9 p.m. Seeing Gregory House wake up in a stupor after another all-night pill bender is nothing new…but watching him wake up in a crack den (of a dilapidated building) with a former patient lying dead next to him (from an OD), a fire raging outside and the ghost (?) of the late Kutner hovering in the room may be the worst situation TV’s most cynical doc has ever been in. This is going to be a great hour of television. House is going to take us for one last crazy ride!
9:11 The dead guy turns out to be a former patient with a heroin habit. House is retracing the events that led up his current predicament. His sub-conscious is embodied by Kutner who committed suicide at the beginning of Season 5, which caused House great grief and guilt at the time. House is both trying to figure out what’s going on and reflecting on his own life and its purpose. Powerful line from Kutner to the bleary House who may also be contemplating suicide: “Death’s not interesting. You exist for what’s interesting–puzzles, ideas, analysis. Death is the opposite of a cool puzzle. It’s eternal nothingness. But you don’t find life interesting anymore.”
Suddenly Kutner disappears and in his place is Amber (former intern to House and fiance to Wilson who died in a bus crash at the end of Season 4) who begins exploring what House cares about in life.
9:25 pm Foreman and Wilson (who is dying from brain cancer) are wondering if House is in some kind of trouble. He’s left rotting food in his office and he bailed on an appointment with a high-end call girl. 🙂 House tries to leave the building that is quickly becoming engulfed in flames and he falls through the floor. As he sits upright, his sub-conscious has now become Stacey a former flame of House who was in Season 2.
With Stacey, House starts to wonder about belief in God. Stacey says to him: “You gotta have something to hold onto…what about love?” Will House, after eight seasons, find something to hold onto beside himself?
9:45 Cameron is now taken the form of House’s sub-conscious and is trying to get him to accept his fate, that he will die in the burning building. Foreman and Wilson are on the scene, giving the slight possibility that House might survive.
House recalls the relationship with the patient/heroin addict and how he is trying to get him to take the fall for the prank in last week’s episode. Cameron the sub-conscious tells him that he’s a coward and he’s committing a cowardly act.
“You’re right but I can change” House replies as he gets up off the floor. He appears in the doorway of the building about to walk out. Wilson and Foreman run up. The fire engines have arrived. But then a rafter falls in front of house followed by a swirl of flames and then…BOOM! The close up of Wilson’s shocked face conveys that this may be the end of House’s character.
9:50 Coroner confirms its House’s body that is pulled out of the building. House is dead. The funeral begins and everyone begins paying their respects. All of the characters who had close relationships with House are there, except for Cuddy (It fits the storyline but still a bummer not to see Lisa Eldestein make a cameo).
One of the second best lines said bout House begins with Chase: “He wasn’t always to deal with”…and ends with Cameron: “but somewhere in there he knew how to love” Then Wilson stands up to speak. “He was my friend…You have to remember that Gregory House saved lives. He was a healer and in the end, he…He was an ass!” Thus begins Wilson’s tirade. He expresses the anger and grief he is feeling because House won’t be with him in his final weeks.
And then there’s the twist. The one that has happened in numerous episodes. House is in a bind and you don’t think he’s going to get out of it and then with a mischievous twinkle in his eye and a wide grin, he makes it. Just as Wilson is building up steam, his phone rings. At first, everyone thinks it’s their phone. Wilson realizes it’s the one in his pocket except that it’s not his phone. It’s House’s. Wilson looks at the text: “SHUT UP YOU IDIOT” House is alive!
9:55 Wilson drives up to an apartment building and is shocked to see his best friend, sitting on the stoop just a grinning, has returned from the dead. The good-hearted Wilson gently questions House’s decision to fake his death. He reminds him he’ll lose his career, go to prison and never be a doctor again. (It’s never explained why House ended up in the abandoned building with the patient-heroin addict. Maybe he tried to talk the guy out of taking the fall for his mistake, and then passed out due to the carbon monoxide from the fire whose cause is also unknown. At this point, though, it doesn’t matter.) There are more important life matters to be dealt with, as it always is with Wilson and House and with a show that always brilliantly and poignantly dealt with brokenness, evil, depravity, trust, friendship, redemption, hope, love, faith, and healing.
House interrupts Wilson, “his good side”: “I’m dead Wilson. How do you want to spend the last 5 months of your life?” Wilson chuckles and the tear-jerker “Keep Me In Your Heart For Awhile” by the late Warren Zevon (who died of cancer a few years ago) plays in the background. We see the cast members moving on with their lives. Nice touch to show Cameron, working in a different hospital, look at a picture of her, Chase, Foreman and House from Season 1. Foreman finds House’s old ID badge, sits down in a chair and laughs. I wonder if deep down inside he knows House is alive or at least “his memory” will live on inside him, the good and the bad.
10 pm. House and Wilson are on their motorcycles in the middle of a bridge overlooking a river. Wilson turns to his friend and says: “When the cancer starts getting bad…” House interrupts: “Cancer is boring.” The two friends smile at each other, put on their helmets and drive off along the backroads of an idyllic wood, the jazzy tune “Enjoy Yourself” by Louis Prima playing on the wind.
As the screen fades to back, I’m left with a sense that House has finally learned how to embrace life in all its fullness, move joyfully forward (even with his best friend dying) and never look back or get stuck in the wretched pain of his past.