Amy Irving guest stars in this week's episode of House, and it must be said that she does a fantastic job. Her character is a brilliant but disturbed children's book author, and she has written her final book. She speaks to the image of her main character like he is a real person, and puts a gun in her mouth. Before she can kill herself, she has a seizure and falls over. Her nurse calls 911, and House it turns out is a big fan of her series. It's the little funny details about House that always works for him, such as his love for soap opera and teen novels. Alice is the writer and House has to stop her from committing suicide, find out what's wrong with her, and suss out the lies she tells so they don't accidentally kill her along the way.

Alice is a great person for House to bounce off of, and the ducklings too because she's smart, sharp, haunted, and determined to get her way. She easily analyzes that Chase was being naughty the night before and that Taub is a cheating cheater like her ex. House really just wants to cure her so he can get the next book, and he breaks into her house on a date with Cuddy to talk to her assistant. He also manages to pull in Wilson's girlfriend to help him get the manuscript. It's great to see Sam again now that House isn't competing with her for Wilson's attention. She and House have great sympatico in this episode.

They even go on a double date together. House is worried that he and Cuddy have nothing in common, and that inevitably she'll dump him because of it. He makes them all go Go Kart racing because that's something he would like to do, and he's trying to get Cuddy into these things too. It does seem like all four of them are having a blast at first, with Sam knocking them all out, but Cuddy gets some neck pain and House cheats, so they get kicked out. In the end Cuddy reassures House that she likes that they have nothing in common, that it makes them uncommon, and that at least they're not boring. She says he makes her better and she hopes she does the same for him. This ties in nicely with the Alice situation.

House figures out that Alice is basically writing herself in her novels as the main character's Aunt Helen. In the book Aunt Helen dies, and her symptoms are all in there. This he figures out after she goes in to an MRI and doesn't tell them she has screws in her leg from an accident. Ow. Ow. Ow! House tells her he'll help her die if he lets her do more tests, and gives her medicine to do it, but she tries to kill herself again with it. He was lying of course, but that gives him an excuse to hold her longer. In the end he does figure out her illness, but it's her mental anguish that's the real problem. The main character that she's been seeing is based on her dead son. She let him drive in bad weather and they got into an accident, and he died. She doesn't want to live with the grief anymore.

House lies to her and says her son had an aneurysm and it wasn't her fault. This gives her something to live for and they are able to save her life. She tells him she's quitting his series though, which horrifies him and almost makes him take back what he said about his son, but Cuddy makes him a better man. So he says something nice instead, and lets her live her life with some amount of peace. Next week: they need a replacement for 13 and Cuddy wants it to be female because the patient this week insisted on a female doctor. And she's the only woman on the show right now.

Honestly this season of House has been better than expected so far. They're handling the House/Cuddy relationship gracefully and maturely, and this was certainly a more interesting medical case/drama than what we're used to. Keep it up!

House is on FOX Monday nights at 8 PM EST.