Greg House needs to pack his bags. He needs to move on.
But he's fine. Why wouldn't he be?
In "Baggage", our favorite flawed physician meets with his psychotherapist, Dr. Darryl Nolan (Andre Braugher). House has been seeing Dr. Nolan for a year now.
He's late to the session and he didn't notice the new decor in the waiting room. These two things coupled have Dr. Nolan questioning him about his week. Note to self: always check out waiting room decor if you don't want your psyche scrutinized.
House, embodied with such nuances by Hugh Laurie, says he's had a typical week.
His newest patient, Sydney, is a runner with amnesia. House says he took this boring case to avoid his best friend. I usually don't recall the patient, but this time House got personally involved. He took her around her neighborhood hoping to spark a memory.
His best friend is Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). Wilson has asked him to move out of the condo he bought with an extra bedroom for House. Wilson also bought an organ for House to play. Now he prefers his ex-wife/girlfriend to be his 'roomie'.
House finds his ex-roommate from Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital 'Alvie' Alvarez repainting his old apartment. Alvie has hocked some of House's things, including a rare first edition medical book to pay for the paint House didn't want in the first place.
And Dr. Lisa Cuddy still does not want a relationship with him.
You know, just the usual things.
In his session with Dr. Nolan, House recounts his week. He is sullen and dismissive. Once Nolan brings him around to his feelings, House returns to discussing his patient. Where his emotions are concerned, House wears a 'No Trespassing' sign on his forehead. Violators will be examined with a sardonic eye.
This episode reminded me of "House's Head"and "Wilson's Heart". We were in the present with House in Dr. Nolan's office and then moved to his shaded memories. He imagined Wilson and Cuddy talking about him behind his back. He recalled playing Nerf football with Alvie. He closed the door in Wilson's face.
House pictured himself trying to decipher Sydney's symptoms. He sees this case as his refuge. He comes back to it to deflect Nolan's questions.
I was interested at the way House reacted to Sydney's husband. He tried to keep her from having brain surgery. She told him it was HER brain. I couldn't help but recall House in '"Three Stories" having his choice taken from him by Stacey Warner. He didn't want the surgery on his leg. She interceded knowing she was countermanding his decision.
Contrary to everything he says and does, House showed himself to be a do-gooder. He lied for Alvie to keep him from being deported. He moved out of Wilson's condo to give him a chance with his ex-wife. He suggested to Sydney's husband he court her all over again.
He paid $100 at the pawn shop to get the name of the person who bought his book. He offered to pay $2,000 to the guy who bought it. Alvie stole it back for House. Good thing cause I don't think the jerk would have taken a check.
There was something more about the book. Cuddy's grandfather had written it. House always intended to give it to her as a special gift someday. It was very reminiscent of him getting her old school desk for her office.
Wilson tosses him out. Alvie moves to Phoenix. Cuddy is in a relationship with someone who isn't House.
He's lonely. He wants a relationship, and whether it's with a friend or the woman he cares about isn't relevant. He just wants to connect with someone. (Yep, got that figured out thanks.)
By the episode's end I was frustrated. I wanted to learn more about House. I wanted an explanation for the bruise on his arm. Why had he been drinking at home and then went out to a bar and got plastered? He had no memory of the fight he was sure he was in.
Drinking is something he's doing more of. His drinking to excess is becoming chronic. Is it because his leg hurts or is it a substitute for Vicodin? Perhaps it eases the pain of being alone.
House wants to be happy. A simple goal, but one he can't quite achieve.
He told Nolan he was still miserable while everyone around him was happy. He left the office angry, and I believe for the last time. House had no answers and neither did I.
There is only one episode left in this season. To expect closure would be optimistic to the point of absurdity. I feel like my bags have been packed and are waiting outside the door for me to leave.
But, as House said, I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?
Jackman, BuddyTV Fan Columnist