It’s been two months since House (Hugh Laurie) was unable to save Amber, Wilson’s girlfriend who was fatally wounded in a bus accident after bailing a drunken House out of a bar in last season’s finale.
In “Dying Changes Everything,” the fifth season premiere, we find House is still up to his old tricks. This time he’s playing video games – which he stole from the pediatric ward – in a coma patient’s room and using the coma patient’s hand as a cup holder.
But are things really the same for House?
We quickly find out he hasn’t seen Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) for the last two months and he jumps at a new case just to avoid seeing Wilson now that he’s returned from his sabbatical.
Enter patient of the week – an assistant to a high-powered feminist (Jamie Rose) who hallucinates being covered in bugs and rips off her own clothes in front of a room full of male clients. I don’t think we ever learn her name which might be symbolic of how she thinks of herself as significant (according to imdb.com, the patient’s name is Lou).
The patient (Christine Woods) thinks she’s just run down. House blames it on her being a feminist (Jamie Rose). But additional symptoms appear – rectal bleeding, an atopic pregnancy, eye blinking, fever and bruises. And the diagnosis game begins.
In the meantime House spills the beans about 13’s (Olivia Wilde) Huntington’s before he finally goes to see Wilson who has decided to resign. House reacts as only House can by badgering Wilson to stay.
When that doesn’t work, House tries to recruit help. First he attempts to sucker in Cameron (Jennifer Morrison). She tells him to let Wilson grieve. He responds with “Grief is like Newark. It’s there you can’t avoid it.”
Then he hits up Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) to talk to Wilson. She tells House to apologize to Wilson only to wonder if House really feels any guilt over Amber’s death. We later learn that House is just unwilling to acknowledge his own guilt.
When all else fails, House resorts to blackmail. He refuses to help the patient until Wilson agrees not to resign. He leaves Wilson his phone and goes home.
Cuddy orders House back to the hospital. When he refuses, she hits him where it hurts and turns off his cable. She tries “couple counseling” with House and Wilson, but House’s team is still left to muddle through a diagnosis sans House.
But at the last minute House saves the day with a correct diagnosis. It turns out the patient had a type of leprosy which makes her look younger (what a side effect!). And House finally gives Wilson a sincere apology.
But Wilson still resigns and reveals the real reason – House spreads misery and Wilson’s had enough.
Who knew Wilson had a backbone? And that’s the first time I can remember House apologizing and meaning it. And it didn’t get him the results he wanted so I guess we’ll never see him do that again.
But the bigger issue is what will House do without his Wilson?