All season, I’ve been waiting for an episode to leave me (at some point) breathless. And this is the first time in a while that I’ve been transfixed by the show (and not breathing — much anyway), cursing the television between commercial interruptions.
Brilliant acting by Hugh Laurie (literally in every single scene — this has to be his Emmy submission!), who conveyed nearly every possible range of emotion, taking us with him on House’s nightmarish journey. Lisa Edelstein was terrific as well, bounding from sensuous to caring and protective to frustrated and angry. In fact the entire cast put all into this hour. A stellar script by Garrett Lerner, Russel Friend, David Foster, and Peter Blake from Doris Egan’s story and exciting direction and editing created an intense and harrowing journey for the series’ hero. These are the things that make House great.
“House’s Head,” season four’s penultimate episode (part one of a two-part season finale), allowed us access to House’s mind as he tries to make sense of fractured bits and pieces of his memory after serious head injury leaves him with retrograde amnesia. “Someone is dying because I can’t remember,” House agonizes at one point.
At the episode’s start, House finds himself in a strip club, dazed and confused. A lap dancer struts her stuff and it barely registers with him; he has no idea how he came to be in the club in the first place. Leaving before he has his lap dance, bleeding and unable to remember, he wanders aimlessly into the street. All around him, people run and lights strobe — a chaotic scene. As the camera pulls back to reveal a serious accident scene we, along with House, realize that he was somehow involved in it.
As he is treated in the Princeton Plainsboro emergency room by Cameron, House insists that he had noticed a serious symptom in one of the passengers. And he is compelled to find out who it is, and what is wrong.
Wilson is doubtful, telling House that he can’t be certain that this person even exists; that the symptom he spotted may simply be a figment of a blurry imagination. But House is insistent, driven to reconstruct his memories to save a dying person, risking his health — and his life — in the process.