TV Article

Strange Awakening

On ''House,'' John Larroquette's coma patient gets suicide assistance, a sandwich, and the the doc to open up

Hugh Laurie, House | HE DIDN'T START THE FIRE But Caustic Guy could still go down in flames
HE DIDN'T START THE FIRE But Caustic Guy could still go down in flames

''House'': A revealing road trip

Finally! An episode worthy of the badass, Borat-defending actor that is Hugh Laurie. I realize my appreciation of this ep is directly related to the relative absence of David Morse's Tritter (even his appropriation of House's ''Everybody lies'' line was lame), but it was also a great showcase for snowy-haired guest star John Larroquette and the gleaning of more details of House's history.

Picking up exactly where we left off last week, Wilson was angrily confronting a lunching House about stealing his prescription pad when the two were interrupted by a gangly kid with a serious hand-eye coordination problem. Turns out said kid was the son of one of House's coma, erm, vegetative-state guys (Larroquette), and this being Princeton-Plainsboro, he immediately fell into a seizure that eventually threatened to put him in, yep, a coma.

To solve the medical mystery, House decided to temporarily revive (via L-dopa) vegetative-state dad in order to collect a complete history of his son. Unfortunately, all he got from his newly conscious patient is that he was really‚Ķ starving. And could go for a steak. And didn't seem to care that his only son, whom he rescued from a fire a decade ago, was dying. As a compromise, ''caustic guy'' House promised to take ''coma guy'' to Atlantic City for a hoagie — courtesy of Wilson and his car — and answer some personal questions in exchange for some medical history on the kid.

Although I think the writers tried to jam too much history into the trio's road trip, we did get some great insight into House's reasons for becoming a doctor (being right trumps everything else... including being an untouchable Japanese janitor/doc), how he met Stacy (a doctors vs. lawyers paintball game), and his true appreciation for Wilson (''Maybe I don't want to push this until it breaks.''). Larroquette was also right on the ball as a befuddled dad with a dark sense of humor who struggled with potentially failing to save his family again. Telling House that his last remaining power was the power to annoy him? Fabulous. Wanting to market the Coma Guy Diet and mispronunciation of 'iPod'? Priceless. Committing suicide so his dying kid could have his heart? Absolutely devastating.

Plus, the ducklings lined up in a row to defend their quack of a boss to Tritter. Overall? I was pleased.

But what about you, dear readers? Are you ready to re-enter House's House of Whining? Are you concerned for Wilson's financial status? And are you counting down the episodes until Tritter's written off the show?

Originally posted Nov 15, 2006