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Post-finale breakdown


A man who would deliberately drive his car into a houseful of people to express his rage at the sight of his ex-girlfriend moving on with her life is not the character that I know and love. House not only didn't attack Mark Warner, he did his best to diagnose and save him. He did not attempt to take any kind of revenge on Lucas for wooing Cuddy right under his nose. House lashes out at people verbally, but when it comes to physical violence, we've seen him turn the other cheek over and over again. Even when he punched Chase in "Finding Judas," it was in reaction to Chase grabbing him and trying to keep him from leaving the hospital when he was upset and in withdrawal. So unless there turns out to be a very convincing medical explanation for what we saw (and possibly even then), I will feel like the character of House has been assassinated by its creators.

I do think that no matter what the writers of "Moving On" have said in interviews etc., they have left this ending open to interpretation in the following season. We know that House has been taking high doses of Vicodin, which resulted in very realistic-appearing hallucinations in the past. We also know that the story of the POTW generally serves as a parallel for House, and while there are already many obvious examples here - a (false?) choice between work and love, a loved one trying to prevent self-destructive behavior, the theatricality of House emerging unscathed from the wreckage to hand Cuddy the hairbrush - it seems to me that the faked symptoms are significant as well, and tell us that we can't believe that everything we see in this episode is real.

What do I think is least likely to be real? That final scene on the beach, certainly. It seems too bright and colorful and fake, and the exchange between House and the bartender suggested to me that House is not "home" (in reality) but rather temporarily escaping it. I think that this could be a hallucination... or possibly even a dream while in a coma.

Why might House be in a coma? Witnesses of the shooting on location have reported that a woman (Julia?) was loaded into the ambulance and that the driver of the car (House) went through the windshield during the crash. I don't know whether either of these things are "true," but if actually filmed, they could appear next season. Alternatively, I think it's possible that House never got in his car after coming home from the hospital - that Wilson came to check on him but ended up having him hospitalized for an overdose or something. In any case, I really hope that, ultimately, what we saw is not what we get.

I think that what upset me most was that "After Hours" had left me so hopeful. House had (reluctantly) called on Cuddy to rescue him from his latest exercise in self-destruction, and it seemed by the end as if they might be on their way, not to any kind of romantic reconciliation, but at least to something resembling friendship. And House finally seemed to admit that he was out of control and needed Wilson's help and support to make the changes that he wanted - a theme which was echoed during early scenes of "Moving On" when he said he was trying to get healthy and returned Cuddy's things (after how long??), telling her that he wanted to get back to the way things were before the relationship.

As I understand it, "After Hours" (or some version of it) was originally going to be the season finale before it was decided that a 23rd episode should be written. In light of what went down, or appeared to go down, in the finale, as well as the last-minute outcomes of the negotiations with the network and the actors, I wonder exactly what decisions were made when, and why. Was this meant to serve as the series' finale if one turned out to be needed? Was it meant to set up a situation in which House or Cuddy would leave PPTH? I agree with alternatealto  in her recent post that it would make no sense from a financial (or frankly storytelling) point of view to have House wandering around as a wanted man for the first part of Season 8, which is another argument for all or part of this episode being some kind of dream or hallucination. Or just justification for Cuddy's despair and departure... although in that case, I wonder if what actually happened in the crash was worse than what we thought we saw.

I'm no longer surprised that LE decided to walk away from this show, knowing that this would the final episode of the season. Frankly, it's difficult for me to believe that RSL chose to associate himself with it for another year.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
damigella_314
May. 24th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Frankly, it's difficult for me to believe that RSL chose to associate himself with it for another year.

I have a favorite wacky explanation for that which I'll hopefully manage to write up in the weekend. It involves RPF.
flywoman
May. 24th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
I don't read RPF with the House cast, but I would be interested to hear what your favorite explanation is.
damigella_314
May. 24th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
You can have a look at my lj. There's an entry for you eyes only.
justjuly4
May. 24th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Good review. Share your hopes and worries.

"the bartender suggested to me that House is not "home" (in reality) but rather temporarily escaping it."
good point!

I read RPF (but very rarely like it) and look forward to get a glimpse at Dami's story.
flywoman
May. 24th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
I didn't actually hear much of House's conversation with the bartender because my livestream wasn't working very well. I know the bartender offered House another drink and he said no, he'd had enough (and at first I thought that I must have misheard that!), and someone else reported that the bartender asked whether House was going home and House said not just yet...
pgrabia
May. 24th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
Excellent. I agree with what you've said.
flywoman
May. 24th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It's taken me a while to become coherent enough to compose a post!
barefootpuddles
May. 24th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
House not only didn't attack Mark Warner, he did his best to diagnose and save him. He did not attempt to take any kind of revenge on Lucas for wooing Cuddy right under his nose.

Exactly. This "dark" side of House has been no where to be scene before. They just made it up for these last few episodes which makes me give credence to the heavy vicodin theory.

What do I think is least likely to be real? That final scene on the beach, certainly. It seems too bright and colorful and fake, and the exchange between House and the bartender suggested to me that House is not "home" (in reality) but rather temporarily escaping it.

Sort of like the bus scene with Amber (she also told him to go home too). Or the beach scenes in Locked in. Or the Taco stand in No Reason. There was an unreal feel to it.

I was really hopefully after 'After Hours" too. Now this horrible episode is making it even hard t read old fanfictions. I really hope that you are correct about the openness of the ending. I go back and forth between "it has to be a tumor!" and "the writing of this entire arc is sooo bad that maybe this is David Shore's idea of how realtionships go?"


I'm no longer surprised that LE decided to walk away from this show, knowing that this would the final episode of the season. Frankly, it's difficult for me to believe that RSL chose to associate himself with it for another year.

I had this exact thought about RSL and LE, as did my sister about LE. She said as the show concluded, "Well, no wonder she quit!"

Edited at 2011-05-24 08:01 pm (UTC)
flywoman
May. 24th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
Sort of like the bus scene with Amber (she also told him to go home too). Or the beach scenes in Locked in. Or the Taco stand in No Reason.

Yes! Thank you for reminding me about those *is more hopeful*

I go back and forth between "it has to be a tumor!" and "the writing of this entire arc is sooo bad that maybe this is David Shore's idea of how realtionships go?"

I know, me too... of course I said the same thing about most of Season 7, but this is exponentially worse.
vicpei
May. 25th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
I thought RSL made it (painfully) clear he was in for money. He considers it silly money, but saves it and it allows him to do things he loves. Good enough explanation for me. And he didn't take a pay cut.
I am relieved I am only part of a bunch of people who refuse to see House as a violent man. He is physically impressive, and doesn't seem to mind fighting, but I can't remember him being violent - apart from detoxing and hallucinating. There is no way it can be real, despite what Shore says.
My guess is they wrote themselves in a corner in rewriting/refilming the second part of season, and they don't know where to go from there. So GY goes Inception on Twitter and Shore "all real" in the press. And they'll have to choose, and choose well. There seem to be a pretty amount of upset fans.
flywoman
May. 25th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
I thought RSL made it (painfully) clear he was in for money. He considers it silly money, but saves it and it allows him to do things he loves. Good enough explanation for me. And he didn't take a pay cut.

Yeah, when I thought about this, I realized that RSL already considers working on the show to be whoring himself out, so what difference is a little more insanity going to make to him? And I say this as someone who loves RSL and does not condemn him at all for taking the money to work on the show even if it's not his dream job. I respect the fact that he's thinking ahead and making sure that he can support his family even though he's chosen a very precarious profession.

There is no way it can be real, despite what Shore says.
This is what I would like to believe, but the bottom line is that it's David's bad decision to make.
vicpei
May. 25th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
I don't blame RSL either. As an European, it is an unusual thing to hear, frankness about money. We are not *that* comfortable with it.
flywoman
May. 25th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
I've come to realize that unusual frankness is kind of RSL's thing ;).
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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