“House, M.D.” — Season Four

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
August 19, 2008

For Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), there’s nothing like a good, tension-filled competition to pick his new team of doctors when his old trio of Chase (Jesse Spencer), Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) and Foreman (Omar Epps) leave his fold.

Among the 40 newbies vying to earn the coveted spots in the fourth season of House, M.D. are Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn, the Harold & Kumar films), Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson, Transformers) and Dr., uh, Thirteen (Olivia Wilde, The O.C.). Taking a cue from Flavor Flav, House dubs the latter with that nickname simply because he can.

Though frequently politically incorrect, House is almost always spot on when it comes to diagnosing rare diseases and ailments.         His boss Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) puts up with his unorthodox quirks, which include antagonizing patients, berating his colleagues, and being an overall pain in the butt, because he’s brilliant.

The addition of the new doctors adds a bit of chaos early on. But once the contingent is whittled away to the select few, the storylines grow stronger and the chemistry between the old and new cast members gels.

Originally shown during the 2007-2008 television season, House aired only 16–rather than its usual 24–episodes, due to the Writers Guild strike.

Though a bit of momentum is lost in the last third of the season, the writers do an admirable job of piecing together loose ends without sacrificing plot or structure. In a nice homage to the Prescription Passion, the General Hospital-esque soap opera he loves, House at one point is afflicted with amnesia. The humorous aspect of the story is offset by urgency as he tries to remember what needs to be done to save a patient.

On a separate episode, House kidnaps the star of the daytime drama (played by Sex and the City hunk Jason Lewis) because he’s convinced the actor is dying.

The season finale is heartbreaking, as one of House’s 40 candidates is in a life-and-death situation that even the good doctor may not be able to cure.

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