Living on Netflix: House M.D. (Series Finale)

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One of the best shows on television ended its run in 2012 after eight seasons of highs and lows, shifting casts, and rude comments by the surliest doctor ever.  I am such a huge dork for this series, yet I haven’t had a chance to finish it until now.  Will the series end on a high note, or will it be a huge let down for a series that was already losing steam?  Keep reading to find out!

WARNING!  COMPLETE AND TOTAL SPOILERS!!  THIS WILL ALSO MAKE LITTLE SENSE IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SHOW UP TO THIS POINT!!!

When we last left our heroes (Wilson and House), they had decided to make the most of the remaining time that Wilson had before his cancer killed him, which would be in about five months.  Unfortunately for House, one of his pranks actually got him in trouble for the first time that I can recall.  He flooded one of the bathrooms which caused the bathroom floor to collapse, landing right on top of the MRI machine.  He’s going back to jail because that counts as felony vandalism and his parole is being revoked (oh yeah, he’s on parole.  Series finale folks; try and keep up).  It JUST SO HAPPENS that his remaining sentence is six months, which is a month longer than Wilson has.  Two things though.  First, Wilson COULD take this opportunity to actually take the chemo which should extend his life for another year.  I know that House finally decided to trust Wilson and no longer pester him about the treatment (which Wilson was finally willing to do for House), but these are pretty dire circumstances.  It’s not like they were expecting this to happen, and I can’t imagine Wilson not going through the Chemo at this point.  The other problem is I’m still confused about the law here, and this could be my ignorance.  The only people hurt by House’s pranks were his fellows (Adams and Park) who I doubt would press charges against House, and the only property that was damaged was Hospital property, and it’s clear that Foreman (the new Dean of Medicine) doesn’t want to press charges.  Who is sending House to jail at this point?  Is it a violation of his parole to NOT be charged with a crime?  Like I said, I’m no law expert but I feel the explanation for this huge dramatic twist is a bit wanting.

The episode starts with House doing what he does best.  Waking up in a stupor, not knowing where he is, and surrounded by a lot of stuff that could ACTUALLY get him thrown in jail.  He sees someone on the floor, and he won’t wake up.  Kutner comes into frame and informs us that the guy is dead.  Wait what?

“Is this really all you can get between Harold and Kumar movies?”     “Oh yeah, your one to talk.  What was your last movie; Street Kings?  No wait, I think it was the one where you played a cockroach.”

“Is this really all you can get between Harold and Kumar movies?”     “Oh yeah, your one to talk.  What was your last movie; Street Kings?  No wait, I think it was the one where you played a cockroach.”

Considering they’re bringing back a dead cast member (Once again, series finale.  Not gonna try and catch you up.), It’s only a matter of time before they drag everyone else who’s barely escaped this show for their requisite cameo.  They better bring back Detective Tritter is all I’m saying.  Wait, shouldn’t he have shown up at some point to rub in House’s face when he actually DID go to jail?

Wasn’t I supposed to be reviewing something?  Oh right!  Okay, so the scene ends with Kuter telling House that there’s a fire, and we can see it in-between the floor boards before cutting to the opening credits.  When we return, Kutner asks him who the guy is (I assume House is hallucinating once again instead of this just being a dream), and then we cut to a few days earlier where we see that the dead guy is one of House’s clinic patients.  Turns out that the guy is a drug seeker who House can see through with his usual level of uncanny smarts, aserbic wit, and spiteful attitude, but stops the guy as he’s leaving because he notices… a medical thing.  Look, do you really want me to type out a bunch of long and hard to pronounce words?  I didn’t think so.  He’s got a bruise around his bellybutton which means something, so we’ve got our final case. Everyone else is shocked that House is even taking on a case considering he’s going back to jail in a matter of days, but they’ve long since given up on ever trying to get House to do something other than whatever the fuck he wants.  The team is on the case, and at this point they all start saying blah blah blah.  We cut back to the confused ghost of Kumar, to whom House replies “nobody cares about the medicine.”  Wait, didn’t I just say that?

"Honestly I make up half the shit that comes out of my mouth.  People just think I’m smarter than them.”

“Honestly I make up half the shit that comes out of my mouth.  People just think I’m smarter than them.”

So it turns out that House had a plan to stay out of jail for the time being.  What was the plan?  To take on more cases.  What?  He can stay out of jail as long as he does his job?  Okay.  Whatever.  He tries to get Foreman to fudge the amount of cases he has to the parole board (since when is he ever lacking possible cases?) and Foreman agrees despite his better judgment.  Considering that we see that House ends up in what appears to be a burning factory, stoned out of his mind and hallucinating, it probably wasn’t the best time for Foreman to show a little compassion.  Kutner (acting as House’s subconscious) is trying to figure out why House seems to be suicidal, theorizing that the only reason he’s had to live is because death was more boring that the puzzles he found in life.  Now that he’s facing a life without his friend, he may not find life interesting anymore.  That train of thought gets derailed however when Amber appears and tells House to stop being a sad sack (another dead cast member).

“Considering I fired you four seasons ago, you have a nasty habit of turning back up.”

“Considering I fired you four seasons ago, you have a nasty habit of turning back up.”

She tries to get House to talk about the case, and since he’s hallucinating it must mean that despite sitting in a burning building, he’s still obsessing about what happened to his patient (who I will remind you is still dead on the floor).  We flash back to the patient who’s about to die of something (the monitors are beeping, so we know something is wrong) and the entire team is panicking about what to do.  House injects him with mystery medicine and the guy wakes up in five seconds.  Of course this is all bullshit (House is lying to his subconscious I guess) and it turns out that what really happened was that he went to visit a patient which he very rarely does (except for the fact that he does it in almost every episode).  The guy (who still doesn’t have a name) is a former stockbroker with a wife family who got hooked on pain killers and lost everything.  Despite losing the “American Dream” he’s never been happier.  This guy is obviously supposed to be a possible future for House, and it’s pretty easy to guess how he ended up in the warehouse with the patient.  At some point, House is either gonna solve the case and go with guy to the building to do drugs, or he’s going to take him there for medical reasons… and then do drugs.  Amber calls House out on his bullshit about the guy being happy, and then we cut to another flashback where House is being somewhat self-destructive and definitely being a jerk.

“You want a hit off this?”

“You want a hit off this?”

He’s rejected all of the cases that Foreman sent him, and is now pressuring Foreman to go ahead and fully purger himself (give the parole board a false, yet airtight alibi at the time of the vandalism) instead of the half assed purgery of a few extra cases.  Foreman can see the slippery slope ahead of him, and tells House he won’t be doing that, which seems to come as a surprise to our cynical hero.  Amber reminds him once again that none of this matters (going to jail, losing Wilson, spiraling out of control) except for the puzzle, so we go back to the junkie who House deduces has ALS.  This prediction lasts for about thirty seconds before House notices a bulge in the dude’s neck.  New answer (and it appears to be right) is that he swallowed a branch and it’s causing some sort of reaction that apparent looks like Lou Gehrig’s disease.  After House explains this, Amber points out that he’s only ever happy when he’s solve a case, and that’s probably enough of a reason to live.  He loves solving puzzles and there will always be people who need his help.    House finally decides it’s time to leave, but it turns out to be rather difficult considering that THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE!!!!

“Probably shouldn't have spent the last fifteen minutes talking to myself.  Oh well.  Live and learn… in a manner of speaking.”

“Probably shouldn’t have spent the last fifteen minutes talking to myself.  Oh well.  Live and learn… in a manner of speaking.”

We cut to Foreman and Wilson (presumably this is taking place about the same time as the scenes of House in the abandoned building) who are in House’s apartment, and think that he might be in trouble.  We cut back to House who is trying to find a way out, but his progress is impeded because he’s got a bum leg.  He ends up falling through the floor and goes from the second story to the first, with the flames slowly building around him.  We cut to commercial, and come back to House’s therapist (Dr. Nolan) who we haven’t seen for almost two freaking seasons, and unlike the OTHER two people who’ve made cameos in this episode, he hasn’t actually died.  It turns out that House was in contact with him recently, and Wilson and Foreman go to him to find out if he knows where House went.  They finally realize that he probably hooked up with the druggie patient, and then we cut back to House hallucinating, and this time it’s someone else from the show’s past.

“Seriously?  We haven’t spoken since season 2.”

“Seriously?  We haven’t spoken since season 2.”

For some reason, they drag Stacey into this who I feel is kind of irrelevant at this point. She never showed up again after she left in season 2, and her whole purpose in the show (House’s true love) was kind of supplanted by Cuddy when she finally hooked up with House.  Hell, I’d much rather of seen her right now instead of Stacey of all people.  Anyway, she tries to give House a reason to live (THE POWER OF LOVE) and we get a flashback to House trying to convince Wilson to take the blame for the prank.  As long as Wilson claims that House gave him the tickets (he flushed a season’s worth of Hockey tickets down a toilet), it would explain the fingerprints and give enough reasonable doubt to keep him out of jail (theoretically).  Wilson won’t do it because he doesn’t want House to always assume that someone will come in and save him whenever he fucks up.  Stacey agrees and tells House that he’ll be better off when Wilson is gone because he’ll no longer have him for a crutch and will have to walk on his own (so to speak).  Then we get a weird scene where House hallucinates an alternate history where he’s still with Stacey and has a kid.

That is one really unlucky baby.

That is one really unlucky baby.

House doesn’t buy this and drives Stacey away, preferring to stay in the Warehouse than to rely on some bullshit fantasy as a reason to escape.  Next up in the cavalcade of supporting characters is Cameron who shows up to tell him he should probably die as a way to end the pain.  An odd thing for Cameron to say, but then again; these are just manifestations of House’s inner thoughts. Foreman and Wilson finally make it to the burning building and race in search of House while Cameron gives him reassurances that the pain is all going to be over soon.  We get another flashback with the patient where we find out that between the ALS diagnosis and the tree branch diagnosis, that the guy offered to take the blame for House’s prank.  I don’t know why House (or anyone else) would tell the patient about him going to jail, but whatever.  So it turns out that House had a get out of jail free card, but gave it up in order to solve the puzzle.  This somehow pisses of Cameron because… I don’t know.  I guess his subconscious is yelling at him because he’s thinking about other stuff when he should probably decide whether he should live or die before the flames decide for him.  I figured that he was ready to die when he lied on the ground, but maybe I’m mistaken.  Maybe you’re not allowed to let your mind wander when you’re waiting for the sweet embrace of death.  Cameron’s words apparently kick House into gear ad he finally gets up and tries to escape.  He makes it to the front door and can see Foreman and Wilson just outside.  Before House can go through the door, a beam collapses and falls on him, and then the building explodes for some reason.  We cut to commercial and come back to the next morning where everyone is gathered around the building, waiting for the firemen to find the corpse.  A body is found (which we don’t see) but the coroner determines it’s the body of House.  We then cut to a funeral where a few more of the characters who have left the show make an appearance (Masters showed up!  Yay!  But no Cuddy.  Boo.) and each gives a little speech.  They’re all glowing and describe him as a great man until Wilson gets on stage and savages him.

“That guy was an Asshole!  Am I the only one who noticed!?”

“That guy was an Asshole!  Am I the only one who noticed!?”

During his tirade, his phone goes off and he reads the text.

PLOT TWIST!!

PLOT TWIST!!

So yeah, considering we didn’t see a fucking body, it was pretty easy to guess that he wasn’t dead yet, despite the word of an off screen coroner.  Wilson and House meet up and after House gives a bullshit explanation on how he escaped, they decide to spend the next five months having as much fun as possible before Wilson keels over and House starts a new life.  We then get a montage of where the support cast ends up.  Chase, who spent a good deal of this season proving that he could become an equal to House, is now the head of Princeton Plainsboro’s Diagnostics team.  Cameron has remarried and now has a child.  Foreman is still the Dean of Medicine, and Taub… just kind of has kids still.  The best though is what House and Wilson are up to now.

Well don’t you two look like tough burly men!

Well don’t you two look like tough burly men!

Yeah, the bromance between House and Wilson has been approaching parody for a while now, but this one image has the subtlety of a sledgehammer.  And so the series ends with our two favorite not gay doctors riding off into the sunset on their motorcycles.  AWESOME.

“Don’t stop us now!!! We’re having such a good time!!  We’re having a ball!!”

“Don’t stop us now!!! We’re having such a good time!!  We’re having a ball!!”

I think I mentioned in my review of the series Finale of Dexter that doing a final episode is really hard.  This may not be bad on the level of Dexter, but it’s still pretty disappointing.  I’d rather the episode focus on the cast we have now instead of relying on the ones who are gone to make cameos.  It would have been better if the final episode of this show didn’t focus so much on examining House when so many episodes in the past have done this exact thing.  Hell, this isn’t even the first time Amber has haunted his ass.  It feels like they were trying too hard to cram as much of the show’s history into this episode, while also spending as much time with House as possible.  I love House, he’s one of the best TV characters of all time, but they didn’t do anything new with him, and they ended up sacrificing every other aspect of the show in order to focus on him and his continued failure to change.  The show had been treading water for a while, with House almost constantly running head first into crises, changing for the better because of what happened, and then slowly sliding back into the comfortable character that he’s been for the last decade.  To end on another story about him wanting to change for the better just feels really stale and phony.  Not only that, but the ending offers little closure.  It would have been so much better if this episode takes place after Wilson’s death, and House deciding it was time to change at that point.  I think we might be able to buy it considering how monumentally impactful the death of his best friend would be, but instead they decided to ride off into the sunset together.  I like that, but there’s a big “What happens later?” hanging over it because we KNOW what’s gonna happen (Wilson dies), but we don’t know what it will do to House.  Will he slide back into drugs?  Will he turn himself in and go back to jail?  I know a show can’t end with us knowing EVERYTHING that will happen, but this was something really big and important that you aren’t going to have a chance to follow up on.  Also; I know they didn’t have a choice, but Lisa Cuddy was SORELY missed in this.  The only reason Stacy was in this is because Lisa Edelstein didn’t come back, and it feels really awkward.

Overall, I can’t say I was pleased with the finale, but it could have been worse, and at least ends on a light note.  There may be too much uncertainty about what’s going to happen next for House, but it still leaves you with a smile on your face.

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One thought on “Living on Netflix: House M.D. (Series Finale)

  1. Pingback: Living on Netflix: House M.D. (Series Finale) | The Reviewers Unite! [Legacy]

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