Welcome to Dissecting House: a blog dedicated to the television show House MD, where analytical reviews of season 8 episodes are posted weekly.

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Final Five - 'Got Nuffin'

The last five minutes of 'Moving On' are the epicentre of the episode. What happens in those five minutes changes everything forever. It literally shatters their reality; House is obviously not fine. Or, it's his subconscious sending him a message, just as Cuddy's subconscious was conveying a message via dreams in Bombshells. It's interesting that after he 'breaks' he goes into an almost dream-like sequence on the beach rather than 'waking-up'...

I was speaking to a few people on Twitter and @2105miko spoke about the song at the very end of the episode, wondering whether there was any relevance in the choice of a song with the word 'dream' in it. The lyrics are: "When I'm with you, all my brothers, oh, I feel like a King, it feels like I'm dreaming..." There are obviously many ways to interpret the song choice. It could be that the very ending is liberating and a dream compared to the nightmare of his suffering (song lyrics: "I got [nothing] to lose but darkness and shadows...bitterness...")/ In 'Under My Skin' House hallucinates about being with Cuddy which in the realm of the subconscious is almost identical to a dream. Could he have been hallucinating about any part of his relationship during S7? / Being with her in reality, as clich├ęd as it sounds, is a dream come true. /Or as previously mentioned it is a view into his mind, his subconscious. The ending does seem very surreal. It's particularly brilliant because it causes the viewers to question their perspectives, to dig deeper; what did we really see?

So why THIS song? I think the title says it all really; 'Got Nuffin' [nothing] to lose, as he has nothing left. Once again, House is miserable and alone; just the way he "likes" it.

Song at the end of 'Moving On':( Spoon - 'Got Nuffin' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSS5ajxtQmA )


  1. I love what you just wrote there. I think this song changed a lot of things, is he hallucinating ? How long ? Since when ? what is real and what is not ? we don't know anything right now and we're Lost, the writers did a GG ! :D

    Btw, I love you haha.

  2. That's exactly what I thought when I heard the "It feels like I'm dreaming" from the song. Is this real? If it is: HOW is he getting back to the hospital and if it isn't, what was real? Since when? and why??! I thought the beach scene was a bit too strange to be real actually.

  3. When I first saw the finale episode I actually didn't notice the song because those last 5 minutes seemed so surreal. After @2105miko mentioning it in our convo with you as well I rewatched it and it does seem rather odd. Could the finale really been a hallucination or are they just messing with us by using a song that implies one. Because I'm pretty sure that that's the reason why they picked that song. As you pointed out a lot of the lyrics are, if you think a little deeper, about the whole House/Cuddy relationship. Now if the finale turns out to be a hallucination which I doubt because they already had the hallucination element in season 5 and I would hope to believe that they're more creative than to re-use ideas, it wouldn't matter. Yes House wouldn't done the insane thing he did, which I disagree with some people who say it's OC because I thought it was rather OOC. Besides what would have been a hallucination? The finale or from Bombshells when he started using Vicodin again? Besides if it was a hallucination from Bombshells they aren't gonna be able to adress that because of Lisa leaving the show. So I think they just messed with us and messed up House.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I think the way in which the ending was written and directed, (including the song choice) was designed to make us doubt not only what we are seeing at the time, as I mentioned previously, but also what has already happened. So we're all saying there is a blurred line between reality and hallucination. The question we have all pinpointed is, if this is a hallucination, SINCE WHEN has it been one? As Lore said, it seems unlikely as they have already used hallucination at the end of S5. However, it does appear to be beyond the scope of reality. He could have started hallucinating when he started re-using (and then abusing)Vicodin during Bombshells. I will be posting again soon...it will add to our debate on the finale, I hope.

  5. I agree with Nora that the last 5 minutes seem "too strange to be real", but it would seem too tiresome for the House writers to use the hallucination thread *yet again* (I mean, how many times can they use that as an excuse for House's actions...yaaawwwwn.....gimme some Vicodin!!) I didn't notice the song at the end either - thanks for the youtube link - that's awesome. I know that the House production team puts a lot of effort into choosing the songs for the episodes, and the lyrics seem to be saying that House has "nothing to lose" and thus has finally reached his bottom in life, and s8 will show us were that leads him in life. I liked the analogy that by crashing into Cuddy's house, it was a representation of shattering House's life - a true bottom. Looking forward to s8!

  6. First of all *clicks imaginary like button* *votes up your comment* *adds to favorites* *retweets to her followers*.
    Alrighty, then. Deep breaths.
    The last place we'd been expecting to see House after his "crash course" in "you can't always get what you want so be careful what you wish for and don't poke the beast if it's sleeping and suppressing pent up anger towards the break-up" was him sipping mojitos at the beach, yet suddenly there he was.
    Crashing his car into Cuddy's dining room was definitely the wrong way to go about it, but in a strange Housian way it helped chase away some of his demons; it was a crazy cathartic experience and House actually seems to feel better - evidenced by his smile, by him not getting dead drunk in some bar.
    He's at the beach at a moment when his life is anything but a picnic. Maybe he chose the beach because it's the last place anybody would have been looking for him and he needs to lay low; because it's in a country that doesn't extradite criminals; because he really has reached the bottom and has "nothing to lose but darkness and shadows...nothing to lose but bitterness and patterns" and he is ready for a new start, it's a symbol of a brighter path before him, the opposite of the gray autumn day when he went to Mayfield? Maybe he needed to destroy Cuddy's house in order to expel some of the poison and pain in him, it was an outer manifestation of his inner state, he needed to stroy something so that for once he could stop with his circle of self-destruction? He took his own metaphor from the start of the episode and made it real. In order to finally and irrevocably sever all ties with Cuddy he needed to burn that bridge because he wanted to make sure he'll never again be tempted to go back and cross it?
    I think the song has nothing to do with the last 5 minutes being a dream or a hallucination. He did what he did and as a result this time he truly has nothing to lose anymore: no job, no friend, no lover, no dreams of curing his leg, he can't even go back home. All he has is "emptiness and hang ups".
    It is with this kind of baggage that he arrives to a tropic paradise. Will he manage to rid himself of it, will it dissolve under the sun and melt into the sand? Is a change of scenery all it takes? I don't think so, but maybe it's a step in the right direction.
    Maybe we should feel hopeful for him, because a new tide is coming, but somehow, the image of his lone dark figure overlooking the ocean seems ominous to me - like The Snake finding its way into the Garden of Eden.

  7. You talked about the beach being the last place anyone would be looking for him and that is exactly the point in my opinion; Wilson says that they should look for him in the darkest, most miserable bar, but he 'broke' and emerged the other side. He's back to being himself, to being responsible for his own happiness (or misery). I'm glad you agreed with my analogy of the broken house being a representation of a fractured House and an indication of a final rupture with Cuddy. Thanks for talking about the song. I like how you're expressing the view that everything that happens is within the realms of reality. My final say in terms of the song was precisely what you said in terms of hitting rock bottom and the fact that he 'Got Nuffin' left to lose. Yet, despite not wanting to think they would re-use the hallucination angle I just sense there is something that is just outside the bounderies of reality. The beach scene at the end as many have said, seems far too idealistic to be true. I like the metaphor of the new tide coming, by the way, but as you said, this is House, a cactus, not a seedling. Keep your eye out for my next post. It will be pretty short, but will tie in with the song.

  8. I have to say that the final beach scene of 'moving on' left me very confused.. much as the previous scene (House crashing his car into Cuddy's house)
    I don't understand the writers anymore and it really frustrating to me.

    I can very much agree with you on the most dream-like sequence part in the final 5 minutes.

    idk why, maybe bc of the song and the dialogue, it's very much reminded me of season 4 finally (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZjeiiHb95U) which also was subconscious related where House makes a choice- to move on ("get off the bus")
    great review Steph (:

  9. Thanks for the comment! I definitely see what you mean about 'Wilson's Heart'and getting off the bus; he also, very similarly to 'Moving On', tries to escape reality and the consequences of his actions by wanting to stay on the bus. The hallucination angle is also very interesting. I'm glad you shared your views and gave us something else to think about.