'House' Review: The Most Disgusting Episode Ever
'House' Review: The Most Disgusting Episode Ever
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
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 ever.

"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.

Ever since breaking up with Cuddy, House has been on a dangerous road of self-destruction, but nothing that he's ever done compares to this episode. In the past he's been in trouble with the law, hallucinated and lied about having cancer, but what he does in "After Hours" is worse than all of them combined.

The payoff, however, makes it all worth it, as House sets up an exciting season finale that could feature some big changes. This episode is necessary to the larger story of Dr. House, so I'm willing to forgive the intense and graphic scene that will forever haunt my nightmares. It might sound like I'm exaggerating just how disturbing this scene is, but trust me, I'm not and you're better off going into the episode knowing that something truly nasty is going to happen.

While Hugh Laurie's intense performance helps make this episode one that fans will never forget, it's actually another character who steals the show: Cuddy's precocious daughter Rachel. Even the most cynical of people will have their hearts melt at her scenes.

"After Hours" is easily the hardest episode of House to get through simply because of the graphic nature of one scene, but that also makes it one of the best. This episode is the culmination of a season's worth of House and Cuddy drama and it's unlikely that the show or the character will ever be the same again.

Watch three clips from the three stories in "After Hours."

House airs Monday at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)