The House finale ended Season 7 in a manner that was very much representative of this problematic year as a whole: with an entire hour devoted to House obsessing over Cuddy in increasingly destructive ways, and she silently appeasing him until House did something awful. It's been a terrible year for the show, but it's arguably been the worst for Cuddy, who was reduced to an ineffectual doormat and mere sex object since the shippers got their way and Huddy was realized in September. And even before I saw last night's episode, I didn't blame Lisa Edelstein in the slightest for up and quitting the show (yes, I know money had something to do with it, too). Now that I have watched what is presumably her last appearance on the show, I'm downright ecstatic for her. Let's review the ways in which the writers' hatred Cuddy hatred was manifested in the season-ender, shall we?
First of all, I would have loved to have been in the room the day the producers probably told Lisa Edelstein that after House drove a speeding car through Cuddy's dining room -- endangering not only her, but also her sister, two other innocent people and her three-year-old child -- Cuddy would return in Season 8 with, sure, some momentary anger, but still sympathetic as ever to House's plight. You just know this must have happened at some point during her contract negotiations. I hope she laughed in their faces before turning down that ridiculous gig, I really do. I can't even remember the last time I saw a show so aggressively ruin a character.
And I'm not just talking about the destroyed dining room scene -- the entire episode had Cuddy obsequious and understanding to House and his antics, bringing him lunch like his own personal busty butler, not holding him accountable for standing her up, indulging his invasive questions about her life and temporarily putting her dating life on hold (yes, that guy who asked her out was creepy, but that's not why she blew him off at first) out of consideration for House's selfish feelings. And how about the way she and Wilson just silently let House hobble away from the accident scene like the revolting enablers they are? I certainly hope the show's producers know how lucky they are that Robert Sean Leonard has no soul and signed on for Season 8 for the paycheck, because there ain't another reason to do it, that's for sure.
But this is how Cuddy's been for several seasons now, and it's become more and more difficult to watch. And what's worse, it doesn't just make me hate Cuddy for being so spineless; it makes me hate House for being such an irredeemable asshole to her, and that's the last thing this show needs. This entire relationship has been so clearly lose-lose that I'm shocked that it's only the viewers who can see it. How did the writers commit to such an obviously misguided path for so long?
But it's over now, and so, goodbye, Lisa Cuddy. I can't say you'll be missed, or that the show will get any better without you (remember how the absence of the endlessly annoying Thirteen helped nothing?), but at least I can finally look forward to seeing Lisa Edelstein on a show worthy of her some day. That's been a long time coming.
Your thoughts on Cuddy's exit? The finale as a whole? Sympathy for Hugh Laurie having to do this for another year? Leave them in the comments!
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