This was an admirable episode of . It twisted, it turned, but then it ended up at…sex. Again? Well, all right. We open peacefully enough, with the kind of urban evening tableau, with people strolling peacefully, that I don’t think actually exists in real life. We head into one of those storefront chapels that are, fairly or not, immediately suspect. There is a very young man leading the service, and he’s a faith healer. He lays hands on a woman and takes away her walker, and sho nuff, she can walk! This show proves what it can do as it starts playing “Oh Happy Day” and we cynical folk at home get caught up in the moment, against our better judgment. Then the kid has some sort of event and collapses to the ground.
At the hospital, House and Wilson are bickering about Wilson’s DVD player. House still wants to watch Lindsay Lohan movies on it. He won’t let Wilson come pick it up, because it’s poker night. Aw, how mean! He won’t let Wilson play! Although, House knows other people? I never would have guessed.
In an exam room, Cameron and Foreman are examining the boy, who’s telling them that he’s on the road a lot and that god told him he’d meet a female healer. Which one of those statements is weird? The dad explains that his kid’s been talking to god since he was ten. I don’t know if this kid is super perceptive or what, but he also says that this female healer would be angry at a male colleague. Foreman is delighted. And Cameron is getting a little flirty. She’s gross on so many levels.
Back in the office, House is having a hard time believing that the kid, Boyd, talks to god. Chase is quick to defend the kid, saying that some people “experience their religion as something more than symbolic.” Now, I’ve always thought Chase was kind of kooky, but at least he’s equally opportunity. He’s not just here to defend dominatrixes, he’ll defend the religious as well!
Foreman wants to tell the story of Boyd telling Cameron to calm down about the article – at least that’s his interpretation. It’s fun to see Foreman smiling for once, even if it’s at Cameron’s expense. House orders some tests and then, in a stark break from the status quo, heads out to talk to Boyd himself. He figures, perhaps sarcastically, that if god talks to Boyd, he should too. When House arrives at his room, you can tell just by his body language that he’s anglin’ for a fight. Boyd calls him Dr. House before he’s introduced himself, and House is not impressed. Nor should he be, because Boyd explains that he’d heard about House from the nurses. See, that makes me like him, because he’s not pretending to be psychic or anything. His dad comes in with a refilled water bottle, and explains that Boyd goes through a few of these every hour. Believe it or not, it is possible to overdose on water, which would explain Boyd’s very low sodium levels.
We head over to Wilson’s office to see something new: he’s talking with a patient of his very own! Quite the contrast to House’s bedside manner, though there’s other reasons for that, as we find out later. House jumps over the retaining wall to talk to Wilson. I think he just likes doing things the complicated way. He complains about Boyd’s ability to understand people just by observing them. “And you’re worried about…trademark infringement?” snarks Wilson. Nice one. House goes off on quite the tangent that ends with him screaming “climb out of your holes, people!” Wilson just walks away, which I guess is a valuable skill if you’re signed on to being House’s friend.
Just when we thought Boyd’s problem was solved, he wakes up with a rather intense expression and starts wandering the hospital while singing “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Maybe that’s not the title, but you know what I mean. We see in Boyd-vision that everything’s all blurry – some people pay A LOT of money for this kind of experience. Chase discovers him staring at a decorative waterfall and very gently leads him back to his room. Before they get there, Boyd spots Wilson’s patient, Grace. She’s the only person he can see clearly, which I guess makes her the chosen one for his powers. He lays hands on her and prays, and I didn’t notice this the first time round but he definitely touches her eye and her mouth with his thumb. The resolution at the end of the episode is still a stretch, though. Wilson runs up to protect Grace, and really yells at Chase even when he explains that Boyd’s having a seizure. Chase is such a champion of weirdos.
The Outhouses conference about Boyd. Every episode, someone suggests Wilson’s as a possible diagnosis. I don’t know if this is actually a common disease or if they’re just having some nerdy fun at Robert Sean Leonard’s expense. Speaking of which, he busts into the office screaming at House about letting Boyd out. Wilson’s mostly pissed that Grace thinks she feels better know, and she’ll just be disappointed all over again. Hmm…Wilson is really pissed.
In the MRI room, Boyd asks Chase why he always does things he doesn’t want to do. He’s getting all god-powered super-intuitive here, but to Chase’s credit he does look genuinely perplexed. Good, because that was Boyd at his most annoying. In the control room, Foreman is trying to engage Cameron in a discussion about god, but she’s not having it. She explains that he can’t tell her they’re not friends and then try to have a casual chat with her. Score one for Cameron (and you’ll never hear me say that again.)
In the office, House notices that someone has started keeping score on the whiteboard. It’s a contest between House and god, and god’s only winning by one! Boyd barges in wants to know how the score is being tabulated. House’s point is for figuring out Boyd’s low sodium, god’s points are for Boyd pinpointing Cameron and Foreman’s argument and for healing Grace. House isn’t the one keeping score, by the way. Boyd points out that god talked to him about House, too – “God says you look for excuses to be alone.” House isn’t buying, though, because it’s pretty obvious he wants to be alone. What with being unpleasant to everyone and all. He tells Boyd he’ll have to be more specific next time. “God wants you to invite Dr. Wilson to your poker game,” says Boyd. Well. Ask and ye shall receive, I guess.
Now it’s House’s turn to be pissed, as he barges into the cafeteria and orders Wilson not to talk to his patient, because either Wilson told Boyd about the poker game or House has to start going to church. Wilson promises he never mentioned it. And back in the office, House is now tied with god, as the doctors have identified some sort of growth in Boyd’s brain.
Grace and Boyd are chatting in his room as Wilson skulks around in the background. He takes grace aside and tries to convince her that miracles are basically impossible. He asks to photograph her liver again to see if the tumor has shrunk, but he’s just trying to prove that it hasn’t. I get where he’s coming from in that he doesn’t want her to be disappointed, but surely he’s heard of the placebo effect, or positive thinking, or those things.
Chase and Foreman try to explain to Boyd and his dad that the tumor are benign for now, but they’re growing and causing problems like “auditory hallucinations.” Boyd and his father do not think this is a good thing, and I’m surprised Chase and Foreman thought they’d agree to the surgery. This is the family cash cow!
Wilson is brought on board to convince Boyd and his father to do the surgery, though House has to give him a spot in the poker game. Wilson tells Boyd that true saints have humility, so if he’s a true saint, he’ll go through with the surgery and accept that he may not be blessed with this gift. Later that night, however, there’s a kink in the plans. Wilson show up at House’s place to show him the images of Grace’s liver. The tumor has shrunk. House has only one response – “don’t tell my patient.”
The next day, it seems as though everybody knows, though, since permission for the surgery has been withdrawn and everyone knows Grace’s tumor has shrunk. The Outhouses have to go through all of Grace’s files and figure out some non-holy reason why her tumor might be shrinking now. Chase goes to her house to check all of her appliances, and Wilson heads over to House’s for poker night. House’s other friends? “Dry cleaner, tax accountant, guy from the bus stop.” And they’re jealous that Wilson gets a real name. Wilson is wearing a McGill sweatshirt – is he Canadian? My whole world has been turned upside down.
Chase calls House on his cell and reports that nothing’s interesting. Until five minutes later, when he finds a closet full of men’s clothes and realizes that Grace has a boyfriend who could come home any minute. There are more poker analogies, and eventually House figures out that Wilson is sleeping with Grace. Well, he probably knew that already, he’s just letting it out know. Wilson begs him to shut up, and makes him tell the other guys that his name isn’t really Wilson. He leaves, but House is hot on the trail. He accuses Wilson of being an emotional vampire, but Wilson figures that’s good news for House. Touche. They get into a huge argument in the street, but as soon as House gets a call that Boyd has a fever, they take off to the hospital together, which is a really nice touch.
Boyd is fuckin’ desperate to get out of the hospital. He’s all sweaty and red and obviously in a lot of pain, but he will not relent. He wants to go home, claiming that god told him to not deal with human medicine anymore. And yeah, he’s a minor so it’s ultimately his dad’s call, but dad is kind of a baby and agrees with his son. Faith is more important right now than health. Wilson suggests that maybe the fever isn’t a symptom, but a result of whatever illness he already has. House remembers an old case where a woman with cervical cancer was injected with rabies (who the hell knows why – House sure doesn’t) and it shrank her tumor. He tries to think of an infection Boyd might have that could have the same effect on grace and give him all his symptoms. Guess what, guys? It’s herpes.
Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I do wonder when they’ll finally get off this fixation with STDs. House wants Boyd to take off his clothes so he can find the sore, but Boyd is very much against it. His dad finally orders him to undress, but Boyd doesn’t even need to. He knows exactly where the outbreak is – his lower back – and he rolls over to show everyone. Yup, he’s got herpes encephalitis and managed to pass it on to Grace. Little slut boy! Dirty!
Kidding. The good news is that he just needs antibiotics. Man, if I went though all of that I’d want something a little more dramatic for my troubles. A big-ass cast or bandages on my head or something. The show ends with House and god tied for first. And Grace dumped Wilson. So, seriously, it was a good episode. But who else votes for no more STD storylines?