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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hugh Laurie directs flawless House episode

     Monday's House episode, "Lockdown", brought a rare treat: a look at Hugh Laurie's directing talent.  Split into five parts, separate, but alternating back and forth between them, it was a masterpiece.  Am I exaggerating?  That's up to personal opinion.  But it was a wonderful story, brought back a central character, and was framed around poignant moments with each of the central characters.  Plus, there was no central medical mystery!

     The least important story was the one that framed them all and allowed the others to happen.  In a clever twist of the trapper-in-an-elevator staple, Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) had to put the hospital on lock down to find a missing baby.  At first, her story seemed horrific, as perhaps the step-son of the new mother did something to the defenseless new arrival.  But there was an elegant simplicity in the complicated medical issue behind it all.

     The best humor came from Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) and Thirteen (Olivia Wilde), who were in the hospital's fancy cafe.  A rousing game of truth or dare, in which Thirteen told almost no actual truth, led to some interesting revelations and bad behavior in Wilson, a side of him not often seen.  It also set the stage for further plot as his new love interest, mentioned here, will soon be joining the cast.

     Foreman (Omar Epps) and Taub (Peter Jacobson), who certainly don't always get along, had a much more interesting experience.  How did House, who was nowhere near the file storage basement, prank them?  Bonding over getting high, punching each other in the face, digging up confidential secrets about each other, the two seemed to be drawn closer by the experience.  It also showed that, while flawed, both are very interesting, remarkably good characters.

     Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) himself spent his time with a patient.  In a semi-continuation of his therapy episodes, House sees a reflection of his tortured soul, and a possible future for himself.  The two come to an understanding.  House is always best when exploring the complexities of the title character, and these scenes delivered some of that, delightfully understated.

     Last, but certainly most anticipated, was the return of Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), who arrived to serve her husband, Chase (Jesse Spencer), with divorce papers, but wound up having sex with him.  Unlike other shows, however, it does not seem to be a harbinger for a reunion of the duo.  The base truth of their relationship came out, in a way that made you wonder why you hadn't already figured it out on your own.  Brilliant.

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