House Season 6, Episode 1: 'Broken' Review - Featured

When they introduced the storyline of on House of House committing himself to a mental institution at the end of Season 5, I was extremely skeptical.

While I felt like it was a fascinating development and the show had come to the point where House couldn't continue on the same way, I also felt like they'd written themselves into a corner.

How could House continue to be such an amazing medical procedural when the doctor wasn't only not in the house, but was institutionalized and seemingly unable to ever return to not only his genius, but to practicing medicine at all?

But once the Season 6 promos came out, I was intrigued with the dramatic clips and promised new storyline that I then actually believed could be fantastic with a number of episodes this season following House's journeys in the institution.

But... again, my mind changed when beginning to watch 'Broken,' the Season 6 premiere last night. Not being able to remember a past episode of House being 2 hours, within the first 30 minutes of a not-so-thrilling episode, I realized the point of the 2 hour premiere was to show House's experiences in the institution, then get him the heck out and back to the hospital to interact with the rest of the cast.

Fair enough, I suppose, since as we saw in this episode there was only so much they thought of to interest us in his time there, and even that wasn't so fascinating.

I feel as if the show could have done a lot more with House having his special genius spin on diagnosing the other patients around him, but while he almost killed one guy, became an idol and inspiration for another, and completely snapped a decade-long silent woman out of it, all those "cases" were somehow not that interesting.

But, basically, it all had to be done, and that's what it felt like, though it wasn't so awful of an episode. It was interesting and hilarious to get House being his normal asshole self which is hurtful to the average person, but throw that attitude and honesty at mentally unstable people? Pretty awful stuff! Yet funny considering it meant House clearing the basketball court for himself, then getting them a couple of ping pong paddles.

It was also interesting to see House have enough heart to tell the patients he'd insulted all later on that he was just taking his anger out on them, and it was amazing to see people's faces change in appreciation towards House. It was also pretty crazy to see House have some real emotions and a real connection with Lydia, the sister-in-law of the mute woman who we later discovered was her long-time best friend.

Obviously, there were still the comfortable roadblocks for House that she was married, nothing would ever come of it, and she didn't know him in the "real world," but even with all that, House seemed to have made a more real connection with her than anyone we've ever seen.

I also appreciated that while House did make these changes of connecting with people and deciding to truly go along with the system and make a real effort at changing his life, he didn't transform into an entirely different person in one, though long, episode.

I don't wish for him to be back at the hospital being the same exact kind of asshole to everyone, but I do want to see him back with his same genius and attitude which seems pretty possible now, though I wouldn't have guessed it.

Where I'm left confused in all this is that yes, we saw the detox montage where House worked through coming down from his addiction, but was the point of all that to show that he wouldn't have delusions anymore either?

I had gotten the impression from the Season 5 finale that it was more than the drugs causing him problems, but maybe all that is still left to be dealt with on his out-patient continuation.

So what did you think? Were you disappointed they rushed through House's time in the institution or did the 2 hours already feel like too much time spent there? Do you think House can really go back to the hospital, get his medical license back, stay off the Vicodin, not have delusions, and somehow manage his leg pain?

Share your thoughts on the premiere and predictions for the rest of the new season!



Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 2:46PM EDT

I loved the premier I think that two hours was good that they covered alot of stuff and I can't wait for next week and mabey house will change

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 2:46PM EDT

I personally loved it.
When I love a character in a movie or from a TV show I always wish the movie didn't end, I always want more from the story line and to know what happens next.
This episode gave that to me. It was like waching a movie about Dr. House in a different light than we have ever seen him before. He was vulnerable, emotional - there were real tears! From House! I loved it. I thought it was fantastic.
Only now I wonder how the next episodes will encompass this new House we know. .. will he lapse? Will his psychiatrist friend join the cast (he was awesome by the way)? Will House have a relationship with Cutty?
so many questions.....

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 2:53PM EDT

I think it was a brilliant episode and I'm glad they stayed away from house being the "real" house. In that way, they were able to show how profound an experience this epiphany was for him. This was one of the most emotional episodes ever on the show. It reminded me a bit of "A Beautiful Mind". I think it was beautiful to see House slowly let his guard down and all the jack-ass-ness fall away to show who he really is inside. It was nice to see House happy and vulnerable, something that is so rare in this show. It just made House seem so much more human, specially when at the end of the episode he went from being "House" to being just "Greg". It was a great way to remind the viewers that House is just a person, a point that came across when House's psychiatrist says "You are not God" and you see this flash of understanding in House's eyes. I think this line has such a deeper meaning and is almost philosophical. Doctors are often accused of playing God, and this episode flips the entire concept on its head by reversing the roles and making House the patient.
By the end of the episode, I just felt so much closer to the character of House and at this point I think he is so much more real then he has ever been.

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 3:28PM EDT

This episode didn't feel like House episode. And that is not a bad thing.
Since season 3 the episodes have pretty much all been the same. A patient comes in with bizzare symptoms, House tells everyone else they're wrong, comes up with a brilliant diagnosis, which always is wrong. He then almost kills the patient, has a stroke of brilliance and solves the mystery. Knowing how pretty much every episode will end gets boring. During the 42 minutes he also always find ways to mess with his coworkers.
This episode, however, felt more like a good movie than another dull House episode. If you ask me they should cancel the show instantly, because they will never be able to top this. I did not expect this episode to be good at all, but it soared miles above my highest expectations.
I'm not yet sure if I will watch the next episode as I am certain the show will fall right back into the comformity of the earlier, tedious episodes.

Sep 22, 2009 3:39PM EDT

lol, I feel kind of silly asking this, but did anyone else fear that the Lydia thing was just a hallucination?? Because I remembered what had happened when House had imagined a whole detox scenario in which he and Cuddy made luuurve and I just began to fear that Lydia really was a new hallucination and that the episode was going to be flipped on its head.But yes, I really did enjoy this break from the hospital to enter the mind of the doctor we know and love to hate. I think that House is understanding that he has certain bizarre, subconscious, malevolent desires that put people in danger and these manifestations have come stronger and stronger. I don't understand why he does it and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it as we move along because he caused a guy to JUMP OFF A BUILDING by encouraging delusions. He's seriously messed up.One thing that I did not enjoy was the spoken psychological analysis that he would go into when he's talking about others, it felt really forced and even though the characters have to say what they're thinking so that the audience can follow, I felt really annoyed when, at the hospital with his doctor and the dying father (I can't remember the names, Nolan or something?), House began this diatribe. It felt quite odd and staged...My favourite moment was perhaps the rapping at the talent show, i thought it was CUTE!I'm not sure who House is anymore and what the show proposes to be about since a lot of the interesting illnesses have been played out. But this episode makes me want to find out. And in any case; it's HOUSE for crying out loud, how could I not love it???

Sep 22, 2009 3:45PM EDT

I loved it.
I thought it was one of the most realistic changes in a character ever portrated.I was dissapointed that they had him leaving at the end, I thought he'd spend a couple of episodes in the assylum. But that dissapointment was crushed by the last few minutes which featured something never before seen on House. An optimistic end, in which House himself seems happy.
I can't wait to see what the rest of the series has in store.The joy of having House back on our screens kind of ecplipses anything else =)

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 4:10PM EDT

I hated it.

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 4:32PM EDT

Gotta say, this wasn't that great.
I mean this was just like "We messed up last show, now we need to put house in a mental thing and let him be there for 2 episodes. Then we can continue our 42-Minute Schedule"
Let's see what they make out of it in the next few episodes.

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 5:44PM EDT

ha, funny that your the only person iv seen dissappointed by this season premiere. i thought it was unbelievable! It was so well written and, although hugh laurie has always been an amazing actor in my book, i feel he really shon in this episode. I felt that when he was taken out of the hospital and the environment we are so used to seeing him in i was worried that i would miss his interaction with the supporting cast but i was wrong! he really can stand alone i for me this episode was far from boring, i was enthralled.this episode is by far my favourite episode of house and its not often i watch an episode of a tv show and think 'i really wanna watch that again' it happens with books and movie but never happens with tv shows but there is a first for everything!

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 7:06PM EDT

i agree with you 100% buttons!

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 7:16PM EDT

I loved it. Not only was it a very different episode from what we usually see on House, whilst still maintaining the general feel of the show, it also managed to further develop House's character: a great feat given that the show has revolved around him for 5 seasons. I enjoyed the new characters and felt they too were well presented if a little cliched. House as a TV show was getting to the point where storylines were fluffy and House would spend every episode being his usual jackass self, yet now I am looking forward to seeing how this new House will interact with the existing characters. A very exciting season premiere that hopefully will turn into a very interesting season!

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 7:19PM EDT

OK I personally think it was crap since nothing intresting happened. Yeah I know all of you seem to be like drama freaks and think that was good. If your going to show stuff like that it would have been better if the showed those 2 hours in like flashbacks through out the season. Come on you people have to admit it was boring. The writers should have at least added on strange case in there.

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 7:21PM EDT

I have to agree with most of you here:I LOVED IT!
It was different but in a good way.To see a softer version of House was great, I think it made him more human and this is a good thing after such a long time of being a jackass. I hope he won't loose his edge completely, but to know that he has the ability to really connect with other people gives the series even more potential.After this episode I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season.

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 8:16PM EDT

I totally loved this episode. It was interesting, funny, touching. Everything I want from a House episode.

Sep 22, 2009 9:24PM EDT

I haven't liked a House episode this much in a long time, I thought it was great. Normally two-hour shows have me bored after the first hour but I was actually able to watch both! I hope the rest of the season continues to be as good.

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 9:53PM EDT

first hour was good him being a jerk to everyone and all his elaborate schemes but didnt like much of the second hour. I didnt find it very interesting and I have a better appreciation of how much the cases add to normal house episodes. I hour of house being somewhat human was not that intriguing for me but all in all I am excited to see how new house fares back in the hospital.

Sep 22, 2009 9:59PM EDT

HUGE problem with the ending - Wilson should have picked House up when he got out! After all of that you don't have him just get on a bus!

Sep 22, 2009 10:04PM EDT

So what's the "new" House going to be like? Maybe not that interesting. Let's wait and see - but I'm really disappointed that Wilson (the only friend) wasn't there to pick him up!!! I can't emphasize this enough!

Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 11:33PM EDT

i loved this episode. when last season ended i asked how will it work if house is clean? will his character change? so far so good, i'll have to see.

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 12:17AM EDT

I think it was good. I think they could have had one or two more episodes of him in the Institution, but that's okay i have a feeling he will be back. Looking forward to whats next.
At first i did want to see more House conclusions moments, but it was kinda cool that they used his "moments" against him.

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 3:48AM EDT

I loved the season premier of house, it was what the show needed at the point it was a new House. Because at one point for me in the last season it started to get boring same shit different episode. But now we get to share new experiences with house.i think i'm going to really love this season :)

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 4:40AM EDT

I think it's a great episode coz it sets the stage for a new storyline, contrary to your opinion that this was to get him back to where he was before. This totally changes everything, if he was indeed transformed into this caring, "more human" person. And if they would have made him practice his practice a little of his medical genius in that facility that would just be so predictable, wouldn't it? So it's great that he didn't. When that scene came up that he was asked for a consult, I thought, here it goes. But I'm glad there was nothing he could do. This is definitely perfect for house, otherwise, we'd have a the same old stuff in season 6.

Sep 23, 2009 6:37AM EDT

It was something so extraordinary. House is always a good show, but this episode was in another, better level. From the beginning to the end it was just perfect. Hugh Laurie showed us how great actor he is. It's like the rest of his crew was actually disturbing him. I can't wait to see all season 6.
I just have one question. Does anybody know what was the song at the end of the episode when House was sitting in the bus?

Sep 23, 2009 2:59PM EDT

I liked it until the end. The love story was so cheesy and unrealistic - I mean what sane woman would fall for an a-hole whose been committed??? And I agree with some of the other comments - I think House could have and should have had more fun in the crazy house:) My prediction - he ends up there again by the end of the season.

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 6:27PM EDT

Guys House is not cured. I think there a few more episodes of the institution coming up and by the way i don't know if anyone else realized this... but the moment he got on the bus at the end of the episode i was 100% sure he was going to hallucinate,(because that's how Wilson's gf and House got into an accident) he just hallucinated the other dead person, not his best friends ex but his coworker Kutner. BTW the pilot was amazing.P.S. I'm just speculating so yeah

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 6:31PM EDT

I'm torn about the premier. Coming into it I was a little hesitant as the twist seemed to corner House (as a show) but for most of the episode I was pleasantly surprised. We get to see House confront his issues and start to make progress. However, everything became too much by the end. The joint rap, the music box, Alva deciding to take his meds, House hugging him enthusiastically and putting his face in the cake was just a step too far in my opinion. It turned it into a soppy happy ending that just isn't House. I think House realising his shortcomings and wanting to change is a big enough step for him to take at this point. Oh and I agree completely, Wilson should have definitely been there to pick him up! I'm eager to see what the rest of the season will bring.

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 6:57PM EDT

I thought the premier was excellent. The concern I have is if the show returns to type. The last half of season 5 was poor,a neutered Foreman, who appears to have regressed,and No. 13 whom I have no empathy for. The dynamic needed to change a happier House , but more importantly less of Foreman & No. 13. Season 6 a good start.

Sep 23, 2009 8:25PM EDT

no one got sick. sure, they threw in a dying guy, but there was no one who got sick(er) during the show. not really a complaint but i thought that was kinda funny. well, i missed house, and i am glad he's back, in all his glory, but i was in-fact disappointed by the premiere. expecting big and interesting things of houses stay at the mental facility, i was left underwhelmed by this episode. i liked the other patients, and even the one flew over the cu-cu's nest 'esk staff. i didn't like resolution to the story of the facility. i found the whole gifting of the music box lifting the affliction of the ballerina way to mellow dramatic. i also felt that they did a poor job showing house's rehabilitation. not the things he did, mind you, that was all in character, and i loved every second of that; i mean that he was in there for a reason right? it wasn't a de-tox clinic it was a mental institution, he was experiencing hallucinations, hell, alternate perceptions of reality, he had serious issues other than the drug problem, what the hell happened to that? that wasn't even remotely acknowledged. i figured house himself would be curious about that, especially after actually coming to trust someone at the facility, but no, not even mentioned in passing; i mean what the hell? so what, now is he just goin back to work? .... weak. still, glad its back.

Sep 23, 2009 9:10PM EDT

i saw the whole institute thing lasting several episodes. heres some missed potential:
Lynda could have been hallucination (most people saw that, but still, it could have been good)House could have started stealing opiatesa Psychiatrist vs. House mini war could have happened (make the guy more of a power abusing bully; then have House piss him off or steal drugs from him, and make it personal; you know, like with that cop in season 3 except with more confrontation)the muteness could have been medical (the personality and behavior still would be a psychiatric matter, but the muteness could be cured or some such deal)house could've figured out why he was hallucinatingthe matter of the woman with the facilities director could have been explored (you know, a little)suicide girl could have attempted again (sad i know, but it could be used to get closure on Kutner)the team could have needed a consult while he was in (i mean its not like life didn't go on without him, and you know at some point the topic of asking for his help while he's institutionalized would have come up wile he was gone)the super hero could have had powers (either medically explainable ones from an illness, makeshift ones made by himself or house, or drug induced ones, but something ya know?)new roommate (if the current guy got out before him ... or was transfered elsewhere ...)Wilson/Cuddy could have payed a visit
and a whole slue of other small stuff. i know im just whining on at this point, but they could have done so much more while keeping the same cast and set up, and that frustrates me.

Default avatar cat
Sep 24, 2009 7:42AM EDT

wheelsgr i thought the same as u that at the beginning Lydia was a hallucination, but after she said goodnight to the doctor it was obvious she wasnt. I thought it was an excellent start to the season, something new and different i wasnt expecting. I thought it would just be as normal in the hospital with no mention of his stay in the asylum.

Default avatar cat
Sep 24, 2009 9:59AM EDT

BasiaK: The song at the end of the episode is "Seven Day Mile" by The Frames. Great song & great episode !

Default avatar cat
Sep 24, 2009 2:11PM EDT

I enjoyed the episode. To say that I did not would be untrue, but I couldve done without the "magical" thinking - the voice in the music box? Poof she's cured - the lydia woman - where the hell did she come from -anyway, besides house, I thought the roomate really helped make that episode! It wasnt a bad one, and I was happy to see house back. Looking forward to a great season.

Default avatar cat
Sep 24, 2009 6:13PM EDT

loved the episode, thought it was incredibly interesting in terms of houses character developement.
Was really impressed with the writers as well, it would have been so easy to have house revert to normal house the second he/superhero guy cured mute cello girl and have the rest of the series carry on as per normal. Instead though he cured her and still learnt to let things go, rather than to continue to view every problem as something that could be solved to his personal detriment. With luck this will be a long term continuing plot line and make house truly interesting again.
Also in a completely odd way a couple of hugh Laurie's facial expressions as an almost caring house reminded me of him as bertie wooster, odd i know, but it inspired me to watch the first series of that again and thats never a bad thing :)

Sep 24, 2009 10:28PM EDT

Hasn't anyone watched One flew over the cuckoo's nest? That episode was basically a rip off, House-style. There was more plot stolen in that premier than in The Hottie and the Nottie.
Never the less, I hope they shake up the episode format, at least that was interesting in the first episode. I love the characters, but the writers have been grating on my nerves since the middle of season 4.

Default avatar cat
Sep 25, 2009 8:16AM EDT

I loved the premier but fear for the future... because I feel like I am about to be duped again... I do not want to be duped.
House needs to evolve if the show is going to remain interesting - but - I fear that as in the past the writers may just play it totally safe and go back to giving us 'same old House'. They may explain it that he was really just faking it in the Asylum. They may just have him slip back. We have been lured in the past into thinking House had changed into a newer version of himself only to see him slip back. (eg: Cuddy-love; 'oh my leg is good let's go jogging'; 'my ex-is back to remind me I am a human'; 'oh my goodness I have been mean to Wilson and must mend my ways'; 'Oh, I need a change of staff in order to move forward..'........... In order these turned into 'Just a hallucination' -> back to normal; 'I OD'ed on funny-pills and now my leg hurts' -> back to normal; 'Eh, screw her... go away' -> back to normal; 'Now Wilson hates me less' -> back to normal; 'New Staff! Same Tortures and games' -> back to normal with new faces) Seriously, go watch the first three episodes of House in S1 and then watch the first three of Season 5. Same House. Like... how is this show still loveable?
Even I am going to watch less often if this show doesn't start showing some depth and start to make me think it isn't just about churning money out of a formula.

Default avatar cat
Sep 25, 2009 11:38AM EDT

I'm with CZman. The show has changed everything but House, and not always for the better.The writers can do depth, we've seen it especially in the last two seasons but their refusal to clean up House was definitely getting old and formulaic. If nothing else the junkie storyline can at least be retired. Sure he could have slight temporary relapses but please dont return him back to normal. House can remain funny and brutally honest without remaining a complete dick. Hopefully they mean it this time. And its not as if a total immediate reversal would be realistic. They could drag out his progress for a little wjile and it would remain true.

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Sep 27, 2009 12:48PM EDT

I would have liked House to see Amber waving at him from one of the windows at the end. Just as a tease to keep him on the straight and narrow....

Default avatar cat
Sep 27, 2009 5:01PM EDT

dude how can you possibly not have liked the 2-hour premiere??i mean it had it all.. him being an ass, him being a doctor, a mental and at last a caring human being. i loved it personally. can't wait to get him back in that hospital bossing people around and driving cuddy crazy. although i think it's about time something real happened between those two. let's just hope that now after lydia he discovered he actually HAS a soul (something we haven't quite been in touch with since his lawyer ex-girlfriend showed up or Amber dying) he will go after the woman he cares about for real. i mean FINALLY!
keep your fingers crossed for another kick-ass season !!! :)

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