‘House’ Series Finale Review & Discussion

Published 3 years ago by

house series finale house wilson House Series Finale Review & Discussion

Paired with a beautifully crafted retrospective, the House series finale, in its two-hour form, perfectly represents the best and worst of the series. Using Hugh Laurie to endear audiences to the behind-the-scenes production of the series, House entered into its final episode by presenting the perfect platform for audiences to not only enjoy the finale, but to also appreciate it from the point-of-view of everyone who worked on it.

Sadly, all of those fond memories and earned goodwill from the retrospective were all-but lost, as the lack of actual story, its poor, disjointed flashbacks and “twist” ending served to almost isolate this episode from the entity of the series. Perhaps a story viewers would be interesting in hearing – though not as the closing chapter.

Trapped in a burning building, much of the episode was spent trying to figure out what was actually occurring. Attempts at using familiar faces from series’ past were a welcomed inclusion, if only in the most simplest sense (i.e. it’s nice to see characters return).

Trying to find a connection between the House series finale and the emotionally charged story-arc that audiences have been enjoying for the latter half of the series, the almost decade-long invested viewership is insultingly asked to hinge the entirety of this episode’s logic and existence on an elementary school stunt of flushing something down the toilet.

As the talk of consequences from vandalism was continuously used as an ill-thought motivator for House’s change, all hopes for a competent conclusion to one of television’s most compelling characters were embarrassingly thrown away, as the hopes for any type of definite ending took over.

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And for five minutes, a definite ending was provided. In a mish-mash of illogical occurrences, House’s attempt at redemption was met with his fiery death, completely visible to Wilson and Foreman. If one purely focuses on the act of killing House, an instinctual, emotional response is felt by those watching. However, that extremely thin veil is easily lifted once any type of logic is added and audiences realize that the death of lesser characters were more emotionally impactful.

Fortunately, those feelings only lasted for a few moments, as it was revealed that House had actually faked his own death. Absolutely proving to anyone watching that House has a direct connection to Sherlock Holmes, the House series finale insultingly believed that the best way to end one of television’s most iconic characters with an ending that every iteration of Sherlock Holmes (film and television) used as their ending – and they did it months before the House series finale was written.

Almost winking at the audience, this disastrous ending followed the absolutely wonderful House retrospective, which spoke in-length about how the series was based on the doctor that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. While showing that House isn’t simply some clone of Sherlock Holmes, it does become laughable once you realize that the series finale turned out to be exactly that. A poor clone.

house series finale wilson foreman House Series Finale Review & Discussion

For whatever reason, this was the ending that the producers felt viewers deserved. Certainly not the ending they had originally planned (if they even had that figured out), one has to wonder how the finale would have been altered if certain things had played out differently in the series’ history.

In the end, the House series finale is a careless, uneventful and almost pointless entity into the series franchise. Unfortunately, the series had reached a point where there were very few places left to go (or character movements to explore). So while this may not be the best ending to the series, it’s an ending. And at this point, many will be satisfied with just that.

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House aired Mondays @8pm on Fox

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. Strong review. Very critical…and very correct. The plot was a mess, the return of old characters in such a manner doesnt resonate, because these characters are figments of House’s imagination (and why was House hallucinating in the first place?) House faking his death was a sell-out, although I guess it was inevitable given his similarities to Holmes. Personally, I would have preferred if House had committed suicide. I felt suicide was his most likely future path, given his ego, drug addiction, and his lack of connection to other human beings. However, if House had committed suicide, Fox couldnt do a future TV movie, nor have House show-up in a potential spin-off for another character…in other words killing House would cost Fox potential revenue.

    I will miss the TV show House, but it should have been cancelled two years ago. I will not miss the last two seasons of House.

    • He was hallucinating b/c he took the heroine. Another point House wanted to commit suicide but didn`t because he wanted to be there for Wilson so he had connection to other human beings put aside look how many others were at the funeral and voiced their love or admiration for him. Someone who is disconnected to the world didn´t have people who care or miss him.

    • great way to finish it off… and a great series !!!! just confused where the body came from in the burning building that house switched the records with?

  2. So…you didn’t like it?

    How would you have ended House?

    • I totally agree with you! I feel the same things!

  3. Dear Mr. Ocasio,

    I generally enjoy Screenrant reviews as they are informative, funny, and give a good view of the movie/ tv episode. However, I have to say that this review was a drastic shift from that formula. I think it was obvious, what with the retrospect episode being titled “Swan Song”, that House was going to die in the finale. That much should have been apparent coming into the finale.

    The only question that remained was whether it was by his hand, a question House himself was asking. Before 9pm last night, I was certain that he would commit suicide (or ironically, die of Lupus), but the writer’s decision to show House’s thought process was a strong one. It allowed us to see so many previous characters and gave us the rather surprising, “I’ll Change” dialogue.

    Killing House after he made that decision would have been tragic, but to appease its loyal fans Shore decided to keep with the Holmes parellel, making the finale even stronger. I’m not sure what it was you were expecting from this episode. Like House said, “blah blah blah, the medicine isn’t important.” Perhaps you were expecting a death? Or something other than “House has an identity crisis”, but in my opinion this scenario (a crack house in danger of collapsing on itself) was inevitable.

    House’s formulaic episodes have upset fans over the seasons, this finale took a step away from that and focused on what carried Fox’s leading drama for 8 years- Hugh Laurie’s acting. It closed all storylines, and delivered a happy “driving into the sunset” ending that its loyal fans deserved. I’m sorry you were dissapointed. I felt the same way after watching Chuck end.

    A Fellow Writer,
    Mohammed Shariff

    • Great comment, absolutely agree with you. Couldn`t have said it better. Don`t know either what Mr Ocasio expected to see what could have been better.

    • Agreed – very well said


      Actually I loved the END OF “””HOUSE”””

    • I really liked the end, i think it means the most to people who have watched it from the beginning :)

      • I have watched it from the beginning, but by the end I was watching out of habit and a rapidly fading sense of loyalty, nothing else. The show never recovered from the character choice for the second team. The “second team” was completely disjointed, had far too little in common personally, and there medical ability was left undefined. In short, you were never given any reason to care and they were never given any reason or believable opportunity to care about each other. The second team was supposed to expand the show but the choices were so poor that it had no choice but to contract and rely on recycling the first team in order to keep any interest alive. Taub was a DISASTER, Kutner had no defining characteristics that made you care. 13 was good, but the bisexuality and Huntingtons marginalized here and actually prevented her character from developing any true death. Cutthroat b**** could have saved things to a certain degree, and while “Wilson’s Heart” was memorable, the show needed her character more than it needed that episode. The review above is more of a review of the House turned out to be more so than a review of the last episode. The only worthwhile episodes of the last three years were House in the mental institution and 20 Vicodin, and that was because I wasn’t being forced to care about characters that were impossible to care about. The last episode was fine, but the show had become a charicature of itself and a bad one at that.

        • You need to see the second half of season 6 again, particularly Cuddy’s episode. Amazing.

  4. Not bad, but not good. Followed it from the start and I thought it would end up with Wilson and House taking their own lives. I too think it should have ended after season six. Seven, and especially eight, looked like they just didn’t know what to do

  5. Anthony…

    I must say that I disagree with virtually your entire critique. I thought the finale was just the ending “House” both deserved and needed. We fans suffered along with (and, of course, because of) House, and I found the ending to be cathartic…certainly for the character (and, to an extent, his supporting characters), but also for me and, I imagine, many of the fans of the show. The ONLY thing that surprised me was that Cuddy did not appear except in that vision of potentially better life paths.

    Plus, Gregory House was NEVER going to remain in his position in life OR at work, from season 1, onward. He was too brutal, too narcissistic, too childish, too self-destrucive, too LONELY to survive in some kind of professional/personal stasis. By the end of the show’s run, House would HAVE to find something else to do and/or some other way to be. I found this ending where he made the one choice that illustrated ANY bit of growth on his part (yet allowed for a positive, definitive ending) to be beautifully done.

    That said, I respect your view; I simply disagee with it.

    • Cuddy didn’t appear except in flashbacks of previous footage. That to me made the whole “ghosts” hallucinations thing totally bogus! Cuddy was SUCH a big part of his life. She definitely would have figured prominently in his subconscious debate with himself. Also, that they had Kutner trying to talk House out of suicide and House didn’t even call him on it. In fact, he didn’t even ask him why he had committed suicide. (BTW, that episode where Kutner commits suicide was horrible & unrealistic. As someone who lost a loved one to suicide & attended many support group sessions, hearing many tragic scenarios, that episode rang totally untrue and did a great disservice to suicide victims & the loved ones they’ve left behind so that Kal Penn could leave with a splash & FOX could boost ratings. Shameful! In fact, I was so ticked off by that episode, I stopped watching for ~ a year!)

      Aside from Cuddy’s absence & Kutner’s appearance, I think the hallucinations worked. The rest of the show was OK & it wrapped up many story lines.

      • Deb while I’m sorry you went through that, remember it’s just a friggin, SHOW, make believe, of course nothing in that show whouold be taken seriously, I mean a doctor who has the answers in 1 hr. You get that right? SMH

        • It doesn’t take place over the course of an hour, lol, Nic you went very dumb there. Each case takes days to solve.

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  7. where was Cuddy? i kept waiting for her to come in somewhere…

  8. What was with the hospitial id card under the table leg? He smiled when finding it so he new House was a live but how?

    • He knew House was alive because House placed the ID card there. Earlier the table was wobbling and foreman was trying to fix it…..

  9. Hi,

    As it has been said before, I usually enjoy Screenrant’s review as they are mostly objective with, as is needed from a review, some personal stance on it. However, I found your review to be unecessarily critical and negative with a tone that was not warranted.

    Arguably the show could have ended in a number of ways and someone was going to be upset and disappointed regardless of the ending.

    I enjoyed the finale, not as much as I would have liked, but we did get closure if not a complete wrap.

    Keep the reviews as solid and objective as usualy instead of being sensational and over -critical.

    All the best

  10. I think it was a vaguely positive way of ending a series that had some really really dark character moments. In a TV world (and real world) filled with dark realities it’s almost a relief/respite/balm to see a show end on a note that is almost positive. Not that House “dying” was positive, nor the flashbacks but the idea that it was all focused on the friendship between House and Wilson. That friendship is the one shining beacon in House’s otherwise dark psyche.

    Was this a well written powerful episode? No. Was it House formula? Maybe. Was it a positive focus on the power of friendship? Yes. As a swan song that really isn’t a terrible way to go.

  11. where was Cuddy?

  12. I strongly agree with the review.
    I have the feeling the show had no closure at all, and about House putting someone else before his own egoistic needs for once, sorry but I don’t buy it. What he did for Wilson was a sincere generous decision or most likely a liberation?
    As Wilson said House was an ass for his entire life and I think that the sappy “I can cange” that he said before the explosion was really strange for a man like him.
    I liked House, the show have done beautiful things, but this ending was somehow a coward escape.

  13. Thanks, Jess. I missed seeing him try to fix the table. Must have been daydreaming.

  14. I think you nailed it. For a show that boasted having a protagonist who was a genius, it really did come across as ‘Sherlock for Dummies’. The ‘cameos’ were basically nothing more than a poorly executed form of fan service that could have been replaced by a long and meaningful conversation with the likes of Wilson if they wanted to go down the somebody urging him not to give up route. It was all so forced. A bit like a bad B-movie that you’ll happily watch when you’re drunk and shed a tear, but when you’re sober… Not so much.

    I called the fake death scenario months ago because Shore has more or less been creatively dead since the end of Season 5, and I knew the temptation to borrow from Doyle would be too great. It’s just a shame for him that this finale was hot on the heels of ‘Sherlock’ because Moffat did a much, much better job by comparison.

    All in all a little sad that it’s over, but mostly relieved. I dread to think what would have happened if they’d gotten a Season 9.

    • i didnt think they did a good job on the last episode either and I agree it was time to go. Now we can remember it as a good show cuz it was just going down hill and needed an end. I would have loved it if the guy who shot him showed up at the funeral and said, “I shot him…”

  15. i think the episode was average and that they could have done better thats the first 50 mins. i think the last 10 mins was absolutely the best, positive way to end a show that at times was so dark that i thought it should have been on hbo. the riding off into the sunset proves that even house can change as he put his best friend first and knowing that even 5 months later when wilson passes that house will have severe legal issues for the rest of his life. i would love to see a season 9 with wilson dieing and house finally falling back down to reality. think of all the possibilities they could havehad as a story line in season 9. i mean come on it could be the best season of house but i guess thats why we have imaginations, to plot our own future for house

  16. After 8 years & the series finale for House was…Just…Awful! Actually awful doesn’t even describe it. Think Smallville, & how, after 10 years of viewing, we’re treated to a series finale that’s nothing but 2 hours of unadulterated CRAP!

    • Not nearly as deplorable as the series finale of Alias (ridiculous!) or Lost (obsurd and total copout…talk about questions not getting answered!). I think most series finales are going to be disappointing, especially for the most loyal fans. The writers seem to be clueless, and many of them seem to forget to return to the things that made the show great in the first place. But I think most would agree that Hugh Laurie NEVER disappointed. That’s what I am taking with me. The writers? Yes! But we’ll always have reruns.

  17. People see what they wanted to see and overglorify it in my opinion.
    What i am about to say has nothing to do with my personal preferences, it just beats common sense senslessly.

    A) House goes all fugitive but how does he supply himself with Vicodin now? It was not even 4 episodes back that we saw he does not have a stash, he couldn’t even provide Wilson with it. Withstanding the pain is obviously not an option since the withdrawal symptoms are going to be so aggragated that Wilson is going to wish he had less time.

    B) Essentially what happens is, House reaches a point where he is about to attempt suicide but then, through a brief inner conflict ( using brief because if it wasnt, House would be roast beef by the end of it ) decides he wants to live and goes all selfless for Wilson. What he couldn’t do for 8 years he did in 10 minutes. Does not sound like fan service at all.

    C) Finally, House goes from determined to die, to making a stage your death plan in about 1 minute, gets access to the coroner’s office, slips a phone in Wilson’s pocket unnoticed and in general potrays Metal Gear Solid grade stealth skills, mind you, 1 minute after having had a 10 minute change of heart avoiding suicide. Even if all the above were to be disregarded, it still doesnt make up for the fact that we literally saw him standing under a fiery collapsing ceiling. Or was that staged too? Sounds perfectly legit.

    The Final Episode was not bad, but the whole road to the finale was paved with compromises and solutions that would please the majority of the fans, adding sweetness to the bitterness that the ending of the House phenomenom should have been.

    • Re C) How about this scenario: The ceiling collapses in front of House, not on top of him. The resulting adrenaline rush enables him to make it to the back door and the explosion catapults him a dozen feet away from the building. Where he collapses in a dark corner and passes out for a couple of hours. When he wakes up it’s still night. While he makes his way back to PPTH (by bus, cab, maybe even with the POTW’s car) a plan takes form in his mind. He arrives at PPTH in the middle of the night, not many people are about, so he manages to avoid being seen by anyone. He gets a change of clothes, patches up his wounds. He sneaks into patient records, switches the dental records. He’s done this before, often enough. We’ve seen it in a bunch of episodes. I have no problem believing that he manages to do that without getting caught or being seen. All before the fire department even gets far enough to find the body in the burnt down building. He’s experienced in this kind of thing after all. While he’s at it he steals a new stash of Vicodin, goes home, packs some important stuff, and vanishes for a while in a dingy motel where he licks his wounds and makes plans. At the time of the funeral (at least days later, maybe even a week or two) everything is prepared for him to vanish of the face of earth (or at least Princeton) forever.

      Oh, and about A) Do you really believe that House of all people would have trouble finding a way to provide himself with Vicodin or something similar? He managed to get Vicodin in prison, he stole a dead patient’s meds, he has no trouble breaking the law, and I bet you that he has money stashed away where he can get to it without anyone knowing. And at least for the next few months he has Wilson who will provide him with what he needs. I don’t find that hard to believe at all.

      So, how about that? It’s at least as plausible as about a hundred other plot twists, diagnoses, and coincidences throughout the series. I don’t understand why NOW all of a sudden people have trouble with the suspension of disbelief.

    • Let start with my complete enjoyment of the retrospective and the series finale. It was excellent and beautifully executed. In the C Word, House saved his stash of Vicodin for Wilson. House tells us for the past 8 hours he has been giving Wilson his vicodin because they are out of Morphine. In addition, we learn Wilson keeps throwing up the pills meaning House is giving them to Wilson more often. House soothed his pain with alcohol. House did not appear to be detoxing 24 hours after 24 hours of no vicodin.
      Today, pretty much all dental records are stored electronically and sent via email when requested. It has been established House has mad hacking skills (last time mentioned in Holding On in conversation with Wilson in cancer patients standing O.
      It appears may have been in the burning building between 30-60 minutes, which appears to have been simultaneous with Foreman’s initial conversation with Wilson.
      House has always been selfless when it mattered most and it appears it always involved his love for Wilson. He risked his life when Wilson asked him to go under the brain stimulation to figure out how to save Amber. House was willing to risk his freedom when in went out of state with Wilson on a Kyle Calloway trip and when he administered deally chemo to Wilson in his apartment. He was selfless again for Wilson when he kept Wilson from tanking his career in Unknown Knowns.
      We saw House from Wilson’s perspective in the burning building. From Wilson’s perspective it appeared House under the beam that fell. In a fight or flight response, adrenalin increases our capacity to do one or the other.
      Ity was established in Fidelity that Wilson was a creature of habit, wearing the same tie the same day of the week, every week and that House paid very close attention to Wilson’s habits. So I suspect House went to Wilson’s place and put his phone in Wilson’s suit pocket. That makes sense to me.

  18. I think the reason people are so disappointed is because we’ve seen the greatness House writers/Shore have given us over the years. When you look back at some of the best episodes of the series, the ones that just “WOW” you, and compare it to this it’s like “Huh?” is this the same show?

    If this had always been a mediocre series then we probably wouldn’t be complaining but considering the great writing that’s come out of this series, we expected it to continue, surely into the finale. Sadly it went downhill last season, some might say seasons earlier but I go with last season, and it never came back. In Season 8, the season overall bit the dust, however there were some memorable moments. But speaking on behalf of fans everywhere, we didn’t just want memorable moments, we wanted memorable episodes too. I really enjoyed a few moments of this finale but overall I did not care for it nor did I care for the episodes leading up to it. It felt fake (the tumors growing bigger because of the chemo, the idea that an overdose of chemo in one night would cure, the wet tickets just to mention a few) and rushed and it didn’t feel right.

    The only thing that saved this show since mid point of last season was phenomenal acting by the lead actors.

  19. well at least they were smart enough to end the series with a finale instead of waiting until it was cancelled because of low ratings.

  20. I thought the faking of his death was great. As stated in the article this was an homage to Sherlock Holmes, as an avid reader of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and huge fan of House, I thought it was a very satisfying conclusion, given the character of House is Sherlock Holmes as a doctor. As for the episode as a whole, I agree with the review; it was a mish-mash of nonsense, especially the whole ticket flushing deal. But it was a great show for eight years and most great shows never hit the mark with the series finale.

  21. Harsh review. I repectfully disagree.

    I thought it was a good ending. Not the best House episode ever, but to be honest I was not expecting it to be. I liked that House had an inner conflict, I liked how it played out. I liked the funeral scene, especially Wilson’s comments. I liked that House faked his death; that he had to “die” in order to really live. That was pretty clever if you ask me. I really enjoed the final scene and the song choice.

    The way they left the series, it would actually make for a pretty cool season 9. But thats the thing with series fianles; the story can almost always continue. Of the finales I’ve seen: Smallville, Chuck even Friday Night Lights, they all ended in a way that could potentially go on. Thats why series finales are very tough to write, and thats why not everybody will be pleased.

    In the end, we know that House will eventually have to live life without Wilson and presumably without doctoring. House will have to face the biggest puzzle of all; the puzzle of life, without his 2 biggest crutches. If and how he does this…well we have 8 seasons of House to feed our imagination.

  22. I´m so disappointed. I watched because i thought Cuddy would be there. It was a boring episode and she didn´t even show up :(

  23. I would have to agree that the series finale was not appropriate. House deserved so much more and i think we deserved so much more as fans. they really flopped with it. I believe that House should have ended up having his leg amputated as a result of some self inflicted thing. then finally conceeding to that fact that his life would be better without it. finally after months of rehab and a prosthetic leg, we see House, happy and ready to live life and live it for a deceased best friend Wilson.

  24. The thing about the finale is it had a lot of potential , however for some God forsaken reason it got flushed down the toilet. The connection between heroin and House’s imitate death was well executed because of the fact that heroin is one of the most powerful drug in the streets. Heroin can destroy a persons life entirely and the mix that Houses life was already going beyond rock bottom seemed so fitting. I didn’t mind the appearances but i think Lisa Edelstein should have definitely been there , she was one of the ‘best things” that ever happened to Hpuse at one point. In the end Houses realization was what hit me. When he tried to get out of that door while Wilson and Foreman were running in despair , the roof of the apartment would prevent his exit and inventively end his life. See the difference between this death and the other from past is that this death had a character who had suffered so much and never really knowing rest in a sense finally understands the real pure pleasures that the world have to offer. Ending it with him never getting to know that feeling yet still knowing and accepting he’s been wrong for so long it almost makes it seem like he can finally be at rest.

  25. The final episode of HOUSE didn’t convince me of anything other than the outside chance that Wilson started hallucinating. There’s no way, given the scene of a fiery collapse on top of House, that he could’ve escaped. To me, House is dead and that’s as it should be. He just couldn’t take the pain, both emotional and physical, anymore. The show could’ve ended at least a year ago, before the sitcom/movie parody/musical episode. I thought him driving through Cuddy’s house would’ve been a great ending. But no… Another season for DVD sales, syndication deals… While I love Louis Prima, his song just added another creepy (and fake) dimension to the ending. RIP House. I’ll missya.

  26. House was one of the great stories I have heard or seen in my years, its been a long time since i was this addicted to a story. I was very much kept in sync with the tricks of its unpredictability and its has bit my expectations many times.

    The ending was very good house has never stepped out of character although i agree that cuddy should have appeared in his final hallucination since she had been a more recent and significant part of his life and one whom he has a lot to regret over.

    It was very right and very like house that he did not choose to die than to try and change. He was always against dying and he never chose dying over bad situation in the past either.

    I say if House had to end then it could not have ended in a more excellent way.


  27. I really enjoyed this series until the end when you got that baby faced
    baboon to joint the cast – and just about everyone had left.

  28. House dying would have corrupted the ideals house portrayed from the beginning of the series. A previous episode in season 8 and early on in the series showed how he rationalized how people fight to live”when the patient tried to kill himself with ammonium and house showed him how he really felt about dying”. I think faking his death was the only option out of jail time since his other two options failed (Wilson and Foreman) and through the hallucinations from the heroin he discovered he was being an “idiot” by taking his own life and this scenario benefiting Wilson was an added bonus.