My love of Sherlock Holmes led me to a very particular medical drama. Prior to watching House, I wasn’t a fan of the genre. I didn’t watch E.R. or Grey’s Anatomy and still haven’t. In fact, I could argue that House left me unable to watch any other medical dramas in the future. I will say that based on friends who love both Grey’s Anatomy or E.R. I could end up a bundle of mess. But the premise of a doctor with such poor bedside manner was intriguing… I was young then because I have since been in contact with several doctors who fit that description and it didn’t have the same effect. At this point, it has been off the air for years and I still love it as much as when I first bought the DVDs and binge-watched seasons 1-4 on my three day weekend. Shoutout to prime delivery. It is now on Prime video for those of you that have time and nothing to do. Get some House in your life.
House M. D. centers around Dr. Gregory House who is an unconventional curmudgeon and a bit of a medical genius with a bad leg. I mean why else would you let this guy get away with some of the stuff he says and does. (Let me tell you… That word came up in an article I read at the time and I have never forgotten it.) House heads a team of diagnosticians at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. I used to be more of a Dr. House character in my young life… in that, I used to just say what was on my mind no matter what the fallout. The older you get you realize that is not appropriate. Not the case for House.
I remember dating a guy that said he hated House. It wasn’t as great as people were making it out to be. “He always solves the case. Nothing spectacular about that.” Well… I should have seen this as a red flag. The guy and I didn’t last long. (He was one of those people that hated everything anyone liked… so tiresome and annoying.) The kicker was if that is what people took away from the show… you can tell they have only seen a few episodes in passing. Now like any “procedural” there is a structure… in this case… normally see people in their everyday life end up having a medical emergency and head to Princeton Plainsboro. Does House ALWAYS solve the case and people survive? No. (Which anyone who has actually seen a medical drama would know.)
Now I mentioned earlier that it was the connection to Sherlock Holmes that pulled me in. David Shore, the creator of the show, has admitted that he is a big Holmes fan. Mostly, Holmes indifference to people. House resembles Holmes in his reluctance to accept cases he finds uninteresting. House uses cases to take his mind off his bad leg. House’s name is similar to Holmes… even his close friend Wilson’s name is close to Holmes’s friend, Watson. Both characters play instruments (House plays the piano, the guitar, and the harmonica; Holmes, the violin). What was interesting to me was the House has an addiction to pain pills… Vicodin. (I am sure this is more common than I know but I am glad I am that in my fantasy world this isn’t the case.) Holmes, on the other hand, has an addiction to cocaine, morphine, and opium. One thing to keep in mind though is that in the time that the Sherlock stories were being published, these drugs were perfectly legal. He was a reflection of the time and the people reading. David Shore has said that House’s name itself is meant as “a subtle homage” to Holmes. House’s address is 221B Baker Street, a direct reference to Holmes’s street address. Wilson’s address is also 221B.
Let’s look at the cast of House M.D. I would say this is an ensemble cast. But I will say that all of the cast is highly talented which isn’t always the case.
- Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie)- Dr. House is an Infectious Disease Specialist, Nephrologist, Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine. Prior to the start of the series, he suffered an infarction in his right leg which went misdiagnosed for three days. There was an aneurysm in his thigh that had clotted, leading to the infarction and causing his quadriceps muscle to become necrotic. House had the dead muscle bypassed to restore circulation to the remainder of his leg, risking organ failure and cardiac arrest. He was unwilling to allow an amputation opting instead to endure excruciating post-operative pain to retain the use of his leg. House now suffers chronic pain in his thigh and uses a cane to aid his walking, though he often wields the cane for protection, pushing aside privacy curtains, stopping elevator doors, or knocking on doors. He also frequently takes Vicodin, a moderate to severe painkiller, to relieve his pain. Hugh Laurie manages to make people forget that he is an English actor.
- Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) – Dr. Lisa Cuddy is an Endocrinologist and the Dean of Medicine/Hospital Administrator. She runs the hospital and she is a bad ass woman in charge. Cuddy and House have a romantic thing for each other stemming from when the two both attended the University of Michigan where they had a one night stand. Cuddy embarks on a journey to have a child. She starts with in-vitro fertilization. We learn that she has made a total of three attempts at impregnation, one of which was miscarried. In Season 5, Cuddy reveals that she is adopting a baby girl, to be named Joy, and then is devastated when the birth-mother decides to keep the baby. Cuddy becomes a foster mother and potential adoptive mother to a baby girl she names Rachel. She initially struggles with motherhood, revealing to Wilson that she feels nothing for Rachel but soon begins to bond with her. Cuddy is able to keep House in check more or less and admits that when she hired him she set aside $50,000 a year from the hospital’s budget for potential legal expenses.
- Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) – is the Head of the Department of Oncology, House’s best friend, and frequently provides him with consultations and aid…. more power to Wilson since I wonder how anyone can befriend House. Prior to the series, shortly after graduating medical school, Wilson accidentally broke an antique mirror and started a bar fight when another customer who was repeatedly playing “Leave A Tender Moment Alone” by Billy Joel to the frustration of Wilson, who was going through a divorce with his first wife at the time. (Wilson goes through a lot of divorces.) House met him in jail and, motivated by a desire for companionship and boredom, bailed him out and hired an attorney to clear his name, thus starting their professional and personal relationship. House describes Wilson as “a buddy of mine people say ‘Thank you’ to when he tells them they are dying.” Wilson, at first, doesn’t see a problem with House’s drug use writing many of the prescriptions himself. What the writer did to Wilson at the end hurts my heart.
- Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) – Dr. Foreman is a Neurologist, a member of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine, and eventually the Dean of Medicine. Foreman attended Columbia University as an undergraduate before matriculating at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Like House, Foreman has also been shown to be extremely honest even at the cost of hurting other people’s feelings. At one point, Foreman leaves House’s team and takes a job at Mercy Hospital in New York, and he immediately goes out of his way to conduct differential diagnoses with a calm head and professional attitude, almost the exact opposite of House. However, when a patient presents with a condition with similar symptoms to the patient he killed, Foreman goes against regulations (like House) to save the patient’s life, which he does. Despite making a life-saving call, Foreman’s administrator fires him due to violating regulations. House and Foreman are more alike than Foreman would like to admit.
- Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer) – Dr. Chase is a Surgeon, Intensivist, Cardiologist, and the Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine (series finale). Chase is regarded by most characters as someone who will do anything to protect his job. He seems to trust House the most and sometimes takes part in House’s morally questionable plans when the other members of the team have refused. This leads to heated arguments between Chase and Foreman, who is quick to disagree with House and eager to prove him wrong. Chase performs most of the invasive medical procedures, as well as observing and helping with the team’s patients’ surgeries when he worked for House. After his departure from the team, Chase becomes a surgeon in the hospital.
- Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) – Dr. Cameron is an immunologist, a member of the Diagnostic Medicine team, and works in Emergency Medicine. She is the only woman on House’s team and manages to handle her own in the all boys club. She is known for her honesty, sincerity, idealism and strong ethical center which will be interesting in one of the episodes I choose later on. Cameron objects to House’s reliance on deceiving their patients and has gone head-to-head with him several times on the issue. She has also been reluctant to deliver bad news to patients or their families which is the case in an episode where it is determined by her and several doctors that a patient has terminal cancer and she tries to deny it and look for other causes before having to tell the young lady that she is dying.
- Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson) – He had to be my least favorite doctor of the series. But he was a plastic surgeon. Taub is a plastic surgeon and was #39 during the “games” used by House to select his new team. Taub is the most willing of the applicants to challenge House’s authority (annoyingly so… For me, it just seems sometimes that he is contrary because he feels it will win him points.) In the sixth season Taub quit PPTH and returned to his plastic surgery practice during the brief period Foreman led the diagnostics team after House’s departure in the episode “Epic Fail”, saying he had only joined the team “to work with House.” (Insert eyeroll.)
- Remy “Thirteen” Hadley (Olivia Hadley) – Thirteen was an internist. She is part of the new diagnostic team assembled by House after the disbanding of his previous team at the end of the third season. (She has to be my favorite character… with my favorite story.) Thirteen is reluctant to reveal information about herself and is extremely secretive. (Much like myself… everyone doesn’t need to know everything about you.) She simply lets her fellow applicants refer to her as “Thirteen” rather than her real name, and constantly deflects curious prodding from both House and Amber Volakis about her personal life and past. Although his meddling with her personal affairs and insatiable curiosity frustrates Thirteen, House comes to respect her as a talented doctor and the two build a relationship of mutual trust and understanding of each other’s personalities (and, occasionally, shared cynicism and/or sarcasm).
- Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn) – Who doesn’t love Kal Penn? (Not a challenge.) He was working in Sports Medicine. Kutner is shown to be open-minded about any new experience which is the reason he wants to join House’s new team. Out of all the newcomers, Kutner is the most enthusiastic and the one most likely to go along with House in taking risks, including illegal activities taking Chase’s place in that regard. When House is finally forced to pick his new team, Dr. Cuddy suggests he hire Kutner because Kutner “shares House’s philosophy of medicine.”
- Dr. Martha Masters (Amber Tamblynn) – She is a medical student with a double-Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Art History. She comes into constant opposition to House’s want to lie to patients. She graduated high school at 15. She seems out of place with the rest of the team. Mostly because she is so young. She can be easily intimidated. House threatens to have Masters thrown out of medical school if she tells Cuddy or her mother’s physician about switching her medication.
- Dr. Jessica Adams (Oddette Annable) – House meets Jessica Adams at the prison where House was incarcerated after he crashed his car into Cuddy’s living room. (Not the best moment of his. Normally, I can rationalize something he says or does… but not this thing.) She also finds out about his prior reputation as a leading diagnostician. When House expresses that he intends to entirely leave medicine, Adams tells him he has a gift that he can’t abandon. Adams and Park have a strained and competitive relationship. They disagree on most issues including charity, child labor, altruism, and why people become friends. It is revealed that Adams is from “old money” (a wealthy family) and did her residency at Johns Hopkins Medical School. She has no money concerns whatsoever as she buys expensive shoes and gives gifts even when she’s out of work. I loved her character but it is really hard to top 13.
- Dr. Chi Park (Charlyne Yi) -She is a neurologist who is added to Dr. House’s Diagnostic team in season 8. It happens because her drunk boss palms her ass and she punches him for it. When Dr. Adams joined them, she and Park often butted heads over social issues. Park has ongoing anger issues, she also slams doors and screams at people when she gets frustrated. Unlike House, she is very concerned about how other people see her, and always makes sure her hair, make-up and clothing are as immaculate as possible. House also has more difficulty manipulating Park than he had with his other fellows. He knows that his fellows will usually bury their anger when he pushes them, but he knows Park will merely lash out instead. Park is also more than willing to stand up to House, both personally and professionally.
Now that I have covered House’s ever changing team. I would like to point out here that I HATE when they change casts once, much less twice. So I am amazed that I made it through all 8 seasons. But because each team member brings something awesome to the table, I was able to manage it. So I have picked a few moments over the course of the show that were either hilarious or shocking or just sad. Now… let’s jump into those.
- 3 Stories (Season 1, Episode 21) – Here is where we get the backstory into House’s ailment and somewhat his surly attitude. However the story is told in a way that was most in entertaining… (to me at least.) During a lecture on diagnostics, House presents three scenarios in which a patient complains of leg pain and challenges his students to diagnose them. What we as the audience finds out is that one of the stories is about House and the incident that leaves him needing a cane for the rest of his life. In many episodes of the series, the patient appears to represent a part of House. In this episode, the tables are turned – there are three patients who, as it turns out, could have been House’s case. The symptom they come to the emergency room with is identical in each case. Even his students are fooled for a while. The third case is disguised by saying the patient was Carmen Electra, who complained of pain after playing golf. The patient (House) has blood in his urine, which has turned tea-colored. House explains that this is the result of both blood and waste products accumulating in the urine. He then asks the class for a possible diagnosis. House becomes angrier with each wrong answer, until Dr. Cameron guesses “muscle death”. The attending doctors didn’t realize this for three days, at which point the patient (House) suggested it. Cuddy tells him they may have to remove the leg. The thigh had a aneurysm which led to an infarction. Prior to this episode, it is easy to write him off as always having been this way… an unfeeling, uncaring bastard. But it is revealed that prior to his incident, he had a serious relationship with a woman named Stacey. And knowing that their relationship died when they were trying to talk him into amputating his leg even though he was refusing it. He wanted a different more invasive approach. It is Stacey who uses her position as his medical proxy to make a different decision while he is unconscious. It killed their relationship and leaves the audience with a better understanding of his character.
- No Reason (Episode 2, Season 24) – As House and his team work on the diagnosis of Vincent, a man with a massively swollen tongue and a high temperature, a disgruntled former patient named Jack Moriarty (Holmes reference anyone?) walks into House’s office and shoots House twice with a handgun. My initial reaction to this was “I would have figured someone would want to cause him bodily harm before now.”) Jack ends up in the hospital bed next to house since the security guards shot him while trying to escape. House wakes up Moriarty and asks why he wanted him to die. Moriarty replies that it was not his intention to kill House, and that he wanted to see House suffer. (As I am sure a lot of people who come into contact with House want him to do as well. While diagnosing her, House badgered Moriarty until he admitted that he had cheated on her. Despite this fact having no medical relevance to his wife’s illness, House told her about the affair anyway. Moriarty’s wife then committed suicide shortly after being released from the hospital. He tells House that he realizes that his affair led to his wife’s suicide, however he feels that House should take part of the blame because there was “no reason” to tell her about it. (In this situation… House likes to pretend he is doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing but he obviously got a perverse satisfaction out of tearing this woman’s world apart and them went on about his business. Not cool man.) Since the shooting, House feels decreased pain in his leg. He finds out from his records that during the surgery to treat the gunshot wounds, a treatment of ketamine to induce a coma had been given to relieve his leg pain, but he experiences neurological side effects. He begins to question his own ability to diagnose, while hostility increases between him and Moriarty. After several hallucinations, House determines that nothing he has experienced since the shooting is real. in the final minutes of the episode we see House being rushed into the ER moments after he was shot. Before the episode ends, House asks Cameron to tell Cuddy that he wants ketamine.
- The Tyrant (Season 6, Episode 4) – The team treats a brutal African dictator named Dibala (James Earl Jones) who has fallen ill. The dictator had made threats of ethnic cleansing against an ethnic minority, the Sitibi, and the team deals with ethical issues of treating a potential mass murderer. I love James Earl Jones in everything he does and this performance shook me to the core. A refugee attempts to persuade Chase to let Dibala die from his illness. Later he dresses as a nurse and tries to enter Dibala’s room with a pistol. This assassination attempt is violently thwarted by Dibala’s guards. Cameron is very vocal about not wanting to treat a man that is hellbent on genocide and Chase seems rather indifferent, not really voicing any opinion on the matter. Chase finds out that the refugee was one of Dibala’s child soldiers, ordered to torture and murder an innocent woman, and the man tells Chase that Dibala will do this to all the Sitibi. Chase is more curious than others and confronts Dibala, who eventually reveals his plans to kill off the ethnic minority. While giving Dibala a dose, Dibala violently grabs Cameron and suspects her of attempting to kill him by injecting air into his bloodstream. He confronts her about her hostile feelings towards him, and says she attempting to ease her conscious by having someone else murder him. Now, he states, the gun is in her hand, and he tells her she should kill him if she wants him dead, but notes that it’s not so easy to kill. Dibala claims he showed Cameron her true character, saying she’s too weak to act on her beliefs. Chase confronts him about his planned genocide of the Sitibi. Dibala answers with: ‘Whatever it takes to protect my country!’ Dibala eventually dies from severe bleeding into his lungs. Foreman finds a piece of paper that shows Chase had signed into the morgue right before he performed the blood test on Dibala. He realizes Chase faked the results of test with the blood of another patient, to cause the team to treat incorrectly and kill the dictator and confronts him about this. Chase says there is now a chance for peace and tells Foreman that if the police are to come for him, to warn him so he can first explain to Cameron. (The way that man bled out. Ridiculous.)
- Both Sides Now (Season 5, Episode 24) – This episode grabbed my attention but not because of the patient and the patient’s ailment is interesting. A man who has undergone a corpus callosotomy procedure to treat epilepsy. The procedure left him with independently functioning left and right brain hemispheres and two distinct personalities, resulting in loss of conscious control over some of his actions, including those of his left hand, a condition known as alien hand syndrome. (I should have been intrigued but it really was House’s day.) It is what happens with House and Cuddy. Up to this point, the sexual tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. House wakes up at his apartment after spending the night with Cuddy. He discovers that she has left her lipstick on his bathroom counter, as well as on his cheek. House pockets the lipstick, and goes to work in a cheerful mood and a remarkable lack of pain. House then goes to talk to Cuddy in her office, and asks her if she could possibly be overreacting to the previous night. She finally admits that maybe she is, since he’s “said plenty of lousy things to [her] before.” House seems genuinely confused, as he assumed that she was overreacting to her and House having sex and what it could mean to their employer-employee relationship. But he realizes that Cuddy’s reactions all day have been consistent, and in fact it is his own memory of the situation that is faulty. He turns his attention to the lipstick Cuddy left at his apartment, which he has been playing with all day, and is troubled that Cuddy’s coffee cup shows no lipstick smears; his memory of the prior evening included smears of lipstick on his face from kissing Cuddy, so he expects her lipstick is the sort that smears. In the end, he realizes that he never actually spent the night with Cuddy. In his mind, House thought he told Cuddy that he needed her help with his addiction. He never told Cuddy he was having hallucinations that night. His final words of the evening were: “You can go suckle the little bastard child if that makes you feel good about yourself.” Upset by this remark, she left the office and went home, never accompanying him to his apartment. House snaps back to reality and tries to explain to Cuddy that that’s not what actually happened, saying “I told you I needed you, and you helped me.” He reaches into his pocket to remove the lipstick, but, to his shock, he discovers that it is actually a bottle of Vicodin. Cuddy and Wilson escort House to the psychiatric ward.
- Help Me (Season 6, Episode 22) – Wow this one was a heavy hitter. House admits a lot is wrong in his life because he didn’t decide to amputate his leg when he had the chance. There is a building collapse nearby and House, Cuddy, and House’s team roam the area diagnosing and treating victims, until they come across the crane operator, who ostensibly fell asleep despite being overloaded with caffeine. House hears a sound similar to that of a person banging on a steel pipe. He informs the emergency officials, who attempt to communicate with anyone possibly trapped beneath the rubble, but they give up after receiving no response. House decides to go looking himself, and crawls under the mountain of rubble until he reaches a deep cavity and finds a trapped woman named Hanna. The situation is exacerbated when the emergency official realizes the support beam pinning Hanna, the trapped woman, is also under a mountain of rubble that could collapse. The equipment that can free her is hours away from arriving, so the official suggests amputation. Both Hanna and House refuse. Hanna continues to refuse the amputation, listening to House’s earlier advice, but House soon arrives. To Cuddy’s surprise, House tells Hanna she should amputate. He then answers her earlier question of what had happened to his own leg, by telling the story of his infarction and his own refusal of the suggested amputation. House brings the electric saw and a scalpel to the scene, and explains that he cannot give her anesthesia, since it is too risky, forcing him to amputate the leg with her awake, followed by her screams. She is immediately taken to an ambulance, which then departs for Princeton-Plainsboro. On the ride back, Hanna suddenly has trouble breathing. House realizes she has a fat embolism, caused by the amputation. Impossible to treat, she dies before arriving at Princeton-Plainsboro. For House, it is the drop of water that makes the vase overflow. Despite Foreman’s support, he cannot stand it anymore. In pain from his leg, various wounds, and Hanna’s death, he rips his bathroom mirror out of the wall revealing a hidden cavity behind it, where he had a final stash of Vicodin. He opens a bottle and takes out two pills, thinking that Vicodin is his only way of feeling better. As he is getting ready to take them, Cuddy arrives. House stops and asks if he is hallucinating this and she asks if he took the Vicodin. Realizing it was still in his hand, House drops the pills on the floor. They both smile at each other, sharing another kiss and joining hands.
- Nobody’s Fault (Season 8, Episode 11) – For me, I think it was the way the stabbing is handled that threw me for a loop. House and his team are subjected to a disciplinary hearing after their patient suffered a psychotic breakdown and stabbed Chase. The hearing is conducted by Dr. Walter Colfield, Foreman’s former mentor at Johns Hopkins University.
As Chase attempts to biopsy the patient’s rash, the patient suffers another psychotic episode and stabs Chase with a scalpel, lacerating his heart. It was the blood shooting out in spurts that got me… and then Dr. Adams stick her finger in his chest to stop the bleed. Seeing her on top of him on the gurney because he will bleed out otherwise is something that sticks out in my mind when I think about the show.
Chase survives surgery but is left paralyzed. House concludes that the paralysis is caused by a blood clot. Chase regains feeling when surgery is performed to remove the clot that is pressing on his spine, but he faces extensive physical therapy. During the last day of the hearing, Dr. Colfield calls House brilliant but a fiasco; however, the patient’s wife speaks up on House’s behalf, saying House “saved my husband’s life.” At this point Colfield decides that House is an important part of the hospital and he would damage the hospital by sending him back to prison. Therefore, he rules that the accident was “nobody’s fault.” House before leaving accuses Colfield of being a coward; he then goes to see Chase, who is doing his rehabilitation exercises. House tells Chase how Colfield decided that his stabbing was nobody’s fault, but he then says “they’re wrong, I’m sorry.”
- House’s Head/Wilson’s Heart (Season 4, Episode 15 & 16) – This is the two part season 4 finale. It had me wondering if House and Wilson’s friendship was going to make it. House’s Head revolves around Dr. Gregory House, who, after being involved in a bus accident, vaguely remembers seeing someone who is “going to die”. House tries to trace back his steps throughout the episode to find out the identity of this person. When the episode opens, House is getting a lap dance at a strip club, as he leaves the club, he sees that the bus he was traveling on has crashed. He helps diagnosed the bus driver and finds the reason for the bus crash. But he doesn’t stop having hallucinations meaning that the patient in his mind is not the bus driver. He eventually concludes and tells Wilson and Cuddy that the patient that needs help is Amber. She was on the bus with him and was injured in the crash. Wilson’s Heart, part two of the episode, begins with House and Wilson at Princeton General Hospital, where the eight overflow victims of the bus crash that weren’t taken to Princeton-Plainsboro ended up being taken, including Amber, who up until now was only known as Jane Doe #2 due to a lack of ID on her. The attending physician at Princeton General cannot explain Amber’s sudden onset tachycardia, but explains that whatever is causing this condition isn’t from the bus crash. While being moved via the ambulance, Amber’s tachycardia degenerates into v-fib. House goes to shock Amber to stabilize her heart, but Wilson demands he stop and put her into protective hypothermia. He tells House that if he restarts her heart now, it will keep racing, and kill her brain. In an attempt to buy more time for a proper diagnosis, Wilson figures protective hypothermia along with dialysis is her best option. House agrees; however, during the further testing that follows, Amber develops multisystem organ failure, including liver and neurological damage. (Wilson who was dating Amber at the time of the bus crash, becomes an obstacle in diagnosing Amber.) House manages to diagnose Amber recalling that she reached into her purse and pulled out prescription pills, which turned out to be amantadine. She took a heavy dose of two or three amantadine pills, right as the garbage truck plowed into the bus. The crash caused such extensive anatomical and physiological trauma (especially the blood loss and shock from her leg injury) that she ended up suffering from acute kidney failure. This damage to her kidneys made them unable to adequately filter out the amantadine, causing her to overdose and thus causing injury to her organs and all of her unexplained symptoms. With all of her organs damaged, she is unable to qualify for a heart transplant, and so there is nothing they can do to treat her. Wilson weans Amber off anesthesia in order to spend her last moments alive with him. The team comes in one by one to say goodbye to Amber, and after Wilson himself says goodbye, he shuts off Amber’s bypass and she dies. An unconscious House has a vision of Amber, who persuades him not to give up on life and die, telling him that he “can’t always get what he wants”. Wilson returns home and finds the note Amber left him in their bedroom saying she went to pick up House and would return home soon, causing him to break down in tears.
In the end, 13 finds out that she inherited Huntington’s Disease. Her mother died from it and her brother also has it.
- The Dig (Season 7, Episode 18) – This episode marks the return of 13, whose whereabouts have been unknown to House’s team for the last year. The episode starts with House waiting outside Middlebury Correctional Institute in New Jersey. It turns out he is picking up the freshly-released 13 who is surprised to see House. As they drive away, House asks her what she did. When she replies that she was in jail for “excessive prescribing”, House states that this was only her plea bargain and not the truth. Thirteen avoids the question. House mentions he is going to a spud-gun competition. House tells 13 about his relationship with Cuddy and their recent breakup. 13 tells House that she killed a man. House figures out that Thirteen had euthanized her brother who, like her mother, suffered from Huntington’s disease. Thirteen admits this and explains that her brother had asked her to end his life in one of his increasingly short periods of lucidity. She tells him that she knows that she will one day reach similar state and that there will be no one to help her in the same way, a plaintive declaration that clearly troubles the silent and pensive House. In the last scene, House drops Thirteen by her house, sarcastically noting that she owes him $87 for the fuel. When he sees her staring in depression, House tells her; “I’ll kill you, when the time comes, if you want”. Thirteen nods to him, accepting the offer as she leaves the car.
- The C Word (Season 8, Episode 19) – I think the worst thing that occurred was giving Wilson, (the Oncologist) cancer. As you know, Doctor’s are the worst patients. Wilson has stage 2 cancer and House accompanies him to an appointment with his doctor. Wilson’s doctor explains they will have to give him radiation therapy before trying to remove the tumor with surgery because it has started to spread. However, Wilson realizes that with such conservative therapy, if the tumor doesn’t start to shrink by the time they try chemotherapy, it will be terminal. The doctor tries to reassure him that in 75% of cases like his, the radiation alone will destroy the tumor. Wilson counters that because the tumor has started to spread to surrounding tissue, it’s too late for radiation alone. He wants radiation and chemotherapy together. The doctor opposes this course of action because it will put too much of a stress on his immune system and points out that Wilson has given this same recommendation to several patients of his own. House is treading lightly when he points out that Wilson’s doctor was right… At 221B, they prepare Wilson for treatment. House starts off with a couple of martinis and a toast to stupidity. He also reminds Wilson about the side effects of the treatment. Wilson hands him the chemotherapy drugs. Wilson goes through many side effects of this treatment and is vomiting heavily. House is out of morphine, so he gives Wilson some Vicodin. He reassures Wilson he has lots, but it soon becomes clear that he’s running out and House grabs some booze to deal with his own pain. Wilson finally gets angry that as an oncologist, he has gotten cancer. He’s also mad about how he’s misled his patients by reassuring them and says he should have acted more like House – at least that way he would feel he deserved cancer. Wilson wakes up the next morning. House hands him a glass of water. Wilson tried to recall some of the things he said, but House says he stopped listening. Wilson asks for a chance to go to the bathroom by himself, but House has to help him get there. Wilson realizes House is in a lot of pain and lied about having lots of Vicodin. Wilson asks if what he went through with the pain for two days is what House has to go through every day. House nods. Wilson says it must suck. House says at least he doesn’t have cancer.
- Everybody Dies (Season 8, Episode 21) – This is where it all ends. As the series draws to a close, the patient of the week becomes a sideline to House’s real puzzle – how can he avoid jail and spend the time by Wilson’s side instead. Wilson decided in the previous episode that he is not going to go through anymore chemotherapy. Meaning that he has chosen death. They argue about Wilson’s decision with House saying that he wants Wilson around as long as possible and with Wilson shouting that he (Wilson) has done whatever House has wanted up to this point. But that he will not die on his House’s terms to continue to make House feel better.) When House’s “differential” to avoid prison appears to have sent him into a dead end from which he cannot escape, he follows his patient into oblivion. He has a series of hallucinations in the form of Kutner, Amber, Stacey and Cameron who help him come to a decision. Ironically, his impending death gives him the epiphany he needs to solve his puzzle. He finally realizes that there is one relationship which is worth living for, even if embracing it means he has to toss the rest of his life away. House decided to fake his own death and spend the next 5 months with Wilson. At his funeral Wilson gives a real eulogy, telling the audience that House was an pain in the ass. But Wilson gets a text mid eulogy showing that House is still alive. The scene changes to Wilson pulling up in a car. He sees House sitting on a nearby stoop. As Wilson stumbles to him in awe, House says that he managed to get out the back of the building and then switched out his dental records for the patient’s. Wilson tells him he is destroying his entire life; he can never go back. If he does, he will go to jail for years and can never be a doctor again. In response, House says that he is dead and asks Wilson how he wants to spend his last five months. Wilson laughs. In the final visit to PPTH, we see Chase has taken over as the head of diagnostic medicine with Adams and Park working as his fellows; his name is now on House‘s old office door.Cameron goes back to work as the head of the emergency room in Chicago. She gazes at a picture of the old team before she runs over to her husband and child. Foreman goes back to work as Dean of Medicine. He notices his previously shaky table is steady. He looks down to find House’s hospital pass leveling the short leg. He muses for a moment and then starts smiling; he knows House is still alive.House and Wilson are on separate motorcycles on a old-fashioned bridge in the country. Wilson starts to talk about what House should do when the cancer gets worse but House, with the final line of the series, simply says, “Cancer’s boring.”
So needless to say, I have not watched any other medical drama since. Giving Wilson cancer killed me and it was all I could do to make it through to the end. It has some powerful episodes and I still love it 8 years later. That is all for now.
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