We’ll miss you, Lawrence Kutner. In last night’s shocking episode of House, Foreman and 13 visited Kutner’s apartment only to find him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The suicide came out of the blue and House fans were certainly stunned by this seemingly pointless act.
However, behind the scenes there’s a perfectly logical explanation. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, actor Kal Penn explained that leaving the show was his decision so that he could move on to accept a position in the Obama administration. After spending time on the campaign trail for President Obama last year, Penn grew an interest in politics and will now be the associate director fotr the office of public liaison.
This decision certainly explains the sudden and shocking way Kutner was written out of the show, but that’s just for us. On the show, Dr. House was puzzled by the suicide, trying desperately to understand the reason behind it. Despite poking and prodding, the episode ended without answers, just sadness.
It was a daring move for a TV show to make. In most cases, when a major character is killed off, there’s foreshadowing and preparation. A doctor might get one last chance to say goodbye or perform one last act of heroism before checking out. For Kutner, the death came out of nowhere. The closest fans came was in the previous episode when Kutner made the correct diagnosis and voluntarily tried to let Taub take the credit.
While a fan’s initial reaction might be anger or disappointment that the show isn’t providing answers, it might actually turn out to be a great thing for House. The driving force behind everything Gregory House does is solving a puzzle. He takes cases not because he wants to save lives, but because he wants to figure out what’s going on.
By putting a total mystery directly in his personal and professional lives, the show has shattered one of House’s core reasons for being. With only a few episodes left, it will be interesting to see how House deals with this mystery.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)