Last Sunday, I sat down to watch the Grammys for the first time in many years. Well, I didn’t watch all of it live – I watched the first hour, but as I was recording it, decided to watch the rest later when I had the ability to fast forward through what I considered a waste of my time.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Bon Iver nominated, mostly because I have just one song of theirs, weirdly named Re: Stacks. Now I have had this song for a couple of years now, but couldn’t for the life of me remember where I had originally heard it. Then today, I remembered.
I say remembered like my brain was so powerful that it was able to sort through most of the crap in my head and pinpoint the exact date and time that I first heard it. Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth! I remembered because I saw it on t.v. today.
There’s a show that I like to watch called House, starring Hugh Laurie, and today they had some reruns. There’s a two parter from a couple of years ago that I really enjoy watching. The first episode is called House’s Head, and the second one, Wilson’s Heart.
The rest of this post is going to assume that you have seen or at least know about House, so if you don’t, then I do apologize!
Anyway, at the beginning of the first episode, House wakes up in a strip club, bleeding from the head, and unable to remember how he got there. It turns out that he was in a bus accident, and has a concussion. Even though he wasn’t really aware of what his doing, being House, his subconscious somehow directed him towards a nearby strip club. If you’ve ever watched House, you know that this is normal behavior for him.
What is out of character is what comes next. He knows that he saw something while on the bus, something that would cause a person to die. The accident, however, has messed up his short term memory, and he is unable to recall exactly who it was, or what he saw.
The rest of this episode covers him trying to find out exactly what happened so that he can figure out who it is he has to save. All while popping Vicodin, bleeding from the ear, and experiencing excruciating headaches. House wanders from reality to a hallucination where he sees an attractive woman that he doesn’t recognize, who gives him cryptic clues as to who she is. He finally gets the bus brought back to the hospital, and has the staff sit where the passengers were, with their names and pictures attached to their chests. He then pops a couple of alzheimer’s specific medication (the medical name escapes me), in order to light up his brain so that he can remember, and enters his hallucination again. This time, the woman asks him what her necklace is made of. The pendant at the bottom is a fly or other insect displayed in an orange resin case. House then realizes that the resin is amber, and the woman was representing Amber, Wilson’s girlfriend, and former member of House’s team. He then sees a replay where she is on the bus with him and it’s hit by a garbage truck. We cut back to reality, and Cuddy is giving House mouth to mouth, while Wilson is banging on his chest and giving him compressions to get his heart going, while everyone looks on anxiously.
House comes to, and explains that it was Amber who was with him, much to the confusion of Wilson who wonders what his girlfriend was doing with House on a bus.
They find Amber in another hospital, and there ends the first episode.
The second episode deals with them trying to figure out what House saw that made him feel that she was going to die. It’s a very powerful episode, and towards the end, House agrees to have probes placed in his brain so that they can send an electrical current through it, in order to stimulate his frontal lobe and hopefully remember why.
He remembers that he was drunk at a bar, and the bartender had taken away his keys, so he called Wilson to get a lift back home. Wilson wasn’t home, so Amber answered, and House asked her to get Wilson to come and pick him up. Since Wilson was working, she decided to come and get House herself. So she shows up at the bar, to take House home. House first cons her into having a drink (a cosmo), and then walks out without his cane, and without paying, forcing Amber to go back and settle his account.
She catches up with him on the bus, and sneezes. He sees her taking some flu medication, and then realizes what is wrong with her. The pills contain something called amantadine. During the crash, her kidneys were damaged, and being unable to filter out the amantadine, she was suffering from amantadine poisoning. His delivery of this news is so somber, Wilson doesn’t realize that it’s not good news. He tells House that they can set up Amber on dialysis and filter out the amantadine. House looks at his best friend and tells him that the amantadine binds with proteins and so can’t be filtered out by dialysis. He turns to Wilson and says that there’s nothing to be done, and that he is very sorry.
In his minds eye, he replays the accident again, and when the garbage truck hits the bus, he suffers a seizure and falls into a coma.
Wilson is heartbroken now, but Cuddy tells him that they should wake Amber up so that he can say goodbye. The rest of the team also want to say goodbye, and this is where Bon Iver’s song comes on. You see Kuttner standing awkwardly at the end of the bed, Foreman patting Amber’s leg as he looks at a distraught Wilson, Thirteen gives her a tearful hug, Taub kisses his fingers and puts them on her face. The song plays while they all say goodbye. It’s a powerful scene, and the music is perfect. Then we see Wilson lying the bed next to her, besides himself with grief, while Amber seems oddly at peace. She tells him that it is time, and he says that he just needs a little more time. She looks at him fondly and says that they will always just want a little more time. He then tells her that it isn’t fair, and asks her why she isn’t angry. She looks at him with nothing but love in her eyes and tells him that she doesn’t want that to be the last thing that she ever feels.
Wilson then turns off the machines that are keeping Amber alive, and gazes deeply into her eyes as she dies.
We then cut to House who is back on the bus with Amber. They have an interesting conversation where he tells Amber that he wants to stay there with her. When she asks him why, he tells her that his life is miserable, and filled with pain. In addition to that, Wilson will hate him, and since Wilson is his best friend, he just can’t take it. Amber points out that he deserves it, and moreover, we don’t always get what we want.
House then wakes from his coma with Cuddy waiting anxiously at his bedside. Another beautiful song starts to play – Passing Afternoon by Iron & Wine. We then see how everyone is coping. We see Kuttner eating cereal in front of his t.v. (which actually makes more sense in a later episode), Taub goes home, and just holds his sleeping wife, Foreman, Chase and Cameron meet for a drink and a bite to eat, while Cuddy sleeps at House’s bedside. We then see Wilson standing outside House’s room, staring at him despondently. House wakes up, sees Wilson, and lifts his head. Wilson can’t look at House any more, and just walks away.
We then see Wilson go home and sort of fall onto his bed, clutching the pillows for solace. He then sees an envelope sticking out from one of them, so he pulls it out to read it. It’s a note from Amber that says something like “Sorry I’m not here – went to pick up House, love A”. The pain on his face is plain to see.
Both episodes were very powerful, and I read somewhere that the main characters have said that these two episodes are their favorites.
I can’t find the actual video from the show, but here’s the song with lyrics:
Here’s Passing Afternoon:
Have a good night!