Note: I will have a full commentary on House, M.D. "Everybody Dies" later in the week, when I have a chance to digest the series finale. I wanted to post an open thread now, just touching on my first impressions.
Everybody lies. Everybody dies. Last night was the series finale of House M.D. it was full of surprises, twists, and turns. It was a fitting conclusion to this leg, as it were, of his journey. Riding off into the sunset with his best friend, the dying Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), House (Hugh Laurie) is ready for whatever comes next. Although we will not see them, the next months for House will not be easy ones. She will learn to care for his friend, to be the adult in ways that he has never had to before. But he is willing, at least now, to confront this time. He is no longer more willing to self-destruct, to hide, to runaway—to kill himself, but instead, for the last months of Wilson's life to put someone else ahead of himself.
“Everybody Dies” finds our hero in purgatory, the fires of his personal hell lapping at him; waiting to consume him. Facing jail, the death of his closest friend, and the refusal of his colleagues to further enable him, House is at a crossroads—again. So many times he has been here, in this place where dying is the easy way out. And every time, he has (often haltingly) chosen life.
But as the warehouse burns around him, we, as viewers are stunned when it appears that House—always so resilient—has finally decided to end the pain of his life permanently. I scratched my head as I watched that moment with a (virtual) roomful of fans whose “WTFs” and “OMGs” turned to stunned silence (as in no typing) and shock that House was dead. I scratched my head because there were still more than 10 minutes to go, and it didn’t add up to me. What had David Shore cooked up for us in those last 12 minutes? A tribute? A farewell? A meeting in the afterlife for House and Wilson (and Amber and Kutner)? Indeed, not.
In true Housian fashion, once again, not only has House chosen life, but figured out how to game the system entirely! But this time, not to his benefit (not at all), but to Wilson’s. House has destroyed himself: his career is over; his name is eradicated from the list of the living (and in true Holmsian fashion ala "Reichenbach Falls"). He will never practice medicine again as the world-renowned diagnostician. But he chooses this in a pure act of selflessness and self-sacrifice—just to “be there” for Wilson and help him live out the last few months of his life in happiness and peace.