Everybody dies, apparently, and in this series finale House is visited by one or two characters who already have – Kutner and Amber drop by, thus reminding us, at least in the case of the former, that he was something of a loss to the show. The Patient of the Week is… oh, does it matter? “Nobody cares about the medicine”, House observes at one point, which is both meta and accurate – I can’t remember the last time I took an interest in whether or not it was actually lupus or sarcoidosis.
The point, though, is that the PotW has access to heroin, and in a non-linear episode we kick off with House seemingly in a deserted property used for drug taking, the dead PotW by his side, the building on fire, and apparently contemplating the possibility of suicide. The flashbacks reveal that House has sabotaged a good chance of delaying his return to prison for breach of parole, and that his next best chance, Wilson, isn’t prepared to enable him any more. He then disappears, and Foreman and Wilson try to find him, leading them to the burning building, and a last sight of House before the building collapses around him, killing him.
For House fans there’s a goodly chunk of nostalgia, with just about everyone bar Cuddy dropping by to pay their respects; there’s also a nice coda in which we get to see a glimpse of the post-House future for some of them. And, of course, there’s a twist which isn’t that unexpected, but which gives us a chance to see how the show’s one true love story plays out.
It wasn’t a remarkable ending, but it was a good one. This whole season has been generally decent, in fact; not because of some sort of creative renaissance, but because all concerned played to their strengths. It would have been difficult for the show to recreate the form of its first four seasons, but I’d say that this has been the best one since then, and I’m happy that a show which has given me so much pleasure over the years – and so much to write about; House is our most-reviewed show – went out with a degree of dignity.