Every House episode is really just a series of games House plays — with Cuddy, with Foreman, with his patients' lives — but this week's episode took things one step further. For the final challenge before picking his new team, House set the final four candidates loose on an aging punk rocker with symptoms that were either drug abuse or something more. In the end, he did actually buckle down and choose a team, but of course I'm not going to reveal the names up here. For that you'll have to
This episode was all about being right — the risks you take (or don't), the consequences, the reasons it might be OK to be wrong sometimes. We've seen in other episodes how much Amber thrives on being right — you don't get the nickname Cutthroat B*tch for nothing — but this episode made it clear that she not only requires perfection of herself but also asks for it in others. She couldn't deal with the rock star who didn't care about things; she thought he was wasting his life, and for whatever reason, being anything less than 100 percent right would be a waste of hers. But that was her downfall: Striving to be right all the time is the enemy of what House does. His process requires numerous guesses and tests and trials, and he's always wrong at least once, but he uses those wrong answers to find the right one. Amber's mistakes, and her unwillingness to admit them and move on, got her cut from the team.
That leaves Taub, Kutner, and Thirteen as House's new staff. Their hiring — Thirteen's in particular — came from yet another of House's games with Cuddy. She recommended candidates to him because she thought he'd do the opposite; he hired two men, knowing she'd be angry there wasn't a woman in the mix. He ended up with three out of the final four — not the 3.5 he'd hoped for, but close enough. I wonder how they'll be able to work together now that they're not competing anymore.
Meanwhile, Wilson actually had a subplot! And it fit quite nicely into the overall theme of the episode, too: He told a patient he had six months to live, then learned three months later that the test results had been false and there was nothing wrong with the patient at all. It was pretty similar to a recent Grey's Anatomy story, right down to both patients wanting to sue the hospital for giving them their lives back, but this one worked better for me on the strength of the House/Wilson interplay. Their screaming match was a highlight for me: "Dying's easy. Living's hard." "That can't possibly be as poignant as it sounds."
Some other thoughts:
- I loved the reminder that money's not a big deal to House, but threatening to move his parking space? That's serious stuff.
- Chase pointed out a nice truth about the Foreman/House relationship: Foreman trying to stop the game is his role in the game.
- House on how he knew Wilson was going to pay off his patient: "You usually keep your checkbook at home. It's your go-to excuse for why you can't lend me money."
- Great description of Cuddy: "the face that launched a thousand long faces."
So, did the final episode play out the way you were expecting? What do you think will happen to Chase and Cameron now? And how upset are you that this was the final House till 2008?
Photos courtesy of Fox