Written by: Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, David Foster & David Shore
Directed by: Katie Jacobs
Transcribed by: Jane (poeia)
DISCLAIMER: We don't own "HOUSE." It's owned by FOX and NBC/Universal, and produced by Heel and Toe Films and Bad Hat Harry Productions. This transcript is unofficial, and should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES be copied or distributed, especially for commercial use.
[Open on a House’s face. His eyes are closed. The picture is not quite in color, but it’s not black and white either. Radiohead’s “No Surprises” plays.]
[House opens his eyes. He’s lying on a twin bed on the left side of a cell-like room at Mayfield. He’s wearing a gray t-shirt. There is a stainless steel basin on the tiled floor near his head. On the opposite wall there is a single window. Next to it a metal sink is bolted into the wall. Another stainless basin is on the floor below the sink.]
- A metal toilet past the sink.
- House lying stretched out on the bed.
- House’s right eye as he turns his head slightly toward the window.
- The IV pole and the windowed door to the room beyond it. A woman is watching him. She leaves.
- House’s right eye again.
- House’s hand clutching his leg through the sheet. He raises his arm along the wall, making a fist. He has a hospital ID bracelet on his wrist.
- House’s face, a little blurry.
- House lying in the bed, gripping his thigh. He brings his left hand over to grab it as well.
- A nurse is in the room. The door is open and she’s doing something with the IV.
- Close up of his left eye. His face looks very haggard.
- House on his left side. He brings his right hand up to the left and lies curled in the fetal position.
♪♫ A heart that's full up like a landfill,
- House is in the hallway, getting his meds. He takes a single pill out of the paper cup and looks at it. He looks around at all the other patients milling about.
♪♫ A job that slowly kills you,
- A red light over a doorway.
- He turns back and sees the dispensing nurse watching him, impatiently.
♪♫ Bruises that won't heal.
- He tosses his head back as he dry swallows the pill.
- He switches his cane to his right hand. An aid touches his back, steering him to his room. He’s wearing a robe and his legs are bare.
- A nurse wetting a washcloth in the basin by his bed.
♪♫ You look so tired, unhappy,
- She washes the vomit off his face.
- She leaves, wheeling out a portable blood pressure machine.
- House, in a gray t-shirt again, writhes in the bed.
♪♫ Bring down the government,
- House, wearing a hoodie, empties the contents of his pill cup into his hand. It’s half a pill.
- He stares at it, stares at the nurse and takes the pill.
♪♫ They don't,
- He balls up the empty cup and tosses it past Nurse Valdez, who flinches.
♪♫ They don't speak for us.
- House, wearing a dark t-shirt, toss restlessly, seen through the window in the door.
- In the room, House twists and turns, gripping his leg.
♪♫ I'll take a quiet life,
- House sits up with difficulty, still gripping his right thigh. He lowers his left leg to the floor. He shoves the sheet off him. This is partly shot in the room and partly through the window.
♪♫ A handshake of carbon monoxide,
- He struggles to his feet, pushing off the bed.
- He holds onto the bed, hopping sideways, until he can reach the door.
- He shakes the door.
♪♫ With no alarms and no surprises,
House: [shouting through the door] Help! [He bangs on the door a few times.] Help me!
♪♫ No alarms and no surprises,
- He punches the door a few more times.
♪♫ No alarms and no surprises,
- He’s back on the bed. He looks at his wrists, which are restrained.
- So are his legs. They put a patient going through opioid withdrawal in 4-point restraints in a locked room. His left leg shakes a little.
- House pulls against the restraints for a moment then relaxes, exhausted. The mattress between his legs is wet.
[Cut to House opening his eyes. The color has returned to normal. Everything is quiet. He isn’t restrained any longer. He touches his thigh briefly then sits up. He limps to the window, holding his leg for support.]
[Cut to a suitcase dropping on the bed. House packs his clothes and zips the valise.]
[Cut to House walking down the hall with his cane in his right hand and his suitcase in his left. He switches the case to his right so he can swipe a knit cap off a patient in a wheelchair.]
[Cut to House, wearing the cap, at the nurses’ station.]
House: Dry heaves are gone, so am I.
Valdez: I’ll check with the doctor.
House: No, no, no, no. I’m here voluntarily. Just got to check with me.
Valdez: I’m sorry. Dr. Nolan left specific instructions.
[Cut to Dr. Darryl Nolan’s office. He’s talking to Dr. Beasley.]
Nolan: She’s not sick. She’s scared. So tell her to tell –
House: [from the doorway] Wow. [They both look up.] And he’s black. I thought you’d be a little more sensitive on the slavery issue.
[Nolan sits quietly for a moment then he smiles and nods at Beasley. She gets up and leaves.]
House: Can’t keep me.
Nolan: Dr. House, you look a lot better.
House: I am a lot better. No painkillers. No hallucinations. Leg hurts, but it’s manageable. Great job. Gonna miss you. Want to start missing you as soon as possible.
Nolan: Well, legally, you’re free to go whenever you want, but I suggest you stay.
House: I’ll take it under advisement.
Nolan: If you thought the hallucinations were from your Vicodin problem, why didn’t you just check yourself into a rehab facility?
House: I was deluded into thinking I might be crazy.
Nolan: But you had been abusing Vicodin for years. Never had delusions. Never had trouble sleeping. Never had any problems other than narcissism and antisocial behavior, until two colleagues died. Your father died. Your issues run deeper than Vicodin.
House: Well, that’s not gonna cheer me up, is it?
Nolan: You need to be transferred to our long-term ward, started on medication, talk therapy –
House: Yeah, I get it. Uh, just one thing I’m getting hung up on. I can leave whenever I want. How ‘bout I start with that? [He heads for the door.]
Nolan: You can’t go back to practicing medicine.
House: [turning slowly] I don’t want to practice medicine. I’ve decided I want to be an astronaut.
Nolan: Well, if you want your state astronaut’s license, you’re gonna need my recommendation.
House: Is that a popular new treatment – blackmail?
Nolan: You need to get better.
[Cut to an orderly unlocking a door for House.]
Orderly: Welcome to Ward Six.
[He leaves. House looks around. Hal and Richter are playing ping-pong without a net or paddles. Susan and Diane are sitting at a table. A staff member is standing next to them. Various other patients mill around. They all turn to look at him.]
[Cut to the office area. House sits in front of Beasley’s desk.]
House: So, brass tacks… What do I have to do, and how long do I have to be here?
Beasley: Depends on you. Process is pretty basic. If you follow the schedule, agree to take meds, participate in group and individual therapy, we can work on goals –
House: I set a goal.
Beasley: Excellent. What is it?
House: My goal is to get your boss to write the letter that I want him to write. Now let’s talk process. I can smile through gritted teeth and play nice, but there are serious risks of violence involved in that choice so I’m going with turning this ward upside down, making you and your boss’ job and life so unmanageable that he’ll write whatever he has to write to get rid of me.
[Nurse Safer hand Beasley a blue file.]
Safer: He’s all set.
[House smiles at her, slightly ferociously. She smiles back.]
[Cut to a room with two beds and a double nightstand between them. The window is barred. House enters and looks around. He pokes the bed on the right with his cane and drops his suitcase on it. As he starts unpacking, he hears a voice in the hallway.]
Alvie: Ow. I’ve never been in the end unit before. [getting closer] Yo, I don’t need an escort. Get off me. [He enters and drops his duffle on the other bed. He’s a human perpetual motion machine.] Who are you? You believe these guys? Lecturing me on manic depression, like I couldn’t write a book or two. I stop taking my meds because I want to stop taking my meds, because nothing is wrong with me. No reason to keep dragging me back here. When I’m on them, everything slows down. That’s when the problem is. Hey, nice to see you. My roommate last time couldn’t stand me.
House: [who has continued unpacking, silently] Really?
Alvie: I’m Juan Alvarez. J.A.’s my stage name, but Alvie’s what everybody around here calls me, like the Woody Allen character in, uh, Annie Hall, but the Puerto Rican version and not as neurotic. So what do I call you?
House: Oh, you’re actually waiting for an answer this time. You can call me House.
Alvie: Ow! [sings and plays air guitar] He’s a brick, wah wah wah wah, House. Buh buh dum dum.
[Cut to House walking quickly down the hall.]
Alvie: [behind him] Hey, wait up. I’ve already got the whole place wired so I’ll give you the rundown. [They enter the dayroom.] Yo, everybody! This is my new roommate, House, y’all. [to House] Main thing you gotta know –
House: [to Annie who is standing and staring into the office area] Is this the line?
Alvie: [to Annie] Hey, Gabby, meet my new roommate, House. You can call him “Heezy.”
House: No, you can’t.
Alvie: Don’t worry. She won’t call you anything. She hasn’t talked in, like, ten years or something. Good you came here. You need to know the lay of the land.
House: [rapping with his cane on the glass window of the office] I need to request a new room. [He starts walking down the perimeter of the office, looking for someone. Alvie follows.]
Alvie: Ha. Ha. You’re funny. You’re also gonna come here to get your meds.
House: I’m not on any meds.
Alvie: You either? Good for you. Tell me my mind works too fast. Probably tell Usain Bold he runs too fast.
House: Excuse me. I know you’re busy ignoring me, but my minibar is empty.
Alvie: You think Bolt could do the long jump? That sport needs to evolve. Had the same world record for, like, 20 years. I think if one guy launched himself headfirst and right before he hits the ground does a front flip instead, get three extra feet out of that, easy.
House: Go be that man.
[Alvie laughs. House walks away, Alvie follows him. They both turn around as Hal falls on the floor and cries out.]
Hal: Ahhhhh! Ow, my head. Gahhh. My head.
Safer: [coming over to him] You’re not getting any Haldol. Sorry.
Alvie: That’s Hal. His real name is Connor, but we call him Hal because he –
House: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it. [He goes to the piano.]
Alvie: We can’t play that. They keep it locked up. I wish we could, but at the same time, you can imagine how annoying that could be. Crazy people playing on it all the time. We’d never get any peace. Come on. I want to introduce you to everybody.
[Beasley and Dr. Medina are peering at House through the blinds on a door in the office.]
Medina: Do you think he’s serious? He’s a doctor. He knows that acting out will only reinforce our diagnosis.
Nolan: [behind them] Or it’ll work.
[Medina and Beasley turn away from spying to look at Nolan.]
Medina: You actually think this is something we should be concerned about?
Nolan: A patient makes a threat, you should always be concerned.
[Cut to group therapy. House is slumped in a chair, glaring. On his left is Alvie. Next to Alvie is Diane, a heavy woman whose eyeglasses are held together with tape. Next to Diane is Hal. He is a tall, thin white man in his late 30s. Stomp is on Hal’s left. He’s around 50. He doesn’t talk and his hands are bandaged. Beasley sits between Stomp and Richter, a short guy with curly hair. Jay-Bird, a tall, slender black man in his late 30s and Susan, a toothpick thin, nervous-looking woman round out the circle.]
Beasley: There are two new additions to our ward. You all know Alvie.
Alvie: [jumping up] Thank you, thank you. Hold your applause. It’s great to be back here in Mayfield. Not just for the food. Not just for the ladies – [he looks around] Well, okay, maybe just for the ladies. [He sits down.]
Beasley: And you should also welcome Greg to the floor.
House: Don’t worry about the name. I’m just passing through. Don’t want to break any hearts.
Jay-Bird: Can we go outside now?
Beasley: Not now, Jay.
House: So he’s claustrophobic, right? [to Jay] You’re claustrophobic? [to Beasley] Can I get a pen to write this stuff down?
[Stomp gets up and leaves the circle. He has one bandaged hand at his face and the other clutched to his chest. He seems agitated.]
Richter: Where are you going? [to Beasley] Where’s he going
Beasley: It’s okay.
House: [pointing at Richter] Paranoid. Check.
Hal: Dr. Beasley. I am having an issue with the food.
Beasley: What’s the problem?
Hal: I swear I’m eating less and less, and I just keep getting bigger and bigger.
House: A crayon? Anybody?
Beasley: We’ll talk about it another time. I understand you all had art therapy yesterday.
Susan: Maybe we can hang some of the new pieces on the wall.
House: Cut your wrists, huh?
Beasley: Greg, there are certain topics –
House: [feigning shock] Oh, I’m sorry. Is suicide taboo? Gosh, if I’ve broken a rule on my first day, I will kill myself.
Beasley: Group’s over. [Richter and Jay-Bird leave immediately.]
House: That flew by.
Beasley: You realize you’re not the first uncooperative patient on this floor?
House: Really? Is there a club?
Beasley: Yes. [standing and pointing] Come with me to the clubhouse.
[Cut to the orderly unlocking the door to room 232, a padded cell. House hands him his cane as he passes.]
Orderly: That didn’t take long.
House: I’m that good.
[The orderly locks the door behind him. Through the window in the door, House can be seen sitting on the end of the bed.]
[Cut to the yard. Some of the patients are playing basketball. Beasley watches from a bench.]
Alvie: C’mon, c’mon, c’mon. [He catches the ball as it rebounds off the backboard.]
Beasley: Come on, Alvie! Let’s see some action.
Alvie: [shooting past Jay-Bird] Oh! You got nothing!
[Jay-Bird catches the ball as House comes out and goes to sit with Beasley.]
Richter: Me! Me! Me!
Beasley: Pass, pass, pass! Good. [As Richter shoots.] Come on, guys! [to House] Ready to play nice?
House: Would you believe me if I said “yes”?
House: Then, yes.
Beasley: You do know I’m trying to help you.
House: [nods] I also know you’re trying to be sweet, caring and effective. You’re just not.
Beasley: You want out. [House looks at her.] Just talk. Be honest. Try to work with people. Try to deal with people.
House: [nods slightly] Okay.
[He gets up, holding his leg as Little Cabin Song by Billy Moon, Sharkey & Zooks starts to play.]
Alvie: House, House! He’s on my team!
House: Shut up. Nobody likes you.
[Alvie visibly wilts as House turns to Jay-Bird who has the ball.]
House: Am I crowding you?
House: Can’t see the sun?
Jay-Bird: [backing up and sinking lower with each step] Huh?
House: Oh, no! Everything is closing in.
Jay-Bird: [seated on the ground, gives House the ball] Okay.
House: [to Beasley] He’s the claustrophobic one, right? ‘Cause I’m doing this from memory. [He starts walking toward the basket.]
Richter: You have to dribble.
House: Why? The CIA satellites aren’t watching me. They’re watching you, ‘cause you’re wearing green. [As Richter tears off his sweater and throws it on the ground, House turns to Beasley] That one was just too easy. [Turning to Hal] Seriously, anorexia? What, are you supposed to be a girl? And, in answer to your implicit question, yes, those pants do make you look fat. [Hal backs away quickly. House looks around and sees Susan standing under the basket.] How upset were you when you woke up in the ER and you were still alive and a failure? [She turns and walks away. House looks at Beasley, bounces the ball a couple of times and makes an easy lay-up.]
Alvie: Whoo-hoo. Two-nothing. Good, guys!
[Alvie goes to high five House who ignores him. He heads for Beasley who is standing. Richter is seated, curled up on the bench behind her.]
House: You’re right. It is rewarding when you reach out.
[He picks up his cane and heads for the stairs which are through a big metal fence door.]
Beasley: You can’t go up there. It’s yard time now.
House: Put it on my tab.
[He starts up as Beasley goes to comfort Richter. As he climbs, he hears
Schumann’s Kinderszenen Op. 15 on the piano. He enters the day room. Lydia, a visitor, is playing the piano. Annie sits on a bench nearby.]
House: I think you’ll find music therapy’s more effective if the patients are inside to hear it. [She smiles and continues playing.] Where’d you get the key?
Lydia: [speaking with a German accent] They gave it to me.
House: [pointing to Annie] So, if she ever talks, are we gonna get a German accent?
Lydia: [laughing] No. She’s, um, my husband’s sister.
House: So let him come play the piano.
Lydia: He doesn’t know how to play.
House: Nice. You’re a little heavy on the right foot, though. [He sits next to Annie.]
Lydia: See her head? It bobs to the music. It’s the only real reaction I’m getting from her. [House takes Annie’s wrist.] It feels like… we’re talking.
House: You’re not talking. [She stops playing and looks at him.] Her head is bobbing to her pulse.
Lydia: Are you a new doctor on the ward?
House: Technically, yes.
[The door to the outside opens. Two orderlies come in, followed by Beasley. House stands and tosses his cane to the first orderly who catches it.]
House: Can I lead this time?
Orderly: Come on.
House: [to Lydia, over his shoulder as they lead him off] Leave the lid unlocked when you’re done.
[Iron & Wine’s Love Vigilante plays as House lies stretched out in the isolation room. He spends most of the time with his hands clasped behind his head like a pillow but, at one point he slides his right hand down to rub his leg. He raises his head slightly when Beasley enters, carrying his cane.]
House: Can you close the door? You’re letting all the cool air out.
Beasley: If you keep up this scorched-earth policy, you’re gonna end up living in this room. Are you ready to try another strategy, or do you want me to leave you in here?
[She holds out his cane. He stares for a moment then reaches for it.]
[Cut to the day room. Hal and Alvie are playing ping pong, using their hands instead of paddles. Diane is watching them. Susan is at a table playing solitaire. Stomp and Jay-Bird are by the piano. Hal reaches for a shot and falls on the ping pong table with a loud grunt. The ball bounces away.]
Alvie: Twenty-one. Two one. That’s game. Hey, House is back.
Diane: I’ll get the ball.
Alvie: [to House] Come on. I need some meat. I got no one left to play.
Diane: I’ll play you.
Alvie: Girl! Come on, House. You can serve. [He rolls the ball across the table toward House, who picks it up.]
House: I’ve had some time to think about the approach I’ve been taking. [He looks back at Beasley.] I’m new, unhappy here, and I’ve been taking it out on you guys… unfairly. It was… misdirected anger. [He bounces the ping pong ball on the table once.] ‘Cause when you think about it, the real jerks here are the doctors.
House: See how they give you a ping pong table, but no paddles. No net. It’s like they’re mocking you.
House: The game is called table tennis, not table volleyball.
Beasley: [coming over] Greg, you know where this is gonna end.
House: Who ever saw a tennis court without a net?
Richter: Little run-down park across from my apartment growing up. Three courts, no nets. No one ever used it.
House: No one’s gonna try to hang themselves with a ping pong net.
Hal: Of course not.
Jay-Bird: That’s ridiculous.
Alvie: It ain’t right, doc. You treat us like little kids.
House: No, little kids are allowed to play ping pong and they can play the piano.
Richter: Yeah, worse than little kids.
Beasley: All right, why don’t we just go and sit down and discuss it?
Hal: No, no, no, no. I want to discuss it right here.
[The patients start shouting and banging on things.]
Beasley: Guys. [They continue.] Guys. [House is bopping to the rhythm of their noise, silently egging them on.] Guys!
Alvie: We want our paddles. We want our paddles. We want –
[Everyone stops. House turns around. Nolan has entered.]
Nolan: House is right. [He holds up two paddles.] I think everyone here can handle these. [He tosses one to Alvie and turns to leave.]
House: Seriously? Is that your strategy? Give everybody what they want except me?
Nolan: You’re a natural leader. You could do something useful down here, for them, definitely for you. Or we could… keep fighting. If you think you can break me, if you think I’m not every bit as stubborn as you.
[He leaves. House turns back, thinking.]
[Cut to House’s and Alvie’s room at night. House is lying in bed, still thinking.]
Alvie: [rapping] Came to fight the man and he had the master plan, but it started to unravel, Nolan smashed him with his gavel like BLAH.
House: Shut up.
Alvie: So you gonna keep trying to make them miserable?
Alvie: New plan?
Alvie: What is it?
House: I don’t know yet.
Alvie: [rapping in a whisper] His mind is burning, the wheels are turning, the butter is churning. You think Nolan can keep House from strolling? –
House: You know, it’s easier to come up with a new plan in silence.
Alvie: [snaps his fingers] Right. Cool. [He lays quietly for close to ten seconds.] Can I hum?
[House grabs something from the bedside table and throws it at Alvie’s head.]
[Cut to the day room. Group is in session.]
Beasley: I’d like you all to welcome another addition to our ward. Steve.
Freedom Master: Uh Freedom Master. Steve Elkerton is just a cover. It’s like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker.
Alvie: Coooool. We got more Jesuses than superheroes.
Freedom Master: Well, I try to blend in in the outside world, but I figure in here, everybody gets it.
Alvie: [to House in a stage whisper] Hey… We’re living in the Ward of Justice. [He mimes a mask with his fingers.]
Beasley: Alvie. [to Freedom Master] Can you explain a little more about what you think everybody gets?
Freedom Master: There’s good and evil in the world. And some people are – are special, and they’re chosen to help keep evil forces at bay.
Susan: You don’t think you can stop bullets, do you?
Freedom Master: I move out of their way.
Richter: Can you read minds?
[House makes an exasperated face.]
Freedom Master: No.
[House gets up and heads for the windows.]
Beasley: Group time, Greg.
Freedom Master: Why isn’t she talking? [He points at Annie.] She needs help. She needs somebody to save her.
Beasley: That’s what we’re all trying to do. Let’s take five minutes. Everybody get to know Steve.
[She gets up and heads toward House.]
Freedom Master: I can fly. [Alvie laughs.]
Beasley: [to House] 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. [House is busy staring at Nolan and an attractive woman in the parking lot.] 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. [He takes a step past her then leans back with a huge smile on his face.] Ha! Get it!
[She watches, smiling, as he leaves.]
[Cut to the yard. Alvie is playing basketball.]
Alvie: Huh. Shaq up in my area. I’m a better baller and a better rapper. [He shoots.] What? And I’m good at basketball too.
House: [approaches] Do you have third floor privileges?
Alvie: [nodding] Ever since I shared in group about my uncle fondling me.
House: Is that true?
Alvie: Yeah. And now I can use the third-floor vending machines. [He continues to shoot, miss and grab the rebounds during the conversation.] You eat sour cream and onion chips? I mean the whole point is the dipping. Sure, we save time by not adding the mix and sour cream, but you’re missing out on the –
House: I need you to break into Nolan’s office.
Alvie: [instantly into it] Commando style.
House: I want you to focus.
Alvie: You want me to mess him up?
House: Go into Nolan’s office. Look at his calendar. I need the name of the woman he met with at 11 today.
Alvie: No problem. And I’ll get you some old-school chips. If they have them, I’ll get you some dip. But I’ve never seen dip in the vending machine.
House: Yes, get me chips and dip. What else?
Alvie: I get it, I get it. Plan “B.” “B” is for blackmail. I got you covered. [hands House the basketball and whispers] Commando style.
[Alvie leaves, doing elaborate commando style jumping, zigzag up the stairs.]
[Cut to the day room. House sits on the piano bench, twirling his cane. He leans back, trying to look casual, and realizes the piano is unlocked. He thinks then smiles slightly when he realizes Lydia left it unlocked as he asked. He reaches back and plunks out the first notes of Beethoven’s Fifth. In the office, Safer holds out the piano key to the orderly. House sees this, closes the piano lid and goes to sit next to Annie. The orderly comes out and locks the piano.]
[The door opens. Alvie can be heard before he can be seen being carried into the ward by two orderlies. He is wiggling and yelling.]
Alvie: Let me go! I just wanted a little snack, all right? Yo, I didn’t know they machine was moved! I want some Ritz Bits. Yo, I might be pregnant! I get these cravings!
[House smiles as they carry Alvie off.]
[Cut to House’s and Alvie’s room. House sits on his bed, whistling slightly and toying with his cane. Alvie comes in.]
House: You get the name?
Alvie: Nolan’s schedule book just has a big “X” marking out the whole middle of the day.
House: Well, then we can assume the girl he’s with is called “Nooner.”
Alvie: [chuckling] Nooner, Nooner, Nolan’s gonna spoon her.
House: He’s gonna fork her.
Alvie: And then he’s gonna knife her. [House looks at him.] I didn’t get a chance to check the phone or anything else.
House: That’s okay. I got her license plate. I call my friend. He gets the name. I get the letter that gets me out of here.
Alvie: You got phone privileges?
House: I’m on level minus four. I’m still writing with a crayon. You?
Alvie: You got to be at level five. That’s like the top of the Space Needle. Hal’s the only one that’s up that high.
House: Hal’s at level five?
Alvie: They give him a point every time he clears his plate. I’ve been eating his potatoes.
House: Will he sell you some minutes?
Alvie: No. I pay two cigarettes for the potatoes. Phone’s worth a lot more.
House: [thinks] Can you cheek a pill?
House: That’s too bad for you.
[Cut to montage of the day room. Poison Pushy by Stanton Moore plays. Diane is working on a jigsaw puzzle. Stomp and Richter are playing checkers. House and Alvie sit on a couch. Alvie’s more jittery than usual, if that’s possible. They don’t look at each other while they quietly talk.]
House: You sure you’re good with this?
Alvie: Yeah, yeah. Gotta be done.
House: So how do we start?
Alvie: I think we just start. Make it good. Make it real. [Long pause] Just do it already. [House sets his mouth then reaches across his body to pop Alvie in the face with a right jab.] Aah!
[Everyone looks up as House stands. He grabs Alvie by the shirt, hauls him off the couch and throws him on the floor. The TV in the room shows Stewie beating Brian in an episode of Family Guy. House, straddling Alvie, is punching him over and over.]
Safer: Code Gray!
Beasley: [getting up from her desk where she’s been talking to Jay-Bird] Give me five milligrams of Haldol!
[Back in the day room, House continues to punch Alvie.]
Alvie: Aah! [several more punches] Help! Get him off me!
[Two orderlies grab House by the upper arms and drag him off Alvie. As he struggles, one of them pries open his mouth and shoves a couple of pills inside.]
[Cut to the orderlies dumping an unconscious House on his bed. They leave. Moments later, Alvie sneaks into the room. He has several livid bruises on his face. He goes to House’s bed and whispers.]
Alvie: Dude, that was awesome.
[House opens one eye. He sits up and opens his mouth. The pills are on his tongue. He spits them into his hand.]
House: Think Hal will mind if they’re wet?
[Alvie laughs and applies a cold pack to his bruises.]
[Cut to a darkened hall at night. House is making a call on one of the pay phones. Wilson answers.]
House: No. It’s your other friend at the asylum.
Wilson: How’s it going?
House: Hallucinations are gone, so is the Vicodin.
Wilson: [closing his laptop and putting it on the table] How’s the leg? How’s the pain?
House: They got me on some non-narcotic. I’m dealing. I need you to run a license plate.
Wilson: Was there a hit-and-run on your floor? House, just do what you’re supposed to do. Listen to the doctors and I’ll be able to visit soon.
House: Track down the owner of this car, and I’ll be able to visit you in your office tomorrow. My doctor is too smart, too old and too well-dressed to only be running one ward. He screwed up something in his life and I think he’s doing it again. I need her name so I can blackmail the blackmailer.
Wilson: House. House. He called me.
House: What did he want to know?
Wilson: He wanted to know about you. He wanted to warn me that you’d be calling for something. And he told me if I wanted to help you get better, I had to let him do his job.
House: Well, now I’m calling you to tell you that if he calls you –
Wilson: House, I’m so sorry. I wish I could help you.
House: You can.
[Wilson hangs up the phone and stands, holding it. House, on his end, takes the phone away from his ear.]
[Cut to House’s and Alvie’s room. Alvie sits up as House comes back in.]
House: It turns out… you’re my only friend.
Alvie: House ain’t a newbie, now he living on this floor. [He’s holding a slipper like a microphone. He holds it out toward House.]
House: And I hate you. I’m gonna cooperate.
Alvie: That’s not much of a plan. That’s actually their plan.
House: No, I’m pretty sure their plan is for me to actually swallow the pills, to actually cooperate.
[Alvie laughs. House smiles.]
[Cut to the day room. Montage as James Hunter’s No Smoke Without Fire plays. A whiteboard has each patient’s name, their intake date – House’s was 05/25 – primary physician, etc. In the “privilege #” column, House has a “0.”]
[Group is in session. House is talking, a lot. The “0” on the white board gets replaced with a “1.”]
[Cut to House on the fenced-in outside stairwell. He lights a cigarette and puts the matches back on a high crossbeam. He blows the smoke up at a camera. Cut to House playing basketball. He smiles as he throws the ball to Richter. House’s privilege number goes to “2.”]
[House stands in the office doorway. Beasley fills out some paperwork then bows as she hands House an ID on a chain. Cut to House outside. He’s lying on a bench, looking up at the sky. Safer changes House’s privileges to “3.”]
Alvie: I’m so proud of my little roomie. [All the guys except Freedom Master are at a table playing cards. Alvie reaches across to pinch House’s cheek.] I only taught him everything he knows. House brushes his hand away as Stomp giggles slightly.]
House: One, two, three. [They all put a card on their foreheads, facing out. House has the 8 of diamonds, Jay-Bird the 10 of clubs.] Okay, Stomp. Start the bidding. Highest card wins. [Stomp, who has the king of hearts, gets up and leaves.] That’s probably a fold. Richter.
Richter: [He has a red face card] Uh, two cigarettes.
House: He’s not confident, Alvie. Crush him, in the form of a rhyme if you want.
Alvie: [with the 8 of spades] No regrets, raise ten cigarettes.
House: Oh. That’s a lot of nerve for someone with a two on their head.
Alvie: You’re messing with me.
Hal: [two of hearts] You can’t raise ten. I only have five.
Alvie: Throw in your phone card.
Hal: I’m not gonna throw in my phone card.
Diane: [approaching] Can I play?
House: [reaching for her] Come here.
House: I want to see if you’ve got what it takes. Give me your best poker face. [She leans down and stares at him. He stares back. He sees his card reflected in her glasses.] Too rich for my blood. [to Diane] You can take my seat.
Safer: Med time!
[Everyone but Alvie gets up. House is first in line.]
Safer: How are you feeling today?
House: Better than yesterday, not as good as tomorrow. [He takes the pills and water. As he passes Alvie, he sticks out his tongue. There are two pills on it. Alvie smiles and touches his nose.]
[Cut to shots of Mayfield’s exterior as Schubert’s Impromptu #3 in B flat is heard on the piano. In the day room, House approaches Lydia, who is playing.]
House: I’ve been humming to her. She sways. It might be significant. [Lydia continues playing.] Are you ignoring me or are you just letting my charm wash over you.
Lydia: [smiling as House sits next to Annie] Kind of tough to play and chat. A couple of weeks ago you told me playing to her was a complete waste of time.
House: You’re right. Your playing does get worse when you talk. [She gives him a “very funny” look.] I assume she loved music.
Lydia: She played for the Philadelphia Philharmonic – cello.
House: Well, if she responded to the piano, she might respond even better to the cello.
Lydia: [stopping playing] I play a little. Hmm. Maybe I’ll bring one in on Tuesday. Thank you. [He nods acknowledgement.]
[Cut to the office. House plays with a rubber band while he sits at Medina’s desk.]
House: Different desk. Different doctor.
Medina: You’ve been on meds for a while now. I’ll be checking in with you periodically to see if we need to adjust your dose. Any dry mouth, trouble sleeping?
House: Nope. Can I go now? There’s a manic out there with a fresh carton of cigarettes, and he’s a terrible bluffer.
Medina: [chuckling] It’s nice to see that you and Alvie are friends again. Tell me about your fight.
House: He hit me. I hit him back. Repeat until pulpy.
Medina: Alvie told me you instigated the thing.
House: Well, that tends to be the way fights work – different interpretations of the same circumstances.
Medina: Very understanding attitude.
House: There’s that tone again.
Medina: You’re smart.
House: How come every time you compliment me, it sounds like an accusation?
Medina: You’re not having any side effects from your meds, which is unusual.
House: It’s not that unusual.
Medina: The story about the fight isn’t adding up.
House: Why don’t you stop pretending that you haven’t reached a conclusion? You don’t trust me. Actually, it’s more fundamental than that. You don’t like me.
Medina: I didn’t say that.
House: You think I’m not taking my meds.
Medina: Are you?
House: Yes. So what do you want me to do? Want me to take a urine test? Will that earn your trust?
Medina: Actually, yeah.
[Medina gets up. House looks worried.]
[Cut to the bathroom. Medina leads the way in. He’s holding a specimen cup that he hands to House.]
Medina: Have at it.
House: A little dignity, please.
Medina: You know the rules. I have to watch.
House: Yeah, but you don’t have to have courtside seats. Can I at least use a stall?
[Cut to House sidling into one of the stalls. He locks the door and hangs up his cane. He turns toward the toilet and gives Hal the specimen cup. Hal is crouched on the toilet. He stands and unzips. Outside, Medina looks under the stall and sees only House’s feet. In the stall Hal signals for House to look away. House takes a deep breath, looks at the ceiling and begins to sing.]
House: For he himself has said it, and it’s greatly to his credit, that he is an Englishman. He i-i-i-i-is an Englishman.
[Hal gives House the filled and capped specimen cup. House flushes, retrieves his cane and slips out of the stall. He hands the specimen to Medina.]
House: Get it while it’s hot.
[Cut to the day room. House’s privilege number is changed to 4. Medina’s in the office. He closes a book and comes into the room. The boys are all playing cards again.]
Medina: [to House] I’m sorry I doubted you.
[House nods. As Medina turns away, House and Alvie bump fists.]
Medina: Freedom Master, think you could help me out?
Freedom Master: [standing] You need help? Of – of course. That’s –
Medina: Great. Could you move the piano for me? [House pauses while reaching for a card and looks at them over his shoulder.] It’s 500 pounds. That’s not too much, is it?
Freedom Master: Well, is there something trapped underneath or…?
Medina: No. I just want to move it away from the window.
Freedom Master: I’m sorry. My powers aren’t for frivolous –
Medina: Just one quick lift.
House: Why are you doing that?
Alvie: [quietly] House, it’s none of your business.
House: [putting down his cards and turning] I’m just curious. As a doctor, What are you doing?
Medina: Either he is Freedom Master, and he shouldn’t be here, or else he’s suffering from a serious and dangerous delusion that he needs to deal with.
House: [taking his cane and standing] So… legit medical reasons. You’re not just trying to break the guy because he’s a little different.
Medina: He’s not different. He’s delusional. [to Freedom Master] Can you help me out?
Freedom Master: [looking at Annie] What is she looking at?
Medina: You’re not a superhero, Steven. You’re just a regular person.
Freedom Master: I can save her.
Medina: That’s okay. We’re… we’re all just regular people. It’s what we do.
Freedom Master: They stole her voice box. [He heads for the office.] They have it in there. That’s what she’s staring at. That’s what she’s staring at. She’s always staring –
Medina: Your wife is dead.
Freedom Master: Good can defeat evil.
Medina: Not every time. Evil people killed a lot of good people that day. You couldn’t save her. No one could save her.
Freedom Master: It’s in there. Her voice is in there. Her voice is in there.
[He starts rattling the doorknob to the office, trying to get in.]
Medina: Code gray.
[He turns away as two orderlies grab Freedom Master. He tries harder to open the door.]
Freedom Master: Her voice is in there. [as they drag him off, he continues to shout] Her voice is in there! Her voice is in there. No! No!
[House stares at Medina.
[Cut to Alvie coming over to House.]
Alvie: Don’t do it.
House: I’m not doing anything.
[They’re in the yard. House is sitting on a bench, flipping cards.]
Alvie: You’re thinking. Thins go from thinking to doing way too fast in this place. You keep thinking, you’re gonna wind up with no mo in your mojo.
House: I’m thinking of hitting you again.
Alvie: You hate Medina. You hate all of them. You want to hurt them. You got to keep pretending. Step away from the hate.
House: What’s the difference between pretending to cooperate and cooperating?
Alvie: Pretending is pretending. It’s not real. You don’t mean it.
House: I sat and watched while he did something stupid and pointless. I cooperated.
Alvie: In a few days, you won’t have to watch because you’re going home. You’ll be getting your job back.
Safer: Everybody inside. Closing ceremonies. Everyone attends. One of you is going home.
[Cut to the day room. A cake with “Happy Re-Birthday” and one candle on it is on the table.]
Beasley: It’s been a great week. Um, a number of you have made tremendous strides. But today we’re here to congratulate Susan. [Everyone applauds as Susan walks to the table.] We wish her well, and we hope
Everyone: to never see her again!
[More applause. Susan blows out the candle. House looks around.]
Beasley: Yeah, isn’t it pretty?
[House walks over to Medina.]
House: Where’s Freedom Master?
Medina: He isn’t able to take part.
[House heads back toward the rooms. Medina follows. House opens the door to Freedom Master’s room. He’s sitting, motionless, on his bed.]
House: Get out there. They said everybody has to get out there. Talk! Say something!
Medina: Dr. House, leave him alone.
House: Did you drug him?
Medina: Of course I didn’t drug him.
House: He has a flat affect. He’s practically catatonic.
Alvie: [in the doorway] Hey, we got cake.
Medina: He’s fine.
Alvie: Double chocolate. Yummy, yummy.
House: Don’t tell me that he’s fine! You did this. He was functioning. He was happy.
Medina: He was delusional.
House: Yeah. He’s way better off now.
Nolan: [entering] Dr. House. Let’s talk.
[House follows Nolan out the door.]
Alvie: Thinking sucks.
[Cut to Nolan’s office.]
House: I’m not allowed to get angry? They screwed him up. And for the record, I am two privilege levels above Susan. And I got the same depression-scale score.
Nolan: Every patient is different. It’s not about scores and levels and –
House: Happiness is happiness. The test is the test. Coping is coping.
Nolan: And you think you’re –
House: Absolutely! I need to address some deeper issues, which I can do on an outpatient basis. Three hours a week? And that’s just my opening offer. If you want to counter, I’ll likely fold.
House: “No” is not an argument. Are you trying to frustrate me?
House: “No” again? I can cope! I’m coping. In fact… [He reaches into his pants pocket.] I’m coping better than you think. I’ve not been taking my meds. [He holds out a handful of pills.] Not one. And yet, I still scored a “high functioning” on your depression test.
Nolan: So your proof of your well-being is that you lied?
House: Manipulated. My proof is that I can fool the test, I can fool you, which means I am high functioning. I am sane, rational, capable. I should not be here.
Nolan: These are your pills from today? [Nolan picks one up from where House dropped them on his desk.]
House: I’m not gonna take it. I’ll just cheek it again.
[Nolan leans forward with the pill in his palm.]
Nolan: Lick it.
House: You want me to lick your hand?
Nolan: I washed.
[House stares, silently, at him for several second.]
House: It’s sugar.
Nolan: Your test results were improving too regularly and too quickly. I was concerned that you weren’t taking your pills, that it was all an act, so I switched you to a placebo… [He eats the pill.] to see if your improvements would continue. [chuckles] Your psych tests told me nothing, but your urine tests told me you were faking. You need to stop fighting the system. You need to let me do my job.
[Cut to House’s and Alvie’s room. Alvie is in bed. House slams the door as he walks in.]
Alvie: So… what’s the next plan?
House: There is no new plan. I’m out of plans.
Alvie: So what do we do?
House: We stop talking. [He lifts his leg and lies down, facing he wall.]
[Cut to the next morning. An acoustic guitar plays as House paces near a window in the day room. He sees a convertible VW driving toward the hospital. There’s a cello in the back seat. Lydia’s driving. House smiles.]
[Cut to an elevator opening. Lydia gets off and turns. House is sitting on a bench behind her.]
House: I see you’ve got some cello in your trunk. [She turns to face him.] And, no, that’s not a euphemism. [He stands.]
Lydia: Are you spying on me?
House: I’m living in a psychiatric hospital. Staring out of the window is what we do. I assume you’ll need help carrying it up. I still got grounds privileges.
Lydia: And who’s going to carry you when you’re carrying the cello?
House: Yes, cast aside the useless cripple. How very German of you.
Lydia: Seriously, the thing weighs a ton with that case. I think I need a dolly.
House: Or we could ask Clark Kent to pitch in.
[Freedom Master is sitting, motionless by one of the windows.]
Lydia: The dolly’s probably easier.
House: Eh, the dolly… already feels good about itself. He was a happy-go-lucky superhero until they told him he has no powers. We let him help out, he feels good about himself. Might be less depressed.
[Cut to outside. House and Lydia are on the curb. Freedom Master is wrestling the cello out of the car.]
House: So why do you put your life on hold to visit your sister-in-law five times a week?
Lydia: Am I somehow a bad person for showing compassion?
House: No. You’re not even a bad person for lying about why you’re doing it. [loudly, to Freedom Master] Oh, that is impressive. That is a superhuman feat. [Freedom Master grunts as he puts the cello down next to the car.] Why don’t you take a rest before you fly that thing up to the ward? [He leans against the car, breathing hard.] He’s still depressed. Give me your car keys. [He holds out his hand.]
Lydia: You gonna dangle them in front of him to entertain him?
House: I’m gonna make him feel like he’s flying. I’ll just drive him around the grounds, top down, wind in his hair. [She laughs.] Seriously… you’re gonna say no to that? [pointing at Freedom Master]
[She sighs and hands him the keys.]
[Cut to House’s hand, turning on the ignition of the car. The car drives off. The cello is all alone at the bus stop.]
[Cut to the three of them in the car. House is driving. Lydia is riding shotgun. Freedom Master is in the back seat.]
House: Why are you so nice to me?
Lydia: I think you have a good heart.
House: Would you still be nice to me if I told you that I lied? I’m not just driving around the grounds in your convertible. I’m kidnapping him and stealing your car.
[Cut to the car pulling over to the curb, tires screeching.]
House: You sure? [She nods and opens the car door.] I was just starting to feel a little heat between us. Thought we had kind of a “Bonnie and Clyde” thing going there.
Lydia: Bonnie and Clyde get shot to pieces. [She closes the door.]
House: Hmm. See you.
[House and Freedom Master drive off. Lydia puts her bag on her shoulder and starts walking in the opposite direction, toward Mayfield.]
[Big Strides’ “I Do Not Fear Jazz” plays as House and Freedom Master drive down the road. House reaches over and picks up a pair of sunglasses from the seat divider and puts them on. Freedom Master sits up and takes an interest in the surroundings.]
House: You can do this. [Cut to House wearing an orange and yellow jump suit with an “XFly” logo and goggles. There’s a Ferris wheel in the background.] If you hold my hand, I can do it too.
[Freedom Master, who is dressed the same as House, shifts and grabs both House’s forearms. House nods and the operator of the ride throws a switch. There’s a whirring noise and Freedom Master’s hair blows upward. As the wind grows, they are both lifted into the air. Freedom Master laughs, delightedly. “Life” by Sly and the Family Stone plays.]
[They’re on a skydiving ride, floating high above the dinky, traveling carnival. They’re both laughing. They let go with one hand and House takes a firmer grip on Freedom Master’s left wrist.]
Freedom Master: Whoo-hoo! Whoo! Whoo!
House: Don’t let go!
Freedom Master: Aaah! Going up! Whooooo!
[They are up very high and grinning widely. They have a bird’s eye view of the carnival. A clown laughs. Someone hits the bell on the Test Your Strength machine.]
[Cut to a parking garage. Freedom Master and House enter. House is carrying a large stuffed giraffe. He smiles and Freedom Master runs around, his arms wide in the classic airplane pose. In the background the Ferris wheel can be seen.]
Freedom Master: Whoo! Freedom Master’s back! [He runs past House. A family getting into their car looks nervous.]
House: Keep it down, Freedom Master.
Freedom Master: [off screen] Whoo!
House: You’re scaring the good citizens.
Freedom Master: [running up to House] That was the coolest moment of my life.
House: It was fun. [Freedom Master runs in a circle House.] You can repay me by telling Nolan he’s an idiot.
Freedom Master: Smell that fresh air and the warmth of your yellow sun.
House: We do enjoy it. [Freedom Master “wooshes” off.] Careful of the traffic. [He puts the giraffe in the car. Don’t go damaging any fenders. [He looks up.] Hey! [Freedom Master is climbing on the wall at the side of the garage.] Hey! Come on, get down. There’s no cry for help. There’s no cat in a tree.
Freedom Master: Thank you, Greg.
House: [yells] NO! [as Freedom Master “flies” off the side of the garage.]
[Cut to House holding Freedom Master’s bloody jacket. He’s in a waiting room at a hospital. He looks shocked and overwhelmed.]
Nolan: He’s lucky to be alive. He’s got a lacerated spleen, rotational pelvic fracture, compound break of the femur and humerus. Everything in your life has been about finding the truth. But suddenly, with this guy, you decide to reinforce a sick man’s delusions. You just wanted to take a swing at me, hmm? You don’t care about getting out. You don’t care about him. You don’t even care about the truth. You don’t care about anything, House. I’m transferring you to Winslow Psychiatric. You’ll have better luck pulling the wool over their eyes. [starts to walk away] I’m done.
House: [has been staring at him, looking terrified about what he did] Don’t. [Nolan stops and looks back.] I need help.