No, no, no, noooooo!!!! Spoilers for "House" coming up just as soon as I do my best "Khaaaaaaan!!!!" scream at the heavens...
Why, "House," why? Here we had virtually the only quality returning network show to not begin the season in a slump -- if anything, it's been better this year than last -- and there really hadn't been a dud of an episode yet, and then they have to go and make charisma vacuum Michael Michele's guest stint into some kind of ongoing role as yet another one of House's fellows. (And based on their dialogue, my guess is she has a guaranteed job and won't be competing with the likes of Cutthroat Bitch and Big Love.) This is an actress whose arrival was the killing blow for "Homicide," who may have been the most forgettable castmember in "ER" history, whose physical attractiveness seems to be in inverse proportion to her screen presence. "House" is already badly-overpopulated, even with the candidates down to five with the inevitable dismissal of Grumpy; the show doesn't need any new actors, much less this one. I haven't been this dismayed by a development on a show I love since the Landry grabbed a lead pipe in the "Friday Night Lights" premiere. (Admittedly, that wasn't very long ago, and Michael Michele doesn't have the destructive capability of the Landry storyline, but I felt a very familiar hollowness in the pit of my stomach when I realized she'd be sticking around.)
The rest of the episode wasn't that up to snuff either, unfortunately. Long before it became clear that Grumpy had suffered a psychotic break, it was obvious he was the next to go, because he was basically the only candidate getting any significant screen time. (See also the exit of Scooter the Fake Doctor a few weeks back -- and is there any way we can trade Michele for him? Scooter was awesome.) The split between the two cases -- not to mention all the interpersonal mishegoss with Foreman and Cameron -- meant that nothing got the screen time it deserved. (Or maybe I'm just grouchy that Thomas Wilson, as Speed Racer's dad, got such short shrift. I think I'll go watch Biff's Question Song to make myself feel better.) After Cuddy and Wilson finally re-emerged last week, they both got banished again, not even appearing until the second half. And Grumpy faking the polio just felt silly.
What did everybody else think?