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House, MD: Looking Ahead to Next Season

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The finale episodes, "House's Head" and "Wilson's Heart" left me (as I’m sure they left most of you) speechless and maybe even in tears (not in small portion due to the stunning performances of Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, and Anne Dudek). And, as every good cliffhanger should, the final scenes left us with a lot of questions on our collective mind. For example, why was House drinking himself to oblivion at five in the afternoon?

But, of course, the big question to ponder over the summer is: What is to become of House and Wilson’s friendship? And certainly, the two questions are connected. In the current TV Guide, series executive producer Katie Jacobs says that we should be worried about the relationship between House and Wilson. Has House’s neediness led to the inadvertent and tragic death of Wilson’s new love Amber? Will Wilson blame House, and if so, what will it take for Wilson to forgive him? We also don’t know whether the deep brain stimulation procedure undergone by House has harmed him in any way. Did Wilson ask too much of his friend, asking him to risk irreparable brain damage or death on the chance there was something else locked in his brain?

All of these questions loom over the summer hiatus. Before the terrible accident, House had accepted Amber’s place in Wilson’s life (grudgingly, but accepting it, nonetheless). But like other losses in his life, House had internalized his diminished place in Wilson’s life. Although he’d never admit it, House is at sea without Wilson. I think this is why he was drinking himself into oblivion at five in the afternoon. Without Wilson, House is isolated, alone, and a little lost.

Think back to the series pilot episode. It is only because of Wilson’s manipulation (and outright lie) that House takes on Wilson’s “cousin” Rebecca Adler. We are given the distinct impression that House had been pretty isolated since coming to Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital as head of diagnostic medicine. Now here we are, four years later in the aftermath of a tragic series of unfortunate events that have led to the death of Amber Volakis. And you have to wonder what will become of House if Wilson blames him for Amber’s death. Who will prevent House from withdrawing again, as he well might dealing with his own injuries, Amber’s death and his hand in it, and a healthy dose of survivor guilt that House will have, but try very hard to hide?

I do get the distinct impression that this is exactly what will happen. Wilson will blame House. Did House directly cause Amber’s demise? Of course not. Even at his worst and most self-absorbed, House is not someone who would cause harm to another human being intentionally. But has the manner in which House has lived his life — self-destructive, self-absorbed and isolated from most of humanity — finally hurt someone other than himself? And will Wilson, who has for years been trying to get House “to change” in some fundamental way, point to this and say, “See, look what I told you. Your self-destructive selfishness has caused the death of the person who has made me truly happy.” I can easily see Wilson simply washing his hands of House — without considering the impact on House. Or considering it and believing that he has no more time, energy or inclination to waste on trying “to help” his friend, perhaps even dismissing the importance of House’s self-sacrificial gesture to undergo the deep brain stimulation procedure.

Wilson will be understandably grief stricken. Anger is a normal part of the grieving process and House is an easy target as Wilson will want to lash out at someone. All of Wilson’s frustrations from his years of trying to “change House” are going to hit at once. Add to that House’s own state of mind: he’s got a good dose of survivor guilt (which we know based on that last dream sequence) and feels responsible. House will undoubtedly be quite a mess at the season’s start.

I can’t help but think of what Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend said to me when I spoke with them before “Wilson’s Heart.” They told me that House will be “in a place where he will be more reflective.” Amber’s death, Wilson’s ange, and House’s own feelings of guilt (and his own self-image) may provide an impetus for House to try and change his situation, a serious self-accounting.

Of course, one of the series' mantras is “no one ever changes.” It’s not in human nature to make permanent, fundamental change. It’s incredibly hard; just ask anyone who’s tried to lose weight or give up smoking. But that doesn’t prevent people from trying. And I think, for what it’s worth, House will try “to change” — or at least try to make some changes in the way he lives.

On the other hand, I also think that, being true to his nature, House will try very hard to appear as if none of this has affected him at the least. “Wilson hates me? Fine. Who needs him anyway.” “You think my actions cause Amber’s death? Hell with you. She’s the one who insisted upon getting on the bus with me.” I think those will be close to House’s overt response to the situation, all the while being torn apart inside.

It will be a very tough ride for Dr. Gregory House in September. My magic pool hall oracle has told me so. (Not really, but I do have one on my desk at work, so I’ll ask it later.) Will Cuddy be there to help him pick up the pieces? She surely was there for him as he lay in his hospital bed, holding his hand and being at his side. I think her being with him, holding his hand, waiting for him to wake was very significant. I think she understands just what he sacrificed for Wilson, and what it may have cost him physically and emotionally. And I think she loves him for it, even if Wilson cannot at this point. The bond between House and Cuddy will strengthen and perhaps lead to something between them, if only for a brief moment in time.

Sigh. I cannot wait for the new season to start — which is not until September 2. Season five is already in production, and hopefully all will go reasonably well between the Screen Actors Guild and the studios. The DVD set will be out on August 19. In the meantime, the entire season will air in repeats beginning next Tuesday (June 2) with no long hiatuses to mar the flow.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • HouseFan

    While I enjoyed reading your perspective on House and Wilson, the biggest question I have is, “Will the producers follow through on the claim that Chase and Cameron will back with significant parts?” Their lack of screentime and story line in Season 4 was thoroughly disappointing and the newbies aren’t cutting it as interesting or compelling replacements. Kutner has a certain charm, but 13 and Taub both need to be sent packing.

  • michelle

    Nice article. Unfortunately I just can’t muster up any excitement for yet another House/Wilson friendship drama.

  • HL fan

    I must agree with HouseFan, the only thing I’m looking forward to in regards to season 5 is what will happen to Chase and Cameron. I love House, Wilson and Cuddy but miss Cam and Chase dearly.

    I hope season 5 makes up for their lack of screen time in season 4.
    Taub and 13 are utterly boring. I have no interest what so ever in them.

  • Barbara Barnett

    I, too, wonder what will become of the fellows regarding their importance in the story line. I do like the new fellows, finding in Taub the potential a real enemy for House from within–and I’m interested to see where that will take him. Kutner is a good soul. He’s a klutz, but he’s smart and adds some lightness to the staff. Not sure about 13. I do miss Chase, and we have seen him really internalize all that is good about House, while leaving alone the not-so-good. I like how he’s grown and want to see more of him. Cameron, again…not so sure where I see her role, but I am curious as to where she’s going (I like her relationship with Chase.)

  • rtlemurs

    Nice summary on this season and and speculation on the coming season. As always, Barb, you provide an interesting read and much food for thought. But, this quote I feeling a slighty inaccurate.

    “Even at his worst and most self-absorbed, House is not someone who would cause harm to another human being intentionally. But has the manner in which House has lived his life — self-destructive, self-absorbed and isolated from most of humanity — finally hurt someone other than himself?”

    Throughout, House’s self-absobsion has harmed other people. And although I agrre that there is no “intent” on his part to cause harm it is harm nonetheless.

    The most glaring example is the “Tritter arc”. In fact, most of the “arcs” have hit directly on this theme. This is just the first time it has inadvertantly caused a death. And that is the key.

    Up until now House may have felt that others suffered the consequences because of their own choices in how they acted and reacted to his action. He could rationalize it because no one really suffered any lasting damage.

    The lasting damage is the difference here. Amber is dead and although he did not ask her to come and even tried to avoid her by leaving the bar tab for her to pay and ducking onto the bus. And even though he did not force her to take the cold pills, crash the bus, or damage her kidneys, it is because of his intent to cause disruption that she is dead.

    Also, this is the first time we have gotten into House’s head and gotten confirmation that he knows his actions cause harm to those around him. Whether you believe this has gone on in his head in prior situations (I choose to believe that it does) or not, we know it has happened here.

    The question to me is not necessarily what will happen to House and Wilson’s friendship (although that is a close second) but what is House going to do about it? Reflection on how he has chosen to live his life should reveal, if he doesn’t know already, that is really was only a matter of time before something disasterous happened. And if he keeps on this path it will happen again.

    And, that even when he is only harming himself with hi behavior (his viicodin habit, drinking, physically experimenting on himself…)it hurts those who care about him. He will need to face the fact that there are people who care about him Because I don’t think he believes that right now.

    He will try to change, I have no doubts, but I still think he will remain fundementally the same. In other words he will try to be less self-absorbed but will still be reckless and self destructive. He will work hard to make sure his actions do not harm anyone else. Which is a nice connective thread back to “No Reason” where Moriarty theorized that he could think and ask but as long as he took no action he could cause no harm. (God I could go on for pages on the themes and thread of that thought in House’s head so I’ll stop at that)

    And in reply to HouseFan, I think the big problem with the Chase/Cameron screen time this season (and the opinion that there is a lack of spark in the new ducklings) was really the strike. They had to develop the new characters in the first third of the season so the audience could get familiar. Not deep development as I think that was planned for later when the new crew had been decided.

    I think the second third of the season would have been dedicated to integrating the old team in their new roles and the new team and how they all interact and fit into House’s world. Then the final third would have been deeper development once we had figured out how everyone fit.

    Unfortunately everyone (writers, producers, actors, crew, etc…)had to scramble to finish the season (Don’t know if you know it but House was not scheduled to return after the stike. DS and KJ fought hard to get it back on the air for the remainder of the season). That meant sacrifices in the effort to finish up major storyline at the expense of minor storylines and character development.

    I don’t think they would have kept Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Mosrrison on the payroll if they did not have more extensive plans for them. And I think Omar got the air time because of the role they had laid out for his character. That’s all that was. So take heart HouseFan, I think you will see more of them in the new season.

  • Cbear

    I thought I’d be at some bar with my friends on my 21st birthday, but on 9/2, I WILL BE VERY SOBER! Can’t wait for season 5 to start. What a great present:)

  • Pat

    An interesting description on the House/Wilson/Cuddy relationships.

    Unfortunately, at end of season 4, I am bored with House and his soap operas with Cuddy and Wilson. They keep going over the same ground again and again, Wilson is his friend, Wilson gets estranged, Wilson make up with him; Cuddy loves House and enables him, wants him but thinks she shouldn’t. House becomes even more of a drama queen.

    When Chase and Cameron were around, at least House had interactions with them and Wilson with Cameron. Now House seems locked into his relationships with Wilson and Cuddy and everything else is filler. The new team, with the exception of Kutner, is forgettably boring. Foreman has been castrated. The show needs Chase and Cameron for the qualities they bring to storylines and they need to let Foreman Epps do something more than roll his eyes and babysit House.

    The acting of HL, RSL and AD (now unfortunately gone) is wonderful but I can find better story lines in fanfiction. Shore really needs to bring back Cameron and Chase, drop the dead weight and bring the show back to what it was.

  • Sea

    I’m tired of reading the strike is to blame for Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer’s status on the show. TPTB always plan ahead every season at least two months prior and there was almost a 90% chance of a strike. This quote from writers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend in sums it up all:

    “We know that people are missing some of the old team members (Chase, Cameron, and Foreman — who have been reduced to more marginal roles in most episodes). Frankly, we are as well. It’s a juggling act. We have only 42 minutes to tell a story.” And telling the story becomes paramount. “We have to service the story — the medical mystery. The people circling House and circling the medical mystery are going to get screen time. We’re bending our brains in knots trying to figure out how to get the other people into each episode. We’re still struggling. And it’s something on our minds.”

    Being the other people Cameron and Chase they have no idea what to do with their characters. It shouldn’t be a struggle writing for them, they’re well paid writers on a hit tv show but 16 episodes later they’re still struggling to incorporate them into every episode.

    I’m not looking forward to next season, I’m looking forward to the day Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer leave the show and start looking for a decent role somewhere else.

  • http://jesterz.net/b2ev/ Alice Jester

    Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer are still on the payroll because they were contracted for five seasons. If that weren’t the case, they’d be gone by now. I’ve read interviews where David Shore has no interest in developing their characters further, and seems to think they aren’t what the fans need. It’s a waste too, because they really brought something to the show, FAR MORE than Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobsen.

    Anne Dudek brilliantly gave us the only worthwhile and interesting new character, and they killed her off. That’s another waste. It should have been Thirteen instead. Even Omar Epps is being wasted, and he’s on the team! He’s become background noise.

    The writers wrote themselves into a corner and I’m not convinced they can get themselves out of it. Sure, a very crappy season was saved by the final two episodes, but I don’t want to see more of that melodrama next season. I want to see this show go back to what works.

  • michelle

    “The question to me is not necessarily what will happen to House and Wilson’s friendship (although that is a close second) but what is House going to do about it? ”

    Hmm. I do find that angle of looking at the finale a lot more interesting than looking at it from the “What’s going to happen to House and Wilson angle?” that’s being pushed by TPTB. I like the idea of House coming to realize that his selfish desire to disrupt people’s lives has had consequences and trying to address that issue-even if he fails to change.

    Truth be told, I’m suffering from some serious House/ Wilson and Huddy burn out. A little introspective House that doesn’t completely center on his fear of losing Wilson as his “nanny” or his sexual fantasies about Cuddy would be a welcome change.

    LOL, I think the first interview I see about S5 that doesn’t completely revolve around Hilson, Huddy, or Thirteen’s sexual preferences is going to get put in a gold frame.

  • bliffle

    If the program gets stuck in the limited lives of a few repetitive characters it will soon fail. The success of long running TV series has depended on the people who enter and leave the scene. This is the very predicate upon which all cop and doc shows are based: their jobs permit them to interfere in other peoples lives and open them up to us. that’s what provides the week to week variety. fresh new patients or criminals or victims and their family members are required to bring out new ideas. the permanent characters just provide a framework. The drama is not about them, it is about the people they meet each week and interact with in stress situations.

    The proper prototype is “Dragnet”, which suppressed the cops personalities and lives so utterly that it became a parody. What we were interested in was the people they met in their jobs, because they might be like us, or people we know. No one cares about Joe Friday. He just stirs things up.

    “The Fugitve” was not interesting because it was a simile of “Les Miserables” nor because it was a good chase drama (we knew he’d escape), but because of the fascinating people Kimball would meet as he traveled around on the run.

    “Route 66″ was not a success because people wanted to look at Martin Milner every week, but because in his travels he met interesting people.

    Of course, the success of those programs depended on there being a ready supply of terrific experienced “B” players to play the characters. perhaps that has dried up since then.

  • londonbridge

    It’s interesting how much the questions sound like this show has become a soap opera. What about House and his team solving medical cases? I could see all of this House/Wilson angst if they were setting up Hilson, but DS has said he’s not doing that. It appears that they had to estrange House and Wilson in order to set up Huddy, which I’m not at all interested in. If the season starts with just cameos by Chase and Cameron, House and Wilson not speaking, and House slowly but surely headed for Cuddy’s bed, I’ll stick to my Season 1, 2 and 3 DVDs. They should’ve hired Kutner and Amber, and fired Taub and Thirteen. This is the worst cast shakeup I’ve ever seen, and Season Four was an absolute mess. Will we ever see another episode like Autopsy or almost any of the quality, balanced, layered episodes that we saw in the first three seasons? This show didn’t used to be a soap opera.

  • Barbara Barnett

    Thank you all for your passionate comments.

    Rtlemurs said:

    And in reply to HouseFan, I think the big problem with the Chase/Cameron screen time this season (and the opinion that there is a lack of spark in the new ducklings) was really the strike. They had to develop the new characters in the first third of the season so the audience could get familiar. Not deep development as I think that was planned for later when the new crew had been decided.

    I think you are quite right. As a story arc, the “game” should have been about 1/3 of the season, instead it was half the season. If you think about it, too, the finale was supposed to be the Superbowl episode and the one right after. So the place people were in at that point (although they probably tweaked it to bring some closure to the season) was where they might have been in February or March. You have to consider the impact of the strike. I think next season, back to 24 episodes, will make a huge difference.

    The most interesting aspect to next season won’t be “Will House and Wilson ever be friends again?” It will be, as some of you have said, “what will be the impact of such a tragedy on House–given his hand in the events?” I agree that he we try (and fail) to change how he lives his life. He will do it in a way that conceals that he trying to do anything at all.

    He will get support (or enabling) or the cold shoulder from all of the other characters, and it will be interesting to see all of their reactions to the tragedy and to their feelings about House in the aftermath.

    Certainly House’s self-destructive life-style (if you can call it that) has had an effect on everyone around him. I still don’t think, however, that House was alone to blame in the Tritter storyline. What drove House to forge the scrips? What was Wilson’s hand in House’s fear? Tritter was the bully in this, and yes, House’s refusal to take Tritter’s deal or to deal with Tritter had some bad consequences for everyone. But I don’t think House was responsible for that. House was being who he was, he neither expected nor wanted anyone to intervene for him. he said himself that he has no sense of self-preservation.

    Is he a saint? Far from it. But has his life meant more good than bad? His lack of self=preservation (combined with a rigid sense of right and wrong) has also led to him lying in order to get a heart for a patient, being a strong and fearless patient advocate (for his patients); risking his life and career for others as necessary.

    Bliffle–

    House is not a conventional procedural, which is what makes the show so intriguing. It is at its essence (in my opinion, anyway) a character drama wrapped in a procedural.

  • blacktop

    Barbara: thank you for this excellent summation of the possible delights we have in store for us in the coming season of “House.” I think you are correct to point out that the central puzzle of the show is the character of House himself. The medical mysteries, the procedural plots, clinic patients, even the subsidiary characters such as Chase and Cameron are all developed only to service the core action of the series, which is unpeeling the layers from the tragically flawed character of Greg House.

    We are fortunate indeed that Hugh Laurie and David Shore have collaborated to bring to life such a remarkably complex and affecting figure. The fact that “House” continues to be a tremendously popular hit show after four seasons is a tribute to their genius and to the audience which is hungry to be engaged and challenged as the intelligent adults we are.

  • michelle

    “The medical mysteries, the procedural plots, clinic patients, even the subsidiary characters such as Chase and Cameron are all developed only to service the core action of the series, which is unpeeling the layers from the tragically flawed character of Greg House.”

    This may be true, but it leaves for a lot of hanging threads and unsatisfying conclusions. What about Wilson’s LLB and Cuddy’s baby arc? Should viewers not be curious about what happened there? Why shouldn’t other viewers be curious about Chase and Cam as well? We’ve spent 3 years with all six of them, why should we only wonder about House?

    Hugh is brilliant – no doubt about it- but his character can only be as good as those he’s permitted to interact with, be they patients or other regulars. A two dimensional caricature is hardy gonna peel back any of House’s deeper layers- though such a character may provide something for House to snark at. When the quality of the characters surrounding House declines, so does his character.

    So far, I’m not particularly sold on TTK’s layers (thought others certainly may be), both Cuddy and Foreman have been horribly weakened, and I’m still unsure of what function Chase and Cam are supposed to serve in their new roles. I think all these things could stand to be addressed in S5.

  • gorlicze

    Barbara: Thanks for the great reviews, I have read them all after I had found ‘Gregory House, Romantic Hero’ which is the best description of House and his appeal to me as a character I have ever read. This show is a medical procedural show and character drama with great humour and I love all the three aspects but the biggest attraction to me is the fascinating central character. I am looking forward to the revisited reviews and would love to read your review on Detox, my favourite episode.

    I fear that in the next season they will blame House and by they I mean the show and not Wilson or any other characters. I think they will show that it is House’s fault because he has always exploited Wilson and now it became serious, but this is not the case. Sure, House has always pushed his friendship with Wilson, it was obvious, but Wilson did pretty dreadful things to him in first half of season three, which are always dismissed because he meant well, and now asked him to risk his life for Amber (essentially, for Wilson) which he did without hesitation. It is easy to see the bad things House did to Wilson but I think their relationship is more balanced in this respect than it looks like.

    These two episodes were amongst best so far and I really hope they can continue it in quality.

  • MIra

    I agree that the shortening of season 4 may have had an impact on what TPTB had planned for Cam and Chase so therefore I am still hopeful that they wil be integrated into each episode better next season. Having Chase one week and then Cam the next, personally for me is not good enough.

    It seems to me that TPTB have got themselves stuck in a corner in regards to them. And what about Foreman? Give him something to do!! To me his role on the team is non-existent which is a shame because he is a great doctor. And give him some balls! I hated how he was trying to give the new team performance reviews and they just ignored him.

    House hiring three new fellows was too much in my opinion. 3 newbies plus Foreman. And Taub and 13…eeuuugghhhh!!! I’m dreaming that somehow they’ll be written off the show. But I’m doubtful. I really don’t care for their characters or what goes on in their lives. I want to know more about Cam, Chase and Foreman!

    I continuously still watch my season 1-3 DVD’s and I can’t help but be a little saddened at what has happened to my favorite show in season 4. I want medical cases that delve into morals and ethics and ones that make me think. I don’t want “bring me the thong of Dr LIsa Cuddy” or “I have a position on my penis”.

    I have felt that for the most part of this season the medical cases have been pushed into the background. Except for a few, to me they have been unmemorable. I want episodes like Autopsy and All in. Interesting medical cases and patients that in turn reveal more about our characters. And what about the clinic patients? I miss them!! And yes I know the writers strike didn’t help.

    Barbara, thank you for this little write up on what ifs for next season.

  • angelcat2865

    Thanks Barbara for the wonderful look into next season.

    “Certainly House’s self-destructive life-style (if you can call it that) has had an effect on everyone around him. I still don’t think, however, that House was alone to blame in the Tritter storyline…he neither expected nor wanted anyone to intervene for him. he said himself that he has no sense of self-preservation.”

    I totally agree with you here. Although House is far from blameless in the Tritter arc the actions of the others around him greatly contributed and may have even outweighed his own in his downfall and near destruction.

    “This show is a medical procedural show and character drama with great humour and I love all the three aspects but the biggest attraction to me is the fascinating central character.”

    This is why I watch the show too, and while I love the other characters House will be the reason I keep watching.

  • bliffle

    Barbara,

    I think you’ve been reading too many Inside TV articles. Describing ‘story arcs’ and ‘procedurals’ does not make good drama. It’s just Inside Entertainment talk for empty headed TV fools.

    Dr. Gregory House has wornout the latitude most of us allow to petulant children.

    As another commentor has pointed out, this program was a lot more interesting when we could actually follow the ins and outs of the medical detective stories presented. But now it’s just a whirl of mistakes and guesses and improbable hints.

    Bah.

  • sdemar

    Barbara, thank you for this little treat. I hate thinking we have 3 months to go before the new season begins. How will they start off? Will it be a continuation as if no time was lost between the end of S4 and beginning of S5? Hopefully so, but we saw how they started S3 after House got shot.

    We know from House’s hallucinations that he feels a tremendous amount of guilt and worries about losing his best friend. That was such a sad scene on the white bus and think it said everything.

    To echo the writers, I believe we will see a more reflective House, which is going to be interesting to watch from a man who is so proud. If ever there is a time to make an effort at changing, this is it.

    From Season 1 and in the pilot, we see that Wilson plays a major role in House’s life and has been the constant in House’s life for a long time. He is who House turns to. They need each other. Like you, I think we will see a closer relationship with Cuddy because I think Wilson will temporarily wash his hands clean of House and Cuddy has shown that she is his replacement. Both Wilson and Cuddy have some serious co-dependents issues, but what I love about it is it is very true to real life. What it did confirm for me is that Cuddy does truly love House and she won’t abandon him.

    Wilson will be a mess and he is going to blame House regardless of the fact that he was willing to sacrafice his life for Amber. They both will suffer a lot of guilt.

    I am one that really enjoyed the old ducklings and I think there has been a lot of uproar over their dimished screentime. Perhaps the shortening of the season resulted in them getting shortened screentime but maybe not. I do think TPTB recognize JS, JM, OE have a loud voice out there from the fandom. I would hope they are able to successfully incorporate all of them to our satisfaction but it is their show so I am willing to sit back and enjoy the ride however it plays out. Having said that, if LE was cut out, I am pretty sure I would not sit idly accepting that.

    I think with the way the Season ended, with the 2 best episodes I have ever watched on House, I think TPTB have a lot of material to work with. I’m excited because I think it will keep the plotlines interesting.

    Only downer-Anne D is gone. I loved her,that CTB. Damn she can act.

  • instluzgh

    Thanks, Barbara, for all your reviews this season.

    The season finales were indeed very good episodes and even after re watching them several times, they still leave strong, emotional impact. Having had time to digest them a bit, I agree that House will be more reflective and introverted than in this past season, due to the profound guilt he obviously feels, and also because of his fear of Wilson hating him. Season 4 showed a rather light version of House for the most part and I for one am looking forward to seeing House dealing with his inner struggle once more. However, I’m not sure, or at least I hope that the writers don’t go down the too obvious road of Wilson blaming House for Amber’s death, thereby changing their relationship for good. I know, everything was set up for that in the last episode, but all we really saw is what went on in House’s mind, not in Wilson’s. A lot has been said about how much House needs Wilson but the reverse is also true. Wilson should feel as guilty about having asked House to risk his life, causing the seizure and the still unknown repercussions from the procedure, as House feels about Amber’s death. Obviously, Wilson will grieve and who knows what form or shape it will take, but I do hope that the show won’t just take the easy road of Wilson being angry at House because they have already shown how Wilson’s mind works in regard to House and it is definitely not that simple.
    Having said that, the one problem I had with the finale was that I didn’t feel that the Amber/Wilson relationship was all that convincing to begin with, and I have some problems believing that all of the sudden she is his big love. So to see how Wilson was willing to sacrifice House for Amber was a bit of a stretch, though I guess the shortened season may have had to do something with the fact that their relationship was stuffed down our throats rather hastily. The only thing that saved this aspect was the truly convincing acting by RSL and to some degree, AD. And HL’s overall brilliant acting helped too, of course. Not enough can be said about HL’s acting here…

    Like many others, I was a bit disappointed that Cameron and Chase were not more involved, at least with House’s injuries and during his coma. It was a perfect opportunity to bring them back to the forefront but instead we got to see Kutner eat cereal, Taub hug his sleeping wife and 13 testing positive to Huntington’s (did anyone actually believe that she would test negative?!). It has been said again and again that the shortened season was to blame for the lack of Cameron and Chase, but at the same time, the writers did not do a good job with the new members either. They kept them boring, bland, failed to establish any sort of dynamic between them and the old cast, plus we don’t even know their first names yet!

    I do look forward to season 5 to see how the show deals with not only the questions raised during the finales and the still unanswered ones from S3, but also how they will re-establish and develop characters, if we will see more exiting and intriguing medical cases than some of the ones in S4 and most and foremost, how deep we will be allowed to look into House’s mind and soul.

  • marie

    Thank you Barbara for all the episode analysis throughout the season ,they have been great . re: the last two episodes ,my opinion is that House was not to blame for Ambers death , the only thing he was guilty of was calling Wilson to come pick him up , something he evidently was used to doing , he told Amber to find Wilson , he never expected her coming for him and didnt want her to take him home when she did turn up, he tried to leave her and take the bus home himself ,all the rest of it was down to bad luck , not House , I think the most significant act after that was when House asked if he should risk his life to save Ambers and Wilson said yes .the lack of dialogue then the pause , and the nod from House spoke volumes ….. I think it was at that point that House realised…… the one person he had always been able to depend on , was no longer there for him …… it was then that the dangerous procedure held no fear for House , and why consequently at the end with Amber, House thought his life was much less worthy than Ambers , not only because of his…… LIFESTYLE …..but because SHE was the one that Wilson WANTED to live and be with, that scene and the one I have already mentioned where House just nodded really broke me up , terrific acting by everyone in those two episodes especially Hugh ,(Hugh Lauries acting just gets better, the man is a genius) RSL , and A D………cant wait for season 5 .

  • sassydew

    Thank you once again for your wonderful analysis and thoughts about season 5, Barbara. I agree with you that, at its core, this is a show about the character of House. No fictional character in literature or film has ever captivated me more, and this is the reason that I watch. I think that it will be House who blames himself for Amber’s death more than anyone else will (I think Wilson will blame him for a while in his grief, but will get over it), and I think that it will, indeed, cause House to reevaluate how he lives his life; ultimately, however, I don’t think he will change (and I don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing at all). I do think that he might end up a bit more self-aware, though, if that makes any sense.

    As for the new team and the old, I think it is way past time for the old team to move on; in fact, I think that the Season 3 finale provided a fitting exit for them, and in Season 4 many of the scenes with Cameron and Chase (as much as I adore Chase) seemed shoe-horned in solely for the sake of including them and often distracted me from the rest of the episode. I realize that these characters have fans, but, as someone primarily interested in the character of House, I view them as useful primarily in terms of what they may reveal about House himself – and I feel that the new ducklings have greater potential in this area, simply because they are new people with whom House can interact.

    Since Cuddy and Wilson are House’s *friends*, I believe that they remain necessary to the show, whereas the fellows *should* rotate, as they are. While there is some talk of a House/Cuddy romance being hinted at, I wouldn’t find a longterm relationship very realistic. I view them as very good old friends who care about each other deeply, but I can’t see House allowing himself to fall in love with anyone other than Stacy, either because he still loves her or simply because he won’t let himself go there again (or both).

    In any case, I applaud David Shore and company for keeping this show fresh and exciting as it goes into its fifth season. I can hardly wait for September!

  • Sea

    In my opinion House’s one and only friend is and always has been Wilson. The character of Cuddy could be written off the show tomorrow and House would go on with his life as she was never part of it as it happened with Stacy.

    As for the new team, what we learned about House didn’t come from his interactions with them, but from the original characters. Who are we kidding?

  • Emma

    I learnt nothing about House from his interactions with the new team. In regards to season 4 I learnt more about him from his interactions with the patients.

    And Sassydew I agree with you in that no other fictional character
    has ever captivated me more either. And although I am not happy with Taub and 13 and dearly, dearly miss Chase and Cameron (and sooo want them back in a bigger capacity) it is because of House (and Hugh Laurie) that I will continue to watch the show. No matter what.

  • travlncarrie

    I really enjoyed your article. Another aspect to the mantra that no one ever changes, I think anyway, is that it will eventually also hold true for Wilson. He won’t be able to hate House forever; he will have to own up to his own actions as well. As a doctor, he must know what his request has physically and psychologically done to House (regarding the deep brain stimulation). It isn’t a one sided friendship. House needs Wilson and Wilson needs House just as much.

  • Pat

    bliffle wrote:

    “If the program gets stuck in the limited lives of a few repetitive characters it will soon fail. ”

    I think that is what the show wanted to avoid by getting rid of the old team. What happened was exactly the opposite, that the show had got stuck in the lives of the remaining characters, House/Wilson/Cuddy, and everyone else became disposable, even the patients. I couldn’t help but notice that in your review and your questions about the upcoming season, it was all about House, Wilson and Cuddy, with Amber only as she affects the first three. No mention of old or new team, no mention of patients. The show has become a soap opera based on three characters and for me they are very close to being used up.

    I think to blame the strike for the lack of Chase and Cameron fitting in or the unevenness of the season is to give the producers too much slack. As Lerner and Friend showed in your interview, more than a year after the old team quit, they still have no idea what to do with Chase and Cameron. Thirteen is little more than an extended patient story with House trying to figure her out and Taub isn’t even that. A big problem for me is that I don’t buy the diagnostic sessions any more. While Chase, Cameron and Foreman made the real, the new team seem like they have no idea of what they’re saying so yet again, the effect of the medicine drops and we’re left with the three person soap opera.

  • http://www.sweetiethesmartestdog.com sue

    i agree with Marie that Wilson asking House to risk his life to save Amber will have a large impact on House next season. This point has been overlooked. House did not have to ask Wilson if he wanted him to risk his life to save Amber, because he had already volunteered. Wilson made a valid point that the rash might not have been the symptom that House saw. House was testing Wilson to see how important he was to Wilson compared to Amber. This had been set up in the episodes after the strike. In House’s mind, he was downgraded and expendable to Wilson. In Wilson’s marriages, there was always room for House. Wilson had changed; he chose a woman over House. Wilson was spouse and friend to House. All he has left is Cuddy. He cannot be himself with anyone else. He has to be gruff, arrogant and sarcastic to make people believe he really doesn’t care (but he does, likely more passionately than others). He shared his feelings with Wilson. Now, he is a lost soul. He wonders if anyone really cares about him? Has he alienated everyone? These issues will turn up next season.

    Next season, I think House will turn to Cuddy as a Wilson replacement. In the sixth episode, they will have sex, and then they will regret it. Wilson will be initally angry at House, but he will come around just after House and Cuddy sleep together. House will be harder on himself than Wilson will be. House will over-change, but ultimately, he will return to his old self. “Nobody changes,” even House.

    I think 13 is history. She said she would resign if she was positive. She messed up in the last episode. That was all a setup for her to exit. I am glad she is leaving. I would have been upset if one of the old ducklings was positive. I am glad she is. That should tell TPTB how fans feel about the newbies.

    With 13 gone, and House in no position to hire someone new, I think Chase and Cameron will have larger roles in the beginning of the season. House will solve cases from afar, over the phone. It will be too hard for him to be at the hospital and see Wilson. Their offices are next door to each other. Gradually, over the course of the season, Chase and Cameron will break up and move on, as will Foreman. House will hire a replacement for 13, and later in the season, Taub will go back to plastic surgery. I think he has an affair with Cuddy, and he will leave. House will hire another duckling. Kutner will likely stay. I do not think Fox will allow at least two very unpopular actors/characters to linger.

    The feeling that there has not been enough time to develop the new team character-wise is not valid. CC & F needed no time to “fit in” and be interesting. Cameron was great in the pilot when she asked House why he hired her. The problem is not the characters. It is the actors. There has been plenty of storyline for these actors to show their stuff. OW and PJ are not up to the caliber that a top show requires, not even close. When a show has great actors, you cannot replace them with less than mediocre ones. The fans won’t accept it. You also cannot put them in scenes with the greatest actor who ever lived, by an infinity shot (much longer than a long shot). When they are on camera without House, the scenes fall flat. If you could easily replace the actor with another one without missing anything, the actor is insignificant. 13 and Taub are insignificant. Kutner is better, but I don’t care about him. He could be positive, and I wouldn’t care. Fox cannot be happy with this casting. They can get anyone they want. Why should they stay with these actors?

    I don’t watch any of the CSI programs because there is a lack of characterization in the show. The procedural part is too much of the show. When you don’t care about the regular actors, the procedural is less interesting. This is why the last two episodes were so great. There was heavy involvement of the regular actors in the procedural story line. It made me care a lot about what happened to the POTW. Would Wilson’s Heart have been as good if the dying scene had been between two actors we were not familiar with? If you took House totally out of the procedural part of the show, would it be as interesting? I judge episodes on how well I like the POTW. I did not like Words and Deeds,One Day One Room, Needle in a Haystack, Informed Consent, Que Sera Sera, and Whac-A-Mole as much as the other episodes, because I didn’t care for the PsOTW. What saved these episodes for me were the B stories, and the acting by the regular cast. In life, people grow and change. That is natural. Why should a tv show be different from real life? Static characters become uninteresting over time. The reason the clinic scenes are so good is that the patients are interesting and idiosyncratic. Think of what you remember about those scenes. Is the diagnosis, or how the actor presented the character?

    I call the first 21/2 seasons of House, MD a “perfect storm.” Great actors and an exceptional actor, intricate story lines, flawless integration of the A, B and C storylines, humor, characterization, interesting medical procedurals, explanations for the layman, ….everything else– this show has it all. A testament to a good show is how many times you can watch it and not get bored. For me, it is limitless. I cannot say that about any other show.

    Hugh Laurie is the best actor I have ever seen. It is hard for me to call the others “actors” when cast in the same light as Hugh. They seem to be just “pretenders.” I cannot name another actor who can hold my rapt attention with just a facial expression. He is a treat for the eyes, ears and brain. Every time I watch him in an episode I see something I did not see the last time I watched. I love the masculinity of House, as opposed to the relative femininity of another male doctor on a popular tv show. The contrast is striking. Hugh has kept up the intensity of House to such a degree that I buy everything that House does and says as natural to that character. Hugh has not won an Emmy because of the jealousy of the other actors. When everyone is shocked that he didn’t win, there is something going on behind the scenes that prevented him from winning. Is there a difference in who votes for a SAG award and an Emmy and who votes for “Best Actor in a Drama Series?” If so, that should tell who is jealous of Hugh.

    I was shocked to see that the cost of the season 4 DVD is listed at $59.99, the same price as prior seasons. That is wrong. We are getting 2/3 of a season and they are charging just as much as for a full 24 episode season? I will not buy the season 4 DVDs until around Thanksgiving, when it incredibly discounted. If others do the same, we are telling TPTB that “we won’t take it anymore.”

  • Barbara Barnett

    Again, thank you all for your well-considered comments, and for your kind remarks ;)

    Having said that, the one problem I had with the finale was that I didn’t feel that the Amber/Wilson relationship was all that convincing to begin with, and I have some problems believing that all of the sudden she is his big love. So to see how Wilson was willing to sacrifice House for Amber was a bit of a stretch, though I guess the shortened season may have had to do something with the fact that their relationship was stuffed down our throats rather hastily. The only thing that saved this aspect was the truly convincing acting by RSL and to some degree, AD. And HL’s overall brilliant acting helped too, of course. Not enough can be said about HL’s acting here…

    I would agree that it would have been better to develop their relationship over time. It seemed that just when House had accepted Amber in wilson’s life…

    But I think Wilson’s personality is such that he is very impetuous when it comes to love. After all he was married three times. He probably falls easily and hard in love–and we don’t know if he would have done the same thing to Amber that he has done to his other wives over time.

    Because Amber was different, perhaps the relationship would also have been so. Yes, Wilson was ready to sacrifice House’s life, and House was ready to give it. House, perhaps, also was learning (a bit) to allow change in his life (not that he had any chance.) He had flown the white flag in “live the Dream” when he told Wilson his “secret” only to have him blab it to Amber. That was, for House, a test of Wilson’s loyalty to him. And I wonder, Wilson having failed that, with House acknowleging that Amber trumps him, led to him realizing just how alone he really was. Did that lead to him getting plastered? Hmmm.

    As far as teams old and new, I think everyone has an opinion: whether they should have done it; did it work? Should they have done it differently? Who is better? Etc.

    I think the old team worked more easily into the show because all of the characters were new, even House. We were dropped into their scenario.

    this time, the newbies were dropped into our view, expectations and rhythm of the show, so they may have felt forced onto us. I don’t think so, but many do. They really have only (as a team) been in play for a few episodes at this point. We have to exclude episodes 2-8(?) because they were not yet a team. They are all new to the team. In the Pilot, Chase had been with House for at least a year, Cameron for six months, Foreman was the new guy in town.

    Would the show and stories have been better served and the actors better honored to have been cut entirely? Possibly yes. Although I like chase in his role. and I wonder if Cameron’s hanger-on inklings may foretell her rejoining the team, with 13 departing? Time will tell, and I have no inside information. So we shall see.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/04/30/0819292.php stephen fan

    Dear Barbara, Thanks for setting off such exuberant debate. I agree with several of the comments that the House/Wilson/Cuddy dynamic is occasionally repetitive but they have been slowly positioning them for change. Now is the time. House will force himself to let in more light. He has been inching his way toward it. He is, deep in his heart, a brave, old soul. This tragedy will release some of that courage. By contrast, this tragedy will cause Wilson to absorb more darkness. He will never again be such a lightweight. Before, if you put House and Wilson together in one man, you got the perfect man. Now each will separately be more satisfying to themselves and to us in a new way; more complex, compelling, and complete. Neither will be as predictable or repetitive as in the past. And Cuddy will stop playing it so safe. But House will only initially lean on Cuddy and then pull away. In terms of relationships House believes himself to be a killer. The pulling away would be for her own good in his eyes. The only situation that would enable House to invest himself in Cuddy is one where he held the key to healing her emotionally and ,perhaps, physically. That would require a good two more years of setup by the writers. Being a woman, I do identify with her and wish they fleshed out her life in simple but obvious ways. That doesn’t mean another striptease.

  • Andi A.

    Lovely analysis as always, Barbara.

    There have been several times over the past three years when I thought House was going to change and become more reflective, but it hasn’t happened yet. I thought he would change (or at least see the need for change) after the Stacy arc, the Tritter arc, after “Half Wit” when he realized the truth in what Wilson was saying about having people who cared about him, and after “Human Error” when he rashly let his team go. While many people believe that Dr. House changed considerably this season, it certainly didn’t seem as if he had changed for the better. With that in mind, I’m hoping to see a more reflective House this coming season, but I won’t hold my breath. I want him to realize how much his actions have hurt Wilson and as “rtlemurs” so wisely expressed in an earlier post, “What is House going to do about it?” I don’t want to see the extended House-Wilson angst that we saw during the Tritter arc, nor do I want it to overwhelm each new episode, but it will definitely be interesting to see what becomes of their friendship. I disliked much of this season, and the House-Wilson friendship had been the one constant joy to me, so I’m hoping that it will be restored.

    I’d like to see a return to the medical mystery as the focus, clinic patients for the comic relief, and the old team back in House’s world where they belong to provide the balance and stability of earlier seasons.

    I also agree with “Emma” and “Sea” that we will learn nothing about House from his interactions with the new team. Somehow I can’t imagine that House invited Chase bowling because Kutner and Taub turned him down first. We’ve never seen him eating lunch with any of his new team as we saw him with Foreman on his first day on the job. We’ve actually learned the most about House from clinic patients (in “One Day, One Room” when House revealed that he had been abused) and from another patient in “Son of Coma Guy” when we found out House’s reasons for becoming a doctor. House told Wilson about cheating on an exam at Hopkins in “Distractions,” had a small heart-to-heart talk with Cameron about his parents in “Daddy’s Boy” and revealed that he hated his mother to Cuddy, but that’s about all I can remember right now of any personal information he has shared with anyone. He has only allowed Cameron, Wilson, and Cuddy into his home.

    I am looking forward to seeing more of Chase and Cameron. There have been times this season when they’ve been thrown in superfluous scenes just for the sake of letting us know they are still around, and that’s a shameful way to use their talent and charisma. It would have made MUCH more sense to me to have seen more of them in the last episode. It seems logical that House, Wilson, and Cuddy would have DEMANDED that House’s best and well-trained team – Chase, Cameron, and Foreman – be in on the sessions to save the life of someone as special as Amber. With House unable to function properly due to his head trauma, why would her life be placed in the hands of the young, inexperienced team? I hope the writers can do better than that next season.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/05/30/072751.php stephen fan

    Thanks Andi A. for an excellent question of the writers about why Amber’s care was partially placed in the hands of the new team. House’s care was placed in the hands of Wilson and then Cuddy with an unidentified other doctor assisting (or was it Taub?).

    The new team does add interesting texture to House’s interactions. House has three levels of intimacy; Wilson/Cuddy, the old team, and the new team. He reveals himself variously to each. I think the medical stories are at their best when they directly reflect on the human drama of the main characters. Otherwise, not so much.

    After Stacy, Tritter, “Half Wit”, and “Human Error”, House did change in incremental ways that have added up to some distance. So did we change as viewers. Knowing his specific history, we saw him in a new way, also incrementally. But now House’s loved one (Wilson) has lost a loved one, partially because of House’s actions. As an adult, I have yet to lose a loved one or live through one of my loved ones losing such. But I imagine I will never be the same; so with House and Wilson. I think RSL must be very excited about the new possibilities.

    I agree with Andi A. that House and Wilson are the best thing on the show but because of the acting, not the writing of their parts. My center of gravity dwells on House/Cuddy as the place where House has the largest latitude for development. They have already come a very long way. At this point House trusts Cuddy more than anyone because of all her past loyal actions.

    But more House/Wilson in season 5, now that the intensity of Wilson has been increased, cannot help but be very good. Andi A., I’m going to have to rewatch “Daddy’s Boy” to see House tell Cuddy about his mother. Thanks.

  • Andi A.

    “stephen fan,” unfortunately I could not go back and edit my own post. I should have said that House told Cuddy that he hated his FATHER, not his mother. I think House loves his mother.

  • Barbara Barnett

    Stephen fan, one of the things I really had hoped for this column to do was to do exactly as you say: set off exuberant debate. I’ve been gratified over the last eight months that I’ve been writing this column, how much intelligent discussion has gone on in the comments section! So, thank you (all) for contributing!

    There have been several times over the past three years when I thought House was going to change and become more reflective, but it hasn’t happened yet. I thought he would change (or at least see the need for change) after the Stacy arc, the Tritter arc, after “Half Wit” when he realized the truth in what Wilson was saying about having people who cared about him, and after “Human Error” when he rashly let his team go. While many people believe that Dr. House changed considerably this season, it certainly didn’t seem as if he had changed for the better.

    Andi, I think (for what it’s worth) that it’s less a matter of House changing than letting other aspects of his personality come to the fore. Hugh has said (as had David Shore) that House (or rather people) don’t really change. But heretofore unseen aspects of the personality may emerge depending on the situation. For example, after he was shot and had a bit of “normal” in his existence, House wanted to find “meaning.” He was disappointed that he did not, although I think his assumptions and criteria were wrong. He didn’t need to find “meaning,” he simply had to understand that what he did was already meaningful–he simply cannot appreciate it–doesn’t know how to feel fulfilled and happy, because he is not happy. the fact that he reflected and was moved by the child in “lines in the sand” was an indication that he could experienced “meaning” but remained bewildered by it.

    But much of season three focused on House’s reflecting on “normal.” He’d had a tast of it in Meaning, and then it was ripped away. In Lines in the Sand, he derided “normal,” yet was disappointed that he couldn’t make his patient “normal.” In Merry Little Christmas, Insensitive and Half-Wit, we saw House trying to deal with and be reflective about what it is to be normal, and to even yearn for it. His very telling words to the dwarf mom about not putting her daughter through a lifetime of “not normal” (as he sees himself, the dwarf mom, etc) suggest that House is terribly unhappy about his situation, but even though he attempted both in Insensitive and in Half-Wit to “do something,” he ultimately failed. So we saw House trying to change his situation (awkwardly) or at least thinking about it–as he did in Human Error as well (and also in Fetal Position–as he tried (and failed) to “do something”–in that case, take a vacation).

    Whether the events of WH drive him further, we’ll see.

    I agree with (was it you, Stephen fan?) that we learn different things by his interaction with the different groups that surround him. He reveals himself differently to different people (depending on their distance from them, and his trust in them). We tend to learn the most from his interactions with complete strangers. He reveals himself much more since the long-term emotional cost is less for him: One Day One Room, the Pilot episode, Autopsy are all examples of this. Of his fellows, he revealed things to Cameron (but mostly deflects)–the best example is “daddy’s boy.” With Cuddy, his reveals are more oblique. His protectiveness and his possessiveness of her comes through a shield of leering only occasionally–who’s your daddy, Insensitive, Fetal Position, etc. The fact that he allowed chase to hypnotize him is also revealing in its way. His big reveal with Foreman was when foreman was sick–House revealed himself to care (too much, almost) and showed us why he tries to keep such a distance from his patients. I think that House’s problem is not that he doesn’t feel, but that he feels almost too much (his sensitivity is evident in his music and in his artifacts)–that his distance is a shield against that. When he gets too close, he tends to become much more affected than even the other doctors around him.

    I think another good example of this (and then I’ll shut up ;)) was when Cameron was exposed to AIDS. Everyone was concerned, but House took the step that he knew she would not, and faked her out into being tested. She didn’t want to know. House knew that that wasn’t good enough. No one else seemed to anything to push her into getting the test. House not only talked a good game (in Need to Know) but actually did the test. It was awkward and invasive of her privacy, but the way House’s caring comes out is always awkward and a bit peculiar (since he tries so hard to suppress it!) Anyway, carry on. Great discussion!

  • blacktop

    I really like stephen fan’s astute observation that House interactions derive from three levels of intimacy: with Wilson-Cuddy, the old team, and the new team. The textures of the new team are yet to be revealed as we have actually had very little time for House to work directly and only with them. I am quite happy to patiently wait for the extraordinarily sharp writers to slowly reveal more of House through his interactions with Kutner, Hadley and Taub.

    Each of them brings lots of promise to the mix: Kutner is a profoundly displaced person separated from his roots and his past who retreats into juvenile behaviors as a way to avoid confrontation; Hadley is the first female character who has not fallen in love with House and is therefore able to stand strongly against him at times as she struggles to establish her own identity; Taub is middle-aged, a sceptic with considerable professional experience, already tested and traumatized by life, now struggling to find his bearings again.

    There will be lots to learn about House as he continues to interact with these new characters in season five and I am confident that the writers are up to the task. I love that TPTB were bold and confident enough to launch the show in a new direction this year rather than take the safer route of letting the old team continue on its improbable dead-end path as junior doctors. The great ratings and tremendous performances of season four were a satisfying reward for this show’s brave venture into the unknown.

    If the heart of the show remains exploring House’s challenged and changing relationships with Cuddy and Wilson that will provide both the emotional continuity and the depth of insight and experience that will fulfill my hopes for the next season. I. can. not. wait!

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/05/30/072751.php stephen fan

    I should have said that House told Cuddy that he hated his FATHER, not his mother. I think House loves his mother.

    Andi A., thanks for the correction. I am relieved that he loved his mother.

    I’ve been gratified how much intelligent discussion has gone on in the comments section!

    Barbara, yes indeed. As I live in a foreign country I especially value such good english conversation.

    Hugh has said (as had David Shore) that House (or rather people) don’t really change.

    Barbara, I should have said evolve not change. I know we do that.

    I am quite happy to patiently wait for the extraordinarily sharp writers to slowly reveal more of House through his interactions…

    blacktop, I agree that the writers are a highly exceptional group. Every time I rewatch an episode there is something more to connect and expand on from episode to episode, season to season.

  • ann uk

    Last night I watched a repeat of ” Forever” ( Series 2 ) and it reminded me of why I admire ” House ” so much.Unlike so many TV shows, House does not present us with neat choices between black and white but with the complex tangle of moral obligations that we face in real life. The way House strips the facade of niceness from the young husband is brutal and shocking ,but itis a neccessary exercise in truth telling which parallels the daughter’s rejection of comforting lies.It reminded me too of the episode in Series 1 in which House ,under imminent threat of loosing his job, takes the time to prove thet another young couples ” niceness ” is genuine and saves them from loosing their baby
    I admire Greg House for his intransigent refusal to see the world as other than it is, which hurts him much more than anyone else and I hope Series 5 will let us see more of the inner House than Series 4 has done so far.
    ( I haven’t seen all of it yet )

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/05/30/072751.php stephen fan

    ann uk said,

    “House does not present us with neat choices between black and white but with the complex tangle of moral obligations that we face in real life.”
    “I admire Greg House for his intransigent refusal to see the world as other than it is, which hurts him much more than anyone else…”

    ann uk, thanks for reminding me why I like him because he can be exasperating too!

  • Mary

    The following is speculation only on my part, but…

    People seem to believe that we’ve seen the last of Amber. However, in “Wilson’s Heart,” Amber has a lively presence in House’s subconscious. And, as House himself has recognized, Amber is something of a female version of him.

    The writers may not be willing to let go of this complex character or the talented actress who portrays her. We may see Amber come back to haunt House’s dreams and fantasies in Season Five.

  • http://annuk ann uk

    PS I think my last entry was rather muddled , the bit about the daughter referred to ” It’s a Wonderfull Lie “- viewing series 4 AND series 2 repeats has really scrambled my brain !
    Your speculations on series 5 are most tantalising as I am only up to 4/12.
    I gather that House has taken yet another Quixotic risk and as usual noone will thank him for it ( another literary parallel )
    You will gather that I am a diehard House supporter !

  • http://annuk ann uk

    I have been re- reading some of other people’s comments above, all of them interesting even if I dont always agree with them. I can’t imagine any other TV drama provoking so much serious discussion.
    I agree with Sue that Hugh Laurie is the most mesmerising actor I have ever watched. To me acting is a mysterious art- how far does the actor become the character he plays ? Where does Hugh end and House begin ? HL says that he has had no training and maybe that is why he seems to inhabit House not merely ” act ” him: there is no technique to get in the way.
    In any case ,it seeme to me that HL must be as perceptive as House himself to express such a complex, contradictory character that can make us laugh out loud one minute and weep the next.

  • cuddy

    Hallo Barbara,
    thanks for your comments, they are really helpfull and I appreciate them greatly.

    One thought about the further development:
    the whole show is developed around the central character, being a genius in diagnostics. People from all over the place come to see him. Even the FBI seek his advice, when they are at the end of their witts.

    So the brain injury of House at the end of season four is bringing the writers in a very difficult situation. They have to somehow make it believable that their central figure has had this: brain bleed, but they can’t have him brain-damaged, because then the show is gone.
    I wonder how they get out of it.

    But I guess they won’t be that realistic and just let him recover. They let him run 8 miles without problems, then again loose this ability, then he can run up 3 flats of stairs later on, then he can go bowling, just pointing out a few flaws in their writing.

    Nevertheless, I guess these are minor points.

    Thanks again for your reviews, I am looking forward to the next one.