House M.D.: Season 6, Episode 1

Broken (21 Sep. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 9.7/10 from 4,678 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 1 critic

House fights his doctors, the staff and his fellow patients when he's forced to stay in the psychiatric hospital under threat of permanently losing his medical license.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Freedom Master / Steve
Dr. Medina (as Andrew Harrison Leeds)
Woman at Fundraiser


House begins a detox program at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital to get the Vicodin out of his system in an attempt to control his hallucinations. House plans to leave the treatment facility once he is clean, but he is strong-armed into staying by his attending physician, Dr. Darryl Nolan. Dr. Nolan agrees to write a recommendation to reinstate House's medical license only if House agrees to further treatment. When House is moved to a new ward in the hospital, he develops a close relationship with his new roommate, Alvie, and Lydia, a frequent visitor who helps House bend the rules. House asks Alvie to help him uncover incriminating information about Dr. Nolan that would allow him to blackmail his way out of the treatment center and convinces Lydia to loan him her car to sneak out a delusional patient in an attempt by House to undermine Dr. Nolan's course of treatment. But when devastating events ensue, House is humbled into reluctantly accepting help. Written by Fox Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 September 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "M.D." is removed from the title as House doesn't have his license in this double episode. See more »


House and Alvie stage a fight in order to get a pill of Haldol to trade with Hal for a phone call. In an emergency situation (such as a fight) Haldol would be administered by injection, as a pill would take minutes to absorb. See more »


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. If you prefer private to group, we can do that. Maybe try some SSRIs. If you think nothing is working, you can always go back to your scheming.
Dr. Gregory House: God, if only you'd said that 2 minutes ago. Before I came up with my new scheme. Now I'm committed. Ha! Get it?
See more »


References Annie Hall (1977) See more »


You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
Written by Russ Morgan, Larry Stock, and James Cavanaugh
Sung by Jack Plotnick, Curtis Armstrong and Alex Désert
See more »

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User Reviews

A stellar return to greatness for House!
22 September 2009 | by (Rexburg, Idaho, United States) – See all my reviews

For some time prior to this season, House had gotten stuck in a bit of a rut as a series. Many (most) episodes followed a formula that had become predictable, and a bit stale, although the show was never anything less than eminently watchable, thanks in large part to Hugh Laurie's always wonderful portrayal of the good doctor himself. Laurie's performance was enough to carry the show, but it still wasn't achieving the greatness of earlier seasons.

But for this episode (more a self-contained TV movie) at least, the formula is gone. In fact, most of the familiar is gone. Outside of House himself, the only familiar face we see is Wilson's, and not for very long. The only piece remaining is Dr. Gregory House, M.D., brilliant diagnostician, genius, emotional Gordian knot, psychiatric patient. And if Hugh Laurie does not receive an Emmy for this performance come next year, then he has been robbed of what rightly belongs to him.

The very British Laurie has always sunken so fully into the role of House that most people are actually unaware that he ISN'T, in fact, American. And he has always lent a layered complexity to the character, given a hint of humanity to a character who could so easily become unlikable in the hands of any other actor. What we see here, thanks to a combination of some outstanding writing and some of the finest thespianism you're likely to see on TV, is the systematic peeling away of every piece of Gregory House's carefully polished armor. House has always had defenses: social antagonism, easy lies, an aloof demeanor. He's always had a way of lashing out to avoid letting anyone in. But in this episode, we finally get to witness a truly vulnerable House open himself up, and Laurie's execution is flawless. Laurie doesn't fall prey to the common mistake of overacting, either; when House's emotions bubble to the surface, they're always palpable but restrained.

Even with all these emotions being bandied about, the writers (and Laurie) never forget the slashing wit that is such a core piece of the character. And while we don't see most of the beloved secondary characters, the ones presented to us in and around Mayfield are always balanced carefully and never irritating, and I would in fact welcome some of them back for recurring roles. Andre Braugher's Dr. Nolan is especially good.

Emotionally moving, sharply written, exquisitely produced, and wonderfully acted all across the board, Broken is not only a return to form (but a striking departure from formula) for the somewhat flagging series, it is the single best episode of the series to date. I only hope season 6 can maintain this kind of momentum without slipping back into old habits.

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