Weird. That wasn't quite what either SABR Matt or I was expecting. Mind you, I obviously don't think it was bad. It was, however, an episode that asked more questions than it answered.
FOX.com has a recap here.
SABR Matt and I were firmly in the "the beach was a delusion" camp, so the revelation that House actually did flee the country after driving that car into Cuddy's living room caught us by surprise. As I suggested at the start, though, I don't think what the writers have offered us is in any way disappointing or misguided. Actually, as I remarked to SABR Matt over email, I'm now dying of curiosity. I want to know what exactly happened over House's missing months that motivated him to go back to New Jersey to serve time for what he did. That he evidently did not try to cop a better deal for himself suggests that he felt genuinely guilty. The question is, how did he get to that point? Whence came the honest remorse?
Beyond my fanficcer's desire to see holes filled, I also liked the medical case in this episode (and the medical nit-picker over at Polite Dissent did too, which is a good sign). It was strongly reminiscent of Airborne (another good episode) in that it required House to exercise his ingenuity in a low-resource environment -- and it also brought out what is arguably House's best, most human quality. What do I mean by this? Well, I liked that House risked a stint in solitary confinement for the sake of the patient. I think that was perfectly in character; if House is nothing else, he is the ultimate patient advocate. Sure, his bedside manner is atrocious, but whenever he's given a chance to save a life, House has consistently risked it all to make it happen. That's a big reason why he works as the show's hero.
Color me intrigued. I look forward to seeing where the writers will take this story next.
The performances were solid but not amazing.
There are no strong messages here, but I'm adding one point to the neutral for House's apparent willingness to face the consequences for his actions.