Last time on House: House went to a mental institution. Let's spend two hours seeing how the writers dig themselves out of that hole this season, shall we? A stoned and sweaty House lies in his mental hospital bed as Radiohead plays instead of the opening theme. He curls up in a fetal position. He takes his pills, which are not Vicodin. He pukes. A nurse cleans him up. Withdrawal sucks. Or maybe it's the institution food. Also, his leg hurts. He bangs on his room door and screams for someone to help him. And now he's in restraints. That'll teach him to ask those overworked and underpaid nurses for help. By the way, before they started House on the detox, they gave him a new short haircut. Not a shave, though. Never a shave. Props to the whoever's in charge of Hugh Laurie's bald spot, because that piece is good.
The music ends and the show begins. House, no longer in restraints, gets out of bed and rubs his leg. Apparently, he's feeling much better, as he grabs a suitcase and starts packing up all of his faux vintage T-shirts. He randomly steals a wool hat off of another patient's head as if that guy doesn't have enough problems and tells the pill station lady that he's ready to go now that he's off the drugs. She says she'll check with the doctor, but House says no way. He's here on a volunteer basis so he'll be leaving on one, too. "Dr. Nolan left specific instructions," the pill station lady says. Uh oh.
House lets himself into what I'm assuming is Dr. Nolan's office, where we find Andre Braugher talking to a colleague. House interrupts their meeting and introduces himself to his doctor with this: "and he's black!" Ah, first impressions. Nolan gives his colleague a nod that tells her to leave the scene. House says he's feeling much better now: no more hallucinations, no more painkillers, and the leg pain is "manageable." Yeah, as in as soon as he takes one step outside of the mental hospital he'll be managing it with Vicodin. Nolan says House is "legally" free to leave anytime, but it's his "suggestion" that House stick around for a while. House removes the hat that I still don't know why he was wearing in the first place and seems to have no intention of following Nolan's suggestions. Nolan asks why House didn't just check himself into rehab if he thought the hallucinations were from the Vicodin. "I was deluded into thinking I might be crazy," House says. Yes ... but I think the fact he was deluded by his delusions kind of means that he really is crazy. Nolan points out that House abused Vicodin for years without hallucinations or insomnia. It was only after CTB, his father, and Kumar died that he started having those problems. "Your issues run deeper than Vicodin," Nolan says. Right - like being unable to distinguish reality from fantasy. Nolan recommends that House be transferred to a "long-term ward" and start talk therapy and medication. And not the good kind of medication, either. House turns to leave the office and the hospital. Nolan lets him get to the door before saying that he won't be able to practice medicine again without Nolan's recommendation. Way to make the crippled guy who just got off painkillers do some extra walking, Nolan. House accuses Nolan of blackmail. "You need to get better," Nolan says.