House's series finale ominously promised "Everybody Dies."
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But the truer message was closer to "It's a Wonderful Life, Gregory House." Predictably, the final hour focused largely on House (Hugh Laurie), who seemed to have chosen suicide (first by heroin, then by refusing to leave a burning building) as an alternative to heading back to prison while his best friend Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) lived out his final five months.
Standing in House's way, however, were the Ghosts of Seasons Past: Kutner (Kal Penn), Amber (Anne Dudek), Stacy (Sela Ward) and Cameron (Jennifer Morrison). Kutner and Amber encouraged Dr. Crankypants to live so that he could continue to solve the medical puzzles put before him. Stacy and Cameron, meanwhile, sought to remind House that, although he thinks it impossible, he is capable of loving and being loved.
How House ended up in that burning building in the first place was part of the mystery. House first asks Foreman (Omar Epps) to tell the parole board that House is needed to work on a number of serious cases, thus delaying his prison stint. When Foreman balks, House assumes Wilson will take the fall for last week's hockey ticket stunt, therefore creating enough reasonable doubt to clear House's name.
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But Wilson decides he can no longer condone House's bad behavior. "There's only one person you can count on," Wilson tells House. "I thought there were two," House replies. Ultimately, House's drug addict patient (guest star James LeGros) offers to take the fall for House, but House is troubled by his patient's desire to become a better person just because he's dying.
With an assist from (!) Dr. Nolan (Andre Braugher), Wilson and Foreman eventually trace House to the burning warehouse. Inside, Cameron's final words to House, "You're taking the cowardly way out," rouse the good doctor. "But I could change," he says as he heads for the exit. But just before he can push through the front door, the building explodes and collapses.
Even more familiar faces (Amber Tamblyn's Martha Masters, Olivia Wilde's Thirteen) turn up for House's memorial service, which is punctuated by Wilson. "He was my friend," he says. "Gregory House saved lives. He was a healer. And in the end ... House was an ass." Just as Wilson gets really fired up, he receives a text message from... none other than House himself. "SHUT UP YOU IDIOT," it reads.
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Just like Sherlock Holmes, who inspired many of House's characteristics, House faked his own death. But House did so in order to be with his Watson. "I'm dead, Wilson. How do you want to spend your last five months?" he asks when they reunite after House's "funeral."
As Warren Zevon's "Keep Me In Your Heart" plays, we get a last look at some of our team members, including Chase (Jesse Spencer), who apparently has decided to take over House's job at Princeton-Plainsboro. And finally, House and Wilson hop on a pair of motorcycles and head off to complete whatever remains on Wilson's bucket list.
"Everybody Dies"? Perhaps, but for TV's greatest bromance, not just yet.
What did you think of the finale?