Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Farewell to Dr. Cuddy: A Look Back Through Some Highlights

Tomorrow evening begins the eighth season of the FOX medical drama House, MD without the versatile actress Lisa Edelstein and her alter ego Dr. Lisa Cuddy. Depending upon with whom you talk, this is either a blessing or a curse for FOX’s once top rated drama. After the break-up of Dr. Cuddy and Dr. House, many felt the series took an odd turn culminating in the much controversial season seven finale with House bulldozing Cuddy’s dining room with his car. Much to the chagrin of producers, the season seven finale was not well received by most critics and some fans. The storylines leading up to this finale, caused a considerable dip in the ratings for the show. However, the topper for many fans to change the channel for the new House season was the unexpected departure of series regular Lisa Edelstein. According to Edelstein, she still hasn’t seen a correct report in the press regarding the circumstances surrounding her departure, but for her it is no longer a topic she’s interested in discussing. Thus, she leaves House with her own mystery. In any case, I want to take the opportunity to pay homage to Miss Edelstein and the character to whom she breathed life, since the character will always be an inspiration to me on a personal level.

When it all began, Dr. Lisa’s Cuddy’s backstory was in its infancy and fans weren’t privy to the past she had with Gregory House or how she was able to maintain his life-long passion for medicine. All we knew of her was that she was smart, sassy, sexy and could give as good as she got from the misanthropic genius Dr. House. It wasn’t until the end of season one that we discovered in the critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning episode “Three Stories” that she saved his life in more ways than one.

Dr. Cuddy was his presiding physician during the infarction that cost him the mobility in his leg, a Vicodin addiction and scars that appeared far deeper than the physical one he bares. In that same breath, out of House’s tragedy and Cuddy’s guilt was born the Department of Diagnostic medicine and a relationship that was more complex than what appeared on the surface in the early stages of the series. In this particular season, we also saw Cuddy lay her job on the line for her stubborn diagnostician when it came to the enemy Edward Vogler. Yes, Cuddy was reluctant at first to defend House for a million dollar hospital donation, but his passion for saving lives caused her to take a stand in the end saving both House and Wilson’s jobs while sacrificing the million dollars.

As the second season came calling, Dr. Cuddy showed us her guilt complex when her handyman fell from her roof, causing him to lose his hand in “Humpty Dumpty.” Yet, it was also revealed that Dr. Cuddy was an under graduate student at Michigan where the legendary Dr. House was a graduate student at the time.  Additionally, it’s revealed in this episode that Cuddy was the one who hired House after four other administrators fired him, leading the question of “why.” “Humpty Dumpty” also provided us with House’s famous “gaping chasm” speech in which Cuddy sees what others can’t, which was important in his case because she wouldn’t have hired him otherwise. The second season also saw House coming to Cuddy in desperation for morphine due to the pain in his leg after he sent old girlfriend Stacy back to her husband. Wilson felt House’s leg pain was psychological due to his emotional state. Cuddy secretly agreed with that assessment tricking House with a placebo rather than give him real morphine. What was poignant in “Skin Deep” wasn’t the fact that she was able to trick him, but the tie to their history when he drops his pants to show her his scar again. Later on that season, House discovers that Cuddy is trying to get pregnant. In another side of House, we see that when Cuddy asks for his help to give her IVF shots, he takes her secret seriously….well to some extent. He does comically swab her tush and parade her possible nerdy donor in front of her. Yet in “Who’s Your Daddy?” we discover that House thinks Cuddy doesn’t like him in terms of being a donor, but Cuddy does secretly want him to be her donor. She gets cold feet though, when she approaches him. Thus, to some interested viewers, their relationship takes on a new meaning. It’s at the end of season two where Cuddy honors House’s wishes to receive ketamine treatment after he is shot in his office.

Cuddy found herself at guilt’s door again season three as she conspired with Wilson to teach House a lesson regarding his penchant for acting on diagnostic “hunches.” The lie that Cuddy cured House’s patient using an idea her provided her, caused her in the end to come clean after seeing him struggle with the reappearance of pain that had disappeared as a result of the ketamine treatment he received at the end of season two. That issue of the lie gets resolved, but the aftermath will find Cuddy in a difficult position with House again soon enough. In the meantime, House is still honoring Cuddy’s secret regarding her IVF treatments. Season three was the infamous Tritter arc in which Cuddy ended up saving House’s hide again, even though he told her she’d “suck as a mother” during Vicodin withdrawl. In “Finding Judas,” it was the first time fans saw Cuddy seriously breakdown but not in front of House. We learned of Cuddy’s struggles to become a mother when she confides to Wilson that at this particular point she had two fertilized eggs implanted that didn’t take and a third that she lost. House’s words to her hurt, since he knew of her struggles to become a mother and knew where to hit her hard when it counted. Regardless, it was Cuddy who got House to stop acting like a stubborn ass and apologize to Tritter to make his problems disappear. House at first is reluctant, but does heed her advice, which Tritter naturally didn’t take. House even went a step further to enter drug rehab. Seeing Tritter is a bigger ass than House his, Cuddy lays her job on the line again and lies on the witness stand at House’s trial, fabricating evidence to clear him of the charges against him. She’s successful and at that point “owns” House. “Words and Deeds” could be viewed as a turning point in the House/Cuddy relationship because, after that, fans found House intruding on Cuddy’s dates and taking a certain obsessive appeal to her. Also, when fans thought House was facing a cancer crisis, Lisa Edelstein portrayed that angsty look of worry and concern. Plus, “Half-Wit” treated fans to the famous ass grab scene and Edelstein’s historic “Call the Make-A-Wish Foundation” jab as House tries to follow her to the bedroom for some sympathy sex.
Later, fans were then treated to a new secret in the House/Cuddy history when it was revealed that House and Cuddy had a one-night stand, when they attended the University of Michigan together. At this point, the plot thickened a bit more as the chemistry and heat increased. Season three showed fans too how Cuddy wasn’t as incapable a doctor as House made her appear to be. In fact, in “Fetal Position,” we discovered how similar House and Cuddy can be when it comes to risky procedures to save a life. Faced with her own maternal crisis, Cuddy can empathize with a mother whose pregnancy House feels should be terminated, because the baby is essentially killing her.  Cuddy goes to great lengths to save Emma and her baby and succeeds, even though House warns her that her lack of objectivity gets in the way of her being a great doctor and that personality flaw really could have killed mother and baby.  Of course, he does tell her in the episode that she indeed is not an idiot. Edelstein really gave a great performance in this episode, embodying the very essence of Gregory House in female form.

In “Airbourne,” fans get a glimpse of what it would be like for House if Cuddy fell ill. On a plane ride from Singapore, Cuddy and several other passengers fall ill of a mysterious illness that has the signs of meningitis. As House examines Cuddy, it’s a mixture of sexy playfulness and worry in a race against time. He even suggests that she be one of the people to take the scarce antibiotics he managed to collect on the plane. When mass hysteria is the diagnosis for her and several passengers, Cuddy and House work together to find what’s ailing another passenger and succeed.

Towards season’s end we get a little glimpse of jealousy again when Wilson takes Cuddy on a date in “Act Your Age.” We also get the famous October-October balcony scene where House asks Cuddy to a play, which for him is code for sex.

Season four was a shortened season due to the writers’ strike but Cuddy and Lisa were still at the top of their game with House refusing to hire a new team and Cuddy ending up enabling House in the diagnostic game. The opener was yet another fun turn of House and Cuddy teaming up and playing games to win. Yes, Wilson stole House’s guitar to make him interview new team members. But it was Cuddy who, in the end, made House take a look at what a team does for him diagnostically. Taking her advice again, he interviews candidates….but not without driving her nuts with a “Survivor” like interview process. Some of the Cuddy highlights this season included Cuddy making House realize that his irresponsible actions in his interview game and his curiosity to temporarily kill himself, make him fully responsible for the death of one of his patients. (“97 Seconds”) To House that hits hard, because losing a patient due to a wrong diagnosis is one thing, but not in an irresponsible fashion as what occurred. From that point, we had the comical play of “Mirror, Mirror” where House proves his the Alpha dog in his power play with Cuddy. An interesting observation is also made in “Mirror, Mirror” by Wilson regarding House’s attempts to impress Cuddy as a doctor. In “Ugly” there is more teasing and foreplay between House and Cuddy with a real funny/sweet scene at the end in which Cuddy teases House about the editing of the film that was being shot about their patient which depicted House as almost saintly and caring. His false persona onscreen irritates and shocks him, causing him to leave the room. As Cuddy continues to watch alone and the patient praises House, the look she gives shows her pride in what House does regardless of what a pain he could be. On the flip side, House revealed things about Cuddy too in an evaluation he filled out on her, basically summing up her personality…what she wants she runs away from….what she needs she has no idea…what she’s accomplished makes her proud. What the finale brought at then end of season four was another push of the House/Cuddy relationship. House suffers a skull fracture in a bus crash that took the life of his best friend Wilson’s girlfriend Amber. Cuddy through the years has always showed a hidden concern for House’s overall well being. This episode was no exception. House’s actions during this episode drove Cuddy to the point where she stayed with him at his apartment to make sure he rested, but it was all done unsuccessfully. She engaged in giving House mouth to mouth to revive him after he took pills to boost his memory, causing a heart attack. Cuddy intervened when Wilson seemed to be guilting House into making wrong decisions in regards to Amber’s care. But it was her actions towards the end of the episode that had fans talking. As House lay in a coma, after zapping his brain to boost his memory regarding Amber’s condition, Cuddy sat by his side and stayed with him. The end had House potentially losing Wilson, but gaining something else as Cuddy lay sleeping holding his hand.

Season five I feel was a banner year for Lisa Edelstein and Cuddy. Aside from playing a couple’s counselor to House and Wilson regarding their broken friendship, Cuddy was back in the hunt for a child. At the end of “Lucky Thirteen,” House is shocked and I feel a bit saddened to discover that Cuddy was cleared to be an adoptive parent without his knowledge. This was a major blow to him, because Wilson knew when it was House who was the one helping her in her attempts to become a mom. As Cuddy eagerly awaits the arrival of her soon to be newborn via a young girl who has fallen on hard times, she has to deal with House’s interference and challenges at the problems she will face as a new mom. Throughout “Joy” House appears to be against her adoptive process. Regardless, Cuddy still turns to him for medical advice when the mother of her unborn child faces a crisis. Mother and baby live, but Cuddy’s hopes of motherhood are shattered when the biological mom decides to keep the baby. Broken, lost and hopeless, Lisa Edelstein gives a wonderful performance throughout the episode, leading to the historic first kiss between her character and Hugh Laurie’s. For as much as House hassled her and said she would “suck as a mother” in season three, he comes to her door to offer her comfort in her time of pain. He tries to encourage her and then tells her she’d make a “great mother.” To her frustration, she wonders why he “needs to negate everything.” He answers, “I don’t know” then kisses her passionately and leaves. The very act made fans wonder “what now?” Wilson tried to play matchmaker, encouraging Cuddy to see the good rather than the bad in a relationship with House, while telling House he needs to talk to Cuddy. In a moment so heart-wrenching, House finds himself at the end of “The Itch” leaping of the couch to ride to Cuddy’s to tell her how her feels about her only to stop short of the door to just watch her through the window unable to muster up the courage to make the move. “Last Resort” saw Cuddy facing the crisis of her hospital as members of her staff, House among them, are taken hostage. She becomes the go-between the hostage taker and the authorities all the while showing great concern for House’s safety. At the end of this episode, Cuddy asks House if he wants a relationship after he mocks her for her behavior in enabling him throughout the crisis. House’s joking brushes off the idea he wants a relationship. This leads to the also famous among House/Cuddy fans….”everyone knows this is going somewhere” in “Let Them Eat Cake” where Cuddy choses to use House’s office, since House caused destruction to hers during the hostage crisis.  The episode leads to games being played between the two, but results in House getting Cuddy’s old desk from med school restored to be placed in her newly renovated office. Thinking things really are going somewhere, Cuddy goes to House’s office only to see him with a hooker resulting in some hurt feelings.

A Christmas miracle happens and Cuddy gets her wish to be a mom, when a girl dies after having given birth to a baby girl. The family doesn’t want the child and Cuddy gets her lawyers in action. After dealing with what she believes are parental imperfections, a foster care official gives her the clearance to begin the adoption process letting her know that unlike some people he’s visited, she’s a good stable, parent. For as happy as she is, she doesn’t anticipate the trials and tribulations being faced as she struggles to become a good mom and bond with her new daughter in “Big Baby.” Lisa Edelstein is brilliant in this episode as she embodies what struggling new mothers face. Many moms I spoke with who saw the episode related to Cuddy completely. It was an episode that I thought could garner Edelstein an Emmy nomination. Cuddy struggles with the fact that she can’t bond with this baby. She feels she has no emotional connection to it. Naturally, House is no help making her feel that if she doesn’t want to be mother there’s no harm in taking the baby back. If she resents the baby and wants to work and not be a mom, it’s fine. Throughout, Cuddy thinks House may be right. But he doesn’t make things easy for her. While she’s supposed to be taking a bit of a maternity leave, leaving Cameron in charge, House is pushing everyone causing Cuddy to intervene. Cuddy does eventually bond with Rachel in moment where she finds herself shouting and crying at the baby to tell her what she needed. House even got to hold Rachel as she threw up on him. But all was not well by the end of the episode when Cameron tells Cuddy she quits as acting Dean because Cuddy is essentially the only one that can handle House. This led to an awkward episode where Cuddy was pretty much torturing House actually hurting him with trip wires and making him walk up stairs, because she was ticked at him for essentially forcing her to return to work.

House was beginning a somewhat downward spiral secretly taking methadone, much to the dismay and concern of Cuddy. In an attempt to get him to stop out of concern for his health, she warns that she’ll fire him if he doesn’t stop. She doesn’t have to because he then quits. He choses being pain free over his job, When he returns for a letter of recommendation, Cuddy counters with an offer to allow him to keep using methadone under her watch. He agrees, but later decides that his pain-free happiness impacts his medical judgment. When Cuddy, urges him to take the methadone he questions why she’s so concerned about his happiness. He walks away when she doesn’t’ answer him. After Kutner’s suicide, the death of his father, the lingering impact of House’s indirect involvement in Amber’s death, and his buried feelings for Cuddy, House faces depression and an Vicodin induced collapse involving hallucinations of Amber. Realizing that Cuddy is the only one he trusts to help him, he comes to her. He insults her inquiring that all she cares about is the baby who makes her feel good about herself when she ignores his resignation. This leads him to tell the truth about what’s happening to him. Sensing his pain, Cuddy helps him through a gut-wrenching night of detox coupled with a tryst. However, we discover in the season five finale that all was a delusion. Cuddy was not his savior that night, they did not engage in intimacy and he is not well. When Cuddy realizes that House antics, such as shouting that he had sex with her on the hospital balcony, were the result of illness, she is there to comfort him.

After his stint at Mayfield psychiatric institution, Cuddy deals with House’s return and some guilt over House’s reluctance to return practicing medicine and heading his department. When House gives her absolution from guilt, things forge ahead. House is determined to win Cuddy’s affections and begin a relationship with her now that he is drug-free and getting psychological help. In “Know Unknowns,” fans were treated to another revelation regarding House and Cuddy’s one-night stand and how they met at Michigan. House worked in the University bookstore and “read” her personality just by her schedule. He figured her to be a party girl but one who was also out to prove herself. It was something that attracted him to her. House and Cuddy both discovered they tracked each other down at a hoedown, which led to a night that was thought to hold no expectations. After apologizing for his lack of contact with Cuddy after that night,, House confessed to Cuddy that the next day he wanted to track her down to find out where things would go from that night. Unfortunately, he got a call from the Dean that he was expelled and didn’t see the point in tracking her down. (since he would be gone from her life.) The revelation takes Cuddy by surprise and forces her to make a quick exit from the dance she and House were having. House continues to try with Cuddy offering to babysit for Rachel, but is hit with the secret that Cuddy has moved on from him and has been seeing his Private Investigator friend Lucas Douglass. Cuddy’s reasoning for not telling House was due to his mental state. As the season continued, Cuddy was doing her best to keep House at arms length while trying to live her life even to the point of making him travel two hours to her sister’s so he wouldn’t spoil her Thanksgiving plans. Playing the false drunk card, House comes to Lucas’s place that that Thanksgiving night to tell Lucas he loves her. But Cuddy is through playing games with House, telling him “There is no us. There never will be.” Taking the hint, House leaves her alone even though she lies about her breakup with Lucas and House knows it. Of course, Cuddy knows House too and knows he’s aware of her lie. However, this doesn’t stop House from being a total pest. He cuts up a picture of Cuddy and Lucas and one Cuddy has of her with a monkey, swaping the heads of Lucas and the monkey. In “Remorse” House discovers, through Cuddy, that the picture of her with the monkey was taken by Cuddy’s father who recently died. It was the last trip they went on together. Later House goes to apologize but stands with despair through her office door window as he sees she and Lucas together.

Cuddy’s showcase episode came in the critically acclaimed “5 to 9.” It was yet another brilliant performance by Lisa Edelstein that I thought again would award her an Emmy nomination. We see Cuddy as she really is and understanding how she got her job and the struggles she faces balancing work and motherhood. It was yet another episode to which many working mothers could relate, as Cuddy battled an insurance company, a lunatic, blackmailing employee (that wasn’t House) and a sick daughter along with the juvenile behavior of her boyfriend, Lucas. Lisa Edelstein balanced the great act of showing fear, disdain, worry, poise, toughness and sassiness that fans of hers came to enjoy through the years. Cuddy showed that she wasn’t just a pretty face but a hard-nosed negotiator who had no initial fear of tangling with the big boys. Additionally, her tough attitude in dealing with a fight and her intelligence in dealing with her blackmailing employee, let fans know why Cuddy is an asset to Princeton Plainsboro. It also showed the friendship and understanding Cuddy and House shared. When Cuddy is ready to call it quits, because she’s failed at her tasks, House informs her otherwise in a conversation in her car. He tells her she’ll never quit because she needs the hospital and it needs her. During the episode, she’s also been getting advice from him, since manipulation is one of his strong points. It was a great episode with Cuddy prevailing in all aspects at the end to the tune “Shine On.” Shine on Lisa and Cuddy did.

In another great performance by Edelstein in “Lockdown,” a baby goes missing in the hospital locking down all employees in their respective areas. Brilliantly directed by Hugh Laurie, he took great care in showing viewers one of Lisa Edelstein’s greatest assets, her lovely acting face. Cuddy proves she’s a cool head in this crisis, playing House in investigating the whereabouts of the missing baby. Though trail and error, she realizes that the attending nurse has been having seizures and tries to retrace the nurse’s steps. In doing so, Cuddy finds the baby hidden in a laundry basket.  Cuddy triumphs again.

As House embarks on another road to crisis when Wilson starts dating ex-wife Sam, Cuddy comes again as a friend to be there for House. She ends up being the only one not paid to keep House company, inviting him to dinner. She comes on her own terms. At first House thinks the gesture is something more when Cuddy tells him Lucas is working. When Cuddy told House she just wanted to be friends, in an honest reply House told her “friends is the last thing I want us to be.” Again as in “Known Unknowns,” Cuddy is scared off by House’s blunt honesty and leaves.

In “Baggage,” through a therapy session with House’s psychiatrist Dr. Nolan, viewers found out that House ha been keeping an old medical textbook written by Cuddy’s great grandfather to give to her one day.  Throughout the episode House had been hiding the real issue behind some of his behavior, such as getting beat up at a bar purposely. It wasn’t over the fact that Wilson has kicked House out of the loft they stole from Cuddy as retribution for causing House hurt feelings. House was hiding his feelings about Cuddy’s move in with Lucas and the feelings he had for her in general. The former was stated out loud, the latter was implied by House’s irritated state when Nolan touched on that nerve. House quits therapy.

The season six finale “Help Me,” was the episode that ended up having everyone talking when it concluded. Throughout the episode House and Cuddy are dealing with a crane collapse in Trenton as well as a bevy of mixed emotions. In an attempt to make peace with Cudy, House hands her the medical text written by her great grandfather, inscribing it with best wishes for a happy future for she and Lucas in regards to their co-habitation. Little does House know that Cuddy and Lucas are not just moving in together but are in fact engaged. When House does find out, he isn’t happy and ends up making decisions for a young girl trapped underneath the ruble to spite her. The ghosts of the past and House’s infarction appear again as the situation is all too similar. Cuddy wants to amputate the trapped girl, Hannah’s leg, while House resists. House is the only one Hannah will trust and Cuddy is angry that House is jeopardizing Hannah’s life to get back at her. House on the other hand felt Cuddy was making things all about her. As had been customary for years in these situations, Cuddy threw reality back in House’s face by pointing out the fact that she and Wilson were moving on while he had nothing in his life. House’s anger and hurt feelings weren’t going to change what is. Cuddy’s reality check brings House to the truth about himself. In a moment he has with Hannah and Cuddy present, he convinces Hannah that the decisions he made in his life made him a “harder”, “worse” person and someone who is alone. It’s a moment where Cuddy sees an honesty of House that she’s never seen and one that touches her. Hannah agrees to amputation but it is too little too late as Hannah dies of an embolism. Angry, distraught and in a state of hopelessness, House returns to his apartment, rips the mirror off his wall, and takes a stash of Vicodin into his hands. He collapses to his floor trying to decide if he should give up his sobriety, since nothing good has happened in his life even though he’d tried. Just as he’s about to take the pills, Cuddy comes to essentially save him. The events of the night make her come to the decision to break off her engagement with Lucas and come to House, because she loves him and can’t move forward in her life until she sees if a relationship with House can work. After six years of the dance, House and Cuddy share a tender kiss in his bathroom and the season closes.

The summer leading up to season seven was filled with buzz concerning Cuddy’s new role in House’s life and the playful problems and circumstances it would cause as well as some much anticipated sexiness in the minds of many fans. You either loved the idea or hated it, but nevertheless it was happening. Critics loved the idea, because they felt it would breathe some fresh life into the show offering a different perspective. When the season began, Cuddy cleaned House’s wounds and ended up finally consummating their relationship in front of viewers. It was a tender moment of pure love and passion. “Now What?” also brought another famous phrase “I lobe you” in the fan vocabulary. Laurie and Edelstein had another brilliant performance in a lovely showcase just for them, conveying House and Cuddy’s passion, emotional state of being, friendship, playfulness, love for each other and even apprehension regarding their future. Fans knew out of the gate that the relationship was doomed to failure but little did we know how. I any case, fans did get to hear House utter those three little words to Cuddy with sincereity…”I love you.”

Of course, the relationship wasn’t always smooth sailing as House lied to Cuddy to save patient and argued with her over medical decisions from a professional standpoint. From a personal standpoint, he wanted to keep a hooker a massage therapist and drug her mother to keep her quiet. Much to the chagrin of many fans, not too much sexy happened and the relationship was written rather flat and mundane. But there were some gems for Cuddy this particular season. We discovered that Cuddy’s mother did respect her somewhat as a doctor but felt Cuddy was a personal failure as she hopped from boyfriend to boyfriend and displayed some faulty parenting skills. Arlene Cuddy, played brilliantly by Candace Bergen, wasn’t afraid to tell her daughter like it was, insulting her at every pass. We did find out that this was something House didn’t appreciate. Hence, he drugged Cuddy’s mother as birthday present to Cuddy. House’s gestures towards Cuddy and his need to stick up for Cuddy made Arlene realize just how much in love House was with her daughter. Later this love would be tested when Arlene falls ill.

House too tended to test Cuddy’s emotional state, sacrificing his well-being again by locking himself in with a potential smallpox patient. Faced with the prospect of losing House to illness and dealing with the crisis at hand, Cuddy is tested both professionally and personally. “A Pox On Our House” was also the episode after Cuddy finds out House lied to her and he unapologetic. House and Cuddy are still at a crossroads until the end of “Small Sacrifices.” In this episode, viewers are shocked to learn that Cuddy was married before, a lie House uncovered to get back at her to make them even. However, his plan backfires until the end of the episode where he apologizes to her for lying, which itself is a lie since fans discovered he didn’t mean it.

For Cuddy, her relationship with House wasn’t always bad. House bonded somewhat with her daughter Rachel as ran around behind Cuddy’s back trying to get Rachel to pass a dime she’d swallowed no thanks to he and Wilson in “Unplanned Parenthood.” Yet, it was “Carrot or Stick” that tugged at the heart string of fans as House trained Rachel like a dog to help Cuddy get Rachel into a prestigious pre-school. House even became a bragging faux parent in telling the story of how Rachel easily lied to Cuddy under pressure about not getting help with the pre-school test House helped her cheat on. The Kodak moment came at the end when Rachel climbed into House’s lap and hugged him. Of course, we discover later that he exposed her to dirty cartoons too.

House and Cuddy’s relationship went through I think two big tests. One came when Cuddy’s mother fell ill and she pretty much begged House to take the case. Arlene ended up throwing House off her case and the end result was House and Cuddy playing a dangerous game, which almost cost both their jobs. When push came to shove something unexpected happened…a role reversal. Cuddy is the one known for giving House a reality check but this particular time, he gave Cuddy one. He was tired of seeing Cuddy not stand up to her mother and lying to Arlene instead of confronting her. House knew if Arlene died, his relationship with Cuddy would never be the same. House and Cuddy together save Arlene and their relationship for the time being. However, it isn’t long before Cuddy has had enough.

Cuddy started to get tired of the idea that House loved her but didn’t care about her. His selfishness pushed her to a breaking point in “Two Stories” to where she decided to call it quits with him. To House this wasn’t an option, because he confessed how much he needed her I his life. House spoke at a career day as a favor to board member Sanford Wells in attempt to win Cuddy back by getting Rachel in Cuddy’s second choice pre-school. Throughout this episode, viewers saw how exacerbated Cuddy was getting at the simply little things House just wouldn’t do or stop doing from using her toothbrush to not taking the garbage out. In a gesture at the end, Cuddy realizes what House volunteered to do at the school, acting as himself. House also let her know that he did care about her and Rachel. Cuddy makes peace with him and the get back together again.

Cuddy still struggles to find out where she fits in in House’s life, especially after he fails to show up at an awards dinner in her honor. He told her he was going to be there and even hired a mariachi band, which he knew she loved. But when another patient dies in his care, he choses to get drunk in a bar instead questioning whether or not his happiness with Cuddy is worth the price his patients are paying. A very drunk House shows up on a very furious Cuddy’s doorstep. After making her sit down so he could speak to her, viewers think House is going to call the relationship quits when he says she makes him a “crappy doctor.” But to fans and Cuddy’s surprise House confesses that he will always choose being happy and in love with her over the medicine.

“Bombshells” would be the last and final test of House and Cuddy’s relationship, as Cuddy faces a cancer scare. As had been the case in their relationship, House fails to be there for her initially, because he can’t handle the possibility of losing her. In order to be present for her in her time of need and take away his pain, House’s sobriety ends when he takes a Vicodin pill. It’s then that he shows up at her bedside. But his secret isn’t revealed until the end when, after a series of dreams in which Cuddy’s subconscious was telling her House would slip, Cuddy comes to his door telling him she knows. In her heart Cuddy thought she could handle House’s problems and deal with his selfish behavior, but this was the last straw. She doesn’t blame him for what he’s done, but knows in her heart that she needs someone in her life who she can depend on to be there for her and is willing to take on her pain as well as his own. House’s failure to do that, causes Cuddy to finally end the relationship, even though House pleads with her that he can do better and not to end things. Viewers come to see that the decision wasn’t an easy one for Cuddy as we see her crying her eyes out to her sister. Cuddy and House’s romance is over.

Following the breakup House engages in risky behavior, more drug taking and outlandish acts such as marrying a girl as a business proposition so she could obtain citizenship and he a maid. His marriage is done front of Cuddy to break her, but Cuddy never gives him that satisfaction. She only confesses to Wilson of her hurt later on. She never ended the relationship because of House’s Vicodin addiction, she ended it because he was never there for her and was never going to be. Cuddy’s mother Arlene even went to extremes by suing the hospital to get Cuddy and House back together but failed, because as Arlene pointed out, Cuddy has unrealistic expectations.

After some questionable writing, “After Hours” brought House and Cuddy back to the characters of old. After discovering House’s drug experiment caused tumors in rats, he discovers he has then as well in his leg. He attempts self-surgery, but starts to go into shock and can’t continue. He calls everyone for help but the only one who answers is the last on his list….Cuddy. Horrified by House’s actions, she tries to shield Rachel from the gruesome scene and attempt to get House to the hospital, refusing to help him go any further with his surgery. She angry with him regarding his self-destructive action and that he introduced Rachel to a dirty cartoon. That anger turns to concern at the hospital when nurses are taking too long to get to him and Cuddy fears House might go into shock. In a final gesture of the good part of their relationship, House requests Cuddy be there for his surgery because she’s the only one he trusts to make sure they don’t do anything unnecessary to his leg. She honors his request. As he recovers, Rachel wonders if House will be okay and wants to write him a note. Cuddy helps her.

The season seven finale ended up being the car crash heard around the world as “Moving On” not only marked the end of the season but the very last episode in which we would ever see Cuddy again. Prior to the finale, actress Lisa Edelstein issued a statement saying that she was leaving the long-running Fox drama. In the finale, House is recovering from his leg surgery. Events in the episode find House wanting to move forward with his life, but then suddenly becoming frustrated with how easily everyone else seems to be moving on. He and Cuddy have a talk about everything that’s happened with House wanting to go back to being friends and the way things were before. But underneath, he’s still having a hard time letting go of her and the anger he’s kept buried. When they talk things through, Cuddy tells House truthfully that she’s not seeing anyone when he inquires. She confesses she hasn’t since the break-up. In the episode, Cuddy’s sister Julia fears Cuddy is stuck and wants to set her up with a banker friend, much to the protest of Cuddy. In a hallway scene, House keeps evading his feelings about the break-up until Cuddy keeps pleading with him to talk to her about how he feels. In a fit of anger, he pushes Cuddy against the wall and admits he feels “hurt.” Cuddy doesn’t blame him for how he feels and apologizes to him, but he tells her that it isn’t her fault.

House has kept Cuddy’s hairbrush all this time until she requests it back. House, probably hopeful he and Cuddy can work things out, goes with Wilson to return the brush to her, only to find her having dinner with her sister, brother-in-law and another man. Incensed, House forces Wilson out of the car, drives up the street, revs the engine, hits the gas and barrels into Cuddy’s dinning room. Not only did this episode signal Lisa Edelstein’s departure as Cuddy, but it put a definite end to House and Cuddy’s entire relationship forever.

We now come upon season eight and, for some fans, it’s with a very heavy heart. No longer will we hear the humorous comments from House about Cuddy’s assests. No longer will we see the power play battles that became somewhat legendary. No longer will we hear complaints on how tight Cuddy’s clothes are. No longer will we see “Dr. Lisa Cuddy, Dean of Medicine,” on the door that was once her office. Her office will no longer be hers but of another and that will take getting used to.

Dear Ms. Edelstein, thank you for so many fond memories and for the inspiration you gave working professionals such as myself. It is through your portrayal of Dr. Lisa Cuddy, that I found the courage to work even harder to achieve my goals, look good doing it and be confident with who I am as person. Your talents will be greatly missed by this viewer, because your acting embodied many personalities. As your former colleague Mr. Laurie so graciously put it, you did the work of many actresses put together. This House in my eyes will not be a home without you, as I feel House will indeed be missing his heart.

This blogger wishes you the best of luck in your future pursuits.

On behalf of many fans, House’s Princeton Plainsboro will always be your building, your floor your people.

With great respect, Drdiagnostic


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful homage to Lisa and the character she portrayed with so much passion, humor, dedication and love for 7 years.
She will be greatly missed indeed and the show will never be the same without her. But I´m sure we´ll soon be hearing very great things about her :).

Anonymous said...

"House will indeed be missing his heart." - This line says exactly how I feel. There are no words for what House meant to me. It was so much more than a simple TV show.
I'm not gonna watch season 8 but I'll always be grateful for being a fan because I met a lot of wonderful people here.

I love you guys and DrD, thank you for writing this! *HUGE HUGS*

Freelancer said...

I love your post. I read it till end because I've been looking for episodes where lisa edelstein appeared on House. I really like the character she played and I'be become a fan of her. She's a great actress and she portrayed the character of Dr Cuddy so well. I like the part where she used to argue with House. Season 8 doesn't interest me much now because there is no Lisa Edelstein that makes the movie fun to watch. Hugh Laurie is a great actor but without Lisa it's not that interesting anymore.

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