That’s a big question, and one to which I believe the writers will respond very early in the season. But it will be tricky, and they have to keep in mind that most fans of the show do not watch to see an unlikeable ass—at least not long term. They want to see House struggle with doing the right thing, with ethics, with his personal and professional choices. Ultimately, in my opinion, House is a compelling character because he tries to do the right thing. He is who he is—the jerk and all. But his quest to be happy; his quest to be healed; his quest to do the right thing are what make this character likable despite deep flaws.
Looking ahead to Next Season
Having aired my thoughts on Season 7, I do have my personal wish list for next season, whether Season 8 is the final season—or the penultimate series of episodes. So, writers and producers: please take note!
Deal with the crash. Whatever his motivation, House crashing his car into Cuddy’s home at the end of "Moving On" is a horrendous act. It is exponentially worse than anything House has done to anyone in the time we’ve known him. Yes, it may be the impulsive act of a man at the end of his rope; he may be out of his mind; he may have simply snapped. It doesn’t matter.
He has destroyed part of Cuddy’s home, terrorizing four people and whatever neighbors might have witnessed it (not to mention Wilson). There have to be serious consequences for his actions. It would be creatively dishonest for the series to whitewash things and jump ahead three months back at Princeton-Plainsboro, situation normal (as had been the case at the starts of Seasons 3 and 5). The fans felt cheated then, and though those seasons turned out to be two of the series strongest, too much of the fan community is upset and angry right now for the story to jump-shift like that. We need to see House dealing with the legal, personal and professional ramifications of his actions, finding a way to somehow redeem himself in the eyes of his colleagues and the viewers.
I completely trust the writers to find an intriguing way to do this, and I think like all shocking cliffhangers, this one leaves a lot of questions, but as many possibilities, including how they deal with Cuddy’s obvious absence in the aftermath. Her departure was something the creative team could not anticipate, and it will create both a major void and some opportunity. But it would, of course, be much better if they might…
Find a way to bring back Lisa Edelstein—if only for an episode or two (or a full story arc). Her departure is real blow, and despite the fact that House and Cuddy’s personal and professional relationship now lies in a pile of rubble, Cuddy is part of the show’s foundation—and could have been a key to House’s road back.