HOUSE Season Finale : Give Me My Remote

I Just Watched the HOUSE Season Finale…or Did I? (Updated)

May 12, 2009 by  

Before I turn it over to Erik, I wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank Erik for his amazing contributions to and to the fans of HOUSE.  As the Editor of the site, I am beyond thrilled at the community of thoughtful TV fans that have come together each week to discuss HOUSE. The conversations have been enlightening and so very interesting.  So thank you Erik for cultivating such a great community, and thanks to each of you that visit GMMR each week to discuss HOUSE.

Until next season….



— by Erik
Thanks for jump starting the discussion about the House Season Finale. As soon as the credits rolled, I presumed that there would be a love/hate reaction from the audience, and I look forward to jumping into the discussion.

I have to confess that my normal recapping routine was blown to smithereens by the finale. Each week, I usually write three pages of notes on my trusty yellow legal pad, with arrows and circles leading me back to the important points to cover on GMMR. Unfortunately, the last ten minutes rendered my attempts at organization useless and rocked my equilibrium.

Fittingly, I am of two minds about the conclusion to Season Five. I am completely behind the ultimate decisions to have House committed, Chase & Cameron married, and the remaining doctors challenged to perform without their teacher. That being said, I am perplexed over the manner in which those stories were told. As a result, I am eagerly awaiting Season Six, but disappointed with this finale.

Following Kutner’s suicide, I argued that the writers of House had become lax in their execution of long-term storylines. Though Kal Penn’s departure was a special case,, there were a host of noteworthy plot points that were given short thrift: Wilson’s resignation and subsequent return, Cuddy’s sudden obsession with adoption and her baby’s disappearance into “primetime infant obscurity,” Chase & Cameron’s path to the altar moving forward almost entirely off screen. At the other end of the spectrum, we watched the Foreteen romance dominate the early episodes, then retreat into the background without much explanation. With the benefit of hindsight, it appears that the creative team had a beginning and an end in mind for Season Five, but lacked a coherent vision for how to fill in the blanks.

The end game to this season was House’s admission into the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. Unlike the underwhelming story arcs I mentioned earlier, the hints about House’s instability were present in many of his conversations with Wilson. Time and time again, Wilson tried to force House to admit that the fear of losing his diagnostic gifts were daunting, and to make decisions about what kind of person he wanted to be. Those exchanges were not full of Lost-style Easter Eggs that gave us answers to questions that would be posed in future installments. Instead, they offered a slow, consistent build towards this finale. Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard are virtuosos when they share the screen, and I was moved by Wilson’s expression as his best friend was admitted as the credits rolled.

Here’s a little confession about the Huddy sex scene that never happened. I knew it was a hallucination, and it was Cuddy’s fault! During a conference call with TV journalists and online contributors, Lisa Edelstein was asked directly by Jeremy Medina of Entertainment Weekly, “Will the Cuddy and House hookup be some sort of fake-out, a dream sequence or House is delusional or anything like that?” Though her response was a well-crafted, spoiler-free, “Well, I mean there’s a chance for anything isn’t there?” I left that call believing the scene would be a swerve, and would lead to some kind of emotional fallout for House. That being said, the most significant news to come out of House’s altered state was his concern for the impact of his actions on Cuddy. Since I am still a bit fuzzy on exactly which events took place and which did not, I can say that House appeared to be conveying authentic emotions, even in settings that were only in his imagination.

Chase and Cameron’s wedding was the ideal complement to House’s breakdown, and served as a fitting visual for director Greg Yaitanes to conclude the story. After serving as virtual extras for most of Season Five, I am delighted that Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer played a consequential role in the final chapters. The two performers made the best of their time on screen, even managing to make a debate over frozen sperm seem poignant. Though fans of the House/Cameron dynamic will not be searching for registry gifts on the newlyweds’ behalf, I think both Morrison and Spencer will be ready for a Season Six where their contributions will be expanded beyond a “Will they, won’t they” fairy tale plot. Here’s an idea. While Dr. House is becoming one with himself up at Mayfield, why not put Cameron in charge of his team? The tension with Foreman alone would be great for all the actors involved, and give a new boost of energy to the Ducklings, old and new.

There are more questions than answers coming out of this episode, so I look forward to a healthy discussion in the days ahead.

On a personal note, I want to sincerely thank all of you for taking the time to read my contributions about the show, and for offering so many interesting and entertaining comments along the way. Good times!

What did you think of the last ten minutes? For longtime fans, are you still intrigued when House falls off the intellectual cliff? Who was your MVP of Season Five? Are you rooting for Chase & Cameron to succeed, or are you keeping an eye on her freezer? What is next for Cuddy, Wilson, and the rest of the Princeton Plainsboro team? We saved the best for last, so please chime in!

How does Erik combat writer’s block? He indulges in Adam Carolla’s new daily podcast at and reads Bill Simmons’ columns on The GMMR House and Parks & Recreation dude is an active participant in the economic recession, and is looking forward to watching all seventy-three episodes of ALF on Hulu.


102 Responses to “I Just Watched the HOUSE Season Finale…or Did I? (Updated)”

  1. Craig on May 12th, 2009 12:11 am

    I thought it was an awesome ending thats all I can say. Way better then others before.

  2. Reesha on May 12th, 2009 12:23 am

    So are we allowed to talk about the episode yet, or what? All I wanna know is, was that the series finale? I haven’t seen any episodes since the end of Season 2. Oh jeez. I need to talk about the show already…I’m stressing out! 😛

  3. Josh on May 12th, 2009 1:00 am

    It was totally predictable. I had a suspicion after last week’s show that everything with House and Cuddy was in his head. And of course, they carried it out till the last segment the idea that it really happened. I had hope watching the show that they wouldn’t go that route with the story because it’s too easy fromm a writing standpoint and as I said before, predictable. It’s much harder and more intriguing from a writing stand[pint to give House and Cuddy a shot at a future. Niow I am totally convinced they will never get those two together and that when the show finally does end, House will be as miserable as he has always been, and that will be sad because it will mean that in all these years he won’t have grown or evolved as a character.

    Thank you House writing staff for giving me nothing to look forward to come September.

  4. Pam on May 12th, 2009 1:49 am

    I’m confused. If he didn’t get clean and the hallucinations are because he is still addicted, why is he going to a Psych ward instead of a Detox center??

  5. Jon on May 12th, 2009 3:05 am

    THat ending was so predictable that I thought that the House Cuddy thing was real. So now i am really pissed that nothing actually happened. I thought that it was so predictable that it wouldn;t happen. I agree with Josh, nothing to look forward too.

  6. Ryan on May 12th, 2009 3:50 am

    In answer to the first question (second post)…House has been renewed for a sixth season.

    In answer to the second question (fourth post)..When House was first trying to figure out what was causing the hallucinations, he created a list of diagnoses. On it was schizophrenia, which is now the most likely cause seeing as how he has gone from seeing something that wasn’t there (like an acid trip) to actually believing fabricated events (like a crazy person). That’s why he’s at a psych hospital.

  7. Heike on May 12th, 2009 8:04 am

    Can anybody tell me how it ended? We lost power halfway through the show.

  8. shanna[rie] on May 12th, 2009 8:50 am

    usually they show full episodes here

    you have to wait for them to put that one up. and just skip to the end if you wanna.

  9. Amanda on May 12th, 2009 9:58 am

    I can’t believe that it was all hallucinations! I was so livid after seeing this episode. and HOUSE in a PSYCH ward? How depressing is that… to have the scenes mixed with the wedding- blah! Besides the fact that our local station had the vocal and video off from each other until the last 15 mins… made for a very unhappy evening.

  10. kari on May 12th, 2009 10:10 am

    i thought it was AMAZING. for them to get together happily would not at all be in line with the characters or the feel of the show at all. and the contrast between wedding scene and drive to the big, scary institution was wonderful.

  11. maureen on May 12th, 2009 10:11 am

    Stupid house! I couldsnt believe this, I was so mad I was bawling my eyes out. I hated how they mixed the wedding with House going to the ward too. It made me not even care about the wedding. Maybe that was the intention but I think that was the worst episode EVER@!

  12. T on May 12th, 2009 10:22 am

    I don’t think he’s schizophrenic, he was still popping vicodin through the whole episode, just never in front of Wilson or Cuddy, so they thought he was detoxing. This is shown when House is thinking he’s twirling the lipstick in front of his team, but then it shows that they see him twirling his vicodin pills, and he never pulls out the “lipstick” in front of Wilson or Cuddy. AND since he was NOT off the vicodin, the Amber (logical left) side of his brain was still working and finding diagnoses for patients, while the, as they put it, “mute witness” right side of his brain wanted so desperately for something to happen, that it made up the whole thing of sleeping with Cuddy and getting off the vicodin. A good episode, seeing that what happened with House was kind of tied in to the Alien Hand patient, all the talk about the two sides of your brain, but I really wanted him and Cuddy to get it on. Also, don’t pysch hospitals double as rehab centers?

  13. MC on May 12th, 2009 10:37 am

    The prescription that was his “lipstick” was actually Oxycontin. I’m not sure which is the stronger drug, but it was something that caught my eye.

  14. Win on May 12th, 2009 10:41 am

    I agree with T. And I think House should get clean and sober. Imagine the possibilities; House, the confirmed atheist, arguing all the higher power stuff with some of the more fervent program people.

  15. Julie on May 12th, 2009 10:55 am

    I agree with T. and always love that the writers try to create a story on so many different levels. But I’m confused about is why Cuddy had to establish that she was his boss and he was her employee first time they saw each other. How can that be explained if they didn’t sleep with each other? And how come she understands that he’s trying to make her angry? Was all that a hallucination too?

  16. Julie on May 12th, 2009 11:03 am

    And another thing – I loved the ending. I don’t think House and Cuddy should ever get together b/c he treats her like total crap. Wilson is the one who’s always there to pick up the pieces…hmmm…Wuddy? I also like the idea of House on a psych ward – something like “One Flies Over the Cuckoos Nest”. Where he’s curing the other patients, or leading a rebellion.

  17. Boomchild on May 12th, 2009 11:07 am

    Through the first 50 minutes of this show, I had graded the whole episode as a solid “B,” because I enjoyed the writing-tie-ins between House and the patient. I did wonder why no one asked House about the lipstick tube he kept looking at, but not enough to set of any BRIGHT lights.

    The last montage, however, totally blew my mind. I think my shock came close to the level of House’s as I realized it was all a dream sequence. For me, it worked, (moving it into the A-ish category), but I cringe at the thought of all the reviewers who are going to slam HOUSE for using it.

    Now I have to find where I can place bets on how long Chase and Cameron’s marriage lasts, if that wasn’t a hallucination of some sort, too.

  18. T on May 12th, 2009 11:36 am

    Julie, House and Cuddy have argued the “Im the Boss, you’re the employee” since Day 1 of the series, and since when does House not try to make her angry in some way for whatever convoluted reason he has? It’s all that sexual tension they have lol To address MC, I’m pretty sure it was Vicodin but I’ll have to rewatch the montage part at the end. I don’t think they actually showed the whole name of the drug, but at one point, the letters shown looked to spell vicodin, and at another point looked like methadone, which happens to be an anti-addiction drug for opioids, which vicodin is, but him seeing the word methadone, could have been a secondary hallucination thinking he was off the vicodin. Like I said, I’m going to rewatch the last part.

    And finally to Boomchild, unfortunately, they are married lol, but the writers tried to spin it with the “cameron keeping her dead husband’s sperm causing the breakup” in the episode before last, which to me, was a waste of time since they were going to be written together in the end and Chase is all of a sudden, accepting of that and tells her not to destroy it. Ok? Seems odd to me.

  19. RickyBoy on May 12th, 2009 11:45 am

    The last ten minutes of the episode were absolutely amazing. Probably the best depiction of the “realities” of drug-induced psychosis I have ever seen portrayed in the visual media (certainly on TV). What was most poignant to me was the integration between the two “cases” (the man with MPD and Mr. Schwartz) and House’s self-diagnosis. His comment “What made me think of pancreatic cancer?” and the montage sequence of the lipstick/Vicodin vial were absolutely brilliant and essential to the outcome. His “holistic” brain caused him to throw the pills across the bathroom (just as MPD man threw the deodorant) as it “knew” that was the ulitmate cause of his hallucinations. In the end “intuition” triumphed over “reason” and House asked for the help he needed. His acknowledgement of his own humanity and “woundedness” caused him to “reach out”. House really does have a soul – as much as he would like to deny or chemically suppress it. He’ll be back – you can bank on it. And he’ll be better than ever!

  20. daniel on May 12th, 2009 11:55 am

    I thought the last scene of the this episode was interesting. House’s worst day of his life and Allison and Chase’s best day of their lives.

  21. T on May 12th, 2009 12:04 pm

    To MC, I re-watched the segment. Cuddy said she left the office, so from that point on was all fabricated by House’s brain. He never asked her for help, and thus never got off the vicodin. When he looks at the “lipstick” and subsequently drops the pill bottle, you can see “hydrocodone” which is one of the two drugs in vicodin. RickyBoy hit the nail on the head exactly, and at first, I did not like the House side of the end of the episode (and I still want him to get with Cuddy) as I found it too reminiscent of the Evangelion Movie, but re-watching it, I can see how genius it was now. Btw Ricky, the patient has Alien Hand Syndrome, not multiple personality. (That was the only flaw in your post though ^^)

  22. RickyBoy on May 12th, 2009 12:35 pm

    Thanks for that, T. Sorry, I’m not medically trained (just the “school of hard knocks!”). I guess I should refrain from using clinical terms when I don’t really know what they mean! I do appreciate the education. (Can’t wait for next season!)

  23. Megan Wren on May 12th, 2009 12:49 pm

    I thought the episode was brilliant, too, and find the posts illuminating, but I am apparently missing the tie-in with Carl Reiner’s diagnosis/pancreatic cancer. Does House think he has it? Not uncommon in alcoholics and perhaps addicts.

  24. T on May 12th, 2009 1:09 pm

    Megan, if you mean the old guy, then yes, House knows he has pancreatic cancer. This is because his logical/Amber half of the brain was still working and leads to why House thought his Alien Hand patient had pancreatic cancer. It’s a pretty transparent revelation as to what was going on when House tells the old guy it’s cancer.

  25. Pam on May 12th, 2009 2:12 pm

    Ryan, thanks for answering my question. So, if House is crazy what happens to his medical career? Didn’t Wilson say in one of the previous episodes that if he was schizophrenic, he would never be able to practice again.

  26. Megan Wren on May 12th, 2009 2:33 pm

    Thanks, T. I was actually wondering if House thought he himself might have pancreatic cancer, as it is associated with substance abuse, a fairly recent finding/confirmation. When he came up with the info tangentially, through the other patient, it was a confirmation that he was still getting info from Amber, and therefore was still having a psychotic break? Somewhat opaque but I see the link. After killing off Kal Penn, albeit for good reasons, anything seems to be on the table, storywise.

  27. Erik on May 12th, 2009 3:23 pm

    I just sent my recap over to Kath, so it should be up shortly. As I was trying to put the pieces of the episode together, I found myself ill-equipped to explain the final sequence. The comments here will probably be more instructive than my 2nd viewing of the episode this morning, which provided zero clarity.

    Dream/Hallucination sequences are hardly a new device for television, though I am still waiting for someone to do it better than the last episode of “Newhart.” I am not sure that the same viewer who loves House wants to put puzzle pieces together like a regular viewer of Lost. When this finale ended, I wanted to grab a chart (much like our friend Chuck did with the Intersect) and start drawing Venn Diagrams to figure the whole thing out.

  28. Hal on May 12th, 2009 3:26 pm

    That’s the question I want to know the answer to, also, Pam. But if i remember correctly, House will only lose his license to practice medicine if he takes anti-psychotic drugs or whatever. Just getting admitted for schizophrenia alone won’t cause him to lose his license. That’s why he was thinking of shock therapy and why he put himself into insulin shock.

    I thought it was a terrific episode and the ending totally blew me away. I thought it was a very powerful montage when House realized he hallucinated everything and the juxtaposed images of the happy wedding and the solemn walk to the psychiatric hospital were fantastic!

    I can see next season being about House in the psych hospital and curing or working with doctors in there while he sorts out his issues. Can’t wait for it to start up!

  29. ann on May 12th, 2009 3:32 pm

    I thought the writing was brilliant- the interlocking of ideas from right and left brain was accurate and precise, and the parallel with the younger patient was stupendous.

    It didn’t seem to me that the relationship with Cuddy was any more or less revealed than previous to this episode.

    The one somewhat less than stellar aspect of the last few episodes was the depiction of a possible diagnosis of schizophrenia. Apart from Amber’s appearance, there wasn’t much evidence of psychosis. Maybe a sense of megalomania, but shucks, that’s just the real House.

    Was it a little too obvious that the wedding scene was warm and bright and spring like and sunny and the arrival at the psych hospital was dark and gray and cold (principals in coats) in the same locale and tipe span. By the way, the psychiatric facility pictured is actually within an hour’s drive of Princeton-Plainsboro. Wonderful authentic touch.

  30. mark cloutier on May 12th, 2009 3:36 pm

    Hi all.. im just a silly musician chiming in—I enjoyed the finale–a bit confusing and almost seemed like the total end of House— to the psych ward might have been a perfect ending to the show. i think i have seen every episode at least 3 times– glad there will be more as it makes me laugh time and time again..i get some good practice playing blues guitar while i watch the show-

  31. Annette on May 12th, 2009 4:17 pm

    I thought it was a great show, and knew that things were a bit off from the norm by the behavior of some of the characters. Wilson’s encouragement to House to terrorize Cuddy. Foreman kept eying House while he twirled the “lipstick”, but never said anything. I’d have to say that the aspect that confounds me the most is Cuddy’s part throughout. How much of it is House’s hallucination and how much did everyone else around the hospital actually witness?

    I’m going to be very nervous throughout the summer, wondering if it will be back next season or not. Not that I have any reason to believe that it won’t. It’s just that, like House, I have to know WHY it all happened. The genius of the writers will be totally invalidated for me if it were to end now.

  32. Hal on May 12th, 2009 5:07 pm

    No. If you look it up on Wikipedia, House is scheduled for a sixth season.

  33. robertas on May 12th, 2009 5:22 pm

    Oh Erik thank you, I honestly thought I was the only one thinking – so that was it? 🙂 Bare in mind, I think I will have to see the episode again because I still haven’t properly digested it. And I can see I’m not the only one 🙂
    I totally agree with you that the writing this season was lacking and as you rightly point out continuity went out of the window. Some episodes were brilliant while others seemed like a patched up job at best (thanks for listing examples I forgot there were so many).

    The things I did like – I said it once and I’ll say it again, noone does pain, misery and sheer terror like Hugh Laurie. It really did break my heart to see House losing one thing that is the essence of him – his analytical mind. And his hallucinations (CTB and Kutner) were merciless. That man is not only emotionally constipated (I know it’s not even a word 🙂 but also REALLY hates himself. For all his bravado, narcissism and the need to always be right – well it so sad isn’t it?
    I loved Wilson in the finale and it goes back to my theory that one person that truly accepts House no questions asked is Wilson. His one true relationship. And I’m glad there were no lines in the last few minutes because IMHO it would have only spoiled it.
    It was also nice to see Cuddy rediscovered her backbone, after the last few seasons I thought those days are long gone.
    And I did like Cameron and Chase’s wedding because I hope we can move on from their romantic storyline and FINALLY give them some meatier stories (the sperm thing was just ridiculous!) And I agree with you Erik J. Morrison really showed off her acting chops in that ONE episode they actually gave her something to work with.

    Having said all that I thought the hallucination/delusions were a cop-out. I know it served the story, but still maybe I dislike it so much because it has been used so much over the last few years.
    A few other things are bugging me – when did the hallucinations actually start? (I think it was at the end of Mos Def episode when House got blurry eyed)
    Which House – Wilson conversations were real (if any) and what was made up?
    Wilson not questioning (at great length) why House is seeing his dead girlfriend?
    His team still didn’t realize something was wrong with him?
    House did try to kill Chase. Why?

    The thing is I fear all off this (or many of these questions) will not be answered. I think it will all go under the category of “House hallucinations”.
    Which bugs me because before (when there was continuity) things would be addressed. Eventually. So that is another reason I think it is all a bit of a cop out.
    One thing is for sure – writers do have their work cut out for them next season.

  34. Kimber on May 12th, 2009 5:25 pm

    Definitely an interesting episode. I’ve sort of lost interest in House this season, and missed a scant few episodes that I either dozed through, or just didn’t care to tape and watch (it interfered with Chuck this season, and Chuck is my No. 1 Love). I stayed spoiler free, though, and so the ending came as quite a shock to me. I think it was well played, well acted, and did its job of giving the audience a shock. The montage was quite quick and snappy, and had me sitting up on the couch, asking “WTF?” many times. Then I wanted to smack myself for not realizing “it” before. Some triggers were there … i.e., House twirling the lipstick and his team not saying anything, but the ending had me questioning what triggers I may have missed.

    All in all, a pretty decent finale. I was thoroughly shocked, and utterly dazed, but amazed at the same time. Thanks for your awesome recaps all season, Erik … most awesome!

  35. robertas on May 12th, 2009 5:28 pm

    Oh and did anyone notice the camera work and how shaky it was in the beginning? It almost gave me a case of sea sickness 🙂

  36. David Jameson on May 12th, 2009 7:36 pm

    There are many questions about which events were real. It seemed to me (during a re-watching) that all of the events in House’s personal life had an odd quality to them. His conversations with Wilson and Cuddy all looked like potential hallucinations. And yet he SEEMED to be functioning well as a top-notch diagnostician…UNLESS he was hallucinating that as well (?)…during the scenes with patients.

    It will be interesting to see if the writers are ready to finally put the stock formula on hold for more than a few weeks. A few seasons back we saw House jogging to work, pain-free, a welcome break in the routine which was all too short.

  37. toni on May 12th, 2009 8:03 pm

    I was confused about carl reiners part.
    Did the hallucination start when he walked into her office last week and made the rude remark about her child. Why did they show that whole segment over last night. Is that why whe was mad at him and fired him, over that remark.
    I was confused about what parts were real.
    Did he really yell out, I slept with Cuddy.
    Was the couseling Wilson was giving him through the episode real.

  38. geebs on May 12th, 2009 8:57 pm

    So Wilson not talking to Cuddy about her and House’s previous night helped the episode run along. Hmmm.. nice work there

    I am eager to see where the story goes from here. I was half-expecting that either Cuddy or House would actually quit the job because of thing between them, but though my foundation was wrong, I was close with the outcome.

    September is a long time. I don’t even want to imagine it!!

  39. laura on May 12th, 2009 9:18 pm

    You’re totally right Robertas, about the shaky filming. I only noticed it the 2nd time I watched. It’s used to highlight the ” unreality” of what is being filmed. The ending sent chills up my spine. He looked truly haunted! To see any true vulnerability in House is rare and worth seeing. In reference to why House was admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital rather than straight rehab, I believe his Psychiatric symptoms were so severe they needed to be attended to immediately, rehab coming as ASAP after stabilization.

  40. Colleen on May 12th, 2009 9:18 pm

    The irony is lately the medical cases parallel with what is happening with Dr. House and his subconscious. The season finale left me wondering about the right brain left brain thing. I did find it fascinating.
    It is time that House character develops his emotional side he constantly denies through biting sarcasm.
    Which way? — Well, only the writers know for sure. All I can offer is that — the dynamics of the main characters is why we all watch. Hopefully they won’t keep looping the story line of House and Cuddy.
    So best wishes to the House production team.

  41. zach on May 12th, 2009 9:46 pm


  42. Emme on May 12th, 2009 11:04 pm

    Perhaps the hallucinations stem back to when House took LSD to cure a headache? In any case, the hallucination problem started before any of his coworkers died on the show.

  43. Tricia on May 12th, 2009 11:22 pm

    I am pretty sure I saw the beginning of oxycodone on the label. It struck me because I assumed it would be vicodin. Not sure it is relevant to the future, but who knows?

    I liked the final episode. Sure, they can always be better, but it surprised me. I am glad it was a hallucination because the dynamic between house and cuddy is part of what makes the show. I am not glad it was a hallucination because it means that house is actually having an uncontrollable problem with his mental status.

    What is up with Thirteen and her Huntington’s disease? I hope the writers jump back on the reality train for that one. Her mom died young, so 13 should be having symptoms even younger.

  44. Kate on May 13th, 2009 12:11 am

    Erik, I always enjoy your thoughtful comments and your enthusiasm for the show. As I grew more cynical, I more appreciate your enthusiasm.

    I thought the acting in this episode was very well done by all concerned. But I would have been more interested if it didn’t feel like a retread of every season’s finale where House is either in physical or emotional pain. We are supposed to worry about him, weep for him, agonize over whether he will survive and it always gets reset back to baseline levels within the first 4 episodes of the next season. In physiology, if you keep firing a neuron, eventually it become acclimatized and each succeeding reaction gets less and less. That’s how I’m feeling about this show right now, that I’ve been made to feel worried about House too many times and I no longer really care.

    Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard were as always pure gold. It was nice to see Wilson prominent again after he’s been in minor role through most of the season.

    I was disappointed that the House/Cuddy sex was a hallucination not because I want them to be together but because I want that story line to end because it had been detrimental to the characters of both House and Cuddy. Sadly, I think that rather than ending it, the House/Cuddy romance has now been written in stone, only waiting till House gets better to put them together permanently.

    I love your idea of putting Cameron in charge of the team while House is away, it’s the one thing that would be sure to have me come back for season 6. Sadly, I think Shore has lost interest in Cameron as evidenced by this very bizarre sperm story line which required her be so ditzy that she needed to be save by not only House and Chase but also Foreman and Taub, and so I predict Foreman will be the one to hold down the fort while Cameron will forever be relegated to being Chase’s wife rather than the doctor who House trained her to be. It’s a pity because when she got to take over very briefly in Big Baby, it brought a new energy and dynamic to the show.

  45. T on May 13th, 2009 12:13 am

    Total bullshit. House and Cuddy should be together. Catharsis means an emotional connection and cleansing. What percentage of us can “relate” to being committed to a psychiatric hospital? I’ve had days where I thought I was losing my mind – but I _didn’t_ actually lose my mind.

    “Fans” of the show may worship the writers – fans of House the character would be rooting for happiness in his life. I’m a fan of House.

    The writers are a bunch of sadistic assholes.

  46. Alex on May 13th, 2009 12:21 am

    I thought it was a great episode up until the end because House actual caved into getting treatment that he did not think up himself (the psych ward). I also feel that the psych ward is a horrible idea for House to get treatment. What makes House House is the fact that he listens to nobody most of the time and a place like that psych ward seems like it would only take away from House’s amazing diagnostic powers. It proves that he thinks differently because he has the hallucination of Amber that shows how he thinks. I mean look at the beginning on the hallucination and House actually thought it was cool because it was his mind talking to him.

    Come season six i highly doubt House will make it to the end of his stay at the psych ward because he doesn’t do that kind of stuff, he never followed through with getting clean. He always found a new drug or a reason to get back on the Vicodin so why would anything change now about getting treatment. I bet the first few episodes of the new season will have House in the ward and people will call or visit him to ask for his help. He will then give the answers and realize he doesn’t need the help, just like the same scenarios as previous attempts to get clean.

    One last thing, I agree with the people who feel the writers are being a bit lazy. Some of the side stories seemed to fall really fast which took away from the awesome drama House is known for.

  47. Dacky on May 13th, 2009 2:36 am

    The season finale probably went over the heads of many watching. This isn’t a Lost audience so pulling for the curiosity card is usually a bad idea. You end up alienating people.
    I felt like this episode was rifting around to pull at my emotions. Sure they pulled me for a loop. But I’m so used to crazy things concerning House that i felt very little when House and Wilson drove to the psych center.
    The season as a whole was a major let down. I believe my lack of interest lies in the lack interesting stories with interesting characters and I’m not talking about the main cast. I’m referring to the patients. There are so many characters from season one and two that i clearly remember. The guy who had radiation poisoning, or the girl who actually turned out to be a guy. Each time we got to see an interest story from the side characters and then a reflection from the core cast. And sure we did have the long story arcs unfolding in between but it was balanced well. And this is simply not so anymore. I can’t recall a single specific character from this season not to mention their final diagnosis. And every time a show does this you have to support that with a phenomenal cast interaction and interest stories. But as it’s been highlighted from this season, we just aren’t seeing any.
    Also the shaking camera gave me a very district Cloverfield feeling. I was quite dizzy.

  48. robertas on May 13th, 2009 8:52 am

    Oh lovely so many great comments 🙂 Sorry for my enthusiasm but all of my friends fell off the House wagon during season 4 now the only person still watching is my mum! I suspect it has something to do with Hugh Laurie 🙂

    I agree with Dacky – patients were hardly memorable this season which is in total contrast to seasons 1, 2 and 3. And I miss that. The only patient I remember from this season is the priest dude.

    And Alex I think (again just my opinion) that if they do go down the route of House leaving the psych hospital after just a few episodes it will not only be completely predictable but also it will be a signal (to me) to give House a wide berth from then on. As T eloquently mentioned before me – writers were sadistic to House, they literally broke him down completely as a character. If they plan to have him all done and dusted pretty damn sharpish what was the point of that exercise?

    And T I do like the old curmudgeon and I’d love for him to be happy/well adjusted/less emotionally constipated at some point but once that happens I think we will be at the end of the series.
    Because as much as it pains me to admit it – I feel the series is past it’s prime. Unless they come up with something drastic (like they did with Lost come season 4) I think I as a viewer will be totally immune and not bothered at all (as Kate mentioned above me). You can pull off House dying/hallucinating/whatever only so many times.
    And also agreed with Kate and Erik, would LOVE to see Cameron lead the team while House is away. On the other hand Foreman would bore me stiff.

  49. B on May 13th, 2009 10:32 am

    I knew something had to be up. You don’t detox from Vicoden in one night, I don’t care how good the sex was 😉

  50. F on May 13th, 2009 11:09 am

    As to the question of what was in the prescription bottle, I rewatched the final scenes and can make out the letters “ocodone”. This leads me to believe the prescription was for hydrocodone, the generic name for vicodin.

  51. JoJo on May 13th, 2009 3:54 pm

    Okay you guys here it is…
    If House actually was admitted to that phsychiatric hospital then how could you come back from that? You Couldn’t!
    Sooooo… If you Tivoed or Dished the episode you will notice many scenes that mentioned “What is your story?”
    Okay so, in the scene before house yells over the balcony and makes cuddy mad, Wilson asks “Do you want to be the man with the answers, or the man with cuddy?” he replies by throwing the coffe cup away.
    So then if you listen Wilson says “what is your story?”
    Okay so now, this or another scene is where I predict a hallucination starts or this is a complete dream from after being with cuddy in which case i find the first more believeable.
    So, if you notice when Anne Dudek (Amber) comes beside him and says “So this is the story you made up about who you are.” Then (shockingly) Kutner says “Too bad it isn’t true.” This confirms my suspicions.
    Also if you noticed who would park down the street and watch their paraplegic friend limp all the way up to a phsyciatric hospital with those hospital guys just waiting for him?!
    So you have to think house not like a regular person.
    They used this episode to evoke emotion in you so you would come back next season which apparently worked for me at least.
    But i really hated that episode i acutally cried until i really thought about it and thought like house.
    Hope i helped!
    Besides, Cuddy would never just let House go, she is in LOVE with him!

  52. Veronica on May 13th, 2009 4:27 pm

    The season finale to me was surprizing!
    We all knew House was a bit..crazy..?? haha
    but still i never would have thought all that as a
    It was really sad that the whole Cuddy and House situation never really happen..
    i could have sworn they had feelings for each other..
    I cried when he went to the pysch. hospital. so sad. 🙁
    Im just prayin they’ll have another season!


  53. Erana on May 13th, 2009 8:20 pm

    This is the first time I’ve ever had reason to regret having a brand new widescreen, because I’m starting to wonder if it was less visible on other TVs. What “it”? The freakin’ camera-work. It was literally the ONLY THING I could pay any attention to throughout the entire episode up until the end – every close-up jumped up and down and swerved in and out and around until I was seasick and dizzy. I barely made it through the episode, and when it was over the only thing I wanted was Advil to make my headache go away. I really can’t comment on the plot, I was too busy trying to keep my eyes from bugging out. Seriously – whoever filmed this episode? They need to be fired. It was ridiculously unprofessional, especially for a hit show’s SEASON FINALE. Just… ugh.

  54. Meg on May 13th, 2009 9:34 pm

    Erana… Seriously? Seriously? It was not that big of a deal. Please refrain from hosting a drama queen rant on every comment board available because you thought the camerawork was more important than any of the episode’s content.

  55. woofman on May 13th, 2009 10:31 pm

    I bet that House isn’t suffering from schizophrenia. As far as I know those who suffer from this disease don’t realize that they are suffering from hallucinations. They believe that the hallucinations are real. House realizes that his are not. Another thing is is that the writers of this show would have us all believe that House’s delusions are either caused by mental illness or drug abuse. Both would be to obvious a cause for House’s problems. I would bet if I were a betting man that House has a brain tumour. This episode is a genuine cliff hanger.

  56. Bryce on May 13th, 2009 11:11 pm

    C’mon people… What’s with all the hate? First, stop with the “THAT WAS SO PREDICTABLE” routine. Let’s be honest, after years and years of television no one finishes watching any episode of any television show without skepticism on what could happen next. I considered it being fake but I’ll admit I thought the writers did a good job of hooking me into thinking it was real in the finale. Just because you thought of the possibility of it being fake and then it was, doesn’t mean you reinvented the wheel. Relax. I also saw some people say the “Let’s talk about last night. I’m the boss you’re the employee” scene didn’t make sense. Why didn’t it? She wasn’t saying it regarding them sleeping together, she was saying “You can’t come into my office and insult me like that.” House went in and pulled that “bastard” line, she was merely speaking of that. And finally, I like the happy/sad endings. It was almost artistic. Chase and Cameron are having the best day of their lives. Wilson and House are having their worst. That’s awesome! It totally got to me. I loved the finale. Cannot wait until September!!!

  57. Kate on May 14th, 2009 1:00 am

    Bryce, I thought it was predictable because we’ve seen it in season 2’s finale No Reason. This was a retread as House works his way into realizing that everything he is experiencing is a hallucination, the difference is that No Reason was all hallucination where this was only Cuddy hook-up and her lipstick case.

    Since the real purpose of the wedding was to contrast with the scene of House entering the hospital, I wish it had been Thirteen and Foreman who got married instead of Cameron and Chase. It would have made sense for them to hurry their marriage because of Thirteen’s limited time because of her Huntington’s and Jennifer Morrison would have been spared trying to make that ridiculous sperm story line make sense. (Also it would have kept Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison from having to fake being happy in storyline that paralleled what their wedding would have been if they hadn’t called off their engagement. I know they are professionals and they acted it beautifully but making them go through the white dress, confetti and cake when it would have been as easy to write around it strikes me as rather cruel on Shore’s part.)

    No one has talked about the patient, which seems a telling comment on the show’s fifth season as compared to its first.

    Robertas, I’m pretty sure that House will be leaving the psychiatric hospital within the first few episodes of next season. Whatever happens at the end of one season always gets all wrapped up by episode 4 of the next.

  58. Brian on May 14th, 2009 2:11 am

    Let me go out on a *limb* with an odd theory.

    House is Wilson’s brother and the entire series is nothing more than the hallucinations of a brilliant madman.

  59. MD2B on May 14th, 2009 9:12 am

    I agree, that camera work was HORRIBLE. There’s enough going on with the witty conversations that I shouldn’t have to be distracted by House’s mug floating in and out, left to right, up and down of my vision. Please please fire that cameraman!

  60. timo on May 14th, 2009 1:43 pm

    This is my first post of any kind like this, but after that episode I just needed to pitch my thoughts about what “might” be going on here. I’ve been telling people I know for over a year now what I think and this episode almost makes it plausible.

    I don’t think this was a retread of season two finale “No Reason”. I think it was a continuation. House was in a coma then and was hallucinating then realized it. I think this whole thing has been a coma induced hallucination ever since he was shot three years ago.

    Think about all of the far-fetched things that have happened since he was shot. Starting with the ketamine and House running like an Olympian. Then it was over. Then the whole thing with Tritter comes along and House skates through that like a figure skater without a scratch. Then as season three ends, Chase is fired and Foreman and Cameron quit. But in season four they’re all still there along with the newbies. But even when the new team is set, did you notice that they never became regulars while Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison remained regulars? Then after all the craziness with Amber at first she suddenly shows back up as Wilson’s girlfriend and thus House’s new nemesis — only to die because of House. Then Wilson swears House off as season five starts but after House’s father dies Wilson comes back and he and House are OK again almost as though nothing happened. Then the Kutner suicide with no explanation. Then House’s evil subconscience (Amber) takes over and starts leading him to his breakdown? No, I think she was leading him to his awakening from his coma. All of these things I’ve mentioned, plus the Chase/Cameron relationship, the House/Cuddy relationship, the Cuddy baby, and anything else I’ve missed — all in House’s head as he lies in a coma. Amber said this was a nice little life story he had created — I don’t think she was refering to just the Cuddy sleepover (just a single event) but to everything since the end of season two. And when Kutner comes in and says “too bad it isn’t true”, that’s the closer for me. The whole story isn’t true and never happened — from the ketamine to Tritter to team turnover to Amber’s death to Chase/Cameron to this. The scenes we saw of the wedding at the end — all in House’s head. Did you notice the great warm weather at the wedding but Wilson and House were driving to rehab in the rain and both wearing coats as though it were cold? And the final kicker — when we see House walking into the Psychiatric Hospital there are three people at the door to greet him — a black man, a white man, and a white woman. Sound like anybody we know (Foreman/Chase/Cameron)? If my supposition were correct, I would guess season 6 would start (in the first few episodes) with House in the Psych Hospital lying in a bed with those three people from the steps of the hospital standing around him and then something occurs that shakes House — but what really is shaking him is that he is waking up from his season 2 coma. And the three people from the Psych Hospital are standing around him just as they were — except those three people are really his team — Foreman, Chase, and Cameron — standing there at Princeton Plainsboro as House finally wakes up. Maybe he’s been in a coma for three years or maybe for three days — we just don’t know. But he thinks that three years have gone by and that all of this stuff has happened. And thus season six deals with House re-acclimating to reality. He’s a different House now because the coma has led him to detox from his pre-shooting Vicodin, but what different is remains to be seen. Maybe he starts up with double Vicodin — who knows. It would be a whole new dynamic.

    As for Taub and 13, maybe they come back, maybe they don’t. Maybe while in his coma they were some sort of caregivers that somehow House sucked into his brain subconsciously and transposed into the roles he gave them in his “little story”. But they were never team members so this too would be a new dynamic for House to face.

    Far-fetched, maybe? But for anyone who saw Pam Ewing wake up to Bobby in the shower or more importantly saw Tommy Westphall imagine all of St. Elsewhere in the confines of that snowglobe, it isn’t so far-fetched after all. And the added twist here is that while we’ve spent three years trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t, we finally find out that none of it was. And thus reality begins again and a whole new House is born!

  61. Jill on May 14th, 2009 3:40 pm

    Am I missing a huge piece of the episode because I don’t recall a resolution to the case of the phantom left hand!!??

  62. JoJo on May 14th, 2009 3:47 pm

    Timo your prediction is actually waaaay better than any I’VE seen yet! I’ll even admit it’s better than mine.
    But, the only thing that makes yours a little bit hard to believe is that wouldnt you think that it would be a complete waste of the show to make up 3 WHOLE seasons?! I mean if your (brilliant by the way) idea was correct then 3 seasons of building up to this finale would have been COMPLETELY wasted.
    Although if you haven’t yet i would like you to read mine and leave a comment if you please.
    Well, of course now that i watch it over did you notice it was hard to tell which was and wasn’t reality for House? I mean REALLY look at the last 15 minutes. It was almost like an alternate ending dont you think?
    And your comment just made me think of something.

    Do you think MAYBE that it was a total haullucination starting from where Wilson says “So what’s your story.” and the wedding was the reality and the Phsyciatric Hospital was HIS alternate route to take?

    THink about it

  63. Kate on May 14th, 2009 4:32 pm


    If that were really going to happen, I would send bouquets to you and to David Shore for brilliance.

    Very well thought out and integrated, and I especially like how you used the difference in the weather and the three people at the hospital to support your theory. I’m going to hang on to this theory over the summer.

    P.S. watch the Bones finale tonight if you can. I can say anything without spoiling it but given your theory, I think you’ll enjoy it.

  64. Erik on May 14th, 2009 5:33 pm

    And here I thought that Lost’s finale would be driving people to their DVD libraries for further explanation!

    My schedule has been nuts for two days, and I have time carved out later this evening to reply to more of your comments. That being said, I have enjoyed the feedback in this forum FAR MORE than the House finale episode itself.

    Thanks for continuing to add your thoughts, and perpetuating the conversation!

  65. Siobhan Burns on May 14th, 2009 7:02 pm

    I was totally confused by the ending scene. It was dead of winter when Wilson dropped off House at the rehab clinic (bare trees, winter coats), yet summer was in full swing at the wedding! So these two events could not have been happening simultaneously. This lead me to believe that perhaps the entire rehab actually started during the winter months when House ostensibly accompanied Wilson to see his institutionalized brother. Can someone enlighten me on this seasonal disparity?

  66. Krysha Syrin on May 14th, 2009 8:27 pm

    To Siobhan, I thought perhaps the wedding was in Australia because of Chase so that could explain the drastic weather/climate differences . . . but that’s just me.

    Also, is it Vicodin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, or some other drug entirely??? That’s gonna bug me for quite awhile . . .

    Nice touch putting Kutner in. I certainly wasn’t expecting him to crop up.

    ~Eagerly awaiting Season 6~

  67. Siobhan Burns on May 14th, 2009 10:32 pm

    Well, I considered that, but then also considered that a mass exodus of all those doctors AND Cuddy’s baby to Australia for a wedding was a bit much to expect. Did the minister saying the wedding have an Aussie accent? Of course, maybe the director of the show flubbed the time element.

    Also, what is the generic name of Vicodin? Probably oxycodone, but I don’t know for sure.

  68. timo on May 14th, 2009 10:56 pm

    I don’t think the wedding would have been in Austrailia because of the guest list. Taub and his wife were both there, and I don’t think Taub is close enough to either Chase or Cameron to trek 10,000 miles for their wedding. And Cuddy comes in late — with the baby in hand — which again I doubt she would have brought to Austrailia.

    It’s stuff like this that’s going to drive us to the psych ward until September. I think I need a Jeeves and Wooster fix!

  69. timo on May 14th, 2009 11:15 pm

    Also, as for the phantom left hand — I think that’s what it was — phantom. It (and that patient) was a figment of House’s imagination (or coma or whatever this is) to symbolize right and left, right and wrong, good and bad, schizophrenia, you name the opposite. Notice when the wife came back after being slapped and suggested that something short term had changed (his deodorant usuge) making her husband’s right/left thing good and evil. Maybe House sees that as his good and evil in this “hallucination” — with the Vicodin being his “deodorant”. The whole case was a metaphor for what has been House’s reality for a long time now.

    Same thing with Carl Reiner’s Eugene Schwartz. A figment of House’s imagimation — maybe again to show House he’s losing his sense of “his” reality — but I haven’t quite worked that whole thing out yet.

  70. Kate on May 15th, 2009 12:06 am

    No one wants the Cameron /Chase wedding to be a hallucination more than I do. It’s almost a deal-breaker for me. (Also, I think a bad showrunning move because if House/Cuddy proves popular, Cameron could just lived with Chase, and if House/Cuddy was disliked or crashed and burned, a temporary relationship with Cameron would have been a back-up plan for a couple of seasons and then House could have ended up alone. But a marriage for Cameron and Chase is more permanent than just living together and now Shore’s got nothing if H/Cuddy fails and he’s alienated a large shipper segment of his audience .)

    But I think the difference between the wedding and the drop-off is because the wedding was filmed in Hollywood where the show is and Greystones, the hospital that House entered, is in N.J. and the weather was still cold in April when they shot the scene.

  71. Brian on May 15th, 2009 4:28 am


    I’ve considered your version previously and I think it holds some validity. After House went into his coma, I felt as though the following season was a bit ‘off’. Everyone seemed a little to eager to agree with his ideas. I said “he’s still in a coma.”, much to the chagrin of the Mrs. But in my mind (and I must give credit to the wife)…

    1. We have never met Wilson’s brother.
    2. Was his reluctance (the case) to meet Wilson’s brother just a ploy to avoid facing himself?
    3. Was Wilson’s brother a Med student?

    My thought is that the entire series is a hallucination.
    Maybe Wilson is the brilliant one.

    Just a thought.

    -I like the St. Elsewhere reference, I think it fits.

  72. Silke Nominder on May 15th, 2009 4:52 am

    Phew! Yes, what a finale! And I even thought it was the last episode of House EVER for a while, (until I read at this forum that there is going to be a season 6) which really made the finale SO HEAVY!
    It felt like a burial of House… Goodbye, House, this is where you ended up, mad, in a mental hospital for ever. That felt really bad. Because even though House is created to be such an unreal person he and his fate touches me – as it touches all of us.
    I think is a real flaw in the story of Greg House: that the main character is not possible to develop. First, because of his mental status, that he is too damaged and fearful to leave his deeply entrenched, destructive, defenses (i e his tendency to stay so far away from any feeling of connection with other people, his cynicism, meanness etc) and second, because of not wanting to/daring to let go of the Vicodine.
    Sometimes it feels like the people who write House are not serious about creating a believable character who can develop in an emotionally (for us viewers) meaningful way. They just like to surprise us and shock us. Anything goes. In this perspective the final episode really stands out. In the next to last episode they get our interest and perhaps hope up concerning House and Cuddy and in the final ep they just rip it away… No wonder one feels sore…. it hurts….
    Why couldn’t they have written a real meeting between House and Cuddy, perhaps not so extreme, but still, a true development. Would that have been less interesting: developing all the problems that would inevitably arise for those two if they really tried to have a relationship, instead of just going through the same futile motions of fear and distance year after year? Admittedly, perhaps that is what life, sadly, looks like for most of us, but that is exactly why we need something ELSE from the stories we listen to/watch!
    Even Pinocchio, who was only a doll made of wood, developed in the end. Greg House is not allowed to….
    It has been a real treat to read all the comments on this site! Thank you, all!

  73. robertas on May 15th, 2009 6:07 am

    Timo, that is the coolest thing EVER 🙂 Does anyone have Shore’s email? 🙂 Because this theory is far better then anything they have come up with so far.

    Now THAT would be a drastic turn that I’m sure would bring viewers for more!

  74. Miss Lisa on May 15th, 2009 10:24 am

    I really believe that in most here on this thread the “big picture” is being missed. Every show of every season has been a clue to what has finally lead House to this point. Look at every major story line event that house has been thru over the years. Try to think back and recall or research the time lines and you will see the gradual mental break down of a brilliant mind. His stay in the mental hospital will seem like he’s the modern day Marque De Sade. Treatment will only seem to work so that he could be released, but it would (or shouldnt! are you listening writers?) never change him. If the writers change him to something “normal” or suddenly cured and pleasant would be a tragedy and would insult the intelligence of the brilliant viewers that appreciate and enjoy the show. Viewers would leave in droves i assure you.

  75. Kate on May 15th, 2009 12:24 pm


    David Shore
    House MD
    C/O Heel and Toe Productions
    10201 West Pico Boulevard Bldg 89, Rm 230
    Los Angeles CA 90035

    David Shore
    Executive Producer, HOUSE
    Fox Broadcasting Co.
    P.O. Box 900
    Beverly Hills, CA 90213

  76. Debi on May 15th, 2009 1:34 pm

    Does anyone have any other proof of the series’ renewal for next season besides an entry on Wikipedia? (FYI, I never accept Wiki as the final word on anything.)

  77. MIssmimi on May 15th, 2009 2:38 pm

    I personally am not entirely clear on what was a hallucination and what wasn’t, and I think that’s the whole idea. It’s supposed to keep you guessing until next season. But as a side note, I did actually see someone (13 I think) take extra notice of what he was twirling around in his fingers, and since he always twirls his pills, why would anyone notice this time. And… what conversation was he responding in that he WASN’T alright. Was it the conversation where he quit, or the conversation where he was getting reemed for telling everyone about their escapade. I don’t think that was clear either.. on purpose. On another note, I agree with Erik on how they seem to be all over the place and yet nowhere with these personal story lines. You know why? Because they had to be. It’s scramble time. House was hitting that time in the life of a series where something had to change or people were going to lose interest. It’s the same thing all the time. Someone is “GOING TO DIE” and someone is always puking up blood. They had to get more personal with the characters this year and fast. I’m just not sure they have been going about it the right way. Oh, and she kept the sperm. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket afterall.

  78. MIssmimi on May 15th, 2009 3:11 pm

    Brian’s theory is odd…. or is it…. Well maybe the brother thing. But the whole thing being a hallucination. Afterall, who can be a “brilliant” doctor and function so well and be THAT addicted to drugs. Enquiring minds want to know. Ok maybe reaching. Or am I….

  79. Debi on May 16th, 2009 2:55 am

    Just before Cuddy walks out of the office after he insults her, he says, “I’m hallucinating.” Probably the reality was that Cuddy kept walking and never heard him … I think perhaps the hallucination began at that moment when he said he was hallucinating. 🙂

  80. Mike on May 19th, 2009 6:47 am

    This episode was amazing. I’ve watched it a few times now, and the ending still gives me chills.

    There’s nothing more depressing than realizing that you’ve been living a dream. Let’s face it, we fantasize about happier and easier lives, but we’ve always known it’s just a fantasy. When we start accepting our dreams as reality, it’s just sad.

    The part that touched me the most was when he was talking to Cuddy and he pulled out the “lipstick” only to realize it was his vicodin all along. Then he started shaking at the gravity of the reality. Me and my gf had a resounding “Ohhhh no :(”

    It’s sad, really sad.

    It was expected though. No matter how much House tried to ignore the soul and live on his mind, I thought the soul would end up haunting him. We can never be what House is trying to do. We can never be a purely rational being. We are humans after all. A mind with emotions. House is a classical heart vs. brain dilemma and you can’t help but love it.

    I look forward to the next season.

  81. tj on May 19th, 2009 8:47 pm

    Brian, I’m totally with you. I said the exact same thing… the whole “what’s your story?” fits right in with House actually being Wilsons Schizo brother and that’s why he’s being admitted to the psych hospital.

    If it was the series finale I’d definitely think that was it, but with it only being the season finale, not sure how there would be a season 6 with that case. But, the idea holds a lot of possibility…

  82. Saoirse on May 21st, 2009 9:27 pm

    What a brilliant idea Timo! I’ll be disappointed if this is not the way it happens now.

    I’m a loyal fan but i have been increasingly disappointed with each passing season. Storylines become more far fetched, character development that was so promising (and addictive) in the first two seasons is now virtually non-existant. The sizzling on-screen chemistry between HL & JM has now been snuffed out by the marriage – House should have been through Cameron and Cuddy by now and left them in his wake.

    And i’m definitely sick and tired of each season ending in an hallucination – i mean, come on, is that all you’ve got? (okay, i’m exaggerating, but they have used it 3 times in 5 seasons – once is enough, twice is pushing it and on the third time its just plain insulting to our intelligence).

    They’ve put together some brilliant episodes during the past 3 seasons, but they’ve lost their way on the long term storyline. Writing off the last 3 years as an hallucination and wiping the slate clean sounds like the best idea i’ve ever heard.

  83. B on May 23rd, 2009 12:56 am

    I’m confused as to whether that was the last episode for the season, on the fox website it says there’s an ‘encore’ called ‘dying changes everything’. Does anyone know what the deal is?

  84. June on May 23rd, 2009 2:45 pm

    The final show was brilliant!

    The theme was “commitment” — marriage paralleled with going to a psych hospital

    Walking down an “aisle” — at the wedding paralleled with walking from the car to the hospital door

    It’s going to be a LONG wait until September…

  85. Raymond C. on May 24th, 2009 11:36 pm

    As someone who also walks with a cane, battles chronic pain (in my right leg, due to the remnants of a motorcycle accident) and who is dependent upon strong narcotics to manage my pain, I identify with the House character quite a bit. I have often found myself battling in my mind for separation and quantification of the real versus the manufactured, the actual versus the virtual; wondering if it is all the byproduct of too much medication and too much alone time, or a lifetime of emotional & social trauma? Like House, I hold it together very well most of the time, but I wonder if the people who deal with me on a more regular basis see the edges starting to peel back a bit; if, as the balance shifts?

    It is a good thing that i do not have the heady prospect of new romance and the near-limitless distraction provided by a high disposable income. In my case, those elements would be my undoing. In my life, it is the very ordinariness of my reality that keeps me connected to itself, limiting my slide toward the more dramatic and more dangerous unknowns of a genuine psychotic break – much as our friend House has experienced, until now. I know it is coming for me, but unlike television, for me it will likely be a weekend in a medical detox followed by community-based outpatient treatment for both my chronic pain and my addiction. It has been said that the reason reading is an essential pursuit of the writer is because good writing inspires one to write better. I believe that for some of us, good television functions much in the same way, inspiring us to live better, providing us with the hope that we CAN live better. Though I am hardly the first writer to raise the notion of television-as-touchstone, it never occurred to me that I might someday live it with such poignancy.

  86. Lisa on May 25th, 2009 12:23 am

    Oxycontin and Vicodin are obviously both pain meds, Oxy’s being FAR more powerful.
    Methadone is a very, very addictive drug. It is a synthetic opiate. It is used for pain management as well as a LEGAL replacement for narcotic addiction, such as Heroin, Oxycontin and even Cocaine. However, do not be fooled into thinking it is be any means anything less than a pharmaceutical gold mine.
    That out of the way, I too, am very interested in looking back on the last episode to see exactly what the bottle said. The difference could mean everything. Methadone and Oxy’s do cause hallucinations, whereas everything Ive ever known about being in the medical field has never led me to see or hear of anyone on a Vicodin “trip” or hallucinating from it. This could explain a lot about the next season. If Vic’s were no longer cutting it for House, and he moved on to bigger, more powerful drugs much like most addicts, it would explain his seemly suddenly beginning to lose his mind. I loved the last three episodes and no matter what is to come, Im sure going to be glued to my television set in Sept.

  87. Kate on May 25th, 2009 4:30 pm

    Raymond, do you think that the almost total carte blanche that Cuddy gives House is good for him? Wilson tries to keep House to some sort of normal requirements although he often fails but since Cuddy lied on the stand for him in Words & Deeds at the end of the Tritter arc, any consequences for House’s actions have either been imposed either by House himself or by fate. As Lord Acton (and later James T. Kirk) said, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I think the excusing of House for any of his actions has corrupted him in terms of being responsible or self-disciplined. No one on the show is allowed to hold House to the consequences of his own actions, no one is allowed to be right when House is wrong and in consequence, they have created a monster who is almost completely self-absorbed and puts himself first because he can. I was horrified when House put in the cochlear implant into the teen against his wishes But in the end, instead of House learning that you can’t play God with other people like that, the show whitewashed it and made House appear to be right yet again by the mother pulling rank and forcing the son to live with it, wrong on many social and emotional levels. (It would also have been illegal where I live since the boy was 16).

    Amber’s death was caused by circumstances but it was also caused by Wilson giving in to House too often and House counting on Wilson to bail him out every time instead of cleaning up his own messes. No one has more relationship options on the show than House, first Cameron then Stacy then various female guests and now Cuddy, and yet the reason he fails is always his own fault. Other people have chronic pain, other people have had even more abused childhoods and yet for some reason we are expected to excuse House. If he were a real person, he couldn’t get away with what he does and I think that would be better for him, he would have to become more grounded in reality and less in his fantasy of himself.

    I think it is the unreality of House’s situation, that Wilson keeps enabling him and Cuddy is helpless to assert any form of professional or personal discipline on him, as well as House’s own decisions that cause him to be where he is. Sadly, as his circumstances get more and more unrealistic in terms of being held to the standards of real people while we are expected to continue to sympathize with him and excuse him, I feel less and less sympathy for him.

    This is the first time House has taken responsibility for his own mental health (long, long overdue) and while the last scene of this episode showed House finally doing something he should have done long ago, the pattern of the show is always to absolve House from responsibility and to reset to baselines levels within the first three or four episodes of the new season.

    B, an “encore’ means a repeat airing. Dying Changes Everything was the first episode of this season.

  88. Raymond C. on May 26th, 2009 1:31 am

    Hi Kate- you asked “Raymond, do you think that the almost total carte blanche that Cuddy gives House is good for him?” My answer to that is a definite NO from the perspective of encouraging House to become a responsible, honorable and honest person, but also an unqualified YES from the standpoint of House the man needing to know there is one person in his existence, one “mother figure” if you will – who will love him no matter what. That one belief probably keeps him from total self-annihilation.

    In my life, Suzanne is my Cuddy. Without her belief in me I would have difficulty believing in myself. I know it’s not healthy to invest all of one’s self-worth in a single other human being, and so it’s an issue I work on in therapy. I am also physically separated from all the people I know and love now. I am stuck in this half-assed Georgia burg with no friends outside of my home, and that also fuels my abuse, so there again, I’m working on that in therapy as well.

    I think that more importantly, the carte blanche that Cuddy gives to House is bad for CUDDY, and for that reason, it has to change. Continued self-destructive behavior on the part of a character who is so otherwise a person of achievement, integrity, and strength serves only to belie that character’s…character! Cuddy MUST hold House accountable, soon, or she herself will become unbelievable as a person/character.

  89. Jackie Frankovich on May 26th, 2009 3:59 am

    I must confess with all my heart that this was my favorite House MD episode thus far with the exception of “House’s Head.”

    It was all about House. The best episodes revolve around House (for good reason and measure; not a far stretch of the imagination considering the name of the show), and they try to delve into his character, personality, true feelings, motives and mind.

    The last segment or 15 minutes had my best friend and I glued to the television; holding our breath, gripping the leather couch until our fingers turned white and crying at the realization of our most beloved person breaking down in a matter of seconds. I’m not that much of an emotional person and hate emotional people but this really touched me on every level.

    Superb script, directing, editing and of course, acting. HL, LE and RSL were unbelievable in this episode. I could not believe the depth in which they portrayed their characters, almost as if Doctors House, Cuddy and Wilson are in fact real people with real feelings. Amazing. A+ I cannot tell you how much I want September to come!

    Now, to the content of the episode. House losing his marbles just when he thought he’d got them back. I knew it was a hallucination because knowing detoxing from opiates does not happen over night. Believe me, I want Huddy to happen, more than anyone (you should have seen me after “under my skin,” I was jumping up and down, screaming and acting all girly girl). Anyway, that alone made it implausible that sequence of events had really happened.

    I think House has been bottling up his emotions for far too long and finally it has cracked. Kutner’s death was the final catalyst in sending House out of mentally out of control. I really believe House’s subconscious is acting out these hallucinations as a way of releasing some of the stress buried. The hallucinations are a symptom of severe emotional stress, not schizophrenia or any other mental illness (mental illness would have been seen earlier in his life, at least one instance if not more). Let’s go over what happened to House emotionally these past few years – all of which he has tried to brush off.

    Childhood – severe hatred of his non-biological father (the Marine). He was locked in closets, not spoken to for months, beaten up by him and had to adhere to military strictness. If a kid speaks out against a father like this, ie show emotion of his hatred, he probably got beaten up some more. So, House learned how to bury these emotions, show no weakness to his father. This sets up his life as an unemotional an distant individual with severe trust issues.

    Adult years, pre-pilot – He befriends Wilson while bailing him out of jail because “he [Wilson] was interesting,” to House. This is a way of House gaining an advantage, putting a moral debt for Wilson to him. He’s already gained Wilson’s trust and perhaps House thinks that Wilson (being a good, upstanding fellow) would pay him back with a quasi-friendship. House did this more out of gain than interest; interest in Wilson was the catalyst for his actions. How many people bailout complete strangers? Only House would. Wilson is House’s emotional outlet and only one until Stacy comes along.

    Stacy – meets her at a Doctors vs Lawyers paint ball shoot and she shoots him, a week later they’ve moved in together. I think House at this point, with such a lack of human emotion and contact; I think he finally opens up to someone and Stacy just so happened to fit the bill. The live ‘happily’ together for five years until the dreaded infarction happens sending their relationship and House’s life into upheaval. House is BETRAYED by a person he loved and was willing to die for (such a shock considering House’s own selfishness). This was the apocalypse for House emotionally. He breaks up with her because of this betrayal and is left cripple, even more miserable and worse, in agonizing pain. the only one’s there to help him through were Wilson and somewhat Cuddy. Ever since the breakup and surgery, he’s been “pining away” for five years. I think this means he’s been longing for that brief instance of happiness, pain free existence. He became an even greater ass, misanthrope, un-trusting and distant person. He lost all hope in humanity. House did the worst thing he could have done and that was to bottle it up instead of dealing with it or expressing his feelings (like confessing to Stacy that he loved her and trusted her and to go behind his back was the Brutus moment).

    Pilot of the show onward – House obviously has liked or loved Cuddy for quite a long time. It was hinted that they had a one night stand while in college. This did not end in a fairytale by season one; he probably could not trust her therefore did not open up emotionally (tisk tisk). Fast forward toward the asshole Vogler, and his conquest against House. Cuddy gave up $100 million dollars to keep House. Contemplate that – one hundred MILLION. I don’t even have that many hairs on my body let alone bank account. House must have seen this act of loyalty and he chose not to act on it. Yet again, pushing it down further. Cuddy then perjures herself to save a guilty House from prison (we know because we saw him commit the crime in question). Perjury is not a light crime to commit; includes up to a five year sentence and is a felony (meaning she would no longer be a doctor). House must have seen this as, yet again, another act of loyalty, friendship and commitment. Of course, he doesn’t act on it! Cuddy also entrusts him to give her IVF shots and not tell anyone (which he didn’t); hint hint toward the love for Cuddy. House gets defensive and disgruntled when he sees Cuddy with other men including Wilson . House expected her to inquire about the possibility of his sperm as a donation. He obviously likes/loves her, and I think it’s the latter of the two. He doesn’t act on it until “Joy” where they kiss; he then leaves because he can’t be emotionally attached to someone. He doubts himself on this. He tries to go to her door in “The Itch,” and fails to reach it. Long story short, he bottles up his feelings for Cuddy and that’s a no-no.

    House loses his first team. House has trouble giving things up. It hurts him to see Foreman and Cameron go. He fires Chase in an act of anger at the departure of Foreman. He starts “seeing” his old team in the hallways of PPTH. This shows that he actually cared for his team and that it did hurt him to see them leave. Fast forward (FF) Amber’s death. He had some feelings for her, I believe, and I think he felt incredibly responsible and helpless in her death. In his mind, he betrayed Wilson like Stacy did to him, and he was terrified to lose Wilson from this. He tried to prove to Wilson (via deep brain stimulation surgery) by risking his life that that was enough to keep Wilson. Of course, he was devastated to see Wilson leave and reject his apologies. This really, really was the first step in House’s mental breakdown. The loss of his best friend however brief was enough in his mind to start degrading. Then the death of his father further brought up hateful emotions that he tried burying. Then the Cuddy “affair” explained above. Then we come to “Locked In.” House was betrayed by Wilson (ironically using House’s own tactics); Wilson confronted him about the psychiatrist appointment and tried to support his friend going there. House was appalled and reacted defensively by deleting the psychiatrist’s number and vowed not to return. House was trying to deal with his problems without his friend or anyone else knowing his weakness. This was step two. Then Kutner’s suicide happened so unexpected and shockingly in House’s mind. Here’s a young and energetic doctor who takes his own life. I’m sure House must have been thinking about suicide at some point in his life (probably why he went to a shrink). It was in-his-face-reality; no holds bar gut wrenching death. House probably cared for Kutner a lot though never expressing it (or even realizing it until he was gone). However, House being House had to quantify it, to find a reason behind the suicide, a diagnosis that could be tangible and without refute; this to keep him from displaying his true feelings, to hit it down with solid facts. He couldn’t though and of course, failure set in. After his death, when everyone tried to get back to normal, House couldn’t sleep and focus.

    It was the final last straw of his emotional and mental wellbeing. Amber pops up and the rest as they say is history. I think hallucinations are his mind’s way of dealing with the overwhelming grief, sorrow, pain, love, hope, desire, joy, anger and disappointment in life that has been stored away for so many years. It finally exploded at the realization that he was not mentally okay in the finale and realized he needed help. I don’t think House ever felt more alone than in those few seconds of realization. The mind is a powerful thing and no part of it (including emotion) should be neglected; I personally learned this the hard way last year.

    Anyway, this was a long comment, but I had so much to say. This is my favorite show, and no other character engulfs me like House. He and I are similar in a lot of ways so it is so heartbreaking to see him fall apart before my eyes. I really hope they get him back to a healthier status. To all the people who think it is the Vicodin or Schizophrenia, don’t be so quick to blame the most common suspect. It is often the simplest of answers that are the correct ones.

  90. J to the on May 26th, 2009 10:49 pm

    Crazy finale, very entertaining, I look forward to the next season BIG TIME.
    And the original guy who wrote up there and was dis’ing the writers of House for not being able to “fill in the blanks” of the story is stupid for saying that. It is a television show, and millions are entertained, if you aren’t then stop watching. 🙂

  91. Kate on May 27th, 2009 12:03 am

    Raymond, thank you for your answer. I was very interested to read how you see the intersect and parallels between your life and House’s. (If you don’t mind my saying so, you seem to have much more self-awareness than House does. )

    I agree that everyone needs someone who believes in them completely, especially when they themselves don’t or are feeling shaky in that belief.

    I see the show a bit differently than you do. I think all of the three characters who were originally in House’s emotional life, Wilson, Cameron and Cuddy, have the capacity to love him unconditionally. Wilson certainly has messed up at least two marriages because he put House before his wives and I think Cameron was willing to care for him like that too if he would have let her. (It’s also worth noting that among the three, Cameron is the only one who didn’t try to change House while both Wilson and Cuddy tried to teach him humility and humanity and Cuddy expected him to act more like other people.)

    Wilson tries to maintain some necessary boundaries with House. I think when he walked out on House after his overdose in Merry Little Christmas (after making sure that House was going to be okay), it was what House needed to make him realise that he has to pull himself together now because no one is going to save him but he himself. Cameron will tell House when he’s gone too far and will hold him to it.

    I get so frustrated with Cuddy sometimes because I think she gives in to House too much and it’s not good for him or for her. He’s got a dream job at a really good salary. Why does she need to beg him or trick him into taking cases? Why does she let him blackmail her into getting a big TV for his office or let him take away her authority as boss? You said that the ordinariness of your reality helps ground you and I think that’s a good point, it’s our limits that define us and that also enable us to be truly creative by forcing us to work within them. Like a rebellious child, or the 6 year old who doesn’t think he needs parental supervision as Wilson called him, House does need limits but Cuddy lets House get away with so much that it makes it harder on both of them. For House, it make it difficult to accept the real limits of his illness and to see the mental health help he needs while Cuddy has to put up with House skating very close to the emotionally abusive line and often crossing it with his employees and with her.

    I thought it was interesting that the Cuddy that House hallucinated, his idealized Cuddy, was willing to drop everything, even her baby, to meet House’s wishes and then having watched him detox and vomit, was not only willing to give him great sex but was the aggressor in making the move. Would the real Cuddy have been so willing to put everything else aside to meet his wants so completely? Should she? It’s nice for House if she would but would he be willing to treat her better, or would he continue to take advantage of her?

    Thank you for this interesting discussion.

  92. MLE on May 28th, 2009 2:00 am

    I was real tired the night of the finale and have a few questions. I caught it again the other night on USA and I still don’t get a few things.

    No one else I know watches house, so I was relieved to learn that I’m not the only one who was a little confused and feeling a little dumb for not understanding all of it! I’m not crystal clear on what was a hallucination and what wasn’t, but my take is that the parts that flashed through his mind while in Cuddy’s office (the initial argument, the detox, etc…) were obviously all hallucinations and maybe nothing else was. What do you all think? Or was there more that I just didn’t get. From reading all the posts, it sounds like the hallucinating or dream or coma might go back a few seasons. Yikes. I need to go back and rent the DVDs since I just started watching sometime last year mid-season.

    I wondered about him yelling that he slept with Cuddy. Even after watching it the 2nd time, I didn’t get why she had been so calm with him up until then. Is it because she really had had enough after that comment about her baby and was done engaging with him and detached herself? The first time around, not suspecting a hallucination (I know.. it was obvious!) I didn’t get her reactions to him at all. She seemed very resigned to her relationship with him and crushed and TIRED.

    Was anyone else growing tired of his addiction taking up so much time? It shouldn’t magically and neatly go away but the hallucinations and the disturbingly sad final scenes were a “refreshing” change to me. I was ready for him to give up the pills (and move on to some other type of addiction, perhaps) or hit a new bottom, which he did. While not the greatest finale ever, it still made me feel a little queasy and very sad while watching, so the kudos to the writers for that. The actors are superb at delivering all of it, that goes without saying.

    So what’s wrong with him? Just drug addiction? Or the elaborate coma idea that Timo put together, which I love by the way? I usually think the dream sequence stuff is a cop-out, but that could be done really well on this show. Or brain tumor as an earlier poster pointed out? Now that would be a new direction. With all his mental problems and pill popping, it’s possible no one around him would suspect something other than his myriad of problems. That would explain him getting dizzy or blurry eyed in an earlier episode and explain the hallucinations. Do people really hallucinate so clearly while on opiates? I don’t really know, but it doesn’t fit. I think it has to be more than that and schizophrenia usually comes on in the early 20’s, so that just doesn’t feel right either. My money’s on brain tumor or coma after reading this forum. A couple of you should write for House, by the way!

    I’m new to this site and love how collaborative it is (for the most part) versus the usual flame-fest and I can’t wait for next year.

  93. Geebs on June 1st, 2009 11:25 pm

    My vote for Jackie Frankovich!

  94. Raymond C. on June 9th, 2009 11:52 pm

    Vis-a-vis the earlier hallucinations, it was explained that he had taken LSD to short-circuit the migraines he induced to prove his two-decade’s-prior detractor’s drug study was a sham. I have been a migraineur since early childhood (so is my wife, and, little surprise, so is OUR six year old son) and I have done the “psychedelic-to-short-circuit-the-long-standing-headache” thing and it is a guaranteed success. It worked with LSD, and also with magic mushrooms and peyote buttons. Now, with triptans available so readily, I think such a drastic measure would be overkill, but I am also now 46. In my twenties, ANY excuse to delve into psychedelia was reason enough – now I have neither the time nor the inclination to check out of reality for the requisite investment in hourglass sand.

  95. Mel on June 11th, 2009 11:27 pm

    Since i have been busy with finals month i figured ill wait until its on hulu and i waited and my friend has been talkingabout the finale for weeks and i figured why the hell now ill watch it today. SO i did and i read most of the comments on here and i disagree with a lot of people i did think the episode was really good and yes it did suck that he was hallucinating because i was really hoping it did happen. But over all i am so curious what happens next.

  96. Kate on June 12th, 2009 10:25 pm

    I’d forgotten about the LSD hallucinations in season 2. That makes 5 hallucinations in 5 seasons: in season 1’s Three Stories; two sets in season 2 in Distractions and No Reason; House’s Head/Wilson’s Heart in season 4 and now in Both Sides Now.

    The drug study in Distractions wasn’t a sham as far as we know. The coma patient House first experimented on would have been excluded because he didn’t have the right parts of his brain working and House induced his own migraine with drugs which caused it to have a different pathway. The anti-migraine drug was designed to work on people with recurring, naturally-caused migraines. Neither the coma patient nor House fit into that group.

  97. Cornelia Allen on July 16th, 2009 12:04 pm

    I don’t often “tune in” to websites like this and make any comments. But, after seeing the most recent episode of “House,” I was concerned enough about the series to “google” the subject, and here I am! And glad of it!

    Although out of the loop on tv-chatter, I feared that episode was the finale. So many loose ends were tied up. I really enjoyed this show and am sorry to see it go. But this ending was well done. My English teacher would have been satisfied. She was a stickler for conclusions that DID.

    I am glad House finally acknowledged sincerely that he needed help and followed through in seeking it. It was very touching that his colleagues, who were true friends as well, helped him get it. Especially Wilson. who was there for him, and did everything but take those awsome final steps up the steps to the institution with him.

    The wedding of Cameron and Chase with the other regulars, including Cuddy with her baby, was a happy and positive yeng to House’s yang. — Life goes on!

    That said, I can’t help wishing there was some way (besides syndication) to bring back elements and characters another season. They were wonderful and I will miss them terribly!

  98. Raymond C. on August 6th, 2009 7:41 pm

    Well, It finally happened to me, too.

    I changed docs in June – on the advice of my family doc I sought treatment at a pain clinic for my right leg, and after describing my issues with breakthrough pain, the kindly doctor 1) had me sign an “opiate contract” stating I would not divert, accelerate or otherwise attempt to get opiates from any source other than his practice for the duration of our doctor/patient relationship; and 2) gave me a STRONGER dose of Fentanyl every other day (75 mcg/hr instead of 50 mcg/hr), took me OFF of Oxycontin, and instead put me on Roxicodone – a fast onset, short-acting opiate – 30 mg, up to three times a day. He told me to call him if I had any problems, and sent me on my way.

    At home the problems with my leg pain started almost immediately – the new meds were NOT giving me the relief I had become accustomed to receiving with my old meds and dosages. Instead of calling the doctor, I just 1) took extra Roxicodone as needed and 2) started chewing up my Fentanyl patches after peeling them off my body, to get the “leftover Fentanyl” out of them.

    Though I don’t remember much of the month of July, I can tell you this: I managed to go through 30 days worth of opiates in 22 days. THEN I called the pain doctor, thinking he’d chalk it up to new meds not working as expected and give me enough to get me to the next refill date.

    Nope. He didn’t do that. Instead, he cut me off cold. So, my unsupervised detoxification from opiates that are some 25 to 40 times stronger than Heroin began at home, in front of my wife and kid, on July 20th. I could have gone back to the family doctor, but I didn’t – I decided that I was tired of being my medication’s bitch and that if I could do it, I WANTED out of the prison those meds had me in – and that I would find another way to deal with the pain in my leg.

    I lasted two days at home before realizing I did NOT want my six year old seeing Daddy going through withdrawal. I took some Klonopin to stop the shakes, and drove myself to the mental hospital and checked myself in.

    They kept me for almost a week, and transitioned me to a medication called Buprenorphine – a partial opiate agonist that sits on the opiate receptors and essentially locks them down. Since the receptors are otherwise occupied, 1) your withdrawal stops cold (although you have to go through about 2/3 the way without meds or it doesn’t work), and 2) even if you backslide and try to take opiates, you cannot get any effect – the Buprenorphine will not allow other opiates to take up a position on the receptors, and so any other opiates are wasteful – not to mention that the outpatient version of buprenorphine I am now on is a formulation called Suboxone – it is Buprenorphine combined with a little bit of Naloxone – a narcotic antagonist – so that if you were to, say, powder up the Suboxone and try to inject it, a particularly violent and painful withdrawal would immediately seize you by the heels and make you wish you were dead.

    For obvious reasons, I thought about House a lot while I was in the mental hospital – because of the similarities between both of our circumstances (the leg pain, the opiates, the mental breakdown and the hospitalization that we found ourselves enduring). I also spoke with several psychiatrists about what happens if an MD comes through who is addicted to opiates, and discovered that it happens ALL THE TIME. Anaesthesiologists in particular are commonly addicted because they have virtually limitless access to the strongest of the opiates, and their jobs are extremely stressful, so many succumb to the temptation to “heal themselves” (but not, according to the docs I spoke with, in numbers that are proportionally larger than other groups represented in the samplings). Anyway, I asked about their medical licenses, and apparently, it is NOT true that if a physician goes to rehab, or even to a mental hospital, that their days practicing medicine are over.

    Every state now has what is known as an “Impaired Professional Program”. Physicians, nurses, etc., lose the ability to prescribe opiates WHILE THEY ARE BEING TREATED FOR AN ACTIVE ADDICTION, however, after a proscribed period of sobriety (different in every state – in Georgia where I am it is six months), they petition the State Medical Board, present evidence of their successful treatment and ensuing abstinence, and their privileges are restored as long as everything is in order, as long as it is their first bite at the apple. The same thing happens if they relapse a second time, but the period of intervening sobriety gets longer (one year); if they relapse a third time, their license to practice medicine is generally revoked permanently. Also, all fifty states now share information, so where addicted doctors used to be able to just move to another state and apply for a new license (most would say they’d been overseas or some other lie), now they are unable to do that because the state boards share the data about addicted healthcare professionals.

    So, while the thought that House is going to NOT BE ABLE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE ANYMORE definitely creates dramatic tension, it is a bold-faced lie if we are to believe that he went into treatment to beat his addiction. Of course, if he is diagnosed with schizophrenia, it might take him longer than six months to get settled on a medication that keeps his demons at bay without killing his intellect with side effects – and he might NEVER be able to find a medication that quells his symptoms while leaving his mind sharp enough to be the House MD that we all know and love. Simple major depression wouldn’t be enough to scuttle his mind or his career, nor would something more troubling but not as debilitating as schizophrenia, such as bipolar disorder. Again, it might take a while to get the pharmacology worked out, but odds are good he’d be able to return to work and do most the things he used to do, mostly the way he used to do them.

    The question is – do we think it’s addiction treatment, or schizophrenia, or major depressive disorder combined with addiction treatment? So many tasty options.

    As for me, the plan is to let my withered opiate receptors take a breather while I continue to take Suboxone for 3-4 months, after which the psychopharmacologist is going to begin to taper me off the medication – a process which will also take 3 months to do properly. If I find my pain is unbearable, I can stay on Suboxone for the rest of my life if need be, since it doesn’t have any of the mind and intellect-numbing side effects of the heavy opiates I had been on. However, the docs think my body may have been manufacturing pain in order to continue to get the infusion of opiates – amazing what the mind of a junkie can conjure up, eh? Anyway, all kidding aside, being committed to a mental hospital was the most frightening experience of my life. I have never been to jail, but this was goddamned close to jail as we were locked in and could not leave of our own volition. I met some seriously disturbed people in the mental hospital, but also some really nice people that had just kind of become like lost sheep, locked out of the lives they had previously lived. On my last day, I met one guy – a doctor, who was there because he was addicted to painkillers.

    “Small world,” I told him.

  99. anastasia74 on August 13th, 2009 4:35 am

    i like the end of season 5 . Chase and cameron get married while house go into a psychiatric hospital……………

  100. Sunny on August 20th, 2009 5:16 pm

    To Julie who posted on May 12, 2009:

    “But I’m confused about is why Cuddy had to establish that she was his boss and he was her employee first time they saw each other. How can that be explained if they didn’t sleep with each other? And how come she understands that he’s trying to make her angry? Was all that a hallucination too?”

    If you rewind to the previous episode, “Under My Skin”, the scene in Cuddy’s office was the crucial moment that was the beginning of House’s hallucinations of his Vicodin detox and night with Cuddy. It explained her attitude towards him the next day, but House just misinterpreted her behaviour for overreaction to their hook-up the night before, when, in reality, it never happened.

    House went into Cuddy’s office at the end of the day to tell her that he’s quitting (due to his hallucinations of Amber, but he didn’t mention that). She dismissed it, thinking House was just being his usual sarcastic melodramatic self, and told him that it was going to have to wait because it was time for her to go home to her adopted baby. House was stung and annoyed by this because he was actually being serious, and told her to “go suckle the little bastard child that makes you feel good about yourself.” Cuddy was visibly wounded by this remark and stormed out of her office.

    THIS was the end of their interaction for the night, as far as reality goes. Everything else after that, starting when House blurted out that he was hallucinating and needed her help, never happened.

    The next day, Cuddy’s cold behaviour towards House, including her emphasizing the fact that their relationship was strictly employer-employee and her avoiding him for the entire day, only manipulated us AND House into thinking that they in fact did sleep together, when in reality, she was acting that way because she was still hurt and resentful because of what House said to her the night before. Poor Cuddy is extremely sensitive when it comes to her maternity, and although she’s been putting up with all sorts of crap from House for as long as we can remember, she is only every truly wounded with his retorts about her abilities as a mother (I’m referring to episode 9 “Finding Judas” of season 3). Cuddy probably just assumed that House was just being an ass as usual and for some reason was deliberately trying to aggravate her, but she was too hurt and angry to care why. I believe that the House-Cuddy and House-Wilson scenes during the finale episode, after the night of hallucinations, were in fact NOT hallucinations, but House toying with the lipstick tube (it was actually his Vicodin pills all along) and seeing lipstick on his cheek in the mirror WERE hallucinations. Did I lose you? 😛

    Like you, and probably many others, I too was confused by the finale, and it took me several times reviewing the two episodes to realize how obvious it was and that the writers had managed to trick us.

    The outcome of the fifth season was a bit devastating, me being a Huddy fan and all, but as Jagger puts it, “You can’t always get what you want.” I haven’t given up hope though! While Cuddy is the only one I can see House ending up with romantically because they are equally matched and compliment each other very well, it wouldn’t be surprising if this show ends with House still an addict, still a genius, still himself, and everybody else has changed and moved on to greener pastures but still sticking alongside to the doctor that they love to hate. The season 5 finale was incredible and made an impression on me, only second to that of the season 4 finale. As many people have already mentioned – the interweaving contrast of the solemn trip to the Psych Ward with the fairy-tale like wedding was quite memorable.

    Part of the appeal of this show to me is that House never changes while events and people around him do (as Hugh Laurie put it during an interview on the DVD bonus features of what-season-I-forget, and because the writers continually write the show based on this predictable pattern). And I might be a greenhorn when it comes to trends of television writing nowadays (House is the only show where I’ve ever followed episode-by-episode), but this show still manages to be excitingly unpredictable despite the predictability of its episode formula, as well as its main character House. On an unrelated note, I recommend this very clever and very funny interpretation of the basic formula of an episode of HOUSE:
    Scroll down to Thaddeus’s post made on May 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm.

    Due to reasons beyond my control, I missed most of the fifth season, and couldn’t help but cheat and jump to the last few episodes once I found a good online-viewing website. I will now have to go back to the beginning and watch the rest of the previous episodes to decide whether season 5 was as bad as people say. But overall, I am completely devoted to this show no matter what the outcome. Even my dad can’t help but love it, and he’s the reason I don’t watch a lot of TV.

    I’m excited for Season 6 because of the entirely different setting, and we will get to watch House being more vulnerable than ever. And funnily enough, Julie, after watching the season 6 promo the first thing that occurred to me was how similar it was to “One Flies over the Cuckoo’s Nest” too! Let’s just hope it doesn’t end the same way, or I really will cry. :'(

  101. Kris on August 31st, 2009 12:06 pm


    Just finished se5 and I must say it has been great!

    Some outstanding episodes for me included :

    ‘Unfaithful’ ‘Locked In’ ‘Here Kittly’

    Although when Kutner died in ep20 (I think?) it didn’t make sense

    I know they had to write him out quickly as he left to go and work for Obama (Go figure!) but surely they could have come up with something better than suicide!?

    Didnt add up plot wise really but was the quickest way to get him out of the story without days of shooting I guess?

    Other than that, I love Hugh’s character, he’s great as a yank and really adds to the series, I mean who else can you now see playing him??

    As a fellow Englishman myself, I think he does an outstanding job as an American, the accent is superb

    This made for a great series, and with House’s years of drug abuse, I guess this was the logical step to take, with him slowly losing his mind in a chemical induced mess!

    But Amber became a bit annoying after more than 2 episodes, I mean man thats some freaking hallucination!

    The final twist in Episode 24 [Both sides now] with House realizing he’s really f*cked up is good and not like the usual ‘person gets sick, house solves the puzzle right at the end’ episode

    Very good 🙂

    I cant wait to see the next season, anyone know when its scheduled?


  102. Raymond C. on September 9th, 2009 10:04 pm

    I have heard runours that when House returns for season 6, we find that he is still institutionalized, that his relationship with Stacy dissolved about 6 months previous, and that the past 5 years as we have seen them, have been the products of House’s capacious and temporarily addled mind, though he is soon to be released to practice…

    Kinda like what Dallas did?