After watching tonight’s epic season finale of House, “Help Me,” I now have a much higher appreciation of season six on the whole. This whole season, I’ve felt like there’s been something missing. Something has been disjointed. I didn’t know where it was going. I didn’t know where House was in the grand scheme of things. Now I know.
Cuddy was House’s end game. It was a twisted path, but we’re finally there. With the exceptional use of non-chronological order, we’re given a little hint of where we’re going to end up. House. With vicodin in hand. Broken glass. And in his bathroom. Sound familiar? It did to me. If nothing else, the show House is brilliant in the way it is able to hearken back to old scenes, old lines, and old themes. With that, I wanted to review this episode using parallels to discuss how amazing this finale was.
House’s leg has been a major issue throughout the entire series. In “Three Stories” we get the history of House’s leg pain and how his rights as a patient were questioned when the woman he loved went behind his back with Cuddy to save his life, but cause him chronic pain and unbeknownst to them, chronic misery. In “Help Me,” we’re given a patient whose leg is being crushed by the weight of a collapsed building. In the beginning, House is uninterested. Easy case. Reminder of old leg pain.
Then, his patient needs him. In fact, she says, “I’m sorry I needed you.” It’s what he wishes so many people in his life would say. That one sentence bought Hannah, the patient, some time with House. An honest House. And one that’s not sure he believes in karma, but it seems he would like to believe in justice. Keep in mind this is before Cuddy blows his world apart.
After his fight with Cuddy, he convinces his patient to amputate, citing his own unhappiness and bad decision making as reasons to save her life. This is all in front of Cuddy, who has probably assumed he has resented her for her part in his leg surgery and has just blown his world apart screaming at him. “It’s just a leg.” Remember Stacy saying that to House in “Three Stories?” House repeats this to his patient, now realizing how different his life could have been had he understood those words. Her amputation was rough, raw, painful, but in the end, when Hannah saw her husband, House knew he had made the right choice.
When she died, House questioned. Was it really for the best? Where’s her good karma? Which brings me to my next parallel: karma.
Karma has been explored a few times in this season. In “Instant Karma” we were left wondering if House was starting to believe that if he actually did good, it would come back to him. He thought it was ridiculous to rationalize away science, but in the episode “The Choice,” we came back to the idea that karma is something House might believe exists because where there is karma, there is justice.
I love that Hannah questioned House about karma and that House has been trying to be a better man. For a year he’s tried with no reward. It’s no wonder he’s defeated. When Cuddy emotionally beats him, she’s echoing his own worst fears. And where, House asks, is the karma in that? What did he do to deserve it?
Important patient deaths and Thirteen’s Illness:
In season four’s finale, “Wilson’s Heart,” we find out Thirteen has Huntington’s. Last season, we saw Thirteen go through clinical trials and her illness was addressed. This season, there has been nary a mention on how she’s doing until “Help Me” and her time off? Resignation? It’s unclear who’s going to help Thirteen. I vote Chase in season seven.
Also in season four, we got the death of Amber, arguably one of House’s most important patients. With her death, even though there was nothing he could do, the beginning of his self destruction began. Then Hannah dies, even with House doing everything he could. It’s no wonder he was ready to go back on vicodin. And to boot, the person who caused the crane collapse, with a more difficult diagnosis lived. Where’s the justice in that?
Cuddy saving House:
House has been saved by Cuddy before. Countless times. In “Words and Deeds,” she lied for him on the stand and kept him out of jail. In “House’s Head,” Cuddy gives him CPR and brings him back to life. In “Babies and Bathwater,” Cuddy saves House’s job from Vogler and loses one hundred million dollars for the hospital. And finally, last season, House was saved by Cuddy who helped him detox, slept with him, and accepted him. But it was all a delusion.
So what now? House is barely hanging on. He’s getting drunk every night. Wilson has asked him to move out. He’s done with therapy. By process of elimination, all we’ve got left is her. And he knows it. And she knows it. When she tells House she’s engaged, he’s clearly devastated.
In last week’s episode “Baggage,” Nolan said this regarding his patient: “The thing that caused the change is gone. Therefore the change itself is gone.” While House’s main goal was to be happy, Cuddy was the key to that happiness. Now that Cuddy isn’t an option, what is House’s motivation to stay sober and try being happy? Cuddy is House’s last line of defense. While he can say anything to Wilson, Cuddy is the one that has repeatedly saved him and he needs her.
This is why, to me, the scenes where she tells House he has nothing, he makes everyone miserable, and he’s alone made me cry and scream at my television. Why? Why would she do this? Why, in “Ignorance is Bliss” did she tear him down so well, hurting him in ways she could only be capable of?
This season is about self-preservation. She had to keep him away. Her love for him was so strong and she knew once she gave into it, if he hurt her, it was over. It was unsafe for her to put herself at risk and by proxy, her daughter. Meanwhile House was doing what he needed to do to maintain his drug-free lifestyle and that included pursuing her. Unfortunately, their timing, as always, was off.
By the end of tonight’s episode, I was cringing. I knew he was going to take it. There’s no way she was going to swoop in and save him the way he had imagined. And it wasn’t. He asks her at first if she’s going to take the drugs from him just as it had happened in his hallucination. And she doesn’t.
What she does is so much better. Huddies around the world: did you scream as loudly as I did? I literally couldn’t have a imagined a more beautifully written scene. Was it purposeful that House had to break a mirror, throwing superstition and the idea of luck out the window to get to his pills? Was it also purposeful that this scene took place in the bathroom, where he imagined his detox the year before?
Cuddy’s stuck on House. She loves him. And we finally got the ending that House and we as an audience deserve. And we can hardly believe our good karma. Goodbye man-child! Bring on season seven!
Come back this Thursday when I give that final Huddy scene the attention it fully deserves.
(image courtesy of FOX)