House, M.D is a unique take on TV medical drama, featuring the unconventional genius Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), one of the world’s best diagnosticians, and one of the world’s biggest jerks. The popular series follows House through his antihero tactics at saving patients’ lives, as he stirs trouble between his colleagues. House, M.D may have aired its final episode a decade ago, but its storyline still feels incomplete. The series finale ended in an open, interpretive way that left many fans unsatisfied.
It kicks off with House in a burning building, talking to a hallucination of Kutner (Kal Penn). Through flashbacks, viewers find out that House has been trying to tell Foreman (Omar Epps) to convince the parole board that he needs his help at the hospital, which also gives House more time with the dying Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). Amber (Anne Dudek) also appears in his hallucinations, where she figures out that House’s last patient was dependent on drugs to gain happiness, which House empathized with. When the building blows up, House is confirmed dead. However, at his memorial service, he texts Wilson during his speech. The finale ends with the two riding their motorbikes down an empty road. In response to the lack of information about House’s fate now and once Wilson passes away, fans began to speculate on the future.
House Really Died
One of the most popular theories about the season finale of House, M.D is that House really died in the fire, as posted in the r/HouseMD subreddit. After evaluating his actions with hallucinations of impactful people in his life, House hits his turning point of realization that his life is worth living. Cementing this, he stands up and heads for the exit in the burning building, before a flaming beam falls directly on House, and the building explodes.
Seeing as House spends most of the episode in a drug-induced hallucination, the theory that House dies seems plausible considering how hard it would be to escape a burning, exploding building. This theory also ties into the second most popular theory – that the final scene is Wilson’s hallucination in grief-driven despair over losing his best friend.
The Ending Scene Is Wilson’s Hallucination
Following the idea that House actually died in the fire, is that Wilson struggles to cope without his best friend. With only five months to live, the theory, in addition to House dying, is that Wilson hallucinates the idea that House is still alive. Posted on r/FanTheories, a fan pointed out that during House’s memorial, no one else notices a phone beeping when Wilson calls the audience out on it. Instead, everyone looks in confusion, only for Wilson to realize that the phone is in his pocket. This could suggest his first descent into madness.
When he arrives home to find House at his doorstep, House’s cane is missing, which can symbolize an idealized version of him that Wilson imagined. Finally, in order to give himself a happier few final months, this idea that House is alive makes Wilson spend his time alone with a version of House who finally cares about someone other than himself, prioritizing Wilson as he needed him to throughout his cancer diagnosis.
House Turns Himself In
A theory fans believe about the ending of House, M.D actually occurs after the events of the finale episode. With the knowledge that Wilson will die within 5 months, House wishes to spend his remaining time together, thus why he faked his own death and avoided impending jail time. Viewers believe that the ending was actually the beginning of House’s redemption arc, after he helps Wilson live the rest of his life, House will honor his jail sentence once Wilson has passed.
During this time, he may come clean about how he faked his death, letting his former colleagues know – particularly Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) since he promised to euthanize her when her Huntington’s disease became too unbearable. After his sentence, House may never be able to practice medicine again, but he could become an at-home consultant to other doctors who are in need of a differential diagnosis.
House Kills To Fake His Death
After eight seasons of House, M.D, it’s a fair assumption to suggest that Dr. House is more of an antihero (in his charming, narcissistic way). Some viewers believe that House killed the unfortunate, drug-addicted Oliver in the fire as an easy way out. Whilst the episode frames House as being affected by drugs and feeling suicidal during the fire, viewers believe the whole thing was premeditated. The episode fails to mention how the fire started, so fans believe that House lit it, knowing it was an abandoned building, with the intention of committing suicide.
One of the biggest complaints that the show received was the fact that House never seemed to develop as a character – he stays the same miserable, enabled person who favors solving puzzles and figuring out others’ motives instead of making positive changes in his life. The stagnancy of House validates this theory because in the end, killing a guy in order to fake his own death solves a giant puzzle in his life. Others suggest that it was House’s best attempt at rationality – where he killed a man who was dying anyway to finally be there for Wilson, the one person he truly ever cared about.
Thirteen Knows About House’s Plan
A more minor theory about the ending of House, M.D is that one person knew about House’s plan to fake his own death – Thirteen. The theory primarily comes from parallels between Thirteen’s issues with Huntington’s disease, and Wilson being diagnosed with cancer. In Season 7, House and Thirteen go on a road trip, where Thirteen confides to House that she saw her mother die of Huntington’s and worries about the burden she’ll place on others when she passes the same way.
House promises her that he will be there when the time comes to euthanize her, rather than her die suffering. In the same vein, Wilson asks House to do the same when his cancer progresses, and then viewers see the two head off on a road trip in the final scene. Knowing how important his promise was, House could have told Thirteen about his fake death plan, in order to keep his promise to both her and Wilson, especially knowing Thirteen wouldn’t receive the same offer from her colleagues.
Wilson Goes Into Remission, As House Planned
The most interesting theory about Season 8 relates to one of the show’s major plot twists: Wilson getting cancer. In a theory posted on the r/HouseMD subreddit, House could have faked Wilson still having cancer. Earlier in Season 8, House tests Wilson by faking that he has a son – a regret that Wilson expressed. When Wilson figures out that he isn’t father-material, House reveals it was all a prank to show Wilson that he does not need a son in his life.
Because of this moment, fans believe that when House took Wilson’s post radiation scans, he found that the cancer had disappeared, but decided to lie about it for Wilson’s own character development. By believing he will die of cancer in months, Wilson began to do everything that he wanted to do without a second thought. By House going along with this, it meant that they both got to go on crazy adventures, living recklessly and without fear.
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