these two characters hooked up on the show?

Great to see Ivana Milicevic having such a substantial role. I've been a huge fan since her days on Mind of The Married Man. She was given nothing to do in the most recent James Bond film, so it was cool to see her here.

And then there were the final few minutes of the episode.

Gut-wrenching does not adequately describe the impact of finding out who was on the bus with House, or the horror of watching the bus crash for the first time and seeing his fruitless attempts to keep her safe. It was awful. Painful. I love this character so so much, not just the actress but also the amazing character she plays and what she can bring to the dynamic of this wonderful show. And I will be utterly heartbroken if they kill her off in the next episode...

Season 4, Episode 16. "Wilson's Heart" Oh, dear. What to say. After the (fantastic) first part there were only a couple of ways this could play out. And, in this case, "predictable" is not a measure of lack of quality. Quite the opposite, in fact, since this is a remarkable hour of television. It's just predictable in the sense that if they were going to kill (wonderful, wonderful) Amber off then there was only one way it could go. Really. So, as the episode unfolded and the realisation dawned, there was nothing to do but wait and watch and feel the heartbreak.

What I didn't predict was how well the writers used Amber's situation to tie up things with all the other characters. Something that wasn't apparent until the final minutes of the episode when we saw all of them going their seperate ways. At that stage I was pausing to think: "Wow, this is great storytelling."

Or maybe I just thought that afterwards when the credits had rolled and I wasn't feeling quite so sad.

Damn, they really killed her.

But what a way to go. What a significant episode. Integral to all of these great characters and their complex relationships. I can see now how they are setting up the House-Cuddy relationship. (About time, too!) And what a great way to kick-start the 13-Huntingtons storyline! And give us vital insights into the other newbies, and all the other goodness that evidently lies ahead.

So, we are guaranteed some greatness ahead because of this.

But, I'll really, really miss Amber...

Season 4, Episode 16. "Wilson's Heart" I watched it again with one of my best friends. It's such a great episode. "Is House Having An Affair With Amber?" is one of the running questions in the episode. Interesting. It reveals that we don't really trust Amber and her love for Wilson. Fair enough. It also reveals that we don't trust House. Which might be unusual for some shows, but not this show. He can be a pretty bad person sometimes. The question reveals that Wilson doesn't trust House (or Amber). He certainly asks a lot of questions about why they were together. Other team members suspect House, too. Most interesting, the question reveals that House doesn't trust House. The scene with Amber in his office (which was a dream, and therefore a visual representation of House's own thoughs) shows us how he doesn't know himself why they were together and also documents (in her words) what he thought of her. What he really thought of her. Very interesting stuff.

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