The “Bombshells” episode of “House” this past Monday shocked (and dismayed Huddy shippers) a lot of viewers. It was written by Liz Friedman and Sara Hess. They’ve taken a little time out of their busy schedule to answer a few questions about this critical and unusual episode.
“Bombshells” had two major, major plot points: The breakup of Huddy and the re-addiction of House. What was the rationale behind tackling both of these game-changers in 44 minutes?
Sara: Well, for us the two things went hand-in-hand. A major theme on the show is that people don't change. House has been clean for a year and a half now, but addiction isn't something that just goes away. When Cuddy started dating him, she told him she could accept him just the way he was ... but remember, he was sober at the time. And while she's a doctor and knows the reality of his situation, I think she was able to convince herself for a long time that things would turn out OK. But when someone with House's drug history starts using again, it's a seismic event.
That said, Cuddy doesn't break up with him because he took one pill. We used House's addiction as a symbol of his inability to deal with pain. He's spent so much time and energy trying to insulate himself, but being in a relationship basically means making yourself twice as vulnerable. And he can't accept that. He won't let himself really experience what Cuddy's going through; selfishly, he uses the drug to protect himself, and that leaves her--in any real emotional sense -- alone. Maybe Cuddy thinks she doesn't need him to change, but she does at the very least need him to be present. And in the end he can't do it.
Whose decision was it to incorporate the dreams/nightmares as a plot device?
Liz: That idea came out of the writers' room at House. The staff collectively hatched the notion of Cuddy contemplating various futures with House, each of those futures being a different genre, and those visions ultimately leading to the end of their relationship. In the original pitch, each act was a different genre ... but as we got into it, we realized that the break-up really needed to be grounded in reality, so we re-approached the dreams as a way to show what our characters were really thinking/worrying about.