"House M.D.: Broken (#6.1)"
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Synopsis for
"House M.D." Broken (2009)

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Open with a time-lapse sequence of House (Hugh Laurie) detoxing at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. Once cleaned up, House wants to exercise his right as a voluntary commitment and leave Mayfield. But ward chief Dr. Nolan (Andre Braugher) thinks House has suffered greatly since the deaths of his two collegues (Amber and Kutner) and father. Nolan thinks he needs medication and therapy and refuses to write a letter reinstating House's medical license unless he stays the course of treatment.

House is introduced to his new digs, Ward 6. In charge of the floor is Dr. Beasley (Megan Dodds) and House immediately threatens to make her life a living hell. House's roommate is Alvie (Lin-Manuel Miranda), a manic depressive Puerto Rican-American who enjoys freestyle rapping. We are introduced to the floor's primary characters: Silent Girl (Ana Lenchantin) hasn't spoken in a decade, Hal is a drug-seeker (Jack Plotnick), Jay (Alex Dsert) is the claustrophobic, Richter (Curtis Armstrong) is a paranoid, another man (Dale E. Turner) has an eating disorder and Susan (Angela Bettis) is suicidal. During the first group session House rips on every patient and is immediately sent to solitary confinement.

House is even crueler to the other patients during time in the yard. He heads back up to the floor and finds a woman playing the usually locked piano. She is Silent Girl's sister-in-law Lydia (Franka Potente), there because the music seems to cause her to move slightly. House quickly dismisses the possibility of Silent Girl's head-bobbing being related to the music, asserting it's no more than an aspect of her pulse.

After another stint in solitary, House changes his tactics. He decides to apologize to his fellow patients and turn everyone against the Mayfield doctors. His mini-uprising related to paddle-less ping pong table ends when Nolan arrives with new paddles. Nolan gets in House's face and promises he is just as stubborn as our ill-mannered protagonist.

That night House comes up with a new plan.

The next day a new patient joins them for group. It is Steve. a/k/a "Freedom Master," (Derek Richardson) who believes he possesses superhuman strength and the ability to fly. Steve immediately turns his attention to Silent Girl, believing someone needs to save her. House looks out the window and sees Nolan get into a car with a woman.

Since Alvie has third floor privileges, House has him break into Nolan's office and check his schedule for any information on the woman. Alvie finds no mention of a meeting on his calendar, which House takes to mean Nolan is having an affair.

House and Alvie fake a fight in order for House to 'cheek' some drugs he can trade with Hal for phone privileges. That night he calls Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). House wants Wilson to run the license plate number of the Noland's lunch date. Unfortunately for House, Nolan has already gotten to Wilson and warned him the best way to help House improve is not to help him skirt the system. A disgruntled House tells Alvie he plans to pretend to be getting better, but not take his medication.

A musical montage shows House as a model patient, quickly shooting up the good behavior charts. He comes upon Lydia playing for Silent Girl. We learn Silent Girl has been a concert cellist. House suggests Lydia play the cello for Silent Girl and Lydia seems to like the idea.

House meets with another member of Nolan's staff, Dr. Medina (Andrew Leeds). Medina is suspicious of House's progress, his lack of medication side effects and the fight he had with Alvie. This leads to House having Hal craftily provide him with fresh urine in order to fake a drug test showing House has been taking his meds. Medina seems to be fooled.

House is bothered by Medina bluntly telling Steve he does not have super powers and it wasn't Steve's fault his wife was killed. Steve spots Silent Girl staring into an office and excitedly tells everyone "they stole her voice box." Steve is hauled away to solitary.

The next day suicidal Susan is getting a party for being discharged. House notices Steve is not at the party and finds him slumped quietly on his bed. House thinks Steve was happy before; Medina argues it was his being delusional.

Nolan pulls House into his office. House thinks he can correct the rest of his problems on an outpatient basis, but Nolan still won't sign-off. House offers the fact he hasn't been taking his meds (and still scoring well on tests) as proof he is okay to leave. Nolan reveals the drugs he's been getting were placebos and tells House he must stop fighting the system. House appears ready to give in.

Lydia comes to the hospital with the cello. House wants to have Steve help bring the instrument upstairs to cheer him up. It doesn't work, so House has Lydia let him borrow her car to take Steve to the carnival. House brings Steve on an outdoor skydive simulator. Steve couldn't be more excited and appears back to his old superhero self. Unfortunately this leads to Steve trying to fly off the upper ledge of the parking garage and nearly killing himself.

Nolan wonders why all of a sudden House would try and reinforce a sick person's delusions and threatens to transfer him to another facility. "Don't," a suddenly aware House admits. "I need help."

In a one-on-one session with Nolan, House admits he wants to get better, he's tired of being miserable. Nolan manages to convince House taking anti-depressants won't rob him of the genius which makes him a great doctor. House takes the meds.

Alvie is stunned to see House is actually taking his meds. "I'm broken,' House tells him.

Nolan takes House to a fundraiser for the hospital, hoping he will start the process of trusting people by interacting with complete strangers. Ultimately House has fun with the whole thing, making up several entertaining stories about himself with Lydia as an accomplice. At the end of the evening Lydia assures House he is a nice guy. Lydia confesses Silent Girl was her best friend and she may have married her husband primarily because they were both sharing the loss. Before she leaves, Lydia kisses House.

House and Nolan discuss his kiss with a married woman. After changing the subject for awhile, House admits he's unsure what is going to happen.

The next time Lydia comes to visit, House asks about the kiss. He plays the piano for her but gets quite introspective when a bandaged Steve is wheeled onto the floor.

Nolan tells House he places too much value on his failures and should simply apologize to Steve and attempt to move forward.

House walks up to Steve and says only "Hey...."

Beasley tells the gang there will be a patient talent show. She wants Alvie to write a rap song. House tells Beasley people have to "make things better" and "I can save" Steve. He has orderlies get the box Steve had been yelling about out of an office. House places it on Steve's lap and tells him "there is nothing wrong with you, speak." Steve says nothing. Nolan reminds House he is still trying to "fix."

At their next meeting House laments the brutal nature of relationships and how they always end terribly. "Good-bye Lydia," he says before limping away.

House is grouchy at group therepy. Alvie doesn't want to write his rap songs down, saying it will ruin the spontaneity. House is handed a day pass from Nolan, who requests a professional consult from his patient.

Nolan's father has had a stroke and is essentially brain dead. House says any doctor would know the situation and suggests Nolan was looking for House to provide permission for him to pull the plug. House wonders if House is all Nolan has left. A tearful Nolan says "I don't need you here to play this game." House grabs a chair and sits by the bed.

House goes to a tearful Lydia, who stopped by with a cello for Silent Girl. They hug, which evolves into tender (as opposed to the frantic, passionate event with Cuddy near the end of last season) sex in a nearby empty office. During coitus we see tears in House's eyes.

The talent show is uneventful until Alvie's performance. Alvie struggles mightily with his rhymes and needs helps from House who is standing in the back. Eventually House gets on stage and finishes the rap responsively with Alvie.

At the next session House tells Nolan "things are actually good. . . I'm good."

House apologizes to Steve and wheels him over to get meds. On the way, Steve raises the box towards Silent Girl. She takes it from him and opens the top. After the music plays she turns to Steve and says "thank you."

When Lydia arrives later Silent Girl is playing cello for the entire floor. Lydia weeps with joy.

There is a send-off party for Silent Girl. Nolan tells House she is being sent to a rehab facility in Arizona and her family is moving with her. Against Nolan's advice, House demands an overnight pass to go to Lydia's house. Lydia tells House her husband does a lot of business in Arizona and the family had been looking for a reason to move. Lydia does not want to leave but can't break-up her family. "I thought it ended kind of perfect," she tells him before closing the door.

Nolan finds House waiting for him in parking lot. Since House connected with another person and didn't turn to Vicodin when it ended badly, Nolan will now write the letter so House can get his license back.

House also gets a send-off party. Alvie watches House walk out of the facility and goes immediately to Beasley for his med: "I want to get better," he says. House gets on a bus and heads home.


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