The parts of this episode that stick to the formula are pretty run-of-the-mill -- but when the writers depart from that formula and delve into the soap opera, the results are terrific.
The official recap can be found here.
To put my opening remarks another way: The Patient of the Week didn't really arouse my interest, but the House/Wilson bromance definitely did.
I think what I liked best about the House/Wilson plot is that it featured House being -- well -- nice. He was still fundamentally House, mind you, but he was also sacrificing his time and his pain pills on Wilson's behalf. And personally, I appreciate it whenever an episode reveals that House is far more than a "mean son-of-a-bitch." I would not have become emotionally invested in House if he didn't have at least a few redeemable facets. Of course, whether giving Wilson what he wanted was the correct course of action still remains to be seen. I'm going to call it now and say "no," as the writers seem to be particularly fond of hurting their titular character.
And to those who complain that the last scene was too saccharine: Get over it. That moment of classically "Housian" sentiment was awesome. No -- what I thought was a stretch was Wilson's stating that he now understood House's day-to-day existence. Er, forgive me, but I think the side effects of high-dose chemotherapy are way worse that whatever House experiences with his leg. Sorry, guys, but House did fine the year he was on Ibuprofen; the Vicodin is an emotional crutch, not a desperately needed prescription.
Still, as episodes go, this one was pretty strong. I do wonder why that mother wasn't immediately divested of her license to practice medicine -- and it really strains the bonds of credibility to propose that home-based chemo would not end in a huge disaster for the patient. But at the very least, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief on the latter.
If the storyline for the Patient of the Week were stronger, this script would've gotten a feature rating.
Bravo to Robert Sean Leonard. This episode may feature his best performance ever -- for this series at the very least.
I loved House's being a good friend -- though, again, I suspect it will not end well.