Home / Film / Huddy, House, and “Help Me”: An Interview With the Season Finale’s Writers

Huddy, House, and “Help Me”: An Interview With the Season Finale’s Writers

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House, M.D. executive producers and writing partners Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner have penned some of the best and most significant episodes during the five seasons they’ve been with the series. “Skin Deep,” “97 Seconds,” “Broken,” and “Locked In” are but four of the episodes with which they are credited. Co-executive producer Peter Blake, with the series since season one, has written such memorable episodes as “The Mistake,” “The Itch,” and “Remorse.” All three writers collaborated with David Foster and Doris Egan on the stunning season four finale episodes “House’s Head,” “Wilson’s Heart.”

In the midst of preparing for season seven (the writers are not currently on hiatus), the three writers took a few minutes out of their packed schedules to talk to me by phone about the stunning season six finale and planning season seven.

Forgive me for starting at the end of the episode, but what an ending. And it was an ending no one knew about — it wasn’t even on the media screeners (which ended as House sits on the bathroom floor contemplating the events of the day — and his Vicodin). Why all the secrecy?

Peter Blake: Obviously, it was a big change… a big development in the direction of the series and we just didn’t want it to leak out.

Garrett Lerner: So we took a lot of effort not to let too many people know about the ending. None of the scripts that we handed out to the cast and crew or the writers included the final scene.

Russel Friend: Unfortunately the crew didn’t know the ending and thought they were going to be able to go home finally, and then we brought out those pages at around 2 a.m.

Was the final ending always a part of the original plan? Russel, your video blog (available in the iPhone/iPad InHouse app) caused quite a stir in the fan community because some interpreted what you said as meaning the final scene was added later.

Russel Friend: It wasn’t, although it sort of seemed that way on the video blog. When we first recorded the video blog, we still hadn’t told many people about the ending, so it couldn’t be on the video blog. But this had always been the planned ending for the episode. But we didn’t tell anyone except a very few people. Of course Lisa [Edelstein] and Hugh [Laurie], knew about it. And then after we filmed the ending, I did another video blog talking about the ending.

But the truth is that it was the planned ending for the season for months and months. We knew we were going to get to that point when they get together. It was just a question of how we were going to get there

Where did the idea for “Help Me” originate?

Russel Friend: I had this idea a couple of years ago. I’d read about a crane collapse on a townhouse in Manhattan, and it struck me that this could really be an episode of television, but didn’t seem at the time to be an episode of House because we don’t do those sort of ER type episodes. But then I wondered about having the crane operator being someone with a mysterious illness. And then we trap someone under the building as the person House has to take care of. Then, together, we came up with putting House through this whole emotional story series of things.

Garrett Lerner: I’ve thought for a couple of seasons that this would make a good season finale if we ever had to get House into a really dark place and then pull him out of there. I think it was around Thanksgiving that Russ presented it in the writers’ room, it was formally decided.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition: a big disaster scenario for this intimate personal story…

Garrett Lerner: This was always part of the pitch. That House is stuck with this woman. Her leg is trapped and we draw the parallels there.

Russel Friend: It almost forces House to really bond with a patient, which is also something we never do. House always has this objectivity about these cases and situations and it just felt like a great way to do it.

The way Hannah dies seems to add to House’s emotional torment. Does he blame himself for her death?

Russel Friend: Not for her death, but because he does everything he could — everything he is supposed to do — and she still dies. It still doesn’t work out well for him, which is reflected in House’s conversation with Foreman [towards the end of the episode]. This has been a common theme in the last few episodes of season six. If you do the right thing in the world, good should come out of it. House is trying to learn that lesson, and it hadn’t worked out so well for him. And here, he does everything right, and she dies anyway.

Until now, every season of House has ended on a downbeat note (except, arguably, season three). Why the change for season six?

Garret Lerner: The question answers itself, doesn’t it? We just decided it was time. I think it was Katie Jacobs who said we really earned it after five seasons of very downbeat endings, which is very unusual for a network series. We had earned the right to have a happier, more hopeful one.

The end seemed to parallel to the end of last season’s “Under My Skin” and “Both Sides Now.” How much were those episodes in your minds while you created “Help Me?”

Russel Friend: That’s why we had that last couplet — the last two lines of the season. House asks Cuddy, “How do I know I’m not hallucinating again?” She asks him if he’s taken the Vicodin and he throws them on the ground. We wanted to mirror that [scene in “Under My Skin”] and even have the audience speculate a little bit about whether he was hallucinating — and whether or not he had taken the pills. And then to that couplet to know we really are ending on a hopeful note, believe it or not.

But no cliffhanger…

Garrett Lerner: The only cliffhanger is in what’s this relationship going to look like? We are going to pursue this relationship. So, can it work? Has House changed enough? Will Cuddy be able to tolerate him? After all, House will still be House. Hopefully all those questions are cliffhanger enough that people want to see those questions answered.

The series usually plays out in “real time.” Autumn in the real world is autumn in the House-verse. Of course that wasn’t the case at the beginning of season six, where we do follow House from where we left off at the end of season five. So, where does season seven start? Will it pick up from the next moment, or leap ahead in time two or three months?

Garret Lerner: We’re interested in what happens next. So we are pursuing the story from the angle that we don’t want to skip the “good parts.” That being said, it’s still being written (Doris Egan is writing the season premiere), so we don’t have the exact answer, but we’re not going to cheat the audience of experiencing what happens next.

How did it feel to be the writers anointed to give House his moment of happiness?

Garrett Lerner: It felt great. But I don’t think we’re actually lucky to give House a happy ending because it’s so different than what we usually do, but I’m really psyched we did it. Because it so different — it is something we did. David Shore and Katie [Jacobs] are always pushing us to try something different and unusual, and for this series, giving a happy ending is unusual. So now the people who hate happy endings are going to hate us now.

Russel Friend: House is not a different person. He is the same person. He is going to be a similar House the next weekend. There will be some changes, but his personality will not change. As Peter (Blake) said, we earned this happy ending by really putting House through the wringer this season. Through the psychiatric hospital, this emotional angst with Cuddy, and finally — literally — having a building fall on top of him. And then he has to crawl out from underneath this thing. It felt like he really deserved it.

Peter Blake: In the episode “Lockdown” which Hugh [Laurie] directed, House confesses to [dying patient] Nash [David Strathairn] that he wants to be happy and feels he deserves human connection. Finally, for the first time he feels ready.

Garret Lerner: In the first episode of the season [“Broken”], House also explains to [his psychiatrist] Dr. Nolan that he wants to be happy.

In “Help Me,” House reveals something very significant about his leg. What triggers that? Or is it something he’s been thinking about for awhile?

Garrett Lerner: I would argue that this also goes back to “Broken” and his statement that “I want to be happy.” It’s an admission that he’s not a happy person and he wants something to change.

Peter Blake: He was probably already beginning to doubt whether he’d made the right decisions [all those years ago]. And then this conversation with Hannah really prompted him to realize that he really had made the wrong decision.

Russel Friend: He’s probably known this awful truth somewhere in his subconscious for a long time and not admitted to himself. But he’d been on drugs for so long and doing other abusive things to himself. Finally when he got cleaned up in “Broken,” he started evaluating his life and being honest with himself. And finally, now, by the end of the season he is able to admit it aloud.

Peter, this episode feels a bit like a nice bookend to your season five episode “The Itch” in which House longs to make a connection with Cuddy, but can't quite bring himself to knock on her door. In the finale, she knocks on his. Are the parallels intentional?

Peter Blake: I actually echoed “The Itch” more in another episode. In “Remorse” [this season], House tries to apologize to Cuddy for having defaced a photo of her. At the end of that episode, House goes to her office door and sees her with Lucas. He’s so hurt seeing them together that he just walks away and gives money to this guy whose feelings he’s hurt years before. But absolutely [there are echoes in “Help Me”]. But it’s not just “The Itch.” There are so many other episodes in which House and Cuddy almost get together, so hopefully it echoes a lot of episodes in “Help Me,” where they finally kiss and hold hands.

Tell me about the special camera used to film “Help Me.”

Peter Blake: We were all just blown away by what [director] Greg [Yaitanes] did with the episode. He used digital SLR [DSLR, a Canon 5D high definition still camera].

Russel Friend: It’s not the first time this camera had been used. In the opening scene of “Lockdown,” directed by Hugh Laurie, we see an infant being born. There were several shots Hugh wanted that he couldn’t possibly get in the time allotted for working with infants. And, the only way to get an overhead shot he wanted was to suspend a giant film camera over the baby, which would be too dangerous. So cinematographer Gale Tattersall had a 5D and used it for just those shots of the baby and they came out beautifully. So when this episode needed to be shot in small spaces and low light, they brought in the 5D for just those scenes. But they decided that the camera rendered such a good documentary look, they decided to use it for the entire episode.

What are the challenges of writing House going into the seventh season?

Russel Friend: The challenges are on the medical front. House is a medical procedural at its heart, and keeping it fresh and new after a all these episodes is very hard. We attack each episode fresh and new and try to come up with the best stuff we can. The characters continue to grow and change so that stuff is easier and fresher to deal with. We’ve already come up with a bunch of what we think are good character stories based on what we see at the end of this one.

Care to share…?

All three writers (simultaneously): We're not allowed to.

How do you think the show’s fans will like “Help Me?”

Garrett Lerner (who confesses to visiting the fandom from time to time): It’s hard to predict what the fans will like. But in this episode we get to see a cool medical case, see House open up and be emotional — and obviously see House and Cuddy get together.

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About Barbara Barnett

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

  • Ladybelle Fiske

    They should let Lucas be a kind of uncle to Rachel. Yes, it’s true House can be good with kids. Rachel’s quite small though, and babies are another story. Still he said people don’t annoy him till they can talk, right?
    I’m glad for these fictional characters. Looking forward to season 7.

  • Hey Liz, welcome. True. House may not be ready for a relationship — with anyone. But when has that stopped House–or anyone for that matter. I don’t think Cuddy (that’s how her name is spelled) came in to stop House from the drugs (how would she have known?) I do believe that House’s actions at the disaster site made her realize just what it is she sees in him–and why she cares so much for him.

    I do agree that it would be great for Andre Braugher to return and keep House talking (of course House has quit therapy, but hopefully he will have re-thought that over the summer :))

    I’ve enjoyed David Morse since he played the idealistic Boomer on St. Elsewhere! He’s a superb actor (loved him as George Washington in John Adams on HBO). Not sure I’d like to see a return of Tritter under any circumstances, tho.

  • liz black

    There is now way that House is ready for a relationship with anyone! I thought Cutty just said what she said to keep him from taking the drugs. He needs way more therapy with that wonderful psychiatrist….hopefully there will be more of the sessions with him. Also, I would like to see David Morse come back as a patient….needing House, but hating him still. That was a great sequence. D.M. is amazing.

  • rumplestillskin

    your show suffers from a truckload of bad karma. do you know what I mean

  • Dominique

    I’m feeling depressed again since I looked at the comments section of another review against my better judgement. Why do I do such things?

    Part of me is kind of hoping that things between them will slow down now that House lo longer needs to be “saved”. Just because, well, House isn’t one for very swift changes.

  • Rebecca

    Thank you, Delia, for your comment on my post.
    We share the same wishes regarding Season 7. From your mouth to the writers’ ears.
    And may I add that I have too rewatched Season One many times but never in such good company…

  • rsg

    @DeliaThanks for your very insightful, well written response, (as usual!)

    Re-watching Season 1 on House TV marathon today.:) True treat to see it on the big screen, as I usually watch the episodes on my computer; ITUnes. I’m really considering getting the DVDs now!
    Most obvious difference I notice between the first episodes and now is that Cuddy no longer bargains, or places bets with House, (pre-season 6 obviously, per reasons just discussed), House actually dresses a little less nice now, (no more corduroy jackets or pants, no more swank red dress shirts or leather brief case), and Chase is a punk back then!
    Also, Delia, I agree, the PotW in season 6, even 5, are much less engaging. I’m still trying to decide if this is actually due to the way the patient’s characters are written, or how House and the team react to them that makes them less engaging. No disrespect to the show, actors or writers though; still the best darn TV show on.

    Oh-FINALLY figured out where the opening credit scene of House and ducklings walking down the hall comes from: “Damned if You Do” season 1, episode 5. I have always kept my eye out for where that scene was taken from!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    REBECCA (#134): i finally got to comment on you post, i’m sorry it took me so long. I think that your comment about House’s inner division is a pivotal point in the analysis of this show. And of course, i fully agree on how the perspective every viewer gets on a character is essentially a very personal thing, influenced by a number of personal factors – but you point out so well the fact that there is a limit to this subjectivity, a limit to what bears more than one interpretation – and in my opinion, House’s humanity, his good heart and his ability to be generous, faithful, loyal and capable of intense emotions are not, in any way, questionable – not since the Pilot episode.

    Your analysis on how House is disconnected and “separated from essential parts of himself” is just PERFECT. You nailed it so well! That is very, very true, and i think that season 7 will bring to life parts of him that were long disconnected, that during season 6 were slowly brought to the surface, sometimes verbalized, sometimes even acted upon.

    All in all, i think that season 7 should focus on House’s inner reconciliation with “his humanity, his need of others, his profound need to be loved and to love, his handicap, his childhood, his shadows” (Rebecca says). I think that the paternity issue should finally be addressed – he should have the necessary talk with his mother, ask her why she lied to him about his very identity for so long and finally tell her that her attitude and her lack of backbone, the fact that she did not protect him from John House, harmed him deeply. He should also sit down and talk to his real father – even if he does not tell him the truth (does that “family friend” who has been around Gregory for so long really not know????).

    And of course, i pray for the return of clinic duty. And that the House-Cuddy relationship is given a proper chance – in the sense that it was written so it has a real, real chance at this point, after the long journey of self-discovery and acceptance they both underwent, a real chance at working and being good for both of them, and i hope the writers don’t chicken out and write a breakup after just a few eps, in response to the silly criticism of some fans.

    I am still re-watching season 1 and with every episode, i am amased at the complexity of the show and of House himself. Nearly every single episode of season 1 reveals for us an essential element of House’s personality, that is later on developed through the years. It is truly an amazingly consistent, cohesive and coherent creation!

    My personal favorite dialogue, that holds an ocean of interpretation in regard to House’s idealism, to his own “insane moral compass”, to his superb refusal of any form of compromise, to his deep sense of justice, to his ability to be a true romantic, and also to his unforgiving lucidity, that makes it impossible for him not to see the cracks in the bowl, and thus turns him into a fascinating romantic cynic:
    House: “It was so perfect. It was beautiful… It fit. It was elegant.
    Wilson: So… reality was wrong?
    House: Reality is almost always wrong”.
    (“Occam’s Razor”).
    Such a perfect example of how his commitment to solving his puzzles, to finding his perfectly logical theory that is perfect and elegant and answers all questions is essentially a mirror of House’s romantic idealism in regard to life itself, an idealism that is always betrayed by the ugly, cruel and often stupid reality.

    As i said, I think that the season 1 House was back in season 6, for due symbolic reparations, and will be even more present during season 7. Hugh Laurie just gave Aussiello an interview, saying that Hannah’s death will have a major impact on House in the future, making him “humble” and pushing him to question his ability and identity as a healer and savior. Together with his relationship with Cuddy, that is bound to make him more human than ever.

    In regard to the patients and his cases, i have to say, i do sense a considerable difference there. The patients and the cases felt so much more compelling in the early seasons. Their stories were more interesting and the emotional response they forced on the viewer was more powerful. I miss the cases that i really, really felt emotionally connected to. The time that is dedicated to the patients is pretty much the same in the economy of each episode, so it is not true that the emphasis on the main characters’ development and personal lives has taken away from the Potw dynamic. I just feel, on a very personal level, that i found it increasingly hard to get emotionally invested in the cases and the stories of the patients. I can make the comparison, because now, re-watching season 1 for the 5th time, i still feel a strong emotional response to the potws and their families and their stories, which has not happened to me lately (not during season 6, at least).

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @RSG: yeah, that’s what i’m alluding to, pretty much:)
    It was obvious during the first 5 seasons of the show, that the only reason in heaven or hell House steps into that clinic, which bores him to death, is because Cuddy makes him. But it’s not just the clinic duty – during season 6, all House-Cuddy professional interactions were pretty much supressed – after “Teamwork”, about 99% of them, actually.
    We were used to Cuddy chasing House to get him to take cases. We were used to Cuddy forcing him into clinic duty, with the mandatory delightful negociation (that scene you mentioned, from “One Day, One Room”, is one of my absolute favorites too – the playful sexual tension and the unbelievable way she knows how to push his buttons, amazing!). We were used to House debating his decisions with her, slamming the door of the office at least once an episode, in search of an approval to his risky decisions or to argue a case or to contradict her on her overruling him. We were used to Cuddy coming into his office to check on the cases, to assist him during difficult diagnoses or to confront him on a decision or other. We even had them attending to patients together, and definitely we had them talking to patients and families together (OK, Cuddy usually had to defend House to angry families:).

    Nearly none of these were present during season 6 – in fact, after “Teamwork” (aired in November, after he found out about Lucas – and in “Teamwork”, he absolutely refused to even look her in the face once – when she brought him his medical licence papers and when she confronted him about his patient in the lobby)), we had a single scene in Cuddy’s office in regard to a medical decision (“Black Hole”) and a single scene in House’s office in regard to the patients inssurance problem (in “Open and Shut”).

    They were avoiding each other on purpose – Cuddy because she felt guilty and because every single time she ran into House, her inner battle, of to love or love him not, to choose or choose him not, was becoming unbearable. House, because it was too painful to be near her and because he did not know how to act around her: a strictly professional relationship was impossible, to be just friends was not an option, and to be naturally intimate around her, like he used to, was now too awkward. Obviously, in their very few encounters after “Teamwork”, he chose to take the honest approach – every time, he made a personal comment that hinted at his interest in her and at his disapproval of Lucas etc etc.

    I felt very strongly that the clinic duty and the negociation around it was a major part of the House-Cuddy dynamic pre-season 6 – a professional power play and a personal opportunity for constant flirtation and teasing, pranks, unintentional revealing of truths, playfulness and sexual tension. It seems it’s something they both acknowledged as such – because they both stopped it when the main thing on their mind was to redefine their personal relationship, while staying away from each other.

    Also, i am pretty sure that the clinic duty will be back in season 7 – and just think about the million delightful, naughty, personal, impossibly funny ways to negociate it:)))))

  • simona

    I have missed a lot the clinic hours, too. Perhaps those cases served as a mirror of Potw and House himself. But during this season House was not fully concentrated on patients but he was “the patient” so the mirror was supposedly represented by the connection with the team as well as with Wilson and Cuddy.
    I don’t know which content will focus on season 7, but I really hope that we’ll can see both the old and the new House. And I am especially curious about how the two House will manage to coexist.
    I’m expecting a season full of emotions: serenity, happiness (maybe, fingers crossed), doubt, anguish, pain (I like to suffer with House, I’m a little masochistic ;-)) ), humor, love (yes! of course), friendships and many, many differential diagnoses; and evolution and growth of the characters. I wish that the writers do not spare us any kind of emotion. So I’m hoping that they will make us live fully every nuance of the House’s journey.
    Am I asking too much? :-))

  • rsg

    @Delia #121. Could you expand on your comment:
    ” I understand why House and Cuddy avoiding each other cautiously and determinedly made the clinic duty be completely absent during season 6″?

    I found the lack of clinic hours in season six confusing, and also really missed the humor generated by those scenes. Was it because House was getting back on his feet and wasn’t required to put in his hours anymore? It was never talked about or addressed, that I can recall. House always had to be forced to do his clinic hours. It never occurred to me that Cuddy just wouldn’t want to confront House about this due to their relationship tension…..is that what you’re alluding to?

    Best clinic scene ever: Cuddy bets House for money every time he needs to touch the patient during the exam…I don’t know why but the scenes with those ‘no touching’ patients has me rolling on the floor every time!:)

  • Marguerite

    Please tell me when the new season starts. Thanks.

  • Just to let you all know. I’m going to be interviewing Jesse Spencer later today about the Band From TV weekend in Chicago at the end of the month. I will try to also get some questions in about House and any other stuff he’s got coming up.

  • Flo

    Rebecca, I totally agree with your last post about the whole “out of character” thing.

    As your question (#133) about Cuddy, it is possible that it was intentional storytelling-wise but I also think that maybe the writers didn’t quite know exactly what to do of her character.
    This is the only character that is above House in the hierarchy (she is his boss) and clearly this is very important and they wanted to show this dynamic and how it works, at first.
    The thing is: then what?

    They had to write something about the fact that she can handle him. How can she do it so well? Of course, the chemestry was already here and the question “did they had something in the past?” was already there too with Vogler calling her on her feelings for House. The writers used this well to create a past and a whole story between the two, thus developping Cuddy’s character. Here comes the fact that they know each other for twenty years. The “did they” question is even gonna be dragged until mid-season three! And of course, she was here when he got his infarction.

    The thing is, having re-watched “Three Stories”, I feel that we don’t really know what her part was in this. The story is told by House, meaning that we see his memories and point of view on this.
    So, every scene between just Stacy and Cuddy, for example, is just how he imagines they took place, we don’t know exactly what they said to each other therefore we don’t know preciesely how Cuddy handled this situation and Stacy’s decision.

    It would be really interesting to know Cuddy’s point of view on this.

    I remember Lisa Edelstein once saying that she, herself, proposed to TPTB some background for the character like the fact that she is a endocrnologist and that she wish to have a family.
    We just don’t have all this in season one, telling us that TPTB had not really thought of that in the first place.
    Lisa Edelstein did a really good job on this. She built a character almost out of nothing.
    We always praise Hugh and for good reasons but we shouldn’t forget that he got a pretty good material from the beginning. You are right when you talk about “Edelstein’s nuance portrayal”.

    At the same time, a first season is always particular because you don’t know if the show is gonna be a success and how many episodes you’re gonna have to write, from the start. But, really, kudos to Miss Edelstein.

  • Rebecca

    Delia writes : “All in all, everything he (House) says and does during these first few eps resonates perfectly with his later evolution, including his evolution in season 6. It was all there, the changes regard only his attempts to express it”
    This is so very true.
    There’s this debate all over the Internet as to whether House has changed or should change. IMHO it is not possible to have this kind of discussion without seeing the whole picture. For we have witnessed House’s change. Following a downward spiral after Stacy’s departure, House became more and more insensitive, hardened and often “cruel” -first of all to himself and then to others surrounding him. Just compare House’s general attitude and his way of relating to others during Season Four & most of Season Five to what we see of him in Season One. I prefer the latter of course.
    And that is what we see anew in Season Six. Not House fundamentally changing but House rebuilding bridges between parts of himself he had completely or partially denied, foreclosed.
    “If you don’t make connections, then your whole life is a mess” House raps in Broken.
    The notion of “connection” does not only apply to the interpersonal world but also to the inner self, the connections between different parts of one’s internal world. House has been disconnected, in denial, “divided”, “broken” – he has disowned essential parts of himself. His humanity, his need of others, his profound need to be loved and to love. But also his handicap, his childhood, his shadows. He became so disconnected internally that he ended up hallucinating. And as Nolan pointed out “his issues run deeper than Vicodin”. So Season Six was all about reparation, creating connections and integrating, becoming whole again.

    The corollary to “House doesn’t change” seems to be the “out of character” label. It is easy to dismiss any behavior that does not fit in one’s definition of House’s personality as being “out of character”.
    But , as Delia points out (#129): “In regard to the much talked about “out of character” concept, especially in regard to House, I think viewers could easily have fallen into the trap of “House”’s subtlety.”
    The notion of “Out Of Character” is an arbitrary construct. There are certain aspects of a fictional character -even one with House’s extreme complexity- that are clearly defined and thus generally accepted. We know, for instance, that House has an excellent sense of humor or that he is a genius. It’s when we enter the grey zone that begins the controversy.
    What we viewers perceive as “In Character” is largely defined by our own projections and personal interpretations. We identify emotionally with the character and project our wishes, fears, hopes, life experiences, personality traits etc. We choose to focus on elements that resonate with us and ignore others. When a fictional character is as complex and ambiguous as House, there’s much more room for personal interpretation.
    I am not in any way implying that the show’s writing has always been flawless. As brilliant as the writers may be, there have been “out of character” moments for every protagonist . But not when it came to major turning points such as the final scene in “Help Me” – a source of a lot of controversy as I understand.

    I believe it is essential to remain attentive to the whole picture. In a comment (#76) following Barbara’s review of Season 6’s episode “Lockdown” Flo presented the powerful “chess metaphor”. I’ll quote her: “Watching the show as a whole is the only way to be as less biased as possible and therefore to be sure to not miss something important and misjudge a situation or a character because of that”
    Sorry for this long comment!

  • Rebecca

    @ Flo: I’m the one who should be blamed for badly expressing their thoughts. I do not disagree with you. Cuddy is indeed the most opaque of all the characters in Season One. What I wanted to emphasize by my comment is the focus on Cuddy’s “persona” during the first season. The only significant revelation about Cuddy is her central role in House’s history as far as his handicap is concerned. Do you think this was intentional from a storytelling point of view? I don’t remember reading anything to this effect…

  • Flo

    Rebecca, you are right about the differences between “personna” and “real self”.

    So, okay maybe I’m not expressing myself very well.

    I’m saying this as a screenwriter. I find that Cuddy was the more one-dimensional character of all in season one. That doesn’t mean that she was completely one-dimensional.
    I’m just saying that in the writing, comparing to how the other characters were written, she was the more one-dimensional one.

    Their “personna”, the way they act in public is part of their “real self” in a sense that, it does say something about them, like how much they do act, how much they hide behind a mask etc.

    In the first season we know how House is hiding behind the “jerk” mask.
    We learn about Wilson’s brother and thus, why he is drawned to needy.
    We know why the ducklings have been hired. We learn about Foreman’s feelings that he had to be better than everyone else, Cameron dead-husband issues and her “insane moral compass”, Chase missing-daddy-and-alcoholic-mom issues and religion interrogations.

    Cuddy is just here as the boss. Sure we also see her guilt and great loyalty but ‘screenplay writing’ speaking, she was not as well defined ans the others in this first season IMHO.

    I don’t know if this makes more sense. It is just a writer point of view.
    All in all, we don’t have to agree on this, that’s what great debates are for.
    I just want to make sure to express myself correctly.

  • Rebecca

    In regard to Cuddy during the first season:
    I believe that one important aspect of character development in the show is the interconnection between “persona” and “personality”. Between the mask presented to the world and the real self. The apparent and the latent. What is known about a character and what is not known and not revealed.
    I think that for all the characters -apart from House- Season One focuses mainly on their “persona” and much less their “real self”, let alone their more shadowy parts… As time goes by we get to discover the many layers of each character. Like Delia, I’m impressed by the fact that there are traces of everyone’s personality and deeper issues from the start.
    To conclude, I think that, during Season 1, we become acquainted mainly with Cuddy’s “persona”. The dynamic dean of medicine always struggling to set limits for House and yet supportive of him when push comes to shove. It is indeed from “Humpty Dumpty” and on that we start discovering Cuddy as a multilayered character. But we do get glimpses of Cuddy’s personality from the beginning, mostly due to Lisa Edelstein’s nuanced portrayal of the character.

  • Flo

    Delia, of course it is about growing and yes the seed of further evolution were there but I’m just saying that compraring to the other characters and comparing to the other seasons she was the most one-dimensional character in the first season.

    Even Lisa Edelstein admitted it. I remember an interview where she said (rightly so, according to me) that basically all Cuddy had to do, in the first season, was to say no to House. She was the character who said “duh”.

    In this first season we don’t learn a lot about the woman behind the administrator, we just see her as the Dean of Medicine. She is just the super boss who protect her employees very well and bicker with House on dalily basis.

    Her personal strory will really take off with “Humpty Dumpty” when we learn she knows House since University. It’s in season two.
    The IVF treatment thing was also very important to the evolution of the character. it’s later in the season.

    All in all, Cuddy always been kind of mysterious. We even had to wait season 5 to know more about her family.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Barbara, thank you so much for reinforcing the idea of coherence and continuity.
    @DebbieJ and Flo, thank you as well for agreeing.

    In regard to the much talked about “out of character” concept, especially in regard to House, i think viewers could easily have fallen into the trap of “House”‘s subtlety. The show is so layered, Sir Hugh’s acting is so utterly natural, and the characters are so slowly and gradually revealed, that it is easy to fall for the simplest interpretation and (nearly deliberately) miss or ignore the very subtle clues that point to a much deeper and much more complex subtext.

    I think that a good and clear example of this mechanism is pointed out in “Damned If You Do”. The conversation between House and
    Sister Eucharist is eloquent in its simplicity:

    “Eucharist: They say you have a gift.
    House: They like to talk.
    Eucharist: You hide behind your intelligence.
    House: Yeah, that’s pretty stupid.
    Eucharist: And you make jokes because you’re afraid to take anything seriously. Because if you take things seriously, they matter, and if they matter –

    House: And when things go wrong, I get hurt. I’m not tough, I’m vulnerable.

    Eucharist: I barely know you, and I don’t know if I’m right. I just hope I am. Because the alternative is, you really are as miserable as you seem to be.”

    I guess it was easy to really think that he was just as miserable and bitter and fatally flawed and cynical and a jerk, as he seemed to be. Even if the clues towards his vulnerability and his immense humanity were there, and lots of them, from the very first episode. After all, chasing zebras is a skill that demands exercise and belief – and truth be told, the clues WERE subtle. So subtle, in fact, that up till the last episodes of season 5 and all of season 6, even the most passionate of viewers would have had a hard time deciding to bet their right hand on House’s good heart and deep layers of vulnerability, humanity, niceness, concern, tenderness, stoicism and commitment.

    @Flo, i am not sure if i agree to considering Cuddy one-dimensional in the first season – in the sense that it seems to me like it’s all about growing. The writers planted the seed of all further evolution in the Pilot episode and added a little more to the construction of each character in every single episode, again and again- that is how i feel about it. It made such a powerful impression on me, to see how it was all there, from the very beginning – even if it is, of course, true that various periods of the show focus on various aspects of each character.

    @pawpaw: i fully agree. I remember some interviews of Lisa Edelstein, in which she explained how, for years and years, House and Cuddy were on different pages, emotionally. I think that notion applies here as well – it was so well-thought, to build this moment when they are both finally fully aware of the central place the other has in their life. It’s all about acknowledgment, after all, looking at yourself in full honesty, admitting what you find inside and acting on it, regardless of the risks and sacrifices. House has been doing it all season, loving her from afar, living a monastic life, paying for his sins and NOT numbing his pain in any way. And at last, she did it too – it had to be of equal magnitude and of equal significance, they had to be finally in synch in regard to how they feel and what they are willing to do about it. Any imbalance, any of them being a little off, any reminiscence of a game or a hesitation would have ruined it. And, of course, House would not accept it, because he has already walked his road of broken glass without any shortcuts.

  • pawpaw

    #127 should read “I doubt HOUSE would accept anything less.”

  • pawpaw

    @Delia_Beatrice #121: What you in your response to @Simona:

    “A complete choice, full in every way, no compromises, no rethinking, no steps back. I don’t think that it is necessarily about Cuddy having reasons to be uncertain in regard to House’s response to her declaration of love. I think it is about her being completely true to her self and to both House and Lucas. She was fair, even if she hurt Lucas in the process. She did it all rightfully.”

    I doubt would accept anything less. Remember the rooftop scene between House and Stacy when House realized that Stacy was not going to tell Mark, saying that telling Mark wouldn’t be easy, that she couldn’t hurt him. House looked surprised, even stunned but said “it’s not easy but it is simple, a life with him or a life with me but it can’t be both.” Stacy had “toyed” with House, doing exactly what Wilson said she cannot do with him.

  • Flo

    House is a very cleverly written show and yes it is very consistent.

    Delia (#121) is obviously right on her points. I am re-watching the series and finished the first season. It is indeed very coherent but what I also note is how many writing improvements the series had done in so many years, especially for secondary characters.
    Cuddy is really one-dimensional in the first season comparing to the later ones. House is very well define but the others….
    I find Wilson great in the first season but, watching the second, he is overall wrong about House. Weird how a a guy can not know his best friend all that well.

  • barbara barnett

    DebbieJ #123–I have spent much of my free time this last year-plus looking at the series in ridiculous detail. I strongly agree that the characters are internally consistent. Have they ever been written OOC? Yes. But for the most part, it’s pretty amazing just how consistent (esp. House) has been crafter.

    Dominque–don’t believe everything that Ausiello says 🙂 “Next year” may mean season 8 as well, as they’ve already begun season 7’s prep.

  • Dominique

    I just had a bit of a shock… we’ve all been assuming that Hugh was signed on for 2 more seasons, when actually, it ends after season 7! This might be the very last season of House!

    I don’t know what to say! (that’s way too close for comfort!)

  • DebbieJ

    @Delia #121 and Barbara #122: I am glad to read that you also have seen the consistency in the characters from Pilot to Help Me. So many of my fellow fans from a group I am a member of feel that Cuddy and especially Wilson have been completely OOC this season and that House was OOC in last week’s finale. I just don’t feel it. I feel everyone’s been consistent throughout the series.

  • barbara barnett

    Delia_Beatrice: So many of the things you touch on are an essential focus of my book. It’s what fascinates me so much about the show.

    You are right. the characters (all of them, but particualarly House) have been written with such coherence and consistency, that you can draw a throughline from Pilot to Help Me.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @ Simona: Thank you:) Us married folks gotta stick together:)
    I agree on the choices thing. I had thought many times during season 6, that it would be a very bad choice to make Cuddy be undecided between House and Lucas or “cheat” on Lucas with House in any form. They played it out beautifully – clean and clear, no mess. A complete choice, full in every way, no compromises, no rethinking, no steps back. I don’t think that it is necessarily about Cuddy having reasons to be uncertain in regard to House’s response to her declaration of love. I think it is about her being completely true to her self and to both House and Lucas. She was fair, even if she hurt Lucas in the process. She did it all rightfully. She was honest and brave, and when she made her choice, it was clear that she is 1000000% certain that there are no doubts in regard to that choice being the only one that was in resonance with her deepest self.

    I have started rewatching “House” from the very beginning, and there are some thought i’d like to share with those of you who find it hard to go through a house-less summer:

    1. The Pilot: It made me reach the conclusion that the show has kept an amazing level of coherence and continuity in between the Pilot ep and “Help Me”.

    What i was most impressed to see is how coherent and perfectly composed the characters are from the very beginning. Everything important about each of them is so visible in the very first ep. All of House’s major traits – especially his amazing humanity, his lucid, cynical, brilliant humanity, his deep understanding of the human nature, his respect for people and his desire for dignity (remember how someone said, in regard to “Baggage”, that House is most afraid to be “pathetic” – which in my mind, equals his search for dignity and verticality, his fight to keep true to his principles and his resistance to any kind of abuse and authority – of course, because of what his father did to him as a child).

    Wilson – his niceness, a little on the cunning side, his benevolent manipulation of House, his discreet manners, his wise approach, which surprisingly includes careless lies – but still, in this phase, Wilson’s “nice person persona” is what prevails. Also, the honesty and special connection between House and Wilson, and the fact that Wilson’s way to express his understanding of House is much more discreet, at this point, than Cuddy’s, who is very open and direct.

    Cuddy – good-hearted and so sharp, brilliant in her own way. Good sense of humor, she understands and pushes House’s buttons in an unique manner. Very honest, very open, very fair. And the great chemistry, from the first second they share the screen.

    Foreman – so housian from the very start, putting on the mask of outrage at House’s ways, but he is the first one to understand his mechanisms of thinking and to be glad to make them his own – when he makes that corolary – “people screw up” -, for instance. Also, his reaction to the “reason” why House hired him is so significant to his ambition and his robotic ways – and it can be connected by a straight line to his confession in “Lockdown”. How the circles close, huh?…

    Cameron – her ethical approach to medicine and her incipient wish to be the one who relates to House best. Also, how very telling it was of everything about Cameron, their “why i hired you” discussion – i immediately related the term “damaged”, used by House, to Cameron’s own confession in “Lockdown”. Again, circles and revisiting places and how the characters grew – chapeau!!!!!!

    Chase – his matter-of-fact, comfortable “i don’t really care” attitude, underneath which he is hiding his vulnerability and his desire for accomplishment. His admiration of House in an incipient phase, just like his connection with (interest in) Cameron. He is still in the era when he is hidden behind his rejection of anything deep enough to hurt him, the charming sunny superficiality, which we can still see on him to this day, after everything he’s experienced.

    2)„Paternity”, „Occam’s Razor”, „Maternity”

    First of all, the fact that the second episode of the very first season mentions the issue of paternity, that we find out only four years later is a major personal issue for House, is very interesting. His way of dealing with the subject of „30% of all children” not really being fathered by their legal fathers (the mother’s husband) is a very good example of his bravado and his deflecting, his way of self-protection through pretending to accept the painful facts of his life as simple, matter-of-fact examples of how humanity is destined for screw-ups and misery.

    The other things that made the most powerful impression on me in these three eps were these:

    a) Wilson’s witty, matter-of-fact, deeply knowing and essentially accepting sarcasm at House’s flaws – Wilson knows him by heart, he makes fun of his defects while trying to gently steer him onto a better path, but essentially accepts House for who he is, also displaying a sort of enjoyment of the spectacle House provides him with and at his brilliance.
    House’s reaction to Wilson’s sarcasm is also significant – his part in their unconditional friendship agreement is to accept Wilson’s remarks, playing along with equal, or greater, wit, and thus quietly acknowledging that Wilson is usually right about him. Excellent line that has stuck with me for years: „That smugness of yours is really an attractive quality”:))))))

    b) Cuddy’s ways to be as blunt as possible in her discussions with House. Of course, she is generally a direct person and also her sometimes abrupt responses can seem as nothing but just response to House’s own way to insult and tease her, but i think there is more to it: Cuddy’s very direct lines are based on the same mechanism as Wilson’s funny sarcasm – to point out House’s mistakes and push him to correct them. What stands out most of all at the beginning of season 1 is her very abrupt way (albeit funny), to constantly remind him of his handicap. Notice how often House says „nice…” to her, in response to her blunt remarks about his physical inabilities? I believe that her attitude is (partly consciously, partly subconsciously) destined to get him to acknowledge his infirmity, to accept it and to learn to live with it, to be able to move on. From the pilot ep, we can see that he is in denial and that he is ashamed of his handicap. He is angry and he is still incapable to face his situation as it is and accept his new, physically damaged self. Of course, he still blames Stacy and Cuddy for it to some extent, and it all reinforced his belief that „the world hates him” and he doesn’t deserve to be happy. „You’d rather let me see your soul than your leg” („Frozen”) is a later memorable reminder of this situation, and his silent call for Cuddy’s help to stand up in „Help Me” is the first real sign we get, that he has made peace with his handicap.

    c) in all first four episodes of season 1, House’s humanity and vulnerability are hugely visible. His connection to Rebecca Adler and his facial expression before the autopsy of the baby in „Maternity” are the most visible proofs of it. I also believe that his concern for Cameron’s trauma regarding death was genuine, and not just sick curiosity. All in all, everything he says and does during these first few eps resonates perfectly with his later evolution, including his evolution in season 6. It was all there, the changes regard only his attempts to express himself and lower his defenses.

    d) House’s incapability to resist the temptation of humor, even in the most dramatic situations, is delightful, and perhaps it can be played upon more in season 7, with Cuddy (they share an amazing, juicy, daring and witty sense of humor), as well as with everybody else.

    e) CLINIC DUTY: one of the absolute best elements of the show. I understand why House and Cuddy avoiding each other cautiously and determinedly made the clinic duty be completely absent during season 6, but i hope it will sustain a massive presence during season 7. I can also think of how their personal relationship will add even more resources of grand humor to the endless process of clinic hours negociation between House and Cuddy:)

  • simona

    @117 – Delia_Beatrice
    – …I’m just saying, married people do not become idiots just because they are married… –

    About that I take the responsibility (using the plurale maiestatis) to thank you also on behalf of all my cohabiting and married friends 😀

    @119 – pawpaw
    – …when Stacy returned, Stacy considered leaving her husband to be with House again… –

    This thought led me to consider the differences between Stacy and Cuddy and especially the weight and importance for House about the choices’ contents (and I also recalled The Choice final dialogue about House and Cuddy, when he refused the offer of friendship because she was still with Lucas). House probably has not even agreed to get back to Stacy because she first wanted in some way to be sure that House would return with her (before to leave Mark). Cuddy, however, has left Lucas the first and then she was suggested to House. Then the writers have shown us two different modes: Stacy who would move only in exchange for certainty and Cuddy who has accepted the risk of being rejected, without certainty (well, she was quite sure about House’s love for her but with House everything could change at any time….). And House’s romantic and brave side, I think, appreciated the Cuddy’s proposal for this reason too, because she risked everything.
    House does not accept half measures, especially in love. He wants to be The First because he is able to offer unconditional love and claim the same kind of feeling in return.
    Oh God, perhaps in other comments I wrote the opposite but actually more I think and more I’m confused. I almost felt to change my mind every day, it really never happened to me. I need a break. :-))

  • There’s no question, for me, that House has gradually changed in this series 6 – or at least tried to, with mixed results. Looking back over the season, the episode “Remorse” springs to mind. Admittedly, it wasn’t one of my favourite episodes, but the last shot epitomised House’s desire to change: where he puts the cheque through the letterbox, as he is desperately trying to become a new person, to force this change. In that episode, he is searching for meaning, in the same way he does in “Baggage”, where he begins to lose faith in the world. House has tried to become a better person…so, why hasn’t the world come through for him? Why hasn’t the world given him anything in return?
    Great interview, Barbara. Looking forward to the book.

  • pawpaw

    @ Delia_Beatrice: Thank you for sharing all your insightful comments which I?ve enjoyed reading! I didn?t even pick up on the subtle shift in Cuddy?s dress, sound, demeanor, etc. until you mentioned it. Good catch!
    @ blacktop: I couldn?t have said it better: ?The dialogue of the final scene of “Help Me” suggests that they both have reserves of will and reason that can match the size of their passion.?

    Contrary to what David Shore and others have said, i.e., that House will be House?that people don?t change, I have to disagree. I believe that House has changed thru the 6 seasons as well as probably prior to season 1, when we first see him. Wilson alluded to as much when he said to House, ?You?ve changed!? in Detox. We only know House after his leg. But we get glimpses of what his life before was like in those poignant scenes with Stacy. We know they have been living together for 5 years. He plays golf. He is able to say ?I love you? to Stacy. He trusts her, makes her his healthcare proxy. So he did have a life. But the leg thing really messed him up (not just the leg and the resulting pain but Stacy?s betrayal too). And consequently, House changed or as House told Hannah, ?It changed me.? House was referring to the physical pain then but he?s got a lot of physical and emotional pain that he carries with him. I?m inclined to believe that if the roles were reversed and it had been Stacy?s life or limb at stake, House would have honored her decision even if he disagreed with it because that would been the ?right thing? to do. Doing the ?right thing? is a recurring theme with House. So I do believe House is capable of change. Don?t get me wrong. House will still be House in that he will still be that insufferable frat boy ill-mannered egomaniacal jerk, partly because he?s always the smartest guy in the room and also because he?s still that insecure adolescent emotionally.

    I was very touched by the ending. It moved me to tears (due in no small measure to the immense talent of Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein) because it was so unexpected and yet expected. How it came about was totally unexpected but seemed true to me.

    I think that leg thing had to be resolved between House & Cuddy. I think Cuddy still feels some guilt and responsibility over House?s leg. There?s that sexual tension between them but there?s also this other tension between them over his leg. And House being House does not hesitate to call Cuddy on her guilt when it serves his agenda (Humpty Dumpty). So I think it helped both Cuddy and House for them to come full circle about House?s leg after all this time. Otherwise they would never really know what they really are to each other: Stacy to House in Humpty Dumpty, ?You owe [Lisa].? And House to Cuddy,? You see giant chasm in between?what is and what could be?otherwise you would never have hired me.? Yes, any romantic relationship between them is complicated?she is is his boss, etc. But I don?t think Cuddy ever really knew how House feels about her. They had that one night back in medical school but then he never called. She doesn?t know this until their dance in Known Unknowns. What Cuddy knows is that since Stacy there?s been no one and when Stacy returned, Stacy considered leaving her husband to be with House again. Cuddy tried to ascertain how House feels about her (other than hallucinating about her) in Epic Fail when she visits him but House deflects. So it would natural for her to thread lightly (notwithstanding her concerns about now being a mother) and being with Lucas.

    But what House did for Hannah (albeit after Cuddy yelled at him) showed Cuddy the difference between what is and what could be for House. Hearing House say that he wished he had not saved his leg and then House actually doing the amputation himself, in a way reliving his own injury and trauma, showed Cuddy WHY she loves him and allowed her to finally accept that she loves him. House was just being House, but this is the decent human being House, the compassionate House, the House that only we the viewers get to see, when it?s just House and his patient, when House can let down his guard, when he feels safe to be the other kind of person that he is and can be?because it is the ?right thing? to do. These two know each other so well. They share a history. They share a profession. They know how to push the other?s buttons, how to verbally spar. Each respect and admire the other (while neither would admit it to the other). You see all those looks and glances that passed between House and Cuddy? Those looks spoke volumes of their connection and connectedness, even when they are at odds. While I think their relationship will be difficult, I do believe, that there?s room there for Cuddy, unlike when House was with Stacy who, despite House being ?the one and will always be the one,? was ?lonely? in their relationship where there was ?no room for [her].?

    I really just enjoy reading everyone?s comment and usually don?t say much so I guess I am making up for it now.

    Lastly, thank you Barbara for writing this blog and having this gathering each House week! As others have said before, my watching House isn?t complete until I come here and read your post. Have a great summer!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Greenhouse (#101): thank you so much, and please comment more often – i have enjoyed your post very much.

    @Simona (#102): thank you, you made me laugh there! Well, i am just stating something that is obvious to me: marriage is just a symbol of togetherness, i don’t think that a ring or a piece of paper change a relationship’s essence, it just symbolizes the commitment. So, for me, married couples and non-married couples are not different species from different planets.
    That being said, i have to argue again that being in a committed couple relationship does not make you stupid or boring or conventional – not unless you were all these things to begin with, which neither House, nor Cuddy are.
    Marriage or a couple relationship are experiences and life situations whose purpose is to heal and to fulfill while respecting one’s individuality and freedom. White fences, pets and whatever other clichee people usually associate marriage with are simple, superficial stereotypes that stand for soap-opera relationships. Real people who form couples can be dynamic individualities, but who were lucky enough to share profond trust, deep understanding, commitment and loyalty, good communication and amazing chemistry – all of which House and Cuddy have or are capable of having, without pushing each other into being a silly stereotype. I’m just saying, married people do not become idiots just because they are married. When brilliant, complicated, flawed, interesting people form a couple or get married, they are still exactly who they were before, but perhaps with a slightly better chance at a glimpse of happiness and peace.

    @H Flashman: obviously, i agree with the first part of your comment and respectfully disgaree with the last:) I will not repeat myself again, but i’ll just sum it up, by saying that a)veridical characters with great writing have to evolve or they lose credibility, b)for the sensational writers of “House”, creating this couple is a huge challenge and i applaud their courage, since there is no one single good written couple in the world of television, and very, very few in movies and c)to compare the brilliant creative complexity of “House” with a cute, superficial show like “Moonlighting”, is something i disagree with. But since it seems to be something people repeat, i’ll take that step and attempt the unnecessary comparison: the writers of “Moonlighting” did take the bad soap-opera approach, because they did not have the guts to go with a clean, crystal clear decision: Maddie got pregnant, but didn’t know who was the father, and then thought that David was not the father, but even so, she wanted him (stupid, stupid and cheap clichee) & the Maddie and David relationship was never cut clean, games off, hands on the table – the back and forth dance of hesitation was prolonged beyond any ray of credibility (in a show that lacked realism and good writing anyway). Which, by the way, is exactly what would have happened to “House”, respecting the proportions, if the House-Cuddy relationship didn’t get a crystal clear verdict now. And another thing: House and Cuddy as a couple will be veridical and it got people to care about them because Cuddy was honest to herself and she committed to House openly and unconditionally. Which is something that Maddie only did way too late – there is a limit to which viewers can accept the hesitations of a character and the dancing around the tail of a story – “House” writers understood it and made the right choice, and “Moonlighting” people screwed up.

    @hwl40 (#116): thank you very much and i am so happy to have provided a bit of useful information. What i wrote there is based on information and analyses i plan to publish in a book on child psychology, an area of knowledge that is sadly, sadly neglected (a book that i keep gathering notes for and writing bits of ideas, but that i do not have time to put together, since i need to be true to my beliefs and give my son what he needs from me now, not take attention and time away from him in order to devote it to the book). Anyway, i often wonder if anyone would be interested or if that kind of stuff would benefit anyone. Your response is my own fountain of confidence and self-worth:) Thank you for that.

    If you want to talk some more, please contact me on Facebook (Delia Vasile, there are two of us, i have a photo with a small boy). That goes for all House-addicts here as well:)

  • hwl40

    Dela_Beatrice: I have your comment 23 several times and shared it with a friend who, along with myself, shares some of House’s issues. Your analysis was a gift to both of us. Thank you.

  • Dominique

    I honestly don’t get where the people who mention marriage as the only natural progression of the House and Cuddy relationship are coming from. They agreed to try because they are both aware that House isn’t husband material… so they went into this knowing that it wouldn’t end up with marriage and kids and pets and white picket fences… and the fact that it won’t doesn’t mean that it’s all doomed.

    We have two seasons left and if their relationship progresses as slowly as it has in the past, maybe the series finale will be where they do get married! (Which is good news to me, because I always assumed that House would have to die in order for the show to end)

    I’ve finally checked out Moonlighting after so many people referenced it… it’s 25 years old and the entire premise, writing and all the characters are so different from House MD that I kind of fail to grasp why it should be relevant… but that could just be me.

  • DebbieJ.

    @Barbara #111 – an article on House as a kisser AND a feature on Band From TV? That’s it, you’ve done me in! 😉

    @Anita #112 – Hugh has yet to win an Emmy for his role as House. He’s won about every other award for it, SAG, Golden Globe, etc., but still Emmy eludes him. I’m thinking it’s only a matter of time, though.

  • H Flashman

    I was extremely impressed by the quality of the writing (and acting) in the final episode of Season 6. All good drama revolves around ‘character arc’ (i.e. the events of the story cause a character to undergo a fundamental change), and the most compelling type of charcter arc is when the human heart is in conflict with itself. In this episode the writers gave us not just one, but two conflicted hearts as both House & Cuddy undergo real character growth. This sort of genuine emotional drama is extremely rare on television shows. Unfortunately, there is a good reason why it is extremely rare: this sort of character development may deliver a really great episode, but it tends to be death for the series as a whole (see Moonlighting).
    The television medium demands characters that are familiar and unchanging, & this episode destroys the dynamic between House & Cuddy forevermore. This story-line should have been saved for the SERIES’ final episode, not a season’s, for the writers have essentially painted themselves into a corner. Where do they go from here? House becomes a devoted husband and father? Clearly, his relationship with Cuddy is going to have to fail, and no matter how cleverly the writers handle it, they’re going to lose the sympathy of a large portion of the audience.
    I suspect Season 7 is going to devolve into a very unsatisfying soap opera and will be the show’s final season.

  • Anita

    This was not only wonderful writing with a surprise ending, but I really believe that Hugh Laurie should and shall win another Emmy for this episode. Thanks for the interview!

  • barbara barnett

    The only reason Chasing Zebras is not coming out until September is so that I had time to write the sixth season episode guide for it! What would be a guidebook to House without the sixth season included?

    I’m just now putting the finishing touches on that last chapter, and once that’s done, I’m planning a whole summer of new articles about the show. The first of those will be an article on House as a kisser. There is feature I’m working on about Band From TV as well and lots of other stuff.

  • rsg

    I’ve pre ordered your book, but I’m sorry to see it won’t be out until the end of summer. 🙁
    I know you work so hard for us all during the entire season of House, but I’m selfishly asking if you have any plans to keep us with something Housian during the summer.
    Thanks for everything you do for us!

  • Marguerite

    Ha, yes. I saw that episode, just didn’t remember the name. It is difficult to watch the re-runs in a random order. Also, I don’t remember seeing the names of the episodes..just the number and dates. When does the next season start? Thanks for the welcome.

  • Marguerite–welcome!

    Hanna was the trapped young woman in the collapsed building.

  • Mateo

    It was a great chapter as all of them are, but it didn’t felt like a season finale.

  • Marguerite

    I am new to House…and have been trying to catch-up with seasons 1-6. Who is Hannah?
    I think House should have an unknown twin show up with Hugh’s original accent…it could open up keys to his psychological issues..give him an alter-ego, a better match for Cuddy….competition for Greg’s medical expertise, (he’s a doctor too!), show the extensive talent of Hugh by playing two roles…good twin/bad twin…just a thought! I hope it stays cognitive and doesn’t get too emotive…

  • Kemia griffin

    Oh my god tht was a bomb show but what I want to say is tht I love me some house and I think I probably b his biggest fan..I kind of got my feeling hurt when Cutty went off on my baby like tht but I love the way she came back to her senses she knew where her heart was. So when is the next session going to start!!!!

  • simona

    opssss! I meant season seven! 🙂

    @Greenhouse – fine comment 🙂
    I totally agree about “Stacy has moved on, I don’t think she needs closure. She knows she did the right thing back then. What was important, was for House to acknowledge that”.

  • simona

    @Delia_Beatrice (#99)

    After this comment you are becoming my “European Idol” ;-))
    I also got married several years ago and I really can not understand why a marriage, a cohabitation or a loving relationship “experience”, in the opinion of some people must necessarily worsen the situations.
    Come on! Relationships can last or not, but every time we fall in love we really hope it’s forever. It’s a natural desire that we can prevent to feel only if we are scared.
    I find quite natural and physiological that the writers have finally put House and Cuddy in this situation: let’s see if it can work! Of course I hope so, albeit with ups and downs, just like in real life.
    I think season 8 will be very tempting to watch because the characters “emotionally more naked” could allow writers to further deepen their features and will give us the opportunity to continue to reflect on their and our feelings.

  • Greenhosue

    Sorry, just adding something concerning my second point.

    Cuddy’s lines “I tried to move on… I wish I didn’t” explained her behaviour during the whole season!

  • Greenhouse

    I’ve finally read the review and interview and all the comments from the 2 posts concerning the season finale of House and Wow!

    Thank you Barbara for your ever great insights and parallels. You always see things that I don’t (for example, that House’s admission about the leg operation was the direct answer to Nolan’s “what did you screw up?”).
    And thank you all commenters for your contributions and your respect for others opinion.

    I always come here after an episode but rarely comment because all of you have already expressed so beautifully what I think, or say things that I hadn’t noticed. Blacktop, Delia_Beatrice, Flo, Orange450… You all always express yourselves so beautifully, I am thankful to find people that can express my feelings better than I can.
    Thank you Barbara for hosting this community of intelligent people.

    I wanted to take the time to say this.

    I’ll also take the opportunity to just add a few things to the general discussion. I’m sorry in advance I won’t be quoting anyone because I didn’t take notes while reading the comments but I thank you all.

    1) Re : Cuddy screws up her relationships

    The one relationship we’ve seen her screw up is in season 3 “Insensitive”. It actually gave us the reason why she does : she is happy only when House is around. Probably she’s been searching for a “House”-replacement ever since she went out with him in University. Of course, no one can replace him.
    Even when she was with Lucas, the relationship had to be about him (Lucas’s comment in season 6 Teamwork “Is our relationship gonna be about House or about us “).
    This is to me why she is screwed up.

    Thanks to the person who pointed out the Insensitive comment.

    2) Re : Cuddy’s sudden admission

    As much as I respect other people’s opinion, I have to strongly disagree that the ending was “OOC” (out of character) or too sudden. It even makes me a bit angry when people say that without thinking, just because they wanted House back on drugs, or Wilson to be the one to come (As much as I love Wilson, I think his relationship with House is more “intellectual” than “organic” as House’s with Cuddy – thanks to the person who used “organic”).
    As Delia said, but I will go further, Cuddy didn’t suddenly fall in love with him. She just decided to acknowledge her feelings for him.
    And we had clues all along seasons 4,5 and 6 (and we could even argue before that).

    The writers had shown us she cares a lot about House throughout season 3 and 4. In season 5, they showed us she realised it was more than just “care” (her accepting the kiss in Joy, her speech to Wilson in the Itch, in Saviors where she thinks she’s threatened by Cameron…). She seemed ready to give the relationship a go (end of season 5 Last Resort “Do you want a relationship?” and Let Them Eat Cake “everyone knows this is going somewhere”)
    After his insulting rejection (the boobgrab), she decided it was a bad idea and tried to shut down her feelings for him. She must have decided to shut them even further after his shout-out in “Both Sides Now”. She must have rationalized that being with him would only be hurtful.

    So here comes season 6 and her trying to move on from him and be with someone else. But we had many clues showing us she wasn’t over him : when she leaves after her confession in Known Unknowns, every conversation with Lucas in Teamwork and Ignorance is bliss, she seems to feel really guilty about the thanksgiving prank, how absent-minded she is with Wilson in the Cafeteria in one of the last episodes (forgot which one)…
    Lucas’s proposal must have put preasure on her. While she was only going out with him, it was a safe and non-commited relationship. She could kid herself. Once she was married, their was no going back, she was really going to have to choose.

    House’s confession and actions in Help Me was the trigger that reminded her why she loves him.
    I think the moment she decides to give way to her feelings is when Hannah and her husband say I love you and when House gets in the ambulance. You can see by her look she took her decision.

    3) Re : Stacy

    Stacy has moved on, I don’t think she needs closure. She knows she did the right thing back then. What was important, was for House to acknowledge that.
    About Stacy knowing about house’s and cuddy’s one night stand, I think that the timeline goes : stacy and house were together before he started working for PPTH so why would he mention cuddy?

    4) Re : Happier Ending

    I totally agree with Delia he can not stop using drugs without a goal (ie, a love interest) in his life.
    I think it is true for a lot of people. I would do things for my son or husband I wouldn’t have the courage to do for myself.

    5) Re : The mirror

    Delia : everything you said!!!

    6) RE : the parallels with “3 Stories”

    Wow, thank you. I had noticed it was similar, but thank you for pointing out that even the dialog was the same.

    7) Re : why I think it could work

    For everything Delia said.
    And because they were finally honest with each other. No games.
    For me, their biggest challenge will be the employer-employee relationship.
    Can someone from the US say if this is accepted or not, to date your employee?

    8) Re : Shipping

    I agree with all of you

    9) Re : Jumping the shark

    Why o why can’t people wait and see before shouting this!
    Totally have confidence that it will give the show new material for new explorations and it will bring back the banter and the “fun” House (yes, he was quite sombre this season and the last). It would be so “déjà vu” and predictable if House had gone back to drugs!

    Sorry, this post was much longer than I expected. Thank you for bearing with me.

  • Shirley

    Loved the season ending show. There’s just something about House that endears him to us as viewers-he’s so obnoxious that you “gotta love him”. The final scene really made my night. Great show!!!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Dominique: i know what you mean. Mr. Laurie seems to be such a tormented artist. But i do think that the success of “House” and the endless praise he gets for his job have helped him be a little more relaxed. On how much of House’s magic is, in fact, Hugh’s magic, i have thought about it many times, with no result – they are one to me.

    @Orphie: the course of the House-Cuddy relationship was established by the end of season 3. It was a clear creative decision, and every step they took since then with their characters was a part of the buildup of this relationship. After the season 5 finale, things couldn’t have been any clearer in regard to their feelings, and the only other option was eternal misery – at least for House. I am beyond myself with happiness that they chose differently. There is not much room to build and grow, creatively, if all you do is smash your lead character (whom fans adore) again and again and again and undress him of all possible hope.

    It is beyond my poor power of understanding why this particular turn and twist is a “bad” one, that will make the show “jump the shark”.
    There are so very few really, really good characaters out there in the whole world of TV production. Even fewer female characters. And i can think of NO single couple on current TV shows that qualifies for an interesting, unique, compelling, original couple, with great chemistry and rythm, with an intelligently romantic story, capable to arise real passion in the emotions of the viewers. Why can’t we think of this decision as a major challenge for what i consider to be the best creative team in movie industry? They have broken so many records with “House”. They have created a world and a main character and many adiacent characters and relationships that got 60 million people on this planet hooked. But the structure of such a show cannot stay the same. It has to change and evolve, so that it stays alive and veridical. So what to do with it? Keep it in the exact same structure it had 5 years ago, and add more and more jokes to keep it vivid? That would satisfy the teenage part of the audience, but “House” aims higher. So what to do? You do what any writer does with its characters: you let them grow, you help them evolve, you take your storylines further on their natural course, you explore new approaches, while keping the essence intact.

    On the marriage thing: personally, i have been married for nearly 10 years and i take offense in the fact that married people are considered to be incapable of anything but boredom and convention. Marriage or not, a couple can be many, many thing, depending on the two people that form it. Married or not, living together or not, House and Cuddy are the same sensational characters that we all love, and no living arrangement or wedding ring or whatever can change the essence of the spectacular people they are.

  • orphie

    But have they finally taken the turn toward the relationship for House because the writers/producers wanted to . .or because after this many seasons the story and character options have diminished to the point where there’s no place left to go but the inevitable?

  • Sarah

    I’m not really into huddy. I loved this episode except for the ending. It was sweet but I really hope the writers can do this without making House jump the shark. I have faith in them!

  • cheryl

    all I can say is YAAAAAAAAAAAAA about time

  • Dominique

    @ ailurophile… I’m puzzled by your comment, really. The end of the finale signified the start of their relationship, never marriage! That’s not even within reason for House. Not within one season, if ever. They are NOT getting married, nor was it ever seriously implied anywhere… it means they’ll have a relationship. House had a relationship with Stacy for five years and never married her, or had a kid.

    They’ll be romantically involved, not married. I don’t even think such a commitment is something House is capable of. The fact that they want to try to be with somebody is a big thing for both of them, but if that’s ever going to mean marriage, children? I don’t think so. Not even within the course of the show.

    -And, “Huddy” is a fan-generated term for the relationship between House and Cuddy, not a character. (H for House, uddy, for, well… Cuddy)

    I got my hands on an interview with Hugh in a local magazine that has me pondering the end of the show:

    “It’s never healthy to be this focussed on a single thing for such a long time. It’s something you can only do for a certain period of time – like you’re in a permanent state of emergency – but you can’t keep going on like that forever, because you’ll end up taking the wrong pills.” (the interview was translated to Dutch, which is my native language, and I’ve tried my best to translate it back to English, but I obviously have no idea whether this is exactly what he said.)

    I think he’s right… such an amount of effort, of commitment, I think if you subject yourself to that too long, have to go all in like he always does, it’ll exhaust you, warp your mind.

    I think 8 seasons is a good number for a drama show: it’ll come to a natural end and we’ll be left at peace with it. It doesn’t go on and on and on like ER, or does what Scrubs has done: they had a steady fan base, a beautiful series finale and then… continued with another cast. They got cancelled very soon after.

    Also, I can’t help but feel for the man:

    “I used to be a lot more worried that the show would get cancelled, that 200 people would be left without a job, that it’d be called a disgrace…” (Again, translated from English to Dutch by the reporter and translated back to English by me. Freely, because some things are impossible to translate directly)

    I think it’s sort of tragic that he feels such responsibility for the whole thing, because he does the absolute best he can, but beyond that… what is there to do? Some people are just… stupid. We see them on sites all the time and I don’t believe there is a way to guard yourself against them other than denying them your time. If it ever ends via cancellation (GOD FORBID), he’ll be beyond all fault!

    If they leave it at 8 seasons, we’ll spare the cast and crew who have taken over our brains, hearts and bedroom walls the feeling of being “stuck” doing something. That’s not where this should go… not with such passionate people at its helm.

  • rsg

    @ ailurophile
    “Huddy” refers to the relationship/togetherness of House and Cuddy: House & Cuddy=Huddy. I have seen Hameron: House & Cameron, Hilson: House & Wilson, Luddy: Lucas & Cuddy. Just an abbreviation to denote two characters together.
    The slang term that confuses me is “shipper”. I get the meaning from context, but have no idea of the literal definition or how it is derived to mean: “one who is really pulling for a predetermined outcome of two characters”.

  • Sandra

    If we had more doctors like House the world would be a better place.He’s the greatest.

  • Mary

    I became a bit concerned when I read the writer’s comment that “House will still be House.” While, of course, the character must maintain a recognizable personality, to some degree, I think it is important to remember that a person in love often behaves in a markedly different way than he or she usually does. People are transformed by love. We need to see House as a man in love!

  • ailurophile

    Just about every web site I see has the character named Huddy, not Cuddy. Why?
    I really really hope that House and Cuddy DO NOT get together. Every time major characters marry or have a baby, the series lasts only one more year. If House and Cuddy do get married, he won’t make any more of those sly remarks toward her. Then where’s the fun? Please, don’t ruin such an excellent show by marrying House and Cuddy. PLEASE!

  • redheadedstepchild

    I believe from the time they jacked up the concrete to pull the woman’s leg out, and things fell in, all the rest was an hallucination. Just a thought.. the rest just seemed strange, good but strange. I am not crazy about House and Cuddy, but I am sure if this is a true story line it will lead to many twists and turns next season!
    I just LOVE this show!!

  • Flo

    @Sera, regarding your question I think it depends on the writer and director and on the actors.

    Personally, I am very precise in my writing in terms of gestures and intonations.
    However, I accept any proposition from the actors. Sometimes they’re gonna make a little change in one of the dialogue and/or make a gesture that you didn’t planned but, as long as the intention of the scene remains the same, then it’s all good. It is important for a director to let the actors to bring their own rhythm, corporal languages and all because it is important for them to stay spontaneous.

    That being said, some gestures are written down because their meaning are very important and they’re the sort of gestures that are scripted and the actors had to do them. There is a difference between spontaneous gestures that are just habits or even speech mannerisms and gestures that are more controlled because thought as necessary in a particular scene.

    Actors who know their character very well, like it is the case here, have often a clear vision of how the character is supposed to act, move and speak. So, in this TV Show, I believe that a lot of expressions come from the actors and the director has to be talented enough to catch them.

    However, for the hands clasped together in the end, there is a good chance that it was scripted. It is a very symbolic gesture and it is the last shot. Surely, the writers and the director wondered how to end this episode, with what image.
    Like @RSG said, the panning down of the camera is planned.
    There is also a very good chance that those hands where filmed from another point of view and maybe as a steady shot and the director, then chose this one in the editing room.

  • Sera G

    Thanks to all of you who responded to my question. I love live theatre and I attend a Shakespearean/musical festival in
    the summer. They host seminars with the actors, directors, etc. It is always interesting to me to hear how ideas are formed and then play out on stage.
    They cast middle aged actors to perform “Taming of the Shrew” a few years ago and it was incredible. The nuances that came from have people in their 40s/50s play these battling lovers was poignant. I thought of House/Cuddy while watching, actually. (When don’t I think of them is a better question.)
    Anyway, I guess I just wondered if after many shots, angles, expressions, etc. are filmed, was that the spontaneous? Scripted? moment they chose. No real way to know unless Mr. Blake, Mr. Friend or Mr. Lerner care to share the details.
    Thanks for your input. 🙂

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @ Anne: i see your point. I, too, hope that the writers view this as their number 1 challenge AND chance for the late years of “House”: to create the most real and compelling TV/movie couple. That cannot happen if all they do is jerk around with the idea of Huddy for a while and then end it abruptly. But i am pretty sure they are aware of this challenge and the chance it presents – nothing, and i literally mean nothing, in regard to the House-Cuddy relationship/romance was anything but perfectly premeditated in order to create a deep, complex and splendid love story, and the way they brought them together is a pretty strong indication of how serious they will treat this relationship – and by “they”, i mean the writers and thus, House and Cuddy “themselves”:)))))

    @RSG and Sera G: i am pretty sure that we are talking symbiosis by now. I think all the actors on “House” know the show and the characters well enough to contribute with useful input. Of course that the big strategic decisions are made by Mr.Shore and the rest of the producers and writers – and that’s the “what” that Mr. Laurie was talking about in an interview. But in regard to the “how” – the actual way a scene unfolds and those wonderfully meaningful details – i think the actors bring in their own vision too and the “final product” is the result of this collaboration.

    So, just like the tears filling House’s eyes in the sex scene in “Broken” were Mr. Laurie’s idea, as Katie Jacobs shared, i am sure that many other facial expressions and gestures etc etc that are included in the final edit of a scene actually come from the actors, with the approval of the writer and director.

    In regard to Hugh and Lisa, i think it’s important to remember that David Shore acknowledged the fact that they are the “birth parents” of Huddy – the House-Cuddy relationship was not written as it finally played out to be, but it migrated towards that, because the producers and the rest of the creative team were captivated with the onscreen magic of the actors – them and tens of millions of viewers worldwide. This does happen sometimes – the elusive term of “onscreen chemistry” stands for a powerful force. This being acknowledged, i believe that it’s safe to assume that many of the House-Cuddy scenes hold a lot of body language and microexpressions that are not actually written down in the script. All must be, however, previously discussed with the director and the writer, if certain gestures or facial expressions etc are a good idea or not.

    In regard to how much of what we see comes from the actors or it was carefully planned in the script – it’s hard to tell and we’ll probably never find out. My guess, it’s safe to assume that all the actors (Mr. Laurie, Ms. Edelstein and Mr. Leonard especially) have internalized their character so deeply, and the character has borrowed so much from their real physical presence, characteristic gestures and postures and facial expressions, that by now it’s a natural process of “creative acting” – in the sense that they can really feel which means of expression fits a scene best, tell that to the director and writer, and talk it through with them until they come up with the best way to do it. But on any of these things being completely spontaneous WHILE filming (spontaneous gestures of the actors that the camera catches by accident and then they are kept in the final editted version) – i think that is very rare, and only in regard to not so important things.

    In regard to the “Help Me” final scene, i am pretty sure that the magic trio of Hugh, Lisa and Greg Yaitaines worked together like clockwork to find the best means of expression for what the script gave them.

  • rsg

    @ Sera G
    Sorry this isn’t Barbara or someone who knows film/TV really in any way but appreciation– but I gotta say that Absolutely(!) the end shot of two hands clasped together has to be very planned and included by the writers. Maybe I misunderstood your question? The camera has to pan down off the faces of the actors, and this cannot be accidental or unplanned. I would think it’s a very deliberate comment about the the intimacy and love between House and Cuddy. Yes-as you have said, a perfect image to leave us with!
    I know exactly what you’re alluding to though….. Several times in my viewing of House episodes I am always wondering if the input I see on screen is from the director, writers or added by the brilliance of the actor preforming the scene! I would love to know the specifics too.

  • Benedicta

    Oh thank you, thank you for getting them together!!!I cannot wait to see the problems and the joys that are coming on season 7. Congratulations to you, amazing writers.

  • Brent Casual Houser

    Wow, I found this blog by accident and have been fascinated by the depth of thinking that has gone through by you all. Being a guy (and I am not trying to stereotype myself), I enjoy the show because it is a good hour of entertainment with interesting plot lines. (and well, when the ballerina gets stepped on at the end of show, that’s funny). I did however secretly want Cuddy and House to get together. And when she told him she did not love him, I was left with a hollow feeling. And then I had to leave before I saw the end. I picked up my daughter from a friend’s house (she’s also a House fan), and told her about the episode and the last thing Cuddy said and she was equally upset about it all. When I got home however, my wife told me what transpired at the end and it was like finding the $20 bill I thought I had lost forever. I have not been able to download the episode to view it in its entirety but now I am going to. Thanks for your comments and insights.

  • Anne

    I hope the writers give the House-Cuddy relationship a real chance of success. Too many shows jerk you around and end a long-awaited romance because they think happy relationships aren’t interesting. I’d like to see House try to grow up and make this work, and I’d like to see Cuddy decide what she’s willing to live with because he’s worth it. I expect to see sparks fly–but that has always been a part of their relationship. So what I hope to see in the long run is a successful relationship with unavoidable tensions.

  • Sera G

    Sorry, obviously I meant Season 5!!!!!!

  • Sera G

    Hello, Barbara and all,
    I am glad to see that I am not alone in still thinking about/analyzing and loving this season’s finale.
    As I watched “Help Me” for the third time, yes, I am one of those, too, a couple of things crossed my mind. If the first has been answered already, forgive me. I haven’t had a chance to read through the posts again.
    Did anyone else hold their breath when the camera view was from the balcony looking down on House and Foreman? Right then I thought, oh my gosh, that was the sight of his breakdown in S6 and here we are again, looking down when he is even in worse shape than last year (it that’s possible!)
    Second comment is really more of a question to Barbara, if she knows or anyone else who might have film/television backgrounds or knowledge; the final shot, of those clasped hands, whose idea is something like that? Is that scripted? Does the director add it to the scene? Could it come from the actors? I will repeat myself; that was probably the most perfect image with which to leave us.
    It reminds me of the post from last year (sorry, I couldn’t find it to give them credit) when the writer said that the image of Cuddy beside House’s bed in “Wilson’s Heart” was not a casual shot, but a deliberate and important message sent to the audience. As we have all written a million times, nothing is done by chance on this show.
    Thanks for reading and any insight to be added is always fuel for my obsession.

  • Dominique

    I just have to add that I just saw the Sherlock Holmes movie. An action movie and thus not really vintage “Holmes” but even then, there are so many comparisons!

    I don’t know why… but every time I spotted one I felt very good about myself.

  • Dominique

    I can’t help but remember the mirror scene in Merry Little Christmas, when House splashes water in his face and catches his detoxing self in the mirror… he looks at it in awe, for no more than two seconds, but you can see the introspection going on. It’s like he was saddened by what he saw himself be, bitter self-examining, as Delia said.

    He saw the same in Help Me, the same image of something he’s not proud of being, something he doesn’t want to be… but this time he tried not to be like that. He’d made a conscious effort to change this time and it didn’t matter.

    I think that’s the second part of why he smashed it: he came a long way from the House that looked in the mirror in Merry Little Christmas, but he’s as miserable, longing for the same pills, intending to do something equally destructive as what he did at the end of Merry Little Christmas: It didn’t matter how hard he’d been trying.

    It’s a follow up for the lobby scene with Foreman: he does everything within his power right, and nothing gets better for him.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    On the mirror thing: mirros do symbolize our duality, but also a self-interospection process and the connection between how we feel about ourselves versus how others perceive us.
    So i interpreted House looking in the mirror in “Help Me” as the final point of his bitter self-examining and confession scene earlier. Cuddy forced him to look at himself in the most crude light possible – to see himself in the light of the pain he caused the people closest to him over the years and in the light of the responsibility he bears for his own pain. And also, as opposed to the Christmas morning scene in BSN, when he looks at himself in the mirror and believes he is “the man with Cuddy”, he now looks himself in the mirror and believes he is looking at the man who lost Cuddy forever.

    No wonder he smashed the damn thing! It was an image of himself that he couldn’t stand looking at.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    I still don’t have a twitter account (yeah, i know… but if i spent any more House-related time there too, my real life is in danger!).
    But likewise – i would like to be facebook pals with all my House-obsessed friends here. So, it’s Delia Vasile on facebook (Romanian woman whose picture shows me and my son David).

  • Flo

    It would be great to do a thing (maybe on Facebook for the ones who are on it) about our re-watching of the show this summer.

    I was also thinking about doing a thing about the mirror.
    Mirrors always are a metaphor of dichotomy. When you look at yourself in the mirror you split yourself in two.

    It’s the famous Jekyll/Hyde thing. Also in “Vertigo” when Novak passes in front of a mirror when she do out of the restaurant in the beginning of the film. “Shining” have great mirror affect, as well.

    Couple of years ago I did an psychoanalysis study of “The Piano” the Jane Campion’s film, and I also talk about that scene when Holly Hunter look at herself in the mirror.

    Anyway, on the finale, House looked at himself in this and it wasn’t the first time and I wonder if maybe there is something to say about this.

    Anyway, just so you know, I’m on Facebook under my real name “Flo Ondet” and on twitter under the nickname of “Wellwellwelles”. If you’re interested don’t hesitate to contact me.

  • Eileen

    @ Delia_Beatrice: Trust me, you are not alone!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @FLO: you are right about the speculation, just what i was thinking myself.
    I have recorded season 5 episodes from FOX – remember, my satellite dish or whatever it’s called.

    @ DEBBIEJ: thank you so very much. It’s so rewarding, to know that i am not alone in what i think and feel about it:)
    I think it was obvious that House did not blame Cuddy for what she yelled at him – i think he acknowledged it as a freeing explosion for both of them: she freed herself from past and current pain that was never communicated, and he was freed by her words to finally be able to catch a glimpse into an area of himself that he kept under lock and key even in therapy – “what have you screwed up?”, the original point of breaking.
    His response made this clear – first the confession, then the little jerk of the head and saying “i got this”: acknowledging that she was right in what she said, and also protecting her from the traumatic scene of the amputation, choosing to do it alone: his catharsis and also an act of protection towards her.

    @RSG: that’s what i feel too. I have watched each and every episode at least 5 times also, and the personal favorites – about 10 times at least. Not a single viewing passes without me going through a carousel of emotions and without laughing my eyes out at exactly the same things – and crying my eyes out as well. And adding a whole new layer of interpretation and understanding each time – so i cannot wait for my re-watching marathon this summer: season 6 has, indeed, changed everything in a marvelous way.

    I was torn by the long breaks this season. Literally torn.

    Which is not a good term to describe what i feel about the summer break – i am with Dominique on the “unhealthy obsession” (some people around me are already thinking it): i am literally absorbed in my love for “House”, perhaps now more than ever (’cause happiness does tend to get people even more hooked…). So absorbed, and i have made it a major and real and time-consuming and heart-filling and thought-occupying part of my life in a way that almost scares me at times.

  • rsg

    Wow….Thanks all of you that mention re-watching episodes over and over. It has made me feel better to see I am not the only one that continually reviews, re-analyzes, and yes, just adores re-seeing my favorite characters over and over.
    I got pretty bad about it this season because I couldn’t stand the long breaks without my “fix”. I’m not sure, but I must be on at least 5,(++?) times viewing per season. The show never dulls! As Delia said there are always new interpretations every viewing. Even with all my familiarity with the outcomes, I still laugh-out-loud at the humor, tear up at the sad scenes, and am totally captivated!
    Looking forward to your book Barbara:)

  • Jambkle

    I wouldn’t miss an episode unless I was dead, but I keep wondering why they keep Jennifer Morrison’s name in the credits when she is no longer there. ER deleted an actor’s name the week after s/he was gone.

  • Dominique

    I’ve scheduled a marathon pre-première with my best friend (whom I’ve actually met on a fansite, which is why I keep wanting to believe in those things), she’s great for deep, in depth conversation and at the same time, she has managed to acquire every episode of House in current existence (yes, EVERY one) plus everything Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard have ever been in. (with the exception of Robert’s plays, which I’m tempted to online as books)

    I can’t wait, really. It’s that feeling of nearly plunging over the edge of being unhealthily obsessed that I love so very much!

    I think that’ll help me bridge the gap… but you know, it stays hard.

  • Flo

    @Delia you already got season 5 in DVDS??? In France is just got out two days ago. I don’t have it yet.

    This season makes me want to watch the show again. We are left to a really major turning point in the show right now, so I think it’s a good moment to do so.

    This is more a place of analysis than speculations, IMO. That being said, I believe Barbara will post somenting about where the show is going so I think you will be able to post some of your input.

    Otherwise, I advise you to post your analysis and speculations on Facebook.
    You can write whatever you want in a form of articles in there.
    I, myself, post an analysis of this last episode.

  • DebbieJ

    I am loving everyone’s comments and agree with 99% of everything that’s been said. Delia-Beatrice, I admire and envy your ability to put into words everything that I feel about the show as a whole, this season and to this wonderful character called Gregory House.

    I especially agree with the ridiculous notion of “shipping”. I feel fans are selling themselves short when they ship. I adored it when Cameron crushed on her older mentor. I loved the constant banter and UST with Cuddy throughout the series. I loved that we got to know House’s relationship with Stacy. (I agree with you again, Delia, that I adored Stacy but didn’t adore Sela Ward portraying her although I think she is usually a fine actress.) I loved it all. But as someone so eloquently stated upthread, we as fans should be his advocate and if it is Cuddy he wants (as it is written), then we should cheer and celebrate this relationship.

    There’ve been a lot of comments on how cruel Cuddy was to House when she spat (can’t think of a better description that that!) that he is alone and miserable and brings everyone down with him. Although I agree she was cruel, she was not without merit in what she was saying to him. (The truth hurts.) I agree she said those things to deflect her true feelings, but I do believe she felt these things she said as well.

    I think when she sent him on a wild goose chase on Thanksgiving Day was much more cruel than that. That was delibrate, calculated and premeditated. What she said to him amongst the rubble came organically.

    When she came to him at the end and he asked her if she was going to yell at him again, to me it felt as if he let her know it was hurtful but didn’t really blame her for saying it.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Aaaaaa, that makes two of us. I’ll be in Rome this week, but after we return, the number one thing on my list of priorities is to start watching “House” from the beginning again – starting with season 1, the pilot:)

    Which is exactly the same thing i did last year too – i spent one month during the summer break watching everything, from the pilot to “Both Sides Now” (many episodes each night, don’t ask…).
    But my interpretation and my general impression and my delight will be different this year, because through thick and thin, we have to admit that season 6 changed everything. I mean, House changed, and thus everything kinda switched perspective, and then the finale puts it all in a whole new light – a more beautiful light, in my opinion. So, it will be a joy to rewatch everything from this new and sunnier perspective!

    PS: you know that i got my personal infusion of confidence, from the fact that the guess i made on the season finale, long before it actually aired, was quite accurate. So i’m toying with stuff in my head, like imagining scenes from the season 7 premiere, for starters. Do you think it is completely out of line to write that here? I mean, they are not fanfics, they are simple scenario speculations. I wish i knew if Barbara would be OK with that.

    Bottom line, my motivation is fear of insanity during this insuferrable break:( I need to talk about it and to think about it, and when we run out of things to say about “Help Me” and season 6, what do we switch to?…

  • Flo

    Thanks Delia for the precision, I believe you’re right. I really need to watch the series again, which I’m gonna be able to do now that I have the dvds.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Thank you, Dominique:) You are very nice:)

    I will not comment any further on the hateful comments about the show. Two things are really important: that, thanks to Barbara, we were able to find our little paradise of respect and well thought-of comments, and that out of the 60 million “House” viewers worldwide, these frustrated teenagers who just throw tantrums online are probably under 0,000001%.

    On Stacy: i liked the way her character was designed and i liked her story with House. However, i did not like Sela Ward doing that part – which is weird, because i usualy like Sela. But doing Stacy, she seemed exaggerate, not natural enough, and it was written that Stacy should have great chemistry with House, but my personal feeling was that Sela and Hugh seemed forced in their one-on-one, personal scenes. Just a personal opinion.

    @Flo: Stacy did not know about House and Cuddy’s one night stand. That was clear in two scenes from “Humpty Dumpty”, when she asks Wilson “why is he so curious about Cuddy?” and the scene in Cuddy’s office, House stops in the door and asks Cuddy, in front of Stacy, “why does everybody think that you and i had sex? do you think there might be something to it?”, and the camera turns slowly to show Cuddy, laid back in her chair and playing with her necklace, with an amused, intimate and sexy expression on her face, but when the camera reaches Stacy (who looks exasperated with House’s “bad jokes”) and Cuddy catches her glance, Cuddy changes her expression instantly to match Stacy’s. Very funny scene, by the way:)))

  • Flo

    The problem with shippering (is that a word?) is the totally childish, narrow-minded aspect of it. It’s really immature.

    you know, it’s like all they care about, while watching an episode, is “when do X will finally kiss Y”?
    Seriously??? Are you a real, rational, adult watcher or are you a corny 13 year old girly girl? Grow up people!

    On the Stacy thing, I’d like to say that I liked her. @Orange, you’re not alone!! let’s not forget she still remains the only successful (for 5 years) relationship House ever had.
    I’m not into the whole sentimental view of thing cos I’m incapable to do that, so I have no idea if House should call her about Cuddy and him, but I understand that it is good that he managed to forgive her.

    The thing I’m wondering about (and I always did) is : does Stacy ever knew that something happened between House and Cuddy years before she met him?
    Apparently it wasn’t supposed to be a one night stand on his side. So if Stacy does know, does she knows that?

    Stacy was really good for House but the leg thing broke them and we have to wonder if she would have stayed anyway. It’s possible. That being said, I don’t think she ever would have had enough patience to really put up with House’s crap like Cuddy did for 25 years, and especially since he was on vicodin.

    Stacy was pragmatic, strong and was a really loving person. I totally understand how House could fell in love with her.

  • Dominique


    You’re right about the Emmy, I just had to say! The Emmys are looking for “actors”… not this man who casually becomes his character as if he was born him and makes it look as if we’re watching a reality show (in that Hugh makes us believe he IS House, not because the show in any way resembles one) about an existing person instead of looking at Hugh Laurie who is “playing” someone else.

    And, Delia_Beatrice… of course I should add my gratitude for your ever eloquent analysis’!

    Also, you are right about the “fans”… some people think House has gone south as soon as their favourite character isn’t on screen any more!

    I had an awful experience with someone like that, once… she adored Amber so much it just became unhealthy and after Wilson’s heart she kept pounding down ANY praise for the incredible episode that it was for the ENTIRE summer hiatus like we we’re insulting her by not hating every minute of it. And, well, we didn’t.

    There is no way to really back a show if you base every single thing you like about it on a single character or a single ship, that’s impossible…

    And I’m just getting SICK of all these so called “fans” who constantly whine that the writers only cater to “Huddies”… for one thing, it leaves me wondering where these people were the majority of this season and I also think that the whining is a consequence of people just being entirely selective in how they watch and losing all faith in the writers when something outside their narrow field of vision gets screen time… it’s like a three year old throwing a tantrum sometimes.

  • Grace

    Annabelle: I enjoyed your comments.
    Barbara: THANK YOU!
    Also just want to say that I loved House with Stacy and have always wanted her to come back. I still do. So I am sort of in a quandry about Huddy. But that scene in the bathroom was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from Hugh Laurie and I hope to see many, many more years of scenes like that one. The EMMY is not good enough for that man.

  • Grace

    Does anyone know if THE ROCKFORD FILES was picked up? Thank you!

  • simona

    Well, finally I read all you comments here too. I wrote my comments about the episode in Barbara’s review but now I need to start from this particular argument so well pointed out by delia_beatrice:
    “Cuddy’s love for House is just as organic as his love for her, and trying to shut down that love was an act of self-mutilation that left visible scars.”

    I really appreciated the use of the word “organic”, so powerful when applied to a relationship. Because the word “organic” refers to several meanings: organized, harmonious and simultaneously refers to a body, the human body. And this word expresses beautifully the chemistry that makes inevitable certain types of love. Because in real life does happen, this chemistry really exists, it is not always an illusion of our poor hearts.
    I know that now I’m just quoting a song but the words say: “It’s all right, I’m yours until the end of the world, even though I know I can not live either with you or without you”.
    Thinking about it perhaps these words may sound like a condemnation, but the conflicting loves do exist and while we attempted to escape, on the other side we are urged to always come back to the object of our love. That’s how I see the relationship between House and Cuddy: conflict until the end of the world but inevitabile, vital and necessary for the life’s journey of both.
    The problem is always just to find the right balance that allows us to reach the goal of life, and quoting House: “the purpose of life is to keep suffering to a minimum”.
    I think that the writers’ way to tell us the story is “true” and reflects the reality of the lives of many people. Once again I congratulate them.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Rebecca – thank you so much. You know, among the range of emotions that “House” has driven me through, there was often the fear that i was slightly delusional:)))) It’s part of the magic of such a layered, complex creation, that challenges endless evaluation and interpretation. As Flo often tells me, i am so emotionally invested in the show, that i have internalized it completely. The fact that you and other fans have expressed their appreciation and agreed with my view, gives me a sense of unbelievable fulfillment – the wonderful feeling that my own private version of “House” is somewhat accurate and worth sharing.

  • Rebecca

    Great interview, Barbara. I’m grateful to you for all your reviews and all your great work during this season. I’ll have two things to look forward to this fall. Season 7’s premiere and reading “Chasing Zebras”. In the meantime I’m sure you’ll look after us, House-less fans, during the long summer hiatus.
    @Delia_Beatrice (for all your comments) _ You have my admiration and gratitude. The former for the beauty of your words and the latter for using them to express so eloquently all of my thoughts and emotions about this brilliant television show.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @ Orange450: you’re very welcome:) And it’s a pleasure talking to you, i have always admired your comments.

    See, this is what i’m talking about – what on Earth kind of “fans” become so obsessed with a particular view on the show, that they turn blind to anything else that is just as true? Of course, i’m referring to the dear concept of “shippers”… I wanted House to fall in love with Cameron – the bitter mentore/sunny young student combination seemed interesting to me. Then i wanted House to win Stacy back and stay with her – it seemed so right, the way it had been presented what a great place she had in his life and how bitterly and completely he suffered from losing her. And during this time, i was very amused to watch the House-Cuddy interactions, which were lively and chemistry-loaded.
    Of course, after season 2, i supported the idea of House giving it a try with somebody, anybody of the women he liked over the years, while my interest for Huddy (i stil hate the term, but it’s short and practical) was growing and growing – proportionally with HIS interest for Cuddy.

    Bottom line: i wanted House in a romantic relationship with somebody since day 1. I guess it has something to do with his huge potential at being a romantic character, as well as with me being so in love with him. A bit of projection never hurts:))))))
    Of course that, by the end of season 4, i really wanted him with Cuddy, because of the elements that were added to their story over time.

    Point being: how screwed up are some of the “fans” of this show, if from your reply, i understand that you kinda expected to be nearly insulted for bringing Stacy up?… Just like anyone can expect to be insulted if they bring Huddy up on other “fan” forums, even now. It’s unbelievably narrow, stupid and horrible on their part, and i just needed to ventilate:))))))

    So. Stacy. You know, among my fantasies (i had a pretty accurate version of this season’s finale being exactly what it was, and i followed that with some personal thinking ahead) is one that involves House and Cuddy somehow telling Stacy about their relationship? I was thinking about one of them contacting her and explaining it to her – before i heard his confession, i thought it maybe should be Cuddy – after all, she and Stacy were friends, now she’s with House, it seemed decent to let her know. But now, i’m pretty positive it should be House – and his call should include a way to tell her that he finally understood and that he is sorry and that he thanks her and apologizes to her. I think it would make for fair closure.

    On Stacy coming back in his life – after he pushed her away, i was very angry at him (until i read Barbara’s take on it and i understood why he did it). And for a while (about one season more), i thought about her coming back too. But then it seemed to me like that relationship was beyond mending point, in the sense that the second time he pushed her out of his life, he broke her resources to believe in him again. It was like crying “wolf”, and he had nearly destroyed her marriage (which would have happened at the expense of great suffering for Mark and great guilt for Stacy) and he had chased her so determinedly, only to walk out with a feeble, incomplete explanation to her, that is was ringing kinda untrue to pick it up again from where they left off and for that communication and trust to be restored.

    Of course, at that time, i did not include such a spectacular change of House in my scenarios. How could i have done that? It seemed more impossible than walking on Mars… And by the time we actually got to witness the change that permitted him to acknowledge his responsibility and his mistakes in the scene with Hannah, it was clear that he wanted nobody but Cuddy – so there wasn’t room for any other fantasies.

  • Orange450

    @Delia_Beatrice Thank you for your kind and understanding response!

    There’s been enough lingering Stacy-hatred expressed over the years to make me grateful to encounter fellow viewers who take a sympathetic approach to her and the various predicaments in which House placed her 🙂

    I do indeed find some consolation and satisfied resolution in the way House appears to have come to terms with the events that overtook him long ago. And while once upon a time I cherished fond hopes that Stacy would return to his life one day, I fully agree that House’s journey has taken him on a path which has led ever-farther away from that possibility.

    It’s *because* there’s been so much resentment and bitterness towards Stacy over the years for her part in his issues that I wish so much that she could experience some measure of resolution in knowing that House has finally acknowledged what he has. (And if I could convince any of the TPTB to let me give it a shot, I’d try to write something that worked for everyone involved without causing too much disruption to already-laid plans :))

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @Flo: i think it used to be like you say – both of them (perhaps House a bit more) feared the success of a committed relationship.
    He, for one, was afraid of what he might have to do and change to make it work – in order to avoid the even greater pain of losing it (just the reason he rejected Stacy in season 2).
    While on Cuddy’s part, she is a very insecure woman, who used to feel completely incapable to rightly deal with the personal aspects of her life.

    But by now, that has changed. I think that Cuddy’s relationships with both Rachel and Lucas taught her some things she never mastered before, and helped with her grand lack of confidence in regard to her ability to have functional personal relationships.

    And on House’s part, he has come so far, it’s hard to even start talking about it! I did this very special experiment two nights ago – i watched “Both Sides Now” and “Help Me” in a row. I was STUNNED with House’s evolution. In BSN, even if, in his troubled mind, he had managed to build acceptance towards his feelings for Cuddy, his behavior, his approach and his reactions were emotionally handicapped in a terrible way.
    His journey this season brought him to be in full contact with himself and his deepest emotions and needs, to be much more willing to expose himself to other people, to be willing to sacrifice parts of himself for the greater good of a healthier, more lovable self. His determination and effort have been quite silent and stoic, but if you make that direct comparison, you find it incredibly eloquent.

    So, about fear: i think that sometime between “Under My Skin” and “Baggage”, his greatest fear switched objects: the fear to screw up his most wanted relationship & the fear that it might actually succeed (and thus expose him to uncontrolable changes and consequences) transformed into the fear that he might never get a chance to try. So the fear of complete loss of Cuddy took over anything else.

    So, i think that his experience of loss and pain, as well as her experience of cutting away from him at the heavy price of deep torment, transformed their multiple fears into a unique, big one: that they might lose each other again. That is why i believe that, at least for a while, they will fight very hard to protect their relationship with utmost devotion and delicacy.

    @Orange450: you are essentially right about everything you said. And i, personally, do remember all the significant things Stacy said to him, and i recognized the echo of those things in what he told Hannah.

    The problem is, my view on that is that his sincere admission was the only possibility at the “cosmic apology” that Stacy deserves. I do think she was on his mind (and Cuddy’s, for that matter – i am certain that House’s relationship with Stacy was one of the things that scared her when she considered being with him, and to hear him admitting his mistakes fully and passiong on Stacy’s advice to another person in pain was very meaningful).

    Really, what more could have been done about it? The Stacy story ended long ago, on a very injust note indeed, and House’s journey took completely different directions. To further complicate that insanely desperate, dramatic moment in his life (and Cuddy’s) by adding yet another secondary thread to the story in “Help Me” (apart from his drama and her drama and the whole Lucas drama etc) would have been too much, in my opinion.

    Perhaps you could find some consolation in the fact that House did find the strength to look at himself and answer Nolan’s question, “What did you screw up?”, with the “original sin”, and that is how he responded to Stacy then and the decisions he made, that screwed up his life and hers, equally.

    On House’s ability to find emotional self-sufficiency to the degree that he could have refused the temptation of Vicodin by himself, in one of his darkest hours of all times – i won’t go back to my personal view on it, as i have already explained that many times. Bottom line, i am positive that would have been impossible.

    PS: that is not to say that i don’t understand why you think it would have been a better version. Of course it would have been – it’s the ideal version of emotionally healthy people. But some people never reach that point – at least not by themselves. So i completely understand and i consider the writers’ decision as psychologically correct.

  • Orange450

    Barbara, thank you for this wonderful and informative interview. It sounds like Messrs. Lerner, Blake and Friend were fully engaged (as do all the House folk you talk to), and that’s surely a tribute to your interviewing technique!

    When I read your “Help Me’ column, I hadn’t yet read any other interviews about the episode, so hadn’t yet gotten the confirmation that House’s admission about his leg was the truth and not a heroic lie to help make things easier for Hannah. (I’m so used to the dense, dual-interpretable Talmudic writing style of the show that it’s hard for me to take any of House’s significant statements at face value. I’ve learned the error of my ways – until the next time!)

    So now that I know that what House said was true – and moreover – reading the three writers’ statements about how House has probably known deep-down for some time that he made the wrong decision, I’m compelled to reiterate the comments I posted on your episode review. Can I possibly be the only one who remembers Stacy telling House “it’s just a leg”??

    In the discussions over “Help Me’, many people noticed that Hannah echoed House’s statement in Three Stories when she said “it’s my leg”. But when House urged Hannah to accept amputation, he echoed Stacy even as Hannah had echoed him. He said “it’s just a leg” with *exactly* the same inflection that Stacy had used when she said it to him. He meant it sincerely. And so had she.

    And further – we now universally acknowledge House’s lack of self-worth, and we wish to see him attain some measure of the unconditional love that he seems to need so badly. Is it possible to forget that it was Stacy who made one of the series’ earliest references to this? That it was she who asked “don’t you deserve to live? Don’t you deserve to be happy?” as she urged him to choose life and live it with her? When House told Hannah “you have a husband who loves you”, he marshaled an argument that hadn’t been strong enough to convince him, back in the day!

    I don’t mean to harp on events that are long water under the bridge. And I don’t think that Stacy necessarily even needs to appear on the show to satisfy my quest for justice for her! But for House to give the gift of his new-found self-awareness to Cuddy, without even a passing reference to the person – herself in desperate straits – who first tried to reassure someone in desperate straits that it’s “just a leg”? Some sort of cosmic apology? I have to say that it bothers me to no end.

    Like someone who commented on your “Help Me” review, I’d also have liked to see House resolve some of his issues and gain some enlightenment/”preparation for happiness” on his own. For me, it would have been more satisfying – and perhaps more meaningful – to see him reject the Vicodin by himself, without Cuddy appearing on the scene. (I know that everyone’s mileage varies, of course.) There’d still be plenty of time in Season 7 to initiate a relationship, if that would prove the right way to go.

  • Flo

    Fear, is totally a huge component of the Cuddy/House relationship. It always were.

    I always considered that they were more afraid of the possibility of success than failure though.
    I mean, sure, if it fails it will fail hard and probably beyound repair for the both of them. However, I think they, at least equally, if not more afraid that, in a weird, dysfonctional way, it might actually work.

    Neither of them are good in relationships, They both pretty screwed up. Despite that fact, they put up with each other quite well for 25 years now, so unconsciously they have to know there is a chance it might work. It would be really unfamilar territory for them both which explain their fear.

    The thing, is, there always is a moment in life, when you have to confront your fears in order to really properly move on.
    The time has come for them. Like Cuddy said: they were really stuck.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @ Blacktop (Delia, huh?:): we posted at the same time.
    Thank you very much for your kind words. And i return them, by saying i fully agree with you too:)

    “The clearest expression of Cuddy’s realism is her declaration of love: I love you, I wish I didn’t, but I can’t help it. She says this with such an air of resigned acceptance of her own fate that this moment is doubly moving: for what it gives to House and for what it says about her understanding of herself” – very, very true.

    Also, about the significance of “i don’t know” and what you said about House not “looking for a savior or for a magical rescue”. Very accurate indeed.

    Perhaps we should come together during these months of break and write a book – “Deconstructing Huddy”, the fans’ version:)

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @ Jaim (#43), Tigerfeet (#44), Eileen (#46) and Michele1L (#50): thank you. I am beyond speechless at your amazing kind words, because my reasons for being here are essentially selfish – getting some of my insane passion for “House” off my chest (and off my husband and son’s ears, who have put up with it enough already:))))))). To get such a kind and rewarding response from you is really amazing.

    And i fully agree with Jaim: we need to be “House”s and House’s advocates – the show and the character. I haven’t yet been able to build an effective mechanism of self-protection, and i take any unfounded criticism directed at “House” very personally:( It makes me very angry when some viewers simply refuse to even try and understand the show beyond their so very limited perceptions. I’m sorry, i don’t mean to sound agressive or arrogant, and you all know i am not, in any way, reffering to the commentators who post here (whom i value so much) – but honestly, to throw so much pointless venom online, just because the internet can’t fight back, in regard to things they barely understand… It’s frustrating and i am very motivated to defend the show.

    @Michele1L – obviously, i fully agree: this feels like a new beginning, and a pretty special one too.

    @ my dear Flo: i agree that the way they will process everything that has happened and this new beginning will probably be complicated, and a joy to watch. That’s why i salute and applaud the decision to pick up season 7 pretty close to where we left off. Perhaps i’ve said it before (honestly, with how much i’ve been writing, God only remembers what i already said or didn’t say…), i think that when the light faded out at the end of “Help Me”, they were left in a pretty spectacular emotional state.

    It is intersting that, in the dynamic of their relationship, fear has been the reason they both spent years in denial and avoidance. Their fear is motivated by the deep, intuitive knowledge that this is the IT relationship for both of them, a relationship that has such high stakes, that failing in it would leave both of them broken beyond mending point. Wilson had a good intuition of this in „The Itch”, when he said to House that he was afraid to try being with Cuddy, because it that failed, then there was no hope left for another relationship to work for him.

    They spent years being on different pages, in different stages of emotional needs, blocked by fear and by each of them’s emotional difficulties. And now, they are finally in the exact same place. Acknowledging the organic love they have for each other, openly, at the same time.

    I think that the factor of fear will play a different role from now on (at least for a while). I think that right now, they are both in awe at the tremendous gift of honesty and love they gave eachother. And i think that the awareness of the stakes at play will make them be very cautious not to blow out this very delicate and highly significant light.

    Personally, i expect them both to walk on eggshells in the beginning of their relationship. Not in the sense that they will try to put on a facade, or that they will be unnatural – no, they obviously felt like what happened was the most natural thing in the world. In their final scene in „Help Me”, there was no (none whatsoever) awkwardness, no hesitation, nothing but waves of light and love flying back and forth. As exhausted and shaken they both were, the scene was dominated by their spectacular, natural intimacy, which felt familiar and different at the same time. We have witnessed their intimacy for years, but now, it was doubled by such visible love and tenderness, by such tentative happines, by such cautious, delicate, gentle gratitude. The expression on their faces, the simple gestures and words showed that they felt like everything in the world had fallen in its rightful place. The fulfillment of a need so organic and of a love so deep cannot happen in any other way, then so naturally and gently.

    What i meant by the caution and eggshells is that i do expect them to be very careful not to take this for granted – for instance, i kinda expect House to try hard not to cause any additional problems for her at the hospital and to fit in her relationship with Rachel as delicately as he can. And i expect Cuddy to try hard not to impose anything unusual on him, to try and respect his boundaries and to make it clear that she doesn’t expect him to change.

    On Hannah and her death – i think that it would be meaningful if House went to her funeral. Alone or with Cuddy, but to be there – because it was very significant that he did not go to Kutner’s funeral, and it would be yet another way to show what a long way he has come.

    On Thirteen – i expect it to affect him. And i expect him to open up to Cuddy about it and seek for comfort in her.

    On Wilson adjusting to their relationship: i think that Wilson will be stunned (and that will be very funny to watch:)))))). I hope they tell him together, entering his office hand in hand, in an infinitely happier version of the scene in “Both Sides Now”. And he will be thrilled. And he would be a bit too willing to help them make it work, which they will not need in the beginning – i view this as House and Cuddy spending some time completely absorbed in the novelty and happiness of it all, and Wilson agitating around them like a Mother Hen – somewhat ignored by the new couple who finds it hard to realize there are other people breathing in the world:)))))) Good lesson of his own medicine to Wilson, i might add:).

    On the Cuddy-Lucas breakup: i think she was completely honest with him. Cuddy is a fair, honest person, and she has huge guilt issues. I think that she realizes that what she did to Lucas is horrible (which is true) and she did her best to come clean to him and ease his pain and confusion as much as she could. I also think that she will admit to House that she feels guilty and still a bit sad in regard to Lucas – which is only natural, because she was invested in that relationship and, ultimately, Lucas was good to her and for her. However, i hope no awkward House-Cuddy-Lucas interactions will take place. This is not a game of who gets the girl anymore – a lot of emotions and feelings and pain and loss and suffering were experienced by all three of them, so i hope for a clean ending and a clean beginning.

    BTW, i also think that House should tell her about Lydia and how she helped him.

    And also – i can’t wait:))))))))))) The happiness i feel has not diminished one bit, but the impatience is getting stronger. A, well, 4 days gone, 4 months still to go…

  • blacktop

    Brava to the incomparable Delia_Beatrice for that excellent analysis of this stunning finale episode. (I would applaud your wonderful commentaries even if I did not share your first name!)

    I agree whole-heartedly that the current accord between House and Cuddy is a carefully designed and wholly honest plot development that grew organically from the presentation of the characters over the past six years.

    There was nothing sudden, incomprehensible, out-of-character or unplanned about this new departure for House and Cuddy. Those who argue so are expressing their disappointments rather than taking an unsentimental look at the show in its entirety.

    In particular it is noteworthy how stark and unsentimental the final scene was. The decision to try for a real relationship now is made in the heat of crisis and bereavement. Both House and Cuddy are at the point of having lost everything they thought they believed in and are clinging to each other in that storm. They must be more than a bit out of their minds at this moment.

    But I think the unsentimental comments they made in that final scene suggest that they are not throwing overboard all sense of logic, reality, and common sense. For example, Cuddy frankly and bravely says “I don’t know” when House asks if she thinks he can fix himself.

    (Remember how many times this phrase has been used to powerful effect in previous episodes. House says “I don’t know” to Wilson in the last scene of “One Day, One Room” as they try to assess whether it was helpful or right to pressure the rape victim to open up. Also House says “I don’t know” to Cuddy in “Joy” when she asks why he must always negate everything. Admitting you don’t know something is the hardest thing possible for a man of science, but it is in fact the first step toward true knowledge.)

    The very fact that House asks if she believes he can fix himself shows that he has not thrown away all of his realism and insight. He knows that he is “the most screwed up person in the world,” and that only he can repair what is broken. He isn’t looking for a savior or for a magical rescue. He knows that hard work lies ahead.

    When Cuddy answers “I know” to his screwed up self-description, she is both accepting him as he is and acknowledging that, while she can help, the struggle is his alone. This seems very in character and realistic to me.

    The clearest expression of Cuddy’s realism is her declaration of love: I love you, I wish I didn’t, but I can’t help it. She says this with such an air of resigned acceptance of her own fate that this moment is doubly moving: for what it gives to House and for what it says about her understanding of herself.

    So, I don’t think that it is pre-ordained that House and Cuddy will have to suffer through a traumatic relationship that burns and dies after a few stormy months. The dialogue of the final scene of “Help Me” suggests that they both have reserves of will and reason that can match the size of their passion.

  • Michele1L

    Sandra 41 – Funny, to you this episode seemed like the end of the show – to me it seems like a new beginning for it.

    Delia_Beatrice 42 – As always, quite eloquently said.

  • Michele1L

    Laura – If I remember correctly, Thirteen is only leaving temporarily — so that Olivia Wilde can shoot a movie.

    Madfashionista- There have been several episodes where Wilson has tried to play matchmaker for House and Cuddy, so I would expect him to be thrilled that they would be together — although it will be interesting to see the new dynamic this change will create.

    For those who expect this new love relationship to turn “House” into “Greys”.
    I was once a huge fan of “Greys Anatomy” but tired of McDreamy and Meredith because it was so on and off and I felt the show dropped off in quality when Isaiah Washington was fired. (I don’t condone what he did in order to get fired, but felt his character was important to the show.) I respectfully disagree that “House” in any way resembles “Greys”. To me, the writing and character development on “House” is far superior and I believe, as long as the primary focus stays on “House” and his needs, that I, as a viewer, will watch pretty much everything he does. But enough of Taub and his wife already! I’m in total agreement about THAT!

    The medical portion of “House” or the “A” story is so formulaic and so procedural that the “B” or personal side has to exist. We’ve got to have the personal. I believe David Shore said what they try to do is strike a balance between the “A” and “B” stories so that neither of them become predominant but work in sync with one another so that the show seems neither formulaic or soap-opera-ish. I think they do pretty well at this.

  • Melissa

    I LOVE HOUSE!!!! This was the best episode of the season by far. Thanks for finally getting those two together. I cried when he was with Hannah and he so deserved Cuddy coming over to blow our socks off! Please keepthe show going. I am addicted and cannot wait for the next season.

  • Flo

    it was a very interesting interview indeed and i also wholeheartedly agree with Delia on the last scene and on the character of Cuddy.

    “House”is not just a procedural medical show, it is a long journey into one’s mind and life. I this regard, I find totally understandable that all aspects of his life all the layers the character can have, are fully addressed in the show, otherwise it souldn’t be called “House”.

    The last scene can be viewed in many different way depending if you are directly, emotionally connected to the characters and the show or not, but if you watch the show as a whole, wether you’re on the intellectual or on the emotional side, you can’t really be disappointed by it.
    Not after several viewings anyway.
    Delia is very emotionally drawn to the characters and I’m more on the intellectual, purely analytical side, but I totally agree with her. That’s saying something.

    On this last scene and the whole Cuddy/House/Lucas dynamic, my take is less “sentimental” but the conclusions are the same:
    here what I wrote few days ago inh response to Barbara’s review of the episode:

    Between his talks with the patient and with Cuddy, this awful night turned out to be one of the most therapeutic one of his life. The question is, what now?

    House needs to process this night. Hannah and her death, Cuddy and the engagement she broke to come to make a confession on her own.
    In this last episode of the season it was time to come clear for them that’s for sure. House, by admitting his bad decision and the fact that it made him being alone, in pain and miserable.
    Cuddy, admitting that her relationship with Lucas is not made to be permanent and that her attempt to stay away from House was unefficient and wrong.
    The parallel between those scenes make them all the more important. Especially that the talk that triggered the first one is gonna be referred in the second. In her rant, Cuddy says to House that she doesn’t love him, only to say the opposite at the end.

    Which bring us to this last important scene between House and Cuddy which can be perceived in many different ways:
    I always said that season five was about how much similar House and Cuddy were (and still are) and how House is somewhat the center of everyone else’s life. I believe this season to be the “selfish” one. Every character tried to do something for himself without depending on another part. Wilson tried to move on with his life, despite living with House, by reconnecting with Sam, House agreed to be in therapy in order to get better, Cuddy chose to step away from all the craziness that happened by going for a relationship with someone young and uncomplicated.
    Thinking about yourself, do something only for yourself just for the sake of it and most of all, doing it independently. That’s what this season was about.

    In that regard, the last scene between Cuddy and House can be viewed as not that good because it says that Cuddy broke up with Lucas to be with House. She broke the engagement for him, which can be interpreted as in contradiction with the rest of the season. She committed herself in a relationship with Lucas for herself, so it would be natural to think that she should have left him also for herself and not for somebody else. In Teamwork she said to Wilson: “I know you’re upset with me because I didn’t choose to date your best friend. But I’m living my life. And for the first time I’m not gonna change that because of how it might affect him… or you.” So, coming to House’s apartment to tell him that she loves him and that since she is not with Lucas anymore, she feels they could try something together doesn’t fit well in that angle, especially that she broke-up with Lucas only few hours ago. In this point of view, that scene can feel rushed, coming out of the blue and off-kilter.

    However, we don’t know what happened after House’s departure in the ambulance. We didn’t see Cuddy finally leaving the crashing site to go home only to find Lucas’ boyish face. It would be interesting to know what was said during the break-up. It surely wasn’t easy for her and I’m pretty sure the discussion was pretty long. Was House’s name mentioned as the direct cause of this break-up? By Whom? Lucas is surely perceptive enough to guess that something has to happened between Cuddy and House.
    There was a long build-up to that scene between House and Cuddy. Just right in this episode with House’s confession, which – as everything often comes in twos in this show – demanded its twin scene. This night and House’s heroic behavior is also what made her see Lucas in a different angle and the idealistic image of the good young fiancé playing lovingly with the daughter in the house wasn’t there anymore. It apparently seemed corny, pointless and untrue to her.

    I also liked the look of that last scene. Cuddy is tired and a mess after a long difficult night at the crash and a break-up. Eight hours later, she is still in her hospital attire. House is a mess too, he is in pain, Hannah is dead and he is alone. They are in the bathroom with neon gloomy light and really vulnerable. I thought of the last scene in “Joy” to be honest. An emotionally, somewhat romantic scene in an inappropriate place for this at a desperate time for them.
    In a way, that scene is the quieter, calmer sister of the scene in “Joy”.
    I like that. The decorum is not right but such scene happens anyway. I love the fact that there was no music. It was just a quiet conversation, two actors almost whispering their dialogue. No great light, no great outfit, no music, no beautiful set. This scene comes out as pure and even more powerful because of it. It is the anti-romantic scene but it is one at the same time. Really great.

    I’d also like to point out that, this ending makes sense as well with all the six years of sexual tension and since we slowly come to the ending of the show. Hugh Laurie signed for eight years and if TPTB does have an eighth season it will probably be the last. I could be wrong of course, this is purely speculation, but I would hate “House” being the new ER and ending after 95 seasons when almost nobody cares anymore.
    Eight seasons means two more seasons meaning 44 to 48 episodes left. It’s not that long. It is logical that the House/Cuddy relationship is addressed fully now, especially that we can guess that it’s not gonna be a smooth one and TPTB also have six other characters trajectories to wrap-up.

  • Eileen

    @ Delia_Beatrice: Repeating your words…

    “I think we can also relate this to the unbiased glimpse into the essence of Cuddy, that we got from her blind date in season 3’s “Insensitive” – Cuddy in relation to and influenced by House is a different woman, and cutting away from House meant cutting off an essential part of herself. Perhaps the best part of herself. Cuddy’s love for House is just as organic as his love for her, and trying to shut down that love was an act of self-mutilation that left visible scars.”

    Wow. What an amazing anaylsis. It leaves me speechless…

  • simona

    many thanks for the interview! great writers

  • tigerfeet

    First of all – thank you Barbara for this interview, the preview and review of “Help Me”. The episode was superb, as was your analysis. Secondly, thanks for ALL your contributions through the season, and I am so happy to read that you will cater for us through the summer as well.

    Then I want to express my appreciation and admiration all the intelligent and insightful commenters on this blog. You all bring new and exciting interpretations to the table, and they are always a pleasure to read, whether I agree or not. (By what some of you have said about the “culture” on other sites, I am completely happy to stay just here.)

    And last but not least – a huge thanks to everyone involved in creating [H]ouse. I just love the show, warts and all!

    @Delia_Beatrice, you have on several occasions expressed more or less exactly how I feel about the show, an especially here #42. Also your fantastic comment under Barbara’s reveiw – where your happiness was practically leaping off the page, but in a very “analytical” way. You really have a lot of knowlegde about the show and the subjects it so often covers. And you convey it so incredibly well – all the more impressive since I read that English is not your first language. Kudos to you.

    Looking forward next season!

  • Jaim

    Delia_Beatrice, you wrote everything that I was thinking. I totally agree with your assessment of Cuddy’s behavior. I think for everyone who constantly says, “The show is becoming like Grey’s or the show is a soap opera now,” aren’t looking at the same show. Yeah, sometimes they make missteps such as how they originally had Cameron leave or by devoting so much time to Taub’s infidelities, but for the most part the show still focuses on the struggles and evolution of Dr. Gregory House. The medicine matters but it is not mutually exclusive to every other aspect of the show. I think people who only care about the medicine should just watch a real medical show such as Mystery Diagnosis. But for those that want an intricate connection drawn between the man, his craft, and his desire to have more than just his genius,should watch this show. I just think fans need to be House’s advocate. House wants love. House wants Cuddy, House finally has Cuddy and the viewers should try to support the lead character’s new journey. The journey won’t always be easy and full of kisses but it will be real and eye-opening.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @ Eileen (#30), Sera G (#31), Val S (#33) and Ted (#38): My God! Thank you. Really, thank you. I feel blessed that i can “bounce ideas off of” such incredibly educated, smart, interesting and kind people. To receive such praise from you is amazing, thank you very much.

    What I would like to talk about are the two issues brought up by “House” fans around the web, who disliked the options the writers chose for the finale: 1. that it is inconsistent with the show’s essence to go with the “easy, commercial” escape of romance & 2. that Cuddy’s decisions were “sudden and unexpected”. I have the utmost respect for everybody’s opinion, and it is only natural that our perceptions be subjective. But I strongly disagree with both these arguments, so here are my reasons:

    1.on the “unforgivable” insertion of love and happiness in the show: the show’s determination to stick to the truth and not sugar-coat anything it presents is one of the main reasons I adore “House”. But I do beg a distinction to be made, as to what does come to ring untrue on such a show.

    Even if I don’t believe in absolute happiness, I do believe that the world and life are not full exclusively of ugly truths – and so, a fictional creation that was designed to “live” by the principle of truth and complete realism doesn’t have to depict nothing but perpetual misery, in order to be veridical and true to its creative credo. Extraordinary emotional connection between two scarred people does exist. People who are too wounded to ever be capable of emotional self-sufficiency do sometimes find the reason to go on in somebody they love. Unconditional love can sometimes build a fragile bridge of retrospective partial healing.

    Why should this emotionally complex, layered, incredibly brilliant show stay away from depicting that kind of reality? Why should we, as faithful viewers, be confined strictly to the same range of emotional responses? To the same range of storylines, to the same area of exploration of the characters’ psychology and emotions?

    In regard to the final scene of the finale being “commercial”: my opinion is that it was a raw scene between two complicated, tormented people, emotionally naked in front of each other, two people whose many, many layers of fences and defences were courageously pushed away, in order to allow themselves to experience and communicate absolute honesty, the simplicity of the complete truth and the most utter vulnerability. This is completed by the fact that that scene happened in the context of a complete lack of romantic clichees, in a raw setting, with raw, simple words and gestures.

    And in regard to season 7 and maybe beyond, it is an enormous challenge for these stupendous writers, to create the most veridical and true romantic couple in movie history and to insert an intense, authentic and original relationship in the show. I, for one, applaud their courage and cannot wait to see where the journey takes them, and us.

    2.On the unexpected / unjustified / too sudden / disrupted “words and deeds” of Cuddy: I think there are two components of this issue:

    2.1. CUDDY IN SEASON 6:
    The way Cuddy’s evolution in season 6 was written lead us to oscillate between two possible interpretations: that she has, indeed, stopped loving House and she has moved on, emotionally OR that she was trying very hard to move on with her life and shut down her feelings for House, but the process was painful for her and ultimately unsuccessful. I think that the right answer on this dilemma could have been deducted from the following sources:

    During season 6, it did appear like she moved on, but always, there were discreet, subtle details that pointed to a different truth. She put on a good mask, but for us, who have seen Cuddy simply sparkling with House for 5 years, her presence this year indicated anything but happiness or comfort. She spent the last year in a state of terrible confusion and distress, which was visible in her looks and her behavior. I believe it was intentional that Lisa Edelstein’s hair, makeup, clothes and general appearance were gloomier, darker, more tired, older this whole season (unlike her personal appearance, which is as fresh as ever), and that her general behavior seemed to lack her usual witty sense of humor, her flirtatious, teasing ways, her playful spirit, her sexual energy, her intellectual sparks and her emotional honesty.

    I think we can also relate this to the unbiased glimpse into the essence of Cuddy, that we got from her blind date in season 3’s “Insensitive” – Cuddy in relation to and influenced by House is a different woman, and cutting away from House meant cutting off an essential part of herself. Perhaps the best part of herself. Cuddy’s love for House is just as organic as his love for her, and trying to shut down that love was an act of self-mutilation that left visible scars.

    I have to applaud Lisa Edelstein’s subtle and layered performance, that worked so well in giving away these subtle hints.

    The very discreet and subtle way in which Cuddy’s reluctance, doubts and torment were presented all season long was essential in order to build suspense and doubt among the viewers and, of course, House himself.
    Mr. Friend’s interview makes it clear that the final scene had been part of the original plan all along, so that makes Cuddy’s choice an essential element of the entire season – and thus, the need of building mystery and false expectations around it.

    I think they covered it masterfully. First of all, the discretion (in regard to Cuddy’s hints at what she was really feeling AND the secrecy around the final scene) was, of course, necessary, in order to build the “Mind-Blowing” factor of “House” season finales, that we have come to take for granted. Had we been nearly convinced that she still loved House and that she will eventually come to her senses after toying a bit with Lucas, the whole drama and impact would have been lost and the story would have been cheap and superficial.

    It is also significant that her relationship with Lucas reached such an advanced point: this shows how determined she was to turn over a whole new page in her life, AND it shows that her relationship with Lucas could have been a perfectly functional warm blanket for her, AND thus it shows how brave and how completely honest with herself she was when she chose to throw all her illusions, as well as her comfortable reality away, and choose House. AND on top of all this, it helped deepen our concern and doubt about her still caring about House.

    My God, this is a long post. But I just had to put it all out there – and defend what I believe to be a magnificent work of art and a brilliant creative decision.

  • Sandra

    Great interview,great questions! However, I was saddened by the ending of Help ME.I feel as if the House I came to know has been chipped away at all season.This didn’t feel like the end of the season it felt like the end of the show

  • Annabelle Fox

    Hi everybody! I’m still recovering from the final episode :o)) The whole story was really amazing for me, especially the interaction between House and Hannah. That was breathtaking. I really loved that House’s first question to Hannah was „What’s your name?“ That was very significant sign of his change and his current emotional state. I very liked that House was the only one whom Hannah trusted and I enjoyed all those scenes when he gave her a phone to call her husband, when he pretended praying with her and took care about her. And of course that fascinating monolog about his leg to convince her to amputation and then when he sad to her that the pain will be the worst thing she ever lived and holded her hand for a moment – it really got me. But that end – I still don’t know what to think. I’m not Huddy fan and I really really didn’t want the House/Cuddy romantic relationship. I wished Cuddy to stay with Lucas and House to move on and find some other woman. I didn’t want to see them together. So when I saw those last 5 minutes for the first time, I sad to myself: „Oh my God, they really made such stupid soap opera from the show. It’s terrible!“ But when I saw it for the second time and than again :o) I have to admit that I liked this scene. Although I don’t want Huddy, this scene as it was filmed I liked. And when I thought about it in context of the whole show, it finaly makes sense for me. They both had feelings for each other for years, but were affraid of real relationship because Cuddy was a boss and House was „an egomaniacal narcissistic pain in the ass“ (as she told to Stacy :o)) and they weren’t able to express those deep feelings to each other. So they danced around it through all seasons and were trying to hide it before themselves like teenagers. But House changed after Mayfield and he realized he doesn’t want to be alone and wants try to be in some relationship and finaly he was also able to admitt his feelings for Cuddy. But Cuddy was still afraid of relationship with such nonconventional an complicated personality as House is so she was trying to convince herself that she needs a „normal“ relationship with someone who will be stable, responsible and „predictable“ in everyday life. So she chose Lucas, but that was her brain, who chose him but her heart still was with House (subconsciously) and she was trying to suppress it for „good reasons“. When I saw that „coffe shop“ scene in „Known Unknowns“ where Lucas was gibbering and House didn’t react on it and Cuddy was sheepish, there was really visible diference between strenght of Lucase’s and House’s personality and I sad to myself that if Cuddy has to return to House she must find this difference by herself, to see it and realize it. And that exactly happend now in „Help me“. She was so brutal to him because she was angry also to herself and couldn’t decide what she really wants. Lucas proposed her, it was something she thought she wish, but she suddenly realized that it means they will be together „forever“ and there won’t be another possibility. It was unexpected and she suddenly didn’t know if she really wants this. And deeply in her heart was that subconscious wish for House to be such a man she imagined as her partner, but in that while he wasn’t so she was irrationally angry at him and said what she said. But than when she saw him with Hannah and heard his words and saw his acting in such terrible situation she suddenly realized what she really loves on him and that this is what she wants and what has a meaning for her. I don’t think that it was unrealistically quick change of her mind. That was inside of her all the time but it needed some impuls, some „last drop“ to final decision. And House’s heroic acting with Hannah’s amputation and rescuing of her and also his honest and vulnerable admission of his situation was that „last drop“. There was also very strong moment when Cuddy stay in silence while hearing Hannah’s horrible painfull screeming and when she than looked at House before closing the door of ambulance she already knew what she really wants. I also think that such horrible situations like disasters or wars or teroristic attacks have a very special influence on human emotions, all thouse painfull moments, dying, screeming, bleeding – that is not a normal situation, its a very stressfull and people also don’t act as usually and often many hidden problems and emotions come to surface more quickly and people change.
    But despite of everything I wrote I still have a big problem with House/Cuddy romantic relationship. I have to say I can’t imagine how it can continue in the show and I’m really afraid of it. I still want to trust to writers they will keep their rational, intelligent and unconventional approach, but I don’t know. The imagine of House „married with children“ is such horrible to me that i really would stop watching this show, despite of how desperately I always loved it, if something like this would happend. Because it would totally destroy my image of House which I loved all the time. So now I’m really not looking forward to season 7, because I’m afraid of what will be and that it will be disapointing to me. For me this House/Cuddy ending would rather fit for complete end of whole the show, without other continuing. But maybe I will be pleasantly surprised, I don’t know. So I stil have a very mixed feelings from the finale. But it was impressive, in any case and I needed to „absorb“ everything a few days.

  • Thanks, Barbara. So good to hear it from the writers’ mouths. You da man.

  • Ted

    Thanks Delia_Beatrice for explaining why basing happiness on love is not corny but deeply meaningful and real.

    On House thinking that keeping his leg was a mistake… House might have been right that he could have survived the cytokines storm (or whatever it’s called if he had kept the full leg). But it was a highly risky and unprobable outcome. To insist on such minute chance of success against the enormous risk of death was unacceptable–even by House’s own standard if he had been objective. But more importantly, remember that House told the patient under the rubbles that ‘It is only a leg’ and she should choose life instead. I believe, the bigger mistake surrounding House’s own leg was his insisting that Stacy’s decision to cripple him was so unforgivable that he threw away his life with her.

    Therefore, amputating his leg now won’t be appropriate to undo his mistake with Stacy. Yet again, maybe House would reconsider amputation if he wants to stop the pain so that he can be a less frustrated man for Cuddy.

    Yet, medically, I am very confused about the condition of his leg. (Point of clarification: I watch the show for the character study and will be absolutely satisfied even if the medicine is wrong so long as the main storyline works. But I’m just very very curious and would be totally wowed away if they manage to fit the medicine right too.) Now, House’s muscle death started with an aneurysm that clotted. The muscles died and released toxins which triggered painful inflammation. Since they have removed the dying muscle, the release of toxins would have ceased. Whatever toxins already released was probably flushed out of his system via dialysis, urine, etc. or he would still be at risk of death. So unless other muscles are continuing to die and provide fresh source of toxins, I don’t understand why he should still be in pain. In ‘Three Stories’, the official explanation was “Because of the time delay in making the diagnosis, patient continues to experience chronic pain.” But this explains nothing at all. I also considered the possibility of ‘phantom pain’, which would be neurogenic. However, House told off an ER doctor once that anti-depressants were useless because they treat neurogenic pain (pain due to problems with nerves, not psychosomatic pain). On the other hand, opioids like vicodin are stronger painkillers than the anti-depressants so maybe they work for neurogenic pain too and also because House was addicted. If phantom pain was what the writer were thinking of, then my issue is that amputation now would not be an option for House because it would be useless against phantom pain. In fact, it might even make things worse.
    Once again, I clarify that I really don’t care if the medicine is wrong. As long as the writers give us an assumption and make it work for the storyline, I totally don’t mind. But if there are any medical experts out there who can explain to me the mystery of House’s leg pain, I’ll be really grateful.

  • Florencia

    Thank you, Barbara for the interview.
    I´m Argentinian and I always read your reviews… They are amazing! Thank you!
    In Argentina Universal Channel will air “Lockdown” today, so I´ll have to wait for “Help me”!
    Tahk you again.

  • Elena

    I am just happy that I have once found this site. Thanks for great reviews and insightful comments.

  • Jaim

    But Susanne there are real moments in life when someone does come when you need them the most and they surprise you by doing so. It happens. Maybe not as much as it should but it does happen. I think a bigger cop out would have been to end another season with House plunging into another pit of despair. It was time for a happier more peaceful ending. I understand your point of view, but I do think that this final scene was in the making between House and Cuddy the moment those ambulance doors shut.

  • Susanne

    Of course he is a troubled person whom is struggling with his indentity and wouldn’t just go away over night and yeah I know that. I have worked with people who have been through that, I have worked with mothers, husbands and children who have lost their loved ones to war, I have worked with child abuse children and families but at least their lives are not sugar coted by the mainstream media. That is reality, they don’t have someone who they loved just suddenly come in the way Cuddy did in that scene. It just didn’t seem real to me. I liked House because it never shyed away from putting ugly stuff of life on the screen without sugarcoting it like most commercialised mainstream tv shows that was what I liked about it. It was gritty and it was raw and heartbreaking and it was real and the last scene was a cop out.

  • Val S

    @Delia_Beatrice I just wanted to throw in my appreciation, as well, for your comment (#22?) on the psychology of a possible positive House/Cuddy relationship. It was very interesting and certainly a post in which I learned something. That’s one of the many reason’s I so enjoy this space.

    Barbara, it’s one of the few…thanks.

  • Anne D.

    I’m going to throw in my support for the writers’ take on the House-Cuddy relationship. It is a relationship well worth pursuing and in the hands of these gifted writers, the medical/ethical issues in the plots might mirror the unfolding of the House-Cuddy relationship in much the same way that they have beautifully dovetailed with House’s development as an individual. Also I wanted to express my appreciation for the writer who gave us the excellent insight into House’s difficulties due to his relationship with his parents. Finally, I want to add my thanks to Barbara for doing so much to enhance our understanding and appreciation of House the character and House the series.
    P.S. I’m hoping for more interactions between House and Foreman. I will always love the episode where Foreman ended up developing such empathy for the homeless woman who died of an infection (was it rabies?). The final scene for that episode was so powerful and satisfying as well as cathartic for me. I believe that Foreman could be wonderfully supportive and insightful for House the character, as well.

  • Sera G

    Thank you, Barbara,
    I always enjoy your interviews with writers, cast, producers, etc. They add so much to my understanding. Plus, I feel as if I am a fly on the wall in the plotting and planning. It is great that you provide that for us.

    I will say again, I loved this episode. I think it will rank among the best of the series.
    As to the controversy about the ending,(now of course settled by KJ, Blake, Friend and Lerner) there is no way that a show as meticulously plotted and with such depth would just add an ending. Obviously there was much thought (and probably second and third guessing) whether the time was right to give poor House some happiness. I am thrilled that they made the decision to do so. It was brave and showed not only faith in the series, but IMO, faith that the fans will celebrate House moving forward in a positive manner.
    To Delia-Beatrice, loved what you wrote.
    I think these characters, who are so complex and beautifully written will be fascinating to watch through the progression of their relationship. I wrote, (probably more than oncee) I don’t believe a romance between the leads brings doom to a series. I feel that is due to lazy writing and lack of imagination. NOT a worry on this show.
    Thanks, also to those decision makers who vote for starting the fun at the ‘beginning.’ I was so hoping that would be the choice.
    Great interview, Barbara. Great season of writing.

  • Eileen

    To 22 – Delia_Beatrice:
    I absolutely LOVED what you wrote from thanking the producers and writers, to explaining the knowledge you have (and are currently learning about) regarding the psychology around House’s issue(s). The way you analyzed what this finale meant for House was amazing! I can see clearly how having Cuddy’s unconditional love will be a positive and life changing experience for House going forward. There are numerous ways the writers/producers can explore it. Thank you for sharing your interesting take on this show, our beloved characters, and the season finale.

  • Dominique

    I hope to see something next season that couldn’t fully be explored before: I keep thinking about how House told the patient in “lookdown” (who was the patient I connected with most this season) how he thinks the pain in his leg might have migrated and how he might’ve sustained further damage. (I’ll have to watch it again to remember what it was exactly)

    There’s always been this thought around that House’s pain is mostly psychosomatic, that he just converts the sadness in his life to pain in his leg. Wilson and Cuddy throw it at him all the time (well, mostly Wilson) but how does he prove them wrong? It always strikes a nerve with me when people around him say that, because his life has been misery up to this point (not complete misery all the time, but enough for the conversion disorder argument to stand), he hasn’t really had an arguable defence.

    With this measure of happiness, for him to still be hurting would vindicate his pain in a way I think I’d love to see… because it is very real, but since no other character lives with it I feel that they sometimes underestimate it… and there, under the rubble, House himself doesn’t. Through Hugh Laurie’s incredible acting and that hushed, slightly hoarse voice that sends chills down my spine even while I think of it, we all got hit with the reality of his pain…

    And I think we’ll have consequences from that conversation in lockdown because if something turns out to be wrong with his leg and the reason why he didn’t tell anyone is that he too feared it wasn’t “real”, like the patient deducted in lockdown, then the reality of his pain will hit the other characters in the face like it has with us and I would love to see that.

    Wilson in particular seems so incredibly self-rightious at times (his rant at the end of Private Lives comes to mind…) that I would love to see him and the others get it.

  • barbara barnett

    Celia–House is both, I tend to think of the show’s medical mysteries as structure to wrap the character story within. And based. But I think what they meant was that every story begins to form through finding the zebra du jour for the episode and build from there. All three writers (Friend and Lerner in particular) tend to focus on the characters most in their writing. They write strong House and his various relationships. I do believe they internalize what Shore was talking about.

    I have no doubt that they are on the same page. Their writing stands as proof.

  • Celia

    Interesting that DS recently said [H]ouse was first & foremost “a character study” and the aforementioned writers & executive producers say at core “it’s a medical procedural”. They might all want to get on the same page about that.
    Having been in the medical field for decades, I can’t believe that they are having difficulty in finding interesting medical plot lines A copy of the most recent Merck Manual of Diagnostic Medicine(all 2500+ pages of it )and/or a check- in with the Mount Sinai Dept of Diagnostic medicine in NY might also help.

  • barbara barnett


    I asked about 13 and they gave me nothing, not even that the reason for her leave was for Huntingtons. They said this would be adressed in the first episode or two of season seven.

    I didn’t include their answer in the interview because they really said nothing, literally.

  • Jaim

    I really am glad they are going to allow us to see the early beginnings of the House/Cuddy relationship. I would have hated for the season to start two months later. Also everyone always seems to think House wouldn’t fair well around Rachel, but I think throughout the whole series his best interactions have been with his child/teen patients. He is a big kid himself and never dumbs things down to kids. I have also seen him show a kind of respect to kids that he very rarely gives to the adults. So, I’m sure he’s a bit jealous of the place in Cuddy’s heart that Rachel has, but I think that he will take to the little girl the more time he spends with her. Remember, he offered to watch Rachel in Known Unknowns before it was revealed that Lucas was there. So, he’s willing to at least try to be there for the child because he knows how important she is to Cuddy.

  • Zay

    As ever, Barbara, you are amazing and I love you to bits and pieces for making the originally fabulous House experience even better with your epic posts. Really.

    As for my two cents on all this Huddy-ness…I’m happy. I agree with the writers – it was well deserved – and I agree with the commenters who say that this is a great way to get a new, fresh side of House. You’ve got to commend these people for having the ability to keep this show well and alive for six seasons. Yeah, I have my nitpicks with this season like everyone else; but overall, when it comes to House, I really do think that the whole is better than the sum of its parts. As a single unit, this season was actually quite good and ended on a lovely, surprisingly happy note. With David Shore at the helm, I can’t guarantee how long we’re going to be on honeymoon like that, but what they gave us was great and I can’t wait to see where this goes next.

    & like someone above said: I cannot wait for Wilson’s reaction. After all his pushing and psychoanalyzing throughout season 5 (partic. in “The Itch”) it will be intriguing to know how he takes this.

    & another thing…I’m still in high school, not in the work force, so I can’t be one hundred percent sure…but I don’t think it’s quite allowed to have the boss go out with an employee. That’s another issue that adds complication to this already complicated relationship.

    Plus, I mean, Cuddy’s a mother. Her concern through S5 and S6 is that she needs someone to count on with her daughter. House is still, I think, too emotionally fragile to deal with fatherhood – he can barely deal with himself. What to do about Rachel is definitely a question I want to see answered next season – because it would anger a lot of fans, including me, to have House become soft, living with Cuddy and the baby and having a happy suburban little family. Even in a relationship, House is not a cookie-cutter guy. To think so would be an insult to the character and the show itself.

    So like we’re all kind of hinting at…let’s see how this goes. S7 is only four months away…

  • ashby

    Thanks, Barbara, for your great interview.

    I am “on the fence” about the Huddy ending. I think I am on the fence because it seemed very contrived in the last moments of the show – maybe it was because of the other ep where he was hallucinating – but it just seemed very sudden – she suddenly realized she loved him in that very moment and shows up.

    I thought it was well written apart from that abrupt shift on her part. But, as far as the prospects for next season, I think it’s fabulous that they are trying to do something different with the relationships for House. For example, I loved his mayfield roomie coming back and how we got to see that “side” of House come out. And his being “happy” or at least TRYING for it- have been great. Very different – that the character evolves in some ways and doesn’t in others. I think one of the running themes of the show has been “People don’t change” and yet, here we see that they do – or do they? The dictotomy there is rich, rich, rich for drama.

    Also, I thought it was interesting in the close of the ep that Cuddy said that she loved him but wished that she didn’t. So, not everything is sweetness and light, there – some rocks are already in the path.

    To everyone who most references “what makes House great” being the medical dramas/mysteries, I enjoy that but what I have always viewed as what makes the show great is how each character grows through those medical dramas. I love it best when the patient mirrors something the charater(s) are going through/learning. Also, I think that the best eps. this season have focused more on House and interactions or impressions other characters have of house. For example, I liked Taub’s plot line most when House got involved with the whole pottery class thing and Taub realized H. was actually (in his own, bizarre way) trying to help…and then Taub thanked him. Similarly, my fave scene with 13 was when she took House to the FOXHOLE (Hillarious name, btw) – I just thought that was great. So, I’d urge the writers to keep throwing relationships – the whole spectrum- into House’s path. Clinic, patients, co-workers, everything. In fact, the moment in the season finale that had me most upset, going ‘nooooo!’ was when Foreman confronted House in the lobby and then LET HIM pull the “as your employer” card. I really, really, really wanted the “these could be my friends” moment from the previous ep to flower in that moment when House most needed a friend – and of all of them (apart from Wilson) Foreman I think is the best suited.

    So — well done, writers and producers. I’m a bit let-down with the abruptness of the the BUT I LOVE YOU realization – but overall I TRUST you and am totally on the bandwagon for S7.

    Oh and ps: I agree that the possibility of amputation should at least be DISCUSSED in an actual episode/arc–esp. if House really does believe insisting on keeping the leg was a mistake.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Thank you, Barbara, for the interview and for all your reviews this, and every, season.

    I want to express my gigantic “thank you” to Mr. Shore, Mrs. Jacobs, Mr. Laurie, Ms. Edelstein, and of course Mr. Friend and Lerner. They should know that their sensational work is appreciated fully. In fact, they should know that, to me, fictional happiness of this intensity is just as good as real happiness, and i am an insanely happy person right now!

    I feel like just reward, harmony and order have been restored in the universe, and that is an amazing feeling. I thank them for it

    On the decision to pick up season 7 shortly after the end of “Help Me”: i salute that decision.
    The season 6 finale left House and Cuddy so humble in their silent joy… As they should be – they both gave been awarded (and awarded themselves) an incredible gift. I hope they will treat it with infinite care and humility, at least for a while, and i know that their delicate dance of building a relationship will be lovely to watch.

    PS @ Susanne (#6): a person with such a traumatic childhood as House, and such self-worth issues, will never (and i mean literally never – therapy can only improve their functionality, sometimes with spectacular results, but those kind of wounds never really heal) find the supreme justification of their life in themselves.

    I have explained this before (it so happens, i am currently working on a book on child psychology that discusses just that): House has never received any healthy acknowledgment of his right to live and his worth from his parents. He has a troubled identity, because of his paternity issues, and he never received healthy validation of his very existence.
    The results of this are two defining characteristics of House: his recklessness in regard to his own safety, health and life & his endless pursuit of unconditional love, that he could cling to in order to restore his very fragile sense of self-worth and meaning of life. Unconditional love that he pursuits just like a child, by testing and pushing the limits and by presenting himself in the most crude light, allowing no deception, so that he can be sure that the affection he might receive is true in every way.

    This kind of wounded souls can never rely on themselves to establish a healthy view on their own life and the reasons that justify their existence. They need someone else to give them what is called “a passport to life” and “the permission to be happy”. This someone cannot be just anyone – it has to be a person whom they invest with that authority – an authority similar to parental authority. This kind of parental authority transfer (parental authority in the sense that parents give life and are the main responsibles for validating that life) is created upon a built up of respect, love, admiration and mutual loyalty.

    Cuddy is that person for House. His relationship with her is deep enough and complex enough, his admiration and respect for her fully match the loyalty and protection he received from her. And he is both in love with her and also loves her – in a very layered sense, a very deep feeling that became nearly organic.
    So she is invested with the power to bring him back to life, literally. She has signed off his passport for life and happines, her unconditional love and acceptance were a literal fountain of life for him and his low self-worth.

    This is something he could have never accomplished on his own. So my opinion is that it’s not “all about romance” in a cheesy cheap way. On the contrary, it’s all about a very complex and deep concept of salvation and life-enabling through love – which is really the only way for somebody like House.

    @madfashionista (#19): i do not, in any way, consider this relationship doomed. These two very complicated and screwed-up people will have difficulties adjusting to a life together, but i don’t expect this kind of union to go down in flames in the blink of an eye. For every reason that i just stated above, i hope that this can build up to be a long-term relationship – in regard to the characters’ psychology, i think my earlier explanation is clear.
    In regard to the dynamic of the show, i think that House and Cuddy as a couple equal an amasing resource of exploration for the characters, a great challenge for the writers to create the best couple in television history and a very creative way to refresh the show, while allowing House to be the best version of who he is.

  • Eileen

    Thanks, Barbara, for a great season of reviews! You always do such a fine job.
    Like Kerry above, I agree that the final few minutes of this season’s finale “made me forgive the show for the poor season this has been.”

  • madfashionista

    Kim in California, if they amputate his leg, the whole season will be one huge CGI nightmare! 🙂

  • madfashionista

    I’m also glad he made the clarification, and glad in the NYTimes interview the writers said it was in real time, not “screen time.” One of the things I’ve wondered about is how WILSON handles House being in a relationship. Maybe he’s been House’s fallback all of these years, but on the other hand, House has been relentlessly needy, which Wilson loves. Wilson might be in a relationship with Sam (which I’m guessing is doomed) but my guess is that he will have major adjustment problems with House and Cuddy getting together.

    On the one hand, I look forward to the (I hope) inevitable squabbles and the whole thing crashing down around House. On the other, I’m not sure I want to see House happy, clean and sober. I’m also guessing new love endorphins will cause his leg to hurt less, and if things go sour, it will start to hurt again, BIG-time.

    Barbara, thank you for this interview, and clearing up so many mysteries.

  • Kim in California

    Great interview. However, I am disappointed in this season (except for a handful of episodes) and in the finale’s last few minutes. Yes, I wanted House to have some happiness in the end and thought it was appropriate for him to be rewarded for all the work he has done this season, but basing happiness and your rewards in life on another person (Cuddy) is a naive view of what happiness is. I think it would have been better if he had received his reward some other way. I feel as if House MD is fast becoming a novella or another Gray’s. I enjoyed House and Wilson living together as comic relief and the new emotionally vulnerable House, but I hope that the writers get back to what made House so great in the beginning–the medical puzzles, the ethical questions and just enough personal drama to make the character interesting without making the show so melodramatic. I’d love to see the clinic come back and if they have to pair House with someone, bring back Mirna Sorvino…now there was some chemistry. We all knew that the writers were going to cave in to the Huddys, but I had hoped they would wait until House rode off into the sunset. However, Shore keeps reminding us that he doesn’t think House can stay in a relationship,that he will never be truly happy, so I don’t see House and Cuddy lasting too long. And despite what the writers said, I’m not sure House made the wrong decision about his leg–it’s just that the wrong decision was made for him by Stacy and Cuddy. It is very possible he might have lived through the cytokine storm without gauging out the muscle. However, if the writers think he made a mistake and is now acknowledging it, then House should have an amputation, it’s not too late. If he really believes it’s a mistake not to have an amputation, then that should be the first episode of next season. Something tells me that House and the writers still likes his leg, despite the pain.

  • Donna

    Great interview. Always love hearing the back story of an episode idea from the story’s inception through it’s evolution into script form and then it’s finished visual product on our television screens. I congratulate each of these talented gents on this magnificently written episode.

    Marykir and Barbara, I also had the same interpretation of RF’s vidlog. Glad he made the clarification.

  • Not bad. Would have liked to see a question about Thirteen. She’s obviously sick, but has held on so far. Unlike Kutner, her death would be expected.

  • SueElio

    Great interview! Thanks, Barbara. I also echo everyone’s sentiments that it’s great the final moments were what they were leading to over course of the season and not a last ditch effort at anything. It really was a great finale!

  • barbara barnett

    Thanks everyone for you kind words…Marykir, RF said that he could understand how it could have been misinterpreted. I saw the vidblog, and I thought as you did. You started no trouble, and thanks for pointing it out to me.

  • KHC22

    Barbara – you are my hero!! Thanks for a great interview

  • marykir

    Hmm… I guess my “listening for comprehension” skills need improvement. Sorry if I started any trouble by thinking RF said there was a new ending 🙁

  • laura

    Barbara, thanks for the interview and all your reviews in the past months!

    I agree with Susanne though. I never liked the idea of Huddy and been always a House/Wilson fan. For my taste there was enough of Huddy in Season 5. I would have preferred if they had ended the epi with House sitting alone on the bathroom floor contemplating taking the pills or not. I would be a lot less frustrated now and I can’t say that I am dying to see the first few epis of S7. Season 6 had some good epis, but a few rather boring ones aswell and I expected something fresh and surprising in the next season. But it looks like we just get left-overs again.

    On another note: I might be the only one out here, but I somehow hate to see Thirteen go. I would have preferred Taub to leave and take his wife with him. It really bores me that they keep going on about his marriage and his inclinations towards infidelity. Like Susanne said, HOUSE got a little soap operish and actually reminds me quite often of “Grey’s” nowadays.

  • Kerry

    Yay House and Cuddy are FINALLY together! I’m so pleased, couldn’t have faced another season of Luddy and Will-they-won’t-they angst. Seeing House in a relationship is a new direction for the show. Apart from references to Stacy and some passing flirtations with other women, we’ve never seen House loved up and I like the idea of it, however long it lasts :)This tiny scene made me forgive the show for the poor season this has been

  • Val S

    Thanks for the interview Barbara. Always a treat.

    I really enjoy your column and it (along with the great comments) makes my House experience more complete. I mentioned this in my other post, but I think if anyone can make a committed relationship work in primetime, it’s Team House.

    Thanks for the great season of reviews!

  • maya

    Very nice interview, Barbara. It’s so awesome to have someone who loves and understands the show doing this for the fans. Thanks!

    Looking forward to everything these talented writers have in store for us in season seven.

  • Bea

    Amazing! Thanks for this fantastic interview with theses brilliant writers. They created one of the best season finales in TV history

  • Susanne

    I don’t know about the episode.

    I liked it until I saw House/Cuddy get together, sure I know they wanted House to be happy but at the same time I feel that they have a narrow view of what happiness is. It just seemed all about romance. What would have been better was the scene showing House deciding for himself that he doesn’t want to go back on the pills on HIS OWN without cuddy. To learn the harsh lesson of life on his own, accpeting the notion that you can do everything right but still be let down by life or events or by people. I would have loved it if he just flushed the pills on his own without any “I love you” from Cuddy and just sat down and played the piano and accpeted the lesson for what it was. That would have been more true and more in tune with reality. Harsh life lessons and that would have signaled TRUE growth from House instead of this ending with him getting what he wants. Trying to be independant and open minded to other relationships with other people and just accepting life for what it was. That would have had more meaning for me personally. It doesn’t feel right.

    Personally what I loved about the show before it went a little unrealistic and soap operish for me was that it looked at the harsh lessons of life without trying to sugarcote it. There are a lot of meant to be relationships that never do happen or are lost very early. I just felt that this was a cop out to me. But other than that I loved the rest of it.

    Thanks for the review. I hope to see more House/wilson I couldn’t care less about Huddy coz I was never invested in it to begin with especially since they pushed it too hard in season 5 and season 6 with all the anvils coming down my head with how much House/cuddy love eachother. So shrugs i’m being honest here. I just hope I don’t hear another comparison of Huddy and Tracey and Hepburn otherwise I will really blow my fuse.

  • sdemar

    Great interview, Barbara. I echo Blacktop’s comment about being relieved that final scene wasn’t an add on. And I am thrilled that DS & KJ felt everyone deserved for the finale to end on a happy note. I know I was.

    BTW, great job with your reviews over the course of the season. They are always a delight to read.

  • blacktop

    What a superb interview with the writers of this terrific final episode. Thank you, Barbara, for delivering such a fine column today and for all your strong work this season.

    I was especially gratified to learn that the final scene of “Help Me” was not in fact “tacked on” as some in fandom had erroneously implied. In watching it, this scene felt to me to be an organic development of the themes elaborated in the episode up to then, as well as the natural culmination of the character growth for House that we have experienced this entire season. I am so glad that the writers have now confirmed this for us.

    Can’t wait to see what this talented crew have in store for us in season seven.

  • janine

    Great interview. I can’t wait to see season seven!!!

  • Christina

    Fantastic interview!!!! You asked many of the questions I wanted answered and I’m glad to see them open to the exploration of a relationship between House and Cuddy and ready for fresh new start in season 7. I hope they are realy giving the couple a chance, because let’s face it, like they said, they have earned it, especially House, after all the torture he has been through.
    I just hope they understand that having Cuddy admitting she loves him after all these years, after putting up with his addiction, after lying for him on the stand, after everything he has put her through and she has done for him, means that she accepts him as he is, an SOB… but a romantic one!! ha!

    Can’t wait to see what they come up to next year. Hopefully this new development will give the green light for the comeback of the sexual tension, the games and more funny moments that we soooooooooo missed this season. Thanks for the interview Barbara! 🙂

  • I want to thank everyone for contributing their questions for consideration. I tried to use as many as I could.