House MD retrospective – Season 4

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 4.

First let’s meet season 4’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.

After season 3’s shakeup, working alongside House is his new team consisting of the young, plucky and optimistic Dr Lawrence Kutner, the short and deadpan Dr Chris Taub and the bisexual Huntington’s sufferer Dr Remy ‘Thirteen’ Hadley. Also reluctantly returning to the team is Dr Eric Foreman.

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.

Season 4 sees big changes in House’s world. After Chase was fired and Cameron and Foreman quit at the end of the last season, House is left alone with no one to help him solve his cases. Being proud and defiant House tries to solve the cases on his own, however with no team to bounce ideas around with he finds it hard going.

Cuddy soon intervenes, forcing house to recruit 3 new doctors to be on his team. Just to be difficult House gets 40 applicants and over the course of several episodes whittles those 40 down to 3: Dr Lawrence Kutner, Dr Chris Taub and Dr Remy ‘Thirteen’ Hadley. These three has proved themselves to be the best of the best and finally make House’s new team.

Foreman has been working hard to find a job, but because of his track record of rule-breaking while working with House all other hospitals reject him. Cuddy is the only one who will have him and she hires him as House’s equal to work on his team. His newly bestowed power is short lived though as he quickly slips back to being House’s subordinate and in essence the fourth member of House’s team. Other members of the original team Cameron and Chase are still working in the hospital; Cameron in A&E and Chase as a surgeon. While House is less than impressed at their new roles in the hospital, he is still able to manipulate them when he needs to.

To add to the list of changes in House’s world, Wilson has started dating one of the unsuccessful applicants for houses team: Dr Amber Volakis (affectionately nicknamed ‘cut-throat bitch’ due to her willingness to double cross anyone to get the job done.) House experiences a mix of emotions; anger and envy at having to share his Wilsons time and affection but also a degree of happiness for his best friend.

The special two-part series finale sees House involved in a major bus crash as he travels home from a bar. Having suffered temporary memory loss House must try to put the pieces together in order to work out who he was with and what happened. As his memory slowly returns he remembers calling Wilson to pick him up, however Amber answered the phone and she came instead. House talked her into staying for a few drinks and it dawns on him that the person on the bus with him that night was Amber, who had suffered serious injuries and had been transported to another local hospital. She is transferred to Princeton Plainsboro hospital where she eventually dies in a devastated Wilson’s arms.

Cast

Dr Gregory House – Hugh Laurie
Dr Eric Foreman – Omar Epps
Dr Remy ‘Thirteen’ Hadley – Olivia Wilde
Dr Chris Taub – Peter Jacobson
Dr Lawrence Kutner – Kal Penn
Dr James Wilson – Robert Sean Leonard
Dr Lisa Cuddy – Lisa Edelsten
Dr Amber Volakis – Anne Dudek
Dr Robert Chase – Jesse Spencer
Dr Allison Cameron – Jennifer Morrison

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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