House 'Simple Explanation': What'd You Think of the Shocking Exit? - Featured

***'Simple Explanation' Spoilers Included!***


Last week's House promo told us that every season there's a shocking episode we never forget - and that this week's would be it. It didn't show us anything else but everyone on the cast looking shocked, leaving us more than curious about what the shocker could possibly be when it seemed like there was no lead-up at all except the hints in the entertainment blogging world that a major character would not last the season.


So we discovered pretty quickly, with a truly shocking and disturbing scene, that Kutner was our man. Talk about traumatizing to go check on your co-worker and friend to discover him shot in the head and to try to save him with no hope, and only to end up covered in his blood.


With all the rumors that someone was leaving the show, this ending for Kutner felt very abrupt. The story is that the actor playing Kutner, Kal Penn, wanted to leave the show to go work for Obama at the White House... yes, yes, another Obama hit to our TV schedules! But hey, I'd much rather see Penn go making a difference in DC than leaving House to dedicate his life to more Harold & Kumar movies. (More on Penn's exit)


So with that in mind, it sounds as if they had plenty of time to build this story better as opposed to it seeming very much like Penn just took off as they didn't show him at all in this episode. But maybe the point was that they wanted this dramatic shocker to have no lead-in, so I suppose if that's the way it as meant to be, it was done well.


So what did you think? Was Kutner's exit done well? Were you shocked? Upset? Are you going to miss Kutner's character terribly or are you looking forward to the stories that will come from this dramatic episode?


Photo courtesy of TVGuide.com

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Apr 7, 2009 1:22PM EDT

I was completely amazed. It felt weirdly realistic - like some aquaintance I know in real life has actually died. I keep thinking about it as if that were the case.
I really hope they extend and explain it further, since Kutner was the only character in House that hadn't been properly developed.

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Apr 7, 2009 1:23PM EDT

House has been going downhill for a while, and as much as I hate to say it, Kutner's death felt like a cheap stunt to pull in viewers. It could have been done well, yes, but instead it was like "has enough time passed since Amber died? Yeah, I think so; who're we gonna whack next?"The way they handled House's reaction felt like they just plucked it out of any number of previous episodes and dumped it in this one. "It's worked before- it'll work again!" At least do something ORIGINAL with the character's reactions.If Penn wanted to leave the show, that's just a sad reality, but I think they could have handled it MUCH better, instead they've just dragged themselves down even more.

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Apr 7, 2009 1:40PM EDT

I never saw it coming. When they found him in his apartment I immediately didn't see the blood or the gun and my only thought was that they would save him. That's what they do. Something horrible happened and they would bring him in and at the last minute House would have some brilliant revelation and he would be fine. His death was not expected.
As the episode wore on I kept wanting House to somehow make sense of the incident whether he somehow found a note that had been hidden away in the apartment or it turned out to be murder either way it would give some explanation as to what happened and somehow give a resolution to the issue.
I thought that it was well done in the way that it felt real. Life doesn't always have explanations for the things that seem vital to know.

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Apr 7, 2009 1:42PM EDT

Mmmm... I actually think it was a slightly redeeming moment. Here, Kitty, Kitty was absolutely idiotic in its conclusion, and left many viewers, me included, shaking our heads and wondering what happened to our show. These past two episodes have chosen a different route than the normal"Patient comes in, House doesn't want patient, House finds something interesting about patient and takes case, finds wrong answer, patient spits up blood, House finds another wrong answer, patient comes close to death, House finally finds right answer and proves patient to be an idiot and a liar in the process."I liked these past two episodes, personally. I didn't like that they showed no trace of Kutner in the episode, because it made it seem like something had actually happened to the guy in real life. But it was something different. I would have rather them had a better lead-up. Perhaps now Taub is going to feel horribly guilty, though... haha... the last time we saw Kutner alive, Taub was stealing his idea. xDIt is true that Kutner was undeveloped, though. We knew more about the mysterious Thirteen than him. I'm just hoping that they do something with this opportunity. If all of the characters remain unchanged and static throughout this crisis, I'm seriously gonna stop watching this. (Actually, I did stop, until a roommate accidentally turned on House at the tail-end of this episode. Talk about the WORST episode to catch the end of!)

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RachelLEditor
Apr 7, 2009 1:42PM EDT

I am going to miss Kutner, and while it was definitely shocking, I'm not sure I'm buying it.
House already did the "shocking and unexpected" death thing last season with Amber.
It's a bold move to try to take on dealing with a suicide, but I honestly don't know if I want to see everyone dealing with death again.
Meh.

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Apr 7, 2009 2:35PM EDT

their gonna play the her got murdered thing for sure...........i think he got murdered........they never really went into his personal life so i bet they will pull something like house going to the cops and him forcing them to look into a murder by tearing apart the detectives.....then they would show he was like taken out by some random asshole from his personal life .......it did seem a lil too abrupt and murder actually fits better then suicide....kuttner was a cool dude why would he kill himself

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Apr 7, 2009 2:58PM EDT

It was a shock of a life time, i'm still mourning Kuttner. I feel like i knew him as if he was a friend that i just lost. House is definitely going to take this one to the cops. Nothing adds up, Kuttner wasn't the type you take a bullet. It was a very dramatic and disappointing episode. The funny man is dead!

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Apr 7, 2009 3:10PM EDT

I'm actually really disappointed with this episode, it's the only House episode that I didn't like. The death of Kutner was completely useless and came out of the blue. I hope next episode will be explaining this case and have a better medical case with it as well. He was a perfect match to Taub like Wilson is to House.
Another thing about this episode is that they didn't explain what happened in the last scene of the last episode with House having a blurry vision in the elevator, it was completely ignored!

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Apr 7, 2009 3:32PM EDT

Kuttner was funny, always in a good mood, self-assured. It wasn't a suicide. Taub needed money and feared the competition, so...

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Apr 7, 2009 4:04PM EDT

Well actually it was foreshadowed in the episode "painless"when Taub and Kutner were having a conversation it was about suicide... i don't know exactly how it went but along the lines of :
Taub: "Sane people don't commit suicide"
Kutner:" Not even when your tied up and lit on fire and have was given a gun.."
Taub: "Nope i would shoot the guys who lit me on fire"
Then later on during that conversation Kutner mentioned something like this :
"Its people like me who's life that suck don't have the courage to kill them"
as you can see , he kinda let on a hint...
I also think that at the end of the episode house finds a clue that led to his death... It was that picture he looked at last.. it was Kutner alone , he looked depressed... who took that photo? because they knew he didn't like life.

And some answers about houses blurry vision of the last episode before this one. I think it was episode 19 , he got in an elevator said something to Wilson and his vision went blurry. whats that all about.

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Apr 7, 2009 4:51PM EDT

I thought the whole run with "it doesn't make sense" and trying to make it make sense, was pretty well done and natural to real life. People kill themselves, and it often doesn't make any sense and no one sees it coming. So I had no complaints with that.
However, I didn't like, as stated perfectly by Britt125,"that they showed no trace of Kutner in the episode, because it made it seem like something had actually happened to the guy in real life". I actually searched around online after the show, thinking the actor died or something (resists Democrat joke).
I also didn't care for the overplayed reaction by 13. Is it just me, or is she getting to be a bit of a drama queen?

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Apr 7, 2009 5:11PM EDT

Think the thing with House having blurry vision was a metaphore - the patient who had "locked in syndrom" had vision like that, thus illustrating that House is "locked in", ie being as he was talking to Wilson as he entered the elevator and instead of staying and talking to him he left. Classic House reaction to emotional confrontation. Also, that ep he admitted counselling, but that he was not going to go back - he is inevitably going to stay "locked in".
I'm devastated by this week's episode and cannot wait for some explanation next week. I felt like it was completely out of the blue. But surely that's true to life sometimes, I thought it was sad and unexpected, but brilliant.

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Apr 7, 2009 5:12PM EDT

I hated this. Kutner was my favorite team member. It was horrible; even after I KNEW it was real, I kept hoping it would miraculously turn out to be a fake, that he would somehow live, anything. That said, they did a really good job, I think, with the way that everyone grieved; although Wilson's reaction was a bit odd to me.

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Apr 7, 2009 5:23PM EDT

:( .... terrible!!!! and after watching Manchester United draw at home too ... This was supposed to be escapism .... I loved Kutner, he was funny :(
Now I'm gonna be watching past episodes for clues instead of revising for exams ..... grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Apr 7, 2009 5:41PM EDT

I thought it was very well done,I was very taken aback and literally stood up and exclaimed. I agree with the first post, this morning I woke up thinking about it and yeah, as absurd as it is, it really does seem like a friend or acquaintance passed away. I would have rather ANYONE else died than kutner, he was really one of my favourite characters, and as angry as I am, this was a good twist. (provided they go deeper into it, and some explanation is offered as to why he killed himself, or was murdered (and by who? perhaps another cast member we have already seen?))
I don't think that it was rushed, regardless of the fact they killed off a character at the end of last season. I never saw amber as a 'main character' and her death didn't even really shock me. I guess it was sad, but it didn't effect in any way similar to this.
10/10, one of the best episodes this season next to 'last resort' and 'locked in'. I can't wait to see the next episode, hooray for house, keep it coming.
By the way, it doesn't even seem like anyone even noticed the case this episode, it was also pretty emotional if you ask me. It was original and the the patients actors were very impressive, it really felt real, all of it.

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Apr 7, 2009 5:48PM EDT

at first i thought that this was all a publicity stunt to get us back to the "old" house before this season.... but you know what... As the episode went on, i thought they played the whole thing out brilliantly.
suicide happens, it's unfortunate, and a LOT of the time it is completely unforeseeable. So i think the fact that their was no lead up to this moment, i think was really quite appropriate...and even though Kutner was my fav doc so far, and it's true he was the least developed charactor.. at least he this episode leaves a lot of the other charactors.... Talb finally cracked about the whole thing in the end, and i think we'll get to see what happened in his own suicide attempt, and now 13 is going to feel guilty because of the two patients and the love they had was about the same or at least she will think they are the same as they couple that were being treated. Since she's going to die soon(ish) theirs going to be even more drama because she will probably think she is hurting him by stayng in the relationshp... maybe she'll run off and say shes doing it for his benefit... idk, i guess we'll have to see.and i don't think that house will be pursueing the murder bit, that last photograph and him surrenduring on the bed was the last straw for him and that theory.

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Apr 7, 2009 5:48PM EDT

I just really don't think they are going to go deeper. I think that was the point of the episode and House's searching. When he finds the picture at the end, showing Kutner was sad, but hiding it well, it was the indicator that there isn't a deeper meaning. Sometimes people are sad and they kill themselves without warning, note, or outward obvious reason.

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Apr 7, 2009 6:12PM EDT

I was shocked by this episode, as many people have said Kutner's death was completely out of the blue.
This was a good episode but I hope the writers explain why Kutner died and not just leave everyone to guess making it the most pointless death in TV history. I also hope this will mean some character development for 13 and Taub (Foreman has had many seasons of character development) Hopefully this episode will mark a return to the great writing that made House such a great series

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Apr 7, 2009 7:38PM EDT

I was really pissed off till I found out that kumar is workin for the white house and that made it all worth while...

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Apr 7, 2009 8:29PM EDT

DabigLB - agreed, that knowledge made me less annoyed as well, but I feel like it's so strange they made it abrupt when they clearly knew he was leaving... hmmmm

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Apr 7, 2009 9:12PM EDT

yeah, i agree with DabigLB, i felt betrayed when i heard Penn left the show, but in the end i respect him for making a sacrifice to do what he feels is his calling.
i really will miss Kutner though, he was the bright and bubbly character that balanced out the gloom and misery in everyone else. I think it might be hard to regain that balance in the show again.
I also like that they didn't show Penn at all throughout the entire episode. it made you really feel like someone was missing. Dragon29 said it the best. i really did feel like i lost one of my own friends. i still feel the emptiness of it :(

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Apr 7, 2009 9:40PM EDT

I think Kutner's exit for the White House gave the writers an excellent opportunity to create an amazing episode with deep emotional consequences. They failed yet again! Okay, so yah, I did get a tear in my eye at the funeral and all but it's not cool to turn Kutner's character into a hopeless and selfish individual who would leave his surviving family and friends to deal with the unanswered questions about his life. If you ask me, this was a cheez-mo and disrespectful way of saying goodbye to his character.
The truth is there is a stigma with suicide that many people don't understand. Outsiders blame the family and friends, the family and friends blame themselves and everyone assumes some measure of guilt, when none of it is their fault. There's no strength to be found for anyone when an individual chooses to kill themselves.
I think this episode was the wrong way to deal with suicide, was the wrong way to let Kal Penn exit the show, and was the wrong path for the show to take. Exploring this side of death is not redeeming in the least, for me. I won't be watching House any longer.

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Apr 7, 2009 10:52PM EDT

Um, yawn. Who didn't know that Kutner was going to be the one offing himself this episode? Though yes, it did feel a bit abrupt. Not shocking. It was more like... Oh. Kutner's gone. This must be the episode where he shoots himself. Okay then.
Yeah. Kind of un-epic, if you ask me. Didn't seem like it really affected anyone.... >>

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Apr 8, 2009 12:39AM EDT

what a lot of you guys arent mentioning is that "House" is partner with NAMI (national alliance of mental illness), selling shirts that say "normal's overatted" to raise awareness and all the proceeds go to NAMI. im not saying they killed kutner because NAMI asked them to or whatever, but suicide and mental illness is obviously something the producers/staff feel is important. this episode showed the many ways people may deal with a suicide. hopefully we can learn what 'drove' him to do it, like seeing 'the other side of the story'.

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Apr 8, 2009 1:20AM EDT

blondie13, actually, Kutner was the one who said,"It's people like me who DON'T do it. When you're born at the bottom (something to that effect) the only way to go is up."
However, as someone with personal experience, I can honestly say that this irony does NOT mean that he was murdered. As someone with writing experience, I'll bet my life that he wasn't. If the writers are getting their touch back, that is. For the past season or so, all they've done is take House's maniacal theories and prove them RIGHT. At this point, a great writer would take all this buildup into House thinking he is God, and turn it around on him. House would become obsessed with proving that it was murder, even though it really was a suicide, and it would destroy him. The series would finally end in a satisfying (the ONLY satisfying, in fact) conclusion when House kills himself. When we consider House's character, his larger than life ego and skills, and stubborness, the only thing to do with a character like that in the end is to let it destroy itself. There is no redeeming a character that doesn't wish to be redeemed.If the writers do not end the series with House's suicide, they will, IMO, be pulling us along into thinking that House somehow lives happily ever after, even though we know that it is impossible. House's greatest enemy is himself. Just as the seemingly happy Kutner's was. They are foreshadowing House's own destruction, or juxtaposing visible happiness with visible misery and their results. Even though House claims that suicidal people are idiots, I think that he will go in the end. Or, at least, for the sake of good screenplay, I hope he does.Just as there is irony in House's refusal to believe in the afterlife, and his "visits" with Amber, I believe that there is irony in his namecalling of suicidal individuals.

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Apr 8, 2009 3:06AM EDT

I hated the latest plot twist. It made absolutely no sense at all. I expected House to make some sense of it, that's what he does.
When House came to the conclusion that it was a murder, I turned to my friend and exclaimed "Yes! That makes SO much more sense!" But alas.
I think they could have come up with a much better way to take Kutner off the show. Send him somewhere, have him get sick and be unsaveable (and discover disturbing secrets about him in the process of trying to save him), whatever. Something that wasn't the slapdash thrown-together-looking plot twist featured.
It reminded me of LOST when Michael went on a killing spree and shot Libby and Analucia because the two actresses got DUIs.
I hate when actor's decisions get them killed off shows. Ugh.

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sylviasoven
Apr 8, 2009 3:12AM EDT

I thought it was really well done, frankly. I'll agree with a previous poster in saying Wilson's reaction was entirely uncharacteristic if not a little convoluted.
Furthermore, I don't seem to recall ever thinking House had jumped the shark at all this season. I guess that might be because I absolutely adore development between Wilson and House. Any development to their relationship is worth a potentially psychic cat. Plus, Kutner peeing on House's chair, and the whole "If you're going to kill and rape me, please do it in that order" line was pretty good. I think everyone's just freaking out. Amber's death wasn't particularly affecting save for what it did to Wilson and House's friendship. This however, was instantaneous, unexpected, and heart-breaking.
I think everyone needs to calm down, take a Vicodin if need be, grab some popcorn and get ready for an ending to the season that wildly exceeds what you can normally expect from a show in its' fifth season.
Anyways, just my opinion.

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Apr 8, 2009 4:09PM EDT

Everyone seems to be hoping they'll further explain Kutner's death, but I think that the whole point was that the death was pointless. I think Wilson also was wrong. And I don't think House will go to the police. The guy isn't going to pass the mystery on to someone else or go to them for help. Would he pass an interesting case to another doctor?What House always does is find a reason. There's always a reason. And he wants a reason for Kutner's death too. A point to a pointless suicide. That's why he's convinced it's a murder. Because if there's no reason, everything he's been preaching to his employees might not be right. What he believes in - the one thing he really believes in - is in question.If the show's writer is a good one, he won't explain it further. And as much as I want more information, I think that's a good thing.In my opinion, House dropped the ball when Amber died - and never picked it back up.Now they have.

(And please don't call me a stupid shrink - I'm eleven, and right now I feel really sappy).

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Apr 8, 2009 4:19PM EDT

Does anyone think that house might get the private investigator back in. It could make the series premiere of the spin off interesting if it revolved around Kutner's death. It could cause a House meltdown when he gets proof that it was a suicide.

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Apr 8, 2009 6:27PM EDT

first off i thought it was murder, and not for the 'plot' reason, for the forensic reason: they said he had a gunshot wound to his right temple- when they showd the body, he was face down but the gun was buy his left hand. honestly, that was all i needed to think it was a murder. and if it does turn out to be murder, i hope the guy who did it becomes a patient. even better if they dont find out he did it till half way though the treatment. yea i know if they do make a episode like that it would be kinda close to when house got shot, but since when that guy was a patient he was actually only a figment, i figure it would different enough. (ok, honestly, i kinda wanna see house torture a guy on kutner's behalf, and no one stop him 'cuz they want him to do it)
and, i loved kutner from his vary first apperence (the 'your fierd number 6' to 'good job number 9'). i loved him as a creative idea man and a screw-up man, but that part of him hasnt been featured for practically all of this season. infact i actually complained earlier in the season that Kutner wasn't getting enough focus. i wonder for how long the writers knew that he wasnt coming back- because if they were leaving him under developed on purpose, then im really pissed (means the writers were lazy). if they were trying to make this 'come out of left field' then yea, they succeeded, but common! they could have been more elegant about it at-least.
also, if a character was to be killed off i kinda wish i was one of the two in 'fourteen' just so i dont have to pay attention to their relationship.
last show related thing: finaly, a clinic duty segment!! more of those please.
lastly, congrats Kal for the new job! i hope he's even half as good at it as his acting is- can wait to see how he does

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Apr 8, 2009 11:58PM EDT

The whole way through I was annoyed at this episode because wasn't Kutner supposed to have a son?????? Not ONE single mention of "how could he do it, he had a son" or "omg, how will his son take it?" and not a shot of a grieving boy at the funeral either!!

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Apr 9, 2009 10:29AM EDT

... the morman guy had a son, i dont think kutner did

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Apr 9, 2009 11:23AM EDT

@KutnerAnyaJennyFred, that was an incredibly insightful analysis for being 11-years-old. Good job. I agree with you, and I too hope they leave it be, emphasising the pointlessness of the suicide.

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Apr 9, 2009 7:15PM EDT

Kutner Bless him was really funny. A character I will really miss.I am still fanatically addicted to House and two weeks ago they mentioned my husbands tumour, a carcinaoid tumour in the appendix except my husband was pretty straight forwardgot a belly ache got surgery got better in a day! Cant wait for the next character. Ps I only cried when Taub did x

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Apr 10, 2009 11:04AM EDT

just like his previous job kal penn is working for a "white House" again :D

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Apr 10, 2009 2:06PM EDT

@minni59 Groan.

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Apr 10, 2009 3:13PM EDT

I'm assuming this is whats going to happen:
"House will pursue murder. He is going to the cop who almost got him to jail for the misuse of narcotics."
Now, picking up on the hint blondiie13 gave:
Kutner: "Its people like me who's life that suck don't have the courage to kill them"
"Kutner was being blackmailed or something along those lines. He tried to take Taub's advice of 'shooting the guy who lit [him] on fire!' and ended up being killed."
"The cop and House will work together to find the murderer."
And I personally would very much like to see House take part in investigation because of the character's striking resemblance to Sherlock Holmes.

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Apr 10, 2009 3:48PM EDT

....i like your train of thought, but i cant see that cop doin house any favors. seems to me he would just arrest house for his purgery after 5 min. ('cuz you know house would rub it in his face). i think if they do the same thing 'sept with house's dick (i mean the privet eye) instead, it might work. i still contend it was murder.
and to whoever the 11yo is ... kudos for watching a show like house with its mature undertones and complex (if sometimes tiring) interpersonal drama. (as well as haveing a rather well thought out review and realistic world view)

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Apr 11, 2009 10:42AM EDT

This episode was extremely sad.i was in tears.That last photo where Kutner was by himself and looked depressed was in my mind their way of showing that he did infact kill himself.Also it gave us some more insight into the way House deals with things. He was unwilling to accept the truth so therefore created some alternate theory that had absolutely no evidence to support it.House put all that effort into trying to discover some kind of proof that Kutner did not commit suicide.People need someone to blame for a loved ones death. They don't like to accept that the person would commit suicide.
On a side note, to all the people who are complaining that House is going down hill, why not just stop watching instead of whining about something you can't change. Those of us who are still enjoying the show don't want to constantly read what your criticisms are when you have a choice of whether to watch or not.
From SteFF
p.s I wish House and Cuddy would hurry up and get together. lol

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Apr 11, 2009 4:28PM EDT

I was crying by the end of this episode. I really liked Kutner and i never expected this to happen. I kind of wished that at the end of the episode they would have House find some sort of evidence that proved that Kutner was murdered and then be like "To be continued..." but they didn't and I was pretty sad.
I'm still looking forward to the next episode, but I don't like the turn that the previews is saying the show is going to take. I was bored when Cameron was in love with House before, and I get the feeling I'm going to be bored again.
Sorry if I just gave away a little bit of the next episode, I'm sure everyone will survive.
-Livvy

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Apr 12, 2009 4:45PM EDT

re-watched it 2 more times, i still think it was murder. (or really unimaginative/inconsistent writing)

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Apr 13, 2009 10:07PM EDT

So with Dr. L Kutner gone does that mean Dr. House will bring back Dr. Cameron or Dr. Chase back into the circle? If so, please let it be Dr. Cameron...Jennifer Morrison's a girl that's gotta eat...give her more work! ROFL
I hope the writers will work in the passing of Dr. Cutthroat Bitch and Dr. Kutner as an excuse for Dr. House to have a mid-life crisis (volunteer at soup kitchen and "volunteers" to provide free clinic to the homeless) to quit as Dean of Diagnostic Medicine. Dr. Cameron takes over as Dean.
Give the audience a glimpse (several episodes) at a hospital failing without a Dr. House to save the day. The team (each take turns) will finally send Dr. Wilson (checking up on him=while seeking diagnostic answers on current patients) to talk him back into Princeton Hospital.
House returns from "vacation" to work as Dean of Diagnostic Medicine at Princeton Hospital.

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Apr 14, 2009 8:03AM EDT

kutner was my favorite. i was sooo shocked to see him go...and so suddenly! they didn't even show him in that last episode. wish they would've dropped a few hints but i guess if that was their goal (to make it more shocking?)....

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Apr 14, 2009 11:59AM EDT

Did not like it. could have gone another way.

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May 11, 2016 2:40PM EDT

Hey everyone. This is kinda on a different tangent but I think this episode was a nod in the direction of Scrubs. I say this because I think this is probably the saddest episode of House or at least in the top 3 IMHO (Wilson's Heart, Euphoria Part 2). Scrubs had an episode in Season 6 (Episode 4 "My House") which like the name indicates was a "sorta" tribute to house, and I use the word 'tribute' VERY loosely - Dr. Cox developed a temporary limp, and he had solved two or three medical mysteries by the end of the episode.
Now comes the link. Episode 20 of Season 5 of Scrubs (called "My Lunch") is arguably the saddest episode of Scrubs by far (most Scrubs fans would agree). I won't put any spoilers but it is a really sobering episode involving death. I think that with this the 20th episode in the 5th season of House, the creators tipped their hat towards Bill Lawrence and his team.
I know that this doesn't explain everything, but I think it does shed some sort of light on why it MIGHT have happened at this stage in the life of the show. As you'll be able to tell I'm a Scrubs addict; and a House admirer.

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