WARNING: THIS PREVIEW CONTAINS EPISODE SPOILERS!
A hostage situation — crazy gunman, SWAT team. House, MD? Next Tuesday’s episode of House, “Last Resort” will ratchet up the tension in Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, while giving its central character his most high stakes diagnostic puzzle ever. The episode will pit Emmy Award-winning Zeljko Ivanek ’s desperate and desperately ill gunman against Emmy-nominated Hugh Laurie’s brilliant Dr. Gregory House.
In what will surely be one of the most intense episodes of the season, House has to diagnose the patient at gunpoint, while he threatens hostages, including House, being held in Cuddy’s office. We all know that House’s default position is to push back against authority and push any adversary’s buttons. But the buttons on this adversary are packed with dynamite under very high pressure. Any pushback is likely to blow up in House’s face with potentially deadly results.
The episode’s director, co-showrunner and executive producer Katie Jacobs, researched the unusual and highly charged situation being depicted during the episode. In a recent conference call she said, "I talked to several SWAT guys. One had a really interesting story about how the hostage taker was moving outside the hospital, from one area to the other, and they were all poised to get him. When he came out, he and the hostages that were surrounding him all had on surgical scrubs and masks so they could not figure out who the hostage taker was and who the victims were."
But the guns and hostages aren’t so much the heart of the story as the structure it provides for the episode’s emotional narrative. “What we were really interested in tapping into – because obviously guys pulling guns is not all that original – but what we were interested in tapping into is the frustration that many of us feel when we go in to see a doctor or a hospital, and we’re not diagnosed, when they simply don’t know what’s wrong,” she remarked.
So how will House handle this tense situation? Can he be a hero? Can he save the day? Having asked for the best doctor in the hospital to diagnose a guy who’s been to 16 doctors without having yet gotten a diagnosis, he couldn’t be holed up with anyone better than House. Obviously House is a diagnostic genius and the challenge will tap into his highly developed “Rubik’s complex.”
House also has a particular (and peculiar) empathy for people who have been jerked around by “the system,” especially the medical system. On the other hand, as Cameron says at one point, House may just as likely push this guy's buttons. If he pushes the wrong one…
In my opinion, House has a heroic streak in him. He will risk himself before he risks others; and perform the more grim, but necessary tasks, himself rather than subject others to having to do them. And for all his sarcasm and appearance of taking almost nothing seriously, House is a very, very serious man beneath the surface. So I do think House will come through in a big way! What do you all think?
Anyway, please do note (and make the proper DVR, DVD and VCR adjustments) that although starting on time – 8:00 p.m. ET – the episode will conclude at 9:09 p.m. It is, as we’ve been told, an “extended” episode. And for your viewing pleasure in the meantime, do drop by the official House site and click on any of several videos they’ve posted, including a “behind the scenes” feature, the promo that aired last Tuesday night, and a video clip of the episode’s first three minutes. And if that wasn’t splendid enough, here are three additional short episode clips. Enjoy: