[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the Season 8 premiere of House. Read at your own risk.]
House's Season 8 premiere once again proved the show's mantra: People don't change. Even in prison.
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Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) was the same old curmudgeon he always is, whether he was expressing (false) remorse for running his car through Cuddy's house to the members of his parole board only because that's what they wanted to hear or making another doctor's diagnosis look stupid. But even if House is the same old House, the premiere, which found the good doctor trying to save a mysteriously afflicted inmate while also scavenging to find 20 Vicodin pills for a jailhouse gang leader, proved the world around him certainly has changed. For starters, by episode's end, he's still behind bars!
So, when's he getting out? And what's in store for his return to Princeton-Plainsboro? Check out some of our burning questions.
1. Why is House still in jail?
Creator and executive producer David Shore assures us the show won't become a prison series, but he says he felt strongly that the show had to punish House, both for crimes of the past (ramming Cuddy's house with his car) and present (disobeying orders, inciting a prison riot, etc.). "We want the consequences to be real," Shore says. "It's really important to us that we play the truth of the situations and follow up on them. If House f---- things up, he can't just get rewarded for that."
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2. So, when is he getting out?
Fear not, the good doctor will be sprung in next Monday's episode. But, Shore says, "Episode 2 takes place a considerable amount of time after Episode 1. There will be an acknowledgment that time has passed. He gets out under unusual circumstances, but not without having spent more time [in prison]."
3. Did House not hire a lawyer on purpose?
As Dr. Adams (new series regular Odette Annable) pointed out in the episode, House probably could have negotiated a much shorter prison sentence (or avoided the pokey all together) if he'd hired a lawyer. But he chose to represent himself and do the time. Did he secretly want to be punished? Shore says... maybe. "House is one who is always willing to pay a price for doing something," Shore says. "He'll avoid it if at all possible, but he recognizes that he has to pay prices."
4. Why would House hire Dr. Adams?
As we've been told, Annable's character will eventually end up on House's staff. But as we saw, her diagnostic skills seemed a bit lacking at the beginning of the hour. Shore says her good deeds — she gives House the Vicodin he needs and disobeys her boss in order to prove House's theory right and save her patient — outweigh her rookie mistakes. "She starts off being very cynical about House, but by the end of the episode, she surrenders her job in order to support House's position," Shore says. "That's a rare and courageous thing to do, and I think House recognizes that. He recognizes that she's the type of person he wants on his team and has to have on his team."
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5. Might he also just need an ally?
As the episode pointed out at least three or four times, House is currently "peepless." Apparently, reckless endangerment can cost you friends. Although House will ultimately win Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) and the rest of his team back, it can't hurt to have at least one person in his corner. But Dr. Adams won't be the only new face; Episode 2 also introduces Charlyne Yi's Dr. Chi Park. "She winds up on House's team because she did something she shouldn't have done," Shore teases. "That incident, which you'll learn about in Episode 2, serves to define that character to a great extent."
6. When will meet the new Dean of Medicine?
With Lisa Edelstein's departure from the show, there's a new boss at Princeton-Plainsboro. Shore, of course, wouldn't dare spoil the surprise, but he promises the Dean's identity will be revealed in Episode 2. "I think it's a somewhat surprising choice, but I do think it makes sense," he says. "I think people will enjoy it."
What did you think of the House premiere?