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House - Season 5 (Review)

House, Season 5

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

WITH ER having waved a fond farewell to the medical genre after 15 brilliant seasons, it’s left to House to lead the way in terms of providing high quality drama.

Thankfully, the omens are good. Season 5 maintained the high standards of Season 4 without quite surpassing them… but it provided another thrilling season of medical mystery, grumpiness and genuinely involving character development.

What’s more, it finished with an absolute gem of a cliffhanger that sets things up in suitably enticing fashion for the incoming sixth season.

The season began with the aftermath and fallout of Wilson’s Heart – the season four climax that saw Robert Sean Leonard’s Dr Wilson distraught over the death of his girlfriend, Amber… who had been a former intern of House.

In doing so, it provided the ever-excellent Leonard a rare moment in the spotlight, as his relationship with Hugh Laurie’s House became strained… prompting the latter to hire a private investigator (played by excellent recurring guest star Michael Weston) to monitor his movements and mental state.

The two eventually patched things up in the episode entitled Birthmarks in which Wilson was forced to put away his feelings in order to ensure that House attended his father’s funeral.

The road trip that ensued offered an excellent mix of comedy (as the bickering duo rediscovered their ability to bicker), as well as the requisite emotion. House’s slow journey into grief was extremely well channelled by Laurie and led to some genuinely poignant moments between House and Wilson.

Thereafter, the emphasis flitted between House’s increasingly fragile mental state, his developing feelings for Cuddy and the final episode shocker of a revelation – all of which were delivered with the finely tuned mix of grumpiness and candidness we’ve come to expect from Laurie.

In between, Olivia Wilde’s Thirteen struggled to cope with her Huntington’s diagnosis and went off the rails completely, before being dragged back by her unlikely relationship with Omar Epps’ Foreman; Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) endured some ups and downs along the way to their wedding; and there were major surprises in store for Drs Taub (Peter Jacobson) and Kutner (Kal Penn) – leading to another of the season’s genuinely shocking episodes, Simple Explanation

Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), meanwhile, had to grapple with her own desire to become a mother, balancing that with her career, and a surprise development in her personal relationship with House.

If anything, the personal lives of House‘s various protagonists are now more engaging than the medical dramas that continue to provide the case-of-the-week scenarios – but that’s no bad thing.

The cases themselves, meanwhile, continue to become more and more outrageous but just as intriguing… with not everyone guaranteed a happy ending (another of House‘s strengths).

All in all, then, Season 5 maintained the high quality of its previous seasons while proving that the show isn’t afraid to pull the rug out from under its viewers to ensure they’re still paying attention.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll thoroughly enjoy every moment of this excellent new season!

Read our review of the season 5 finale or view our photo gallery

Certificate: 18
UK DVD Release: October 5, 2009