HOUSE “Twenty Vicodin” Review

House season 8 Episode 1 (9)

House “Twenty Vicodin”, Season 8 Episode 1 – Well, House is back everybody! For better or worse, the eighth season of this hit series is upon us. I can’t say I’m that excited after last season’s somewhat polarizing finale. I guess “polarizing” is a little too kind of a word, as most House fans I know ended up feeling that the show had jumped the shark, and that multiple counts of attempted murder was going too far, even for House. Well, we now see that House is being held accountable for one of his many illegal actions. That’s right everybody! House is in the big house! Ba-dum-PSH!

The season opens with House attending a parole hearing, where he’s told that he has five days before he’s released from prison. However, he has to get through the next five days with no other complications or altercations with his cellmates. Well, if you guessed that House has a hard time getting through these last five days without a hitch, then you’re catching on quick!

House has apparently made a lot of friends in jail. There’s Mendelson, the white supremacist who has it out for House. Stomper, the cell block bully. And, drum roll please, Steve Urkel! Well, Jaleel White at least, but it was still pretty great to see him back on TV.

The big character introduction in the episode is the beautiful Odette Annable (Formerly Odette Yustman), who plays the prison doctor. What a perfect piece of “TV casting” that is. As if a job recruiter or guidance counsellor looked at her and said “You know where you would do great? Prison!” Either way, I’m a fan of her character. I loved when she saw our patient-of-the-week bleeding profusely from her neck, she leaned forward and whispered “Cool!” in a very House-esque way. I think it’ll be fun to have an attractive, mini-House on the team when she decides to leave the prison and join House’s squad.

This show is bound to remind many House fans of the season six premiere “Broken”, where House is cooped up in a psychiatric hospital after having hallucinations. The big difference between the two episodes, aside from the decidedly more hostile nature of prison, is that we saw absolutely no other House regular cast members in this whole episode. It felt more like an episode from a completely different show. Now granted, “Broken” was a 2 hour season premiere episode, so we were able to tie the psychiatric hospital storyline back into the rest of the show (as next week’s episode looks to be doing), but it still had a much better feeling of continuity.

This season premiere was everything I thought it would be. House broke the rules, he saves the guys life, and next week it looks like he’s getting off relatively scott-free. Having one episode of jail time does not really make up for all of the stupid things House has done over the course of this series, and especially the not incredibly stupid act of driving your car into your girlfriend’s house, but these are the gaps in logic we’re asked to accept on shows like this.

At least the premiere had all of the classic House wisecracks, miracle diagnoses, and last ditch life saving efforts that this show is known for. For most fans of this show, that’s enough. For me, though, I’ve already seen seven full seasons of that. This eighth season has a lot to prove in the next few episodes if it’s going to wash out the poor taste from last season and its finale. We’ll see how it does next week.

What did you think of the premiere? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Between this and the most recent Cee-Lo music video, Jaleel White is making a comeback! Here’s hoping it sticks!

– Odette Annable has a recurring role on House this year, AND she’s a series regular on the newly uncancelled Christian Slater show Breaking In. What a busy girl!

– House’s quiet room mate saving the day was very reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest to me. Did anybody else feel that way?