If you haven't seen the first part of the House two-part finale, you're nuts. I haven't felt like that about television since watching Firefly and Babylon 5 for the first time. You probably haven't seen those either and don't get what I'm saying, but if you have, then I don't even have to explain it. You know already. There are times when you're simply blown away by what you've seen, when an episode is so far above everything else that there are no direct comparisons to be had. It's like aliens came down and wrote this episode -- we're talking about going from a two-year-olds doodle on your living room wall to the most revered artwork of all time (I'm not an art fan so draw your own conclusion.) Since my DVR is setup to record everything with a "padding" of 1 minute, to catch programs that start a little early or those that end a little late, I got to see the last minute of the Bones finale. That was cool, and your typical shock moment in television. At the last minute, while everyone is happy and life couldn't possibly be better, somebody gets shot. It obviously can work, and seen alone in the context of that specific show, can be a pretty big moment and a decent finale, but when you see that, and then see the House finale where that "shock moment" lasts 60 straight minutes with another 60 to come for part two, it looks absolutely awful. It's like there's a giant blinking neon arrow glued to your wall pointing downward at your television. "This is what normal finales are like compared to the good stuff." It's like drinking muddy water, and then getting a nice frosty Coke Classic.
Analogies aside, seeing the Bones twist in the last 60 seconds is just painful. It's like that writing staff spent the week writing 59 minutes of a normal episode -- and understand I didn't see that 59 minutes so maybe I'm wrong about that -- and then once they had a decent, run-of-the-mill episode you'd see on a regular weeknight, they asked "now what can we do to punch up that ending since I guess this is supposed to be some sort of 'finale' thing, with a 'twist' or something. Anybody know what that's all about?"
And I don't really feel the need to see the proceeding 59 minutes of Bones either, I already saw everything needed to know what happened there. Some psycho shot Angel Booth and maybe he's dead, and maybe not. Since I've not heard anything about David Boreanaz leaving the show, I'm guessing the latter is the case. So...what's there to know or see? He got shot, big deal. That's such a cheap way out compared to what House did, that I can't even summarize what House did without writing a scene-by-scene transcript.
Sadly, Hulu has an arcane waiting period before new episodes are put online (eight days) so I can't even embed the episode here so you can stop listening to me and just watch the thing. Anyway, I just found what happened here particularly striking, in a way that wouldn't have occurred at all if I hadn't seen the last minute of Bones and then the finale of House back-to-back like that.
Have I mentioned at all how this was the best single episode of House thus far, over the entire series? Yeah, it was that good.
The second part of the strike-shortened House season four finale airs Monday, May 19th.