I'm a little late with this but better late than never. My critic/writer friends have said all there really is to say on this ep, I'm just giving you my two cents worth.
I liked this episode. I loved the photography, the use of the hand held camera and the 360 degree circle in which they used to film the interrogations. I thought Jeffrey Wright was a strong and formidable opponent for House and House drove me crazy with his sarcastic comments.
I rather enjoyed House's attempts to solve the case while Chase was near death in the ICU. We know House likes Chase, they've grown on each other over the years. We watched Chase go from an asshole to a really likeable guy. Also, we know exactly what House does when someone he cares about is sick...he hides his emotions and deflects in an attempt not to feel the pain we know he feels. While I was watching the episode I was yelling at my TV "House shut up, stop talking about the case and ask how Chase is doing?" but then I realized that I really didn't want him to do that because it's not his style. House does care, it's just that he shows it in the strangest ways. As Chase told Cofield, House was there by pretending not to be there, or something to that effect.
Once again we have an episode that questions whether or not Foreman can control House. In the episode "Family" several years back Foreman told House he didn't want to be like House but House told him he'd been like him since he was eight years old. That Foreman continues to sit in on the DDX's and that he's always around House and the team makes me think he's a lot happier working in diagnostics than in administration. Clearly, the only one who could control House was Cuddy. Why? Because House respected her, they also had a history. House may not have admitted it, but you could tell when he did listen to Cuddy. She was like the other half of his brain. Foreman doesn't have that and he can't control House, House is in his head. That's one of the reasons Cameron resigned from her position as interim Dean when Cuddy was on leave with Rachel. House was so far into her head she couldn't think objectively when dealing with him. She could never tell him no just like Foreman can never tell him no and that's going to get Foreman in big trouble.
I thought it was interesting they way they delved into House's process and finally asked the question is the damage he causes worth the lives saved. In the end, we could have no other conclusion than what we received because that would mean House would go back to jail. That could never happen.
I really liked it at the end when House apologized to Chase, because you knew he meant it. House has only apologized three times on the show that I recall. He apologized to Wilson over Amber's death, he apologized to Cuddy for lying to her, and he apologized to Chase after he was stabbed. In each of those three cases, House felt he was responsible. Even when he apologized to Cuddy, while he made it seem to Wilson as if he only said it to appease Cuddy, I felt he really meant it. House is a man of actions more than words which is why we don't often hear what's going on inside him.
It seemed to me early on when Cofield was interviewing Park, Taub and Adams, the three of them were attempting to cover for House. Now neither of them really likes House but they do learn a lot from him and they do know he is brilliant. Did they feel they needed to cover something up? Did they feel he'd dome something wrong? I just got that feeling that they were defending him when House clearly wasn't even defending himself.
It was interesting that Cofield changed his mind at the last minute. House was furious and rightly so. House is always willing to defend his methods even if it means well...in this case, going back to prison. Remember in Twenty Vicodin he wound up in solitary confinement and serving some additional time because of his stunt trying to treat his fellow inmate. He knew he was right and he was willing to pay the price for it. That's the House I like, willing to stand up for what he truly believes is right. Generally he stands by what he believes in even when it gets him into hot water. He was pissed off because Cofield betrayed his own principles and House hates that. Cofield truly believed House was wrong and in House's mind he should have stuck with that. Cofield changing his mind because the patient's wife intervened shouldn't have changed anything because if Cofield felt he was wrong, then that's his decision. The patient intervening doesn't suddenly change anything and make House right. House knew he was right all along, a patient's wife thanking him doesn't make it so. I don't blame House for being pissed off. Cofield sold out (or did he?). House doesn't respect that. He would however have respected Cofield for sticking to his guns. But then he'd be back in prison and where would that leave us?
Again, House is a man of actions, not words.
All in all I liked this episode for a variety of reasons. Most of all in the end it did keep me asking the questions: Who was at fault and Are House's methods right or are they wrong?