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Thursday, 24 May 2012

House: Everybody Dies Review

It's the end- was the moment prepared for?
After eight momentous seasons of twists, turns and anxiety, the US' fab medical drama House has reached its end today with the broadcast of its series finale, Everybody Dies. Was this epic closer worth the wait?
THE PLOT: As his parole looms and a drug addict is admitted to Princeton, Dr Greg House must face his own demons and decide whether he should live or die while his best friend nears his demise.
THE REVIEW: It was always going to be hard to please everyone in the case of such a beloved show as House, but by golly, do the show's producers try their best. 45 minutes is a peaky running time, so the strain of the rapid reintroduction of characters like Kutner, Cameron, Chase, Martha, Thirteen, Amber and countless other old friends and adversaries is undoubtedly felt. Indeed, it's the slight tendency the writers seemed to have had to self-indulge themselves a little too far here, bathing in the nostalgia of all this show has achieved rather than focusing on its present emotional arcs, that holds the finale back a little. That said, for the most part what the episode does, it does very well, as we see House in perhaps the darkest place he has ever been, seemingly with no hope of redemption or return. The actions the good doctor takes to 'destroy' himself come the story's denounement are certainly going to prove divisive, and yet despite seeing the funeral twist coming from a mile off (thanks, Sherlock!), I was thoroughly pleased with the position the programme left House and Wilson in during its final moments. Why should we have to see James suffer through his final months of cancer, and indeed Greg through the extended time he now will surely spend imprisoned afterwards, when we can just focus on a single moment of happiness and solitude for the pair of them as they drive off into the future? In many ways, I can think of no better an ending for a show so hell-bent on reminding us that everybody does die than for us to forgive that dull fact of life for a second, and focus on the bright side as House so clearly does thanks to the somewhat overzealous number of hallucinations he recieves when attempting his suicide. We might perhaps wonder whether this finale story would have been better served either as a two-parter or a double-length episode, yet to some extent its brevity is ever-so remniscent of this programme's ability to survive within a tight and short format.
THE VERDICT: I hoped to leave the final season of House with nothing but fond memories for this fascinating medical drama, and thankfully Everybody Dies has not left me feeling otherwise. A deservedly nostalgic finale, this is an episode which can truly be said to have wrapped up the various plot strands of the series perfectly, without giving an unnecessary amount of exposition towards the unseen future at its climax.

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