By Jae-Ha Kim
The sixth season of House, M.D. starts off with a phenomenal two-part episode that sets the tone for the rest of the year. After years of abusing prescription drugs (and colleagues), Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) finds himself in a psychiatric ward as a patient who is not so patient with his own doctor. Smart and manipulative, House tries to finagle his way out of the hospital. But his selfish actions set off a chain reaction of events that manage to shake even his own confidence–temporarily, at least. This season spends a lot of time delving into House’s psyche and the writers do a wonderful job depicting a brilliant, sad, and flawed man who knows more than most, but not enough to save every patient who comes to see him. That glimpse allows viewers to sympathize with his addictions but leaves them guessing as to whether the good doctor will be able to shake his dependency on drugs for good. However, viewers are never actually convinced when House quits his job. In many ways, he is his job.
House has always tackled fascinating cases and that continues this season, though the symptoms aren’t overly dramatic by House standards. The team tries to save a man whose family history indicates that he will die of a heart attack before he turns 40. They try to help a brilliant scientist whose depression and addictions make him feel he’s better suited for a simpler life as a courier. And Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) may once again be grappling with cancer. It’s a credit to this show that while it features such a strong lead character, the costars don’t get shafted in the process. Wilson is one of the show’s most charming characters and, by default, has become House’s best friend. The two of them share a home and bicker like an old married couple. When a woman they both are attracted to mistakenly assumes that they’re a complicated gay couple, we can’t help but laugh. But Wilson’s love life is made difficult by the return of his ex-wife and House doesn’t want to see his friend hurt again. He can abuse Wilson, but he doesn’t want her to do the same.
House’s boss Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) has her own issues, juggling a harried personal life and the complications that come with trying to keep House in line. Chase (Jesse Spencer) falls under scrutiny this season after treating a controversial politician who he fears will murder innocent civilians. He finds himself struggling with the Hippocratic oath to treat all patients–even the ones he finds distasteful–to the best of his ability. And of the main characters on the show, one will be fired, another will profess their love for a colleague, and three of them will look for love via a speed-dating service. Yes, the story lines are all over the place, but then again, so is House.
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