Review | House

Credit: FOX

Us Rating: ***1/2

Air Date: Monday 10/3

Just like its titular antihero, Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), this venerable medical drama keeps taking risks. That’s a good thing -- at least when it comes to the show. As for House, when last seen, he had crashed his car into the living room of erstwhile love Cuddy (departed cast member Lisa Edelstein). Season 8 opens with the glib medico in yet another shocking predicament: He's in prison for that wanton act, and though there are just five days left on his one-year sentence, his life is threatened by one inmate, while another has (surprise, surprise) a mysterious ailment. Can House and a young prison doctor (bright cast addition Odette Annable) save the guy? Despite the far-fetched scenario -- House actually starts a prison riot! -- this gripping episode has real poignancy. In one starkly moving vignette, the often unpleasant doc bonds with his psychotic yet nice cellmate. And through all the madness, Laurie nimbly zigzags between cocky humor and palpable fear, right up to the satisfying ending. (Fox, 9 P.M.)