“Help Me,” the final episode of the sixth season of House, opens on a Gregory House we haven’t seen since last season’s finale. He is distraught and his despair has taken him deep into a very bad place.
The flashback shows us why.
It is eight hours after a crane collapse has immobilized the city of Trenton. During the course of those eight hours, we are shown a different side of the caustic misanthrope we thought we knew so well. This House might continue to profess that “humanity is overrated” but when he discovers Hannah, a woman whose leg is pinned under tons of rubble, his stance begins to soften. He does what is right, with his patient, his team, with Cuddy (whose words pain him more than the injuries he sustains), all of which leads up to the wrenching penultimate scene which opens the show (FOX has held back the episode’s final moments until the show airs on Monday night). “Help Me” is not an easy episode to watch. Much more is at stake here than the usual diagnostic conundrum.
House’s heroism in this story is epic but in no way out of character. To elaborate would not be fair. The reward is in the journey and you will be deeply moved by what you find at its end.
The much touted Canon 5D Mark II was used for filming: a camera compact enough to work remarkably well inside the cramped, dark constraints of the story. The power of this camera is such that the audience is not simply a bystander — we are thrust into these scenes: when House pulls himself through the rubble and debris inside the ruined building, it’s as if we’re crawling right alongside him. Like season five’s “House’s Head,” this episode has a grand cinematic quality to it. Such is the power of technology, solid acting, and masterful direction.
To say more would be giving away too much, so, as House might put it in his inimitable fashion,“Watch and learn.”
The season six finale of House airs Monday, May 17 on FOX.