House finally returns with a stellar guest star, Dave Matthews, and the promise of a major revelation concerning everybody’s favorite crotchety doctor. Dave Matthews was fantastic as a musical savant who falls ill and into House’s care. Matthews’ brought a subtle, physically nuanced performance that showed that music wasn’t his only area of mastery. Oh, and guest star Kurtwood Smith wasn’t too shabby either as Matthew’s dad. Now, the big question on everybody’s mind… what is the big secret that House is hiding?
Surprisingly, the secret comes out quite early: House has brain cancer. Worse yet, he has been given six months to live and is on his way to Boston for treatment. Not treatment that will save him though, a treatment to implant a potent anti-depressant directly into his ailing brain. Its shocking and difficult to grasp for sure. Is House now resorting to the over used ‘death of a major’ character device, except this time with a definitive death sentence? Should we be suspect of the fact that this revelation has been made so early? You bet!
But before we get to that, let’s get back to Dave Matthews. His character is a musical savant with the mental development of a four year old. He spends his time on tour playing to packed Houses. When he begins to miss notes, his father suspects something is seriously wrong, and sure enough he collapses on stage.
When House’s crew catches wind of his trip to Boston, they find out by accident that he has cancer and launch into an all out effort to confirm the diagnoses and do their best to help House, who is resisting every step of the way. Cameron goes as far as to make out with House in an attempt to snag some blood! It doesn’t work, of course, and the wily doc continues to evade attempts to rescue him.
Our savant fairs well, as is expected, but at the cost of his musical abilities. House determines that the right side of his brain has died and without it the kid has a chance of starting to actually progress in his development, but his musical talent will be gone. A tough decision is made, and it all seems to work out for the best when the simple act of buttoning his own shirt brings a delighted grin to the young mans face.
Meanwhile, House’s entourage makes a break through. Turns out it isn’t cancer after-all, it’s syphilis. They rush to tell House the good news, but it turns out he isn’t pleased. The blood sample wasn’t even his. He doesn’t have cancer at all, he faked it so he could get the drugs. After finding out, Wilson admonishes House for taking such drastic measures to address his depression when it is so clear he has so many people that care about him.
The rouse was effective and proved as much a relief as an effective attempt at building pity for the gruff MD. Definitely a fitting payoff for House’s short, but not short enough, hiatus.
– Jon Lachonis, a BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)