While I'm still a little nervous about how House will progress this season post-mental hospital, it was really great to have the whole House gang back in the picture this week even though things are still a little disjointed.
In 'Epic Fail,' it looked from the preview like we'd just have House hanging around the hospital bothering Cuddy and his team since he'd have to get his medical license reinstated to actually take on any cases.
But that wasn't quite how things worked out, which I think was for the best for the House storyline, but not so much for the team and case of the week.
It was fun to see House learning to cook and actually trying to find new ways to deal with his problems including doing his outpatient therapy. What I'm surprised to like about this is that House dealing with his problems has previously/could go one of two ways - House can't even start dealing because he'd rather just slip back into his bad habits, or House isn't at all like himself because dealing with problems and being genuine about it is so opposite of how House ever acts that it's entirely awkward and couldn't be done well.
But yet, it seems the writers found a really good compromise - House has gotten off the drugs, is trying to find other ways of dealing with this pain, finally cares about figuring out how to be happy, but in all that, is still his sarcastic, conniving, and offensive self... just not entirely. I think they've done a perfect job of writing, and Hugh Laurie acting, that just takes a little bit of the edge of House's usual asshole-ness. He's not as outright rude to everyone, he's not actually tricking his friends into thinking he's doing better when he's using, but he is still tricking them, just because.
I think if this episode is to show for how House's progress will be treated, this will be a great season of change, but not too quickly or excessively, for House. But, if this episode is to show for what kind of storylines we'll be following for the rest of the characters and the hospital cases, I'm not too thrilled about that.
It's probably just that everything was out of whack not having House running the team, and having Foreman trying to prove himself, but the problem I see is that not only was the way the case worked out awkward this week, but a lot changed for the team. Taub quit, and my guess from the possibly misleading promo for next week is that he'll actually leave, Foreman fired Thirteen like the moron he decided to be this week, and now either for better or worse, when House does come back to the hospital, due to the convenient revelation that going back to work may be the perfect "cure" for his pain, we'll have him working with the old team.
While I'm not thrilled with the direction of the new team seeing as it's basically fallen apart, maybe they'll be back, and all will fall back into place, plus hopefully we'll have some interesting improvements on the part of House as he continues to deal with his issues and maybe, just maybe, he will slowly become a happier person. But, one can only hope that niceness won't stop him from doing things like peeing in a coffee mug in front of his boss/love interest and best friend.
So what did you think? Did this episode show good promise for the season ahead?