Monday, October 13, 2008

House, MD: Sociopaths Making Friends

Dr. House, of the TV show House, MD, is a sociopath. House, like Dexter, is sympathetically portrayed--perhaps even more so than Dexter. But recently his fictional best friend Wilson has been hating on him. House sort of kills his best friend's girlfriend Amber, and then tries to apologize:
"I'm sorry. I know I didn't try to kill her. I know I didn't want to hurt. I know it was a freak accident. But I feel like crap and she's dead because of me."
"I don't blame you. I wanted to. I tried to. I must have reviewed Amber's case file a hundred times to find a way— but it wasn't your fault."
"Then we're okay? I mean I know you aren't but— Maybe I can help."
Wilson finally responds, with lots of pauses while in spite of all his habits to spare House, Wilson tells him what he's really feeling. "We're not okay. Amber was never the reason I was leaving. I didn't want to tell you because— because I was trying like I always do to protect you, which is the problem. You spread misery because you can't feel anything else. You manipulate people because you can't handle any kind of real relationship. And I've enabled it. For years. The games. The binges. The middle-of-the-night phone calls. I should have been the one on the bus not—" Wilson catches himself doing what he has always done. "You should have been alone on the bus. If I've learned anything from Amber it's that I have to take care of myself." Wilson picks up the last of his belongings before walking out with these parting words. "We're not friends any more, House. I'm not sure we ever were."
House doesn't know whether Wilson is serious or not, so gives him a long leash. After giving him space for a while, he tests the water again, knocks on the door to Wilson's house and tells him:
"I need an epiphany. What are you billing out at? Three Hundred an hour? Here's four."
"There are other oncologists."
"Better oncologists. But I need you. Let me describe the symptoms, problems, issues, you say whatever you feel like saying until something triggers an idea in my head."
"That's not the way it works."
"You have a way of thinking about things.It's sloopy, it's undisciplined, it's not very linear. It compliments mine. It drives me down avenues that I wouldn't otherwise—"
"House, please go away."
House tries to continue discussing the case until Wilson tries to shut the door on him. Then he stops the door from closing and asks, "How are you?"
"Don't do this. Please. Please, don't do this. I'm trying to move on."
House isn't willing to give up and after asking some more, admits, "I paid a private investigator to spy on you."
"You didn't."
"If you want to move on from me, you've got to deal with me, talk to me."
"You have no right."
"We're not friends anymore. There's no trust to be breached. I can have you followed, I can call you names, tell your secrets..."
"I have the right to walk away from you, House. There's a world beyond you. You need to realize that and even if you don't I'm moving on. The next time you knock, I'm not answering."
Now of course I side with House. Is there any reason I could be wrong?


  1. Was I ever your Wilson?

  2. I need to stop reading your blog because we never watch house during the current season, save it up, buy the dvd, and watch it as a family. We are currently watching last years show. Now I know the ending before the current season has even begun.

    More seriously House is entertainment and it is not real. It is a parody. Dexter is not real. An analogue would be an attorney TV show where the attorney breaks all the rules, sleeps with everyone including clients, partners and opponents, has outragious fantizies, does crazy things with cases, oh wait a second there was just such a TV show, the character was called Allie.

    No fictionalized character can ever portray the real thing because it simply is card board with out the flesh of real life. You have so many more dementions than the one little one you are focusing on. Are you House, Dexter, Allie, Mary Poppins or your selve, a unique person that you create everyday by your choices.

    I think that sociopaths can choose to be empathetic but are simply lazy because their personality has slipped into the deepest groove and they do not want to take the effort to climb on out to another track. Try serving others anonimosely and you will promptly realize that you are probably not a sociopath. Fun reading your blog. It is entertaining.

  3. Look at photos of Hugh Laurie and John Holmes side by side. What ELSE do you think they have in common?

  4. "Sociopaths" are the only ones existentially healthy enough to think beyond themselves. Even when the sheep think they are being altruistic, they are still projecting their own unconscious onto others.
    It is impossible for them to get beyond themselves for this reason. They lack what I call "ontological hygiene."
    Now go ahead and dismiss me with a rationalization. LOL.

  5. Sociopaths can give "Zen enlightenment gestures," if that's what you mean.

  6. Sociopaths having an emotional void is a myth. Sociopaths indeed have emotion but it is processed differently, although strong emotion isn't a common trait. Their emotions are directly linked to their physiological needs, as a response to hierarchical actualization (especially sense sociopaths always have to be in control. This is simply Social Darwinism), or some idiosyncratic impulse. It all boils down to self interest and brain fucntions exclusive to sociopaths. This is why we are unempathetical. To fully understand this you'll have to do some research on the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Those are the two parts of the brain with the most testing done to show differences of those diagnosed and those without a form of disassociative clasification.

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  8. On a more relevant note, I laughed when I remembered Wilson suspecting House of having Asperger's, but later concluding that House just wished he had it.

  9. Great post, Brian.

    Imagine if one's personal computer or car had emotions, and how effectively they would undermine its utility.

    -Captain Hook

  10. jane said...
    Was I ever your Wilson?

    I was pissed ad a friend of mine, so I told him (I have 3 friends by the way) that he's my Wilson and with being said, he shouldn't be my friend because I'll only hurt him and not really care about doing it.

    He told me that he knows that my nature will most likely destroy our friendship...then he told me the most fucked up thing about it...he said that when that finally happens, chances are he'd be cool with it because I'd have truned him into a hollow jackass like me!

    I thought about ending our friendship right then, but he was right and I couldn't think of a crueler punishment then to hollow out another human being's soul because they don't want to be my friend.

    Yeah...I'm fucked up! :-)

  11. I suppose that's a trait I admire.

    Do you think House is seen as a monster so often in order to sheild people from his personality?

  12. hey anonymous October 14, 2008 at 1:44 AM i definitely say i share characteristics alot of hem with house and dexter i would say maybe you been hurt by a sociopath who cares just move on with your life i bet your so stupid u probably got a socio friend that hopefully uses u for all your worth


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