I have no use for Emmy predictions. Voters for any awards are an unpredictable bunch, and I hate to be wrong. More importantly, and slightly less egocentrically, I don't watch enough of the likely candidates to have an informed opinion. So I wasn't trying to make a prediction back when I wrote about "Autopsy" and kept referring to the Emmys. But as the season comes to an end and the nominations approach, if I were to make predictions, I'd put money on that episode by Lawrence Kaplow as the show's best bet for another writing nod. (Hello Canada Revenue Agency. I'm speaking metaphorically. No actual bets were placed in the writing of this review.) Now, 22 fine episodes later, there's an additional contender for my wager. That is, if I made predictions. Or bets.
"No Reason" was written by last year's winner for best dramatic writing, House creator and executive producer David Shore, who also earns his first-ever directing credit with the episode. But the information I mentioned last week was incomplete. I hadn't realized that both Mr. "Three Stories" and Mr. "Autopsy" participated in "No Reason" — Shore gets credit for story and teleplay, while Kaplow is named for story. Greedy.
Though it doesn't touch the brilliance of "Three Stories" — but then I've never been under the illusion that I'll be that amazed by an episode of any show for a long, long time — this episode bends the House rules in similar ways to that Emmy-winning one. "No Reason" breaks free of the show's normal formula while still staying true to the concept, mines previously explored themes in unexpected new ways, and reveals shades to House's character that arise naturally from what we already know but are surprising all the same. It depends on an unreliable narrator. And it puts House in a hospital gown again.
Just a couple of weeks after we saw Foreman as a patient, we get House as one. Unlike Foreman, he's not in need of his team's diagnostic services, since even I could pinpoint his condition: he was shot. The bullets were my first clue.
Elias Koteas, whose credits include appearances in many of Canadian director Atom Egoyan's fascinatingly disturbing films, plays the fascinatingly disturbing Jack Moriarty, a disgruntled ex-patient who shoots House ("Shocking, isn't it? Who'd want to hurt you?"). The name is another Sherlock Holmes reference for our medical detective, but was it mentioned in the episode, or just the press release?
Now here's where I bury my disclaimer: there's no way I can do justice to the ideas in this episode in these instant-reaction reviews I do. This is a very talky episode, full of ideas, not actions (except exploding eyeballs and scrota, but I'll get to that), and those ideas could fill a very, very writey review. At some point, I do have to go to bed tonight.