HOUSE “The Dig” Advance Review

HOUSE (FOX) "The Dig"

HOUSE “The Dig” Season 7 Episode 18 – After a couple weeks of repeats, HOUSE returns for its 150th episode, complete with the long absent Thirteen. I’ve seen “The Dig,” and despite the absence of Cuddy and Wilson, it’s one of the better installments this season as the Huddy melodrama fades into the background (it’s mentioned, as is Domenika, but the references are deftly handled) with good character moments and some genuine emotion.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler at this point to say that Thirteen has been in prison for the last six months (oh, and in House time, Thirteen has been gone for a year.) and House greets her in style before proceeding to take her on a road trip to a spud gun competition. The first words aren’t uttered until after the credits, and while House has the privilege, they could just as easily have been uttered by viewers. “So, what did you do?” The mystery of what Thirteen did is treated very much like a medical case as House collects pieces of the puzzle and slowly puts them together. The inevitable and very-thankfully-platonic House/Thirteen bonding is surprisingly organic. Olivia Wilde doesn’t overplay the drama and getting Thirteen genuinely invested in winning the competition is a great choice, as is a fun western spoof. Toward the end of the episode, House utters one line that makes me snarl because it evokes Amber more than Thirteen, but overall, Thirteen’s return is handled much better than I expected, right down to a genuinely touching moment to close out the episode.

Masters finds the real medical case, but the boys initially want no part of it because it seems run of the mill and with House gone, they could have time off. Needless to say, they don’t get their way as the case takes some disturbing twists. It’s nice to see the team interacting on a case without everything centering on House’s state of mind, but House’s presence on the case is very much missed, despite his few calls. A much less self-righteous Masters gets a new nickname that I just love as she takes a keen interest in the case. As Chase notes, “This is perfect for you-you get all the human interaction you crave without any actual human interaction.”

The C plot is an odd one revolving around Foreman’s obsession with Taub’s ability to sleep with hot women. Even odder, and not entirely welcome, as far as I’m concerned, is what Foreman finds in his apartment when he goes looking for Taub.

It’s strange to have a milestone episode without Wilson and Cuddy, but I’m not sure how they could have been worked into the plot, and, honestly, I’m thrilled to have a break from the House/Cuddy of it all. As far as Thirteen’s return goes, I know fans are split on her and while I like her, I don’t like all her drama, so to have that downplayed a bit here in favor of honest House/Thirteen interaction is a pleasant surprise. The medical case is one where everything but the kitchen sink is thrown into it, but the underlying issue is compelling- and sad-enough to compensate for that. Overall, a solid episode, I think, which gives me hope that House might be able to right itself post-Huddy. Let’s just hope they can actually do it in episodes that actually contain Cuddy.

A taste of the episode:

“Some puzzles are just too good to share.”

“Studies have shown that un-annoying interrogations are 50% less effective.

“I think that might be blood.”

“If you’re interested, I do seminars.”

“The good news is I found a guy who makes you look like a good roommate.”

“The weak lost faith in 1975 when Christ didn’t return, but I still believe.”

“Actually, until a couple of weeks ago, I was Cuddy’s weird boyfriend.”

“Fairness is important.”

“House. You look good. I like that jacket on you.”

“You’re a full throttle head case.”

“There’s something seriously wrong with us.”

After you’ve had a chance to watch House on FOX tonight at 8pm eastern/7 central, I hope you’ll come back and post what you thought. Did you guess why Thirteen was in prison? Are you glad to have her back? Let me know in the comments.

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