House “Swan Song; Everybody Dies” Review

House M.D. Series Finale 2012 Swan Song Everybody Dies

Well, that’s it everybody. House is done. It’s gone. Forever. After eight seasons, 177 episodes, and millions of viewers that have grown to love this show over the years, we end the show’s spectacular run with the two-part series finale “Swan Song; Everybody Dies”. Did the “Two Hour Series Finale Event” deliver on eight years of build up? Read on for my (very long) review to find out!

When I heard that the first hour of the two hour series finale event was going to be an hour long retrospective on the series as a whole, I was a bit disappointed. We had a big cliffhanger last week, so I thought I would have really liked the whole two hours to be focused on resolving the story that we’ve seen building up for eight years. Thankfully, though, I quite liked “Swan Song”. We’re welcomed by the dulcet English baritone voice of House himself, Hugh Laurie, as he introduces us to some members of the crew at House, the television production. I quite liked meeting the cast and being able to put faces to all the names we’ve seen during the credits over the years, but I was concerned that the whole episode would be an excuse to pat themselves on the back for the great work they’ve done. However, that wasn’t the case. “Swan Song” did a great job at balancing behind the scenes looks at the cast and crew, character studies of House and friends, and sure, a little bit of self congratulating.

There’s not really a lot to critique in an episode like “Swan Song”, but it was a fitting way to encapsulate the journey we’ve all taken together over the last eight years. I could have done without the goofy artistic flourishes like the clown on stilts and the paintball scene, but that’s really just nitpicking at this point. For me, the best part of the retrospective was that it put me in such a great place to review the real series finale. After remembering what’s made this show great for so many years, we can now move on to talking about the final episode of House ever: “Everybody Dies”.

“Everybody Dies” does start in a fittingly intriguing manner as we see House wake up in a burning warehouse next to an unconscious guy and…Kutner! That’s right, Kal Penn’s much hyped return did come in the form that everybody guessed: A dream sequence. But that’s not all! We also got the return of Amber, Stacy, and Cameron! It’s not the first time House has seen Kutner since his death, nor was it the first time he’s seen Amber (who he saw repeatedly in seasons five and six), but this was different. This was…darker. Instead of his hallucinations being fueled by his addiction, all of this seemed to be coming completely out of nowhere.

So these hallucinations of Kal and Amber were helping House do…what exactly? Solve a case. That’s right everybody, after 176 episodes of solving cases we still have to put some moron in a hospital bed for House to cure. Thankfully the cure didn’t take that much screen time, but with only 43 minutes to resolve eight years of relationships and back story, it’s hard not to feel a little cheated. Heck, even House tried to dismiss the story himself! “Nobody cares about the medical stuff.” Then why are we seeing it?!

Anyway, it was great seeing so many returning faces taking time out of their busy schedules to show up for the finale. Andre Braugher had the time to reprise his role as Dr. Nolan, and any excuse I get to remember the spectacular season six episode “Broken” is great for me! Amber Tamblyn also returned, along with Jesse Spencer, Olivia Wilde, and others.

So all of this leads up to the grand finale: House’s “death”. Now, I know that people will complain about the ending to this show, because people complain about everything. But to be quite honest with you…I don’t know how to feel about it. On one hand, everybody likes a happy ending. The fact that House gets to spend the last month of his best friends life unencumbered by restrictions and responsibilities, being able to ride across the country in matching motorcycles, was all very sweet. On the other hand, though, House deserved to die. Wilson wasn’t wrong: He’s an ass. He’s selfish, mean, arrogant, and extremely difficult to work with. He’s always putting himself above others, and really doesn’t see any real consequences for his actions. The fact that he was able to keep working through this episode due to some technicality that Foreman worked out with his parole officer was a miracle in and of itself, but he proceeds to be a complete jerk to Foreman in return. He also lets all of his friends and colleagues live on believing that he’s dead, which is also quite selfish. So could House have died? Yes. Would it have been a deserved and natural way for the character to end? Yes. Was it nice seeing House spending time with his best friend, riding off into the sunset together? Of course.

I’m sure within minutes of the finale airing, the internet will erupt with very strong opinions of the finale. Many will hate the bait and switch of House somehow “getting out of the back” of the exploding warehouse, but many would hate it if he died. I for one respect the opinion and vision of the writers who have made this great product for the last eight years, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

What did you think of the finale? Should House have died? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– My day job is selling insurance to people in the entertainment industry, so the people that I talk to all day is the kind of people we met tonight. Grips, lighting technicians, ADs, gaffers, etc. They really are an interesting type of person, if you ever have the chance to meet them.

– Do you think the check-in screen at FOX studios was real? I thought it was kind of funny that Hugh Laurie’s name was in red and it said in big bold letters “Last day of access”. As if Laurie will be turned away at the door if he ever shows up again.

– Jesse Spencer plays violin?! That was unexpected!