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

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Season 7 Finale- 'Moving On'

Before we start talking about Season 8, we should have a look at the S7 finale, 'Moving On'. We usually expect a massive hit from [H] season finales. Well we quite literally got one. It received the biggest variety of reactions I have ever seen. I saw the words "love", "hate", "disappointment" and "WTH" quite a lot. Speculation is huge in the world of [H]. Was his escape within the realms of reality? Is he in a coma after the crash? Has he actually been at Mayfield for some/all of S7? Did S7 actually happen or was he hallucinating?

I will keep my take on the finale brief. On my first viewing I was disappointed. BUT that doesn't necessarily mean I didn't appreciate it for what it was. There were some moments of absolute genius:

- The close-up shot of an almost numb Cuddy at the beginning of the episode in black and white as the sirens silently blare in the background. This is in fact the end, not the beginning, which means there is a cycle; a parallel at least to House telling Wilson he feels nothing (at the chronological beginning), or rather in my opinion, he feels everything at once and is left in an almost paralysed state. Which links to my next favourite moment.

- The moment House finally stops feeling indifferent and pushes Cuddy against the wall, telling her "I feel hurt". This of course opens the floodgates, which in my mind links to Bombshells when Cuddy talks about trapping emotions and intuition behind closed doors, until there comes a point when that is no longer possible. Once House begins to reveal his feelings, (to Cuddy, to himself, to us) HE can no longer trap them behind closed doors. This of course leads to the heart stopping car crash at the end. I have to say Hugh Laurie never fails to impress me. His facial expression, his eyes, everything he conveyed was earth shattering. The crash, in my opinion, does NOT represent a murderous House, but a man that has finally been destroyed. I see the broken house as a representation of a fractured House. He gave his heart to Cuddy, which meant that he also in part gave her his mind, as he chose her over medicine. His Housian rationale shifted to accommodate a wonderfully complex relationship. And then he is left broken (link to Mayfield - 'Broken'). His crashing through the house also symbolises, I believe, a final rupture in his relationship with Cuddy (symbolic-finale episode and 'Moving On').

What I saw as a disappointment was the ending. Put it this way, if the SERIES had ended that way I would have felt cheated. On the other hand, it opens up the show to interpretation and what interpretation leads to is involvement. As long as we are not left indifferent, the show will continue to thrive. So that is my "brief" opinion of the finale.

Please feel free to post comments/your own views either under the post or in the discussion forum.


  1. wow Steph, great review ! i specially love :

    "I see the broken house as a representation of a fractured House. He gave his heart to Cuddy, which meant that he also in part gave her his mind, as he chose her over medicine." THIS !!!

  2. Thank you! That's very kind of you to say. I'm very excited to see how S8 will begin as it will also tell us what the finale represented.

  3. yep can't wait too, i'm curious to see what House will do !
    (it's Mel btw lol)

  4. Hi! That made me laugh, I had no idea it was you. I've added you as a friend on your page.

  5. Have to say that I was quite disappointed. Consider it a weaker epp, passable but unworthy of a finale, especially Cuddy's farewell. But as you said, there were outstanding moments. H/C scene was superb.

    If there's one thing House is he's absolutely incapable of being moderate. So when he decides to show his feelings catastrophe is a given, both because he always goes too far, and because the realm of emotions is unfamiliar territory.
    Still think they could've come up with something better than the crash, though. It was ok, but [H]ouse has always been extraordinary & should flee ok like the plague.

  6. I very much agree with your view of House being unable to be moderate. He either feels 'nothing' or 'everything',the line between them often blurring. I thought the crash was poignant only in a metaphorical sense. Literally, it was a man acting like a maniac. On a more profound level it was of course a reflection of his psyche, of his 'break'.

    Let's hope S8 starts with a bang to counteract a fairly weak finale (compared to other finales).

  7. At first I was disappointed with this episode, because this was really not how I imagined the season to end, but it did have fantastic scenes like you said. I also liked the scene where House is talking to the patient after she decides to use the radiation treatment. I felt so sad for House, he's going to be all alone... Cuddy is not coming back to him and he has to find a way to deal with it.
    I wonder how next season is going to be... Not just how he is ever getting back to the hospital and be friends with Wilson again, but also if he has really moved on from Cuddy. I'm not sure I want him to move on, because I still think House and Cuddy are perfect for each other.
    Oh and what is your opinion by the way of this Taub double daddy story? I don't think I've heard anyone about this XD I'm a Taub fan, but I'm not sure I like it. I want a happy Taub, not more drama for him.

  8. I agree it wasn't the episode we were waiting for, but I also have to say that I liked it. Not because of what really happened but because of the structure of the episode and all the feelings we were able to be a part of. I have my doubts the episode was an hallucination, I believe that the hallucinations were "moments of happiness" that crashed with the reality he was living, that's why he is miserable, because the things worth fighting for weren't true. Until season 6 finale, I don't think that's an hallucination either because the last episode was hard, and that makes me feel it was real. It wasn't until the end they finally gave themselves a chance; the "Bombshells" episode was the same for me, too real to not be true, that's how life works, that's how life has always treated House, and now there's another splinter in the list for him to suffer.
    I do think they won't fit with anybody else than themselves, they created a story behind all those years and that is something which is going to be inside them forever. I'm a believer of He can do better but I also think that Cuddy is broken enough to risk herself to be hurt again and again.
    But above all this, I don't think the last Lisa episode should be like that, she deserves better and Cuddy too, they did a odd job. But I have all my expectations in Hugh, I hope a great season now.

  9. Anna, I also liked that part where House is infuriated by the fact that the patient has compromised her mind for the one she loves (just as he did for Cuddy). He's miserable and he punishes her for his 'mistake'. He always chose his mind over his heart, even with Stacy, whom he loved very much. He gave all of himself to Cuddy and he was left broken. In my opinion it was neither of their faults in the grand scheme of things. House betrayed her trust by taking Vicodin and she went back on her word about being able to handle being with him. Despite being extremely upset when they broke up (because I also think they are made for each other), it was an extremely realistic break up. People err, they get fractured until the break themselves.

    I'm also curious about how they will deal with creating closure for Huddy. As Dana said, it was an awful last episode in terms of giving LE a worthy ending on the show and also for the characters themselves.

    Dana, I really liked your theory about House only hallucinating happiness and in terms of Cuddy I agree (UMS and BSN) but he also struggled with his sanity while Amber was taunting him mercilessly. One of my favourite House quotes is: "If you take the pill you don't deserve her, if you secretly take the pill, you don't deserve anyone". You reminded me of an interesting point actually. He was losing his mind when hallucinating, and he also lost (gave) his mind to Cuddy. This means he was no longer in full control of his senses, of how to react. During the crash, he both lost his mind and gained it back. By expressing everything at once he got rid of the numb feeling and was able to 'move on'. I'm not saying he is sane, far from it, but he was able to process his feelings, which is already a step in the right direction.

    Season 7 also seemed very real to me, there were a lot of subconscious clues, which we saw in 'Bombshells' that told us of their reality. What I liked was that we found out things as the characters did, we lived what they did in 'real time'. I'm curious to see how House will act in S8.

    Anna, about Taub, I think his double daddy situation is perhaps a way to illustrate the irony of life. As soon as he was ready to accept that he was going to be a father (unplanned) and began to cope, he gets hit with another bombshell. In S8 he will conflict and he will have to choose whether to take the high road (telling the truth to both of them) or the low road (keeping it all a secret). Again ironically, whichever path he chooses, he will most likely crash and burn. On one level it is very much about his morals. It also shows that life is complicated, which parallels the situation between House and Cuddy. I'm afraid I haven't got that much Taubian insight.

    Thank you so much for your comments and your views.It's much more interesting when we have different perspectives about the episodes.

  10. I see your point Steph, but I also have a thought about Amber. I think his hallucinations about her are so much different that Cuddy ones, and my proof is that even during those Amber hallucinations he had a Cuddy one (the striptease) and that was "happy" too. I think Amber was in his mind to remind him that he's a doctor, that she was going to die and he had to do his job, for me it's like his mind was punishing him so hard to make him realise what was really going on. She trusted him, she was with him during the bus accident and he didn't even remember; so his mind was entering in his most insightful thoughts and feelings (like the quote you said) to make him "wake up".
    (Sorry for my English...I'm improving it but I'm still a learner...)

  11. I completely agree with you. I also believe Amber was there (in the role of his subconscious) to torture him until he realised what had happened, that it was her on the bus. In terms of Cuddy, as you said, he always hallucinated happy events that fulfilled his hopes and portrayed his love for her in the most realistic form he could have (before they were together). It's a parallel to Cuddy in Bombshells. House himself was showing her what was wrong, illustrating his use of vicodin in the form of 'candy'. The subconscious is a powerful tool to help access your most locked thoughts. And please don't apologize for your English, you have expressed yourself extremely well, and I hope you'll continue to comment.

  12. First of all, congrats for your awesome blog poulette! :)

    I remember watching Moving On live with you and Anna and the awkward silence following it. We were disappointed, probably because we had all the incredible House season finales in mind as well as the amazing previous episode, After Hours.

    There're moments I really liked though. As you said when House stops feeling indifferent and opens himself to Cuddy, admitting how hurt he feels. To me the conversation they have at that point is really important, the crash is deeply connected to it. Speaking of the crash, even if it really surprised me I don't think it was OOC, I always thought House was capable of such crazy things. Plus he is in so much pain after what he went through, not only morally but physically. Back on drugs and testing inconsiderate treatment! So I don't understand why this crash is such a big deal for some fans.
    Besides, I don't agree with people saying that act is pure and cruel revenge and that he wanted to hurt Cuddy, I think that he's actually more angry and frustrated at himself. Because he always knew it would end like this, but for once in his life he allowed himself to have hope, to trust someone, he was ready to sacrifice his medical skills to gain happiness with Cuddy. At some point he really thought he would be able to do it, and now he undestands that it's definitely over. He feels like such a fool to have believe in it. The only thing he could rely on has always been his rationality, his brain. It's the only type of happiness he can have in this world without fearing disappointement, because it depends on nobody else but him. Trying to find happiness somewhere else was foolish and makes him so angry at himself, he has to exteriorize it.
    Moreover, as I said I think that the conversation they have during lunch is really important. House opens himself (first exteriorization) and Cuddy confesses him that she hadn't date anybody else since him, when he sees her with that man, he really feels betrayed. There's so much frustration in him it had to explode in a desperate act, it makes the crash really powerful.

    As you said the very end was really disappointig. At least at first. Change of scenery was so brutal. And seeing a smiling House, after what just happened broke our Huddy hearts. But I will express my sentiment in your other article. :)