Doogie might have moved back into his parents' house-temporarily-but it doesn't stop him from experiencing the real life lessons, or eventually making second go at an apartment. Whereas others typically loose steam in the last season, the 22-episode 1992-1993 season brings the series to a memorable end.
Like other LA area doctors, Doogie experiences the riots from `ground zero', attempting to patch up everybody needing his medical help ("There's a Riot Going On"). This and many other incidents haunt our young doctor in "Doogie's Got a Gun". How can somebody sworn to heal people purchase a gun which is-well, designed to injure and kill people? He certainly did not like being robbed, but Doogie's also uncomfortable with the idea of owning a gun! We're long out of teen-heartthrob status here. Neil Patrick Harris easily earned this episode's Emmy.
After the obvious embarrassment for everybody when mom Katherine (Belinda Montgomery) found him skinny-dipping in the family pool with her boss in "Look Ma, No Pants", Doogie gives having his own place a second try ("Doogie Doesn't Live Here Anymore"). A couple of years apparently made the critical difference because Doogie now is emotionally able to live away from his parents.
Doogie's parents still continue to show up in this season's episodes, but they consequently assume more of a `side character role than compared to the prior seasons. "The Mother of All Fishing Trips" and "Will the Real Dr. Howser Please Stand Up" are notable because Doogie really begins to relate to his parents not as a child living under their roof, but as another person, a colleague-if not an equal. In the former, Doogie and his mother attempt to go fishing together while the senior Dr. Howser's (James B. Sikking) back is mending and the second episode has Doogie suspect a friend of his father's of child abuse-a tricky situation for the Howser family.
Doogie continues having growing experiences of his own. Performing surgery as part of a group is one thing, but a solo surgery is SCARY to the young doctor as is voting for Vinnie (Max Casella) ("To Err is Human, To Give Up Isn't a Bad Idea"). He decides to crash out at the hospital during "The Big Sleep...Not!" after his ever-stressful work schedule takes its toll on him.
Doogie also learns not to brag about his dating prowess when a nurse at the hospital teaches him a lesson which he does not forget ("Spell it M-A-N"). Finally, Doogie helps medical school students learn to empathize with the patients they will be treating ("The Patient In Spite of Himself") and searches for life inspiration outside of medicine in the intentionally-written series finale "What Makes Doogie Run?".
Extras include interviews with Lawrence Pressman (Dr. Canfield) and Kathryn Layng (Nurse Curly Spaulding). It's obvious both are proud of their work with this well-produced series. Bochco etc...are genius in their own right for producing a sitcom with ability to transcend the era of original airing. We need Bochco to go back to doing sitcoms!