This week on House
's season eight premiere has the show's namesake trading scrubs for a prisoner's uniform. While feeling at times too reliant on setting rather than character and plot for tension, it never lapses into jumping the shark. Yeah white supremacists gratuitously show off swastika tattoos, but the medical detective work, struggles with authority and introduction of new regular character Dr. Jessica Adams (played by Odette Annable) make for a well-executed first episode. Parole With The Punches
It's been one year since House was jailed for mistaking Cuddy's home for a highway and he's now up for parole. Still prescribed Vicodin, House exchanges painkillers for protection with the facilities' local gang of Aryan enthusiasts. Now with only five days left to hassle him the gang demands twenty pills before he walks or else they'll surgically implant a foot in House's face.
Prison: The New Great Place to Meet Women
Threats of being operated on with a shiv don't deter House showing the prison doctors he's a better physician behind bars than they could ever hope to be free. This attracts Dr. Adams' attention who all but hands him a lab coat every time he sets foot in the clinic. Diagnosis for her character: acute potential rebound girl syndrome.
Some Kind of New Work-Release Program?
It's through her House receives his "Get Out of Jail Free" card. Adams proves an ethical and upstanding person by providing a known drug - addicted prisoner with twenty pills of Vicodin. He promptly takes these pills the head of the prison gang and does the only logical thing: inciting a riot by tossing them all up in the air.
Picture a pinata at a little kid's party breaking open only instead of having candy inside it there's drugs, and instead of little kids trying to scoop up everything there's grown men with spoons turned into knives. It's implied that the gang leader dies in the melee which I'll assume is exactly what House planned. It's not this that gets him sent to solitary confinement for months, but rather treating a patient after he was told not to.
Curiouser and Curiouser ... But Still Not Lupus
Not surprisingly though House isn't going to be in jail much longer. Teaser for the next episode has him back at the old hospital, a pair of lungs in a box, Wilson sternly telling House "we're not friends anymore," and a new female team member.
God, with that combination it looks like they got David Lynch as guest director or something. Which raises the question: is House relying too much on novelty value and not enough on its tried and true formulas anymore? Or is all this experimentation taking the show in new and wonderful directions? What do you guys think?
(Image courtesy of FOX)