After eight seasons and more than 175 episodes, Fox's House will diagnose its final patient before saying goodbye for good.
“It’s done. I can’t believe it’s been eight years and I mean that in all the possible senses I can imagine of that," series creator David Shore told The Hollywood Reporter at the House series wrap party in downtown L.A. "It feels like it’s only been a couple. I feel like I’ve been living with this my whole life and I can’t believe it’s eight years, most fundamentally in the sense that how the hell did it last eight years?”
Shore, executive producer Russel Friend, stars Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps and Robert Sean Leonard were among those who took time out to reflect on the medical drama's long run, highlighting what they'll miss most and giving a glimpse into what the final image of the finale -- titled "Everybody Dies" and includes some familiar faces -- may be.
The Final Day
Shore: “It was bittersweet. I kept going around, ‘Oh my god, it’s my last time here'. That room won’t exist in a few hours. They’re knocking stuff down right, left and center. There’s not a lot of sentimentality in this town. They need those stages.”
Laurie: “Right from the first day, you know it’s inevitable. It’s going to come at some point. On the first day, we thought it would come on the seventh day because shows don’t last this long. They’re not supposed to. We feel, I think, if I had to describe for everybody. I think it’s a feeling of sorrow that it’s over but also immense pride that we’ve done what we’ve done and these are shows we can look back on or have to look back on. Maybe we’ll be sitting in a hotel room in Iowa 10 years from now and we’ll go, ‘Oh yeah, I vaguely remember that.’ I hope we will continue to feel proud of it. I wouldn’t swap it for anything."
Friend: “We were [on set]. All of us came down for set. It was very emotional. It was really weird. We always clap out when there’s a guest star’s last day of the episode. Obviously we’ve never done that for Hugh and this was Hugh’s last day and we had to clap out Hugh Laurie and it was very strange.”
Epps: "My final day was emotional for some people, but it was great for me. I feel thankful to have been present through this whole journey. I was present in that moment; all good things come to end so it was going to happen."
The Series' Finale/Last Image
Laurie: "I hope [the final image] will be satisfying. I believe it is a very wonderful twist to the story. Of course, I don't know if we've done it right or whether we've executed it right. I hope we have. I'm still slightly reeling from it. I believe that people will be satisfied by it. It's not going to be one of those things that's just a sudden poof, it's gone.This is more ambitious than that."
Shore: “The writers sat down months ago when it was starting to look like – even before [it was] defined – we were getting to the point where we as a writing group had to figure out how it was going to end or we were going to be screwed if it was going to end. We sat down and bandied around a bunch of ideas and a bunch of thoughts and came with one that we liked and felt true to the series and true to the character.”
Epps: "The last image that you see of Forman, that people will see, I feel really good about it. I can't give it away."
Friend: "I think [the final image of the show] will be very satisfying, yeah. I can't say [what it is,] it's a big secret. I was really pleased with what David [Shore] came up with with the ending."
What They'll Miss Most
Laurie: "I suspect it will hit at the strangest times. I’ll be driving and suddenly I’m hit by it. 'I’m never going to do that again, I’m never going to see that place, see that person again.' This is the cycle of life."
Epps: "The banter between Forman and House. They had their own little chemistry and Hugh and I had a blast at living that chemistry between those two characters."
Leonard: "There have been a lot of great people that I enjoyed seeing every morning. I like the crew, I like Hugh. It's been a very lucky job for me and I'll miss it. It's always fun to play scenes with Hugh Laurie and I hope one day we play them as different characters than these. That was one of the great pluses."
Friend: "We did this one episode where Hugh has to crawl under a collapsed building and cut off a woman’s leg to save her life. It was an incredible moment character-wise. It was late and the whole thing felt so real. When we crawled back out, because we had built this tiny set, there were crew members with tears in their eyes."
The Series' Evolution
Shore: “We kept doing what we wanted to do. We didn’t go, ‘Ok, we have to try new things'. We tried new things because we wanted to try new things. We told all the stories we wanted to tell and hopefully found an audience. And if we didn’t find an audience, I would have been fine too. It wouldn’t have been as good, but it would’ve been fine.”
Epps: "I feel fulfilled. It was a great journey for the character [Eric Forman] from where he started to where he ended up. It was a full life, if you will."
House airs its series finale Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox.