What could be better? It’s spring, the weather is warming up. Oh, and did I mention? House, M.D. returns with its final run of six episodes Monday night. After fits and starts, and interrupted narrative flow, the show back and airing new episodes without a break until the end of the season mid-May.
The show comes back with a real bang as Hugh Laurie directs his first House episode, “Lockdown.”episode is a break-the-formula entry surrounding the disappearance of an infant from its crib. When the child is discovered missing, the hospital goes on “lockdown” status and everyone is frozen in place where they are. Until the issue is resolved and the find the baby, everyone is stuck in place: Forman and Taub are stuck together in a file room; Wilson and 13 are trapped in the cafeteria; (and if you didn’t already know) Chase and Cameron finally are able to (hopefully) gain some closure after their abrupt end in last fall’s “Teamwork.”
House is stuck with a dying patient, played by Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck). The patient is someone whose case House declined, so he’s not very happy with his involuntary companion.
Strathairn is an acclaimed film and stage actor, whose work spans from playing Eddie Cicotte, the star pitcher of the infamous Chicago “Black” Sox team in 1919 in Jon Sayles’ Eight Men Out to Edward R. Murrow (for which Strathairn received an Oscar nomination) in Good Night, and Good Luck.
I first saw Strathairn in the short lived, quirky and superb “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.” He played Moss Goodman, a socially (but appealingly) awkward, introverted bookseller who had a thing for Molly.
He’s the kind of actor you might expect to be at home playing that sort of role—professors, booksellers, writers: cerebral, reserved, slightly awkward. His role in Sneakers as Irwin 'Whistler' Emery: a blind, idealistic genius of a computer hacker is classic Strathairn.
But then catch him in Matewan (another Sayles movie—he’s known the director since their college days), playing the reluctant hero police chief in a mining town, or in LA Confidential as Kim Basingers’ smarmy (but politically connected) pimp, Pierce Patchett. And you realize Strathairn is a real chameleon—a real character actor.