House MD retrospective – Season 2

With the last ever episode of House MD, Everybody Dies (airing in the US on May 21st), billed to be the finale of all finales, I take a retrospective look back over the development of the characters and winding plots of the cult Fox medical drama continuing with season 2.

First let’s meet season 2’s line-up of characters! First there is the iconic, maverick, grumpy, witty, pill-popping eponymous star of the show: Dr Gregory House. A decade previous to the first episode, House had previously suffered an infarction in his right leg that doctors were slow to diagnose and treat, resulting House having a limp and having to use a cane to help him walk. Due to his constant pain he tends to be short tempered with people and pushes those close to him away.

Working alongside House is his much abused team consisting of Dr Eric Foreman, Dr Allison Cameron and Dr Robert Chase. They were handpicked to be in Houses team for a variety of reasons: Foreman often disagrees with House and tries to find theories to prove him wrong, Chase often agrees with House and often tries to find theories to prove him right, and Cameron is the groups moral compass, constantly trying to do what is morally right by the patient. The three of them form a kind of wall for House to bounce his ideas off of.

Keeping House in check are his boss, Dr Lisa Cuddy, and his one true Friend, Dr James Wilson. House will often butt heads with the two of them as they are not afraid to say no to him and sometimes put their foot down in order to stop him from going too far.

Returning from season 1 are Houses ex-wife and Stacy Warner and her husband and hospital patient Mark Warner. Between them they help provide one of the season’s story arcs in which House tries to win back Stacy while he and Mark try to childishly sabotage and outdo each other.

Season 2 of House MD, aired between September 13th 2005 and May 23rd 2006, establishes that Stacy has taken a job in the legal department of the hospital and House is struggling with his feelings towards her. While they initially try to establish a good working relationship, House soon finds that he is jealous of Mark, and they begin constantly trying to undermine each other’s relationship with Stacy. For example Mark tells petty playground stories about House and House leaves the toilet seat up making it look like Mark did it. Petty, immature, amusing.

However despite Marks best efforts, over time the old feelings between House and Stacy boil over and they kiss while on a working trip to Baltimore. Stacy is willing to leave Mark for House however despite having this one last chance he puts work before Stacy, which results in her leaving mid-series.

Towards the end of the season there is a gripping two episode story in which a police officer is admitted to the hospital with uncontrollable laughing. He soon takes a turn for the worst, losing his sight, being severely in pain and ultimately dying. While House tries to figure out the mystery of the contagious disease, Foreman starts to display the same symptoms. Quarentined and deteriorating fast, what’s left of the team are forced to try and find out what’s wrong with Foreman, almost pushing relationships between Foreman and Cameron to breaking point.

The finale of the season sees the husband of an ex-patient walking into Houses office and shooting him in the shoulder and neck. From his ICU bed House still tries to diagnose patients, however because of the after-effects of the shooting the line between what is real and what isn’t real is blurred and House begins to question his ability to diagnose. He is angered by the fact that he has been administered with Ketamine, a drug that has alleviated his leg pain and allows him to walk normally. While it has taken away his ‘specialness’ it has taken away his pain. House blacks out. The final scene sees House once again being rushed to the ICU, and you realise the entire episode has taken place in one of Houses hallucinations. He asks to be treated with Ketamine.

Cast

Dr Gregory House – Hugh Laurie
Dr Eric Foreman – Omar Epps
Dr Robert Chase – Jesse Spencer
Dr Allison Cameron – Jennifer Morrison
Dr James Wilson – Robert Sean Leonard
Dr Lisa Cuddy – Lisa Edelsten
Stacy Warner – Sela Ward
Mark Warner – Currie Graham

Other Seasons of House MD

Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, Season 7, Season 8

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