There were three issues focused on, which is already a daunting task. But it was handled brilliantly. They trusted that long-time fans would understand many of the complexities of the issues, and left out a lot of unnecessary exposition. It paid off.
I'll break down the three issues:
My two least favourite characters, and not surprisingly, it was my least favourite issue. It was still good, but Foreman seemed out of place having the most light-hearted attitude this episode. And having Taub stick around to talk to the stripper was understandable, given his mentality, but having the stripper pull a gun on him was obviously forced drama and felt a little over-the-top.
Speaking of over-the-top, there are some things House does that are reckless. Then there are some things that are stupid as hell. Performing self-surgery on his leg was the latter. Thankfully, they redeemed themselves by having House call for help. Unfortunately, the person that answered his call was Cuddy, who's face is forever frozen with an expression of exasperation.
This was the gem in this episode. Personally, I think Chase is the most under-rated character on the show, and this episode highlighted many of his strengths, and alluded to much of his depth. 13, who I originally didn't want to return, was just as amazing. The episode began in typical 13 fashion, with putting the spotlight on her drama and having her stubbornness get in the way of rational decisions, leading to, of course, more drama for her to make more irrational decisions about. Chase however, would have none of it, and was there to keep things from getting out of hand.
The best part? The episode never says anything outright, but watch again the scene near the end when 13 and Chase are in the locker room. These two have much more in common than good looks. 13's face after Chase said they should grab a coffee summed up everything perfectly.
The show isn't perfect, but it's one of the very few shows on TV that seem to care about maintaining high standards. This show demonstrates that not only can a show be both well-written and popular, but it can also last. An episode like this would not have been possible without the characters who've accumulated as much depth as they have. It certainly gives me faith that next season will also be spectacular.