Everybody Dies (House)
|Episode no.||Season 8
|Directed by||David Shore|
|Written by||David Shore, Peter Blake & Eli Attie|
|Original air date||May 21, 2012|
"Everybody Dies" is the last episode of the eighth season of the American television medical drama series House, and the final episode of the series. It aired on Fox Network in the United States on May 21, 2012. The series finale aired immediately following a retrospective episode, entitled "Swan Song", which made for a two-hour special. The title is a reference to the pilot episode which was called "Everybody Lies".
House wakes up next to a dead body in an abandoned building that is slowly burning down. He starts to suffer hallucinations of former colleagues Dr. Lawrence Kutner, Dr. Amber Volakis, Stacy Warner and Dr. Allison Cameron, and realizes he is arguing with his own subconscious of whether he should escape or die in the fire.
Flashbacks show that in the days prior, House took up the case of Oliver (James LeGros), a heroin addict, claiming it was the only thing that made him happy. Oliver overheard that House is facing felony vandalism charges, which both Wilson or Foreman refused to lie to help House. He offered to take the blame for House as he believed he was about to die, but House discovered a symptom that indicates the patient will likely live, and told him this. In the present, House recognizes the dead body as Oliver.
Wilson and Foreman have not seen House for several days, and fear that he might be suicidal. Discovering Oliver also missing from the hospital, they suspect he may have gone with him to take heroin. They track down Oliver's address, and see the burning building nearby. They see House trapped inside, moments before the building explodes. Later, a coroner confirms that a burnt body from the building is House's.
A funeral is held for House. While most of his colleagues call House a positive force in their lives, Wilson uses his eulogy to call House arrogant and that he never cared for his friends. Suddenly, a phone in Wilson's pocket rings, with a text message stating "Shut up, you idiot". Wilson finds House alive waiting at his home. House admits he switched his dental records with his patient to allow him to fake his death; an astonished Wilson states that he just destroyed his life, he will go to jail and will never be able to practice medicine again, House then just says, "Wilson, I'm dead". House then asks Wilson how he would like to spend his last months before he dies from his terminal cancer.
In post-script, a montage of House's colleagues at the hospital is shown accompanied by Warren Zevon's "Keep Me in Your Heart". Foreman discovers House's hospital ID stuck under a wobbly table leg in his office, which he had previously complained to House, and chuckles to himself, realizing House is still alive. Elsewhere, House and Wilson are traveling the country on touring motorcycles, House telling Wilson to live for the now as they ride off, accompanied by Louis Prima's "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later than You Think)", a song which Amber previously sang in the season 5 episode, "Under My Skin".
In April 2012 it was announced that David Shore would direct and co-write the final episode of the show and also that Olivia Wilde would return as Thirteen for the penultimate episode and the series finale. It was also reported that Lisa Edelstein would not be returning for the series finale while Kal Penn would return as Dr. Kutner and Jennifer Morrison would return to the series in a cameo appearance as Dr. Cameron. In March 2012 Amber Tamblyn was confirmed to reprise her role as Martha Masters for the finale. Anne Dudek, Sela Ward and Andre Braugher also reprised their previous roles as Amber, Stacy Warner and Dr. Nolan respectively.
Shore told Entertainment Weekly that the series finale is "a different kind of episode, but at its core I think it’s still a House episode.... It’s still about a character looking to figure things out. We still have a medical case, but beyond that—that’s what they all are. The medical case allows us to explore the nature of the characters. It’s an ending." Shore also said, "I still believe we’re doing interesting stories, but I really wanted to make sure that we’re doing that at the end and we’re still happy. As Hugh [Laurie] says, Dr. House is the guy who leaves the party before people want him to."
Critical reaction to the episode was generally positive. Lisa Palmer of TV Fanatic gave the finale an excellent rating of 4.8/5 and stated that "I feel satisfaction at this ending... I can move on from this show without hesitation." However Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club awarded the episode a D+ rating, stating "'Everybody Dies' is a failure of ambition". Morgan Jeffery of DigitalSpy gave the episode a positive review stating "'Everybody Dies' probably won't go down in TV history as one of the great series finales, but it does get a hell of a lot right. House gets his happy ending with Wilson and, perhaps more importantly, there's the implication that he'll be okay once his friend is gone." Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly wrote that "House had, in its final seasons, become a rather sentimental show" and the final episode was a "satisfying" and "fitting ending". In New York Magazine's blog Vulture, Margaret Lyons wrote, "More than a hospital drama or a character piece or anything else, House is a complex meditation on misery," but there is a line between "enlightened cynicism" and "misery-entropy" and, "As the show wore on, its dramatic flare dimmed while its agony flare burned ever brighter." She concluded that "it's hard not to wish that the show was going out on more of a high note, rather than the middle-range note it's been playing, and playing, and playing, for years." Entertainment Weekly ranked House faking his death at number three for "Single Most Clever Twist" for the 2012 TV Season Finale Awards.
The series finale drew in an audience of 8.72 million in the US, finishing 1st on its hour and 3rd on the night. Its 18-49 rating was 2.9, which was tied for second place on the night. In the US, "Everybody Dies" finished 8th in the week for adults 18–49 and finished 11th overall. In Canada the series finale finished 3rd in the weekly viewership with 2.13 million viewers. In the United Kingdom the episode had 688,000 viewers upon airing.
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- "Canada ratings" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2013.
- "UK Ratings". Archived from the original on July 18, 2014.