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'House' recap: Absolute power

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Let’s get the old band together one last time and play one more gig, you guys. This week’s House brought back our original team of Foreman, Cameron, and Chase, but I have to say…the magic just wasn’t there for me. Maybe it was a too-famous actor as the patient du jour, or the drawn-out Foreteen non-story that I don’t like at all or care about, or maybe it was how removed from the action House seemed for most of the episode. “The Tyrant” had the same issues most recent episodes of House have had: The House parts? Good. Everything else? Beeeeeeep. (That’s my interest flat-lining.)

James Earl Jones might be too big a star for a role like this — marquee names, no matter how good the actor, tend to throw off the rhythms of a a procedural. Give me a Hey, It’s That Guy in this role instead, and I can banish my disbelief a lot quicker. Beyond that, though, the episode was missing that climactic “we don’t pick who we treat!” outburst, that lecture where people got really heated. No one seemed quite upset enough: Sure, Cameron looked concerned for a good minute, and Cuddy had her signature sigh of seriousness, but until the big reveal at the end, everyone seemed a little too casual for me. Presumably Chase’s misconduct is what eventually leads to Cameron’s exit, though part of me wonders if maybe she was more involved than Chase claimed.

On the plus side of the equation, House going full-on Dexter on his neighbor was both awesome — I love a good shout-out — and, you know, disturbing and weird. For any of you interested in that mirror box treatment, it came up in an article in The New Yorker last year, and it’s totally real, and according to the story, does indeed work immediately. Pretty awesome.

The hands-down best moment of this episode came towards the very end, when House sat down on Wilson’s couch to watch TV and they simultaneously flinched and then cheered for the alligator nabbing its prey. It was one of the few moments on tonight’ episode where I thought “yes, that’s how people behave and react.”

What’d you think, PopWatchers? Were you under the rule of “The Tyrant”?

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