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Season 6 Episode 1


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Sep 21, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
1,359 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

House engages in a battle of wits and wills against the attending physician in charge of his detox program. When he starts to lose, House resorts to blackmail to gain the upper hand.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Awesome.

    I think this one was the best episode of all.. it really made me cry and laugh at the same time.. hugh was great.. absolutely great!
  • Wow Wow and the next thing!!

    This episode was like a rollercoaster of emotions. I went from feeling frustrated about House's position in the psychiatric hospital, to happiness, to joy, to tears and ended with a huge smile on my face.

    This new side of House is what I guess we've all been waiting for so long. He finally connected, trusted, bonded and was able to feel all the emotions and still be the same winy sarcastic old HOUSE we love.

    This have been one of my favorite episodes, if not the best episode from House yet.

    No matter how long I waited for House to be back, it full-filled all my expectations and more.

    HOUSE rocked!!moreless
  • Good but not great. The writers missed a very large trick here. This could have been a sensational episode but wasn't. TV makers complain that the one hour format doesn't give them enough time for detail. Yet when given the time they didn't use it.moreless

    I am in two minds about this episode. On the surface, it was good. A "tour de force" performance from Hugh, well acted by the supporting cast (apart from that annoying room mate guy who I wanted to strangle – how on earth does he have a Tony Award?), a perfectly acceptable season opener, high ratings, everyone happy. Especially the companies who paid to have their products advertised during the broadcast.

    Leaving all that aside, this episode had the potential to be "great" television, as opposed to merely "good". I think the episode could have been right up there with some of the greatest tv moments of our time: the death of Mark Greene on ER, Ross and Rachel kissing for the first time, President Bartlett ranting at God after Mrs Lanningham's funeral in the West Wing, the deep fat fryer episode of Spooks (seven years later I still hold a cushion while watching that show) to name but a few. And for that reason, I am not just disappointed but actually a little bit angry at the writers. This was a big opportunity and they blew it. And when you're being paid that much money, have such superb characters to work with and an actor the quality of Hugh Laurie then there is no excuse. There really isn't it.

    So where to begin….

    This is what I would like to have seen: House detoxes from viacodin (that segment was good) but when he wakes up clean and sober he looks around and *shock* Amber is still there. He rants at her. Why is she still there? He's clean now. What the F is going on? This conversation is witnessed by his doctor. Serious discussion in the doctor's office: "Your issues run deeper than viacodin. You need to be transferred to our long term ward." Despite originally being admitted voluntarily, the fact that he is still hallucinating give the doctors grounds to hold him.

    *sidebar*. The House we all know and love would never have submitted to that ward voluntarily, irrespective of the medical license threat or not. He would walk out of the hospital and find a psychiatrist who WILL declare him sane, or simply seek outpatient treatment. The law may stipulate that a psychiatrist's ok is needed to get his license back but it would not stipulate that he needed Dr Nolan's ok specifically.

    Furthermore, I agree with House when he was saying "I should not be here". The problems he exhibits do not warrant forced inpatient care. The episode suggests his "issues" are trusting people. That is not an inpatient issue. Hallucinations are. Depression to the point where a person can't function warrants admission. Trust issues do not. *end sidebar*

    House demands drugs. The doctor refuses and instead insists on talk therapy. Drugs are what got House into this mess in the first place and what is the point of switching from dulling emotional pain with viacodin to dulling it with anti-depressants? He needs to learn to cope without the aid of medication. House is livid – everyone else on the ward is on meds, why can't he get them too? Cue House acting out, if you must.

    *second sidebar* I really, really, really don't like the inference in the episode that the only way to get better is by taking medication. I am about to say something which galls me to my very soul and will probably wake me up in the middle of the night. *takes a deep breath*: I agree with Tom Cruise. How unthinkable is that??? But I do! Psychiatric drugs are NOT always the answer. They work for some people but not for everyone. And I absolutely loathe that bit at the end where Albie goes to that female Doctor and asks for his meds. The look she gives him is really sinister. I expected her to cackle evily.

    I personally would rather not have House acting like RP McMurphy. It's tired and I agree with professional reviewers who've bemoaned the Cuckoos nest-esque nature of the episode. It is lazy writing. House fighting "the system" is what you would expect. Seeing him struggling but not able to rid himself of Amber would be much more interesting (and, I suspect, challenging for Hugh as well). Maybe I watch too much Project Runway – "this is something I have seen before. I want to see something different." However, I think I would be overruled in a writers meeting because, let's face it, the spectacle of House misbehaving is enjoyable. But then, would House tolerate being punished with banishment to a padded room if he were there voluntarily? No.

    Now I do realise that having House hallucinate presents a problem with his medical license and therefore the long-term viability of the show. You can't practice if you are genuinely suffering from hallucinations. So why would House want the taking of drugs to control hallucinations in his medical records. First of all, this is tv and House would have lost his license years ago anyway so let's not get hung up on real world crap. But secondly, I think House would see this as a fantastic excuse to not have to see patients (which he hates anyway) His skill is in interpreting test results not performing lumbar punctures. The kind of work he does would probably not need a license anyway. He could work as a consultant. *end second sidebar*

    Various in-depth talk therapy sessions. The relationship with Lydia develops. House bonds with the other patients and in doing so learns a lot about himself.

    *third sidebar* Back to the Cuckoos nest theme. I would have the other patients not being so "looney". I would like to have seen House connecting to them and finding common ground. All this would help in his recovery. It's why group therapy is a powerful tool. It also can make for superb and very moving drama. Again, I think this was a missed opportunity to explore the different facets of mental illness. I have done some work in psychiatric hospitals in the UK and yes, these stereotypes do exist but they are not the only kinds of mental illness in the world. Some of the patients I met, for example, were suffering as a result of extraordinary and inescapable grief after the death of a child/partner. I would like to have seen more of the relationship between House and the super hero guy. They suggest he lost in wife in 9/11. So explore that more please. These are the kinds of things that will help House regain his sanity, not a couple of superficial chats to a psychiatrist about nothing at all and pretending to be gay at a party. What on earth was that scene at the party supposed to show? The episode was double length, the same length as a feature film, yet doesn't do much more than scratch the surface of anything. If you compare it to the film Ordinary People and what that film manages to examine, the episode is really quite superficial. They had two hours, not one. Use the extra time. *end third sidebar*

    House is upset when Lydia leaves but realises that he can survive her loss. This is his breakthrough moment. It seems to be me that House's main issue is fear of emotional pain. He goes to great lengths to avoid grief. Experiencing grief but it not being the earth shattering event he had anticipated would be the trigger for his recovery and for Amber fading away. He no longer needs to talk to an imaginary person (who he can subconsciously control) because he doesn't fear talking to real people anymore.


    Trust is an interesting concept. Learning to trust is about accepting the fact that you might be hurt but that it is ok and you can survive. Now obviously the show would have to end if House suddenly became all teddy-bear like BUT knowing something and living it are two entirely different things. This sets up the rest of the series with House trying to put what he's learned into practice. It is excruciatingly hard to trust if you come from a place where it hasn't been possible and won't happen overnight, or in one season. And, again, seeing House struggle with himself would make for superb television. Handled properly it could be incredibly moving. I think the bit with House on the bus at the end is terrific. Mainly because of the song. Right out of the Grey's Anatomy school of television: the actors just stand there and look at each other or into the distance while a fabulous song plays – and the song makes the scene.

    Rant over. Apart from one final thing which don't make sense: Dr Nolan agrees to write House's recommendation letter because House 1) connected with someone enough to miss them, and 2) goes to find someone to talk to when he loses that person. Yet House already did both of those things. He DOES go to someone when he feels emotional pain. He goes to Wilson. And he was lost when Wilson left the hospital after Amber died. That Doctor is crap. He also played the researcher in the film Primal Fear (love Edward Norton) when he was young and thin and I spent the entire episode trying to work out where I'd seen him before. Distracting.

    Reading this back sounds harsh – and I hate television/film and theatre reviewers who do this incidentally. I don't write television so what the hell do I know and if I really think I can do better than why don't I move to Hollywood and do it myself. Blah blah blah – however, I'm not publishing this in a newspaper and it is unlikely that anyone connected to the show will read it so no feelings will be hurt. I don't dislike the episode. I said at the beginning that I thought it was good. I am going to summarise by misquoting Mary Louise Parker's character, Amy Gardner, from the West Wing. I love the show and when you see a show which is good but could actually be great, it's heart breaking. Which is why I poke it with a stick from time to time. It's how I show my love.moreless
  • House at a mental hospital

    House M.D

    Season 6

    Episode 1: Broken Part 1 and Part 2

    House, dealing with his Vicodin addiction, goes to a mental hospital. He tries to get out, but he isnt successful. He tries to help patients, but only hurts them.

    Excellent. Excellent season premiere. Season 6 has started. Amazing episode. So great. Part 1 had good amounts of comedy, really funnyh. Part 2 has more drama, but still had a couple of laughs. Great episode/s. House on a mental hospital, how's that? Pretty cool. House season 6 premiere, Broken, is an amazing episode. Full of drama. Pretty funny the first part. The second part was more drama. Amazing rpisode. House season 6 premiere.moreless
  • The most miserably boring episode yet.

    I have to say that I almost fast forwarded trough this episode. It had some interesting aspects, but overall it was oh so boring and so very far from the real life. I know that this is Entertainment and I shouldn't be focusing on details, yet this gives an overall bad picture of psychiatric and substance abuse care.

    House managed to use his wit and talent in the episode, and there were many interesting characters. But something is missing and I cannot pinpoint what. I fail to see why this is so good episode. I expected more, this being a season opener.moreless
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Juan "Alvie" Alvarez

Guest Star

Megan Dodds

Megan Dodds

Dr. Beasley

Guest Star

Derek Richardson

Derek Richardson

Steve/Freedom Master

Guest Star

Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher

Dr. Darryl Nolan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Dr. Nolan: You think that by taking meds you'll lose your edge? Stop making the unique connections that make you a successful doctor?
      House: If Van Gogh was your patient, he'd be satisfied painting houses instead of the Starry Night.
      Dr. Nolan: Van Gogh would still be making inspired paintings of the night sky, just maybe not from the room of his asylum.
      House: You don't know that.
      Dr. Nolan: I know both his ears would be intact. And I know his life would be better.

    • Dr. Beasley: You realize you're not the first uncooperative patient On this floor?
      House: Really? Is there a club?

    • House: Great job. Gonna miss you. Want to start missing you as soon as possible.

    • Dr. Nolan: You can't go back to practicing medicine.
      House: I don't want to practice medicine. I've decided I want to be an astronaut.
      Dr. Nolan: Well, if you want your state astronaut's license, you're gonna need my recommendation.

    • Dr. Beasley: I know you're scheming, working on your next elaborate plan to get out of here. Why don't you put the plan on hold for a few days? See what happens. Just let me do my job. If you prefer private to group, we can do that, maybe try some SSRIs. If you think nothing's working, you can always go back to your schemes.
      House: God, if only you'd said that two minutes ago, before I came up with my new scheme. Now I'm committed. Ha. Get it?

    • Dr. Nolan: So your proof of your well-being is that you lied?
      House: Manipulated.

    • House: I see you've got some cello in your trunk. And no, that's not a euphemism.

    • House: Just open up?
      Dr. Nolan: Just open up. Trust.
      House: Strangers?
      Dr. Nolan: We'll start with strangers then work our way up. If it helps, I find "Hello" to be an excellent icebreaker.

    • Lydia: You're not gay.
      House: No, but I have to tell intimate secrets to people.
      Lydia: Maybe they should be true.
      House: Hadn't thought of that. To be on the safe side, I should probably do both, starting with the fun ones.

    • Dr. Nolan: You having fun?
      House: I did connect with one guy. But my propensity for screwing things up overtook me. Then my desire to have fun overcame my propensity.

    • House: Who's that woman you were with in the parking lot?
      Dr. Nolan: When you deflect, it's more effective when you're not that transparent.

    • Dr. Nolan: Why do you value your failures more than your successes?
      House: My mother caught me masturbating... to pictures of her mother.
      Dr. Nolan: Can we get past these cute deflections?
      House: Successes only last until someone screws them up. Failures are forever.

  • NOTES (4)

    • International Airdates:
      The Netherlands: April 1, 2010 on SBS6
      Germany: April 6, 2010 on RTL
      Czech Republic: May 5/12, 2010 on TV Nova
      Israel: June 2/9, 2010 on HOT3
      Slovakia: August 31/September 7, 2010 on STV1
      Poland: September 9, 2010 on TVP2
      Sweden: November 2/9, 2010 on TV4

    • Music: No Surprises (Radiohead), Little Cabin Song (Billy Moon, Sharkey & Zooks from the Spark), 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)

    • For this episode, the show starts "cold" by jumping directly into the story without the standard opening credits. The show title, featured show stars, guest stars, writers, and director are then listed over the scenes. This is the first occurrence of this since the Season 3 episode "Half-Wit."

    • The episode aired as a 2-hour "special episode."


    • Alvie: Like the Woody Allen character in, uh, Annie Hall, but the Puerto Rican version, and not as neurotic.
      Referencing the 1977 movie written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman, also directed by Allen. It chronicles the life of a neurotic comedian, Alvy Singer (Allen) and his relationship with Annie (Diane Keaton).