House really is in the groove now, in a way it hasn’t been for three seasons or more. ‘Gut Check’ was another late-period cracker. Patient of the Week is Bobby, a brawling ice hockey player who doesn’t have sarcoidosis. It’s Taub’s turn to preach at the patient this week, because he’s a hockey fan who disapproves of all the fighting. (Ice hockey isn’t much of a British thing; in my ignorance I had assumed that all hockey fans loved the fighting. My bad.) Anyway, as well as the usual misdiagnoses, House decides to prove to Taub that his, Taub’s, attitude colours the way in which he treats the patient. And he does, but the way in which he does it is both clever and benevolent, while being manipulative and just a little cruel. It’s a good patient, a interesting story, and a resonant conclusion.
The B- and C-plots are strong as well. We’re long overdue a Wilson story; this week, he’s getting broody and claiming that he’s prepared to take on the responsibility of parenthood. House doesn’t agree, but decides that the time is right anyway to tell him that he has an 11 year old son. I didn’t spot the twist at first, although the prosciutto and goat’s cheese business tipped me off. Wilson’s reaction to the denouement was instructive – in season 1 he would had treated it as a massive and hurtful betrayal; now, he just shrugs his shoulders and hangs out with House the next day. For better or worse – mostly worse – he, and we, know what we’re getting with House. And Park moves in with Chase after she falls out with her family. When House’s current team was assembled I assumed that Chase and Adams would be all over each other before too many weeks: in fact, the writers continue to tantalise us with the possibility of a PaChase hookup.
There are only a few episodes of House to go now, but it looks as if the show is bowing out with a consistently good season.