In the US: Third season, Tuesdays, Fox, 8/7c
In the UK: Repeats on Hallmark/Five at the moment. Third season January (probably)
Characters re-cast: 0
Major characters gotten rid of: 0
Major new characters: 0
Format change percentage: 10%
He's back. God bless Fox and their decision to bring all their shows back in August and September. Gregory House is back with us again. The regulars are all back, too. But there is one big change from last year. Can you tell what it is yet?
Yes, I'm not spoiling things too much by telling you that House MD can walk again. Not just walk, but run and skateboard, all thanks to that keratin coma he got put into at the end of last season. After a summer of recuperation, he's back, a changed man – and not just physically.
House is almost happy, you see. He talks to patients and they like him. He takes on a couple of moderately uninteresting cases purely to help the patients. He even asks Cameron out on a date. Has the grumpy doc we knew and loved disappeared forever?
No, no, no. I won't spoil things for you, UK viewers. You'll just have to wait and see.
While House's return to full mobility is the main thrust to the episode, we have the trivial matter of diseases to cure as well. A yoga student who's paralysed from the neck downwards but doesn't have a damaged spine is the first case; while a nearly paralysed man in a wheelchair seemingly tries to kill himself by driving his chair into a swimming pool. Will House be able to cure them? Or will his brilliance have disappeared down the toilet with those Vicodin capsules he doesn't need any more? Can they even be cured, or has House's God complex struck again?
I have to say, this was an absolutely cracking episode. Everything long-time fans love about the show is still in place: the medical cases are as interesting; there are no big changes in format to ruin the show; and the characters are the same, except adapting to House's change of circumstances.
It is perhaps this latter adjustment that is the most interesting part of the episode. Now House is seemingly fully functional, there's a sub-conscious shift in everyone's attitudes. They no longer give House as much slack, now he's not “disabled”. It's a subtle change and it'll be interesting to see where the show goes with it.
Anyway, a big thumbs up from me. Relax in the knowledge that House can be a dependable part of your viewing diary once season three rolls round to Hallmark or Five.
- May 15, 2009: Season finale: House (season five)
A review of the fifth season of House, including the season finale