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Huddy Anatomy: House and Cuddy in Season Seven-Part I

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I’ve finally had the time to re-watch House, M.D.‘s seventh season in its entirety, no breaks or commercials). I tried to understand the arc of the House-Cuddy relationship—where and when it is good for them, and how it falls disastrously apart. 

House and Cuddy

Do I wish that House and Cuddy had stayed together longer?Yes. There were many ways the narrative might have gone. Their relationship might have played out behind the scenes to the final episode of the series, with only an occasional reminder.

The story might have ended less abruptly—a mutual understanding that “it will never work out.” House might have chosen something less physically destructive to finally “express his anger.” On the other hand, as both Cuddy and Wilson fear throughout the finale, House’s emotions are so intense and so internalized they simply explode recklessly and dangerously. 

The breakup seems arbitrary, considering Cuddy’s deep feelings for House. On the other hand, Cuddy is not good with relationships, and maybe that’s her pathology. She certainly ended it with Lucas quick enough!

There are many ways the story might have gone, and the creative team at House chose a path with a lot of risk and much controversy. They made Cuddy seem arbitrary and cruel, stomping on House’s heart, justifying to herself that she “has a right” to break up with him, even as she acknowledges that she hadn’t been fair, and that he deserves another chance. The breakup leaves House broken and pining much as he had with Stacy (we surmise), though we only understand that through Wilson’s eyes.

The relationship is doomed from the start. Cuddy enters into the relationship with an ambivalence that really never goes away, and House is too often driven by fear of losing Cuddy, and of his own happiness. The combination cannot bode well.

As Season 6 ends, Cuddy is in love with House despite her best efforts. She knows she shouldn’t be in love with him, or maybe even love him. “I wish I didn’t,” she confesses, explaining to House that she’s jettisoned her engagement to Lucas in order to be with him. And as she tells a police officer in this season’s finale, she’d been waiting for “something to happen” for months. Expecting House to disappoint or hurt her (of course the last thing she was expecting was for him to crash his car into her living room!).

At the beginning of Season 7, Cuddy is living a fantasy fueled by having seen the best and most noble in House in “Help Me.” Yes, House can be noble, self-sacrificing (despite what he says), romantic, and compassionate. But House can also be selfish (and often is), petulant, play endless games that can drive any sane person of the edge. He can be dismissive of others’ needs, sarcastic, mocking and even mean, and even cruel in the right situation. He’ll lie and obfuscate when it serves what he believes to be a greater good, including self-preservation. He’s a complicated guy.

When you get deeply involved with someone that complex (because you never know when the bad behavior is really bad behavior or just a glorious cover-up for actually-noble behavior; whether the game-playing are gratuitous mind-fucks or have some greater nobler reason behind them), you are letting yourself in for a challenging time.

He is high-maintenance, and Cuddy believed that she was ready for all that entails. Clearly she was not.

Cuddy can’t only think of herself here. She has a child, and what effect does her relationship have on Rachel (for better or worse)? When people fall in love, they put blinders on their eyes to see the good, and not expect the less good. But the blinders fall off sooner or later. And, Cuddy knows House well enough to understand his complexities, troubles and personality. Trying to ignore something you’ve known for years, trying to convince yourself “it doesn’t matter” when it has to eventually, is Cuddy’s biggest misstep during the months of the relationship.

But Cuddy never really lets go of her reservations, her “I wish I didn’t” feelings. She’s waiting and watching, expecting House to disappoint her or embarrass her. It’s not constant, and there is a time during their relationship when she seems to forget her ambivalence (particularly mid-season). The time she spends with House is clearly joyful for the most part, and there’s no question that she deeply cares for him—and loves him. But her ambivalence seeps through, and as the months go by, she wonders what she’s gotten herself into.

By the time we get to “Bombshells,” her dreams tell us just how deep that ambivalence goes; how much she doesn’t trust House to “be there.” Combined with her illness the provide her with the clarity to sever the tie between them—and not to listen to any second thoughts. “I wish I didn’t” becomes “I no longer can.”

Cuddy is also a complex person. Decisive and savvy enough to head a hospital, she also is one of the few doctors really commanding House’s respect as a physician. Emotionally, however, Cuddy is far from decisive. Her path to motherhood is fraught with indecisiveness (something that House calls her on in Season 5’s “Joy”). She’s had three romantic relationships we know about: a marriage that ended after a few days, an engagement to House’s flakey PI friend Lucas Douglas, and her relationship with House.  All three end abruptly.

Cuddy recognizes her love for House when she observes him at his most noble. She witnesses him overcome his deepest fears, transcend his own issues in a raw encounter with a dying girl. He is deeply affected by her death, even allowing others to see his usually hyper-guarded emotions. For the moment he is a hero to her, and given the emotions that she has also experienced during the episode, and the natural comparison to her flakey fiancé Lucas, this House is a revelation to her.

That’s enough for her despite the ambivalence until she sees him at his weakest: the unreliable man who can’t be “there” for her without numbing himself to the gills. It’s enough to break the spell. It’s not that she no longer loves him, because that’s nothing she can control. But it’s enough to maintain her resolve despite the terrible hurt she’s inflicted on House.

So while Cuddy’s emotions are tempered, and even guarded by her ambivalence, House is driven by fear. House fears not living up to Cuddy’s expectations, of losing her once she takes off those rosy glasses and shakes off the romantic endorphins and sees him as he is. And he’s afraid of losing himself to emotion. He needs to guard against that inevitable breakup and the pain it will cause him. He’s afraid of happiness, something it’s long-been established he feels he doesn’t deserve. Maybe he’s also terrified of the disastrous swan-dive to come should things not work out. House never enters into anything casually. I don’t believe he even takes sex casually, which is likely why he uses hookers. Relationships are all-in for him, and while he might soar while in love, an inevitable (certainly in his mind) break up will send him crashing to the ground.

One of House’s mantras is, “Words don’t matter; actions matter.” And in season premiere “Now What?” House tries to get his head around the idea that “this” is not just a casual one-night stand. As much as House wants this relationship—has craved it for years—he is terrified of where it’s going to go, and that enters into his calculus of how willing he is to put his whole foot in the water. Can he even utter the “L” word seriously, no matter how deeply he feels it.

Certain that once Cuddy comes to her senses and leave the honeymoon haze of being in love, House believes that she’ll realize he’s “insane for choice for someone with a kid—a small jump to the inevitable conclusion that this was a huge mistake,” he tells her. “I’ve done horrible things to you,” he reminds her. “I’ll do them again,” he warns. It’s inevitable.

But Cuddy tries to assure him that it’s not necessary for him to change; she accepts him as he is. “I know you are screwed up, but you are the most incredible man I’ve known.” 

And she means it—in the moment, and House believes her—enough for him to declare his love, earnestly and honestly. But as they part company to go back the there “real world” and into this uncharted territory, it is clear that they both have deep reservations. You can almost hear Cuddy say as she stands outside House’s door, leaving him and the fantasy of their weekend together that she wondering what she’s gotten herself into. This does not bode well.

Over the course of Season 7, they are confronted with a series of crises—professional and personal—that test both the boundaries between their respective jobs as employee and boss or the limits of their trust in each other on a much more personal level. Her ambivalence and his fear of losing her nearly sabotage their relationship more than once.

For a while both walk on eggshells, reluctant to create conflict, which gets in the way of their professional relationship. But they overcome it when the inevitable blow up over patient care leads to an epiphany about their personal relationship, which finally clears the air. Painful, brutal honesty, acknowledges Cuddy, will give their professional and personal relationships a chance at some harmony.

But neither actually lets go of their main stumbling blocks. House never stops fearing that Cuddy will come to her senses and end the relationship, although he grows more comfortable in his new status. But as he settles into it, he also begins to take the relationship for granted, which annoys Cuddy and adds to her ambivalence.

But Cuddy continues to fight against her reservations, taking a tentative step deeper into a serious relationship after House wonders why she’s guarding Rachel from him. House is clearly hurt that after months, Cuddy has still not brought Rachel into their relationship. And Cuddy responds by letting him in. (“Massage Therapy”).

The first real crisis in the relationship begins in “Office Politics.” House wants to use an experimental treatment without first being able to confirm the illness, something Cuddy forbids, insisting that House get proof, something the patient’s condition won’t allow. Circumventing Cuddy is nothing new for House, and it’s something she’s accepted as the way he practices medicine. She may not especially like it, but she’s always tolerated it for the good of the patient, especially when House gets the desired patient outcome. But now things are complicated. House is boxed into a corner: either he defies Cuddy’s directions, risking his relationship with Cuddy—or he follows Cuddy’s directive and watches his patient dies.

Wilson lays it out for him. “Be honest and face the medical consequences or lie and face the personal consequences.” Although House tries to compartmentalize his relationship with Cuddy (“I’m not lying to my girlfriend; I’m lying to my boss”), and he’s lied a thousand times before, he knows the consequences are dire if Cuddy doesn’t see it his way.

Agonizing over the choice, House finally provides a falsified positive to Cuddy by testing the patient’s associate, whom House believes has the same illness. Cuddy allows the experimental treatment and the patient is saved.

I have to wonder if Cuddy would have allowed House to obtain the indirect confirmation his test provided, and not caused all the problems that ensued for the relationship. It’s not an unreasonable request, and House can be pretty persuasive. But he never tries, opting instead for the lie.

Perhaps he doesn’t want to reveal his cards in case she balked at that too. Her suspicions would have been aroused if after she said “no,” House came up with a positive result out of the blue. His choice is riskier to the relationship, but only if he gets caught, which is less likely. Although he has an opportunity to ‘fess up after the fact, he never does, choosing instead to perpetuate the lie.

His usual arguments after he’s been caught do not have any power: “I lied to save a life.”  But Cuddy, who has previously understood, if not accepted, House’s “necessary” lies and obfuscations, suddenly no longer does. “You can’t lie to me at all.”

Although House is all for compartmentalizing love and work, Cuddy can’t or won’t. Cuddy wants an apology; House doesn’t believe he’s done anything he hasn’t before, and what does she expect? She accuses him of having “no respect for authority,” but what has he done differently?

On the other hand, House owes Cuddy an apology for lying to her. He can coat it all he wants with good intention and “for the good of the patient, no matter the consequences,” but he not only lies to her, but then doesn’t own up to it before she finds out. She’s insulted—and hurt—and rightly so.

But House is terrible at this, and instead of apologizing, he plays games, trying to catch Cuddy in a lie. And when he finally hits on one, it’s hurtful, and far from evening the score, it digs him deeper in the hole.

I don’t think this crisis diminishes how House and Cuddy feel about each other. In “Small Sacrifices,” as they continue to bicker about whether House’s actions demand an apology, they attend a wedding, dance and he still does those mundane “couple” things for Cuddy:  he zips her dress, holds her purse. They are a couple in the midst of an argument, not a divorce.

In the end, House folds, and apologizes telling her that “he’ll never lie to her again.” Cuddy is satisfied, although she obviously knows that’s a lie. As I said several times during the season, it’s not the lie, it’s the lie about the lie—that’s where it becomes disrespecting her, and no longer about the patient.

But they get through the crisis, and their relationship seems on more solid footing for the next three episodes. Cuddy seems confident of House’s love and trust, and her ambivalence—the expectation that House will fail her somehow—has dissipated. House seems more confident as well; his fear of losing Cuddy seems to have vanished, and he seems more settled in.

The mid-season episodes “Larger than Life,” “Family Practice,” and “You Must Remember This” are probably the high point of House and Cuddy’s relationship. They seem more on the same page, they’re affectionate and comfortable with each other. When Cuddy’s mom comes on the scene in “Larger than Life,” Cuddy is not at all happy to see her, seeking House’s support to get through the encounter. House is reluctant to expose himself to an evening with Arlene Cuddy, but does it anyway after Cuddy insists: “You will spend two hours in hell, but I will feel better having you there. We average our misery.”

She’s not concerned he will embarrass her or behave badly, and House is quick to come to her defense when Mama Cuddy begins to insult her daughter. It is clear from this episode just how much House is trying to live up to what he thinks are Cuddy’s expectations, which takes its toll on a guy not used to being as social as he’s had to be lately.

In “Family Practice,” House acts much like he does when Amber’s life is on the line in “Wilson’s Heart” (4×16). He follows his heart and not his mind here, trying to save Arlene’s life. His brain tells him not to be involved in her care at all, but he allows himself first to be sucked into treating Arlene, and after she fires him, he continues treating her—behind her new attending’s back. When it backfires, he grows irritated with Cuddy for not confronting her mother. He knows where this will end if Arlene dies—even if it’s not his fault. “Maybe next week, maybe a year from now,” House argues, Cuddy will look at him as the one who killed her mother.

He wants her to stand up to her aggravating, manipulative mother; confront her instead of playing her game. It’s good advice.

And as the season begins to build up to the its biggest crisis point, “You Must Remember This” hits on themes that will come into play for the rest of the season, particularly loneliness and acceptance. But most importantly for House and Cuddy, it asks the question, “what are you willing to give up to have peace of mind and a social relationship.”

The episode’s patient is confronted with giving up her gift of a perfect memory to be “normal” and have a relationship with her sister. Shortly House will ask himself a similar question, and Cuddy will have to reconcile just how much of “House being House” she can accept.

Stay tuned for Part II, which will take a closer look at the breakup and its aftermath. House returns for Season 8 October 3 at a new time, 9 PM ET 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.
  • Lucy

    There weas a multitude of ways this love story could have been written. They made it a point of building the characters with enough complexity to allow for so many options. Yet, for many, they chose the least favorable choice. Ironically, If a lot of fans had known the writers would take this route and not really step up to the plate to snub their noses at the moonlighting curse as critics hoped and suggested, they would not have invested so many years in the show. It’s regretful…

  • Stan

    Nice recap. I agree with Lucy’s comment. To a lot of fans it feels like TPTB were walking in as much fear as they tried (and I emphasize tried) to show House. It feels like they were both ambivalent and fearful, so they chose that route. It made for a “common” path; not the exceptional story critics and fans expected from this talented team. It is sad to scan the fan pages and see the drop in interest, and the anger and disillusionment. There are still people interested, and a handful are talking – though the in depth character studies and analysis of motives and possibilities is missing – but the diverse and large groups are not congregating. That is sad. For many , it wasn’t Huddy as much as the underlying feeling that they lacked a true investment in the arc they had been building for years. It became a snowball effect, and the fanbase was hurt the most.

    I think for a lot of fans en choosing to “explore” Huddy as a peripheral rather than THE focus would have been better as long as it was a real investment. The ambivalence and fear may be something true to character, but their reactions to those feelings were not always in line with what they had shown us in the past. Cuddy’s response to her own ambivalence has traditionally been much of a fight mode; Just as House’s response was usually a complex deflection and reckless phase that proved to be a fight for right. It just didn’t ring true for their characters for many of us.

    It’s ok, though. Now the people who love House miserable, alone and in pain will have their chance. And some will tune in just to see how they write Cuddy out. A lot are just reading and going through the necessary grieving steps over the summer; slowly letting go.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Lucy,
    I’ve never watched the show only for House-Cuddy, so my investment in House, M.D. isn’t dependent on the direction the way they took that story. But I understand your point.

    I recognize that some people have watched for the series history to see House and Cuddy together. As much as I’ve loved the seven years of their relationship (I didn’t enjoy watching the breakup), and wished it had gone on, it’s never been what’s made the show for me.

  • Saddest[H]fan

    I appreciate the analysis but cannot help but think how pointless the S7 House & Cuddy s/l was. Regardless, if “hindsight being 20/20″ TPTB never did the relationship justice b/c the sole purpose was to get House back on vicodin. Period!

    6+ seasons of build-up & 1 season with never truly explored “implications & complications” as was promised by DS, is what got me pissed off b/c there was so much potential. Ugh! TPTB & writers FAILED to make it work & to make it NOT work. They sucked at both & then take no accountability for screwing things up so badly. Then add the Fuck you to the LONGTIME fans…make a fan say Fuck you too!!!

    I know that my view is just my simple little “subjective” opinion. Even so, having them tell you that as a fan in a demeaning way repeatedly is what put the fork in it for this fan.

    I feel like Cuddy saying “I hate you [H]! I wish I didn’t but, I can’t help it.”

  • Not Bored Anymore

    The more I think about House and Cuddy’s relationship this season, the more I believe the writers had never intended to depict a romance, but illustrate why the romance was doomed from the start. Of course TPTB could not let on that was their plan all along, but I give them props for taking an unorthodox approach to the relationship.

    Just curious, Barbara. Why is Lucas flaky? IMO, his pranks were no worse than Cuddy’s or House’s. Compared to House, he showed a sincere interest in Rachel.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    In my opinion Lucas has always been a bit flaky. His interactions with House, the team, the awkward comments made to House in Known Unknowns. The goofiness, etc.

  • Jane E

    I really liked your synopsis and look forward to the next half. I as you did watched the show for House and his daily struggles through life. But, from season 1, I always thought Cuddy was for him and that would be where the series would end. I think you hit the target in your article when you stated that this show could have gone on with this relationship in the background. House and the POTW are the main theme, but every show has side stories in this case Huddy.
    As for certain episode incidents, I think House holding himself with Cuddy’s mother was not the fear of losing her but I felt it was out of his deep love for Cuddy. I do agree with your view on Office Politics, House always lied to Cuddy as a boss and he was absolutely right about this point. Whenever you hire any type of family, you have to compartmentalize your views as a boss and Cuddy at her level, should be able to distinguish this.
    As a fan, I feel really disappointed this summer. I always looked forward to next year, but they have ripped that eagerness out from me with the car scene. Add this scene to actually finding out Lisa E won’t be back is heartbreaking. I actually feel lost.

  • Lucy

    Well, a lot of us didn’t just watch for Huddy, but this approach to Huddy hurt House the character For Some of Us. This approach – though it can be consdiered creative – actually made House a less interesting character for some of us and that’s why we wish Huddy hadn’t been done at all at this point. It’s so easy to say Huddies are unhappy, but I was only a resigned Huddy because they kept pushing that Cuddy was the one for House, that she was his heart. They wrote that very clearly as a build up since Top Secret with “I’m Always Here” all the way to The Choice when House said “Friends is the last thing I was us to be.”. There had always been flirtation and chemistry, but there was a definite push for three seasons that fans could embrace or begrudgingly accept. As a “House in a quest for Hope and less misery/self-acceptance” shipper I feel that telling the audience it’s invaluable and then writing it as a means to break House further was a cop out and the weaker choice. I’m not alone in this opinion. A lot of non-Huddies feel did not buy into this. Taking the ambivalent/fear approach may have ensured a break-up and projected a less than passionate relationship, but it also ensured a less powerful break-up and an exaggerated fall for House. The approach seemed to devalue the three main characters of House, Cuddy and Wilson. Again, it just some of our opnions, but we’re NOT all Huddies. Using this relationship as a means to break him and place him in an situation where he’s unburdened and feeling a little better but will tomorrow face the tragedy of a destroyed life doesn’t really reflect well against the arduous path of growth he has been taking, it disregards the journey so far and undermines the relationships, history and canon. This was a choice we have to accept, but again, if we non-huddies who were forced to accept Huddy had known it would end up with this House, we wouldn’t have followed. Just my opnion, though I know I’m not alone.

  • Oversimplified

    Like you Barbara my main reason for watching the show wasn’t House and Cuddy’s relationship, but I do feel like they missed one hell of an opportunity to explore two of the main characters in any real depth. Nearly every episode felt like it should have had the sub-title ‘Huddy: this isn’t going to work is it?’, which is a shame seen as in the past the writers have been capable of a lot more subtlety.

    Under no circumstances was it all bad though. I thought the argument at the end of ‘Selfish’ was completely in character, as was House urging Cuddy to stop her Mother from going to a different hospital in ‘Family Practice’. I also think the scene where he threatened Masters was interesting in that it demonstrated the lengths that he was capable of going to ‘protect his own’. (We saw a bit of this in Season 6 with House’s animosity towards Sam over Wilson.) But these were only glimpses of something interesting in a sea of banality to be quite honest. Sure the small things in a relationships like not taking the garbage out are something in real life that can be exceptionally irritating, but the writers choosing to depict things like that over an insightful exploration of their pasts is something that still baffles and floors me about Season 7, and I think seems to prove that they were more excited about writing the aftermath than they were the actual relationship itself. That’s especially a shame seen as they spent 6 years adding layers to their interactions.

    Was I disappointed that they split up? Yes of course. I felt for both characters who are undeniably equally screwed up in their own different ways, and wanted to see them find some happiness in each other, but I didn’t expect for it to be plain sailing or even necessarily last. The problem is the ‘complications’ that we saw on-screen were often repetitive or just plain dull, and time and time again it felt like we were waiting for the world’s slowest executioner’s axe to finally connect. It never really appeared to be the case that the writers were ‘sitting in the moment’ and adding more flesh to the characters’ bones in the same way they were before, i.e. in the past the revelation that Cuddy had been married before wouldn’t have been so throwaway.

    All in all the relationship felt incredibly shallow, and at times House and Cuddy appeared to be shadows or even exaggerated parodies of the characters we’ve grown to know and like over the past 7 years, which is something I continue to lament over.

  • HouseMDFan

    Barbara, I liked your observations that Cuddy was floating on a high regarding House’s character after what she witnessed in “Help Me”, as well as that the high point of their relationship were the four mid-season episodes (though of course there were some hints and problems in those too), leading up to House already taking Cuddy a bit for granted in “Two Stories”. Makes a lot of sense.

    I’m actually pretty okay with how they handled the relationship, I think we got some really great scenes over the course of the season, and a lot to think about, especially since a lot of the supposedly “shallow” stuff told us a lot about them if seen in the light of earlier seasons. I’m also honestly curious: how do you and the others here think they could have handled the relationship more “in depth”? Without treading out topics we have seen before? Because I don’t really know and I keep reading that complaint.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    HouseMDFan–

    I’m fine with how the season played out. More in depth (to me, anyway) would have meant more episodes playing things out. But I’d been pretty sure it was doomed right from the first kiss.

  • C

    Nice analysation, as always. The problem with the the people who make this show is that they think that every fan interested in seeing House and Cuddy in a relationship is a ‘Huddy’. I’ve never considered myself a ‘Huddy’, but I have often thought throughout the seasons/years of the show that, with their loooong history, Cuddy would be the only person capable of ‘being’ with House on equal ground, of understanding him, of keeping him in check. And I suppose after the disappointing and pathetic cop-out that was the end of season 7, this was proven correct. The show doesn’t even have a regular female cast member anymore (this speaks for itself — no need to go on a rant about how females have been treated on the show this season), and it’s easy to see why Lisa Edelstein left when the show has lost the plot (and taken House with it). To DS and the writers of the season 7 finale I would just like to say that if you have to explain to fans in numerous press releases and interviews that House was not trying to kill Cuddt et al, that he knew magically that Rachel was not in the House, that his super-human deduction skills include calculating in a split-second whether a speeding, swerving car can be wheeled aside at the last second just in case Cuddy etc had returned to the dining room — well, you’re clearly delusional, and the episode has failed. Your press releases and cop-out explanations are not canon. House ramming his car through Cuddy’s house like a homicidal manciac, not a medical professional, is. You put all people working in the field of healthcare to shame. What I hate most of all is that they spent years, *years*, building up this relationship only to throw it all away like a used handkerchief in a few episodes. What’s the point? Oh, that’s right, there was none. So, I’ll be one of those people who tunes in to see how they handle LEs departure, but then I’ll be tuning out for good. Personally, I think they should free Hugh Laurie from his contract. The man is too talented for what this show has become.

  • BrokenLeg

    12 @ C

    You’ve stolen my thoughts!!! I agree totally with your analysis.

    As a member myself of a creative profession, I only can say that when you try to develop a project about something in which you do not believe, the result is always bad.
    As bad has been the writing of this “previously doomed” relationship between House and Cuddy, something in what the writers never seemed to like or believe.

    A project well done do not need a lot of further explanations (but, remember, the 7 season, and specially its finale has needed a big amount of interviews, always with explanations that verge on absurdity from writers, creator, and producers ).
    A project well done speaks for itself. On the contrary, usually people can observe in it more perspectives and layers than the own creator develope.
    And that had not occurred in this last [H] season.But happened in previous ones.

    11 @ Barbara Barnett

    Barbara, I’ve enjoyed very much your “psychological analysis” of the H/C relationship, and I wait impatient for the second part.
    But I think that writers simply wasted the opportunity of really explore a serious adult relationship between two of the most screwed up, broken, dysfunctional but brilliant characters of the TV. And that to did the relationship and the subsequent break up, they needed to change the characters’ behavior, otherwise they did not know how to do it. And with that I feel as if someone changed the playing cards in the middle game. Deceived, cheated while IMHO writers broke the writing integrity of the show.

    As 7 @Jane E say, “I always thought Cuddy was for him and that would be where the series would end” too.

    Again, thank you for this blog that let us comment and exchange views.

  • Lucy

    HouseMDFan:
    My reasons for saying shallow are not tied into the number of episodes, but the lack of exploring the questions of “why,” or “when,” or “what.” I didn’t expect a long, deep conversations, but the one sentence or on interchange that suddenly gave a little more insight into what was beneath the surface, what is behind the emotion. House and Cuddy working on a relationship would be a fantastic arena for these kind of wonderful moments.

    For example, they started a lie arc that revealed House would be House and Cuddy couldn’t compartmentalize. Somewhere in those three episodes could have been a hint at why lying in a relationship was so unacceptable to Cuddy when she was comfortable with it outside of a relationship Tboth of them lied regularly). Some hints at a hurt or experience in her past would have been deeper. They could have also revisited House’s need to lie as tied into the Mayfield revelation that he thought he’d be more acceptable within the lie than in the truth. How about a sentence while he was in quarantine in Pox that may hint at why he was so reckless with his life when seeking to prove he’s right? or story from his past suggesting the root of this behavior (son of a coma guy, type dialogue)?

    After seeing that Cuddy’s mother is much like House when it comes to verbal/emotional abuse, we can see why Cuddy is comfortable with House in many ways. It could have gone deeper in Larger Than Life by simply inserting some sentence suggesting House wanted to defend Cuddy since his father didn’t defend him. Or go the Cuddy route by inserting something about how her mother’s behavior affected her. Again, nothing long winded, just those one sentence moments that take your breath away. Something that took us a little deeper into why they are the way they are.

    Perhaps some suggestion that he’s afraid of being like his father during the Rachel episodes. Or, instead of just repeating “you’re afraid to be happy” (which we’d heard from Cuddy and Stacy in the past), something to hint at the root of that fear. Somewhere in their relationship it would have felt deeper if we got some indication of the root of the guilt they both feels, or Cuddy’s tendency toward seeing only the present and the could be but not the chasm in between, or House’s tendency to toward self-destruction.

    When a lot of us say deeper, we were looking for hints to an understanding of these characters. Since the series is coming to a close, it’s time for more. These types of revelations are usually found within intimate relationships, not alone or in a vacuum.

    We didn’t get that “deep” exploration. We got time on lies (but not the issue behind it), on the superficial beginnings of a relationship when trying to learn to function together and join lives (more an outline than a paper), and we got issues surrounding shallow problems of toilet seats, toothbrushes and trash (when his lack of “caring” could have been explored within one of his issues and not a stereotypical problem).

    I think viewers expected more depth than they got because TPTB said they were going to explore, and because they had been building it up for so long to suggest it would be through his connecting with another that he would begin healing. It was suggested since Mayfield that his opening himself up to vulnerability with another would begin the process of getting to the bottom of his issues. Since the show moves at a glacial pace and the character deflects and denies, it was expected to be a very slow unveiling, with only a clue dropped here and there, a fact revealed, or an emotion exposed. The ambivalence and fear route prevented the “exploration” that was promised – many feel – and just left a relationship that went through a checklist: explain they want to be together, check, establish you can’t but will still lie, check, Bond with kid, check, fight over mundane life, check, etc.

    Sorry it’s so lengthy, but that’s what a lot of people mean by wanting it to go deeper versus the shallow we got.

  • Cheated

    I think like many here, I was not saddened that House and Cuddy broke up, but the HOW and the reasons for WHY they broke up. I will never be able to accept the cop out by the writers. After waiting for House and Cuddy to be together for 6 years, I would have expected the writers to seriously explore the REAL House and Cuddy in a relationship. I was disheartened that the writers treated this as just another arc. Six years wait for this couple to be treated as just another arc. Not enough words to express the rage I feel for this. If I had known that the writers would do this, I would not have wasted my time watching this show. Forget about the Moonlighting curse. The Huddy curse is much worse: a relationship treated as an arc, failed due to shoddy writing and continuity issues where the writers change the characters, and an ending that resulted in domestic violence and possible homicide. This has got to the worst written relationship in TV history. I feel like an idiot thinking that the writers would have given this couple some serious quality writing. The writers never intended to explore the REAL House and Cuddy relationship. The writers only put them together so that they could have House back on vicodin. Knowing all this sickens me. Never will I get so invested in any couple or show ever again.

  • Stan

    Oh, BrokenLeg, I have felt that way since I first heard the interview that they went into the story with instructions not to make them too happy and knowing they will fail. If they’d actaully gone in with instructions to use the relationship as a means to explore the internal issues of the characters and reveal a little more about why they are so screwed up it would have felt like a different story. The creative process produces much more when it’s given that type of reign. If they’d just set that deep exploration as a goal with the clear understanding it didn’t matter if it resulted in a break-up or not, I’m convinced the feel of the relationship would have been more palatable for most fans. As it was, this attitude of “keep them who they are by keeping them miserable” prevented any depth. I think most fans expected and knew that exploring these characters inside a relationship would have meant a certain amount of misery in itself. They are both miserable and screwed up. Together, they would have still been that way, just not alone in figuring it all out. In the end, their dealing with their own issue together probably would have produced an exlposive break-up and made his downward spiral feel more real. Ironically, they could have still ended up in a very similar place, but with much more powerful results. IMO

  • Lucy

    Cheated: I agree. After pushing the relationship for so many years, it should have never felt like an arc. The relationship and break-up should have felt so in tune with their characters and history that it felt natural. Cuddy has always called him on his behaviors and thoughts, while House has always diagnosed her. Had they been doing some of that exploring in the relationship it would have felt more true to their characters, and a break-up would have felt real instead of just a cop-out. It felt unreal, which is why so many assumed it was a dream or hallucination, I guess. You are certainly not the first person to say they will never be this devoted to a show again. So much disappointment and anger.

  • Cheated

    I also forgot to mention that everything that was unique with House and Cuddy was negated by the writers. There is a reason that House and Cuddy had a big following, a bigger following than any other couple on the show. Everything that made them them were erased by the writers and their histories were ignored for the sole purpose of pushing House back on vicodin and into a dark place with no humanity left just as David Shore wanted. David Shore says that people don’t change. Except, he and the writers willingly change them whenever it is convenient for pushing their storylines. If they had just let the characters grow organically instead of re-writing them, the show wouldn’t have so many discontented viewers.

  • Blake

    Interesting article so far.
    One could argue that we’d seen Cuddy ambivalent many times in the series as it is part of her issues with not seeing the chasm between what is and what could be. But, many times we saw once her decision was made, she took control and made things happen. She didn’t waffle back to ambivalence. She became invested in her decisions and made sure to succeed. We didn’t see that the last two season, which perhaps is why people thought Cuddy felt out of character.

    It can also be argued that House had been shown to be afraid many times in the series and yet he came across as arrogant and almost bullying, not weak, accommodating and pining. Again, that may be why people feel he is out of character the last couple of seasons.

    It’s up for interpretation, but I can see both sides. The way the House and Cuddy relationship was handles may have created just enough sense of OOC and discontinuity with some very specific canon that this finale just took it beyond an acceptable interpretation for some.

  • ann uk

    One of the great strengths of HOUSE has been that the plot grows out of the characters. In charting House and Cuddy’s relationship it seeme to me they reversed this in order to justify the break up.
    This culminated in ” Two Stories”-the only truly bad episode in the 7 series and one which I found quite unbelievable.House may be a jerk ( but a noble one,as Wilson says),but he has never been a slob. He is far too intelligent and too afraid of losing Cuddy to make the cliche gaffs shown here.
    We have seen him with children and he treats them usually with respect if not kindness. That House would never make such vulgar remarks to a class of infants and as for the typical Holywood brats lecturing him on love …..Please!!

    And Cuddy too is made to look unreasonable and fickle. So House takes a vicodin to help him face the possibility of Cuddy’ death–one can imagine many people resorting to drink or tranquillisors faced with such a catastrophe.

    By the end House has worked his way through crazy self indulgence and risk-taking through denial and anger to generously taking the blame on himself. This is the real House and when he goes to Cuddy’s home he is willing to relinquish the last cherished reminder of his happiness.

    But what he sees is Cuddy at a cosy family dinner with another man sitting where he had sat. He has not merely been rejected, he has been supplanted.

    It is this that provokes that destructive explosion. By her action Cuddy seems to cheapen his love. To him it was the most important thing in his life even more important than his profession ( remember ” I would always choose you”) So what did it mean to her if she can so easily move on ? At that point House does not merely hate her- he despises her.

  • nitemar

    Talking about Huddy does not make sense anymore. It makes many people sad, others very frustrated or pure angry. Like someone just mentiond, House and Cuddy were brought together, just to break them-up for good and bring House back to Vicodin, simple like that. Im kinda glad Lisa is gone..her chracter of Cuddy had been OCC for the last 2 seasons, and although this is not the forum for this and no one has mentioned it..but am glad that Lisa Edelstein has a new gig! She is happy and so am I!

  • lobentti

    Hey!
    I´d read some of the comments, and Barbara´s, but as I´m not a writer, I just want to add that this is a fictional story; I´ve watched House for multiple reasons, including to collect medical words to a bilingual dictionary; but as a fiction it´s hard to deal with all ambivalence that damaged characters always show.
    Considering the ‘Huddy’ thing, I saw it designed to end from ‘Now what?'; what I didn´t like was the way it was done not only to Cuddy (insecure, afraid of loosing control, etc, etc) but mainly to House. He´s never been so rude, so disrespectful, never with children! The ‘Two stories’ was the worst episode, followed by ‘Unplanned parenthood’! The last episode didn´t run here yet, but I can understand it – as part of a fiction, not in real life – as the outburst of a very,deeply damaged and hurt, but extra-sensible man, always misunderstood and lectured as insane from the two only peple he could ever trust (and love). He did it toward Harold, than towards Wilson, destroying part of his posters, and then towards the woman he learned to love and trust, the one he thought could accept, love and help him. Of course it was an insane act, but … do you understand what ‘to play the nick-name’ means? or ‘take the part for the whole’? My concern now is, as the show will only come back in October, after all these, people will go on watching sit? Let´s wait and see.

  • lobentti

    @ 20 ann uk
    I havent read your comment when I wote mine, but it seems that both go in the same direction :)

  • C

    @ nitemar

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    Thank you for the relationship analysis, but the voice in my head keeps saying, “I just don’t care anymore.” Obviously I do a little bit, because I keep reading on the subject.

    Like so many, I am very hurt by “House.” I loved the characters so much and was so into the show, but the writers and producers (1) seriously bumbled an amazing relationship between two complex character, (2) destroyed Dr. Greg House in the final episodes of Season 7, and (3) made certain that Huddy is over for good, even by driving Lisa Edelstein away. I have to accept that it’s over and MOVE ON. I won’t watch the show anymore. Taking a few weeks to reflect has only reaffirmed my decision.

  • BrokenLeg

    15 and 18 @Cheated,17 @Lucy, 20 @ann uk

    I agree with all your posts entirely

    22 @lobentti

    I think the same. “Two stories” was from far the worst episode of the season ( it remembered me more a fool experiment on the writing than a serious script for a season episode, or simply a student work of a writing class. It remembered me some immature project of first school year architecture student at the university, when I was teacher and were more interested in fueling the creative process than in the results of it). “Unplanned parenthood” was better, at least had some comedy good moments. IMHO.

    25 @Sneaky Microbe

    You are right in all your comments, but you’ll be missed!!!

  • Lisa

    Remember when House and Cuddy conversations garnered excitement? :-(

  • Tina

    I’ve been doing some monitoring and statistical researc on social networks and fan forums of House. Compared to involvement during the season as well as previous summers, there has been a significan drop in fan participation and response. There was an initial strong response, unfortunately a lot negative, but then a drop. The involvement is within a smaller select group, but not the larger group of the past. This includes these type of response boards, fan forums, twitter and Facebook responses and tickers stating who’s watching on line. It will only matter if this same decline is reflected in Nielsen homes because that is their ratings indicator, but it is something of concern for the show and the network. That is very sad, and it does suggest that people like SneakyMicrobe may have meant it when they said they were done. It’s shocking really.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Tina – I just want to mention that the people who liked the finale are keeping pretty quiet these days, because the negativity is incredibly loud and tiring. So I wouldn’t infer to much from your observations.

  • ParadoxHugh

    Barbara,
    While I can agree with lots you say here, as there once was a time that I would have taken the time to try to imbue meaning into every part of the show and stay on the positive side, the fundamental problem is just as you said. It was doomed quite obviously from the start. A telegraphed story is not an interesting story. I found myself just saying “oh, just get it done and move on.” And I am a Huddy. I expected to learn something new about House along the way. Something truly important that we could have only learned through Cuddy’s eyes. What is his true pain level, for instance? Is it really mostly emotional or did he still have really bad days? Could we have not seen some compassion from her and an acknowledgement of her role in his pain?

    Does House have dark secrets about his childhood? Do they come through as nightmares? I know they will never reveal why House is House, but small clues make him more interesting. Couldn’t the writers have taken just a few sentences here and there and let the relationship actually reveal something that again piques our curiousity for why House’s emotions are so stunted? We did get a good explanation for Cuddy’s drive in Larger Than Life, why nothing that good about House? We got some great stuff from Nolan in Baggage about self punishment in bar fights and while we saw him do that very thing this year, we got no new developments, no more clues as to why he does these things. It has to be rooted more deeply in his past. For me these were the types of things I was looking for when I say the relationship was not mined for its potential to show us House’s demons. Instead it played as trite and trivial. Sensitivity was swapped for sensationalism and poignancy for preposterousness.

    I have to take real acception to this point. Save for small moments in the first few episodes, did I blink and miss this alledged joy? There was never a complete episode that did not negate any joy with the storm clouds of doom. It was always blighted. I will agree that Cuddy fooled herself early on but in light of the honesty in which she entered the relationship, the subsequent portrayal only made her character look selfish and foolish. Perhaps that is DS’s vision of Cuddy, but it came off as unsavory to say the least.

    I appreciate your attempt to make Huddy make sense and sound meaningful, but they simply missed the boat (or the ‘ship as it were.) Twenty three episodes later we learned that House can be hurt deeply. So deeply that he is capable of doing something dangerous, spiteful and distasteful. I, for one already knew that. But this reaction was so over the top that I just don’t believe it. And I don’t believe it because the intensity of the final act did not match the emotional intensity of the relationship that we were given. Ambivilence is a good word. It was just lacking along the way in drama, emotion, angst or an inward look at either of these characters beyond a very surface level. Sadly, it was boring – devoid of the banter and spark that made it interesting in the first place. But it is all spilled milk at this point. It is over and can not be re written. We as fans have expressed our views to TPTB and can now only look back and decide if we want to continue on this journey with House. I hope that the relationship with Cuddy and its ensueing troubles for House (there had better be consequences) turns out to be the explosion of truth that truly lights a flame in House to make those changes he spoke about in Moving On. (As much as a man as screwed up as House can change some behaviors.) It may not happen right away, but he must learn something from this if he is ever to return to that goal of being happy. Was that all just false hope? Is he that doomed to misery? It is not acheiving the goal that matters, it is in not giving up the pursuit and for we fans who ship House/Hope (idiots though we are) the hope is that this season will come to mean something good for House in the very long run. But for me if remorse is not present very soon into season 8, I can not continue to enjoy this journey rooting for a man who could do such a thing and smile about it.

  • ParadoxHugh

    The above comment is missing the quotes from the article that I was addressing. I don’t know why they did not print. Looks like it can’t be edited now. So sorry if it reads a little strange.

  • HouseMDFan

    @ParadoxHugh

    And I don’t believe it because the intensity of the final act did not match the emotional intensity of the relationship that we were given.

    Hm. To me, House’s act in the finale wasn’t only about that one relationship. It was about at least three years of trying something and failing. Of trying to change, making his life better permanently, and failing. Of not being able to be a part of the circle, a part of the “normal” life that other people seem to have. Not being able to live with his emotions like other people do. That, by the way, is also what the barfight is about: He punishes himself for failure. In a way, the act in the finale was a change of pattern, instead of internalizing his emotions once again and directing them against himself, he let them out in a very destructive way.

    And one other thing – revealing House’s deepest roots and demons through this relationship. That demands that House is open enough in this relationship to allow that to happen. And paradoxically enough, I think that the sole fact of being in a relationship was such a risk for him, that he put up a lot of walls and protections. His “inability to open up” is one of the things Cuddy mentioned very early on in S5 and it was something she was afraid of. To me, this partly explains her reaction to his lie in “Office Politics”. It was a real thread to their relationship if he could put up a front that easiliy, when she thought they were on a different level of trust. That’s also why she wanted the acknowledgement she got at the end of “Small Sacrifices”.

  • HouseMDFan

    Oh, and just to finish that last thought – I just realized that this of course is perfectly in line with her reason to break up with him in “Bombshells”: He once again put up a wall there between them, not letting her in.

  • BrokenLeg

    32 @HouseMDFan

    Do you really House want to be a part of “a circle” or just have “a normal life” like other people “seem to have”? From what I’ve seen in [H] NO ONE in PPTH have what is considered “normal” lifes, not even some kind of private life,even no one is able to have stable relationships. Therefore I think House is not much different from the others. So, his sense of failure will be less than you say, IMHO.

  • HouseMDFan

    @BrokenLeg

    Sorry, but you completely missed my point. No, I surely don’t want that at all. I was merely stating what House himself was trying to do. It’s also consistent, he always nudged the “freaks” into the direction of “normal” or was at least okay with them going there, see “Merry Little Christmas”, “Half-Wit” or “Ignorance is Bliss”. He himself often didn’t go there because he thought he’d lose his gift and didn’t have anything else, but he even abandoned that last resort in “Recession Proof”. And whatever the problems of all the other characters are – they are able to deal with emotions better than House is.

  • Tina

    HouseMDFan, Actually both sides have decided to go radio silence. That’s why there is not much activity. Which means there is concern for the marketing groups who monitor the sites.

  • Stan

    Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree in some cases. I agree with ParadoxHugh. There were instances the showed House was opening up, and they also have shown in the past how Cuddy read him in spite of his walls and lack of being open. This season they chose to ignore the past. I definitely see they were trying to accent his failure at being open and vulnerable with Cuddy, but it just fell short. It didn’t flow well and they leaned very heavily on anvils. It was a weak season. A few good moments, but overall not a strong season. Of the many options for Huddy, this was the one most likely to be widely accepted. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if they follow-thru this time with any real growth for House.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Stan – Just to clear that up, I didn’t mean to say that there were no moments of him opening up at all in the relationship. But I think it’s interesting that most of them were before they went from “fine” to “serious” (and even then Cuddy reminded him that she “might dump him” if he didn’t talk to her, and interpreted the masseuse as another wall he put up). Immediately after that, he lied to her about Rachel, he lied to her about his job, he pretended to open up in “Small Sacrifices”, he lied to her about wanting to be alone. Only when he was utterly pushed to his limits – like in “Family Practice” or “Two Stories” (and look at the craziness he went to there first) or “Recession Proof” – did he let his walls down a bit. And yes, there were instances when Cuddy could read him in the past, but I’m completely on her side that this is not a basis for a relationship. Him being selfishly closed off most of the time while she has to interpret the walls?

  • purplepatty

    What TPTB did with House was take an uncommon show and make it “common” They threw away the balance they had between the medicine and personal and chose to lean toward the personal too much and with bad writing to boot. It’s always a mistake to involve 2 of the leads of a show in a personal relationship unless you start them out that way. TPTB chose not to follow the “formula” anymore which was very foolish. As an example of how a show can stay true to what it is and still be good, look at NCIS. NCIS has been on the air 1 season longer than House and it’s still kicking ass in the ratings. It really doesn;t matter if they get any Emmy nominations, etc. Why? They never strayed too far from the “cop show” formula. Most personal relationships that happened on the show were not the main focus. Most everything was/is kept in the background or a side story, not the main focus. They targeted an adult audience and kept it that way. Since the writer’s strike during Season 4 of House, the writing has been sloppy and in my opinion not worthy of any of the cast’s talents. They are writing for 13 year olds instead of targeting an adult audience.

  • ParadoxHugh

    @HouseMDfan
    Being open enough to be in a relationship was important as a step for sure. Really, I did’t ask for much from this season. I was not expecting weeping confessions that Daddy beat me or something along those lines or a fairy tale love affair. Just a morsel like we got in Daddy’s Boy, One Day, One Room, Birthmarks and Baggage. One confession to Cameron, One to a stranger. One to Wilson and one to his therapist. But nothing truly revealed to Cuddy in a whole year. When she did press the one time for why he can’t be happy, he deflected. We got a reaction for sure to a whole series of frustrations and failures but we are no closer to understanding if there even is a larger issue that makes him turn inward emotionally. Maybe they have just teased us with this stuff and he is just a remorseless jerk – born that way. But my interest has always been in what besides the leg makes him this way. For that reason, I’ll watch to the end and hope that we do get more glimpses into what makes him tick. If I am disappointed again it is because I let myself foolishly have expectations again as to the meaning of all this and worse yet still have hope for House to find peace. Because this season has to have meaning in my book. We just don’t know what it is yet. And it has to go beyond “I was angry and hurt so I lashed out.”

  • HouseMDFan

    @ParadoxHugh – I understand what you are saying and I agree that it’s always a good thing to get those morsels, though they do have to be sparse. But at the same time I think that behaviour and a history of six years together with this character can play that role as well, not just confessions. That’s why I got something out of this season. House in a romantic relationship was new, we didn’t see that before, and just because it wasn’t the relationship many people had envisioned, doesn’t make it any less revealing about the characters.

    Also, I just feel that the explanation for House this season is his whole history, his dad, his mom, his brain, his outlook, Stacy, his leg, Amber. Everything we already know, acting together. There isn’t this one thing to be revealed. (Once again, not saying that I wouldn’t welcome some more facets of his history, but I think we already know quite a lot.) I remember House joking that it would take him 50 years to talk to Nolan, because that’s how long he’s lived. That is a joke and an exaggeration of course, but it does illustrate what I mean. And I wouldn’t ever want to have a central answer as to why he is as he is, because I think it would cheapen the character immensely. (I guess that’s why some fans were upset about “One Day, One Room”, they felt it devalued the character to “explain” him like that. I think the writers did a very good job of showing that this wasn’t the whole story at all, so I’m good with it.)

  • ParadoxHugh

    @HouseMDfan:

    I don’t want a central answer either. He is the most screwed up person in the world. Therefore, it took a confluence of horrible events to make him that way. Not one thing. I would love to have a few more crumbs as to why and I had some expectations that we would get something through Cuddy or more likely the child. That part we did get and I am grateful for that much. Rachel did bond with House and that hurt him too although he will never admit to it. Loved the dual pirate imitations.

    Darn, though. I really wanted to know about the time he lost his goldfish. :-)

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Paradox and HouseMDFan: I think it’s very key that Season 7 reveals House in another way. As you said (and as I’ve said at various times), we’ve never seen House in a relationship before. We’ve suspected how he’d be in the relationship (heaven knows I’ve written enough fan fiction about it :)). But we’ve never known. House is consistent throughout the best times of the relationship to what we know of his past–how he’s been with Cameron, Stacy, Lydia and of course Cuddy in previous seasons.

    We knew less about Cuddy going into the relationship, but her relationship with House has always been complicated, calling him a moron and a jerk one moment and trusting his judgement above anyone else’s in the next. But House is such a complicated soul, he can make you furious in one moment and in love with him the next. He had the same effect on Stacy, who also broke up with him.

    I hated some of House’s behavior in Season 7. Being in love and in a relationship brought out some of his worst behavior and some of his best. Because we’ve never seen him in this mode, we didn’t know how he’d react–and now we know. It’s not all pretty.

    So to me the question for next season is where they’re going to go with him? How are they going to redeem him?

    As far as the silence in the fandom, it’s understandable considering the finale. But there are also many fans outside the Internet community, and there is much less anger among that part of the fan base. I speak to a lot of that part of the fan base as well in promoting the book, and while people were shocked by House’s behavior in the finale, they are curious, to about where it’s all going. There is room for disagreement and different opinions. But it’s all opinion.

  • BrokenLeg

    35 @HouseMDFan

    I don’t miss your point at all!! My post tried to be absolutelly sarcastic!! I try to remark what you say and failed. Language problems.Sorry

  • BrokenLeg

    43 @ barbara barnett

    From your post: “So to me the question for next season is where they’re going to go with him? How are they going to redeem him?”

    That’s the point. And so if [H] is a story of redemption, a thing I doubt….

    And about fans reaction outside Internet community, I live in Barcelona, Spain, and the common reaction here if not anger, at least I define it as “puzzled” ( a sort of previous stage to anger). Members of my own extended family or friends, some occasional viewers, others weekly viewers, found this season weak in medical cases, childish in relationships ( some of them are still laughing about a serious and grown doctor as Taub getting pregnant two women and no using any control birth system) and, at least, stupid in its final.
    About my direct family reaction, grown son and husband, both MD, I’ve post in other threads here yet. One abandoned viewing and the other uses it as a night relax while falling asleep ( at least he’s saved viewing last moments on finale…and I’ve saved his sardonic comments…)

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Broken Leg,

    My point was not to suggest that outside the fandom there are not fans who are bewildered or upset, but that there’s a variety of opinion–within the fandom too, I would guess.

    As far as Taub is concerned, doctors can be just as stupid as others–sometimes more so because they think they’ve got the bases covered. They are not immune from SWS (sex while stupid) as House would say.

  • bigHousefan

    Barbara, I enjoyed Part One very much!

    I’ve just read through the comments from the beginning and find myself agreeing a little bit with everyone. Talk about ambivilance! Like many, I expected more out of the relationship between these two powerful characters with a long history that loved, trusted and respected one another. I remain firmly planted in the ‘still bitter’ camp. I just loved House and Rachel in After Hours and wish we could have seen more scenes like that and I’m sad now we won’t. I expected/kept waiting for ‘peeling back the layers’ and would have been happy with a few nuggets, but there was nothing really substantial offered.

    But, I’m still in love with House and eager to see what they do with the fallout of his horrible behavior. I agree with someone who said along with her hairbrush, he delivered his anger, his hurt, his feelings of betrayal et al. But, I still can’t reconcile the crash with the House I thought I knew and I’m wondering how the writers will explain that.

    I still love the show, but I’m almost relieved it doesn’t start up again until October – I was emotionally exhausted by the end of last season! I’m pathetic, as House would say.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Hi BigHouseFan! I will eventually post part 2–I’ll have to steel myself a bit before I do.

    I’ve been called some fairly nasty names since this article appeared, including “sell-out.” Not sure who I’ve sold out to, since, like any fan of the show, I should be entitled to my opinion, and just because I don’t hate the show doesn’t make me a traitor (to whose cause I’m not sure). So I think I’ll take another brief hiatus and come back in July with the second part.

    I, too, have a hard time reconciling this House to the House I thought I knew so well. But this isn’t the House we know. We’ve never known or seen him in this situation, and like some others have said, this has been a blow up brewing for several years.

    This is a guy who hardly ever raises his voice. He’s snarky and mocking certainly. And we’ve seen him angry and frustrated, but it’s so rare for him to explode. Most of his destructiveness has been self-directed. So it was a shock. How to reconcile it? How will the writers deal with it? That’s what planning out Season 8 is all about.

  • bigHousefan

    Barbara 48

    I’m sorry for the unkind words directed at you for your opinion! That makes me sad… :(

    Exactly! House’s ugly behavior has rarely included losing his temper and now he crashes through a house? It makes sense that this is an explosion of something brewing for years, not just his loss of Cuddy. And we’re accustom to his self-loathing and punishing himself, not smiling in the wake of a reckless attack. What is he smiling about? Has he snapped? Does he think severing all his personal connections and starting over will make him happy? Has he lashed out at the very deeply caring person he is inside and tries to hide, and now embraced his inner demons?

    I love the dichotomy of this character and the fact that it makes me root for him all the more. I so hope at the end of the series he finds some peace, and not the rest in peace kind… :)

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Has he lashed out at the very deeply caring person he is inside and tries to hide, and now embraced his inner demons?

    Me likey. He hates himself for what love has done to him and does something to prove to everyone (especially himself) that he has no redeeming qualities and is essentially underserving of love. Cool.

  • bigHousefan

    “He hates himself for what love has done to him and does something to prove to everyone (especially himself) that he has no redeeming qualities and is essentially underserving of love.”

    Eureka! Now that’s the self-loathing, self-destructive House I recognize, that’s brilliant! And I love the ‘especially himself’ part. And if that was what he was trying to accomplish, I could totally see him being fairly pleased with himself and smiling in self-satisfaction!

    Yep, I think we’re on to something… ;)

  • ltlearthquake

    season 7 was a waste of time to be honest. cuddy was written out of character so the relationship with house wouldnt work.

    the good thing is, I dont have watch anymore and get angry at the bad writing and the treatment of my beloved characters. season 7, at least for me, never happened. season 8 will definitely not happen, since I wont watch. which leaves me with 6 great seasons to enjoy over and over where the main character finally finds happiness without vicodin and the woman he loves to built a life with.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Barabara and bigHousefan – I’m mainly on board with that explanation. This especially: He hates himself for what love has done to him […]. Kath Lingenfelter said it in her interview with you: House wanted to move on but couldn’t and so he did something outrageous that would make it impossible for him to look back, not because of his own doing, but because Cuddy herself (and maybe Wilson too, still not sure about his thoughts on that one) would, in his opinion, not allow him near enough again and “tempt” him to give in to love again. (All of that is a mainly unconscious process of course.) We have seen over the season that as much as he desired the human connection, it also put a big strain on him. Certainly after the break-up, but even before (see “Larger Than Life” for example). So yes, he feels free and better after the crash. The caveat: He won’t be able to severe the ties to himself, and I’m quite sure that’s going to catch up with him. Can’t run away from yourself.

  • lobentti

    Wowww! That´s another reason I´d been watching this show: how passionate his fans are – all these questions,all these considerations! It´s amazing!

  • BrokenLeg

    48 @ barbara barnett

    You’ve said:
    “I’ve been called some fairly nasty names since this article appeared, including “sell-out.” Not sure who I’ve sold out to, since, like any fan of the show, I should be entitled to my opinion, and just because I don’t hate the show doesn’t make me a traitor (to whose cause I’m not sure). So I think I’ll take another brief hiatus and come back in July with the second part.”

    I’m sorry you received unkind words for your opinions. People who post here like me are sorry for that, and share your discomfort.

    Here we have a adage ( I ignore if in english there are one similar): Offend only who can , not who want ( probably bad free translation). That people who said unfair words to you want, but can’t offend you.
    Use with them another adage:There is no greater contempt than oblivion or forgetfulness( more or less, and in an own free translation too)

    And thank you for this “speaking corner” you bring to us and for your efforts.

  • maria-eleni

    45@Broken Leg

    Here in Cyprus we do not have House regularly, so I have few friends to talk about it. Opinions are mixed, there are no obsessed haters or lovers (just addicts) and all are interested to follow Se8 developments.
    My 17year old son, a big fan, was a lot more shocked to find House went back to Vicodin than crashing his car. After “the Dig” he decided to watch the last remaining episodes at one go. He actually loved the finale but then he is car-obsessed. He did not fully realise the ramifications of House’s action so asked me to do some explaining: would House regret his action, would he be able to go back, what is the law for such a case?

  • BrokenLeg

    56 @ maria-eleni

    I think your teenager son asks the same questions that everybody ask about ramifications of House’s action. And answers will we there in S8, I suppose. And legal part , in some lawyer’s post in other previous thread of this same blog.

    I’m not a lawyer, but if car crash happened here, as far as I know, House will be prosecuted by state attorney at least as four attempted murder, one felony charge or injuries, private property damage, aggravated with perfidy and maybe more. And due to Wilson injuries, it will begin at criminal Justice, but probably ended at civil Justice with a big amount of money to be paid by House.
    I suppose he will lost or be suspended of his medical license, at least some time once condemned.

  • Eloise

    Barbara
    sorry to hear some people have been so nasty to you, there seems to be some really horrid stuff going down out there. Nobody is safe and I just dont really understand it, its a tv programme, I love it but to be unkind in RL is so uncalled for.
    Their disappointment is no excuse. I felt the finale to be very in character in a way, from someone who had just had enough and very excited to see where its going. Huddy was obviously doomed from the start and anyone who expected any different is watching a different show to me, extended happiness will only be in the final finale if at all!

  • Creeda

    Some of us feel like Season 7 wasn’t even about House. It was a slap in the face to shippers, and an intentional plan to destroy ships. Which is fine. The show isn’t about ships, it’s about House. What’s crazy is that most people watched House and became hooked on House because of House. They only became “shippers” because the writers lead us down the path. The NYTimes said it best when they said House was written with consistent and intentional relationship ties so strong no one could seperate the character from the relationships. The fans followed their piper song and then they got angry because so much emphasis was on the ships. They forced Huddy on us, then they say they can’t sustain it. Well, that doesn’t say much for your confidence in each other and your creative abilities, but okay.

    The show is about House and I hope they do bring this story around. The problem is, it will be a different show. They will not “go back to simpler times” because the show has always focused on House and his relational co-dependencies. Now, they want to change that. It could work, it may not. But it is upsetting to many to see it’s not just the story, but the foundational approach that has crashed and is now hiding on a beach.

    We can speculate and hope, but really that’s all we have. There’s not a lot of nuggets to take from this season, as much as we try to talk ourselves into it. Everything we have is built on an interpretation that has no backing or support and a hope that even TPTB don’t act like they have. House may have been right. Hope is for sissies.

    You shouldn’t be attacked for your opinions Barbara, but then TPTB and the FANS shouldn’t be attacked either. The breeding of contempt between interdependencies is part of the collateral damage.

  • Dorinda

    I like the idea of House fighting what love has done to him and smiling at proving to himself that he’s not redeemable. Of course, feeling that and really facing the consequences of his actions are two very different things. The writers said it was meant to show him breaking free and perhaps removing some of his burden, but the cost to do that was actually everything good in his life. In destroying his remaining hope so he could be free, he also destroyed his life. That makes for a very dark character. House has always been dark. Did he really need to go darker? It’s just painful to watch.

  • FlowBEE

    I wish that one day we’ll know how Shore really wanted the story to go. Between behind the scenes changes and disruptions, network involvement and failed contract negotiations, the original vision was adapted and in fact changed. I long for the real story. Just a pipe dream!

  • maria-eleni

    • 57 – BrokenLeg

    In the previous thread “Looking Back on Se 7 and Ahead to Se 8” there were several posts about the legal consequences: 110/115 Stan, 112 Channel Surfer.
    As for Wilson, the car never touched him; he was a few meters away from its route. He tripped and fell.
    However I find the legal side the least interesting. What I would like to be explored is House’s reactions as he realises what he did and whether this cutting away from Cuddy will really help him move on. Actually my son was also more sensitive about the moral and psychological issues than the legalities.

    In fact I do not wish House to get back soon to PPTH. He needs time to consider his actions and what he is. He should first be able to come to terms with himself and clarify his future goals. He will never be able to do this in that environment full of traumatic memories and enablers: leg muscle infraction, Stacy, Wilson and mostly Cuddy.

    BARBARA BARNETT

    It is evident that Houseian bad manners have rubbed on some fans! Just by the fact that you have created this free space where we can exchange thoughts should have silenced those dissonant voices.

    To get back to the subject of Huddy I find that one of the major negatives in that affair was working together. They never had a simple employer/employee relationship. Apart from the distant past and their mutual attraction, there is another element that created a less sane aspect. After he recovers from the infraction Cuddy is there offering him a job, functioning as a protector for House and at the same time keeping him on a leash. After his convalescence (rebirth in a way) Cuddy functions as a mother.
    House, when facing Cuddy, reverts to childish behavior -childishness is in his nature anyway-, and not just by pulling pranks and making faces. When thwarted by Cuddy, he uses all kind of underhand methods to circumvent her.
    They never faced down this issue in their professional relationship even before considering getting together. Cuddy, for all House’s successes, prefers to follow the bureaucratic route and does not have the courage to support his unorthodox but effective methods and House, as a child who is not trusted by his parent, lies to subvert. They should have solved this as it was creating problems in their working environment. Of course this situation was a premise of the show to provide suspense, conflict and funny moments.

    Whatever the reason for this unresolved situation, it poisoned their relationship. Hence the issue of lies and whether lying as an employee was different to lying as a lover. But lying, a constant theme of the show, is a catastrophic recipe for a couple.

    To her discredit, Cuddy is not averse to lying either, and long before Se7. What is more her lies affect House directly as a person and they do even have the excuse House invokes – to achieve a diagnosis and help save lives.
    In a personal level House –a man who found it easy to lie- was more honest with Cuddy whereas Cuddy – a seemingly balanced person- was a more hurtful liar. e.g.: the case after the Ketamine treatment, the fake Thanksgiving invitation, the secret marriage and more importantly her affair with Lucas. The reason for keeping it secret so as to protect House is lame. She is protecting herself from having to face him and explain the situation.

    To conclude, I do not find Cuddy’s character particularly damaged in Se7. All the elements were there since the beginning of the show. For all her attractiveness and her protectiveness towards House, I always found her self-serving. House was an asset to her hospital and by enabling his addiction she keeps him tethered in her area and prevents him to move on professionally. She is not averse to hurting him even for petty reasons. She is also a malicious liar. And, -though it may seem be irrelevant but it is an indication of shallowness – her dress code is inappropriate for a Dean of medicine and a doctor. The revealing blouses aside, tight skirts and high heels would be a big hindrance in emergencies. In addition heels so high are medically unacceptable as they create health problems, mainly in the spine and legs, so they are to be avoided in a doctor as giving a bad example, almost like cigarettes.

    On the other hand I consider Cuddy justified in breaking up with House.

    The heroic image of House, strong enough to overcome his inner fears and take on a leg amputation saving her from the trouble, that made her to finally reveal her love for him and embark on an affair with him, is negated by the unheroic image of House weakened by love and unable to 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 need 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.

    Frankly I do not blame her. And I can feel her pain and delusion. She is in love but staying with House will only bring further disillusionment and bitterness, not a good atmosphere to bring up a child. Neither do I blame her (or the writers) for the abrupt ending. Prolonging the end with futile discussions would have been more painful with the added danger of House winning her over again. And it might have gotten soapy.

  • Linda

    Everyone on this show is both victim and villain. That is why House chooses them to be in his circle. It causes damage on both sides, and it’s never anyone’s fault. That’s how the writer’s keep it open to interpretation. The last few minutes of the finale just tipped the scale more than usual and that unbalance created a like inbalance in the fandom. I feel like there were just as many incidents in the past of positive Cuddy as negative. Just like with Wilson. And certainly with House. The Huddy this season didn’t feel as real, as passionate, disfunctional and sassy as in the past. There were definite changes, and maybe it was meant to show how different they are in relationships versus the hospital, but it didn’t work for me and the ending certainly didn’t work for me. That said, have no choice but to move on.

  • 60 plus

    61 – FlowBEE
    “I wish that one day we’ll know how Shore really wanted the story to go. Between behind the scenes changes and disruptions, network involvement and failed contract negotiations, the original vision was adapted and in fact changed. I long for the real story. Just a pipe dream!”

    A pipe dream that I share. Part of that dream is that I would like to know how David Shore saw the fallout from the car crash affecting House personally and the ongoing House-Cuddy relationship, for better or worse. I said in an earlier thread that I don’t envy the writers and the other Powers That Be. I am sure in my own mind that when they planned and wrote Season 7 and then the season finale they had at minimum a general idea of where Season 8 would pick up following the car crash, etc.–and it definitely included Cuddy’s presence. I also suspect that a part of their thinking involved the very real possibility that Season 8 would be the last for House, and so they also had a broad vision of how they would bring our journey with House to completion.

    But since then, Lisa left, the network probably got involved and, in a development they did not expect, some viewers–rightly or wrongly and for a variety of reasons–have become very disenchanted with either/both House the character, House the show and/or in some cases, anyone involved with the show from David Shore on down to and including the production team and the actors.

    Just as you said, these factors undoubtedly made them change their original concept, especially for what would happen at the beginning of Season 8. Added to that, the expectations from different segments of the fandom go from one extreme to the other. Even if TPTB wanted to (which I hope they don’t), it would be impossible to please everyone.

    I am looking forward to Season 8, without any expectations. For me, that has worked for seven years.

    But, like FlowBEE, I’d love to know what the original vision was. Perhaps someday, if and when David Shore writes his memoirs, he’ll give us the Alternative Universe version! :)

  • Oversimplified

    @ 62 Maria-eleni

    ‘To conclude, I do not find Cuddy’s character particularly damaged in Se7. All the elements were there since the beginning of the show. For all her attractiveness and her protectiveness towards House, I always found her self-serving. House was an asset to her hospital and by enabling his addiction she keeps him tethered in her area and prevents him to move on professionally. She is not averse to hurting him even for petty reasons. She is also a malicious liar. And, -though it may seem be irrelevant but it is an indication of shallowness – her dress code is inappropriate for a Dean of medicine and a doctor. The revealing blouses aside, tight skirts and high heels would be a big hindrance in emergencies. In addition heels so high are medically unacceptable as they create health problems, mainly in the spine and legs, so they are to be avoided in a doctor as giving a bad example, almost like cigarettes.’

    For starters every single character has self-serving traits in House. Even the resident martyr Masters learnt to be selfish and do what was right for her in the end, so to single Cuddy out is a tad unfair. I don’t agree with what you said about her keeping House tethered to the job by enabling him either. Both she and Wilson know that if House sets his mind to taking the Vicodin then there’s pretty much nothing they can do about it. That’s true for any addict. Her letting him get away with it is a combination of guilt over her part in the infarction, ‘what the hell else I can do?’, and it actually being safer if they have an idea how much vicodin he’s taking, rather than him being forced to take it in secret. Let’s not forget that a. she was the one who wanted him to go through with the methadone treatment to get him off the vicodin before he went into rehab, and b. it’s been canon from the get-go that nobody else would employ him. Think how much worse he would have been had he not had the puzzles to distract him. The clothing thing baffles me too. I’ve seen a similar reactions in other fandoms as well, where a female character has been attacked for wearing clothing that’s too ‘provocative’. First of all it’s been established that Cuddy’s position as Dean is predominantly administrative and I don’t see her wearing anything unacceptable or inappropriate for that role, in fact it’s almost like a suit of armour or a mask. Where you see shallowness I see a woman who’s saying to all her detractors ‘I work just as hard as you do and I do it in 4 inch heels’. It’s one hell of a hard job for a women to take on a position mainly held by men without either losing their femininity or using it. Sad, but true. Just to back that up look how differently she was dressed at the end of ‘Joy’ when the barriers are down and she’s out of that work environment, and then throughout ‘Help Me’ when that medical emergency does arise. Clothing is often a front or a means of assuming another identity, rather than a direct window into the soul. (Also, as an aside, the number of medical professionals I know who smoke is ridiculous, one of whom deals with lung cancer patients on a daily basis. Setting an example is usually the last thing on their mind in my experience.)

    This season I felt they dropped certain traits and exaggerated others in both Cuddy and House for the sake of the plot, and ultimately to put House in a worse place than he’s ever been before. Her sense of humour seemed to have evaporated and she became even more uptight, whilst there was little sign of the multi-lingual, thoughtful, piano playing medical genius, who tempered the prank-playing, emotionally-handicapped jerk. (Jeez I even missed House’s interaction with the whiteboard!!) This is the first season where the protagonist really started to get on my nerves, whereas in the past I’ve always felt for him.

    Like others have mentioned, because the writers set their stall out regarding the inevitability of the break-up and their incompatibility with each other from the start, the fallout and House’s subsequent actions just weren’t that convincing. The moments where they were actually making each other happy were too few and far between for House’s absolute devastation to ring true in my opinion, and because of it much of the season felt flat and forced. I actually think this is where the original, scrapped ‘Thunder Roadtrip’ idea or something akin to it MAY have been better than ‘Now What?’ as a season opener in that they would have been allowed a ‘honeymoon period’ before the real doubts set in, and an opportunity to appreciate why they’ve been pining after each other for so many years. In that case the highs would have been higher, and made the crushing low all the more realistic. It just strikes me as a waste of a build-up of a relationship, to use it as means to an end rather than something organic ‘in it’s own right’ to explore what’s under the hood of these two characters.

  • a small microbe

    i am curious, but not hopeful about s8. if s7 is a taste of what is to come, i don’t think i will stick around.

    i have this image in my mind: house is acquitted because he “lost control” while driving. the man just had surgery in his leg for crying out loud! of course, they’ll take his license away, all right: his driving license.

    cuddy will leave a letter saying that she is off in a sabbatical never to be heard from or dealt with again. wilson will do an amber tantrum, but will return soon enough and all is well in our dark side of paradise.

    i was recently re-reading an italian author: pirandello. he wrote a play called 6 characters looking for an author. this is what house reminds me of these days. in the play, these characters are in need of, and maybe even actively looking for, a writer who will put to the page what they think and feel. they feel unrepresented and want a say in their lives and how they are portrayed. not a new concept, mind you, but an interesting one nonetheless.

    characters are created by a writer, he/she has their development in mind, but then they come to life with ideas and feelings of their own and the writer loses control over his/her creation. they have a life of their own and demand to be portrayed as truthfully as they can be.
    an provocative concept, don’t you think?

  • ann uk

    Musing on the House/Cuddy relationship, it struck me that the real cause of her retreat is that she is scared by the intensity of House’s passion. She and Wilson persistently nag House to “open up”,to express his feelings, but they do not realise how powerful those feelings are. House knows and fears what may happen if he once lets them off the leash.What they may do to him and to others.
    He begins the affair with an explosion of love and ends it with an explosion of hate. And Cuddy is the fuse that lights both.

  • BrokenLeg

    66 @ small microbe

    Woww!! Brilliant idea that comparison between [H] with Pirandello’s play “Six characters in search of an author”!! You portrait just the moment [H] is now!!!

    I’ve always thought that characters come to life first thanks the previous baggage that creator gave them, along with its own growing patterns through their development, and along with the view of them added by audience. It’s altogether and at once.

    I’ve posted in other threads that sometimes their life, and the life of a TV show, is like a building one. It’s created initially by an architect, but only come to real life through its users, through how they use it, and through the interrelations that they set with the building. Sometimes those interrelations modify a little or quite a lot the initial creative pattern. And always independently the bad, good or excellent quality of the architect and his/her work. And that it’s good. That indicates that users have made the building their own. That they’ve been able to understand it,comprehend it from their own approach. Doing so they add life. Without them and their “touch of life”, only remain a deedless bad, good or excellent academic work.( I hope I can express it and make myself be understandable, if not sorry, it’s my bad English)

    Again, Small Microbe, to me your post is a brilliant one!!

  • lobentti

    Small Microbe,
    you´ve brought something new to this forum; so, I´ll dare to bring something different too: it comes to my mind 3 different famous love couples in classical literature, that are diferent facets of ‘Huddy’ romance: The Romeo/Juliet as their feelings, the Abelard/Heloise for their intelectual briliance and Tristan/Isolda for their sexual atraction – all in a couple, is too much to handle, isn´t it? :)Even for many writers!

  • Oversimplified

    @ 66 small microbe

    That’s a really interesting comparison with Pirendello. I got a similar feeling when House was screaming into the nanny cam that ‘It means nothing.’ It seemed like the protagonist’s creator was saying something to his audience regarding House’s journey over the past 7 years, which of course David Shore is perfectly entitled to do, but it’s little wonder that many have become disillusioned. If you invest in a character for so long and then they end up back at square one, in fact worse than square one then I think a degree of disappointment is understandable. How House and Cuddy’s relationship materialised is just part of that. I was really surprised when I read in an interview that David Shore said that he didn’t know how the show would ultimately end. I always got the impression he had a general idea where House would end up in the past. Evidently not and this may be a huge part of the problem.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    small microbe: very interesting idea. In a way, the characters have dictated some of the storyline since the middle of Season 1. Like Mulder and Scully in The X-Files, the characters came across differently on screen than Chris Charter really intended (romantically, anyway).

    ann uk: I agree that those who live in House’s universe don’t see the level of emotion beneath the surface, therefore don’t realize what their release (whether love or hate or self-loathing or whatever). Foreman saw that at the end of season 6 and it completely changed how he viewed House in Season 7. In many ways, he actually became protective of House, for example.

  • HouseMDFan

    ‘It means nothing.’ It seemed like the protagonist’s creator was saying something to his audience regarding House’s journey over the past 7 years

    If I may jump in here: I utterly disagree. That was a character saying something he believed was true in that moment. And I’m using the word “believe”, because the episode shows that it doesn’t even hold up within that one hour, later on House very much admits that the patient’s work does mean something when he rails against her decision.
    The point is: He always critizises constructed meanings, but he also always said that what you do here and now matters (see “Three Stories” and “One Day, One Room”, both written by DS!). Also, in “Moving On” he wishes that nothing, especially not his own journey, would mean anything to him, because of course that would hurt a lot less. His statement tells us something about his state of mind in that moment, about what he wants to be true. But of course it isn’t. I never understood why everyone seems to think that we have to take anyone’s word on the show as a given. One of the things DS has said over and over again: he does not want to give his audience all the answers, they are allowed and required to think for themselves.

  • a small microbe

    thanks to all of you for your comments.
    i have had this idea for quite a while. the x-files is an excellent example. chris carter swore up and down, left and right that mulder and scully would NEVER be together, and yet he had the insight to realize the characters themselves took the story in a different road, and he had the good luck to let then take that path without making then any other characters or losing what mulder and scully were. even in the last movie, with all its problems, they are mulder and scully, in a relationship, but true to themselves.

    house is an other thing all together. maybe it is more tightly structured- cc admitted to making it on the go- or maybe they could not or would not listen to their creations.

    i think this is why we are now faced with writers having to explain minutiae such as was the room empty when house crashed the car in cuddy’s living room. i remember reading in my literary theory classes this: if you have to go back and explain yourself, something in your premise is not thought well.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    small microbe: the difference between House and a novel is that we’re not finished “reading” it yet.

    I had an interesting conversation with a good friend today. I hadn’t really spoken to her about House since last summer. Every summer we get together once a week for lunch and then watch a couple of House episodes (she doesn’t have a DVR and had only ever been able to see the eps once until the come out on DVD).

    Over lunch I asked her what she thought of Season 7. I was curious because she’s been watching since Pilot, she was into the idea of House-Cuddy, but never active online (she doesn’t even read my column consistently).

    Told me that she thought a couple episodes were over the top (she noted Two Stories and Fall From Grace), but said that on the whole she liked the season. Then I asked her about what she felt about the finale. Again, she surprised me by saying that she really liked the finale, and that she was curious about how they were going to deal with House left as he was–in very deep trouble. She thought it opened up a lot of interesting possibilities.

    We sat down to watch “Now What?” and “Selfish.” As we watched we talked about how much the issues that lay before House and Cuddy played out over the season. Cuddy asks House to trust her that “it will be fine.” It doesn’t matter that he won’t change. He is who he is. And as much as she wants to believe it, she never really does throughout the season. No matter that House leaps in and trusts Cuddy, he does so with his guard up so that he doesn’t make a mistake–and he fails. She believed that the Season came to an inevitable conclusion, and while she didn’t like what House did in the finale (hated it), she felt that it was consistent with a man who keeps all emotion inside and suddenly blows up (she’s a therapist and educator of kids with behavioral disorders).

    It was interesting watching discussing the season with a fan who isn’t a fandom fan.

  • Lisa

    Yes, it is interesting to talk with fans who are not really actively involved in the fandom, but even beneath that blanket are those who felt it OOC and hated it. I’ve spoken with many and the opnions are split and very much reflect what is in the fandom. In every arena, there is a polarization. That is what’s fascinating.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Lisa–there is indeed a split, but I think the most vocal part of the fandom (as would usually be the case in such splits) is the group who hated the season, thought it was poorly done and want nothing more to do with the show.

    Of course last season was nothing if not controversial from a lot of angles, but some commenting on this thread suggest there is near consensus of opinion among fans, critics, etc. That’s simply not true.

  • Flesh And Bone

    I really sympathise with those who beleive that there’s potential for s8. Everything with this show had potential (medical cases, character development etc.) but the writers that have remained are so utterly lazy and have fans fanwanking to justify their blunders over and over again. House and Cuddy were never really explored. A lot of people always described House as the Phantom Of The Opera and the writers threw in that parallel in s6. But they went to the other extreme and depicted the House/Cuddy relationship like the one in Dario Argento’s version of the Phantom: the Phantom repeatedly rapes Christine and she because she is brainwashed by his mental attributes, sucks it up like everyone on this show. But when she dares to take a stand which sends the Phantom into a kill frenzy because noone really understands his pain and woes, she is blamed and then we have the parting of the ways. Such a breathtaking and innovative journey of two supposedly intrinsically flawed characters.

    The show had an agenda to put House back on drugs and they succeeded. End of line. There won’t be any repercussions like there were none with Vogler, Tritter, Amber and the suppossed fallout with Wilson and Dibala and so many other cases. Wait! The emotional fallout! Silly me. *shakes head* Yes, the show is called House MD but that has always been it’s blessing and curse at the same time. House will get another whack on the wrist and life will continue like nothing has happened.

  • Lisa

    I feel for both sides. No matter what opinion you have you are patronized and categorized. And both sides continue to justify their thoughts, beliefs and even their numbers. I believe it’s time for me just to go back to being a casual viewer. I watched for years and never participated online. I started in season 6 and enjoyed it for a while. This fandom is imploding and it’s very sad to witness. No matter what this show does with the story, it’s a shame the dynamic fan DDX cannot take place anymore with the polarized opinions and corresponding hostility and arrogance. Pity.

    I’m out! Good luck, all!

  • lobentti

    Just watched ‘Moving on”, and as I said before, a perfect, healthy outburst of a hurted, sensible man; also I saw a development of an old episode – “The itch”. Then, while House still idealized Lisa´s life, he went to her door and came back without calling her; this time, he knows her, so he did what he had to; the conversation with the patients of both episodes seemed to push him to do something to make a change in life; first time, he failed, now he did. In real life, terrible;as fiction, just perfect.

  • Oversimplified

    @72 HouseMDFan

    You are right in that what House says shouldn’t always be taken at face value, but I still maintain that there was an intra- and extradiegetic message right there in that scene: a sort of ‘you thought we were going in a certain direction, but we’re not really.’ That, like everything else, is open for discussion.

    The crash is still making me rather uneasy. Not just because of it’s rather blasé portrayal of a violent act, but because they seem to have justified it under the ‘well House is rather ‘crazy’ hat. Mental illness does attract enough stigma as it is without adding to the stereotypes of the lunatic being capable of any act. To be fair the House writers aren’t the only ones who perpetuate these myths, but this hasn’t helped. It’s especially disappointing after they tried to deal the subject matter sensitively with ‘Broken’. I do hope they take House’s depression more seriously in season 8, without using it as a free pass for him to do increasingly ridiculous things.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Oversimplified–You say that they’ve dealt with House’s act in a blase manner. but we don’t actually know how they plan on dealing with it at all. That chapter hasn’t yet been written.

  • Oversimplified

    @ 81 Barbara

    I did mean within the episode itself. It was played for laughs as a number of people mentioned in other threads. The writers reactions to irate fans was also telling. In abstract it almost was an amusing act, but then we live in a society where women are killed by jealous partners on a regular basis by just such an act and that’s when it becomes distasteful. Viewing a narrative within a vacuum is unrealistic, as when we all sit down to watch something we bring a hell of a lot of baggage with us. You are right though Barbara. The story hasn’t been played out yet, and I really do applaud your optimism for Season 8. I’m actually gutted that mine has turned to morbid curiosity.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Oversimplified, the crash certainly wasn’t played for laughs or as an amusing act, I don’t know where you would get any evidence for that theory.

    You are right of course that there is always a extradiegetic message as well, but if you look at my statement (72), there is one there, albeit badly differentiated on my part: Constructed meaning vs. what you do, which is very much in keeping with the show. And this: ‘you thought we were going in a certain direction, but we’re not really.’ That’s the show’s specialty as well, just look at last year’s finale. They will always undermine conventional ideas of meaning, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. It also doesn’t mean that the journey is useless just because it doesn’t reach the destination you envisioned. Everything falls apart in the end, so all there is is the journey.

    Oh, and @Lisa – although you are probably not reading this anymore – I think I can understand your frustration, I have been drifting in and out of fandom for a long time because of that, but I always come back, because there are some interesting discussions to be found. The polarization isn’t new at all – it just is here at this place. If you looked at other places after last year’s finale for example, the viciousness vs. happiness was even more pronounced.

  • Oversimplified

    @83 HouseMDFan
    There has been discussion of the scene being played out as black comedy on Barbara’s blogs. In my opinion the hairbrush played into that, but it wasn’t funny because, well, House isn’t a Laurel and Hardy comedy and at least on some level tries to simulate reality where people can be harmed by other’s reckless behaviour. I’m still surprised that TPTB were so surprised by people’s reactions. It’s clear there was a gap between what many viewers saw and what they wanted them to see. I understand the reasoning behind it, don’t get me wrong, but I think they pushed too far with a character who walks a very thin tightrope between tortured, witty genius and an outright jerk. David Shore’s explanation of House’s behaviour was in classic abuser’s territory too, and I speak from personal experience there. There are ways and means to express anger without a violent act that both intimidates and puts lives in danger. I’m still not happy with the assertion that this violence was ‘inevitable’ on the protagonist’s part. It seems like a weak explanation, and goes hand-in-hand with the ‘oh he’s crazy and capable of anything’ excuse which I discussed earlier.

    Sorry we crossed wires by the way. They are generally good at subverting expectations, but I do think a good deal of the audience were hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel, and now that seems more unlikely than ever. The overall narrative appears to be going round in circles in a cycle of House hitting rock bottom, bobbing up to the surface for a brief respite, before being pulled back under again. Understandably that’s quite draining for people to watch for 7 seasons without there being some hope of a reward. Cuddy was built up to be that redemption, no matter how certain parts of the fandom felt about it, and with her gone and their professional and personal relationship destroyed it’s perhaps not surprising that some people are starting to back away from the show, and question why they’ve been so invested for all these years.

  • a small microbe

    barbara:
    that is precisely why they are so similar: we have not finished “reading” it because it has not been “published” in its entirety. tv is the technological era’s response to episodic novels. it works the same way and attracts the reader/viewer with the same premise.
    i still think the pirandello analogy holds. when a writer starts writing he/she has an idea of what he/she wants to tell, but it also need to have the wisdom to listen to what the characters are saying. a character cannot be forced to be anything other than what it is, and a medias res change doesn’t work. like my professor said, if it needs to be explained, it needs to be reviewed.
    i am not talking as a fan, but as a reader- or in this case watcher.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Oversimplified

    Oh, I’m actually more or less with you when it comes to the crash, that’s why I objected to seeing it as “funny” in the first place. I don’t think it was “inevitable” as in “the only thing he could do”, but I do think it was very much in character and I liked it. Not sure where the assertion that it was inevitable comes from, I didn’t get that impression.

    The overall narrative appears to be going round in circles in a cycle of House hitting rock bottom, bobbing up to the surface for a brief respite, before being pulled back under again.

    I actually think that’s a rather superficial look at it, at the very least it was a different rock each time ;-) I think the content is more important than the pattern, otherwise we would be bored to death with the formula already.

    without there being some hope of a reward

    See, and that’s where I so very much disagree. The point isn’t that there is no reward at all, the point is that no reward lasts forever! The bad times don’t negate the good times he had, they are just another part of the journey. And as I said, the journey is what interests me.

    And finally, I disagree with this: Cuddy was built up to be that redemption

    That’s what the fans wanted to believe. That’s also what House himself wanted to believe of course, but that doesn’t make it true or good. That’s also why I’m still fighting for the opinion that his declaration in “Recession Proof” was problematic, because he put all the burden for his happiness on her. I’m actually very happy that the show subverted the trite “redemption through romantic love” idea. (I know parts of fandom that were complaining very loudly after last year’s finale, because they thought the show had gone down that route, and I didn’t buy it then either.)

  • Oversimplified

    @86 HouseMDFan
    I do respect your opinion, but I’m still not buying that it was in character. I always think that where a character isn’t prepared to go, is just as interesting as the boundaries they are prepared to push or breakdown. House has never been violent towards women before and hates bullies because he can identify with their victims, often in spite of himself. For me that was what the whole Tritter arc was about. He was trying to punish a bully and ended up taking it about 20 steps too far: I’ve always felt he has a really deep-seated sense of morality which is unwavering and is often his greatest asset and his biggest downfall. Right now I feel like House could sprout wings and his creator would say, ‘Deep down I’ve always felt House was a fairy.’… Well maybe not, but you get my drift. I’m disappointed that such talented writers felt the need to add a new facet to his character that jars with who he essentially is. There was enough scope there to not have to resort to shock tactics. If he’d have been on that beach smiling having removed himself from the situation and NOT driven his car through Cuddy’s house I’d have still been pretty much with him. It achieved nothing. I will accept though that the rest of that story is still to be played out.

    Eventually all rocks look the same and hurt equally when you’re bashed over the head with them repeatedly. ;) It doesn’t make for a healthy relationship with one’s audience however. Seriously though that’s why I adored the end of season 5. That particular rock bottom was imaginative and completely believable, as trippy as it was. This one- not so much.

    Yeah I see where you’re coming from on on the whole subverting the idea of the romantic relationship as the ultimate goal thing, and to an certain extent I agree with you. The problem is they spent so long building up the relationship that when it came to actually exploring it they kind of buckled. It didn’t really work for the shippers in the fandom, nor did it work for the non- shippers because regardless how people felt about the two characters being together it played out more like the writers were trying to prove a point rather than laying out an honest exploration. Actually I think they could have kept them together and still subverted the romantic goal ideal. It didn’t have to be all the pieces to the puzzle, but just one of them. Having House ultimately do what he did because he saw himself as the wronged lover brought them down a whole new path of cliches, and I can’t help but feel that ending Huddy for good had a lot more to do with bowing to the network’s wishes, who thought it was affecting ratings, than it did with taking the characters down a path they needed to go.

    With you on the declaration of love in ‘Recession Proof’ by the way. It was just as loaded as Cuddy’s at the end of ‘Help Me’.

  • HouseMDFan

    @Oversimplified

    I’d say we are quite at the end of this conversation since we both explained our reasoning and are not going to change each other’s minds, but if you don’t mind I would like to comment on two things regarding House’s character:

    1. I don’t see what House did as “bullying” AT ALL. To me, that word requires a pattern of behaviour and a level of deliberateness that House just didn’t have in that moment. This wasn’t about picking on someone or stressing his own power over someone. I also don’t agree that he did this because he saw himself as “the wronged lover”, but I explained that before.

    2. No, House hasn’t shown violence against women directly, but he has shown that he has a big capacity for physical outbursts, in reality and in his mind.

  • HouseMDFan

    Just curious, do we agree on the “rock bottom” incidents – Tritter, Amber’s death, delusion, self-surgery/crash? And two times his fall was halted, at the end of S2 by the ketamine treatment, at the end of S6 by Cuddy?

  • Oversimplified

    @ 88 HouseMDFan

    Well I thought it was. Wilson described his behaviour towards Cuddy as ‘kicking her whilst she’s down’ in ‘Down the Chute’ didn’t he? Picking a fight with someone who is unwilling or incapable of defending themselves is victimisation, whether you hurt their feelings or their property. He’s never been that cruel before, which is why his best friend picked up on it.

    Sure he’s shown bouts of aggression before, but he’s often shied away from violence too. That restraint WAS an important part of who he was. Now, in a sense, he’s no better than the man who abused him.

    And yes I think we are in agreement over the rock bottom incidents. There should be some sort of grading system. ;) Rock, rock, rock bottom will of course be his death….

  • Oversimplified

    Also I think it’s important to note that he did what he did to make himself ‘feel better’, by his own admission. Reading something altruistic into his behaviour might be jumping the gun at this point.

  • HouseMDFan

    I didn’t read anything altruistic into his behaviour, so that’s a strawman. Also, I believe you were talking about “Fall from Grace” and taking Wilson’s words as the only truth. And finally, I would prefer a system that looks at the different meanings of the different rocks over a grading system any day.

  • BrokenLeg

    84,87,90,91 @ Oversimplified

    I agree on mostly of your posts, but this part specially:

    “….but I do think a good deal of the audience were hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel, and now that seems more unlikely than ever. The overall narrative appears to be going round in circles in a cycle of House hitting rock bottom, bobbing up to the surface for a brief respite, before being pulled back under again. Understandably that’s quite draining for people to watch for 7 seasons without there being some hope of a reward.”

    That’s excatly my feeling!!! I feel myself drained, exhausted, and many times I ask myself why I’ve watched all these seven years, and if it will be worth seeing next season. And if the only reason to watch [H] is HL great acting, or even if that is not enough….

    And , as seem on this journey to the darkest side, the end rock bottom is House’s own death or not.Hopeless.

  • Amie

    Barbara, you did a terrific job in trying to put 2 and 2 together, but I’m still not convinced it was well done. I love myself a good Romeo-and-Juliet or Rick-and-Ilsa (Casablanca), but this isn’t what we got.
    I still come here, even though I’m dissapointed in [H] and don’t know if I’ll tune in next season, in the hopes that I had been dreaming.
    Of course it’s not a dream, but I’m so glad my feelings are expressed here by others, in a most cordial and intelligent way, so much more than I would have been able to.
    And I’m sorry, Barbara, you haven’t always been treated respectfully. People shouldn’t lash out on you.

    Some excerpts I completely agree with :

    Lucy (1)(8)(14)(17):
    “but I was only a resigned Huddy because they kept pushing that Cuddy was the one for House, that she was his heart. They wrote that very clearly as a build up since Top Secret with “I’m Always Here” all the way to The Choice (…). I feel that telling the audience it’s invaluable and then writing it as a means to break House further was a cop out and the weaker choice.”
    and
    “Taking the ambivalent/fear approach may have ensured a break-up and projected a less than passionate relationship, but it also ensured a less powerful break-up and an exaggerated fall for House.”
    and
    “Using this relationship as a means to break him and place him in an situation where he’s unburdened and feeling a little better but will tomorrow face the tragedy of a destroyed life doesn’t really reflect well against the arduous path of growth he has been taking, it disregards the journey so far and undermines the relationships, history and canon”
    and
    “My reasons for saying shallow are not tied into the number of episodes, but the lack of exploring the questions of “why,” or “when,” or “what.” I didn’t expect a long, deep conversations, but the one sentence or on interchange that suddenly gave a little more insight into what was beneath the surface, what is behind the emotion. House and Cuddy working on a relationship would be a fantastic arena for these kind of wonderful moments.” + all the examples she gives
    and
    “I think viewers expected more depth than they got because TPTB said they were going to explore, and because they had been building it up for so long to suggest it would be through his connecting with another that he would begin healing. It was suggested since Mayfield that his opening himself up to vulnerability with another would begin the process of getting to the bottom of his issues. Since the show moves at a glacial pace and the character deflects and denies, it was expected to be a very slow unveiling, with only a clue dropped here and there, a fact revealed, or an emotion exposed. The ambivalence and fear route prevented the “exploration” that was promised – many feel – and just left a relationship that went through a checklist: explain they want to be together, check, establish you can’t but will still lie, check, Bond with kid, check, fight over mundane life, check, etc.”
    and
    “Cuddy has always called him on his behaviors and thoughts, while House has always diagnosed her. Had they been doing some of that exploring in the relationship it would have felt more true to their characters”

    Stan (2) (16)(37):
    “The ambivalence and fear may be something true to character, but their reactions to those feelings were not always in line with what they had shown us in the past. Cuddy’s response to her own ambivalence has traditionally been much of a fight mode; Just as House’s response was usually a complex deflection and reckless phase that proved to be a fight for right. It just didn’t ring true for their characters for many of us.”
    and
    “I think most fans expected and knew that exploring these characters inside a relationship would have meant a certain amount of misery in itself. They are both miserable and screwed up. Together, they would have still been that way, just not alone in figuring it all out. In the end, their dealing with their own issue together probably would have produced an exlposive break-up and made his downward spiral feel more real. Ironically, they could have still ended up in a very similar place, but with much more powerful results. IMO”
    and
    “I agree with ParadoxHugh. There were instances the showed House was opening up, and they also have shown in the past how Cuddy read him in spite of his walls and lack of being open. This season they chose to ignore the past. I definitely see they were trying to accent his failure at being open and vulnerable with Cuddy, but it just fell short.”

    Oversimplified (9)(84) :
    “All in all the relationship felt incredibly shallow, and at times House and Cuddy appeared to be shadows or even exaggerated parodies of the characters we’ve grown to know and like over the past 7 years, which is something I continue to lament over.”
    and
    “… but I do think a good deal of the audience were hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel, and now that seems more unlikely than ever. The overall narrative appears to be going round in circles in a cycle of House hitting rock bottom, bobbing up to the surface for a brief respite, before being pulled back under again. Understandably that’s quite draining for people to watch for 7 seasons without there being some hope of a reward. Cuddy was built up to be that redemption, no matter how certain parts of the fandom felt about it, and with her gone and their professional and personal relationship destroyed it’s perhaps not surprising that some people are starting to back away from the show, and question why they’ve been so invested for all these years.”
    and
    “Eventually all rocks look the same and hurt equally when you’re bashed over the head with them repeatedly. ;) It doesn’t make for a healthy relationship with one’s audience however. Seriously though that’s why I adored the end of season 5. That particular rock bottom was imaginative and completely believable, as trippy as it was. This one- not so much.”

    Cheated (18) :
    “also forgot to mention that everything that was unique with House and Cuddy was negated by the writers.(…) Everything that made them them were erased by the writers and their histories were ignored for the sole purpose of pushing House back on vicodin and into a dark place with no humanity left just as David Shore wanted.”

    ann uk (20):
    “And Cuddy too is made to look unreasonable and fickle. So House takes a vicodin to help him face the possibility of Cuddy’ death–one can imagine many people resorting to drink or tranquillisors faced with such a catastrophe.

    sneaky microbe (25) : LOL
    “Thank you for the relationship analysis, but the voice in my head keeps saying, “I just don’t care anymore.” Obviously I do a little bit, because I keep reading on the subject.” Me too!

    paradoxhugh (30) (40): everything you said but especially this : “I have to take real acception to this point. Save for small moments in the first few episodes, did I blink and miss this alledged joy? There was never a complete episode that did not negate any joy with the storm clouds of doom. It was always blighted. I will agree that Cuddy fooled herself early on but in light of the honesty in which she entered the relationship, the subsequent portrayal only made her character look selfish and foolish.”

    flesh and bones (77) :
    “The show had an agenda to put House back on drugs and they succeeded. End of line. There won’t be any repercussions like there were none with Vogler, Tritter, Amber and the suppossed fallout with Wilson and Dibala and so many other cases. Wait! The emotional fallout! Silly me. *shakes head* Yes, the show is called House MD but that has always been it’s blessing and curse at the same time. House will get another whack on the wrist and life will continue like nothing has happened.”

    Lisa (78) : “I feel for both sides. No matter what opinion you have you are patronized and categorized.”

    ok, I feel silly only quoting other people. But it’s my way of saying they’re not alone…

    I have to add I feel the crash was totally in character for House. But I didn’t like his smile, the same way I didn’t like what jerk he was to Wilson during the Tritter arc but thought it was in character. Hopefully it didn’t last.

    As I already mentioned in a previous thread, the lightness in which the relationship was treated and the breakup would have felt true to me if they had decided to give a go at the relationship after Joy. At that time, Cuddy was still looking for the perfect man and House didn’t want to make any effort in being happy. Then we had for House : the slow decent into mental break-down, hitting rock-bottom, Mayfield, the realization with Lydia and Nolan that he does want to be happy and does want to be with someone, pining for Cuddy for a year. And for Cuddy, we got : a baby, House being a jerk but her still caring for him (Under my skin and Both sides now), a year with the “perfect boyfriend” Lucas, 5-to-9 when House was more helpful than anyone and really did care for her – in his own way.

    One could think that Cuddy knew exactly what she was going into when starting this relationship with House.
    I suppose she struggled with the perfect boyfriend vs exciting boyfriend dilemna during all season 6.
    It felt therefore out of character for me that she expected him to not lie (“ever!”) to her at work, to babysit after 2 months of dating (how did she manage all the other unexpected times? Was House really her only option for babysitting Rachel) and to attend galas with her.

    And House, who always sparred with Cuddy as an equal, suddenly was this little boy saying “I can be better”? He who does everything consciously, and owns up to it? Either he didn’t do as best as he could and he has a reason and should own up to it, or he should have done as best as he could. Remember, he’s the one who tries to do “the right thing”.
    Given Mayfield, and Lydia, I would have thought the latter.
    On the other hand, I think the end of Recession Proof (which I thought was so in character for House to say something so nice and so awful at the same time) would have been reason enough for Cuddy to break up.

    However, as they are both portrayed as fighters, I don’t get how easily Cuddy dumps him. She would normally have fought, be the optimistic one, wanted to help (as she has a god complex) House through his demons.
    I mean, she seemed, at the beginning of Bombshell to enjoy his playfulness. And she says more than once that she admires him. She tested the “perfect” boyfriend (Lucas) and prefered the “exciting” one.
    One could suppose she knows she’s past forty, and is not likely to find the perfect boyfriend she is looking for.

    I was on team Arlene “who else will put up with you guys”!
    My team lost but the dice were rigged.
    I don’t think it was a bold move from the writers to do this, rather, I’m becoming bored. My reaction at the new rock-bottom : “not again”!

    Oh well! Time to move on.

  • maria-eleni

    • 68 – BrokenLeg
    “(A building) created initially by an architect, but only come to real life through its users, through how they use it, and through the interrelations that they set with the building. Sometimes those interrelations modify a little or quite a lot the initial creative pattern.”

    I absolutely agree with you.
    As an architect myself and an art historian as well, I consider successful buildings those fully exploited by the users, even if certain functionalities evolve differently from the original conception.
    The “academic” buildings fail because aesthetic values are more important to the architect than the interactions of the users with the spaces created.
    My theory is that in a building beauty alone without functionality loses its value in the way a soulless person can never be really beautiful for all the perfection of its features.

  • Oversimplified

    @92 HouseMDFan

    Yep you’re right it was indeed ‘Fall From Grace’. Still think Wilson was calling a spade a spade, but ho hum.

    I do believe we’ve unwittingly created a whole new academic strand though: ‘philosophical geology’. :) We’ll never agree, but it’s good to throw a few thoughts and ideas around with someone.

  • yjust a thought

    I put House MD behind for the summer a while back. Ready for Season 8 to see what is next;
    Meanwhile I watched the tv series Mad Man and Damages, and I was amazed how good they are, and I guess I have 2 questions:
    1. How can a small tv channel (AMC, FX) finance such a great series?
    2.- I never paid atention before, but why does each episode have a different director, you hear that, the actors work all year with the same crew, I though that that meant not only costum, hairdresser, advisers, technicians, writers, etc
    How come the directors are not included?
    PS
    I love their work schedule, they all say that they work 18 hour days, and at the same time they have several monthly breaks, time to do other shows, proyects, etc
    Only in Hollywood you work 18 hour days and at the same time you have 2 months off,….. you figure!

  • The Other Barnett

    I promise to be quick on my thoughts….

    Broken Leg’s last commentary hit in on the spot at the end….Cuddy knew what she was getting into, knew what House is, and knew what House is not – so either she is a woman who is retarded emotionally/romatically or the writers did not put much time into considering her when trying to play the story-line of “domesticating House”.

    Either way, the next season holds promise if only because it frees House from the romantic entanglement(or hurt former lover entanglement)with Cuddy to solve puzzles and maybe work on being happy without someone who romantically vitalizes him.

    And if anyone has the ear of David Shore….HIRE MAURA TIERNEY! AND BRING BACK ANDRE BRAUGHER!

  • Diane

    Barbara, I purchased your book a few days ago and I love it!!! I love the show – all seasons – and your book is helping me get by until Season 8 starts. THANKS!!!