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House Finally Blows His Own Mind

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Contributor:
Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee

Okay, who saw the Season Finale of House last night?
My gosh, it was a feast of self delusional, hallucinatory goodness, wasn’t it?
 
If you weren’t sure, yes, you have reached the in-depth House analysis blog; bear with me; it’s my Exhibit A of Shows I Actually Watch.
 
For those of you that were somehow maimed, curled in the foetal position in the corner of your bathroom, or were too busy burning your kitchen down because you forgot to add the water to your pasta: you are excused, and have the next three seconds to navigate away from the page to avoid any spoilers, ready?
 
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Alright, for those who did not have the required excuses and those who actually watched it; the overview is:
 
Season Four and Five of House has seen several changes in cast; most significantly in the characters of Kutner, who commits suicide, and Amber, who dies from flu/bus crash/kidney failure (watch the Season Four Season Finale).
The older ducklings, Cameron, Chase, and Foreman take a little more of a backseat to the newer ducklings Kutner, Taub, and Remy (Thirteen.)
Hook ups/ Almost Hook ups/ Break Ups: Cameron and Chase, Thirteen and Foreman, Taub and His Wife, House and Wilson (I was just kidding), House and Cameron (the show’s writers were just kidding), House and Cuddy (HouseCuddy shippers win.)
Cuddy adopts a baby, Chase proposes to Cameron, Thirteen is diagnosed with Huntington’s, Wilson finds his long-lost brother and grieves for his girlfriend, Amber, who also didn’t make the cut for House Duckling Group Number Two.
 
This last little plot point turns out to be a major one as towards the end of this Season our almost anti-hero House starts to hallucinate.
He hallucinates Amber, who goes everywhere with him a la Mary’s lamb. This is possibly not a good analogy as Mary’s lamb didn’t start manipulating Mary into killing people.
Let’s move on. Amber, as part of House’s subconscious mind, starts to sabotage the cases, which scares him halfway to hell because this means he’s either seriously losing the plot or is affected by the Vicodin he downs like candy.
 
Turns out, pretty much both.
 
In a brilliantly executed plot twist, (brilliantly executed here meaning no way did anyone see this coming) after managing to detox House in order to get rid of said hallucinations of Amber, House and Cuddy sleep together in the appropriately titled “Under My Skin.” In the even more appropriately titled “Both Sides Now”, last night’s Season Finale, House is, as he warns his medical team “In a good mood.”
He’s slept with Cuddy, has kicked the Vicodin, is in hardly any pain, and has battled a whole host of inner demons and won.
What’s more, he’s made a connection with another actual human and he’s not crazy, as Amber is nowhere to be seen. House can trust himself with patients again.
Our damaged, brilliant, sarcastic hero with the desiccated heart is close to human being status in this episode, which, clearly, means it’s all going to go to hell.
 
The other characters think so too, and there’s not so much a shower as a deluge of foreshadowing throughout the episode that not everything is as it seems:
 
The Patient of the Week’s left hand appears to hate him, leading House to expound on the many wonderful features of the left brain, in that it is “the one that is obsessed with finding answers”, and the right brain is “a loser.” (No prizes for guessing which side House identifies with more.) House then proceeds to play with Cuddy’s lipstick tube throughout the episode.
Straight after House’s just-about-genuine “Good Morning, Sunshine” to Cuddy and his subsequent blatant come ons, comes the pronouncement from his new lover: “People who get close to you get hurt.” Exit Cuddy. House officially shot down.
Undeterred, House confides his conquest to Wilson, who proclaims “This is fantastic! How’re you going to screw it up?”
Still undeterred, House goes after “convoluted, wrong and stupid” solid proof, using a thermal imaging camera and analysing Cuddy’s coffee in an effort to convince himself of her love for him without actually having to talk to her.
He does hit on something (largely unpronounceable for me, sorry.) It’s now Wilson’s turn to shoot him down, declaring “It’s either love or rage,” and asks House to be an adult and confront Cuddy.
Thirteen, observing the patient with the fighting left and right brain and also the laws of exposition, says “If he’s two people, we’re all two people and we don’t know it.”
More foreshadowing rears its ugly head, with Patient of the Week tearfully saying of his left hand “It does things I would never do,” leading House to criticise his patient’s dominant right brain (where feeling and emotion lie). He tells his team to “Find out what damaged his heart before it goes after something he really needs.”
Cameron, the lover of lovers, goes to House for relationship advice; a suicidal mission for most people, but who picked up on the House/Cuddy vibe practically before House and Cuddy did.
House, too afraid to act like an adult and confront Cuddy after her seeming-rejection of him, but convinced he needs to make her angry to get her to talk to him, proclaims that he slept with her in front of the entire hospital. Make Cuddy Angry Campaign: Win.
 
Things start to snowball as House realises his B-Storyline is not sick with what he thought he was sick with; his A-Storyline is also not sick with what he thought he was sick with; his team diagnose the Patient before House does.
In the hardest ever last five minutes of an episode for me to watch, House finally confronts Cuddy about why she’s avoiding him after he’d detoxed from Vicodin, and they’d slept together.
 
Cuddy, it turns out, actually left the office last week. She didn’t go home with him; she didn’t sleep with him; House didn’t detox. The lipstick? A bottle of Vicodin.
House’s left brain is his filter for the world, his “Interpreter of reality”. If truth is filtered through our experiences, through how we perceive ourselves and others, how do we know we are not in a locked room somewhere, being fed what we believe we know?
House had hallucinated the whole thing.
His left brain that he relies so intently on, blew a fuse; his right brain conjured a fantasy. Everybody lies; even House, to himself.
Making things worse, DeadAmber makes a timely reappearance, saying “So this is the story you made up about who you are.”
Then, as the kicker, DeadKutner appears in the corner of Cuddy’s office, saying “Too bad it isn’t true.”
 
It was a brilliantly written, acted and cinematographed episode juxtaposing solace and loss, love and anger, the choice between loving someone and being alone.
They also had a very literal analogy going with the Patient of the Week, whose left brain appeared to be fighting with his right brain.
 The end scenes made sure we’d always be disappointed with whatever they’re putting on at 8.30 p.m. next Tuesday, with Cameron and Chase getting married in the sun; brilliant flowers everywhere and a happy crowd; Cuddy watching in a bright red dress.
 
And House, walking off, not into the sunset but into the cold, grey Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital, alone but for Wilson watching him go.
 
Can’t wait for Season Six!
 
 

 

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