Last night’s very special episode of House, with guest star Dr. Obama

Even though Hugh Laurie was nowhere to be seen, I enjoyed last night’s installment of House. It really stuck to the show’s time-tested formula. A recap:

Opening – The seemingly healthy economy of Elkhart, Ind., is just going about its business when it abruptly collapses. Cut to the opening credits.

Act One – A confident Dr. Obama begins to diagnose the patient. Is it sclerosis of consumer spending? A sarcoma in the job market? An autoimmune failing of the automotive sector? He’d better go visit the patient’s home just to check things out for himself.

Act Two – While Elkhart continues to struggle, Dr. Obama’s focus shifts to conflicts and mind games with members of his own team. He dismisses the diagnosis of Dr. Republicans – instead blaming Dr. Republicans for being responsible for the patient’s condition in the first place! And he takes time out of his busy day to call Dr. Biden an idiot. Meanwhile, a scan of the patient reveals glaring problems with the circulation of credit.

Act Three – Dr. Obama and his team argue over the dosage required to revive the patient. Dr. Republicans doesn’t want to administer anything beyond an aggressive course of ideological purity. Dr. Democrats wants to inject the patient with everything they’ve got, and also gay-marry him. Nearby, Dr. Biden sits chuckling softly to himself, playing with a ball of string. Meanwhile, Dr. Obama struggles to hide the reality of his own serious medical condition – chronic pain caused by a collapsed Daschle.

Act Four – They’re running out of time. Elkhart’s housing market continues in freefall. Tests show its unemployment level is three times the normal rate and rising. Just when all seems lost, just when there seems to be no hope, Dr. Obama stares theatrically into space and – boom! – it just comes to him: administer more stimulus than Dr. Republicans wants, less than Dr. Democrats wants, and for the love of God don’t let Dr. Biden anywhere near the patient.

Conclusion – Will Dr. Obama’s treatment do the trick? Will the patient survive? Dr. Obama says we won’t know until 2010, so I hope you love a good cliffhanger.