Monday, September 21, 2009

House, "Broken": Greg flew over the cuckoo's nest

I had my say on the "House" season premiere in today's column - and I again want to emphasize that I loved it up until things got much neater and tidier with the other patients than Andre Braugher kept insisting they would - but I'm wondering what everybody else thought.

57 comments:

alynch said...

Man, Braugher has really been packing on the pounds since Thief.

greentara said...

Great episode, proves that the real essence of House is House. That said, great to see Andre Braugher and Franka Potente. The kid that played Alvy was excellent as well. And hey, it's Booger!

At the end, I was thinking "oh please don't do a miracle cure for the mute musician." But there you go, and isn't it heartwarming?

Anonymous said...

I liked it for its acting and as you mention, for letting finally someone be as smart and insightful as House. I bought the love affair, particularly since when you're in a place like that and disconnected from your everyday world, you can think that you can be different and even believe it. Although, as a side note, I felt they wrote her as a nicer version of Amber.
It made you realize how the format of the show is dragging the show down. It got a bit hokey at the end.
And finally, in the middle, I kept think of uncle Joon in the psych ward in the Sopranos. Particularly with the way he let his roommate down when he took his meds. And this, at the end of the day, is the difference between something like the Sopranos and even an edgy network show like House. No redemption for anyone there. Redemption for all here.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Redemption for all here.

Yeah, I think I could've lived with either House aiding in Catatonia Girl's cure or in encouraging Alvy to start taking his pills, but not both.

Alan Sepinwall said...

But also, this...

It made you realize how the format of the show is dragging the show down.

It was really eye-opening in that way, even if that's not the way the producers intended.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all the comments already posted. So good in so many ways, so disappointing too! My husband and I, as we watched the opening scene, even had the comment with one another about Andre packing on the pounds since Thief...that said, please, please, please tell me Alan that Andre Braugher will be a recurring character on the show? Their scenes soared. So glad Nurse Ratchitt (spelling) as the ghost of Amber, perhaps, never made a cameo appearance!

Mo Ryan said...

With the music box thing, I mentally cringed at uninteresting patness of it. Way too boring for this show.

When House's roommate said something like, "I want to get better!" I physically cringed. Really? That was the best way to tie up that story? It was amazingly clunky.

Having said that, Pembleton and House throwing down -- I had to love that. Wish there was less shenanigans so we could have seen more of that.

But you know, I REALLY missed Thirteen!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great episode. I actually liked the relationship with Lydia a lot but I'm glad it ended cleanly. It only worked for me in the context of that specific situation and the unique bonds you form. I found it interesting when he told her he didn't want anything to change- like he didn't want her to leave her family and have a real relationship and he didn't want to have to come see her outside Mayfield, he just wanted to be able to hold on to his current moment of everything working exactly the way it all was. Particularly after he went back to Mayfield to tell Nolan, I hope they continue showing his therapy. He seemed to realize the potential value of it.

My favorite was House's relationship with Freedom Master. He seemed to feel such a genuine connection to him and I loved how sorry he was for what happened. I also loved Alvie, my favorite character they've introduced in a long time. The brick house scene cracked me up.

M.A.Peel said...

Great acting, very compelling television, but so many holes! Braugher points out at the beginning that hallucinating is "new" for House, given years of drug abuse, and started after 2 staff deaths and his father. But we hear no more about this.

How did the music box cure the cello player? Wasn't it the same piece her sister-in-law was playing on the piano? How did superman-guy know that her voice was stolen?

How has House actually changed? His expression on the bus juxtaposed with the smile t-shirt wasn't encouraging. I've got waaay too many questions.

Clevelle said...

I gave up on HOUSE last season but I thought I'd peek my head in and see what people thought of the premiere. Smells more like Grey's Anatomy than ever.

SC said...

yes, hokey at the end, but a great show...especially loved the open...so very different from the norm.
Now, with this great episode behind us, what's the over/under on what episode this season one of the folks from Mayfield ends up as the Patient of the Week???

Russianator said...

Reading the comments here, I am in the minority, but I didn't like it all.

The pacing was slow and meandering, the show could have been over in an hour. The ending was a neat little bow, and I didn't buy the love interest angle for a second. She's going to randomly fall for an old, broken mental patient? Within minutes of meeting him?

I will say Andre Braugher is a fine, fine actor. I enjoyed his work, he'd be an excellent addition to the cast.

Anonymous said...

When House's roommate said something like, "I want to get better!" I physically cringed. Really? That was the best way to tie up that story? It was amazingly clunky.
There were several little moments that made me cringe a little, that one included. The music box moment was a little too pat. Then after ten years of silence and not playing, she can play the cello perfectly! House and Freedom Master flying was a little cute for me too. House made me cringe a few times. It was like he went from 0 to 100 on the nice scale. I understand it somewhat in the context of the institution environment but it still felt a little at times like I was watching a different character. I don't want him to go home and go back to normal but dropping a few points on the nice scale wouldn't bother me at all. I don't watch House for slow dancing. The episode was great just not as good as I had expected from the hype.

frabjous said...

I will say this for the creators of House - for all that they cannot resist a formula*, they're willing to mess with their own formula to an admirable degree. I'll look forward to seeing where this is going.

And yes, I never knew I needed to see House and Pembleton throw down until the moment Andre Braugher came on screen, extra pounds and all, and I realized it was the very thing my life has been missing. Wait till I tell my shrink.

(* I might have bought the sister in law's recovery if it hadn't been so complete. It's ridiculous enough that they had to have House hang a lantern on it by saying "that never happens!")

Anonymous said...

It made you realize how the format of the show is dragging the show down.

Maybe. But I also kind of think that the character of House has been dragging the show down lately. It's been six seasons of crankiness, insults and...zero character development. At a certain point House stopped being a unique and interesting character and just became a caricature. I liked this episode not just because it broke formula, but it also allowed us to see a different side to House than the ONE side we've seen for the last 5 seasons. It was about time. And hopefully the writers will actually continue to build on it instead of just slipping totally back to formula next week.

Also, I enjoyed the Franka Potente storyline, but think it's sad that in one two hour episode the writers got me more invested in that relationship than I am after 5seasons of House and Cuddy. I know there are tons of "Huddy" fans out there, but to me that relationship has always rung totally false and completely forced. I've never seen House as the guy pulling on Cuddy's hair because he secretly likes her so much as the guy who just likes to piss off any and all authority figures. And I've never really seen Cuddy as being interested in him romantically so much as just respecting him as a doctor and, despite his abrasiveness, a friend.

Bix said...

M.A.Peel-

I got the impression that Dr. Nolan meant the hallucinations were Vicodin + emotional trauma, not that the Vicodin had nothing to do with it. The long-term opiate use and detox would make him seriously depressed by themselves.

Rhonda said...

I think what I loved most was seeing House in an alien environment, far away from the formulaic halls of PPTH and--to me, at least--his boring crew. I didn't mind the sentimentality at the end because for two hours I could immerse myself in some really fine acting between Hugh Laurie and Andre Braugher.

The relationship between House and Nolan was fascinating in its growth and if there were some way of making Dr. Nolan a recurring character on the show I'd be all for it. In fact it would be perfect if House, Cuddy, Wilson and Nolan teamed up together and left their familiar surroundings and worked together as a team somewhere else, anywhere else. Dream Team.

Personally I hope House doesn't revert back to the old misery he was. He did so much growing up in this episode; I'd like the writers to hang onto that. I've always loved Hugh Laurie's acting (there will never be another Bertie Wooster to me) and tonight he showed what a truly fine actor he is.

Karen said...

I was completely on board until Nolan invited a patient to come give a diagnosis on his father for no reason other than reassurance. That struck me as a professional and perhaps ethical lapse.

But where I fell off the train altogether was when Freedom Master handed the music box to Annie and she immediately spoke after 10 years of silence. That was just....nauseating.

I had been so happy up until then. I had loved Braugher's slow quiet smile when Laurie first burst into his office. That's some fine, fine tv acting there. And for the most part the House/Nolan interactions were great. But those two missteps just wrenched the show out of its groove. And Alvie's decision to take his meds at the end was close to as big a gaffe, as bipolar patients all too often start their meds only to go off them again--that kind of took the buzz off the heartwarmingness.

Beth said...

I liked it, but the end was a little too neat & tidy for 'House'. Like you said, I could have lived with either House curing silent-girl, or Alvy accepting help, but both seemed a little hokey.

But I do like the idea that this season will be about House trying to change some and not just 'Grr House is grumpy/oh, look, uncurable mystery patient/uh-oh mystery patient is DEFINATELY going to die/oh, wait, House thought of the cure while talking about...cereal or something'. That plot line has gotten pretty old.

Boresville said...

alynch: What a great comment!

J said...

I enjoyed the Franka Potente storyline, but think it's sad that in one two hour episode the writers got me more invested in that relationship than I am after 5seasons of House and Cuddy.

ITA. Even dismissing Potente's former psychiatric care experience (The Princess and the Warrior), and even though she was sort of conveniently plugged in as a romantic interest here, she was evidence that going outside the established circle is always a more interesting way to go. This isn't high school.

I would have happily spent another two or three episodes in the bin to give the producers time to develop things and smooth over the sappy stuff. I'm not eager at all to get back to the hospital. I bailed last year, am willing to do so again.

evie said...

It was 1000x better than I expected. I actually really enjoyed it and will miss many of the characters when episodes 2, 3 & 4 come around. Sure, there were a lot of gimmicks, but so much of it worked, I didn't care.

Amazing guest stars.

Sam Hobart said...

I'm clearly in the minority but I wasn't nearly as bothered by the music box as everyone else seems to be. The few times we've seen House question himself and his methods in the past, the fact that he's always the smartest guy in the room meant that when he solved the mystery it simultaneously validated his approach. Here, he was right and momentarily began to revert but instead chose to return to Nolan and continue the process. As has been said, this is a formula show and in the formula there's a mystery solved by the end, only this time it doesn't bring us back to where we started (hopefully).

Anthony Foglia said...

That was amazing (up until the music box cure). I pray the Braugher will be back and we'd spend time getting to see House slowly grow over the season. But since this probably won't be the last season, and Shore has said he believes people don't change, I expect House to slowly fall back to his old habits, and this will be another wasted digression like House healing his pain with ketamine at the beginning of season 3.

Only worse because this time we have Foreteen.

But that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy the two excellent hours tonight.

Flashman said...

Excellent acting through the episode on Laurie's part, but I can't say I felt this was an excellent episode. All of the asylum characters were drawn ridiculously broadly, and the episode was a tonal mess jumping between pure comedy and deadly seriousness. The attempt to fly, the music box cure, Alvy taking his meds in the end, and House being called to Braugher's father's deathbed were all ridiculous moments, even in a show about unrealistic problem solving. I sincerely hope they actually try to do something that involves character development this season and not an endless tease about a flat and false relationship between House and Cuddy (seriously, that's the worst part of the show, Franka Potente's out of nowhere apparent one episode story arc puts several seasons of that crap to shame). I couldn't agree more with the poster who mentioned the looming inevitability of one of tonight's characters turning up as a patient. As is probably clear from the tone of the rest of my comment, I also found I didn't miss the supporting cast much. I gave the show my attention during the weak 4th season and the awful 5th one, if they don't make some effort to surround the weekly mystery with some better content I'm jumping ship this year.

nfieldr said...

Totally agree with everyone about the nicely tied bow of an ending, but like you've all said, other than that, it was a decent hour of TV.

I loved seeing Braugher again. He's still Frank Pembleton to me, so I couldn't help but associate House's padded cell with "the box". Also couldn't believe how much weight he's gained... but then again so have I since the mid 90s.

And finally, what is it with Booger and talent shows? :-)

Henry said...

I could have done without the various songs sprinkled throughout the episode, but that's a minor complaint on probably the most relevant House episode since "House's Head."

I thought the basketball scene was hilarious, I screamed "Don't jump!" when "Freedom Master" was on the ledge, and thought the scene with the cello was one of the most beautiful scenes in the show's history (Who says classical music is boring when it can be so touching?)

And Andre Braugher should be made a permanent cast member!

BigTed said...

So Franka Potente, a daily caretaker of a mental patient, falls for a high-functioning mental patient who's also a doctor? How come no one was forcing her to go into therapy? (Run, Lola! Run!)

Kensington said...

Like so many others here, I hope we haven't seen the last of Andre Braugher, who continues to be one of the most compelling actors I've ever seen on television.

Similarly, I share the disappointment of those who found the resolutions too pat. What an unusual breath of fresh air it might have been if the point about House's need to fix people as a way of avoiding his own pain hadn't been undermined by the miracle fixes at the end.

But what really bugged me was more foundational. Now I don't have an exhaustive understanding of mental hospitals, but I have seen some up close and personal. Quite simply, their reality is never quite as interesting as what they like to depict in movies or on television.

House's mental ward was filled with characters. My experience has been that mental hospitals actually tend more to be occupied by quietly depressed people who aren't, by their nature, characters.

It doesn't tend to be so...dramatic. Now, of course, we're watching a drama, so perhaps it's to be expected that they'd go in a more dramatic direction, but with actors as compelling as Laurie and Braugher, I think a more "In Treatment" approach might have been far more compelling with 1/8 of the theatrics.

Jason said...

I agree with the complaints about the too-perfect, wrapped-in-a-bow ending.

Thing is, this episode could have been great with just been 2 hours of House and Nolan talking, digging into all the issues that makes House tick.

amysa said...

Ignoring all the corny (of which there was plenty), I loved it. Maybe a little too much. I don't want to go back to PPTH, I want to stay at Mayfield with Alvy and Booger and Dr. Pembleton.

Anonymous said...

The other WAY to corny part was the scene in the ending where House got on the bus, and on the side of the bus was an ad for a college or something that said "Prepare to Succeed." I mean, come on, folks, that was over the top...

Karen said...

On the one hand, I was relieved Amber didn't show up on the bus at the end (I was expecting her to, sort of). On the other hand, the minute the subject of the music box came up, I knew (well, knew all along) that this was going to turn into yet another miracle mental illness cure, which is pretty much the only kind of mental illness outcome I can recall in mass market media stuff (I still remember wanting to scream at that movie with Robin Williams and Matt Damon that I'm blocking the name of).

Did we see anything of what House's talking cure actually was about? I mean, we saw him talking to Nolan, but about what? Unless I've already forgotten it all since last night, or missed it as it was happening. But I didn't particularly notice us getting much into House's head.

Felt it was a breath of fresh air not having any of the regular characters appear, with the exception of a bit of Wilson, and I always still love Wilson. But this show is on our own private bubble, much as we love Hugh Laurie, and if it goes back to business as usual, we may be giving it up. Which makes me sad, because I used to love it so much.

JanieJones said...

I thought it was a good episode. Braugher was a welcome addition to the small screen last night. I was hoping to delve into House's deeper issues though.

As a psychologist, I had to suspend disbelief to a certain degree because it appeared Mayfield was a state run facility. A doctor would have been sent to a facility or unit that dealt specifically with addiction/emotional issues for health professionals. It's not like House has Medicaid and could not afford to be treated at such an institution as stated above.

The relationship between Lydia and House was believable. It's not uncommon for patients to form a strong bond with someone else (typically it's another patient though). I think it was healthy that House made a connection with a woman (who isn't Cuddy) or some random women (which has been shown in bits throughout the entire series). However, it would never have been permitted on a psychiatric unit in the way it was portrayed.

It was also mentioned that each person was tagged theatrically with some illness-bipolar/suicidal tendencies/loss, etc. It was a bit over the top but I think it was meant to show, not how a true psychiatric unit is portrayed, but rather the highlights of certain illnesses. I did not expect anything else (like was mentioned In Treatment), this show expounds and yells loudly as to different conditions.

Anon 10:27-you hit the nail on the head regarding how different this episode basically illuminated the fact that the basic format of the show drags itself down. It was refreshing to see House in a stand alone episode without his crew.

The ending did wrap a bit too neatly. Heaven forbid, it left open strings.

ThreeSheets said...

Maybe next time the cello player could just ask the nurse/doctor for the music box on day one instead of remaining mute for 10 years until someone guesses what she wants.

filmcricket said...

My God, Andre Braugher is just an amazing actor. I agree with everyone who said they could handle two hours of him and Hugh Laurie in a room talking.

Aside from the two men's talents, what made those parts so compelling, which you alluded to in your review, Alan, is that Nolan was a believable foil for House.

There's a lot of armchair psychoanalysis on this show: House does it to patients, which is an indication of his genius, but a lot of people, including Chi McBride and David Morse, did it to House, too, and it was never believable. You can sort of see it coming from Wilson and Cuddy because they've known him so long, but the writers have used "other characters telling House about himself" as a crutch for a loooong time, and for once it made sense, since he was dealing with an actual shrink.

I loved all the music in the episode except for the cello (I adore that piece but it will always be a part of "Noel" from TWW for me, plus it was ridiculous that she'd be able to play that well) and I wished they'd let Laurie play the piano for more than three seconds.

Pamela Jaye said...

Loved Braugher as well. It was nice to find a character "smarter than" House, but not trying to "take him down. And the thing with his fater was good too.
Alas for this show, he's busy with his own and can't be back for a while.
I'm looking forward to his show though. Maybe more, now. I have seen him work before, but only on The Practice, and I really don't rememer (and didn't see the Gideon's Crossing side of the crossover).

House without that ...I don't even know what you call it... is it the same show? or can character growth without reset button actually happen here?

Maybe I'm a sap, but when Captain Whoever was about to get ready to jump, I could see the rest, and yet, that was fine with me.

And Wilson was strong.

I was in trainwreck TV mode last night (thank you CBS for moving Big Bang Theory) and had forgotten to watch Mad Men till Mo mentioned how many comments your article/post got. I almost put House off till another day, but Omar Epps was there on Twitter plugging (get the popcorn, i think) and so I watched, remembered it was two hours, watched a Chuck in the middle (John Larroquette) and then went back and finished with Big Bang and HIMYM (in that order).

I have to get to the review and the Mad Men post, meantime Glee has been picked up (and my best friend is now watching *two* network shows)

Really, though, if both House and Meredith grey get "whole and healed" (the conversations seemed quite similar) will the shows still be interesting? (and that goes double for House, which was rarely interesting last year)

filmcricket said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention, Megan Dodds has always reminded me a bit of Anne Dudek, so even if Amber wasn't there, she kind of was. I wonder if that was deliberate casting?

Han said...

Did anyone else recognize Artemis from Always Sunny? She was the mental patient with the frizzy hair and big glasses. I didn't notice it was her until she spoke.

Anonymous said...

As much as I love In Treatment, I think that more than anything, an episode of House in that style would result in unintentional comedy.

Anonymous said...

It's weird how House became girl interrupted, although I liked it. I loved Andre Braugher's performance, I too hope he becomes a recurring character. Also that we've seen the last of the vicodin dependency.

Anonymous said...

You know what I REALLY liked? The lighting in this episode. Actually, how it was shot just generally was pretty trippy and just generally fit the mood of a very surreal episode which functioned as a nice showcase for Laurie. I'm shocked they actually HAD super boy nearly off himself; House has never really had a comeupance like that, has he? Given his state it makes sense that something like that might get him to finally really REACT.

That said, the first hour was just miles better than the second.

While by its nature House always requires a fair amount of suspension of disbelief, things just got ridiculous. I don't even see the end as particularly optimistic (the look on his face while he was on the bus suggests anything but)...it was just too tidy and unnecessary. The strange music box scenario was a reach, but so are all of House's diagnosises. But why did everything seem to get better? Was that a call back to the blonde doctor's suggestion that he could do some good? If so, its just particularly, well, lame. And its shame to have such a lame ending to what started out as a great episode.

Another thing that bugged me is I don't even think a lot of what House SAID was, well, wrong. He fixes things. He hates himself if he doesn't. That kind of stubborn perfectionism makes him brilliant; do we really want to CHANGE that about House? In fact, that very concept has been visited by the show last season and he didn't like the results. Why rehash it? Where are they going to go next? I think there is some potential with him trying to exercise some restraint, but if they go to far with it...well...since this episode proves that the rest of the cast doesn't really provide that much support, I'm kind of scared.

Matt said...

Radiohead, Iron and Wine and The Frames! This episode would have won me over just for the brilliant music choices but Braugher and Laurie were absolutely fantastic. A great showcase for what those two can do and I would love to see Braugher back on the show in a recurring fashion of some sort.

Great start! Unfortunately, I have no trust that they won't immediately fall back to formula (and bring back annoying levels of foreteen) again.

Matt said...

Great episode. But the fact they're going back to the hospital with 13, Taub, and Foreman has me depressed. The more I think about last season, the more I hate it. Cuddy and Wilson are great, Dr. House is one of the top 5 characters on television, but the rest of them are often shining lights of mediocrity. I wish they would have taken the asylum storyline a little farther, made it a six episode arc instead of just two hours. I felt like this should have been the series finale to House; I can't see him going back to the "real world" willing to hug anyone. Changing House in that way should be the end of the show.

marsman57 said...

Am I the only one who thought, "if I didn't know otherwise, I'd think this was a backdoor pilot"?

Bobman said...

As a psychologist, I had to suspend disbelief to a certain degree because it appeared Mayfield was a state run facility. A doctor would have been sent to a facility or unit that dealt specifically with addiction/emotional issues for health professionals. It's not like House has Medicaid and could not afford to be treated at such an institution as stated above.

To be fair, House committed himSELF to that place, and may have chosen it for some particular reason. Also, it has been shown throughout the series that House has awful financial skills and has no money despite what one would assume is a very high-paying gig.


Anyway, I echo most of the comments here, positive and negative - fantastic 90 minutes for me, and then the last half hour got a little silly (even if I admit to getting douche chills even when I know the resolution is stupid).

My one fear that thankfully was not realized was that Franka Potente would be a hallucination. I figured once he stole her car that it was pretty sure she wasn't, but MAN would that have been an emotional let-down (much like, as someone mentioned, it would have been if we had seen Amber on the bus at the end).

ghoti said...

If this episode were released in theaters, I think it would have stood up very well as a feature film.

The quality of the acting, the music, the direction, the look and feel of it were all feature quality.

Maybe there could have been a few tweaks to the dialogue, but that's really just a nitpick.

I love the Graystone set. In NJ, you learned as a kid that that is where crazy people go!

I think this is the most satisfying episode of House I've seen. I think it's fantastic TV and I want to own it and re-watch it. It's the kind of work that people will refer back to when those "best episodes" lists are created in the future.

Whether it represents the actual series "House" is another question.

Hopefully they don't punt this progress and end up where they were last season, but either way, at least they made this. Special stuff.

Wordnerd said...

A few thoughts, some in response to other comments:
- I'm glad someone else saw the resemblance between Amber and Dr. Beasley
- Al V's reference to himself as the manic hispanic was laugh-out-loud funny
- The music box 'cure' was no more unrealistic than some of House's PPTH cures, but that's what makes us watch House instead of hanging out at real hospitals - how many times has House found that the simplest, most overlooked explanation is the one that works?
-The story arc with Franka Potente worked, in my opinion, because it was believable. Cuddy has never been a believable (or even remotely likeable)character to me. I thought that it was great that House let down his guard and allowed himself to feel. Things can happen when you least expect them to, and that's what made it work for me.
-I was really hoping we'd get a few weeks in the mental hospital before returning to PPTH
- To the commenter that was surprised at House's being at a state institution, I think that that goes back to Wilson's comment at the end of last season - he knew of a place, did his residency with the director, or something along those lines.

Sarah said...

Maybe next time the cello player could just ask the nurse/doctor for the music box on day one instead of remaining mute for 10 years until someone guesses what she wants.

Or maybe ONE person could follow her eyes and see what she's looking at. You're telling me Hal or Booger couldn't have figured that out? IN TEN YEARS?

Deeply aggravating ending, almost completely redeemed by Laurie and Braugher's acting...but once we're back in 13 territory, I don't know how long I'll be able to continue.

Steve said...

I have only seen perhaps three or four episodes of the show, but it's impossible not to see that Jim Parsons is on another level. His comedic timing and delivery ar impeccable. As TV viewers, we are lucky to be able to see such great comedic actors such as Steve Carrell, Jim Parsons, and Alec Baldwin on a weekly basis.

Some punchlines are purely due to great writing but with these three, they take great writing and run like Usain Bolt with it.

belinda said...

Great acting by Laurie, Braugher and Potente, really fantastic. I just wish it wasn't for the season premiere of House, since it basically told me that Hugh Laurie is trapped in a show called House, where the premise of that show and the supporting cast are completely disposable.

And you know what? As much as it felt like an "Emmy bait" episode, almost guaranteeing Laurie's award next year (well, until we finish up on Mad Man and seeing Breaking Bad season 3), I really liked this episode. The stories aren't new, some even quite cliched, but somehow it all works, and it's been a long while since I enjoyed this much an episode of House.

And herein lies the problem, because House will return to status quo, and I'm not sure if I could stomach seeing Thirteen or them rehashing the whole 'Huddy' thing again, after having seen how House outside of the Princeton hospital could be so invigorating. I guess that's what the writers were going for, 'invigorating', so we could forget the last season existed. Who knows - it might just work.

Zach said...

Similarly, I share the disappointment of those who found the resolutions too pat. What an unusual breath of fresh air it might have been if the point about House's need to fix people as a way of avoiding his own pain hadn't been undermined by the miracle fixes at the end.

OK wait -- wasnt that the point here, that it wasnt House that healed either of them, or himself either? Quite the opposite, he broke Freedom Master into a half dozen large pieces. House healed the way a body heals, once the worst impediments are removed: because it needs to, and irregards of the person inside.. which is the central irony of the practice of medicine, and one that 'House' hasnt touched since season one. Healing is a damned miracle, and one that doctors generally have very, very little to do with.

Yes, his observation of prior events tied something together for Music Girl, but for whatever reason it was Freedom Master who had randomly twigged to the music box as the one external thing she would focus on (for some reason they didnt bother to explain) .. and Alvy wasnt cured by House either, but in spite of him, in the sense that House chose to turn a corner very much in spite of himself, out of desperation.. and Alvy's expression watching him leave said he could identify with that.


I thought one of the strongest visual moments was the space they left around Alvy in the darkened, echoing doorway as House walked away the first time, saying
"..(pause) .. I hate you." As an image of House's first (ass-backwards but) genuine contact with humanity I thought it was terrific: clean, minmalist, touching.


(And Im sorry but the rap scene with Alvy was a scream :D, even as it was cornball as hell.)


Also, am I the only one who thought they had put Braugher in a fat suit? Didnt look at all real to me. *That* much weight gain and it only shows from the jawbone south? Please.

Anonymous said...

Man oh man, Mad Men followed by a deep drink of THIS House, this is why I enjoy September!

I, too, was thinking the flying was too hokey, which is why I loved the harsh rebound of realizing that even House was blinded by his arrogance this time and allowed him to play the hero as just another way to try to feel in control of others, and to be so crushed personally when it failed. He’s still a doctor.

What I found most telling about House’s change was visting Andre at the hospital. A clear obvious opening laid out for House to exploit, but he was asked not to, and he didn’t. He was still House, but a more aware House. And oh was Andre so perfect for this!

Oh is this the first time we’ve seen House have actual intimate sex? Not delusional or paid for?

Ok yeah, music box and cello playing? Whatevs…I’ll allow it. I liked the bus for the callback to Amber, but wouldn’t Wilson have picked him up since he dropped him off?

The only time I wondered about the Houselings was when I asked how many people have died because House isn’t there to save them.

What a great question- Why do you value your failures than your successes?

Mo Ryan Re: 13, NOT FUNNY! :)

-EmeraldLiz

LA said...

Finished watching last night. It really didn't need to be two hours. My feelings are in line with everyone else. Hugh Laurie is a pleasure to watch, and he's made House an interesting character.

Problem is, I dread going back to Princeton Plainsboro now.

Can't House just go on the road, practicing rogue medicine from here on out? Maybe he could join Doctors Without Borders. I would never miss a single backup player on this show - including Wilson - if they did that.

Scott J. said...

I'm surprised to see a couple comments suggesting that House's expression on the bus didn't bode well. I thought there was a definite hint of a smile there.

florentine said...

I was astounded by this episode, and very moved, that Laurie could show House believably allowing himself to be loved and be changed by that love. Not only did I not miss the regular cast, this episode made it seem like that they're House's main problem. He's been surrounded by people who are unpleasant and incapable of love, when all he needed were some people a little more normal and aware, and a little less self-important, to give him a hand. I'm sick of every single one of the regular characters other than House himself, or maybe it's that I'm sick of the way they relate to House, since I do like Wilson but not his relationship with House. The suggestion that House join Doctors without Borders is a brilliant one.

chm said...

I have to admit that I cried and cried during the cello scene of this episode. I LOVED the portrayal of the people on the psych ward as interesting, smart characters as, in my experience, this is true. When Flight Master's guess about the music box turns out to be right and not crazy it made me feel like that intuitive leap and openness to our intuition about people and problems isn't crazy, but real and important. I believe that if we were more open to our intuition amazing things could happen.