House, Season 7 – The Fix – Episode review

Hot on the heels of the latest episode of House, Hugh Laurie has announced that season 8 will be his last. And that means that unless Greg House has a long-lost twin brother waiting in the wings, next season will be the last for the Princeton Plainsboro gang.

It was an interesting time to release this news, because season 7 has taken a decidedly dull turn ever since Cuddy abruptly killed off her relationship with our favourite grumpy diagnostician. The Fix continues this bizarre ennui in which House barely turns in for work anymore, we never see Cuddy and House’s lackeys half-heartedly bicker while they flounder for a diagnosis without their leader. To put it bluntly, it feels like the later half of this season has been simply phoned in by everybody concerned.

House’s diversion this week was trying to prove that a boxer was unfit to fight and thus avoid losing a bet with Wilson on the outcome of a boxing match. It’s akin to picking a random person off the street and diagnosing them with someone. So it’s no surprise that House himself flounders with his reluctant guinea pig patient.

Of course, the cane-wielding psychopath has other reasons for acting strangely this week – his leg has started to bother him again. But this time, he’s taken to stealing experimental drugs (that we’re initially led to believe is heroin) to try to regrow the muscle and somehow thwart the pain. Between this self-administered medication and his obsession with findingsomething wrong with the boxer, House simply doesn’t have time to be fixing up his ‘official’ patient of the week.

Which brings us to the lady in question – a military bomb maker. Oh, to have Cameron back to pound the patient with ethical issues while patching her up! But it’s telling that the team are barely interested in the rights or wrongs of her job (not even Chase, who specialises in snuffing out military dictators). Even her perceived sluttiness doesn’t seem to raise so much as an eyebrow. Even from Chase.

In a resolution that shrewd viewers like me could see coming from a mile off, it was clear that the patient was being poisoned. The prime suspect (on the show) was a co-worker she’d been sleeping with. However, the real culprit was obviously the erstwhile boyfriend who stayed with her constantly. Props to Thirteen and Chase for exposing this – when they eventually worked it out – by telling him he’d need a bone marrow transplant and scaring him into confessing.

You know you’re near the end of the season when the “House in crisis” storyline starts to drip through. And what better way to end the season than having House taking muscle-regenerating, lab rat-killing drugs. It’s literally a kill me or cure me situation!

It has to be said though that House (the series) has been going through the motions for most of this season. The show’s certainly not the ascerbic delight to watch, and the normally brilliant relationships between the characters feel frayed and tired right now. If the genius team behind the show are finally starting to run out of ideas, then making the next season their last gives David Shore and Co. an opportunity to send Gregory House out with a bang.

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