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

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Final Words

After the crash the first thing House says is "You're right, I feel much better". As I mentioned in my previous post about 'Moving On', I view the crash as a final release of his built-up suffering. The numb feeling having dissipated, all he has left before the crash is 'hurt' and rage. Wilson's half smile is an indication that House is 'back', so to speak. As I looked at the song used in the last few moments of the episode, I thought it would be interesting to look at the last words spoken. They are often poignant in terms of what the viewer will take away from the episode; a last imprint in our memories.

House leaves suburbia and we find him on an indisclosed exotic beach. When the barman asks "You want another one?", he replies, "No I think I've had enough". That is telling on two levels; one, for the fact that he no longer needs to drown his sorrows in alcohol (which implies that he is no longer in a largely self made pit of despair), and two, that he has "had enough" of being miserable and attempting to find happiness where it no longer exists.

Next he says, "What do you think I should do today?", to which the barman responds, "I don't know, go home?" Again this gives the impression that he is ready to 'move on' from the routine (we don't know how long he's been there after the crash). But the fact that he says "Not tonight..." gives the impression that he isn't ready to face the consequences of his actions, that he is well aware of what he did (therefore once again the full owner of his mind and his mental faculties). Although the crash was 'helpful' on an emotional level for both him and Cuddy to have a final 'break', it is of course against the law. This is where the hallucination/coma angle falters further (many already reluctant to believe they would use that angle again, despite the 'surreal' feeling of the ending); as he appears to be very aware of wanting to escape reality.

Then again this could be his subconscious telling him that he is not ready to leave Mayfield, for example, but that he is 'moving on' in the right direction. If you look at the very last moment, he is heading towards the light (the sunlit area of the beach), indicating that he is perhaps getting better. Or waking up from a coma.

I enjoy taking a closer look at things not to make a concrete decision about what definitely happened, but to explore the possibilities and entertain various ideas. In my opinion, anything that presents, not only different possible scenarious but different levels of interpretation has to be praised. As I've said before, 'Moving On' is not what I expected for the finale, but it does have elements I admire very much.


  1. Oh i love your interpretation of the lines here !

    « No I think I've had enough" = he has "had enough" of being miserable and attempting to find happiness where it no longer exists.
    That’s make total senses !
    I looove the beach scene, specially the shot from behind of him watching the sea and then « moving on » toward the light like you said, it’s brilliant !

    I don’t believe in the coma theory, i think all is real, i hope all is real ;) cause him dealing with what he’s done and the consequences is the main plot of next season i guess !

    Love the way your write miss :)

  2. Thank you so much! I also hope everything is real. I was thinking it may have been shot in an almost dream-like way because that's how House perceives it; as an idyllic escape from reality.

  3. You're a really great writer, first of all. I love how you used the words to beautifully depict the meaning of the beach scene. I also really hope that it is not a hallucination/result of a coma, but the events seem rather disconnected - going directly from the crash scene to the beach scene - wonder how the writers will explain that... Overall, the writers have *a lot* of explaining to do - it will be very interesting to see how they start s8. As I recently posted, House seems to have truly reached his "bottom" and thus there's perhaps nowhere to go but up from here....

  4. Oh, thank you! I really appreciate that. I agree with you about the disjointed quality of 'Moving On'. One of my first reactions actually was that it was a jigsaw puzzle with pieces they had forced together to fit (some more brilliant than others). And yes, they do have a lot of explaining to do; but I think that increases the potential for S8. I can't wait to see how House will deal with everything.

  5. I see your point of view, Steph, and I like it.
    When I first saw the episode I thought all was an hallucination or even a dream. But then I saw it again and I realised another point of view.

    For me the crash is, as you said, the summit of his pain, the release. It's like (prepared for a crappy metaphor) House is a sink, Cuddy is the cap and House's feelings the water, the cap has been taken away and now the water seeps, it can't be stopped, nothing is enough now.

    For me, the bigger the crash is, the damage in the house is; the deeper House's feelings are. It's seems he's saying " Do you see all of this? That's how I really feel. Oh, and here's your hair brush". He opened to her, he let her see his inside when they were in a relationship, and now Wilson tells him "do it again" and he really does (not the way Wilson was expecting but the way House is who he is).
    That's why I do think the end of S7 was absolutely real, because after watching House being happy and complete with her, now he's HE again, now he's accepting that she's gone, he can't get her back and he has to "move on".
    I think he realised happiness exist, he has feel it, not everything is miserable; he is miserable but he had proved he can be miserable and happy at the same time.
    About the beach, I think it's just a new start, I don't believe the beach itself is the important part, I believe the important part is that he's away from home, from the things he know, he's in the unknown, and that is, for me, the proof that he wants to be miserable and happy equally; because if he's not miserable, he's not him, and he can't reject happiness now that he knows is a fact.
    I'm excited to see House in S8, after all he's been through, it's going to be really interesting.

  6. I have to say I thought both your 'sink' and 'house' metaphors were extremely clever and insightful. I think they depict House's feelings perfectly (just as Cuddy locked her feelings behind closed doors until her subconscious blew them open). Your views about House being simultaneously happy and miserable are very similar to my own. House being miserable is paradoxically House being happy. Just as he distrusts happiness (Cuddy in Now What: "The only time you're afraid is when you're happy...you just don't expect it to last"), he trusts misery; it's his ironic safehold, he can rely upon it. I can't wait for our discussions on S8. Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. I don't think the end is a dream or hallucination/coma.
    But I don't think it's reality either.

    For me the end is metaphorical. I see it more as a way to depict House inner feelings. After saying "You're right I feel much better" I feel like we have a glimpse on his soul.
    The beach is the representation of his peaceful state after releasing his frustration and anger. He is facing the sea, which is ready to be rough again soon.

    The barman is a way to figure House internal dialogue. "You want another one?" "No I think I've had enough". Second level, as you pointed it out. :)
    The question, "go home?" sounds to me like going back to what he's always been (people don't change) if I follow my previous interpretation of the ep.
    "Not tonight" could be him enjoying this new feeling, still high on his act, before going back to the miserable state. Or it could announce some changes that he decides to do in his life, and we would discover them in s8.
    Can't wait anyway! :)

  8. WOW, that's exactly it! You explained your views perfectly and I completely agree with you; a metaphorical representation of his thoughts and feelings. The sea is very calm as you pointed out, he is in a state of tranquility...which corroborates what I said about him heading towards the 'light'. I absolutely love your interpretation of a metaphorical 'home', and the fact that before going back to misery (parallel version of paradise, seen as hell by most people) he remains in Purgatory. (Thanks Dante)