Spoilers for "House" and "Standoff" in a jiffy...
"Tell Cuddy I want Ketamine..." Ever since the good doc said those words in the finale, it was clear that the writers were going to explore life without limping -- and David Shore and Katie Jacobs confirmed that in separate interviews I did over the summer -- but I still wasn't quite prepared for the image of House running like a mad fiend, or of him doing the Joel Goodson slide into a patient's room.
So I suppose it's appropriate that, just as House is regaining his mobility, he deals with two patients who have lost theirs -- and more severely than he ever did. And because irony isn't dead, no matter what we were told five years ago, the cures for "Stephen Hawking" and Yoga Girl will no doubt hold much longer than House's.
(Stephen Hawking's miracle recovery was corny as hell... and I was close to reaching for the Kleenex about four times during that scene, pretty much from the moment Cuddy decided not to potentially prolong the guy's suffering just to teach House a lesson. Nicely shot, scored, and played by Lisa Edelstein and Kathleen Quinlan as the wife.)
The idea that it wasn't the cane or the pain that made House cranky was broached pretty thoroughly in the finale, but as we all know, all but the first and last scene of that were a dream, and it was good to see it play out in something resembling the real world. Even if the writers try to do Hugh Laurie's spinal column a favor by keeping the limp away but bringing back the leg pain on occasion, we know that emotionally, House isn't going to change.
Nor would I want him to, not if it would mean the loss of bits like him throwing food at the janitor and blaming it on Wilson, or randomly setting fire to a patient's foot to prove a theory.
Very, very strong premiere, even if the scene with Cuddy and Wilson discussing which case House should deal with in his return from hiatus ("It's a great visual, but it's diagnostically boring") was a bit too meta for me.
As for "Standoff," don't have a lot to say beyond what was in my review on Monday: I like Ron Livingston, like Rosemarie DeWitt, and like them both together, but I think the show bungled big-time by starting the relationship in media res. I just didn't care that they were on the verge of breaking up when I wasn't given any time to invest in them being a couple. Plus, I want Gina Torres to have a lot more to do than play TV's 10,000th Disapproving Ethnically-Diverse Law-Enforcement Boss, and every time I look at Michael Cudlitz in that sniper uniform, all I can think is "I want Chris Sabian!" ("Chris Sabian?" "Who's Chris Sabian?" "I want this Chris Sabian here right now!" "Does anyone know where Chris Sabian lives?" "I think I've been to Chris Sabian's house once or twice!") Cudlitz was actually quite awesome in "Band of Brothers," even though he and Livingston didn't have many scenes together, so I'm hopeful that relationship will be interesting, too.
Based on the actors, it's going to get a much longer leash from me than, say, "Vanished" got, but not a great start.
What did everybody else think?