House for seasons has revolved around the idea that a team of clever doctors try to diagnose an extremely unusual medical problem and various solutions and treatments are tried out before the enigmatic Gregory House solves the problem in the final scenes. He is an interesting character because he is not good with people or change. His acerbic, barbed comments throughout the episode show a callousness that most of us wouldn’t even dream of. For House, it is the Holmes-like puzzle that intrigues. Once the mystery is solved his interest dissipates and he moves on to his next puzzle. He taunts his team and his best friend Wilson and tries to find a woman who will put up with his shenanigans while remaining beautiful and intelligent enough to pique his interest, all this while playing the character as a disabled person in constant pain with an over reliance on drugs to ease it.
If truth be told, we’d all probably like to be as clever as House but as nice as Wilson. To apparently not care about anyone other than oneself is highly unusual and to be self contained enough to pull that off successfully is even rarer. So in the last season, season 8, the dynamic between Wilson and House changed because Wilson became incurably ill and House went into meltdown. How would he, and we, cope?
When ER drew to a close they brought back key characters for the last episode and at the start of this House episode it was apparent that the same plot device would be used as Kumar, who had last been seen dead with a gunshot wound, appeared in House’s dream. This allowed a series of flashback scenes to explain why House was suicidal. A drug-taking patient told House that it was reality that sucked and not drug taking. He was told by a reappeared Amber that the only thing that had ever mattered to him was the puzzle – no sh*t Sherlock.
The “trapped in a disused, burning building” trope allowed House to battle with fire and questions about life and death while Wilson and Foreman worried about where House could have disappeared to considering his belongings had been left behind.
Wilson, it was pointed out, was his conscience, He hadn’t needed to be better than he was because Wilson nagged him to do the right thing. He would be a better person if he didn’t have Wilson to make the good decisions for him. Cameron however told him to give in to death while the smoke overcame him. Could he change? He thought so, and so did we – almost.
- Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
- Omar Epps as Dr. Eric Foreman
- Robert Sean Leonard as Dr. James Wilson
- Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase
- Peter Jacobson as Dr. Chris Taub
- Olivia Wilde as Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley (episodes 3, 21 and 22)
- Odette Annable as Dr. Jessica Adams
- Charlyne Yi as Dr. Chi Park
- Karolina Wydra as Dominika Petrova House (5 episodes)
- Diane Baker as Blythe House (2 episodes)
- Jennifer Crystal Foley as Rachael Taub (2 episodes)
- Zena Grey as Ruby (2 episodes)
- Andre Braugher as Dr. Darryl Nolan
- Anne Dudek as Dr. Amber Volakis
- Jennifer Morrison as Dr. Allison Cameron
- Kal Penn as Dr. Lawrence Kutner
- Amber Tamblyn as Martha M. Masters
- Sela Ward as Stacy Warner