Tag Archives: ann dudek

Review: House Season Finale

“It doesn’t hurt here. I don’t want to be in pain; I don’t want to be miserable; I don’t want him to hate me.” —House, hovering between life and death with Amber.Back on the bus that has haunted House’s dreams since the terrible crash last episode as he tries to remember exactly what happened, the now-deceased Amber is the avatar for House’s subconscious, wrestling with whether he should let go or stay and fight. Stay in the warm white glow of the bus with Amber or get off and face life, as sorrowful and painful as it is? And that, it would appear, is House’s destiny. Because House is not a coward; because he cannot allow himself to die without reconciling with his closest friend (as painful for him as that will surely be); because there is no life beyond, and as unfair as it is, as random as it is, it is the hand of cards House has been dealt, and he isn’t ready to go “all in.”

Life, living life, is sometimes brutal and fraught with tragedy and pain; things we cannot control — and things we maybe could have, but have let careen out of control. A solitary figure sits in a bar trying to escape from the pain and loneliness that enshrouds his life; a bartender takes his keys after one too many, and a young woman dies as a result. It’s no one’s fault, but everyone carries some responsibility with them. “Am I dead?” the comatose House asks Amber as they sit bathed in white light. “I should be…lonely, misanthropic drug addicts should die on buses; young do-gooders in love who are called out of their apartments in the middle of the night should walk away clean.” And so House trudges on to face himself — and Wilson. As Wilson reprimanded House earlier this season (in “Games” Wilson told House “Dying is easy; living, that’s hard.”)“Wilson’s Heart,” the House season four finale was the heart-stopping, heart breaking conclusion to last week’s “House’s Head.” Moving the badly injured and ill Amber to Princeton Plainsboro from another nearby hospital, her heart stops enroute. Rather than try to revive her right away, Wilson convinces House to lower her body temperature and place her on heart bypass to keep her alive while continuing to retrieve pieces of his memory, searching for any sort of clue.

Unable to rest; not certain whether he betrayed his best friend, House’s continues in overdrive and each time he tries to sleep, Amber invades his subconscious mind. Why were they together? Could they, as Taub suggests, be beginning an affair? A devastated House honestly cannot answer Taub’s accusation. Is this the terrible truth House’s mind won’t allow him to recall, that he and Amber were cheating on Wilson? If only it were that simple. House is living on a knife’s edge as the physical and emotional toll on him mounts. Exhausted and “barely coherent” (as he tells Wilson), House is too emotionally invested (on several levels) in the case as he tries his best to diagnose Amber and to remember something that may be too painful. As in “House’s Head,” the dreams are fantasy infused with fragmented reality, and they emerge as parts of a whole, providing vague clues. In one incredible fantasy, House dreams that Amber pours him sherry and seduces him. Passive, but completely into the moment (he doesn’t touch Amber at all as she climbs on his lap whispering in his ear and caressing his face), House awakens as the word “electricity” sparks a new clue. Why is “sherry” important? Was there really a seduction? Or was Amber’s lap dance simply a new reflection of the lap dancer from “House’s Head?” He doesn’t know, but the fantasy helps him recall that electrical stimulation of his hypothalamus might recover vivid images of his broken memory. Wilson and Cuddy veto this dangerous and possibly fatal procedure, telling him that he needs to rest. But we know that House will not rest until he discovers what is missing.

Continued here on Blogcritics: