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[House] 8x01: Twenty Vicodin

Posted on the 07 October 2011 by Tvgeek @TVGeek_blog

[House] 8x01: Twenty Vicodin

Original Air Date: 3 October 2011


Storyline: A year has passed since House crashed his car into Cuddy's home, and we find House spending time behind bars at the East New Jersey Correctional Facility. When an antagonistic prison gang leader makes a serious threat, House solicits the help of a fellow inmate, but when another inmate's unusual medical symptoms spark his curiosity, House must come up with creative ways to treat the patient while navigating prison rules. House meets Dr. Jessica Adams, a young, intelligent and bright-eyed clinic doctor, but when they are faced with a controversial opportunity to diagnose the patient's life-threatening illness, Adams is confronted with a choice to trust House and put her career on the line or play by the book. Trivia: Mendelson is seen wearing a gold ring on his hand. Prisoners aren't allowed to have any jewelry of any kind and it is kept until their release.

Bobbin Bergstrom, the show's on-set medical adviser, is credited in her usual role as Nurse despite the fact she doesn't appear in the episode.


Best Quote:

Frankie: You don't wanna mess with Stomper. He didn't get that name because he's a fan of Santa's reindeer.
House: You think one of Santa's reindeer was called Stomper?
Frankie: You're missing my point.
House: I'm not gonna listen to a guy who can't name the reindeer.


Review: When a TV show goes on for as long as House did, sometimes plot lines get boring. So far, I only remember giving up on two of what were some of my favorite series: Desperate Housewives (halfway through season 3) and Heroes (at the beginning of the second), but I was very close to stop watching House after the Huddy happened. I have nothing against Lisa Edelstein, she did an amazing job for six years, but last season of House proved that not every show can pull off a romance between two main characters. The Huddy almost killed this show for me and for that reason alone I'm glad she's not a part of it anymore. 

I'm also not one of those fans who want to see House redeem himself. Why would anyone want to see him suddenly go out of character? The main reason he - and the series - is so entertaining is because he is damaged. Most of the medical procedurals on TV are giving us these perfect, by the book doctors who, eventually, become soap opera characters, since the only things left to say about them are personal dramas. 
That being said, I was waiting forward to see how my favorite damaged character on television will get out of the mess he made for himself when deciding to drive his car into his ex-girlfriend's living-room. We've seen House institutionalized before, and it didn't really go all that well. This time, he is in prison, an environment that, by definition, is a lot more entertaining than a rehab facility. With five days left before his parole release, he has to stay out of trouble, which is not something he can easily do. Not only is he being blackmailed by his prison mates to give them Vicodin in exchange for not making him problems when he gets out, but he also gets himself involved in an interesting medical case, which puts him at odds with the prison doctor.
The case was not all that interesting, nor were House's actions anything special when coming from him. Also, I'm not sold on Odette Annable, she doesn't have any of the magnetism Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Morrison had and her character was too plain for this series.
Nevertheless, all in all, the episode was great in showing us that, despite everything he's done to get himself into prison, House is mainly the same character. There was some hint of remorse in that he didn't hire a lawyer to defend him and he thinks there's a reason he is "locked away from nice, normal people", but that doesn't change who he really is. He's still taking chances for the fun of it (like he did when Stomper demanded his stereo) and he still goes above and beyond to prove a diagnosis, no matter what the rules say. His only problem now seems to be that he is "peep-less": no phone calls, no visitors, which means everybody, including the all-accepting Wilson, have deserted him. This will make thins interesting when he gets out.
By far, the best interactions were those with Frankie, his chess partner, and his psychotic cell mate Asofa. I'm kind of bummed that he will be getting out of prison, because we won't see any of the two anymore.
It was entertaining to follow him try to get the 20 Vicodin that Mendelson - the prison's reigning thug - demanded from him in exchange for his early release to go smooth. Despite that meaning he would have to live with the leg pain for five days, he also has to go to great lengths to steal some meds from the young Dr. Adams, who becomes star-struck with him despite getting mad at him for constantly lying to her. 
All in all, the season premiere was better than I had expected. The entire show's premise can be concentrated in this piece of dialogue between House and Adams, where she says, "People are complicated. And people change.", to which he replies, "Not that much to the first, and not at all to the second." I, for one, don't want House to change. I will be done with this show the minute he does that. I haven't watched him for seven years to see him become a boring doctor, if I'd wanted that, I would have gone with Grey's Anatomy. And now with Cuddy out of the picture (thank God for that, I would have hated any awkward encounters around the hospital), maybe this show can be good again.Back to Season 8

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