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The sixth season of House premiered on September 21, 2009 with a special two-hour episode and ended on May 17, 2010. The main storylines for this season include House's treatment at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital after being admitted following House's hallucinations due to Vicodin abuse, Wilson's new relationship with Sam, one of his ex-wives, Lucas' and Cuddy's relationship and how it affects House, who seems to develop feelings for her, Foreman's and Thirteen's break-up, the return of the original group (Cameron, Chase and Foreman) and Cameron's departure from the series after Chase killed a genocide president.

This is the last season to feature Jennifer Morrison's name in the opening credits and Cameron's regular appearance in the series. She would later appear on a guest-star role in the episode "Lockdown", and re-appear much later in the last episode of the series. After this major change, the opening sequence was changed when Season 7 started.

This is the first season to have less than the habitual 24 episodes (Season Four doesn't count because it was shortened following the Writers' Strike). In the United Kingdom, the series began airing on Sky 1 and Sky 1 HD on October 4, 2009, two weeks behind the North American broadcast.

Season 6 was fairly well critically received scoring 77 on Metacritic.[7]

Main storylines

After finally realizing that his Vicodin habit is distorting his view of reality, House voluntarily enters Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital to detox. However, detoxing turns out to be the easy part - House can’t get his medical license back until he’s willing to admit his problems run deeper. Although he resists at first, he finally gives in. At the same time, he falls in love, but then finds his paramour has no further interest in him. When he turns to his doctor instead of Vicodin for help, Dr. Nolan realizes he’s ready to return to the practice of medicine.

Newly detoxed, House announces he’s giving up diagnostic medicine. On hearing the news, Foreman asks to take over the diagnostic medicine department with the rest of House’s team from Season 5. However, when Thirteen and Taub jump to other opportunities, he turns back to Chase and Cameron for help. Meanwhile, House realizes that he can’t give up diagnostic medicine that easily and plans to get all his former fellows back together. However, in the process, Cameron questions her commitment to both Chase and House and leaves them both.

As a condition of his release, House moves in with Wilson. Wilson encourages him to explore a relationship with Cuddy, and House decides to try. However, when he makes a gesture to help Cuddy, he finds his old private investigator, Lucas Douglas, has become Cuddy’s boyfriend and that Cuddy was hiding that from him.

Although House tries mightily to follow Dr. Nolan’s direction, it soon seems that his misery is permanent. Wilson hooks back up with his first wife Sam, and Cuddy and Lucas plan to move into a new home together. House tries to admit that he’s fine with Cuddy moving on, but when Dr. Nolan presses, he finds out that Cuddy means more to House than he’s ever been willing to admit. With his soul stripped open, House calls Dr. Nolan a fraud and despite Nolan’s pleading, he stops going to therapy.

Matters come to a head at the worst possible time - House gives Cuddy a very thoughtful gift as a home warming present, but Cuddy thinks House has found out she’s just become engaged to Lucas. When they’re called away to a disaster, House has to treat a woman who is trapped and may require amputation. His own feelings about his disability rise straight to the surface and he makes a serious effort to get through to Cuddy, but she rebufs him outright. However, when push comes to shove, House makes the right call again and convinces the trapped woman to agree to an amputation by admitting his choice to keep his leg caused him nothing but pain and loneliness. When the woman dies nevertheless, House tries to turn back to Vicodin and instead finds Cuddy, who has broken it off with Lucas and admits she loves him. They embrace as the season ends.


Having willingly entered Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital, House comes under the care of Dr. Nolan, who is tasked with treating the world's best diagnostician. As a voluntary patient, House can leave any time he wants, but with his medical license in jeopardy because of his psychosis, he has to rely on Dr. Nolan's approval before being allowed to return to the practice of medicine. After accepting his treatment, eventually Dr. Nolan gives him his approval. However, House is soon tempted to start taking Vicodin again, Dr. Nolan suggests that he quit diagnostic medicine and go into research. He does so and also takes up cooking with Wilson. However, House's break doesn't last long and he is soon back to solving medical mysteries. When Dr. Nolan sees that this is the only thing that takes House's mind off his pain, he agrees.

Meanwhile, Eric Foreman takes over what's left of the diagnostic department in House's absence. However, his authority and the stress of the new position start to affect his relationship with Thirteen. In addition, Chris Taub considers his loss of income, the drop down in reputation from working for Foreman instead of House, and his persistent fear of extreme medicine and once again tenders his resignation. Foreman realizes he can't work with Thirteen as her boss because she's afraid to challenge him on diagnoses - he fires her and asks Allison Cameron and Robert Chase to return to the team.

However, after Chase treads a thin moral line on a case involving an African dictator, he starts to fall apart. Cameron notices Chase is acting weird and believes he is having an affair. Chase finally comes clean and finds Cameron to be surprisingly supportive. They decide they should get out of Princeton while the getting's good. They plan to quit the hospital together and go somewhere else where they can focus on their relationship and on each other.

House's medical license is finally reinstated and he starts a plan to get all his old team members back, playing on Chase's fear of losing Cameron, Cameron's underlying love of diagnostic medicine, Taub's boredom with plastic surgery, and Thirteen's newfound adventurism in the face of her terminal illness. He succeeds brilliantly with everyone except Cameron, who realizes House put the patient's life at risk merely to manipulate everyone into working for him again. She realizes that she was a fool to have loved House and that his ego was what drove Chase to think he could play God with a patient's life. She leaves House, Chase and Princeton-Plainsboro for good.

House also has to come to terms with his attraction to Lisa Cuddy. He follows her to a medical convention, only to find out that Lucas Douglas has "got there first". His immediate reaction is to try to break them up, but when Cuddy announces a break-up with Lucas, it soon become apparent they faked it just to get House off their back, and that he didn't fall for it for long.

When Wilson starts to get re-involved with his first wife, House starts to fear that Wilson won't have time for him either, and his fears are confirmed when Wilson asks him to move out. Though later on, Wilson apologizes to House for kicking him out, and asks him to come back for a bit longer until he finds a new apartment, but House refuses. Once again, his leg pain starts to get worse and when Dr. Nolan confronts him about his relationships, House cuts off his relationship and tries to go it alone.

However, House soon learns that Cuddy and Lucas have gotten engaged. After losing a patient, House turns back to an old supply of Vicodin when all of a sudden Cuddy comes to him to tell him she's broken off the engagement. She tells House she loves him, even though she wishes she didn't but she says she can't help it. She helps him up off the floor and they kiss while holding hands

Major Events

  • House finally breaks his addiction to Vicodin.
  • House agrees to be treated by Dr. Nolan instead of trying to manipulate Nolan to get him to recommend reinstatement of his medical license.
  • House has a brief affair with Lydia, the sister-in-law of one of his fellow patients at Mayfield.
  • House meets his roommate, Alvie, a man with bipolar disorder who is also resisting medication. When House is released, Alvie agrees to take medication for his condition.
  • House announces he is going into research, and Foreman takes over the diagnostic department.
  • Taub leaves the diagnostic department.
  • When he realizes Thirteen won’t stand up to him because of their relationship, Foreman fires her. She breaks off their relationship and goes to Thailand.
  • House becomes an amazing cook in an amazingly short time.
  • Foreman asks Cameron and Chase to help him in diagnostic medicine.
  • House asks to come back to head the diagnostics department, at first working under Foreman as House’s medical license still hasn’t been reinstated.
  • When Chase realizes that their patient, an African dictator, will go back to killing innocent people, he manipulates test results and talks Foreman in to treating him for a condition he doesn’t have. The dictator soon dies and Chase reveals his deception to Foreman.
  • House deduces what Chase has done and helps Chase and Foreman cover up an anomalous test result.
  • When Chase starts acting strangely, Cameron starts to believe he is having an affair.
  • House follows Wilson and Cuddy to a medical convention. When he attempts to get closer to Cuddy, he finds out she’s been dating Lucas Douglas.
  • When Wilson tries to give a speech in favor of euthanasia, House drugs him and gives the speech in his place using the name of another doctor so he won’t be identified.
  • Chase admits to Cameron that he manipulated the dictator’s test results.
  • With his medical license restored, House manipulates all his old fellows to get them to come back. He succeeds with everyone except Cameron who has seen through House’s manipulation (House pretended not to know the diagnosis and threatened dangerous treatment to get the other fellows to overrule him). She blames him for corrupting Chase and leaves both Chase and the hospital behind.
  • When House rides Chase particularly hard, Chase punches him. However, Chase admits that he did it to keep people from asking him about Cameron.
  • Wilson donates a lobe of his liver for a transplant for his friend Tucker.
  • Wilson and House move into a new condo, which Wilson learned about from Cuddy’s interest in it. He outbids her for it without telling her.
  • The junior fellows try to convince Foreman that they make more than him so he will confront Cuddy. However, he soon figures out what’s going on and when he says he has to quit because he unsuccessfully confronted Cuddy about it, the other fellows go to Cuddy and agree to salary cuts so she can give Foreman more money.
  • House tries to make amends to an old classmate, Lorenzo Wibberly, who he thought he cheated out of a high grade in medical school. He finds Wibberly working as a cashier at a market claiming he flunked out of med school because of the switched grade. However, Wibberly finally admits that House actually got him a higher grade and that his problems are the result of losing his medical license for gambling.
  • Foreman’s brother Marcus Foreman is released from prison to a half-way house.
  • It is revealed that Foreman’s mother Alicia Foreman, died in late 2009.
  • Lucas finds out that Wilson took the condo Cuddy wanted and starts playing a series of pranks on House and Wilson, initially making it look like they were pranking each other. When they threaten to retaliate, he threatens to reveal Wilson’s double dealing to Cuddy. House backs off.
  • Cuddy plays chicken with the hospital’s primary insurance provider and manages to get an increase three times what they were offering.
  • It is revealed that student film footage of Wilson was spliced into a porno film.
  • House starts reading a book of sermons written by his biological father, but finds they have nothing in common.
  • Chase realizes women only appear to like him for his looks.
  • Wilson buys House a gift for the condo - an electronic organ.
  • Taub and Foreman experiment with Vicodin.
  • We find out Foreman faked a lab result in medical school because of the pressure of trying to beat the rich kids who went there.
  • We find out Taub’s medical career was outstanding up until the time he lost his plastic surgery practice.
  • Cameron comes back to confront Chase about not signing the divorce papers. She finally admits that the breakup was largely her fault and that she has trouble maintaining relationships.
  • Wilson hooks up with his former first wife, Sam Carr. House’s attempts to break them up merely allow them to work out the issues that broke up their marriage.
  • Taub proposes an open marriage. Rachel agrees, but they both back out. However, Taub still has a brief affair with Maya, one of the physiotherapists at the hospital.
  • House returns to his old apartment at 221B Baker St. and finds Alvie living there.
  • When House finds out Alvie sold some of his stuff to raise funds, he goes to great lengths to get back one particular book. When Dr. Nolan asks him why he went to so much trouble, House tries to say he just wanted it back. However, when Dr. Nolan checks the book on Google, he soon finds out it was written by Dr. Cuddy’s grandfather. He soon realizes that the reason House is so miserable is because Cuddy and Lucas have just announced they are moving in with each other. When he confronts House about it, House breaks off therapy.
  • House gives Cuddy her grandfather’s book. Cuddy believes it is because House has found out she and Lucas are now engaged.
  • At a disaster scene, House treats a woman who is trapped and may need her leg amputated. After first doing everything possible to save her leg, House realizes that his own decision to keep his leg cost him his girlfriend and led to constant pain. He convinces the woman to have the amputation. However, she dies on the way to the hospital from a fat embolism that House could have done nothing to prevent.
  • Heartbroken, House turns to Vicodin but finds Cuddy instead. She has broken off her engagement and tells House she loves him.


Main Cast

Recurring Characters


Image Title Original Airdate U.S. Viewers
(in millions)
1. "Broken" (Part I / II) September 21, 2009 16.50

Plot: Upon detoxing from Vicodin, the director of the hospital threatens House‘s medical license if he doesn‘t remain a voluntary patient in the hospital. House is introduced to his fellow patients in Ward 6, whom he immediately describes as "crazy". His primary physician is the by-the-book Dr. Nolan, who has the final decision on whether House is well enough to resume the practice of medicine. However, overwhelmed by Dr. Nolan's lack of imagination and the slow progress, and with no diminution in House's caustic nature or medical skills, House immediately sets to work diagnosing his fellow patients in a matter of seconds just to amuse himself and annoy the ward's primary care physician, Dr. Beasley. Wanting out at any cost, he turns to attempted blackmail followed quickly by disruption, then deception. However, Dr. Nolan appears to be up to the challenge and meets House’s manipulations at every turn, then tries to convince him that surrender is the only way out. Meanwhile, House soon takes an interest in one of the other patients but will even House be able to convince the staff at Mayfield that he may have the answer about him? He also starts to take an interest in a frequent visitor, but whatever good the hospital may have done for him may all go for naught because of her.

2. "Epic Fail" September 28, 2009 14.44

PlotHouse returns home to Princeton-Plainsboro where he continues to focus on his recovery by announcing he's going to quit and go into research. However, as his boredom grows, he is tempted to start taking Vicodin again. He starts taking up a hobby, cooking, at the advice of Dr. Nolan, in order to keep himself busy. He tags along with Wilson to a cooking class.

Meanwhile, what is now Foreman’s team is unable to diagnose a loud-mouthed video game creator who posts each new symptom on the internet and opts for treatments suggested by the online community rather than by his doctors. Foreman angles for House’s job, but Taub leaves to pursue more lucrative offers and the pressure to solve the case creates tension in his relationship with Thirteen.

3. "The Tyrant" October 5, 2009 13.74

Plot: When a controversial African politician (guest star James Earl Jones) falls ill, he is brought to Princeton Plainsboro for treatment. The team struggles with whether to help a merciless dictator being sued in the United States for crimes against humanity in his country. Meanwhile, Wilson tries to make peace with a feuding neighbor, but House’s prying exacerbates the problem.

4. "Instant Karma" October 12, 2009 13.50

Plot: A billionaire insists his son be treated by House after several doctors failed to diagnose his dying son. Cuddy appoints House to make all the final diagnostic decisions, although Foreman is still in charge of the department. The father believes that his son's condition is the result of karma, saying that "everything he touches turns to gold" except for when it comes to his family. His son's health continues to decline and House diagnoses his son with Degos disease, an incurable disease. House says that his son has one more day to live, at most. The father then signs a deal that is guaranteed to make him bankrupt in hopes of making his son's health improve by evening out the success in his life, since he is a strong believer of karma. House soon after diagnoses his son with Primary Antiphospholipid Syndrome, a manageable disease. The bankrupt father is later shown with his healthy son happily sharing pizza. Cuddy also has Foreman conduct a morbidity and mortality conference regarding the Dibala case in The Tyrant. Foreman privately discusses the matter with Chase, telling him to tie up any loose ends that the participants of the M&M might question. Chase almost admits to Cuddy that he tampered with Dibala's test results but is interrupted. He later finds the documents he needs left on the table in a blank envelope; after asking Foreman, he realises that House has figured out that he killed Dibala and tells him he'll always been in power no matter what. Thirteen makes plans to travel for an indeterminate amount of time. After her flight plans to Bangkok are cancelled by someone, she tries to find out who. She confronts House, who says that he wanted her gone. House later confronts Foreman who says that he is over the breakup with Thirteen and didn't cancel her plans. Thirteen eventually visits Wilson who admits to the hacking. Wilson says that House needs her on the team, even if he doesn't admit it, and that she is the only one whom House hasn't influenced negatively in some way. Later, he confronts House about it, leading him to admit that he cancelled it from Wilson's office. The episode ends with Thirteen boarding a plane headed for Bangkok.

5. "Brave Heart" October 19, 2009 11.65

Plot: The team takes on the case of a reckless police detective who has a family history of sudden heart failure that killed his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all at age 40. Though House is not keen on diagnosing the patient without any detectable symptoms, the team, urged by Cameron, attempts to identify his condition so the detective can live without fear of dying young. Meanwhile, Chase is haunted by his actions in the Dibala case, and, Cuddy informs House that in order to get his medical license back, he will need to take medical students for rounds and he tries to get out of doing this. He may have an excuse after all when, after moving into Amber’s old room, he starts hearing things.

6. "Known Unknowns" November 9, 2009 13.31

Plot: After a wild night out, a teenage girl (guest star Annabelle Attanasio) is brought to Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital with severely swollen appendages. The team must work to diagnose the young girl, who is less than honest about what happened the night she fell ill. As her condition worsens, she becomes unable to distinguish fact from fiction and she starts to lose blood faster than the team can transfuse. Meanwhile, WilsonCuddy, and House spend a weekend away from the hospital to attend a medical conference, but things don't go as planned when House's private investigator, Lucas Douglas, returns. House confesses his feelings for Cuddy to Wilson who says that she is better off without House. Chase’s strange behavior after the death of Dibala leads Cameron to believe that Chase is having an affair.

7. "Teamwork" November 16, 2009 12.67

Plot: After House's medical license is reinstated, he reclaims his role as Head of Diagnostics in time to treat Hank Hardwick, an adult film star admitted to Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital for pulsating eye pain. At the same time, he plots to get the rest of his team back together. Meanwhile, Cuddy is reminded that Princeton Plainsboro is not conducive to healthy personal relationships, and Cameron andChase have some news for the team.

8. "Ignorance is Bliss" November 23, 2009 11.95

Plot: On the eve of Thanksgiving, House and the team take on the case ofJames Sidas, an exceptionally brilliant physicist and author who traded his successful career for a job as a courier. For the ailing patient, intelligence is a miserable burden that has prompted depression and addiction, and this, coupled with a myriad of strange symptoms, nearly stumps the team. Meanwhile, the doctors at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital wrestle with strained personal relationships. House will say that he loves Cuddy. This will be the first episode where Cameron is gone from the show, and after House compares Chase to Cameron he loses it and punches House.

9. "Wilson" November 30, 2009 13.24

Plot: When an old friend and former patient of Wilson’s exhibits paralysis in his left arm, Wilson puts himself on the case. House wagers Wilson that the patient's symptoms are attributed to new cancer cells. Wilson accepts even though he is reluctant to believe the cancer has returned. With the help of the team, Wilson works to diagnose the patient more optimistic results, but when things take a turn for the worse, Wilson must address his inability to separate patient from friend and he must put his own life at risk. Meanwhile, Cuddy seeks advice in her search for real estate.

10. "The Down Low" January 11, 2010 12.25

Plot: House and Wilson have a crush on their new neighbor and they compete for her attention. However, their plans are complicated by a misunderstanding by their new neighbors about the nature of their relationship. A drug dealer mysteriously collapses during a sale and does it again whenever there is a loud noise. Chase, Thirteen and Taub play a practical joke on Foreman.

11. "Remorse" January 25, 2010 14.21

Plot: House treats a psychopath, a woman without a conscience, who starts threatening Thirteen, but is charming to the rest of the team. Meanwhile, House tries to make good with someone he wronged during medical school.

Hlf chains-006.jpg
12. "Moving the Chains" February 1, 2010 13.38

Plot: House and the team rush to treat an ailing college football star in time for the patient to compete in NFL tryouts. But when the patient experiences an onslaught of varied and unusual symptoms, the team has trouble reaching a consensus on how to effectively treat him in time. Meanwhile, Foreman’s brother Marcus (guest starOrlando Jones), finally out of prison, makes a surprise visit to the hospital, and House makes an employment decision sure to infuriate Foreman. In the clinic, House is mistaken for a disabled veteran by a soldier trying to avoid a stop loss order.

13. "5 to 9" February 8, 2010 13.60

Plot: The episode follows a day in the life of Princeton Plainsboro's Dean of Medicine, Dr. Lisa Cuddy and the inner workings of the hospital are seen through her eyes. This day proves to be especially trying as Cuddy wrestles with myriad hospital issues and staff disputes that test her perseverance and skills as an administrator, all while juggling issues in her personal life.

14. "Private Lives" March 8, 2010 12.81

Plot: A blogger comes to the hospital with severe bruising and bleeding, but her insistence of sharing the details of the case and the secrets of her treating physicians on her blog inundates the team with unsolicited advice. Meanwhile, House and Wilson try to remedy the holes in their respective romantic lives by trying speed dating. Chase also decides to enter the dating scene again and is startled to realize the fact that women date him for his looks. He reveals these revelations to Thirteen, whom he discovers is different from the other shallow women he has dated. He shares his thoughts with her on his recent break-up with Cameron. Meanwhile, House and Wilson pry into each other's personal lives in search of embarrassing secrets of each other's pasts.

15. "Black Hole" March 15, 2010 11.37

Plot: The team treats a teenage girl and, when all else fails, they resort to an experimental technique to get inside her mind. Meanwhile, Wilson and House deal with furnishing their apartment and Taub deals with issues in his marriage.

16. "Lockdown" April 12, 2010 10.80

Plot: When a newborn goes missing, the entire hospital is locked down, trapping all the doctors where they were at the time. Foreman and Taub are stuck in the file room, wonder if there is a pharmaceutical explanation behind House's personality, and take the opportunity to go through the hospital‘s confidential files on the staff‘s credentials. Wilson and Thirteen find themselves in the cafeteria playing truth or dare. House is stuck in a room with a dying patient (guest star Strathairn) whose case he refused to take and finds out the patient did have a rare condition that showed prosaic symptoms. Finally, Chase is stuck with a visiting Cameron, who‘s there to finalize their divorce. In the middle of all this Cuddy tries to help locate the missing infant.

17. "Knight Fall" April 19, 2010 10.81

Plot: A knight at a Renaissance fair has bloody sclera after winning a sword fight. House has to deal with the tightly knit community of the fair while diagnosing the patient’s increasingly severe symptoms. Meanwhile, Wilson sets out to date his first ex-wife, which makes House try and break them up. On the other hand, Thirteen notices that someone wants to get much closer to the patient.

18. "Open and Shut" April 26, 2010 10.85

Plot: The team treat a woman who is in an open marriage, which creates further difficulties for Taub and his wife Rachel when he lets it slip that they should try the same thing. Elsewhere on the relationship front, House redoubles his efforts to break up Wilson and Sam.

19. "The Choice" May 3, 2010 9.98

Plot: The team takes on the case of an ailing groom-to-be who harbors undisclosed secrets from a previous relationship. As his fiancée (guest star Amurri) tries to get answers to her many questions, a frustrated team winnows down the possibilities. Meanwhile, House spends extra-curricular time with his Princeton Plainsboro colleagues; dinner with Taub’s wife, a night at a lesbian bar, and performing a karaoke rendition of a Gladys Knight & The Pips classic with Foreman and Chase.

20. "Baggage" May 10, 2010 9.29

Plot: House starts drinking heavily and his life starts to spiral downwards after he gets in a bar fight he can‘t even remember. Cuddy realizes he may need constant supervision to stay off Vicodin. House seeks help with Dr. Nolan during his regular session atMayfield Psychiatric Hospital, and House even tries to reconnect with his former roommate, who is facing problems of his own. Meanwhile, Wilson wonders if he has to send House out of the condo to make room for Sam Carr.

During his regular session with Dr. Nolan, Nolan is sure that something is really bothering House, but instead of talking about it, House seems intent on recounting the case of a woman who arrives at the Princeton Plainsboro emergency room with no recollection of who she is, but obvious signs of being well-to-do. House tells Dr. Nolan how he solved the mystery of the woman's illness and help her re-establish her identity, but Dr. Nolan focuses on the story outside the story in order to find out what’s really bothering House, only to have House strike back.

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21. "Help Me" May 17, 2010 11.06

Plot: Cuddy, House and members of the team join forces with a search-and-rescue team to provide much-needed medical attention at the scene of a crane collapse. However, when House finds a woman with her leg pinned by debris, he refuses to let them perform an amputation to allow her to be removed despite the danger of a further collapse. At the same time, House has to deal with his team over the phone about the crane operator that fell unconscious because he believes the man has an underlying condition. In the end, House has to face not only the consequences of the treatment of his patients, but three of his own demons - his leg, his Vicodin, and Cuddy.

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