The season premiere is entitled “20 Vicodin,” a typically enigmatic title for a House episode. However, as most House episode titles have multiple meanings within the series context, the season premiere title is sure to be a comment upon whatever happens in “20 Vicodin.” Perhaps 20 Vicodin are all House has left in his stockpile. After all, I’m guessing that Wilson isn’t writing prescriptions for him these days, if he’s even speaking to the self-destructive (or should I say self-destructed) House at all. Last we saw, Wilson was nursing a broken arm, having become collateral damage to his friend's outrage (and outrageous behavior) in “Moving On.”
On the other hand, maybe that’s how many Vicodin House has in his system when he indulges in his supremely irresponsible and incredibly destructive behavior in the Season 7 finale. We actually do not know the charges for which he's sent to prison (or how he is captured and convicted).
Or maybe House has been rationed 20 Vicodin to use over the course of a week—or a month. At any rate, “20 Vicodin” must have some significance for House, and doubtless for the patient (if there is one in the premiere) as well.
But the big (perhaps the biggest) question on fans’ minds these days is who will named the next Dean of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro? Showrunner David Shore is quoted as saying that it's "someone in House's orbit.” Now, some may take that to mean a promotion from within the ranks of the series regulars, but I’m not so sure. “Someone we’ve seen before” can include guest physicians (and even physician-patients) from the past seven seasons.
But first let’s consider who’s available from among the likely suspects. A lot of people are thinking it’s going to be Dr. James Wilson, House’s best friend and enabler. After all, he’s on the hospital board, a department head, and he’s very organized and diligent. Personally, I would not like to see Wilson as dean. Going back to the first season, House’s relationship with Wilson has always been voluntary—a relationship of peers. It’s a unique relationship on the series, and to suddenly make Wilson House’s boss would destroy that uniqueness—and strip away House’s only voluntary friendship. But there’s more.