House walks up some metal stairs back to the common room despite Beasley's protests that he's supposed to be outside for yard time. House finds the common room empty except for Catatonic Gabby and another woman who is playing the piano. House kind of flirts with her, asking how she got the piano key ("they gave it to me") and if Catatonic Gabby is German like the piano-playing woman is. He figured out she was German after she said one sentence? Impressive. The woman, Lydia, says Catatonic Gabby is her non-German sister-in-law. Her husband, Gabby's brother, doesn't visit because, as Lydia explains, he doesn't know how to play the piano. House doesn't think a whole lot of Lydia's abilities, either, saying she's "heavy" on the right foot as he takes a seat next to Gabby. Lydia doesn't care how well she plays, just that Gabby's head bobs to the music (I guess ... very slightly if at all. It kind of looks more like wishful thinking on Lydia's part more than anything else), which is the only reaction anyone can get out of her. House holds Gabby's hand, like, way to violate the non-communicative woman's personal space, House. After just a few seconds of touching Gabby's wrist, House is able to break Lydia's heart by telling her that Gabby isn't bobbing her head to the music at all, but involuntarily to her own pulse. Lydia asks House if he's a new doctor on the ward. "Technically, yes," House says. And here come Beasley and the orderlies to take him back to the padded room. If Lydia is surprised to find out that the man she was talking to is a patient just like Gabby, it's her own fault. House's patient bracelet couldn't have been more obvious. On his way out, he asks her to leave the piano unlocked.
House spends some more time in the padded room. The camera really doesn't need to get that close to his face. Come on, Katie Jacobs. Back off. Beasley finally enters with his cane to let him out telling him that if he keeps up the bad behavior, he'll live in the padded room. How is that a threat when his other option is rooming with Alvie?
House returns to the rec room, where Hal and Alvie are playing ping-pong without paddles or a net, as both of those things are not allowed because they are dangerous. Oh! Hal is played by the guy who played a recurring pervert on Reno 911!. Awesome. While the rest of the patients give House a wary look, Alvie is immediately friendly, inviting House to play against him while Hal wisely takes off before his poor body image can be dealt another blow. House would prefer to make an announcement to the group: he's unhappy at Mayfield and he unfairly took those feelings out on his fellow patients. Beasley takes a moment to bask in the glow of her patient's progress that she no doubt had a part in before House continues that the people he really should be angry with are the doctors. Alvie enjoys this very much. House says it's kind of mean of the doctors to give them a table but no paddles and no net. "Preach!" Alvie says. Beasley tells "Greg" that he knows where this will end. House ignores her and says the doctors think they're going to hang themselves with a ping-pong net, which isn't even possible. The rest of the patients agree with House, getting angry and telling Beasley that she treats them like children. House says that even kids are allowed to play ping-pong and the piano. Yes, but that's also because those kids are paranoid or suicidal or manic. Beasley nervously tries to call a group therapy session to discuss it, but Hal wants to talk here and now. The patients get rowdy and riotous and bang on the ping-pong table. Beasley looks pretty chill about it though. I have a feeling this place is well-equipped to deal with situations like this. We've all seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. House grins like he's actually accomplished something - until Nolan walks in and the patients immediately calm down. Ha! They didn't calm down for Beasley. No respect! Surprisingly, Nolan just smiles and says House is right. He pulls two ping-pong paddles out from behind his back and says he thinks his patients can handle them. Yeah, until the paranoid guy decides that they're listening devices from the CIA. Surely they took those paddles away for a reason in the first place. In fact, I don't know what they were thinking putting a ping-pong table in the common room in the first place. Everyone is happy except House, who charges after Nolan and asks if his strategy is to give everyone what he wants except for House. It's not all about you, House. Well, actually, I guess since the show is called House and they're dedicating a two-hour premiere to him and none of the other cast members, it is. Nolan just says that House should use his natural leadership skills to do something "useful" for his fellow patients and himself. Or he can keep fighting authority and get nowhere, because Nolan promises that he's just as stubborn as House is. Plus, he has the control over the electrotherapy machine.