Be careful in choosing a new dean of medicine. An core underpinning of the series has suggested that only Lisa Cuddy can both control House and give him enough freedom to save his “hail-Mary” patients. Choosing her successor is one of the most important decisions the producers have to make going forward.
I’ve heard around the fandom “Why not Foreman (Omar Epps)?” “Why not Wilson?” While Foreman has the administrative chops, and he’s come a long, long way this year in “getting” House a little more, I don’t think he’d be effective. He’s as stubborn as House—and he thinks he’s a better doctor than House. Neither trait will allow him to cut House the slack he needs. House would likely run rings around him, and could lead to House and Foreman more resembling Colonels Klink and Hogan (from the 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes). That would be very, very bad.
Wilson is on the hospital’s board and is already a department head, but I believe we need Wilson and House to maintain voluntary peer relationship they now enjoy. So who, then?
I’d love to see a new female dean played by a very strong actress who brings snap and seriousness to the role. I’d also like to see her come in already knowing House’s reputation as a brilliant, troubled diagnostician and understand him from the start. I’d love to see their relationship be completely professional (no flirting!), and for she and House to come to a mutual understanding at some point. Who should play my ideal dean? Helen Mirren? Allison Janney? Mary McDonnell?Someone like that would be just fine by me.
Deal with the pain/drugs issue. Especially if this is to be House’s last season, I would really love to see the series address House’s pain and drug issues head on. House deals with the issues many chronic pain sufferers deal with, including that of being understood—and having his symptoms dealt with adequately. House is also now back on Vicodin, and the pain is exacerbated by his ramped-up emotional turmoil. His physical pain and emotional health are tied up together. Perhaps introduce him to a smart, compassionate pain specialist. Hey, maybe that should be the new dean's medical specialty!
I’d like to see of House's serious side. House has been preoccupied first with his pursuit of Cuddy—and then the relationship itself. He’s spent more time on that, and less with patients, eager to slough off most responsibility onto the team. Although he’s always done that, it’s been more often these last couple of seasons. We tend to learn about House through his interactions with his patients—what’s really in his heart and on his mind. I’d love to see more of that.