'House' season premiere: Doctor in the big house

house-s8-premiere2.jpgWe went on record as not being fans of "House's" season finale last spring. Having now seen the Season 8 premiere, we're prepared to revise that decision somewhat.

This is what we said at the time, not knowing what creator David Shore and Co. had in store for House this season:

Say what you will about the way the Huddy romance was handled. The character deserves better than that. Instead, when House returns from his tropical sojourn sometime in Season 8, it appears Cuddy will be gone. Which in turn means that even though he just committed a major felony and then skipped town, House wins. That's not good, for the character or the show.

So it turns out that House did not win. There were, in fact, consequences, and the premiere dealt with the most obvious of them: House has been serving time for driving into Cuddy's living room and then fleeing. He didn't put up any sort of fight in court and is now walking a very thin line in prison, supplying Vicodin to a leader of a jailhouse gang while trying to keep his very large, not-entirely-there cellmate placated and diagnosing fellow inmates' medical problems on the side.

We still think Cuddy got kind of a raw deal, but showing House paying the price was a necessary course correction for the show.

His off-the-books medial work brings him into contact with Odette Annable's Dr. Jessica Adams, who's duly impressed with House's diagnostic mojo (and manages to impress House with an improvised test on an inmate). As House's parole nears, a patient's condition worsens and he gets further squeezed by the gang leader (well played by former "24" regular Jude Ciccolella), they team up to save the day on all fronts.

Or so you'd think. Except their actions land House in solitary and get Adams fired. Which, of course, helps set up her coming to Princeton Plainsboro sometime later in the season, but it's not the neatly packaged ending we were expecting.

House will be back at the hospital next week (although more time will have passed, obviously). As Shore said in our interview, though, the doc will feel some lingering effects from his time on the inside -- and we're assuming there have been more changes at the hospital beyond Cuddy leaving as well.

And frankly, House should be (more of) a pariah when he goes back to work. We're curious to see how the show plays it out.

What did you think of the "House" season premiere?

Photo/Video credit: FOX