Tuesday, September 22, 2009

House Premiere FULL Recap & Commentary: They tried to make me go to Rehab, I said No No No...

We open with House waking in and out of consciousness in his mental hospital bedroom. We see flashes of a woman (Cuddy?) looking in on him, a nurse checking his IV. He feels pain in his leg, he assumes the fetal position, he only gets one yellow pill a day (and I doubt it's Vicodin), he's among the crazies... He's throwing up and experiencing major withdrawals. He's basically feeling REALLY shitty. He bangs on his locked door and cries for help. Even the cinematography quality of this whole opening sequence is greenish and makes you feel like you're dead inside, watching this great doctor finally fall from grace.

Then one day, he wakes up and the pain from his leg seems to be gone. So, in true House fashion, he thinks it's time for him to go home. He explains to the nurse that he's there voluntarily so she doesn't need to check with any doctors to release him. But she's been given strict orders. So House meets with his doctor, Dr. Nolan. He tells House he's legally free to leave when he wants, but that his suggestion is to stay. If House just had issues of medication abuse, why did he choose to admit himself into a mental institution and not a rehab clinic? House says, because he was deluded into thinking he was crazy. Doc says his issues lie deeper. House only started experiencing hallucinations when 2 of his colleagues died. And his father died. He also adds that if House leaves, he won't be able to practice medicine or any profession for that matter without his recommendation. House cleverly refers to this type of treatment as blackmail. ::smile:: He should know, he uses it all the time.

Thus, House gives in and signs up for Ward 6. There, he is assigned to a blonde Dr. Beasley. She explains to him all he has to do is participate in group & take his medicine, but he explains to her that his one and only goal is that letter of recommendation. Until that point, he intends on making his stay there as unbearable as possible for everyone-- so much, that they'll be begging him to leave. Later, he meets his new roomie, a manic-depressive puerto rican guy named Alvie, who refuses medication, won't shut up, and refers to him as Brick! House! LOL... Alvie wants to show him around and introduces him to a mute girl named Annie. Meanwhile, Dr. Nolan, Dr. Beasley, and another suit discuss whether House will really act out given this will only validate their diagnosis.

In group therapy, House tries to label everyone by their mental illnesses and gets initiated into the uncooperative group member club. Their clubhouse is a padded white isolation room. After his little time-out he visits the basketball courts and Dr. Beasley tells him if he really wants out, he just needs to talk. Be with people, deal with people. She gets what she asked for when House attacks every single patient with their worst fears. Telling the paranoid patient the CIA is watching him via satellite, crouching over the claustrophobic one to make him feel like the walls are caving in, telling his roomie the manic depressive nobody really likes him. Ok... so maybe not exactly what Dr. Beasley asked for. House goes up to visit the art room where he finds a German woman playing the piano for Annie. Apparently, Annie is her husband's sister. But Dr. Beasley comes in with orderlies to take House back to the time-out room. After releasing him a second time, House begins his next strategy by apologizing to the patients for his misdirected anger towards them and begins preaching about the doctors who are the real enemy. He seems to be successful in staging this coup until Dr. Nolan shows up. He fixes things by giving the patients their much-desired paddles for ping pong and House complains about how Dr. Nolan's plan seems to be to give everyone what they want-- except House. Dr. Nolan tells him he's a born leader and could do something useful, or... they could keep fighting. Either way, House will never break him since he's just as stubborn.

Day 2 of Group and there's another new patient, Steve-- who thinks he's some sort of superhero named Freedom Master. House is over it within ten seconds and walks over to the window. He sees Dr. Nolan with a lady friend and has come up with a new scheme. He enlists Alvie, who has 3rd floor privileges, to sneak into Nolan's office and find out who the lady friend was. Unfortunately, Alvie fails and so they have to resort to calling a friend to find out the lady friend's identity by running her plates. In order to get phone privileges they must barter meds with a patient named Hal. In order to get meds, they fake a fight so that House is given sedatives-- which he "cheeks" or fake swallows. Successful in their mission, House calls BFF Dr. Wilson. But! Wilson's already been intercepted by Nolan. He's told if he wants to help House, he musn't interfere and let Nolan do his job. So Wilson hangs up on House. Boo...

Defeated, he returns to his room and Alvie asks him what his next move is. House says its time to cooperate in every way he can, but not by taking any meds. Over the next few days, he talks about his feelings and behaves, finding his way from a Level 0-privilege patient into a Level 3. All the while,
not swallowing his pills. He runs into the piano playing lady again and they decide Annie may respond better to cello rather than the piano since she used to play for the Philadelphia Harmonic before she went all mute. House then has to visit with the earlier suit guy who is asking him questions about possible side effects of his medication and House's earlier fight with Alvie. The suit doesn't trust House and doesn't believe he's taking his medication. He asks House to give him a urine sample but House one-ups him since he's already got Hal in the stall ready to pee for him. Oh House, you really do think of everything.

Later, Suit guy apologizes for ever doubting him and starts picking on Steve the Superhero. He tells him to move the piano with his superhuman powers in an effort to make him realize his own delusions. Turns out the reason for Steve's delusions is due to a wife he lost and couldn't save, which Suit guy blatantly shouts in his face in front of everyone. Steve panics and goes crazy thinking he can save Annie instead. He knows he can make her speak if he could only break into the nurse's office and take back her "voicebox." The orderlies come and take him away. House is pissed and starts thinking about how much longer he can allow himself to do the pretending to cooperate thing. Alvie tells him to stop thinking because it'll lead to doing and he's so close to getting out of there. Apparently, it's someone's re-birthday, meaning they get to leave. House looks around at all the people attending the party and notices Steve aka Freedom Master isn't there. He finds out Freedom Master's in his room, all drugged up and starts blaming the Suit guy. Dr. Nolan shows up and asks House to talk. As he walks out after him, Alvie's there reminding him that "thinking sucks."

In Dr. Nolan's office, House finds out Nolan was a step ahead of him. He knew House wasn't taking his pills and started him on a placebo. Unfortunately, the urine tests that Hal provided is what solidified Nolan's theory that House was still trying to fight the system. Burn! Now there's no new plan and House is officially beat. His only solace is that Piano girl returns with a cello and he offers to have Steve help bring it up. That way, Freedom Master feels a little bit better since they told him he has no powers. House asks the Piano girl why she wastes her time visiting her mute sister-in-law and she says its out of compassion. Steve's finally lifted the cello from the car and House asks Piano girl for her keys. He just wants to make Steve feel like he's a real flying superhero by letting the wind blow through his hair. All together now driving and House admits he's actually kidnapping Steve and stealing Piano girl's car. She doesn't seem to mind and just kindly gets out... making me feel like this may be another one of House's hallucinations.

It doesn't help that him and Steve end up going to a carnival, experience x-flying, and take home a stuffed giraffe. Just when you think everything is hunky dory, House turns around to see Steve standing off the edge of a balcony thinking he really can fly and jumps. Uh-Oh.... Next, we see House holding a bloody cape and Nolan is lecturing him on how he's done this stupid thing to act out against Nolan with Steve as the collateral damage. He tells House he's transferring him to a different ward and that he's done with all his crap. But House finally admits he needs help.
In his first session with Nolan, they talk about what House wants. In short, it's to be happy and yet still be the same person he always has been. He believes that taking Nolan's prescribed medication will somehow eliminate his edge and unique way of connecting to people in order to diagnose them. After a few comparisons to Van Gogh, Nolan finally convinces House to take the meds... much to Alvie's dismay. He sadly says to House, "they broke you." And House's reply is equally depressing. "I'm already broken."

Nolan has a new assignment for House-- trust people. He says that all of House's previous relationships were screwed up by him as if that was the intended goal. Thus, he gets House a suit and takes him out to a mixer so he can socialize with people. After scaring a guy with the phrases "Hi," "I'm gay," and "That's my lover, but he's also my psychiatrist," he runs into the Piano girl. She suggests that the intimate things he shares with people should actually be true. But instead they play around and pretend to be cheating lovers or something like that... Towards the end of the party, Nolan approaches House and asks him if he's having fun. Looks like the assignment was just for House to see whether he
could try to trust anyone rather than doing just that. Piano girl sits with him and tells him that Annie was her best friend before she started pulling away from everyone. She partly married her husband because he was the only one who knew what she was going through. She misses Annie very much, but her husband stopped visiting several years ago. She gives House a kiss goodnight and the next day, he's talking about it with Nolan. In an effort to deflect, House asks Nolan about his lady friend. But Nolan deflects right back, stating that the kiss is something big for House and that's why he's so freaked out about it. Also, we finally get the damn girl's name! Lydia!

Visiting hours! And Lydia walks in. House doesn't hesitate to ask why she kissed him and she replies that she likes him, thus it was a nice way of showing it. The answer seems good enough and he turns to play the piano. Suddenly the door opens and it's a nurse wheeling in Steve all bruised up and bandaged. House schedules a session with Nolan and they focus on why House values his failures more than his successes. Nolan tells House that he isn't God, he's just a screwed up human being like everyone else. If he needs to apologize to Steve for what happened, do it, and move on. Let yourself feel better and
keep feeling better. House approaches Steve but is interrupted because of Group time.

During Group, Dr. Beasley makes an announcement. They're going to have a talent show in 2 weeks. She tries to talk to Steve who sits motionless and stares towards the nurse's office. House realizes something. Steve is staring after a music box (which is probably what he meant earlier when he said they stole her "voicebox"). Dr. Beasley lets an orderly unlock the door and House tells him to grab the blue music box on the top shelf. He takes it over to Steve and believes that if Steve somehow reaches out to Annie, Steve would be curing himself. But Steve sits motionless... House starts yelling at him when he doesn't respond and Dr. Nolan shows up to tell House that he's not moving on like he's supposed to. Instead, he's trying to "fix."

Lydia is back with some new sheet music House is supposed to be excited about but instead he asks her what's going on with them. She claims they're just having fun and even if it ends and someone gets hurt, it doesn't mean the beginning has to. Why not just enjoy themselves? You'd think this would be House's dream girl but he isn't having it and tells her goodbye. The next day in group, he's back to his usual jack ass self until Suit guy comes in with a day pass for House. Turns out Nolan let him out for a consult for none other than Nolan Sr. But House's instinct is to psychoanalyze Nolan who is clearly upset that his father is dying. When his antics don't work, House just takes a seat. Later when he comes back to the ward, he finds Lydia crying in a dark corner. He apologizes and says he tends to push people away when he's scared. But she tells him he's not the reason she's crying. She's upset because she feels pathetic in bringing Annie the cello as if she'll magically start talking again. He comforts her with a slow dance and the next thing you know they're about to do it in a hospital room somewhere. I wanna yell out and scream NOOOO DAMMIT!! SHE'S MARRIED AND YOU LOVE CUDDY!!!!! But I guess they don't hear me coz they continue getting it on. ::look away with disgust::

Talent Show time and we see the Macarena, a song number by 3 clearly crazy dudes, and a surprisingly good step number. Juan Alvarez aka Alvie is up and despite everyone's earlier suggestions that he should write lyrics down, he decides he can improvise the whole thing. He's wrong. He forgets the words and almost freaks out until House helps him out with finishing his lines. This turns Alvie's solo act into a duo and together they bring down the Hizz-ous!

Nolan session again and House admits he's actually starting to feel better. He's not cured, but he's good. Hmm... am I supposed to believe that all House needed was a little nookie?!!? UGH. Anyway, apologize to Steve Take 2... This time House manages to say everything he's supposed to and even takes initiative to wheel Steve over for Meds time. They pass by Annie and Steve makes a motion with the music box still in his hand. House backs up the wheelchair and Annie finally moves and takes the music box from Steve. She even utters the words "thank you," and Steve also snaps out of his own trance to say, "you're welcome." Nolan witnesses this miracle from afar. Later, when Lydia arrives for visiting hours, House is waiting for her and takes her hand telling her he has a surprise. Inside the rec room is Annie, beautifully playing the cello for everyone to hear.
Fast forward to Annie's re-birthday and House doesn't look as happy as everyone else. He comes to Nolan's office and doesn't understand how Annie is all of a sudden free to leave after being mute for so long. But Nolan tells him that she's actually going to a rehab clinic in Arizona-- where her family is moving to.

House requests an overnight pass and Nolan tells him he knows where House wants to go but that he hasn't thought this through. They should at least sit and talk about it first. But House just wants the pass.
He pays Lydia a visit at her home. A little boy opens the door before Lydia herself shows up. She tells him that her husband's headquarters is in Phoenix and that they'd been planning to move for awhile had it not been for Annie's condition. Now that she's at least talking, they can go ahead with the relocation. House tells her he doesn't want her to go. She admits she doesn't want to, but that she cant leave her children. She's sorry she didn't come to say good bye but she felt things would have just ended in a perfect way. Or at least I think that's what she meant by her German broken English accent. Bitch.

House returns to the ward and waits for Nolan by his car. When Nolan arrives, House tells him that Lydia's left and now he feels lost. Nolan tells House that he's going to write the letter of recommendation House needs to practice medicine again. House tells him that's not the best way to console a person-- by giving them a lollipop of some sort. But Nolan says that 2 very important things just happened. One, House got hurt-- which means he's connected enough with another person to care and openly miss them. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, House recognized the pain and came to Nolan to talk about it rather than hiding from it with a Vicodin bottle. The next day, it's House's re-birthday. They all wish him well, he gives roomie Alvie a big hug, and then throws his face into his own cake. He walks out to the free world as Alvie watches him from their old room. Alvie, being inspired, walks over to the nurse's office and finally asks for his meds. He's ready to get better too.

***WOW. that was 2 hours and I feel like I myself spent a shitload of days in rehab after that episode. Excellent season opener, almost like a made for TV movie. But now let's get to the real issues... Who's taken over House's position? How are Chase and Cameron's marriage doing? Are Foreman and Thirteen still together? When will she finally die? Oops, did I say that out loud? And lastly, I canNOT wait for the HUDDY reunion!!!!!!!!***

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