House” is winding down a dramatic season that has featured a lot of ups and downs for its various characters, and while this particular episode doesn’t exactly change the game too dramatically, it does end in a change for a character that we didn’t exactly expect. While there is reason to believe that this positive momentum won’t last, it did provide for a solid episode. Read our review to learn more…

The Players:

  • Director: Greg Yaitanes
  • Cast: Hugh Laurie, Olivia Wilde, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar epps, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Lisa Edelstein

Episode Title: “The Fix”

A weapons designer falls into the care of the Princeton-Plainsboro team after experiencing what appears to be a seizure after the successful test of one of her latest designs, and  her boyfriend insists that foul play must have been involved. While the team treats this female Tony Stark, House is has little time for the case. He’s splitting his time between trying to diagnose a struggling boxer whose poor performance in the ring resulted in House losing a bet to Wilson, and engaging in what appears to be heroin usage. Of course, nothing is ever that simple on this show.

The Good:

  • New developments: While it’s still as good as always, you could be forgiven for feeling a little disappointed in “House” these days. After several seasons of cynicism and uncompromising depressing, House was finally making progress. He quit using Vicodin, developed a strong relationship with Cuddy, and eased off on the whole “everyone lies because we’re all horrible human beings deep down” schtick. Of course, seeing as his misanthropic ways served as the basis of the show’s dramatic tension, the writers couldn’t let a good thing last for too long. He’s back to his old self, and while it certainly feels like we’ve been taking a few steps in the wrong direction recently, when he experiments with a new drug designed to promote muscle growth, House is allowed to experience something positive for a change. Who knows how long this good fortune will last–we hesitate to make any sort of guess–but while it’s here, we’re interested.
  • Bar Speech: As far as mainstream TV goes, “House” has always offered us above average writing. Sure, too often its characters speak less like real people and more like wannabe psychologists, but the series certainly presents viwers with deeper insights into human nature than “Grey’s Anatomy” is likely to provide. This is especially evident in this episode, when House delivers a drunken diatribe against a bartender who refuses to serve him another drink. He doesn’t make any groundbreaking statements, but he does have some relatively interesting things to say.

The So-So:

  • Wilson’s Win: There is a scene earlier in this episode that doesn’t quite work the way that it ought to. Upon winning a bet against House, Wilson dances into his office and demands the money he so rightly deserves. Sadly, unless he’s drunk–or, more likely, been drugged by House–dancing ain’t Wilson’s thing, and while Robert Sean Leonard, as always, gives himself fully to the performance, it ultimately feels like an attempt at levity that ends up missing the mark. Nice try at laughs, but the best this moment got out of us was an awkward chuckle.

The Bad:

  • Murderous Plots: By this point, we’re used to the subplots of “House” devolving into melodrama, but this one takes a turn away from medical drama and into “Law & Order” land that it doesn’t quite earn. The plot shift comes out of nowhere and the explanation isn’t convincing.

Overall:

While the actual case itself leaves something to be desired–but then again, the novelty of these subplots has worn itself out–the developments in House’s character are enough to redeem this episode. In a season which has featured its fair share of shocking developments, this doesn’t push the envelope too far, but we like the direction it takes towards the end.

Rating: 7.5/10

House” airs every Monday night on FOX!

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