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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

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