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House, M.D.: Looking Back on Season Seven and Ahead to Season Eight

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House, M.D.‘s Season 7 was, in many ways, an experiment. Putting characters together in a sexual relationship is always tricky on a TV series, and giving House (Hugh Laurie) a taste of what it means to be happy and loved is likewise a bit risky to do on a show where, as the central character, he is a fundamentally unhappy and troubled soul.

Cuddy tells House she loves him, and he follows. It’s probably been so long since anyone has told him that, and it’s been so long since he’s desired her, that all rationality flies out the window as he gladly follows her, despite her obvious ambivalence, and his fleeting recognition of it.

House ignores his internal warning system, expressed to Cuddy in the season premiere, and lets his guard completely down in many ways. And when it ends—when he ultimately cannot meet her ever-changing standard of acceptable behavior, he is crushed. His anger, directed inward until the final scene of the season is both at himself and at Cuddy. And to a lesser degree at Wilson for encouraging him.

Wilson may have done House a great service in the long run to have warned Cuddy, as he had Cameron back in Season 1 not to get involved with House if she had the least doubt. “If he opens up and gets hurt, there may not be a next time.” It’s a dire warning about House’s fragility that Wilson gives Cameron in “Love Hurts.” 

Througought their Season 7 relationship, House is driven by fear; Cuddy by ambivalence. They’re each waiting for the other shoe to drop. Cuddy is waiting for House to disappoint her; House is waiting for Cuddy to realize what a big mistake she’s made by hooking up with him. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. 

Cuddy’s basic understanding of House seemed to have fled, and she is unable to separate their professional and personal relationships, however she might try. She seems too often betrayed and disappointed by House’s professional actions, despite his reminders that his actions as “boyfriend” have to be considered differently than his professional behavior. Her disapproval is more strident. 

But what we also get is House often being more obnoxious than usual with patients—and with his team. He is less engaged with the medicine far too often. He’s also too often the idiot in the room, and too infrequently the troubled genius, deep in thought and thoroughly involved on some level with curing the patient. Obviously this ramps up once he begins his descent into hell after the breakup, but he’s much less sympathetic in general—except in the realm of his relationship. Perhaps they’re both overcompensating.

I never doubted that House and Cuddy would break up—and this season. It was inevitable from the start, especially given Cuddy’s deep ambivalence about the whole enterprise. But should it have come when it did, when House seemed to have come to a new understanding about their relationship (“Recession Proof”)? It seems somewhat arbitrary, but from a narrative point of view, it does seem to jibe with Cuddy’s mercurial take on relationships in general.

House’s reaction to the breakup also seems consistent with what I believe might have happened after Stacy leaves him (long before we’d ever met House). We know that, deeply hurt and feeling betrayed, House basically fell apart. Wilson reminds us of that a few times during the early seasons of the series, so House’s insane overreaction to the breakup with Cuddy, as abrupt and arbitrary as it seems, makes narrative sense.

The one thing I do wish is that the exploration of the House-Cuddy relationship might have dug a little deeper into the psyche of each character—not making them at all more “lovey-dovey” or happy, but digging into the emotion of House’s struggle with happiness, and with being involved in a serious relationship. But that is a creative choice, and I cannot fault the creative team for not taking a path I would have wanted. The brain trust of any television series has to follow its own vision. The House viewership is too diverse—and watches for too many varied reasons—to please one faction of fans or another.

So where has Season 7’s controversial ending left us as a lead in to Season 8? “Now what?” we may ask, echoing the title for last season’s premiere episode. Where do they go from here? How do they go from here? That is the question reverberating through much of the fan community. A portion of the fan community believes that the ending to “Moving On” has undermined the character of House to a point where he cannot be redeemed at all. 

Most seasons leave the fan community with lingering questions both about the narrative if not the series itself. “How will House come back from a stay in a psych hospital?” “How will the series hold up with Chase, Cameron and Foreman gone?”

But here, seven seasons in, many die-hard fans are beginning to wonder about this version of House who thinks nothing of crashing his car into someone’s occupied home. Clearly out of his mind, even if just for that moment, the action is reprehensible. It’s a side of House many (but not all) fans never anticipated. Or like.

Ever dancing on the edge of likability, House has never become wholly unsympathetic. Yet, crashing his car into an occupied home, understandable or not, seems to me possibly pushing him over that edge into the realm of being unsympathetic. And will fans continue to care about him if that’s where he remains?

That’s a big question, and one to which I believe the writers will respond very early in the season. But it will be tricky, and they have to keep in mind that most fans of the show do not watch to see an unlikeable ass—at least not long term. They want to see House struggle with doing the right thing, with ethics, with his personal and professional choices. Ultimately, in my opinion, House is a compelling character because he tries to do the right thing. He is who he is—the jerk and all. But his quest to be happy; his quest to be healed; his quest to do the right thing are what make this character likable despite deep flaws.

Looking ahead to Next Season

Having aired my thoughts on Season 7, I do have my personal wish list for next season, whether Season 8 is the final season—or the penultimate series of episodes. So, writers and producers: please take note!

Deal with the crash. Whatever his motivation, House crashing his car into Cuddy’s home at the end of “Moving On” is a horrendous act. It is exponentially worse than anything House has done to anyone in the time we’ve known him. Yes, it may be the impulsive act of a man at the end of his rope; he may be out of his mind; he may have simply snapped. It doesn’t matter.

He has destroyed part of Cuddy’s home, terrorizing four people and whatever neighbors might have witnessed it (not to mention Wilson). There have to be serious consequences for his actions. It would be creatively dishonest for the series to whitewash things and jump ahead three months back at Princeton-Plainsboro, situation normal (as had been the case at the starts of  Seasons 3 and 5). The fans felt cheated then, and though those seasons turned out to be two of the series strongest, too much of the fan community is upset and angry right now for the story to jump-shift like that. We need to see House dealing with the legal, personal and professional ramifications of his actions, finding a way to somehow redeem himself in the eyes of his colleagues and the viewers. 

I completely trust the writers to find an intriguing way to do this, and I think like all shocking cliffhangers, this one leaves a lot of questions, but as many possibilities, including how they deal with Cuddy’s obvious absence in the aftermath. Her departure was something the creative team could not anticipate, and it will create both a major void and some opportunity. But it would, of course, be much better if they might…

Find a way to bring back Lisa Edelstein—if only for an episode or two (or a full story arc). Her departure is real blow, and despite the fact that House and Cuddy’s personal and professional relationship now lies in a pile of rubble, Cuddy is part of the show’s foundation—and could have been a key to House’s road back.

No matter what else happens next season Cuddy will likely continue to permeate House’s universe. How can she not? But House and Cuddy deserve a decent closure, and although that can happen off-screen, and probably will to a certain extent, it would be great to find a way to bring her back and give the fans some closure as well. This is out of the writers’ hands, of course, but given the fan reaction to her departure (one group took out an ad in Variety this morning!) and the controversial ending to the season, Edelstein’s return—whatever it costs the network to do it—would be a balm to many fans of the show. Which leads me to this next wish, and perhaps a way to free up some of that cut budget…

Cut back on the blockbuster sequences. Over the years, the teasers—usually introducing the week’s patient—have gotten increasingly elaborate. Particularly over the past two seasons, they have have become almost self-contained mini movies, often with little impact on the story other than to wow the viewer. They are great if they are meaningful to the story, and I admit that I’ve loved a lot of them, but for an episode feature that ultimately has no impact on the emotional heart of the story (with rare and noteworthy exceptions), in the end, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Some of them are also quite lengthy, and I’d rather have a minute or two more of the actual story (the AWOL clinic beats come to mind) than a mini-movie of the week.

I don’t know how much those blockbuster teasers cost, but if they have to trim, trim there. I do not pretend to know anything about television series budgets, and we may indeed see cutting back on the teaser “wow” factor due to budget constraints, but I would like to understand that the series didn’t sacrifice a principal cast member for the sake of a series of big-bang teasers that viewers watch once and forget.

Give House a real friend. During his lunch with Cuddy in “Moving On,” House rants with barely-concealed anger about the way in which both she and Wilson constantly lecture him on his life choice. “I did it to fix my life. No, wait. No, I did it because I’m a deeply unhappy person. No–no, I did it to get sympathy from you. I did it to piss you off. I did it because I’m not over you. Or I was over you, and I was moving on. I did it because I wanted to know what it’s like not to be in pain. I did it because I want to feel more pain…” House desperately needs someone who accepts him for who he is instead of constantly haranguing him. Have House encounter someone either at the hospital or outside it who just “gets” him. Perhaps the new dean… Or maybe Wilson can gain a new understanding of House (after he redeems himself of course).

Be careful in choosing a new dean of medicine. An core underpinning of the series has suggested that only Lisa Cuddy can both control House and give him enough freedom to save his “hail-Mary” patients. Choosing her successor is one of the most important decisions the producers have to make going forward.

I’ve heard around the fandom “Why not Foreman (Omar Epps)?” “Why not Wilson?” While Foreman has the administrative chops, and he’s come a long, long way this year in “getting” House a little more, I don’t think he’d be effective. He’s as stubborn as House—and he thinks he’s a better doctor than House. Neither trait will allow him to cut House the slack he needs. House would likely run rings around him, and could lead to House and Foreman more resembling Colonels Klink and Hogan (from the 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes). That would be very, very bad.

Wilson is on the hospital’s board and is already a department head, but I believe we need Wilson and House to maintain voluntary peer relationship they now enjoy. So who, then?

I’d love to see a new female dean played by a very strong actress who brings snap and seriousness to the role. I’d also like to see her come in already knowing House’s reputation as a brilliant, troubled diagnostician and understand him from the start. I’d love to see their relationship be completely professional (no flirting!), and for she and House to come to a mutual understanding at some point. Who should play my ideal dean? Helen Mirren? Allison Janney? Mary McDonnell?Someone like that would be just fine by me.

Deal with the pain/drugs issue. Especially if this is to be House’s last season, I would really love to see the series address House’s pain and drug issues head on. House deals with the issues many chronic pain sufferers deal with, including that of being understood—and having his symptoms dealt with adequately. House is also now back on Vicodin, and the pain is exacerbated by his ramped-up emotional turmoil. His physical pain and emotional health are tied up together. Perhaps introduce him to a smart, compassionate pain specialist. Hey, maybe that should be the new dean’s medical specialty!

I’d like to see of House’s serious side. House has been preoccupied first with his pursuit of Cuddy—and then the relationship itself. He’s spent more time on that, and less with patients, eager to slough off most responsibility onto the team. Although he’s always done that, it’s been more often these last couple of seasons. We tend to learn about House through his interactions with his patients—what’s really in his heart and on his mind. I’d love to see more of that.

House is also a genius and a fundamentally very serious thinker, despite the deflective games and his tendency towards laziness. Yes, he’s childish and sometimes childlike, but that’s not how he got to be a renown genius. Yeah, he can be lazy, but no one worked harder than he did in the first several years than House at solving those cases—late at night after everyone went home. Along those lines, I wouldn’t mind seeing more philosophical and ethical arguments between House and his patients (or anyone). Or just House, deep in thought for more than five seconds.

Music has always been for House an emotional language. He has often poured out his soul on the keys of his wonderful baby grand. I’d like to see a return to House the musician, the scholar, the guy who speaks six or seven languages and keeps a biography of Beethoven on the piano. But more important than that, let us into his emotions through his musical spirit.

Bring back Katie Jacobs as a director. One of the series Powers that Be (she is a showrunner), Jacobs has been much missed for her behind the camera skills during Season 7. Having brought us such wonderful episodes as “Half-Wit,” and “Broken,” Jacobs has a way of tapping into the emotional heart of the story and its characters. Her episodes have brought out some of the series most poignant moments. She’s less about the shock and awe camera work and more about capturing the intimacy underlying the wonderful stories the writers tell. While both are important, I have to wonder what she might have brought to the table (or behind the lens) had she directed some of this season’s exploration of the House-Cuddy relationship.

Make Wilson House’s real ally instead of his Jiminy Cricket. Wilson has spent much of the past seven years lecturing House about how not to live his life. And sometimes Wilson is right. But House’s resentment of Wilson’s hectoring has certainly contributed to House’s state at the end of Season 7. I would love to see Wilson become the truly supportive friend he can be—non-judgmental and non-enabling.

Keep developing the supporting characters. I love what the writers have done with Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Foreman this season. Slowly, slowly Chase has begun to find his way back from the Dibala affair and his divorce from Cameron (Jennifer Morrison). I’d like to see that continue as subtly and realistically as it has. And for the first time, I think I’m beginning to really like Foreman. He’s loosened up and has come, I think, to an understanding about House—even an acceptance.

I like the relationships that seem to have formed between Chase and 13—and House and 13 (Olivia Wilde). I know she’s not a universally-like character, but both men seem have an affect o the otherwise stony Remy Hadley, and she likewise clearly affects them in interesting and non-sexual ways. Taub (Peter Jacobson) is such a schlemiel. I hope he gets his just desserts from both his wife and lover.

House, M.D. is still one of the best written and acted series on television. The dialogue is still snappy; the scripts are still dense. Hugh Laurie is still brilliant. But like any series going into its eighth season, some getting back to basics—the things that have always made this series great on so many levels—may be needed. And with the departure of a principal cast member—and the direction taken with the Season 7 finale, it’s probably more important than ever. I’m looking forward to Season 8 with great anticipation, and some bittersweetness due to Edelstein’s departure. I will miss her and hope she returns at least for a few episodes. I’m curious as hell about how the writers and David Shore will dig House out of the hole into which he has dug himself.

Your thougths are welcome, as always, but please try to stay on topic. Personal attacks (whether directed at me, a commenter, or anyone else) are unwelcome and risk deletion as they violate BC’s comments policy. I will be taking a summer hiatus from my House column to focus on other writing and promote Chasing Zebras, but I will be back if there’s siginifcant news about Season 8. So stay tuned. 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
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  • mopassion

    I sent Bad Hat Harry a very good 2-episode script that writes out Cuddy, brings back Vogler & Tritter, and features ’13’ and an intriguing New Character. They keep marking it “Return to Sender”, not even opened. Oh well, I tried my hardest to help.

  • The Other Barnett

    Sci-Fi #181
    If you got the chance to see the ABC series Tierney was in for a second this last fall….I like a mixture of the Maura from Rescue me and the Maura from that show (the name escapes me right now). I don’t see an Abby Lockhart running PPH, I see an “anti-Cuddy”; someone who is a cursing, spitting,go-for-the jugular type. As a doctor, she would be a jekyll/Hyde type…smooth with the board and donors and non-nonsense with the “talent”.

    I agree with your tone about the “year jump ahead”. I’d hate to see that. I think the time (brief as it may have been) we saw House in the mental hospital was important in understanding the House we saw the last two seasons. it would be helpful to see some kind of process leading to “back to the norm”. The notion of jumping ahead a full couple years…that is crazy! ‘Fish out of water House’ is what they are thinking….and it would be wrong. House has to be presented as slightly irreplaceable to PPH to keep all this soft handling of his actions as plausible.

    Jameson #182,
    Why mention “last season”? Has anything come out clearly stating last season for House? I’d rather be in denial until I see something in black and white.

    In fact, the more I have thought about this show, the more I see the opportunity for a two season arc that could build to a suitable conclusion for House, as well as provide the viewer with some of the old quality story-telling that has been missing. If only the show would not get shuttled around in time-slots, treated as a lab for new “emmy-worthy” ideas for writers who are not as committed to the characters, and treated as a plaything for the pessimistic life-view of David Shore…….

  • Jameson Hamburger

    This was a great House ending. For Season 8 I want him on the run in a third world country still practicing medicine off the radar. I hate all the side characters except Wilson. They are mostly boring, despite the good work in season 7 to make them more enjoyable.
    I watch House to watch Greg House, not Princeton Plainsborough rubbish. Make his last season him leaving princeton and either have him killed off, or end it with him – metaphorically or literally even – winking at the audience as he practices his brand of medicine somewhere else. Don’t chicken out with him being back “as usual”.

  • Sci Fi Fan

    Other Barnett #180:

    Unfortunately, I have a “real world” explanation that would pretty much do away with all of your arguments, but they would make for a verbose and slar-phase-inducing post (sorry, a little “Coneheads” humor there).

    (However, I agree that Maura Tierney would be a good choice. But it should be the Maura Tierney from Rescue Me, not the “Crabby Abby” Maura Tierney from ER.)

    The problem is that none of it matters. House has never, ever been held accountable for his actions, at least not in a way that affected him to any extent. The writers will simply “jump ahead” a year or two (if the latest show biz buzz is to be believed), whereby House has done his penance, paid his debt, and is back practicing medicine (or about to be), and has learned NOTHING.

    However, I suppose there is some comfort in familiarity.

  • The Other Barnett

    Sci-Fi Fan #176:

    Of course you are saying that in the real world…..because there have plenty of things done to House and for House that the real world would never condone or countenance….so this House world will find a way to keep the license….

    You seem so certain Wilson will drop a dime on his friend….I’m not so sure. I could see him being tortured and possibly threatening such a thing….but I doubt it. I’d not be surprised if Cuddy does not even press charges because she wants to get away from this whole dastardly deal.

    As for House being shut out from the regular health groups. I could see a license-less House in Cuba making Marx/ Lenin/ Stalin/Guevara jokes while working in some technologically backward hospital, as he verbally abuses the nurses and doctors present.

    One more thing, even if House were to lose his license…I see the replacement for Cuddy bringing in House first as an advisor, then as a diagnostic expert, then whomever this newbie may be will bring about some kind of power to bring back the license. Did I say I want Maura Tierney as his new boss?

  • BrokenLeg

    @ 178 maria-eleni

    I’m glad to know we have so much things in common:both we are architects,skiers (snow alpin ski myself, water monoskier yourself),share a hard surgery on our knee-cup, both we are mothers of an ony son,both we are [H]fans and felt same astonishment while seeing Bertie Wooster in a so dramatic role ( although it happens to me seven years ago, because I’m a [H] fan from the very beginning), and except [H],as you, I only watch TV for news, docummentaries, (and from time to time some good other program as old CSI,Tudor’s, Borgias, etc..).

    And we share our beloved Mediterranean sea as I live in Barcelona.So, from almost the other border of our common beautiful sea, in a fresh summer night, greetings!!

  • maria-eleni

    • 174 – Epic B*tchery – 177 – BrokenLeg

    I am laughing too..!!!! Also hands and thighs and….!.!
    Watch “Fortysomething” if you want more naked HL ass, plus naked all! And is there any reason for watching House other than HL?

    I actually started laughing years ago while watching the Golden Globes and wondering “where do I know this Hugh Laurie? drama actor winner? and then he shook his pockets to draw out little pieces of paper: What??….Bertie Wooster…!!!… In DRAAAMA ?
    I knew nothing about House and only bothered to start watching it last March in DVDs just for the memory of that GG moment. Rather reluctantly, as I only watch TV for the news, documentaries and historical dramas. OK and some shows taking place in “Galaxies far far away”.
    And then I was seduced….but still laugh at the most inappropriate moments. Thank you HL..!

    174 – Epic B*tchery
    By the way, I assure you geeky House-analyzing sure beats hands down having to listen to my still married friends bitching about their husbands.

    177 – BrokenLeg :
    Yes, I am an architect as well as an art historian and egyptologist and a lover of trivialities.! However, we have a saying in my country: a priest who is officiating at two churches is cheating on one of them. When younger I used to cheat on Architecture, now it’s Egyptology’s turn. Creativity has the upper hand, analytical research has backed down but raises its head unexpectedly.

    I noticed in the other threads your views about buildings’ interaction with the users. They are very similar to my own. (Look for my response in the “Huddy Anatomy” thread.)

    As for the my knee cap, it was crashed into five or six pieces and had pins and wires to reattach it; the X-ray looked like a piece of modern art -one of those stark linear Miros. It was touch and go if it could be saved or replaced with an artificial one and I had a second operation to take off the metals. Now I do not even think of it except when I see water skiing. I used to be an ardent water skier (mono), but the broken knee being my strong one, it is forbidden now. Thank God for swimming and the sea – I leave 10 walk from the beach, in coastal Mediterranean town.

    And speaking of beaches, I was in one of my darkest moods today so I went to a long beach to swim and walk. My problems did not disappear but my mind emptied and my mood lightened up.
    I do not need any more over-analysing for the beach half-smile of House.

    Then I read 174 – Epic B*tchery and the laughing completed my “therapy”.
    Thanks Epic B*tchery

  • BrokenLeg

    167 @ maria-eleni

    Thanks for your answer. Are you an architect?I understand so, more or less. If so, we have two other things in common (in addition to a broken leg, or a hard surgery due to a knee-cap broken in my case)

    I’m a big motorcycle rider ( in forced stand-by while recovering)and a hard good skier, so I hope my recovery let me do both things as quick as possible, and in a same level “fully functional” way than before my own crash. So, I hope I can do better than you in that way, but, anycase, thank you for your good desires.

    And a counsel: follow 174 @Epic B*tchery counsel!!!!! Enjoy HL naked ass!!

    174 @ Epic B*tchery

    GREAT!!!! I’m still laughing.The funniest post ever!!!Thank you for bringing here some political uncorrect joy!!!!

  • Sci Fi Fan

    #175 – The Other Barnett: You still have to factor in House getting busted for diverting narcotics and forging scripts for the SECOND time (because you KNOW that Wilson dimed him out to the fuzz, as he clutched his sore, throbbing wrist). That’s a deal-breaker in any state in the union. Bottom line: His medical license is gone. For good.

    Doctors Without Borders, WHO, Red Cross, etc., will not accept physicians who are not licensed in their country of origin. A Third World government would likely allow him to practice, but he would not be attached to any international health alliance.

    To that end, unless he can say “turn your head and cough” in Uzbekistanian(?) or Yemeni, his career as a physician is over.

  • The Other Barnett

    maria-eleni #172 –

    I think you are taking a very mature and down-to-earth point of view on how things ended and certainly the feminine view, too. Cuddy wanted something from House that, I think, was an unfair expectation – a heroic man who could go unphased with each death and stumble.

    House does feel too deeply, if Cuddy wants him to “man-up”, she should have to understand that she had a renovation on her lap, not a ready-made skyscraper of strength. The man was less than two-years removed from a nervous breakdown…..what did she expect?

    I do agree that Cuddy started planning the escape from the relationship as House was sharing his choice of her over patients. That look on her face was the look of a woman who was not in what her little schoolgirl heart thought she was getting into. her mother screwed her up, alright…but Lisa built upon this dysfunction. Cuddy could not wholly commit, not because of being a mother, but because she never grew up either.

    Cuddy making the immediate break is understandable, then trying to approach House to discuss this break-up and how he feels….that is salt in the wound and cruel. It was her pushing the issue with House that made me applaud the crash.

    I’d like to think House has broken away from lots of painful thoughts and feelings with this crash. I’d like to think that his absence from Cuddy’s presence would be helpful at him righting his brain and his thoughts. I’d like to think that some kind of detached situation from the hospital community would help him get a new perspective.

    I know it may seem a bit cheesy, but what if House did “Doctor’s without Borders” as a part of probation and as a way to save his medical license and his employment status at PPH? Imagine him walking out of a tent of dying babies/children with AIDS and telling parents to “keep it behind the loincloth if you have the virus.”!

  • Epic B*tchery

    I don’t know about “Lobotomize Me” (love that sobriquet, by the way), but I can answer maria-eleni’s question with two words: Moral Superiority.

    Or, if you’re looking for a more corporeal explanation: For an older guy, Hugh Laurie still looks good naked.

    However, maria-eleni, YOU are clearly too educated for most of these attendant cyber-philistines; to that end, I offer a favorite American axiom: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

    Translation: Don’t over-analyze. Just sit back and enjoy Hugh Laurie’s bare ass.

  • maria-eleni

    • 171 – Lobotomize Me

    I particularly like Jung for his Collective Unconscious concept and his exploration of other wider subjects like philosophy, literature, religion etc.

    “: the writers of this “opus” are NOT that smart, nor are they that ambitious. Their goal is to make House as childish and outrageous as possible. There is no magic or mystery behind his behavior. He’s simply a genius douche bag and nothing more, and I question the “genius” part of the equation.”

    I have an honest (no irony here) question for you: If that is your opinion of House and the show, why did you watch it? And even more why do you spend time and “grey matter” to write about it?

    “ You are waaaaaay over-romanticizing him and, considering this is just a TV show, that’s a little over the top.”

    After all we have been reading here, are you telling ME I am ever-romanticising? You get me wrong: I am over-analysing and having fun doing.
    And of course it is a TV show: Unrealistic (who is paying for all those MRIs the addict doctor?, the American healthcare system?), over the top (40 candidates for 3 jobs reality show?)and occasionally downright stupid.
    On the other hand it has a nice balance of tragedy and comedy, a riveting performance by HL, who hops from despair to clowning, and frequently interesting patients.
    Fortunately the heavy emotional moments are kept short and I was spared the spectacle of Huddy analysing their childhood issues to built a relationship (!) which is what everybody else has been pining of.
    The medical jargon bores me but I like the pecurial sound (pneumoniococus!) of the medical terms who are mostly of greek like me (all those the –osis). Boring and undeveloped are also the satellite characters but they have beautiful eyes!
    And I admit I loved House the moment he irrationally refused to lose his leg. I have a similar horror of amputation.
    Nonetheless I insist that his psychoses are well documented and very real. Also they are presented without sugaring the pill. Lots of cringe-worthy moments by House. But then I also loved Scrooge MacDuck more then Donald.

    But let us agree to disagree: De gustibus non est disputandum

  • maria-eleni

    • 170 – The Other Barnett
    “About the whole vagina comment. Depending upon whether House and Cuddy have known each other for decades or just for the last seven years (including passionate kissing and love-making)…..don’t you think that such a comment (though immature and a product of liquid courage) also is the kind of thing that could be thrown out playfully by a guy to a woman he loves and respects without any sense that he is assaulting her senses?”

    This is also my view.

    But I want to expand on that scene:
    I believe Cuddy couldn’t care less about House’s stupid joke. She was unpleasantly shocked by the declaration of “I chose you over my patients lives”. By the expression of her face, I think that, unconsciously at least, that is the moment she took the decision to end their relationship.
    It was not the vicodin. What decided her was the dawning realization that not only she could not depend on House to be there for her, but also that she would have to support House every time he went through the pain of losing a patient, of being a failure.
    That was revealed by his being unable to go to a social function after the failure to prevent the death of his patient. Evidently he cannot face himself, let alone other people, so he resorts to drinking. He knows also that an aftermath of failing is the diminishing of his capabilities. (i.e. beginning of se3). Cuddy knows this also and every time this would happen in the future she would have to be there to hold him up and nurture him back to his usual level of functioning. Certainly there is a difference between when you do this for an employee and/or friend and when do it for the man you live with.
    So the heroic image of House strong enough to overcome his inner fears and take on a leg amputation saving her from the trouble –which made her to finally reveal her love for him and embark on an affair with him – is negated by this unexpected unheroic image of House weakened by love and unable to do both: love and save lives at the same time. He is no more “the most extraordinary man.”
    Add to this his inability to face her illness and possible death or share her anxieties and pain without vicodin and the matter is clinched. Cuddy is the vicodin substitude. He will always needs a crutch to overcome pain, whether physical or emotional, and she does not feel capable to be that crutch. She needs a crutch for herself. As ‘Lobotomize Me-159’ puts it, one expects one’s man to BE a man.

    Frankly I do not blame her. And I can feel her pain and delusion. After all I made a similar decision.
    Neither do I blame her (or the writers) for the abrupt ending. Prolonging by discussing the end would have been more painful with the added danger of House winning her over again. And it might have gotten soapy.

    I really appreciated the stark ending .For me this last scene of Bombshells compensated for those boring showbiz referenced dreams.

  • Lobotomize Me

    @#169 maria-eleni: I’m familiar with Jung and you described his views on the human psyche quite well.

    Where I disagree is your theory that “someone researched” the House character thoroughly, etc… Trust me: the writers of this “opus” are NOT that smart, nor are they that ambitious. Their goal is to make House as childish and outrageous as possible. There is no magic or mystery behind his behavior. He’s simply a genius douche bag and nothing more, and I question the “genius” part of the equation. You are waaaaaay over-romanticizing him and, considering this is just a TV show, that’s a little over the top. And I’m a Sicilian.

    @#170 The Other Barnett: …”waved ‘Little House” in front of her”? Oh, my God I laughed my ass off!! You talk about drawing a picture! If this show was on Cinemax, I’m certain that that is exactly how things would’ve played out, thereby re-enforcing my own theory about this character.

    Thank you for a great laugh on a rainy Monday morning!

  • The Other Barnett

    Maria-eleni (169) and Lobotomize Me –

    About the whole vagina comment. Depending upon whether House and Cuddy have known each other for decades or just for the last seven years (including passionate kissing and love-making)…..don’t you think that such a comment (though immature and a product of liquid courage) also is the kind of thing that could be thrown out playfully by a guy to a woman he loves and respects without any sense that he is assaulting her senses?

    Now, if he had stood up in front of her after sharing what he had declared, dropped his pants, waved “Little House” in front of her” and said “he loves you, too!”, before passing out….that is an assault upon good taste and Cuddy’s senses. Cuddy’s reaction to a teen-agerish comment was a bit too brusque.

    Anyone who thinks this 7-second drunken slip is at all a logical point for Cuddy to use to dump House is probably the same person who would want their vows to replace “man and wife” with “fellow-humans”.

  • maria-eleni

    155 – Channel Surfer
    “Your hyperbole aside, you missed my point.”
    True, after all hyperbole is in my blood, as I am as Greek as the word.
    But…! No I do not think I missed the point! I just have an entirely different point of view.

    159 – Lobotomize Me
    Yah! ……And the world is SO full of men who are NOT boys!

    In fact I think it is you who have missed the point of what is House. His childishness is a lot more than “the man who would be a boy” kind. It is the deep seated childishness characteristic ( among other dysfunctions) of large number of persons with high IQ. There are as many theories about this “symptom” as there are Psychological Schools.

    My favorite theory is Carl Jung’s who views the origin of neuroses as the result of an interaction between childhood trauma and a constitutional sensitiveness. This sensitiveness predisposes some individuals (and “in most cases these patients were extremely bright”) to be particularly affected by any type of negative childhood experiences, so that later, when under pressure to adapt to a current challenge, they retreat into “infantile fantasies” as the mental representations of insecure attachment with the caregiver.
    He suggests that being born highly sensitive interacts with experiences of trauma in childhood to produce more neurotic symptoms—depression, anxiety, shyness—than are found in nonsensitive persons with a similar history.
    In more recent clinical studies of the Jungian Schools, most cases are reported as being
    “more sensitive than others to caffeine, pain, hunger, and medications; easily startled;
    prone to allergies (a depth of processing of the immune system); and easily
    overwhelmed by highly stimulating or unfamiliar situations—crowds, noise,
    deadlines, sudden changes in their life, rough textures, strange odors, visual clutter,
    and so forth (if one processes everything thoroughly, it seems it is easy for
    there to be too much to process). Their tendency to reflect before acting also results
    in their being more motivated than nonsensitive persons to avoid unnecessary
    risks, stressful or high-pressure situations, exposure to violent media, and making
    errors. They also report performing worse when observed, generally not liking
    competition, and thoroughly processing negative feedback.”

    Description of a patient: “…gloomy, ill-tempered, full of bitterness and malice, unwilling to make any effort to lead a reasonable life, egotistical, quarrelsome, and a nuisance to all around her. . . .”

    Reminds you of someone?
    Who is also forever sucking lollipops, playing with balls, constructing improbable structures for his toy cars, playing with his game boy, watching cartoons. Who has a fixation with the female anatomical parts most prominently featured in the prehistoric mother goddesses.

    Even his fixation/love for Cuddy accords with the “mental representations of insecure attachment with the caregiver”. After his leg Cuddy picked him up, gave him a job and generally protected him from the outside world and from himself: she is the caregiver. He also reserves for her his most childish facial expressions and the inimitable “maaam!”

    Of course Jung offers solutions through psychoanalysis and believes “…that once the meaning of the unconscious fantasies are revealed, the sensitive person is able to return to his or her duties—not social duties now, but duties to the self, the achievement of a “harmony with himself, neither good nor bad, just as he is in his natural state…”
    Jung more or less seems to hold these individuals responsible for their difficulties, when they do not act to overcome them.
    House unfortunately is very negative about psychoanalysis, but Se8 might show coming to his senses and achieve some “harmony with himself “. Wishful thinking?

    Generally I find the psychological portrait of House very well done indeed. Someone must have
    done a lot of research, and it is actually consistent. Unfortunately the satellite characters are a lot less developed and that creates an imbalance that is evident from the beginning and it has become increasingly more grating. I found out lately that a few of the first reviews made this observation predicting a fast failure of the show! Ironic.. eh!

    Yes, I know, I am a little too earnest, but then it was a beautiful moment that did not deserve to be spoiled by over-mocking the childishness ( inappropriate, I grant you, but not disrespectful).

  • maria-eleni

    • 158 – Oversimplified

    2. “In other shows like Dexter, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad the main characters do pretty horrific things, but qualify it by telling themselves they’re doing it for their families or even for ‘The Greater Good’ and people can empathise with that even if they don’t condone it”

    “….however House crashing his car in Cuddy’s was out of pure selfish rage.”

    Are you serious that PREMEDITATED criminals acts, or outside the Law ritual lynching carrying the rationalization “for my family” or “The Greater Good” are more justifiable than a single freak act of emotional rage because it is “selfish”?
    That is the logic of Hitler and Dibala.(to stay within context). “For the good of my people” was the motto for the greatest crimes against humanity. For the “good of the family” is also the Mafia motto. And what is more self serving and selfish than that?

    How can you even compare, let alone declare better, such barefaced cold-blooded criminal acts to a single act of vandalism taken at the spur of the moment and under extreme emotional stress of a desperate person? Sure it was reckless and might have resulted in tragedy but it was a singular incident (it is the singularity that surprised) and not repeated, SERIAL criminality.

    It is a moral catastrophe for society (and this is not hyperbole!) for people to empathise (= understand and share the feelings of another – Concise Oxford English Dictionary) with rationalising crime “for the greater good”.

    Anyway, as an antidote to my addiction to House, I tried watching The Sopranos, Dexter, Mad Men. Apart from the fact that I did not find them so riveting (De gustibus non est disputandum), I found myself more or less repelled by a certain aura of condoning immorality that House does not have, for all its faults. For the same reason I never liked Godfather in spite of its artistic excellence.

  • maria-eleni

    • 157 – BrokenLeg

    We have at least one thing in common: I also broke my knee some seven years ago, stupidly falling down some stairs.
    Be patient! Good news! After almost 2 years of pain (It was even difficult to swim and as for hiking….those are my sporting activities), I am now almost completely free of pain and a lot more active than most of my injury free friends. Only problem I cannot kneel on it which makes difficult some house cleaning !

    “Great analysis!! Only I must disagree with your last paragraph.”

    Thank you!
    And your last 2 paragraphs absolutely nail it.

    But you do not actually disagree with my last paragraph: it is just that our timings are different. I was very rebellious, but in an underhand way, when young. I had my son rather late at 37 and got divorced 2 years later. Having to bring up a child alone, with the added burden of several Houseian psychoses, a mother dying from pancreatic cancer, and a father and his failing business to take care of, kills any rebelliousness and impulsiveness. And a broken knee in the middle of it.
    However, now that my son is approaching the age of leaving home, I am bringing back my inherent my unconventionality.

    I am so happy for you in the way you describe your marriage, and, slightly envious.

    As for Cuddy and House, well, I empathise with both. I found myself in a very complicated situation, with all of House’s feelings of betrayal (and some similar but milder reactions) and the need to come to a Cuddy-like painful decision to end my marriage even though I was very much In love. I had to act fast and decisively to protect myself and my child from the conflict and bitterness that had started to erode my personality. The divorce created a number of grave problems to my husband but then he was an adult and should have had more control and responsibility over his actions. I could not be there mothering him forever. My child was my first priority( I truly feel for Cuddy).Fortunately he managed to get over it and move on, even becoming a fairly, if slightly irresponsible good father.
    I, on the other hand, reacted like House; unable to move on, it took me years to make some life improving movements.

    So you see life circumstances place us in situations to which we can react in various ways. However, the type of reaction depends on the frame of mind and soul we are in at that particular moment. In another moment, even with the same circumstances, our reactions might be different.

  • maria-eleni

    • 161 – The Other Barnett

    Careful you might change your mind after you read on……

    Your rant might actually open some more doors. What you are saying must be true for most of us and not just the addicts. I think most of the viewers see more than something of ourselves in House (why else so many? 80 million worldwide!!). After all, most of us are lonely, broken or damaged or dysfunctional, squandering our gifts, striving all the time to make something of ourselves and failing.
    And damn HL for imbuing with so much (hidden) sensitivity this nasty character that was probably never conceived as having much. Result: we more or less expect him to better himself so as to give us some hope that we might do the same. Well cross our fingers but we should not have so many expectations. Better to be prepared if the fall comes and pleasantly surprised if there is a rise.

    “- the romantic who wanted to take someone’s breath away with my words or actions and the intellectual who wanted to patiently prove to anyone how brilliant I was.”

    Same for me! Never thought, however, that reading was what created the duality in my character. I suppose that I started as a romantic intellectual and being a History buff ended up, inevitably, a cynical and a very conflicted personality.

    Caution; what comes next is personal history. So if you couldn’t care less, skip it.

    However, contrary to you, I buried my nose in books to isolate myself from a family addicted to power games, My earliest addiction was archeological mysteries and then Tolstoy, the Greek classics, Jane Austen, Akhenaton of Egypt, Tchaikovsky, Alexander the Great, Shakespeare, French History, Agatha Christie, Mozart, Sir Walter Scot, the Crusades, Hatshepsut of Egypt, Danny Boyle/Ewan Mcgregor films, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Star Wars (prequels), Mahler, ( I have left a lot out) and now House. Very eclectic!

    In between I made the enormous mistake not to study Archeology. My parents convinced me that architecture was more lucrative. I managed at the end to add History of Art and Egyptology to my academic credentials but after 11 years in Paris studying ( best years of my life) circumstances intervened to help me make a second faux-pas. I had to abandon my nicely laid out future of archeological expeditions’ architect in Egypt to come back home and help with my father’s industrial enterprise.
    A few years ago, in my late 40s, I had the opportunity to wind up the enterprise, and reprise my Architectural and History of Art activities in a laid back freelancing pace. Unfortunately Archeology is more difficult to reenter professionally so I follow up as an amateur. Strangely enough as I my passion for it has tempered and I find myself more interested in the creative process of architecture.
    In their small scale my projects are very well received which gratifies my need for intellectual recognition. I also use History of Art creatively by becoming an expert in putting together small Museum projects – research and execution.

    I often find this change of direction in middle life described as “middle life crisis”. Well, it is not. Sometimes opportunities and openings are there that were missing when younger. So why shouldn’t one at any time in one’s life move on in new fields or reprise old dreams? ( This is loaded and in reference to the characters of the show and people involved in it. I shall leave to your own conclusions.)

    However I shall probably never make big. Which brings to my addiction for House. Although renowned as a genius in diagnostics, as he tells Wilson, professionally he has stagnated (Known unknowns). His talents are not put in wider use. He has restricted himself in the small ( and safe) world.
    I also carry some strong Houseian issues which I have been unable to rid myself off. Isolation, repression, depression (or possibly mild (?) bipolarism), childishness, laziness, incapability of sustaining long relationships. To make my life more complicated, I have also a number of Cuddy characteristics: Extreme awareness of personal appearance, need of social approval and social integration need of someone to stand supportively beside me. Fortunately, I solved the last one with a small, selective circle of family friends, mutually supportive. Having been through psychoanalysis for 2 years I am frequently sought out to help with their problems. But there is a conflict: I have to combat my need of isolation and, unwillingly seek, out contact as I am divorced since my son was 2 years old and with no immediate family. So for me friends male, female, and couples are by now my mainstay.

  • BrokenLeg

    164 @ Anna

    Be able to hear what others say of you and put yourself in this others place is empathy.
    And have the hability to hear and then re-address your work is humility.

    Both are qualities which TPTB seem to lack.

  • Anna

    Oops! I seem to have deleted a couple of letters in the second paragraph. I meant to say, “At that time, we…”

  • Anna

    I’m responding specifically to a few posters who feel that TPTB should listen to what the viewers are saying and try to turn things around for the series. While I completely agree that TPTB should be aware of fan responses (within reason, of course, and not based on what rabid shippers want), I don’t hold out much hope for it to happen.

    Some of the things that a few of you pointed out that need changed are the very things that many of us have been saying for the last couple of years, and we expressed them specifically, carefully, and maturely on a thread at the old Fox forum that was set up by the moderator, who was supposdly going to forward the comments on to Fox. At hat time, complained about too much Thirteen, the marginalization of characters such as Chase and Cameron, the lack of clinic patients, the lack of House’s moments of reflection and dedication to the patients. We complained about the over-the-top pranks and House becoming increasingly more vulgar and cruel. We cited example after example of what we were talking about.

    It did absolutely no good. If anything, things got worse. Perhaps it has finally hit home to them now that their show ranked #42 in the final rankings for this season. It’s not just the Cuddy/House mess, but a culmination of several seasons’ worth of problems that have not been addressed.

    I agree with another poster that TPTB should listen to other views, rather than their inner circle of friends and critics who smile and tell them how much they love their show, while not asking any of the hard-hitting questions that many of us fans would like answers to.

    I want to stress that I don’t expect TPTB to try and please everyone. That would be impossible, and bad for the show as well. I do think, however, that they need to listen to what the majority of the fans are saying about the show in general, especially when their views appear to match up with TV critics who used to be great fans of the show. There is no excuse for Shore and the others to be wearing their blinders any longer.

    Barbara, I agree with nearly everything you said in your article, except I don’t want to see Thirteen ever again.

  • The Other Barnett

    After reading 2 Lightworker #147, I think it is good to make a reference to how personally I have taken this last season…and weirdly it only came about since re-reading #147 over again and focusing on the reference to “growing up reading British and romantic novels” So, if I open myself up too much, I apologize.

    I grew up on a farm around a mother and father who were always unhappily married. I had no one living too close to my house (miles away from neighbors) and I never really made a close friend throughout my childhood. So I escaped into comic books, pocket literary classics from K-Mart, old encyclopedias, the Bible, old textbooks on british lit., and the nature (wooded, streams, and midwest-beauty). I had times to run ideas through my mind without any people to bother me on endless summer days outside. I had a few teachers I could meekly ask questions of and I had a few pastors I could ask for guidance from. But, the reality is that the combination of the Bible, Wordsworth, Byron, Wuthering Heights, and skads of information/trivia created someone who almost had two sides – the romantic who wanted to take someone’s breath away with my words or actions and the intellectual who wanted to patiently prove to anyone how brilliant I was.

    College did little but encourage me to be more outgoing about both sides of me. The relationships I entered were all about burrowing myself into the life of that person and letting her feel my emotions and I feel hers. I picked them because they seemed more emotionally secure than me. But, in the end with all three women, I wore them out emotionally. It was not until I tossed aside some of the notions of dramatic romance and drastic adoration and experiencing the emotional spectrum/roller-coaster ride that I was able to truly be in a happy, committed relationship that has not only lasted but led to a marriage. As a result (along with a deeper relationship with Christ), I am also more secure about myself because I had to accept myself first before going out to anyone else to affirm me. When I fail now (and get in trouble), it is when I revert to short bursts of that other me who would like to make public declarations – draw people into whatever psychic pain I feel – or merely get playfully pissy while using mixed up phrases from favorite poems or movies.

    House is an addiction for me, because Greg House gives some kind of glimmer of a reminder of what I was like…..and how that version of me was not bad, merely not channeled. And this season became too personal for me because I saw tiny glimpses (as we all do) of my past self that I both love and and disgusted by.

    This is why, I wish not only that the writers would take some kind of intensive training on understanding (as best can be understood) the female psyche; but also that they would seriously consider putting House in a place where he encounters somethng that moves him to some form of faith.

    Sorry for the rant…hope it may be somewhat enlightening or entertaining or merely worthy of a big skip to the next post 🙂

  • The Other Barnett

    #154 maria-eleni
    Can I marry you? Outstanding comment on not only the interaction of that moment, but the whole relationship and being of House and Cuddy. GREAT!

  • Sci Fi Fan

    You got THAT right, Lobotomized.

  • Lobotomize Me

    #147 2Lightworker: I think you nailed it with your “frat boy” reference. If a man had to get totally shit-faced in order to declare his feelings for me, and then wrapped up such a tender, yet alcohol-evoked, declaration with a crack (no pun intended) about his head and my vagina – well…I think we’d be looking at a righteous deal-breaker.

    @#156 maria-eleni: I think THAT is the point the other posters were trying to make. Look at the big picture and factor in the mean average IQ of the writing staff (the ONLY constant in this television show), and the end of the equation boils down to: the man who would be a boy.

    One of House’s favorite expressions is “do the math” after all.

    And while I would expect (and even encourage) my man to be sentimental about my vagina, I would likewise expect (and insist) that he BE a man, which is something that has long been denied this particular character. Which is a shame.

  • Oversimplified

    @ 154 Maria-eleni

    ‘It is almost a tribute to the maligned writers that so many identified with Cuddy to the point that they now dislike House, for all their professed love all those years and so as Cuddy cannot tolerate House in her life any more, so the viewers cannot either.’

    I don’t think that it’s a case of identifying with Cuddy, but more a case of not being able to identify with House anymore for many people, which is hugely important if you wish to keep audiences on side: my brother and sister-in-law who are fairly casual viewers finally got round to watching the finale and were pretty repulsed/confused by House’s actions.

    In other shows like Dexter, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad the main characters do pretty horrific things, but qualify it by telling themselves they’re doing it for their families or even for ‘The Greater Good’ and people can empathise with that even if they don’t condone it. There’s always been an element of that with this show. House’s not ‘sugaring the pill’ with his patients in the end usually works out best for them, however House crashing his car in Cuddy’s was out of pure selfish rage. The character who limped away from the scene of the crime, and then sat drinking at the beach was a. pretty repugnant and b. rather than becoming even more nuanced, had turned into a pantomime villain. I still think there was a grave miscalculation in the writers’ room.

  • BrokenLeg

    154 @ maria-eleni

    Great analysis!! Only I must disagree with your last paragraph.

    I can add that in real life, my “housian” rebel side grows with the pass of the years, in the same proportion my “cuddy side” conventional one is diminishing , in a sort of release myself as much as I can of imposed social conventionalism ( although I know it seems the contrary as usual, because one use to be more conservative and conventional when older) or both sides tend to balance better.

    Maybe that is the reason I can understand much better House reactions than Cuddy ones. Or simply is my own maturation process, but being at my middle age as House and Cuddy are, and if I were not married in a more than 25-years-old every day surprising marriage with a really, really unconventional doctor, I would feel myself able to deal with a “House” kind lover ,even being such socially unpresentable, risk taker, brilliant but broken, emotionally unstable, sophomoric jerk, juvenile at moments, etc… if loves and gives as House did. At this age, you are who you are mostly and perhaps only for yourself, and your life must be fully built yet, and if the other can follow and accompany you, ok with that, if not, the world is not going to sink for it. You may have found yet resources to deal with that and make a good relationship. Only if you are not mature enough , as Cuddy is not mature either, you can’t deal with that kind of relationship. ( I hope I can make this understandable, because what I want to say is difficult and English is my third language)

    Resumed: House is a Byronian broken hero, Cuddy is an immature conventional woman unable to have serious relationships that appears first as bossy in a sexy way, and Wilson is the friend who always is there for you, forgetting that “charity begins being applied to oneself first” and with so, he is having a miserable affective life. All three are very uncompleted human beings, but perhaps that is one of the reasons of the series worldwide success.

    And it’s great this “corner of debate” that BB has created. Thanks to all, to Barbara and to all the people posting.

  • maria-eleni

    155- Channel Surfer \

    so what is your point?

  • Channel Surfer

    Mari-Eleni #154: Your hyperbole aside, you missed my point.

  • maria-eleni

    •137 – Channel Surfer__138 – Sci Fi Fan

    I totally disagree with you.

    First of all H says “My head is ON your vagina”. And since when has “vagina” become a dirty word?
    What’s more, if taken at face value and with the voice inflection, the whole phrase is a drunk’s weak attempt at a tender joke. And it is pure House: he is forever deflecting serious dramatic moments with a joke. Until now this was considered a trademark of the series with heaps of praise for HL for pulling it off and a reason for the success of [H]ouse.
    Of course since the latest episodes of Se 7 there has been a lot of backlashing and prejudice against the character of House. So every little thing has been bisected to become “Ick”.

    As an unrepentant romantic myself, but who also likes a healthy dose of realism and humour I found that scene very moving and real. A drunken House shows his love nakedly mixed with shame for the decision he makes. And the “joke” at the end saves the scene from being soapy.

    It seems, however, 137-Channel Surfer, that you and Cuddy think the same. After all Cuddy did “shove him of her lap and kick his bony ass out of her house” by next episode.
    It is almost a tribute to the maligned writers that so many identified with Cuddy to the point that they now dislike House, for all their professed love all those years and so as Cuddy cannot tolerate House in her life any more, so the viewers cannot either.

    •lobentti __2Lightworker __Broken Leg____The Other Barnett

    And I totally agree with you.
    House is always more giving and loving than Cuddy in their relationship.

    I think it is Barbara Barnett who wrote that the problem with House is not that he does not feel but that he feels to much.
    As a Doctor he is often ready to risk his carrier to save a life after solving the puzzle.
    When he is in love he does not hold back and as he got hurt in the past, in his middle age, he becomes very reluctant to get involved again.
    He sacrificed happiness when he realised that Stacy would have a better life with Mark.
    Now for Cuddy he is reluctantly taking a risk again and embarks on a doubtful love affair.
    When he realises that to achieve happiness with her, he would have to sacrifice his excellence in diagnostics and subsequently a few lives, basically his precious identity, he agonises over the issue. He gets drunk and ends up offering her this precious identity. It is a choice that he always refused to make before even if it meant less pain for him and an easier life.
    For those looking for symbolism (although I am generally a bit suspicious of symbolisms), he literally offers his prized intellect into her lap: “My head is on your vagina”.

    Cuddy, on the other hand, is more conventional and conscious of her place in society. Even her dress code is a clue to her personality. Sexy but not fashionable.
    IMO one of the reasons she avoids getting involved with House is that he is socially unpresentable.
    She is not a risk taker like House, which means she is less courageous, less emotional and definitely not romantic in a Byronic sense. [ Which is the contradiction in House: he seems cold and reveres rationality but that is partly to hide his deeply emotional, damaged self.]

    Even after repeated occasions when House was right in his diagnoses, she is still unable to accept his expertise and intuition more for administrative reasons like lawsuits than because she doubts him. It is always “bring me proof” to be used as evidence.
    She is at her most emotional in Se 5, probably an aftermath of the traumatic events of Se 4.

    That is why Cuddy is shown as a good administrator and a bureaucrat while House is a better doctor with highest priority to save lives.

    However, I would like to clarify that I find Cuddy completely justified, even though emotionally I sympathise with House. Strangely enough my choices in life were very similar to Cuddy’s (except for my dress code,that is avant-garde!!!!),
    but I cannot say I feel very proud of it. It is cowardism. In my fantasy life I am more houseian.

  • Oversimplified

    Interesting debate regarding the ‘You make me a crappy doctor’ speech at the end of ‘Recession Proof’. I saw it as just as loaded as the ‘I love you. I wish I didn’t, but I can’t help it’ from Cuddy in ‘Help Me’. Basically telling someone that your relationship with them will probably result in the deaths of a number of people is one hell of a burden to dump on anyone, let alone a healthcare professional. :/

    Looking back to ‘Help Me’ I really do see the final scene as symbolic where he drops the Vicodin on the bathroom floor and kisses Cuddy. House was moving from one addiction to the next in my opinion, because they both numb the physical and emotional pain and act as distractions in much the same way as the ‘patient puzzles’ did in earlier seasons. House is the type of man who can only focus on one area of his life at a time because he has to pick everything to pieces and find the ‘right answer,’ and so there’s no room for anything else: great news for his patients, but not so good for his friends or partners. I’m not saying House didn’t love Cuddy, but his overriding emotion was obsession because she was acting as a crutch in the absence of the drugs. In fact I reckon if he’d stuck with the therapy and the anti-depressants they might have stood a much better chance. However when Cuddy walked into the bathroom and acted as his saviour yet again, rather than her timing being perfect, it was actually pretty awful because she stopped him from facing his demons in the aftermath of what happened to Hannah by shifting his focus.

    Pretty hopelessly, I’d still like to see LE/Cuddy back as at least a guest star before the end of the series, because in a rather twisted way they are just as bound to each other as they ever were, in a pretty similar vein as to how House continues to be bound to his step-father. More than anybody else Cuddy now has the right to ask House what made him the way he is and actually get an honest answer, because it’s pretty clear that his ‘issues’ started long before the infarction. To me, as both a writer and a viewer that conversation would be pretty damn interesting. It would also afford House the opportunity to give Cuddy the admission of guilt and the apology that he never got from his step-dad, and that could be just as important for him as it is for her.

  • Eric Latham

    I certainly hope next season is not the last. This has been my favorite show since the first episode. I never really complained much, though I didn’t enjoy the clean House with Cuddy deal. House as a character is the best! To change or “resolve” his drug/pain issues would be hokey and cliched…. Things this show is not. I want to see the series end… Hopefully seasons from now… In similar fashion to Seinfeld. No resolution! Larry David is a genius. They should hire him in an outside consultant type role.

    I’m actually glad cuddy is gone. As far as dealing with his actions… sure make it reasonable but House has to win by remaining House. Have him escape punishment through some legal technicality. So much tv is about social control through media. Dexter the serial killer who protects society blah blah… Vegetarian vampires… It’s all crap or what Nietzsche would call slave morality. This show has it right… A social role, the doctor, who isn’t a protector of society.

    I didn’t think the ending of season 7 was controversial at all. They do need to bring more of “the genius” back into the character, but by all means keep him “out of control.”. Changing house would be like changing Charlie from 2.5 men… Which will now be .5 men… Now that they’ve “replaced” Sheen.

    I hope season 8 is the most over the top the character House has ever been!

  • housefriend

    House and Wilson are the love story on this show imo, House writers have already said its the MOST important relationship on the show.(no matter how you view it) Looking back on their scenes together in the series the depth of love,devotion and joy these two characters show in each others presence is amazing, The House and Cuddy scenes pale by comparision, If given a choice House would have chosen Wilson,In Larger Than Life he actually does!! Although a humerous line these writers do very little by accident,

  • lobentti

    143@Broken Leg
    🙂 Yes, kinf of -I love Sherlok Holmes,puzzels and I´m (oopppsss) a fan of’House’ show.

  • merkof

    • 93 – Djes
    “Concerning Wilson, he really didn’t help House…..”
    I do not think that the House/Wilson friendship is based on helping each other. They do it of course, as they are both meddlers, but they also resent it.
    In “Birthmarks” their definition of their friendship is “not boring” = they find each other interesting. They are both dark characters with a lot of hang ups, a mixture of high intellect and childishness and love exploring each other depths and minds. They also have a lot of common interests : medicine, women, monster tacks, meddling, gossiping…..

    Wilson not being able to help is more due to the severeness of House’s mental health after the break up rather than to his shortcomings as a friend. Wilson was terrified of something like this happening as he had warned Cameron, probably because he knew he would be ineffectual in helping his friend.

    His greatest mistake was in inciting House to start a relationship with Cuddy (Se 5). He completely misjudged the viability of the relationship by ignoring the character traits of those two that would made it impossible to succeed: Cuddy’s conventionality, Houses whimsiness and anarchy as well as their mutual stubbornness and need to impose.

    But then most of us viewers made the same mistake.

  • BrokenLeg

    147 @2Lightworker

    Nice you join the forum again! I agree with you thanking Barbara for her generosity keeping this place of civic discussion, good departing and true sharing. And thank you too to all the people who post. Being able to share your thoughtfulness is my richness.

    2Lightworker, I like your analysis about the vagina rude reference as “an unconscious desire for rebirthing with a loving mother”. But knowing the “frat boy” kind of recent writing on House I can’t share it. The writers wrote, as most, what you said: “passionate loving declaration/adolescent irreverence as point/counterpoint”.

    But I like you share with 144@The Other Barnett and me the vision that, after all, and despite all his flaws and dysfunctional character, House was able to love more unconditionally than Cuddy ever did.

    And I would like a real exploration of House’s relationships (of any kind) with adult women, his mother included too. It can begin to undo the Gordian knot of his troublesome, lonely, tortured and broken character.

    But I confess, as you do, that I am not confident it will happen because so much of the writing seems indifferent to the woman’s perspective (and about that matter we both had talked a lot previously) as they seem unable to write a good XXI century female character too.

    And I’m glad my # 146 post words were able to touch you deep in your heart. Probably due to OUR capacity to be still unrealistically romantic…!! But making an analysis of the “romanticism template” left on us as House use to do, maybe all is a simple matter of endorphins and other related hormones instead of a back up of good previous years of reading…who knows. Or maybe it is only the effect of the sun and the breeze of this new summer on us.

    And thank you for your good recovery desires! Every time I clean the dust off my motorbike I’ll remember your words, I promise you.
    And… BTW, being myself a motorcycle rider from a lot of years ago, and being as I’m now, limping, feeling pain from time to time, without force in my leg to be able to hold one’s balance over a big bike, it’s difficult to me to understand how the lame House can drive his one so easily……if it is not only the reflection of one of the HL’s hobbies on his character.

  • 2Lightworker

    The thoughtfulness of many posts here takes me to places I might not have gone, and so again I thank you, Barbara, for your generosity in providing this place for us.

    To Broken Leg and all from #137 Channel Surfer on, your raising the issue of crude sexual references confirms my gut response, and this vagina reference may be a tamer one(and could be interpreted analytically as an unconscious desire for rebirthing with a loving mother); there were some others that fans checked Urban Dictionary to understand and then screamed OMG! Like the kabooms, these seem very frat boy.

    #144 -The Other Barnett – Like the idea of exploring House’s relationship with women; to clear my head a bit, I wrote a personal blog about his working on his issues with his mom, Blythe House. Some of these themes recur in posts here that reveal how many of us are thinking.
    In your post #145, am with Broken Leg tuning in with you when you write, “I think the combination of that scene and Cuddy’s dumping of him in the next episode says all one has to about the relationship between these two. House was giving and giving, while Cuddy kept trying to re-draw the boundaries…..and never seeing the man who just wanted to love her.”

    I confess I am not confident that there will be exploration of House’s relationship with his mother and adult women because so much of the writing seems indifferent to the woman’s perspective. Perhaps the vagina remark didn’t bother me more because its timing was a Housian deflection after House had opened himself so deeply on giving all for love of Cuddy–passionate loving declaration/adolescent irreverence as point/counterpoint. Yet the connection of the program with NAMI would make that appropriate and consistent, and these issues are hardly rare.

    #146 Broken Leg, when you wrote,
    “House loved more unconditionally than Cuddy did. So he really felt more hurt at the season’s end than Cuddy’s. She only wanted to be forgiven in the touching “corridor” scene. After getting it from House (his words “it’s not your fault” are just that, forgiveness) that same day she try a new “date” ( look as she wears same dress). Hers wasn’t true love. House’s maybe. Or I’m just too romantic….”
    Your words touched something deep in my heart, probably my capacity to be unrealistically romantic…likely read too many British and other romantic novels and poetry from pre-teen years on that left a template no other later reading could obliterate:-) I think that’s why after the break-up it took me almost to the season’s finale to want to view the last episodes, and even now, it is not acceptance of the writers’ perspective that holds me–I was open to an in depth development of an adult love relationship between two complex and wounded people that could have been an ongoing subtext, without soapy plots but more medicine and challenge of real contemporary health issues.
    Now I will watch out of curiosity how they will move out of the pit they created and stretch themselves for a superb Season 8. I respond to the idea of his being in a far place, providing service and gaining more insight. Fry as a beachcomber and even Rowan Atkinson whipping around on a motorcycle could be a bang without expensive kabooms. (No, I don’t expect that.)

    A fan wrote that HL earns every cent for rising above a lot of the material this season; for his acting chops alone will I tune in. I think he deserves every penny and then some, as well being the gracious recipient for present and future opportunities to let his light shine through his many gifts.

    Broken Leg, congratulations on your progress and your determination in rehab! Keep dusting off the bike as a sign of confidence in your complete recovery!

  • BrokenLeg

    145 @ The Other Barnett

    From your post that I agree totally:

    “House was giving and giving, while Cuddy kept trying to re-draw the boundaries…..and never seeing the man who just wanted to love her.”

    When you love, you may love the other as he/she really is, not as you want him/her to be. That’s love. And I think that , even with all his own immaturity and sophomoric jerk behavior, House loved more unconditionally than Cuddy did. So he really felt more hurt at the season’s end than Cuddy’s. She only wanted to be forgiven in the touching “corridor” scene. After getting it from House (his words “it’s not your fault” are just that, forgiveness) that same day she try a new “date” ( look as she wears same dress).
    Hers wasn’t true love. House’s maybe.

    Or I’m just too romantic, or the mediterranean summer solstice alters my perception of reality….

  • The Other Barnett

    139:Broken Leg,

    Your observation about House’s declaration to Cuddy was spot-on! I think the fact that House, who has always only seen value in himself for what he can do and for being right (think of his comments in Son of a Coma Guy – about the Japanese untouchable doctor), is willing to toss all that out to be in love with Cuddy is stripping himself down to the most vulnerable. I personally like the “head on vagina” comment as a way to show that House is still a sophomoric jerk at times.

    I think the combination of that scene and Cuddy’s dumping of him in the next episode says all one has to about the relationship between these two. House was giving and giving, while Cuddy kept trying to re-draw the boundaries…..and never seeing the man who just wanted to love her.

  • The Other Barnett

    After reading some of the recent posts (last 20 or so), I am thinking there should be an episode next season to explore House’s relationship with women. Bring in Franka Potente, Mira Sorvino, Sela Ward, Diane Baker, Jennifer Morrison, Amber Tamblyn, Olivia Wilde and even Lisa Edelstein to just have a sit-down over whats wrong with Greg House. Even though he blames his father, I keep thinking the relationship he had with his mother has created the dysfunctional House we see with women.

  • BrokenLeg

    142 @ lobenti

    You’re welcome!! And it’s not a nickname, or it has become yet a good nickname. Read posts 137,138 & 139.

    And you’ve detective skills, my friend!!

  • lobentti

    Thanks, Broken Leg (hope this is only a nick-name, and your leg is ok !)

  • BrokenLeg

    140 @ lobenti

    I ask myself the same when viewed, and thought was poor editing that cut “the vicodin” moments. If not, it’s a great writing incongruity.
    As I’m not a really fan of 13, I’ve not reviewed it twice.
    But I think you are right.

  • lobentti

    Hey !
    Please, help me – did I miss something or Dr.House didn´t use vicodin during ‘The dig” episode? Not even once?
    This ep. and ‘Unwritten’ were my favorites 🙂

  • BrokenLeg

    137 @Channel Surfer
    138 @ SciFi Fan

    Of course you are right about “my head is in your vagina”. No class in anyway. That phase was the bad ending writers gave us after the precious moment before it ( as always the writers team give us a stick after showing the carrot).

    The beautiful moment I was referring was just the previous one. That so “housian” House’s love declaration to Cuddy. When, drunk, after maybe thinking about it a lot previously, and walking under the rain to Cuddy’s house, he asked Cuddy to sit and be able to hear from his lips that he knew he must become a “crappy” doctor by being in love with her, that people must die for that, but that she deserved that and more. For a so rational man as House is, and to one that values his intellectual abilities over all in the world , that kind of “surrender” to the loved one, I think must be understood as the best gift he could be able to give anyone ever.
    As a woman, I would understood and valued it as it was said, and from who came said. And more if I was really in love with him and knew him at least since 20 years before. If you love, you may love with no restrictions, even if you can be hurt in the process. But if you do not agree with me, forgive me, maybe, as I’ve replied to 2Lightworker, I’m a unrepentant romantic!!

    On an unrelated note: About my knee,I can walk, still limping , but without any cane or other help. Even I’m able to work a little if seated. I’m doing hard rehab seasons with the optimism and good spirit of an athlete, but with a lot of discipline and self sacrifice too, although a little saddened seeing my just repaired motorbike so quiet in the garage while the bright summer is going on….and knowing it’ll pass not being able to use it as its driver. Maybe at the end of July I can be my husband’s passenger!!. Thank you both for asking, my friends!

  • Sci Fi Fan

    I gotta agree with Channel Surfer. That “head up vagina” crack was pretty tacky. Ick. No class. I’d rather shag Baldrick on the strength of one of his ridiculous “cunning plans.”

    I’m curious, too, Broken Leg. How’s the knee?

  • Channel Surfer

    I’m sorry, Broken Leg, but I don’t think the phrase “My head is in your vagina” is going to go down in history as one of the Most Romantic Lines in the Annals of Television. If a man said something like that to me, I would assume that his head is more likely planted firmly up his ass. I can’t believe some women are swooning and sighing over such a ridiculous and gag-inducing declaration. It totally negates his “I will always choose you” remark. I think Cuddy should’ve shoved him off of her lap and kicked his bony ass out of her house.

    On an unrelated note: How is your recovery coming along?

  • The Other Barnett


    So much shared in a review. I found things to agree and to disagree with and (without reading anyone else’s replies)I thought I’d just rant a bit.

    I like how you framed House and Cuddy’s intent in first getting together. House looked to Cuddy as a means to happiness and Cuddy loved House against her own judgement. That is not a good way to start a relationship. Such a start justifies Cuddy’s pessimism and House’s paranoia throughout the relationship.

    I agree that House was too detached from the team when it came to cases. For me this was a mixed bag, because I liked seeing Masters, Chase, Foreman, Taub and 13 doing some heavy lifting thus justifying House’s semi-faith in them. In fact, House’s detachment from the cases was a sign that he was vieweing his particular abilities and talents as an impediment to his relationship with Cuddy. I agree, Cuddy was unable to see the boundaries between relationship and work, while House wanted too much for there to be a Wall of China between the two lives. I also agree that there should have been more attention given to House’s perception and background on how he approaches serious relationship – even if it is as simple as what Stacy allowed to happen when they were together. Cuddy’s perspective was given with the mother’s arrival….but nothing was given for House.

    I like your term for Cuddy’s reactions to her relationship – mercurial. Cuddy sometimes reacted in a manner that suggested that the writers had no idea how a rational, reasoned woman could react. This is where I go back to suggesting an inconsistency in quality of writing. But, it is exactly that kind of behavior by Cuddy that created the House reaction (car-torpedo), which to me was not shocking, but inevitable. House’s actions may not be commendable, but they do not close me off from sympathizing with him, either.

    As for your suggestions for next season:

    1. I’m all for a clear show of the professional and personal ramifications of this rash action; but I’m not for the whole enchilada. If there is a way to spend about a 5-minute stretch showing the first month or two after the accident (House returns, incarceration, pariah status, etc.), fine…kind of like when House was in the mental hospital). Then open the season at the lowpoint, where we start seeing him claw his way up the mountain. I’d not like to see more than a few episodes devoted to it. Andre Braugher needs to be in this period (if not for the whole season).

    2. Cuddy does not have to return. If she does return this season, it better be because its the last season, and some kind of quick closure has to be achieved. House needs to recover as much as possible to handle encountering one of the causes of his blow-up.

    3. I agree with the fact a new friend has to be established for House. A kind of bridge friend needs to be there to help House see how others could be, without a real professional condition. Three ideas….First, how about bringing back Mira Sorvino’s psychologist (from the South Pole) to serve as a new department head? If she is already married and able to establish this interaction that is without condition (” I did not say there was anything wrong with you.”), it could be useful for House. Second, bring House’ biological dad into the picture. How about F. Murray Abraham? Maybe he is a case, maybe he is sought by House. Whatever the reason, such interaction could give some kind of insight to why House is what he is, even if it draws House’s mother into the storyline. Third, you hit the nail on the head about a new medical dean as a connection.

    4. I hate to be so insistent, but BRING IN MAURA TIERNEY!!! I like Allison Janney, but she comes off as someone who could be exploited, she just has that vulnerable vibe. Maura would be a bad-ass! She’d be perfect!

    5. As was said earlier, I agree that the House/patient interaction has to be at the same level as it was in the first couple seasons. Whether its intellectual ping-pong, or serious acting workout, the viewer needs to see House not only engaged in the case directly, but mentally (if not emotionally) engaged with the POTW.

    Barb, Thanks for such insight thrughout the season and I’m hoping for some mid-summer nugget to keep us from being ravenous by September.

  • BrokenLeg

    134 @ 2Lightworker

    As usual, I agree with all your post.

    Probably I’m an unrepentent romantic too, but the so “housian” House’s love declaration to Cuddy in RP was one of the most beatiful moments, not only in this season, but in all H/C arc, since season one.
    As his own peculiar way, he had given more to the relationship ( probably knowing it would end) than Cuddy herself ( who iniciated it with so unfullfilled promises)

    And Cuddy response to that loving moment was so “uncommon”…in the bad way….

  • 2Lightworker

    Interesting comments – when I’ve watched some S 7 repeats since the season’s end, I was aware that [H] seemed to express more loving response and Cuddy seemed so cold, but I also wondered if that was intentional in the way her character was written and directed. Maybe that was the meaning of House’s concern to Wilson about his and Cuddy’s relationship being only about work and sex, with nothing more “in common,” which was later followed by her saying what they had was “uncommon” and made each other “better.”
    I found Stacy’s response to him much warmer and engaging way back in the Stacy arc starting with “Three Stories.” I’m now questioning how much was really ever shown of Cuddy’s loving feelings for him, even with her risking perjury at the end of the Tritter arc, and her being at his bedside at the end of “House’s Head,” especially when she betrayed his hallucination to Lucas and scammed House with a three hour drive to nowhere on Thanksgiving when he was not long out of Mayfield. When he nailed his feelings about her at the end of “Recession Proof” her stony response seemed to reflect more than disgust that he was drunk and had not attended her awards ceremony. Her most moving response was after she walked out of the “Fall from Grace” ceremony and sat on the bed. Mixed messages.
    I’m an unrepentent romantic, so that’s my seeing, and others see what they see.

    My continuing interest now is to see how the writers dig themselves out of the finale.

    132-Broken Leg
    I’m with you-enough bangs and kabooms. And enough subplots even if they mirror House. Let’s get some intellectual muscle back!

    Thanks, Barbara, for keeping this blog going for us.

  • lobentti

    Loved your comments, Barbara, I´m with you in most of them; only I´d like to poit something I saw (that´s what we do, isn´t it ?) I always saw House much more in love and desiring Cuddy than she towards him; despite their past, or maybe because of it, both seemed afraid of to open their real feelings; but since they were in this relationship, I saw Cuddy afraid of being surpassed by House in their professional relation (see Family practice, for instance) and she got kind of ‘boss-ism’, or boss-ite, to keep herself in charge of both job and relationship ( Massage therapy); but he only wanted her by his side as a Doctor, not as a boss (Unwritten), he didn´t want replace Dr.13, he wanted her, but how should him even suggest this? Along the seasons in some episodes they realy worked together, and it was so fine, so good! That´s where I disagree with your view – House´s rage was much bigger, much deeper – he was more than disappointed, but betrayed, all he wanted to show about himself, was always misunderstood (the conversation with Wilson in the Hotel´s balcony, after the breakup). Maybe I´m only too romantic, and that´s not what the writers had in mind, but … we are what we are, and we see what we …are. Thanks.

  • BrokenLeg

    Maybe to much “bangs” lately…..for me it’s enought with this seven season end!!

  • Channel Surfer

    @Oversimplified #130: You’re a righteous genius!!

    Although I don’t see everyone participating, I can certainly get behind the idea of House and 13 engaging in Russian Roulette. The very last scene of the very last episode can be of the two of them holding .38’s to their temples, then the picture fades to black and, finally, there is the sound of a single gunshot and a body hitting the floor. Awesome!!!

    Hugh Laurie always said he wanted House to go out “with a bang.”

  • Oversimplified

    @129 Channel Surfer

    It was indeed RSL’s finest hour. 😉 No in all honesty Wilson was a victim. His injury came about as a result of House’s reckless driving because he feared for his own safety.

    Really if House gets an easy out and avoids a fitting punishment people probably won’t be as forgiving as they were over the Tritter arc. I can’t understand what benefit there was creatively to back themselves into a corner like this. Aside from the legal consequences who would actually want to work with him, even if he did retain his license?

    I’m anticipating a time jump at some point, even if David Shore gets a 9th season. I’m guessing they want to deal with House’s pact with Thirteen before the series comes to an end too. I’m currently imagining them ending it all with them playing Russian roulette with each other….

  • Channel Surfer

    @merkof #123: If I remember correctly, in a dramatic turn guaranteed to garner an Emmy nomination in the “Best Supporting Actor” category, Wilson dove out of the way, landing on the sidewalk and injuring his (right?) wrist. To that end, he was, indeed, “injured” and therefore a “victim” of House’s idiocy.

  • 2Lightworker

    126- dr greg

    Yes – too many secondary plot threads have diminished the time needed to explore what the showrunners and others describe as “House’s journey.” Sometimes distracting, sometimes just annoying.

    After Season 7, with the heavy emotional unravelling of [H], my wish would be for more time to explore that journey for those of us who choose to stay the course.

  • 2Lightworker

    #120 Broken Leg
    Thanks with a smile. Nice to connect again 🙂


    Yes, I recall House saying at the end of “Birthmarks” that his mother hated his father, too.
    However, there are levels of showing a child protection, and House’s inner torment suggests that was lacking, at least in his perception – Blythe may have tried in her way, but it was not strong enough for his emotional devastation. What I would wish, but do not expect, would be for a MUTUAL expression of the pain of their past, acknowledgement of responses given and not given, and a shared support for their future.
    I think Lyn #119 is realistic about timeline and what that would allow or not allow for the many (interesting) fan wishes for story continuance and conclusion.

  • dr greg

    oh my gosh please, less taub , less foreman, and less, less, less, less 13.

  • Stan

    I don’t think Wilson was a victim, but if the writers try to push assault so there would be a “felony,” the only person injured was Wilson, so they’d have to use that. Which is why I think it will remain misdemeanor status and he won’t be “punished” as so many hope. The sidh for severe ramifications legally will not happen.

  • BrokenLeg

    123 @ merkof

    I’m with you. Wilson was not legally a victim of the car crash , but perhaps he is morally a victim. Different from Cuddy.He has to deal it personally with House, not in any court.

  • merkof

    112 – Channel Surfer
    115 – Stan and many others.

    Wilson was NOT A VICTIM of the car crash.

    As the car went up Cuddy’s lane Wilson was standing on the sidewalk –parallel to the street – about THREE (3) METERS AWAY from the path of the car. Wilson made an instinctive movement backwards, tripped and fell.

  • Paulac45

    Great review of S7 and wishlist for S8. I too think they should use the need for budget cuts to stop the overblown teasers. Right from S1 I have in fact only ever watched the teaser once, i.e. on first time watch. I have watched, and continue to watch House episodes from all seasons multiple times, and after the initial first watch have never watched the teaser again, always fast forwarding through it and the credits each time. These hyped up mini movies are so completely unecessary and certainly a waste of money. I am scared about how successful, or not as the case may be, the writers will be in digging House out of the hole they have written him into, but am trying to keep hopeful and optimistic they are successful in S8. My own personal wishlist would include House and Wilson getting their friendship back to the way it used to be. We had glimpses of it in S7 in various episodes, the most notable and for more than a few minutes of screen time, was in You Must Remember This – I would so like to see much more of that. From an exploring of House’ psyche and emotions point of view I would like to see them delve much more into House’ past, specifically his supposed abused childhood, that has been forgotten and ignored for a long time now, as seemingly has the existence of his mother. Bringing Nolan back would be a good idea, after all driving the car into the house surely merits putting him in front of a psychiatrist again, if not actually a return to Mayfield! They could use that as a means to delve properly into his past, to peel off more of the layers of this complicated man. It would be great if LE could be persuaded to return for guest appearances to give the whole H/C arc proper closure – I just so hope that however they write S8 they do it with care, attention to detail and with the same incredible fast paced dialogue they have always used, which the cast, and most notably HL, are brilliant at delivering. My final wish is that S8 is so successful, it leads to a S9 (as House said in the ’50s’ dream from Bombshells “a girl can dream”).

  • Amy

    #120 If House’s father abused him it is very likely he abused his mother as well. She may not have been able to protect her son even though she wanted to.

  • BrokenLeg

    118 @ 2Lightworker

    From your post:

    “In “Moving On,“ House stepped over a line he never crossed before. He released anger built up over a lifetime of yearning to be loved unconditionally, as all children do, and never achieving that. His action is a primal infantile scream of rage at denial of basic “good enough mothering” where two imperfect people share empathy and mutual affection . For him to move forward, he needs to reconnect with Blythe and work through his hurt. She did not protect him from his abusive father. When he told Cuddy he was hurt, he was telling that to his mother as well.”

    I agree totally!!!!
    And it’s nice to hear from you again.

  • Lyn

    The timeline is really an issue to accomplish a lot of fan wishes. That’s why those wishes probably won’t be what we get. They made a choice, and resolving the hanging issue is likely not in the plan. Sad to say.

  • 2Lightworker


    “I’d like to see House receive closure with issues from his mother. Although he always claimed that he hated John House, he must have a lot of rage towards his mother. She allowed him to be abused. She lied to him about his paternity. It’s time to have Diane Baker back!”

    In “Moving On,“ House stepped over a line he never crossed before. He released anger built up over a lifetime of yearning to be loved unconditionally, as all children do, and never achieving that. His action is a primal infantile scream of rage at denial of basic “good enough mothering” where two imperfect people share empathy and mutual affection . For him to move forward, he needs to reconnect with Blythe and work through his hurt. She did not protect him from his abusive father. When he told Cuddy he was hurt, he was telling that to his mother as well.

    I’m not sure that the showrunners would allow the time needed for this unfolding, particularly if this is indeed the last season.

  • Visitkarte

    If repeated drug problems destroy his license forever, they don’t need to give it back to him in the first line. Addiction in a chronic condition and addicts always relapse on their way to sobriety. And, it’s a mental illness, not a sin.

    I am happy to read about the other legal technicalities. I don’t have the time or the muse to check on them in the last detail.

    David Shore is a lawyer, and a clever one. So I’m sure he will come up with the legally believable way to solve the mess. House has still Stacy out there, and she still owes him big time. I guess she will help him to deal with the mess the best way possible.

    The result won’t satisfy all fans, but what can?

    I still think House should show up, surrender. I guess they’ll make a deal instead of sentencing him and he might end up doing many, many hours of hell… Aehm… community work like months and months of changing bandages in the Clinique, for example.

  • angie

    Barbara, You have always had such a gift for articulating the nuances, subtext, veiled references and a profound understanding of House’s feelings and emotions. That being said, There is a line that is crossed when the fans become the creators. I really hope the writers ignore the fan suggestions (other than bringing back Lisa E. and Katie Jacobs) and go on writing this unique and wonderful character as they have been.

  • Stan

    #112 I agree they could try to increase it to a felony, but aggravated assault is difficult to prove since no one was injured in relation to Cuddy. Now Wilson is another story. That could certainly apply with him. The deadly weapon again would be very difficult, although vehicular assault and such could be precedent. It’s still a tough charge to hold. The cops and DA want to go with the charges that will stick.

    The insurance can go after him, certainly, but again it’s proving motive and intent to charge him for anything more than damages because he could argue accident or diminished capacity after surgery. They’s be tied in court and they’d rather just get their money. So, they’d go after House’s insurance and likely leave him out.

    Again, there are ways to write this as throwing the book at him, but clearly they wrote it so he’d have that easy out. I think they were originally wanting the easy out, but reactions will make them look at harsher penalties, which may create other issues. Very difficult choice.

    I agree about his medical license in correlation with drugs. The crash won’t impact his medical license, but he simply can’t use the drug defense and Wilson can’t suggest it or he’s finished. End of show.

    That’s why it’s a crazy situation. His best defense will destroy his future, period.

    So, the writers need to respond with the harsher punishment because of the negatibe reaction to the act. He can’t use his best defense, so he’ll have to take that punishment, but that punishment is not necessarily a catalyst for change. Dealing with all this mess takes distracts and delays what could be a catalyst, thus delaying any real delving into issues, thus disappointing the viewers again.

    They need magic to do this really well. Regardless of how people felt about Cuddy, if she was in the first few episodes, it would have helped move the story by creating a solid catalyst. They will probably have to write that something happened to her after the crash to create that emotional response and guilt. That may be too much as well, since House wouldn’t do well knowing his last interaction with her was that violence. He would really go into self-destruction. If they write her to just leave, no catalyst but no long term destruction for him either.

    They must love to really challenge themselves. This time the viewers and critics will be holding them more accountable than ever. They must write this well.

  • bigHousefan

    Merkof 92

    I enjoy reading your comments and appreciate your perspective! You said, “I was very impressed by the scene of Wilson and House on the terrace after House send Stacy away. Wilson is going on as usual about House wanting to be miserable so as to be special. However House keeps quite about the terrible encounter he had with Mark and which, I believe, is what made him decide that Stacy would be happier with Mark. On one hand he wants to avoid revealing his self-admission that Mark was the better man for Stacy, but, on the other hand, he shields Wilson from his deepest unhappiness: Losing his lover by accepting his inadequacy and capability for self-sacrifice.
    [I know it sounds convoluted, please, blame the fact that English is my third language.]
    Anyway, to me it was evident at that moment that Wilson felt more comfortable being angry with his friend for preferring unhappiness out of arrogance, than having to deal with the deepest unhappiness of self-sacrifice. House recognized that and accepted the blame, the “not want to be happy”, thus protecting Wilson from his deeply flawed depths.”

    You describe the point of that scene so well. I hadn’t really thought about it in reference to this past season, but after reading your comments it dovetails perfectly and I appreciate season seven even more!

  • Channel Surfer

    @Oversimplified #111: You are also correct. A “diminished capacity” plea could benefit him as a criminal defense; however, his medical license would still be gone for good. Nothing could save that.

  • Channel Surfer

    Hey Stan, thanks for the legal perspective. I’m not a lawyer, but I spoke to one (who watches the show) and he thinks that House would be charged with felonious assault and battery (a/k/a “aggravated assault”) and possibly assault with a deadly weapon. Also, fleeing the scene of a crime would be upgraded to a felony because the primary charges are felonies. In other words: Jail time.

    Whether or not Cuddy, Wilson or any of the other victims choose to press charges is irrelevant; the insurance company will certainly press the issue, plus the public danger House created by the wreckless driving before actually “creating a new garage door” in Cuddy’s home (LOL, whoever said that earlier – good one! That’s almost as good as Zack Handlen’s “vehicular domicide” remark over at the AV Club.).

    As a health care professional, I can pretty much guarantee you that his license would be permanently revoked. State licensing boards (and it doesn’t matter WHICH state) only give doctors ONE chance when it comes to substance abuse and drug diversion, both crimes of which House is yet again guilty. He can pretty much kiss his medical career bye-bye, at least in the United States. Bolivia might take him, however.

    So, right you are in that whatever dipshit solution David Shore and Company come up with that allows House to bark his way out of the dog house once again, it will have to allow for the overbearing arrogance of the character, allowing him to “win” in the end, resulting in utter dissatisfaction among a large percentage of the viewership. Good call.

    And how can there be growth without accountability?

    No, its not the best situation, no matter what.

  • Oversimplified

    @109 Visitkarte
    Apologies for the misunderstanding. Yeah I’d dearly like him to hand himself in and take responsibility, but I’m just not sure he would at this point. Regarding the police staking out Wilson’s house like Stan said it wouldn’t happen. For one they just don’t have the resources or manpower. Besides they have no reason to suspect he’d turn up at the home of someone he’s injured.

    @110 Stan
    I am genuinely intrigued as to what he could be charged with. I thought the position would be to prove that he wasn’t driving with malice, intent etc rather than vice versa. Seen as he disappeared off to Fiji or wherever there’s no real way of proving the Vicodin levels in his bloodstream had a bearing on his behaviour. Wilson testifying that he was taking the drug excessively also means he implicates himself because it was his name on the prescription. That leaves a diminished responsibility plea which means ‘hello Mayfield’ and ‘bye bye medical license’.

    You are right about guilt being a worse punishment for him in a way, but I’d still argue that part of his problem is that his genius has allowed him to flout the rules way too often without having to face the consequences.

    At the moment I am having a hard time seeing how they’re going to get House back to where he needs to be without re-treading old ground or flying into the realms of fantasy.

  • Stan

    His home won’t be watched. Seriously.

    He can be charged with reckless conduct, failure to yield, domestic disturbance, vadalism and leaving the scene of the crime at this point. Testimony from Wilson would need to be given to suggest intent and driving under the influence of drugs. Cuddy would need to testify for malice, and it would be a stretch.

    What the writers did is set this up for severe negative reaction to House’s character and definitely shaken the fan loyalty factor (which they didn’t intend), but the extent of his crimes would only mean jail if malice, intent and forethought are proven. Otherwise, misdemeanor crimes worthy of fines and community service. Maybe if the judge is hard nose, probation. Cuddy could file a restraining order, which was implied. That would not result in a stake-out or police watch, but it would mean if he shows up and anyone reports him within 50 ft of her, her home or the hospital he would be arrested.

    If Wilson or Cuddy provides a statement regarding excessive drug use, it could affect his license based on the past, but the misdemeanor crimes are seperate from his medical license.

    The level of the crime is contingent on testimony to prove motive, state of mind and intent.

    He has certainly damaged his reputation, and since he wasn’t popular anyway, that will provide career reprecussions.

    On a whole, they wrote this in a way to give them a way out for House. They didn’t anticipate the negative reaction, and probably didn’t intend for the harsh punishment that people expect. If they give the worst case in S8, having Wilson and Cuddy give statements that suggest his drug use and his anger at the time, it will certainly be disruptive to S8 narrative and will take away from the chance to explore House on the level everyone is hoping. The punishment could be used to “wake him up,” but it would be more in character for his arrogance to kick in. The catalyst for change would be more impactful and believable if it had an emotional element, which would be dealing with Cuddy as a victim (that’s not possible now) or an angry/disillusioned Wilson who has REALLY given up this time (not like S5). The Wilson story would take yet another character out of play with House, which they wouldn’t really want to do now. They will need him to play off. So, that leaves keeping it at a misdemeanor level w/fines and social work. That won’t be satisfying for many because of the strong reaction to this act of agression.

    It’s a difficult choice, but the “extreme” sentencing and police reaction expected is not realistic, unfortunately.

    Fans and critics can toss around terms like psycho, attempted murder, but without proof of malice and forthought, or evidence beyond this one act, it will not hold in a court of law in the US. The “test” drug w/resulting tumors that affect him could be an angle, but that would just reduce sentencing to a drug or rehab facility with probation, and they’ve been there/done that.

    This story has allowed them “outs” for next season, but they won’t be satisfying for those who want him punished. Punishment isn’t a change agent for House anyway. Like Cuddy, guilt does get to him (see his reaction to Amber in S4 and Freedom Master) though he is loathe to admit it and it’s not as severe as Cuddy’s was in the past. It will be relational impact that will need to be a catalyst for House to finally deal with his issues. That will mean writing some result of this act truly affecting Cuddy and Wilson on a great level. With LE gone, it would need to be off screen – not impactful, lacks dramatic effect. So, Wilson will need to have a negative reaction that will shake House to the core. Doesn’t seem likely based on What we saw in finale, but something “offscreen” during his beach trip could change that. Still, it couldn’t be just 3-4 episodes otherwise it’s unbelievable and not realistic as a change agent. So, we’re back to time dealing with reprecussions severe enough to create change in House, which takes away the time for dealing with his other issues. Not the best situation no matter what.

  • Visitkarte

    @108 Oversimplified

    I didn’t suggest Wilson to browbeat House into surrendering, but I’d love House to do it on his own accord. I’d love House to do the right thing himself, without needing his Jimminy Cricket to tell him what he needs to do:

    “A good way to do it would be if House himself showed up on Wilson’s door to apologize for hurting him and telling him that he knew that his home must be watched by the police, that he came back to surrender.”

    BTW, House is everything but stupid: Of course he’d expect Wilson’s home to be closely watched by the police.

  • Oversimplified

    @76 Visitkarte

    I could live with your suggestion that Wilson talks him into handing himself in, but whatever the circumstances he needs to be punished for what he’s done. Avoiding a jail sentence back in season 3 obviously hasn’t done him much good and you can’t go around using a vehicle as weapon just because it might make you feel better to inflict what you ‘perceive’ to be a similar amount of pain on the people who’ve allegedly made you suffer. Of course prison isn’t an easy place to be, especially for someone who’s disabled, but that’s the whole point and it’s designed as both a deterrent and a punishment. Nobody forced him to drive his car into his ex’s house did they? If you’re capable of committing the crime then I believe you’re capable of facing the consequences.

    Sure House has saved Wilson’s and Cuddy’s bacon on the odd occasion, but time and time again they’ve done the same for him. Yes their enabling and critique of his life may not have always helped, but you try and watch someone you care about blowing up their life up right in front of you and not intervening. As doctors it’s part of the fabric of who they are; trying to ‘fix’ people is in their nature and something that obviously spills over into their personal relationships. To me that’s understandable.

    @100 HouseMDFan
    A resounding yes to everything that you said!

    Regarding Cuddy I would like to see her back at some point. Not to tie a nice neat ‘closure bow’ on her and House’s relationship, or even to have their professional or romantic entanglement reestablished, but because now they’ve thrown domestic violence into the mix I’d like the writers to take the repercussions of House’s actions seriously, which includes showing the effect it’s had on the victims and the aggressor. As I mentioned before, I strongly believe that something that forces House to confront a Cuddy who’s been profoundly affected by what he’s done could be extremely powerful and a catalyst for the protagonist to evolve, if not change. It might supply some of the much needed depth that’s been lacking in my opinion too.

  • Lyn

    My request for Seaon 8: Do Better; Be Better.

  • Beth

    How about just showing him looking at the hairbrush early in the episode? Anything! Don’t tell me it was in a “special” place. It was next to his shaving cream. Visible? Yes. Special, meaningful? Not so much! There’s a lot of grasping at straws to give this all meaning.

  • BrokenLeg

    103 @ Elisabeth

    You are right!But what about House sensually brushing her hair and finishing with a soft and tender kiss on her neck?
    Then the hairbrush would had been some kind of lovely fetish to be kept.

  • Djes

    103 – Elisabeth
    Was it really a hairbrush? I thought it was a shoe brush.

  • Elisabeth

    What the writers SHOULD have done was to show a scene in the first half of the season where Cuddy was sensuously brushing her hair and House was watching. It would have made the hairbrush returning scene MUCH more poignant.

  • Ale

    My wish: writers go watch the first three seasons and take notes! And don’t even think to bring LE back, there’s nothing left for her character in the show and I don’t want to hear about huddy anymore, that ship has already done enough damages!

  • ann uk

    I can imagine 13 becoming a friend to House. His behaviour when meeting her from prison obviously revealed aspects of his character that she had not suspected and, above all, his promise to aid her suicide- a very risky undertaking for him- clearly moved her deeply.

    And I would welcome the return of Dr. Nolan as a refuge and confidant to House. There were subtle hints in the Mayfield arc that Nolan had his own secrets and was like House in some ways. His choosing House to sit with him through his father’s death suggests that he could not regard House as just another patient.

  • HouseMDFan

    Okay, seriously. Can we talk about Wilson in “Out of the Chute”? He was angry at CUDDY, he confronted her. He tried to be there for House by suggesting that House move back in with him or vice versa. He tried to get House to talk about his feelings because he was afraid that otherwise they would blow up in his face. Guess what? HE WAS RIGHT. They did blow up in his face in the finale, because House couldn’t deal with his hurt and anger like a normal person. Wilson was almost in tears in “Out of the Chute” and had to see House jump of a balcony! In my opinion he had every right to walk away right there, but he didn’t.
    He went to things like bets and games when he saw that his previous methods didn’t work. (Very much like in “Saviours” by the way.) That was always something House appreciated, something they could share, something they communicated through.
    He also let House have his vicodin at first – even though nobody can say anymore that House definitely needs them, since he was able to deal without them for almost two years, and even though Wilson went through hell during the Tritter arc once already, dealing with House’s law breaking. He tried to cut him off in the finale because House was taking more and more, in danger of ruining his body, not to speak of his mind if the end of S5 was any indication. So NO. You don’t get to blame Wilson for everything. He tried everything he could, many different approaches, some of them indeed wrong, but he had no way to know that. He also KNOWS that House doesn’t like his lecturing, just look at his resignation in “After Hours”, but he also is terrified that House is going to kill himself one way or the other, and he was at the end of his rope, because House wouldn’t LET anybody help.

  • sharon

    I’ve been lurking and reading hopes and suggestions all over the internet hoping I’d have a sliver of excitement returned. I’ve been a rather obseesive fan and it’s been staggering to feel so disillusioned. Unfortunately, no suggestions really resonate with me. They took a turn, and I believe it actually was before S7, but it’s slowly eroded the show. Having House deal with the consequences of this act really isn’t that interesting because the act itself is nothing but shock and awe with luittle depth. Does House need a friend? Yes, but he’d have to be a friend and accept himself to find that kind of friend. Do we need a new DOM? Yes, but a woman would be comapred with LE, which would be unfair to anyone, and a man just increases the testosterone and further the tendencies toward degradation of women that’s become a fallback for real humor and comedy. If he goes on the road, formula is altered and it’s not sustainable.

    I feel like the wrote themselves into a corner by not taking his therapy serious after Mayfield and insisting on focusing on so many ancillary stories instead of his issues. Everyone wants House, but it will take a bulk of season 8 to honestly and successfully write themselves out of this ditch. A flash forward to be unacceptable to most people and very unsatisfying. It would further damage the narrative.

    I’m sad. I’ve been hoping I’d find hope, but I think this summer break I will be mourning and healing myself. It’s time to move on.

    Thank you Barbara. I will miss reading your thoughts. Although you most certainly won’t get what you want, I hope you and the fans get what they need from Season eight.

  • BrokenLeg

    96 @ Visitkarte

    I agree with all your thoughts!!
    Wilson lately has been portrayed as a friend who didn’t know how to be a really good friend. A no restrictions true friend. He’d tried, but failed. A friend that did not saw on time the turmoil coming in his best friend’s life, head and heart. He seemed to ignore it.
    He judged more than supported and conforted House. He acted more as a teenager with stupid distractions ( bets on hens, etc..)than as the adult real friend someone need in the hardest, dark, and depressed moments.
    He forced the recipes restrictions in the worst moment, maybe more preocupied of his own security and legal situation than his best friend needs.

    He has many to deal with too. A good friend always forgive. You do not need to ask him to stay, he’ll stay when needed. Friend’s love, togheter with mother’s one,are the most unconditional ones. Gives without asking anything in return.It’s not judgmental as Wilson has been in this season. But act as hard as needed in friend’s behalf.At any cost.
    Wilson has not fullfilled that kind of friedship lately.
    He needs too a self-examination.Maybe he need to be forgiven too.

  • Amy

    #96 Wilson didn’t deserve to get physically hurt. His suggestion to House meant something else. This situation is not Wilson’s fault.

  • Visitkarte

    A lot of you suggested that Wilson shouldn’t forgive House so easily this time. I guess he’d need a mirror for himself. Because, when the police officer asked him “is there any reason we shouldn’t” (arrest House), he needed at least to think: “if you do, you need to arrest me as well.”

    I want to recall it:

    “What just happened?”

    “Get out!”

    ” What just happened?”

    “GET OUT” (very dangerous, quite voice. Sent the chills down my back).

    “House, what are you mad about? Let it out, you’ll feel better!”

    This words must have ringed in his ears while he first drew away, and then this determinated face, turning 180, and… the rest is history.

    Wilson “deserved” that broken arm, if you ask me. Yea, I’m evil. I’m sure Wilson thinks along these lines in a way. I’m curious if he’ll ever admit it. I’d love him to.

    I hope I get to see this for once.

  • EuropeanFanHouseFan

    Sorry for my English. I just want to thank you for your in depth thoughts on House. As always fans will have different views but I really like that my thoughts (on House the character) have been similar but perhaps not as thought out or deep as your blogs have shown. It’s been very interesting to read and I feel I have gotten a better understand of House myself, wheather those thougths are correct or not. (I mean as far as anyone can interpret what the show give us.)

    You’re so right in that House has always walked a thin line of being liked or not. He’s done several things I absolutely hate that he did but I have always had sympathy for him. I don’t think I’d be following this show otherwise. I like seeing his struggle. It is what has drawn me in completely and without this struggle I wouldn’t find it so interesting and compelling really. Most of the time House knows when he’s gone too far but can’t say the word “sorry”. But I, as a viewer feel I’ve seen his remorse (Hugh’s acting really brings so much!) and so I can keep on liking him.

    What I like to see most now is of course the fall out of the crash incident. I wish to see it and not the season start X months after. Cuddy can’t be ignored wheather she is there or not. She was so central to House for so long that at least some sort of dealing with it should occur in my opinion.

    Overall, I like the supporting cast. But what I enjoy most and feel I’ve been missing for a long time is House himself and his “patient talks”, his search (and need) to find the cure. I want his passion back. With no Cuddy to distract him perhaps there is a chance for that. He is the genius doctor… I want to see HIM solve cases, with the help of his team of course but with focus on House. He needs to find purpose again for himself and not for a friend or love.

    I do not want to see him back with a new love interest. He so do not need that right now. Although his green card wife is something I’d like to see explored. A new friend in her perhaps?

    I have no idea who the new Dean should be. I sort of dread that. It’s an important role to fill and it can either become good and refreshing or with the wrong person a total disaster.

    House will not accept any “lecturing” anymore I don’t think. House and Wilson needs to find a different type of friendship. I am also a little worried about how Wilson will feel about House after the crash. I hope there still is a friendship or that we can see it rebuild.

    Am very much looking forward to season 8.

  • Julia

    My suggestions / wishes for S8:

    1. they should deal with the consequences of the crash in a way that makes sense from a legal and professional point of view. Which will be tricky, because ok, maybe House will manage to avoid jail time, but how can he get his medical license back, especially considering that he already had a mental breakdown a couple of years ago? why should Cuddy leave the hospital herself after stating that she doesn’t want to see him at PPTH again? and why should PPTH hire him again?
    TBH, the most plausible scenario would be Cuddy remaining at Princeton and House finding a job in another hospital. I know it won’t happen and House will be back at PPTH soon, and I’m ready to suspend disbelief, but only to a certain extent.
    I’d be disappointed if S8 started after like 1 year – or if 2 months after MO House returned to Princeton only to discover that Cuddy has dropped charges and is gone, and Wilson has forgiven House, so House can simply get back at his job and his frienship like nothing has happened.

    2. Cuddy – I’d love to see her in a couple of episodes but both Shore and Yaitanes implied in their interviews / tweets that Lisa doesn’t want to return so I’m not holding my breath. On one hand, it makes sense that Cuddy and House don’t see each other ever again; on the other hand, I’d like to see a confrontation between them about what happened in Moving On. Or to know that this confrontation has taken place (even offscreen). The mail / letter exchange would be a nice idea too.
    But I’m afraid they’ll just say ‘Cuddy has found a job at xyz Hospital’ and she won’t ever be mentioned again.

    3. New Dean. I agree Allison Janney would be a great addition to the cast. Names aside, the character should be very different from Cuddy, as different should be the dynamic between the new Dean and House. I’d like to see a man take the job, but then the only female character would be 13 (who probably won’t even be around for many episodes).

    4. More focus on the patients, please. As I said, I think the first episodes (3-4?) should handle the consequences of the crash; then IMO the series should return to its roots: potw, clinic, etc, with less screentime devoted to characters like Taub and 13.

    5. Which probably should have been #1 but I forgot: TPTB should decide immediately that S8 will be the last season and write it accordingly.

  • Djes

    92 – merkof
    “New Dean of Medicine;
    Why do you want another woman? This will create so many comparisons with Cuddy nobody will be happy.”

    Completely agree! they should hire an actor, even if there are not so many female actress on this show.

    Concerning Wilson, he really didn’t help House (same for Cuddy), and I understood Tritter (I want him back!) in season 2, Cuddy and Wilson have both failed with House, can we really speak of friends, two people who let a guy take drugs in a hospital? and help him to provide Vicodin?
    Someone has said here that they should all move on (even Wilson), yes they should.

  • merkof

    84 – barbara barnett
    “And I can’t wait to see what awaits us.” Neither can I. summer will be long. Please write some more to provoke more discussions!
    And thank you.

    Back to your article: “Looking ahead to next Season”
    “Wish list”, and not only from you. Should we not afraid that preconceptions might ruin it again for us?

    But some issues must be finally solved:

    “Deal with the crash” “Deal with the pain drugs issue” Absolutely !
    If not Cuddy, the fans at least need closure ( is that what you meant by closure?). House must have a thorough look at himself, no half measures. He should also face the repercussions of his act without the faux pride he showed during the Tritter brush with the law, when he escaped unscathed resuming his addictive habits and reprehensible social behaviour without second thoughts.

    Hopefully this might bring back forth his serious, more intellectual side which, I definitely agree with you, we have sorely missed.

    A friend:
    I slightly disagree with you on Wilson. In earlier seasons he frequently influenced House towards a more ethical path, and he desisted from enabling him: Tritter, Mayfield and even now with the vicodin control.
    The problem is that he cannot really “get” who House is deep inside. Don’t forget Wilson=Watson.
    He is continuously harping “you do not want to be happy” because he does not understand the reasons why House is a loner. It has nothing to do with not wanting happiness (remember the obese man?). It has to do with not liking the world in general and the people populating it, finding them boring, conventional, unable to communicate with a superior intellect. On the other end of the scale, damaged geniuses (often childhood damage) are terribly insecure, afraid of rejection, of not been loved/liked because they are different , and so on and that leads them to isolation.
    Wilson can only understand a part of this, but he is not intuitive enough to go deeper. On the other hand as he is protective of House, so House is protective of Wilson.
    It has struck me after ‘Birthmarks” and House’s efforts to control Wilson’s love life (sure there is also jealousy) that House needs Wilson not as a “protectee” but as a protector himself.
    I was very impressed by the scene of Wilson and House on the terrace after House send Stacy away. Wilson is going on as usual about House wanting to be miserable so as to be special. However House keeps quite about the terrible encounter he had with Mark and which, I believe, is what made him decide that Stacy would be happier with Mark. On one hand he wants to avoid revealing his self-admission that Mark was the better man for Stacy, but, on the other hand, he shields Wilson from his deepest unhappiness: Losing his lover by accepting his inadequacy and capability for self-sacrifice.
    [I know it sounds convoluted, please, blame the fact that English is my third language.]
    Anyway, to me it was evident at that moment that Wilson felt more comfortable being angry with his friend for preferring unhappiness out of arrogance, than having to deal with the deepest unhappiness of self-sacrifice. House recognized that and accepted the blame, the “not want to be happy”, thus protecting Wilson from his deeply flawed depths.

    As for his other friend, Cuddy, she was unfortunately the real enabler, and frankly, I always thought that the premise that she was the only one that could control House a fallacy and a delusion. Control would have meant House accepting her decisions and instructions as an employee. House repeatedly went behind her back, and, what’s more, he was invariably right. And the one notable exception, when he obeyed, (se 3 epi 1) backfired as he was right, and Cuddy, acting on that premise, proved herself wrong and petty. But House, the world famous diagnostician was an asset for PPTH and Cuddy herself, so he went largely his own way without any serious repercussions.

    He is actually very wary of revealing his deep desire for happiness, admitted to Nolan, as he also perceives this as a weakness and proof of failure. For the same reason he is running away from psychotherapy, although it is the only solution to his problems. And House has rejected Nolan.
    Still I agree with you that he needs, maybe not a friend, in the intimate, almost brotherly way he is with Wilson, but someone who would support him in climbing out of the abyss he will soon find himself. Of course now, there is a new positive element: his acceptance of his emotions as well as their projection. Hopefully less suppressing.
    Probably, the best for House, would be a professional analyst, someone, at a par with his own intellect, that will keep a distance and, at the same time, delicately approach House by being exceptionally intuitive. Hopefully, in this fictional universe, such a paragon might be found. Someone that will support him honestly, without blinkers, without enabling.

    New Dean of Medicine;
    Why do you want another woman? This will create so many comparisons with Cuddy nobody will be happy.
    Either she will be more successful than Cuddy and the Cuddy fandom shall hate her, or she will fail and the creators shall be blamed and the show vilified again. ( I am on purpose mixing the reality with the fiction).
    What’s more, House, if he wants to, might bring out the charm he is keeping hidden, to manipulate her and will soon be running circles around her. Unless she is a dragon.

    I do believe a quietly powerful and high intelligent man might be able, by making House respect him, to control him. ( House is a man’s man). He would also need to be an exceptional doctor as well, as one of the problems with Cuddy was that House did not respect her medical capabilities.

    There is also another possibility for the future of House:
    As a matter of fact, I believe his return to PPTH so soon after Mayfield was a psychological faux-pas. He should have had the courage to search elsewhere professionally and his friends should have encouraged him. Instead they proved that they needed him, to keep him in a cocoons as to establish their own importance and maybe their superiority vis-à-vis a man so much above them in intellect but brought down by his inner flaws.

    So to stay away from the Hospital, spend some time in introspection and possibly humility and repentance would be a way for him to evolve positively. In a beach location or in jail, away from what, by now, is a soul-destructive environment where he virtually dominates everyone.

    And on that I have a transcript of an excerpt of a Hugh Laurie interview during the promotion of “Let them Talk”. Of course he might be joking, who knows?

    Hugh Laurie @ Steve Wright in the Afternoon 23.05.2011
    Transcript of an excerpt about House:

    Q: Can you tell us where you are up with the show or not?
    HL: Actually no, no I can’t. Not because I don’t know, I do know, but it’s a bit of a surprise. There’s a bit of a reveal at the end.
    Q: Does he get back with his boss again?
    HL: Hmmmm,hmmmm. I don’t want to ……because actually the very last moment, the last sort of 5 seconds……yes, so you have to watch right to the end, no ducking out early.!
    Q: And then we have to watch the next series…
    HL: Exactly..
    Q: If it gets made, what would you like to happen to the character, I mean, where would you like to see him go personally?
    HL: I almost don’t mind as long as it’s done well. It’s how it’s done rather than what is done. I can see lots of different ways of going with it and I don’t think I can really choose between them as long as it’s done well. If it’s done with the sort of (….) and the sort of strength that it’s had until now, I‘ll be happy … I ..I..whatever…..
    Q: Because it has been done well…..
    HL: It really has, I mean those scripts are just unbelievable. It’s all of it a success I would say.
    Q: Would you ever taken out of the hospital I mean if there would be a series in 5 years’ time? Would he branch out into shake up a village somewhere or….would he do that?
    HL: Well you see…inadvertently…. you are a little warmer…Ya…ya, I do not know if you know anything but you are on the right lines.

  • Lucy

    They were building this “Huddy” relationship for a long time. DS admitted that. Vocal shippers aside, if you just watch the growth it was there and made sense up to mid season 5. Then it started getting weird and the balance of the show seemed to be off. They set up the story to ensure House would break and in the midst of that his feelings would be clear to everyone. Then the networks got involved and didn’t want the relationship to happen right away. The Luddy story was created and that in itself distracted from House. He was more jealous and desperate than actually recovering and dealing after Mayfield. That was the writers choice. So we deal with it. But arguably, they could have kept Huddy apart all S6 and still dealt with House because House himself was enough to keep Cuddy afraid of going with him. He broke down in front of her for God’s sake! She has a kid. They made a choicean though. What we got was the beginning of disappointment.

    Since they didn’t deal with House appropriately after Mayfield and just kept him pining for Cuddy, they set up Huddy to be in a bad light. Everything good about them was gone. Now the relationship was shallow. (There are plenty of arguments, instances, dialogue to suggest they had a deeper relationship than what we saw.). The S7 Huddy was disappointing for most because it took House from us. There choice again, and yes we have to deal. But really, the unrest and division could have been prevented had they followed through with the House after Mayfield idea. If he had really been working on himself, Huddy would have been stronger. They still would have split up (because that’s their choice) but it would have been more acceptable to most.

    The flow of S7 was way off and it continued to go down hill, which is expected. It was the snowball effect. It could have been prevented.
    The network involvement was a problem. The writers exacerbated it. Now the networks created the problem with LE (whether it’s $ or restrictive clauses, she has to value herself just like RSL when he wouldn’t accept the cut; the network must negotiate well for the key players). The writers need to deal with network and still stay true to story. They didn’t do so great in past. Hope they will next season. But to make anything satisfactory, it has to go back and deal with House. To do this PROPERLY takes time. House is House after all. Unfortunately, there’s only limited episodes and a final season, and now they have to deal with the crash fall out. I hope it’s not rushed, but honestly they will either rush through his issues, or not deal again. Disappointing.

    I wish they’d spent S6, S7 and S8 slowly working through the multitude of hanging storylines and issues. Oh, well. It’s their story.

    Still, this is not like a book. People buy it – don’t like where it’s going and put it down. Guess what? They still bought it. The numbers are there. In TV, people watch – they don’t like and they turn the channel. The numbers aren’t there. The fans don’t impact specific plots and stories, but they do impact the writers because networks care about those numbers. They hear it. Also, things like chemistry with actors, friendships and actors schedules change the vision. Writers redirect all the time in TV, but they need to do it well. They didn’t this time. It was a slow erosion based on some ill advised foundational changes from the network.

    I hope they stay out of S8 and let TPTB do their thing. But they won’t. They created their own little snowball with LE now it’s going to be a battle.

    I don’t know if I am looking forward. I will watch in fear and trepidation. The trust built in S1-5.5 has been shaken. It’s going to be hard. I don’t envy them.

  • Sara

    ”I don’t know how much those blockbuster teasers cost, but if they have to trim, trim there. I do not pretend to know anything about television series budgets, and we may indeed see cutting back on the teaser “wow” factor due to budget constraints, but I would like to understand that the series didn’t sacrifice a principal cast member for the sake of a series of big-bang teasers that viewers watch once and forget.”
    Uhm? Patients are MORE important, viewers (not fans) love House and patients interation, when the show was a real success patients are more, more important!
    House ms is not 5/7 soap opera, House md success was in the first seasons!
    I love House-medicine-ethics debate (after that I love House/Cameron interations, but just subtex, not soap-operish way)
    When show start it was all very different and better. Patients was more important and Cuddy have 2 minute screentime, Huddy never existed, great ducklings, Great Hameron, Hilson and Huddy (brother and sister way, like Hugh Laurie)
    interation, great patients, great success.
    Why they destroy all show (piece to piece) is a real big mistery.
    But patients are more important than a actress was a little role (and love money so much that she quits just for a modest pay cut) when show start and was a real success.

  • Sara

    ”No matter what else happens next season Cuddy will likely continue to permeate House’s universe.”
    Next season, they mention her just in the first episodes after that they move in another direction, I’m sure.

    ”Edelstein’s departure. I will miss her and hope she returns at least for a few episodes.”
    Lisa E. don’t want back so, bye bye Cuddy.
    I miss more Cameron, bring her back.

    ”House, M.D. is still one of the best written and acted series on television.”
    House md was on of the best written and acted series on television, because Season 1, 2 and 3 are the golden ages, it’s objective. House md loss his high quality (and high ratings) many years later, unfortunately.
    Bring back Bryan Singer, he was the real dad and genius of House md on the first seasons success.

  • Adele–I’m still planning on that anatomy of a relationship article. I’m working my way back through season seven, so after I’m done, I’ll be able to write that up. I’m up to “Two Stories.”

  • Gabby

    @ 82 – merkof, @ 83 – BrokenLeg, @ 85 – maria-eleni: I second all the things you’ve written! (But I am not a Huddy, never have been one and never will be one.)

    Perhaps it would have been better, if they have told the Huddy-sex- and love-story as a love affair in a double episode like Broken at the beginning of season seven and have gone back to normal after that. With “normal” I mean House and Cuddy not together in a relationship. Or there should have followed a second one-night-stand after the Huddy-kiss at the end of the episode 5.06 Joy, to release the sexual tension between House and Cuddy.

    Now to my wish list for season 8:

    I have never been so excited in the anticipation of the next season than I am this time. Because I think that after the events in “Moving On” and the shaking up in the cast, the Producers and the Writers have the chance to blow fresh air in the show. If they don’t screw this up, they have the chance to reinvent the show and bring it back to its old strength.

    At first they have to deal with the fallout of the events in the last episodes of season 7.
    I don’t know by now if I want to see House in jail or not. But I know that House needs to get back to some kind of therapy. Preferably at Dr. Cate Milton (Mira Sorvino / episode Frozen).

    If they decide to make a leap in time then I would like to have an episode in which they tell us what has happened during that time.

    House could use a lawyer who helps him deal with the fallout. I would love to see Stacy again. But that could be difficult, because Sela Ward has a role on the TV show CSY NY.

    My favorite candidate as the new Dean of Medicine is Cameron. I think that she has emancipated herself enough from House by now to do the job successfully.
    But since Jennifer Morrison is busy at “One upon a Time” here is my top five DoM wish list: Jennifer Beals, Laura Innes, Gillian Anderson, Tim Roth and Carl Lumbly.

    I don’t want Wilson or Foreman as the new DoM.

    The new DoM should not serve as love interest for House. I think that Barbara Barnett’s idea that he / she should be a pain therapy specialist is great. Because House needs a decent pain therapy. With that I don’t mean that he should get back to the Ibuprofen.

    The new DoM should not dress herself like a slut like Cuddy has done it with her deep cleavage and way to short and tight skirts.

    Since Cuddy is gone and the writers don’t have to deal with her family affairs anymore, we could finally get to know and see Houses biological dad and Wilson’s brother Danny. Since we have had 5 (five) episodes with Cuddy’s mother and sister, it couldn’t be too much to ask for to get at least one episode with Houses biological dad and at least one episode with Wilson’s brother. Seeing Diane Baker / Houses mother Blythe again would be great, too.

    I am with Barbara Barnett: I would love to see Stephen Fry in the role of Houses Half-Brother and arch enemy Mycroft.

    And since Wilson’s Screentime has been insufficient in season 7 and as a compensation for his degradation to a Huddy Whisperer, I wish a Wilson centric episode.

    House and Wilson should remain friends. Wilson should be a good friend to House and not judgmental anymore. I want to have the Hilson (b)romance back. It would be cool if the two of them would be living together again.

    One episode with Dr. Nolan. Because Nolan has screwed up big time and should know about the damage he has caused as he suggested House in Baggage that a relationship with Cuddy could be the solution for his problems. Cuddy was the cause of some of Houses problems, but clearly not the solution.

    More scenes with House and 13 because 13 is the one who understands House the best.

    Chase and 13 should not become involved romantically.

    I would like to see how Taub resolves the situation with his two pregnant women.

    I would love to see House’s wife Dominika again. Perhaps the greencard marriage turns into a real marriage at some point of time.

    I want House, the world renowned diagnostician, back. People should respect him and don’t use him as a doormat. I want to see him deep in thoughts, while working on a case.

    House should get Happy within the realms of his possibilities. Steady on! That isn’t possible because „David Shore doesn’t do happy.“ But then House should come to a state where he is satisfied with himself and his life.

    I hope that they could get Doris Egan back for at least one episode. I would love to see another Hilson roadtrip.

    One episode directed or written by Hugh Laurie.

    Clinic patients, the white board, ball-y and a House / Bones crossover.

    I am unsure regarding a Guest Appearance of Cuddy in season 8.

    At the one side, I am afraid that the overloud Huddy – screaming will start again in the fandom. I clearly don’t want that. Have had an overdose of it since the promo-photo of the episode 4.16 with House in the hospital bed and Cuddy holding his hand has been released. This overloud Huddy -screaming has almost driven me away from the fandom in season five. It has almost been impossible to talk about other things than Huddy and it has made me sad that such an intelligent multifaceted show like House M.D. has been reduced to this ship.

    On the other side, I don’t know if an additional episode in order to get closure between House and Cuddy is really necessary.
    The show is about House and House has his closure.
    If the name of the show would be “PPTH” for example and be similar to Greys Anatomy with several leading actors / actresses, I would say “Yes, of course.” immediately.

    But perhaps there should be one last episode with Cuddy anyway. An episode / scenario which is similar to the one Cameron and Chase have had in the episode 6.17 Lockdown. It should be a scenario where House and Cuddy are running into each other by accident and forced to talk to each other in order to eliminate their misunderstandings of the events in “Moving On”. House should know that Cuddy has not lied to him, as she has told him that she was not dating someone. And Cuddy should know Houses point of view. They should come to a real closure. After this episode their ways should separate forever and I never want to see Cuddy on the show again. I am glad that she’s finally gone. Because I can’t stand her anymore since she pulled the pranks on House in the middle of season five.

    I am looking forward to season 8 and after season 8 I want to have season 9!

    Please forgive me if I have made grammatical or spelling errors. I’m not a native English speaker. And sorry for the long post!

  • Adele


    You display a keen critical awareness, as well as tremendous practical knowledge, when it comes to both House the character and [H]ouse the series. My viewing experience is never complete until I’ve had the opportunity to read each new article that you post. Like you, I’ve yet to fully reconcile with the last moments of “Moving On,” but I’m also more than willing to give Shore and the writers the benefit of the doubt and tune in next season to witness how they will handle the next chapter in House’s journey in the wake of such a horrible turn of events (and the departure of Lisa Edelstein).

    By the way, are you still working on that “anatomy of a relationship” piece that you mentioned on your Twitter account? I cannot wait for it to come out since I’ve always loved reading your insights on the equally frustrating and emotionally draining relationship between House and Cuddy as it has evolved over the years. Lord knows these two could give Sigmund Freud a run for his money!

  • maria-eleni

    83 – BrokenLeg
    Great idea!
    A new strong character would refresh the show by introducing a different dynamic in House interactions with other people. Bring him/her on!
    I have to admit that I am tired with the House/Foreman, House/Taub exchange of insults (archi-boring), Wilson’s “you want to be unhappy” (so off target) and the underused Chase.

    Also House, for all his soap opera watching, is an intellectual. That is why the Stacy affair was interesting, she was someone outside the medical world and she could respond to deeper dialogue. The rape victim, the South Pole psychiatrist, Nolan, Lydia, even the love-struck teenager had interacted in a different level with House and that was worthwhile to watch.
    Unfortunately the interaction with Cuddy was mostly on one note: sexist one sentences (boobs and ass) and “witty” (not always) responses. There was slightly more depth in Se 5 to whet our appetites, to be followed by Se 6 back to sexy/witty with Lucas thrown in. Actually Lucas also had some conversation with House that was at a better level.

    How on earth was ever expected of Huddy to have deep meaningful discussions just because they finally had sex, after such a history of shallow exchanges?
    Yes, I know I am a terrible iconoclast, but I do believe that presenting Huddy as deep love was very weak on the part of the creative team. Which is why they failed.
    And more iconoclasm: House and Cuddy would have remained friends if they just had an on and off light sexual relationship to relieve the tension and thus to keep the show –and House- more focused in medical cases and ethical issues of a wider range than just masseuses, toothbrushes, difficult mother (so common, don’t we all have one) and A Vicodin.

    It just came to me that there was a lost moment in the bathtub (Now what) when House was wondering “What exactly is this soapy, open & casual, fun if you like….”. Poor deluded Cuddy she became intense and here we are, trying to cope with House crashing his car into her home!

    Sorry, I am a Huddy but now I want a more riveting show. Bring new people in and not Doctors please!.

  • Hi Merkof (and everyone else). Thanks for chiming in. What I meant by closure was not to say they need to have that final encounter that finishes everything off neatly. That would be too pat for this show. But without Cuddy there, it will be more difficult (though certainly not impossible) to finish off the arc.

    Maybe the finale did that (it certainly can be viewed that away). And it can be done without Lisa E in the picture. So we’ll see.

    I’ve really appreciated this discussion, by the way. It’s given me a lot to think about regards next season. And I can’t wait to see what awaits us.

  • BrokenLeg

    81 @ maria-eleni & 77 @Visitkarte

    I live also in Europe, and legally things can be understood very different under the point of view of european Roman Law heritage back up than in the US or the Germanic Law heritage european ones, I think.

    I’m not a lawyer, but there are many points in Greg House’s behavior that a good lawyer can use to avoid all punishment, obtaining a non-guilty verdict, or that even members of a jury can ask themselves to cause and introduce more than reasonable doubts that must affect their final judgment : the previous use of experimental rats drug whose effects in human mind are difficult or almost impossible to evaluate, the inadequate and too high Vicodin pills dosage , maybe temporary mental insanity , the previous self surgery can be a demonstration of a mental altered status too, the difficult to use brake and accelerator pedals with a so recent major surgery on his right leg, because it can be presented if House “really wanted to brake and stopped” in the ramp both to enter or to bring in Wilson again in his car, his previous medical story of mental illness being treated by Dr. Nolan, etc..

    Maybe this good lawyer and his/her reasoning and forced interaction with House, can act also act as a “catalyst converter” to Greg House himself ( if not a friend, maybe can be a kind of “confessor” and a way to mirror things as they went and assume own guilt in the process, guilt much needed even if finally House is not legally condemned).

  • merkof

    @ Barbara Barnett

    As always what you write enhances the House “experience”.

    I have first watched House last February in one go up to “Bombshells”. I had pneumonia and was thus saved from deadly boredom and depression. Then I had to wait for 4 days for “out of the Chute”. I started suffering from withdrawal symptoms, when happily for me, I discovered this site and since then never missed a day without having a look. It actually doubled my appreciation and perception of House.

    Season 7.
    I mostly agree with your description of the situation in Se 7, but I also found several points of disagreement.
    I shall try not to be repetitive as several other posts deal with these points.

    I liked Se 7 because it was realistic, monster tracks not withstanding.
    I did not like Se 6 which I found superfluous and shallow. House, such a psychologically flawed personality, cured in just 2 months? And then for 20 so episodes not to be shown to consult regularly with Nolan? That is the season that should have dealt with the issues of House, childhood abuse, authority resistance, social isolation, pain management etc. And eventually failed although it had probably the best première.

    Most people found Se 7 unsatisfactory because these subjects were not touched upon by House & Cuddy. How could they have been? As you write “House is driven by fear; Cuddy by ambivalence”, no way would they have wanted to go deeply into muddy waters before achieving a certain permanence in their relationship. It was frustrating but also realistic that they are not shown to delve deeply into these issues.
    So frustration, inherited from Se6, damaged Se 7 for many fans.

    Even worse was the impending sense of doom. So many fans wrote that they stopped watching because of the unmitigated unhappiness.
    Unfortunately, fans had been foretold of the eventual break-up, so there was no suspense and excitement (as with the Stacy plot) which would have elevated the show by counterbalancing the gloom.
    This is what was different for me in Se 7. There was suspense.
    I have never even heard of who DS & co were, let alone what they said in interviews. All this overexposing in interviews and previews (of which I found out later and experienced at first hand from “The Dig” onwards when I entered the peripheral world of House) has hurt the show as each episode was viewed with preconceptions.
    So Se 7 was exciting for me as I had no Knowledge of the certainty of the break-up; I could only suspect it from my reading of the characters, both forceful and stubborn and also quite old to be able to change their way of living to suit the other. I was hooked by the uncertainty created by the “Now what” conversation and House continuously expressing his doubts: Happiness is the harbinger of disaster, we have nothing common, I smell the death of relationship and so on.

    I also liked the realism in showing an anxious House losing his interest in “medical puzzles”, and concentrating in winning Cuddy through childish ways like coaching Rachel, even discussing his toothbrush and garbage problems with teenagers. Yes, I even liked “2 stories”; for me, House descending to childishness through anxiety was very Houseian.

    But now, I can also understand the “long term” fans disappointment and frustration. Se 1, 2 & 3 were packed with non PPTH plots: Vogler, Stacy, Tritter. After that there was the Se 4 reality show (less satisfactory) and the Amber plot that threatened to destroy the House/Wilson friendship. Then for 3 years (2 weeks for me) only Huddy. It was too long and as I mentioned before Se 6 failed to deal with the break down of House. Instead it went on and on about House trying to win Cuddy and the Lucas affair. This destroyed the possibility of a potentially deeper affair as it was promisingly shown in Se 5.
    Inevitably Se 7 felt flat and uninteresting in its new realism. The sexual tension and dynamic of the 2 protagonists evaporated after all that anticipation, which is after all what happens in real life. Cuddy, full of uncertainties about taking the right decision, loses her playfulness and humor, and, I agree with you, “she is unable to separate their professional and personal relationships”. And House becomes an unfunny caricature of his larger than life self.

    Actually, I found this realism credible, well written and even better interpreted. But that is probably because I dislike sentimentality which is also why I loved even more the previous Seasons of House in their surreality.

    Even the way Cuddy broke up was “correct” in my view. What I disliked were the dreams. Too much reference and homage to the show biz world. This diminished the intensity of the episode.
    However, after a brush with death comes reevaluation and hard decisions. Breaking up was abrupt and pithy. She was justified and there was no need to prolong it or to discuss it with House. He would have won her over as it usually happened. After all she loves him. And she correctly interprets that “she is his problem”. For years he had relied on her protection and enabling, both professionally and emotionally. He will hurt, but then it is about time for House, if he is to evolve, to face the real world and stop hiding in PPTH behind Cuddy. And he actually accepts that his hurt is not Cuddy’s fault. I found all this also very well written and in accordance to the characters with no false sentimentality.

    Which brings me to the major disagreement I have with you. –Closure-. I understand the fans needing this to reconcile with the show but I think psychologically and artistically it might be a wrong decision. Again too sentimental. A clean break (wrong word as it was very messy), a definite break is needed for “moving on”. For both. House provoked it either intentionally or inadvertently through an unprecedented for him avalanche of emotions resulting in the crash. Closure, authentic closure can only be achieved after time (and I do not mean a few months) has healed the wounds. Anything else would be rushed and contrived.
    Through this reasoning, I found the finale very satisfactory.

    Of course the show, if HL is to be believed, might only have just another season. So unless there is a flash forward I do not know how it can be managed. And anyway this is just my view and, probably, I am alone in this.

  • maria-eleni

    77 – Visitkarte
    You’ve said it for me.
    There is also “Not in a sane state of mind” or something of the kind. I have not studied law but frequently I hear of the accused getting scot free using this rationale.
    House has been an inmate in a psychiatric clinic and he is a vicodin addict. Doesn’t this count?

  • ruthinor

    #16 Blacktop: Amen!

  • Visitkarte

    @46 60 plus

    Thank you. I do hope they master season 8 so well, that there will be no question about everyone screaming for another and another season. Girl can dream.

  • bigHousefan

    60 Plus 46

    I appreciate and agree with your comments. All of us have our share of ‘wishes’ for what very well may be the last season. It would be very difficult to realistically pursue those many avenues and do any of them justice in just one or even two seasons. I also appreciate your gracious nature. I have so enjoyed getting to know these characters and experience their journeys with them. I have also appreciated Barbara’s thoughtful comments and insight as well as the many fans that join the discussion as visiting here has always been as much fun and stimulating as the show itself!

  • Visitkarte

    44 – Gerone wrote:
    Beautiful analysis, thank you. I loved these two quotes:

    I remember that promo poster of House lying there with his chest ripped open and his heart exposed. Now we know what that meant. He exposed his heart, and it will never fully heal no matter how hard he tries to sew it closed. For this, I continue sympathizing with House in-spite of his actions.

    End of the quote 1

    I do wish that Cuddy could come back as I think that she does have to look at herself in the mirror, too. “I just need to know if you and I can work” and “You are always gonna be the most incredible man I have ever met” were her words. Despite House’s initial warnings, she couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie regarding her romantic aspirations for him.

    End of the quote 1

    Well, they could both communicate, via mails and chat, I guess. I guess House needs to apologize, but for once, Cuddy needs to own up to her own part in this whole mess.

    BTW, how can any of you talk about ‘premeditation’ in a sequence that went less than 5 minutes, I’m not quite sure. I studied law in Europe, and NO sane judge on this side of the ocean would ever see this as any kind of premeditation.

    The room was empty, and House must have seen an empty room. That’s what I saw, that’s what the writers told us. I guess the time House spend playing unconsciously with the hairbrush was enough for everyone to leave the room. He would say that he wanted to crash her wall, disturb her little holy idyll. That’s assault against property, nothing more. That must suffice as his ‘defense’. It’s up to the judge to buy that defense of not.

    When in doubt, not guilty or guilty for the minor charges. Or is this rule unknown in USA?

    I don’t say how the court might decide in the end, just state the rules working in court, the main principles. House might be convicted for risking lives just as well as ‘just’ for damaging property. He definitively hurt Wilson, it could have ended even worse, even unintended. I’m not discussing the result, just the defensive strategies ant the back doors for House’s Defense just as well as for the writers.

  • Visitkarte

    39 – Oversimplified wrote:
    I do believe that Wilson is going to be exceptionally hard to write for next season. Almost more so than anybody else. Him instantly forgiving his best friend just isn’t going to fly with anybody really. I can actually envisage season 8 starting with House turning up on Wilson’s doorstep, him opening the door and instantly punching him in the face before debating with himself whether or not to hand him into the police. He should really. For House’s own good as much as anybody else’s.

    End of the quote.

    Yea, right, that would be the best ‘thank you’ he can do to House for House bailing him out of jail in the first place and saving his career in Known Unknown, just to name two occasions. Because jail is good for you, and getting slim to none medical care is very good for an aging cripple.

    A good way to do it would be if House himself showed up on Wilson’s door to apologize for hurting him and telling him that he knew that his home must be watched by the police, that he came back to surrender.

  • vera wright

    We are supposed to think it’s the same room,but remember,everybody lies. We just have to try to figure out why. If we can figure out that we will have a much better understanding of H’s motive which I very much doubt was murderous.

  • NLP: I would never presume to think that Jennifer Morrison’s new show will crash and burn. I hope it doesn’t. I see some very interesting things in it (I’ve seen the pilot) and I’ll have a lot more to say about Once Upon a Time as the Summer goes on. I wish her the best. (I’ve always been a sucker for modern/post-modern takes on fairy tales).

    And that’s why (seriously) why I never even mentioned Cameron. I also think they need to look ahead, not back. I don’t like the idea of Stephen Fry as House’s boss. It would (even if the scripts didn’t) have the (wonderful, but not relevant) baggage of their years doing comedy together, and I just don’t think the mix (in my opinion) would work. Holmes and Mycroft, definitely! I’d love to see HL as Holmes with Stephen as his brother Mycroft. Brilliant casting that would be.

  • vera wright

    House walks up some steps and looks through a window into a room to the right of the front door. He drives his car up a driveway,through a french window ie from floor to almost ceiling,to the left of front door,shown clearly when we see position of the car from the outside of the house.Different coloured orchids, different painting,red lamp,different room.

  • NLP

    I’m surprised how you can write, as you always do, so insightfully, yet not even mention Cameron as a possibility. Critics are saying her new show will probably crash & burn early so it’s possible she’d be available for the latter half of House’s season. What better way to help the show “get back to basics”? And she’s the one character who actually does have tons of unanswered questions which were set up from Day 1.

    I also really question that there’s much call for further exploration of Foreman, Chase, Taub, and especially that most disliked of characters, 13. I’m bored to tears with all of them.

    But I don’t want to see a new, “strong” female administrator. I’m tired of seeing House get kicked around, especially by, say, the former female administrator. If they can’t (or much more likely, WON’T) bring Cameron back (who WOULD be the one interesting new female administrator), then just please get Stephen Fry. THAT would make for endless entertainment!

  • maria-eleni

    71 – BrokenLeg


    New cars are definitely safer when crashing against another moving vehicle or, lets say against a wall in high speed because of structural reinforcements designed after cash tests.

    But in minor accidents, like driving against french doors, or a parked car in low speed, older cars fair better because of sturdier bodies. That is why House’s car looks relatively undamaged. But it could be that the axle is completely shot. Maybe in SE 8 they will show us in one of those CGI shots what “internal” damage the car suffered!

    By the way, since I had to replay the crash scene ( insanely) to find out about the orchids, it is only fair that you do the same……

    And yes, poor editing, but also unimaginative décor! Who has both red and white orchids in the same room? So many other flowers to choose from! And frankly the tree painting was so….. well…. unimaginative!!

  • BrokenLeg

    67 @ maria-eleni

    Touché! You are mostly right in all your late post. Specially about HL acting.

    And about safety questions on cars design, always better the new one!!Although I once had another german one full of little failures, if ever I may choose to crash one car, I’ll choose the safer new one. After all I’ve yet crashed unintetionally with a powerful good italian motorcycle!! The bike did not suffer nothing unless little painting scratches, but me…..!

    65 @ vera wright

    I do not remember any room beetween kitchen and dinner room, or beetween this one and other room like living room in Cuddy’s house. And the broken furniture is almost the same as the dinner room one. I may rewatch it only as an insane curiosity ( summer distraction).But, maybe poor atention when editing?

  • Patty

    Barbara, I agree with many points in your review, particularly the one where you say “House needs to meet some one who “gets” him.” That person has yet to be brought into House’s radar range. The writing has been hit or miss since the writer’s strike of Season 4, more misses than hits in my opinion and this last season the worst of all. Katie Jacobs & Greg Yaitaines as directors are not the answer anymore than the current writing staff is. David Shore has said many times in the past that he is “peeling away” layers of House to get to his true personality. In my opinion, he’s added layers. The real Gregory House is the one we were introduced to in Season 1 BEFORE Cuddy and Wilson got their self-righteous claws into him. The finale was a disaster. The man who drove his car into Cuddy’s House and calmly walked away is not House. That guy disappeared somewhere during Season 3. If Season 8 is indeed the last season of House, David Shore would do well to chuck his writing staff, directors and producers and start from scratch. That is the only way House can end on a high note, which it should.

  • Flo

    Okay it’s been a while since I’ve last posted here on your blog Barbara but I appreciate the debate and feel like giving my two cents here.
    Thanks Barbara for this article, you make interesting points.

    On the H/W front, I think Wilson has been a very patient and a good supportive friend considering how hard it is to be friend with someone like House. Same thing for Cuddy. House is a jerk and has a very low self-esteem. He craves the advices and mind games and rants of his two friends as much as he seems to dislike them. Finding someone who accepts him completely as he is certainly is wishful thinking but House won’t be able to find that unless he accepts himself as he is first. It is true that perhaps the manipulating and enabling by Wilson and Cuddy may have had some counter-productive effects from time to time but what about House’s manipulations and influence on his two friends?
    Here lies one of the cores of the show IMO: the intricate, complex relationship of House, Wilson and Cuddy. I think that’s why a lot of fans call them the “triumvirate”. House, Wilson and Cuddy share a very deep bond, strong connections and relationships but with a lot of baggage. They are socially inept and deeply flawed. And somehow, they are so screwed up that, in those dysfunctional relationships they have with each other, they seem to hurt themselves to then being really supportive. One doesn’t seem to come without the other. It actually is consistent with the fact that in House’s view of the world everything, even remotely positive, apparently comes with a downside. House doesn’t let someone get close to him and can’t handle someone who can accept him totally for who he really is because he doesn’t like himself therefore he feels unworthy of such a thing. That’s why he wants desperately to change, for himself sake. He may be annoyed by the way Wilson and Cuddy treated him all these years but he seeks that kind of treatment all the same. The way he is treated is in a direct correlation with the way he treats himself.
    He will have to evolve, maybe change a bit and learn to respect and like himself before finding someone who can do the same. Can this someone be Wilson and/or Cuddy? I don’t know. Those two are really flawed and have also a long way to go. I do think that they understand House really well somehow and after all this time they also know him well.
    They’ve been good to him and the interactions of this trio are (well were now) an important part of House’s journey. The fact that the “triumvirate” can be considered as a core is also one of the reasons why the departure of Lisa Edelstein is such a blow IMO. Will the whole show become crippled by the absence of it? Only time will tell and I, too, really wish they’ll find a way to overcome it in a satisfying way.
    For now, since They’re all too screwed up and too emotionally involved to help each other, I feel like a more intellectual approach may be needed for House and a psychiatrist seems to be a good idea.

    My biggest wishes for season 8 is for TPTB to continue the few things that (IMO) worked well in season 7 AKA the Chase/13 and House/13 interactions. I believe Those three characters have a lot in common and share a darkness that make them able to understand each other like no other character on the show. House & 13 bond is interesting and I think he is able to confide in her because there is no baggage here. Chase & 13 have now the particularity to have deliberately killed someone and that eats them. It will be interesting to see how it’s gonna play out.
    Also, I like TPTB to not just have a theme for the season, I want them to actually SAY SOMETHING through it, a thing that was seriously lacking this season. Like Barbara and others, I’d like to go deeper in the psyche of the characters and maybe learn something new and interesting about them and mostly about House himself, a thing that was totally absent this year, unfortunately. This will contribute to make a more coherent, less over-the-top show where our disbelief will have to be suspended a bit too much.

    Nice thoughts everyone.

  • maria-eleni

    64 – BrokenLeg

    Truly invigorating!!!

    Agreed about the major surgery: They should have pushed the whole episode a month or so later.

    About the car:

    1. It did not go through a wall but through french windows. So the damage would have been minimal. And, anyway the car door was jammed.
    2. Older cars were more sturdily built. I know that from experience as I have a 12 year old car (for heavy work) that saved me from major injuries and, on top, was repaired afterwards, whereas my 2 year old german car (to show of) got bashed while in a parking place (!!) and has never been the same again.

    About the orchids: They are on different positions.

    1. The red orchids are in front of a painting of buildings with a buffet underneath on the wall opposite the French windons and that is where the car front stops.
    2. The white orchids are in front of a different painting – black tree on white background- on the wall behind House as he gets out of the car. This wall is paralllel to the door side of the car and so at right angle to the “red orchids” wall.

    As a matter of fact I never pay attention to such details, so I had to go and review the scene.
    I much prefer to follow the plots and character development. Almost every work of fiction – book or film- has inconsistencies, poetic licence, and, frankly I prefer to ignore them. If I were to take notice of them I would never be able to enjoy books or films.

    To conclude, from the very beginning, House the series had these inconsistencies and I have not noticed many complains as long as House was loved.
    Be honest: Now every little thing, fairly or not, is jarring to you who dislike him and the car crash plot and Se 7. I quite understand it as I behave in exactly the same way in similar circumstances.
    It is like when we find out that a friend suddenly behaves in a way inconsistent to the idea we had of his character and the liking turns to dislike. Most of us shall start remembering all the small and big things we disliked before but ignored for the sake of friendship and start dissecting them with other mutual friends.
    It seems to me that this is what happened with House the series, its creators and the fictional character.

    As for Blackadder, Oh come on! That was Se 4.
    Now it is soap opera-ish, but I still love it, mostly for HL who should put his foot down and demand more “how it is done” to be done “well”!

  • yjust a thought

    David Shore is a lawyer
    They have something up their sleeves

  • vera wright

    It’s a different room.Look at the orchids,look at the painting,look at the position of the car relative to the window that house looked in, up some steps, not up a driveway. Earlier in the episode Cuddy and her sister were shown in the same room.He didn’t crash into the room where they had been eating!

  • BrokenLeg

    63 @ maria-eleni

    Your post:
    “Fortunately,because otherwise we would have been in agreement and these invigorating discussions would never have taken place!”


    But it is not “farcical” too the way House get out the car ( an old one that had not suffered in the crash), being a person that has suffered a major surgery ( not suffering damages on the car crash BTW)after “parking” his car in Cuddy’s dinner room?? Too much for me…..I would prefer Blackadder way.

    And if rewatch the scene again, please observe the change of Cuddy’s orchids’ colour between takes, from pure white to purple red.

  • maria-eleni

    58 – BrokenLeg

    Words would have the moment farcical. After all this is not Blackadder!

    And for me it was the best moment of the episode. I do not think anybody could have uttered a word after what had happened.

    Strangely enough, I was laughing at first view and hurting after.

    Well, we are not clones, so that we would all have the same emotions. And definitely, we had different experiences in life so our perception of cause and effect vary.
    Fortunately,because otherwise we would have been in agreement and these invigorating discussions would never have taken place!

  • Anne DiZio

    Barbara, I particularly agree with your opinion that House needs a friend who really understands him. At the end of the penultimate episode of Season 7, when House awakens and sees Wilson sitting by his bed, his disappointment is palpable. Why? Possibly because he wishesthat Cuddy and Rachel had been sitting there instead. But more likely it is what he said to Wilson, that he was hoping for someone who “didn’t speak judgmental”. Is that someone a person who is impartial and views his character and with more fairness than kindness/emotion/compassion? I’m not sure. But it seemed clear to me that that was an important juncture for House’s character.

    He awoke from an operation to counteract the damage he had done to himself while operating on himself (to me a richly symbolic act) and perhaps he was hoping to awaken from a protracted nightmare, or perhaps he was hoping to awaken to a means of acting on an epiphany and was hoping for just the right words or actions to propel him into the next phase of self-awareness: healing. I don’t know whether the writers had this in mind when they wrote the end of this episode but it seems significant to me. Given the necessary brevity of this scene and the choices they had for how to portray House’s awakening, it is significant that they chose these words for House to express to Wilson.

    It seemed to me that he showed little or no response (or acknowledgment) of Rachel and Cuddy’s note, and impatience, if not some hostility to Wilson when he tried to help House. As sad as I felt for all of them, it seemed an indication that all three characters had gone as far as they could together and that they were stuck. So I suppose as sad as I felt for all of them, I am hopeful that introducing a new kind of friend for House in Season 8 will be beneficial for House and ultimately for the show itself. I am sad to see these three close friends splintering apart but it seems time for them all to move on.

    And I am hopeful that Katie Jacobs will be the director for at least the first episode of this new season. As much as I admire the other directors, I think the new season needs her special touch, as Barbara has suggested.

  • Bea

    Well, I don’t know about the brilliancy of this finale, but I’ll rewatch I promise and I’ll see whether I might have missed sth. I’m not completely sure of it, but I’ll give it a try.

    “Maybe it has something to do with the desire to fix and integrate the “outsider”. We want House to be someone who finally saw the light and got what he deserved, therefore validating our romantic ideas. But that’s not House. His pain, his “tormented genius” is not romantic, or admirable. It is crippling and ugly at times”

    What can I say? You’re right I guess. Maybe some part of us still wants to believe he can redeem himself completely. Find an impossible balance, which is not down to earth probably. Or certainly not down to the House universe.

  • HouseMDFan

    @ Bea
    Come to think of it, […] I should have forseen this outburst of rage and darkness given the song they used at the beginning of Out of the Chute. And if I’m not mistaken Peter Blake wrote that ep too right? – Nope, Kaplow and Moran wrote “Out of the Chute”. But you are completely right that this episode contained a lot of hints, though I didn’t realize the importance of the teaser (and the patient!) until I re-watched it after the finale. The “freeing” quality of the jump is equivalent to the end of the finale in a way, and we certainly saw a lot of his anger in this ep.

    Feel nothing with him, until the very end. – Not exactly. As I said, there were a lot of things before the end, with Cuddy, with the patient, even with Wilson. Little cracks. You really should re-watch it if you don’t remember them, I think it’s brilliantly done.

    You are right about expectations clouding the perception of the season. That’s exactly the reason why I’m so unhappy with all the wish lists, making the same mistake again.
    I think one of the main things is that everybody seemed to think that Cuddy was in it completely. But as you say: Cuddy didn’t ever jump with both feet into this relationship. […] The end of Now What proves it. And sth like this cast a whole different light onto the whole season probably. Yes, the end of “Now What?” is a big hint indeed. (Also the fact that Cuddy said she loved him even though she didn’t want to. Instead of taking this as incredibly romantic, it would have been wise to see this sentence as a warning.) At that point, it could have gone several ways, but in hindsight, they both showed their real faces after the door was closed: Cuddy dropping her mask of confidence, House dropping his mask of believing her (perfectly picked up with his lie at the end of “Small Sacrifices”). The expectations directed at this relationship had a lot to do with expecting both of them to be in it 100%. They weren’t, though, because they couldn’t.

    You talk about “closure” and House reaching a “final point”. I have to say that I’m okay with the journey. Kath Lingenfelter said after the finale that there are rarely ends and closures as we want them to be, only ever what we do next. That’s actually a very hopeful idea to me. House did have some good times with Cuddy and I was happy for him. The fact that it fell apart doesn’t negate this. “Everything ends, life ends, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it.” Lydia said that. (Wilson too.) And the thing is: House did enjoy parts of it, he was happy for moments with Cuddy, he said it himself. And now he will have to figure out what to do next. I’ll be there to watch it. 🙂

    As for why so many people don’t see it this way? Hm. I know that I don’t really care about majority, years in fandom have taught me that. If it makes sense, it makes sense. Maybe it wasn’t clearer because a lot of this wasn’t a conscious decision by the writers, but came naturally out of their vision of the characters. Also, again, expectations. I guess many wanted House to be a decent person and be happy by their standards. (Funny enough, this group IMO included House himself since “Broken”.) Maybe it has something to do with the desire to fix and integrate the “outsider”. We want House to be someone who finally saw the light and got what he deserved, therefore validating our romantic ideas. But that’s not House. His pain, his “tormented genius” is not romantic, or admirable. It is crippling and ugly at times, and House is the first one to remind us of that. Just as he reminds us that relationships can be a burden for him as much as a source for happiness.

  • Jair

    Barbara, I agree with much of your wishlist and hope TPTB are taking note of some of the feedback they are getting. I don’t want a fan or critic run show, but I also don’t want a show written by people who don’t look for or accept feedback when they take risks. The writers are no more perfect than any one else and writing is just as prone to wrong turns as any other profession.

    I do have some places where I disagree with your list. For example, I have always thought Wilson’s attitude to House was textured and that he sometimes was the hurtful one. I am by no means a Wilson apologist. However, the finale in no way made me hope that Wilson stops lecturing House and simply accepts him for who he is. House is dangerous. He hurts people. This aspect of House has been hinted at before, but we were always able to interpret it differently and many of us did so. I know I did. For example, he set Chase up to have a possibly fatal allergic reaction because Cameron took her attention away from House and I was willing to see it as a mainly metaphorical sign of House’s inner turmoil as he slipped deeper into mental illness, rather than as a character trait lurking under the surface, waiting for the right circumstances. Now that’s he risked killing four more people, I’m not thinking of this aspect of his personality as metaphorical and I don’t see why anyone would be expected to accept it as just part of who House is. House needs help and desperately and not because Cuddy dumped him, which now seems a very rational act on her part, rather than the rather mercurial decision it first appeared to me. To me at this point, he’s needed some measure of institutionalization, whether medical or criminal, since we’ve known him, because it’s not alright that he is willing to risk killing people when he is angry and hurt. Anyone who kills has reasons why he does it. It’s still not an acceptable response.

    I think the writers took a lot of risks with the final moments of the finale, and the biggest one of all is revealing that much of the implied violence we’ve seen House exhibit toward people in the past is really just that, and not a tough love approach where he has the bigger picture in mind, even if he has to be cruel to be kind. House has always treated his team like a group of rats he gets to poke at for his own amusement. I always assumed there was care as well, and that his cruelty masked wanting these people to grow and not get stuck in hurtful patterns. But the sight of House on the beach, smiling because his act of violence relieved his own tension, having walked away from the fear and destruction he wreaked upon Cuddy and the knowledge that he could have killed people, doesn’t make me think House has a good grasp of the ramifications of his violence. I’m having to re-evaluate much of what I thought about House. Unfortunately, I don’t end up in a place I’m intrigued by him so much as repulsed. I have no inclination at all to blame House’s friends for House’s mental illness, other than that they have enabled him far too much.

    I’m also not willing to hope the beach scene was a hallucination so it helps me accept how he’s viewing his violence. There were no tells in the episode to direct me that way and I think the writers fully intended to take the story there. In David Shore’s first interview, he was playing with the idea of whether House was capable of killing his friends because of his anger and he made sure to play both sides of the argument. It wasn’t until the scope of the negative reaction became clear that he and the other writers began backpedaling away from the obvious possibility that House didn’t know the room was empty or that Rachel wasn’t home. I think this postepisode storytelling is already a weak enough approach without then deciding step away from what they set up by saying it was all a dream. That technique is always to be used sparely if at all and this show has used up its quota of halluncations. Trying another one on now would be a huge cop out. They took House to this extremely dark place which affects every relationship he was, including the one to the audience. Now they have to see if they can make it pay off.

    Wilson took House back as a friend in season five because he acknowledged House brought laughter into his life. At the time, I thought it was a lovely poignant way to illustrate that Wilson appreciated House’s willingness to challenge conventional thinking and expectations, especially since Wilson subverted his own desires far too often to appease expectations, living a dishonest life except when House prods him to react honestly. At this point, I can’t imagine that 1) House’s “honesty” looks like something to be emulated, or two) the laughter balances out the cruelty and the violence. Wilson is a friend of Cuddy and an uncle figure to Rachel. I think it would take a season devoted to this story line alone to believably show why Wilson would let House back in his life. And of course, the writers do not have that kind of time, even if they do have the interest, which I don’t take as a given. I don’t see how one season gives the writers time to really explore anything that logically would come out of House’s actions, from explaining why PPTH would accept House working there to why his team would continue to accept his cruelty, given they now know what he’s capable of and that professionally, he’s a liability not a help. And that’s without trying to establish a new working relationship the viewers care about and believe with a new boss. If he gets a kick ass new female boss who can go toe to toe with him, why would she give the scope to act Cuddy did? Without that scope, why would House be interesting to watch?

  • BrokenLeg

    51 @Djes & 56 @ maria-eleni

    Comic it must be if House,as delievering the hairbrush to Cuddy in front of that other three astonished people had said: “As required, always at your orders, my boss”, or something so.
    Instead of comic I found the scene, at first viewing hurting, after childish.

    And so not entering in any moral or ethic further condiderations.

  • Kevin

    Assuming next season is the final season of House, I’d love to see Sela Ward return to the show. If you’ve forgotten what she brought to the show, go back and watch “Three Stories” and the subsequent arc! No one ever “got” House the way she did.

  • maria-eleni


    No, there are at least 2 of us.

    Indeed, knowing that House is about to crash his car into Cuddy’s House (thanks to FOX previews….big foul) by contrast, Wilson’s words are so inadequate that it becomes a comic moment.

    As for the brush scene, it has such a peculiar timing, I almost suspect it could be one of those comic touches that Laurie is known to be adding.

    However, the interpolation of comic moments in the middle of dramatic scenes is what made House, the character and the show, such a joy to watch and such a success.
    I rather attribute this to Laurie’s influence as these moments became more evident from Se 2 onwards when, I suspect, he felt more secure to “meddle” as he puts it.

  • BrokenLeg

    39 @ Oversimplified

    Wise words from your post:

    “To me a lot of this season has seemed superficial owing to much of the focus being on the ‘wrapping’ (the direction/visual effects) rather than the actual ‘content’ (the writing/characterization), and has perhaps stemmed from the TPTB becoming extraordinarily insular in their attitudes to both the show and the fans. Whilst I agree that it’s their show to choose the direction in which it goes, I do think that constructive criticism is just that, constructive.”

    “All these things need to be addressed I believe, and could be done so in way that makes use of the way the Cuddy/House dynamic has been turned upside down, whilst exploring a sensitive topic in a manner which is both befitting and dramatic. No more game-playing. Just absolute brutal honesty.”


  • Bea


    Maybe words failed me but I meant what you did when you say “The darkness is as much at his core as the lightness is, that’s my point. There is no neat border between the two, it’s all tangled up and next to each other.” I guess, though, each one of us watches a TV Show for very different reasons; somehow, deep down inside us, we can dress it up anyway we like but we are seeking for sth to feed our needs. Which are different from one person to another. And what I needed was a different closure perhaps. Certainly House isn’t a show on which is advisable having any kind of wishes or expectations *taking notes* so I take the blame for having being somehow naive. Parhaps after all the struggles and having tried so hard for so long, I wished he could have found sth different than this. I don’t mean happiness but I was expecting him to confirm is antiheroic role of a perfect blend of darkness and light. Come to think of it, if we all had been a little bit more insightful (well if I had been for sure) I should have forseen this outburst of rage and darkness given the song they used at the beginning of Out of the Chute. And if I’m not mistaken Peter Blake wrote that ep too right? So it all should make even more sense if you look at it, retrospectively, so to speak.

    As far as your second point, I see what you mean. And I must admit I haven’t considered this finale under this aspect. And I agree that yours might certainly be a valid way of interpreting and reading the whole ep; like they wanted us to feel just as numbed as House was supposed to feel. Feel nothing with him, until the very end. Makes sense if you put it this way. The thing ism though, that rationally I see and understand everything you have stressed out and I can agree. Problem is, for me at least, that I’m used to feel House very much upon the pulse too. Usually, House eps stroke me also an emotional level. Even his inabilities to show his feelings, his attempts to suppress them, I usually can somehow feel them. I used to feel pain, or pity or IDK whatever kind of emotion one normally feels when you witness passive-aggressive behaviors. You’re saying this was the whole point of the ep and maybe it was. What leaves me doubtful though is still the progression of it. I mean, I see what they were trying to do, but I kinda can’t see or feel the small strain that set him up like he was some sort of time-bomb ready to explode. It’s like for me some passages were missing, IDK. Maybe I should rewatch it all, the season I mean, and try to see it under a different light, checking whether my expectations caused me to set up a standard of quality for this finale which couldn’t or shouldn’t be reached the way I had imagined it, if that makes any sense for you. I also hadn’t considered what Barbara stressed out in her review: Cuddy didn’t ever jump with both feet into this relationship. That’s a fact. Whether I agree on it or not, it’s not relevant to the point. But given your theory would make sense that House’s frustrating had been mounting also due to the fact that he always sensed there was something off on her behalf. The end of Now What proves it. And sth like this cast a whole different light onto the whole season probably.

    On to the lose threads, I didn’t mean that the last two years didn’t make any sense to me at all. What I mean was that I’m confused at this point about the final point of this struggle. What I mean is that, the finale, for me at least, totally invalidates the last two years in terms of narrative grow of the character. But when I read you saying “Any consequences of that resentment were put on hold, though, because Cuddy showed up in “Help Me”. And now we finally got the consequences at the end of this year’s finale” I also have to say I’ve not seen it this way. And once again it makes sense, if you put it like this, but I also wonder how come so many intelligent people out there, even good reviewers and die hard fans, then missed the point this time, if you’re right. So, shall I conclude we are the ones getting dumber? You see what I mean? I think that maybe here you might have been more insightful than me on this one; but I also think that, even if House is a complicated show, they’ve always given us a way to find the key on our own. So something must be missing here….maybe too much distractions from the central plot. Maybe too much Taub or too much Master at some point. Too many elaborate teasers or special eps, IDK. Maybe other can nail it better than I can do.

    Anyway thanks for answering back, I think this convo helps us all understand House’s motives better. Doing some digging into past eps can’t do any harm IMO, given the kind of show we’re talking about. Hope Barbara doesn’t find this too much out of topic.

    PS we can talk about it any time you like 🙂 I’m totally up for some sharing of viewpoints

  • #44. Well put. You make some very good points.

    #52 just a thought–agree with you completely. I’m always making that argument. This is why I’ve tried bring so careful about making the distinction between not liking and bad. There’s a huge difference between them. This isn’t my story, it’s theirs, and Im still with them, reading that novel. I may not love every moment of it, but I do love almost all of it. It still excites me, intrigues me. Makes me laugh and makes me weep.

    The character of house damaged himself badly in the finale. He does have to redeem himself. There will be consequences.

    I agree with you about watching without breaks. I’m doing that now with house.

    My wish list is personal. No one has to listen to me. it’s for the chapters as yet unwritten.

  • yjust a thought

    Barbara Barnett as I read your opinion it reminded me of the beginning of Microsoft, everybody telling Microsoft what they wanted them to do.
    [H]ouse is somebody else’s story, in a way it is not different then when we buy a book, we read it, and after x page, we either are in it or not. We do not write to the author and tell them what I, WE wish, how the book ends. We just finish reading it or not. The same can be said about a movie.
    I am just finishing watching for the first time the series MAD MEN, I really am enjoying it, I think there is an advantage when you can see 3-4 episodes every day, and you don’t have to wait for all those long breaks. With [H]ouse Season 7, it seemed like there were unbelievable long waits for the continuation of episodes. I can see that more and more viewers are just going to wait till a season ends and watch it then.

  • Djes

    I’m the only one who think that the car crash was a little comic? (first Wilson who begged House to express his anger wouahaha Wilson, well done) and also the scene with the hairbrush, it’s like a good comic scene. It just missed the luster that falls on House’s car to conclude this wordless scene. lol

  • HouseMDFan

    @Bea, thanks for your answer. I want to adress a few things that stood out to me.

    potential behind the surface

    I kind of agree, except that I think the potential is equally good and bad. His outer persona isn’t all bad actually, but neither is his inner persona all good. And I keep remembering Kutner’s Harry Potter reference in “The Social Contract” – it does matter what you chose, not only what you are. Also, we have seen into House’s subconscious several times, and there was a lot of darkness there, too. Just one example to tie this to the finale: the first time we saw it, he punched Wilson in the face and imagined Cuddy being afraid of him afterwards. Potential for physical violence, right there. The darkness is as much at his core as the lightness is, that’s my point. There is no neat border between the two, it’s all tangled up and next to each other. I do however understand what you mean with “his own state of grace” and I agree (though I’m not sure if we agree on the specifics of that state, but never mind).

    Sometimes I had the feeling Yaitanes prefered aestethically beautiful angles to deeply emotional ones capable of capturing Hugh’s expressions; everything he usually does to make us feel the character and guess his feelings without wasting a single word.

    See, and I thought that was the point. Because what was the whole thing about? House repressing his emotional struggle, House numbing himself against any sort of feeling. He said so himself! A few minutes into the epi, I was actually wondering what’s up with him, exactly because of that – I couldn’t feel him, I thought he was being superficial somehow. Point is: he was! THAT’s what Hugh was selling! House numb! Which made witnessing the little cracks in that numb surface all the more intriguing – his little smile when Cuddy talked about the pirate cartoon, his desperation with the patient, or of course the hallway scene.

    (Btw, I agree on the *~drama~* of the flashbacks, that was a bit overdone.)

    As I said, my problem is that I can’t find the loose threads anymore and collect them together giving a meaning to what happened during the last two years.

    Hm. I honestly fail to understand that, because I think that the arc from the end of season 5 to where we are now was actually very well done. I feel like I understand what happened with and inside of House. I don’t know if this is the place, but if you want, we can talk about this some more. You mentioned “Baggage” for example, and I agree, that was genius. Absolutely brilliant. I just re-watched it and I was knocked off my feet all over again. I also saw a LOT of things that seem almost like a blue print for House in Season 7, and especially the finale – his anger was there, his resentment towards the way Cuddy and Wilson treated him, towards their negative (!) expectations, while at the same time showing us that he loves and appreciates them and is tied to them emotionally. Also, his resentment of his inability to do what even Alvie managed: to find someone, or to move on. Any consequences of that resentment were put on hold, though, because Cuddy showed up in “Help Me”. And now we finally got the consequences at the end of this year’s finale.

    @60 plus – Very well said. I’ve never understood the hatred against the creative team, I never will, and these enourmous wish lists are just begging to be disappointed, because how could they even. Seriously guys, it is so much easier to watch the show with an open mind instead of caging yourself in with mountains of expectations of what they should do.

  • Bea

    “it is possible that was House the one who not come back to this hospital and call his team to work in another place…it could leave an open door for Cuddy’s return at some point!”


    Nice guess. This would be clever way to sort it out. Might be a solution to call themselves out of this mess. IDK about the legal consequences of what he’s done though. I’m not even sure what would happen here in Italy. If Cuddy for instance press charges but then decides to take them back that would make it all alright? What about his medical license? Shouldn’t it be removed anyway?

  • Bea


    I might have given you the wrong impression I’m afraid. In first place, you’re right. I don’t think House is all tenderness-underneath-the-jackass-surface either. As Barbara said, the fact that he’s a jerk and as Hugh Laurie said not necessary a good person at times, or not behaving like one, is the bottom line to all of it. But this being said, it’s the potential behind the surface I think audience is usually interested in. As Barbara put it, the struggle to do the right thing; the right thing IN House’s universe, which might not be equal to do the nicest, if you get what I mean. House has his own ethics and yet at times in the past we happened to be won over by this ethic ’cause he keeps being this strange sort of anticonventional hero who might not win his world’s shympathy and compassion, ’cause he’s regarded as a jerk, but will always have our understanding. I think there’s really not so much to add to what Barbara wrote. The key for me, the one they should watch for, is keeping the character from falling from his own state of grace, if you allow me using this line. If we stop indentifying with him and his pain and part of the audience began seeing him as a phsycho maniac they might have a problem.

    I don’t think fans had a stupid reaction to this finale at all. I respect the ones who liked it and find it a nice one, but I disagree and I think each one has a right to. For me, there was too much POTW for instance. I wished I had seen more of House’s inner struggle. Sometimes I had the feeling Yaitanes prefered aestethically beautiful angles to deeply emotional ones capable of capturing Hugh’s expressions; everything he usually does to make us feel the character and guess his feelings without wasting a single word. I didn’t get the flashbacks thing moreover. Usually, these kind of narrative devices are meant to build up the tension until a final shocking revelation, but it’s also true that in the end the pieces of the puzzle should be meant to fit together once more giving you a whole new different picture of it all, which I didn’t see this time. All the dramatism with Lisa seated on the edge of the pavement, covered with a blanket, shaking, ambulances, elicopters and so on….IDK didn’t find it realistic. I wasn’t there with her. Not at all. At last, and this is just one of the many things I didn’t like about this ep, for instance one major inconsistency for me: Julia. Now, we know she lives miles away from Lisa, in another city (season 5, Unfaithful if I remember correctly); now how come this season, even if the woman has threee kids and a husband, she stops by Cuddy so often?! And her husband? What was that Sunday? You see this show has never been like this. Like not explaining the little stuff that make it all fits. And that’s bothers me.

    Anyway, one thing I’d like to stress out here, cause sometimes I feel being a Huddy around here (I don’t mean this blog, I mean in the community) by not Huddy fans might be seen as a minues rather than a plus or just a peference. I fear I might give the wrong impression, so if Barbara allow me this brief parentesis….I know many who are very smart and not at all all just-give-us-some-lovey-dovey-melting-kiss-and-we-will-be-happy. I don’t jusdge eps on the basis of it. Huddy is an ingredient. There are many. I do believe it’s one of the main ones, but that doesn’t mean and I judge an episode by the fact that House and Cuddy make out, are happy or unhappy. I loved Bombshells and even if I found some musicals bits to be inserted a litttle randomly that one remains one of my fav eps ever. Hugh and Lisa in the end moved me to tears. And this is what I look for: feeling the character. As Hugh Laurie said, as long as it’s well written and makes sense and I can feel it, I’m in for this ride.

    This being said, on to season 7, I agree with you Barbara. I myself liked many many eps this season. It’s not all bad at all. Maybe not the best, but there are some I deeply love. Selfish for instance (God I miss the clinic) and the good Huddy humor of which we have been deprived I’m afraid even during the Huddy-relationship; I loved Two Stories and I think After Hours one of the best this season. And then A Pox on Our House and Family Practice. Of course, I know some are gonna say those are all Huddy eps somehow, but here’s the thing, cause I do believe Huddy, or if you wish, the chemistry Hugh and Lisa used to share, make some eps better than others, for better of for worse, they’ve been working together for so long, it’s inevitable they spark brighter when acting together IMO. Just my opinion of course.
    Anyway, it’s not like cause you’re a Huddy you can’t enjoy when House MD is all gloominess and back to its old ways. Under My Skin and Both Sides Now are amongst my fav eps of all times and they are seriously shattering; but I can appreciate and love by bits also eps like Broken which is a pearl IMO or Changes, which I found a very good, emotional one (love House-13 dynamic)
    Out of the Chute was very housian to my mind, cause they showed us the contrast between old House who would have wasted himself to death and be ready to kick asses the day after, burying his pain so deep one would ever guess he was bleeding, and the new one who had changed so much not even the puzzles excited him anymore; hookers and alchool, pervy, risky games or not he’s been changed from within (whatever Shore keeps selling us, for God knows what reason).

    With regard to season 8 I’ll be watching of course. I mean, I even have a website on Hugh Laurie, so how couldn’t I? I admire the man’s work and I’ve been loving this show for too long for giving up now. Of course, as I said, it won’t be the same. I feel betrayed somehow. Some choices they made I won’t ever understand or agree with. As I said, my problem is that I can’t find the loose threads anymore and collect them together giving a meaning to what happened during the last two years. I’m ok with one step forward and two step backwards as a rule, but I guess I just can’t see how this time. I have a problem with the reasons behind it they gave us, not the concept per se.

    I’d love to see Nolan back BTW. Some great external figure who might give us new hints on House’s phychology (Baggage was the hell of an episode).

    May I add to the list I wish Wilson would gain in protagonism next season? I feel like he’s been a little bit underestimated as a character, ending up being just House “best friend”, his love consultant, when instead RSL can be so much more than this. And for God’s sake, I want another Amber on this show.

    Plus one to the Wishing Lisa for Season 8: Plz, plz Shore…enough with Taub as a womanizer. Ok I got it….he’s a sex machine 😛 Plz….moving on.

  • RedTulip_Ana

    When I talked before about House not comming back to PPTH, i said it because really it will be a big problem. Cuddy created this departament specific for him, in fact she had to defend a lot of times the need of it. So, even, TPTB try to fix House with the justice…How could they allow House back there? I just thinking about House working in other place or even creating his own departament on jail…well just thinking in the way they could fix the situation without Cuddy, who is the one who really ever wanted this diagnostic team…I don’t know, maybe, even being Lisa Edelstein the one leaving, for the show it is possible that was House the one who not come back to this hospital and call his team to work in another place…it could leave an open door for Cuddy’s return at some point!

  • 60 plus

    I do not envy the showrunners and writers as they prepare for season 8. I’m sure that when they wrote the last few episodes of season 7, they had at least a general understanding of where they’d pick up the post-crash story in September–probably having a strong suspicion that it might be the last season.

    But since they wrapped up the writing on season 7, two major events have happened, either of which alone could have thrown their plans out the window. The departure of Lisa Edelstein in and of itself was certainly a devastating surprise, and the resulting reaction of many viewers to her leaving only compounded the situation. And the unexpected controversy over the ending of the finale–no matter whether because of the writing, the direction, the editing or a combination thereof–has presented them with another unforeseen hurdle to overcome.

    And now, each of us who follow the show brings our own expectations to season 8. Just the ones I’ve read would probably take two or three seasons to cover adequately. I could easily see a scenario where it could take a whole season just to deal with the legal, professional and relationships fallout from the crash.

    But we fans are often a greedy, hungry bunch. In addition to resolving the issues stemming from the season 7 finale, we want all the dropped story lines picked up and resolved, from Wilson’s brother to House’s father. We want House to deal with his drug problem…or, as he would put it, his pain problem. We want House and Wilson to work on their relationship. We want closure for House, Cuddy (and Rachel). We want someone who truly appreciates House for himself. Each of us has our own idea of how the Dean of Medicine vacancy should be handled. We want more clinic patients and more House music.The list goes on. And we not only expect them to do all of this, but we expect them to do it all “in depth,” giving each issue the time and devoted attention we think it deserves.

    As I said at the beginning, I don’t envy the creative team. I’m even afraid for them. Afraid that there’s no way they can win, because the viewer expectations are so diverse and there is a limited number of episodes in a season. And there is the very real possibility that this is the last season they have to do the impossible task!

    Even taking all of this into account, I am really looking forward to season 8. But I am also sad, and not only because it will probably be the last season. I have loved this show since its beginning and I have enjoyed participating in my first-ever “fandom.” I believe I will continue to love the show, because I try to keep my own expectations as low as possible (I’m only human–I do have some!) and go with whatever the creative team gives me as we continue the remarkable journey of Gregory House. So far, I have never been seriously disappointed. My sadness stems from the extreme polarization in the fandom and what I see as an increased sense that “TPTB” are somehow enemies whose motives are suspect instead of the team that is far from perfect but which for seven years has brought us one of the most memorable characters and one of the highest quality shows ever to grace a TV screen–even at its worst.

    If in fact season 8 is the last season for House, I know that everyone, including TPTB, the actors, the crew and all of us want it to be a great one. I may be naive, but I hope we can acknowledge the difficulties the writers faced–no matter what the cause–and give them a chance–cut them some slack–when September rolls around. For me, that would be a great way to start the season.

  • Djes

    42 – Channel Surfer
    I agree about Wilson, this guy annoys me since season 6, I’d like to see House with another friend or someone to talk like Dr. Nolan.

    43 – Stephanie
    My first wish for this season!
    Brink back mamma House and introduce daddy House (my dream : jack nicholson in the show!)
    I’m waiting for this storyline since season 5!
    Let Taub, 13 and the others in a test tube, for the last season, I don’t want to endure boring personal storylines.
    It’s a show about House and I only want to watch interactions with House/the team/the patient/Dr Nolan or someone else/the new dean of medicine/and his mother and biological father.
    I bet that Wilson will be in the background next season.

  • Gerone

    I’ve re-watched most of Season 7 a couple of times hoping my feelings would change after each viewing. Each time, I understand better House’s fears, his anger, his pain, his frustrations, his sense of personal failure. It’s also funny how three weeks later, that silly hairbrush still has my mind clicking. As others have already mentioned, House kept it which means he had not really let go of Cuddy. And where he kept it is significant – on a high shelf in plain sight – given that House values those things he collects precisely because they evoke feelings that he wants to remember. For him to have put that brush there meant that he wanted to remember Cuddy, or rather, the better moments of their time together. This was not hatred at all. So I am slowly beginning to inch toward believing that what happened during the last minutes of the season finale was an eruption of internalized rage and disillusionment that had been simmering for years (perhaps since childhood?) until coming to the forefront during the self-surgery in “After Hours” and ultimately achieving critical mass, so to speak, at the end of “Moving On.” And I’m inclined to assume that when the Vicodin, booze, and whatever possible damage caused from the experimental drug wear off, the so-called “peace” that House is experiencing now will eventually give way to a horrible remorse that’s going to engulf him as never before. At some point in the future, he will surely be stricken with a sickening epiphany concerning the extensive collateral damage caused by his unregulated destructive outburst.

    While I’m still having all kinds of trouble with how the relationship between House and Cuddy played out, the bottom line is that they both screwed up royally. I’m not going to beat a dead horse further by rehashing the details of who did what to whom and what the intent was of House’s actions. Now, my main concern moves to what happens next for House and the series. And that is quite a pickle. I know it sounds harsh, but as a result of his “snap,” I hope House finds himself out of Vicodin, lonely and bored out of his mind in his little “paradise,” assuming he really did manage to escape to some tropical oasis. I hope he detoxes of his own free will and comes back to face the music of his own accord. And I hope he does do some jail time for his actions. Unless it is deemed that there was something medically wrong that caused him to act impulsively, he needs to finally grow up and face the consequences. Maybe then House can repair the friendships that he so badly damaged. I think even the team will be leery of working with him again if he is that unstable. The enabling has to stop, and I think as a fan, that is where I’m at too. I can no longer call myself a House apologist in good conscience. The respect that I lost for House due to his actions in the finale can be regained if he “does the right thing.” But if he is let off the hook with a “she drove me to it” excuse I cannot feel bad for him since, in the end, we’re all accountable for our own actions.

    My hopes for House ride on TPTB rediscovering the man who sat with Nash in “Lockdown” until he passed on so that he would not die alone in his hospital bed. I need to see the man who calmly de-escalated the cat-and-mouse games with Cuddy after the trip wire incident in “The Greater Good” and who had control of himself after Lucas tripped him in the cafeteria in “Moving the Chains.” That man had anger but knew not to act on it. I want the guy who drove the Foreman boys back together and got Thirteen her license back. Show me the House who expressed his emotions through his music and who through his excruciating self-inflicted pain was still able to play “pirate” with Rachel so that she would not worry about him. That man has to still be in there somewhere. But he has been betrayed by his own volatile emotions which run quite deep. I remember that promo poster of House lying there with his chest ripped open and his heart exposed. Now we know what that meant. He exposed his heart, and it will never fully heal no matter how hard he tries to sew it closed. For this, I continue sympathizing with House in-spite of his actions. Since Cuddy appears to be out of the picture for the foreseeable future, I will not make myself crazy wasting time on all the ways she was to blame for this whole mess given that House brought much of this on himself as well. He most certainly could have done the little things that are expected in a relationship. But the bottom line is how on earth does he express remorse to Cuddy, or will he ever do it? How does he reconnect with the team, get his job back and most importantly find himself again? If we are expected to believe that he is cleansed by the crash and this is the real House, I will be gone in a hurry next season. I think House has to take responsibility if he is ever to heal. And I think he needs to understand why he “snapped.” I do wish that Cuddy could come back as I think that she does have to look at herself in the mirror, too. “I just need to know if you and I can work” and “You are always gonna be the most incredible man I have ever met” were her words. Despite House’s initial warnings, she couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie regarding her romantic aspirations for him.

    I keep thinking of what House’s legal defense will be in court. He can’t use his latest self-inflicted injury for sympathy without looking insane or say that he was on drugs for pain relief without admitting that he was driving while high. So that mitigates a temporary insanity plea. And the fact that he stopped his car and thought about it before turning around could be used by any decent prosecutor as premeditation. House’s lawyer could argue that he was just going to go back, get Wilson and man up with Cuddy, but at the point he accelerated his car and steered purposely toward her home, it was a willful act in the eyes of the law. The defense cannot use the “I was out of my head” strategy without mentioning the drugs and the fact that House should not have been driving in that condition with a badly compromised leg. So maybe his previous stint in Mayfield ends up helping him, but he would likely be put back there during sentencing. I also keep wondering how TPTB can realistically explain how, within the span of a few months from what occurred in the season final, House can return to PPTH from whatever legal difficulties he will definitely encounter with his medical career intact and his old job waiting for him now that Cuddy is gone. I guess it’s possible that with the help of a brilliant, Johnnie Cochran-like lawyer, House manages to avoid jail time or is sentenced to just a couple of months. But then, how could he get his license back, especially after his mental breakdown of Season 5? In fact, why would the new Dean of Medicine and/or the high muckety-mucks of PPTH even consider re-hiring House when someone like Foreman would be more than willing to run the Department of Diagnostic Medicine with his former mentor once again out of the picture? I expect lots of dramatic license will be used to explain the messy consequences of House’s destructive antics. Shore and the writers sure have their work cut out for them.

  • Stephanie

    What about House his biological father? And we haven’t seen his mum for a while either. I’d like to know more about House’s background, his childhood, why he become who he is now.

  • Channel Surfer

    The only way Lisa Edelstein is going to be invited back to the show as a regular is if SHE gives in and takes the pay/episode cut. The network – or whomever signs the paychecks – just cannot cave in like that; it would set a precedent that they cannot afford.

    Also, many people have stated that over the past two years her character has changed dramatically, and I agree with that assessment. So, here’s the question: If she DID come back, what could they possibly do with her character? Do you think they should completely strip away the last vestiges of her dignity and have her forgive House for endangering herself and her family, and destroying her home? I certainly don’t see that happening. And I don’t want to spend the next 20+ episodes watching the two of them verbally bitch-slap each other to the exclusion of all else. That would be worse than watching the train wreck which was Huddy and post-Huddy (a/k/a “Season 7”).

    Lisa Edelstein did the right thing for all of the right reasons. We should all just wish her well and move on.

    And I have to agree with Barbara: Wilson has not been a good friend to House these past couple of seasons. Other than not taking out the trash, I don’t see why House always seemed to be “in trouble” with Cuddy, but Wilson wasted no time in blaming House every time Cuddy pouted. I think House should dump Wilson and start cruising with Chase (kudos to whomever mentioned that previously) or even Taub. At least he’d have a lot more fun than sitting around listening to his “best friend” call him an idiot, ad infinitum.

  • pawpaw

    TPTB should bring back Dr Kate Milton (the shrink) from Season 4 (Frozen). There were INMHO sparks between them PLUS she totally got House (as well as Wilson!).

  • Great comments, everyone. Jules, you raise some very interesting/thought provoking points. Interesting to view the last part of the season metaphorically!

    I like the idea of House turning up on Wilson’s door and being turned over to the cops, Oversimplified. It would fit and be fitting.

  • Oversimplified

    Thanks for this Barbara. I share pretty much all of your hopes for season 8 and all your disappointments with season 7.

    It occurred to me the other day that the hairbrush which was used in ‘Moving On’ is actually a microcosmic example of what was wrong with a lot of season. (Bear with me!) Thinking back to the latter episodes of seasons 4, 5 and 6 it was the tiny details that made them really special. Look at the way the writers weaved the amber necklace, Cuddy’s lipstick/the vicodin bottle and Cuddy’s grandfather’s medical tome seamlessly into the narrative, and utilized them as clues into which was actually happening, as well profound insights into House’s psyche. Yes of course you can argue that the hairbrush was something that the protagonist was holding on to as a symbol of him clinging on helplessly to the coat-tails of the relationship, but it’s primary function was as a rather unsatisfactory macguffin that caused, or rather, forced House to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sidestepping slightly I’m glad ‘Family Practice’ has been discussed here. Alongside ‘After Hours’ it probably is the best episode of the season if only because Peter Blake absolutely nails both House and Cuddy in it. House threatening to end Masters’ medical career if she tells Arlene about the treatment is completely in character to me. That’s always been the dynamic of the character to some extent. The audience might not agree with what he does, but they can often understand his actions, and furthermore you’re forced to question whether or not you’d do the same in his shoes. This is where the decision to have House drive his car into Cuddy’s falls down. The writers have always been so brilliant at presenting challenging ethical issues and forcing the fans to empathise with the characters in situations that on the surface are outright morally reprehensible. This time, however, all they did was alienate a significant number of people, because the punishment really didn’t fit the crime, even in House’s skewed view of the universe.

    To me a lot of this season has seemed superficial owing to much of the focus being on the ‘wrapping’ (the direction/visual effects) rather than the actual ‘content’ (the writing/characterization), and has perhaps stemmed from the TPTB becoming extraordinarily insular in their attitudes to both the show and the fans. Whilst I agree that it’s their show to choose the direction in which it goes, I do think that constructive criticism is just that, constructive. Pride comes before a fall, but the true test of someone’s mettle is how they pick themselves up, dust themselves down and carry on. The parallels between the showrunners and House right now are almost ridiculous!

    I really do hope that they manage to bring LE back into the fold at some point, even if I’m not holding my breath. In my opinion House needs to face head on what he’s done, because if we are clinging onto any resemblance to reality Cuddy isn’t going to have skipped off into the sunset with Rachel, gotten married and adopted another 27 children. She’s going to be traumatized in a way that would affect her ability to enter future relationships, her relationship with Rachel and maybe even her work life for a long time. What about her daughter too? Has Cuddy intimated at all what happened to her, or was she just whisked away without really knowing what happened? All these things need to be addressed I believe, and could be done so in way that makes use of the way the Cuddy/House dynamic has been turned upside down, whilst exploring a sensitive topic in a manner which is both befitting and dramatic. No more game-playing. Just absolute brutal honesty.

    I do believe that Wilson is going to be exceptionally hard to write for next season. Almost more so than anybody else. Him instantly forgiving his best friend just isn’t going to fly with anybody really. I can actually envisage season 8 starting with House turning up on Wilson’s doorstep, him opening the door and instantly punching him in the face before debating with himself whether or not to hand him into the police. He should really. For House’s own good as much as anybody else’s.

    I do agree that House needs another person in his life though, aside from the new dean. Maybe not a friend necessarily, but someone like Nolan who challenged him in ways he hadn’t been challenged before. In many ways his biological father could fit the bill, as someone who he’s obviously inherited his intellect from, along with a number of his neuroses, but who’s world view is practically polar opposite to his own, and yet who as he gets to know he comes to respect and maybe even like.

    There are a number of possibilities for the upcoming season. I just hope they do it justice to be honest.

  • Jules

    Great ideas there Barbara

    Sorry if most of these comments are off topic for your current blog entry but it will hopefully lead into making sense as a whole.

    I interpreted the H&C breakup more as a metaphor for House being thrown out of the nest and then the rest of the season them testing him to see if he would sink or swim without his usual support system (Wilson and especially Cuddy) in their rightful place.

    Initially he became the arrogant rebellious teenager who flaunted his new found freedom in their faces as if to say “I don’t need you, I can cope on my own” and tried desperately to conceal his emotions but gradually as he became more self-destructive he was starting to question that maybe he was wrong about going it alone but he was too stubborn and scared to ask or accept their help because he deemed it as failure on his part until the self-surgery rocked him to his core.

    Come finale he had decided to try and eliminate his emotions out of his life and move forward with his rational mind only and so he plucked up the courage to state to Cuddy that he wanted things to return to normal, as in going back to when she was his boss and the stable authority figure in his life and the person that he trusted most but sans emotional relationship. She had already figured out after the breakup however that “You cannot go backwards” so of course she wanted them to move forward by them revealing what they were feeling to each other post relationship and why he had done what he did to his leg but this was not what he had planned and he became more and more frustrated and angry. I don’t think he was angry at the fact that Cuddy had moved on per se but that she had lied to him about doing so.

    I interpreted the ending as another metaphor, one of acceptance. This was him being driven solely by the emotions that he had been trying so hard to supress and so by crashing his car into her house he was actually releasing these emotions and destroying any possible future relationship of any sorts between them and so was now flying independently.


    So come season 8:-

    Deal with the crash – He will obviously have to deal with the consequences of his actions and I think putting him in jail for a while could be a good learning curve for him and an interesting angle for the writers to explore.

    Give House a real friend – I would love to see him interacting with someone outside of his circle for a several episode arc and they could make this happen with a fellow jail bird. I loved “Broken” and how he interacted with the other characters and especially how he connected with Alvie and Lydia so anything on these lines have my interest.

    Deal with the pain/drugs issue – This is definitely something that they have got to explore more, I still don’t get whether his pain is exacerbated by his emotions so he takes more vicodin or he takes more vicodin to numb his feelings since they have shown him vicodin free and only returning to it when he is emotional turmoil.

    I’d like to see of House’s serious side – Seasons 6 and 7 have either had the most boring patients they have ever had or I am mostly bored with them because House is mostly bored with them also since they took the focus away from them so they could have House interact with his personal relationships more, whatever it is they tried to do, it didn’t work and they definitely need that interaction back.
    House the troubled genius is what I watch the show for and I miss him not being the smartest man in the room and not being interested in the cases so they definitely need to focus more on that for me to continue as a viewer.

    Music has always been for House an emotional language – So agree, they had so many opportunities towards the end of this season to show us how he was feeling through his music and chose not to do so, why?.

    Make Wilson House’s real ally instead of his Jiminy Cricket – There was a shift at the end of this season with House refusing all of Wilson’s advice and him becoming aggravated from Wilson’s interference in his personal life until the bang at the end so I don’t think they can ignore this going forward.

    My wish for season 8 (assuming it is the last season) is that they are going to properly explore the character of House, why has he become the way he is? His genius was obviously not nurtured and he was abused to an extent by his father but this cannot be all the character is?

  • Jane E: I actually liked a whole lot of Season 7. I’m re-watching the entire season right now for the first time, and really enjoying it. I do not think the season finale was terrible at all. I was shocked at the final couple minutes and feel what House did–as it was shown on screen seemed reprehensible.

    Had we been given the opportunity to see House’s face as he drove the car, my opinion might have been different. To me that was the only part of the episode that seemed off to me. That and the tropical island scene, which I not convinced was real.

    I did not dislike the season at all. I think there were no “wow” episodes (including “Bombshells”) except for “After Hours,” which left me breathless. So did the finale (again, which I like a lot until the final couple minutes, which left me very, very uncomfortable (and maybe they were supposed to do that.) To me the “wow” episodes leave me breathless with their impact and poignancy.

  • Jane E

    Great article Barbara, you have many good points throughout. I like how you brought up recession proof and then next week throwing the break up at us. That is how I felt at the time it was force upon us too quickly. I agree with you that if they can’t get Lisa back, they need to finish the storyline out. As for the cut backs, your idea about the openings is excellent. People would hate me but I would get rid of Taub and end that ridiculous storyline. Bottom line is they did a terrible job with the finale and you are so right about having a big hole to dig out of. I really hope they get back on track because House was the best written show on television with an absolutely amazing cast. I sort of laughed when David Shore was asked a question about the show’s success and said Hugh Laurie’s Blue eyes, well I hate to tell Mr Shore, I love Hugh Laurie and his eyes, but they will not carry you through season 8 without unless he makes some positive changes in the script and storyline.

  • hwl40

    Barbara, not only are you wonderful but you’ve got stamina! Thanks for the thoughtful way you approach this character that connects with us on such an elemental (your word) level.

    From your keys to David Shores ears!

  • Kim in California

    I’d have to agree with a lot of what you wrote. By redemption, I think they need to make us believe that House absolutely knew when he drove into the dinning room that it was empty. It would still be reprehensible, but at least the viewer would feel more comfortable with House being redeemed.

    I’d like to see Lily Tomlin as the new Dean, but I’m opened to others. I am not that thrilled about Katie Jacobs directing since I wasn’t as impressed with her episodes as you were, although I think after the finale, GY should be sent back to directing and editing 101. Katie Jacobs, as a producer, could have stopped this fiasco, but didn’t. I also think that they should have stopped on the 22nd episode which was the best of the season. But no, they wanted to go out with some ‘action’ and blew it royally. So I agree, stop the blockbuster scenes and get back to what made House great, good storytelling.

  • HouseMDFan–Yes, of course he is a jerk: that is his default position and his outer persona. We all know that. He is stubborn, he is bitter and cynical and all of the things you say. But what has kept him sympathetic are those things he takes great pains to hide from his colleagues. I’m not romanticizing him. He’s a dark character. What’s intriguing to me, however is what’s underneath that (sometimes far underneath it).

  • bigHousefan

    Barbara –

    I lobe your wishlist, it echoes my own. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MIRA SORVINO BACK AS CATE AS DEAN OF MEDICINE!

    Have a great summer!

  • HouseMDFan

    Nope, I tried, but I don’t want to let that one go. Barbara, Bea – if you seriously think that #15 is an accurate description of House, then I don’t know what show you have been watching, but it’s not “House”.

    Take just this: the man who secretly loves the children, the disabled and minorities
    House has no use for either of them if they are dull, and he has no problem showing them that. What he is interested in (which is something very different from loving them by the way) are some of the outsiders, regardless of their label. Not out of the goodness of his heart, but because they are different from the boring “normal” people, because they are a puzzle, or because they impress him somehow, or because he sees a connection there, a part of himself. (Which is also why, NO, he would not be a good father, because he’d loath the normal day-to-day stuff, all the things he’d have to do and all the commitments he’d have to make for that. He is exactly NOT the guy at home with Rachel, prepping her for school, Cuddy was very right about that.) Maybe some of this is what the original poster wanted to say, but what came out is pure sugar. (Come to think of it, that whole thing sounds a bit like S1 Cameron…)

    What is missing from this description on the other hand is a real acknowledgement of his dark sides. His pride and stubbornness for example, his addiction and obsessiveness, his self-loathing, his inability to commit and compromise, manipulating people instead of being honest with them, his bitterness and misanthropic outlook, his potential to hurt others, and, lo and behold, his potential for anger and punishment, which has been there from season 1.

    It is kind of amazing that you are all about “accepting” House while at the same time romanticizing him so much. Though it does explain why you still can’t see how problematic “Recession Proof” was, how much this actually contributed to their break-up.

    All of this is not to say that I wouldn’t like to see some generous House again, or some teaching House, or some brave House. He can be all of these things, and I love seeing them, but I’ve always loved his numerous contradictions and ambivalences too much to even want him to just be that person with the secret golden heart.

  • Oo

    i agree with all you’ve said #16 blacktop esp. about bringing in a new dean to replace Cuddy when she is the only one who can keep House in line as no other hospital wants to hire him. anyways great article Barbara!!

  • Srsly?

    I badly want Allison Janney to come to the show now. That would be wonderful!

  • Amy

    #21 Excellent diagnosis

  • Thanks Barbara for THIS! I really like it.

    I am still sad and disappointed like many others about this season, the non-explored relationship between House and Cuddy (losing a lot of oportunities for make it a real chance for making this complex character a little happier), the way they transform Cuddy in a shadow of herself, the road of House going down to the hell since their (still) incomprehensible break-up, the new vicodin presence, the way Wilson act with House after the break-up (like a child with absurd bets)…well, they way they ended with all…and of course the way TPTB let go Lisa Edelstein of this show.

    But, like I said at another post…I hope after the summer I can see all of this in another way…

    I just want to highlight some of your sentences:

    – Througought their Season 7 relationship, House is driven by fear; Cuddy by ambivalence
    It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
    – Cuddy’s basic understanding of House seemed to have fled.
    – House often being more obnoxious than usual with patients and with his team.
    I never doubted that House and Cuddy would break up. But should it have come when it did, when House seemed to have come to a new understanding about their relationship (Recession Proof)?
    – The one thing I do wish is that the exploration of the House-Cuddy relationship might have dug a little deeper into the psyche of each character.

    – So where has Season 7’s controversial ending left us as a lead in to Season 8? “Now what?”
    – And will fans continue to care about him if that’s where he remains?
    – House is a compelling character because he tries to do the right thing.
    – We need to see House dealing with the legal, personal and professional ramifications of his actions

    Find a way to bring back Lisa Edelstein.
    – Cuddy is part of the show’s foundation—and could have been a key to House’s road back.
    – Given the fan reaction to her departure and the controversial ending to the season, Edelstein’s return – whatever it costs the network to do it – would be a balm to many fans of the show. Which leads me to this next wish, and perhaps a way to free up some of that cut budget…

    (Here, thanks Barbara, for share the link to Variety AD for LisaE )

    – Cut back on the blockbuster sequences.
    – They are great if they are meaningful to the story

    – Give House a real friend.
    – House rants with barely-concealed anger about the way in which both she and Wilson constantly lecture him on his life choice.

    Be careful in choosing a new dean of medicine.

    Yes, Barbara, this point is very important. And it could be another point of disappointment if they choose the incorrect person. At this point, I really don´t want if they try to hire an strong woman for the Cuddy´s seat…mmm…I can´t buy it, sorry. I think, this is the only point I don´t agree with you.

    – Deal with the pain/drugs issue.
    – I’d like to see a return to House the musician (YES, please!)
    – I would love to see Wilson become the truly supportive friend he can be

    But like any series going into its eighth season, some getting back to basics – the things that have always made this series great on so many level – may be needed. And with the departure of a principal cast member – and the direction taken with the Season 7 finale, it’s probably more important than ever.

    That is! Thanks again to you for giving us this place! Also, I want to let you a question: Are you sure House will be back to the PPTH? I mean that in relation to the need of a new dean of medicine. Maybe he/she is not necessary…

  • I don’t think Nolan could be Dean (Braugher has his own TV show as well, so he’d not likely be available in any event for long stints). Interesting thought, though I don’t think I can see House’s doctor and boss being one and the same.

  • BrokenLeg

    20 @Max Durdy
    23 @Barbara Barnett

    Bringing back Dr. Nolan is a great idea, but I do not think he fullfilled the Dean role.

  • I just thought Nolan was such a great character – someone who didn’t take any of House’s mindgames. In the ‘Broken’ commentary, Katie Jacobs mentions how they needed a character, and an actor, who seemed imposing and on a level playing field to House.In the second half of this season, we have slowly seen House self destruct – and seen the need for some stability. The season 6 episode ‘Baggage’ was, for me, an incredible episode, and I would love to see Nolan used in similar effect in Season 8.
    It would be much easier than introducing another new character, who attempts to heal House, as well as the new Dean of Medicine.

  • Max: Great idea to bring back Dr. Nolan. House really needs him now.

  • Just watching “Family Practice” again and I recognize how great this episode is. All of the things that make House great are in it. The ethical struggle, House’s emotional struggle and a great medical case.

    Great stuff!

  • BrokenLeg

    Thank you Barbara for your new thread. It’s a brilliant summary of back seven season ( as always condescending a little the writers….) , and resume all my thoughts about possible next season. And full of faith in the days to come!!

    I subscribe entirely your wish list for next season, with great fervor these three:

    a)finding a way to bring back LE: They must try the hardest. ( I’m quite sure that they finally will do, and because all the fandom turmoil, “someone” will surrender and give up, be her departure because money, artistic reasons or LE involving in “leftie” causes. And I bet it will be an entire and final season arch, maybe involving little Rachel in some way ) And BTW, Bravo to LE fans!! Awesome people!

    b)Cut back all the blockbuster sequences: And monster trucks, rockets on parks, hookers festivals, jumping from balconies, car crashes, etc..Please, please and please!! If someone wants to do that, go to another show.

    c)Be careful choosing a new Dean: To avoid completely any possible flirtation (Please, no!!!) if the Dean is a woman, how about bringing a much maternal figure, a well written ( being written female characters as they are in this show it seems impossible to me) but older female doctor, pacifier one, healing one. As Helen Mirren can be. Someone House can finally admire and someone that can understand Greg House as he is and by all he is, free of past prejudices.

    And I add one more wish : Do not center all the scenes in 13, and cut the Taub’s stories. Both are boring.

    I just add another wish to the list : the writers and directors, please, center their efforts in their own jobs to do it better than lately, and “do less twitter” to mock fans. Part of the anger of the fandom probably is related to the way GY and others have expressed (so rudely) their opinions to fans. And they received back the same medicine. Stop all of these. As Gandhi said, eye by eye, and the world will be blind.

    And just add that it’s difficult to me to give faith to the writers-directors team, and wait and see season 8. Even in my “half full glass” optimistic way of thinking. The hole they’ve dug for Greg House is now so deep, and he is so out of character, that there are a very few space for any kind of faith.

    Thanks again, Barbara. Have a good summer hiatus. Although if I’ll not watch [H], I will continue reading your blog. And I hope a final version of Chasing Zebras, when [H] finally ends.

  • Great list, Barbara. I think that Season 7 has been a very good season – not necessarily one of the best, but I can’t help feeling it has been unfairly judged by some fans. Such episodes as ‘After Hours’, ‘Bombshells’ and ‘A Pox on our House’ were some of my favourite episodes over the last few years; both because of their diversity and the way they revealed new things about the characters we have loved for so long.
    There’s just something I slightly disagree with. You seem to knock Wilson. Now, I’m not saying he’s a perfect friend – at times, he can be too preachy. However, I think Wilson, given who House is, is an excellent friend the majority of the time. Friendships are about being able to get things from one another – about trust. And, while it annoys me that Wilson goes crying to Cuddy too often, Wilson has always been there for House whenever he needed him.
    I suppose what I’m saying is that, while Wilson isn’t perfect, the only reason he’s advising House on how to move on, is because House needs help. As friends, both Wilson and House tell each other when they feel they have made mistakes.
    Another idea would be to bring back Andre Braugher as Dr. Nolan. I really enjoyed his character, and I feel that House could really use some connection, after such an horrific break up. Also, the episodes he was in during Season 6 were excellent, and I think it could smooth the transition to a life without Cuddy.
    Thanks for the blog Barbara! Keep writing.

  • Amie

    And bring back the clinic!!!

  • josie

    I’d like to see House receive closure with issues from his mother. Although he always claimed that he hated John House, he must have a lot of rage towards his mother. She allowed him to be abused. She lied to him about his paternity. It’s time to have Diane Baker back!

  • Bea–thank you for sharing that. That’s a beautifully put description of the character I love.

    Marykir: good adds to the list.

  • blacktop

    TPTB need to take the avalanche of criticism seriously, pull up their creative socks, and bring out their best for the next season. If they delude themselves that all the hullabaloo is just a tiny faction of frustrated Huddies, then they will miss their opportunity to turn the show around.

    The “House” show runners and writers are just like all the rest of us: if they are told that what they did in season 7 was great stuff, they will continue to do it for season 8. If, on the other hand, they get constructive criticism that addresses real concerns, they might, just might, listen and take it to heart.

    I think it is perfectly alright that those of us — fans and critics alike — who love the show offer stout criticism in our opinions. Depending upon the opinion of the viewer, that criticism can and should include disagreement with the creative choices made by the showrunners. That opinion can also be supportive of the choices of TPTB. Offering alternate viewpoints and counter-factual plotlines, we can highlight that what we got in season 7 was indeed a series of creative choices made by Shore and Co. There was nothing inevitable or inescapable about the direction they chose for the show. The characters and stories are creations without independent life. They go in whatever directions the showrunners choose and those creative directions are certainly open to examination and criticism, in my opinion.

    For me, I hope fervently that they decide upfront that season 8 is the last one and then drive with singular purpose toward that end. They should drop the sloppy inconsistencies in details of time, location, motivation, and character that plagued the show in season seven.

    No more mysterious rat drugs that only affect one leg muscle. No more ridiculous green-card bride plot. Why was the restaurant in “Unwritten” called Dominica’s, just like House’s new wife? Why did Cuddy lose all of her robust and quirky humor this season?

    For House, no more jumping off balconies or riding in monster trucks or talking lewdly with school kids. If House is physically injured let him stay incapacitated for more than a few hours or days, sheesh!

    How about a return to some actual humor that is witty, adult, clever, substantial, and hilarious. (Clinic, we hardly saw you!) Humor that does not depend on Taub’s height or sexual prowess, or Chase’s skirt chasing, or Foreman’s supposed arrogance, or Thirteen’s non-existant lesbian love life.

    Dump the ludicrous Taub twins storyline and bring on some real plots for Chase and Foreman. These excellent actors have been wasted long enough. Keep Thirteen in the background where she can be both poignant and effective as a mirror and sounding board for House in small (really small) controlled doses. Keep Wilson angry and estranged from House for more than one episode. Wilson should express sustained horror and revulsion at House’s violence toward Cuddy.

    I beg the writers to address House’s vidocin addiction with the non-exploitative care it needs. He is in pain, he needs to be in a pain management treatment program, he needs to be back in talk therapy as well as physical therapy. I realize this stuff is grinding and neither glamourous nor photogenic, but I think a realistic portrayal of House working on his issues would be compelling TV.

    The writers should create a plausible and compelling series of encounters for House and Cuddy, featuring real anger, fierce sorrow, and finally an acknowledgement of each other’s tremendous damage and possibilies for recovery and redemption. That kind of deeply explored confrontation would bring their story to a realistic closure. If they do this they might have a chance of persuading LE to return to the show for guest appearances in several key episodes, which would make for the emotional highlights of the season.

    TPTB should resist every impulse to create an explosion (whether physical or emotional) just to have another shocking event to celebrate. House on the ledge or hitting rock bottom or whatever other metaphors they might have used in the past have run their course. Maybe the limits on their budget will help them get over this juvenile obsession with visual excess and refocus them on character driven stories about adults.

    Maybe they could even persuade Doris Egan to write another script or two for the final season. Whether she comes back or not, they should make sure each scene serves the prime purpose of getting to the logical and meaningful end of the series, whatever that may be.

    I agree with Matt Roush of TV Guide who said that the departure of LE is a body blow to the show. House as a character or as a show doesn’t really make much sense without Cuddy and Wilson. So how they deal with this huge issue will early on tell us if the season ahead will be a disaster or a treasure.

    The departure of Lisa Edelstein creates a grotesque — and in my view unsolvable — problem for the show. The very DNA of “House,” introduced in the first episode requires that the lead character be protected from the normal repecussions of his personality and professional style by a tough and loyal dean of medicine.

    We were told from the very beginning that Lisa Cuddy was the only person in the medical community who was willing to play that role in House’s life.

    Now are we to be introduced to another, equally powerful and dedicated dean who will similarly protect and foster House?

    Hiring a new dean with the same remarkable qualities as Lisa Cuddy undermines the uniqueness of House as a medical maverick and genius and just makes him a rather petulant but manageably quirky doc.

    The other major problem that the show faces right now is that the decision to have House crash his car into Cuddy’s home has fundamentally altered our perception of his character. He is now seen as pathetic, a new and unsettling characteristic for this once-noble figure.

    In the past we have viewed House as in constant struggle to save his patients, to find a way to overcome his physical pain, to understand a world which has dealt him such terrible blows, to achieve a bit or normality and human connection. His efforts made him insufferable ocassionally, but never pathetic.

    Now, by asserting brute force against a woman (or her building as David Shore would have it) as the only way to break out of his emotional deadlock, House is revealed as an essentially weak man who finds courage in violence. This is a formula only a pre-adolescent boy or a Hemingway could embrace.

    In my view, House on a beach smirking without remorse after destroying Cuddy and Rachel’s home seems like the portrait of a pathetic loser. This is not the House I want to watch. I hope that David Shore and the writing team can erase that lingering picture of House from my memory.

  • Bea

    PS I leave you this comment I found on FP. Is from a friend of mine I personally adore. She’s quite a way with words, and I think this sums it up really

    I want my House back.
    I want back the man I learned to love, the brilliant diagnostician, the tormented spirit, the lone ranger, the lover who is capable of being so uncommonly close to you, the candid friend who can tell you the most bitter truth, the potential father who understands what a child really needs, the leader who knows the weaknesses and strengths of his employees, the man who works in the shadows for a good end without wanting any recognition, the sweet musician. I want back my man broken by suffering, who wants all or nothing and feels everything in “black and white”, the selfish one but also that man capable of great acts of love, the one who does not expect gratitude and pretending to be emotionally inaccessible, the liar who knows how to be painfully honest, the man who secretly loves the children, the disabled and minorities. I want back the unfaithfull and the believer, the deluded and the disillusioned, the man who overestimates and underestimates himself simultaneously, the one who believes that he’s not deserving love.

    Good night, bedtime for me 😉

  • marykir

    I like your list. I would add

    * Spend less time paying homage to movies, especially if it takes resources away from the core of the show. I don’t care if you’re doing a shot-for-shot reenactment of a classic film. I’m watching [H]ouse.

    * Do the writers review the director’s cut, etc.? If not, they should. Too many times in season 7, the writers talked about things in v-logs and interviews that didn’t come across onscreen for me.

  • Bea

    Tthanking you on your blog for this too. As usual, you made me feel a little better and added some interesting points to think about carefully. I totally related to the way you feel. I wish some of your wishes would come true for real.

    I’m not very optimistic about next season; and I don’t feel like trusting writers the way I used to anymore. It’s not like I don’t trust THEM per se. I do. But I still think something else influenced some narrative choices and lead to a series of “mistakes” or “flaws” this season, such as the ones you’ve pointed out.
    IDK whether those kind of “mistakes” can be redeemed anymore really. I mean, I was watching Broken the other day and I found myself wondering when the hell House had suddenly stopped digging so deeply inside this man psychology ( I missed Katie too, so much I feel like starting a petition to have her back behind the camera really…it’s petition time on TW anyway :P) and I was thinking that maybe “Broken” is the perfect example to realize how different from the start this show has been this season. Back then we had a two hour ep in which, fictionally, House spends something like 8 weeks into a Phychiatric Hospital. Two months. Two months of pain and sufference, withdrowal and consistent inner changes masterly depicted on screen. Two hours to give us the sense of a man’s path of grow. It’s nothing. And yet you totally feel it. And when House gets on that bus you’re there with him, feeling hope, feeling changed, like you’ve been, with him, moving mountains. And the same happen in season 5 when with BSN you feel the irrimediably of it. Of him getting hospitalized. He has gone too far. He must fix himself before being ready to move on and be in a relationship.
    So I started thinking. And I tried to remember when was the last time I witnessed sth like this in season 7. And I realized I hadn’t. Not even the whole season is able to give me this sense of completeness. Of a perfet circle that comes to an end and makes sense according to a concept that has you have pointed out it’s a creative choice one can agree with or not. But this is not the point here.

    This season, right after ep 7×14, missed in consictency for me. I can’t see it. I can’t see House’s path. I just can’t. It’s like….it kept escaping me. The meaning of all of it. It’s like I can’t see the point, not even what they are trying to suggest or what’s the idea behind it all. It just saddens me really, ’cause everytime I rewatch old eps I feel a thrill and I enjoy them so much, under so many aspects and it doesn’t seem possible we are heading towards a season 8 with all this unanswered questions on “why” and “how” they did this.

    I think that one thing certainly proves my way of feeling House might have changed fot good: I can’t see him as a person anymore. I mean a real one. Once, I couldn’t see an actor playing a role. I couldn’t see a bunch of people playing some fictional life. It was so damn well-conceived I could have sworn they are were real for me, like four-dimensional character Alan Moore would say; with a sense of history and experience; they were deep, complicated and they made perfect sense. They had their twisted logic but they were real, cause they made sense into their universe. Now I can’t see it anymore. During the last three months I just saw a man and a woman (and I’m not ignoring the others, I love the whole cast, I just think emotionally, House and Cuddy were meant to be the focus of the show this year, originally at least) playing two roles. And after the finale he really is just a character for me; a fictional creation that might inevitably be screwed up as any other on TV. Delusional much thinking a TV character might be flawless for so long? Maybe. I also started wondering when was the last time I though Lisa Cuddy was indeed behaving like the Lisa Cuddy we used to love back in season 1, 2, 3, 4….even 5, even if she had changed deeply due to realizing she was in love with House. And I couldn’t remember it. I saw her back in 5 to 9 and Known Unknowns a little bit. And then just Help Me and some Now What but I’m not sure anymore. I feel like we have been dealing with shadows of our House and Cuddy this season, although I can’t deny I enjoyed large chunks of it and some eps are oustanding.

    Well anyway, enough crying over the spoiled milk. I have some moving on to do myself, I’m afraid. Have a nice hiatus Barbara and good luck with promoting your book! I have it on my bedside-table 😉

  • Luc–you are right. House has to accept himself, and maybe that’s in the end what they’ll go for (though somehow I doubt it). Wilson and Cuddy have had their own “mishegoss” (insanity) as do all the members of House’s staff. This intrigues him as you say.

    I don’t see either Wilson or Cuddy as villains, only as overly motherly friends who are inept at helping their friend. Their help has been at times destructive and not helpful. But not always. House loves them both.

    He screwed up big time at the end of s7, so we’ll see to where that leads.

  • HouseMDFan: I do believe Wilson can be and has been a very good friend to House. I think I said that. But the degree of his lecturing has had its effects over the seasons–since season one, perhaps.

    House trusts Wilson, as he should and has missed him terribly when he’s not been there. He appreciates what Wilson tries to do for him, but resents the intrusion when it gets as far as Wilson telling him that he loves to be miserable or wants to be in pain, which goes all the way back to season two.

    I agree that House treats Wilson awfully sometimes. What I would like to see is someone –maybe Wilson or maybe someone else–who just accepts him. Maybe that’s impossible, maybe not. Maybe it’s a woman (there have been one or two).

    The fact is that Wilson has been Mr. Manipulation to destructive ends. His insistence on House’s wanting to be miserable, that his pain is psychological (more than physical) while continuing to prescribe for him, withholding Vicodin when he has needed it (and using it as a weapon). These are not nice things to do to even your very troubled friend.

  • Luc

    I think House needs to accept himself – and that is part of dealing with the root of his problems – more than anything. Friends “accept” you, but still try to hold you accountable and encourage you to be a better you. Otherwise some would argue they are notreal friends. Both Wilson and Cuddy have shown incredible enabling deficiencies, but they have also accepted him. House doesn’t accept himself, so he pushes limits and everyone ends up falling into destructive patterns.

    The writers have tried to show that, but I think the fact that so many fans still find a way to make them villains in the while House collapse says they weren’t very successful.

    Every character on this show has deep issues and they work from that bend. It’s also what attracts House to them. He’s not really going to let an emotionally healthy person close to him, now is he???

  • HouseMDFan

    The good: Lovely observation about House and Cuddy this season: both of them always waiting for the other shoe to drop. SO very true and one of the main reasons for the break-up.
    Agreed on the teasers and on Allison Janney as a cool idea for the dean. Otherwise I’ll refrain from wishing anything – if I’m not invested in my own ideas of how things should go, it’s much easier to appreciate what the writers are doing.

    The bad: You seriously need to stop saying that Wilson isn’t House’s friend. Your assessment of him has always been biased, but reading that House needs a “real” friend instead of Wilson made me very angry, even if I’m the first to see the problematic aspects in their relationship. But I also see HOUSE’S part in that.

    I think “accepting House as he is” is an incredibly romantic and idealized concept, because House is never going to let anybody close enough for that. Either someone accepts him and he doesn’t care because that person isn’t important enough to him, or someone is important to him and he doesn’t let them get close enough.
    In addition, you are once again underestimating House’s capacity for self-destruction. Just letting him be leads to disaster as well – see “The Fix”, where Wilson didn’t lecture at first, but hoped for House to get back into his game when he was actually being completely reckless again. Or see their scene in “After Hours”, where House is stubborn, bats Wilson’s help away and ends up with a collapsing leg. Yes, Wilson could just let House be, let all of that be House’s own responsibility, but that would mean for him to be okay with the very real possibility of House’s death. I don’t blame him for being unable to do that. But we’ll see, maybe you’ll get your wish and he won’t forgive House next season. Just so you can blame him some more.

  • Robin

    Apologies, I meant to say Janney as the new Dean would have great chemistry with *House*. I really do know there’s a difference between the character and the actor. *blush* 🙂

  • Robin

    Barbara, I agree with all your points, well said and thank you for posting them.
    (Btw, I second a vote for Allison Janney as the new Dean. She would have a wonderful chemistry with Hugh, I’m thinking–tough and endlessly sardonic but fair and compassionate, CJ Cregg style. It could really work. Unfortunately I don’t see TPTB trading one older female for another, but stranger things have happened!)
    Particularly relevant IMO is the point about the mini-movie teaser cutbacks. I’ve found the extravagant openers irritating in the extreme because to me they seem self-indulgent and rather pointless. I don’t watch House for stunts and gimmicks; I watch for subtle, witty, intelligent and often ambiguous storylines, complete with moral and ethical dilemmas that are not easily resolved.
    I know it’s foolish to expect the writers to go all the way back to the style of the early seasons, since the show’s evolved and to some extent so have the characters and their relationships with each other; but a return to the *form* of those seasons, with smart scripts, great medical mysteries, maybe a clinic scene or two, moments of House creating music or pondering the puzzle, would be most welcome.
    Have to say my faith in the writers is nowhere near as strong as yours, especially after this season. However, I’m still willing to take a ‘wait and see’ approach to season 8, and stay open to possibility.

  • Sacha

    While I thought S7 was a pretty terrible season (with the exception of two or three episodes), I would like to say that I am interested in how S8 is going to develop. A lot of what has been said here is pretty much what I feel. House does need a friend. Someone who accepts him just the way he is without berating him. I think the only character that ever seemed to understand House and never judged him is probably Chase. While I can’t see him as a ‘friend’ to House, I would very much like the writers to explore their relatonship in terms of searching for love but only getting hurt in the process – they both dealt with it in very similar ways. I would like the writers to show some way out of the desperate search for love, making it seem like a person is not complete or can’t be content without a sexual relationship. I really would love to see Chase back with House, as the fellow who can read him as well as vice versa. S7 didn’t do much with him and I wasn’t happy about the Thirteen overdose which includes a bonding with House and Chase both. If they go that road, they’ll fight about who is going to be her keeper for the rests of her life, and that’s not something I would want to see. Also, pairing Chase with her is hanging above my head like Democles sword. It’s a doomed relationship which will inevitably end in misery because of her untimedly death, and that’s not what Chase needs.

    I would love to see more of Jesse Spencer and Omar Epps. Both are incredibly talented actors who can shine if given the opportunity, and they both have chemistry with Hugh Laurie’s House like no other fellows. He seems to be more comfortable around them as he is with Olivia Wilde. I just want the show to stop promoting her and give House his strength back as a mentor; someone who was able to get inside of their heads and capable of manipulating them for their own good. Maybe also stop concentrating on the shipper stuff. I think that’s why the first few seasons are glorified by a lot of fans. We were slowly introduced to the characters, revealing them little by little, learning about their inner turmoils and troubles, and House being the center of it all. I’m not saying I want them go backwards – matter of factly, I loved S6 in huge parts -, but it would probably be a good thing to remember what a great cast they have been neglecting in large parts of S7. Me, I always enjoyed the Chase/House dynamic most of all on the show (as well as House/Foreman and Foreman/Chase), and it would be nice to have it back to some extent.

    I think S8 could be a new beginning with Cuddy gone. I’ll miss Lisa Edelstein as an actress but frankly, the females on this show are so poorly written, it’s a disgrace. Having said that, my wishlist actually includes OW’s movie career to suceed and I hope she’ll be too busy to return for long. Thirteen really makes the show unwatchable for me at times, and I’ll appologize to all of her fans in advance, but I don’t enjoy Thirteen MD and the show can only benefit from her departure, for me.

    Sorry for my English, it is not my native tongue.

  • Amy

    It could have worked just like Hepburn and Tracy.

  • #3: Amy: That is your opinion. Yes, many couples are complete opposites and make it work. House and Cuddy didn’t.

  • Amy

    Hugh Laurie is without question one of the best actors of our time. It is unfortunate the writers completely let him down for most the season 7 episodes. One reason may be because some of the writers do not like or respect the character House. For example take a look at the writers largely condescending commentary about House for the Bombshells. As for House and Cuddy inevitable breakup the relationship wasn’t given a real chance. Many couples are complete opposites and find a way to make it work often with the help of counseling. The bottom line here is that the writers have failed the character House and I have no confidence in there ability to pull out of it next season. Too bad for the viewer and disastrous for the once great show.

  • MusicandHouse

    Thanks so much for this Barbara. There has been so much negativity in the House fandom since the finale I have kind of been avioding it. I have always believed that the writers will be able to redeem House next season and I agree with all of your hopes and suggestions. The only thing I am not holding my breath for it the return of Lisa Edelstein. While I would love for her to return, the circumstances surrounding her departure were so hushed and strange that I think there is more than meets the eye. In all honesty, I believe she left to take a stand agains one thing or another (some think it may have been a clause in her contract forbidding her from getting involved in PSA’s like the ones she has or others think it was just over the salary cut) and will not return on principle. Hopefully the support from all her fans will help change her mind though. I am looking foward to season 8 to see how the redeem the character of House and how they will handle the departure of Cuddy and who her replacement will be.

  • Zaze

    I don’t understand something, why didn’t they use a monster truck for the last scene?
    Gimme House and only GREGORY HOUSE for the last season. A monologue and I’d be happy.