House is a series that likes temporary mini-arcs. It never does a full-season arc; it never has an arc that really changes anything, since there's always a magic reset button at the end; and it's always about House himself, with the other characters rarely getting the fleshing out they probably deserve.
Season three has been no different. Probably the best so far, with Hugh Laurie now very comfortable in his role and even mellowing a little, it's been even more House-centric than usual. The highlight was the David Morse storyline, which was excellent but let down by a cop-out ending, unfortunately.
But the subsequent Foreman arc and finale show signs that the producers want to move things on a little. Since we aim to have spoiler-free reviews here for the benefit of UK viewers, I won't mention all the intricacies of the plot, only say that the little birds under House's not-so-tender gaze are feeling restless. Cutty and Wilson get their usual minor “Oh House!” moments, like principals in some rubbish 80s high school sitcom. But everyone else seems to be getting pushier and pushier to good effect.
The show ends on a cliffhanger of sorts - a cliffhanger only if you believe a magic reset button isn't being sent by parcel post to a certain New Jersey hospital right now – so be wary. But it's not the earth-shattering ending that season two promised, and with House warming up, it's likely that you'll leave it feeling optimistic, rather than trepidatious.
- May 15, 2009: Season finale: House (season five)
A review of the fifth season of House, including the season finale