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House, M.D. Season Eight: What We Might Expect

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Caveat: Mild spoilers ahoy, me mateys.

We are about one month from the season eight premiere of House, M.D., starring Hugh Laurie as the genius diagnostician Dr. Gregory House. When last we saw Dr. House, he had crashed his car into the (unoccupied) dining room of his boss and ex-girlfriend Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). Fleeing from the scene, House ends season seven somewhere in the South Pacific, strolling down a beach into the sunset.House season 8, courtesy FOX

As we enter season eight, much has changed in House’s world. Cuddy is gone. Full stop. Edelstein’s departure (she will be seen this season on The Good Wife in a guest-starring role) was a blow to House’s cast and creative team.

But what effect will her departure have on House? Will he feel responsible for her leaving? Or will he blow it off, holding his angst over it inside? Personally, I would like to see House struggle with Cuddy’s absence, trying to make it not matter, but failing in his effort.

Cuddy has been to House both muse and anchor; lover and antagonist. I imagine that she will be much on House’s mind and a new hole in his heart and soul as we move through the new season (at least during the first part of it). He needs to be affected by not only her absence but the way in which it has occurred.

That said, Cuddy’s departure opens up a lot of creative space for writers and David Shore to explore in new directions. If handled well, it may be a blessing in disguise (please, no flames) for a series headed into its eighth season.

For the past three years, mainly seasons five through seven, House has been as driven by his feelings for Cuddy almost as intensely as he’s been driven to save his patients, and solve the puzzle. You could an argue that the Cuddy effect has gone on even longer, and I would agree. But his feelings for her had not been so front and center before season five.

Now that Cuddy is gone from his life, and from the hospital entirely, what will fill that void for House and for Princeton Plainsboro? Will House throw himself into his work? Crawl back into his first season introspective shell? Will he be more cynical or less? Will he completely bury his emotions, dwelling exclusively in the rational part of his persona?

And, separate from the Cuddy effect, how will his year in prison affect House’s relationships with his patients, particularly those who are marginal in society or victims of “the system?”

Understanding that the series (according to press reports) is going to jump ahead a year, revealing House’s prison time in flashback, I wonder what might things look like a year ahead for House, the team and Princeton Plainsboro. What will House after months in prison be? Will his relationship with drugs, and even his pain, be altered?

I’d like to see House on a reasonable pain management program—his pain treated with whatever is necessary—but managed. He should never have been allowed to self-medicate (which is essentially what Wilson had enabled all those years). I’d like House to have gone through a year of therapy. He’d spent a few months at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital after season five’s breakdown going through in-patient therapy, and a year would do him much good; he won’t be a happy-go-lucky guy, but he hopefully may have gained some better coping tools as he’s had to deal with the loss of Cuddy and the big blows to his pride.

The writers are not going to give us a well-adjusted, drug-free House ready to be a good boy and play along with the establishment. I can see him chastened, but not broken. I do want to see him struggle with his new circumstances (and there will be a lot new in his life, no matter what the year has held for him). What of House’s medical license? Will it have been restored by the time we see him at the start of season eight? Will he be a consultant? The damaged oracle of diagnostic medicine sans medical credentials? Again, interesting questions, and although they’d been explored early in season six, circumstances this time are different: it’s the second time he’s lost his license and the reasons are more dire; the environment in which he’ll find himself post-prison will likely be much more hostile. I do assuming that sooner or later (I’m guessing sooner) House’s medical license is restored. Otherwise, they’d have to change the name of the series.

But before the series really gets into to exploring these new avenues and directions, it first has to address the fallout from House’s violent act out. I actually do not believe that House had been trying to harm anyone; he  had hadn’t plowed his car into Cuddy’s dining room to injure her or anyone else. On the other hand, I also don’t believe that he was in control enough to have stopped had anyone had stepped back into the empty room momentarily. The end result is that Cuddy’s house is damaged, House is guilty (at least) of reckless driving, property damage, maybe reckless endangerment—and driving under the influence.

And then there’s his relationship with Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). That relationship could not have come out unscathed. Will House and Wilson even be friends at the start of season eight? Will they even be talking? Wilson is likely to blame House for Cuddy’s departure (and with some good cause). Although I’ve never doubted that Wilson loves House (and it’s mutual, of course), at what point does a patient friend throw his hands up in frustration? And no matter Wilson’s manipulations and interferences in House’s life and pain treatment, House’s actions at the end of season seven really trump all of that. House has much for which to atone. But so might Wilson. I would love to see how this might play out over the course of season eight. And, although I’ve said that I don’t want to see Wilson as the new Dean of Medicine, if it’s accompanied by this seriously altered personal dynamic, it might provide some very interesting tension personally and professionally for both.

I am incredibly excited about season eight, although I recognize that some fans are decidedly not. David Shore has said that the series will be getting “back to basics.” Hopefully that means getting back to the medical stories and what they reveal about House (and to a lesser extent the other characters). The series has always been at its best telling great stories that advance our knowledge of this complex and fascinating fictional character. The show is, in the end, about Dr. Gregory House; everything else is commentary.

House, M.D. season eight premieres October 3 at a new time: 9:00 p.m., following new series Terra Nova on FOX.

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About Barbara Barnett

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

    Good article! I hope they do go back to the basics. I always loved the medical story and the parallel between House’s life. I am up in the air about Wilson. I know that what House did in the finale would possibly be a breaking point in their relationship, but I don’t know if he could replace Cuddy and maintain the bromance they have going. But then again, what made Huddy work was the fact House and Cuddy not just acted as peers but a different friendship. When Cuddy needed advise, she sought out House. As much as I am upset over Cuddy, I will give House a chance. I have always thought it was a well written drama .

  • att2detail

    Barbara, is there a chance that you accidentally posted a version of your blog that had not been proof read? I’m looking forward to watching how season 8 plays out.

  • Zazie

    Great article, but not convinced about Wilson to replace Cuddy. He’s weak and in negotiations = 0, just imagine the person who can replace cuddy in episode 5 to 9 in season 6, only one person of the team comes to my mind : Foreman (last season Foreman was losing interest, he no longer has any interest in working with House), but of course I would prefer a new actor, older, a character with experience.
    I’m happy we’ll have again clinic duties, best scenes of the show ever.
    As for House, the further along the series, it becomes more dangerous to work with him, I fear that the final of the show will be very dramatic.

  • Zazie

    “The show is, in the end, about Dr. Gregory House; everything else is commentary”

    Right! so they should also stop with Taub and others storylines, this show is about House. Seasons 1 to 4 were perfect, not too many stories with the secondaries characters, in fact they are my favourite seasons, even Cuddy’s character was more interesting.
    Really good that they go back to basics, powerful medical cases, connections between the patients and House, this is what have made the success of this show.

  • dvbfan

    Dear Barbara, I want to know your opinion about new casts who are added to season 8 and do you think season 8 will be the last season of House MD ?

  • DeadBolt


    I just hope Shore and Co. provide a semi-plausible explanation as to why the Board of Directors will end up approving House’s re-employment, even if with the full backing of the new DOM (whomever that might be), after his act of total carelessness at the end of last season’s finale. While his reputation as a medical miracle worker has doubtlessly drawn donors (and their money) to PPTH over the years, the board would’ve had 12 months to adjust to House’s absence and the subsequent loss of any such donated funds by the time his prison sentence is up. Besides, why would they want to re-introduce such a volatile, disruptive presence back into their fold now that House’s long-standing benefactor/protector has left for greener pastures as a direct consequence of his actions?

  • Zazie


    very good questions!

  • Sandra

    You have really a tough time to not use cuddys name in every sentence.
    It is really horrible to read. You want that people read your Blog further then stop grieving over it and finally accept that the show is not about Cuddy or will they/wont they-Huddy. It never was.
    House`s action in the final might have been “cathartic” as he let go of years of bottled-up anger and frustration. This accumulation of anger and frustration was not because he was so in love with Cuddy.
    Unfortunately he struck at Cuddy as she was the current object of his emotions. That’s just an explanation as the act is inexcusable.
    BTW i never thought that cuddy had pre-relationship time a lot of control over him. She led him do what he wants and house welcomed it. I`d like to see a real boss for house,Someone who intellectual challenge House in an unsexual way.I think Cuddy is expendable and i won`t miss her at all. Her narcism,ignorance and lack of understanding of houses real issues annoyed me endlessly. He will be better without her.

  • Jess

    Sorry but I can’t read your whole article, how many times did you named Cuddy? I had to stop at three! I don’t care about Cuddy and huddy and once more time this blog came out as a huddy/Cuddy one. I’ll never visit it anymore.

  • Barbara barnett

    The position in which house finds himself is because of his relationship with Cuddy. Of course it’s going to be a driving factor in his future. I won’t defend what I wrote, but I do feel her departure, which I said, provides creative opportunity.

    I wasn’t exactly bemoaning her departure, but it does chnae the dynamics.

  • Zazie

    What’s going on here? Barbara, your article is very well written! :-)))
    Of course House is not about huddy or hilson, every characters are expendable.

  • Oversimplified

    I actually really liked what you had to say Barbara. The show is about House as he is the protagonist, but to dismiss his interactions with the other characters is missing the point entirely, because his relationships with them give a greater insight into who he is, which is then compounded by his reactions to his patients. I get the impression that some people just want a monologue to the camera where House waxes lyrical about the universe, which neither complies to the saying ‘show don’t tell’, nor is it in keeping with House’s trait of holding his cards close to his chest, especially regarding his emotions.

    It has to be said I’m no longer in love with the show or the character in the way I used to be, but I am curious to see where they go if nothing else from a professional perspective. Last season they went places that I don’t think they particularly thought through, and now is the time for them to finally sit down and write believable repercussions in terms of how his relationships with the people around him have been affected by his actions, even if him regaining his medical license and working at PPTH again is going to require a suspension of disbelief of epic proportions.

    In my opinion his bromance with Wilson needs to change permanently. It’s one thing to forgive someone for indirectly involving your girlfriend in a fatal accident, but another to do so for someone who directly put you and one of your best friends in harm’s way whether it was intentional or not, which then causes her to leave her home and her job. Wilson eventually rekindling the friendship ‘on his terms’ and stopping the enabling could be quite interesting. Additionally the loss of Cuddy as his safety net and this could and should lead to House taking more responsibility for his actions, rather than relying on them as disapproving parents to kick against, but who ultimately act as his conscience. Strangely I’m interested in how Chase will react to him after he’s out of prison the most out of the ducklings.

    All in all I just want to see the character evolve as a result of the events that happened at the end of season 7. It’s all well and good Shore saying that he likes to peel the onion in relation to characterisation, but there needs to be growth too in my opinion otherwise the narrative, which is character-driven, will continue to go round in circles and I’ll be sorely tempted to stop watching. As it is other writers are telling stories where their characters are actually going somewhere, rather than chasing their tails.

  • Barbara Barnett


    I’m also curious about how the team will respond to House after he’s been away so long–and given what he’d done.

    Those actions showed House to be much more unstable than any of them (or us) might have imagined. I don’t know if the crash was fueled by a combination of too much Vicodin and whatever else he might have been on at the time (alcohol for one)–or simply because of his emotional instability (or a combination).

    I suppose it doesn’t really matter; I would imagine that people in his old circle will react to him like he’s toxic. He’ll likely get very little sympathy from anyone.

    And that will be interesting to watch.

  • Sacha

    #12 Oversimplified: “Strangely I’m interested in how Chase will react to him after he’s out of prison the most out of the ducklings.”

    Since I mostly watch for the House/Chase interactions (when they still used to be there), I’m also very curious about that. Actually, the House/Cuddy relationship did parallel to Chase/Cameron IMO, and I often thought that the writers were ignoring this entirely. In my humble, probably fangirlish imagination I wanted to see a connection there. The men were trying to make a relationship work, in their own limited best, whereas Cuddy respective Cameron just couldn’t get over their high expectations and actually were not able to love enough because the guy wasn’t ‘perfect’, in their self-centered ways. If there was anyone round him who could have related to House, it was Chase. I think the bitter disappointment about failure is something he knows pretty well. He has experienced it many times, and I think he would probably be the one who most likely wouldn’t point a finger at House (Of course, Chase reacted in a mature, grown-up way, whereas House just fell in Shakespearean rage. I think Chase wouldn’t condemn it, either). But that’s how I would like to see it, and given the spoilers, I suppose House will rather have a confidant in the new doctress.

    I too feel that the original cast is/was essential for the show. No matter how important Hugh Laurie is as the main character, it’s never been a one man show. Chase and Foreman are/were wonderful reflections of the character of House, and I’m still in awe when I watch the old team interacting with him. It was subtle, clever, well-thought out and there was a mentorship underneath it that made the show so compelling for me in the first place. I will miss Lisa Edelstein, but I’m not so much going to miss Cuddy. Very much like I didn’t miss Cameron at all when she made her farewell speech. I’m not going to miss Thirteen either. Actually, I’m slightly optimistic about her leaving. The females on this show don’t get to me like the men do.

    I frankly hope that the car crash is not going to be the big issue in S8. I don’t want to see House pining over Cuddy or drowning in guilt or self-pity. I’ve had enough of immature behaviour in S7. I really want House to have some sort of redemption, and even if that’s too much to ask for, S8 still has to be much, much better than the last one. It can’t get much worse, and I’m not refering to the finale alone. At least that’s some sort of comfort. 😉

  • Zazie

    “The females on this show don’t get to me like the men do.”

    You too? but now when I watch the first seasons I realize that I miss Cameron and a character as Amber and Cuddy the boss (not the girlfriend)! 😉

  • Earth Orbiter

    @DeadBolt, Sandra and Jess: I agree. It’s been a year-ish since House and Cuddy split. She doesn’t even factor into the equation anymore. There are so many other concerns to be addressed, not the least of which are those stated by DeadBolt. Even an egomaniac like House understands that his professional license and his career must be a priority over any woman. “Work” is one of the things that define all people, not who we’re shagging at any point in time. RIP Cuddy; you’re gone and no longer relevant.

  • barbara barnett

    Earth Orbiter. I also want him to move on, but people are affected by things that have impacted them in the past. His problems presently are caused by fallout from his relationship with Cuddy. To ignore it as something completely gone wouldn’t work. I also don’t believe it should be front and center. Part of the moving on thing.

  • @yahnis14

    “Personally, I would like to see House’s struggle with Cuddy’s absence, trying to make it not matter, but failing in his effort. ”
    it’s gold words,dear Barbara! I am so waiting for this failing. But TPTB may make it other way:something like House in the end will find his true love,some women,who will understand him better than Cuddy. I am afraid that TPTB may go this way, it will be so unfair!

  • Zazie

    true love for House? I’m sure they won’t go this way, mainly after the season 7 fiasco. House and romance, it does not work.

  • Ladybelle Fiske

    Hi Barbara,
    House (the doctor) doesn’t believe in therapy– remember what he told his doctor just before Season 6 ended? I find it hard to believe he will submit to therapy of any kind. Yet I hear he is taking the prison doctor with him as a member of the team when he gets out (I personally can not wait for that to happen; prison is too much like Mayfield to really interest me). I assume she will be the “soul mate” he hasn’t been able to find in Cuddy, Stacy, or anyone else in some respect.
    I hope he is able to examine his own motivations from some p.o.v. I’d like to see him confront his relations with his mother– preferably WITH his (still living) mother, ask her “How did it happen that you conceived me with someone other than dad?” And “How could you let him be so cruel and abusive to me?” (I do believe that what John House did to Gregory House was horrible child abuse. Who among us would choose to take a bath in ice and say it is good for us!?)
    In any case, if it’s the last season I hope to see some resolution of all the issues. I am hoping Lisa E. will consider coming back for a guest appearance at least at the series’ end (if it ends). She doesn’t seem to have a lot to do so far– maybe she would be willing… I hope so!
    I wonder if she was offended at the way her character was treated in Season 7. Was it all about money, or ???
    I hope to see HOUSE on the air for a few more years yet… but if this is the last, let’s make it a great one!
    Thanks. IFM

  • Ladybelle Fiske

    I still love the show. Always will!

  • Jules

    @17 Barbara

    >>I also want him to move on, but people are affected by things that have impacted them in the past.

  • Jules

    I wrote a reply to Barbara’s #17 comment and it hasn’t posted?

  • Jules

    I also want him to move on, but people are affected by things that have impacted them in the past.

  • Oversimplified

    @ #14 Sacha

    It’s funny because I didn’t realise how much I appreciated Chase and his interactions with House until this season when all they seemed to have him do was jump anything with a pulse. I think they get each other because they’re both extremely idealistic, but from different ends of the spectrum, i.e. Chase often falls back on his faith, whilst House clings to his impirical knowledge almost like a religion. I can however see Chase being really outraged and the one to call House out on what he did out of everyone, aside from Wilson, which I hope they work into him apparently being missing in action for the first 4 eps.

    Whilst I agree with your views about Cameron I do have a lot more sympathy for Cuddy, even if she was reduced to ‘disgusted shrew’ in parts of season 6 and 7. Like I mentioned before the role of disapproving parent was something that was fashioned by House for her and to a certain degree Wilson as well, because it reinforces his role as the anarchistic, misunderstood teenager, whilst at the same time relinquishes him of responsibility for his actions. At the end of ‘Recession Proof’ when he tells Cuddy that being with her makes him a ‘crappy doctor’ and that people were going to die because of it, rather than a declaration of love to me it was more him dropping the burden of guilt at losing his patient at her door: not so much ‘I’m hopelessly in love with you’ as ‘I can’t concentrate on two things in my life at once and so I’m going to place the blame on you, thus absolving myself’, which puts her in a massively awkward position as his boss. Cuddy got a hell of a lot of stick for not being able to differentiate between her work and her relationship this season from some portions of the fandom, but right there House did exactly the same thing and in a way that would actually make her question whether the relationship is really worth the loss of life and her compromising her vocation which is essentially to save them. In my opinion he had neither the guts to start a grown-up conversation about how his obsession with their relationship was affecting HIS dedication to his patients and how they could deal with that, nor did he have the balls to be the executioner and end it, and so he laid the groundwork for Cuddy to be the bad guy.

    I’m not saying that Cuddy’s perfectionism wasn’t part of the problem, but the demise of Huddy had a lot to do with House’s comfort zone being being miserable and a self-fulfilling prophecy on his part, i.e. he’d rather be right than be happy because happiness is unfamiliar and leaves him vulnerable. Some people saw what he did in the finale as House finally taking a cathartic stand for himself and ‘letting it out’ as Cuddy and Wilson were insisting he needed to, and I think we were meant to, but to me it was just another passive aggressive act in the same vein as the parade of hookers, the green card wedding and the self-surgery. Sort of the ultimate ‘Look at what YOU’VE driven ME to do’, which undid the progress he’d made by admitting he needed to change at the end of ‘After Hours’ (for his own sake as much as anybody else’s), and by telling Cuddy that it wasn’t her fault.

    For a character who’s so willing to tell people how they should live their lives and even influence how they do, House is unfeasibly unwilling to grab his own destiny by the horns. That’s even evident way back in ‘Three Stories’ when his reaction to the infarction is to simply do nothing and leave the decision making to Stacy and Cuddy, who either watch him die or treat him against his wishes, when put in their position he’d have been calling them out on their cowardice. It’s this passivity that is really starting to grate on me now seven seasons in. Shore keeps on using it as a plot device to stifle prolonged change/growth in the character, but now I think it’s actually affecting the creative progression of the show, as will his decision to unearth this violent side to House’s character if they don’t use it a means to precipitate evolution in the protagonist. People just won’t empathise with House if he isn’t shown to be adequately punished or remorseful and therefore will start switching off, if they haven’t already. It’s bad enough that we already know his life will be returning to some sort of normality, whilst Cuddy’s will be permanently changed.

    Oh Jeez that was way longer than I intended it to be… :/

  • Zazie


    BRAVO! I totally agree with all you’ve said! especially this quote :
    “It’s this passivity that is really starting to grate on me now seven seasons in.” and about ep Recession Proof, yes of course it wasn’t a love declaration but an horrible and cold statement, I was in pain for cuddy and it already foreshadowed the end of their relationship.

    But concerning back to basics that made the success of the series, I think it’s necessary, hopefully they’ll let House move on a different direction than the miserable guy that he always seems to be (I didn’t find him miserable in the first seasons).
    I also hope that his relationship with Wilson is going to change, it’s time to grow up a bit, on both sides.
    And Wilson’s responsibility with vicodin prescriptions is obvious, it’s not really a good help coming from a friend.

  • Victoria

    Much as I love House and am looking forward to Season 8, Hugh Laurie is too talented to stay in any one gig for too long. Today’s NY Times interview and video is delightful and really gives you an idea of his versatility.
    Barbara, thanks for the Doc Martin recommendation! I’m a Yank anglophile who loves Cornwall and this series is terrific.
    Here’s the NY Times link.

  • Oversimplified


    Thanks :) I do agree that they need to get ‘Back to Basics’ in a sense, but that doesn’t mean that they should just forget what’s gone before and not use it as a means to push forward. I’ve loved some of the medical cases over the years, but on their own without character study House is just Scooby Doo, but where they unmask diseases instead of random fairground owners dressed as ghosts. :) I’ve heard about Katie Jacobs getting particularly excited about House being back on the Vicodin on the DVD commentary and I just don’t share her enthusiasm. We’ve seen it before. I think they are frightened that if they solve one of House’s problems then he won’t have the same draw, and they’ll have lost one of the main dramatic hooks. I disagree though. As in real life when you ‘solve’ one problem another one is just round the corner.


    I’m dying to see Hugh in something else now too. I know he’s got films coming out soon and his music, but I’d love to see him in another drama even as a guest actor.

  • Zazie

    Again, I couldn’t agree more, House back on vicodin is not something new, I hoped he lied since Bombshells and took something else than vicodin but then you mentioned KJ reaction, it’s clear now that he’s back on vicodin :-((( this guy is really lucky with his job, he can do what he wants 😉
    I see what you mean about the medical cases but I found the connections between patients and House superficial and a little boring in the last 2 seasons, so I prefer well-paced episodes with good actors and surprising puzzles. I can’t stop watching the first seasons.

  • Lucy

    IMO, it can’t be denied that Cuddy has been a very important presence in House’s life for many years, long before he decided to pursue her romantically.
    So even if, given the way their relationship ended, House can rationally think that it’s a good thing for him that she’s left (and probably he’s right, probably it’s more healthy for the two of them to be apart), IMO there’s no way House would not miss her and her role in his life on some level.
    And I’d really like to see this onscreen, even if it’s just a couple of scenes here and there during the season… but I don’t think it’ll happen.
    DS has said that House will feel some responsibility for what he’s done and I’m glad we’ll see this, but some brief ackowledgement of Cuddy’s importance in his life would also be essential to me.

  • EuropeanFanHouseFan

    I’m torn. On one hand I do not want House to angst over Cuddy, but it would be really weird if he didn’t cause isn’t that part of who he is? And Cuddy, right or wrong, was a big part of his life. He does not just get over things emmotionally. And he just have to have a lot of guilt/shame over what happened IMO.

    But with the big time jump ahead they can choose to skip it. There’s SO much they can (and probably will) skip and I don’t want that. I want to KNOW and see the process. House angst is the best. That said, I don’t want it to go on and on either. Cuddy is gone and if she’s not set to be back at all I doubt they will let House dwell on this too much. IT’s over and done with and I do want to see House get on with his life.

    Very, very curious how he will get his job back. I’m afraid that will happen too easy and too quickly. I wouldn’t mind seeing House doing some prison diagnostics with the new gal. See them get a rapport with each other. Maybe even understand each other? From the promo it looks like a first meeting between them so how will they get a “connection” so fast? And then probably by next episode House is out and back to work? Well, I’ll have to wait and see. Still excited though! Back to some basics, whatever that will mean, sounds good to me.

  • Sacha

    #25 – Oversimplified, that is an excellent post and it’s exactely what I feel about S7 and the whole ‘Huddy’ generally. I actually felt bad for Cuddy and by 7-12 I was like “Please put an end to it already!!” The whole relationship became cringe-worthy and uncomfortable to watch. I totally agree that the “You make me a crappy doctor” was unfairly manipulative and honestly, S7 gave me a hard time to keep up with House as a character. You made some excellent points as of why and I want to thank you for your insight and putting it so aptly.

    You also wrote: “I can however see Chase being really outraged and the one to call House out on what he did out of everyone, aside from Wilson, which I hope they work into him apparently being missing in action for the first 4 eps.”

    While I can see Wilson being outraged (with good reason), I just don’t want Chase to morally judge and be all over House. The good thing about Chase is the fact that he has never been self-righteous, or morally outraged. He always took the good with the bad. He has no bitterness and he can handle desaster and tragedy with so much strength, it’s quite admirable (I think that’s what made him my favourite character in the first place).

    If Chase should get involved, and if the writers decide to connect him to House’s personal drama (which I highly doubt), then I would like to take him the part of a silent observer. Chase has this background of a failed priesthood, why not exploring this in one way or the other? I would love to see Chase trying to help in a more subtle, quiet way. He clearly likes and respects his boss and I always thought he could relate to him the most. I really don’t want Chase to follow the path of morally outraged collegues and friends, berating and lecturing House, judging him and making him even more miserable.

    I hope they’ll bring Chase back as someone who will support House, not giving him the cold shoulder. He certainly needs it.

  • Oversimplified

    @# 32 Sacha

    Thanks. It’s taken me a few months to clarify how I felt about season 7 and the way the characters were portrayed so I’m glad it’s struck a chord with a couple of people. :) I never expected it to last but the way they approached their relationship was cringe-worthy in places, and to be honest pretty repetitive and boring. Still can’t get my head around why they never explored their shared pasts, and especially why they didn’t even touch on Cuddy’s involvement in his infarction. Rachel could have been a great way into House’s own childhood issues too. I think they wanted to show that House and Cuddy in a ‘conventional’ relationship was basically a square peg being shoved into round hole, and I’m onboard with that, but I just wish they hadn’t resorted to sensationalist storylines such as ‘OMG! Cuddy might be dying!’ and ‘Let’s have House drive his car through her dining room!’ to bring their relationship to an end effectively twice. There was already enough material/backstory there to work with to make the break-up more believable, intelligent and nuanced. Now as a result of what they did, I and a lot of other people are in a position where we just don’t like the protagonist anymore and that’s a big problem for the writing team. The crash wasn’t so much brave, bold story-telling, so much as short-sighted. House always got away with acting like a jerk in the past because deep down he appeared to have noble qualities. Now, I don’t know. Shore’s vision of his character appears to say otherwise.

    Oh don’t get me wrong about Chase. I do think he’s incredibly understanding, especially with House, but I still think the crash could be his tipping point and the catalyst for Chase to actually stand on his own two feet and finally challenge the guy he’s been working for years on an equal footing, which may not be a bad thing for their relationship ultimately. Whereas the House/Foreman and House/Taub dynamics are lot more mercenary and about what they can get out of each other I think there’s something a bit more than that there with House and Chase. Almost father/son perhaps. I also think House has more respect for people who challenge him.

  • The Other Barnett

    OK, Barb, you throw out all these questions and I find myself, setting out a whole season 8 storyboard in my head :)

    I picture a House in prison (thanks to the taste I got from the promo)who is going to come out more like the House that should have come out of the ordeal with Tritter, than with Mayfield. He will still be unbowed, but he will be more understanding and maybe somewhat off the meds, to a point. I picture him (hoping at this point) being released into the custody of Andre Braugher’s therapist for a one-year period of time with a medical license that is probationary for that period. He will be on a pain-management program that allows 20 vicodin a week, and Dr.-approved (Foreman will be the lone signer)supplemental meds.

    House will ignore the Cuddy issue the first episodes in order to dive into the diagnostic process. He will be the same old genius and the same old ass to the patients and his fellows. Wilson will keep him at arms-length, unwilling to discuss what happened, even though House feels that he must (with prodding from Braugher) and tries repeatedly over the first quarter of the season. Wilson can work with House, but only in consultation with the team. The whole team can tell this chasm exists.

    I hope the writers return to the patients (if well written) and the illnesses (if not re-hashed left-overs) as the key to the show. The puzzle should be intriguing enough, the personalities in the staff should be seasoning upon the main dish.

    I know there has been some ignoring of Christmas for a few seasons, but this should be the opportunity for Christmas to be a cross-roads opportunity. Maybe 13 shows up for a couple episodes leading up to the holiday show. Something cataclysmic (I know, I am tired of the “end of the world shocker shows”, too) happens that forces House (minus his therapist, but equipped with nuggets from sessions) to confront Cuddy’s absence and his treatment of her, Wilson’s feelings and his relationship with him, and maybe even who he is and what he wants from life. Why not end that (“two-hour collectors edition”) episode with House calling Cuddy and wishing her Happy Hannukah and Christmas (imagine campera panning out of PPH from House’s office into a beautiful snowy landscape with Diane Krall singing Merry Little Christmas!

    Another thing I am hoping is a change in some of the characters who are returning. I need Foreman to be at peace with being himself and not all peaved about everything. I need Taub to be a happy daddy with his ex-wife, and not as eeyore-ish about things. And I need Maura Tierney! Did I mention I want Tierney as the Dean enough? :)

    Finally, I want to make a suggestion that may sound a bit too preachy, but could there ever be a chance that House could find religion? I know he is a proud aetheist, but (as a still-evolving Christian) I just believe that so much of the anguish, self-destruction, and mistakes that have marked House’s difficulties can be traced to the fact that he cannot find peace. What if he had a damascus road experience that actually took? I know this culture is so anti-religion, but what better way for House to go against the grain than to embrace the new struggle of faith!

    Just some thoughts.

  • nickel

    Zazie, in response to your comment about Recession Proof. I gagged at the fact that Cuddy would not allow House to break up with her at that moment, but 7 days latter she breaks up with him? UGH. I also want to point out that she did NOT include him in any of her LIFE CHANGING DECISIONS. She went to the Attorney alone without notifying House, she also made the decision to give Rachel to her sister alone. She built this trap for House to fall into and then was surprised when he did??? Had these decisions been made together House would have had time to gradually learn how to deal, instead Cuddy acted as if she were alone, so why should she be angry at House for letting her have her way? Not too mention between her and Wilson with their continual manipulation and conspiracy I hope House has finally accepted that he is better off ALONE.

  • Zazie

    I never said that Cuddy wasn’t responsible but I think House has more responsibilities in this failure, and yes I agree House is better alone, he can’t have a romantic relationship with a woman. And as Oversimplified has said, I also hate his passivity.

  • Andrée


    okay you mentioned several times the name of Cuddy, but is that a reason to stop reading your blog? I never was and never will be a Huddy fan, but I don’t see why that is the reason some people wrote such heated comments about your article. Well…

    Good continuation.

    I am looking forward to reading your upcoming episode discussions. It will take some time before we can watch the eps here in Europe, so I am waiting to read your comments. That way I know what to expect.

  • blacktop

    “Back to basics” would be a compelling idea for the final season of “House,” if the basics of the show had not been so thoroughly trashed last season.

    “House” without Cuddy (just like House without Cuddy) simply lacks the most fundamental driving element for both plot development and character exploration.

    The central premise of the show is to examine the character of a troubled maverick genius at odds with the medical establishment. This idea certainly does not have much weight or realism without the presence of Cuddy as House’s essential professional protector and personal inspiration.

    To speak about basics requires recognizing that this was how the show was designed from the premiere.

    We have been instructed from day one that House is unique in the world. A significant measure of his uniqueness is his inability to make ordinary human connections with the people around him who recognize his genius but are unable to manage or cope with it. Wilson and Cuddy were presented in this universe as the exceptions which proved the rule. House was special to the precise extent that he was involved emotionally with exceptionally gifted and twisted people like Cuddy and Wilson. Wilson was a “boy wonder oncologist,” Cuddy was one of only three female deans of hospitals in the nation and the youngest.

    If we are now made to see that in fact House can have anyone as his boss, then how truly unique is he? If he can form emotional ties with anyone, how special is he in fact? House becomes a garden variety jerk to the extent that his singular friendships are devalued or eliminated.

    It seems to me that without its most basic dynamic, “House” really lacks any internal logic or forward movement now.

  • Zazie

    “If we are now made to see that in fact House can have anyone as his boss”

    Yes with another boss, he would be fired but we know now that the job will be taken by someone from the team so the pill will be easier to swallow, even if it still shows that cuddy’s job can be done by anyone (please not wilson, he has no balls! lol).
    You ask the right questions, but I think viewers no longer arise such questions, back to basics can revive the show, (even without cuddy) but yes it will be really weird without her in Plainsboro, we need some time ;-).

  • Oversimplified

    @35 Nickel

    I’m not saying Cuddy’s blameless, but I think it’s fair enough that she asked him not to break up with her when he was drunk. In fact I think it’s fair enough for anybody to ask their partner to not go there when they’re drunk and not entirely in charge of what’s coming out of their mouth. With regards to the life changing decisions you do have a point, but I saw that as a subconscious reaction to him forewarning that he’d probably hurt her again in Now What. Besides at that point House was denying to himself that her life was in any sort of danger so she yet again she ended up being the grown-up and facing the fact that measures had to be taken in case she did die. I can’t for the life of me see House as the sole guardian of any child to be honest. He can’t deal with responsibility for himself half the time. The whole dynamic between House/Cuddy/Wilson was built on game playing so I really don’t think it’s fair to portray Cuddy and Wilson as these evil co-conspirators when House has done all sorts to both of them in the past.

    @ 38 blacktop

    There is going to have to be an incredible suspension of disbelief required with season 8 in my opinion, because they will be undermining the premise they’ve hammered home from the start: that Cuddy was the only person who was prepared to hire him and deal with the BS he throws her way. I guess we’ll see if they ignore it or play with it.

  • Earth Orbiter

    “Cuddy was his personal inspiration.” Oh, puke.

  • The Other Barnett

    Has there been any mention of a “final” season for House? If not, please, I don’t wanna read it if it is not true, yet.

  • ParadoxHugh

    In a way I am glad that time will have passed. If there had been no mention of Cuddy and it had only been a week or two after the incident, that would have been aggravating. This way he has stewed over it and buried it in one of his compartments and not talking about it makes some sense. For the writers, it is an easy way out of having to deal with the emotional fallout right away. But when House gets back to PPTH and things have changed so much because of his actions, surely there will be some mention of the damage done then?

    I really don’t see how they could have done it any other way without dragging out the prison story too long. So I still wonder how long he was in jail and how long he spent on the island. If he came right back and faced the music, that would go a long way toward helping me believe he has a conscience.

  • Jesuit Man


    As usual, you have a very succinct understanding of the limited creative avenues available to Shore and Co. given how they (partially) painted themselves into a very awkward corner. I’d assumed (a hedging type of assertion at best when it comes to using a word like “assume”) based on Shore’s previous statements that House’s prison sentence would roughly parallel the series’ usual inter-seasonal hiatus of 2-3 months. Still, this latest announcement shouldn’t really come as a surprise to me considering the hornet’s nest aroused by the last 5 minutes of “Moving On” and the departure of Lisa Edelstein as a series regular. As you mentioned, this conscious (and hopefully well-thought-out) application of artistic license in what is, after all, a work of fiction will allow TPTB to obliquely acknowledge the meaningful shift in character dynamics and storyline development while also palliating the sheer enormity of House’s transgressions. The last thing that they want to do is to transform the events of the Season 7 Finale and the painfully obvious absence of Lisa E. into an albatross that effectively impedes forward movement. Remarkably, I possess just enough goodwill to momentarily suspend my initial reservations and continue on this equally maddening and revelatory journey set forth by David Shore. That is, as long as this upcoming season is not paved solely with good intentions, and we all know where that particular path leads, right?

    In view of the fact that Cuddy will have long-since vacated her office by the time House is eventually released from prison, I’m left wondering why the bureaucratic bigwigs of PPTH, even with the possible encouragement of the next Dean of Medicine, would consider rehiring House on a full-time basis, much less reappoint him as head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine over the person currently keeping the ducklings in line. Moreover, given the legal fallout from his actions in the finale as well as his subsequent 12-month incarceration, what exactly must our wannabe stuntman do in order to be declared persona non grata the moment he sets foot on the premises of his former employer? Operate an impromptu brothel-cum-crystal meth den in the hospital basement with “Blue” (Lou) the janitor? Vivisect Thirteen without the use of anesthetics before the entire medical student body and then consume her liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti? Wear a turban fashioned from Wilson’s ties, grow a scraggly beard, and make video recordings denouncing America from the same storage room where Chase and Cameron used to make the so-called “beast with two backs”? As the old journalism adage goes, “Inquiring minds want to know.”

  • ParadoxHugh

    @Jesuit Man

    Those are the same questions that I have as to why anyone would want him to return. If they had not already been walking on eggshells for years with his behavior, now he has added another layer of unpredictability. I immensely enjoyed your descriptions of aberrant personalities. Was diagnostics running when he was gone? It seems as if these new hires might indicate a reassembling of the dept. If either Foreman or Wilson is the new dean, that would make it easier for House to get his job back, but in the real world this would not likely happen as the board of directors would move to block his reinstatement. But perhaps House is the big money draw for donations. Money does not just talk, it screams sometimes. But there is that suspension of belief in play again. I wonder what sort of parameters will be installed in his new contract. Daily drug tests? Therapy? Cutting him no slack on doing his clinic duty? They would be fools not to place restrictions on his employment. So at least there is interest in how certain things play out. Questions that need answers. After those are answered, it will be wait and see as to how the show’s new dynamics mix.

    I think we are in the same place about the show. Resignation, with healthy doses of indignation, but willing to give these changes a shot and judge what they give us as it comes. I no longer trust them enough to fully invest myself in this character or worry about his future. I’ll be watching with more distance now.

  • ParadoxHugh

    I forgot to mention this, but I think Cuddy’s name will be brought up here and there especially when House goes back to work. I even wonder if the next DOM will be emboldened a bit with his new authority (if it is Foreman or Taub) and throw her name in his face a bit as in “Cuddy let you do that, I am not playing your games.” Wilson is likely going to still stay in contact with her so he may think that House wants to know how she is doing. I don’t expect anything but quick mentions but as the crash played into the worst time of House’s life (just guessing jail is worse than Mayfield), I think there has to be context shown for potential new viewers. They are going to have to know who she was and how it played into House spending time in jail. Or not. They may not care to play catch up for new fans.

  • Huddison

    I completely agree that Cuddy will/should be mentioned in episode one, when he returns to the hospital and then sporadically from there on after (as she deserves to be). They cannot simply ignore her existence just because they are jumping a year ahead. Sure she is gone but I wonder how long she has been gone for before House returns? Even if she left right after House did his crazy stunt and Foreman or someone else has been running the diagnostic dept because of the obvious asset it brings to PPTH or whatever, once House returns there has got to be a mention of her?

  • Boo’sHouse

    I am still having a problem coming to terms with Cuddy being gone. She was such an integral part of the hospital and to House. It feels like a death of a good friend. Damn LE, why did you have to do this? The more I think about it, the more I am wondering if Barbara was onto something with House not coming back to the hospital in the same capacity as before he decided to do a kamikaze through Cuddy’s living room window.

    Like others before me, I find it hard to imagine the board allowing this guy to come back to the hospital as an employee. Maybe they keep him on because donors threaten to pull funds if he doesn’t. Or the team goes into battle for him because without him they don’t have jobs. They are kind of like misfit toys without him…even with him. Thirteen probably can’t get a job because she’s dying. Taub fools around with employees, Foreman is black balled because he takes risks and makes medical decisions based on hunches, like House. Chase is the only one that could be considered employable, but he’s pretty devoted to House and he carries his secret about killing Dibala. Or the new DOM won’t consider getting rid of House because they would never admit to not being able to manage him.

  • Ripzu

    “I am still having a problem coming to terms with Cuddy being gone.”

    I can totally understand it will be weird to see somebody else taking on her roll and no doubt people will compare her way of managing House against whomever is appointed to replace her but she has gone and there is nothing we can do about it. My dread was that they were going to bring in a newbie who would no doubt be bashed so hearing it is somebody House already knows is music to my ears.

    The hospital is a business when all is said and done and House makes them the big bucks so they would be foolish not to have him continue in his diagnostics dept. House receiving anger management sessions in prison will be fun to watch…for me anyway.

  • Readingrat

    At the moment I’m so indifferent that I haven’t even watched the season premiere promo. And it has nothing to do with the Huddy break-up or LE leaving. I had assumed pretty much from the start that there’d be a break-up, and I also assumed that LE would be written out of the show at the end of the season, because I didn’t see how the show could handle a House who has a “normal” working relationship with a woman he had been dating. So all that wasn’t exactly unexpected for me. But my anger for House’s character during the finale and my anger at TPTB at their own attitude towards the finale didn’t morph into a benign interest in House’s further progress (as portrayed by Hugh Laurie – I’ll admit that I wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested if HL didn’t do such a brilliant job) as I thought it might, given time and space. Instead, it faded into complete indifference. I admit that my reaction has a personal component: I discovered on watching the finale that I react very emotionally and violently to anything even faintly associated with domestic violence. But then, I don’t think I’m the only one for whom that, and that alone, is the factor that has pushed the show off the “I’ll watch it if the quality improves” list onto the “Did I ever even care?” list. It was House’s character I cared about; the rest (Wilson, Cuddy, etc.) makes it more interesting, but it’s just the topping, which I can do without. If I can’t respect House, there’s no sense in watching.

  • Flippet

    “If I can’t respect House, there’s no sense in watching.”

    This. That pretty well sums up my feelings, too. Shore and Co. did such a number on his character, that it’s not even him. They’re trying to tell me that Cuddy misjudged him THIS badly, for over 20 years? That the man she strongly defended for years – even perjured herself for – was always a bit of a violent psychopath? And she was enough of a masochist to ignore that, and keep coming back for more? And no viewer caught on to these facts before TPTB were so kind to reveal them in the finale?

  • ParadoxHugh

    It is hard to describe what I deem as light in this show. It is and has always been a show that dwells on the dark side of the human condition. I don’t expect fluffy bunnies to suddenly start running around (or more chickens for that matter.) That would not be House. Just looking for him to ascend one rung of the ladder and actually get to stay there. And by light I don’t mean more jokes or silliness either. I prefer stories with powerful emotional impact and they can often be sad or dark. I just need to see a little light emanating from House himself. Proof that he is still “striving” as DS says and not completely dead inside.

  • Lucy

    “If I can’t respect House, there’s no sense in watching.”
    This is what I’m also feeling right now. I’m still watching the show, but I’m afraid I won’t really care for S8 if I don’t gain some of that respect back. And just showing House as a great diagnostocian won’t be enough.

  • Lightworker


    Your comments really uplift me. When I felt so much pain from “Bombshells” on, particularly as I looked more critically at the way women were portrayed and indeed, used, I watched earlier eps on DVD’s.

    I realized that there had been many sad, melancholy, lonely endings, yet I savored the essence of the way House’s soul revealed nuance of depth as well as angst. At the end of Season 5, I felt sad, but listened to the Stones’ “As Tears Go By” and felt hopeful. I watch British shows that have tragedy, both mysteries and varieties of drama, but they don’t affect me that way, even the conclusion of “Brideshead Revisited.”

    But now, it is as if someone took a sledge hammer to a delicate character portrayal, with light and dark (light to me is positive energy with potential for creativity and growth, while dark represents the potential for self-destruction), which I experienced in prior seasons. Now all is dark.

    The beach scene at the end of “Moving On” seemed tacked on and trite, even with Hugh’s powerful persona, and thereby meaningless to me even though as an artist, I loved the images of him alone on the beach in the fading light and incoming waves. I am wary of what the story will show of his treatment in prison. How will his character evolve or further devolve – with increased capacity for sensitivity growing out of conscious suffering, or as rigidly defended Rational Man, like Ezra Pounds’s poem “The Object,”

    “This thing, that hath a code and not a core, Hath set acquaintance where might be affections, And nothing now Disturbeth his reflections.”

    Yes, it would seem a missed opportunity for the showrunners not to watch what they produce. And to consider that there are real human beings, many smart and insightful people, who allow themselves to invest in an amazing fictional character, often as a respite from the challenges of their lives – not because they don’t have a life. To assume that this is a fan community who are not to be taken seriously is ignorant rubbish. (I must say I find most of the commentaries in defense of the writing to be embarrassing.)

    Perhaps it never was intended for the character of GH to be such a rich and complex tapestry, but it is a mistake to disrespect a character by dismissing him as a “jerk.” I know it is Hugh’s animating spirit to which I have responded. It is to that I will continue to be a loyal fan, both with House and any other endeavors he undertakes. He makes me think and smile and dream and thereby brings out my best self. But like you, I will protect my heart and view with some psychological and even physical distance.

  • Oversimplified


    The trouble is even if PPTH is essentially a business the fact remains that Cuddy had to set aside a large litigation budget just for House, and that only her and Wilson saw him as enough of an asset to keep the board from firing him, in which case it stands to reason that he wasn’t that financially viable as an employee. Add to that the low volume of patients through his department and the uber expensive treatments…

    @ Readingrat and Flippet

    You’re both hitting the nail on the head there. TPTB have got a massive problem in that people just won’t identify with a character who’s amoral, (and I say amoral in light of the most recent promo), rather than having an unconventional set of moral values which I always used to believe House held. I can’t help but feel they are trying to emulate the lead characters in shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter and missing the point about what makes them work. There’s virtually no light to the character now and there really should be to allow for some balance.

  • The Other Barnett

    Why would only Cuddy and Wilson appreciate House and what he brings to PPTH? I know that has been abit of the tension that has kept things going with the show….but there is no reason why another person (with some House background) could not come in as Dean and think in some similar way. House has shown that he can adapt to things in his own shredded way, too.

    And as for the character of House and whether there is any “light” to him. Why do you think a man who crashes a car into a home would be so in the dark that he cannot get out? There certainly was that feeling with the perp-walk into Mayfield. There was that feeling when his ketamine treatment was failing. I’m not sure if this is the worst he has ever felt. Being exquisitely pissed is different from being in the deep darkness of the soul.

  • Oversimplified

    @56 The Other Barnett

    I’m not ruling out that another member of the team or indeed Wilson wouldn’t appreciate what he brings to the hospital, but the fact remains that the Board wanted him out before and whereas his prestige would have been good publicity in the past and perhaps encouraged donors thus bolstering Cuddy’s decision to keep him there, now he’d be the ‘doctor who crashed his car into his ex’s/boss’ house’ and potentially a liability for their reputation and may even be perceived a danger to their patients/staff because of his evident instability. Crashing your car into a dining room is not a measured response from someone who is expected to be responsible for peoples’ lives. As an employee he’s more toxic than he ever was before. Additionally I don’t think House deals with change well at all. Look at how he reacted to Cuddy replacing the bloodstained carpet after his shooting, as well as the way he clings to the ducklings and Wilson, and will almost do anything to keep them sticking around (Masters granted being the exception). Also the very fact that he didn’t deal with Amber and Kutner’s deaths head on and instead ignored them, only for the issue to rear it’s head in his Vicodin hallucinations speaks volumes in my opinion. For someone who enjoys rebelling against authority he’s incredibly reliant on the status quo as a comfort blanket.

    I think you’ve misunderstood slightly about what I meant regarding the light/dark of the character, which is probably my fault for not being clearer. It’s not about the position House finds himself in now and whether he can get out of it that I meant, but rather how I now perceive who he is. Him being capable of doing what he did to Cuddy is now an immovable part of his persona, and to me at least, makes him a less sympathetic and compelling character. In my opinion a protagonist who does the wrong thing for the right reasons or even the right thing for the wrong reasons is much more interesting than one who does the wrong thing for the wrong reasons as was the case with the crash. Even when I hated House for what he did to Wilson during Season 3, part of me admired how he stood up to a bully like Tritter on principle. That’s what I used to love about the show: my own ideals being challenged and conflicted. What happened in the finale left me neither challenged nor conflicted. There was no moral dilemma. What House did was simply wrong and seems to be symptomatic of the show losing it’s head and it’s heart as it propels towards a more visceral ethos, which isn’t uncommon for shows in their later years as the writers’room begins to stagnate and starts to be led by its production values. On the one hand House driving his car into Cuddy’s dining room is a powerful ‘image’ in abstract, but on the other, put back into context, makes little sense in terms of the characters’ backstories. I still think the writers got carried away with this ‘image’ and forgot to flesh it out with believeable contextual credibility, which is why we were saddled with the whole unconvincing ‘let’s make Cuddy conveniently meet some random creepy guy’ coupled with one of the most cringe-worthy MacGuffins (a plot device to move the narrative forward) I’ve seen in a long time: the ‘Hairbrush of Doom’. From what I’ve watched and read so far of the promos and other spoilers for Season 8 I’m not convinced we are going ‘back to basics’ in a satisfying sense.

  • ParadoxHugh

    @54 Lightworker

    Lovely and powerful post there. I think you and Jesuit Man will get along just fine.

    “Light to me is positive energy with potential for creativity and growth, while dark represents the potential for self-destruction.”

    Thank you for this. I often can’t express what I want to say but I know that someone will have the ability to say it for me. We begin this season in that dark place according to DS with House still in “the throes of his addiction.” I just can’t see where we can go with that part of the story that has not been done before. This poster and its shadow man worries me. Is House but a shadow of himself? What will it take to move him out of the shadows of doom or do they intend to keep him there? Last season they said to prepare for a bumpy ride. This season I think we need to provide our own light sources and watch through a veil. At least there will be surprise. It was apparent from the very first episode last season that they were not going to let Huddy work. Plus we knew that DS does not do happy so there was no real surprise. It was a matter of waiting for the breakup to happen. How far they took it after that was surprising but not satisfying.

    This season may just start in the dark but ultimately set up something surprising. Can he grow? I have no idea anymore. We can only hope that they do let House catch a break down the line. I fully expect a Nick Cannon ending where we will have to supply our own opinion to an ambiguous final scene, but I can at least hope that one of the possibilities is leaning toward the light. If it is at all possible for me to give House a break in his misery, that is the the place I will take him. HL said in EW recently that House has a sense of joy, mischief and devilry to go with his angst and great physical and emotional pain. I am hoping to see some of that joy.

  • G-Ma House

    If you look at the ending of season 7, with House in the bright sunlight vs the shadow on the prison wall counting the days then you can see it as hopeful, at least I can. He is still there on that beach, in a good frame of mind. His shadow or the darkness, is cast into prison and is serving it’s time until he earns his total freedom from those very dark places. The places he couldn’t break free of, the places of drugs and self loathing, self torment & mutilation, the places with no hope, or purpose, or happiness – those very scary dark places that threatened to engulf him once again, with the loss of Cuddy, and suck him back into a solitary world of his own misery. This is him Moving On. He really can’t go back now – his actions have finally changed everything. Actions are the only thing that matter, the only thing that makes the difference.

  • Jessica

    The idea of House in prison makes me cringe since I’m not into violence at all. He’s always been a man in control, for the most part, in that he calls the shots. Now he is at the mercy of others, I don’t like seeing him like that. Prison is a brutal place and a man like him can be reduced to a weak pathetic cripple and I don’t like that House, NOT ONE BIT. I don’t want a weak, cowardly House. True, in the past, House has acted cowardly in some situations (like admitting his feelings for Cuddy), but this is different. The idea of him being beat up in prison, not able to protect himself (and let’s face it, he’s tough but no match for those inmates), just bothers the hell out of me. If they’re doing this to teach him some kind of lesson, well, you know what? I don’t even know what to think.

    All I know is that for the FIRST time in EIGHT years I am NOT AT ALL EXCITED about the new season. The only redeeming quality is seeing HUGH LAURIE again at his best despite crappy scripts. I feel conflicted because one one hand, I love Hugh’s work but on the other hand, this isn’t about Hugh’s work, this is about how Shore and Company effectively ruined TWO of the most awesome characters on television (H/C), as well as the RELATIONSHIP between THREE of them (H/C/W).

    I’ve got a an awesome framed House poster in my office, of all the cast. It’s a great conversation piece. Everybody knows the show and has watched it and so far NOBODY has said they are happy about what happened in S7, they are STILL shocked Lisa left and they are not even watching S8. Did you know people used to have “House” parties? Groups of people would get together on Monday nights and watch the show and have a blast. Sometimes various drinking games were involved (and really funny ones at that) and sometimes not. Fact is, groups of friends just enjoyed getting together to see what would happen next with their favorite characters.

  • Maria-Eleni

    • 60 – Jessica
    I am with you here. Since watching “Midnight Express” in the ‘70s I avoid prison films.
    But then House deserves to be put in jail and not only for his latest action. He has thumped his nose at society so many times he finally needs to feel society’s retaliation.
    Actually, I always felt Tritter’s arc to be incomplete. Tritter was right about House and the consequences of his addiction as it was subsequently shown. He was also correct in accusing House’s circle of enabling him.
    So yes, I think prison was inevitable for House.

    “I don’t want a weak, cowardly House”. Neither do I. And he came near to it by “loving” and not wanting to lose Cuddy.
    Which is why I liked “Moving On”, his lashing out and then going to a paradise island instead of to the deepest, darkest alcohol hole in vicinity.

    So as far as a jailed House is concerned, it just makes me impatient to see how he will manage to prevail in such an environment. How he will provoke, resist, manipulate the prison system to get what he wants. After all he is House: bad, dark, mad and dangerous with a WELL HIDDEN core of sensitivity and “goodness”. If this changes, and I agree with the premise that he should not fundamentally change, then he is not House any more. As well give him a lobotomy.
    I do not think any amount of beatings will bring him down. He has been dealing with constant pain for years. Furthermore he has repeatedly inflicted pain on himself; although an emotional coward, he is definitely not a physical coward.
    As for those terrifying inmate bullies, I am pretty sure they exist in [H]ouse Universe to show us House’s manipulative skills. Brawn against brain. I am very interested to see how he will react and if he will prevail.

    “to teach him some kind of lesson “.. I do not think he is capable of being taught by external processes . Any lesson for House will have to come from within himself and his own intellectual and emotional resourses combined with circumstances (if he accepts them as relevant).

    “this isn’t about Hugh’s work”. By now I think HL has enough clout to influence plot lines that he disapproves of. It has been also frequently stated that he resisted the softening of the character. I do sincerely hope that he will contribute to a better quality of the writing. However I did not find bad the House/Cuddy arc; the peripheral plots were weak lately but I have also read the same criticisms for the earlier seasons as well, to which I agree. After all I almost exclusively watch for the House plot, even the medical mysteries are less than secondary, for me at least.

    “so far NOBODY has said they are happy about what happened in S7”. This is a delusion.
    There is a large number of people who have expressed their liking for se7, even rating it above se5 and/or se6. But we are much less vociferous and have been tired of reading and answering the negativities. You just need to cruise around more sites in the internet to get a more comprehensive picture.

    To conclude, I found House more interesting addicted to Vicodin pills than addicted to Cuddy/Vicodin. The love for Cuddy was a dependency after she supported him post infraction and gave him an environment to work (and more or less ride roughshod over everybody around him) combined with sexual attraction. She was a Vicodin replacement for House clearly symbolized by his hallucination (Se5), and after detoxing in se6. Cyddy herself expresses this when she tells Wilson that she is House’s problem. She was justified in breaking up with him.

    Hopefully, his lashing out will make him reconsider where his addictive, obsessive, introvert nature takes him and try to find a measure of control. This is what I hope to see in se8 (and maybe se9, fingers crossed), as well as how House will react in prison, how he will deal with postCuddy life and the difficulties in reinstating himself in PPTH (as a symbol of society).

    I am also very interested to see how his relationship with Wilson will develop. Wilson has been, in turns, a supporter and an adversary (at least he tried). The last we have seen him, he attempted to control the Vicodin intake and to help House overcome the break-up with Cuddy. But at the end, he seems to have completely misread House’s mood.

    Whether we like it or not, the closing scenes show House both defiant and resigned. Also liberated. Frankly, I do not want the writers to bow to the backlash and retrace their original conception of House’s journey. What I want is a sharpening of the writing to reflect the dynamism of the earlier seasons before the gloom of House’s effort to find domestic contentment. He is a loner and a thinker; he should try for inner peace through his intellect and his own anarchic, but pervertedly “ethical” beliefs.

  • Oversimplified

    @59 G-Ma House

    In my opinion at the end of ‘Moving On’ he’s in the worst mental shape he’s ever been in. His conscience had completely disappeared and he was showing psychopathic tendencies in that he apparently felt no remorse for what he’d done or empathy for his victims. To derive some sort of joy or even peace of mind from an act like that means that his judgement is seriously skewed and the numbness won out. He was effectively a shell, and in that scene there was way more darkness than light to be found despite the idyllic setting. On the other hand had he ended up on that beach having handed in his resignation I’d have felt completely differently.

    @61 Maria-eleni

    House was defiant in that final scene, but evidently his sense of liberation will be fleeting both in terms of where he ends up physically, in prison and then BACK at PPTH, and emotionally if/when he redevelops his conscience. If they play things realistically he’d be just as bound up with Cuddy as he ever was even if she’s not there anymore. His ‘victory’, and attempt to sever their ties was hollow in my opinion. He’ll always be the man who did what he did to her, and whilst his debt to society is paid through his prison sentence, as long as Cuddy’s not physically there he can never begin to make reparations to her.

    Also with regards to Shore being allowed to play out his own vision, even though I agree with you to an extent I think the saying, ‘with power comes great responsibility’ applies greatly here, and when a network gives you a weekly one hour slot and you accumulate millions of viewers there’s both a lot of power and a responsibility. As a writer myself, I don’t think any subject matter should be taboo, but when you deal with an issue as sensitive as domestic violence you really need to do your homework and not portray it as a frivolous or even comedic act, not only because you have the potential to offend, but also to influence. That drama is purely entertainment is a fallacy. The ancient Greeks/Romans realised it could be both escapism and didactic at the same time and modern psychological studies appear to back this up, which is why companies spend billions of dollars on advertising and product placement in order to associate their products with certain characters/shows. What we watch at the cinema, on the TV and in the theatre influences our perception of everything from love to the judicial system, which is why I see DS’s defence of what House did (‘he was trying to hurt her house’) as equally ignorant and irresponsible, especially from a former lawyer.

    Aside from all this I don’t believe Shore has an overarching vision for his character, and a definite idea of where he wants to ultimately take him. In fact he more or less admitted it in an interview before the finale. Even if he did, which I think was once the case, (up until the end of Season 5), Fox’s impetus is potentially more damaging than a backlash from the public. Because they provide the money they can, have and probably will ask for changes or embellishments that distort the creative vision of the writing team.

  • Ladybelle Fiske

    I think I can put up with anything except too much focus on Taub and his two lovers and two children. Better than most stories about him but sadly I find him very dull and unappealing. I hope the women they brought in have some energy to replace LE and OW (and JM). I really wish we could see JM come back and be reconciled with Chase in the end. Can’t we have ONE happy ending?

  • Ladybelle Fiske

    I also was sorry to see on the commentaries for Season 7 how they seem to consider it inevitable that a) House go back on Vicodin (though I don’t mind him on it really); b) Cuddy and he were bound to break up, and so on. There seems to be some of the same feeling about Olivia W’s departure. Though I would have liked to see her stick around and perhaps become involved to some extent with Chase. I wonder if the new female doctors brought in are going to be good replacements? At least one of them is obviously meant to be “funny” but I also appreciate aesthetics and there won’t be that much of that sort of thing in terms of female beauty…?

  • Lucy

    @ Maria – Eleni

    “House deserves to be put in jail and not only for his latest action. He has thumped his nose at society so many times he finally needs to feel society’s retaliation. Actually, I always felt Tritter’s arc to be incomplete. Tritter was right about House and the consequences of his addiction as it was subsequently shown. He was also correct in accusing House’s circle of enabling him. So yes, I think prison was inevitable for House.”

    I agree with this.

    In general, for me one of the problems with this show is that whatever House does, he suffers no lasting consequences. Sooner or later, things always return to the status quo. I get that this is a procedural so changes have to be limited, but we’ve seen a lot of ‘game changing’ events that actually changed the game only for a couple of episodes. So, House prevails over Vogler; he prevails over Tritter; he wins back Wilson’s friendship after Amber’s death; he gets his licence and his job back after being in an asylum. And now, he’ll return to PPTH by… let’s say ep. 8×02? And Wilson will forgive him for what he did by… let’s say ep. 3?
    Then, maybe they’ll find a plausible way to explain all this (even if it’ll be difficult); but this is not exactly the point. The point is that it’s all very predictable. Interestingly, the only permanent change that will occur to House’s life – ie Cuddy leaving PPTH for good – wasn’t even planned by TPTB, but forced by Lisa’s decision to leave the series. Hadn’t she decided to quit, we’d have seen Cuddy forgiving House – or at least hiring him back and keeping working with him – which would have made zero sense after the events in Moving On.

    And yet, even though we know that House hates changes and Cuddy’s departure is a big change for him (personally and professionally), I think Shore will minimize the impact of this event… one year will have passed, we’ll see one glimpse of remorse in the premiere, then maybe it’ll be said that it’s a good thing for both House and Cuddy that she has left, then House will take one episode adjusting to the new boss (which will very appropriately be one of his team-members), and then House’s life will be exactly the same, only with Foreman (I guess) at Cuddy’s place.

  • tamzilla

    I am very disappointed with the series direction; to me his relationship with Cuddy was one of the most important aspects of the show, especially as I have always viewed this show as being about a person dealing with addiction. For me, watching House’s character develop and deal with addiction and his emotional issues was the essence of the show, not the “medical” drama. The show was too formulaic after year three, so I have enjoyed all the changes made. To me the most important relationships in his life were Wilson and Cuddy, especially Cuddy. Through the seasons I have found Cuddy’s character to be one of the most interesting, so I really am disappointed and hope that the writers can overcome this glitch to House’s story. In my opinion, House developing a relationship with Cuddy was important to his character evolving and overcoming addiction and emotional issues from his past. Silly that they did not continue his therapy as it was one of the most interesting aspects of his character development.

  • Zazie

    “For me, watching House’s character develop and deal with addiction and his emotional issues was the essence of the show, not the “medical” drama.”

    I enjoyed more seasons 1 to 4 because of medical puzzles, we’ve seen now House’character from all angles, he is a drug addict and will remain it all his life, for me House has never been miserable, in pain and tormented yes but who is not?
    That’s why I hope season 8 will be the last, I now really want to know the end of this story.

  • Zazie

    “I think Shore will minimize the impact of this event… one year will have passed, we’ll see one glimpse of remorse in the premiere, then maybe it’ll be said that it’s a good thing for both House and Cuddy that she has left, then House will take one episode adjusting to the new boss (which will very appropriately be one of his team-members), and then House’s life will be exactly the same, only with Foreman (I guess) at Cuddy’s place.”

    I’m with you on this, but I think it’s necessary with the idea to get back to basics.

  • Oversimplified

    @ 68 Zazie

    The problem is, in light of the gravity of what happened, the last place House should find himself is back at square one. I’ve been trying to see this from all angles and that still bugs me because House isn’t ‘just’ a procedural like Law & Order or CSI. Pretending things didn’t happen just isn’t going to be satisfying if that’s the path they do indeed take. I must admit I’ve missed some of the really cool cases, but after one hundred and fifty plus eps I just get the feeling the new POTWs will be variations on a theme we’ve already seen. It’s not particularly a dig at the writing team, it’s just that I don’t think there is an infinite number of distinctly different possibilities when writing for the patients. In my opinion that’s why showing character development is so important, and what stops House from being a show you can casually dip into.

  • DebbieJ

    There is only one reason I am returning to watch Season 8 and that is Hugh Laurie. David Shore and Greg Y do not deserve my time. I would have said that the second reason I am returning is Greg House but I lost total sympathy for him. I hate what TPTB did to him and did to the show. I truly don’t care what happens to him now. And I really hate that I feel that way.

  • Shannon Wilson

    Final ep—House treats handicapped biker’s son who is ill. After some clashes, the biker has some wise philosophy for House about how to find satisfaction in his life. This character would be played by Hugh, in an acting tour-de-force. Please pass this on to the writers. I have specific scenes in mind to create a honorable and absorbing finale.