In ‘House’ Season 6 Episode 21 ‘Help Me’ House, along with everyone else, is drafted to help in the aftermath of a disaster. A crane has fallen and has crushed a building, burying many people in the rubble.
But the torn and mangled bodies will be nothing compared to what House must face within his own soul. Spoilers surely follow.
The crane operator, who is blaming himself for the disaster, may not have fallen asleep. House believes there was some kind of neurological event. The medical mystery that ensues is somewhat per forma, something House solves on the cell phone. House’s main problem patient is something he always dreads. She is someone House must interact with on a personal level.
A young woman is trapped beneath a collapsed parking garage, her leg crushed in the rubble. If they do not extract her soon, the crushed leg will start generating poisons that will kill her. The immediate solution would be to remove the leg and get the rest of her to the hospital. But the woman begs for some other solution. So attempts are made to lift the rubble up and get the whole of her out.
House must now do something he is loath to do, hold a patient’s hand and comfort her. The reason this terrifies him is that he actually does have the capacity for compassion. What follows shows why he does not like to indulge.
To compound things, House’s life is at a crossroads. He is no longer living with Wilson, who is now cohabiting with his ex wife. Cuddy, whom he loves and is continuingly angry with, is engaged to be married. He has nothing, no human connection. He is alone and lonely.
Eventually options run out for the trapped woman. They must remove her leg. Because of other injuries, they cannot put her out. “Will it hurt much?” she asked plaintively.
“Like nothing you have ever felt before,” House replies bleakly.
(There was a real life example of what followed during the Oklahoma City Federal Building terrorist bombing, by the way.)
House must take the woman’s leg in the same manner as a Civil War surgeon, albeit with an electric saw. The woman’s screams can be heard above ground.
And in the end it is all for naught. A fat embolism takes the woman’s life in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, before the eyes of her husband. The husband begs House to do something, anything. But there is nothing that can be done. House, for all of his powers, for all of his God complex, is helpless. He has done everything right, but it was not enough.
The look on House’s face, nothing seen before in the series, of utter despair says everything.
Back home House takes, from a secret stash, some vicodin, his solace and curse. He looks at a handful, much as a suicide contemplates a gun before putting it to his temple.
House looks up. There is Cuddy. She has called it off with her fiancé. The reason is that, despite his being the most screwed up man in the world, she loves him. While the whole twist ending has the dimensions of a deus ex machina, it is so pregnant with future possibilities that one cannot wait for Season 7 to start.
House wonders if he is hallucinating again.
Have you taken the vicodin? Cuddy asks.
No, he replies.
Then we’re good.
They embrace and kiss awkwardly. Fade to credits.
Source: House, Help Me, TV.Com