House Finale Recap: Did Everybody Die?!

House Series FinaleIf you have yet to watch tonight’s House series finale, run — don’t walk — to the nearest exit. Everyone else, read on…

Holy smokes.

The series finale of House found the cantankerous doc arguing with his subconscious – tricked out with several familiar faces — about why it was time for him to leave the land of the living. (Perhaps you thought selfish House was going to let Wilson steal the mortality spotlight for another episode?) As flames slowly consumed the abandoned building where he lay, it looked very much like the end of the series was going to double as the fiery end of its main character — rather fitting for a man who used his scorched earth policy as a calling card for eight seasons. But a switcheroo in the final act, no matter how unlikely, allowed the ultimate episode to be all things to all people: an examination of altruism, a paean to a great teacher, and a testament to male friendship. Of course, it wouldn’t have been House without a baffling medical case on top of it all. Let’s take a look at the high points of the series finale, “Everybody Dies.” (Or do they?)

Hell of a reunion As flames steadily consumed the abandoned building where he lay in a drug daze, House’s inner self took the form of people from his past. First up was Kutner, who pointed out two important things: the man laying on the floor next to House was dead, and the building was ablaze. We learned that the dead dude was a junkie patient (Girls’ James LeGros) who’d been in House’s care and who, upon learning he was dying of ALS, selflessly agreed to take the fall for the doc’s MRI-ending, season-ticket prank. But as much as House wanted someone to end the possibility of his return to prison — which would make him unable to be there for best buddy Wilson’s final months — he realized he’d misdiagnosed the addict; surgery changed the game, and the patient lived… long enough to OD when he and a despondent House shot up in a drug den. That’s when Kutner arrived, followed by Amber (main point: House doesn’t love helping people, he just loves solving puzzles), Stacy (main point: Though he claims not to, House believes in love), and Cameron (main point: House was arguing with himself until the fire got so bad that fate would make the choice he was too cowardly to make). The blonde’s harsh words snapped him into action. “You’re right,” he agreed, making his way unsteadily to his feet. “But I can change.” Yay! Until…

Up in flames | With an assist from Dr. Nolan, Wilson and Foreman deduced that House was in an emotionally bad place and then tracked him to a physically bad place — the empty, burning building. They watched him limp toward the exit, then seemingly get taken down by a falling beam moments before an explosion blew out the windows. Poor Wilson. He’s having a seriously bad couple of months, no? After a coroner confirmed that a body pulled from the ashes was the Vicodin-popping physician, his friends gathered for a funeral. The show did a nice, concise job of pulling together our old favorites; Cameron, Chase, Masters, Thirteen, House’s mom, and Stacy joined Foreman, Park, Taub, Adams, Dominika, and Wilson. But the cancer patient’s starkly honest eulogy — “The truth was, he was a bitter jerk.” — was interrupted by a text message: “Shut up you idiot.” Either we have a Pretty Little Liars situation brewing here, or… could it be?!?

He lives! Listen. I don’t care how unlikely it is that a drug-addled man who has impaired mobility under normal circumstances (and likely was suffering from smoke inhalation) snuck out the back of a towering inferno unnoticed. I’m also not going to question his convenient explanation that he switched his dental records with the corpse’s. All I care about is that Wilson is going to be able to spend his dwindling days with is best friend. “I’m dead, Wilson,” House said. “How do you want to spend your last five months?” Wilson’s grin was the perfect answer. We even got to see them ride off into the bucolic countryside together! Swoon. (Bonus points, House, for letting us know that Chase took over for his former mentor and that Cameron is happily married with a cute infant and loving husband, and for at least mentioning the much-missed Cuddy at least once during the episode.)

Lines of the night

“Did you never see Dead Poet’s Society? Carpe diem.” — House on his good mood, despite some bad times (and a shout-out to Robert Sean Leonard’s star-making vehicle)

“Blah blah blah” — House’s team talking medical details, at least in his head

“Everybody lies.” — Wilson on the addict’s false home address, and a nod to the title of the series’ pilot

“Cancer’s boring.” — House’s last words of the episode

What did you think? Grade the episode in the poll below and then hit the comments with your thoughts.

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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389 Comments
  1. hollyelese says:

    One of the top show finales, definitely! Thanks, D. Shore and H. Laurie

  2. Marie says:

    It was absolutely perfect. Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard-best actors on television

  3. AJ says:

    I enjoyed it. Really thought they were going to pull the bait and switch and kill House instead of Wilson. Thought I nailed it right up until the text message tone and realized he wasn’t dead. I liked it quite a bit.

  4. Lulu says:

    I too thought House had died in the fire, but only for the briefest of moments. I thought the ending was perfect for this show.
    For everyone wondering “what House will do” after Wilson dies, I would imagine
    he will “come back to life” and face the music for his actions. His only “goal” was to spend Wilson’s last remaining months with him…..the rest of it be damned, I will miss this show even at it’s worst it was still better than half the crap on TV…..jmo…..

  5. Blind says:

    Good , sad no cuddy appearance..

  6. Sharona says:

    Beautiful ending for a show that had a lot of ups and downs. Loved the nod to House’s Holmesian ancestry, House and Wilson going off into the sunset, Chase taking over the department, Foreman’s little smile of recognition, and Cameron being happy in Chicago. Great to see all of House’s “visitors” as well.

    • Gawd says:

      So surprised she’s a mom more than finding someone new. I’m kind of hoping the kid is a boy named Henry

  7. cdgrl says:

    Loved it! I’m glad it ended with Wilson & House. I’ll miss watching Hugh Laurie every week, for sure!

  8. angelofmetallica says:

    It was perfect!

  9. Great ending to one of the greatest shows. House & Wilson off into the sunset! Terrific!

  10. Kristen says:

    My Time Warner Cable recording device decided to not let me know ahead of time that there wasn’t enough room to record the full episode. I was twenty minutes in to the episode itself (like 9:20 PM time) and the screen went black. When I went to check my list to resume watching it (I thought it was a glitch), the episode was no longer there! :( So, now I have no way to watch it. Does anyone know where I can watch this episode asap!? So upset.

  11. Michael says:

    I do not see how cuddy would add to it she would most likely take away from the main cast I did think it was dump that we did not see Chase and Cameron together

  12. Mel says:

    Ultimately,it was about the friendship between House and Wilson. Loved them riding off into the sunset together. The last five minutes made up for a less than stellar total.

  13. Jenny says:

    Loved the ending. It was great seeing all those old faces. I think it’s just perfect to end with House and Wilson riding off into the sunset. As to what’ll happen to House once Wilson dies, I imagine he’ll live a life of debauchery on some far away island with a bunch of exotic women.

    During the retrospective that aired before the finale I noticed a sign of some sort with a dalek on it. Now I’m obsessed with the idea of Hugh Laurie appearing in an episode of Doctor Who. Make it happen, universe!

  14. jennwithapen says:

    For a show that doesn’t do happy endings, I found the ending to be very satisfying. It wasn’t depressing…and yet it still stayed true to what the show has always been about…I especially loved the scenes with Cameron, and very glad that she is, in fact, “fixable” ;-) I thought the finale was pure perfection.

  15. chelle says:

    It ended the only way possible. With House and Wilson together because they failed at every other relationship they tried. I get the feeling that as soon as Wilson succumbs to cancer House will follow.

    At its worst House was a better tv show than almost every other drama on tv. That’s quite a legacy

  16. Kath says:

    There had to be Cuddy. She had a role in House’s life just like any other woman of those who was shown. I’m disappointed.

    • Karo says:

      I thought she will be back too but obviously she didn`t want to come back. #NowSadtruth Ask her why, it is not the producers fault. The House finale was awesome.

  17. From the get go I thought House was going to die and I thought thats what I wanted…until he actually “died” then I was devistated. This way was a perfect ending. He avoids prison, he gets to be with Wilson during his final days, he leaves PPTH and moves on.There’s just enough closure without House actually having to die. And I LOVED how he let Foreman know that he was still alive. My only (very minor) complaint is that they didn’t play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at the end. it was basically a theme of the show for 8 years, they should have played it at some point IMO.

    • nyteflyer says:

      I agree! I was sure that would be the song played during the final scene, but for some reason, the writers dropped the ball on that one.

    • peter says:

      because in the end house ”get everything he wanted” ”he avoids jail and get to pass time with wilson on his last days !!!

  18. esme2288 says:

    Are we so sure they were alive at the end? Isn’t it equally possible that Wilson was meeting House in the afterlife? House couldn’t have known Wilson was speaking when he texted and… Wilson swore he’d turned off his phone and… How could House have switched the dental records without going to the hospital and… How could the series end without ambiguity?

    As for Cuddy – maybe the actress was not available?

  19. jess says:

    i loved it! esp. the fake death part! totally made my inner sherlock holmes fangirl squeal! so sad it’s over now…

  20. AdjuaJ says:

    I think House actually died and Wilson was hallucianting… Too far fetched?

  21. Emz says:

    I loved it, I thought it was great and I am so happy that House gets to spend the rest of Wilson’s life with him instead of missing out on it because of being in jail… I think it wrapped everything up brilliantly!! And as a Hilson shipper, I couldn’t be happier either!!!

    And huddy fans, please move on… LE had the choice, she didn’t want to come back so complaining over something that the actress didn’t do is useless, you have a problem with the ending, take it up with her, not the writers or the cast…

    I just now hope SM can deliver with Sherlock’s return next year…

    • Justin says:

      Lisa Edelstein only has herself to blame. The others actors/actresses agreed to a few less episodes to take a pay cut to bring the show back for an 8th season. If she couldn’t put her ego aside, screw her.

      Also, I thought Jennifer Morrison did an awesome job tonight.

  22. ADC says:

    The relationship between House and Wilson was the best part of this show for me, so I thought the ending was satisfying. Was it the perfect series finale? Definitely not. However, I did enjoy seeing all the returns of past characters (especially nice to see Cameron and Stacy).

  23. Catherine says:

    Well it doesn’t take long for the haters and LE fans to surface. This show has achieved so much over 8 years, that’s 8 years, 177 episodes, 1000s of people have worked tirelessly day in day out to create something which will go down as one of the best shows if not the best character study of at least the past decade. So what LE/Cuddy wasn’t in it, if you drove your car through someones house would you expect that person to go to your funeral? The finale was a fitting end to a terrific series. It gave you what you wanted knowing Wilson and House would have their time together with some nostalgia thrown in for good measure and drama to scare the crap outta you :P Thank you David Shore for a phenomenal character and series and thank you Hugh Laurie for bringing him to life. The show will be greatly missed :D

  24. Niobe says:

    “Is that how our system works? Release the best actors?” Cuddy.

  25. Ron says:

    House gives up his career to take care of the one person he really loved. He threw awsy logic for compassion. Perfect ending!

  26. Jason says:

    It was the exact same finale as Eastbound and Down.

  27. @fabiodito says:

    someone tell me the name of the song at the end when the two are leaving the bike?Tks!!!

    • linda says:

      enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think. if you recall, amber sang that to house when he was hallucinating before going to mayfield, only downbeat, not upbeat like tonight.

  28. Jennifer Vargas says:

    It was perfection, ultimately the greatest character analysis on House and his impact on the team. On top of that we saw that rather than being the guy that is always defined by puzzles and truth, he was a man that sought comfort in his greatest friendship. He was exactly as the illusion of Stacy had described him, a man that understood love, he wasn’t cold. He sacrificed everything for greater meaning and that meaning was encased in those final moments of the episode, riding off with his greatest friend and the person who understood him best! I get you can’t please everyone, but I think David Shore and the rest of the writers hit it out of the park. I loved it, I wish that the entire season has had the characteristics of the finale, but it was great!

  29. Sheri Reid says:

    It was awesome except for the simpering Cameron, although CTB and Stacey made up for her. And loved that House referenced Dead Poet’s Society in the beginning.

  30. Steph says:

    Absolutely loved it! I’m disappointed, however, in Lisa Edelstein’s decision not to return since Cuddy’s absence was definitely felt.

  31. Alternate Peter says:

    House is the best show ever to be created. It may not have had the same level of consistency throughout, but it had a special place in my heart. I could never turn away from the show, even after the Huddy fallout, which was the worst thing that happened to the show. I love Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of House, he deserves to win the Emmy this year, and I hope he continues to be successful. It’s been a fun ride and I will deeply miss this wonderful show.

  32. JB says:

    I hope the cast and showrunners read this, thank you for 8 years of memorable Monday nights. Mondays will never be as good again. I hope there’s a chance we might revisit House one day in a movie. Very happy with howthe show ended, you kept me on my seat. Hugh, you are ny favorite, have been since Blackadder.
    To the Huddies out there- I was a Huddy for a while, glad they explored the notion, but due to Greg’s personality, it’s also best it didn’t hold up. She wasn’t the one. Hell, the Russian was a better match. The show is House, not Huddy. It would make no sense for her to show up after what House did to her house. It also pissed me off when Huddy turned her back on House just because he took drugs again. Families of real addicts know that it happens, and you can’t stop loving them. She became cold, and I can see why House was pissed. She pulled her support of House at that time, from then on, it made no sense for any past relationship between them to be honored in any way. Stacy on the other hand lived as a couple with Greg for many, many years- it made sense he would care what she thought. Although he pushed her away, he knew she made the choice she did for him out of love. The choices of actors on the show was great, the final song was great (and a wonderful shout-out to Amber’s arc). Glad to see the hospital in the care of Foreman and Chase. Makes perfect sense. House trained the team well, and they’re flying on their own now.
    I hope House travels the world, lives it up, and learns to smile more. I dreaded this last show and I was pleasantly surprised.

  33. Karen Spencer says:

    Writers ruined 2 years on Taub and his wife and girlfriends. This season was better as Taub was no longer the focus after House. I am surprised Foreman stuck around the last few years because his role was diminished and boring. Wish that Cameron never left or was never let go. Would have been nice if 13 was around for full seasons but the big $creen was calling. Glad that Wilson was given a better role this season after being squashed by the stupid Taub garbage.

  34. House finally got a peripity and a realization. He finally stopped thinking of himself alone and decided to live out those months with and for Wilson, his friend in every way.
    He transcended a part of his nature that was bitter and selfish. He did know how to love. What a great actor Hugh Laurie is, and how I will miss them all!

    • Hanna says:

      ^This right here.
      Hugh Laurie said something in an interview about how House doesn’t learn lessons, and that won’t change in the finale. I guess you could say there’s still a selfish element to it, in that he gets to be with Wilson. But he gave up everything for that.

  35. jess says:

    I enjoyed it. Maybe not ‘awesome’, but very satisfying, and a fitting ‘ending’ for House and Wilson. Glad they showed us what happened to the rest of the characters at the end. Loved seeing Jennifer Morrison and Sela Ward again. And it was great to see Cameron happy and with a family (and sitting with Chase at the funeral, so I assume they are on friendly terms).
    I also enjoyed the Retrospective before the finale Nice to see those people behind the scenes making it all work.

  36. Reblogged this on The Moon Seen In Water: Quarry Hill's Literary and Artistic Magazine and commented:
    Ah, House, and Mr. Laurie… I love this show. But farewell!

  37. Lisa says:

    Considering it ended like one of my favorite movies, I guess I have to say I was satisfied with the ending. Shawshank Redemption anybody? I’m shocked that no one has made that parallel yet. I will miss this show desperately. I loved the behind the scenes footage, and it made me wish I had worked on the crew for House. :)

  38. Dude says:

    Loved it, one of my favourite series finales. SO nice to see Jennifer Morrison have a big part in the episode. Missed her!

    • Justin says:

      Agree. Ausiello wrote that she was just “making a cameo” but it was much more. She had a big part in tonight’s show and the best thing about it was that it was the Cameron that we all loved from seasons 1-3, not the crazy person they turned her into before writing her off the show. She deserved that and I’m happy for her.

  39. Mary says:

    Around the corner from me the REAL Princeton Plainsboro Hospital (or Princeton Hospital at Plainsboro) opens in just a few days…glad they wrapped it in a way that wills hopefully keeps crazy stalker fans to a minimum…”sorry no House here. He is riding with Wilson…”

  40. “I can change” that alone made the entire series perfect.

    • linda says:

      remember “dying changes everything”? in the face of wilson’s death, house faced his demons and changed.

  41. Emgee says:

    The finale was BRILLIANT! Pure awesome, straight through.

  42. nyteflyer says:

    I thought the first…oh, 50 minutes or so…was pretty ho-hum, but from the point where Wilson and Foreman spotted the burning building, it was exactly as I would have written it. Perfect ending.

  43. Jo-Ann says:

    did formen guess the truth at the end?

    • Katie says:

      Yes, the thing holding his table steady was House’s id tag. That wasn’t there before, so he figured it out. Honestly I was expecting to see that Foreman was the one who identified the body in order to lie for House, since ‘ everybody lies’ . Regardless, glad he knew in the end.

  44. TV Gord says:

    I’m very happy with the ending. I got a lump in my throat when I recognized Warren Zevon’s Keep Me In Your Heart.

  45. Katie says:

    Loved that this ended like Sherlock Holmes’ ‘The Empty House’. Very clever. And I find it so fitting that House and Wilson ride off into the sunset together. Amazing ending.

  46. Hanna says:

    I know this is going to sound stupid, but can somebody explain what was going on with House’s ID under Foreman’s wobbly table?

    • Karo says:

      House`s hospital ID-pass…it was House`s way to tell Foreman that he is alive and hasn`t to feel guilty for House`s death. *bittersweet gesture of House*

  47. Jane-Ann says:

    Loved the ending. This is how a great series should close, not screwing over the long term fans like LOST– an ending I am still so livid about I will never watch another series by the Bozo twins. Great job House &Co.

  48. Dani says:

    This was actually pretty underwhelming. I’m not sure if it’s because I called the fake death thing ages ago, but yeah rather predictable. I like that Chase took over the department though. LE was missed for whatever reason she wasn’t there. I did find Hugh’s comments in the retro about the ‘studio releasing the best actors’ pretty telling.

    Overall sad it’s over, and sad the finale didn’t pack more of a punch.

  49. Karo says:

    I haven`t read all the comments on this place yet…all i want to say that the finale was beauiful done. Loved everything, every introduction of former characters especially Cameron,Kutner and Amber and what they meant to him. It was all kind of awesome and even tops the “the Six feet under” ending. It is was a great,thoughtful ending to an unique Show.

  50. So glad that so many people came back and that there was that funny and caring tribute to the workers on the show and the FANS that Hugh Laurie put together. I love his way of seeing the world and his warmth towards people.
    Think Gregory House will be seen as one of the great, and strange, characters of all time. I appreciate that a person with “issues” (drug addiction because of pain, which IS a real problem for those who are in pain) was allowed to be someone other than a monster and to have a story…. and a great mind.