The penultimate episode of season seven of “House” was bound to offer up a heaping serving of melodrama, and as we expected, it delivered in that promise. Thankfully, the melodrama was worth it, was we got enough necessary characters developments to justify the fact that this show is rarely realistic anymore. Read our review to see how we felt…

The Players:

  • Director: Miguel Sapochnik
  • Cast: Hugh Laurie, Olivia Wilde, Lisa Edelstein, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Omar Epps

Episode Title: “After Hours”

A friend from prison visits Thirteen suffering from a severe stab wound. Thirteen seeks the aid of Chase; they clash when he suggests that they bring their patient to the hospital for proper treatment. In the meantime, House delivers some severely improper treatment to himself when he discovers that the experimental medicinde for his leg has given him small tumors; his irresponsibility leads to an awkward reunion with Cuddy. Taub’s life becomes even more complicated when one of the nurses he has been sleeping with becomes pregnant.

The Good:

  • Cuddy’s Kid: Bringing out the cute kid is one of the oldest tricks in the book in regards to scoring an audience’s sympathies, but damn, Rachel Cuddy is one loveable bundle of one-liners. Granted, she doesn’t exactly reach beyond the realm of “sweet little kid who is slightly too insightful,” but hey, sometimes that isn’t exactly necessary.
  • Chase and Thirteen: Earlier this season, we expressed disappointment with the way in which Chase’s character has developed. Having recently dealt with some fairly heavy personal issues–divorce, severe guilt–it was a let-down to see him reverting to little more than the charming Aussie who chases sex. Thankfully, towards the end of this episode, he finds a kindred spirit in Thirteen, who has also been forced to deal with similar issues. Maybe it won’t go anywhere too interesting, but we can hope, can’t we?
  • House faces the facts: We watch “House” not because the medical mysteries are all that interesting–that aspect of the show lost its novelty a while ago–but because we want to see House get better, even though he can only do so in frustratingly small increments. Sure, he has taken too many steps backwards in recent episodes, but at the end of this week’s episode, he is at least willing to admit that something in his attitude and outlook needs to change if he is ever going to get better again. Well, it’s certainly a start.

The So-So:

  • Taub: Taub’s character arc in this episode is engaging, but it might have worked better if it had been stretched out over the course of two or three episodes. He comes to a fairly major conclusion about his life a little too quickly, and it is only because a hard-to-believe moment of dramatic tension comes out of nowhere. This seems like the kind of subplot that was squeezed a little too haphazardly into the episode. Not a major complaint, as we’re happy with the way things turned out, but it felt a little rushed.
  • House’s surgery: Yeah, we get it, House is wild and reckless and willing to do anything that will allow FOX to promise a “shocking episode.” But there’s a line between “shocking” and “unrealistic,” and early in this episode, we’d argue that they might have crossed that line.

The Bad:

  • Another hallucination: Goodness, hallucinations are so commonplace in “House” that we could write off the entire show as a dream and we might not be incorrect. Sure, it serves an important dramatic purpose in this week’s episode, but the gimmick is getting old.


What goes wrong in this episode is more than made up for by what goes right. Sure, it isn’t always believable, but for the most part, last night’s episode was dramatic, emotional, and overall, effective. We turned off the TV feeling satisfied with what we saw and itching to find out what happens during next week’s season finale. Mission accomplished, FOX.

Rating: 8.5/10

“House” airs every Monday night on FOX!

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