First of all, we're not giving out any spoilers until after this paragraph, even though much of the House faithful already experienced the season's jaw-dropping surprise last night. The repercussions are not limited only to the world of House--they go all the way to the top!
As previously teased, House killed off a major character--and one we dearly loved--last night in epic fashion. Yes, it was a suicide as we pieced together, but no, it wasn't who we were expecting.
Dr. Lawrence Kutner, played by Kal Penn, inexplicably took his own life last night, something that will shake Dr. House and the rest of the staff to the core for at least the remainder of the season, said House executive producer David Shore.
"I was probably as shocked as the audience was when I found out," Penn told the media this morning. "The word I keep using [to describe how I feel about leaving] is 'bittersweet.'"
But it wasn't just that it happened, it was how it happened--no explanation, no signs, nothing. Fans are going through all types of emotions--anger, sadness, confusion--in the aftermath, and that's exactly what the producers were going for.
"The suicide was essential to [the story]," Shore told EW.com. "The lack of reason behind it--the lack of answers--was what I responded to and is what I got excited about. House, the man of answers, doesn't have an answer about this guy who he has worked with for two years."
"I like the way it happened," Penn said. "The thing I enjoy about being an actor and the arts in general is the ability to make the audience feel an emotion they weren't intending to when they went in."
"I don't know if you would have gotten that response if it was a Kutner-heavy episode," Penn added, explaining the suddenness of it all.
Penn wasn't written off the show because of behind-the-scenes drama, a desire to move into Hollywood's movie-star elite, or even for creative purposes. Penn actually asked to leave the show to pursue another career: politics.
The actor's next gig will be working with The White House (no, not White Castle) as the associate director in the White House office of public liaison. Seriously. As part of his job, which he was inspired to take partly because of his grandparents' marching alongside Gandhi, he'll be the delegate for the White House to the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.
Did anyone see this coming? And is it too soon to start the Penn/2016 campaign?