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Writer/Co-Executive Producer Doris Egan Talks About House, M.D.: The Season Five Finale and Beyond

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The fifth season of House, M.D concludes with Dr. Gregory House (the always extraordinary Hugh Laurie in a heartbreaking performance) watching his world come crashing down around him — his sense of reality shattered, unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. It was a somber way to end the season, the camera pulling back to reveal the lone figure of Wilson, watching sadly from afar as House enters the doors of Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital.

House co-executive producer and the finale’s writer Doris Egan explained the significance of the final sequence during a one-on-one interview the day after the finale aired. We also discussed the episode’s themes and the series’ relationships.

Egan has written for House for several seasons, penning some of the best and most beloved episodes of the entire series, including season three’s “Son of Coma Guy,” her Writer’s Guild-nominated “Don’t Ever Change” (co-written with Leonard Dick) from season four, and season two’s “House vs. God,” for which she received a Humanitas Award nomination.

The final scene of “Both Sides Now” intercuts joy and sadness: the sunny spring setting and smiles of delight as Chase and Cameron exchange vows and wedding rings set against House’s shell-shocked expression, gray chill day and desolate walk up the steps of Mayfield. The montage, set flawlessly to the Rolling Stones’ classic "As Tears Go By" was choreographed by the series’ Emmy Award-winning director Greg Yaitanes (he won for last season’s penultimate episode “House’s Head”). “Yaitanes pretty much laid out the choreography of the entire final sequence, except for House handing his belongings to Wilson, which was scripted,” Egan explained.

The difference in atmosphere, she said, was intended for visual contrast. “In my original version,” noted Egan, “we went inside the place and saw House hand himself over to strangers there, recite his symptoms flatly to a doctor as his personal possessions were taken and Wilson added unhappy amplifications — all without sound, under music, as you saw it — and then Wilson watched as House went through a locked door.”

Moving the final scene outside, she said powerfully demarcates the different worlds that House and Wilson now occupy. Obviously, if you go that way, you still want to see House divest himself of his ordinary possessions and all they imply; so as House hands Wilson his wallet, pager and cell phone and watch, Wilson became the Keeper Of House Past.”

Egan told me that there were a couple of main challenges to writing the script, which had to be written so the big reveal of House’s delusion wasn’t given away too early. During the entire episode, she said, House and Cuddy were on different pages: “House was going to be thinking one thing and Cuddy something else.”

Neither the characters nor the audience were supposed to put it together until the last few minutes of the episode. “Of course we couldn’t keep them totally separate throughout the episode. They were going to have to have conversations that worked on two different levels and make sense to each character as well as the audience.” We knew what House believed: Cuddy was having second thoughts about starting a relationship with him.

But it wasn’t actually until the end that we understood their ongoing argument from Cuddy’s point of view as well. Egan pointed out that it’s also a challenge for the actors because the dialogue is written on two different levels. “They have to be true to what their character is thinking and can’t give too much away.”

The other challenge in writing the episode is that from the audience’s perspective, House and Cuddy slept together in the previous episode (“Under My Skin”). “Ordinarily when that happens,” said Egan “the next thing you want to give the audience is the morning-after fun and games, and perhaps some morning-after more serious things. You want to get to the romantic comedy of it.”

She suggested that as a viewer, she would expect some sort of banter between them the morning after. “It would be great to see how they deal with it. But we couldn’t do a full-blown episode like that — because the lovemaking never happened. I could imagine an entire episode full of this House-Cuddy banter.” But not this particular episode. She liked the idea of House shouting form the balcony and Egan said she would have liked that idea even if they had actually gotten together. “'Cause man, it had been so long!”

Although the nature of the story precluded any sort of post-coital romantic comedy, it is clear as House limps around his apartment the next morning searching for Cuddy he has fond recollections of their passionate lovemaking, especially after he finds her lipstick on the sink (and smeared on his face). The scene is dialogue-free but, said Egan, “the script directions describe it as a ‘sort of Christmas morning happiness.’” That is exactly the sense you get from House’s quiet delight, played impeccably by Laurie: a faint smile, a gleam in his eye — afterglow. “That is one great thing about these shows,” noted Egan. “You put something like that into a script and Hugh or someone else… it’s so perfect. It’s wonderful to watch. It’s like being God (seeing your creation come alive).”

The densely packed season finale timed out overtime, causing the show to run an extra minute. But there was even more that never made it the screen, including a story thread in which House insists to Wilson that the nature of the friendship had changed. “House would go into Wilson and say ‘Clearly I don’t need you to get my life together because I have just become incredibly efficient at that, and I’m about to have intimacy with another human being! And you’ll just have to acknowledge that and be alright with it!’ I was going to have a whole thread of that, and actually did in one version, but there was no room!”

(I can just picture the smug look on House’s face, turning the tables on Wilson, who had changed the parameters of their friendship late last season when Amber came into his life, and again after her death.)

Another short scene also had to be cut in which the patient, Scott, tries to take Wilson’s advice and communicate with his other half. “I thought it was a great scene and it was short, but we couldn’t even fit that in. Stuffed to the gills.”

A real hallmark of the series is its rich, multi-layered scripts, which weave several threads around the episode’s themes and ideas. Hugh Laurie once likened the series’ scripts to Faberge eggs because of their intricacy. Egan discussed a couple of the themes that threaded through “Both Sides Now,” and how they threaded through the episode’s several storylines.

“One theme obviously was romance or what people want in finding their significant others.” For the patient, his girlfriend’s love saved him eventually, willing even to do battle with his very assertive right brain (and left hand). Carl Reiner’s Eugene Schwartz sought out medical attention to appease his wife’s annoyance with his “squawking.”

Cameron and Chase worked out the “glitch” in their marriage plans, as Chase refused to accept Cameron’s need to keep her dead husband’s sperm “as insurance” against their marriage not working out. Cameron needed Chase to understand, and eventually he did.

House, too, in the morning after (albeit delusional) glow of his new affair with Cuddy. In House’s mind, Cuddy helped him, healed him, and loved him, even in the aftermath of detox. “One thing that kind of is cool about that … is that it’s a sort of romantic trope,” explained Egan. “That someone can be saved through the love of a good woman. Usually the idea that her strength and her mothering and her understanding, which is like unto no one else’s, will pull a man back from the edge and he will become a better person. It’s a romantic idea, and in real life, most of us would say you can’t really change people that way.”

Egan feels the fact that it is House thinking that way is almost subversive, because this is usually a female romantic notion. “But this is actually House’s fantasy. That he really wanted that so much. I love that it was the man thinking this way.” Of course, noted Egan, “in his right mind House would mock anyone” even suggesting such a thing.

“Both Sides Now” also deeply explores in the patient and in House (and to some extent Chase) “how we are each our own storyteller.” Egan explained that this idea was “something that really struck me when I was doing my original research into split brain issues. I’d always been interested in it and had done a paper on it in college.” She had always hoped to one day write an episode about it — and the opportunity finally arose.

Scott has had a corpus callosotomy for a seizure disorder, which severed the communication bridge between his right and left brains. But the procedure has left him with split brain phenomenon and alien hand syndrome, which brings him to House’s attention.

Egan told me about two split-brain researchers, Michael Gazzaniga and Roger Sperry (who won a Nobel prize for his work). Like their subjects, Scott’s right brain can perceive things the left cannot. That’s why he was able to draw a candle when his left brain couldn’t see the word on the screen; and why when he reacted to seeing the words “stand up” even though he could not see them. His right brain made up a story to fill in the gaps. “Gazzaniga believed the left brain is the narrator of our lives,” Egan explained. “The part that makes it all make sense. The storyteller. I loved that. We basically take the weirdness of the universe an make it make sense to us. There’s always a story you tell when you hear about something to make your own life make sense of it.”

“I loved the idea that House’s left brain was making up a story — a story he would most want,” she said, shifting the focus from the episode’s medical story to its more personal story of House’s issues. Egan sees House’s split from reality, his left brain confabulating the fantasy as “a way of not having to give up Vicodin as it started happening right after House realized that he would have to enter rehab. He knew he had to give up the Vicodin somehow.”

Already beginning to break with reality, suffering hallucinations, “House’s brain handed him this gorgeous rationalization all glittery and shiny.” She explained that throughout the episode, House’s right brain, “which is associated with insight taking in all the details that the left brain isn’t even paying attention to and making connections that the left brain can’t make” is trying to signal House as he deals with Mr. Schwartz. With House’s brain not working properly, he isn’t able to make the sorts of connections he usually does but, Egan said, “gradually he starts picking up on things.”

It’s is clear during House’s final scene with Mr. Schwartz, House is clearly shaken that he hadn’t picked up the clues correctly, missing entirely the possibility that the 87-year-old man had pancreatic cancer. The clues had been there, but House had wrongly attributed them to Scott’s condition. After that things begin to unravel completely.

“House realizes that what happened with Cuddy probably never happened. And it’s probably to him the biggest shock of his life. That he cannot trust his own intellect,” noted Egan. One of House’s most important gifts is his insight. Although House mocks the value of the right brain, Foreman rightly reminds him that House owes much of his diagnostic gift to his right brain. “And now,” Egan explained, “it’s actively working against him.”

Cameron and Chase’s glitchy wedding plans also weave through this theme. Egan explained, “Cameron's self-deception was pretty obvious. Believing that she wanted to hang onto the sperm as an insurance policy fit her image of herself as a reasonable person; it's reasonable, as she points out, to prepare for the worst, even if you don't expect it. Hanging onto the only thing left of your husband because you simply can't bear to let go is far less reasonable, though perhaps more understandable.”

Egan added, “This is entirely my own take, but I also think Chase's initial feelings about Cameron wanting to keep the sperm were colored by his internal narration. We've seen Chase grow into a confident doctor and a confident person, at ease with himself and his relationships. He graduated from ‘House’ school, he wooed and won the woman of his choice. But internally, he still has some old storytelling about himself that he hasn't entirely shaken off. Chase fears he's Cameron's second choice. He knows she had a thing for House; he knows she was married before; where does he come into this? The guy who's available because the other two aren't? And now she chooses to keep the sperm of a dead guy, over choosing marriage with him? What does that say?” Until Chase could step back and look at the problem from “right-brain insight,” she said, “he took her story at face value, and assumed she lacked confidence in their marriage.”

I noted the fact that House has admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital rather than a rehab facility like the one at Princeton Plainsboro he went to in season three’s “Words and Deeds.” I asked Egan why House the doctor and House the series made this choice, despite the fact that his problems seem to be connected to his Vicodin use. “I think House is definitely worried about mental illness. He’s obviously gone on beyond occasional hallucinations; and now his brain is presenting him a complete alternative delusional reality. One he didn’t know was false,” she ventured. “I absolutely think that’s his fear and that’s why he’s going to a psychiatric hospital. But beyond that, you will learn next season.”

When Kutner committed suicide in “A Simple Explanation,” House agonized over his inability to pick up on the clues in time to save his life. But as 13 put it, there often aren’t clues. No notes, no cues, no clues. I wondered whether the very guarded House, who buries everything beneath that snarky exterior, had himself left any clues for his colleagues before he went down the “rabbit hole.” Should his closest associates, Cuddy and particularly Wilson, have noticed his behavior before he melted down at the finale?

“The clues were more for the audience than for Wilson,” Egan said. “For instance in ‘Under My Skin,’ many in the audience might have noticed that House’s Vicodin withdrawal was sort of fast — certainly faster than we’ve seen on the show.” (Actually that “rapid detox” was a hot topic throughout the House fandom after the episode aired!)

“Also,” continued Egan, “House and Cuddy got romantic pretty quickly after that, which might have been another clue that all is not quite right with this picture. The thing that makes it harder with House is that he does have issues. He does use too many drugs for one thing, and that’s probably his biggest issue.” But it’s not the only thing that might have caused his hallucinations: factor in sleeplessness (at least at first), depression, guilt over Amber, guilt over Kutner; the list goes on.

“But clearly there was something wrong and he was trying to diagnose it,” said Egan. “And after all, House is an expert diagnostician.” As House went about trying to figure out why he was suffering hallucinations, Egan thinks “Wilson was hoping House was getting to the root of the matter. Of course, Vicodin was the last thing on House’s list as a possible cause. That’s the one thing House didn’t want it to be.” Wilson assumes that drugs are the problem, and eventually, after eliminating everything from multiple sclerosis to schizophrenia in “Under My Skin,” House had to face real possibility that the drugs were causing his problem.

House tells Wilson at the beginning of “Both Sides Now” that Cuddy helped him detox (and more, of course!). House is looking pretty good for someone going through opioid withdrawal and not in a lot of pain. “House assumes the detox is going better than expected, never questioning his lack of pain. After all, Cuddy had told him that opioid dependency can make you think you’re in more pain than you actually are.”

But, Egan added, Wilson was still “a little worried that House is in denial about his pain level.” House’s actual level of pain could be masked “because House is now focusing on Cuddy and on the little mysteries he’s apparently creating about her second thoughts.” As Wilson puts it, House is being affected by “romantic endorphins” because of his feelings for her.

“But Wilson wonders how long that can last. And, what’s going to happen when the pain comes back?” Of course, noted Egan, “then House goes nuts. The end. I think Wilson does his best, but he never has the complete facts. For that matter, neither does House, with his brain actively working against him.”

Earlier in season five, Wilson reconnects with his schizophrenic brother, many years after he had disappeared. We learned in “The Social Contract” that Wilson feels considerable guilt about his brother, who vanished shortly after Wilson refuses to take his call, back when he was in medical school. I wondered how Wilson’s experience with his brother would inform his interactions with House.

“Personally I can’t think of how he can’t think of the parallel,” Egan said. “And that’s why Wilson had to be the one to take care of House at that point. I don’t think Wilson would allow anyone else to do it, but that’s just my personal take,” she added. But an expert one, as she seems to have a particular feel for the dynamic between the two friends.

Of course, within some parts of the House fandom, Egan is revered as St. Doris, the patron saint of House/Wilson shippers. “I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love writing Wilson as a character. I like the kind of ambiguity Wilson has. The man has levels. He’s a good character that way.”

She said she has now become known as the official House “road trip” writer, having penned several episodes over the year involving House, Wilson, and a car. Going somewhere. “Birthmarks,” “Son of Coma Guy,” and now “Both Sides Now,” all feature House/Wilson road trips. “I do like people going in cars somewhere,“ Egan said. “I don’t know what it is…”

Egan said she likes writing the other House characters as well, beyond House and Wilson. “I think Chase can be fun to write, particularly since he took a turn a couple of seasons back, and grew up and into the person he is now.” She also enjoys writing Cuddy, although she feels she hasn’t had as much opportunity to write her. “I sort of have to find the spots where they come into things. Of course,” she teased, “we write a lot of things here you never hear about.”

Egan confessed to writing a detailed outline for a prequel to House and Cuddy having sex “for real. And man, it was hot. That’s all I’ll say. It was only an outline, but I put a lot of detail into my outlines.” She hoped her House/Wilson shipper fans would not be too upset that she had ventured into a bit of “Huddy.”

With the season starting its sixth year in September, I wondered how long Ms. Egan thinks the show will go on? “I don’t know,” she replied. "I’m a little surprised we’re still fairly an interesting show this far along. And I don’t know how long that can be kept up. It’s like juggling oranges. I’m not sure how long it can be sustained. On the other hand, we really do have great people, which makes all sorts of things possible. That’s all I know.”

Although Egan wouldn’t tell me anything about what’s in store for next season (“Starfleet command has not given me permission to go there,” she quipped), she did say “there would be fallout” from House’s issues. I tried. Honest I did. All I do know is there will be tomes of fanfiction written about it over the long, hot hiatus.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Orange450

    Yay!!!!

    I’m copying and pasting this to read tomorrow AM, because I STILL can’t print here ;)

    Sight unseen, I know I’m in for a tremendous treat. Thank you so much for giving all of us these wonderful extra-curricular (so to speak) experiences! Tomorrow’s commute thanks you too!

  • barbara barnett

    Hey Orange! First commenter. Hope you enjoy the interview. It was fun speaking with her about the show.

  • http://milena-barbosa.livejournal.com Milena

    Egan confessed to writing a detailed outline for a prequel to House and Cuddy having sex “for real. And man, it was hot. That’s all I’ll say. It was only an outline, but I put a lot of detail into my outlines.”

    Doris Egan writing House/Cuddy stuffs, ow I’m shocking. And yes she really needs work more on Cuddy. I do like Doris, but this Wilson thing sometimes bugs me.

    Great interview Barbara, THANKS!

  • Lin

    Great interview, Barbara! You got some very insightful comments from Ms Egan, so thank you.

    So it looks like all the House-Wilson conversations in BSN were real? I wasn’t sure if those were also a part of House’s delusions. I’m also a bit fuzzy about the timeline in that episode, as the wardrobe change indicates that it happens over a couple of days, but House was still referring to the event (the Huddy sex) as having happened “last night”.

  • http://pwinn.tumblr.com/ Phillip Winn

    I need to watch these last two eps again.

    And probably again. :-)

  • Claire

    Thank you Barbara for this great interview. Cannot wait for season 6.

    I’d have a question about the ‘huddy outline’ part of the interview (could be a stupid one, English is not my mother tongue and I don’t know much about tv series ‘making of’ procedures :) )
    Does it mean that they actually considered a ‘real’ sex scene between House and Cuddy, that was later replaced by the ‘allucination’ storyline? Or is it common for authors to write outlines even if there’s no real plan for the storyline to be actually included in the series?

  • Marie

    Wow !!! thanks for the fantastic insight into the last two episodes and all the depth that went with it , I do understand a lot more of the whole package of House going to the hospital rather than just Rehab now ,Doris Egan rocks for me Barbara,she just KNOWS House/Wilson ….. would love her to push for the prequel though , her writing Huddy would be awesome I am sure , Thank you too Barbara for all YOUR reviews over the season which have been terrific , hope you are able to keep us sustained with bits and pieces over the next few months , its going to be a long dry summer ,(regardless of the weather ) without House ,if ever you get the chance to come over here to the UK the offer of the Housethon still stands , thank you again for all your efforts and hard work Barbara its much appreciated . lots of love and stuff from England xx

  • nc

    Barbara, thank you for the great gift of this interview! Lots to digest and savor.

    I wonder whether DE likes road trips for their sense of journey and because it enables a writer to control characters’ interaction closely because of their proximity. That, and it takes them out of their usual orbit and exposes them to the prospect of new influences.

    Fascinating to see the centrality of Cuddy’s role in House’s life from someone who makes it so.

    What a dream job it must be to write for such a superlative cast.

    Now to survive the summer–thanks to reruns and Barbara! I look forward to any and everything you choose to discuss.

  • JL

    Thanks, Barbara (and to Doris Egan, I suppose) – this is great reading.

    I hope DE doesn’t feel beholden to House/Wilson shippers and therefore wary of writing any ‘Huddy’ stuff. The two are certainly not mutually exclusive (unless you’re specifically shipping House and Wilson romantically, and David Shore said he felt the show wouldn’t be going there).

    I am a little disappointed on reading this interview, because I don’t receive the impression that the writing team yet know where the House story is ultimately going. I feel that this is going to be so critical if they want to ‘sustain an interesting show’ much longer.

    Barbara, is this your impression, too? Or did you feel DE’s reticence on the future of House implied an understanding of what is to come?

  • JL

    Oh, another question I forgot to ask – was DE suggesting that House’s right brain and left brain are not communicating correctly?

  • maya

    Thanks for the interview, Barbara. Doris Egan is a brilliant and creative writer and I enjoyed the background she gave us on the medical stuff. But I am really disappointed after reading the rest of the interview because it seems like they are writing these brilliant, layered episodes for the sake of being clever, not as a way of developing the characters. This is “Lost” comes to “House”. They are lucky to have HL on the show (and RSL and LE) and I am starting to believe that they don’t deserve such a brilliant cast.

    **But, Egan added, Wilson was still “a little worried that House is in denial about his pain level.” House’s actual level of pain could be masked “because House is now focusing on Cuddy and on the little mysteries he’s apparently creating about her second thoughts.”**

    Is she kidding me? I was hoping that some of the House/Wilson scenes were hallucinated and I get the impression from this that they were all real. If I am right, then I am very disappointed because Wilson has been written as both a moron and a bad friend. How did he allow a hallucinating and mentally fragile House to wander away into night after rejecting the rehab? When House came in the next morning and announced that he had detoxed in 24 hours and slept with Cuddy, why didn’t he ask him if he had stopped hallucinating his dead ex girlfriend? Why didn’t House show him the lipstick as proof that he had slept with Cuddy? Why was Cuddy so short and impatient with House when he came to her office looking disturbed a day after he had confessed to her that he hadn’t been sleeping well since Kutner died and she had given him a prescription for sleeping pills? I can get on board with hallucinations within hallucinations for a good payoff but they are writing the characters to fit the plot and ruining them in the process. It’s quite sad, really, but I am not surprised because they have been doing that all season long so this is a fitting end.

    **Egan confessed to writing a detailed outline for a prequel to House and Cuddy having sex “for real. And man, it was hot. That’s all I’ll say. It was only an outline, but I put a lot of detail into my outlines.” She hoped her House/Wilson shipper fans would not be too upset that she had ventured into a bit of “Huddy.”**

    To learn that the writers worry about ships when writing a script is very disappointing. My esteem for the show has gone down some notches, frankly.

    **“Personally I can’t think of how he can’t think of the parallel,” Egan said. “And that’s why Wilson had to be the one to take care of House at that point. I don’t think Wilson would allow anyone else to do it, but that’s just my personal take,” she added.**

    Wilson won’t allow anyone else to do it? That sounds creepy, frankly and ruins their relationship for me.

  • DeeAnn

    Thanks for a geat article. This is the only TV show that I would care about getting into this deeply. The article explained so much. I still watch reruns on other networks because this is just not an ordinary drama. Every time I watch an episode I get something new from it. I’m usually disappointed at a season closer of any show, but definitely not this one.

  • Rhoda

    Thanks for the interview. Always interesting to get the insights of the writer, especially in an episode with so many twists and turns.

    I have to disagree with Maya, however. I certainly got the take during the episode — and from the interview — that Wilson was concerned about House’s physical status. He was certainly taking it more seriously than House was. House, as DE put it, is in the Christmas Morning bliss. Wilson pushes at him, asking how he feels, bringing up the idea that endorphins have replaced prescriptions (as we’ve witnessed before, and Wilson is certainly aware is a standard coping mechanism for House, dating back to Detox). Wilson’s continual pushing in favor of the relationship certainly feeds back into his hopes that it’s endorphins. He wants House to feel better, that means boosting this relationship (which he doesn’t know is delusional) to continue the feeding of endorphins. Also recall that the episode takes place over a very short time period and that Wilson is aware that if he pushes too hard, House will just shut him down and shut him out and he has in the past.

    And I don’t think there’s anything creepy about Wilson wanting and indeed desiring to be the person who takes House on that final step. He’s always been House’s confidant, his friend, his supporter. House needs that now, more than ever, and for Wilson to have stepped aside would have been out of character.

  • barbara barnett

    Thanks everyone for your comments. About that outline–remember, it was in the context of her saying a lot of stuff gets written an not used. People write stuff all the time to file or discard for future refernce. I don’t know when she might have written it, but I certainly don’t get the impression it was for this episode.

    She wasn’t worried about “ships.” It was just something she wrote. Period. Nothing to do with anything, and she shared it with me. She was joking when she said she was worried!

    I agree that Wilson would want to do right by House. He feels he screwed up with his brother, now he finds himself in an eerily similar situation with House. Of course there are parallels. what she said was that he “had” to be the one (wouldn’t let anyone else do it) because that way he couldn’t screw it up again.

    There is no more to her words than what she actually said. No subtext or agenda. I loved what she had to say about all of it.

  • sdemar

    Thanks for the write-up and for sharing, Barbara, and a special thanks for the great job you did all year long keeping us entertained.

    No doubt DE loves writing House and Wilson and House and Wilson in a car.

    Will be interesting to see what sort of fallout DE speaks of? Wonder if House’s medical license will come into question?. And I am really curious at what point in time Season 6 will start. I don’t think they can by-pass this part of House’s journey from the viewers, at least, I hope not.

    I would have loved to know who’s idea was it to film at Mayfield? Obviously this place is not around the corner from the Fox lot and required some travel from Hugh and RSL so some thought went into it.

    Thanks again.

  • sdemar

    One more comment. Would also like to see DE give it a try at trying to write some good Cuddy storylines.

  • sandra

    Thanks for the great interview! Doris Egan is definitely one of my favorite writers, her good feeling for House and Wilson is great, you could see that again in this season’s finale. I’m really curious to see where House’s stay at Mayfield will lead. Will he loose his license? Will he ever be the same again? Hard to say, we’ll see in autumn I guess. I also love how DE managed to point out the parallels between House’s and Cameron’s character, this way the whole scenario with the dead husband’s sperm makes much more sense.
    Thanks again and have a great weekend everyone!

  • barbara barnett

    “I am a little disappointed on reading this interview, because I don’t receive the impression that the writing team yet know where the House story is ultimately going. I feel that this is going to be so critical if they want to ‘sustain an interesting show’ much longer.

    Barbara, is this your impression, too? Or did you feel DE’s reticence on the future of House implied an understanding of what is to come?”

    I felt DE reticence was from not wanting to divulge anything. They are still working on the story details and was concerned about leting anything slip that then turned out not to be true, so she preferred to say nothing at all. Completely respect that!

    I also think that (and this is completely my opinion) they don’t know how long the show will last (who can know?) and writing anything is an organic process. Every script presents new possibilities for future threads. It’s this discovery process (just like in writing a nove) that I would think helps to keep it fresh. I would guess that somewhere in David Shore’s mind there is a sense of where it’s all going, but don’t know if it would be fleshed out (or if it even exisits).

    JL–I also got the impression that House’s brain’s synapses were not firing correctly. Something was interfering with his sense of reality. Was his left brain making up a tale that would be palatable to make life more livable for him? We all do that to some extent (as she said), but something’s off in House’s internal communication system to make it impossible to tell what’s real and what’s not.

    Rhoda–Wilson was absolutely concerned about House. Egan said that explicitly. What would happen when the endorphins wore off. Clearly House was feeling better than his condition would realistically suggest. Wilson had no way of knowing that House hadn’t actually detoxed at all.

    Sdemar–thanks so much. I’m curious about the fallout too. And I personally don’t think they will bypass or make nothing of House’s very serious status.

  • maya

    Barbara, thanks a lot for the clarifications. It’s impossible to tell the tone of someone’s words from the writing so it’s good to know she was joking about the ships. And I would pay good money to see the stuff that doesn’t get used on the show.

    But I am not convinced that Wilson would allow a hallucinating House to wander off into the night the way he did, especially after what happened with Danny. I also don’t buy Cuddy’s behavior with House given what she knew about his sleeplessness and given how strangely he was behaving. It makes absolutely no sense and I can’t fanwank it no matter how hard I try. I am an avid fan of the show, especially the House/Wilson/Cuddy stuff and it’s disappointing for me when they write the characters around a story they want to tell. The characters should drive the plot, not the other way around. Here, the plot called for isolating House from his two best friends and they made Wilson and Cuddy behave in a strange way to get it done.

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/arts/television/12hous.html?_r=1 Eve K

    First of all, amazing interview, very interesting! DE is an amazing writer, and the director takes the script to another level! It was so much better to have the last scene outside the mental hospital than inside it. The end sequence with the cutting between the exchange of rings and Houses giving Wilson his things was genius. And the whole scene of driving to the hospital in the rain, House closing his eyes, Cuddy closing hers at the sunny wedding, they are so connected somehow…

    I have just re-read “Newer promised you a rose garden” By Hannah Green, and the “driving to the mental hospital” scene reminded me of her going to the hospital in the beginning of the book with her parents. To them (and Wilson) the hospital looks like a end station and a scary closed place, to the patients its not really there, they are to caught up in their own emotions. But the look of Wilsons face in that last glimpse to House – it was telling him – its gonna be all right – I will be there for you… SRL can say so much without saying a word.

    Maya – remember that Wilson is an enabler and sometimes he sees what he wants to se. And that is a way for House to be happy.

  • http://twitter.com/enbeecee nc

    Barbara, new (ugly) wrinkle with BC format: 1st comment of each page thereof is invisible on screen, at least for me. I can read it in the source code, but that’s all. Granted, I use an older version of the Mac OS, hence not the latest/greatest Firefox version, but it was fine before they did whatever they did in the last few days. And there’s a mile of white space before the comments actually begin.

    Back to DE interview: I love her balance between the need to incorporate elements which advance the plot and her real-time respect for the characters as truly rounded beings. The best fiction does both: move the plot engine forward and reveal the personalities the writer has created (or is writing, as in episodic drama). The utter dearth of “cardboard” anywhere in this show is one of its most compelling attractions for me. That and the fact that the acting rises to the insanely high level of the writing. My nearest and dearest just doesn’t “get” how I can watch an ep multiple times and not get bored. But then, he likes sports more than stuff with plots!

  • Jen

    Thank you, Barbara! This has been so much fun! I love the H/W scenes, I love the H/C scenes and the “road trip” eps are some of my faves! Although the trip to MPH was so somber, scary and sad for both H and W. I am still wondering what was live and what was a dream.

    I have just a few ?s…what direction might this season have gone in if KP hadn’t decided to go to the WH? Hummm…also, what about H’s motorcycle accident? Was that only so he was in the bed next to the “Locked In” guy? What about the Psychiatrist he was seeing from that ep? Might we meet him/her at MPH? Also, who do you think prescribed H the methodone? Could it have been Chase as was mentioned either here or on Spoiler TV. Or maybe Cameron? Also, remember back from House’s Head/Wilson’s Heart when Wilson asks House, “why were you drinking alone so early”, that is what led to Amber and H being on the bus…

    I will be spending my summer watching the entire lot of S1-S5. I will check back regularly to see what is going on and cannot wait until S6 begins! I look forward to the Emmys as well, to see the ever sexy HL in his tux!

    Have a great summer Barbara and all!

  • Gerry

    “But I am not convinced that Wilson would allow a hallucinating House to wander off into the night the way he did, especially after what happened with Danny. I also I don’t buy Cuddy’s behavior with House given what she knew about his sleeplessness and given how strangely he was behaving. It makes absolutely no sense and I can’t fanwank it no matter how hard I try”

    I don’t see that there is much to fanwank–it makes sense to me. Wilson is hoping House is going to make his own choice to go to rehab, because he knows if he doesn’t, House will just cheat the system. He’s BTDT. He knows House is concerned and trying to diagnose himself, and he believes in House’s power to do that. The last thing Wilson wants is have House shut down from being pushed too hard. And like everyone, he’s thinks House is indestructible. This is the man who asked his best friend who had just suffered a heart attack and a badly fractured skull to undergo a DBS, apparently not taking in it could kill him. Wilson giving House leeway to come to his own decsion to go to rehab seems in character to me.

    I also think Cuddy’s behaviour was in character the next day. She has no idea House is even suffering hallucinations, never mind delusions. She knows he’s been unable to sleep and she knows she gave him sleeping pills to help. I don’t think her knowledge that he is having trouble sleeping would make his comment about Rachel understandable and make her think he had very serious mental health issues. She was reacting to House’s comment without enough knowledge to know it was a plea for help because he was spiraling out of control and literally scared out of his mind. When she got that knowledge, it understandably changed her perceptions.

    I loved the characterisations of everyone in this episode.

  • DebbieJ

    sdemar wrote: “I would have loved to know who’s idea was it to film at Mayfield? Obviously this place is not around the corner from the Fox lot and required some travel from Hugh and RSL so some thought went into it.”

    (I’m not going to reference the comment number as the last time I did that, the comment numbers changed!)

    sdemar, I read online that the psych hospital scene was indeed filmed in New Jersey, in Parsippany. The facility is actually called Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greystone_Park_Psychiatric_Hospital

    My question is what is the significance in naming it Mayfield. Knowing the writers, there’s got to be some significance to the name. Another Sherlock Holmes homage,
    perhaps? I don’t know.

    Barbara, did Doris mention anything?

  • maya

    Gerry–> Thanks for your explanations for Wilson and Cuddy’s behavior.

    I am sorry but I still don’t see how Wilson could let a hallucinating House wander off into the night given what had happened between him and Danny all those years ago. Wilson’s telling House to go terrorize Cuddy and the strange look on his face after House left made no sense either, especially since he’d been asking him to talk to her throughout the episode. Again, it seemed like something that they wrote to drive the plot in terms of House going and shouting out that he’d slept with Cuddy.

    And Cuddy didn’t know that House was hallucinating but she had a worried look on her face when he left her office after taking the sleeping pill scrip. She also knew that he hadn’t shown up to work the next day because Foreman told House that she would fire him if he didn’t come. Then he shows up in her office late in the evening, looking worn down and stands there silently. Her response to ask him to get to the point makes no sense. What makes even less sense is her response to his announcement that he’s quitting which was to make snarky remarks about him wanting a bigger desk etc and rather harshly telling him that she’ll deal with it later. They wrote it like that so House would get a chance to make the cruel comment about her child and she could stalk away, not because it’s the way Cuddy would have behave in that situation.

    I am just going to pretend that House hallucinated all these scenes with Wilson and Cuddy in 5×23 and the scene in 5×24 where Wilson asks house to terrorize Cuddy. It’s the story my left brain has made up in order to make the facts fit and the characters seem consistent.

  • Gerry

    “I am sorry but I still don’t see how Wilson could let a hallucinating House wander off into the night given what had happened between him and Danny all those years ago. Wilson’s telling House to go terrorize Cuddy and the strange look on his face after House left made no sense either, especially since he’d been asking him to talk to her throughout the episode.”

    Wilson allowed House to practice medicine knowing he was hallucinating–I think that takes more of a leap of faith than leaving him to think about going to rehab, hoping he will make the choice himself. Because House was being so analytical about the hallucinations, knowing he was having them and trying to find physical causes, one of which he was willing to concede could be vicodin, I think it’s understandable Wilson was willing to accept House was not in imminent danger and in fact was perhaps facing facts Wilson’s thought he needed to face for years. Wilson responded when House asked for his help in the DDX and was there for him as a friend. He doesn’t see anything at that point that means he should try to get House forcibly committed–there’s a lot House isn’t saying.

    The comment to go terrorise Cuddy was Wilson accepting that House and Cuddy have their own strange dynamic and Cuddy is just as much a part of it as House. She’s got barriers up as much as he does and House making her respond through anger is one way they communicate. Not a great way, but these two people both have issues. He didn’t want the moment to just slip away because neither was willing to talk about it.

    And Cuddy in UMS knows House has not been sleeping well, but she also knows she gave him sleeping pills. That’s not the same as knowing he’s breaking down. When he comes in to say he quit, she’s tired and trying to go home to her baby and she assumes he’s playing another game she’s supposed to figure out. She thinks she has to figure out Housecode and she’s just not willing to play right now. I think that’s understandable and in character. And in fact House is using Housecode, just not in service of one of his games.

  • Val

    Thanks for the great article Barbara! DE has penned some of my favorite episodes and it is clear she has a special insight as to House and Wilson’s relationship. The interview certainly filled in some more gaps.

    I will only add that it seemed completely logical and reasonalbe to me that Wilson was the one to bring House to the institution. It immediately brought to mind the parallel of the situation with his brother and added to the sadness of moment for Wilson. In my view, House was essentially right in ‘Birthmarks’ when he told Wilson that he ‘quit’ their friendship because he didn’t want to lose another person he cared about. He wasn’t there for his brother when he “lost” him, he lost Amber tragically, and now he was losing someone else he cares for.

    After what House and Wilson have been through in the past year, it seems fitting that the season ended with the two of them again. Wilson guarding the things House has that identify his life. A life we know is important to him.

    I love when there are writer commentaries on DVDs. I don’t think we’ll get it, but it certainly would be a treat to have some commentaries from writers like DE this season.

  • Grace

    I’d like to move forward to next season. I want clinic duty back. I want less of a soap opera. I want more of the medical stuff. I want much less of Foreteen and/or 13. I want writing that is deserving of Hugh Laurie’s acting. DS and KJ, I hope you read this, because I think maybe you are getting a bit too big for your britches.
    I hope I am wrong about that.
    This post is not meant to offend. I just love this show and want it to be the best it can be. You’ve got HUGH LAURIE as your lead!!!!! Do you realize how lucky you are??Act like it!

  • hughinblue

    Wow…now I have to watch yet again…I thought Wilson had stepped into Ambers shoes in the conversations and they werent real…wow

    Thanks Barbara for a great recap and interview..I love Doris and how she really has the pulse of the House Wilson relationship…I’ll forgive her if she writes a little Huddy because I know if she does..she’ll do it right..

  • poppu

    Forget about the viewers not believing House can detox in 24 hours. I have a hard time believing that Wilson bought it!!

  • OhFunnyBrit

    Thank you, Barbara for that wonderful interview. I wonder if TPTB have any idea how many fans are experiencing post-finale depression? I cannot erase the image of the small, broken House, not to mention the Stones song, from my mind. Hugh’s dead-on portrayal of “rock bottom” truly brought me into House’s mind and heart, and I feel as if a real-life loved one is in that asylum. Many other fans are in a similar funk. Hugh, Lisa, Robert, and TPTB deserve huge kudos for creating a show and characters so real that they can affect us this strongly. I’m hoping that Season 6 finds House with his mojo back, and in a relationship with Cuddy, loving snarkily ever after.

  • Bertha S.

    Yes ST. DORIS you are GOD :) I hate Huddy with a passion but I thought the House/Cuddy scenes were very good. I’m not a fan of women doing the onscreen leg spread so I’ll never watch that kind of Huddy but anything else is great. I also hated that you all turned S5 Wilson into the Huddy whisperer. Wilson is my fav character so I rewatched his scenes over and over again even though it was about the dreaded and horrific Huddy. Maybe in S6 we can have some REAL HOUSE/WILSON MOMENTS THAT DON’T INVOLVE THE “C” word.

    I loved the BSN HOUSE/WILSON scenes – totally awesome. You also explained why Wilson was the one who drove House to the psych facility. At first I didn’t quite understand why it wasn’t Cuddy since she’s supposedly House’s oldest and dearest friend and so in love with him – “eye roll”

    For me, S5 House has lost some of its luster. I loved DCE, The Social Contract, and Birthmarks, and some other episodes with great House/Wilson scenes. I originally started watching House because it was a medical procedural/mystery show. But pathetic crazy childish House has been such a turn off, the show is no longer my favorite. I think the writers should remember that House is played by a gray haired wrinkled 50 year old actor and not some 30 year old hottie.

  • maya

    Gerry–>The last three episodes of this season are layered enough to be open to multiple interpretations. As was so beautiful illustrated in the finale, we all find an interpretation of the facts, a story that we most feel comfortable with. The story that works best for me is that House hallucinated those scenes with Wilson and Cuddy.

    Bertha S–> I am sure there are plenty of women (and men) who find the actor you refer to as “gray haired wrinkled 50 year old” more attractive than all the 30 year old hotties in the world combined. I am one of them. And I totally buy the boyish and impish quality he brings to the character of House.

  • Annette/wiirenet

    Thanks for the article. I never really paid attention to or read about the writers before.

    I need to admit though, part of me is a little disappointed getting such insight into Ms. Egan because I really thought she had a little House/Wilson shipping agenda.
    But it seems she is all about the friendship and just as intrigued with House/Cuddy. Its still nice and all, but I guess I had some secret hope that was crushed by reading how “normal” (non relationshippy) she talks about House and Wilson and how she likes House with Cuddy too.

    Oh also, I’m a 21 year old girl and I think the “gray haired wrinkled 50 year old” is way hotter than any “30 year old hottie” actors!

  • Luisa Borges

    Hi Barbara,

    Was really looking forward to read this interview. I love your insights and I think you bring a lot to the plate when conducting a talk.

    Doris Egan is just great, I love her scripts because they usually come with such big psychological insight bonus. And I also love split brain stories (I’m a huge Oliver Sacks fan ans neurology is my cup of tea, along with psychology), so to know that she really likes that and has written about it before was a huge plus for me.

    Also loved to hear about her “Huddy”outline, that’s a gem for sure.

    And you managed to answer some of my questions from the episode (more like food for thought for me than questions per say, I thought the episode was a real round one). And build on the whole left brain / right brain issues that I love so much to read about.

    The last scene background talk was a special gift. Wilson was really the guy to take him and reading about the symbolism behind it all was a perfect gift. She writes them like no one else.

    Once more, thank you so much for this really special gift!!

    All the best to you.

  • DebbieJ

    ” I think the writers should remember that House is played by a gray haired wrinkled 50 year old actor and not some 30 year old hottie. ”

    Oh, thank God!

  • ctch23

    Loved the acting (HL, RSL and LE are simply too good!) and the general direction of the series is headed in.

    Having said that, I agree w/ maya up thread that some of the H/W scenes may have worked better as hallucinations. I was actually surprised that at least some of them weren’t.

    Does anyone know when Season 6 begins?

  • Orange450

    Barbara – you and Doris Egan do not disappoint!! What a great interview and write-up. Truly the next best thing to being there. Thank you both so much!

    The weekly hour that we spend in our Housian fantasy world feels almost as real to us as our real lives do – and sometimes even realer. And that one hour certainly takes up a disproportionate share of my time and thoughts. So I love the opportunity that you give us to sneak a peek at the actual people, the behind-the-scenes thinking, the craft and hard work of creating an episode. I guess I enjoy being reminded what a tremendous amount of time and effort is expended by real people to create one hour a week of virtual reality in the truest sense!

    “Wilson became the Keeper of House Past.”

    Were these her words? Because when I read them, I couldn’t help but think of the idea that Wilson felt such guilt for the one time that he failed as “his brother’s keeper”. So now, of course, he will definitely play that role for House, his other brother. And I’m sure that the psychiatric hospital, Wilson’s brother, and the notion of Wilson as “the Keeper” will play into next season, somehow!

    “It’s like being God (seeing your creation come alive).”

    What a phenomenal, fulfilling experience that must be. To write like she does, and then have Hugh Laurie and the rest of the cast work their magic on her words. Sounds like the definition of “the dream job”.

    “For the patient, his girlfriend’s love saved him eventually, willing even to do battle with his very assertive right brain (and left hand)….Cameron and Chase worked out the “glitch” in their marriage plans, as Chase refused to accept Cameron’s need to keep her dead husband’s sperm “as insurance” against their marriage not working out. Cameron needed Chase to understand, and eventually he did.”

    Hey! I mentioned those specific ideas on your BSN review. That’s so cool!

    I’m down for anything she and the Starfleet want to give us – I’m happy to leave it in their hands, and just drink it all in. I tweeted to DE that she seems to know exactly what we want *and* exactly what we need. (I guess I really shouldn’t speak for anyone else, but it’s certainly true for me.) And as far as I’m concerned, I hope she and the rest of TPTB continue to juggle oranges indefinitely. Their skill is impeccable, their execution is flawless and *I* certainly don’t mind ;-)

  • barbara barnett

    ““Wilson became the Keeper of House Past.”

    Yes, those were her words, exactly.

    Thanks everyone for your very kind comments.

  • Wnkybx

    Thanks, Barbara, for a wonderful wonderful interview! I especially appreciated DE’s explanation of why Chase and Cameron had their “glitch.” It was so interesting to read about the alternative ending with the idea of footage from within the psych hospital. I actually was wondering why he gave Wilson his belongings, and the explanation of this creative choice made me appreciate it even more.

    I hope that you will be able to do more interviews with the writers and producers! You definitely ask very interesting and probing questions. I love it.

  • Bliffle

    I sometimes enjoy a House episode, choosing to search for a little gold amidst the dross of commercial TV, I take an optimistic attitude.

    At first I enjoyed the Disease Mystery Detective story and the crusty attitude of the protaganist. But the medical stories degenerated and the soap opera parts became more intrusive.

    Now I watch it just to see an occasional fragment of humanity presented in an understandable way. Something with which I can empathise.

    House himself has become just an annoying pest, but other folks are becoming more interesting, chiefly Wilson, who is acted by a very talented actor. Chase and Cameron are become more interesting, but not the others.

  • blacktop

    Barbara, thanks so much for this wonderful interview with Doris Egan. It is a great way to wrap up a strong season of your reviews. All your hard work and insight is much appreciated.

    Season five started with the horrible split between House and Wilson as a result of House’s complicity in Amber’s death. We followed House’s efforts to repair the damage culminating in the first stage in “Birthmarks” (Doris Eagan wrote this) when both men acknowledged their mutual need for one another.

    The second stage of the restoration of their friendship climaxed in the reveal about Wilson’s brother’s return. House offering to accompany Wilson to see his brother was a major step in the reconstruction of their relationship (Egan wrote this one too). But they took a negative bump when Wilson cruelly probed House’s tentative efforts to seek psychiatric help in “Locked In.”

    Now in the season five finale (Egan again), House and Wilson have restructured and reestablished their friendship in full. It is not necessarily healthier or more mature, but it is complete and unique in its place in their lives.

    Last year’s finale launched this season’s House/Cuddy arc because it ended with House and Cuddy in solidarity, holding hands as House emerged in misery from his coma and with the anguished Wilson gone. This year’s finale is the mirror opposite: House and Wilson are united in misery as they journey to the mental hosptal together, with Cuddy suffering her shock in isolation.

    I think therefore that next season we may see a similar elongated arc for the House/Cuddy relationship with a slow process of repair and reconciliation. Unfortunately House/Cuddy does not have a skilled champion on the writing staff to equal Doris Egan’s masterful devotion to House-Wilson, so I don’t think we can expect to see such a well-crafted effort in the coming season. So I am not going to hold my breath for any extraordinary gifts on this front in the future.

  • Ella

    I admit that it bothers me when the House team professes that they “don’t know” how long the show will last. It seems to me that in order to tell a coherent story, there needs to be an ending point in mind. I know, I know – TV just doesn’t work that way! I wish it would, though, for House. It seems a shame to take a character as complex and compelling as House and make up his story as you go along.

    But that’s just me.

  • Narenika

    Thank you for this interview. It clarified most important thing to me. This is not THE show I’ve fallen in love five years ago and it’s not gonna be. I love Hugh Laurie so I would eventually watch some episodes next season but I won’t be invested in this show anymore. Cuddy’s worship finally killed my pleasure.

  • Ray

    For God’s sake. Go away, haters.

  • Narenika

    Haters? I’ve watched episodes from first 4 seasons at least 4 times each. I know more about it’s characters than about some of my friends. I’m not hater. I was thrown overboard by TPTB THIS season. So be it.

  • barbara barnett

    Blacktop–
    I think it will be only through both Wilson’s AND Cuddy’s love and support that House has any chance of making it through this whole (or at least return to status quo). As soon as Cuddy saw that House was in real distress, all her anger seemed to have been forgotten. As House shrunk back, reeling after the vicodin bottle reveal, he first grabbed Cuddy’s hand for support. The stroking of his face, mirroring the image in his delusion…

    But Wilson, his best friend, needed to do this for him. For his own redemption if nothing else. If House and Cuddy had slept together for real, I can’t see how they could go back to the affair knowing how much mental pain anguish House is now suffering. It would have been part and parcel of his living nightmare.

    As he recovers from whatever it is: subtstance-induced psychosis or “brief psychotic disorder” are my top guesses. (Or something physical) he and Cuddy can retrace their steps and her place in his life can be restored.

    I have faith in the writers, Egan, Lerner and Friend, and some of the others who know how to get inside House’s pain and inside his heart (as well as his head)and explore this. I can’t wait to see how this is all dealt with. And I’m pretty sure there will be no “magic reset” button. Not after this.

    I remember Lerner and Friend telling me at the end of last year that the season finale would have repercussions for the first half of season five. They were only wrong in that the repercussions lasted all year. The finale opened up a slew of new doors for exploration.

    I know some people feel very cheated that the Cuddy/House sex never took place for real, but I don’t think it’s the last we’ve heard from this storyline either.

    House will have to be changed somehow–either on mood drugs/undergoing psychotherapy (certainly, after a psychotic break like that), it will affect all his relationships–especially with Cuddy because of all the feelings and emotions that came to the surface for her in the last two episodes of this season.

  • Anon

    Thank you for the interview.
    Is it all right to be bitter that we didn’t get to see a lot of interesting stuff of the finale because the episode would have been too long, though, as “Last Resort” was much longer than a minute more?

  • wackjob

    Barbara, thank you for this illuminating and fascinating interview. I adore how DE writes for House and Wilson, as I think I mentioned in my comments on your review of BSN. Of course it was Wilson who took him to the hospital; Wilson is his closest friend of many years, and it was important for Cuddy to appear at the wedding (especially as the hospital’s representative!). I appreciated that she was holding Rachel, who had seemed to cease to exist.

    I’m a Huddy shipper, because I’m intrigued by how two damaged people collide in spite of themselves. Cuddy and House’s relationship has always been layered and complex, especially after the first season.

    My only cavil is the mental hospital looking like Castle Frankenstein, since none of them actually look that way. The usual protocol, even when you are pre-admitted, is to go to the psychiatric ER with your friend/family member. When you get into the actual unit, that’s when they take away your personal belongings, usually putting them in what is called a “sharps closet,” meaning anything sharp but also including things like cell phones and wallets. It’s locked, of course.

    I feel weird revealing this much about my experience, but I’ve been around this block a few times. And although I know this is television, these artistic choices can have tremendous repercussions among the perceptions of the mentally ill.

    Off the heavy stuff–I can’t wait for Season 6, but I’ve ordered Season 4, most of which I’ve never seen, so my withdrawal will a little easier. (“House” methadone with the breathing dangers!)

  • wackjob

    Whoops–I meant “House” methadone WITHOUT the breathing dangers! Unless my husband freaks out that I’m watching too much “House.” I can’t get him to be a fan of the show no matter what I do.

    Also, I found Wilson’s and Cuddy’s scenes to be completely believable in this episode, given what they know. And as for the change of clothes, I think that might be a delusion like the lipstick, that he is in light “happy” colors and then he reverts back to what he’s really wearing, his usual dark colors (esp. in the last few episodes).

  • Mary Dagmar

    That is one of the best interviews with a writer that I have ever read. Doris Egan showed how the closer a writer is to the character the more complex and real the story seems. Much of the plotting and subtext of the script was explained and the metamorphosis of a television script from page to screen was revealed. This interview showed us the deep an personal love the writer can have for the series and it’s characters.

    I hope the post airing interview with the writer happens more often. Thank you so much.

  • sdemar

    QUOTE FROM BARBARA: I know some people feel very cheated that the Cuddy/House sex never took place for real, but I don’t think it’s the last we’ve heard from this storyline either.

    Barbara, as a Huddy shipper, I didn’t feel cheated from the lack of sex. I felt cheated because the conversation in Cuddy’s office, the detox and the conversation in the living room the next day never happened. Add to that the fact that Cuddy said they did not have a personal relationship.

  • hwl40

    Thank you, Barbara, for looking into the hearts and souls of fictional characters brought to life by the creator, writers and Hugh Laurie. As you said so correctly, this is not an ensemble show. The heart and reality come from the David Shore, the writers and Hugh Laurie, all of whom live on this planet and struggle personally with one or more of the issues affecting House. Your commentary helps us process the reverberations from their amazing work. It’s like poetry, so much there that isn’t said, that can’t be spoken so they show us the experience instead and a powerful one it is. No wonder we need to talk to each other!

    Many thanks, you are amazing.

  • simplethings

    #52 This is also why I felt cheated. For me, it was about them being stripped to their cores with the walls coming down that was truly intriguing me.

    However, what I would be interested in knowing is if the conversation that House imagined had any truth to it. Did he have access to any information regarding Cuddy and her endocronology class? I feel like knowing House, he might have known that she had audited a class of his which could have led to them sleeping together once in college.

    Maybe the information within that part was part of House’s real mind wanting Cuddy to come clean with information that he knew to be true. (Wishful thinking, right?)

    Regardless, I take solace in the fact that he was ready to jump in to a relationship with her and that we did get to see what kind of affect she could have on him. She, to me, is truly his savior and I feel like if nothing else, we did get to see that come to the forefront in the last two episodes, whether it be in his mind or not.

    (Not negating Wilson here, just focusing on Cuddy.)

    Also, I think that Cuddy saying they could never have anything personal is canceled out because of what happened immediately after. Had she known his state of mind, she wouldn’t have been as hurt, and I doubt that what she said will stick.

    I certainly would have liked to see the complete trifecta at the end together taking House to the psych hospital. That would have been a little icing on the cake.

  • barbara barnett

    :Barbara, as a Huddy shipper, I didn’t feel cheated from the lack of sex. I felt cheated because the conversation in Cuddy’s office, the detox and the conversation in the living room the next day never happened. Add to that the fact that Cuddy said they did not have a personal relationship.”

    I’m less bothered by this because it’s the reality that House’s subconscious created for himself–a safe story where Cuddy’s love redeems him. This look deep into House’s heart is extraordinary, and we haven’t really seen that before (in my humble opinion). When Cuddy said they didn’t have a personal relationship she was talking from a place of huge anger. She felt betrayed, and violated. In her mind House was blabbing in the most horrible way about a long-past night of sex, risking her career. In his mind he was reacting to her rejection. One with no reason, rationale or explanation. When she realized he was in such distress, she went immediatley to his side. Touching him (his face, his arm and letting him hold onto her hand.)Her anger was gone. They were in completely different places. I think there will be much room for Cuddy next year as House heals.

    Mary, it was a wonderful opportunity getting into the head of the writer. Thank you for your very kind words. Likewise hwl40 and everyone who has had such kind comments and participated in the lively discussion here.

  • morinen

    Thanks a lot for the interview! (Though I would love to see the full script in addition to the narration ;)

    So, I take it all the conversations with Wilson and the balcony announcement were for real? The interview suggests that but still there is no official confirmation. Barbara, am I right? What’s your impression?

    On the side note: I would prefer the last scene within the hospital, because this scene with House limping all the way down to the doors and Wilson staring at his back was kind of odd.

  • Anon

    I just wanted to add that Doris Egan is my favorite writer and that’s why I would have like to see everything that she wrote. I didn’t mean to offense anyone working on the show.

  • Anon

    (English isn’t my mother tongue and I think my words don’t mirror my thoughts. Sorry.)

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/arts/television/12hous.html?_r=1 Eve K

    Morinene – I dont think the last scene was odd at all. This journey, cleaning up the mess in his head, is a journey House ultimately must take alone, and this was a sign of that. I think that was the reason for choosing the Frankenstein Asylum instead of a modern facility, it showed that it was a big and scary task House had taken on.

    That being said, the scary Asylum look on the hospital was maybe a bit over the top, and maybe an insult to those viewers who actually been to such a clinic. I dont think its a coincident that that hospital in reality is closed and abandoned. They dont look like that anymore (hopefully). I hope the portrayal of the psychiatric treatment is modern and up to date. If we get to see it. (Maybe House is back at work next season fit as a fiddle? Dont hope so…)

  • Veresna

    Barbara,
    Two unrelated comments I guess. But I certainly agree that “We never did have a personal relationship” is said in anger and pain, and as was stated (by the patient or Wilson in the pilot?), it’s what people actually do than what they say that matters.
    Secondly, something that just struck me in the past day is that House tells Taub to “Stay with him” (the Carl Reiner character). I was so caught up in everything else that was going on, that it’s taken me several days for the comment to really hit me. House, who so vociferously states that medical care is related to cold, impersonal calculations wants to make sure the patient is not alone. It made me think of ‘Locked In’, where he scoffed at the notion that hand-holding would be more useful than an MRI, and then found himself seriously thinking about it. In the midst of everything else that was occurring, how interesting that he was thinking of the patient’s emotional welfare, and feeling guilt again–as he had for the ballerina in UMS.

  • barbara barnett

    morinen–I believe the balcony thing was real.

    Anon–no worries!

    Eve K–In Under My Skin, House tells Wilson that he’s not scared of going to rehab, although he knows his life is falling apart and he feels like crap. That long sad walk to the scary looking facility was a metaphor for House’s accepting that he is really ill, that this is not something he can deal with alone, and that he’s scared (more than scared; I think he’s truly terrified. He has finally faced himself after years — even from before when we’ve first me him–)

    It’s is a stunning development.

    YVeresna–es. One of the most significant tropes on the show is “it’s not what you say, it’s what you do.” As angry as Cuddy was, the moment she saw what distress House was in she forgot all that.

    I noticed, too, how visibly shaken House was when he realized that Mr. SChwartz probably has pancreatic cancer. That little “stay with him,” was one of the most poignant lines in the entire episode. He had almost dismissed the patient, distracted by so many other things and almost missed a major diagnosis. That in itself must have been a blow to him, but he feels responsibility–still feeling guilt–and he expresses it by his insistence that Taub stays with him. House always feels bad when a patient takes a turn or dies, he never expresses it to anyone else. But he’s been feeling irrational guilt feelings for a couple of weeks–Kutner, Chase, the ballerina also. This is another clue about House’s mental state–none of those are rationally guilty feelings. He’s feeling responsiblity for things over which he had no control. Schwartz, he dismissed, he should feel guilty for that, but it’s something he would not ordinarily have expressed.

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/arts/television/12hous.html?_r=1 Eve K

    Barbara – I didn’t mean he didn’t need help from anyone.

    He needs professional help (and support from W & C), but he must do most of the work himself. He cant cheat.

    Wilson and others can walk with him, but not for him, and that last mile he must do himself. Thats how I saw those last meters of walk, him understanding that. But of course you are right about him finally accepting that he has to deal with this.

    I also loved the “stay with him” line, its like hes hade a major change of heart when it comes to dealing with patients.

  • simplethings

    That “Stay with him” line might also harken back to House’s line from HH “Stay with me” to Amber.

    Just a thought.

  • sheila

    I unhappy because I’m House and Cameron fan :(
    Why TPTB destroy them?
    Where is season 1, 2 and 3?
    so sad!

  • barbara barnett

    Eve K–totally got what you said, and I agree. The acknowledgement and that lonely walk meant that it had to be his own decision and his own path, not one that anyone could select for him (unlike Stacy did). He will need all the love and support he can get.

  • Johnna

    I loved that “stay with him” line! I think that once House realizes that his brain was trying to tell him about the pancreatic cancer, he didn’t pick up on it right away, again. Therefore, he doesn’t trust himself again. So he delegates the stable presence that he himself can’t be. It’s a small scene, but it shows just how much House is worried about himself, in my opinion.

    Barbara, this interview was pure gold. As a writer myself, I always enjoy reading about writers’ journeys–and the House screenwriters are top notch! Once I got over the initial shock of the finale and watched the two episodes again, I love these two even more than the season 4 ones.

    Anyone who can pull all of us into House’s soul like this deserves my respect! And that includes you, Barbara, since you seem to care about House’s character a great deal as well.

  • Flo

    Great interview for a great season finale.

    I love the dichotomy thing. It is really fascinating. The fact that everyone is not just one-dimensional is really important because that’s what the writers are trying to do: create deep, complex characters with many sides to their personalities. It is also a notion that I believe to be accurate for everyone. We are all dual. It is very deep and very true.

    The episode made me think of some essays from Freud like “The Uncanny” in which Freud talk about duality in life.
    I found it interesting that in the very beginning of the episode House looks himself in the mirror thus divides himself in two. The mirror gives him the image of another House with lipstick on his face where there is not. The smiley House, who washes the lipstick of his face that we see, is the ‘mirror version of House’. The shot presents us his reflection. That’s fascinating. Okay, I’m not going to write a long post about psychoanalysis but I think that House is a good candidate for it right now.

    Everything is not what it seems to be: the lipstick is a Vicodin bottle; Cuddy’s reaction is not from the aftermath of sex, Cameron’s doubts are not really doubts about a future failure etc.
    So everything is dual. Cameron’s distress is paralleled to House’s happiness, Cameron and Chase reconciliation is mirrored by House and Cuddy’s struggle in the end: Chase realized what was wrong just as House does in Cuddy’s office. The left and right parts of the brain are different but irremediably linked and intricate. Always duality and how hard it is to maintain a balance.
    The last scene wonderfully illustrates that idea with a logical and well done parallel editing between the wedding and House’s departure to the mental institution.

    About House and Cuddy, as a non-shipper, I didn’t feel cheated at all. I love what Doris Egan says about the subversive aspect of their relationship. House is indeed the more romantic one in this. The usual conservative roles of man and woman are reversed and it what’s make their relationship so interesting.
    It is a dynamic that was also present in “The X-Files”. Scully was the rational, the reasonable one while Mulder was the passionate and instinctive one.

    Totally agree about what she says on her feeling like God seeing her creation come alive. I’m auditioning actors for my next movie right now and to hear the dialogues live, from actors is truly an amazing experience. It gets you everytime. Your words are coming alive and the whole story takes another dimension. It’s like your script was just flat and now it’s deeper than you expected. It is really exciting.

    I loved that season; the last few episodes were fantastic. Hugh Laurie is an extraordinary actor, Robert Sean Leonard and Lisa Edelstein also.
    Thank you Doris Egan and to all the writers and directors.
    Thank you Barbara for this interview and everything else and thanks to all of you for your interesting comments.

  • Stagestruck

    Barbara, it’s been awhile since I’ve commented, it’s just been so much of a roller coaster ride this season. I’ve been laying low, lurking about the various commenting boards in search of golden nuggets of sense in the character analysis of this show. I’ve become really tired of all the negativity, ship wars, and incredible immaturity of a majority of the posters on these boards, and yet I always come back here and find sanity. Thank you for all of your well written and well thought through expositions of each episode.

    I’m am so relieved that House and Cuddy did not sleep together. I’ve been dreading “the deed” all season to the point of needing an ulcer check up. Why oh why are so many people all about the sex? I don’t get it. Yeah, okay, sex between them would obviously be hot, but. they. are. so. much. more. than. that!!! In previous postings I’ve expressed concern that their pairing would be a train wreck and perhaps ruin the dynamic between two of my favorite characters (Wilson being the third). It’s certainly not for lack of chemistry between them, and I would love to see them happy together, but he is so messed up…um broken…not quite right…this isn’t coming out right, uh how about, not even ready yet? Just when you think he’s making progress, and he has in every episode, there is always something, some clue that is blatantly obvious that he’s coming undone. I think the first time I truly felt that House was off was way back in season two. He hasn’t been all there since the realization that Stacy by first inclination wasn’t willing to hurt Mark, but that hurting House was a given, that it was an acceptable consequence of their affair. (On a side note, How HL is able to look ecstatic one moment and then completely devastated the next is beyond my comprehension. Is it even possible to write that type of direction on a page? How does he say so much in so little time and with no words?) House takes a huge leap with his heart, takes a chance again with Stacy, and the results wind up that he becomes a serial ‘john’ for three years. Yet in those fall out years he starts falling in love with Cuddy. I will stick by what I’ve posted before and truly believe, House and Cuddy need time. Time to heal in their various areas of pain, time to make more forward steps toward each other with as few back as possible, time to grow up (they can both be incredibly immature), and time to grow together (which is what they both want – they both love each other very deeply). Bed hopping is not the answer and I am thankful to David Shore that he has not gone there. That he has shown incredible respect for his characters and his audience in allowing for the maturing and possible eventual happiness of this really wonderful man named Gregory House, makes my respect for his vision increase exponentially. Season five has so many levels, layers of character study, it almost boggles the mind. My brother once quipped to me that when the Eagles were creating Hotel California, did they really have any idea what they were writing? I’d like to pose the same question to the writers, producers and actors, all of the creators of House MD. Do they really have any idea what an absolute masterpiece they have collectively created? Sometimes it’s almost scary to think about. I hope that they are able to eek out three more seasons. I’ll be shooting the moon if we get even more! If it takes till the final episode to give House happiness, by all means take your time, only please please please, do it right.

    Stage

  • 60 plus

    This interview emphasizes even more what I love about the show. David Shore and all the other producers and writers are passionately committed to not serving up what most TV shows do today. Instead, they deliberately avoid the simple, the obvious, the easy-to-watch, one-size-fits-all approach. As can be seen from the negative reactions on this and other forums, this does not always result in smooth sailing with fans or critics.

    As I shared on another site, on House, very little of what really matters is “obvious.” You have to work for it. It’s challenging. I can watch other shows for instant entertainment gratification—even while multi-tasking. And I do. I don’t watch much TV, but I can enjoy shows such as NCIS, In Treatment—even a Top Chef. But nothing about those is compelling. (Well, In Treatment is, to an extent, but it’s only seven weeks long!) Nothing about them calls me to look beyond the obvious, beyond instant gratification, beyond my own ideas of what the show should be or do, to trust in the show’s creators and make an intense commitment to a single character and his journey instead of that of an ensemble cast—-a journey that takes me on a roller coaster ride that consistently rewards that commitment at least seven-fold!

    I had a conversation recently with another fan (we’re both “60 plus,” so we have a lot of TV history) in which we racked our brains trying to remember another show that so completely centered on one character and to recall another character that was House-unique. We couldn’t think of any, even after going all the way from I Love Lucy and Mash days to the present.

    Each episode, each season of House has brought me a level of enjoyment unsurpassed by any other such show.

    But then, for me, there is no “other such show.”

    My thanks to you, Barbara, and the other fans who share for adding so much to the journey in so many ways.

  • wackjob

    60-plus, what an interesting and truthful comment! I am able to fold laundry, or tidy up, or whatever, when any other show is on. But when it’s “House,” I’m glued to my couch! I don’t dare miss a thing!

    By the way, I caught a rerun of “Resignation” from season three tonight. At the end, House meets a sexy blonde nutritionist at a bar, they are VERY attracted to each other, and it’s made pretty clear that they’re going to go home together. She says something like “You have a cool job, you do drugs” and something else that escapes me. He’s smiling at her like the cat that ate the canary.

    Perhaps it was just a one-night stand, but it was written like it was meant to be something more, even if it was just sex. But she wasn’t a hooker. There was no mention of it after that episode. Thoughts, or is it past its expiration date?

  • wackjob

    Also, I think it was this forum, someone expressed disbelief that House would announce he slept with Cuddy. They did sleep together, back in college. Remember the line he says to her, “One night I gave you everything you wanted.”

    Sheila, the Cameron ship sailed ages ago. She is too independent for House now, she’s become her own woman. Her longing for him was (as he quite rightly pointed out) was the romantic young girl saving the gruff lonely older guy. It was a romantic fantasy, sparked by a genuine physical attraction between them. That will probably always be there to some extent, but they have both definitely moved on.

  • Cat

    I loved this article Barbara, one of the best! It was flawless.
    But i can’t help it. I don’t seem to totally like Both sides now. I think that’s because i’m a Huddy shipper, but anyway…
    And by all means, how could Ms. Egan possibly think that the House/Wilson shippers are sort of mad?? and because she had ventured a bit into Huddy? i mean, BSD had plenty of the greatest Hilson scenes.
    It did have Huddy scenes, but those weren’t that strong and those were sort of disappointing for the Huddies. So i wonder how would have it been if she hadn’t ventured into Huddy…
    We can only except next season clears up a bit (actually, A LOT) of thoughts we all have.
    Again, Barbara, thanks a lot :)

  • Rosalita

    It’s odd, because I think she’s a beautiful writer of the House/Wilson/Cuddy triumverate, but I don’t think I agree with anything of what the writers think Chase has become.

    He’s not a confident person, confident in his relationships, at all. Cameron seems to have replaced House as the person he tries to placate most of the time, while ultimately, constantly feeling insecure about her feelings for him. Last season we saw Cameron’s ‘I love House’ slip, and her refusal to confirm to Chase that she’d never slept with House, even when there was a possibility he had an STD.

    This season we first saw that Chase had been pushed into a small compartment of Cameron’s life, not allowed any of his own space in her apartment and kicked out first thing in the morning. The relationship was clearly very much on her terms, and he accepted it in his loyal puppy way. Finally daring to question it made Cameron realise a little of what she was doing, but she still only gave him a drawer.

    Then, thanks to epic lack of screentime, we progress to Chase’s plans for a hasty proposal – triggered by fear of loss after Kutners death. That is not a secure reaction. Cameron’s reaction was worse, ignoring him and manipulating him into breaking up with her. It was incredibly frustrating to see Chase forgive and forget this so quickly, proposing at the end despite having clearly been hurt. Again, not the action of a secure person.

    And finally, the sperm. I could completely understand Cameron’s (real) reasons for wanting to keep the sperm. However what seemed to be missed out was why Chase was so hurt by her ‘insurance policy’. His father walked out on their family, which was a hugely traumatic event in his life. The suggestion he might replay it must have been painful.

    I really disagree with the way their marriage panned out; both Chase and Cameron seem to be too affected by their pasts in ways that don’t work with each other. Chase has proved himself to be a very patient, very loving man, who needs someone reassuring to him. Cameron is incredibly high maintenance and needs someone less needy romantically than Chase is.

    Ironic given her stated preference for needy people.

    Opinions?

  • ann uk

    The underground and overground stations here are plastered with giant posters of Hugh advertising Series 5.This is great in one way as it shows that he is recognised as the global star he now is,but frustrating for me as “House” is only being broadcast on one of Rupert Murdoch’s pay channels , not on a free terrestrial channel as before. It is also bad for “House” as it will limit the audience, especially as they are broadcasting it in the summer when the viewing figures always drop.When, oh when ,will the DVDs be available here ?!!!

    Sorry to interject a personal grouse into a fascinating discussion which I can’t join in.
    Series 5 sounds to be even more dramatic than the end of series 4. How on earth will they rescue House from a fate which for him must be the worst he could suffer ?

  • Orange450

    ann uk – I’m really sorry that you’re not able to watch! Forgive me if my question is stupid – but are you able to access the Fox website from outside the U.S.? Because the episodes are available there, 8 days after they air. They’re available on hulu.com in the same timeframe.

    I know it’s not the same as watching them along with the U.S., but better than waiting so long, if the option exists for you.

  • Pedantic

    Barbara, as always, I extend kudos for all your fine work, and special thanks for your diligence in bringing this interview to life. It is quite a bonus to hear from the source about such an important and pivotal episode.
    Some of Doris Egan’s observations really struck a chord with me. One was the description of House’s reaction to his purported intimacy with Cuddy as “Christmas morning happiness”. Cuddy had said “House doesn’t do happy.” That’s exactly what it was, though…the concept of the ultimate “happy.” It seems they wanted the contrast between the initial version of events and the final version to be as stark as possible, so that the final version would seem as harsh as they had intended it to be.
    Another was House’s romantic idea of being “saved” by Cuddy; this involved change, but as Cuddy had said to House, “You don’t like change.” It’s interesting that House’s subconscious was portraying him as embracing change and happiness.
    My sense is that there is confluence of multiple Kübler-Ross cycles (the phases of a person’s reaction to a perceived significant negative event – a death, job loss, or any significant life change: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance) going on with House, with each new significant event preventing the resolution of the last, creating an additive effect. The initial version of events with the detox and intimacy with Cuddy seemed like House’s subconscious way of resolving all of the events and tying them up with a nice bow. It demonstrated just how desperate he was.
    The final idea of Doris Egan’s that struck me was the idea of the left brain as the narrator or storyteller of our lives, and the fact that House had constructed this story as a way of not having to give up Vicodin, which is his faithful coping mechanism, and is so central to his life and to this show it is really another “character” for the writers to include in their scripts. If you look at it this way, this is really being proposed as another possible “character death”, or at least another potential significant “loss” for House. That being said, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Vicodin “character”, because it would be like the character of House dying…it just isn’t plausible. The idea that House’s left brain fabricated a story like this does seem to make sense in consideration of the Kübler-Ross cycle (bargaining, perhaps…)
    Serious fans of House (especially “spoiled” ones) have also had to go a Kübler-Ross cycle in a sense, in response to the early spoilers about the finale, and then in response to individual interpretations of the events in the finale. This type of forum is important to the process of “working it out” (so, once again Barbara…thanks! I find both the articles and the comments here to be discerning, insightful, and articulate.)
    Regarding the House / Cuddy relationship (I hesitate to characterize it as a “relationship” because that term is so incendiary and divisive, but “employee / employer” is also a relationship): I wholeheartedly agree with Stagestruck’s comments. I’m only human and I can be shallow enough to admit that I would love to have viewed a hot, naked scene of them in bed, but as a fan of the show and its perpetuation, I realize that it wasn’t the proper approach in portraying them. I do believe that we haven’t seen the last of the House / Cuddy “personal” relationship. I guess we just have to trust that the Executive Producers sometimes have to give us what we need instead of what we want in order to produce a provocative and compelling television program, which is ultimately what I really want anyway. It seems that some viewers tend to look to television for instant gratification and get frustrated when their favorite programs don’t deliver. To me, that’s just a fundamental misunderstanding of the intention of serial drama.
    As has been proposed by others, I believe that there will be both psychiatric and physical reasons for how the events have unfolded for House, with the physical reasons possibly being related to the deep brain stimulation of last season, the head injury from the motorcycle accident this season, or some other brain issue we have yet to see.
    I am certainly looking forward to next season, perhaps more than for any new season.

  • XJK

    #79 – ann UK – I’m also in the UK and keep up by using sidereel.com – the amount I’m on the net, I would get the crucial information before I saw the episodes, and would hate it!!

    Barbara – how do you get all these fantastic interviews?? Thank you once again :) Doris Egan wove a tale that, even on rewatching, stands up to the scrutiny of an audience who know what happened. I really think Wilson wasn’t worried because he never picked House up from the bar – I like to think that House went straight from the bar to Cuddy’s office, and hallucinated turning to Wilson first – therefore Wilson thought that Amber had gone following the insulin shock. Makes me feel better about the episode anyway!!

    I still love what they’ve done with the series, although I wait with baited breathe in hope that they won’t throw it away over the summer and start with a ‘cured’ House. I’m looking forward to seeing what someone in this forum called the ‘triumvirate’ deal with this, and also the fallout for the ducklings new and old who didn’t see this coming, and how they deal in his absence.

  • Eckhard

    What will “happen” in season 6 is the following:
    The Hospital will go down the tube without house. And they will ask him to return.

    He doesn’t want to — but he will eventuelly!!!

  • GMF

    Thank you Barbara for the great interview. Doris Egan is one heck of a writer, it must be an amazing feeling to see ones work so well played out on the TV. I would love also to hear David Shores or Katie Jacobs take on the way they ended season 5. But so far they have been very quiet! However, I am both exicted and scared, as to how they are going to deal with the events of the last epiosde. But I know with writers like Doris, they will deal with it very VERY well.

  • Meena

    Barbara, thank you for this interview with Doris Egan, and for providing such a great forum for all of us to etch out this interesting, complex series…I am really going to miss reading what everyone has to say this summer!

    I really will try and not repeat what’s been said…but I think the final episode is truly brilliant, in every area – the acting, the direction, the music, and the writing, especially. After the end, I was simply shell-shocked; now, with some distance, I am actually glad to have a break to just put the pieces of the past few episodes together (though four months will be a stretch). I have rewatched this episode (and the one previously) a few times (more than I’d like to admit out loud), and there is such brilliant dialogue, beyond the important double conversations, that HAS to be on purpose, and yet it is hidden enough for interpretation…

    For instance, when House sees Cuddy for the first time after they had pseudo-sex, and after she says “We need to talk” he says, “Great. I love euphemisms, And by euphemisms I mean when you say something and mean something else.” That is just amazingly awesome on so many levels (teenspeak can only capture my delight). Or, when Cameron says (describing Chase) “And Chase has this romantic idea of love that reality can’t compete with”. You could substitute House’s name for Chase easily in that conversation. I can’t believe ALL these lines are happy accidents – Doris Egan is just too nuanced a writer for that. Or when Eugene Schwartz (my favorite clinic patient of all time) says that doctors are “distracted”. And I could go on…

    I find it interesting that House’s mental problem was really more a ‘mirror’ (and how important mirrors were to this story!), or opposite, of the patient’s, in that House’s logic side and intuition side were getting all mumbled together instead of existing independently like the POTW, So he couldn’t distinguish between the issues of Eugene Schwartz and Alien Hand Guy, and the instincts leading to their own particular predicaments. He was still right, his instincts were correct in both cases – but the way they manifested was not right. I really thought they were going to go with the whole “House has lost his mojo” thing at the end here, where he is just not as good a diagnostician as he used to be, but this is so much more creative…

    Regarding the hallucinations, I find it really interesting that (at least with the information the audience is given) Cuddy is really the only hallucination he had which became tangible, something he felt and could in turn feel (unless the sex was in a dream in the middle of his hallucinating her, this is a bit of conjection here on my part). In UMS, Amber patted him on the leg, but that is quite different from kissing someone into a wall (and so forth). And, at the end, when Kutner entered the picture, even though he spoke the truth (much like Amber did in the beginning) more was not merrier, and House must now face the music if he wants to regain his sanity; however, we still don’t know which music (head trauma, Vicodin addiction, etc) is causing all his problems. I hope we get to find out.

    I have to say I love House’s romantic gestures and inclinations, because they equally cheesy, creative, and very proactive. Doris Egan provided such good insight in how she sees House’s emotions more as a woman – never thought of it that way before, so true. Though, interestingly, House is emotionally raw when it comes to love, he still is an alpha male, such as when he went after Stacy in the past, and in the same way he was going after Cuddy now (though he had false intel). Eventually, after she got rightfully PISSED at him for the balcony scene, when he said the line, “So I think we should move in together” and Cuddy laughed and smiled I thought that this was a bit of a predictable outcome, but wonderfully Housian at the same time. To be wooed by House is special indeed – nothing is safe, and he will surprise you just when you think you’ve figured him out and come to some sort of conclusion about him. Oh, how it all turned. After the end reveal, I feel like the adage of the show should change from “You can’t always get what you want” to “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” For a minute.

    The last minutes of the show in relative silence, wow – the rest of you have said it better than I could. I will say that the way the ending overlaps was so incredible, with House and Cameron taking opposite steps – her down the aisle to join Chase, getting the rings, and walking away with him, happy – and House, ‘walking’ with Wilson, getting rid of his belongings, and then walking alone to the institution, despondent. All to my favorite Rolling Stones song, which is both about seeing evidence of what is missing from your life, and yet being woefully detached from what is missing – even the sadness – in your life (at least my interpretation). Interesting to know from this interview that it was a directional decision – how wonderfully collaborative. I must also give praise to those that write music for this show – that background music in the beginning was downright sexy and hopeful, when House was playing with his faux-lipstick orange pill bottle – and the same music was turned so easily sinister at the end. Whoa.

    For next season, I wonder how long House will stay in the institution, if we will be privy to anything that happens there, and how life will move on at PPTH. If/When he gets better, will that be measured in him returning to some status quo of who he was the past 5 seasons? Will he view that as progress or success? Or in what other manner will he heal? And, if it takes time for him to heal, how will his team do in his absence? I almost think it would be worse for House if they succeed than if they fail – he might break down again if he became obsolete (never in my book, though:) )

    Thanks for letting me ramble (belatedly)…

  • http://twitter.com/enbeecee nc

    So I’ve read, re-read, and re-re-read your interview with Doris Egan, watched “Both Sides Now” more times than I care to admit, and gotten past the fact that there won’t be any new episodes till fall.

    Oh, wait, scratch that last part.

    Just kidding. Nothing as good as House could have the episodic frequency of a soap. I’ll just gnash my teeth quietly in the corner till fall.

    But I keep thinking about some things, mostly small and perfect choices, which make even more sense now and/or seem more important than they did right after BSN first aired.

    For one thing, part of the text of the wedding ceremony as it was when I was a kid/flower girl (moons ago when dinosaurs roamed) floated up into my conscious memory: “With all my worldly goods I thee endow.” For me, that’s part of the subtext of the scene in which House gives Wilson his watch, etc., because of how it parallels Chase and Cameron’s wedding.

    The camera angle in House’s bathroom when he first spots the “lipstick” is off kilter and wavery, subliminally suggesting there’s something very wrong with what we’re seeing.

    The look on Cuddy’s face in the scene in House’s bathroom, just before she disappears as he realizes what really happened, almost is cold. It’s a deliberate stare, not the fond glance of concern we see her give him in “Under My Skin.” It’s a good match for how she feels about his behavior thoughout BSN until the point at which she realizes something’s very wrong.

    I love the way Carl Reiner plays the unconscious comedy of Eugene Schwartz’s early incursion into House’s life and serves as the token through which House and Cuddy interact. Equally, I love the way he takes the character from almost jolly to dazed and lost. “Dying is easy; comedy is hard”: I wish more comedians got credit for the serious acting chops many of them have.

    I’m really glad that TPTB decided to keep the camera on House outside the hospital, rather than in. That interior sequence would have been too much like watching Intervention, and it would have been a much smaller moment, IMHO, than the grand canvas of building, sky, road.

    What a great gift this show is, what a privilege to watch on every level.

  • XJK

    Just a quick question- have just read the television without pity recap of the episode, and they mention Wilson’s constantly changing tie and the possibility of it signalling if Wilson is real or hallucinatory in any given scene – did anyone notice this? I may have to rewatch to find out (any excuse :)

  • 60 plus

    I believe we see Wilson in three different ties during the episode. Other characters, including House, change clothes, also. This makes me think that the action took place over three days, not one. It explains why House refers to “the other night” at the end in Cuddy’s office, rather than “last night.” I haven’t come up with a reason why they did it this way, however, so I could be mistaken.

  • Clara

    Good morning,
    I’m French and it’s very difficult for me to read in English.Could anyone translate in French the most important passages of the Doris Egan ‘s interview ?
    Thank you very much for your help !
    House MD is my favorite tv-show and i loved
    the finale season.I would like to understand better the shocking episode
    “Both sides now” thanks to Doris Egan!
    When i saw this episode,i cried and
    i’ve been enormously shocked by the sudden
    transition from the happiness toward the misfortune!
    For the next seasons,i wish House and Cuddy
    love and happiness and why not
    to move in together !!!

  • Meena

    XJK – hey, I won’t disuade you from rewatching, so maybe you should read what I have to say after another viewing or two:)

    In my opinion, the scenes with Wilson are real, simply because there is no reason for them not to be. Over this season, House and Wilson seem to have come to an understanding regarding each other – at least as much as they can. Instead, I find it interesting that House chose to hallucinate those people with whom there is something significantly unresolved, be it dead or alive. And, as I said in my previous post a few above, it’s even more interesting that Cuddy was really the only hallucination he had that was tangible – i.e, something he could actually touch and could touch him, repeatedly. I’m not sure what this means…

    Also, more technically, I noticed Wilson’s tie changes but it is consistent with House’s changes of clothes (and that of his team), even Cuddy’s change of outfits – connoting changes of day. Even in Under My Skin, I noticed Wilson wearing a different tie after House woke up from his insulin coma (I have a thing for the sartorial dialogue on this show); but right after that scene, House’s team was also wearing new clothes. Usually, they have one of like four outside-PPTH shots to denote time of day, or new day, etc. – but with this episode I think they purposely let a lot of that slide to create a feeling of confusion and displacement. So we only have the ties! (maybe)

    Particularly, I think that Wilson’s scenes are real because personal scenes with House are interwoven with scenes where there is someone else present – Eugene Schwartz (who shakes his hand), Taub + POTW, etc. Those scenes on their own don’t make sense unless there was some sort of continuation from before.

    Of course, unless the whole thing is one big hallucination, what do I know…I totally bought the one-day detox, vomiting foreplay, animal-sexed, lipstick-smeared, I-need-a-cigarette post-coital House as it was originally presented:) But I also feel that every silver lining has its cloud, a point of view which I think I happen to share with the writers and creators of this show, and why I love this show so much.

    Yes, I have given this way too much thought…I completely relate to House’s Rubik’s complex, I’ve got it bad (you should see me in real life:)).

  • XJK

    Re #83 60 plus – thanks, thats how I saw it too, but wondered if I might have missed something

    I still get to rewatch it though, right?? :-D

  • magz

    Meena (#80), I noticed some of the same things you did: that Cuddy was the only still-alive person House hallucinated, and that his hallucinations of her were not just visual and auditory but sensory as well. I think House was able to fool himself into thinking he could still function, do his job and (try to) get on with his life when he hallucinated a dead person, but he realized that his grip on reality was much more fragile when he hallucinated Cuddy. It will be interesting to see how the writers tackle the first House/Cuddy dialogue after this episode, particularly if they intimate that Cuddy finds out about House’s sexy hallucinations from Wilson.

    Also, when I rewatched the episode, I wondered about the first exchange between House and Cuddy. She says “We need to talk” and he says “Great – I love euphemisms”. I wondered why he said that. Was he trying to cover up saying “Great – I love you…” and stretch it to ‘euphemisms’? It doesn’t seem so, but I am not sure what ‘euphemisms’ were referenced. I also wondered why Cuddy did not tell House “Are you insane?” a few times in the episode – such as when he talked about locking the barn door or when he asked her if they should move in together. I know the dialogue between them was deliberately set to different contexts to keep the big revelation to the end, but you have to wonder why Cuddy didn’t play it straight and ask him “what are you talking about?” or “Why are you shouting about something that happened twenty years ago?” earlier on.

    I loved the scene where House walks away from Wilson and toward the creepy-looking psychiatric hospital. He looks so defeated, but keeps moving forward. I think it was important to the narrative to have him take these steps alone, though I did (for a moment) wondery why Wilson did not park closer.

    I am looking forward to next season to see how the writers bring House back into the PPTH fold. Might he lose his license? (‘Alien-hand’ guy can’t have been thrilled to have his pancreas painted with venom because his physician subconsciously mixed him up with ‘here’s my poo’ squawker guy, right?) Will they show House suffer through detox and various therapies or will they take a shortcut to a physical cause and bring him back to his job after applying a quick surgical fix? Now that House fully acknowledges his feelings for Cuddy (at least to himself and Wilson), will he act on these or stay stuck where he is? Sigh. The summer will be looong…

    Thanks, Barbara, for the Doris Egan interview. It’s always interesting to get some insight into the work and talent and magic that brings my favourite show to life.

  • Flo

    Clara, traduire l’interview serait trop long, le mieux c’est que tu expliques les passages qui te posent problème et je verrai ce que je peux faire.

    Doris Egan parle de plusieurs choses très intéressantes comme sa fascination de “l’alien hand syndrome”, de la relation entre House et Cuddy, de la romance en général sur cet épisode, des hallucinations de House et son était psychique ainsi que de sa manière d’écrire.

    je pourrais certainement traduire certains passages si tu le souhaite.

    Also, very interesting thing about the fact that Cuddy is the only alive person that House halluccinates. I think for House, Cuddy symbolizes cure, happinness and love. Three things he is looking for. I really believe that if he had his delusion with someone else, the end of the episode would have been so dramatic and poignant.

  • Clara

    -FLO-
    Thank you very much for your help!
    Could you summarize in French what Doris Egan said about House’s left and right brain?I’d like to understand better the
    functioning of House’s brain!
    What is the meaning of his hallucination?
    What is the biggest shock of his life?
    What did Doris Egan say about the House and Cuddy ‘s relationship?
    Could you translate in French:”Egan confessed to writing a detailed outline for a prequel to House and Cuddy having sex for real”?It concerns this finale season or one
    episode of the next season?
    Once again thank you for your help!

  • Flo

    First of all I apologize to all the english-speaker here, I’m gonna put this in french to help Clara:

    Okay Clara here we go:

    le “alien hand syndrome” est quelque chose qui a toujours fasciné Doris Egan. Un des thèmes de l’épisode est, selon elle, “comment on fabrique notre propre histoire ?” c’est un sujet qu’il l’a interpelée quand elle fait des recherches sur le ‘cerveau partagé’ (split brain). Sa fascination remonte à loin puisqu’elle un fait un papier là-dessus à l’université. Elle a toujours voulu écrire un scénario là-dessus.

    Le corpus callosum relie les deux hémisphères du cerveau et quand celui-ci est sectionné (à la suite de crises genre épilepsie, par exemple), les hémisphères ne communiquent plus.
    C’est ce qui arrive à Scott, le patient de cet épisode.

    Chaque hémisphère à des utilités particulières : selon des chercheurs de ce syndrome, la partie gauche de notre cerveau est le narrateur de notre vie. Le conteur. Celui qui donne un sens à tout. Doris Egan dit : “J’aime beaucoup ça. Nous acceptons toute l’étrangeté et la singularité de ce monde et on fait en sorte que ça ait du sens. Il y a toujours une histoire derrière ce qui donne un sens à la vie”.

    Pour ce qui est de House elle dit “j’aime l’idée que son hémisphère gauche a inventé une histoire. Une histoire qu’il voudrait qu’elle se révèle vraie”.
    Pour elle, son cerveau lui joue des tours car en fait c’est un moyen qu’il a trouvé de ne pas abandonner le vicodin. Cette affabulation de cet hémisphère vient en quelques sortes de la peur de devoir se désintoxiquer. “House savait qu’il devait abandonner la vicodin d’une manière ou d’une autre.” C’est pourquoi, après s’être préparer à entrer un cure de dtox dans “Under My Skin”, il a commencé à s’inventer une histoire.
    En clair il hallucine ce qu’il souhaite par-dessus tout.

    House s’éloigne de la réalité quand son hémisphère gauche lui propose un scénario idyllique. Cependant son hémisphère droit – qui a la capacité de relever tous les détails que l’hémisphère gauche laisse et qui s’occuppe de faire des connections entre tous ces détails – tente de signaler à House que quelque chose ne va pas.
    C’est toute l’utilité du patient de la clinique, le vieil Eugene Schwarz. House est vraiment secoué quand il se rend compte qu’il n’a pas pris en compte tous les indices qui montraient que Schwarz a certainement un cancer du pancréas. Pourtant les indices étaient là, House le savait mais il les a attribués à Scott par erreur.

    C’est à partir de ce moment que House se dit que quelque chose cloche. “House réalise que ce qui s’est passé avec Cuddy n’a probablement pas eu lieu. C’est probablement pour lui, le plus grand choc de sa vie ! Il ne peut plus se fier à son intellect.” Elle ajoute que bien que House se moque de la valeur de l’hémisphère droit, “Foreman lui rappelle, à juste tire, que c’est à cet hémisphère qu’il doit son don pour le diagnostique. Mais maintenant, ça joue activement contre lui”.

    Elle explique aussi que, selon elle, House a vraiment peur des problèmes mentaux et que c’est pour ça qu’il rentre dans un hôpital psychiatrique plutôt que dans une cure de désintoxication. Elle dit aussi qu’on verra certainement les raisons de ce choix la saison prochaine.

    Pour ce qui est de la relation entre House et Cuddy, elle admet que c’est complexe. Elle avoue que le scénario était difficile à écrire car il fallait que le spectateur ne se rende compte que leur rapprochement de l’épisode précédent n’était qu’un délire qu’à la fin ce cet épisode-là. “D’habitude quand il y a une fin comme ça, on veut donner au public le matin après le fun de la nuit précédente et peut-être aussi le moment après les choses plus sérieuses. On veut un peu entrer dans le domaine de la ‘comédie sentimentale’”. En tant que spectatrice, elle aurait peut-être voulu voir le badinage entre les deux, au réveil. Cependant, ça n’a pas eu lieu et ça n’aurait pas été dans l’esprit de l’épisode et de la série même si elle dit qu’elle pourrait faire avec un épisode entier de ce badinage.
    Elle a aimé l’idée qu’il balance la nouvelle à tout le monde du balcon du premier étage. Elle pense que même si leur nuit ensemble s’était avérée être vraie, cette scène aurait quand même été bonne “parce que, hey, ils ont attendu si longtemps !!”

    Même s’il ne s’est rien passé, au début de l’épisode on peut voir que House est heureux. Doris Egan trouve que la façon dont House perçoit se qui s’est passé est une pensée très sentimentale et romantique : “dans son esprit, Cuddy l’a aidé, guéri et aimé. L’idée que quelqu’un puisse être sauvé par l’amour d’une autre personne est une sorte de trope romantique.” Elle trouve que dans la vie personne ne changerait quelqu’un comme ça.
    Elle dit aussi que l’état de volupté dans lequel est plongé House, le fait qu’il rayonne et le film qu’il se fait est une pensée quasiment subversive car c’est conventionnellement un notion féminine. En substance elle dit qu’il y a une inversion des rôles homme/femme dans la dynamique de la relation House /Cuddy. “Là c’est le fantasme de House. Il le souhaite tellement! J’aime l’idée d’un homme pensant comme ça. Même si bien sûr, en d’autres circonstances, House se moquerait de n’importe qui ne faisant que suggérer un sentiment pareil”.

    Elle parle aussi de l’écriture de scénario et du fait qu’elle fait évidemment plusieurs versions. Elle parle aussi des ‘outline’ qu’on pourrait traduire par sketch ou ‘brouillon’. Ce sont des détails, scènes à part mais qui ont un rapport avec le sujet, ou la série en l’occurrence ce sont des grandes lignes d’une histoire. On appelle ça un scénario indicatif.
    Là elle dit qu’elle a écrit un scénario indicatif d’un ‘prequel’ (c’est-à-dire qui se passe avant l’histoire) détaillé d’une scène où House et Cuddy avait une relation intime pour de vrai. Cela dit ce n’était quelque chose qu’elle à écrit en rapport à cet épisode. Elle explique simplement que “c’était hot. C’est tout ce que je dirai. C’était juste un scénario indicatif mais je suis toujours très détaillée quand j’écris mes scénarii indicatifs”.

    De toute façon Doris Egan est plus spécialiste de la relation House/Wilson que de la relation House/Cuddy elle a écrit les épisodes « Birthmarks » et « The Social Contract » de cette saison ainsi que l’épisode de la saison 3 « Son of a Coma Guy » mais aussi « House VS God » de la saison 2).
    Cela dit elle avoue qu’elle aime bien tous les personnages. Elle aime écrire sur Cuddy mais pense ne pas avoir eu de véritable occasion de le faire jusqu’à présent.

    Voilà pour les passages qui t’intéressaient en premier lieu. C’est un peu le gros de l’interview. Après elle parle du fait qu’un épisode mélange toujours plusieurs thèmes, de la façon d’écrire et comment ça se matérialise par la réalisation et comment celle-ci transforme certaines scènes, et de la relation entre Chase et Cameron.

    Okay guys that’s a wrap, sorry for this long post in french !

  • Clara

    -FLO-
    Je te remercie mille fois pour ton résumé et tes traductions en français concernant l’interview de Doris Egan.Merci pour ta patience,le temps que cela t’as pris ,les efforts fournis et ton travail parfaitement expliqué et parfaitement traduit en français.
    Grace à Doris Egan et à toi, je peux mieux comprendre l’excellent et choquant épisode
    “Both sides now”qui m’a troublé autant du côté émotionnel que intellectuel.Je pense que ce qui marque fortement notre esprit dans cet épisode c’est la complexité géniale du scénario mêlée à la complexité de sujets divers (le fonctionnement du cerveau, le bonheur,l’amour,la dépendance à la drogue,les troubles mentaux,les désillusions,le malheur,la solitude…)mêlée à l’excellente interprétation d’acteurs extraordinaires(Hugh Laurie et Lisa Edelstein y sont bouleversants!).
    Encore sous le choc de cette saison finale,j’attends avec impatience la prochaine saison de House MD qui est ma série préférée!J’en suis devenue “accro”!
    Je souhaite que la série House MD soit
    couverte de récompenses très rapidement pour le prodigieux travail accompli!Les talents géniaux de Hugh Laurie et Lisa Edelstein doivent être primés et reconnus en tant qu’acteurs exceptionnels!
    Encore et encore merci beaucoup Flo pour ton aide précieuse et pour ton parfait travail fourni en français!

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/arts/television/12hous.html?_r=1 Eve K

    Hello again. This is from TV-guide:

    “Q:After House’s detox and the Huddy sex turned out to be his fantasies, what was real in the episode? The Chase/Cameron wedding? The conversations with Wilson?
    A:There has been some speculation about this, but we weren’t trying to pull any fast ones on the viewers. Every scene that House wasn’t in was real. But even the stuff that House was in was real—it was just his perception of the lipstick/pills that was distorted. And there was no detox or sex. ”

    My question is:
    About the detoxscene in “Under my skin”. The detox-part was real right?
    That was so well and real played by HL, that when I watch it again I am almost embarrassed if it wasn’t meant to be real.

    He could have been trying to detox alone, like he always want to manage things alone, and hallucinated Cuddy, but then gave up at the bathroom scene and then started popping the pills that gave him euphoria so he saw the sexscene with Cuddy?

    It a bit unclear, because we only saw the bathroom scene in Both Sides Now, and there he seemed fine all the time, no sweat, nothing.(We may have seen him desperatly streching for the pill and that he took the pill/not took the pill as Cuddy faded away)

    Since he was in the bathroom, I asume it was because thats were he caved from detox. I hope, I hope, that the detoxscene was real. That he was alone, and that he caved after some time and THEN ate the pills.

    Hope this tread isnt “dead” yet, but if it is, so be it and have a nice week.

    E

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/arts/television/12hous.html?_r=1 Eve K

    Yikes! I didn’t check my sources (The article was copied from another site), it was mr. Shore who answered the question in TV-guide. That means that the detox wasn’t real.

    And that means that I may think that HL – dare I say it – overplayed that scene…as I have just thought of one time before, and that was when he was confronted with an STD in season four “No more mr Nice guy”. Enough said, have a nice week.

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/arts/television/12hous.html?_r=1 Eve K

    This answer from Shore is a relief though!

    Q:Will House be back at work when the season begins?
    A:No. We want to deal with this in as realistic way as possible. We are going to be with House, but it’s not going to be at Princeton-Plainsboro. We want to take it through the process that House is going through.

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/arts/television/12hous.html?_r=1 Eve K

    Im so so sorry If that last comment was spoilery to some. Barbara, you can delete it if you want to.

  • barbara barnett

    Hi Eve,
    Not to worry. That article’s been out in the media and doesn’t tell that much. I don’t think he really overplayed the detox scene, because it was real in his mind. Enough so he believed it. Maybe (as you said) he started to try it on his own and when he really got in a bad way, gave in. the scene in the bathroom (which sees unfold as it really did at the end) has him quite disgustedly taking a pill and tossing the bottle on the floor…

  • MaryJess16

    I am soooo thankful for this interview. It was great! Thank you!

    Though I don’t agree with some of your opinions Maya, I definitely agree with your opinion about Hugh Laurie playing House. He definitely looks better than all of the hottest thirty year olds combined. I think he is perfect for the part, and I think the writers write him perfectly!

  • KC

    I miss your post so much when are you going to start revisted episode posts.

  • Megan

    What a great interview.Because everyone seems to be telling there opinions on the finale and such I thought I would. I am among the view who actually Like Huddy.I actually loved the detox scene.I admit i was actually disappoited it wasn’t realt and soon after I began to realize this but never the less I still loved it. Go Huddy!

  • Barbara S Barnett

    Sorry I’ve been so absent these last two weeks. Real life has been a bit overwhelming. New article coming this weekend wrapping up season five. I needed to re-watch the entire season in order to do it. So it’s taken me a bit of time. But hopefully by the end of the weekend, KC, I’ll have a new piece up to share and discuss.

    And…some very exciting things to announce as the summer goes on as well. (At least I think they’re exciting!)

  • savta

    Hi Barbara – as long as you just reviewed the episodes maybe you can clear something up for me. I haven’t been able to discern what Cuddy is saying when she is yelling at House in fury after the railing incident in Both Sides Now. She says ” This is beyond _________.” I can’t understand what word comes after beyond and before she says “You have the luxury etc.” Can you clear it up for me? Thanks.
    On another note – I saw with excitement that tickets were available for the special event at the Paley Center and would have loved to be in LA for the panel discussion with DS, KJ, HL and the others but the tickets were gone even before it was publicized. I guess they must have been snapped up by members of the Center??

  • putitupmike

    This is freaking Kafka on TV. Unusual to say the least, and although TV has morphed over the past few years and the silliness of the wondrous humor of the 50’s has been replaced with more powerful dramas, House stands alone. It took a discussion about the show with my daughter for me to see that it is more about this madman, than it is about medicine. I now understand that is about the journey of a madman. How it ends is up to the writers. I thank you for the suspense, the pure joy of the Actors ability and direction, the incredible writing and the mental assistance this show has given me personally. The writing and plot line are pure brilliance. I try to take something of House away, and to learn about his trials from each episode, and feel that I understand the writers intent at his growth. I still cannot glean the intent of having House on the bus with Amber. Where is the growth for him at having his relationship with Wilson die?

  • Pytania

    I loved the characterisations of everyone in this episode.
    That’s great movie. Thanks Barbara

  • Mary

    Thank for making me know the House and I will start to watch all seasons of it right now.