Season 4 of House M.D. returned in September 2007 and contains 16 episodes. House, M.D. - Season Four was released on DVD in region 2 on the 27th October 2008.
Season 4 was a sharp departure from Season 3. In the finale of the previous series, House’s entire team of fellows was fired or quit, leaving him without a staff. Apparently, the producers felt the show needed a cast shake up and, to be fair, the character House noted in Alone that it was strange for him to have had the exact same staff for three straight years. In the Season 1 episode DNR, Foreman admits that he is on a three year contract, which would have ended at about the end of Season 3.
However, none of the cast members left at this point, they just filled different roles. Foreman, who initially tried to move on, instead wound up as a supervising fellow over the new hires. Cameron moved to the emergency room and started a relationship with Chase, who moved to the surgical department in an attempt to become board certified.
The plan was to hire three new cast members to fill the team. In fact, the process to do this was almost as chaotic as the process House set up himself. However, of the forty “applicants” for the open fellowship positions, fewer than half had speaking roles in The Right Stuff and in reality only six actors had a real shot at staying on. However, even the cast members were kept in the dark until the last moment about which ones would be kept on.
However, the biggest impact on Season 4 was the writer’s strike, which shut down production on the series for about three months. As a result, Season 4 is by far the shortest season, with only 16 episodes being produced in all.
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps as Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard as Dr. James Wilson
Peter Jacobson as Dr. Chris Taub
Kal Penn as Dr. Lawrence Kutner
Olivia Wilde as Thirteen
Jennifer Morrison as Dr. Allison Cameron
Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase
Anne Dudek as Dr. Amber Volakis (14 Episodes)
Edi Gathegi as Jeffrey Cole (7 Episodes)
Andy Comeau as Travis Brennan (5 Episodes)
Carmen Argenziano as Henry Dobson (3 Episodes)
Michael Michele as Samira Terzi (2 Episodes)
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After losing his original diagnostic team, House decides that he doesn't need fellows as he feels that he can handle a case all on his own but after taking a long time to solve a case, Cuddy insists that he start looking for possible doctors to join his new team. House grudgingly accepts and gets forty applicants together and has a reality show style contest to see which lucky three applicants will stay on to get the vacant fellowship openings. Meanwhile, Cameron and Chase come back to work at the hospital, while Foreman starts work in a job similar to House's at another hospital. However, Foreman is soon fired for doing exactly what House would do and winds up back at Princeton-Plainsboro. House wants nothing to do with him, but Cuddy insists he can only hire two new fellows and must have Foreman on his team to keep an eye on him.
After some false starts, House decides on a fortyish plastic surgeon, Chris Taub, and a young rehabilitation specialist, Lawrence Kutner. He also manipulates Cuddy into hiring Number 13, a beautiful but mysterious internist. Meanwhile, Foreman stays on, and becomes more and more like House with each passing day.
Meanwhile, House starts fearing the loss of his best friend when it is revealed that Wilson has been dating Amber for several months without letting House know. Meanwhile, everyone starts speculating about why Number 13 is being so guarded, and Foreman lets it slip that he thinks she is bisexual, leading to rampant speculation by the rest of the medical staff.
Tragedy strikes when House is injured in a bus crash, suffering a concussion. He is sure that one of the other passengers on the bus was suffering from a medical condition, but his injury prevents him from remembering who it was or what the condition was. Finally he remembers - for some unexplained reason, Amber was on the bus with him and she was badly injured in the crash and is being treated as a Jane Doe patient at another hospital. Wilson eventually learns that the reason Amber was on the bus was to attempt to get House home safely after a night of drinking, leaving House and his friendship in risk.
- House tries to work on his own. Wilson retaliates by stealing House’s expensive guitar and holding it for ransom until he starts interviewing candidates.
- House invites 40 applicants to compete for the three open fellowships. Ten are fired immediately and twenty others are eliminated by the end of The Right Stuff.
- Foreman starts with his own diagnostic department and New York Mercy Hospital. However, when he breaks hospital rules to save a patient, he is soon fired. Half the medical establishment thinks he’s crazy and won’t hire him - the other half is too scared to.
- Cuddy initially tries to hire Foreman at an increased salary, but when it becomes clear he’s unemployable, he gets him back on his old salary.
- House tries to pester Foreman into quitting, but when Foreman stands his ground and shows his worth, House accepts him back.
- House finds out one of the applicants, Henry Dobson, isn’t really a doctor, but keeps him on anyway.
- House forms two teams to compete for the openings. Thirteen comes up with the same diagnosis that House did, but when the patient doesn’t respond to treatment, he soon dies. House finds out later that Thirteen didn’t make sure the patient took the proper medication. Surprisingly, House keeps Thirteen on, but fires her teammates Jodi Desai and The Twins.
- House electrocutes himself to prove there is no afterlife to Wilson, but pages Amber first who manages to revive him in time.
- Amber becomes the first applicant to hit a right diagnosis.
- House fires Henry Dobson because their thought processes are too similar.
- A patient who mimics the person he’s with reminds Foreman that although he often has to do crazy things, he really enjoys the practice of diagnostic medicine.
- Chase starts a pool on which applicant will get fired next. House doesn’t fire anyone so he can split the pool with Chase.
- Foreman is left in charge of the team while House goes to work diagnosing a sick CIA agent. Foreman turns out to be right all along when House comes back and realizes Travis Brennan faked an illness in the patient. Brennan is fired.
- Because House can’t tell Cuddy where he went to while he was as the CIA because she won’t believe him (and didn’t believe Wilson when he told her the same thing), she hits both House and Wilson with more clinic duty.
- House offers the attractive doctor at the CIA, Samira Terzi, a job and she comes to Princeton to accept. However, she turns out to be useless and she fires her at the next opportunity.
- Taub defies House with a patient who needs reconstructive surgery. House tries to fire him, but Cuddy won’t let him because the patient trusts Taub. House finds out Taub has no where else to turn as he’s prohibited from practicing plastic surgery as a result of his infidelities. He fires Samira instead.
- Thirteen becomes the second applicant to hit the right diagnosis.
- A patient finally has lupus
- House offers a challenge that the person who get’s Cuddy’s thong is safe for the week and can nominate two people, one of whom will be fired. Cole appears to win the contest. However, when he chooses his best friend Kutner as one of the nominees, House realizes that Cole got Cuddy’s thong by offering to let her pick one of the nominees. He fires Cole instead.
- Under pressure from Cuddy to finalize his choices, he asks her for advice. He winds up picking her choices. Taub and Kutner. However, Cuddy was suggesting those choices thinking House would reject them because she liked them. She tells him to hire Thirteen too. She then realizes House manipulated her into hiring all three. Amber is the odd one out.
- The budget committee cuts free cable to the patient’s rooms. With Cameron on the budget committee, House orders his team to “convince” Cameron to work to reinstate free cable. They fail and House tells him it was a lesson to make sure they don’t play games with him again. However, he tells them to pay so he can have cable again.
- House falls for a psychiatrist patient who he is treating remotely at the South Pole. However, she hooks up with one of the staff at the station instead.
- Amber and Wilson start dating. House initially tries to break them up but, when that fails, they work out a compromise to share Wilson’s free time.
- Foreman figures out Thirteen’s secrecy is an attempt to hide her bisexuality. She neither confirms nor denies this, but the rumor spreads quickly.
- The nurses go on strike.
- House kidnaps the star of Prescription Passion to treat him and winds up saving his life. However, he does it at the expense of a $200,000 fine to the hospital for treating the patient without a confirmed diagnosis.
- In order to keep an eye on House during a hospital inspection, Cuddy tells Cameron to stay with House to complete his unfinished charts. He asks her to return to the team, but she refuses.
- House survives a bus crash, but it certain one of the bus passengers’ life is in danger. He finally remembers Amber was on the bus with him. They find her at Princeton General and try to bring her back to PPTH for treatment. However, when they figure out that she accidentally overdosed on her flu medication, they also realize they were too late to have treated her once they found her. Amber is soon removed from life support after she is brought off anaesthetic to say goodbye to Wilson.
This article was the featured article for August, 2010.