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TV Preview: House, MD Episode “Last Resort” Finds House Held Hostage

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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:

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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.
  • Jazz

    I soooooo can’t wait for this episode!!!!!!

  • Houseguest

    This looks like another jewel in a season full of diamonds…am giddy with anticipation!!
    (Glad you’re feeling better)

  • Barbara Barnett

    Just a few more days, guys. I love episodes, plays, films, etc where everyone is holed up in one room. they are usually very-high on the tension and emotional impact. I’m expecting nothing less on Tuesday.

  • Orange450

    OK – I know I shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but I just watched the first three minutes, and doesn’t it look – just the least little bit – like House is kinda bringing some of the trouble on himself (and everyone else)?? It was his attitude that precipitated the guy’s meltdown, after all. Reminded me a bit of the beginning of the Tritter arc.

    I wonder if this is a point that’s being made – the importance of the chance remark or attitude that can turn the tide of events one way or another. In any case, I also think that House will come through in a big way. Can’t wait to see how he does it!

  • Barbara Barnett

    Interesting point, Orange. But I think the guy came with a gun and would have probably reacted similarly had anyone spoken to him about waiting any longer, or taking his turn, etc. I don’t think House’s chance remark in particular set him off. I think it was any chance remark. So, I wouldn’t equate him with Tritter. He wanted to see Cuddy, and Cuddy wasn’t there. Now I DO wonder what House was doing in her desk in the first place. Now that also intrigues me.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/11/21/110031.php sf

    Barbara, House rummaging through Cuddy’s desk with such intention was very interesting. But it reminded me of the Private Investigator doing the same thing a short time ago. Did the PI “beat House to the punch” or whatever euphemism the PI used when he told House that he was romantically interested in Cuddy and wouldn’t back off but rather “get there first” because House wasn’t a friend but only a client?

    On another subject, I’ve noticed lately that, for the most part, viewers who enjoy the House/Cuddy dynamic seem to also appreciate the House/Wilson friendship. But the opposite doesn’t appear to hold true, with welcome exceptions. Your acceptance and validation of everyone’s point of view while maintaining your own is also a very welcome exception. Well done.

  • Grace

    I only hope this will NOT be a 13 filled episode again!
    And how sad that the guest star has an Emmy and Hugh doesn’t??? Something is terribly wrong in Hollywood.

  • Barbara Barnett

    Thanks, SF…yes, I do wonder what he’s got in that yellow box…and why he’s rummaging through Cuddy’s desk. Hmmmmmm.

    Grace–I think this will be a very House-centered episode. Very. Very, very, even :)

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