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
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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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Wow what a gut wrenching epi. I just love that little girl of Cutty's. I was worried about all the driving scene's;)

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Yesssssss. They are finally letting Lourie act again instead of mumble his way thru the part. Someone start polishing an emmy.

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House performing surgery on his own leg was one of the most awsomely toe-curling pieces of TV I have ever seen. I'm not squeamish and I was breathless with horror. Brilliant!

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You mention Chase's euthanasia decision, but I remember it as more of an execution. He let a dictator die because he saved other people by not saving him. Yes, I'm glad you brought that up. It was a nice way to end this very stressful episode.

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Martha,
If you look at the tags, it clearly says review, NOT spoilers!
I live in the UK and I like tv fanatic because I can read whats happening in episodes that I would otherwise have to wait and see what happens. For example smallville and supernatural the series tv fanatic has been reviewing, they have not even started airing in the UK and smallville has ended in the USA.
I have friends in the USA that watch the same shows as me and thanks to tv fanatic, I can know what my friends are talking about.
So I thank tv fanatic for posting reviews and information!

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This is my favorite episode this season. I agree, great job by Hugh Laurie during the surgery scene. The writing was also quite good. It was totally believable House would be reckless enough to take an experimental muscle mass drug, then try to deal with the consequences himself. I also enjoyed the other plots. I wasn't bothered by how Taub came to his realization he wants to keep the baby. It wasn't really a near-death experience, just a very scary moment. Those will put things in perspective every time. And I am also enjoying the relationship between Chase and 13, but I hope they don't hook up. That would be a boring cliche, if you ask me. Seems to me 13 really needs a friend right now.

Matt-richenthal

@Martha: I'm not sure what you're referring to with my intention to get "press." This is a review of the episode "After Hours." It has nothing to do with the season finale.
Return next week and I'll cover that episode.

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We've SEEN this episode, and I realise you're trying to get this to press for tomorrows readers, but I want to know WHAT THE HELL is going to happen in the FINALE? Why would Cuddy ask the police to keep House away from her?? Something serious has happened in front of her home, and it alludes to House wrecking his car there. What the heck?? Brief snippets in the promo show a gun clip with some very nasty ordinance in it, not your average bullets. IS there ANY scoop on this from ANY source?

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I think this is my new favorite episode of House. Ever. Jolly good stuff.

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

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