I have been re-watching House M.D. lately and Dr. Kutner's

death in Season 5

still baffles me like the first time I watched it.

It happened out of the blue with no real explanation given in the show.

Can anyone give an in/out universe explanation?

  • 3
    Could have swore this was asked before. – cde Jun 28 '16 at 0:31
  • Hmm, maybe it was much easier to find the information when the show was popular, since Kutner dying simply made no sense at all in the story, so everyone must've found it readily on Google. – Nelson Jun 28 '16 at 2:47

In-universe, there was never an explanation. In fact, it was a plot point that House was driven rather crazy trying to figure out "what he missed". He was sure there must have been signs that Kutner was planning on committing suicide and he just didn't see them. This led to issues with his sobriety, etc.

Out on universe, there's a much easier answer. The actor who played Dr. Kutner (Kal Penn), had just been appointed to a position in the Obama administration. He had been a vocal advocate for Obama during his first campaign in 2007-2008, and in 2009 he was appointed Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. This required him to quit his television job rather suddenly, and the show decided to write him off in a surprising fashion.

  • 2
    Supporting article with interview between Entertainment Weekly and Kal about why he left the show. ew.com/article/2009/04/07/house-exclusive – Catija Jun 27 '16 at 20:46
  • And when the job didn't pan out very well, he returned to acting. – user25738 Jun 28 '16 at 13:56

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