The tense and somber "Euphoria" was not designed to induce giddiness, other than through the elation of having two episodes of House in a single week. This was good news both for fans and for sweeps-conscious FOX, who lately have seen the show reach ratings high after ratings high.
There were comedic moments, of course, especially the injection of a clinic scene in the second hour of this two-part episode that filled in any gaps Roget's Thesaurus might have left under "masturbation." And for a final bit of William S. Paley Festival trivia, "Euphoria" contained the line that a few cast members said was their favourite, after a hushed consult with creator David Shore, to make sure they weren't inappropriately spoiling anything: "Get out of my temporal lobe, House."
When the patient of the week is the doctor of every other week, we see a radically different dynamic among our Department of Diagnostic Medicine team. In what could be seen as a sign that breaking and entering is perhaps unwise, even when performed by a physician, Foreman contracts a mysterious disease after searching the disgustingly filthy apartment of a cop who suffered from symptoms of euphoria, blindness, pain, and finally the ultimate, incurable symptom — death. All the while, a newly ill Foreman watches in horror from the same isolation room.
We're given obvious signposts to indicate the effect Foreman's illness is having on House. When Cameron tries to comfort him by saying it's not his fault Foreman got sick, Chase points out that risking one of their lives to see what Foreman missed in that apartment would, in fact, be House's fault. Wilson pops by to admonish House for playing it safe, pointing out that House doesn't visit patients because if he gives a crap, he gets cautious.
But mostly, we know that caring is House's kryptonite and he has been stripped of his superpowers simply by the torment on Hugh Laurie's face. House's deeply buried compassion and empathy come to the surface on that face, especially when he and Foreman discuss pain, the fear of pain, and disability. "Sure, I make it look oh so sexy, but it's actually not as glamorous as you might think," says House, desperate to stop Foreman from risking a white-matter brain biopsy. House even demonstrates that he values Foreman's life over that of his pet rat, Steve McQueen, when he tries to expose him to the same toxins in order to get another brain to biopsy. In happy news, both Steve McQueen and Foreman survive.