And we're back for another season of tragic medical insanity and painkillers! But will there be Cottages? And will we even miss them? And am I even supposed to call them Cottages anymore, since the forums now officially endorse a different title? I don't know, I don't know, and, like House, I refuse to bend to the whim of authority! Cottages forever! Attica! Okay. We open on a couple arguing over the phone about whether or not the girlfriend is feeling up to seeing a movie tonight. She claims she's feeling sick and exhausted, and you can see how she might feel that way, what with her heavy workload of putting papers into file trays. Boyfriend quickly discovers that Girlfriend has a case of "I don't actually like Star Wars"-itis and was just pretending she liked it to humor Boyfriend Ben all this time. Boyfriend Ben makes a shocked sad face like he just saw Boba Fett get light-sabered. Does that joke work? I have no idea. I'm a Star Trek girl. Boyfriend Ben babyishly says he'll go to see Star Wars alone (like most of the audience, I'll wager) and hangs up on her. Then he calls back and they apologize to each other. Just as Girlfriend is saying she feels "woozy," making us think she's about to collapse from this week's Mystery Disease, the building starts to creak and shake. At first, she thinks she's just hallucinating like everyone else on this show does right before they end up at PPTH, but it turns out that the building really is, in fact, shaking. As Boyfriend Ben watches from the outside parking lot, the building explodes, knocking Ben into his Prius. When he gets up, he's looking at a pile of concrete.
I see that Cameron, Chase, and Foreman are still in the credits. Interesting.
House has decided to channel Every Annoying Person I Went to College With and is loudly playing his electric guitar with no regard for the people in neighboring dorm rooms who have to fucking read some dry history shit and this isn't making it any easier. House is also wearing a T-shirt that appears to support Africa somehow, which doesn't jibe with his character very much. I would have guessed House hated Africa. And Asia. And Australia. Also, Europe. South America. North America. Antarctica might be all right. His jam session is interrupted by Cuddy MusicHater, who informs him that a woman is in the ER after a building done fell on her. House punctuates her remarks with a guitar riff, but since it isn't the guitar riff from Jethro Tull's "Aqualung," I do not care. And doesn't Hugh Laurie have his own band to play with these days? Must this show indulge and showcase his every hobby? He doesn't need to prove he's amazing to me. To the Emmy voters with James Spader posters on their walls, maybe. Meanwhile, a hospital security guard walks past and pointedly glares at House but does nothing about the incredible disruption he's causing to the hospital community. Much like he did nothing when that guy shot House a few years ago. PPTH security continues to suck in Season Four.
House offers up a differential diagnosis of "building fell on her" from Cuddy's description of the patient's symptoms of fractures and burns. Cuddy adds that the patient also has a fever of one hundred and four degrees. House says he can't take the case, since he no longer has a team, nor does he have any desire to hire one based off of a ten-minute interview. Then...how did he hire his teams in the past? Fed up, Cuddy unplugs House's amp and tells him his two-week guitar concert/non-team-having vacation is over. Instead of following his boss's orders, House tries to make a deal, agreeing to take the case on the condition that if he figures out what's wrong with the patient today, Cuddy will leave him alone for the rest of the week. As Cuddy has tons of faith in her staff's abilities, she immediately takes the bet, sure he'll fail and she'll win. Which never happens.