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.