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TV Review: House, M.D. – “The C-Word”

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“The C-Word”—cancer: this week’s episode on House, M.D. Not so unusual; it is a medical show after all. But our cancer patient this week is far from usual.

For years Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) has been treating the young and the old with compassion, caring and kindness. But unlike his best friend House (Hugh Laurie), who has suffered for years in constant chronic pain, has not had the misfortune to walk in patients’ shoes.

House has a native understanding of what pain—what serious illness—does to a person. It has always informed his treatment of his sickest patients, whether anyone else is privy to it or not. House understands what it means to be at the end of your tether—living with pain every day. In some ways its made him harder, in others—more significantly—its given him a sort of empathy that he reserves for those most in need of it. It is one of the things, probably the most important to me, that keeps House human, sympathetic and watchable.

In an ironic turn of events, last week we’d learned that Wilson has cancer, and this week, we learn early on that it’s growing. The cancer doctor is dying (perhaps) of cancer, and unwilling to die a slow death surrounded by pity and the beautiful lies people tell, Wilson wants to try a risky procedure; something he would never advocate for his own patients.

The procedure has as much chance of killing him as does the cancer, but Wilson, schooled for years not in both witnessing his own patients die, and by House’s success rate with risk, believes he would rather die trying than condemn himself to the sort of a death he only knows from the safe distance of a lab coat and telemetry. The procedure will either work or he will die.

Knowing that House would do everything he can to thwart him from going this risky route, Wilson keeps his plan secret as long as he can. But he should know better; House is nothing if not resourceful—particularly in medicine—and he sniffs out Wilson’s borderline suicidal treatment plans pretty quickly. With Wilson still insistent, House agrees to help, both risking his freedom and his career to administer the treatment himself in his apartment—away from the prying eyes and piteous expressions of comfort Wilson wants to avoid.

House creator David Shore has famously said (over and over again) that people don’t change—even if they want to. That rule applies most of all to House, who has tried (and failed) so often to change his story. But here we are as the series nears its own end, wondering if there is something House can take away from his eight-year journey. Has all that’s happened to him and around him these eight seasons made any difference in his life? Has he learned from his successes and failures? Can he, indeed, change?

The answer is “yes.” The change is less what’s inside House and more about what he’s willing to unguard and allow himself to feel. We know he feels (too deeply, sometimes, in my opinion), but he would almost rather die than allow anyone into his emotional life.

“The C-Word” is a perfect example of why I have tuned in week after week since back in 2004. It’s a beautiful episode, with Emmy-caliber performances from both Laurie and Leonard.

I loved the parallel storytelling two doctors, each desperately afraid of losing a loved one to illness. One, the mother of the sick little girl, is too close to the case to be objective. She wants to be mother and doctor—and it’s nearly impossible to be both at the same time; something she eventually realizes. Perhaps intellectualizing her daughter’s illness is the only way she can cope with it—and maintain her sanity. But in the end, she learns her role in this illness.

And then there’s the uber-objective House, for whom medical distance and cold science are virtually religions.  He realizes that what he is doing is crazy dangerous, and a risk to both Wilson and his own career (but when has he cared about his career when it comes to the medicine). But he also knows he must be there for Wilson—all the way.

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.
  • Jalen

    Maybe somebody has mentioned this already – but I think we can tell that House has indeed changed by the fact that when Wilson begged House not to take him to the hospital, House promised him he wouldn’t and then followed through on that promise. He didn’t call an ambulance against Wilson’s wishes. Nor did he wait for Wilson to pass out and then drag him to PPTH. That would have been the selfish thing for House to do, because I know, we ALL know, how devastated he would be if Wilson died. House cares for his friend so much that he let him choose the path that would cause him the least personal agony – even though House knew he might lose the only person left in his life that he really loves. How many of us would be capable of such an unselfish choice?

  • ada102

    House always has had trouble being objective when someone close to him is in need of help. I think that’s some of why he didnt call an ambulance for wilson after wilson begged.

  • Jacksam4eva

    @Housemaniac: thank you! LOL.

  • alena

    TheDivineOne, MusicandHouse,
    please explain what is meant B9? I am from Ukraine and read this blog to understand better.

  • Aurora B

    @Alena: “B9″ is supposed to represent “benign,” which means “not cancer.” Its what we call a “play on words,’ because both words sound the same when spoken, but are spelled (or written out) differently. We also call that a “homophone.”

    If you’re interested, you can Google “Battleship the game” and get a good description on how to play it, which will help you understand the game of “Pizza Battleship” being played by House and Wilson; however, they were using Tequila (I think), which (of course) is not part of the real Battleship game, which was designed for kids. My brother plays “Pizza Battleship” with his friends but he uses Stoli. Different strokes, I guess.

    Hope that helps!

    By the way, there seems to be some discussion around the internet about Dominika’s country of origin. I was lead to believe that she was Ukranian; however, “real” Ukranians on other sites have complained loudly that her “accent” was not at all authentic and sounded more Polish than Eastern Slavic. I’m curous, what do you think? Thanks!

  • Paulac54

    An excellent review of a WOW episode – and any other superlative you like to throw at it – HL’s direction was spot on, as knew it would be after his direction of Lockdown. The way he showed the gradual breakdown of the awful doctor/mother even had me interested in the POW, and that side of the episode is always the least interesting to me. But the H/W scenes were incredible. The writing, the way it was lit and filmed, and the incredible performances by HL and RSL! Loved Chase taking control of things in a quiet but commanding way, and his ‘epiphany’ look was very reminiscent of a certain diagnostic genius. The touches of ‘love’ by House showing how much underneath all the layers he does care like giving up the Vicodin, risking himself and career (again) by doing it in his apartment (although I didn’t understand why it couldn’t be done at Wilson’s since he said he had been stockpiling equipment there), just everything! that final look between the two when they leave the elevator, said more than any words – then House’ final gift to Wilson – laughter at himself at his own set of ‘Springbreak memories’.
    finally – @Jay:
    Couldn’t have been next morning – as you say Wilson would not have been capable. I assumed it was at least several days. The little girl had had her heart operation and was at the sitting up alert stage, tumour had been biopsied etc. None of that would have happened in the space of a few hours.

  • Jacksam4eva

    @Aurora B: I’m not from Eastern Europe but here’s what I gathered from googling Dominika. Apparently, in the original plot, she’s Ukranian. However, the actress who portrays her is Polish, therefore having a Polish accent when she speaks (I guess…)

  • hwl40

    Regarding the comic ending, it seemed to me that Wilson’s laughter turned to sobs as the hilarity and horror of his situation hit him all at once. I thought it was brilliant but maybe I misunderstood.

  • AreKay

    “The C-Word” ranks right up there near the top as one of the best of the best episodes of HOUSE!

    I LOVED the ending…I thought it was just so totally House! Also, after such a gripping story, it was great to release all that emotional tension with hysterical laughter!

    @ryan – Wouldn’t it be too cool if, after being passed over by the Emmy’s for seven seasons, Hugh Laurie scored a double for acting and directing this episode. RSL also deserves one for supporting actor but after being disappointed every year I’m not sure my poor little heart would survive a triple this year…but I’d surely like to try!

  • AreKay

    @hwl40 – The word I thought I heard House say was “millennium” which would mean he told Wilson that he had enough of a supply to last for the next 1,000 years.

  • Nickel

    I really did NOT think that Wilson could ever be more selfish than at his abrupt departure from House’s life during his grief over the death of his “ONE TRUE LOVE” Amber….seriously? But, true to Wilsonesque form, he soars over that selfishness to prove he can actually be a “BIGGER JERK” than House could even imagine to be.

    As for the comments he said to House, Wilson has never understood that to House, Wilson is his guide. He listens, and more importantly believes, all that Wilson tells him regarding House’s “inability” to be a decent human being. As for Wilson FINALLY being able to walk in House’s shoes, in my opinion it is TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE….

    I kind of understand D. Shore and co wanting to prove that people don’t change…..but seriously, do they NEVER LEARN ANYTHING???? How many times does Wilson have to destroy House before he learns that “WORDS CAN HURT”?

    I am sorry to say that I truly hope that Wilson dies a horrible, painful death and that House finally realizes that the people that he has trusted with loyalty and love do not deserve it, nor do/did they return it.

  • BrokenLeg

    I’m still speechless after this WOW episode!

    As the wife of a cancer survivor I thank Hugh Laurie by his sense and sensibility while directing this touching episode, as for his and RSL wonderful and mesmerizing acting !!

  • alena

    Aurora B,
    thank you for help, I myself would never guess about B9 – “benign”.
    About Dominika. Her “accent” is not bad, though not very good. It sounds like Western Ukrainian, not Central or Eastern. Ukrainian language is quite different in different parts of the country. Ukraine borders Poland to the West and Karolina Wydra is from Poland.
    Thanks again and excuse me my English.

  • D

    Unless you have taken care of a loved one who is dying you will never understand that the cruelest things are often said to the ones you love the most.Pain and stress is almost unbearable at times for the patient and the caregiver,Wilson lashed out at House BECAUSE he loves him.As has House at Wilson.You feel safe saying things to those you love. And sometimes they are a hurtful accumulation of things gone wrong/regrets etc, Wilson apologized as House has to him,Wishing Wilson dead? THATS CRUEL, HOUSE would not have survived that,There is no way he would go on for long.

  • Aurora B

    @Nickel: I think you are being a little too harsh. House deserved a good ass-kicking on more than one occasion. I think that, more often than not, Wilson functioned as a babysitter / disciplinarian rather than a “guide.” House knows how to behave like a responsible adult; he doesn’t need Wilson telling him how to do that. House just chooses NOT to do so and, as a result, very rightly earns the occasional bitch slap. Being a social nursemaid to a grown man has got to take its toll, and Wilson, I think, is sick and tired of playing that particular role in House’s life. He’ll keep DOING it, of course, because its more reflex than reaction at this point; however, there will be times when Wilson will just need to tell House to “sit down, shut up and do what you’re told.”

  • Ryan

    @AreKay: A triple would indeed be quite sweet indeed and well deserved

  • lobentti

    Well, so our terminal patient/show got better … it happens, before the very end … which is close now … sad, but it is what it is .

  • Maria-Eleni

    One of the greatest episodes of House.

    In fact I put it above ‘Help me’ as it achieves greatness within the strict frame of a regular episode, with no showy scenography and other effects,

    Just two private tragedies: one, in the public eye and bright lights of the hospital, of a family (albeit broken) surrounded by the top team of doctors, the other, in a dark living room, of two friends in despair with the bare minimum of equipment (albeit with extraordinary experience and knowledge). The juxtaposition of two parallel stories, that do not connect physically but only in concepts, by alternative building up and then loosening the tension resulted in a gripping 45’ of TV,
    This episode proved that expensive settings and gimmicks are not necessary to produce quality.
    For once in a long time the writers avoided superfluity and delivered a script with effective dialogues and emotionally charged monologues. Even more effective was the directing and editing by using a tight structure that created a quiet suspense that kept me to the edge of my seat, a rather rare occurrence in the latest seasons of [H].

    I was not expecting to be interested in the POTW in view of the H/W drama yet it happened. I was reminded of the early years of [H] when, even though the personal lives of the protagonist and his entourage was what really drew me, I could still be interested in the patient.
    In fact, the contrast of a stoically cute 6 year old (great casting, though manipulative) surrounded by multiple good-looking players in the bright neutrality of hospital with the two unkept middle-aged men, isolated in a gritty, dark, almost claustrophobic environment created an ebb and flow that intensified the tragedy of their situation. This contrast was highlighted by the choice of the colour palettes; neutral in both cases, the hospital scenes were infused in white and paleness whereas in the H/W scenes black and charcoal greys dominated, infused by dark blue lighting.

    Another differentiation in the telling of the two stories was in filming. The hospital scenes were straightforward with few close-ups, most scenes framing several characters in contrast to the single face close ups, often in distortion, of the H/W scenes. This ploy successfully illustrated the surreality experienced when subjected in extreme pain or when witnessing it in a beloved person. Together with the emotional interaction of only two actors, the filming created unbearably intimate and heart-wrenching scenes that mesmerized me as they aptly reproduced the aura I was living in when I watched for days my mother die of pancreatic cancer. The close-up of House feeding Wilson the pills tore up the memories and I had to stop watching for a while….

    (very manipulative on their part; just when I thought I was House-detoxing)

    The acting direction was designed to highlight RSL’s performance, a generous decision by the actor/director HL: Apart from RSL, everybody’s acting was restrained. It was a gamble but it paid off as RSL delivered superbly.
    The parents showed their stress with ‘quiet’ fighting, the mother’s agony was expressed by tightly clenched fists and there was no agonizing thrashing, violent vomiting etc by the little girl/patient. Just limpness and whimpering, nothing to distract from W.’s suffering. And yet they were effective in conveying the hopelessness of their situation with a mixture of resignation and courage.
    HL/House was also quiet in acting, his voice softer and using mostly body language and facial expressions to project emotions, thus offering the more dominant performance to RSL/Wilson. His usual air of command was conspicuously absent; in fact there was a scene that impressed me in its uncharacteristic way of portraying House. At Dr Condo’s (?) office House, speechless and effacing, sits holding with both hands his backpack on his lap, shoulders hunched in a posture very reminiscent of a ‘middle eastern wife’ accompanying a male relative who does all the talking! Fortunately (I was getting worried!) that did not go on for long as the habitual snarkiness resurfaced.

    Finally, this episode reinforced my suspicion that the diminished quality of the show these last 3 or 4 seasons is not due entirely to the writing. I shall even go further and lay most of the blame on the directors who often failed to convey tension and suspense to keep the audience interested. In fact both these factors, secure in the knowledge of possessing one of the best lead actors on TV and a great supporting cast with foremost the excellent RSL, lost the urgency and incentive to produce their best.
    HL is to be congratulated for his foray in directing successfully such a pivotal episode and thus elevating the tone of the show even at this final stage. Hopefully the last 3 episodes will be of the same caliber.

    And lastly but not least: why, oh why, was RSL so underused lately and why, oh why,
    did HL not direct more episodes?

  • housefriend

    HL directing was brilliant.In team discussion just after scene with Wilson hallucinating we see Chase’s reflection as if hes standing in Houses office!!! Chase is the new House, Amazing directionby HL,

  • The Other Barnett

    Nickel #61:

    You had me nodding in silent and moderate agreement until yuo wished the harsh death on Wilson.

    But you brought up an interesting question. Has Wilson really been the noble and flawed white-knight character that RSL/WIlson lovers would have us believe? I’ve always said “no”. Wilson is a good friend and he is certainly worthy of appreciation and admiration for staying House’ friend through it all, but I have a hard time seeing him as a flawed saint.

    Moreso than House, Wilson is emotionally immature. Maybe its because he is expected to be the rock of support to all those cancer patients he has worked with (the scene with him going over mementos suggests it has taken an emotional toll upon him and probably his relationships, too), that he then makes such immature decisions whether in dealing with House, Cuddy, or his personal life….or reacts so teenager-ish about certain relationships (you really hit a target when you hit Amber…it was not that long of a relationship….how could he react so drastically?)

    I would, however suggest that Wilson may still harbor some resentment from House’ rash behavior that led him to prison.

    I don’t hold anything against Wilson for his screed on House as he is dealing with the pain from his treatment. As D said, that kind of pain probably does remove logic and consideration from one’s behavior model and replace it with a selfishness that should be understood.

    What Wilson’s behavior does suggest (from dr. appt. to death-pangs) is that he is as severely flawed (and maybe more so) as House. He is human….he just happens to have a unique ability to better handle the quirkiness/ugliness/dangerous nature of House. But, I’d say he has enabled House at times more than he had to and may have even created some of the situations that led House into certain experiences that only hardened House’ resolve to “not change”.

    And in a related subject mater…..

    Aurora B #65:

    You sound like you and Lisa Cuddy had a coffee conversation about House and Wilson back in 2008 and that you just found an ill-timed oppotunity to assert what you two agreed upon. I think time has changed some of the situations and I honestly think House is not the House that might have deserved such a comment a few years ago.

  • Maineac

    I want to add that HL’s direction was brilliant in that by getting everyone else (himself included) to give UNDERSTATED performances, he allowed RSL to deliver an intense and powerful performance without having to chew the scenery (think of Omar Epps almost-dying in “Euphoria,” which I found unwatchably over-acted.) And unlike some others here, I found the POTW story very engaging and well acted.

    I too noticed Chase’s reflection giving the appearance that he was in House’s office.Nice touch!

    PS I haven’t stopped by here in a while, not because I’ve stopped watching the show (I haven’t) but because I got dismayed by the nature of the comments. So it’s good to be back.

  • DebbieJ

    I must agree with 90% of what has already been said here.

    The C-Word was just sheer brilliance! And I am not showing favoritism because Hugh directed it. It was back-to-basics House. The [H]ouse and Dr. Gregory House I fell in love with. It was a remarkable episode. Very well directed, very well acted and very well written. This might be the episode I wondered would happen that he will get his final shot at Emmy gold. Even RSL deserves a nom for supporting actor.

    My God, these two together have more chemistry, more love than my heart could bear. (And like someone said upthread you can read that through slash-colored goggles if you wish, I don’t care!) House sacrificing, giving Wilson the last of his Vicodin. House IVing up with morphine in brotherhood (and of course because he’s an addict, but you get my drift!). Wilson realizing what kind of pain House is in EVERY day of his life. House helping him to the bathroom. Ugh, I could go on and on!

    At the end when Wilson views the video House took apparently in the throes of his treatment, at first I was saying, NO NO NO, don’t ruin such a good episode with more sophomoric antics with hookers. But the more I rewound it (from the elevator scene onward) and watched it over and over the more I knew my initial reaction was quite wrong! This was just what Wilson needed and was SO Housian!

    The bromance wasn’t overkill, like House claimed. (He was cranky, he was in pain). It was just perfect!

    I just rewatched the episode with my husband a few hours ago and I loved it even more.

    Regarding the last 3 episodes. I don’t want a Happily Ever After and I know that’s not what they’re going to give us, but please, for all that is holy, please DO NOT let Wilson die. I just don’t know what that would do to House!

    One thing that I didn’t see mentioned yet. When Wilson says he always thought when he was old and sick he would have a wife or kids to take care of him, there was no reference to the Wilson’s fake kid story from a few weeks ago. Maybe it wasn’t the right time to bring it up but the more I’m thinking of it, the more I believe that the episodes weren’t written in order and the former one was just a very shitty written episode. That’s my belief and I’m stickin’ to it! LOL

    Learning here that the writer of this episode is new to [H]ouse, all I have to say is what took them so long to hire him?! He definitely sees and knows the House/Wilson relationship better than anyone in the past 2 seasons! I loved when House makes a joke about their “ship” when he says people have been talking for years! You know that is a nod to the slash fandom! LMAO

    Now that the show has been given a booster shot in the arm that it so deserved, I’m excited again and am sorry to see it go. Hugh should be able to direct ALL the remaining episodes! ;)

    I’m not sure what the finale will bring, but Hugh himself said he believes the fans will be satisfied. I mean, that could mean anything. I know we won’t see House and Wilson walking into the sunset, but I’d like to see some contentment for this tragic character. I have no idea how they’ll tie in the returning characters, but for once this season, I am actually now interested.

  • Action Kate

    Ladybelle: Cuddy is NOT Irene Adler (either the classic version or the new BBC one). “The Woman” was the one woman who defeated Sherlock Holmes. She outthought him, outwitted him, played his game by his rules and won.

    Cuddy, as several people have noted, told House that she didn’t want him to change, and then promptly demanded that in fact he change. And even though he did his best to change, she then dumped him when he backslid once. She did not outthink House, did not outwit him, did not play by his rules (she didn’t lie and manipulate and play a Batman gambit).

    Wilson does this for House all the time. Something as simple as pretending to have a secret so that House has a puzzle to solve, because he knows House needs the puzzle… that is outwitting House (Holmes), playing by his own rules. And House loves Wilson for it.

    Back on topic: Adding my voice to the chorus saying this was one of the most spectacular eps of the series, a brilliant high note. RSL deserves an Emmy for this. He was so raw and powerful. And Hugh is a great director.

    I have no idea how the last three eps could top this. I am glad that the writers had the chance to end the show properly, and show us moments like this as a wrap-up/send-off, rather than “oops, we’re over.”

    I will so miss House and Wilson in my life when this is done.

  • Igor

    Action Kate: you are right. My comment was superficial and premature.

  • MusicandHouse

    I am rewatching several season seven episodes and am in the middle of “Out of the Chute” and the talk between Wilson and Cuddy and the begining of the episode had me thinking. She was saying about how he reacted when he thought she would die and how he couldn’t step up without vicodon. This got me thinking about how much better and stronger the House/Wilson relationship is in comparison to what the House/Cuddy one was. House was able to step up for Wilson, and Wilson didn’t care that House was on drugs when he did it because that is just who House is. Wilson was even concerned that House would run out of drugs. But House was willing to sacrafice his drugs for Wilson, which in essence, he couldn’t do for Cuddy, because he had to take the drugs to face her. I’m not saying that House didn’t love Cuddy, he did, but the relationship he had with her, although good for him, was not strong enough for each of them to be themselves.

  • Michelle

    Why are people comparing two different relationships and expect the same expectations from each? One is a friendship; the other a sexual, romantic one. Different emotional baggage and expectations are brought into each type of relationship. So it shouldn’t be surprising that House is going to be there for Wilson and not for Cuddy when both had serious illnesses. Moreover House is emotionally retarded and is basically a big baby in an adult body. So dealing w/ a woman in a serious relationship was predictably something he couldn’t handle which is part of the reason why that relationship failed miserably.

  • The Other Barnett

    MusicandHouse #75

    I think you are turning some of this stuff (when comparing House and Wilson with House and Cuddy) into a twisted logic. Instead of looking at House, look at Cuddy and Wilson and their expectations.

    Wilson did not demand of House for him to change, beyond being slightly more thougtful of his actions. Wilson understands that House professionally is not a good experience, but it serves the patient, so it can be accepted and everyone involved must move on. Wilson seeks a friend who will support him and be there for him, which House has been. How House is present to help is not the issue for Wilson, it is the fact that House is present in a time of trial.

    Cuddy wanted the kind of boyfriend in House that House could never be. She (like many women) wanted to be respected in the professional world, but tied their emotional world in the restraints of the kind that she wanted House to respect in the professional world (which is freakin’ naive for anyone who knows how House operates and succeeds). I would also say that for as much as I think Wilson is not very mature about certain things….Cuddy is not better than a school girl when it comes to romantic relationships. She’s high maintenance.

    And, I’d add that it is seriously unfair to compare a friendship (no matter how close it may be with Wilson) with a romantic relationship. Romantic love has standards, still. Friendships really don’t.


  • housefriend

    House and Wilson ARE the romance.Always has been

  • nikki

    Been reading this blog for about 3 years now, (and reading Barbara’s other work for much, much longer) but this episode inspired me to make a few comments myself.

    Last year, he lost Cuddy because in order to be there for her and face his fear of losing her he had to self-medicate.

    This year, in order to be there for Wilson and face his fear of losing him, he had to not self-medicate and give the drugs to Wilson instead. I think the shared high is very important.

    The scene where he first lies to Wilson about the drugs (and I also thought he meant “minyan”), then goes in the kitchen, counts out what he has left and chooses to try and numb his pain with alcohol so that Wilson can have the vicodin was for me one of the most emotionally powerful moments of the entire series.

    The humor at the end with the slideshow was just brilliant and so Housian!

    But I have to say, I have a deep foreboding about the end of the series. I believe that it is very important that Wilson wrested that promise from House to not let him suffer. I think the series is going to end with House having to make good on that promise – the question is whether it will destroy House to do it. I think we’re going to see a return of 13 (think I read somewhere that both she and Kutner will be in the penultimate episode) and that her role in her brother’s death is going to be important – a parallel to what we may see with House and Wilson.

    I also loved how Chase was able to really come into his own in this episode. He’s done it before, and I’ve really felt like this season they were trying to really spotlight him as House’s heir apparent now that Foreman is well-ensconced in the Cuddy-role. If, House were to step away from medicine, it’d be nice to see Chase become the head of diagnostics.

    One thing for certain, I will be glued to my tv for the final three episodes and I will absolutely miss this series once it’s gone!

  • Michelle

    The Other Barnett #77

    House is high maintenance b/c he’s emotionally retarded. Why give House more slack in his behavior than Cuddy? The double standard and underlying sexism w/ people’s perceptions and expectations of how the sexes should behave has been discussed on this blog for other eps esp last season. Too much slack and allowances are made by both men and women when it comes to male behavior while women get slammed for the same behavior. For example, when women esp in positions of authority are not “nice”, too many people resort to calling her a bitch whereas men are called assertive and in command. When women have multiple sexual partners, they are called sluts and whores. When men have the same number or more, they are called Italian stallions and this behavior is even applauded by other men. It’s disgusting the double standard and sexism that are prevalent in 21st century society. Men are the bigger sluts; look at the prostitution industry, the oldest profession in the world, that basically caters to men, both straight and gay actually. Women are not into that crap and yet are called sluts too often for no good reason.

  • LeaveCuddyAloneAlready

    To all the Cuddy bashers. Everything frustrating or annoying about Cuddy in her hasty, cranky & etc dumping of House was the doing of the inconsistent writing of the show. One minute she’s the only one up to par with him (his Irene Adler) & the next she’s trying to change him and gives up on him. WTF? That’s what Cuddy & Huddy fans like myself are pissed about!

    All this talk about how much House loves Wilson more than Cuddy and etc is a mute point when the writing’s so back-n-forth and, TPTB were claiming how “it would never work” even before S7 started. Examine the Now What? episode and beyond the consumating is the laid out plan of all the stupid reasons why TPTB plotted out their “Bombshell” ending. They don’t know how to write for grown-ups in relationships and wanted House back on Vicodin and acting like an immature frat-boy. They took a wonderful character/actress…Cuddy/LE and did a crapfest to her and the 20+year build of what would’ve been an awesome relationship (had it been written by a team like the ones from “The Good Wife”).

    This show should’ve ended with House, Wilson & Cuddy in a crazy but “3-musketeers-like” series finale and not the galvinizing BS that TPTB did playing with the different fan bases. Please, stop hating on my girl Cuddy/LE. All she did was act what was on paper and what the Director instructed. It’s the storytelling that failed here people not her .

  • Susan

    #81 – EXACTLY.

  • The Other Barnett

    Michelle #80 –

    Where did I go into discussing the comparison of women and men….it was WIlson and Cuddy….not man vs. woman. So all your screed on the unfairness of treatment of women should just stop right there. I don’t care about whether a man or woman have lots of sex partners – both are ho’s. I don’t care if a man is being assertive or if a woman is being assertive – there is a fine line between being in charge and assertive and someone being an ass – gender never enters into it for me.

    Cuddy had this thoroughly unrealistic and hypocritical idea that her status as Dean should not figure into the relationship with House, but that House’ professional behavior (which includes running end-rounds on Cuddy for medical means) should figure into how House sees their relationship. Its understandable that Cuddy had to throw up gates to House professionally – since her concern was the hospital, not the patient. But she tried to envelope the whole relationship in her identity without considering House’ (as a doctor and a person). And her issues with House taking vicodin to be with her was that of someone wanting everybody’s life to be to her taste, while aligning with her needs. Once again, naive and down-right unfair to House. Woman or man, Cuddy was an ass.

    Wilson’s friendship with House is always cleanly separated between the professional and the personal. Wilson understands that House has a way of completing his professional task in a way that may offend, but it gets the job done. Bottom line thinking here. Wilson did not quibble with House’ drug use to be present in his time of trial, he (rightfully, yet selfishly) only cared that House was there for him.

    If this statement of support for Wilson over Cuddy is a commentary on the personal nature of women versus men….then you should just own up to the fact that women want a holistic pink-floating-glitter result that is all-encompasing in how it not only serves the need, but satisfies the tastes of the one in need – while men want to know if the result has been achieved and that no one got killed in the attainment of the goal.

    If you can’t own up to that, well, hell, I have just wasted 8-9 minutes of typing.

  • Ladybelle Fiske

    Ah House, Wilson, Holmes, Watson, I love you. Have since I was about 11 years old.

  • Michelle

    #83 The Other Barnett

    Read #81 and reread my comment #76. As for your penultimate paragraph, um, first of all what’s wrong w/ that? And second it’s b/c men and women are fundamentally different and are hardwired differently, and third not all women want that.

  • Susan

    Barbara, Why are Cameron, 13, Kutner and Amber coming back for the finale and not Cuddy? This is killing me. Can’t you ask your contacts what is going on?

  • @The Other Barnett #83

    Your comments about women practically SCREAM for a Big Round of Kiss My Ass.

    While I agree with your assessment of Cuddy and her “wants and needs” regarding House-as-a-boyfriend, lumping those same unflattering characteristics into a gender-specific rant is a little over the top and a theory wholly unsubstantiated by your overall argument.

    However, kudos to you for managing to piss off the majority in just 8 or 9 self-serving, yet totally fallacious, minutes. Twit.

    (Sorry, Barbara, but he had that coming.)

  • The Other Barnett


    SO I am guessing that if I had not included the last paragraph, all would have been well? Even though the “gender-specific rant” was merely a response to the gender-specific rant that had been made in post #80?

    And Michelle #85:

    Thanks for the more civil disagreement….I agree that we can agree to disagree. My comment (up to the last paragraph – a bit cave-mannish of me) was merely about men and women being so different and that each is being unfair to the other by judging the other on a scale that neither fully can relate with or even wants to understand/abide by. Michelle, thanks, once again for the more civil debate point. :)

    Barb, why does #87′s response feel like a shot of B12?

  • Action Kate

    I agree that Cuddy’s ridiculous behavior is much more a fault of “bad writing” than “character staying in character and behaving like an idiot.” I think the writers (David Shore?) wanted to have the romance, but really didn’t understand how to do it.

    In fact, I am angriest about Cuddy’s behavior because it wasn’t in character. Because until the romance started, she was one of the people, like Wilson, who saw House for who and what he was and worked with his strengths and around his weaknesses. It was her demand that he change that was the problem.

    I enjoyed the House/Cuddy romance, and I would have been perfectly happy to see it continue if LE had stayed on the show. I had nothing against Cuddy before she broke things off with House. I never thought of her as a whore or a slut, and if I’ve ever called her a bitch, it’s with great admiration, because I don’t think “bitch” is the opposite of “nice person.” I loved how tough she was. And I could even have dealt with the entire breakup if, sans idiotic car crash (talk about bad, OOC writing!), she had admitted to House that breaking up with him was a dumb overreaction and that she had made a mistake and was sorry. People do make mistakes and do dumb things.

    DS insists “people don’t change.” Cuddy did: she went from someone who understood House to someone who wanted to change House. And yes, I’m pissed about that. I’m pissed because a character I enjoyed watching was assassinated. I haven’t even tried to rewatch old episodes because now I know how the fencing is going to end (badly). And that’s the fault of The Powers That Be.

    Which is a shame, because technically these are the same people giving us staggering episodes like “The C-Word” and now “Post-Mortem.” It’s amazing what they can get right and wrong.

    @Ladybelle: I discovered Holmes and Watson because of House, so for that I will be eternally grateful. :)

  • Susan

    Another person to agree whole-heartedly with – Action Kate #89.

  • Jackie

    I’ve watched this episode four times already and am so taken with the emotions of both House and Wilson. Seeing House’s reaction when Wilson verbally attacks his behavior over the years with relationships and the hurt and misery he has caused was just as painful for House to hear as it was for the viewer to watch. When Wilson pleads with House not to take him back to the hospital or a ride back in the ambulance, House cradles his head as you would a child. Wilson’s plea almost makes me believe that House would do something to Wilson so that he would not have to undergo any life preserving actions if all hope is lost.

    Regarding a ‘minyan’ – minyan is a group of ten people needed for a prayer service to start. It is also used for the Kaddish – the daily prayer for the dead (morning and night) for a year. It is the minimum number of people needed in the chapel or sanctuary of a synagogue or even a private home for the prayer to be initiated.

    Hugh’s choice of lighting – the bluish hues were reminiscent of those in the previous episode he directed, “Lockdown”. He did a fantastic job and as others have said should have directed a few more episodes through the years.

    Lastly regarding House and Cuddy – you could see the relationship evolve through the seasons and how she felt during “Wilson’s Heart” – when she held onto Wilson who broke down when she said he should take advantage of waking Amber up to let her know how much she means to him. She would have done the same thing for House. The writing in later seasons and plot development seemed to be careful yet careless as to where House and Cuddy would wind up.

    I would like to see House in a positive step forward towards finding that someone special by the close of the last episode of the series. Maybe he will take Wilson’s hurtful but truthful words seriously and “be not afraid” (as he once said to Wilson) to be more open and less guarded in the future.

    I will truly miss this series when it ends and have really enjoyed Hugh Laurie’s terrific interpretation of one of the most memorable characters ever to have been developed for the tv screen.