House Review: "Baggage"

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This week's episode of House took a few creative liberties. Some worked, others did not.

Before we review anything specific from "Baggage" itself, though, let's give props where props are due: to Andre Braugher and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The former is an Emmy Award winner and one of the best actors on TV. The latter created the Broadway production of In The Heights. Both are incredibly talented and perfectly suited for the roles of Dr. Nolan and Alvie, respectively.

But while we welcomed back the character of Nolan because it continued the storyline of House's recovery, the return of Alvie felt like a forced plot device.

This character was released from the mental hospital, broke into House's old apartment, stayed there for weeks and pawned House's things in exchange for expensive paint?!? That's a lot for viewers to buy out of nowhere, especially when you add in the fact that he sold the book Cuddy's great-grandfather wrote.

Why wouldn't House have taken this with him when he moved? It all felt a bit contrived and convenient, as Alvie later became yet another example of a friend that chose someone else over House.

In Therapist's Chair

That issue is at least interesting. House really has been trying to be a better person this season, but he's right in many ways: what has it gotten him?

While many less troubled individuals may realize that being nice is its own reward, House is someone that thinks logically at all times. He's off Vicodin and he's less of an ass and look at the empirical data in his life: his two closest friends (one of whom he wants to be more than a friend) are moving in with their loved ones.

That would be hard for anyone to deal with. For someone as naturally bitter as House, it's understandable he'd reach the conclusion he came to at the end of the episode: I'm outta here! You're no help!

Along the way, there were times when the storytelling device of House and Nolan's conversation being transported (for the viewers' sake) to other locales and times it did not.

It worked when House and Nolan each relayed their versions of the conversation Cuddy and Wilson may have had about him. That was a cool way to show us how House always thinks the worst.

It did not work when House conjured up Taub to interrupt Nolan's version of events. That felt more like a way just to give Peter Jacobsen a couple of lines.

Overall, it's hard to complain too much when the show leaves its typical, procedural episode set-up. I must give it credit for trying something different and I could also watch Hugh Laurie and Braugher simply exchange home decorating tips for an hour. They're great together.

With the season finale on tap for next week, House's aborted recovery has me intrigued to tune in and find out how that affects his relationship with Cuddy and life in general.

Below, we've listed a few House quotes from the episode:

Alvie: I didn't know there was a section of the brain just for hope.
House: It's very, very tiny. | permalink
Nolan: Have you gotten any other people angry at you over anything?
House: Well, yeah. That's why I called it an ordinary week. | permalink
House: For God's sake, Wilson. You really span the chasm from wishy to washy. | permalink
House: Aren't therapists supposed to be nurturing?
Nolan: Nowhere is that in the manual. | permalink
Nolan: You're late.
House: You're fat. | permalink
House: I'm not stressed... beyond the stress induced by you telling me how stressed I am. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I love Alvie because is a little crazy but the storyline is very forced because he says that inmigration was asking for him. If all of you remember in the wall of his bedroom was a flag of Puerto Rico. The Puerto Ricans are US Citizen's, why inmigration was asking for him???

Neon-glo

While it's true Alvie's appearance was a little contrived, I thought that he served a purpose beyond having someone else leave House. Alvie is funny and perhaps lightened the episode up a little, what with House being really down here. House even made a couple of funny remarks that fell flat because his mood is so low. Re the book: I didn't realize House never gave up his apartment, but it seems natural that he would have left things like the book there. That's something he wouldn't have wanted Wilson to come across. Wilson would have noticed the author's name immediately and asked embarrassing questions.

House Season 6 Episode 20 Quotes

Wilson: I was wondering what your plans were.
House: Tonight?
Wilson: In life.

Cuddy : I have a case for you.
House: Beer?
Cuddy: Amnesia.

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