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Will Prison Change Doctor Gregory House?

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I keep wondering about which Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) we’ll get in three weeks when House, M.D. returns to FOX for its eighth season. I know we’ll get Jail!House, dressed for success (not) is prison orange. But that’s not what I mean. I mean, once he’s out of the slammer and back in the friendly confines of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, what then?

I’m focused on that because, frankly, that’s why I watch House—and always have. I’ve always found House, M.D. a fascinating character study of a deeply flawed and complex troubled soul.

I imagine that while he’s in prison, he’ll be all about the pushback and toughness. House will use every bit of his considerable street smarts to manipulate his way through a system that would eat him alive if he didn’t. He’ll be sweet and compliant enough to please the powers that be, and at the same time, get his way by his wiles and medical brilliance. His fellow inmates will see him (eventually) as some sort of legendary hero who work miracles. Despite what we’ve seen in the promos so far released to the public, I believe this is the Gregory House that will eventually re-emerge into the daylight post prison.

So, I do not think he’ll feel chastened or at least outwardly show the tiniest bit of remorse for what he’s done to Cuddy and the havoc he’s wreaked with his own life. I do not think we’ll see House very introspective in public—even with Wilson, and certainly not with the diagnostics team or the new dean of medicine. I think he’ll distance himself from everyone, viewing his patients as puzzles and putting his emotions in the deep freeze. He probably blames his lack of emotional control—and allowing himself to feel—for all of his troubles these past two years. Even if he’s had months of new therapy, he’ll never let it show in front of his colleagues—especially not at Princeton-Plainsboro.

And he’ll probably be a bigger jerk than we’ve seen him in years. He’ll be caustic, uber-rational and unemotional. His sarcasm muscles will be primed and ready. He’ll act as if nothing matters and that the events of the past several months have barely fazed him. And I’m okay with that—if. If we get something—some signal, some sign that somewhere deep behind those expressive blue eyes that it does matter.

It will have to be tempered by something of which we’ve seen very little over the past couple of seasons, and that is House in his more private moments. We’ve been privy to very few of those moments where we see House alone in his flat or his office, introspective, thinking, hurting, agonizing. And with House’s emotional life more open to us as his feelings about Cuddy, his leg and life in general have been exposed we haven’t necessarily needed those moments.

But I think that in the aftermath of Season 7, House will be completely emotionally closed off, much as he had when we first met him back in Season 1. But back then, and through the seasons, all that had to happen was for the camera to pan in close up on his eyes, and we would know. There was a rich and complex emotional life hiding behind them—and we could see it. But only we could see it. Wilson, Cuddy, the team—none of them had perceived what really goes on beneath the surface. So as long as we get those moments, I’m just fine with an unbowed and still-arrogant House.

Here’s to a great Season 8! House, M.D. premieres Monday, October 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX. And for those of you who are curious and haven’t seen it, a little preview from the folks at FOX:



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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • If I were him, I would never forgive his fellows for leaving him alone in jail without visiting or calling.

  • 2Lightworker

    42-Barbara Barnett

    I think I’m stuck in maybe the 15th century with romantic tragic heroes 🙂
    Your valuing some of the winners I understand and respect; I would like something different in the awards ceremony, but it is what is, and I look forward to positive responses to House, Hugh, and all who work in a sincere and committed way, providing us with the best they have to offer.

  • 2Light–HL never covers his bald spot for any public appearance or TV guest spot. The shorn look–very spiky. I like the longer hair, but I’m stuck in the early ’70s.

    As far as the Emmys go, I also had only a faint hope of his winning. I was thrilled to see Peter Dinklage win for Game of Thrones. He was easily the best actor in the first season. I was also thrilled to see Guy Pearce win. I’ve enjoyed his performances since I saw him in LA Confidential back in 1997.

  • 2Lightworker

    39-Ladybelle Fiske
    “I was angry that HL didn’t win the Emmy.Just plain stupid, I think. Maybe next year if it is the last…”

    I wanted HL to win too, as I do every year, but did not have more than faint hope, because I have concluded that like so much in this corporate-controlled world, the Emmy’s are about politics, money and power, and however worthy ANY of the nominated people may be, the results are not likely to be the result of a fair and in-depth assessment. Why HL has not won after such a range of performance, I do not know, but don’t think it has anything to do with his extraordinary gifts. I think when he said last year before the Emmy’s after he was nominated again, that “it’s a business, for the new and nubile,” he was summarizing his opinion in a matter of fact way.
    He’ll go on to greater acknowledgements with his future work, even he doesn’t receive the Emmy award for his performance as Gregory House that he deserves.

    His subtle wit and sly humor in announcing Kate Winslet’s award, as well as warm embrace and kiss as she came on stage, were way beyond the mentality of much that transpiared.
    With sincere respect for those who did win, from viewing as much of the Emmys’ choreography and patter as I could endure, alternating with PBS’ Masterpiece Mysteries, I can’t say the thinking behind the scenes is on the level of HL’s intellect, sensibilities, and talent.

  • 2Lightworker

    38-Barbara Barnett

    Barbara, you could write a short essay on fan responses to Hugh’s hair and lack thereof. A tweet at the Emmy’s stated, “Hugh Laurie arrived with his bald spot, his publicist, and his manager.” What’s that about?

    Although aesthetically I like the longer hair, I think Broken Leg has a point that it may be too glam – though I agree he does look haggard (and hollowed out) in the promos. Perhaps the longer hair is left-over from his time in Paradise (and from Hugh’s time in Papua New Guinea?)

    He is shorn in most interviews (except the CBS Sunday Morning one that was probably taped a while ago), and some refer to it as “looking like a hedgehog.” Is there “meaning” to that, or a superficial Hollywood move to looking younger and hip?
    I found him looking quite glam with it at the GQ awards (he glowed, but then those dearest to him were there), but generally like it wavy/curly, even if shorter.

    I wonder why there is comment at all, since he has talked about it (on Desert Island Discs he said one of the reasons he and Stephen ended “Jeeves and Wooster” was his incipient baldness, “couldn’t have Bertie Wooster going bald”), goes to interviews, about his personal life, and in film events without a hair piece, even if ruffled with mousse or whatever. He has described what the House hairdresser does to “my bald pate” by adding “fiberglas” to build it up.
    If he’s comfortable, why the remarks?
    Actually, on concert tour, he looked incredibly attractive and sexy, and he appeared to be totally au naturel.

  • I will watch the show to the last minute of the last hour (and I’d bet most others will too. It’s still “the most brilliant show I’ve ever known” (to paraphrase Dr.Cuddy before her untimely departure)– well, not really. The most brilliant was The West Wing. But House, MD is pretty brilliant too.
    I was angry that HL didn’t win the Emmy.Just plain stupid, I think. Maybe next year if it is the last…

  • Broken Leg–He looks very haggard in episode 8.01, despite the long, shaggy hair

  • BrokenLeg

    33 @ 2Lightworker

    My poster name will be always BrokenLeg here , as a remembering of a hard time on my life and a remembering of my own ,-and never enough understood before-, fragility.

    But I must disagree with your opinion and others’ as BB, about HL hair.I personally think that one full of stress year in jail could have been used to give GH same look as HL in real life has: getting bald…and still sexy!

    31 @ Kaliera


  • Barbara barnett

    Love the hair.

  • DebbieJ

    @#33 – Lightworker – I agree about Hugh’s hair. I really like it styled this way. Have any of you seen that drop dead gorgeous shot of him, lying face up, across two Marshall speakers? THUD! His hair is a bit grizzled, as always, but is longer and shaggier.

    Thank you, folks for allowing me a little fangirl time. 🙂

  • DebbieJ

    @#31 – Kaliera – You are my hero!

  • 2Lightworker

    @25 Broken Leg
    Look forward to maybe your change of poster name? 🙂 Good news all around, keep riding with the wind gently surrounding you!

    We’ll see where all this goes. Tired of the negativity, still an enthusiastic HL fan, and realize have learned a lot about fandom that I never knew, and some of which, I wish was still unknown. Must say, his hair in the promos is something else 🙂

    Kudos to Barbara, House Daily Dose, and all who seek balance with a constructive perspective.

  • Earth Orbiter

    Ya know, I think I’m going to become a television reviewer so I can see all of the shows a week or two earlier than the madding crowd.

    @Kaliera: Your remarks are the first time I’ve ever read David Shore being compared to an enema. I LIKE you.

  • Kaliera


    I’ve learned to distrust the series premieres as a general rule – both “Broken” and “Now What” were standalone from normal series format as well in terms of pacing and story. However the rest of both those seasons were spent negating anything learned/started/stated in those eps.

    It’s not going to be episode one and two that would likely tick me off (as I suspect if Earth 2 aka “Terra Nova” weren’t a 2 hour premiere the week prior we would have had a 2 hour episode of “House in Jail”) – it will be episode 5 when House is comfortably back at PPTH and up to his old vicodin popping, clinic dodging tricks as normal.

    Leading research now says it takes between 66-200 days to form a new behavior. Episode 1 of season 8 as far as I am concerned is David Shore on a cleanse. 2 weeks to flush season 7 out of his system, and he’s back to normal.

  • Angie

    Barbara, that’s good to hear because that’s the House I have come to understand. He’s no sociopath, and he’s certainly not a psychopath, as I keep seeing people post. I don’t think he meets the criteria for either classification.

    I have hopes for this season, despite the unnecessary jerking-the-audience-around that made up a significant part of last season.

    I really hope they address his childhood in a real way. I feel that it would be dishonest to avoid it. Hinting is all well and good, but there’s nothing wrong with addressing it directly either. What made House hate himself so much? He may have been born willful, but I’m pretty sure no child is born hating themselves. Unless he can face that question himself, it would be dishonest to allow him to break free of his dysfunction. If he can’t face it, he will probably die.

    I have my suspicions about which of those are most true to the character, but it kind of depends on if they allow him what it takes to reach an epiphany.

    Looking forward to hearing more about the first episode!

  • Angie,

    I agree. But no one more than House believes he deserves to be punished as is evident from 8.01

  • Angie

    Wilson=sacrifice House’s life for Amber’s.
    Cuddy=knowingly gets involved with a severely damaged and fragile man and makes the whole relationship about him proving himself to her, without clear rules. And then leaves him.


    A lot of people could use a little redemption around that joint.

    Yes, it’s a character study, featuring House, but it’s also a commentary on society and ethics and personal motivations.

    Why is House unforgivable and the others are not?

  • I have seen the season premiere. It’s a major change of pace from season seven (and six to a great degree). I really liked it. More on it later this evening.

  • Betty

    I’m with the ones who are not buying the back to basics nonsense. DS and the writers are delusional, so is Hugh Laurie with his ridiculous recent interviews about the show. And I’ve seen the promos and sneak peeks. These people clearly are smoking on something. What a mess they made of last season with the crappy writing, and it continues. Enjoy the sinking sink. I’m bailing this Titanic.

    Thanks, Barbara, for your previous reviews. It’s too bad things on this blog got unpleasant at times. Good luck.

  • BrokenLeg

    @ 22 2Lightworker

    Welcome back, my friend!
    Answering your questions: My leg is almost as good as before the crash. I’m still doing my late rehab to strengthen my quadriceps muscle, but, yes, I can ride ( more “peacefully”) my motorcycle , but be able to feel the wind in my body and face again is pure joy ( and every time I’ve dusted off my bike, not riding this summer, I’ve remembered your two months ago post!!)

    Regarding the letter, no, I’ve not received any response, but it has not been returned to me, so I hope that it has arrived to its destiny.

    About [H], I agree with you that “It doesn’t have to be a soap opera in order to have positive energy” and regarding the unrealistic approach to GH’s prison days: Yes, he is a white, cultured MD ( not the kind of people with problems in prison), and with his psychiatric and addiction history he’ll fulfill his sentence in a psychiatric hospital, or at least, in a prison infirmary, a much protected environment.

    Like you, I do not believe the show runners have had any kind of epiphany, and personally I have many doubts about next season 8. Really is the first one I do not wait nervous and the first I do not feel that anxiety of good old times. And I’m afraid not only by season 8, but by the series finale. Today, with DS demonstrated pessimistic vision of life, I see only one possible ending: Greg House own death (the final step to this “journey” of one step forward two steps backwards).

    And yes, I’ve read “Mr. Pip” this summer. I get it from Amazon because I couldn’t find it in spanish. Such a good story to HL great acting talents! As you’ve said, “We’ll see those hypnotic baby blues there, full of melancholy and some humor”.

    As you, “I grieve for what could have been in letting House move forward into “doing better.”

    In any case, we’ll wait and see.

  • Magnificent Elliot

    Has anyone else seen the latest promo for “Twenty Vicodin”? Not only is Foreman apparently the next dean of medicine, but he also offers House a chance at getting out on parole. It looks like we’re in store for some interesting times this season!

  • RobF

    My attitude of “I don’t know if I’m going to bother to watch Season 8” is wearing off. I know the writers can do a great job with the character if they put their minds to it, so I’ll cross my fingers that they bring the show back to a real, meaningful place.

    One episode of House in prison is probably enough. But then what?

  • 2Lightworker

    @21-Broken Leg So glad you are here! How is your recovering leg? Ride your motorcycle yet? BTW, I never received a response to the letter I sent; did you?

    Prison & House: I LOBE that you wrote about the world as darker than in 2004. Here in NYC, which had been traumatized by 9/11, that’s true. Only in my art classes is there a different energy – more light, beauty, experimentation, people are nice with each other. Out in the street, very self-involved, texting without looking while crossing the street, much edgier. Always when people lose jobs and homes, can’t get new ones – deep anger and hopelessness and more crime out of desperation.

    So I respond “Yes!” when you write that what House was in the beginning may not be as attractive as it was then.
    I think Hugh in all his endeavors is exploding with growth. But the character of House is trapped in someone else’s limited mindset.
    It doesn’t have to be a soap opera in order to have positive energy. BBC mysteries very often deal with tragedy, dysfunctional characters, and even violence, but there is a resonant wisdom underlying it all.

    There are critiques in the US about injustice in the prison system with racial and class factors. In this country, a white doctor wouldn’t be in a “Lock-down” type prison, but in a minimum security facility with protection. He wouldn’t be in a humiliating situation to the extent the promos show for House.
    Given House’s psychiatric and addiction history, he may have been involuntarily hospitalized in a psychiatric treatment facility, viewing the crash as a symptom of mental illness.
    It is confusing in the promos,showing mentally ill prisoners getting their meds, etc. But it is prison, not a mental hospital. In the 1980’s in New York State, mental hospitals discharged patients, many of whom then went through a revolving door to prison.

    We have talked about the showrunners’ lack of sense of the seriousness of social issues (sex trade, green card marriages), so why would they show a raised consciousness now?
    I will cut them slack and watch, but given their history with dropped plot lines (like what about the green card wife? oh yes, DS said she wouldn’t be back or did I dream that?),I have seen nothing in what they have said in defense of S 7 criticism and in the increasing number of S 8 promos to give me confidence that they have had an epiphany.

    I still care about this show that had been amazing, mostly because I have so enjoyed Hugh’s mesmerizing performance, and then following his breaking out his music, the videos of his concerts, and his upcoming film work.
    BTW, If you haven’t read “Mr. Pip,” I highly recommend it. Now there is a story about the real world!
    We’ll see those hypnotic baby blues there, full of melancholy and some humor.

    I grieve for what could have been in letting House move forward into “doing better.”
    Gracias for your perspective!

  • BrokenLeg

    @ 20 2Lightworker

    Nice to hear of you again!! I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer. As almost always, I can subscribe entirely your post, but most this thought: “Did the writers actually type the line that came from House’s mouth, “I can do better?” They might consider taking that as their own mantra.”

    @ 16 Just Wondering

    You are SO, SO RIGHT!!! Specially in this part : “….We are the ones who add all of the mystery and mysticism to an otherwise @sshole of a character, with whom no one would even have anything to do in the real world. Must be the blue eyes. “

    I only can add that nowadays world situation it’s not the same than 2004’s, when [H] successfully began. People life perspectives, worldwide, are much darker now. And I doubt that this “back to basics” will be again successful today, even returning to good medical cases, but with a character unable to evolve, that not only don’t change, but who even is devolving , like @ 9 DebbieJ wisely has noted. There too much back-up in the character wasted. Shown and then wasted.
    And I do not think that this time HL great acting talents will suffice. Not even his beautiful baby blue eyes.

  • 2Lightworker

    All these comments, as well as Barbara’s carefully conceived writing, come across as more deeply thoughtful than what I have seen/heard on interviews discussing the scripts, characters, etc.
    Interesting about the parallels to more violent characters and shows. TPTB perhaps believe that is the catnip to up ratings, or are they disinterested in the original subtlety and layered meanings?

    Makes me feel like Steve McQueen on his wheel in the cage on House’s coffee table.
    Lucky Steve – he had happy hour with Hugh, who is the main reason I now watch. And I agree he can do magic, but the silk hat may lack the rabbit.

    Did the writers actually type the line that came from House’s mouth, “I can do better?” They might consider taking that as their own mantra.

    Thanks to all for the honest and balanced responses here.

  • DebbieJ

    @#16 – Yeah, that must be it.

  • Oversimplified

    @ 15 rbrown205

    I’d completely forgotten about the trashing of the office in ‘The Fix’, but now you come to mention it yes I was also deeply uneasy with it and Wilson’s shrugging off of it at the time too. I was also a little uncomfortable with the way Chase manhandled Thirteen in ‘After Hours’: he may have been defending himself, but to actually grab her so hard that he leaves marks was seriously OTT. I don’t know what’s going on, but the writers do seem to have lost perspective on the type of show they are writing for. From the look of the promos yet more aesthetically exciting but ultimately pointless violence will be winging it’s way to the audience in the premiere.

    @16 Just wondering
    In answer to your question, I’d say a definitive yes. On your other point I think Hugh Laurie had a lot to do with that too, but right now although he’s a spectacularly gifted actor, he’d have to be a miracle worker to turn the character around.

  • Diane

    Thanks Barbara for another great article. I love the show, love the risks they take, love the excitement it causes and can not wait for season 8. Obviously not everyone agrees with all storylines or plots but I love that we’re still talking about it. It made an impact. I think it’s great TV.

  • Just Wondering

    Does anyone else think that the fans of this site and that of Ausiello spend more time speculating about the back story and House’s feelings, motivations, etc., than do the actual writers, who basically are under pressure to churn out stories in a limited amount of time? I don’t think they particularly give a rat’s @ss what we think; they just wanna get paid. We are the ones who add all of the mystery and mysticism to an otherwise @sshole of a character, with whom no one would even have anything to do in the real world. Must be the blue eyes.

  • rbrown205

    I agree with Shane 100%. Gregory House is not a police analyst, and he isn’t a chemistry teacher. He is a doctor. Although one can grant that stereotypes of all of these professions are not like real people, and, also granted, these are not real people anyway, there is something desperately wrong with the violent bent with which this character has been recently written.

    In the past, most acts of violence have been accompanied with drug effects (Chase, Finding Judas), or there was a weird kind of diagnosis involved (the potw’s father,The Hunting), or even consent (Alvie, Broken). But the scene in The Fix when he started to trash Wilson’s office simply because he lost a bet was scary to me, even more than the zombie-chopping in Bombshells. And somebody did get hurt in Moving On – again, Wilson.

    What are they turning him into? There IS a change, in the midst of all of these assertions that people don’t change – there is a change for the worse. I have yet to watch anything past a few minutes of the other two series, because I didn’t want to see a violent central character, and I still don’t. Like Shane, the only reason why I would (not WILL) watch House this October is because of Hugh Laurie – and Robert Sean Leonard.

  • DebbieJ

    @ #13 – Jane: I am standing up and applauding. These are my exact thoughts. You have managed to articulate them much better than I ever could, so I thank you for that.

    (I just hate saying: “What she said.” LOL)

  • Jane

    As many television analysts and commentators have pointed out over the past two years, the time of having a static anti-hero has passed. People like the notion of the anti-hero, but no longer feel compelled to care about a character who is constantly being put in situations just to see how he reacts; they want movement. Part of that movement involves growth from failure. What we have in House is a lot of failed attempts at “happiness,” “contentment” and even comfort, but we don’t see growth from even the failure, which is human nature. Fans were hoping that’s where they were headed, but S7 proved they only want House to be as low as possible and decide it’s hopeless, therefore remaining stagnant. This going back to roots is comfortable for some people because the alternative is continuing to watch the destruction of this character since TPTB simply are not going to accept the change in viewer interests. So, when viewers compare to Breaking Bad and such, they feel let down. And, those looking for the original dynamics will be disappointed, too because they have done to much to all of the characters to ever really go back. Ironically, the comfort being found in the hope for clinic scenes and strong medical cases is just that – hope. They have been weak in these areas for years, and the reality is that what made the clinic and medicine strong in the past was how they revealed House. Keeping him static and hopeless means no need for the reveal, which means nstrong medicine. Unfortunately, TPTB are not really helping themselves, and this eternal hope will help sell books surrounding Fan interpretations and beliefs of the past, but it won’t alter the hopelessness of TPTB and their approach to this show. The evolution of this character – even as a result of constant pain and failure – would have been material that Hugh Laurie could turn to magic. The cowardice to take on this challenge underutilizes his great talent. Tragic end to such a show that the fans obviously loved more than the creators.

  • Zazie

    “It’s too bad we all placed more substance, complexity and value into this that DS and the writers ever did or will.”

    OMG it’s so true, I don’t want to offense writers and DS but sometimes I think fans have a more interesting approach about House’s character and the show in general, for example we all speculated last season before the finale, and then I watched the finale, I was very disapppointed, ok it was shocking, and also poorly filmed, and I knew right away that it won’t bring something new in Season 8 (just a new dean of medicine).
    The only good thing I heard after this finale was that shore said he wanted a return to basics and for me it means, fascinating medical cases and hilarious clinic duties, ultimately it’s not so bad.

  • Lucy

    # 5 Linda
    # 9 DebbieJ

    yes, I think House’s evolution has come to an halt. But IMO, also the devolving has. IMO, Shore wants to tell us that not everybody can change and not everybody can be happy. So after the very negative outcome of his “search for happiness”, in S8 House will just rely on what he has – his job, his friendship with Wilson, maybe his music – without striving for things he can’t have (a relationship for example). So I think he’ll be functional, focused on his job, and as Barbara says, unemotional and caustic. We’ll probably see here and there that maybe he misses the times when he could hope for something more and had something more, but he won’t want to go there again.

    But then… something more will have to happen towards the end of the season / series right? Honestly even if I can’t say I’m excited about Season 8, I’m curious about the way this series is gonna end.

  • Oversimplified

    @Debbie J

    I’ve mentioned this before in other places, but I really do think Shore et al are being influenced by the likes of Breaking Bad and trying to emulate some of the violence etc with none of it’s subtleties. The trouble is what makes that show really special is that the things that happen to the characters and the horrific things that they do cause them to evolve. I recently caught up with Breaking Bad from the start and it’s plain to see that not one of the main players is in the same position they were at the start of the show, for better or for worse, which I believe is much more realistic. Their relationships with each other evolve accordingly too. Equally importantly they really do suffer as a consequence of the things they’ve done, and not just for a couple of episodes before everything is forgotten. There’s an ep called ‘Problem Dog’ in which Aaron Paul’s character basically spills his guts about some of the truly awful stuff he’s done at a group therapy session, and comes to the conclusion that no matter how many people say he can be forgiven, he realises ‘It’s not ok’ and comes to the self-realisation that his actions have permanently changed who he is. Boy did that scene make me wish they had the guts to do something similar with House. Whilst I agree on some level that House would return to his shell and reinternalize his thoughts and feelings, now really is the time for an ‘explicit’ admission of guilt/responsibility at least to Wilson and/or a permanent shift in his relationships, if only to keep the protagonist at all palatable and the narrative in any way believable. In my opinion anything less is basically ignoring a massive elephant in the room and expecting the viewers to do the same.

  • DebbieJ

    Okay, let me try this again. I was responding to what Lucy in #4 said about House evolving and to what Linda said in #5 about spinning wheels, going in circles with no real forward progression.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve seen House’s evolution come to a halt. He is now devolving. Seems like DS always put House one step forward and two steps back so by now where at the point of no return. This is not the kind of character I can root for. It seems sadistic. Don’t know if this was DS’s vision of his character from the get go or if he had outside influences (other shows’ characters that seem to be a hit with the audience, i.e. Brian Cranston’s character in Breaking Bad), but I just don’t care. This (the House we have at the present) is not what I signed up for.

  • Hopefully, the writers will see that the end of Season 7 heavily divided people. While I didn’t hate House for it completely, I obviously thought what he did was reckless, selfish and extremely dangerous.
    I’d prefer to see those more personal moments with House as the writers need to have him redeemed in the viewer’s eyes. They have to recognise that the House that we left in Season 7 was a wreck, to the point where nobody could really relate to him anymore. From that, hopefully Season 8 (possibly the last) will be a gradual journey back to a House we can relate to. Hugh Laurie’s acting isn’t the only reason I watch, but there’s no question if anyone can show redemption in a character, it is him.

  • DebbieJ

    #4 Lucy said:

  • Shane

    After months of barraging us with “jerk” House and shell he became in the finale, I’m afraid I need more than to “see it in his eyes.” The time for subtlety passed when they chose the path of violence for this character. It’s time for them to take some ownership in the direction of House and in the character himself. That will mean a bolder approach than a subjective gleam in his eyes to redeem him.

  • Linda

    I don’t think you are wrong. This is exactly what I think they are doing. They “explored” the idea of change, and now it’s just time to go back to House being House. The fans aren’t satisfied with this exploration of change any more than they’ve been satisfied with any of the other “explorations” because TPTB have never really taken the path. TPTB just allude to a direction, but never fully take it. The show is about spinning wheels, going in circles with no real forward progression. This continued hope for more puts fans on that same wheel. It’s too bad we all placed more substance, complexity and value into this that DS and the writers ever did or will.

  • Lucy

    “This is why I want to see (no matter how off-putting he is) that he is feeling the full weight of season 7 on his shoulders, if only in HL’s eyes.”

    Barbara, I’d also want to see that, but I’m not sure this is TPTB’s plan.

    IMO, the crash in Moving On wasn’t meant to introduce a new season in which House evolves, deals with what he has done or ‘changes’ because of it. On the contrary, I think it had the purpose of closing the ‘House tries to change’ chapter to get back to the procedural roots of the show.

    So ok, there will be an arc (2-3 episodes maybe) in which they’ll briefly show us the aftermath of House’s actions – and I’m sure we will get to see that he feels some remorse for what he did in Moving on (without admitting it of course).

    But after that, once this arc is over and House is back at PPTH with his team and a new dean, I think that the events of the last years of his life (Mayfield, the detoxing, the relationship with Cuddy, the prison) will not really play a big role in season 8.

    Then who knows, I’m probably wrong 🙂

  • Amy

    This has been my question, Barbara. Will prison change him? Sometimes I think that it won’t. Since House can’t supposedly change, then prison can’t really be too bad for him, can it? I hope that we do get some private moments in the premier and subsequent episodes where we see what he really feels inside. I want to see fear(at times) in prison. I want to see remorse etc in episodes as well.

  • Hi Debbie,

    You can’t help how you feel, and a lot of people would agree with you. This is why I want to see (no matter how off-putting he is) that he is feeling the full weight of season 7 on his shoulders, if only in HL’s eyes. I’d be fine with that. I don’t feel he’ll be unrecognizable–or even unsympathetic. But it’s tricky.

  • DebbieJ

    Sadly, I find myself not caring what happens. I hate that I feel this way, but I blame that on David Shore and Greg Y.

    As I said on my post on the previous thread, the one and only reason I am returning to Season 8 is Hugh Laurie. He deserves my adoration. DS & Co. do not. I find myself not even coming back for Gregory House and it even pains me to admit it and type it. But he has become such an unsympathetic and unrecognizable character, I find myself not caring about him anymore. And feeling that way really sucks.