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They are NOT beating around the bush with this opener. In an extremely pink bathroom, a little girl turns on her extremely pink tape deck to “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera. A totally crap song, I know, but am I getting verklempt as we see this little bald girl begin downing dozens of pills? Yes, yes I am. You know, I’m the only girl on staff at TVgasm, and it’s times like this when I get really self-conscious about it. Copygodd would never get all teary about a wrestler’s backstory.Just as the little girl is about to give herself an injection, everything starts shaking and the walls start closing in on her. She’s in major hallucination mode, and as she comes out of it we see she has cut her hand on the mirror.
House gets off the elevator with a bad cold. Uh, I can’t really bring myself to feel bad for him, no matter how miserable Hugh Laurie manages to look. Nine-year-old with cancer or grouchy old dude with a sniffle? You make the call. Anyway, Wilson wants him to stick around and help treat this girl (remember, Wilson is the head cancer doctor. Chief oncologist, if you’re nasty). House isn’t interested in regular ol’ cancer until Wilson tells him about the girl’s hallucinations – even though she doesn’t have any cancer in the brain. When House was a kid, you know he loved to burn ants with magnifying glasses and mix condiments with household cleaners and make the littler kids drink it.
House’s assistants (anyone want to come up with a pithy name for them? I’ll buy you a beer if you let me use it) are in pontificate mode. House sends the boys off to do medical things but makes Cameron stay behind, in an excellent callback to last week’s episode. He doesn’t want her getting all attached to the pretty dying blonde chick. Good, I don’t want a lot of her this episode. She’s already managed to annoy me by quietly, subserviently, making House a cup of tea when she noticed he was sick. I guess since browbeating him into a date didn’t work, she’s going to try the maternal provider role. When that fails, she’ll move on to studied aloofness, and then oversexed vixen. I bet she considers the articles in Cosmo very edifying.
Chase is setting up the girl for a brain scan, and we see that she a) could practically be a doctor herself, with all she knows about the procedure, and b) is a far, far better flirt than Cameron.
Since this episode is getting pretty heavy, we get some penis jokes to lighten the mood. House sees a guy in the clinic who tried to circumsize his own penis. With box cutters. We don’t get to see the damage ourselves, of course, but House says he needs to get a plastic surgeon to “put the Twinkie back in the wrapper.” Actually, right now it’s not so bad being a girl recapper!
Well, since we’re only 10 minutes into the show, the girl’s brain scan was inconclusive. Chase is off to do more tests. She makes him explain the procedure because she likes to “hear his voice.” She also wants him to know that she’s never kissed a boy. Oh, honey. Come on. Let’s not do th – “will you kiss me?” OH GOD. Chase gives her some very valid reasons why he can’t but we already know he’s sort of morally questionable….”I won’t tell anybody” she promises. EW EW EW EW he’s kissing a nine-year-old! Blakggghhh! Chase doesn’t get to be the hot Aussie any more, he’s just the weird perv who’s going to ask Cuddy for a transfer to pediatrics tomorrow!
This is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen on this show, and I’ve seen oozing feces. In Chase’s “defense,” he looks weirded out about the whole thing, but….that doesn’t really make it okay, does it? In the conference room the next day, Foreman suggests something radical: maybe the girl has syphilis. HA! Take that, Chase. Wow, he does not want to believe that his new lady friend is a slootbag. He goes on and on about how she’s definitely never had sex, or been molested. House wants to know why he’s so sure, so Chase says that she asked for a first kiss, so she probably hasn’t had sex. “Tell that to all the hookers who won’t kiss me on the mouth,” says House. To Cameron, mainly. House talks about how victims of sexual abuse can become manipulative. “You did it, didn’t you. You kissed her,” says House. Dang, Chase is a pushover. He totally admits to it. Foreman and Cameron freak out appropriately, while House tells Chase that this sort of thing is exactly why he’s not allowed to use the whiteboard markers.
Cameron is sent off to give the girl a pelvic exam. OK, every medical show out there occasionally has to do this rape kit scene, and every time, the patient, feet high and proud in the stirrups, wants to have a meaningful conversation with the doctor. This is bullshit. When someone’s poking a set of metal tongs that look shockingly like a medieval torture device around in your babymaker, you don’t even have the focus to chat about the weather, much less the social implications of being a bald female.
Turns out the girl (Andi) hasn’t been raped, which means House has to keep looking for other possibilities. He and Wilson blather in medical speak that I won’t pretend to understand, but it leads to one of House’s patent-pending Far-Away Look of a Wacky New Theory that Just May be the Answer.
The doctors do an exploratory surgery to determine something about something. Wilson tells the mother that Andi has a tumor in her lung and heart, removal of which will require that the doctors remove her heart from her body, take off the parts with a tumor, and replace those with bits of cow hearts. However, if the tumor is big, there won’t be enough human heart to attach the cow heart to. It looks like the surgery will ultimately be a success, but chase discovers that Andi’s eye is bleeding during the surgery.
The next couple of scenes are full of doctors yelling at each other about various theories and House making tortured analogies between the cancer and Afghanistan. They do some more tests and finally determine that there is nothing more to be done. Wilson has to go tell Andi and her mother that the cancer is terminal. House asks to go along, because he “wants to see how brave she is when you tell her she’s gonna die.” Wow, that is officially the worst thing House has ever said. Also, he’s wearing brown pants with a black jacket. What an ass.
He watches Wilson deliver the news to Andi and her mother anyway. The mom breaks down, but Andi’s totally calm reaction unnerves House. He decides that there’s a clot in her brain blocking the section that controls fear. But as Foreman points out, that’s a really big section of the brain that can’t be operated on without causing brain damage. “The only time you’re gonna see this clot is at autopsy,” he says. Oh, nice one, Foreman. Now you’ve gotten House all excited.
House asks Cuddy for permission to kill Andi, but only a little bit, he swears. She quite naturally thinks he’s out of his gourd, as he explains that then will induce a cardiac arrest by freezing her, take out half her blood, then shoot her brain full of liquid-y stuff that highlights tumors. Cuddy looks like she really wants to say no, but then (and maybe I’m just imagining this but I think it really happened) he gives her a total puppy dog look and she’s all “Okay! Whatever you want!”
After Wilson does all the leg work of getting the mom to agree to the procedure and sign the consent forms, House suddenly has an attack of the moral quandrys, and decides he wants to talk to Andi himself, even though Wilson thinks she’s too young to deal with a decision like this. Now, on one level I respect what House is doing. She is a mature girl and maybe should have a say in a 10-hour surgery that she might not come out of. On the other hand, he tells her that she’ll die anyway, it’s only a question of “how. How much you’re gonna suffer; how long.” Geez! What is House doing? The girl starts crying about how she wants to live for her mom, and this shit is sad. I’m teary again…and before you start thinking I’m one of those chicks who cries at cat food commercials, I can only promise you I’m not. But House is here telling this little girl she’s going to die a painful death…it’s a little bit affecting.
The doctors practice the surgery on a cadaver but can’t quite get it right; the head moves around too much with all apparatuses they shove into it. Foreman suggests bolting the head to the table. House goes all giddy at the very thought. The next day in the operating room, Foreman takes a screwdriver to the girl’s head and….well, first I pass out, then when I come to she’s all bolted down and they start the procedure. They put something into her veins from an IV that takes her body temperature to 21 degress Celsius, at which point she technically dies and they start draining her blood.
Foreman spots a clot on the MRI of her brain, so they restart her heart and take her into brain surgery. She eventually come out of it, her mom starts crying, I get teary again….the show gets bored of making people cry and shows House in his office cutting what appears to be cocaine. Well, he claims it’s just an antihistamine, but he’s pretty handy with that razor blade. Then he injects some “Robitussin” between his toes.
Wilson guilts House into coming out and saying goodbye to Andi. She hugs everyone goodbye, and Chase gives her two tickets to a museum. Ew. He wants to date her. Andi goes and gives House a hug. He looks absolutely terrified. You know, he can’t keep learning big life lessons every week and still stay an emotionally stunted man-boy.
There’s going to have to be some sort of change in his behavior at some point, because it’s not believable that he’s this disconnected from humanity just because he has a limp. He sees things a lot worse every day, such as, I don’t know, little girls with cancer?
So this episode was really good television, which sometimes makes the recapping harder. There were a good number of sad scenes – was it too intense? Or do you guys like the more serious episodes? I mean, House test drives a motorcycle at the end of the episode so all the ladies are reminded that he’s a sex machine, but Stacy wasn’t even in this episode. How did you feel about an episode of House without any sexy banter?