House's Series Finale: Cancer's Boring

By Jen Trolio

May 23, 2012

House ended its eight-season run like so many TV shows do: bittersweetly, with a few great nods to past seasons, some inevitable cheesiness, and a comforting sense of closure. Monday's series finale, "Everybody Dies," was basically a variation on the ol' life-flashes-before-a-possibly-dying-character's-eyes story: Our good doctor was seemingly headed for death by smoke inhalation in a burning building, spending his last moments alive chatting with hallucinated people from his past. And even though I think it would have been a cool, ballsy move to end House by also ending its title character, the show seemed destined for a more uplifting send-off. So what happened instead—House decided to save himself, then faked his death with a dental-records switcheroo and ran away with Wilson to make the most of Wilson's last few months—felt appropriate in that cantankerous, Gregory House-y kind of way.

Plus, there's nothing like a funeral to give TV writers a chance to revel in the series they've worked on for the past however many years—to literally eulogize the character or characters they've created. As House's friends, coworkers, and family each stood up to speak about the impact he had on their lives, they listed the character traits that made House such a compelling character in the first place.

"He was my boss, and then my employee. And both times, I learned from him."

"He made me a better parent, whether he meant to or not."

"He wasn't always easy to deal with."

"Somewhere in there, he knew how to love."

And then it was Wilson's turn:

He was my friend. The thing you have to remember, the thing you can't forget, is that Gregory House saved lives. He was a healer. And in the end... House was an ass. He mocked anyone—patients, coworkers, his dwindling friends—anyone who didn't measure up to his insane ideals of integrity. He claimed to be on some heroic quest for truth, but the truth is, he was a bitter jerk who liked making people miserable. And he proved that by dying selfishly, numbed by narcotics, without a thought of anyone. A betrayal of everyone who cared about him—

Then came the disruptive ring of a cell phone and the incoming text: "Shut up, you idiot." Okay, so we don't know how the funeral actually ended or how House pulled off the cell-phone-in-Wilson's-pocket thing, but I guess sometimes you have to gloss over the nitpicky stuff in the name of a nice moment. And so after the somewhat obligatory Montage of Poignancy wherein Foreman and Taub and Chase and all the rest went on living their lives with the lessons House had taught them, House and Wilson hit the road in a fitting tribute to the friendship we've watched grow over the last eight years.

Ride, House and Wilson. Ride like the wind.

All told, "Everybody Dies" certainly had its flaws—but so did Dr. House, and a lot of people loved him anyway. Were you satisfied with how things turned out?


– What did you love or hate about the finale?

– Did you believe House died in the fire?

– What were your favorite lines/scenes of the episode?

– Do you wish Cuddy/Lisa Edelstein had come back for the big finish? Which returning-character cameos were your favorite?

– How do you think House and Wilson are spending Wilson's final days?

UPDATE: I should have clarified—when Lisa Edelstein left the show, it was over a contract dispute. Fox wanted her to take a huge pay cut, and she decided she could do better... fair enough! Beyond that, it was in the news a couple months ago that she wouldn't return for the finale; I'm not sure whether it was Edelstein or House's producers who made that call. Basically I didn't expect to see her, but I know a lot of fans wanted to... and I was a teeny bit optimistic that the show would surprise us regardless of what was in the news.

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  • artemis39 Nov 28, 2015

    The House finale was the best ever, period. I loved every minute of it. House really came through for his buddy, Wilson.

  • dennislundin52 Jan 15, 2014

    I have watched all seasons 2 times becasue i just love the character hugh does as House. It is not often better acting is shown on tv. It made me happy when watching a few episodes on the trot but when i got to the last episodes of season 8 i realised where this was going and thought about starting watching season 1 again and so on, just becasue i started to feel sad over the fact it was going to be over. I still dont accept it being over since i loved it so much. And i hat the ending. I hate it so much i have trouble watching it again if whant to. The character House and the episodes made me happy all though it could be sad episodes but the way Hugh did the character it was still something to look forward to. But the last episodes from where Wilson got cancer, where only sad and nothing else. And i hate that. I regret watching season 8 and i think i`m gona start over again with season 1 and stop after season 7 to keep the memory of it all a little brighter.

  • UpcomingDoctor Jul 07, 2013

    House.MD should come back for a season 9. It inspires so many people into Doctorhood. Cuddy should have returned to say a few words at his funeral and a glimpse of what happens after the 5months House and Wilson spend together would be great too. But I guess all great this come to an end. House is great and his quotations live on forever.

  • JasvinderChat Nov 10, 2012

    omg..just discovered house..where can i watch first episode..its being repeated in uk at the moment..where house has to fire of his members..:(

  • EdwardYasko Sep 22, 2012

    What if House actually died in the fire. The text was just some erroneous cell phone malfunction, actually displaying an old text. When Wilson actually meets House they are both dead. Kind of like House waiting for him in the afterlife.

  • NadiaVeleva Jun 14, 2012

    haha, should have seen it coming!! faking death that is - the show started like Sherlock Holmes and ended like it too!! :) only telling his best friend Watson, errr Wilson, I mean ;)

  • frosty_ice May 29, 2012

    Awesome ending. I really thought that House died... well, that is, until I saw the cellphone scene... there, I knew he was alive. I think whatever House and Wilson do on the next 5 months, I'm sure they are going to have fun.

    A really awesome ending, worthy of this series, which we will all miss very much.

  • Daniel-Jackson May 27, 2012

    Cuddy would have fit in nicely with the halucinated people. Apart from that it was a very satisfying finale.

    It would have felt wrong somehow if House had just died after deciding to live. But he also had to be taken out of the picture somehow. We know from experience that he would just get back to the hospital if he would have gone to jail and it would have been cruel for Wilson, so this is an interesting way to end it and bring real closure.

    It is rare to see a show end in a satisfying way. I'm glad House did. I will miss the show but I also feel that the time was there to end it.

  • MinaHaroun May 27, 2012

    it was a good ending.....except some things didnt make the dental record thing.... house went to prison....they should've had his DNA from that to make a match to the corpse.... also, the corpse .... were they getting high together when the guy died or was this pre-planned?

    also, i didnt miss Lisa Edelstein at all this season..... i kinda wish house would've worked things out with his "wife" and ended up with her....

    last but not does flushing season tickets down a toilet do soo much damage.... and how the hell was in considered criminal vandalism and if the hospital wasnt gonna press charges how is it even criminal....

    but i understand its a tv show..... and not real life.... so it was a good ending .... not EPIC but good :)

  • bluemorphotat May 27, 2012

    Well I had problems getting into it at the beginning... I was thrilled to see Morrison & Wilde though...

    When they mentioned the dental records, I had a tingling, and then we were at the funeral... and I thought: wouldn't it be cool if House pulls a Huckleberry Finn? LOL

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