House

Season 5 Episode 20

Simple Explanation

1
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 06, 2009 on FOX
AIRED:
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
825 votes
54

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The team deals with an older woman who has been tending to her dying husband but is stricken down with an unknown disease that threatens to kill her before her husband. However, they must overcome their own emotions when a tragedy strikes one of their members.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great episode. In every possible way.

    10
    I'm a big fan of House. I've watched it since the beginning but I've never seen such a surprising, shocking and moving episode. One big factor is Kutner's suicide, obviously. Many people criticise it because it is seemingly random and pointless. Sure, Kal Penn has gone to work at the white house, but the writers planned his exit very neatly: if you look closely at the episodes preceding this one ("The Social Contract", "Here Kitty", "Locked In"), even since the beginning of the season, you can see Kutner gradually getting more isolated, without any of the other doctors noticing. This makes it a perfectly believable death.



    The patient is also very interesting, and it goes well with the sad storyline and lighting the episode is based on. I thought the last scene (funeral) was the best House episode ending EVER. The music is sad and beautiful, the reactions of the other characters to the death are very moving: Wilson, Cuddy, Cameron and Chase are devastated and don't say a word, Thirteen and Foreman's relationship is threatened, but the most dramatic reaction is Taub, who seemingly doesn't care, but breaks down at the end and sobs violently in a tearjerking scene. House's fascination for the suicide is also intriguing and very House-ish. And in the very last image where he finds out, with the sad picture of Kutner, that Lawrence Kutner was as miserable as him, but that everyone was too busy with their own problems to notice, and that their lack of help cost him his life. This is one of the best House episodes ever. It made me have tears in my eyes, which I never have in front of movies, even less in front of TV shows.



    Wow, simply wow. And Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard's performances in this episode are staggering. WOW.moreless
  • I'm getting ready to bail on this show (spoiler below)

    4.0
    What a lame and lazy way to write Kutner off the show, by having him commit suicide for no apparent reason. When it was over, my wife said, "Well, he must have wanted off the show"... and she was right. Now it is well known he is going to work for Obama.



    Well, good for him, but think of a more creative way for him to leave. Anyone else on the show would have a reason for suicide, but not him. And, I get their point; sometimes you never know.



    The reality is, of the new crop of doctors, Kutner was the only likable one, and the only good actor of the bunch. This show was much stronger (and better) with the original doctors, two of which pop up in cameos every so often. Now we're stuck with Foreman, 13, and Taub full-time.



    Still, it would have been much better if it turned out to be a homicide, as House suspected.moreless
  • Sloppy, disappointed, how ever you look at it this episode was a let down to its own standards.

    5.0
    In this episode a member of the medical staff commits suicide, and I assure you there is no big build up to it. Kutner commits suicide and house is avoiding the whole mess by thinking it was a murder. Now this episode could have gone an easy route with Kal Penn's leaving of the show and not have done this suicide route. It was absolutely sloppy, there had bin no build up past or present on the show to lead you up to this so there is no emotion connection to drag you in. Plus there was a case of love or death in this mess, which I did not catch since I was all tangled up with what had happened in the beginning. I was hoping for Kutner's death to be in the end of the episode to make you sit there and ask yourself what next what will the team feel. Sadly they did not do that and failed at all levels to grasps the real picture of suicide. I have committed an hour of my life to this show and I am quit disappointed at this, I was hoping for much much much better script writing and was let down.moreless
  • Goodbye Kutner, R.I.P

    10
    House M.D

    Season 5

    Episode 20: Simple Explanation

    The team treat an elder woman who gets ill while her husband is dying. Thirteen and Foreman go to Kutner's place and find him dead with a gun shot on his head by his own hand. House suspects it was murder.



    Excellent episode. So full of drama, strong writting. House suspects murder, he thinks he missed something, but Wilson thinks that House doesnt want to know what he missed but why he missed it. Taub, the one that seems the least shaken by Kutner's death, at the end appearrs crying. Kutner had said that he considered Taub a good friend. Thirteen seemed pretty shaken. Foreman took some days off. House's old team, Cuddy and Wilson seem shaken too. House didnt seem to be affected, but at the end he appeared to me that he was. Excellent episode.moreless
  • Goodbye to one member of the team.......

    10
    In this episode of House, the following happens. We open with a man dying, and as he says his last goodbyes to his wife, her airways close up and there is no one around to help her. When Kutner doesn't turn up for work, 13 and Foreman got o his apartment. When they get there, they discover his body lying on the floor with a gun next to him. Kutner has killed himself, and it's too late to save him. While still working on the patient, 13, Foreman and House go to see Kutner's adoptive parents, to pass on their respects. But of course House says the wrong thing and leaves, to return to the hospital. Soon after visiting Kutner's apartment, House believes that he did not commit suicide, but was in fact murdered. Soon the patient takes some drugs in order to kill herself, which results in her failing liver, becoming worse and therefore she needs a transplant in 24 hours or she will die. So the only thing that will work is her husband's liver, but he will have to die on the table for it to work. Cameron goes to see the husband, and she manages to talk him into it. But she soon thinks that there maybe something else wrong with him and that he may not have cancer. Soon house runs a test on him, and we learn that he does not have cancer, but a mould infection, which they can treat. But says he doesn't want treatment, he would rather save his wife instead. Soon the team learn that she lied about where she went on vacation and that was the key to her true condition. But it comes too late and she now has less than a few hours to live. Everyone heads to Kutner's funeral. We then see that everyone is there at the funeral, to say their last goodbyes to Kutner, but of course House isn't there, and nor is Talb (who is still with the dying patient and her husband). At the end of the episode we see Talb crying in the hospital, and House holding a picture of Kutner, in which Kutner looks upset. This is where House finally begins to believe that Kutner did in fact kill himself.moreless
Lisa Edelstein

Lisa Edelstein

Dr. Lisa Cuddy

Omar Epps

Omar Epps

Dr. Eric Foreman

Jennifer Morrison

Jennifer Morrison

Dr. Allison Cameron

Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer

Dr. Robert Chase

Robert Sean Leonard

Robert Sean Leonard

Dr. James Wilson

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

Dr. Gregory House

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf

Eddie

Guest Star

Mary Jo Deschanel

Mary Jo Deschanel

Julia

Guest Star

Ed Brigadier

Ed Brigadier

Richard

Guest Star

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde

Thirteen

Recurring Role

Bobbin Bergstrom

Bobbin Bergstrom

Nurse

Recurring Role

Liz Benoit

Liz Benoit

Nurse Anne

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • As per information at Kutner's Fox web page, Kutner is 33 during the events of this episode. However, when Foreman was calling the EMTs from Kutner's apartment, he said, "Male, 28 year-old."

    • Trivia: Per the Fox web site, the events of this episode begin on or about April 2, 2009.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Thirteen: She claims he got stronger as soon as she stopped breathing.
      Taub: The mind can heal the body. Seeing his wife in distress might actually have slowed down his death.
      House: Or he just had an adrenaline surge when he saw his chance to hit the singles' market.

    • Dr. Foreman: His parents were shot right in front of him.
      House: Parents are ancient history.
      Dr. Foreman: Not to someone who actually cares.

    • Dr. Cuddy: I'm sorry. I've hired a grief counselor, whom I'm sure none of you will see. And I'm offering time off, which I'm sure none of you will take, but just know it's available.

    • Dr. Cuddy: I'm sorry for your loss.
      House: Thanks, but it isn't my loss.
      Dr. Cuddy: Then I'm sorry you don't think it is.

    • House: Did you let me hire a pervert?
      Dr. Cuddy: Well, it would be hypocritical of me not to.

    • Dr. Cuddy: It's okay. You should be upset. He thought like you. Pushed boundaries like you. He...
      House: If he thought like me, he would have known that living in misery sucks marginally less than dying in it.

    • Dr. Wilson: For the record, I'm uncomfortable violating a dead colleague's dignity.
      House: It's only violating it if you find something.

    • House: You run the echo on the husband?
      Taub: Heart's still failing. The improvement was only temporary.
      House: I prefer the less subtle answer. "You were right, House."

    • Thirteen: How many times have you lied to the transplant committee?
      House: Just twice.
      Thirteen: How many times has it worked?
      House: I... don't quite see how that's relevant.

    • House: They were ready to die... but for guilt, not love.
      Taub: You can't feel that much guilt without love.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Kal Penn asked to be written out of the show because he accepted a job at the White House.

    • The episode ends with a message from www.nami.org (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and a phone number (1-800-273-TALK) to call if someone is in crisis and thinking about suicide.

    • Music: Lose You (Pete Yorn)

    • Kal Penn appears in this episode in photos. According to a yahoo.com interview, he also is on the floor in the apartment when Thirteen and Foreman enter.

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: April 22, 2009 on Network TEN
      Latin America: May 14, 2009 on Universal Channel
      Denmark: August 15, 2009 on Kanal 4
      Poland: November 5, 2009 on TVP2
      The Netherlands: November 5, 2009 on SBS6
      Germany: November 17, 2009 on RTL
      Slovakia: December 3, 2009 on STV1
      Czech Republic: March 31, 2010 on TV Nova
      Sweden: September 21, 2010 on TV4

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • House: Did you deduce that by taking off your sunglasses to the strains of a Who song.
      This is a reference to a common plot device seen on the CBS series CSI: Miami in which the character Horatio Caine (portrayed by David Caruso) deduces something about a crime and removes or puts on his sunglasses as the main title theme Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who begins.

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