While "House" only spent one two hour episode in the psych unit, I had hoped to see some longer reaching story arcs branching off from the event. Based on tonight, so far, so good.
But, somethings have to back to the status quo, so we meet our POTW in a first person shooter game. He's a software developer who suddenly drops out of the game when he feels like his hands are on fire. When he gets to the hospital, he's done enough research to know of House and asks to see him while in the ER. Normally, this would get a patient absolutely no where. But this week is special. Because this week, House quit. He says his psychiatrist recommended that he change his environment and behavior and that's what he's doing.
He's not 10 seconds out the door before Foreman is asking to take over the department. At first Cuddy is reluctant, since the department only exists because House is such a genius, but Foreman whines argues until he gets his way. Well. sort of - he gets one case to prove he can handle it. Who thinks this will turn out well? Of course, he gets the gamer nerd. The one with the laptop in his room who is using the internet to diagnose himself and demanding specific tests, which the team keep caving for. And when the team goes through a few incorrect diagnosis, he offers a $25,000 reward to whatever doctor can correctly diagnose him.
This means that one monkey wrench after another is thrown at the remaining team. Which is being doubly complicated by the fact that Foreteen are arguing - she doesn't like that he's ordering her around and he doesn't like that she's not doing whatever he says. I;m sure he'd like even less that she goes to see House and get his opinion on the situation. And the situation I am referencing, is how Foreman has become a jerk. Well, a bigger jerk than usual. House is too busy cooking and doing Wilson's laundry in an attempt to keep his mind off the pain in his leg to be much assistance in the case. But he does tell her to pick her battles a little more carefully. Advice she does take to heart, becoming more outwardly supportive of Foreman.
Of course, that doesn't meant she's inwardly supportive - which might actually be worse.Taub is even less supportive, seeing as how he also resigns, since he only came to the department to work with House. And when Foreman opts for a treatment that has the potential to kill the patient, she goes back online to see what sorts of responses the POTWs web posting has created. Of course, Foreman gets a House-like epiphany, realizes that the treatment will kill him, gets the correct diagnosis and bursts in to stop the treatment. Only to find it already stopped, based on what 13 found out online. Sure, he got the right answer on his own, but the one employee he had doubted his ability and didn't tell him because she didn't want to fight with him anymore. So, he fires her right after the decision comes down that Cuddy is letting him keep the department. The department that is now made up of him.
Where is House during all this? Laying low at Wilson's house and going to sessions with Dr. Nolan (yay!). The over the counter approach to his pain is having no effect and the hobbies only make a dent until he reaches an obsessive pinnacle and gets bored with them. A pattern he recognizes, driving him back to his own apartment and his Vicodin stash. When Wilson comes home to find House chipper, not using his cane and not cooking something complicated, he immediately suspects he's using and takes apart his toilet to get a urine sample. Alas, House outsmarted them and it's dog urine. However, he confesses to Dr. Nolan that how he got past the pain was by going to the POTW's website and solving the case himself. Dr Nolan suggests that maybe the only thing worse than going back to work is not going back to work and House has something to think about.
Cuddy worrying that House was leaving because of her - and House not making a joke about it, but taking her seriously and answering her sincerely. Which is quite the change.
Foreman's fears about not being able to live up to his mentor coming to a head - the only thing that could have made it better is if it was done bigger. Honestly, I think Foreman cracking under the pressure and really screwing up would be more believable.
Not bringing House right back to work.
The whole cooking class, but these two exchanges especially:
Wilson: What was my one condition for allowing you to tag along.
House: 'Try not to be a jerk'...I'm trying, I'm just failing.
Wilson: You might have saved my balls.
House: That's the spirit!
House: Et tu, Bootay? (To Cuddy, on believing he's using again)
So, what was the bad? I think there was too much Foreteen melodrama and not enough time given to Taub quitting or to House's sessions with Nolan. What was missing for you? What was great? What are you hoping to see more of?