Welcome to Season 2! It seems like only a few weeks ago that I was recapping Season 1, and here we are again. While most of House's patients begin the episode on a metaphorical Death Row, this time, we get to go to a real one. One inmate is ordering his last meal of lobster, a strawberry malt, and "those chocolate donuts that come in a box," proving conclusively that 1 out of 1 Death Row inmates prefer Entenmann's to Sara Lee when it comes to last-meal pastries. Another inmate, played by LL Cool J, sits and thinks. Then he paces around as the warden tells the last meal guy that he can have the spiritual advisor of his choice and a chance to say his last words. Then the warden leaves, and both Death Row guys laugh at the idea of their needing a spiritual advisor because they're both going to hell. Last Meal Guy wonders if he'll get "another" stay of execution, and then a guard comes to take LL away for his daily exercise hour. He's walked into a cinderblock-walled courtyard with a basketball hoop and no basketball, and he proceeds to mime a game by himself until he gets some company. It's a bloody woman, and she wants to know why LL hit her all the time. "You know why!" he tells her. "You could've stopped," she answers, like she's talking about getting teased about her bad hairstyle as opposed to being beaten to death. Then an inmate appears and accuses LL of stabbing him in the back and not fighting fair. And then a guard appears and is able to tell LL that he had a wife and three kids despite the gaping slash wound in his throat. LL runs to the exercise room door and pounds on it, beginning for help, when another inmate appears, his throat also slashed open, and asks LL what he did to deserve being killed. LL freaks out as everyone talks over each other and then the Magic School Bus Cam shows his heart pumping just a little too fast and furious, and he collapses.
House -- the hair on his head, if not the hair on his face, having had a slight trim over the hiatus -- heads for Cuddy's office, where she's meeting with unbearable Stacy. He immediately pops a few pills (perfectly understandable) and heads inside, but he's stopped in the outer chamber by a bright young man who claims to be Cuddy's new assistant. House is jealous that Cuddy gets a secretary and he doesn't, like he'd even want one or be able to keep one, and the assistant responds that he's not a secretary -- he's an assistant. "I graduated from Rutgers," he finishes, as if this were proof of non-secretariness. House says he hopes Rutgers offered some sexual harassment law courses, because he's going to need them working for Cuddy. ["Shout-out!" -- Wing Chun] And then House walks right into Cuddy's office. That's the last we see of Cuddy's Able Young Assistant for this episode, but I hope it's not the last we see of him, period. He might be fun.