House, M.D.’s fifth season wraps up with this Monday’s episode “Under My Skin” (written by Pamela Davis and Lawrence Kaplow) and the season finale on May 11 (“Both Sides Now,” written by Doris Egan). Over the past two episodes, and since Kutner’s (Kal Penn) suicide, House (Hugh Laurie) has been unable to sleep and has been having increasingly prominent visions of Amber Volakis (his former fellow and Wilson’s girlfriend, killed in last year’s season finale, played by Anne Dudek). But even finally getting a decent night’s sleep at the end of last week’s episode could not rid House of his hallucinations, and in the two finale episodes, House continues his downward spiral as the visions intensify and disrupt his work and his life.
House’s two anchors, Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) are there for him, as are his teams old and new; but as we know, House is so private and guarded, helping him will not be easy. Laurie, Edelstein, and Jennifer Morrison (Dr. Cameron) each give their take on the finale episodes and their characters in the studio-provided interview clips on the last page of this article. Click and enjoy (but not if you are a spoiler-phobe).
In addition, Edelstein took the time from her busy schedule to speak with television writers from print and electronic media to talk about Cuddy’s relationship with House and to tease us a bit about the end of the season.
Of course, first on everyone’s (okay, well, not everyone’s) mind (at least as far as House is concerned) is the highly anticipated hookup between Drs. House and Cuddy. Refusing to say whether the hookup is for real or a dream/fantasy/hallucination, she teased that we would all need to wait until the episode airs. She did, however, admit that she highly enjoyed shooting the scene with Hugh Laurie, wondering who wouldn’t enjoy working with her “sexy” co-star on such an… important scene. “It was great! I wouldn’t complain,” was her enthusiastic reply. “He’s sexy, so who could complain about kissing him?”
She told reporters that the director did five takes. “They wanted the cameras to capture a lot of different things,” she explained. “You’re not going to see me get naked, but it was a pretty hot scene.”
Commenting on the rumor generated by Michael Ausiello’s “blind item” in Entertainment Weekly that Cuddy might be pregnant (with twins) due to whatever might happen between her and House, Edelstein laughed that this was the first she had heard of it. She really doesn’t think viewers would want to see Cuddy walking around the halls of the hospital carrying twins. Although she thought it was a pretty amusing rumor.
The relationship between House and Cuddy has changed and grown over the seasons. Asked how much input she has had into how her character is portrayed on the show, Edelstein commented that at first, it was really primarily the writers. “Then you insert some of your own personality into your character and the writers write to that, rather than to only the original concept, so it’s a marriage of the two.”
Edelstein was able to give some nice insight into the relationship between House and Cuddy. As viewers, we’ve only be given their backstory in broad strokes: she’d heard of him in college (he was a legend at the University of Michigan); they’d had a one-night stand; she hired him when no one else would). Edelstein thinks that Cuddy probably got a bit obsessed with the legendary House when she was an undergrad and maybe audited a class she knew he was in (maybe as a “brush up class” to “check him out,” to know him better), she explained. "I relate to her taste in men,” explained Edelstein. “Intelligence and taste in men have little to do with each other — and the partner we choose for ourselves. For Cuddy, it’s House and always has been."
And, whatever happens between them in the two final episodes of the season, Edelstein doesn’t feel that House and Cuddy are simply a “passing comfort” for each other. “I don’t think it’s a passing thing. I think it’s been going on for a long, long time, whether or not they’ve acted out on it,” she noted. “ I don’t necessarily think it’s going to be a satisfying relationship. Cuddy has a complicated relationship with men. She likes the screwed up kind,” Edelstein laughed. She revealed that the impact of House and Cuddy’s hookup will be addressed in the finale, but she said no more, lest she spoil us too much.
The season finale also features the comedy legend Carl Reiner. Reiner developed and played Alan Brady in the original Dick van Dyke Show and has been the genius behind a generation’s worth of television and film comedy. Edelstein loved working with the 87-year-old Reiner. “He’s 87 years old and he’s showing up to work and he’s hilarious. Great to work with him and get that kind of experience. It’s something to talk about for the rest of my life.”
House is seen Monday nights on FOX at 8:00 p.m. (ET).