House Series Finale “Everybody Dies”
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOLERS!!
Back in 2004, Fox released this TV show that everyone thought would be a crapshoot at best. It was about a disgruntled, genius, but Vicodin-addict doctor named Gregory House who had a bedside manner that made a drill sergeant look like the sweetest of pre-school teachers. He would go on to lead a team of three to four doctors, each with their own quips and personal demons to confront (from infidelity to terminal diseases.) Eight amazing years later, the series came to an end. The end for the show about a doctor who is obsessed with puzzles came to a not-so-puzzling end.
Hugh Laurie (who plays Dr. House) has been nominated for a plethora of Emmy’s and Golden Globes. (6 of each in which he won 2 of the Golden Globes but not an Emmy. This year would be his last chance for him to win one for the role since the series is obviously over.) One of the most pivotal characters on television in the last decade. A character we all loved to root for and hate at the same time. A character we worried and wondered about even in-between episodes. But now it was time for House to finally face his choices and the consequences of those choices.
The episode opens with House, having been missing for two days, waking up in a burning building next to a dead drug dealer (his last patient.)
When he comes to, he is immediately confronted by Kutner (Kal Penn) who informs him that he has died. Even in death (and subconscious,) House can’t help but argue that he isn’t dead and the fact that he has woken up in the last place he remembers being next to his last patient, he couldn’t possibly be dead. As the show progresses, he is confronted by a laundry list of past colleagues (both living and dead) as they express their points of view as to whether or not House should accept his “fate” and die in the fire or fight to survive and find a way out. House tells all of them his last few days that resulted in his being there in the first place.
With Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) being diagnosed with terminal cancer and having only a few months to live, House tries to convince him to help him cover up a crime and take the fall for it if he’s found out which would result in House returning to prison and likely having his medical license revoked. House argues that a jury would never convict a terminal patient. When Wilson refuses, House goes to Foreman (Omar Epps) who also refuses to help House. Feeling completely abandoned by everyone who has always bailed him out, he shoots heroine.
Wilson and Foreman try to retrace House’s steps to find out where he is convinced that something is wrong. When they officially do piece together where House is, they arrive literally seconds too late when they see House trying to escape the burning building only to have a giant enflamed support beam fall on top of him as firefighters arrive. After the blaze is put out, they all watch as a body bag is removed from the building. The coroner confirms that the charred body pulled out of the building is indeed House.
Jump to a wake where a black urn lies on a table as everyone (living) is present including his mother, former colleagues, and even his wife, (Yes House was married to a European immigrant in order to help her get her residency,) give their eulogies. While Wilson is up giving his eulogy about House, trying to make it sound as good as possible, he quickly snaps and complains, mocks, and rips House as a person saying he was “an ass” and “a bitter jerk who liked making other people miserable.” He keeps ranting on and on as a phone rings continuously. Wilson eventually realizes that it’s his phone with a text message that reads “SHUT UP YOU IDIOT.”
After the funeral, Wilson drives back to his home and finds House sitting at his stoop. Completely shocked and dumbfounded, House explains that he switched the dental records. Wilson rants that House can never see his family or other colleagues ever again and he can never practice medicine. House simply smiles and asks Wilson what he wants to do his last five months. The scene fades to both of them sitting on classic motorcycles and literally ride into the sunset.
Before the episode even aired, there was a one hour special with interviews with the entire cast and crew about the evolution of the show and its success. It gave an insider’s behind the scenes look at the development of an episode as they all reminisce of the episodes that were most memorable to them throughout the series.
The episode did tie up all the strings beautifully in regards to the storyline eight years in the making. Chase (Jesse Spencer) was given House’s old job as the head of Diagnostic Medicine, Foreman continues to run Princeton Plainsboro Hospital, Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) is seen working at another hospital and is now married with a child.
I could nitpick and say that there was never a second body found or recovered from the burning building already giving a huge hint that House pulled a Huck Fin. Or the fact that Wilson never shared the text with anyone else. A show that generally is known for taking risk after risk after risk in story and production, the series finale was very clean and simple and not as controversial as other episodes, but on the other hand, would you really want the series ending on a mystery or a sudden cut-out ala “The Sopranos?” Even House had to find solutions to the puzzles, and thus they were right to give the solution to us.
A very good (but not great) end to a truly great series. I’d give it an 8 out of 10.