I love when actors direct their own show: House “Lockdown” Episode recap/review


“The Lockdown”

I love it,love it, love it when actors direct an episode of their own show. It gives a new viewpoint on the characters from the actors who have played them for so long. Tonight on “House” that was case. Hugh Laurie directed “Lockdown” and he did a phenomenal job.

This episode revolved around the characters more than the actual case and I was kinda thankful for that. After awhile when watching “House”, you get sick of them solving a case after case, no matter how interesting it is. This episode involved a missing newborn leading to a lockdown of the Hospital. Everyone knows when you are faced with a lockdown, you are normal confronted with your worst fears and things you tend to avoid.

I’m gonna break it down by the rooms and the characters that were locked in them.

Chase/Cameron

First and foremost, Jennifer Morrison returns as Cameron which I was thrilled about. She returned in this episode to get Chase to sign the divorce papers. At fist Chase is unwilling to accept and Cameron tries to leave, but of course lockdown occurs at that exact moment, making them face their worst fears. Chase agrees to the papers if Cameron answers questions. The big question and the only question that’s really asked is, did Cameron ever love him? She falters and says I don’t know.  This of course then goes back to Cameron’s first dead husband and about how messed up she is.  Chase then says he’s not mad, because now he knows the truth.

Cameron then changes her answer. “I did love you, but not in the way that could have worked. I’m a mess….I’m unfixable. I’m not you.”

Now I like as their problem progresses through the episode, they both discuss what they liked about their previous relationship.

Cameron: “What were your favorite parts that you remembered?”

Chase: “I like how in the middle of the night, I would wake up and you would put your arm around me and didn’t even wake up. I like how you stood up to your dad at Christmas when he yelled at your mom. How you didn’t even know you were strong, but you were. What do you miss?”

Cameron: I miss alot but when I think about missing you, I think of the dance class we took for the wedding…and I think he’s never gonna hold me again like that.”

And of course Chase does what I want him to do… He whips out his mp3 player and plays a song and asks her to dance. So AWWW!!!! The song by the way was Elvis Costello’s “Alison”.  Then Cameron locks the door and you can guess what happened. When lockdown ends, they just decide to pretend they aren’t in the room.

What I did like about when Hugh Laurie did their scenes, was the lighting choice. During his scenes and Cameron and Chases, the most dramatic of the scenes, he used a darker lighting. Whether that was his choice or the director of photography, it was spot on.  Also a big fan of the first scene when they were in the darkened hospital room and the shot showed them miles apart from each other. Nice!

Sad to see that this might be Jennifer Morrison’s last episode.

Foreman/Taub

Now these two men probably had the funniest bit of the night. Taub and Foreman are both trapped in the records room. Foreman is down there getting a patient’s file with Taub, but was really getting his own file to destroy because he’s ashamed of some information such as faking a test. The reason why Foreman has come to collect this is that all the employees credentials are going to become digitized soon or permanent.

Taub and Foreman decided to go through House’s file and find nothing but a bunch of malpractice suits by Lisa Cuddy…another joke by House. Nice.

Their scenes get more fun when they decided to live in the shoes of House for a couple of hrs. Foreman has a vial of pills and he and Taub decide to take not just one,  but a handful, the House style of taking drugs. Mayhem ensues. Brilliant choice of music when they were taking the pills and I loved Omar Epps knocking back the pills like House.

Still loopy from their pills, Taub reads Foreman’s file and Foreman reads Taub’s. Taub realizes that Foreman doesn’t believe he belongs as this hospital. Foreman learns that Taub is ashamed of working beneath someone younger and doesn’t have a practice like House.  In the end when lockdown is finished and Foreman leaves without his file, Taub decides to shred a page for him.

Part of Hugh Laurie’s directing I loved for these bits are the shots between all the shelving. Loved it!

13/Wilson

The other good comedic bit of this episode was from 13 and Wilson being trapped in the cafeteria together. Wilson of course brings up the idea to pass the time with “Truth or Dare”. At first 13 says no, but who can refuse a game of truth or dare? She also tells Wilson she’s awesome at it and he better watch out.

The two dares given: Wilson has to be a bad boy and steal a dollar from the cash register. I love how he tries to trick the worker into making a sandwich for 13 because she has proteinane and needs hot protein so she needs a hot chicken sandwich thats made in the grill in the back. Then he tries to open the cash register and take the dollar, but he gets caught! So funny!

The other dare: Wilson tells 13 she has to show her breasts to Taub at some point. This gets accomplished at the end of the episode. Hehe

The major truths learned: 13 has not told her dad that a) she’s bisexual b) has Huntington’s.  Wilson a) wants to date his first ex-wife, Sam Carr b) he doesn’t date anyway because he suppresses his life for House’s convenience. He doesn’t want House to end back up in Rehab.

Cuddy/ Missing Baby

Cuddy finds missing baby by realizing one of her nurses, Adrian, has some sort of seizure that puts her on autopilot without remembering what she did. Apparently, Adrian took the baby when she switched the towels in the room. Like I said, this episode didn’t focus on this patient really. The only thing that really came up was whether the step-son had done away with the baby because he didn’t want a sister. Thankfully, that was not the case.

House/ Philosophy professor patient

Now interestingly enough I came across an article in the NYTimes today that did an interview with Hugh Laurie on tonight’s episode. Laurie hits in on the head about the situation when in lockdown with the patient who his dying. Well, of course he would hit it on the head, he is Dr. House.

“The patient played by David Strathairn, is ‘sort of a phantom of House further down the road, he is approaching death and is sort of looking back on his life with the kinds of regrets that House suddenly sees he might have.’ ”

The philosophy professor had actually written to House to solve his case, but by now it’s gotten to0 late. He is hours away from dying. House asks why he doesn’t go into a medicated sleep? The professor then responds. “I think you’re the one who want to numb themselves out.”

House questions why none of his family is here around his bed side? The patient has distanced himself from his family because he had an affair with one of his students. His only last regret is not having talked to his daughter in a number of years. He with House’s help, yes House helped, dials the number and leaves a message for her since she didn’t pick up.

The patient asks House to spill his secrets. When at first House refuses, the patient says what have you got to lose? I’m going to be dead in a few hrs. Here’s House’s quote.

“I like to be alone or at least I convince myself that… I met someone at a psychiatric hospital she left… we suffer, we die alone. Model Husband, father of the year, tomorrow will be the same for you.”

The Patient responds: “But yesterday would have been different.”

Eventually the patient after calling his daughter, agrees to a medicated sleep, but not without House saying he regrets not taking his case.

Hugh Laurie Directing: Lighting was once again dark to contrast the importance of House’s discussion like that of Cameron and Chase’s.

-Also last shot of the episode with the latin spelling, OM WES TE MORTIRUM AMANT (Might be missing a few letters due to the Ivy): Thanks to my commenter, Darren who thoughtfully gave me the translation: Everyone loves you on your deathbed. Thanks once again for that!

Like I said, I liked this episode, not only because Jennifer Morrison returned, but because it was different from the normal episodes where they are solving a case. This time, they were all solving the problems of their own lives.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see if we were all put in our own lockdown and see what we would find out about ourselves?

If you wanted to read the Hugh Laurie article from the New York Times…. Tormented Doc turns to Directing

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2 thoughts on “I love when actors direct their own show: House “Lockdown” Episode recap/review

  1. Great episode. Gregory has changed so much over the years. I love his confession to the dying professor about how he’s convinced himself that he would rather be alone. This honesty and self-recognition… it’s quite something. I love the “suffering genius” aesthetic. This season though, with his new, more moderate outlook on things– where he doesn’t see asking for help as weakness any longer, but rather as strength– is powerful stuff.

    Might I offer my own observation?

    No one else was in the room with House and the supposedly real Philosophy Professor. Except for the security guard that came into the room in order to make sure House knew the lockdown was lifted, no one can corroborate that there was even a patient in the room.

    House is no stranger to hallucinations, though they were almost always associated with his drug addiction before. It would be interesting if House’s time with this dying Classicist is revisited in a later episode (perhaps he tries to find the daughter, only to find she doesn’t exist) and realizes he is hallucinating again.

    Of course, Cameron and Chase as well as Foreman and Taub were also alone together. Were they hallucinating? Probably not (well, perhaps Foreman and Taub were… at least for a few minutes). But none of them have a history.

    Hallucination or not, Greg is facing his demons. Most probably don’t see the dying patient as a hallucination, and this I understand. Even if he was real, House was conversing with a dying man who had regrets. Thoughts that may have gone through his head: “I am afraid of death, and that’s why I am who I am,” “I don’t want to die alone,” “I want to find the woman from the psychiatric hospital.”

    I finally found a translation of that Latin phrase: Omnes Te Moriturum Amanta (“Everyone loves you on your deathbed”). Think about it: Chase and Cameron were on their deathbed figuratively, and they made up… for now. The dying professor put off reuniting with his daughter until he was on his deathbed, sympathy being assured in that situation. And others…

    • Thanks so much for your commenting, but also your thoughts! So much more in depth. Love it! Also thanks so much for the latin translation, I’m gonna fix it right now. Please come back anytime and share any of your thoughts!

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