It isn’t so much that House killed off a more interesting character and left much less interesting characters alive. And it isn’t very hard to sympathize with producers who had to figure out a way to write off an interesting character because the actor had bigger fish to fry (kind of nifty fish, at that). It’s not even that they settled on a suicide–while House’s “but it’s a mystery I cannot solve!” reaction was pretty predictable in this episode, being so unsettled could lead to interesting paths the rest of the season.
No, the thing that’s irritaing about having Kutner kill himself is that the show is trying to pass off the fact that they couldn’t be bothered to really write for the character as a strength rather than a weakness. We’ve been subjected to what feels like years of wallowing in Thirteen’s illness and romance, and we’ve even gotten some interesting Taub backstory lately. But Kutner largely remained the cheerful guy who used his brain and solved the mysteries. Wrapping the mystery of his own suicide in the show’s refusal to give him a storyline is dirty pool. We’ll be hoping this goes somewhere–hey, who doesn’t want to see the great Hugh Laurie dig into something juicy?–but we’ll also be hoping that the White House treats Kal Penn better than Fox’s House did.