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Quest for the Best House, M.D. Episode: Part One

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As we draw to the close of the eight-season run of House, let’s reflect on the very best the series has had to offer its millions of fans across the globe. This is the first in a series of polls leading up to the series finale to identify the five best episodes in House history.

Welcome to the End of the Thought Process will run a new poll every few days—one for each season—and let you vote on the best. And then after the finale, we’ll vote on the best of the best. The polls will stay open until three days after the series finale on May 21. The final vote for the best of the best will be announced the following week.
For your added information, I’ve included links to the Welcome to the Thought Process Season One Episode Guide, published on Blogcritics back in 2008.

Season One Episode Guide Part One

Season One Episode Guide Part Two

I’ve taken a few liberties by creating a short list for each season. If I’ve left off a favorite, accept my apologies, but feel free to check “other” and explain your choice in the comments thread. I’ve tried to be uber-objective, but including 22 to 24 choices for each poll seemed excessive to me.

So, happy voting; spread the word, because the more votes (and comments), the merrier.

Along with favorites episode, I will be running additional polls to identify fan favorite fellows, clinic patients, patients of the week and more. So stay tuned!

So, without further ado, here is today’s poll: Best Season One Episode.

On to season two!

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • MusicandHouse

    This one was easy, Three Stories without a doubt, although the Pilot will always be special just because it was the first episode.

  • Jake

    Season One is such a no-brainer. Three Stories is one of the few episodes I can remember vividly that really left an impression. It will be tougher for me once we get to Season 5 and 6. I’ve always felt the peak of the show was from Kutner’s death to about 3 episodes into Season 6. That whole segment was fantastic.

  • MusicandHouse

    Just out of curisoity, will two part episodes count as one for the purpose of the poll? I don’t think I could possibly choose between House’s Head and Wilson’s Heart.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    I will pair natural two-parters. So, yes, House’s Head and Wilson’s Heart will be listed together.

  • lauren

    I like 3 stories but hte episode that has always stood out to me is babies and bathwater with the mother who dies to save her child… such a fantastic episode that and maternity!

  • Blair Conner

    Obviously, Three Stories was great, but outside of that, the best episode was the premier of Season 6 where House was locked up in the mental institution.

  • Kathy

    The musical episode was the best of course!!! That song is still stuck in my head ;)

  • Lisa

    any where we can get a quick paragraph of each episode. I dont remember them by name…

  • Matilda

    House was an exceptional program! 95% of the programs on television are merely bubble gum for the brain. The story lines, he actors, the graphics (videos of anatomy of what is happening), House’s wit, and Hugh Laurie’s musical talent all made this an exceptional show. FOX TV loses more than two style points! BOO! HISS!

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Lisa–go to Wikipedia for a quick listing (you can always refer to Chasing Zebras if you have it :))

  • Stryke

    Three stories, no contest :D

  • Garces_u

    House vs. God

  • Matilda

    In addition, I am fascinated by medicine, so the differentials and tests performed intrigued me. It was educational for those interested in medicine. For the record, Dr. Mehmet Oz once commented that HOUSE was his favorite TV program. That says a lot! Will seriously miss this program!

  • Lena Ruth Carter

    Hard to choose!

  • Lolo

    Three stories was the first episode I ever saw. After getting over the confusion of seeing Hugh Laurie with an American accent, I was totally hooked :)

  • Mayra

    “Three stories” is the best episod of the season one. There is awesome!

  • Erica

    Three Stories, of course… But I feel the need to give very honorable mentions to Honeymoon, Control, and The Socratic Method. Such a great season!

  • Barb Tessier

    The series finale is ON MAY 21 NOT MAY 27

  • rbrown205

    Even though I said Three Stories, I really liked DNR too. The music in that episode was incredible, and the way that House bonded with Giles about that “one true thing” was great.\!

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Barb–Knew that. Meant to say that’s when the poll closes.

  • claudia

    I loved “Damned if you do” with the nuns.

  • Woodstock Sally

    How can I even choose? All of them. I am House obsessed

  • hazel eyes

    I went for Maternity, but to honest season 1 is my favourite season so it was hard to pick a favourite one.

  • Dolores

    I am completely Hugh Laurie and House obsessed. I have a hard time picking the best. As far as I am concerned if Hugh is in it, it’s the best. The man can’t be topped in anything he does. In my mind he is as close to perfect as anyone can get.

  • Greg

    BOTH SIDES NOW! Season 5 Finale

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    It is soooo hard to choose. After nearly 2000 votes, Three Stories is winning by a lot, so far. I haven’t voted yet (bad on me). I adore Three Stories, but I’m having a hard time choosing between:

    3 Stories
    Honeymoon
    Control
    DNR
    Socratic Method
    Maternity
    Histories
    Detox
    Tomorrow I’ll go down memory land and talk about those particular favorites of mine (and why it’s so hard to choose!)

  • John

    I loved the original cast of seasons 1-3. Many of those episodes stand out to me as good episodes. My interest in House has dropped off since then. I still watch it but it’s not a “must see” every week (unlike Fringe, I must watch that live, I love that show). I’m happy to see House end this year… it has run it’s course.

  • Gene

    A brief episode synopsis would be really helpful. Titles don’t help me much, because I don’t own any DVD’s and it’s been 8 years since episode 1. To me the two hour “house in rehab” season premire was the best episode.

  • Linda Karczewski

    I’d like to see a movie made of ALL the House episodes into a motion picture to wrap up House. This would awesome for the writers of House to put together for ALL to see and remember the great Doctor House played by Hugh Laurie.

  • Kyle

    Control has always been my favorite episode but this season had so many great episodes. Wish I could vote for more than one. :(

  • tom of bavaria

    I like three storys. I have it on my tablet. Watching every month. This episode explains house and his behavior. and the background! whene even more and more stundends are listening, even doctors, is awsome. The teacher house is also brilliant.
    Sry for my bad english. . .
    Greetings from bavaria

  • Mrs. House

    The original cast, first three seasons were my favorite and everything had to stop when a new episode was set to air in those seasons. No one mentioned “All In” but I loved that one.

  • Mitchell

    Three Stories is the best episode for story, but I picked Control because it has the best line in the entire season.

    Cuddy: “I need you to wear your lab coat.”
    House: “I need two days of outrageous sex with someone obscenely younger than you. Like half your age.”

  • rbrown205

    Another source of quick one paragraph summaries is imdb.

    Brava to you, Barbara, for your wonderful book!
    I am assuming that each “part” of your poll will represent each season. This season does not have my all time favorite.

  • Brandon

    As much as I love “3 stories” episode. I gotta go with “Socratic method.” He cures a moms scryzophrenia, talks to a patient for the first time, actually admires her child and takes heat from the kid to keep a secret for his mom. You see a different side of him for the first time.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Yes, Rachel. Each poll will be for a different season. I will extract the biggest vote-getters from each season (and if more than one episode in a season gets a lot of votes, I’ll consider adding that to final mix as well). When we get down to the top episodes, I’ll do a final poll with summaries for each episode in the final balloting.

    I’m thrilled at the response. Thank you all for making this viral! Keep it goin’

  • Gabe

    What about the “Daddy’s Boy” episode? Which season is that one from, isn’t it from the first one too? I liked the appearance of his parents; as well as the ending talk between Cameron and Wilson discussing why House loathes his parents

  • Henry

    I’d go with 3 Stories too but its popularity is nearing overrated only because they’re was a lot of great episodes that don’t get the attention they deserves.
    Those asking for a paragraph of episodes.

  • Susan

    I don’t have a favorite from Season 1.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Daddy’s boy is episode 5 from season 2.

  • taste of mind

    ‘Three Stories'; preparing for more exciting episodes;as a beginning…

  • Leah

    Hard to choose:
    I liked the first one – Pilot
    The second one with pharmacological mistake
    Babies and bath water – about a mother who gave her life to save her child
    But I chose “the Socratic method” – about a boy who helped his “schizophrenic” mother.

  • Amanda

    Ok I cannot pick & choose my fave episode, or even fave season. I have each & every season of House on DVD, I am proud to say that I love the character Greg House, MD & the actor who portrays him, Hugh Laurie. He is the most talented & attractive individual on television. I catch myself watching old episodes of House at 3 am because I am bored, or needed a laugh, or just because. He is awesome, I cried when I learned about the show not returning for another season…I am very upset I would watch his show until I took my last breath.

  • chilinbone

    “Three stories” is the best episode of the S1 no doubt :D

  • scarlett

    Why isn’t Mob Rules listed? Absolutely hated Sports Medicine.

  • Gail Moore

    I have become a House fan about when the show ends. I have been recording what is out there. But I sure wish there was a list available of the episodes in order. If any one could help me that would be great. I know what I am watching is not in order but so many of the episodes are truly incredible.

  • sara2

    Where is ”Love Hurts”? Like usual House & Cameron story pretends never existed. ”Quem metuunt, oderunt” (Whom men fear, they hate)

  • Kyle Hunter

    I am getting more and more pissed at x-finity for not running current episodes of this.

  • JoAnn

    I love any story when they mention Sarcoidosis. I have had Sarcoidosis for 24yrs and there syllable not a cure. This month as Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. Thanks House for bring it on t .

  • Phagen_90

    When Amber dies :(

  • vizzi

    easy season 5 episode 23/24

  • Sally

    Season 1 is the best season, it’s so hard to pick a favorite episode. Three Stories is definitely one of the best, also Maternity and Sports Medicine and and and… (as I said, it’s really hard!)

  • Anibal A Concha

    All in

  • BrokenLeg

    I’m not beeing original, but from Season 1,the best ones to me are “Three Stories”,”Everybody Lies” (pilot) and “Socratic Method”.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Many of you are selecting episodes not in season one. Your turn will come :) Promise!!!!
    Season two poll will run starting Saturday, and I will provide a link for episode synopses for season two. Promise that two.

    I’m blown away by the response to this thus far. Keep ‘em coming and come back Saturday for Part 2

  • Antreas

    the season 1 episode 7 fidelity which is not on the list above was the best by far. basically unexpected

  • rjw

    There were a number in Season 1 that I loved,both on the list and not.However,I consider Three Stories one of the very best House episodes ever.

  • Cody

    Why is Lockdown not on the list?

  • CARMEN

    Three Stories House brings us to the problematic

  • Ken

    Three stories s I liked not only because it was funny but at the end when the classroom was packed was very cool. Ive been trying to catch it to DVR it but havent seen it In 2 months

  • Jane E

    Season 1 had so many great episodes, it was hard to choose. I don’t think any other show on tv had such a great first season as House. But I had to choose three stores, so excellent!

  • leakeylover

    Heard something that reminded me of “Maggot Brain” by Funkadelic. Which meant mentally reviewing 6.11, The Down Low. As close to perfect, I think, as House got. :}}

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Cody, Lockdown not in season one. We’re doing season one only today. Season 2 will be Saturday.

  • Andy

    Cursed

  • Michael

    Mine I’d detox, after going through it myself with a leg injury in Iraq the va just threw narcotic painkillers at me for three years, it was a great representation of that expierence of detoxing.

  • Oscar

    I agree with rbrown205…Three Stories with DNR a close second

  • charley

    Three stories…..Need i say more!

  • Adrians

    The two part episodes, House’s Head and Wilson’s Heart are the best imho. Also, Three Stories is special.

  • ann uk

    ” House” is so much superior to any other TV show I have seen that every episode has something to admire even if only Hugh Laurie commanding the scene with his subtle , profound personification of House.However, ” Three Stories ” is a masterpiece of story telling as House reveals himself to us for the first time in all his complexity.As he enthralls the fictional audience, so Hugh Laurie drew millions of viewers under his spell.

  • Frank

    I have always loved House, and yet Three Stories is the only episode I remember well. The rest have become a blur. Three Stories remains the most original and for that reason it’s not just my favourite for the season but the whole series.

  • Judy Myers

    ‘Three Stories’ had it all. It gave us a review of the depth of the House-Stacey relationship and the story of House’s limp and why the Vicodin use.

    The episode also ‘hit it out of the park’ as it blended the three storylines through excellent acting by the cast, all of the extras and gueat stars (the Carmen Electra scene was a hoot). The episode flowed together as a smart, fabulous story told with pathos and humor.

    ‘Three Stories’ also showed us what an excellent actor Hugh Laurie is. His face, body and eyes (good Lord, do eyes come any bluer?) can so seamlessly slip from pain to humor to scheming, hyper-observing, whining, being sarcastic, rattling off ‘medicalese’ with ease, finally diagnosing lupus, ‘epiphaning’, and, be still my heart, smiling.

    For eight years Hugh Laurie has convinced us that he is a real doctor with a real limp in New Jersey and, as long as he doesn’t have to say “New York cardiac arrest” too often, American.

    It has been a wonderful ride so now it is time for you to enjoy your family and friends, your home country and your music.

    Thank you.

    Judy Myers,
    Oregon

  • 20V

    Well, Three Stories is an obvious fan favorite, taking a whopping 64%, but I love Babies & Bathwater. House being forced to make hard choices for his patients and that fantastic scene between House and Vogler in the lobby… Just great.

  • karlee

    My favorite episode of all tine is the two part season finale of season four. i own all the seasons and watch them all countless times but i cant pretty much recite that episode. so well done.

    • Isabella Fiske McFarlin

      I agree.

  • cris

    no reason season 2 cris por supuesto

  • Maria-Eleni

    Three Stories is possibly the best episode of House and one of the best TV episodes ever, because of its originality in structure, the superb acting, the revelations, the emotional impact.
    Still I have voted for Maternity. Not only because it was the first episode I saw, which got me hooked on House, but also because at each reviewing I experience the same feelings of awe (!).
    It is the most silent of episodes yet that silence is so evocative and full of emotions.The original 6 of the cast (though I do not have a preference for them) share equal time and sit together in the DDXs bringing out some of their best and worse characteristics without overemphasizing. House is not so omnipresent yet he dominates by the difficult decision he makes and the laconic but so emotive autopsy of the dead baby contrasting with his “puckisheness” in the non baby scenes. And the clinic patient is one of the best getting prolonged interaction with House.
    It is little more than a year since I first saw Maternity. I never much liked medical shows but House was in my list because of HL. It was a revelation and I was enraptured. I immediately got the Se 1 DVDs, followed by the rest. Reviewing makes most episodes even better.
    Unfortunately I have been spoiled for any other series and even the cinema!

  • Isabella Fiske McFarlin

    I love Three Stories, too.

  • Timothy

    Is anyone still participating in this thread? I remain a huge “House” fan even today (April 19, 2014). Please tell me there’s someone else out there besides me!

  • Timothy

    Is anyone still participating in this thread? I remain a huge “House” fan even today (April 19, 2014). Please tell me there’s someone else out there besides me!

    • http://blogcritics.org/writers/barbara-barnett Barbara Barnett

      Hi! Of course the very lively discussion here slowed down a lot after the show went off the air after season 8. But feel free to discuss!