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House Season Five Finale Recap: Episode 24, "Both Sides Now"

House Rundown: Episode 24, "Both Sides Now"

After last week's episode of House, I wondered how House would cope in a world where he was no longer on drugs. I was also curious to see what would happen to the sexual tension between House and Cuddy now that they've apparently done the deed. How did it all go down in Monday's season finale? If you're ready to talk about it, just


Well, that explains a lot. A few things about last week's resolution seemed too good to be true: Do you really detox from Vicodin in less than 12 hours? And would Cuddy really choose to make out and even have sex with a man she'd been watching sweat and vomit all night? It turns out those things were too good to be true. Instead of coming home with him, Cuddy walked out after House insulted her. Instead of detoxing, House kept right on taking pills. Instead of twirling Cuddy's lipstick all day, House has been playing with a pill bottle. It was all — as the visions of Amber and Kutner tell House — the story he made up about himself. "Too bad it isn't true," Kutner adds. So while the rest of PPH is celebrating Chase and Cameron's wedding, Wilson's driving House to a mental hospital.

I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about this bait-and-switch. I'm not one of the Huddy worshipers who's sad the two of them didn't actually have sex; I figure that'll happen in due time. But I do have some questions about why the House writers used this twist — questions I'll have to wait till at least next season to have answered. These hallucinations are different than the others; why doesn't House just keep seeing Amber? (Is it because he was taking oxycodone instead of Vicodin? That's what I thought, but Fox's official recap says otherwise.) And what does it mean that in House's little fantasy, he is the good guy who detoxes and woos the woman he loves? By being in a mental hospital, it seems like House is serious about getting help and getting clean, and that leaves me wondering the same thing I asked last week: will House without pills still be the same crotchety, brilliant doctor we've come to love?

Meanwhile, Chase and Cameron start out this episode virtually broken up; Chase wants her to destroy her ex's sperm, and she can't do it. I like that it's House who finally convinces her just to take the leap — and that Chase tells her not to. He realizes now that she's not insecure about their relationship; she just can't get rid of the last part of someone she loves. Luckily, Cameron hadn't canceled the wedding plans, and now the two of them are actually (and finally) married. Which probably would have been a lot sweeter if I could have turned off the part of my brain that was thinking about the pair's real-life canceled wedding, but oh well.

Some other thoughts:

  • Some of my favorite moments in this episode were basically wordless: the patient's wayward hand stroking his girlfriend's cheek; House looking bedraggled and a little bewildered when Cuddy leads him to Wilson's office; Cameron and Chase mouthing "I do." The director of this episode has done some of the coolest House moments (this season's "Locked In" and last year's "House's Head," among others), and I really like his style.
  • Speaking of the patient, I loved that case. What a fascinating and creepy idea that part of your body could just disobey the rest of it! Not only did it work well as a parallel to House's story, it also included a few great medical moments, including that test with the words popping up on the screens.
  • Carl Reiner! Man. He's amusing as a pest who won't leave House alone because of his squawking problem (funny that we never actually hear him squawk) and then so, so sad when House realizes he probably has a tumor.
  • Is that a naked pirate House uses to torment Cuddy?

So: what a rollercoaster! Was this a suitable finale? Are you intrigued to see where the show goes next?

Photos courtesy of Fox

HellooQueen HellooQueen 8 years
Why was it winter at the mental hospital (in Pennsylvania), and summer at the wedding (in New Jersey)? I'm sure it was just for mood, but it annoyed me so much.
Blessed2x Blessed2x 8 years
Loved this finale, but it did leave me sad.
grizzbabe grizzbabe 8 years
Wow! I am totally blown away by the end of the season arc. The past 3 episodes have made a very compelling story, and I was completely unprepared by the season finale's twist ending. A big applause for the writing team and for Hugh Laurie who totally sold that 5 minute montage of House replaying his version of last night's events to the reality. I bought House's recovery and bedding of Cuddy hook, line and sinker and spent most of the episode concentrating on the POTW. I loved how this episode played with the communication and links between the right and left side of the brain, and how House did have to admit that the left side of his brain was more than the "mute" stupid side of his head. It was House's left side of the brain that had been trying to tell him the real reason behind his clinic patient's squawking all along. It was trying to aid him in his patient's case, while at the same time fueling House's idealistic picture of his recovery and relationship with Cuddy. Seriously, it's going to take a while before I stop gushing about how awesome this finale was, but it was the 2 prior episodes that allowed the finale to have its full impact. Where does House and "House" go from here?
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
Anonymous, he was referring to the detox scene, I think.
kmckay kmckay 8 years
this episode left me so depressed! don't get me wrong... it was a great episode but still- maybe i was just in a mood but even a wedding didn't lighten my spirits. so sad... love house
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I knew it wasn't real, I told my bff during the week, I think House is hallucinating. There are signs. They finally tipped him over the edge, and it was nice how concerned Cuddy was, considering how angry she was at the time. She finally got the nerve to fire him! The episode was great, loved the POTW, and the clinic patient, hell yeah to Carl Reiner and the fact House might have actually felt something for a patient. I even liked the resolve with Cameron and Chase, that it wasn't doubt, she just didn't want to let go of the last thing she had from a person she loved. LOVED Wilson taking House to the hospital, and that little smile he musters up right before the door closes. BEST line of the night: "I'll go get my decoder ring". Man I love Wilson, and the Wilson/House friendship. It was even cool the way Wilson and Cuddy never really talked, so they didn't realise there might be a serious problem. Wilson tries, but Cuddy dismisses it before the "facts" come out. If someone told me this was the Series Finale, I would have believed it.
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
Gigi_s, it was most definitely a psychiatric facility. The very last images you see of House's side is Wilson looking very distraught and the name of the facility as House walks up the stairs along with the doctor in a white lab coat. You also see Cuddy at the wedding about to cry because of House's deteriorating condition. It takes a special kind of actor, in my mom and my's opinion, to button up his shirt with one hand and unbutton it with the other. I loved how his left hand was showing the doctors the answer by throwing the deodorant. I do find it sad that he had to have brain hemisphere separation when his problem was in the deodorant the entire time.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
Yes, it was a mental hospital
gigi_s gigi_s 8 years
Okay, my DVR cut off at the very end. Was it definately a mental hospital and not rehab?
Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
I love Ashton Holmes, so I was happy to see him in this ep. I'm glad the hookup was not real (and it sure explains the overnight detox), but I also liked how concerned Cuddy was when House was in her office realizing it had all been in his mind.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Great recap, Buzz! The finale was satisfying, leaving just enough questions unresolved to make me realize just how much I miss House already! The friendship between Wilson and House is amazing; those final scenes were filled with emotion. House recognizes that he's in trouble which is a great first step; it will be interesting to see what character changes are made for next season--and if they stick. The moment when he asked Taub to stay with the patient was wonderful. Glad, too, that there finally was a wedding!
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
This was such a good episode! I'm a little sad that they didn't actually hook up, but it will happen eventually so we just have to be patient. Naked pirate? Heck yes. The patient was so cool! How much does that suck that he probably never needed the brain surgery that caused the hand thing in the first place. Very cool though.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I wasn't shocked House and Cuddy didn't actually do it. I liked this episode and can't wait to see what happens next season. I felt so bad for the poor little old man at the end but i liked that House to Taulb to stay with him. I was glad Chase and Cameron finally got married it was really sweet when he told her not to get rid of it and she started crying. I also thought of there real life break up and wondered if it was awkward for them.
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