Hugh Laurie, <i>House</i> Hugh Laurie, House

[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the Season 7 finale of House. Read at your own risk.]

House creator David Shore always wanted for the Fox drama's seventh season to deal with the relationship between House (Hugh Laurie) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) once and for all. And then Edelstein decided to leave the show.

Lisa Edelstein leaving House

"[It was] more once and for all than we had intended perhaps," Shore tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. Indeed, the finale — which ended with House intentionally crashing his car into Cuddy's house in a fit of jealousy — gives Shore and his writers an obvious way to write Cuddy out of the series. But that was never the original intention."Those two things are not connected," Shore says. "This was the plan for this season. The fact that Lisa is not coming back was not part of the equation. It's a disappointment. But we will find a way to go on and find great opportunities and great excitement in the next year."Shore's primary focus, as always, remains on House, who some might argue reached an all-time low in the finale. While Shore acknowledges that House's bold actions made for great drama, he maintains that he's still being true to the nature of his protagonist — who, Shore insists, has not become a homicidal maniac.

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"I never want to have my characters do things that are completely out of character for them," Shore says. "I think this was in his character. It was way down and took a huge motivation to bring him to that, but I think this is House. He is a bit of a crazed guy. I think there was always the risk that he was going to do something insane, and he kind of did. ... In my view he was aiming for the house, not the people. But he was clearly taking a risk that he would do serious harm to people."Shore says House's extreme reaction came only after he tried (and failed) to be a different person after his breakup from Cuddy. "One of the themes of the show is: Nobody changes," he says. "People do make little changes, but you can't ultimately change who you are in your core. You can fight against it, and you can fail or you can succeed. I'm sure House has taken something from these experiences, but I do think at the end he was going, 'Why the f--- am I trying to be something I'm not?'"The finale's closing moments showed House on a tropical beach, no doubt running away from the personal and legal consequences of what he'd done. While Shore isn't yet ready to divulge how the loose ends will be resolved, he assures viewers that the show will not be drastically different.

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"We're going to see him back in New Jersey," Shore says. "The show is what the show is, and I don't want to change the show. What I do want to do is explore this character and how he reacts to setbacks and success — while solving medical mysteries. That's the show, and it will always be the show."Shore acknowledges that getting House back into Princeton Plainsboro is going to be a challenge, as is tying up the Cuddy loose end. But he says he's been there before. "It's the way it is at the end of all years; it's slightly more extreme this season," he says."Those are the reasons you're going to have to tune in next year. Hopefully what will get the audience excited is the way House deals with this, the way the rest of the people deal with this [and] the opportunities that are presented by these problems."What did you think of the House finale? Are you looking forward to Season 8?