Robert Sean Leonard on Cuddy Returning for House Finale: 'I Don't Think It's Necessary'

Robert Sean Leonard has a strong opinion on the topic of Dr. Lisa Cuddy returning for the House series finale, airing May 21 — and it may not be what you think.

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During a visit to the long-running Fox drama’s set, TVLine presented Hugh Laurie and Leonard, together, with the question of whether the absence of House’s longtime but former love interest — played by fellow original cast member Lisa Edelstein, who will not be involved in the finale — will make the swan song feel incomplete.

Laurie responded, “Yes, that would be incomplete” — a stance which Leonard quickly countered.

“I disagree…. I don’t like neatness,” Wilson’s portrayer shared. “I don’t think it’s necessary to tie up every character’s story.”

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Citing one example of a show that didn’t dot all the I’s on its way out the door, Leonard hailed the M*A*S*H finale and its handling of the question: How are B.J. and Hawkeye going to say goodbye? “Of course the genius was… they don’t,” he recalled. “I like shows that end without tying things up.”

Besides, Leonard noted, there is no organic reason for Cuddy to suddenly resurface after abruptly leaving House’s orbit when he drove his car into her home in the Season 7 finale.

“House’s relationship with Cuddy deteriorated. She fled the scene, and that’s it. That is the end of the story,” the actor stated. “Why the hell should she come back? To say, ‘House! You forgot this waffle iron’?”

“She’s gone,” Leonard reiterated. “We made the point that she left because she wanted to leave – the character, I don’t mean Lisa. So the story goes on.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

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Do you agree with Robert Sean Leonard, or Hugh Laurie? Will the House finale be “incomplete” sans Cuddy?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Fernanda says:

    The thing is, it’s not about Huddy, it is about Cuddy.
    She is a big part of the show. Love relationship, friendship, doesn’t matter, you can even hate her, but you can’t deny her importance.
    They knew each other for 20 years, he was completely obsessive, and he regretted breaking into her house for god’s sake. You don’t simply forget or ignore the existence of someone like that. The producers don’t even talk about the subject, the name Cuddy was forgotten, and House does nothing and feels nothing about it.
    It just doesn’t feel right, doesn’t feel real. Feels actually like a big hole in the story.

    • Kriszta says:

      Yes,totally weird me,how House and Wilson never speak about Cuddy nevertheless she was one of they favourites thread!!

    • Gillian says:

      THIS, thank you

    • Clarissa says:

      a HUGE hole in the story. I think TPTB wanted ppl to forget Cuddy quickly ignoring her and bringing a new “love interest”. But they failed. People keep asking for Cuddy and wondering what happened to her. We´ll never forget her, no matter how hard writers try.

      • N. says:

        “a HUGE hole in the story. I think TPTB wanted ppl to forget Cuddy quickly ignoring her and bringing a new “love interest”. But they failed. People keep asking for Cuddy and wondering what happened to her. We´ll never forget her, no matter how hard writers try.” This. So much.

      • Christa says:

        I aggre with you,but what is TPTB? :)

  2. Hyperbole Hater says:

    Life is full of “big holes”: unresolved issues, guilt-induced self-excoriation, and a sh*t-load of regret. “Closure” is a rare privilege, not a common thing, like the rising of the sun.

    • tripoli says:

      Well said.

    • Fernanda says:

      You are right, life is full of unresolved issues, but the producers just refuse to explore that issue, that guilt, that regret. This was the real mistake, she can leave, but can’t be simply ignored like they did and are still doing.

      • Clarissa says:

        Exactly House wanted to kill her in one of his lowest moments but he never showed regret for what he did. I can´t enjoy the character anymore. He is not a person i´d like to have around.

  3. merkof says:

    So true!

  4. Marie says:

    IMHO This interview was totally unnecessary, I mean…If the only thing you can say about a main character returning for the series finale is a joke, it’s better you shut up! The way Cuddy left the series was really sad. She didn’t flee because she wanted…remember it! And if other characters will come back to say goodbye I don’t see the point about Cuddy not returning. After all these years, it’s a shame one of the main characters leaves in bad terms with the leader…I think Cuddy and House could have the chance for a little talk…so RSL, it is not about “oh, here your waffle iron”…I used to like RSL, but it’s so irrespectful by himself…I am really disappointed, never expected something like that from him.

  5. Ashley says:

    There’s a bit of a flaw in RSL’s logic, at the end of MASH BJ did say goodbye to Hawkeye, he spelled it out in rocks on the ground as Hawkeye’s helicopter rose from the ground. Just because BJ didn’t verbally speak it, didn’t mean he never said it.

  6. tripoli says:

    Robert Sean Leonard, the lone voice of reason.

  7. lola says:

    RSL should worry more about how the writing of the show is miserable and do some self-criticism. to Mr. robert like to talk

  8. Annie says:

    I disagree with Robert. She was there as a friend for a long time before the whole relationship angle started. She has been there as a boss to save the day when House made a mistake for a long time. Yes, I agree that suddenly appearing in the finale might seem odd but so many characters who have had their goodbyes are coming back. I am not asking them to mend bridges between House and Cuddy. But House owes her a sincere apology and it would be nice to have some closure considering Lisa’s character has been a big part of this show for such a long time. I don’t know about others but Robert used some really poorly chosen words to explain his feeling. At one point it just felt plain rude on his part while read this article.

  9. H says:

    I like Wilson’s character,but the actor not too likeable and not elegant with his colleague!

  10. irishgirl29 says:

    Okay but is no one talking about Cameron? She should be in the finale :(
    She’s been ignored :\ At least with Cuddy they have said she won’t be back.

    • Marie says:

      Cameron left but she once came back to close things with Chase. That character had a second chance to say goodbye.

  11. Amy Doran says:

    Robert is of course entitled to his own opinion. Clearly he was not a viewer of the show. House and Cuddy had a strong relationship even when not romantically involved. It was fun to watch them banter and the show was significantly less fun to watch without Lisa Edelstein’s Dr. Cuddy. As for the House/Cuddy romance which had been building for years the writers did an awful job with once it got underway. Not surprising because they did a terrible job with all major character love stories on the show. House M.D. started out a great show and ended a mediocre one because it didn’t finish the House/Cuddy story.

  12. nádia says:

    Cuddy needed to go back….bu I do not care anymore, I lost interest in House…CUDDY IS ESSENTIAL

  13. Tracy says:

    Don’t care if Cuddy comes back but I’d love to see Cameron! She is the only one I miss and the one House should have ended up with!

  14. djesus says:

    why they still speak about cuddy before the finale? really weird!

  15. rbrown205 says:

    My feelings are mixed, because I am not a Hilson, Not a Huddy – I am a Hudson: House, Cuddy, Wilson. Some of the best scenes are when the three of them interact, or when any two of them talk about the other. The departure of Cuddy means that this won’t happen again, and I am incredibly sad about that prospect.

    Robert said that he doesn’t like neatness, and that he doesn’t think it is necessary to tie up every character’s story.
    I agree, even Kutner’s story ended without knowing all of the story, and we let that go, but it was very sad.

    Hugh said that Cuddy’s non involvement in the finale would make the swan song imcomplete.
    I agree, Cuddy has been in the series for seven of the eight years, so her non involvement would be very sad.

    Lisa has said that she hasn’t talked to anyone over there so it would seem unlikely.
    I agree, if this is HER CHOICE, she has the right to make it, but a lot of people miss her, and that is very sad.

    As a fan of Robert Sean Leonard, I feel incapable of bad-mouthing him for doing what he always does, he expressed his opinion. I can’t fault him for doing that, and cannot imagine that he did it for malicious or greedy, or envious or any-other-negative-adjective reasons.

    Barring any unforeseen occurrence, I will be there for the finale, hoping that The Powers That Be behind the House series do not kill Greg House or James Wilson (or for that matter, Lisa Cuddy), while they are ending the story.

    • Annie says:

      I agree. I don’t like to bad mouth RSL either and I don’t have problems with his opinions but the thing that I do have a problem with is the way he expressed himself. Maybe its just me but it seemed downright rude. Cuddy has been a big part of the show and a character that was closely related professionally and emotionally to both House and Wilson. I just hoped for a closure at some point during this season regarding LE’s character. It feels incomplete to not know anything about her at the very end and I am just very disappointed.

  16. Clarissa says:

    No, Cuddy is not needed. That´s what the show just survived one episode without her. After the much hyped premier the show went down in the demos to a 2.5 and never recovered. Now is barely pulling a 2.0. Your argument is invalid RSL. The show tanked without Cuddy.

  17. Leandro says:

    I just discovered this interview and I think something must be wrong. Why RSL is saying that? I know probably he, as most of us, is so tired of people only asking about Lisa Edelstein, but the question could be responded in the same way that Hugh did. I respect his thoughts about any chance of Cuddy coming for the finale, but I don’t share it and I really confused about his opinion. I always thought Wilson and Cuddy were friends and I think that Wilson would be happy if Cuddy and House had a chance to talk about what happened. I remember when Cuddy made that kind of couple therapy trying House and Wilson fixing their problems. And I remember when Wilson supported Cuddy after House’s weading. So I don’t understand why RSL made those declarations. I am sad and I think maybe there is a problem with the actress who portrayed the character, even if he said he was talking about Cuddy, not about Lisa Edelstein. I am a big fan of House, I still watch the series but I miss Cuddy, it would be fantastic seeing her again, though I will watch the series til the end, I don’t agree with Robert here.
    Sorry if I have mistakes but I usually don’t speak English. Thank you for the interview, though it supposed a big disappointment for me to reaf it.

    • maro says:

      I think you right. RSL’s phrasing “We made the point that she left because she wanted to leave – the character, I don’t mean Lisa.” fits more LE’s departure than Cuddy’s.
      Cuddy left, not because she wanted to but, because she probably could not face the memories connecting PPTH with House. LE apparently left because she wanted to do so.
      I also miss Cuddy, the early seasons Cuddy that was feisty and a worthy opponent of House. Since she became a mother she lost her sense of humour but was still a countervailing force to House. In Se 8 they failed to introduce such an element to rein in House, just the fear of prison and that is a poor substitute to Cuddy.
      On the other hand I rather agree with RSL that at these final moments the return of Cuddy would have been a meaningless patch on the fabric. Better stay with the hole, incomplete. It is more honest.

    • Dolcetti says:

      Leandro you wrote everything perfect!I agree!

  18. jj says:

    It is really irrelevant whether Cuddy comes back or not. House has not been House for a long time. Had David Shore and company actually show Lisa Edelstein the respect she deserves and resigned her we will not be talking about the series finale. Having Foreman as the Dean is a complete joke.

    • Karomana says:

      LE is the one who refused to re-sign.
      In any case, LE/Cuddy or not, I do not think the show could have lasted for longer. House has been completely unveiled as a character, down to his being capable of violence.He has lost his mystery and has become too familiar. We know how bad and how good he can be so there is little to surprise and excite us anymore.
      More shocking moments? No thanks! Only his changing would be a worthwhile ‘shock’ but that would negate the darkness of the show.
      House changing could only be valid as the final plot. After that House would not be House.
      So , yeah, Cuddy is by now irrelevant but that has nothing to do with Foreman!

      • jj says:

        Lisa did not sign because she was not given a reasonable contract.

        Foreman, who has to crawl back to PPTH because he couldn’t get hired anywhere else, suddenly gets the Dean of Medicine position? Absolutely ridiculous.

        The series could have easily gone at least 2 more seasons. Numbers were quite steady although there are some slight decline. But this year, the numbers were down by almost 50% in viewership and the demos number are bad also.

    • Bob says:

      Lisa quit, she didn’t want to return to the show…what kind of respect do you think she isn’t getting???? Her character moved on, and so did Lisa in her real life; there is NO reason at all for her character to return, you couldn’t possibly explain it. “House” is the focal point of the entire show – let’s just sit back and watch the characters on the show give us a terrific ride to the end of an era :)

  19. Astrid says:

    I’m actually disappointed that Cuddy/Lisa isn’t coming back. I think they killed off the storyline between House and Cuddy way too early and way too incomplete. I seriously miss Cuddy very much, and it will never be the same without her.

  20. Sally says:

    I totally agree with RSL. Gosh, when I thought I couldn’t love him even more, bamm, he says something like that and proves me wrong.
    I couldn’t care less if Cuddy comes back, on the contrary, I don’t want her to come back. In real life relationships/friendships don’t always end with a “proper” goodbye either. People get hurt, move on and leave. End of story. It would be insanely stupid to bring Cuddy back. So not thanks. The story moved on, so should her fans.

    • Bob says:

      Amen…never a Cuddy fan personally. We already had closure for the whole Cuddy/House story…it’s history; so move on people – they all have!!

  21. Annabelle says:

    He’s not bitter, my gosh people he is giving a “creative” opinion…and if you aren’t in, or have never been involved in the television business you are just speaking purely from emotions here. I totally agree with him, I hate shows that wrap everything in a neat box with a pretty bow on top!!! There is no reason for Cuddy to return, in real life a person in those circumstances would never return either! Not everyone is happy with how things end in “tv land”, but just be thankful for the great ride that has been “House” over the past 8 years =D

    • Bob says:

      Well said! Through all the ups and downs we are all still “House” fanatics – so thanks to the cast, crew, and everyone who made this wonderful show possible. Cheers…

      • Maria-Eleni says:

        True, true & true!
        It has indeed been a wonderful, exciting eight years, the ups definitely outnumbering the downs, but all great things come to an end.
        I just pity those who cannot enjoy the show anymore and do not feel the anticipation of the finale.
        Thanks, thanks & thanks again to the superb cast, writers and crew who made House one of the greatest TV shows ever.
        And , i have to say, the ” waffle iron” is one of the best Houseian or rather “Wilsonian” remarks in it’s snarkiness! Up five, RSL!

  22. Volta says:

    Some of you guys do realize that Hugh Laurie isn’t House and Lisa E. isn’t Cuddy, right? Good Lord.

  23. Andy says:

    I was asking myself…if Wilson was more important than Cuddy in the series…and if Cuddy was only a secondary character who really wasn’t important…WHY THE VIDEO ABOUT HOUSE IN THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF FOX IS ONLY ABOUT HOUSE AND CUDDY? Well, we can see one clip with 13 and Foreman, but no clue where is Wilson…really weird, don’t you think?

  24. Camila says:

    If Wilson wasn’t so sick right now, I’d kill him! Cuddy matters to the series more than he did, wanting him or not. Take the reatings as an example.

  25. Josh says:

    ‘How are B.J. and Hawkeye going to say goodbye? “Of course the genius was… they don’t,” he recalled. ‘


    BJ spelled out “Good bye” to Hawkeye in the rocks.

  26. DebraGene says:

    I stopped watching when Lisa E left and would only watch the finale to see the Cuddy character return.

  27. Moomoo says:

    I’m a strong Cuddy hater, but, given the fact that many many episodes were devoted to Cuddy, she should have been at the fracking funeral, at least. If Cameron and 13 came back to eulogize House, then Cuddy should have at least been mentioned even if only as someone too damaged by House to appear. Very disappointing.

  28. Sharon says:

    I kept waiting for Cuddy to appear in this last and final episode. She was so much a part of the show and should have been in it like the others were.

  29. Pat says:

    Very much agree and as series finale wrapped up the real love story was left standing-House and Wilson.DS did a brilliant job wrapping up a series on such short notice and Wilson has been the one constant in Houses life and their relationship was the core of the show,

  30. katrina says:

    Hello Robert sean leonard you can Latvian talk?In case number time to give please please!!!!!

  31. ronniementonrmenton says:

    She should have been at the funeral. Even long suffering enemies pay their last respects.

  32. Joshua says:

    Load of crap. It’s his funeral, not a lost waffle iron. Her departure was inexplicably abrupt. Her showing up would have made vastly more sense than Cameron coming back. Hell nothing made sense about her. That trollop was already married with another kid? Half that stuff was unnecessary. Cuddy was not.