Wow. I have no idea where House is taking us in its two-hour finale that started this week, but so far at least, I'm enjoying the ride.
What we know, or think we know: House was in a bus crash. He saw someone dying. But who it was, and what was hurting that person, is locked somewhere in his drug-addled brain (inside his cracked skull, to boot). The episode was spent in a frantic search for what House saw, with hypnosis, reenactments, and some kind of creepy dark bath all playing a part — and in the end, we finally learned who was dying. Or at least who might be dying, if the writers aren't pulling an elaborate "but it was all a dream!" scam on us. To check out my thoughts, just read more.
I'm mad at myself for taking so long to figure out the big twist that Amber was on the bus with House. Between Amber showing up in House's very first attempt at hypnosis and the woman saying "What is my necklace made of?" I should have had it way sooner. On the other hand, though, I loved the chilling feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when the mystery woman's face faded away to reveal Amber's. House hasn't had an outright creepy episode in a while, but the writers do it so well.
Meanwhile: What was Amber doing on the bus with House? Was he wooing Amber from Wilson? Or is there some more complicated explanation for what was going on?
I rarely think of House as a cool show to actually look at — other than the occasional animated foray into someone's bloodstream, every episode mostly looks the same. But the cleverness of the cinematography in this episode wowed me, from the Beer-brand beer in House's recollections to the faceless people on the bus (so eerie!) to the way the scenes kept fading in and out of different layers of House's memory. If the point was to throw us off-track so we could no longer tell what was real and what was a hallucination, well, it worked. I found myself looking for subtle clues — did House have blood on his shirt there? a limp? his cane? — to try to pinpoint where we were in time.
Some other thoughts:
- Thirteen = Hadley? Did you hope her name would be cooler?
- I know, intellectually, that there was no point to House's fantasy with Cuddy as a schoolgirl stripper besides giving Fox something for a salacious promo bit. I do know that. And yet, it still made me chuckle. Now I guess we know what House would want to see in his dying moments.
- Who was the mystery woman House saw instead of Amber? A real person? His fantasy of a beautiful woman?
- "I'm not a lesbian." "I was rounding up from 50 percent."
- Was anyone else surprised how flippant House's team seemed at the beginning? Sure, he was drugged and/or under the influence of his cracked skull, but if my boss insisted someone was dying and only I could help him save that person, I'm not sure my reaction would be "yeah, whatever, page me" – even if my boss were a pathological liar.
- On a similar note, not sure why everyone seemed so shocked that House would put his own life in danger to solve a mystery. Wasn't it just earlier this season that he tried to electrocute himself?
- Best Wilson line in a long time: "The penis-size cortex is set to pathetic."
What did you think? Did you love the episode, or did it frustrate you? What do you think is true, and what's a hallucination? And do you think this is going to come down to some big "House vs. Amber, and only one can live" thing? Cause I'm pretty sure I know who would win that one.
Photos courtesy of Fox