House is over. Too Bad. So Sad. Very Mad. – Yes, but also no. The series had run its course; Huddy left the building and things just weren’t the same. House was due an ending. We all knew it. And it ended perfectly; with a tone of tragic irony – the kind that has punctuated the life of the not-so-good-but-brilliant doctor House since the series get-go.
The episodes leading up to the finale set the course for House and his minions. Wilson – uber minion… and altruist, humanist, philanthropist – is doomed to die (drum roll please – *bing bang boom*) from cancer (H.A H.A) and ‘hater-House’ lives on so the finale reveals. The good guy loses and the bad guy wins. But of course, House was never quite as simple as that…
‘Good’ and ‘bad’ have never been so unclear. House: swearer of the Hippocratic oath, saver of lives (good) who loves not the lives he saves (bad?) but the puzzle and the save – morally reprehensible but also not. So, what is he? Complex. Such as people are in this world, making House a symbol of a greater doctrine; the human condition.
In a show confronting the practical and philosophical implications of both life and death, in all contexts of living, it’s fitting that the series finale culminates in an existential tog o’ war, which takes place in the desolation of Gregory House’s mind; a surreal battle field given context by the metaphor of an abandoned warehouse – forsaken, isolated and lonesome, much like the soul and life of the man in question. The finale debates, once and for all, whether House will succumb to suicide; to rid himself of a life imbued with pain (physical and emotional) or will his quest for the puzzle overcome the draw of ‘nothingness’? Amber, Kutner, Stacy and Cameron appear as the part of his subconscious that wants to live (Cuddy was certainly missing from the equation), and so, sitting next to the body of a dead Heroine addict (most apt) House debates with himself. What, oh what, will he do?
A little bit of both, as it turns out. In a nod to the great Sherlock Holmes, David Shore dictates House choose life by death. The good-bad Doctor’s fake death awards viewers the ‘what they would all have said at the funeral’ scenario, and then House rides into the sunset with Wilson; his one true love and soul mate. We aren’t left imagining worms picking at his person. Rather, we ponder his plight and create fantasy endings of our own. However we choose to play out House’s life, one thing is for certain: he will inflict misogynistic pestilence and magnificent genius upon humanity for as long as possible. Suicide was just never a viable option.
And what happens to House’s cohorts? Foreman (in true Foreman fashion) figures it out, Chase takes over the diagnostic department, Cameron (married with a baby) and Taub are family imbued. And as for the rest…
…Everybody Dies. Eventually.