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TV Review: House, M.D. – A Look at “Help Me”

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The broken man sits on his bathroom floor: a mirror image of a year past. In pain, adrenaline rush gone, tormented by a happiness always beyond his grasp. And in his hand are two pills. A year away from Vicodin, he could take just two, and the pain in his leg and the pain in his heart would have faded to gray in a light narcotic haze. Just how long has House been sitting there, reflecting on what had transpired over eight hours?

As “Baggage” ends with the book, “Help Me” begins. What is the meaning of the book? Like the desk he restores to her in “Let Them Eat Cake” last season, the book is a sentimental gift, something deeply personal, quite unlike the cappuccino machine given to Cuddy a couple of weeks ago.

So why now? Why give it to her now? Is he resigned to Cuddy being with Lucas? There is no more “special occasion” for which he can hope? Or is it a last ditch effort to court her, something that is too late by far? Because in the end, the gesture is irrelevant. It isn’t the book that snaps Cuddy out of her Lucas fog, allowing her to look at House unfiltered and clear in the ironically filthy, dust-filled cavern of a crushed building.

What is it about House that makes it impossible for her to evict him from her mind? What does she see that had been obscured? Is it that he’s changed so much? He hasn’t. Is it that she had forgotten why she was in love with him in the first place?

“Help Me.” Help me what? A young woman with her life ahead of her cries out for help. House helps in the most cursory way he can. She is a cipher; a number; a nameless patient — just like all others that enter his sphere. But then again, Hannah doesn’t know that about House. She only knows that House is the only one she trusts. With subtle echoes back to season three’s “One Day One Room,” House answers that call. But this time his question is not “why me?”

Sucked into this tenuous relationship despite his best efforts not to connect with this patient who risks losing a leg or suffer what he did in “Three Stories.” Her muscle is dying, deprived of needed oxygen and when they finally lift the tons of concrete from her leg, she might suffer crush syndrome — just like what happened to House when the doctors removed the clot from his leg. All the poison rushed back into his system causing a heart attack.

House is right as the battle begins. They have time to save the leg if they can get her out in time. But as time goes on, a secondary structural collapse makes rescue much more of a shot in the dark. But House stands firm that cutting off Hannah’s leg is the wrong choice. Cuddy assumes his intransigence has to do with his anger over her engagement to Lucas, about which he has only just learned. But House’s attitude has little to do with Lucas and much to do with history — his and Cuddy’s.

“I’m the only one here who knows the value of a leg,” he insists when he’s double teamed by both Cuddy and the rescue team’s chief. He will not allow the amputation until every other possibility is exhausted — exactly what did not happen in his case.

But then there is the cutting cruelty of Cuddy’s words, reminding House of what keeping his leg has done for him. But her words have a purpose, intended or not, and they propel the rest of the story. They are a slap across the face, and in the face of a cold, hard truth told aloud, unvarnished, Cuddy, like House has so many times, provokes a response. (And no, I’m not saying she does it intentionally).

And in this dark hole of a place where his patient Hannah is trapped, House musters probably every bit of bravery he has, and confronts himself. In a way, it is his dark night of the soul. Telling Hannah, haltingly and with great emotion, about his leg, he gently persuades her to allow him to amputate. It is an admission made before Cuddy, with whom he lies shoulder to shoulder. It is the answer to Dr. Nolan’s question in “Baggage”  — what did you screw up? And the answer is not about a patient, not about Cuddy, not about Wilson. In House’s mind, he screwed up long ago and lying in a hospital bed. A decision made ages ago changed him profoundly, eating away at him for years, corrosive and more poisonous than anything else might have been. For Cuddy, to hear it is transformative; for House to say it, we want to believe that it is cathartic: a pivot point in House’s life, but it is not to be.

How difficult must it have been for House to perform the emergency surgery himself after all he’s gone through? The House we as viewers are sometimes privileged to see, but who keeps himself so completely under wraps that no one else does? He’s serious and single-minded. He explains to Hannah step by step what he’s going to do and does so with great skill and compassion. This isn’t the genius doctor, this is simply House, the great doctor.

After he finishes, House and Cuddy exchange long looks, the hurt still deep in his eyes as he follows Hannah and her husband into the ambulance. With Hannah now in the hand of the EMTs, House sits and reflects on everything that had just happened: from Hannah to Cuddy’s news, and likely to the pain creeping quickly back into his leg as the endorphins and adrenaline rush begin to wear off.

And then Hannah dies — a fat embolism and one of the things House warned about when arguing against amputation. Had he not done the amputation, it would not have happened. House’s anguish at the loss of his patient is stunning, unchecked and, significantly, in front of Foreman.

“This is not your fault,” Foreman tries to reassure his distraught boss. But House is inconsolable.

He has pushed a procedure on a patient to “do the expected thing” and she has died as a result. House should not reasonably blame himself, yet he does. He does “all the right things,” yet Hannah dies. “How is that supposed to make me feel any better?” House rails back at Foreman’s attempt to reason with him.

Something we know about House, but of which he’s in perpetual denial: he is often harder on himself than anyone else can be. On top of the physical pain he must be in, on top of the emotions he must be feeling after Cuddy tells him about her engagement to Lucas, the emotional nakedness he must feel for having internalized Cuddy’s words to — believing them with all his heart — on top of all that, he must feel that he’s betrayed himself and betrayed his patient. A million “what if’s” must be churning in his head as he makes his way through the darkness of his apartment and looks into his own face in the bathroom mirror. But it’s not only his face he sees, but Hannah’s.In her face, House sees only accusation (imagined), for that’s what he sees in his own eyes: he has betrayed a fundamental trust in both himself and Hannah. And he is devastated.

No longer able to look himself in the face, he smashes the mirror and views behind it a sort of salvation: Vicodin awaits. Two bottles, hidden for God knows how long, waiting and ready to make it all go away: the pain and suffering. But there’s a cost.

House has come far in a year; this from the man who insists that people don’t change. And where a year ago after his world came crumbling down around him, he anesthetized himself with Vicodin, now he has to think twice. I have said several times this season that one of the things keeping House from Vicodin was his fear of the returning hallucinations; it’s greater than his physical pain — greater than his fear of pain. It has been, for him, the most effective deterrent. But as he sits there on the floor of his bathroom, an eerie mirror image of his “Under My Skin” delusion, he has a choice.

“You have nothing,” Cuddy tells him. They’ve all moved on: Wilson, Cuddy, even Lucas. Is he thinking “what’s the point?” But he agonizes over it. Hugh Laurie is simply amazing in conveying every emotion and every thought going on in House’s mind and heart.

And then she’s simply there. A vision in pink scrubs. Full circle. Is she a dream? A fantasy? A hallucination? It is clear that House isn’t sure she’s really there. He’s lost a lot of blood; he’s beyond exhausted, in terrible pain, and has been through a physical and emotional minefield. And it’s Cuddy to the rescue? Is it shell shock? It’s improbable as Hell; yet it’s not.

What is going through Cuddy’s mind in the hours after her last words to House? She is surprised to see him come back into the hole, certain that he’s going to sabotage any attempt she makes to persuade Hannah. She is ready to pounce, ready for the imminent confrontation between them.

“Hannah,” he begins softly, “we have to amputate.” But he had earlier done his job too well. She refuses. House knows what he has to do, and whether he completely believes it himself — he tells her about the leg. There is no anger, no bitterness in his telling except as directed towards himself; it’s not the doctors’ fault, not Stacy’s fault, not Cuddy’s fault. This is his own burden, and one he has carried with him for many years. Cuddy hear this, sees this, and knows that — as she listens to Hannah’s screams and the drone of the electric saw — although this is impossibly difficult for House to do, it is courageous and more fearless than crawling into a deep hole. She remembers with absolute clarity why she cares about this man. And that she loves him.

But not even we are certain that this hopeful ending to season six is actually real, because nothing on House is ever quite as it seems. Which is why I’m interviewing the writers this afternoon. So bring on your finale questions, folks.

Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein are both great. But I cannot say enough about Laurie’s performance. He hit every note (doesn’t he always?) with perfection. Amazing to watch.

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About Barbara Barnett

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

    I’ve never commented before. But let me just thank you for all your great reviews. It’s a pleasure every week. Or let’s say whenever Fox is kind enough to give us another episode. ;-)

    Reading your reviews is like watching the episode again from a complete different point of view.
    Thanks again. I’m looking forward to the next season and more reviews.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barmett

    Denise–thank you so much and I hope this is the first of many times over the summer!

  • madfashionista

    Thank you, Barbara. This is a wonderful review, even though I feel the ending was forced and unrealistic. Russell Friend had said that the original ending was darker, and that certainly made sense on all levels. To have Cuddy show up like a savior (for real this time) after the incredibly cruel things she said felt wrong. I wanted them to get together, but not like this.

    Those five minutes aside, this was a stunning finale.

  • Amanda

    Barbara–The week is not complete, the episode is not over, until I read your reviews. Your interpretations are so often very close to mine, that you stretch me to new thoughts.

    I know the writers could be gaming us, but I so hope not. It seems sudden, Cuddy’s abrupt capitulation to how she feels, but that’s because we’re seeing it from out here. She was trying to make something true by doing it–moving on, new relationship, etc. She tried very hard; but even so, House’s radar kept spotting things that weren’t ringing true. She did it very well, so the discongruities were dismissable as wishful thinking–especially with Wilson there saying “it’s wishful thinking”–but I think House had spotted something real, and Cuddy’s been soul-searching, and this was her decision point. It’s not sudden, from inside her perspective.

    Or that’s the way I hope it is. And it could be that way and still provide good fodder for the writers. They’ve already taken House through the wringer six ways from Sunday–rather than a new trip through, why not throw something at him that he has never been able to handle? Why not let him address the challenge of letting himself be happy? He’s never had that challenge or choice, and in many ways it’s harder than the familiar bed of misery.

    Oh, I hope they let this be real. It feels right to be real; it feels like manipulation for it to be yet another illusion. Learning to deal with misery has been House’s journey so far; maybe we can explore how he learns to deal with *not* being miserable. Totally new game–like getting your vision back, when the only way you know how to deal with the world is blind. Would you walk around with your eyes closed because it was known and easy, or would you open them and learn the brave new world?

    Let it be real.

    ~Amanda

  • Andreina China

    Thank you for your intelligent reviews.
    On other blogs people are saying that it doesn’t ring true that Cuddy would say she loves House.
    You say, “She remembers with absolute clarity why she cares about this man. And that she loves him.”
    Well as a fan of this show I have always seen the good man hidden behind the sacrastic facade. ( it helps that Hugh Laurie’s acting perfectly reveals the humanity of House.)
    Cuddy has always valued him but was afraid of the drama if they got together. Now she realizes she needs such a passionate, heroic man in her life. I am glad that the writers have the courage to explore this unique relationship.
    House has not jumped the shark.
    It continues to be a program that challenges itself and ventures boldy where no tv show has gone before.
    Tell the writers Barbara that we are so grateful that the producers, writers, stars and crew care so much to bring the public such a creative,multilayered, touching show.

  • Danielle

    Barbara, thank you for this wonderful review. I loved the finale and I am more than happy that after six seasons there is still so much brilliance and passion in this show.
    I loved every bit of House we saw, but most of all his bravery, honesty and humanity. We all know it is there, but it is rare that we get to see it this openly. I love how you explained Cuddy’s actions, especially in the light of many comments I’ve read which found them unbelievable. I didn’t and you explained better than I could why.
    Finally, I loved the many many many callbacks in this episode and I will happily watch it again and again till I have found them all. :-)
    It’s great that you are going to do another interview and if you can please just tell them that there are people out there who still love the character of House to pieces and are absolutely grateful for the show they are giving us.

    P.S. I just saw Mr. Friend’s short statement from the House App – did they change the ending?? Or was it just the big masterplan of keeping it a secret at all costs?

  • Tami

    Me last night: on my sofa, gripping the cushions, screaming, teary-eyed. I’m not gonna pick apart the rest of the ep because I know there are flaws; I just want to watch that final scene over and over and over again. Amazing. Perfect little moment of TV.

  • J.

    The key moment for me in those last five minutes was when House tried to get up, failed, and asked with outstretched hand for Cuddy’s help. Even if it was just practical, it is also, I think, a perfect metaphor for their relationship, both where it’s been and where it’s headed. Cuddy has always been there to help him, but he hasn’t always been willing to ask. It’s a testament to how far he has come.

    I don’t think such a hopeful ending is out of place, or undeserved. When House lamented that with Hannah he’d done everything right and it didn’t matter, it equally applied to his journey over the season. He went through rehab, has been struggling to be a better person, partly for himself and partly for Cuddy, but still she picked Lucas. Earlier in the episode, he told Hannah that the jury was still out on whether good deeds come around. The man has been battered the entire series — he’s allowed a little light. Besides, I think we all know his and Cuddy’s relationship isn’t going to be easy.

    Overall, a solid finale. I didn’t care about subplot B (the crane operator) or C (13) — in fact, I kept forgetting about them — but I was fully engrossed with the happenings at the crash site. I also want to make special note of the score — or the lack of it, in unconventional but appropriate places. Silence kept things intimate.

  • Dominique

    I felt very depressed when I watched the finale, and it made me happier than ever, but, as always when depressed, as soon as there was something that could be perceived negatively it overruled everything.

    What I have haunting my mind is that there will be people feeling betrayed after this. And that they’ll abandon the show… and if that happens in high enough quantities, they won’t be able to pay Hugh Laurie etc, etc, etc…

  • Katie

    I liked the episode aside from the ending which was horribly rushed and so out of character.

    I’m disappointed in how the writers handled Thirteen’s departure. They were so engrossed in House and Cuddy that they didn’t even give any explanation why Thirteen (who was a series regular!) was leaving.

    Hugh Laurie was amazing but he always is.

  • Lelinor09

    Great review, Barbara! I have to admit I was totally blown away by this episode and the last few minutes was a total shock! It was a dream ending and something I never thought I would see (not while DS is calling the shots anyway but like you said they might have something up their sleeves -alhough I sincerely hope not!) It would have been so easy for them to just go with the cliffhanger of having us fret and wonder the whole summer about whether he was back on vicodin, and leaving Cuddy still unresolved. I thought it was courageous and so moving to see the season ending with House coming full circle like this – finally giving in to his emotions and being the man we all knew he could be. It was brilliantly played by Hugh Laurie – I was more impressed with his performance in this episode than in Broken. And also Lisa Edelstein was wonderful. I had no problem believing that Cuddy would finally see the light and admit her feelings for House. I don’t know how they do it, but the chemistry between these two actors is just amazing – the end left me completely breathless! Simply wonderful to watch.

  • Jeff Makos

    I loved the episode, and unlike many fan reactions to it, I thought it was classic House.
    All the best House episodes successfully juggle three plots: a major medical mystery (featuring House’s sarcasm), a sometimes-related medical problem in the clinic or a personal problem with one of his staff (both featuring House’s sarcasm) and House’s interaction with Wilson & Cuddy (featuring House’s sarcasm). Why does a House-Cuddy relationship have to change any of that?
    House is still going to be hard on his team; he’s still going to be giving grief to his often clueless clinic patients; and he’s still going to be verbally sparring with Wilson & Cuddy.
    I mean, House lived with Stacy for years and they got along. Why not with Cuddy? It doesn’t have to be sickly sweet–House can take Rachel to monster truck shows!

  • sophie

    What a powerful episode. I was riveted the entire time and felt his emotions. I want to make clear that I’m not a shipper before I add the following. I do feel the ending was a bit contrived and fairy-tale, although in context of the season it does fit.

    They could have done a better job of the lead-in to it over the past few episodes and made us aware it was truly about Cuddy and that she was having doubts. There was one episode where she seemed distracted and distant with Wilson and advised him to go for it with Sam and that was it. Because the show is from House’s POV and all we saw from Cuddy was this sudden engagement and outburst against House, we are too suddenly thrown for a loop, just for the sake of the surprise ending of the finale. The Cuddy/Lucas engagement could have been part of his angst in “Baggage”, at least.

    One concern I have is this: it’s been a wonderful season for the House and Wilson friendship. It did show us Wilson’s tendency to rush into things for his desire for love and marriage and somewhat push House to the side without thinking; however, it did feel like a plot device to suddenly make room for the Cuddy situation without sufficient development. (And I’m NOT suggesting that Wilson doesn’t deserve his own life without House living there, just that it was very rushed).

    My questions for the writers: Will there still be a lot of the Wilson/House friendship next year, especially with Doris Egan writing only one script? That was definitely a highlight of this season.

    Are they planning to just ‘reset’ everything back after a few episodes like they tend to do after the end of every season? I hope not. Katie Jacobs does seem to suggest otherwise, but how are they going to avoid the ‘Moonlighting’ or Ross and Rachel traps?

  • Crabbyman

    madfashionista – Care to share the alternate you know of? I can’t find it anywhere.

    I would appreciate it.

  • Katie

    I agree with Sophie, and I really hope House/Wilson won’t be forgotten next season, even though it sadly seems like it since Doris Egan is leaving the show.

  • lagoudera

    I am glad that House was given a moment of happiness with the girl of his dreams in his arms. Loved the music at the end. While some people thought it was soapy (ah, but House loves soaps), I thought it sounded like something from a period drama. House might as well have been Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightly. I hope that House, the drama, just made history rewriting the rules for successful television, and that bringing together the two leads will not prove disastrous.
    Thank you Barbara for giving us this forum and for so faithfully enriching our experience of House every week. Now on to a long summer…

  • Katie

    Crabbyman,

    The alternate Madfashionista is talking about is from the interview with last night’s episode writers which can be found on the House app for iPhone. I haven’t seen it myself, but supposedly the ending wasn’t Huddy focused at all.

  • rmword

    We are all forgetting the fact that Hadley is asking for a leave of absence. Her battle with Huntington’s Disease is messing with her head. She could easily be using drugs too. I have a friend who has seen his father pass due to this crippling and depressing disease. His reaction to knowing that he too may be doomed to such pain was so sadly self destructive. Hadley seems poised to be the new House. That is why she and House connect on a similar thought process. Season 7 maybe less about Houses struggle and more about 13. A docter who thinks like House, feels doomed like house, but with reasons far more serious than house.

    As much as this episode was about House, it is more about the Human Condition. How inescapable emotion is, for our highly evolved brain gives us such intense emotion and that it affects everything we do. Whether it is a leg, love, or a crippling disease, emotion will always distort.

  • Orange450

    Barbara, thank you for your wonderful review, as always.

    I have nothing to add to all the descriptions of the episode as powerful, fundamental and riveting. Edge-of-your-seat-afraid-to-breathe-or-you’ll-miss-an-inflection television. The kind of television that will go down in the annals of the art form as a classic. (Like most House season finales.)

    I haven’t ready any other reviews abt this episode yet, so I have no idea if House himself believes what he so poignantly told Hannah about his leg and what it did to him. I truly wonder if we’ll ever know. Either it was a breakthrough truth or it was a heroic lie. And it doesn’t matter at all. But when – as you put it so well – Cuddy saw with absolute clarity how she feels about House, I had to think about what precipitated her admission? Does she love him because he could finally make the admission that has blocked him all these years? Or does she love him because he is the rare human being who is able to selflessly sacrifice every dearly held principle of identity and self-perception when a patient’s life is at stake. Either way, I think these are two solid reasons for one person to admit love to another.

    One thing I have to add. In the interest of justice, I dearly hope that somehow, Stacy also gets to hear what House admitted to Hannah. She suffered deeply as a result of her actions, and I believe that House put her into an intolerable position at the time. If indeed House has come to terms with his leg, she also deserves to know.

    p.s. Cuddy had the guts to say to House what I’ve been wanting to say to him for years. But I’ve never been able to convince any of the writers to write me in. More’s the pity!

  • Sarah H

    The last time I felt such hope and peace from an ending of any TV show/movie, it was Shawshank Redemption. I love that, for at least a moment, House has found his hope as well as someone who accepts him and all his screwed-upedness. There are no words for Hugh’s performance, and the crush victim was excellent. A fantastic ending to the season.

  • Arisprite

    Hi! I’m a new poster, but long time follower of your wonderful blog (in the process of delurking from the interent in general)
    I just wanted to say that I was completely blown away by this episode, and Baggage before it. This is why I watch House; the great scope of emotions I experience along with the characters, and expecially with the marvelous Hugh Laurie.
    In Help Me, I literally was in agony emotionally; wincing while Cuddy railed into House, shaking during House’s quiet convincing speech, shuddering during the amputation scene, both for the physical pain of Hannah, and for House’s anguish. Then the ending. There is alot of controversy regarding the final few minutes, but I for one thought they were right. House has gone through so much, and worked so hard, and on the brink of giving up, is FINALLY rewarded. I want it to be real, for it to work. And, even though I am generally a non-shipper, this is what House so dearly wants. I am looking forward to watching them explore this new territory.
    Regarding the subplots, I cannot for the life of me remember if the crane operator got diagnosed, and better? Also, it says something for Olivia Wilde’s redeeming acting the last half of this season, that I actually concerned for her, facing symptoms of her illness, I’m assumeing.
    Well, thanks for letting me get my thoughts out on this episode. My friends all just shake their heads when i go on like this :)
    Also, I was very sad to only see Wilson in one scene, though I understand why it was needed. Still missed him…
    Ari

  • http://leakey-lover.livejournal.com/ leakeylover

    Someone told me House showered at the hospital, but I think she was just projecting.

    Cool review. :}}

  • Janine

    @Dominique
    I know exactly what you mean, although more people seem to be happy than not. It does bother me that people think having House and Cuddy in a relationship will ruin the show. House and Stacey didn’t and as long as its handled well it will work.
    @Katie
    In an interview a few weeks back, Jacobs said Thriteens departure was supposed to be left as a cliffhanger (although come september thats not the thing everyone will be waiting to see) and we will learn more about the story next season. So no, they didn’t just write her out without a reson, in fact I don’t even think Oliva Wilde is leaving the show. Barbara, perhaps you could get more answers on this situation?
    @Spohie
    I don’t think the ending was contrived just for the plot shock value. As you said the show is from House’s point of view. He did not know Cuddy had been agonizing over this and had doubts (which we as the audience can now infer). The shock was asbig to him as to us, and the show has used that strategy before. I wonder why the writers changed the final scene? I think its probably because so many people were threatening to leave the show if House wound up miserable and back where he started.Sure some people may be mad about “Huddy” but more would be mad if this season hadn’t lead to anything. Barbara, maybe you could get some more information on the changed scene too???!
    @J
    great interpritation of the hand thing.
    I posted a lot of my thoughts on the preview thread so I won’t repeat myself except to say this… For those of you worrying about it not being real DONT!! Katie Jacobs talked to Ausiello and promised that everything we seen is real and that the relationship will be explored (i posted the link in the other thread for anyone who is interested)
    @Barbara
    Great Review, although I think it is hard to put into words the emotions felt by viewers in this episode. I have never been so sad and so happy within the same hour long span. In addition to the questions I asked above, I would absolutely love if you could perhaps get some scoop on anything the writers have planned relationship wise. I know that thisis going to be a turbulent ride, but will there be moments of happiness (as much as I don’t want House as a family man ,I’d love to seem some interactions between him and Rachel. Hes always been surprisingly good with children).

  • Janine

    Sorry for the double post but looks like we just got our answer to the Thirteen thing.
    They are temporarily writing Thirteen off in order to allow her to film a movie. They say that the storyline behind the characters leave of absence will be revealed next season.

  • Anna

    I disagree about having more of a build up to the House/Cuddy revelation at the end. The reason it was so incredibly shocking and poignant is that there wasn’t the overdone fan fare, the shoving down our throats (and this from a massive House/Cuddy “shipper”) in the weeks preceeding the finale of their will they/won’t they relationship that we got in series 5. The best relationships just seem to fit without needing a justification in the form of a contrived build up. However, I don’t understand how it would be possible for House and Cuddy getting together to ever come out of nowhere with their history.

    I loved the series 5/6 finale parallel of the bathroom floor, the pills in hand and the apperance of legs (Amber to signal madness/corruption and Cuddy to signal sanity/redemption).

    Also, that they were both so brutally honest only when there were no other words left. I think the simplistic dialogue worked wonderfully, I know some people found it cliche but it was beautiful in its unembellished truth.

  • Sheryl

    I really enjoyed this episode; I was fearing the worst, and got the best.

    I love the parallels between “Help Me” and last season’s fantasy with Cuddy, “Under My Skin.” In House’s fantasy, his kiss with Cuddy was passionate; here, he’s tentative and quiet–and I just love the final image of House reaching for Cuddy’s hand. Quite the romantic, indeed. It’s sweet and brings home what he’s been searching for this season–emotional and physical connection. It also parallels the emotional handholding we saw earlier with Hannah.

    I think this plot development bodes well for season 7, too. Having a more happy House will lead, likely, to clinic hours, dear old pranks, and much more fun (not that this season hasn’t be–the writers find great ways of balancing hilarity with gravity). I welcome that. It’s been a tough year for Greg, and I for one am glad he’s been given a break, no matter how long it lasts . . .

  • SueElio

    Barbara – Fantastic review, as always. Thank you for getting it up so quick and giving us a place to voice our opinions.

    Truthfully, I have never been so affected by TV. Never have I found such layers of meaning and intent in 42 minutes of screen time. Never have I felt so invested. However, after last night’s episode, I can’t help but feel incredibly moved and amazed at this summation of an entire season’s worth of anguish. Truly amazed.

    Last things first: I know many have felt the end didn’t ring true, but after my third time watching it late late late last night (no comment on the insanity that that is), I must say, it was brilliant! It wasn’t forced but rather six years in the making. It wasn’t out of character, it was simply furthering of the characters. All this, of course, being my own opinion. It was a mirror image of season 4, save for this time it was reality (provide they don’t toy with us again – I can’t take it). He has to save himself. This isn’t all solved – their relationship – and it’s not all over. This is just the beginning…

    Sorry, this is wildly incoherent, but I look forward to digesting it further.

    Barbara – Thanks again!!

  • Delia_Beatrice

    Barbara, wonderful review on an episode that made me feel like justice, harmony and beauty have conquered the world…

    In the preview thread, i have debated with a number of fellow fans the possibility of the final scene being a symetrical, circle-closing scene to the ones in “Under My Skin” and “Both Sides Now”. I have to say, what they actually did is very, very close to my personal ideal version of that scene, an ending so round, so perfect and so sunny, that i barely dared dream of it…

    To sum it up, my heart leaps with joy at the thought of this beautiful man finally (and for the first time since we’ve been witnessing his life…) getting his just reward. I have said it many times here, House’s journey this year has been under the sign of stoicism, strength, courage, torment and effort. To witness him getting rightful payback (just like he talked about with the patient, expressing his awareness in choosing this precise path) is a gift that i cherish with all my heart.

    The fact that his reward consists of what he most wanted (Cuddy’s love and a relationship with her) feels very natural to me. During season 6, we had a good view on House’s feelings for Cuddy, but we were less aware of Cuddy’s feelings for him. It did appear like she moved on, but there were 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. She spent the last year in a state of terrible confusion and distress, which was visible in her looks and her behaviiour. I believe it was intentional that Miss Edelstein’s hair, makeup, clothes and general appearance were gloomier, darker, more tired, older this whole season, and that her general behaviour seemed to lack her usual witty sense of humor, her flirtatious, teasing ways, her playful spirit, her sexual energy and her deep emotions.

    I do not think that her words to him in the fighting scene were cruel. House himself, while very hurt by them, did not consider them cruel. I fully agree with Anna (#25) about it. I think that Cuddy meant more to get it all out of her system than to hurt House. It was the moment of the never-before-told ugly truth: everything about him that has hurt her over the years.

    One point that i view as important: she spent a whole year tormented by her incapability to not love House – which raises a number of difficult problems for her, number one, in my opinion – her role as a mother.
    The fact that it was an allusion to her motherhood that made her say “screw you” (just like in “Under My Skin”) is a clear sign that her outburst carried some of last year’s never expressed pain, together with her constant worry that her feelings for House are incompatible with her role as a mother. (Indeed, House’s place in Rachel’s life is an issue to be worked upon hard during their relationship as a couple).

    On the final scene, what i was overwhlemed about was the fact that i recognized my previously expressed theory of unconditional love being given a central place. To sum it up, i believe that House’s childhood traumas and identity issues left him with an endless need for unconditional love – the type of love he should have been given by his parents, but was not. The type of love that validates a person’s very existence, the type of love that gives a person a full access passport to life and the permission to be happy.

    House spent his life looking for that kind of love – pushing boudaries just like a child, presenting himself in a fully disclosed, unflattering manner all the time, testing his friends’ loyalty and affection to the limit. Looking for somebody who would love him no matter what, somebody who would know the worst things about him and love him still. In adult relationships, this is almost never possible. Adult relationships function on a contractual basis (the transactional analysis concepts).

    He has reached a sort of balance with Wilson – they have a hybrid relationship, unconditional love in the limits of a mutual contract – in “Baggage”, House admitted that he knows the limit that he must never trespass with Wilson, and he has agreed to respect it – which means that he is certain enough of Wilson’s loyalty and affection, that he does not feel the need to test him anylonger.

    The final scene of “Help Me” gave him that with Cuddy too – and perhaps even more than that. Last year, House wished with all his heart that Cuddy would save him unconditionally. That after the very cruel thing he said to her about her daughter, she would still be there for him at his lowest, still love him, still heal him, still save him. It was not possible. He had to take the hard way, on his own road of pain, effort, sacrifice, remorse and loss. And at the end of that road, we saw that still, he could not save himself. House is not a person that can function in perfect balance, finding the meaning of life and the reason that enables his existence in himself. He is reckless with his own safety, he often proved he does not care if he lives or dies. He needs somebody who signs off his passport to life – somebody who sees him for who he is and acknowledges that he deserves to live and to be happy.

    In the final scene, Cuddy was exhausted. She had made a very taugh decision. She blew away her own passport to safety and comfort and she chose him. How significant it is that this happened after her relationship with Lucas reached the second most advanced stage! She has done everything, but really marry the guy – and all, half-hearted (which was obvious in all Cuddy-Lucas scenes). She fought so hard for her own illusion of normality, but she had the courage to cut deep into her own illusions and really stare herself in the face and in the heart. And she took the risk – she bet all on House.

    Oh, what a fountain of life that is to him! The woman he loved for so long, who knows him so well, whom he has hurt so many times and whim he had nearly lost, loving him enough to take a blind leap like that! What an infusion of self-worth, what a meaning to his life he has been awarded!

    “You think i can fix myself?”
    “I don’t know” – no contract here, no strings attached, no clauses of dissolution. And BECAUSE there is no contract, he will now be free to try to be the best he can be. He has nothing to test, nothing to prove, nothing to try, nothing to push. Her love is complete, unconditional. And just like a child who is certain of his parents’ unconditional love, House can now really, really try to be the best self he can be – and the happiest.

    “I am the most screwed up person in the world”
    “I know” – unconditional love in the purest, strongest form. Unconditional love that heals and saves, unconditional love that brings life even into the most wounded of persons.

    Last thing: that bathroom was the scene of his Christmas morning smile in “Both Sides Now”. How delightful that, during that very delicate, emotionally loaded, incredible scene, they worked their way towards that same smile.

  • blacktop

    I loved this excellent episode and your always-powerful review, Barbara.

    The brilliance of the final scene lay in its simplicity and its integrity. Of key importance was the transformation of the two central characters. House was at last acknowledging in front of another person whom he loves that he is seriously screwed up and wanted to change. Cuddy was at last acknowledging in front of someone else that she loves House. And most importantly of all, she will no longer take on the role of savior in his life.

    I think that by asking Cuddy sardonically are you here to leap across the floor to grab the pills from my hand, House was directly addressing the core question of whether they will continue to operate with her as his savior. She declined to take on that role, which is a huge change for them both. She precisely did not come to his rescue at all, but came to confess her own inability to fight against her heart’s desire any longer. Just as House did at the end of “The Choice,” Cuddy laid bare her heart and left it up to him to accept or reject her.

    House was at his most vulnerable but hopeful when he asked her, do you think I can fix myself? Since day one of this show, House has resisted the impulses of everyone (Wilson, Cuddy, Cameron, Foreman) to fix him. Now at last he acknowledges out loud that he has to try to fix himself. Cuddy’s answer was supremely important. She said she didn’t know if he could do it. No false bravura or optimism, just honesty and realistic support.

    House too was utterly honest for once when he said that he was the most screwed up person in the world. These are two people who are trying at last to be truthful in facing what life and love with an addict will be. Again, what a huge change for them going forward.

    The whole point of the exquisite final scene is that nothing has been resolved at all, except that they have decided to take a step forward together and see where their relationship can go.

    I don’t think that David Shore is doing anything to satiate the Huddies or please them. (If he wanted to do that, he would have made Lucas die a miserable death six months ago.) I think that DS is telling the (complex, uncomfortable, hard-to-stomach) story he wants to explore in precisely the way he wants to do it. I say bravo to him. And I think we have a long way to go in exploring House, since to-date we have never seen him inside a romantic relationship. I am excited for the next part of this journey.

    I know that some have speculated about whether or not the final scene was “tacked on” at the last moment.

    But my feeling is that so much of that final scene were direct call backs, either in gesture or words, to previous episodes of the show that this could not possibly have been an after thought. For example, the location in the bathroom was directly related to “Under My Skin.” The reference to Cuddy leaping across to take the pills was a direct reference to what she did in House’s hallucination in UMS. So many parallels: The close-up shots of the Vicodin bottle in House’s hand, long look in the mirror (this time in anguish, in BSN in ecstasy), the explicit questioning of the reality of the kiss.

    I think all this points to the final scene being very closely planned out as a capstone to the season and a direct and carefully scripted response to the traumatic season five finale. The idea of House coming round full circle does not feel like a last minute addition to me. I think that like past season finales, this one is designed to set up the major dramatic threads for next season. I suppose it is possible that Shore and Co. did not think of what they wanted to do in season 7 until after they had completed major shooting for the season 6 finale, but that doesn’t feel like their m.o. to me.

    I do believe that the final scene was shot on a closed set after the rest of the episode was filmed with a skeletal crew and excluding the rest of the cast so that the word would not get out and the surprise would be maintained.

    As I said, I could certainly be wrong, but then why would TPTB make such a dramatic change in such hasty fashion at the last minute, one which seriously changes the entire direction of the series in a few brief moments?

    What a marvelous way to end a difficult season and set us up for untold excitements to come. I am already eager for season 7 to begin.

  • KHC22

    Hi,
    Barbara – what a great review! Although I haven’t posted much (at all?) this season have been continuing to read, and agree with what many posters have said about not having finished watching until I’ve read your review.

    I loved this episode, particularly the scene between House and Foreman, although I have to admit I wondered why it wasn’t Chase who led the surgery team and had that conversation, with Chase being the surgeon of the team.

    @J – I also loved that moment when House couldn’t get up and asked for help. For me it showed how far he’s come, when compared to him leaving his cane behind when he went to knock on her door back in season 5 (after treating the man who couldn’t leave the house); he’s gone from hiding any element of his disability to asking for help with it, a big step!

    And I was with everyone else who wasn’t sure if it was real or not; those House writers have got us all paranoid!!

    And as for 13, I’ve found her so much better this season than the last two, a lot more engaging now that they’ve taken the air of mystery away from her and established her character. I hope that Olivia Wilde is back in the show soon, as she makes a great part of the team.

    Thanks very much for the reviews Barbara; such an integral part of so many people’s House weeks!

    KHC

  • Celia

    Good to see your sharp-eyed review up again Barbara.
    I think my face may have set in a permanent smile today. How great to see a positive end to such an emotional Season. How great to see the internal struggles of House finally rewarded. How great to see the tentative promise of two mature (if damaged)adults exploring an intimate relationship on TV. If anyone dares to mention ‘jumping -the-shark’to me, I’m just going to hit back with ‘Hill Street Blues’ (or bite me). Why has love, sex, anger, remorse, caring suddenly become the purview of only the teen set ? I was so happy to see House bask in Cuddy’s affection. I’m not expecting unending sunshine, lollipops and roses for these two. But supportive, reciprocate love does exist. Is why most of us bother to get out of bed in the morning. As I’ve said else where, one thing I’ve learned from my own trails this past year is that love is tough, cynicism is easy. I think they’ve taken the show to a whole new, brave level. HL & LE are this TV age Tracey & Hepburn. bravo.

  • andree

    Barbara, you’ve done a wonderful assessment of the finale (as is your usual high quality work) however, I have to confess to a small amount of disappointment in that assessment. I would have hoped to hear your analysis of that finale scene between House and Cuddy in his bathroom as she appears as exhausted and emotionally drained as he is.

    I believe that as good as Hugh Laurie has been (and believe me there is none better), Lisa Edelstein did a magnificent job responding to him. Her ability to convey every subtle nuance is as solid as Hugh Laurie’s, he’s just given the meatier role (as he should, after all he is the Lead character). I hope you will address the finale scene with your usual eagle eye for those of us left overwhelmed with happiness to see the payoff of House’s potential for a happiness with the woman he loves.

    Lastly, I am somewhat concerned that as good as the show House MD is, it has consistently lacked supporting its lead actress for overdue acting honors the past several years. Despite the diminished screen time this season, Edelstein managed to deliver enormously. Why she hasn’t been nominated despite helping to carry the world’s most watched television show and deliver an integral and significant portion of viewers and fans, is beyond me.

    I hope to see some rallying for Lisa Edelstein to be nominated for the Emmy’s best actress in a drama. She’s been overlooked too long in the large shadow of Hugh Laurie. Lets remember how big her role is despite the anemic scenes she’s had this year in all but a couple of episodes.

    Not to end on a negative note, I’m was stunned, happily shocked and impressed how the finale turned out and am beyond excited to see how the writers will handle Huddy in S.7 and all the new and complicated opportunities it presents to reveal the characters more deeply. David Shore done good…this time ; )

    And, if I can impose on you, Barbara, please confirm this finale was real from TPTB. If this is yet another hallucination or imaginary situation I’ll be too disappointed to trust the show ever again. Would love to know the finale’s final scene is not a trick, again. We’ve gotten cagey thanks to those amazing writers. You are the only online source we fans can trust in. If you say it was a real ending premise, we can rest happily and easily over the long summer til the new season begins.

    Thanks so much for all you for us House fans.

  • janine

    @Andre
    check out Ew.com, katie jacobs says it real!!

  • andree

    Janine, thanks so much. Just read it and feel immensely reassured! Now, will s.7 start where it left off with House and Cuddy doing what comes naturally next once they leave the bathroom itself or will the episode gyp us by showing us weeks/months even into the Huddy relationship? Lets hope its seconds after they held hands and kissed. We deserve that much after 6 years waiting. Right?

  • Flo

    WARNING!!!!! This is gonna be an incredibly long post. You probably are used to this by now with me but this one is really really looooong. I apologize in advance. If you are bored or even do not wish to read something that long, you can just skip it, I won’t be upset.

    Okay, I saw the episode twice and I must admit that I am not totally satisfied with it. However the second viewing was really more satisfying to me than the first.

    Before the analysis, some quick notes:
    – We can hear “”Somebody help me! Please help me” from an off screen victim when House and Cuddy first arrive in the crash scene. It’s not loud but it’s there and I think it’s interesting to have the “help me”, already there.
    – Nice view of the scene. The camera’s point of view is justified by the helicopter in a nice way. Good filming.
    – No opening credit sequence. It is very unusual. Are they preparing a new one with Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson in it?
    – A cane can be a metaphor for a leg and I found interesting that House forgot his cane on the crash scene after cutting Hannah’s leg.

    Okay, here we go:
    The relationship between the patient, Hannah is great. It is moving and coming close to home for House with make all the more interesting for us viewers.
    “It is my leg”. Who doesn’t remember House saying exactly the same thing to Stacy in “Three Stories”? The way House is responding is says a lot and gives even more credit to his bravery after that. It is also interesting that she says: “I’m sorry I needed you”. This sure is something that House can relate to, he hates needing someone and to admit it.

    I loved every scene with Hannah, especially the ones where they pray while both being atheist, the one when he confesses himself to her and the amputation itself.
    The first one because, they are both atheist but it is just a way of being closer by doing a thing together. They do it because that’s what other people would do in this circumstance. Hannah may feel that’s what she is supposed to do. That is a great metaphor of House’s mind. House doesn’t do things like others, he doesn’t think like others. It’s really not his way of thinking. Seing him agreeing to do that with Hannah is unusual and says a lot about how he changed and how he lets himself relate to people more than before.

    The second one, because it is the turning point of the episode for him and Cuddy. The turning point actually begins a little before that. House is being told a cold hard truth, the way he sometimes like to tell people theirs. Cuddy is blunt, even a little harsh, with him telling him with no gloves what he needs to hear. That wakes him up and he is able to make a heartbreaking confession to Hannah and to Cuddy. Totally agree with you Barbara, on the fact that, this confession goes beyond the talk with Cuddy and answers Nolan’s question “what did you screw up?” It refers to all those years ago when a decision, which seemed like the good one at that time, had terrible consequences on his life. A decision he came to regret, seeing how it changed him for the worst, almost destroying him altogether.
    On the second viewing, I’m not so sure that Cuddy doesn’t also provoke him partially on purpose. She is tired of House pursuing her at a time like this, but she also believes that the amputation is inevitable and the only one who can convince Hannah is House. So Cuddy has to convince House. I mean sure it is about making the conversation about him and not her as a misdirection of her own doubts about Lucas but when she is telling him, point blank, that his decision about his leg didn’t bring him anything good and when she says “I’m gonna say to her that amputation is the better solution and if you have any decency you’ll stay behind”, she obviously knows how he is gonna react to that! I think she said that on purpose but she just wasn’t prepared for that kind of confession on House’s part.

    The third scene then, House performing the amputation himself. Again, Barbara, I also agree about the cathartic gesture of this operation maybe a way for House to finally come in peace with this part of his past.

    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 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.

    I always said that season five was about how much similar House and Cuddy are and how House is somewhat the center of everyone else’s life. And 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 is not that good because it says that Cuddy broke up with Lucas to be with House. She broke the engagement for him, which is in contradiction with the rest of the season. She committed herself in a relationship with Lucas for herself, and I feel that she should have left him also for herself and not for somebody else. 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 that regard, that scene can feel rushed, coming out of the blue and off-kilter.

    However, we don’t know what happened in those eight hours. We didn’t see Cuddy finally leaving the crashing site to go home to see Lucas boyish face. It would be interesting to know what was said in the break-up. It surely wasn’t easy for her and I’m pretty sure the discussion was pretty long.
    There was a long build-up to that scene between House and Cuddy. Just right in this episode with the House confession, which ” as everything often comes in twos in this show ” demanded its twin scene. This night and House heroic behavior is also what made her see Lucas in a different angle and the idealistic image of the “good fiancé, and daughter in the big house’ wasn’t there anymore. It apparently seemed corny, pointless and untrue to her.

    I also liked the look of that scene. Cuddy is tired and in 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 like to point out that, it also makes sense with all the build up of six years and since we slowly come to the ending of the show. Hugh Laurie signed up 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.

    Now, on the totally dissatisfying side, the other patient was dull. I couldn’t care less about him and you could see that the only purpose to have him here was to give us some respiration from the crash site and to see the ducklings which brings us to normally getting us interested in Thirteen sudden depressing feelings. Is her huntington’s begins to show? The thing is, we don’t know what happened and, though she seemed being in a good place those past few episodes, she now wants some time away for unfathomable reasons. This storyline was really incomprehensible.
    It really wasn’t interesting to be at Princeton Plainsboro in this episode and that’s why I feel a bit disappointed by it because it was totally unbalanced.

    All in all, it was a powerful episode but not as good as season 4 and 5 Finales IMO.

  • Jaim

    It was a really great finale and it gets better on multiple viewings. I would say that I am beyond tired of people citing “Moonlighting” as indisputable evidence that two romantic leads can’t get together. Any fans of Gilmore Girls will know that the best years of the show were the two seasons when Lorelai and Luke were finally in a committed relationship. It was when the creators kept them apart for most of the final season when the magic seemed lost. I find that most of season six of House felt that way because the interactions between Cuddy and House were mostly absent. I think that getting them together, exploring them trying to build a life together, House trying to bond with Rachel, and both of them still maintaining their professional lives will be very interesting. Oh, and if House and Cuddy can be written with the same poignancy of Laura Roslin and William Adama’s romance on Battlestar Galactica, I would be thrilled.

  • Jaim

    Just to add, I love 13 and I’m glad Ausiello said her absence from the series is only temporary. Right now we all assume it’s her Huntington’s acting up but what if she actually has some other issue plaguing her that we have yet to be privy to?

  • Val

    Barbara, lovely review once again. You really know how to write them.

    I really enjoyed this episode and it had me at the edge of my seat along with the drama at every moment…even if I had an idea of the final scene (spoiler crazed that I am at times). That’s one thing I love about House and Shore and Co.

    My unwavering faith in the TPTB has not let me down. I think Shore and Co. have a lot of strength to do exactly what they must do and want to do to tell House’s story. Some viewers will leave and others will return, and that’s fine. I certainly do not think they are catering to House/Cuddy fans with last night beautiful final scene. It is a reasonable ending. We’ve experienced House’s journey this season, but Cuddy is still a bit of a mystery (despite the glimpse in 5 to 9). My take is that Cuddy’s been dealing with her own emotions this season. I believe it started at the beginning of the season…she said I’ll miss you to House in the beginning of the season because she was leaving him, not because he was leaving. We didn’t know at that time it was for Lucas. She spent the rest of the season distant, trying to forget him and move on with who/what she thought was the right choice. I don’t think anything about House (or Cuddy) has been off-character this season, we’ve only learned more…or peeled away more layers, as so many allude to.

    I think this could be one of the most “real” relationships in scripted TV. No Grey’s, no Moonlighting, I am not accepting any of those references. As was mentioned a few posts higher, the two best seasons of Gilmore Girls was when they explored the committed relationship of Luke and Lorelai. I can’t envision the House/Cuddy dynamic changing just because they are together.

    The parallels and references to previous episodes was brilliant. As House promised Hannah he was going let them cut of her leg echoes of Stacy rang through. And, of course, the parallel of the final scene to UMS, but also to “Joy”. Their roles almost reversed: House at his wits end, ready to relapse, to give up and Cuddy arrives unexpectedly as opposed to her dispair and willingness to give up her quest for a child and his unexpected arrival. Both leading to kisses, but very different kisses: first passionate and full of desire to tentative and gentle (even unsure). What images! I think GY directed the “Joy” kiss as well as this one. He (and a few others) really know how to get in there and show the actors bare emotions.

    I am curious about where the 13 mystery could go. I really enjoy 13 and her parallels/insights to House.

    It will be a long…but overall hopeful…summer.

  • Delia_Beatrice

    @blacktop: i think that the “leap across the room” question was not directed at Cuddy’s role as a savior in his life, but it was House’s way to “check” if she was just a hallucination – that scene was mirrored intentionally from “Under My Skin”, the “pill in the toilet” scene.

    @ Celia (you said it there, good for you!) and the rest of you who expressed anger at the idea of ratings dropping severely because of House being in a relationship: that is such bullshit, pardon my brutality.

    First of all, on such a grand project as “House”, detailed ratings’ studies are performed, and i am willing to bet my right hand that the ratings decrease in season 6 was proven to be related to the unprecedented lack of House-Cuddy interactions and the apparent agony of their romance, because of Lucas. I’m NOT saying this is the only reason, but i’m positive it is one of the top three reasons. Point being, they know what they’re doing, and they’re not suicidal.

    Second, “House” audience is NOT formed 50% by loud teenagers who watch the show solely for the comedy and start screaming online whenever House’s romantic side is played upon. “House” audience is mainly formed by smart, mature people who love the brilliance of the show, and there is no reason to believe that 2 sensational characters + 2 great actors + amazing writers + chemistry that is the stuff of legends + wonderful, complex story = unwatchable crap.

    BTW: @Celia, such a great comment on the Tracy/Hepburn parallel:)

    @FLO: well, i would comment on each idea in your comment (which i read, entirely, twice), but there’s no point: i agree to all of it. Really. Each and every single point you make.

    Regarding the final scene and the symmetry to “Under My Skin” and “Both Sides Now”: the differences in the physical aspect were so meaningful.

    The kisses – so delicate, in such complete oblivion, and so significant – you could really feel how they both trembled with humility and joy, finally getting there, after such a difficult journey – as opposed to the explosion of passion in UMS.

    The handhold – superb gesture of complete, solid union, as opposed to the scene in BSN, in which House remembers grabbing her hand and holding it against her back – that was a gesture of sexual dominance, while every single touch and glance and word in “Help Me” symbolized egality of love and pain, egality of hope and trust, an open, honest, deep relationship.

    Quite a ride next season:) I cannot remember ever being so overjoyed with anticipation, and it’s only been 24 hours, just another four months to go:))))))))))))))))))))))))

  • Delia_Beatrice

    PS: I remember Lisa Edelstein once saying that they got a lot of “hate mail” after the kiss in “Joy”. That struck me as so impossibly unfair. I can only imagine how many “fans” will want to send their “deep thoughts” about “Help Me”…

    I know it doesn’t mean much, but personally, I’d like to send my admiration and my gratitude to Mr. Shore, Mrs. Jacobs, Sir Hugh (because i arrived at the conclusion that calling him “His Majesty” or “My God” would be a bit too much…), darling Lisa, Mr.Blake, Mr.Friend and Mr. Lerner.

    So, @Barbara and other fans: could you please give me some directions as to finding the “official” email addresses where i could give my feedback to the cast and creative team?

  • Sheryl

    Just to add to the various insightful comments regarding Joy/Help Me parallels, it’s worth noting that after the kiss in Joy, House has such an expression of terror on his face . . . He can barely make eye contact afterward and so says quickly, “Good Night,” and hightails it out of there. Nice contrast in Help Me: a relaxed smile while he looks happily, comfortably, into Cuddy’s eyes. And as Barbara and many others have noted before, these polished actors can express these subtleties so well–just amazing.

  • Michele1L

    Katie Jacobs was interviewed a day or so ago and said that not only was what happened with House and Cuddy real, but that they were all discussing whether season seven should continue with the beginning of their relationship from where the finale left off or whether they should start three months later. She suggested they were leaning toward allowing the relationship to unfold before us rather than jumping ahead. She said it would definitely be explored because the conflicts they will face were the reasons they stayed apart so long in the first place. She also said the prop guy was crying during that last scene.

    I agree with you, Anna, that the dialogue in that final scene was beautiful. I didn’t find it cliche at all. When Cuddy said, “I love you. I wish I didn’t, but I can’t help it”, she rationalized, in those few, simple statements, all of her behavior throughout this season. Some people have said her turn-about was sudden. I disagree. I felt her turning to Lucas at the beginning of the season was very sudden and out of left field – but this, I felt, happened at just the right time. I suspected she was fighting her true feelings for him and questioning herself in the last three episodes or so and am pleased that turned out to be the case. “I’m in my new house with my fiance — and all I can do is think about you” … “I’m stuck”. Beautifully done — and the tenderness with which House kissed her was lovely. Lustful behavior, as in his delusion from last year, would’ve been totally inappropriate. I wonder whether HL suggested any of those subtlties. I’m finding out more and more that many of the subtle nuances are his ideas.

    Fantastic performances by Lisa E. and HL as well as the actress who played the patient. She was heart-wrenching.

  • nno13

    As clarification- they did not change the final scene from one previously filmed or even planned on. They wrote a different scene in the original script so the ending could not be leaked. When it came time to film the final scene Hugh and Lisa were given the real ending, easily kept under wrap by the fact only two people acted in it and few crew members were needed. When they sent out the early previews to writers and critics they left the final scene out. it was there beat attempt to keep the story they wanted told from being spoiled. That’s all.

    I wanted to add how poignant it wad that he dropped the pills (the thing he used to hold onto to get through) and grabbed cuddy’s hand instead. He chose her over pills, he chose happiness over pills, and it is very meaningful that the last image we see is their two hands intertwined. Beautiful. Made me cry. Favorite ep of all time!

  • andree

    Flo, I agree with 90% of your assessment and was quite impressed with your detailed analysis. Just one area of disagreement:

    Cuddy didn’t leave Lucas for House. Cuddy left Lucas for herself because she knew no matter how much she tried to make things work with Lucas, it never would because she loves House not Lucas.

    Remember, Cuddy confesses to House she left Lucas well before she told House she loves House and well before she asks if “they” (House and Cuddy) can work. Cuddy says she wishes she didn’t love house but she can’t help it.

    I believe the conversations between House and Hannah revealed House’s humanity and honesty for the first time in years to Cuddy. That, and the fact he no longer held her responsible for his mutilated leg. That blame was squarely with him for choosing a leg over his own life and the risks and pain that came with it.

    Cuddy decided she was done pretending and she stepped up to tell House the truth about how she feels. She confessed she loves him. He hasn’t said he loves her to Cuddy yet (just to Lucas) and that makes her the braver of the two.

    I’m thrilled Cuddy was the one to first open up after deciding to make changes in her life without consulting anyone including House. She broke it off with Lucas because it wasn’t right for Cuddy, not House.

    Lastly, Cuddy had no way of knowing what House would choose: her or vicodin. She told him how she felt and conveyed that no matter what he did/chose she would love always him. Hearing that is why House got up and went to her. It’s what he had hoped for and what he has always needed. Unconditional love. Cuddy is the only one who’s given that to House by her declaration to him in the finale’s final scene. Not even Wilson has chosen to do this for House.

    The finale’s final scene rang completely true to me. How Cuddy broke it off with Lucas? Who cares. It could be by phone or at home (most likely). Once that was done, she’d be drawn to House on many levels (changing his bandage, recognizing the impact of Hannah’s death would be too much to handle after bonding with the woman and personally cutting her leg off, Cuddy resignation she does loves him).

    How House and Cuddy kissed was the crowning moment. Tenderness and vulnerability for each other has always been there beneath the facade and sexual tension.

    Flo, watch it once more and see if this doesn’t help change your mind about the ending. If not, hey, that’s cool. Just my thoughts to share with you.

  • Sera G

    Dear Barbara,
    First of all, thank you for another wonderful review for a wonderful episode.
    I have read each of your reviews, but have held myself back from commenting this year for two reasons. I often read after many others have responded and feel that I am being redundant. Second, I have tried to avoid reading the others’ comments in an effort to remain spoiler free.
    I am not even going to attempt to be articulate or insightful…I have only two words: finally and beautiful!
    I dreaded what this finale would bring as KJ was quoted in TV Guide that this would find House in a way we had never seen him. The previews had me expecting him buried below miles of concrete for the entire summer. Or even worse, contemplating suicide.
    I thought this episode was among the top 5 or 6 of the series. Others have said it far better than I, but I was moved to tears, frightened and worried for House, and Cuddy. I did not want to see another year end with them both miserable and unable to find a way to what their hearts desired.
    I believe that Cuddy suffered herself. Trying to want what she thought she should want, her heart must have been breaking. Each interaction with House, especially after 5 to 9, must have reinforced the huge disparity between the two men. Perhaps Cuddy needed to be reminded why she loves this difficult, troubled, amazing man. Seeing him with Hannah, hearing him be completely honest (IMO) about how he has changed and simply being heroic in helping this woman was the turning point she needed. I think it says more about the depth of her love that she admits she doesn’t want to love him, but can’t help herself.
    I disagree with those who say the ending felt tacked on. It recalled so many earlier moments form UMS and BSN that it had to be deliberate and planned. If anything, a conclusion with House holding the Vicodin debating whether or not to go back to the drugs would have felt like a cheat. We have done that for six years. I want to explore a different path. To paraphrase a previous poster, let his challenge be handling happiness.

    As an unabashed HUDDY, I loved the quiet, tentative, kiss. The hand clasp at the end was perfect. I thought it was telling that he reached up for Cuddy’s help. I was also glad that House said he would have to fix himself. After all, no one else can really do that for him. I was so proud that all of his hard work this season was rewarded. I wonder if we will see an occasional session with Dr. Nolan or if that work will continue behind the scenes.
    Ok, that was long and sloppy. Please tell the writers that they are amazing. They understand these ‘people’. I have every confidence that they can and will write a romance/partnership/love story worthy of them. May the journey be long. It has certainly been rich and creative.
    Can’t wait for the book, Barbara and any other posts this summer. It is going to feel like an eternity until S7!

  • DebbieJ.

    @Michele1L #42 – that’s good that they’re leaning toward picking up right where they left off. Because if they didn’t, there’d be a hell to pay! LOL

    Seriously, I’m glad to hear they’d rather pick up right where they left off instead of 3 months later because those first few weeks/months of their newfound courtship is of utmost importance that we as viewers would not want to miss.

    Also, it will also give us a chance to actually notice the leave of absence of 13/O.W.

  • Nicole

    I stumbled on this site and what a site! So great to see all the House freaks out there, just like me! I thought the last five minutes were awesome! So thankful that House has a bit of hope in his life. Hugh Laurie, you deserve your Emmy.

  • DebbieJ.

    I’m loving everyone’s comments about the last scene and the episode as a whole. I can’t add any more to it than has already been discussed except to say I loved the entire episode and it’s gonna be a looong summer.

    One thing I hadn’t heard/read anyone mention was the obvious physicality (is that a word?) of Hugh Laurie throughout the episode. It had to have been incredibly difficult crawling on his abodomen in those tight spaces with a supposed bum leg. The man certainly keeps himself in shape (especially those arms – oh, my!) and I’m sure it’s the reason he was able to do it. But it still must have been incredibly challenging.

  • sophie

    Interview with the writers here answers a few questions

  • http://blogcritics.org/video/article/tv-review-house-md-teamwork/comments-page-2/#comments rsg

    @ Flo
    Great summary. I particularly loved your thoughts that Cuddy’s harsh words to House definitely came from incidents/feelings that occurred throughout the whole of season 6. I think it all came from the beginning really…..

    I loved the whole episode, and was soooo uplifted about the ending. Jeez. What a relief. I didn’t think it was disjointed, or out of character for Cuddy at all to finally realize she owed it to both House and herself to show her true feelings towards him. Especially after House had been so forward, for him granted, towards her this season. The recent proposal by Lucas, and then House’s brutal honesty towards Hannah was probably the final straw(s) that pushed her to crystalize her feelings, and to help her move forward on them.

    Is it only me, (?!), but I don’t ever remember being so emotionally vested in TV characters before! This TV show is awesome. I feel I almost really know these characters; I definitely am vested in their emotional well-being!
    Kudos to the writers, directors, of course Hugh, and the rest of the actors.
    Thank you Barbara for having such great reviews and this forum for all of us.
    Sigh. What a long summer it will be.

  • http://www.lisasaysonline.com/ Lisa

    Great review!

    I thought the last scene, while emotional, was a little left-of-field. I still don’t know exactly what I think of it. Cuddy has been so one-note this year, so it felt a little bit rushed and “too simple.”

    I agree with you about Laurie’s performance. He brought me to tears. Just amazing.

  • simona

    Barbara, very moving. And the same I can say about the other comments, all very stimulating. But now I can only follow the course of my feelings and I intend to go further in detail of your comments. Sorry but now I have too little time! ?
    It was an episode written, directed and starring by all so extraordinary. Hugh Laurie is simply immense. The Emmy is due, more than ever, and for my part I would have already given it to him.
    The title “Help Me” has something even more poignant if we translate it with the cry for help by Hanna to House: “Don’t leave me in the dark.” A petition that breaks my heart, a plea that anyone who has a heart can resist. And House’s got a heart and it is huge, and he showed it in every possible way and shades during the season.
    I make almost hard to put down on paper the emotions so powerful that this episode sent me and so I feel that I should be able to decipher it trying to locate the keys, and the ones I have heard more mine are: “hands, sincerity and tenderness”. These are the elements that, from my point of view, have been the glue of this episode but not only, they also somehow connect this episode to others, even of past seasons.

    Tenderness.
    Intended as “compassion” in the fullest sense of the word: compassion is a movement of the soul that makes us feel pain or sorrow for the evils of others, almost making us suffer with them. We understand it not with the mind but with heart and stomach. So the tenderness between Hanna and House; but also expressed by Taub with 13, by Foreman with House; and by Cuddy being outside and hearing the scream, during the Hanna’s leg amputation, and her eyes simultaneously expressing compassion for the “victim” (Hanna ) and the ” tormentor” (House). Each in its own way has shown that they have established a link with others and tenderness gave a sense of circularity to all reports, eachone capable of entering into the other’s personal space without this being considered an invasion.

    Sincerity.
    Cuddy (in my early bet he lied to House about the engagement) who on the accident’s location spits against House’s face the reason why she thinks he is a lonely man (a kind of quarrel that reminded me of Wilson and Sam, finished with reconciliation and the phrase “we should have had this argument ten years ago”). The patient, she knows she can trust House and wants sincerity. House, naked, who rebuild his own calvary in front of the patient and especially in front of Cuddy. House who describes step by step to Hanna the amputation surgery without hiding the extent of pain. House does not mind, he is honest until the end, even if it means being cruel to himself and others. Sincerity that hurts, crushes, as the electric saw with which the leg is amputated.

    Hands.
    The significance of the contact between the hands, sent me to the House’s hand that touched the child’s fingers in “Fetal Position” and to the overwhelming and unexpected House’s thrill for this event. Because House hardly (if ever) expresses his closeness to others through physical contact and especially, almost always, carefully avoided using his hands in an empathic way. We have seen him generally using his hands “with love” just caressing the piano. On other occasions, he used to hit or “mock” (Cuddy’s boobs) and defensively. But the hands, in my opinion, are the major “vehicle” of contact between human beings, a form of language that may be even more direct than gaze or any other form of bodily expression. Hands can hurt, hit, reject, caressing, touching, hugging, squeezing, drying tears, to console. In this episode we have seen the “revenge” of the hands’ language.
    The hands of House and Hanna who gather at the time of greater empathy, almost touching and sharing us their emotional closeness.
    The husband’s hands clasping those of Hanna, also after she died.
    Thirteen’s hands that gently supports the envelope on the desk in the House’s office.
    And above all the “dialogue” between House and Cuddy hands, it deserves a separate chapter because in my opinion had more weight than verbal language.
    At the beginning House clutching Vicodin; then he uses his hands to deliver the book (no “sex” comments in the office while Lisa is getting dressed) to Cuddy who accepts it, with her hands; and then House uses hands gently, almost gingerly, to help her to wear the protective suit before she goes out to go to Trenton; by the end of the episode House breaks the mirror with his hands and then grabs the Vicodin and holds it tight in his hands and when Cuddy comes, at the end of dialogue, he holds out his hand almost asking “help me” to rise from the floor (“Do not leave me in the dark”); after the first “exploratory” kiss, because House fears that it could be another hallucination, his hands throw off Vicodin; and finally, during the “last kiss” their hands clinging and show us strongly, more than any other gesture, the depth of their bond.
    They finally gave up and are both incredulous.
    H: “…because I’m the most screwed up person in the world.”
    C: “I Know and I love you”.

    The kiss in the finale was not invasive, it was full of tenderness and circumspection. But I would still satisfied just seeing their hands clasped.
    It’s a brand-new day. As the end of “The Greater Good” when Wilson washes the cup still stained by Amber’s lipstick.
    Let’s turn the page.

  • Flo

    @Andree (#44), first of all, thank you for having taken the time to read my post. That was brave of you.

    Second of all, I’m not so sure we are disagreeing so much.
    In my post I just wanted to point out that the last scene could be viewed from different angle and dependently on how you wiewed the season, different conclusions could be made.
    I saw the episode twice. My first viewing wasn’t good, I wasn’t really in a good context to be really into it.
    At hat time, I was wondering if the scene really fit in the rest of the season in the angle I described in my previous post.
    The fact that Cuddy didn’t have time to change means that she couldn’t or didn’t have the energy after breaking up with Lucas but it suggests that the break up discussion lasted for a long time, hours. Then, she just go to House to make this confession.
    I was wondering if House’s name was pronounced during the break up. I’m pretty sure that, Lucas, being perceptive as he is, had to say it. Did Cuddy mentioned it? Did she denied House had something to do with it? And her confession to House happens soon after her break up while she could have done it the day after or even later. She chose to come clear right away. That’s fine.
    Now, all I’m saying, is we can see this in two diferent way. I’m not saying that it is true, but in the “selfish” season point of view, that scene CAN BE perceived as if Cuddy left Lucas because she was wondering if she could have a chance with House and not because she just didn’t want to be with Lucad for the rest of her life. Note that the second is not totally contradictory to the first.

    On the other hand, it can also be viewed as a gesture of freeing herself and and you are right, it was her choice to come to House’s aparmtment and telling him she loves him. I’m not denying that, I think if you read my comment again, you will see that I also praise this scene. It rings true to me too.

    I just wanted to say, there are different interpretations of that scene and like I wasn’t totally buying it after my first viewing I felt it was more honest to put this perception in my comment.
    Now, english is not my first language so it is antirely possible that I didn’t expressed myself correctly. Sorry for that.

    On the second viewing, I appreciated the scene better. I don’t think it is rushed or off-kilter. It is just a complicated scene.

    However, I think we disagree by saying that the long break up discussion with Lucas is not important.
    We can suggest that, depending on how it went it could have had an direct impact on Cuddy’s decision to come to House immadiately or not.
    Again, just a suggestion, but it is a possibility. Question of point of view.

    Anyway, always a pleasure to debate with you :)

  • LizzieE01

    Wow, wonderful analyses everyone and, I’m with you Simona – time to turn the page. Do have a question for the writers though. Was the Cuddy tirade (you know, the scared straight rant that many found too harsh) the light bulb moment for House, i.e., the catalyst for his revealing talk with Hannah and, by extension, the Cuddy’s break up with Lucas? I found it to be cathartic for both Cuddy and House – sometimes you just have to verbalize what’s inside and let the chips fall where they may. Would House been as open to Hannah without the rant? I doubt it so, in an odd way, Cuddy (my hero) set in motion her own breakup with Lucas and her connecting with House.

  • Flo

    Okay, just when I posted my comment, I found a way to express my point in, I believe it to be, a better way……

    On the independency front, Cuddy said in to Wilson in “Teamwork”: “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.”

    Which means that she is completely detached from House and that her decision has nothing to do with him (of course, she just decided to do somehting for herself after what happened to House in the end of season 5 and how it affected her so by saying this, she is completely delusional).

    By coming to House’s apartment soon after her break up with Lucas, she is making a connection between the two. So if the beginning of the Lucas affair was an independant choice and not about House, her break up can be perceived as a gesture in which House has a role.

    I’d also like to mention that my connection and view of House (the tv show) is primarily intellectual and analytical. I’m more emotionally detached than other viewers. I believe this to be the reason why I didn’t “get” the scene in the first place.

    My comments can be read with Delia’s ones. We seem to be on the same page about the show and she is more emotionally connected to the show and the character so she tend to get those scenes better than I do.
    It feels like our analysis can complement each other well.

  • sheryl

    I’ve been trying to think through the timing of events in both “Baggage” and “Help Me.” In the final scene of the finale, as House and Cuddy talk, light is coming into the apartment and bathroom window. It’s a nice image anyway–figuratively speaking, as light/happiness enters their lives. But it’s morning already.

    Too . . . the start of the episode is at night already. House is bringing the book to Cuddy–but did anyone notice his shirt? Is this the end of the day we saw in “Baggage”? I was curious about the time frame of all these events . . .

    Another random comment–I haven’t seen anyone mention yet the symbolism of the crash site. It’s a useful stage for the airing of Cuddy and House’s issues, as they look upon the wreckage that is their own relationship. We end up with a House who is physically and emotionally a mess–but as many have said already, with the morning comes literally the dawn of a new relationship for them . . .

    Sorry for the randomness; there’s always so much to think through here!

  • janine

    @nno13
    the last scene thing makes a lot of sense. Actually a screen cap had been released months back syaing the episode ended with House taking vocoden Lots of spoilers were released this season, so I’m glad the writers were extra careful with this!!
    @Delia
    I can’t believe that people would send hate mail because of a kiss. Sure, people are entitled to their opinions, but I can’t see how House being in a relationship could do anything harmful to the show. So many people, althought thankfully not as many as I had expected online (on less civil communities) have been yelling “Jump the shark” (god I hate that term) just because of that show Moonlighting. Just because that show could not handle the characters doesn’t mean every show can’t. Besides the tension between House and Cuddy has never been the focus of the show, just a part of it. People should not judge the story before it happens and it makes me really mad. Another thing that if frustrating is that peple keep insisting it was fake, despite the interviews posted on literally every site saying it wasn’t. I don’t know if they are trying to be funny or are in denial or what but that is starting to get on my nerves. In general, I’m sick of fans thinking that they know what is best for the show, If they wan’t that they should just stick to fanfics! (sorry for the rant)

  • Dominique

    @Janine

    Don’t worry… I know exactly what you mean. I mean, the beauty of the last scene went right past me at the first viewing because it was close to three AM when that scene came along and I’d had a trying day so I wasn’t at my sharpest, but then I watched it again at a more coherent time of day and I read Barbara’s fabulous review and I got it, frame by frame.

    All these people throwing tantrums and just leaving, declaring their departure as if the whole fandom should just fall to its knees and beg them to come back… these articles are the last stronghold of the sensible House fans, it’s the last place on the net where I can be a fan and not grit my teeth…

    and, just to add, I too absolutely despise the “Jump the shark” thing. Mainly because people have yelled that over every plot turn there has ever been since the pilot.

    Hate mail doesn’t mean much to me, it’s ridiculous, but I’ve heard of people sending Hugh Laurie hate mail for being married and not eloping with Lisa Eidelstein… I mean, you’re right janine, it’s not their place, they have no right to complain…

    The fans are making it very, very hard for the writers to do anything right. Cuddy barely gets any screentime this season, they whine about that, this episode comes along and they whine about it being the House and Cuddy show now, and how the writers only cater to “Huddies”… where the hell were they this season!?

    That way they’ll never do anything right and that’s just unfair, because they give us a powerful finale, strong writing, and there’s apparently something wrong with every way they can go. Of course the show is missing some enjoyable elements in some episodes, of course everything isn’t perfect, but I also think that people became comfortable enough with the show after three seasons that they now feel they have the right to make all kinds of demands because they now know what “their House” should look like where in the junior (1st, 2nd, 3rd seasons) they were a little more willing to go with it. I think some people feel a little to entitled nowadays.

    I keep watching House’s monologue about his leg over and over and over again. It’s impossible to get past… that visceral honesty, hushed voice, Hugh’s impeccable mimicry… his facial expression alone brings tears to my eyes.

    I’ll go with it for as long as it runs and that scene tells of every reason why… watching this show is a privilege, not a right!

  • Michele1L

    rsg – No, you’re not the only one. I, too, am very emotionally vested in these characters. The writers have been so great about the growth of these characters over the years, revealing more and more about them, little by little, just as one would learn about another in real life, that I feel as if I know them. I’ve enjoyed many shows on television over the years, but not nearly as much as I enjoy “House”. It’s been said many, many times before — but the fact that Hugh Laurie has not won an Emmy is incomprehensible. He has won every other award at least two-to-three times, but never the Emmy – and that is just mind-boggling because he is such an incredible actor. My sister feels he desrves an Oscar — full-well knowing that the Oscar is for film — she believes he is THAT GOOD — and I completely agree.

  • Sally

    Sorry, but I have only one word for the finale, or better said the last scene: AWFUL! It was so unrealistic and forced, just like they felt the urge to please the Huddy fangirls out there. Well, obviously you’ve got what you want. Congrats. I just know I am done with the show, and so is everyone of my friends who used to watch House. Enjoy the show while it lasts, which probably won’t be long.

  • Dreambigr

    Hi, first-time poster although I’ve been lurking for a long time. Michele1L(#59) and rsg(#50), I am also very emotionally invested in these characters, so much so, that it hurts me to read all of the criticism and negativity on other fan sites.

    I love the character of House and care about him more than I have ever cared about a TV character before. I don’t watch with pre-conceived notions about what I think should happen or who I think he should be with. I’m just along for the ride and trust the writers and showrunners to continue their vision of the most compelling character in the history of television (IMHO). After all, they gave him to us in the first place and they have the right to tell the story the way they want. I absolutely adored “Help Me” and think it was a brilliant piece of television.

    Delia_Beatrice and Blacktop, I usually agree 100% with your posts. You articulate your thoughts so beautifully that I hope you are both writers in some form.

    Michele1L (#59), I also think it’s an injustice that Hugh has never won an Emmy, but personally, I think he is just TOO good. My theory is that the Emmy panels are looking for “ACTING”, exemplified by scenery chewing and long dramatic speeches (although I think Bryan Cranston is an exception and is also excellent). Hugh inhabits this role so completely that there is no “ACTING” – he IS House. He is so pitch perfect in his characterization that the panel members don’t fully appreciate the subtlety, nuances and restraint that he brings to the role. He never overplays it IMO.

    Finally, Barbara, thank you for providing your excellent reviews and this thought-provoking forum for fans of the show. It is truly a safe haven for intelligent discussion, and your reviews provide the perfect starting point for analysis.

  • Michele1L

    Dreambigr – you’re probably right about the subtlties of HL’s acting — but the TV Academy should take a page out of everybody else’s book and give him the award. I have to say that this choppy and uneven season may see him not even nominated this year — despite my knowledge that they only submit an episode or two for consideration. He deserves the Emmy for this episode alone.

    I’m not sure what some who hate the fact that House and Cuddy are going to try to be together expect the writers to do. Despite what some may think, the writers are not actually writing for the viewers,the “Huddy” Fan Club, etc. (I know that sounds weird, but artists are artists for themselves and put material out there in hopes that others will appreciate what they do David Shore himself said something to that effect.) I have read and seen several interviews of producers/writers who work for this show — and they are writing for the characters — and since the character, House, wants Cuddy and that’s been clear for quite some time now, If you care about House the character, why would you not want him to have a chance with her? Lord knows they are not going to become Mike and Carol Brady. It’s going to be a challenging relationship for sure — which will be interesting. There is so much potential for humor — House dealing with Cuddy’s baby, trying to be a responsible partner, etc., as well as conflict. It’s not about giving the “Huddy” supporters what they want — it’s about giving House what he wants.

    Why would anyone expect the formula for this show to change simply because House and Cuddy sleep together? It didn’t change when he slept with Stacy. It was still the same show. It doesn’t have to spell the death of the show. If anything, it could (and should) completely re-set the show. If anything, I felt dragging the whole “Huddy” agony out any further would’ve destroyed it. I feel the writers had to put them together or there would never be closure. Having Cuddy marry Lucas would not have been closure for House and Cuddy because that relationship, in my view, based on what I’ve watched over the past six years, didn’t ring true. There would always have been that “what if” in the air, and the chemistry between these two characters is much too strong to leave things hanging up there.

  • Michele1L

    Sophie @49 – thanks for that link to the writer’s interview. It was short but hilarious. Everyone with questions should go there.

  • Flo

    Interesting interview with Lerner and Friend in which they talk about the Cuddy/Lucas break-up and how they view it.

  • Kalia

    Thanks for the well thought out commentary on the weekly series Barbara.
    Great episode. It was an ironic twist that Hanna was in a similiar predicament
    with her leg as House. After getting a serious dose of reality from Cuddy, I
    found it quite brave of House to step up to the plate, bare his soul (no less
    in front of Cuddy) and tell his story to Hanna. It worked but I can’t imagine
    how difficult that was for House to do.

    I think everyone knew that Cuddy loved House but didn’t want to take a chance
    being in a relationship with him. Up to this point, she had decided to take the safe route in life with Lucas. The turning point for Cuddy was when House told Hanna his story, her tears told us that. Cuddy realized that House has changed or is at least willing to try and change. I’m glad she chose to take a chance, as there isn’t any point going through life with any regrets.

    I am glad House finally had a moment of happiness,finally! Besides, there are
    only so many ‘bad’ circumstances you can take in your life before you get
    pushed over the edge. House sure came close to going over again…..

  • Kalia

    Thanks for the well thought out commentary on the weekly series Barbara.

    Great episode. It was an ironic twist that Hanna was in a similiar predicament with her leg as House. After getting a serious dose of reality from Cuddy, I
    found it quite brave of House to step up to the plate, bare his soul (no less
    in front of Cuddy) and tell his story to Hanna. It worked but I can’t imagine
    how difficult that was for House to do.

    I think everyone knew that Cuddy loved House but didn’t want to take a chance
    being in a relationship with him. Up to this point, she had decided to take the safe route in life with Lucas. The turning point for Cuddy was when House told Hanna his story, her tears told us that. Cuddy realized that House has changed or is at least willing to try and change. I’m glad she chose to take a chance, as there isn’t any point going through life with any regrets.

    I am glad House finally had a moment of happiness,finally! Besides, there are
    only so many ‘bad’ circumstances you can take in your life before you get
    pushed over the edge. House sure came close to going over again…..

  • just4paws17

    Barbara, I so love reading your reviews! This was great! I am so looking forward to S7, and never tire of HL’s acting and his way of bringing House to life for all of us! Such a talented man! I really did not see that ending coming!I love your reference to One Day, One Room, one of my favorite episodes. What are we going to do all summer?
    Thanks, Jen

  • barbara barnett

    Again, thanks for your lovely and kind comments everyone.
    just4paws17–what about the summer? Hmmm.

    For this column it means a season wrap up next week sometime, and a few new articles as well. I’ll be spending much of the next few weeks putting the finishing touches on the book (now that the season is finished), and proofing galleys, etc.

    I know for certain that I will finally post that kissing article I started over the spring and never had time to finish to my satsifaction, and I will also explore the trajectory of House and Cuddy’s relationship over the course of the last several years, especially in light of where season seven seems headed.

    So please stay tuned to this space all summer.

  • barbara barnett

    Again, thanks for your lovely and kind comments everyone.
    just4paws17–what about the summer? Hmmm.

    For this column it means a season wrap up next week sometime, and a few new articles as well. I’ll be spending much of the next few weeks putting the finishing touches on the book (now that the season is finished), and proofing galleys, etc.

    I know for certain that I will finally post that kissing article I started over the spring and never had time to finish to my satsifaction, and I will also explore the trajectory of House and Cuddy’s relationship over the course of the last several years, especially in light of where season seven seems headed.

    So please stay tuned to this space all summer.

  • Meena

    Thank you, everyone, for all the amazing, insightful comments! I don’t always post, but I do read what you all have to say each week with pleasure and anticipation. Barbara, thank you again for such a great review, especially tying in the question Nolan asked last week in Baggage in this episode (“what did you screw up?”). I never would have thought of that, and is precisely what makes me love this blog!

    I have a confession: I was really mad the first time I watched this episode in those last two minutes; it felt so un-House (the show), I almost felt betrayed (OK, guess you guys gotta put me in the ‘emotionally invested’ column!). After the superlative acting by HL and LE, and the tremendous writing and direction and even score at the crash site and when he broke the mirror, it felt like whiplash for them to suddenly be together. But the second time, without having to squeal at the amputation, or cry at the emptiness of Hannah’s death, I think the ending scene was excellent, and very well written. While in Broken, I have never quite got over the magical-music-box thing, this time, I am really in awe of the writers for choosing such a daring path: honesty, hope, and precariously looking forward to the future.

    Also, I think that after a second viewing, this episode seemed actually more true-to-life. Horrible things happen, and then on a flip of a dime, they suddenly become something else. And you have to digest it all, somehow.

    This season, I have felt Cuddy has had to stifle herself with regards to House, partly because of her own feelings and partly because she was unsure about what might set him off (look at what happened in season 5!). I thought her yelling at House, finally, seemed so in character, though I winced at what she said. What we say in anger isn’t always true, but is meant to provoke a response, which is what I think she wanted. She might have also been channeling House’s book of saying the worst thing possible in order to be left alone.

    I just don’t think she realized that House would counter with such a personal reveal, about how he might have made the most wrong decision at the most important moment of his life. And, true to the show, I love that I am not entirely sure how much of what House said is what he truly feels, or what he knew he would need to say to Hannah in order to get her to make the best decision for her life (well, in that moment).

    Another moment I loved, that seemed so Housian: he wouldn’t let Hannah use his cell phone. At first, I thought it was because he didn’t want to hear proclamations of love from a happy couple, even if one member of that couple had their leg trapped under a supporting beam. But always the doctor, he eventually revealed he didn’t want her BP to go up, and then was taking her pulse during her call after he finally gave in and let her use the phone. Was House being kind, selfish, cruel, or logical? I think kind/ logical, but the reason I love this show is that I never truly know, after six seasons.

    I also love that, like last year, this episode refers to a famous song, this time a great Beatles’ song (or so I like to assume). So much has been said about how the ending scene played out, I will try not to rehash, but I did love that House got up to meet Cuddy at eye level, instead of her kneeling down to meet him (which is how it was in the hallucinatory bathroom scene in UMS at the toilet). It was his small gesture after her amazing reveal (I wish I could be so bold) in a way. “Help me if you can I’m feeling down, and I do appreciate you being ’round. Help me get my feet back on the ground. Won’t you please help me.” This could apply to either of them.

    Also, a past episode that hasn’t been mentioned: Humpty Dumpty. That is one of my favorites of season 2, where the House-Cuddy sexual tension/dynamic becomes the central plotline for the first time, instead of the hints and glances from the sidelines previously. That too was about an amputation in the end, with House being the level-headed one advocating cutting her handyman’s hand off, and Cuddy trying everything otherwise. They seem best when they counter each other, when they are opposites, yin and yang. I wonder if this will continue.

    The whole cast & crew of House should be really proud for this – what a way to end this season, and begin again next year. I am sure they are being inundated with all the ‘shipper’ nonsense (how I LOATHE that word/concept), but there are plenty of fans who can read between the lines. Or at least try?

  • Rebecca

    What a great review of this powerful season finale. Thank you, Barbara. I’m also grateful (as always) to Delia Beatrice, Blacktop, Flo, Simona, Meena… (again only to name a few) for their brilliant comments.

    I just wanted to share a few thoughts concerning the last scene that seems to be rather controversial.
    I thought the image of House finding his secret secret stash behind the mirror and breaking it right before he reaches the two bottles was a touch of genius.
    He contemplates his own reflection in the mirror. It’s the dark image of a wounded “broken” person. After which, he breaks the mirror and finds the pills hidden behind. The mirror as a hiding place… Genius!
    And then Cuddy comes in. In the final scene, se raises her eyes to his with a beautiful expression. At that moment, her eyes reveal so much about how she is feeling (Kudos to Lisa Edelstein for her amazing performance). She knows him, accepts him and loves him for who he is.
    Delia Beatrice has already commented on this very eloquently (#28)

    It’s that look together with the mirror metaphor preceding that made me think of a great song by the Velvet Underground: “I’ll be your mirror”.

    I’ll be your mirror
    Reflect what you are, in case you don’t know
    I’ll be the wind, the rain and the sunset
    The light on your door to show that you’re home

    When you think the night has seen your mind
    That inside you’re twisted and unkind
    Let me stand to show that you are blind
    Please put down your hands
    ‘Cause I see you

    I find it hard to believe you don’t know
    The beauty that you are
    But if you don’t let me be your eyes
    A hand in your darkness, so you won’t be afraid

    After last week’s penultimate episode I expressed my worries about House definitely quitting therapy. Karen Horney, a german psychoanalyst once said: “Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.” And Sigmund Freud also said that “psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love.”
    So, I guess I have my answer. For the time being that is. As blacktop (#29) wrote: “The whole point of the exquisite final scene is that nothing has been resolved at all, except that they have decided to take a step forward together and see where their relationship can go.”

  • barbara barnett

    Two things come to mind (and in the coming days, I’ll elaborate more on them):

    1. At the end of Baggage, Nolan asks House: “what did you screw up?” He’s asking what it is that House has done that he’s punishing himself for.

    2. When House walks out of therapy he says the answer isn’t in Nolan’s bag of tricks.

    The answer to the question comes to House in “Help Me.” What did I screw up? A decision made 15 years (or so) earlier that changed him so profoundly.

    (Not that other things haven’t had an impact and left their mark on this battered man.)

    He faced the truth of this decision in a way that was striking for its rawness and its honesty. He faced himself. He had no choice but to do so for the sake of his patient (always House’s prime directive) and for the sake of his relationship with Cuddy and confronted with her ultimate decision that he was no longer worth the bother.

    So much of what we see going on with House is played out in HL’s eyes and demeanor. Never more true than in Help Me. How he feels about Hanna, her death and his responsibility for it.

    Interestingly, when I spoke with Lerner, et al, I asked them about the scene with Foreman and the burden House is feeling here. They felt they were addressing this idea of doing the right thing and being good, but still no good comes of it. The way HL plays it, however, you can see how powerfully Hanna’s death hits him. Interesting how many more layers appear in the actor’s interpretation of the words on the page.

    Anyway, more about this when I’m coherent and have more time.

  • simona

    Barbara, a “kissing article”???????? Oh God! I’m sure that your article will make me melt…

    28 – Delia_Beatrice “…need for unconditional love – the type of love he should have been given by his parents, but was not. The type of love that validates a person’s very existence, the type of love that gives a person a full access passport to life and the permission to be happy.
    He needs somebody who signs off his passport to life – somebody who sees him for who he is and acknowledges that he deserves to live and to be happy.
    “You think i can fix myself?”
    “I don’t know” – no contract here, no strings attached, no clauses of dissolution. And BECAUSE there is no contract, he will now be free to try to be the best he can be. He has nothing to test, nothing to prove, nothing to try, nothing to push. Her love is complete, unconditional. And just like a child who is certain of his parents’ unconditional love, House can now really, really try to be the best self he can be – and the happiest.”

    That is a great truth. I think that the full realization of a love relationship can not be separated from the coexistence of two equal and opposite forces: symbiosis and separation. Only if these two forces are balanced we can define love as fully realized. In my opinion this is the romantic love in its fullest meaning, and it requires much strength, much confidence and commitment . It’s hard to realize but when you think you have found your soul mate do not give up. Ever. And friendship, in my experience, is a great starting point.

    29 – blacktop “…House was at his most vulnerable but hopeful when he asked her, do you think I can fix myself? Since day one of this show, House has resisted the impulses of everyone (Wilson, Cuddy, Cameron, Foreman) to fix him. Now at last he acknowledges out loud that he has to try to fix himself. Cuddy’s answer was supremely important. She said she didn’t know if he could do it. No false bravura or optimism, just honesty and realistic support.
    House too was utterly honest for once when he said that he was the most screwed up person in the world. These are two people who are trying at last to be truthful in facing what life and love with an addict will be. Again, what a huge change for them going forward.”

    Yes, I agree that honesty of both was the turning point that paved the way for the possibility of having a relationship.

    31 – Celia “…But supportive, reciprocate love does exist. Is why most of us bother to get out of bed in the morning. As I’ve said else where, one thing I’ve learned from my own trails this past year is that love is tough, cynicism is easy…”

    Oh yes!!!! Such beautiful words……..

    “…HL & LE are this TV age Tracey & Hepburn.”

    They are fantastic together and the comparison with the Tracey & Hepburn’s chemistry fits perfectly

    44 – andree “…Cuddy didn’t leave Lucas for House. Cuddy left Lucas for herself because she knew no matter how much she tried to make things work with Lucas, it never would because she loves House not Lucas.
    Cuddy decided she was done pretending and she stepped up to tell House the truth about how she feels.”

    I agree with you, she did it because she has reached the awareness.

    “…She confessed she loves him. He hasn’t said he loves her to Cuddy yet (just to Lucas) and that makes her the braver of the two.”

    I think it is not so true. This season, House has proved in every way to love her. Obviously he did it in an Housian Way but Cuddy knows him very well and she quite surely felt that he would not have rejected her.

    49 – sophie : thanks for the link :-)

    58 – Dominique “…watching this show is a privilege, not a right! “

    Well said!

    64 – Flo : Thanks for the link :-)

    70 – Meena “…this time, I am really in awe of the writers for choosing such a daring path: honesty, hope, and precariously looking forward to the future.”

    Me too

    71 – Rebecca …“Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.” And Sigmund Freud also said that “psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love.”

    Hi Rebecca and thanks. Freud wrote psychoanalysis books that we can read as if they were novels. Only great men are capable of being understood by all kind of people using simple words to communicate complex truths.
    And the song is amazing :-)

  • simona

    barbara, I’ve read your comment #72 now. Very significant, I need to think.

  • Dominique

    This is a repost, but I think it’s better placed here.

    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.

    Why bring that whole thing up, otherwise? Since we know of House’s doubts about his leg now, it would be a waste not to do at least something with the pain in his leg…

    I would be sad to see that most of the pain was indeed in his head, it doesn’t seem right by House, does it?

    I’m going to forego my own analysis of the final scene because all I ever could have said has been stated, and better than I could have done it. I might have to spend my Summer over here.

  • Diane

    Regarding the comments made on the iphone app, about the “original” ending being darker. Russell Friend clarified that he was referring to the ending of House sitting on the floor with the vicdoin, and that the Cuddy/House part WAS planned all along it was just secret so when he was doing that interview that’s why he referred to it as the original ending. Because it was the “original” ending in the published script. The actors and crew got the script for the end of the final scene while they were filming. Here’s his comment:

    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.

  • andree

    Simona (#73), I may not have said it correctly but my comment about Cuddy being the braver of the two by stepping up and actually saying “I love you” to House wasn’t just ‘brave” because she didn’t know if House would say it too. You’re right that House has proved in every way he loves her (especially giving her a book written by her great grandfather as such a romantic gesture more over with a dedication inside to her and her new housemate Lucas). Cuddy didn’t fear rejection and on that point you’re also very correct. What I meant to say (albeit unclearly) was that Cuddy was the first of the two to actually articulate what they both are feeling for each other. Feeling it is one thing, but actually saying “I love you” is THE biggest step in a budding relationship.

    It would be too unhousian (is that a word?) for House to ever actually articulate “I love you” first. Cuddy’s declaration of love told us she has resigned herself to her fate with House. He needed to hear it in order to trust her and open his own heart

  • barbara barnett

    Diane–thanks. That’s from my interview right here on this site!

  • Jacquelyn

    Barbara, a quick thank you again not only for your very insightful views, but also for opening up this forum to us. I’ve just finished reading all of the comments, and together, they have made me think even more deeply about this very complicated episode. For almost a week now, I’m still floored by it.

    In other fora, I’ve read quite a bit about how “out of character” certain aspects of the episode felt – especially the last five minutes. All I can say to contradict that is that people themselves don’t often act “in character” – and certainly not over the course of six years. They grow, and they change, and this is what makes House and [H]ouse so very special, daring, and bold. Here’s to Season 7 and all it will bring!

  • Cyndi

    Oh my God… This was simply the best episode ever. I thought this season was painfully boring, but I love House and would never not watch. I was on the edge of my sofa, crying through most of this show. The ending was amazing and just what House so richly deserved. Thank you for your great reviews. Thank the writers for giving the fans what they wanted, House/Cuddy, and not trying to make the ending so ” cool” that it was olain stupid. House and Cuddy belong together and I can’t wait till the new season to see them maneuver life TOGETHER.

  • simona

    @andree #77
    sorry for misunderstanding :-)
    I agree that saying “I love you” is a big step in a budding relationship.
    I just wanted to say that for me, personally, “Words and Deeds” are equally important to achieve the goal of mutual understanding and each of us use the tools that are most appropriate for expressing emotions.
    But your comment also helped me to think of another aspect: it was very exciting to see House to use the body language instead of words (which usually is a territory much more comfortable for him)

  • Rebecca

    I just read an entry on Vincent Laforet’s blog. He considers the Season Finale stunning on all levels.
    What caught my attention was the first comment by Craig Whipps:

    “One particular scene at the end made me think the DoP and Art Director of the “House” finale were masters:
    When House was kissing the girl in the bathroom, several times they cut to a view from outside in the hallway. On the wall was the shadow of a swaying tree branch, dancing back and forth.
    Back and forth like two lovers trying to find themselves in a chaotic and uncertain world.
    That’s craftsmanship and artistic vision.”

    I think that’s really beautiful and I wanted to share it with you.

  • Denise

    Barbara, I am a first time commenter, but always enjoy reading your reviews. Thank you so much for your insightfull commentary. There are many times that you sum up exactly whatI was thinking and leave me almost cheering that someone else sees it my way and others where you bring to light a point of view I hadn’t considered. I so agree with you about this ep, but another thing I wanted to mention that I LOVED was the symbolism and metaphor throughout. I found it so fitting that very shortly after Cuddy admits to House that she’s geting married came the discussion about having to consider amputation. Much like Cuddy may soon have to amputate House from her life. The explaination of what not amputating and crush syndrome might do; basically saying that it would release toxins back into her entire system much the way House and his behavior has poisoned the people that refuse to give up on him like Cuddy and Wilson. Then later, when Cuddy does finally explode on him it is as though she has decided finally to amputate him. House realizes that what Cuddy says is true both in the patients case and his own and I feel that when he gives his speech to Hannah he is also in his own way speaking to Cuddy giving her the permission to move on from him. He knows how much he has already poisoined her and just as he says to Hannah, there was time to save it but there isn’t anymore. He knows he has lost his chance but he does love Cuddy and does want her to be happy. He knows that at this point he would not be able to make her happy so he’s telling her that he has made peace with her leaving him behind. He then tells her “I got it”(meaning the amputation of course)almost as if to say “I understand what you have to do don’t worrry about me”
    My heart sank for him at this point but it was great to see that noble side of House that we all knew was there. There were of course parralells between House finally doing the qoute unqoute right thing with the patient and him doing the same in his life during the last year and apparently not being rewarded for it in either situation. Then, the last scene. Cuddy comes back.Though she knows that that “amputating” House from her life is supposed to be the right thing and though she even took the steps to she simply cannot do it. The same way House couldn’t with his leg so long ago. But my very favorite symbolic scene which I did not pick up on at first is when House reaches for Cuddy’s hand to help him up right after she admits that she loves him. At first I thought I would’ve liked it better if Cuddy went down with him much like in under my skin but then I realized it is so much better this way! It is as if she is saying, “Im here, I love you, but I am not going down with you again. If House wants to be happy he has to come up from the low place he has been in and he has to realize he may need her help to do it. So beautiful!!! Any way, I absolutely loved the entire episode.
    it is great to see House finally be rewarded for his efforts and I cannot wait to see what next season will hold Thanks for giving me and the other fans a place to express our opinions and maybe gain some new ones while we are at it!

  • barbara barnett

    What great insights you all have. That’s the beauty of the show: there are so many levels to explore about the human condition. A tree swaying is saying something. House asking Cuddy for help in getting up off the bathroom floor is saying something. Yes, he physically couldn’t stand on his own. But it’s also reflective of “Help Me.” Help me not be alone, help me to stand, help me to express love to someone without it being needy.

    No word is wasted in House, no line of dialogue. Everything has a purpose, whether to add humor or to plumb the depths of the human psyche. That has not changed. And I hope it never will. A good weekend to all of you. I’ll check back in on Sunday.

  • sdemar

    This season I had pretty much given up on the show until the final two episodes yanked me right back in. The showrunners have shown us over the course of the show that they have a way of delivering and exceeding expectations when it comes to the final two episodes. This season was no exception.

    I was captivated by the finale from beginning to end and was left with a very satisfied taste in my mouth because House finally got what he has wanted for so long. Never will I forget his wide-eyed look when Cuddy declared her love for him. Two complicated souls coming together at the perfect time.

    I would love nothing more than to hear how Hugh prepares for an episode because the man never misses a note. He is utterly brilliant and beautiful at the same time.

    So much has been said in the above posts that I don’t have much to add other than I am glad that House and Cuddy are giving themselves a chance at happiness with each other. Why do I think it’s wgoing to work? Not sure why but I do. There will be issues but I think both already know that going in so there are no surprises. I think this relationship is going to add a new layer to the show and don’t expect it to take it over by any stretch of the imagination. And it is definitely going to be fun to watch.

    Like House, I am happy and it is going to be a great summer.

  • hwl40

    re sdemar, I too would like to understand how an actor delivers such a performance and then walks away whole. Most musicians consider the singer to have the most difficult task because the body is the primary instrument and there is no separation. Emotions too but only in the limited way that all musicians perform. How much more difficult for actors who use not only their bodies but also their emotions as their primary instruments. In seriously dramatic roles, how does this work?

    Of course, I have heard the Laurence Olivier comment to Dustin Hoffman who had gone to great physical/emotional lengths to create a role, “Try acting, dear boy”. But I have never heard an answer. Hugh Laurie said in an interview that the finale was the most emotionally demanding episode of the series and that he “got the jitters” just thinking about it. But Hugh – and I assume other fine dramatic actors – goes in and out of these roles. Does anyone have any insight on how he does this? Certainly I – and to judge from this site – others too have trouble leaving it behind and continue to carry its emotional echoes with me.

  • JP

    How do we know House just isn’t hallucinating again?

  • Flo

    @hwl40, there is a big difference between acting and watching. You just see those incredibly emotional scenes and like you said, you carry them with you for a long time. It’s different for the actor. He played it, he did his job and then maybe doesn’t even watch the episode afterward sometimes. It’s a job, and before doing the scene on the set, he reads the script for himself and with the crew.
    An actor, is someone on a set, pretending to be someone else and to feel something he does not personally feel in front of an entire crew. And he does it repeatedely.
    There’s the whole aspect of work and the fact that, seeing the camera and all, having discussions about thoses scenes and how to play it that makes the experience different, that helps them to have detachement.
    Laurie, is, as I understand, very diffrerent from House. I don’t believe that it is particularly difficult for him to walk away from the character.
    However, it depends on the actor, and on the character. Actors, often find how they can relate to the character and build form this.
    Some actors have a hard time to “quit” the character after a shooting. It is not so common though and I never heard this about Laurie.
    As an experimented actor, I believe he knows how to protect himself and see this as a (great and immensely pleasurable) job.

    @JP, the writers of the episode and Katie Jacobs herself assured the fans that it wasn’t an hallucination. Barbara conducted a interview with Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend, I invite you to read it.

  • hwl40

    Thanks, Flo. That makes sense.

  • barbara barnett

    Flo–Thanks. I was going to say just that to JP. It was the first question I asked them. One of the reasons they put that last bit of dialogue into the script with House and Cuddy was to lay to rest the idea it was a hallucination for the fans who watch the show closely and might have been skeptical! Like us.

  • http://blogcritics.org/video/article/tv-review-house-md-a-look/comments-page-3/#comments Max Durdy

    I think the relationship between Cuddy and House is a natural progression for both the characters. The main issue for Cuddy, in my opinion, has been whether the relationship is worth the possible hurt it could create; not necessarily just for her, but also for House. Interestingly, I don’t see this episode as a particular turning point in her feelings, other than that she realised she could no longer continue her relationship with Lucas.
    Meanwhile, in this episode, House becomes a more vunerable state – the most powerful scene, for me, being his confrontation with Foreman. House has always questioned whether there is a point to things; such examples as ‘One Day, One Room’ and ‘Birthmarks’ show he has been affected by the scars of his past, in a greater extent than perhaps the audience will ever know. He questions people’s motivations, because he always looks for meaning, for the answer. In Hannah’s death, he questions whether there is a point to it at all. Lying there in the ambulance, after all the effort, he loses control. Taking back to the episode ‘Baggage’, and before, it is clear he is desperately lonely, and Hannah’s departure, as well as Cuddy’s admittance, is the boiling point for all the self loathing feelings he has had over the past few weeks.
    Hugh Laurie is incredible in this episode. I always find the episodes where it goes deeper into House’s psyche the more interesting, because it highlights his wonderful acting abilities. Hugh Laurie isn’t interpreting House. In those moments, he IS House.
    Great review, Babara. I, for one, think this is the best season since the third.

  • Grace

    I thought that maybe Cuddy was upset and disappointed in the way that House acted upon her engagement… in giving both she AND Lucas her grandfather’s book…..as if he didn’t care that much and that’s why she was lashing out at him so at the accident scene. Anyone know what I mean?
    For the past 6 years I have thought that Hugh was one of the most amazing actors I had ever seen. Little did I know I had not seen the best of his work yet. Even though I believe the finale scene to be rushed and would rather have had the cliff-hanger, in no way did that take away from Hugh’s brilliant, perfect, performance. The words, his facial expressions, his eyes, were all so amazingly right on. I wonder if I have now seen Hugh at his best. Something tells me maybe not.

  • Jane

    Ha! Grace, I know what you mean. That’s an interesting interpretation of what Cuddy might have been going through.

  • Jessica Hart

    This is the most popular and famous show all over the world. I like this show very much. This is my favorite show and I like the storyline of this show. The characters of this show are also well talented.