House begins its fifth season on a somber note. With his girlfriend, Amber, dead, Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) finds his friendship with the cantankerous Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) to be more strained than ever and temporarily leaves the hospital where they work. He eventually returns, which is a good thing, because Wilson is the closest thing House has to a moral compass. The writers of this drama do an admirable job of inserting elements of well-placed comedy into the often-intense vignettes.
Otherwise, House wouldn’t be such a likable character. In fact, without the humor, he can often be downright despicable, especially to those he supposedly likes the most. Viewers learn that his lack of bedside manner (in and out of the hospital) probably was passed down from his father (R. Lee Ermey, who makes a brief appearance).
All 24 episodes–which originally aired during the 2008-2009 television season–are included in this five-disc boxed set. A few of the episodes are tainted by a soap opera vibe, particularly the ones concentrating on the romance between Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) and Dr. Remy “”Thirteen”" Hadley (Olivia Wilde).
Based on the first four seasons, Foreman’s behavior seems way off. While love can change a man, it doesn’t seem likely that Foreman would change this much–not even for someone as compelling as Thirteen. But House’s boss, Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), has a juicy story line involving her quest to have a family. The struggles she goes through to adopt a baby depict how challenging it can be for women–even those who excel at everything else–to have it all. But her story line also shows that she is more resilient than she gives herself credit for. For all its medical jargon and scenes set in the operating room, House really is about relationships more than anything else. That’s why when another character tragically dies this season, viewers take the loss to heart.