House‘s season eight stumbles a bit after something of a hot streak of solid episodes, with “Perils of Paranoia” falling into the perils of clichéd screenwriting and increasingly familiar motifs from episodes of the past. Still, mediocre House is better than no House at all–check out our review after the jump!
- Writer: Thomas L. Moran
- Cast: Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Charlyne Yi, Odette Annable, Peter Jacobson, Jesse Spencer
Episode Title: “Perils of Paranoia”
A skilled attorney falls ill, landing in the care of House and his team. While attempting to diagnose him, Park and Adams discover a hidden chamber in his house filled with guns, causing the team to wonder whether or not his paranoia is natural or if it is a symptom. In the meantime, Foreman attempts to develop a social life, but runs into some difficulty when he hooks up with a woman who is already spoken for.
- More Foreman: This season has been kind to Foreman, giving him more opportunities to develop as a character. Too often, he’s been relegated to the role of the stoic, by-the-books side character. There’s much more to him than that, and while we can’t say that this episode provided us with huge revelations in regards to his character, motivations, etc,. it at least let him try to have a little bit of fun. For someone as addicted to work as he is, that alone is enough to spark some decent drama.
- House and Wilson: While their friendship is entirely implausible by this point (unless we just accept that Wilson is genuinely the most forgiving human being on the planet), the relationship between these two characters has always been an enjoyable element of the show. This week finds Wilson desperate to win yet another argument with House, and while he doesn’t entirely emerge victorious, he makes enough of an attempt for us to be entertained.
- Park: The women on this show aren’t always treated with the same degree of grace and interest as the men. Too often, they become caricatures and stereotypes. Park still hasn’t proven to us that she’s anything more than the writers’ attempts to incorporate a “quirky workaholic Asian” into the mix, and even though she spends this week’s episode exploring her own insecurities, she still does so through the lens of this stereotype she runs the risk of embodying.
- The case: As has been stated several times before in these reviews, the week-by-week cases that House and his team encounter were never what made this show great, and recently, they’ve been fairly stale in general, with a few minor exceptions. This week is not one of those exceptions. The case once again serves only to prompt discussion among the team about paranoia, gun ownership, and the dangers of unrealistic dialogue.
- Chase and Adams: Chase continues to flirt with Adams this week, once again reminding viewers that although “House” may be more interesting than most mainstream medical dramas, it can still fall prey to familiar routines. Attractive female doctor joins team, attractive male doctor notices…we can only imagine where this will lead. Hopefully, it doesn’t lead to the obvious, because obvious and predictable is boring, and “House” has distinguished itself by avoiding those qualities for the most part.
Not the best episode we’ve seen by a long shot, but not too shabby, either. It’s been a stellar eighth season so far, and while this episode doesn’t match the quality of some of the ones we’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s not enough to make us lose faith in the series. There is still a lot to praise.
“House” airs every Monday night on FOX!