This review of House
's newest episode, "After Hours" (airing Monday at 8pm on FOX), almost
didn't happen. The first time I tried to watch an early copy of the
episode, I had to turn it off half-way through. It includes a scene so
incredibly disgusting and disturbing that it made me physically ill and I
had to turn it off or risk extreme nausea.
But I settled my stomach, went back for a second viewing (this time
fully prepared for the horror to come) and it was definitely worth it,
because this is one of the most important episodes of House
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"After Hours" is another one of the show's brilliant departures from the conventional structure of the series, telling the stories of the doctors during their nighttime lives outside of the hospital. The episode unfolds with three different stories. In the first, one of Thirteen's prison buddies shows up with a medical emergency and Thirteen enlists Chase to help her deal with it. In the second, Taub and Foreman spend a night at a strip club when Taub receives some life-changing news. In the third, House learns that the experimental drug to regenerate his leg muscles he's been secretly taking killed the lab rats it was being tested on.
It's this final story that helps House
reach new levels of gore and personal insight. I won't reveal the exact nature of the disgusting scene in question (but you should be sure to watch the episode with a pillow so you can bury your head in it when it gets too graphic). However, House's journey in this episode reaches a pivotal moment of clarity.