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"House" Recap: Episode 3, "97 Seconds"

"House" Recap: Episode 3, "97 Seconds"

What a strange episode of "House" this week, huh? It was one that broke down all the normal rules of the show: There were three medical cases instead of the usual one; House took a much more dramatic step than usual in an attempt to solve one of them; and not everything worked out well in the end. To talk more about the episode, just

I suppose "House" fans who worried about the show getting stuck in a one-patient, one-diagnosis rut should take heart in last night's episode, which had a lot going on. We had House playing games with his 10 remaining fellowship candidates, splitting them up by gender ("if your sex organs dangle, you're a Confederate") and putting them on the case of a man with a chronic muscular condition that seemed to suddenly be getting worse. House himself took on a second patient, who attempted to electrocute himself by sticking a knife in a light socket, later claiming he saw magical things while unconscious. And Foreman turned up at his new hospital, working on a case suspiciously similar to the one where he killed the woman last year.

The traditional case was my favorite of the three, if only because it allowed for more antics from the job candidates — who now have nicknames and not numbers. Cutthroat Bitch's skills at playing House's game were impressive, but would she really know to go to Cameron and Chase for help?

The case with House and the knife was just bizarre. In theory, I like it when the writers explore House's psychology and spirituality, because I'd love to get inside his head more. The trouble is, the plot lines that explore these themes never seem to really teach us anything. Was House actually suicidal? Did he really think he'd see magical glimpses of the afterlife? Was it just to get attention?

The Foreman case was a little too on the nose, but it was fun to see him working with a new team (two guys and a girl, apparently the required genetic makeup for a group of diagnostic experts). He really was trying to be a kinder, gentler House. But in the end, the hard-nosed doctor in Foreman came out, and he made a risky call to try to save his patient's life. It worked out this time, but his new boss wasn't impressed with Foreman's bullishness and fired him on the spot.

A few other notable developments:

  • I thought it was interesting that House punished the boys' team for running a zillion tests while the girls had already treated the patient. "Treat first, ask questions later" is a strategy we've seen House use a lot — sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
  • That tilt-table test made me dizzy, and I was just watching it.
  • Loved the tribal council scene with House in a bandanna and bunsen burners instead of candles.
  • It was an interesting twist that the main patient — and his poor dog! — died simply because Thirteen hadn't watched him take the pills. I liked when House told her he wouldn't be lecturing her if he was going to fire her; he wouldn't bother teaching her what she did wrong if he didn't want her around.

So, what did you think? Was there too much going on? Or was it a nice departure from the typical "House" way?

Photos courtesy of Fox

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