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'House' recap: Everybody dies. (Well...)

Hugh Laurie acts opposite and Kal Penn, portraying

Hugh Laurie acts opposite and Kal Penn, portraying Dr. Kutner in a scene from the fourth season of "House, M.D." (Credit: Fox)

Everybody dies, and that apparently applies to Gregory House as well. Or did it? At peace, at last. (And suffice it to say: SPOILER ALERT...) A life, such as this one was, dedicated to the relentless, heartless pursuit of truth - or puzzles - seemed to finally end last night in a blazing building - but continued after all, when he faked his own death so he could remain by the side of his closest friend in the world, Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), himself dying from cancer.

Appropriately dark and grim, though the final seconds were far from that - House and Wilson on motorcycles, on the open road, with an old Guy Lombardo hit, "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)" tracking. It was a carpe diem wrap to a finale that had its eponymous hero wondering about ending it all, and finally, did not.

En route to nothingness, House's final journey and last night's finale - "Everybody Dies" - was a trip thorugh his subconscious or his own private hell, not that there was ever that much of a difference anyway. Ghosts from Christmas past, so to speak, from Princeton-Plainsboro arrived, to dispense wisdom or perspective, like Kutner (Kal Penn), Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), and Stacy Warner (Sela Ward), his girlfriend from the first season (Cuddy - Lisa Edelstein, his last love, did not show up).

The message was life, life, life, even though he had decided on death, death, death. After eight seasons, though, "House" and House decided on life affirmation. It all closed with an old Warren Zevon song, "Keep Me In Your Heart For A While."

"House" fans of course will.

There was a whole lot going on though so much revolved around a silly little plot twist from the last couple of episodes – House flushing down a pair of tickets from Foreman, causing the backup of all backups (roof caved in , destroying a half-million-dollar MRI machine; House had to head back to prison, etc.)

Prison of course meant death, for House would never then get to spend Wilson’s final moments with him; and since he had worked so hard preaching the value of life to Wilson these last few episodes, the shoe, so to speak, was suddenly on the other foot (or whatever the cliché is): House had to be talked out of ending his own life.

“This is hell,” House later appropriately observed. “An eternity of people her to convince me to live.”

Finally it was Masters – Amber Tamblyn – or at least I think it was Masters (hell, it was dark in that burning building) who seemed to finally carry the day: “…you’re too afraid to admit to yourself that you’re taking the cowardly way out…” Cue to Wilson and Foreman converging on the inferno…House, standing in the window, stricken, and a beam falls, then the building explodes.

(Only later, when his phone rang at the memorial, and the message read, “SHUT UP YOU IDIOT” did Wilson realize he had been had; viewers too.)

On that note, how House did indeed escape death will forever be one of those “oh come on!” moments in finale history as long as there are finales. (As in, oh come on – how did House escape a collapsing floor, and a huge building explosion in roughly 0.05 seconds?) But this is TV: David Shore can end this any way he wants. And obviously did.

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