House: Season 8 [Blu-ray]
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Two-time Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie is back one last time as TV’s favorite misanthrope Dr. Gregory House in the hit series’ eighth and final season. When House returns to Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital after an unconventional release from his prison sentence, he finds himself under a surprising new chain of command and dealing with personnel changes to his staff. Together, House and his new team take on the most baffling medical cases yet and face challenges of both the mind and heart as this television phenomenon comes to a close with these final 22 gripping episodes from this beloved and brilliant show.
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How do I sum up a show that has influenced me so greatly without giving anything away about the finale, or the episodes that lead up to it? I think the answer lies in House as a character. I have to assume if you are reading the review for the final season of a show that has had eight, that you are at least somewhat familiar with it. I am going to assume that because there is no way to talk about the character as a whole without going over the past seasons. I will not spoil eight at all, but I will talk about seven in this review, and how it ties into eight beautifully.
So, here we go. House is as damaged as a character comes. He has tried to find love, with Stacy in season two, and Cuddy in season seven. Some can argue there was even something between he and Cameron in the first season. House is capable of love. He loves more than most do, but in a way that is guarded behind cynicism, sarcasm, and avoidance. He sabotages every relationship. Cuddy made his fears come to life in "Bombshells", the season seven episode. It ultimately leads to what many call the "jump the shark moment". House drives his car through her living room. To me it was brilliant, and completely in character.
What the season seven finale left were a lot of questions. Many felt like the House they had watched over the years would never have done something so destructive. Season eight had to be about redemption. And my fellow fans, the writers hit it out of the park. He paid the price for the crash. Due to a negotiation fall out Lisa Edelstein's final scene in the show was last season, after House gives her the hair brush back. And, in my opinion, it was the perfect exit for her character. But, that doesn't change the fact that the act of last season made many find House's character had gone too far.
Season eight is all about new beginnings, but at the same time falling back into old habits. The first episode is about paying the price for crashing his car into her home. The episodes that follow slowly peel back layers of House we haven't gotten to see before. His redemption comes in paying high prices. The final four episodes of this season are some of the best of the series. The final arc is the one that really challenges House. It makes him show love in a way we knew he was capable, but haven't seen before. To me Wilson has always been the left foot to House's right. So many people talk about Cuddy as House's love. Whatever place she did have, she gave up when she toyed with him. Wilson has always been House's deepest love. They have a friendship that has survived betrayal, (Wilson in season three's, "Merry Little Christmas") death, (Amber in the season four finale "Wilson's Heart") and House's countless acts of self destruction. For House, his love is not Stacy, Cameron, or Cuddy. His love is Wilson: A friend that has been there through the worst of it all and hasn't abandoned him. It is completely fitting and fantastic that the last four episodes focus on House and Wilson. And the finale is one of ultimate sacrifice. It is House's redemption, and ends this series in the best way possible.
This is for those who have watched the whole final season, the finale and all.
Let's begin. The price House pays for the car crash is a year of prison. The episode does a wonderful job of setting the stage for what the final season will be. He has paid his price, and now is released under Foreman's watch on parole. House's office has been shut down, and turned into a whole other ward. Foreman is now dean. Two new doctors join his team. Throughout the season, House slowly earns his office back. His team is Chase, Taub, Park, and Adams. It's about rebuilding. Season eight has a first season feel, and I love it. I feel like we now know what Wilson talks about in the first season: House pining over Stacy for five years; us meeting him as he starts to pick himself back up again. Wilson talks about how he was there when House got really bad. I feel like the seven seasons were us watching him slowly get back to that dark dark place that Wilson talks about in the first season. And so it is very fitting that the final season is about him starting over again. We have come full circle, and season eight is the only place House could have ended. Because, this time, he changes himself.
The final arc was beyond brilliant. It was heartbreaking in its irony and eye opening on so many levels. Wilson has cancer. Not like Cuddy last season where it was a close call. He has a stage 2 thymoma that has invaded the tissue around his thymus. There's a seventy five percent chance of beating it, which also means there's a twenty five percent chance of not. The final four episodes are about House and Wilson. The arc starts with a radical treatment that doesn't work, until it soon becomes about accepting the final five months House has with his best friend. In the penultimate episode "Holding On", a small prank from House becomes his downfall. As he has begun to accept that he has five months left with Wilson, the small prank comes back to bite him. He has to go back to jail for six months; Wilson only has five to live. I entered the series finale feeling a sense of dread. After all, its titled "Everybody Dies", and there is absolute truth in it. But, the finale was the most fitting one I can dream up. Kutner, Amber, Stacy, and Cameron all came back as different parts of his subconscious, convincing him that there was more to him than the medicine, or his friendship with Wilson. Convincing him that he'll be okay even when his friend is gone. It was incredible. I used to think the only way for House to end would be for him to die. And he did, but not the man, the identity of House. He faked his own death, destroying any chance of practicing medicine again, just so he can spend Wilson's last five months with him.
You wanted redemption. There it is. And in a scene I never thought I would see, House and Wilson ride off on motorcycles, starting their last five months together. It's as happy of an ending that a show like House can have. In his own way, House did get to ride off into the sunset. Amazing. Inspired. Incredible. There will never be another show like House.
Although House is no longer a doctor, his basic nature means he's unable to stay away from puzzles, especially when they concern medicine -- meaning, House is a frequent visitor to the prison clinic. In the season premiere, "Twenty Vicodin," Dr. Jessica Adams (Odette Annable) is a bit wary at times, but despite the reasons for House's being there, Adams quickly deduces that this man is a medical genius from whom there's lots to learn.
After much wangling on the part of House's former team member Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) - who is now the Dean of Medicine, taking over for Cuddy - House is able to work at the hospital again. The only problem is, he no longer has a team - during the past year, everyone scattered to other parts of the hospital. Foreman also refuses to give House a departmental budget. But of course, being House, neither is much of an obstacle for him. He lures Adams away from her prison job to come work for him for free (for the time being), and also acquires Dr. Chi Park (Charlyn Yi), a hesitant young Asian woman who seems to have lost favor in her old department due to a surprising act, and now needs to find another position ASAP.
After a time, House also persuades his old team members Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson) and Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer) to return.
Karolina Wydra also returns as House's green card wife Dominika, the two forging something like a real relationship as they get caught by immigration officials and must live together to convince everyone of their sincerity.
After several seasons where Chase was almost part of the background, it was refreshing to see the charismatic Australian land a few meatier stories throughout the season, including a strange but intense relationship with an ailing young nun, and a patient who attacks him with a knife and nearly kills him, causing serious physical damage and some emotional, as the experience forces Chase to really think about his life.
But in the end, House's entire existence always boils down to one thing -- his longtime best friend Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). Throughout all of House's madness, the long-suffering Wilson has been the voice of reason, and on occasion, his partner in crime. No matter who else comes or goes in House's life, he can always count on Wilson to be the one solid and consistent. Yet a shocking development suddenly rears its ugly head in the final episodes, and House is forced to confront the possibility that he may indeed be alone in the end. Can House possibly survive? Or, the bigger question seems to be, would House even WANT to?
While viewers have voiced all sorts of opinions and speculations about this final season, and largely the very end depicting House's future, one thing is certain -- this show is one that won't be forgotten any time soon.
I felt bad for Adams. She was an interesting character, until the writers felt the need to turn her into Cameron Jr.
Very much worth getting if you've been watching.
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