‘House’ Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:32 pm,

house season 8 premiere prison House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

For all intents and purposes, the House season 8 premiere presents a wonderfully crafted case study, penned by executive producer Peter Blake, on the man that is House, in which Hugh Laurie masterfully traverses a new environment filled with intriguing challenges and compelling characters – all while slowly revealing an elemental depth to the character that audiences haven’t seen in many years.

Unfortunately, the manner in which the House season 8 premiere presents itself feels less like a barely competent introductory episode, with regard to what fans can expect to see in terms of story-arcs as this season progresses and, instead, more like an epilogue to the events that transpired in the House season 7 finale.

While that may not typically be, in and of itself, the best way to kick off the start of a new season, the obvious shift of focus and overall execution of the premiere represents a very much welcomed evolution to the way that the series itself is handled. Barring the return of any zombie musicals, viewers should be encouraged by House’s new-found direction.

Picking up 12 months after House crashed his car into Cuddy’s (Lisa Edelstein) living room, we find the world renowned diagnostician in prison, but up for parole – thanks to overcrowding and his somewhat good behavior. With five days left before his eventual freedom, the prison’s resident neo-Nazi leader presents House with a non-negotiable fee for his impending release and subsequent safety on the outside.  As the proverbial Hitler youth (though, not so much a “youth”) so eloquently states, “Unlike you, I have friends on the outside.”

house season 8 premiere house neo nazi House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

With that, the premiere title, “Twenty Vicodin,” becomes apparently clear, and our favorite diagnostician sets out on his quest to fulfill his forced obligation. Of course, this crusade quickly takes a back seat when a fellow inmate’s unusual medical symptoms appeal to House’s appetite for diagnosing the unknown – and, through this, House meets one of the prison’s physicians, Dr. Jessica Adams (Odette Annable).

As the character of Dr. Jessica Adams unfolds throughout the episode, it soon becomes apparent that her purpose is not of any type of romantic replacement for the now-absent Lisa Cuddy (though Cuddy’s current status is never discussed), but as someone who House can help reach her career potential – which, as it is revealed, is much more than mending inmates after altercations. In a sense, her character conveys qualities similar to that of Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), without any hinted attraction to or from House.

house season 8 premiere jessica adams House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

With these two storylines slowly unfolding concurrently, the exceptional manner in which they are handled, coupled with some fascinating supplemental revelations, serves to set the House season 8 premiere apart from the familiar “patient of the week” episodes that have become a staple for the series. Despite containing some thematic similarities to the aforementioned installments, all of the plots presented center around the human side of House, rather than the all-too-familiar unrelenting diagnostician.

By providing some intriguing explanations to exactly how House came to the decision to drive his car through Cuddy’s living room and then fly away to a tropical destination for three months, as well as slyly revealing what House intends to gain by serving the prison sentence, the premiere presents an undeniable evolution and growth to the character that hasn’t been seen in the series’ many years on the air.

house season 8 premiere prison riot House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

Instead of the reveling in the slight maturities to the character, as previous seasons have done, these elemental revelations are all but presented as an afterthought – something that’s easily observed, mentioned by others, but never acknowledged by House, himself.

While some may perceive these character moments, which are brilliantly woven into the episode, as a last minute addition that serve no other purpose than to try and make up for the disastrous deconstruction of House that occurred in the season 7 finale, the nonchalant manner in which they are touched upon presents a natural and earnest attempt at House coming to terms with his faults and, more importantly, seeking to overcome them.

With no mention or appearance of any of the series’ familiar cast members and an ending that leaves certain things unresolved, it’s difficult to see, exactly, how House season 8 will transition itself from the newly presented prison environment to the hallowed halls of Princeton Plainsboro – especially without Edelstein.

That being said, if the apparent care in which the premiere was handled in is any sign of how the rest of the season will be executed, there’s no doubt that some wonderfully rich storytelling awaits viewers in the episodes to come.

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House season 8 premieres Monday, October 3, @9pm on Fox

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  1. Love your review. Thank you so much… I don’t mind that there isn’t a lot that necessarily happens in plot but I LOVE that there is a lot of character exploration and possible growth here. That’s fantastic.

    Interesting about the unncertain ending too…

    Can’t wait to see it! Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for the review. Now I’m seriously looking forward to the premiere.

  3. I like the way this sounds. I am excited to see an Emmy winning script written for an actor who deserves it. Although i will miss LE and in the back of mine hope for a House and Cuddy reunion (clicking my heels as I am typing) I just want them to give this actor something with substance.

    Reading House is ready to man-up and good story telling sounds good to me

    • Oh gosh, please no! I never want to see Cuddy again on the show, especially if it involves a Huddy reunion. Watching this awful pairing once was more than enough.
      I’m looking forward to the new season, more focus on House, the doctor would be nice.

    • I agree. New season sounds good but Cuddy needs to come back. She was the only likable female and my heart really wants House and Cuddy to end up together.

      • ” She was the only likable female…”
        Yikes. Try changing “only” with “least”.

      • Please know that Lisa Edelstein was offered a decrease in pay in the final season and so she told them to kiss her fine fanny and she will NOT be back. She is on “The Good Wife” for a few episodes this season (maybe one more) and she is looking into other things to do. She is a fantastic actress and a classy, beautiful human being, and I wish her great success in all she does.

        I hope that season eight of House is cancelled, and that everyone waiting for Cuddy to come back, like Kate gets the word that it isn’t going to happen so that they stop watching the hatchet job that they are doing to a show I personally invested a lot of time and money in and am overwhelming disappointed in – season eight is the worst of the worst – they are only stretching it out because they need to pay Hugh Laurie for another season because of contract obligations.

        The show has flatlined. It is over. If you couldn’t tell when the black prison doc was worried about the ACLU revoking his medical license, or with the huge lungs and medically bogus second episode – maybe tonight’s third episode that truly was a “charity case” on behalf of anyone that watched until the end will make you realize that the show has died an ugly and needless death due to greedy producers and lack of creative writing talent when it needed it most.

  4. Thanks, finally the stupid and boring soap opera is over and now I’m eager to see this season.

  5. Very good review, makes me want to see it even more.
    Looking forward to seeing the new doctor, and how she and House connect.
    Love it when they explore House’s character more

    • GOD please no more forced bonding with another female team member. We had enough of that with Cameron & with 13. It never felt natural for house to be caring for anyone ( esp.when they’re still freshly introduced into his life & one year is still fresh in Adams case ) or at least showing it. If they hope fans will like the 2 newbies they should introduce them slowly over the season & should NOT shove them down our throats from the get go.It never worked for 13 or masters or Taub. Also forcing a bond with house will not do the trick or accelerates the acceptance process. They really need to learn from the past mistakes & try to avoid them. Another big mistake would be shoving the original team to the background to make a room for the newbies. That would be totally dumb & fans of of those characters would definitely hate the new cast.
      I really hope season eight ends up being the best one in all aspects.

  6. Thanks for the review, can’t wait to see the new season! Haven’t been this excited since… let’s say the season 4 premiere (hated the last two seasons)!

  7. Being a newfound House fan, I’m intrigued on what direction they plan on taking this season. It would seem to convenient for them to drop him right back into Princeton P in the second episode with the thought that nothing had happened over the past 12 months. This begs to question, if he ends up back as a diagnostician, where will it be and will the whole cast be included or will this season really break from the last 7 and basically start a genuinely new storyline for House.

    I just don’t see PP taking him back, regardless of how good he is at his job. With this unknown direction, writing Lisa out is simple. And as much as I enjoyed their interaction as characters, I’m glad she’s not back. That storyline was getting stale and overplayed.

    Thanks for the review.

  8. Can’t wait. I’m sure House will go into Cuddy’s office and ‘Oops!’ she’s not there anymore. Could be a whole episode. Here’s to another great season! ~ Stark

  9. Great review, thanks. I was considering dropping the show after I found the past couple of seasons to be thoughtless and destructive of most of the characters I had come to enjoy. This and other reviews I’ve seen make me think it might be worth giving House another shot. I thought I’d miss Lisa E. but at this point I think I’d rather watch her elsewhere; IMO they really got everything out of that character that they could.

  10. So it was cool reading everyone and finding out I am the only House and Cuddy fan so far. LOL. I can respect what Andy said about forced bonding but until season 7 there was nothing forced about these two.

    All that said i still am very interested in House as a character and where he goes from here and how he begins to rebuild.

  11. “make up for last year’s lackluster finale?”

    Huh? The finale was great. It was a very strong ending to the season. It was easily top 3 House Season finales. The show usually has lack luster finales look at most of the other seasons to see that, but last season was clearly one of the better ones.

  12. It seems that many reviewers have taken a wait and see attitude and this is good. Thanks for this review and the interesting bits and for not telling too much information. On another note, I do wonder if the people who run to comment on every site are aware that they are perpetuating hate by bashing actors and characters and are never taken seriously except by their fellow supporters. When we see the same names saying “oh god no more Cuddy” over and over, we all realize these people have an agenda and it’s just as negative as anyone saying they don’t like something about the show. Bashing an actor over and over is just as destructive as bashing the show. There is something really wrong inside people who have such long and deep seeded hate for a character or actor and need to tell everyone at every opportunity.

    • Like Liz the hameron who posted a comment full of hate above? :)

      • Hamerons or huddys you guys are all the same!

    • What’s your problem? We’re talking about fictional characters here, Cuddy is not real and I don’t see why someone shouldn’t be allowed to say they can’t stand a ‘fictional character’ in a tv show. Now, considering that we had a Cuddy overdose in season 7 I think it’s obvious that people are going to point out how much they dislike it.

      • As much as they disliked Cameron in seasons 1-3? Oh wait, it´s impossible to hate a character more than she was hated ;)

        • Are you obsessed with Cameron or what? Cam is the past, who cares about her anymore? We’re talking about the past season and Cuddy was sadly a big part of it.

  13. Well, I am a fan of House and Cuddy but not the House and Cuddy of seasons 6 and 7 nor was I a fan of the writing of them in a relationship. It’s not surprising that some didn’t enjoy the pairing (of course some were never going to like it no matter what). Most of my fellow Huddy fans weren’t fans of the way the season and the characters were written. I think they wasted a good opportunity with bad writing and I’m hoping they will not make the same mistake in season 8. It could be interesting but maybe not.

  14. Great review!
    After last season’s finale (lackluster? no way, controversial yes!) I had high hopes for [H]ouse for exactly the reason it was disliked: That House behaved in a seemingly OOC way. This was a major development that could break conceptions and refresh the show through the evolution of House and by “revealing an elemental depth to the character”.
    Your review makes me feel justified in my hopes, so thanks!
    However I do not find negative that the Se8 premiere seems like an epilogue to Se7. It breaks the mold, again, which is something that [H]ouse likes to do. What’s more, the inner workings of why House acted as he did (car crash, sunny beach) need to be more clarified, not just because of the controversy generated, but to show how the character evolves.

  15. I loved the season finale as a guy and so have other guys with what i have been reading on various sites , most of the girls on these sites disliked it immensely which is interesting how the minds differ as many of these girls have sworn to stop watching due to them not approving what house did by driving his car into her dining room/living room (looney i know). Cant wait till the new season starts.

  16. Well it took me to watch the final ep of season 7 to realize how unnatural the relationship with Cuddy really was. House had to do something to shove as opposed to wean both Cuddy and Wilson off his teats. It was a brillant move in that light-it needed to be astonishing, and it had to have enough shock value for his rage to be assuaged, finally.
    So the poor sick bastard winds up in prison, eh? This should be good.

  17. I actually really liked the s7 finale. I think that s8 will be great, but I don’t know where house will go when he gets out. Will he go back to PPTH? Who will be the new administrator – I think it should be someone house already know, maybe it should be Cameron? (as long as there’s no hameron) either way, this should be good

    • ^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Inside sources are saying the new Dean of Medicine will be either one of the Diagnostic staff; Sam Carr; James Wilson; or the guy that tried to get the Board to fire House and Wilson for his $100m investment in PPB. Frankly, I didn’t know he was a doctor..LOL..I would’ve thought the Dean of M. needed to be. That makes me think it’s Wilson. But I do know the other actor’s TV show, Human Target, got cancelled-so he is free to work.

      House is supposed to get paroled and come back to PPB as part of his parole deal. I can’t imagine how this will happen. It’s not very realistic, but yeah, should be fun. Supposedly we are getting the old House back without romantic distractions.

  18. Loved the episode with House in the mental institution–thought it was one of the best episodes. House in Prison–cannot wait, and it looks promising. Let’s hope they dive deeper into House’s head this year and really find out more about this broken man.

  19. Hilson. That is all.
    But seriously, the writers did say that House had an equal chance of ending up with Cameron, Cuddy, or Wilson. And you know, two down…

  20. ^^^^^^^^^ Haaaa too funny!! End of season 8 their both laying on the beach that House escaped to……naked……haaaa to much…lol House and Wilson out of the closet.

  21. After previewing a screener for the season 8′s opener… (Industry does have its privileges.) Hmm… I’m still undecided how this will unfold. I won’t disclose any spoilers but I can tell you that it will be different, that is for sure. Knowing this is the last season in advance already puts watching this “lesser of an experience” than not knowing. I’ll no longer be waiting to watch it live but letting the DVR record it to watch when it is convenient. I believe this show has unfortunately run its course with mostly predictable results at the end of each episode. As a HouseMD fan for its entire run, it is in my opinion that the real magic ended after season 3. Thanks to all involved in creating a great show! Long live the entire cast of House (past and present)!

    • Haha yea, you saw a preview because you’re in the “industry”.

  22. “there’s no doubt that some wonderfully rich storytelling awaits viewers in the episodes to come”

    It’s about time! but this episode is boring, and the new dr looks dumb.

  23. what does the last piece of paper say in the last scene with house in solitary confinement?

  24. @meeshow It said “you were right”.

    • Yahoo! haha

  25. does anyone know the name of the song or the band that played at the end of the show tonight, when it was showing previews for the next episode?

  26. Don’t know the song….

    Well, that epi was…fun in a way. Alot more interesting than most of the episodes of S7. I have a feeling we may initially miss House in prison in the next few weeks. It better get much more interesting. And that line of Wilson’s, that they are not friends anymore…unless Wilson’s changed, too, he’ll right into the old co-dependency. So is it me, or does it appear Foreman is the big Cheese?

  27. I thought the episode was one of the better ones I have seen. I cannot wait to see where this goes!

  28. Good golly, how many executive producers do they have on this show? I was laughing out loud when I saw the amount of names with executive producer credit on it.

    Otherwise, good episode, and since this may be the final season, I want to see where they go with this.

  29. I enjoyed the episode, just like the one where House was in the mental institution, one of the best episodes in my opinion–it was good to see him out of Princeton Plainsboro and dealing with his demons. But what now–he goes back to work-gets treated like crap by Foreman and has to start again. They need to keep it fresh. And dammit, give Laurie the Emmy next year, cannot believe he never won one, I like the doctor in the jail–she was interesting–possibilities there, not so much romantic but to work with House. We shall see.

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