House: No Reason (finale)
by Tom Biro, posted May 24th 2006 12:15AM
(S02E24) Wow. The second season of House, unfortunately, came to an end Tuesday night, and shocking isn't even the word that should be used to describe it. Most weeks, I really have a good handle on what's actually happening in-episode. This week, I gotta say that I was lost, found, lost, found, and lost. And that's a good thing.
When a man walks into House's office after he and the team are trying to diagnose a patient, asks who he is, and then proceeds to drop a pair of bullets in him, it almost looked for a moment as if it could be the end for our hero, er, favorite obnoxious doctor. But as the episode unfolded, we were shown a House that not only was able to walk without pain in his leg, but was so thrown off by his actions that he was trying to figure out what was real and what wasn't. That got worse once he found himself hallucinating, with the first instance being his "meeting" with an attractive woman outside the room of his current patient. As it turns out, not only was that woman not really there, but she was actually the now-dead wife of the man who came to shoot him.
I'm forseeing some complaints from TV fans after this show, because it's not every show that successfully pulls off a bit of a dream sequence, or in this case a hallucination, Jacob's Ladder-style, that showed a matter of days or so taking place in what was probably minutes. What was most important, and yet again proves how absolutely brilliant that this show's writers and creators are, was that House - not unexpectedly - uses that time while he's en route to trauma care to figure out how to fix his leg. This plays off something that many people have probably experienced at one time, that it's possible to "figure things out" while dreaming or sleeping. Of course, most people don't have to be shot twice in order to do this, but it's all the same in the end.
Seeing what can only be described as an internal battle between the parts of House's personality and conscience, all played by the cast members of the show, was outright fantastic. In some ways, they played the same characters that they do normally, although this time they were all speaking to the doctor. Wilson was, as usual, the logical one - even pointing out how House was logical with him when he was slugged in the face - in trying to get House to figure out the case at hand, which was on hold in "reality" right now, presumably. Seeing someone figure out that they were hallucinating was one thing, but it's a whole other thing to see them try and remove themselves from the dream (pinch me!) in such a graphic way as what House did, using the robotic surgeon to slice up the patient. Although, I've got say that the robot had its merits, as House had some fun slicing buttons off Cameron's shirt. Did anyone ponder back to when the patient-to-be was answering whether or not he had seen enough after House uses the scalpel to cut one button, and he said "No?" Considering now that we know House was saying that to himself, that's kind of curious.
Immediately after the show ended tonight, I had to say I was struck a bit that it would close that way, with House asking for Ketamine, which he was told in his dream about dreams (or was it just one dream?) was used by the surgeon working on extracting the bullets from him would put him in a coma, but wouldn't require anesthesia to do the surgery. The coma, he found out, was used by "German doctors" in order to let the brain "reboot" itself. He feared this in a big way when he found out from the dream Cuddy that this had happened, but when he uttered those words on the hospital gurney, it was almost as if he had made some sort of peace with himself.
As far as predictions go, I'll definitely be disappointed if our doc isn't quite the jerk he's always been, but there's no way that that hitch to the show would ever be kicked out. If he can walk normally when we reconvene, however, that'll be shocking enough. And hey, as long as we don't have any "Who shot J.R.?" things to worry about over the Summer, I'm happy.
I most certainly didn't think that this show could top itself after the first season, and I think it definitely did that. As "big" as it was this year, it's still underrated as far as overall programs go, but the Summertime reruns will probably add to the viewership, just as they did last year, giving people a taste of what they were missing all year. I don't think we'll have any cast changes, although the return of Stacy could always happen, right? Kudos to FOX and the folks behind House on another huge year, and we'll catch you Housephiles back here next Fall.