There’s certainly an overture of casual connections between “Everybody Dies” the season eight finale and series finale to the nearly decade-long odyssey of the cantankerous MD who loathes patients but loves puzzles. There’s the abandoned building set on fire, there’re dire consequences for both House and his pardner-in-crime Wilson, just as there are for Rorschach and his crimefighting partner, Nite Owl.
But whereas “Everybody Dies” was a quiet moment for us to leave the story of House, Nite Owl’s story is just getting started.
“Everybody Dies” really was about House escaping his own cage of fame, about no longer needing to be that cranky, manipulative, genius mad scientist doctor who saved lives but hated the people whose lives he saved. It’s an easy story, he fakes his death so he and Wilson can spend the last days of their friendship together before the cancer takes Wilson. No prison for House, and along the way there’s at least the suggestion that he would be able to learn how to live without his enabler.
It’s only a slight hesitation thinking that House’s phoenix-like escape from that burning building might also signal actor Hugh Laurie’s escape from his own cage of fame. Can Laurie join the cadre of familiar actors that populate our movies and TV shows? The House that Hugh Laurie Built certainly chronicles the terrible price Laurie himself paid for the success of his crafting of the character. Almost as much does his unmemorable performance as the Machiavellian IA cop in 2008’s Street Kings.
But as that murder-house burns around his partner, Nite Owl stares down a very different kind of phoenix-without-ashes rejuvenation. At some point in the future, this is going to be the man who compromises with the ultimate mad scientist who committed genocide to ensure world peace.
Just as much as “Everybody Dies” was for House, “From One Nite Owl to Another” is a drama of choices. Please enjoy your exclusive preview of Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #4.