This was a superb episode. I have read other reviews. I think afew people missed some of the metaphors and irony of this. First, since no one mentioned it, House jumping into the Pool was a direct "cleansing" or "born Again Baptism" . Jumping in the water or being dipped. Same thing. House is REBORN is the symbolism. It worked. House has cleansed himself of his guilt, Cuddy, her restrictions, and rules. the Pain exists, the pills exist, bu House lives with them. he will have to find someone who accepts him for who he is not mold him into what they THINK he should be.
The other irony of this episode lies in THE CURE.
House solved a most difficult case (Yes, for the first time in quite a while there was an actual difficult case that could not be cured with an IV drip). But the bullrider, was left a shell of his former self. His non verbal response to Masters was proof that the Life has been sucked out of him. Sure, he is alive, but he can no longer DO what he did. He is LOST, and House is FOUND. That is the BALANCE to this brilliant episode.
ASIDE: This is not related to THIS specific episode but I have a few qualms with HOW House takes medication. The BOTTLE they always show is SMALL.
Vicodin are big pills. If he is taking them by the handful he wouls have empty large bottles around but they always show him holding a very small bottle. I don't know why. Second, if he is in this muchphysical pain, he would have tried more potent pain pills, percocet, Oxymorphine, Oxycontin, even MSIR and methadone. But they stop at Vicodin which although extremely addictive is far less potent than one oxycontin. I assume they are BANNED from showing him taking more powerful drugs..but it does take away from realism.