I’m not entirely sure what to make of the Season 7 House, M.D. finale. I will have much more to say about it, and have a chance to process my own feelings about it later in the week after I’ve had an opportunity to talk with the episode’s writers Peter Blake and Kath Lingenfelter.
Until the last few moments of the episode, they completely had me riveted: a patient (Shohreh Aghdashloo) whose unnerving mirror image portrait of House (Hugh Laurie); House finally processing what has happened between him and Cuddy, realizing that what he had done to his leg was just insane, and that something has to change. He has to change.
House is hurt, and not just from Cuddy. He doesn’t blame her, he says for the breakup. “It’s not your fault,” he tells her, acknowledging rightly or wrongly that his own faults have rendered him essentially unlovable.
But House has been a ticking time bomb for seven seasons. He wants to change; he struggles with his inability to change. He’s tired of being judged and analyzed and having his motivations, his pain and torment questioned. He is stuck and he knows it; he doesn’t need Wilson or Foreman or Cuddy or a patient to remind him of that. And I totally get that. We are meant to see House being pushed and edged to the brink, wanting desperately to be who he does not believe he can be. “It’s not your fault.” Read, “It’s mine.”
But the last five minutes do not add up for me. And I wonder why. With House insanely (and I do mean really insanely) crashing his car into a house full of people—with the potential for loss of life (never mind that it is Cuddy in the house), I'm not sure what to think; maybe that's the point. (It is, after all, a season finale.)
Vicodin plays a hugely important part of this episode. House is taking it like candy; it’s at his bedside—in the ICU. Is it there to remind us that House on Vicodin is a disaster waiting to happen? The amounts he's taking will do more than trash his liver, as Wilson suggests. For House, Vicodin means hallucinations.