We’ve had our debates on this blog about House — see here and here — so I’ve resisted posting anything about the unsettling season-ending episode. Today, however, my friend JV and I spent some time at lunch talking about the episode and what it all meant, and I realized that fact just demonstrated, again, why I think House is a show well worth watching.
This season’s ultimate episode challenged viewers to distinguish between reality and fantasy. There will be no “right” answers until next season begins and we find out what “really happened.” The episode ended with Dr. Gregory House apparently entering a psychiatric institution — but, did he really? The final scene has Wilson wordlessly driving House to some stereotypical-looking, forbidding Victorian institution. Wilson stops some distance from the entrance, he and House exchange meaningful looks, and then he watches as House approaches the door of the facility and is helped inside. The camera then shows that the building is a mental hospital. The scene is so strange and dream-like that it made me wonder whether it really happened at all, or whether it was just another Vicodin-flavored hallucination along with much of the rest of what (apparently) happened in this episode and last episode. Was any of what we saw — including the patient of the week and the wedding of Cameron and Chase — real?
I understand that not everyone likes House or finds it entertaining, but not many TV shows are so thought-provoking that you can have a detailed lunchtime conversation about them. That counts for something, in my book.