“House,” the medical drama that has also been a character study of a misanthropic genius doctor played wonderfully by Hugh Laurie, is coming to a close Monday, May 21 after eight seasons. Zap2it would like to take a look back at the strongest episodes of the series.
It was hard to narrow down, indeed. The show has always been fairly strong, with individual episodes that we’d put right up there with the best of any show. But here are the ones that made the cut.
“Three Stories,” S1, E21
The first season of “House” was fine – but the show really took off with “Three Stories.” House gives a lecture to a class of medical students, recounting three different leg injuries. Carmen Electra gives a rather delightful guest-starring turn and the viewers finally find out why Dr. House has his limp.
“No Reason” – S2, E24
In the first of many solid season finales, House is shot in his office, which cause House to have to not only trust his team to solve the Case of the Week, but try to figure out what is reality and what is fiction. It doesn’t sound nearly as good here as it was on TV, but trust us – it’s a good one.
“Son of Coma Guy” – S3, E7
House brings coma guy (an awesome guest casting of John Larroquette) out of his vegetative state in order to find out about the family history so he can treat coma guy’s son. Not one of “House’s” milestone episodes, but a quietly good offering and a fun buddy adventure for Laurie and Laroquette.
The beginning of Season 4
It’s hard to pick just one episode, but after House fires his team at the end of Season 3, Season 4 begins with a multi-episode arc that sees House picking a new team via a “Survivor”-like competition. There are very few shows that could essentially get rid of three of the main characters (even if for just some time) and be completely reinvigorated.
“Frozen” – S4, E11
For the juicy post-Super Bowl slot, “House” brought in Mira Sorvino as a psychiatrist trapped at the South Pole who becomes ill. House must walk her through treating herself via webcam, as she and Dr. House have a bit of a long-distance spark.
“House’s Head,” “Wilson’s Heart” – S4, E15-16
You really should not view one of these episodes without the other. In part I, House awakens after a bus crash and feverishly tries to remember who else was injured and how he can help. The episode is structured via a series of flashbacks as House tries to piece together what happened, ending in a gut-wrenching twist that leads into the saddest episode the show has ever done. This pair of episodes is so, so good – if we had to pick just one episode as our favorite of the whole series, it’s these two (and it’s not cheating, they must be watched together).
“Last Resort” – S5, E9
A man takes House, Thirteen and several patients hostage in Cuddy’s office and demands that House treat him – but to ensure there is nothing hinky going on, the man makes Thirteen accept all the treatment first, not knowing that Thirteen is sick with Huntington’s disease, which means treatments affect her differently than they will affect him. A very intense episode.
S5, E19-21 – “Locked In,” “Simple Explanation,” “Saviors”
Kal Penn leaving “House” to go work at the White House paved the way for one of the most interesting and shocking storylines the show has ever done. In case you’re interested in watching, we won’t spoil it for you. But it hands House more emotions than perhaps he’s had to deal with in a very long time, plus “Locked In,” which sets up the next two episodes, features an amazing guest-starring performance from Mos Def as the Case of the Week.
“Broken” parts I and II – S6, E1-2
Following the emotionally traumatic events at the end of Season 5, House is admitted to Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital for a detox program and it becomes a fun “House Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” – for awhile. But when House’s trip to the carnival goes horribly awry, he finally starts admitting he needs treatment.
“Lockdown” – S6, E17
Sartre’s “No Exit” ploy can make for a very compelling episode of television, which is why many shows have used it over the years and “House” is no exception. In this lockdown, Wilson and Thirteen (an interesting pairing for a storyline) bond over truth or dare, Chase and Cameron get some closure, Cuddy searches the hospital for a missing infant, and House has a rather touching encounter with a terminal patient, played by David Strathairn.
“Help Me” – S6, E22
A crane collapse buries a woman in rubble and House must face up to his own demons about his leg in his effort to save her. Plus, Cuddy finally admits what we all suspected all along!
“Two Stories” – S7, E13
In a nice callback to Season 1’s “Three Stories,” House tells a group of elementary school kids about a case and finally realizes why Cuddy is upset with him.
“Moving On” – S7, E23
In House’s darkest moment, he lashed out at Cuddy over their breakup by driving through her house. The incident sends House on the run for months, and then finally to jail.
The end of Season 8
The show has not been quite as strong in the last couple seasons as it once was (as is the case with a lot of shows), but the final set of episodes has featured a diagnosis for Wilson that has really shone a spotlight on House and Wilson’s friendship – the only constant throughout the show. It’s been lovely to watch, as Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard are really putting their all into the final episodes.
What do you think, “House” fans? Did we get them all? What else do you think we should’ve included?