After serving time in prison, genius diagnostician Greg House is rehired by Foreman (Epps), the new Dean Of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital. Though handed a basic department and one team member, Dr Chi Park (Yi), House quickly brings in one of the prison doctors he worked with, Dr Jessica Adams (Annable) and re-recruits both Chase (Spencer) and Taub (Jacobson). Just as things are getting back to normality though, Wilson (Leonard) is diagnosed with terminal cancer…
After a steady decline in quality over the last few years and a previous finale which left fans wondering how the show could plausibly continue, you’d have been forgiven for approaching the eighth and final season of House with some apprehension. After all, with House driving a car through Cuddy’s window and fleeing the country in the season seven climax (Out of character? Discuss), there was surely no credible way for him to return to work and business as usual at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital, right? Well, after a terrific opening instalment (which follows the final days of the maverick doctor’s incarceration), House, as anyone who’s read the plot summary above will know, returns to work and business as usual at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital.
Overall, season eight is an average and fairly uneven finish to a formerly great show. That said, Hugh Laurie and a perennially underrated cast (Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer) ensure it’s still worth watching (just), even if the new additions (Charlyne Yi’s Velma-ish Park, Odette Annable’s eye candy Adams) aren’t particularly memorable. In truth, there aren’t too many new character avenues to explore by now (since the series has always excelled in that department), so the decision to revolve the final run around House and Wilson’s friendship – always the show’s key dynamic – is a wise one. Even if his cancer is only introduced with four episodes to go.
Which brings us to the key reason for sticking with the final season – seeing how it all ends. Though perhaps undone by the fact that the show should have finished a few years ago, the finale is reasonably effective and thankfully far from awful, if not quite the definitive swan song we were perhaps hoping for. With series creator David Shore penning the episode, there is a measure of closure and some decent throwbacks to old memories (the team photo from season one is a nice touch), but nothing quite as compelling as previous finales. All that being true, television will undoubtedly be a lesser place without Hugh Laurie and his cane. So goodbye dear friend, and thanks for teaching us that everybody lies, that everyone is an idiot, and that it’s rarely lupus.
After a steady decline in quality over the last few years and a previous finale which left fans wondering how the show could plausibly continue, the eighth and final season of House is an average and uneven one. Not terrible, but far from its best.