Alone (House)

Alone (House)

House (TV series) episode
episode_name= Alone
episode_no= HOU-401
airdate= September 25, 2007
writer= Peter Blake & David Shore (teleplay)
Peter Blake (story)
director= Deran Sarafian
guest_star= Kay Lenz, Conor Dubin, Liliya Toneva, Katie Adams

season= 4
diagnosis = Allergic reaction to cephalosporins in misidentified patient

Alone is the first episode of the fourth season of "House" and the seventy-first episode overall. It first aired on September 25, 2007.

This is the first episode of "House" in which none of the members of House's original team of Allison Cameron, Robert Chase and Eric Foreman appear. Despite this, each of the actors who portrays the characters on his former team are credited and are still under contract to appear throughout the season. The only other previous absence of any of these characters in an entire episode was Dr. Cameron in the Season One episode "Babies and Bathwater", as she had resigned, albeit temporarily.

The episode title refers to House diagnosing his patient by himself as well as the accident victims being without their respective families.

When an office building collapses, House has to work fast to diagnose a young woman, Megan, who survived the disaster. Due to her injuries, Megan's only form of communication is blinking with one eye.

In typical fashion, House's first instinct is to break into Megan's home to look for clues. House discovers her diary which shows some resentment in Megan towards her boyfriend and deduces that she must be on antidepressants. When confronted with this by House, Megan's boyfriend and her mother complain to Cuddy, who agrees with the diagnosis. However, the diagnosis fails as new symptoms continue to appear.

When Cuddy discovers a doctor working on a diagnosis House has made regarding Megan's possible alcoholism, she discovers House has sent out a second memo from Cuddy's e-mail telling staff to ignore the first memo. House walks down to the hospital clinic where he begins to ask any doctor within sight about his patient's symptoms and what might be the cause. Nobody will respond except for a young female doctor . House notes that her caring demeanor "reminds him of someone," presumably Dr. Cameron. During his conversation with her, he decides it must be two separate conditions. House makes several startling revelations about the patient that surprise her boyfriend and mother. Her boyfriend believed that she wanted to have children and they were trying to do so. House states that she has had an abortion and apparently lied to him about it. The patient is also a heavy drinker, something which shocks both of them. House continues to give treatment based on the woman's condition and medical records, none of which work, and her condition continually worsens.

Wilson then charges into House's office and demands to know where the moved cancer patient is. He says that if his patient gets the wrong medication due to the wrong chart, he could die. This triggers House to realize that the patient he has been treating has been getting the wrong medication because it is the wrong patient.

House wakes the patient from her comatose state using amphetamines and asks her name. The woman struggles, but mouths "Liz". Liz is actually Megan's co-worker who worked in the same area of the office building that collapsed. Both have the same hair color and build. Since the patient was badly bruised and comatose, it was impossible to initially tell who she was and EMTs do not second guess family identifications.

Cuddy comes into House's office to talk about the case. She mentions that while House did solve the case, he would have solved it much earlier if his team was in place, as Cameron would not have believed that something was wrong with the relationship between Megan and her boyfriend, Foreman would never have agreed with a multiple conditions diagnosis, and Chase would have worked harder to prove House right; this is the first time the three deposed team members are mentioned by name in the episode despite multiple conversations about them. House apparently realizes the validity of Cuddy's point and decides to hire a new team, though he will do it his way.

Cultural references

*Wilson: "I'm sure it looked easier on YouTube." House is having difficulty breaking into the patients house and Wilson jokes that House probably has seen a Do-it-yourself video on YouTube about breaking in. YouTube is famous for having videos about a variety of subjects, most relevantly footage of lawbreaking by participants in the commission of a crime. This has led to some arrests.
*House: "You could be practically living with Sylvia Plath." Referencing the depressed and suicidal poet Plath (1932-62) who documented her numerous suicide attempts, miscarriage, and drug overdoses in a diary.
*House, after being seemingly ignored by a large room of people, says, "am I in an M. Night Shyamalan movie?" Specifically referencing the director responsible for "The Sixth Sense", which features ghosts that can only be noticed by one boy.
*Megan's office is quite similar to the office in He was a quiet man.
*Episode plot mirrors the real-life case of Whitney Cerak. [ [ - Case of mistaken identity stuns families ] ]
*House receives the 'remains' of his prized vintage guitar in a small cardboard box the size of a human head, with straw packing. This is a reference the Se7en where the head of a hostage/victim is delivered to her husband in a box.

International broadcast

This episode aired in Australia on Network Ten on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 and it also aired in the UK on five on Thursday, March 20th, 2008. In Germany, it aired on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008, on RTL Television.


In this episode House performs the differential diagnosis with the Janitor, making a specific reference to why House became a doctor in the first place (he had been in a hospital in Japan in which unsolved and rare cases were referred to a janitor because "he was right". He was a janitor because he was considered an "untouchable" by the Japanese culture/religion).


External links

*imdb episode | id= 1081396 | episode =Alone
* [ "Alone"] at the [ "House M.D." Guide]
* [ "Alone"] at the [ "Medical Reviews of House"]


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