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House 601 - Broken

House Episode 6-01 - "Broken"

Airdate: Monday Sept 21, 2009

House wakes in a psych ward bed, eyes his medication in his paper cup, wanders the ward, is bathed by a nurse, eyes more medication, tosses and turns in bed, bangs on the door of his locked room and screams for help, lies in bed in restraints, finally awakes without restraint - clear-eyed, walks limping across his room (no cane), and packs his bag.

House approaches the nurse's station to check out, but the nurse won't let him, saying "Dr. Nolan" has left explicit instructions. House argues he's self-admitted, to no avail.

Dr. Nolan, an older black man, is in conference with Dr. Beasley, a young blonde woman, when House interrupts them with sarcastic remarks. Dr Nolan dismisses Dr. Beasley, and engages with House. House considers himself all cured now. Nolan points out that House checked himself into a psych hospital, not a detox clinic. And his Vicodin dependence goes back years, but his hallucinations and other symptoms only began after the death of two colleagues and his father. He thinks House has deeper issues, and he won't sign the papers to allow House to get his medical license back until House has dealt with them. So it's out of detox, and off to the long-term ward for House.

An orderly welcomes House to Ward 6, Dr. Beasley's ward, as it turns out. It's your basic stereotypical ward full of patients, some seemingly normal, others displaying symptoms from withdrawal, to catatonia and facial tics. There is a caged area from which drugs are dispensed, tables and chairs, and a ping-pong table with no net and no paddles.

House confers with Dr. Beasley and asks what he needs to do to get out of there. She suggests taking his meds, participating in group and individual counseling, and setting goals. House sets his - make himself such a pain in the ass that Nolan will sign his papers.

House finds his room and meets his roommate, 'Alvy' Alvarez, a self described "Puerto Rican manic-depressive" who seems to be stuck in manic. House hates it. Alvy introduces House around the ward. There's a piano in the ward, but Alvy explains they keep It locked up - no release for House there. The ward's staff watch House's debut though lifted blinds, wondering if his threats are serious.

Group session: Dr. Beasley introduces Alvy and House to the group. House quickly analyzes each patient's problems, in a brusque way. Dr. B calls the meeting off, and invites 'Greg,' to the clubhouse for disruptive patients - i.e. the padded room.

House joins the others in an outdoor setting, where some are playing basketball. He sits on a bench next to Dr. B. She asks him if he's ready to 'play nice'. "Would you believe me if I said 'yes'?" "No." "Then yes." She urges him to just engage with people. House looks thoughtful, the says "'OK" and joins the basketball game. House drives to the basket by presenting each patient in his way with proof of
their worst nightmares, a few sentences each, shoots a gimmie, and strides off the court, heading back to the ward. Dr. B tells him he can't go during yard time, but he ignores her and take the stairs.

On the ward, he finds the piano unlocked and being played by a woman with a German accent (Lydia). She's playing for the catatonic person who remains in the ward. She explains she's Annie's (the catatonic) sister-in-law and plays because the music comforts her. Annie was formerly a cellist with the Philadelphia symphony. The orderlies arrive to escort House to the clubhouse. House asks Lydia to leave the piano unlocked when she leaves.

House lays on his cot and contemplates things. Dr B comes in bearing his cane as a peace offering. She asks him if he's ready to try another strategy.

House comes back to the ward where Alvy and the anorexic guy are playing ping pong, with their hands for paddles and no net. Alvy welcomes House back. House makes a sincere apology to the other patients, saying his anger was misdirected, when the real jerks are the doctors, who won't trust them with paddles or a net, or to play the piano. Pretty soon he has the whole ward worked up in righteous indignation at their infantilization, and Dr B is out trying to calm the chaos. Dr Nolan defuses the situation by striding into the ward and handing over pair of paddles, saying "House is right, I think you can handle this." House is annoyed that everyone gets what they want except himself. Nolan says House is a natural leader and could be of great assistance on the ward if he wanted to be.

That night, Alvy babbles and House plans. He's changing his approach, but to what he doesn't know.

In group, Dr. Beasley introduces a new member to the ward, Steve. Steve quickly corrects that his name is Freedom Master. Outside, he says he must conceal his identity, but he feels free to reveal it here. He has super powers, he says, and uses them to protect the innocent. He says he can sense that Annie (the silent girl) is lost and needs saving.

House breaks from the group and strolls to the window. House sees Dr. Nolan accepting a ride and a kiss from a young woman. Later, in the exercise yard, he asks Alvy (who has "third floor privileges") to sneak into Nolan's office and find out who the young woman is.

Back in the ward, House, waiting for results, finds the piano is unlocked. Alvy returns but reports the name is not on Nolan's calendar, though the time of the meeting was blocked out. House begins plotting to get to a phone. Alvy reports that Hal (the anorexic) is the only one with level five, phone, privileges.

House and Alvy arrange to have a mock fight, with House as the aggressor. This gets House 5 mg of Haldol pills (cheeked) to sedate Hal with, and 'borrow' his phone card. He calls Wilson. In response to Wilson's questions he reports he's no longer hallucinating, off Vicodin, managing the leg pain with a non-narcotic. He asks Wilson to run a license plate for him with his friend in the DMV. Wilson says Nolan is way ahead of him and phoned already and told him to deny whatever wacky request House makes, for House's ultimate good.

House disappoints Alvy when he announces his plan was a bust, but his new plan is to cooperate - then he adds, just not actually.

So, over a jazzy tune, House becomes a good little camper, participates in group, takes his meds (or appears to), earns points.

Later, he meets Lydia visiting Annie again and playing the piano. House suggests that, since Annie played the cello, she might respond better to cello playing. Lydia considers the idea.

House is interviewed by a new doctor, Dr. Medina, who is suspicious that House is reporting no side effects from his medications. House swears he is taking his meds. "What'ya want me to do, take a urine test?" Dr. Medina calls his bluff and says "Yes".

Medina escorts House to the john for a sample. House, claiming modesty, goes into a stall where he's pre-stashed Hal standing on the commode, and House delivers a sample as House makes noise. And pretty soon House is a level 4.

Medina asks "Freedom Master" to move the heavy piano for him. FM says he can only use his powers to fight evil. Medina tells FM he's delusional, and needs to adjust. House objects to this line of 'therapy'. FM notices that Annie is staring at a locked room. He says somebody 'stole her voice box' and that's what she's staring at and why she's silent. Medina flatly tells him "Your wife is dead." (apparently in 9/11). FM says that good can defeat evil. Medina says 'not always, evil people killed a lot of good people that day'. This drives FM into hysterics, trying to break into the room screaming "her voice is in there." Medina's heavy-handedness draws a disgusted look from House.

House and Alvy talk in the yard, Alvy telling House not do what he's thinking of doing. Dr. Beasley calls everyone inside for a "closing ceremony".

This turns out to be the occasion of someone leaving the ward, in this case Susan, the suicidal. There's a cake labeled "Happy Re-Birthday", and the group listens as Dr. Beasley recites a formulaic "we wish her well and (everybody joins in) WE HOPE TO NEVER SEE HER AGAIN." House notes the absence of FM from the group and asks Dr. Medina about it. Medina says FN will not be attending. House walks out to FM's room to find him sitting on the bed, near catatonic and unresponsive. House berates Medina for turning a happy and functioning, is delusional, person into this vegetable. Dr. Nolan comes in and asks House to step in his office.

House asked if he's not allowed to get angry at Medina's screw-up, and he's also angry that he's two privilege levels above Susan, and has better scores on depression tests, and yet is still stuck there. Nolan says every patient is different. Then he shows House you can't fool a pro by showing that the meds House hasn't been taking are sugar pills, so House's urine test was evidence of cheating on the test, not of compliance. "Stop fighting the system and let me do my job," Nolan says.

Another day: House sees Lydia pull into the parking lot with a cello in the back of her small convertible. He meets her in the hall and offers to help carry the cello in. Lydia glances at his cane and is dubious he can carry the load. House says let's get Steve and let him help out so he'll feel better about himself. Steve staggers under the burden and House suggests she lend him her car keys so he can drive FM around the grounds where he can feel the wind in his hair. Once in the car, House tells her he lied, he's really kidnapping FM and stealing her car. Lydia asks to be let out first and walks toward the institution as House drives off.

House takes FM to an amusement park where they have one of those vertically mounted fans that allows you to practice free falling without a parachute. House tells Steve "You can do this. If you hold my hand I can, too." [By the way, to the best of my knowledge, these machines don't really work as depicted here. All of them I know about are in enclosed structures with safety nets above and below, and are used for parachute free-fall training. There's one near Raleigh and my wife and I plan to go 'flying' sometime, though not parachuting.]

The fan is turned on and up they go. FM is delighted, and opens up and begins to talk. They have more fun at the fair, and at last return to the car in the parking structure, House carrying a large stuffed giraffe under his arm, FM babbling happily and 'flying' arms outstretched, running circles around him. The light mood turns deadly serious, though, as, while House's back was turned, FM hops up on the ledge of the structure, several stories up, and spreads his arms. House shouts and moves toward him, but too late. FM hops off the ledge spread his arms and attempts to fly.


House sits in some emergency room lounge, bloody windbreaker in his lap, as Dr. Nolan reads him the riot act, detailing his disappointment in House and FM's injuries. He tells House that he'll sign papers to transfer House to another facility - maybe he'll have better luck there. As Nolan turns to leave, House softly says "Don't. I need help."


House and Nolan begin the long process of genuine psychoanalysis. Nolan is a Rogersian therapist [after Carl Rogers, father of this type of therapy], feeding back everything the patient says to him, which of course drives House nuts. But eventually the logic of Nolan's approach has some effect.

House takes his meds now, no more cheeking. Alvy is disappointed. Alvy says "They broke you." House says "That didn't break me - I am broken."

Nolan has an assignment for House. To learn to trust people, he's to go to a dinner being held on the grounds for donors to the hospital, mingle and talk with the other diners. House starts with a gentleman at the hors d'oeuvre bar, and starts to have an honest conversation, but can't resist the opportunity to freak the guy out, claiming to be Dr. Nolan's homosexual lover. Then he runs into Lydia, who’s overheard the conversation and calls him on his falsehood.

House moves on and tries the freakout approach with a young woman, but Lydia follows him and claims to be his wife and whisks him away. Later, House sits alone picking petals off a daisy. Nolan approaches and asks him how it's going. House says his inclination to screw things up took over. Nolan says the assignment was for him to learn to trust others, and since none of them ratted him out for his outrageous behavior, it worked.

Lydia comes back with drinks and she and House sit and talk. He engages her with honest conversation about his 'stealing' her car, and why wasn't she angry about it. She says why he did was irresponsible but also nice, giving FM a moment of pure happiness. She shares that she visits Annie because they were best friends until Annie started pulling away from everyone. She thinks she married Annie's brother because he was the only one in the same predicament, but he stopped visiting after a couple of years and now it's just her. They share a brief kiss as they part.

House returns to his room , and Alvy breaks his silent treatment to ask what happened and was it fun? House says 'yeah'.


In therapy, House broods over the kiss. To Nolan's every question, House deflects with no success as Dr. Nolan is good at staying on point. Nolan points out the obvious that Lydia is married, which complicates things. House can't say where this is going.

Visiting time, and Lydia joins House on the piano bench. House asks her why she kissed him. She says he thought he was nice and that was a way to show it. He plays the piano for her. The mood is broken as a once again unspeaking and badly injured Freedom Master is wheeled back into the room in a wheelchair.

Another therapy session. House and Nolan discuss the FM situation. Nolan asks him why he obsesses over his failures more than his successes. House thinks getting a guy to jump off a building with massive injury deserves a lot of worry. House wonders what he can do about it. Nothing but apologize and move on, Nolan tells him.

In the ward, House approaches FM, but he can't make the words of an apology come out. Dr. Beasley comes in and wheels FM away to group. In group she invites all them to participate in an upcoming talent contest, to be performed in front of staff and friends. She addresses Steve, to no response. House interrupts to say that change doesn't come from talking but from action, and he gets up to say he can save Steve.

He goes to the locked room and says 'there's a music box there' and tries to open it. Dr. Beasley calls for the orderlies. House swears he's not having a psychotic break and promises that this will work. Beasley nods and the orderly opens the door and hands House a small blue box from the shelf. House gives it to Steve and tells him 'By your own rationale this will help her and you, you're healing , all the parts work, now speak!' Steve makes no response. And Dr. Nolan interrupts to say they should take a break now.

Nolan tells House, "You're trying to fix, instead of moving on," and wheels Steve away.

Lydia visits, bringing House some sheet music. House tells her he wants to break off so no one gets hurt, and leaves without taking the music.

Another group. Diane says she's worried about ECT [Electro-Convulsive Therapy, a drastic treatment for depression]. Alvy says he's had it and mimics electrocution. Dr Beasley asks Alvy how he's doing writing something for the talent show. He says his raps are spontaneous and can't be pre-written. Dr Medina interrupts, giving House a day pass and saying Dr. Nolan would like to see him.

House joins Dr, Nolan in a hospital room where Nolan's father lies comatose. He asks him to take a look at his dad's chart. Nolan, Sr. collapsed at home and the doctors don't hold out any hope, recommend pulling the plug. Nolan is seeking a second opinion from House. House tells him the doctors have made no mistake, and any doctor would see that. House proceeds to analyze Nolan, saying he, House, is as close as he has to a friend, somewhere along the line Nolan screwed up and now House is all he has to turn to. Nolan, through tears, tells him to just shut up and leave, he's in too much pain to play this game. House sits down to just be there for Nolan.

House returns to an empty ward - empty, that is, save for a weeping Lydia. House tells her he's sorry [breakthrough!] for pushing her away, "It's what I do when I'm afraid."

Lydia says she's not crying about him, she's crying about Annie - Lydia brought Annie's cello, "In case she wakes up for the show." He offers a hand, then a hug that turns into a slow, silent dance. They make their way to a room somewhere and make slow, silent love.

The talent show: Diane, who claimed no talent, dances a passable Macarena with Dr. Beasley. Three of the men make a singing group. Silent black guy does slap rhythms. Alvy comes up to rap, but he's bombing, can't come up with lyrics. From the back, House supplies a few. Alvy pages House to the stage, and House comes along. The two of them make one effective rapper.

Another therapy session. House consoles Nolan on the loss of his father, and says things are going better for him.

Back on the ward, House finally manages to say "I'm sorry" to Steve, still silent, still holding the blue music box as he sit in his wheel chair. House sits and explains further to the unmoving Steve how he screwed up and put Steve in a dangerous situation, and how Steve's getting hurt is his fault, and again how sorry he is. Nolan notices and watches the interaction. A nurse calls "Med time". House wheels Steve toward the window and as they do he passed a standing silent Annie. House thinks he sees a flicker of response in Annie's eyes and wheels Steve backwards to her. Again her eye flicks downward.

Steve silently raises the music box to her, and she raises her arms and takes it. Nolan is transfixed. She opens the box, listens briefly to the tune, and turns and says "Thank you" to Steve. Steve looks up and replies "You're welcome." I don't know about you, but my tears are flowing.

Later: Lydia enters the ward. House take her hand and says "I've got a surprise." And leads her to where Annie is playing the cello, beautifully, to the rapt attention of all the other patients.

Later: A graduation ceremony is held for Annie. A smiling Steve participates. Annie blows out the single candle. Only House is frowning

He confronts Nolan in his office, wondering how someone silent for a decade can be released so quickly. Nolan tells House that Annie is going to a rehab facility in Arizona, her family moving with her. Nolan knows what this means to House and offers to help him face it. House demands an overnight pass. Nolan says he'll give it to him if he insists, but urges House to think it through first.

A cab drops off House at Lydia's house. She answers the door. She tells him her husband had a lot of business in Phoenix and Annie's improvement gives them the freedom to go. She's sorry, but goodbye.

House ends up back at the institution by Nolan's parking place. Nolan comes out to go home, and House tells him "She left, and I'm lost." Nolan sits beside him and says he'll write that letter to the medical board now. Two reasons - House connected to someone strongly enough to get hurt, and he recognized the pain and came to talk to Nolan instead of "hiding in the Vicodin bottle."


It's House's graduation: The ward congratulates House and "HOPE WE NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN!" House gets a hug from Dr. Beasley to the woo-hoo's of the ward. Alvy approaches and House tells him to "Back off, people already think we're gay." Then embraces him in a big hug. Finally House celebrates with a face plant straight into his 'Re-Birthday" cake.

Bag packed, House strides out of the clinic, to the bus stop. Alvy watches through the ward window. Alvy turns and heads back to the ward, and takes, not cheeks, his medicine.

= Cecil =

Last Episode: 05/11/09 5-24 Both Sides Now
Next Episode: 09/28/09 6-02 Epic Pail

Preview: House returns to Princeton Plainsboro, announcing he will make big changes in his life. Meanwhile, House's team can't diagnose a new patient who's obsessed with posting each and every one of his symptoms over the Internet.

Cast and Crew Ep. 6-01, "Broken" Aired 09/21/2009

Cast and Crew

Director: ____ Katie Jacobs
Writers: ____ David Shore
____________ David Foster (II)
____________ Garrett Lerner
____________ Russel Friend


Hugh Laurie ________ Dr. Gregory House
Robert Sean Leonard _ Dr. James Wilson

Recurring Role:

Guest Stars:
Franka Potente __________ Lydia
Lin-Manuel Miranda ______ Juan "Alvie" Alvarez
Megan Dodds ___________ Dr. Beasley
Derek Richardson ________ Steve/Freedom Master
Curtis Armstrong ________ Richter
Andrew Leeds __________ Dr. Medina
Angela Bettis ___________ Susan (Silent Girl)
Jack Plotnick ____________ Hal Connor/Anorexic Guy
Artemis Pebdani _________ Diane/Shy Overweight Woman
Alex Désert _____________ Jay-Bird
Kim Rhodes _____________ Female Donor
Andre Braugher __________ Dr. Darryl Nolan
Dale E. Turner ___________ Duane "Stomp" Milbratt
Ana Lenchantin __________ Annie "Silent Girl" Bohm
Albert Malafronte ________ Garney
Sloan Robinson __________ Nurse Safer
Henderson Wade ________ Orderly
Meghan K. Bradley _______ Nurse Valez
Harrison Forsyth _________ Ben
Rickey G. Williams ________ Ski Cap Guy
Audrey Kelley ____________ Pretty Woman


No Surprises _________ Radiohead),
Kinderszenen, Op. 15 __ Robert Schumann
Impromptu #3 in B Flat __ Franz Schubert
Love Vigilantes ________ Iron and Wine
Poison Pushy __________ Stanton Moore
Carefully on Tip-Toe Stealing from HMS Pinafore
_____________________ Gilbert & Sullivan
__(sung by Hugh Laurie)
No Smoke Without Fire __ James Hunter
Harmonia _____________ Cass McComb
I Do Not Fear Jazz _______ Big Strides
Life ___________________ Sly & The Family Stone
Night Train _____________ Oliver Nelson
No Moon at All __________ Nat King Cole
I Love Paris _____________ Cole Porter
Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye _ Cole Porter
Macarena River Mix _______ Los Del Río
You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You
________________________ Russ Morgan
The Magic Flute___________ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Cello Suite #1, Prelude in G Major
________________________ Johann Sebastian Bach
Seven Day Mile ___________ The Frames

Favorite Quotes:

"Seriously? That's your strategy? Give every what they want - except me?" House to Nolan after Nolan coughs up a pair of ping pong paddles."

"Was there a hit and run on your floor?". Wilson, inquiring about House's tag-running request.

"You want me to lick your hand?" "I washed." House and Nolan interchange where Nolan shows House who's the better trickster.

"I know you don't have any problem taking drugs." "For my leg. For pain." "Think of this as psychic pain." House and Nolan, as Nolan convinces House to take SSRI's.

"I don't want to change who I am." "Miserable?" House and Nolan interchange in therapy.

"You're not gay." "I know, but I have to tell intimate secrets to people." "Maybe they should be true?" House and Lydia interchange on therapy.

"When you deflect, it's more effective when you're not that transparent." Dr. Nolan, deflecting House's deflection.

"You cause him pain, so you have to suffer equally? You're not God, House. Apologize and move on." Nolan to House on the Freedom Master situation.

"You're a genius like in penius." House, to Alvy's claim.

"Not the most exiting use of an overnight pass I've seen." Nolan's reaction to House on the guardrail by his parking place.

Posted by Cecil on September 23, 2009 10:19 PM
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