'House' The suicide of Kutner

Kalpenn_house_s5_240 Tonight, House really did deliver the unexpected. So much so that I don't even know how to write about it, because it just seemed out of the blue. Which was rather the point, I suppose, because the whole team is at a loss for how to react.

And just like his colleagues, I am stunned and thinking about his behavior over the last season and wondering if there were signs that I missed. I can't recall any indications that he was depressed enough to want to take his own life. And that makes it hard to concentrate on the POTW - or, rather, the Patients of the Week. It's a couple (the man played by Meatloaf - so MPOTW) who start out with him dying of heart failure until Charlotte (henceforth, FPOTW) gets sicker and he gets better. Taub thinks their love is rallying his recovery and House thinks Taub is an idiot. And it does seem out of character for Taub, but given what his own relationship is going through, maybe grasping at romantic straws is starting to feel natural.

House spends most of the episode looking for someone to blame for Kutner's death - going so far as to assign guilt to his adoptive parents for letting him change his last name and become even further disconnected with his personal heritage. 13 refuses to feel guilty for not knowing something was troubling Kutner and Foreman takes a day off to grieve alone. Tuab, however, out-Houses House, by stating that suicide isn't always a cry for help and some people just want to die. He also insinuates that he feels pity for Kutner but thinks that his permanent solution was idiotic.

House just thinks the POTWs are idiotic, because FPOTW is faking her illness so MPOTW will hold on longer. Which insinuates that House believes such things are feasible. However, she can't fake the sudden bruising or the disappearing muscle that arises, so the team gets back to work. Mostly without House, who turns his attention back to the loss of Kutner by going to his apartment, where he decides it wasn't suicide but murder. He develops a few theories, looking at the man in prison for killing Kutner's parents as someone with a motive, but Wilson thinks he's avoiding dealing with the fact that he may have missed something in Kutner beforehand. And therefore, be in danger of losing his gift to catch the things no one else sees.

Meanwhile, FPOTW attempts to kill herself so MPOTW can get her heart. Instead, she survives but destroys her liver. So MPOTW decides that he wants to give her his liver, which will mean he dies on the operating table despite the fact that Cameron figured out he was misdiagnosed and his ailment is totally treatable. This means that MPOTW would do anything for love....even that. House entertains the idea while 13 refuses to commit murder and Taub announces MPOTW's plan to FPOTW, knowing she will refuse the organ and make the whole debate moot. FPOTW still wants MPOTW to get her heart but the team still wants to diagnose her.

The Epiphany comes when House, in a fit of frustration, decides that they've missed something in the differential, or else they are idiots. 13 goes back to the basics by naming the things that could cause the newest infection and when she mentioned places, House recalls an earlier conversation. He marches to the POTW's room and instead of his usual song and dance, confronts FPOTW about her trip to Rio, which the MPOTW did not accompany her on because it was a dirty little secret. The infection was from sandflies that occur in Rio, not Hawaii - but the diagnosis comes too late. She flatlines as MPOTW kisses her hand.

The ending montage is one of the most powerful I've ever seen House pull off. The team attends the funeral except for Taub, who attends to the patients until FPOTW dies - when he finally breaks down sobbing. Meanwhile, House scours Kutner's apartment for any explanation for his suicide, stopping only to stare at a photo where Kutner's face is turned away from the camera, suggesting an inner life that couldn't be captured in any objective sense. Not even by those he spent the most time with. With Foreteen only reconnecting with each other at the Hindu services and Taub finally feeling a sympathetic emotion, House is the only one whose issues feel completely unresolved.

How did you react to the loss of Kutner? Personally, I thought out of all the cottages v2, Kutner was the only one that I would want anything to do with. He seemed to have interests outside the hospital while the rest only seem to exist in the two dimensional world of their workplace. Without Kutner's interjections of geek-centric humor what are we left with? 13's snottiness, Foreman's arrogance and Taub's indifference. How do you think this will change the series? Did the peek of next week make it seem like Cameron is going to be coming back on the team?

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