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House Review: "After Hours"

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Gregory House is a braver man than I am. Or perhaps he's just a crazier man. Or a more desperate man.

No matter how one classifies it, House took rule-breaking to an extreme level on "After Hours," although this time the only life he risked was his own. What a brilliant, pained performance by Hugh Laurie, who made viewers feel every ounce of agony his character suffered through while performing surgery on himself.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Helping House

The concluding scene with Wilson lending his friend a shoulder to walk on reminded me of an exchange from seasons ago.

On the balcony outside his office, soon after House broke things off with Stacy, Wilson screamed that his pal's problem is that he wants to be unhappy. He believes that being unhappy makes one special, but Wilson had a message for House:

It doesn't. It just makes one unhappy.

This has been House's struggle for many seasons now. He uses his leg as an excuse for his outlook on life. That's why his actions with the experimental drug actually represented a major shift for the man: following his split from Huddy, which was blamed on House's less-than-sunny disposition, he actually wants to change. He wants to be happy.

Of course, he has no idea how to do that. There are plenty of positive, handicapped people out there. Fixing his leg won't fix what is actually wrong with House, something he seemed to acknowledge when Wilson helped him limp to the bathroom to close the episode. What will this mean for House?

It's unclear, as the series has struggled for years with how to evolve its title character. Change him too much and there's practically no show; leave him how he is, and there's a lack of progress that fans have seemingly sensed more this season (due to the Huddy debacle) than ever before. With 2011-2012 confirmed at the show's final season, it will be interesting to see how things are left on next Monday's finale.

Elsewhere:

  • I love the idea of Taub as a father. There's a lot of material to work with there. But I wish the episode didn't resort to the cliche of a near-death experience causing him to re-evaluate his original stance on the issue.
  • Solid job of bringing Chase's euthanasia decision back. It drove Cameron away, but it brings him closer to Thirteen here. These two haven't even hooked up yet and I'm already more interested in them than I ever was with Thirteen and Foreman.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (90 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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The show did such a great job completely undoing all the character development this season that I hardly care anymore. House is back where he was in the first episode. All the other characters are just as miserable as House, and we know that Cuddy is leaving the show (most likely without a proper farewell). Taub having a kid with some random chick he slept with is a stupid random plotline. The writers are all over the map with his character. Is he with his wife again? Some random girl he shouldn't realistically be able to get? Do we care? No.

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@mur
I don't really remember that particular scene but are you saying that Taub never wanted kids?
Either way it's a completely different situation since that pregnancy was not planned.

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I'll say just this one thing: CHASEEN now

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@eva_fo Chase and Thirteen actually grew fairly close during the tail end of Season 6 (friends, confidants, light flirting). Granted, the prison sentence put their friendship on hold for a year, but it's not exactly like they had no prior connection to build upon. Shohreh Aghdashloo is playing the POTW for next week's episode. Amy Landecker played Darien.

Evafo

*whoever is the actress who played Darrien was good..error! :)

Evafo

Hugh Laurie's self-surgery scene-deserves an EMMY! This whole episode showed the House's struggle throughout in one hour. It was epic. When Wilson tells him that he needs to change, that was the pivot for the next and final season's plotlines. Season 8 will be about House's redemption. I love this episode, it's full of depth. It's a good way to look forward to next season. And since Lisa Edelstein will not be coming back next season, I hope she make a reappearance for a final closure with House's character. The whole cast did a tremendous job portraying their characters. Thirteen and Chase and the whole euthanasia thing. They haven't really bonded at all. Foreman and Taub and the latter's decision of being a father. Shohreh Aghdashloo as Darrien-deserve an award! Cheers to the upcoming final season of House MD!

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This was one of the best episodes of "House" I have ever seen. I have watched ALL the episodes of this show. Some people deserve an award for the acting. Hope it gets noticed this time.

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Oh. My. God. What an episode!!! Loved the review too, Matt. I came running to your site to see what you made of it. I'm so not squeamish! I can stand any gore a tv show or movie throws my way; but watching that surgery scene...I almost passed out. AMAZING acting by Hugh Laurie... Can't believe it's only gonna go for one more season! He needs to win an emmy before it's all said n done.....just epic all around :)

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Didn't Taub discuss with his ex-wife the possibility of them having kids, and she asked if he had resented her for years for not having kids. Apparently he just forgot..or having a kid with a stranger is different than with your wife of 20-+ years.

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"This can't go on... I know" Was the most important line of the episode. House has to change or die; he's that far gone into the realms of madness. Cuddy is not his answer, but the child may be part of the answer. Chase and 13 can also help each other as they explore their own limits of "being human." And Taub also acknowledged he wants to expand himself into fatherhood. Foreman reamains Foreman, maybe he is like the "control" in an experiment, he had his moment when he had the brain surgery years ago and seems satisfied as he is. One more season for these characters to come into their own and for House to chose to live fully or die bitterly.

House Season 7 Episode 22 Quotes

House: There are no cars coming. Just go.
Rachel: The light is red, ye bloody scallywag.
Dr. Cuddy: Stop with the pirate talk.
House: If you don't want Brownbeard to end up with two wooden legs, better get your ma to move this ship, you mangy bilge rat.
Dr. Cuddy: Of course... you showed her that filthy cartoon. What kind of idiot lets a three-year-old watch that?
House: If you want to lecture me on my poor judgment, there seems to be more relevant examples.

Darrien: I told you I couldn't go back. I shouldn't have trusted you. I never liked you. I killed time with you 'cause I was locked in a cage. You were a distraction. Someone to talk to so I didn't have to think about... everything else.
Thirteen: You're lashing out... I get it. But in a month, you'll thank. me Or maybe you won't, I don't know. But... I know I saved your life