Well, I’ve been sick for the past week now, and I felt sorry for myself at first, but then I watched House and realized it could be so much worse. I don’t have bloody bruises covering my stomach that make me smell like grapes, my tears aren’t orange, and I don’t have strawberry jelly on my cooter. Wow, what a fruity episode this was. (Explanation of the cooter comment after the jump.) Also, I know my headline is offensive. Can you imagine a doctor actually calling an African-American colleague that? It’s the only part of the show that strains believability. If House is going to get sued for anything, it’s racism.
In an off-track betting…place (I tried to throw down the lingo like an old pro but I really don’t know any of it) House is eating a totally disgusting-looking hot dog and watching the action with a vested interest. I guess this is an addiction of his that we’re just learning about. Because we can assume it’s an addiction. House doesn’t really do anything half-assed, especially if it’s bad for him.
He gets in line to bet again and catches the eye of one Cynthia Nixon who, may I say, is working the white trash hottie look to the hilt. She should wear fake eyelashes all the time; they look totally good. She and House have what I suppose is sexy banter about horses and bulimic jockeys, but before things get too frisky she collapses in a seizure. I can’t decide if House’s reaction is a sign that he truly does care about people or that he truly does not care about people. He asks if anyone is a doctor, then asks for an ambulance. He’s acting like he couldn’t care less the whole time, even when he notices terrifyingly large bruises up and down her torso.
“Hot OTB babe,” is House’s name for the patient. Too bad she passed out in public, eh House? Zah-zing! Eh, I still have a cold. Jokes are hard for me. Now, each of the Outhouses is ready to jump in with a diagnosis, especially Chase. Since she’s hot, Chase assumes she’s got an STD of some sort. I actually think that says more about Chase than it does about the patient.
There’s some back and forth about the bruising on her stomach. Foreman is also a misogynist and assumes that she’s an alcoholic whose boyfriend beat her up, but luckily Cameron is there to offer a solution that doesn’t hinge on the patient being a slutty slut slut. Foreman orders the tests, which pisses off House enough that they have to go to Cuddy’s office for a sit-down. Well, really it’s to catch all the viewers who missed last week’s episode up to speed. House is on probation and Foreman is the team leader for a month. So Cuddy chews out House for trying to override Foreman, who’s enjoying this thoroughly and rubbing it in House’s face. But Cuddy doesn’t want anyone to feel good about this, so she reminds Foreman that if anything goes wrong, he’s the fall guy.
In the hot OTB babe’s room, House is on flirt patrol as she fills out the admitting forms. He asks her some extra questions and says she might have something called Cushing’s syndrome, but he doesn’t even have time to explain it before she rattles off the description and explains that she had it last year, and had brain surgery to remove a growth from her pituitary gland. House looks thoughtful, to say the least. It does seem weird that she’d have a seizure, go to the hospital, describe her complete lack of symptoms, and then casually mention that she had BRAIN SURGERY last year.
Anica, which is the babe’s name, is getting an MRI, or scan of some sort, while Foreman and House bicker over who diagnosed her correctly. But Foreman stops the scan as soon as he figures out that they’re just taking Anica’s word for it that she had a tumor removed. House never checked her medical records. This makes Foreman a pouty doctor!
House has to go back a couple steps to get more preliminary tests done on Anica. He has to extract some spinal fluid from her. Cameron is observing, and House jokes that she’s there to make sure he doesn’t paralyze Anica. She actually doesn’t think that’s very funny, shockingly enough. I think this was a very basic procedure that House hadn’t done in a million years and that’s why Cameron was there. Later, after House had stabbed Anica eight times without drawing any fluid, and it sent her body into crisis mode, he played it off like that was his plan all along, to prove she has Cushing’s. I’m not sure I buy that, though – I think he messed up and it coincidentally proved his point.
Chase and Cameron are running tests on Anica when Cameron decides to go into neurotic mode. She wonders why Foreman was asked to be team leader instead of her. Chase makes the excellent point that since she’s dated House and slept with him, she’s sort of an unlikely candidate for boss. Cameron tries to laugh away that theory, but really, he’s right. She would never be able to keep House in line.
House is bored and trying to make Foreman’s life difficult with inordinate amounts of paperwork. He’s ordering tests for all the maternity patients and “suddenly remembering” that he’s a year behind on paperwork that he no longer has the authority to sign off on. Oh House, you scamp! Oh yeah, and Anica has a growth on her pancreas.
Cameron is assigned to give Anica the awful news. The thing is, Anica’s response is basically a complete non-response. She’s all, “Cancer? Huh. Hey, pudding!” Cameron is perturbed by this, but I bet a less self-absorbed doctor wouldn’t mind so much.
It’s time for clinic duty/comic relief! House goes into an exam room where a teenage girl is waiting for a vag exam. We can tell it’s quite the sight based on House’s reaction, one of terror and revulsion and fear and nausea and wonderment. He calls in Foreman, just for kicks. The girl tells House that her boyfriend won’t use “rubbers” so she went on “the jelly.” House dives in to get a sample as she gets the container from her bag. Aaaanndd it’s….strawberry jelly. “OK, we have a neurological problem,” House tells the girl. Geez. No kidding. He tells the girl to pretty much never have sex again, and I have to say, this is the rare instance when I fully support House being rude and uninformative to a patient.
So, Anica’s surgery turned up a great big nothing in her pancreas. House will not be deterred from his Cushing’s diagnosis, though, so he orders some tests on her brain. Cameron calls him off – she’s decided that Anica has Munchausen’s, which is the mental illnesses where you lie about being sick in order to get attention. Apparently Anica has been hospitalized four times in the last four months, which to House indicates that she’s very sick, but Cameron sees as a big red flag. She thinks Anica is injecting herself with various drugs to make her sick.
Cameron and House set out to break into Anica’s house. House insists on taking his bike. Cameron protests at first but then agrees to hop on, which I saw as a callback to Chase’s earlier comment that it’s impossible for Cameron to say no to House.
Cameron finds notes for appointments for a gynecologist and an opthamalogist, which points to Anica being something of a hypochondriac. Or, as House points out, she has “a vagina, and trouble reading.” Back at the hospital, Foreman is afraid to diagnose Munchausen’s, so he orders more tests. For some reason he has Cameron explain it all to Anica. Which she does by calling Anica mentally unstable and just generally being a bitch. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, now that I think about it. If Cameron really thinks that Anica has a mental illness, as a doctor she should be non-accusatory about it, because she knows it’s out of Anica’s control. But I think in this instance Cameron is just lashing out and wants to be a bitch.
In Cuddy’s office, Foreman is trying to quit, but Cuddy tells him that he’s doing too good a job, so he has to stay. They have this scene set up so that Cuddy’s buttoning up her jacket at the beginning, I think just to tease the viewers who want to see Cuddy get freaky-deaky; like we just missed a Cuddy-Whoever makeout session.
After commercials, Anica is crying orange tears to Cameron. Turns out Cameron purposefully left some antibiotics in Anica’s room to test her. She had the wrong label put on, saying that the medication induced seizures. Anica took the bait, which is why her fluids are orange now. She’s still denying everything, though, telling Cameron that “just because you stick your fingers down your throat doesn’t mean the rest of us are screwed up.” Ha! I like that, because the woman you plays Cameron is insanely skinny. Seriously. Hollywood has messed up ideals of beauty and all that.
House has gone through Anica’s records and decided that she does have Munchausen’s…and aplastic anemia. She has the same constant in all her tests. Foreman won’t let House do more tests, though, so House’s only option is to use leftover blood from all her previous tests. The lab technician thinks that’s a hilarious idea. She doesn’t laugh, but she thinks it’s hilarious. He flirts with her and somehow it works; she agrees to do the tests.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough blood left, no matter how sexy House was acting. And you know what he tries to get away with? Faking the lab results with someone else’s blood. Like I said, that House sure is a scamp! Anica is discharged from the hospital but House chases her down before she gets in a cab. He explains to her that he knows she’s lying about everything, but at the same time she’s sick with something she doesn’t know about. He wants to inject her with something that will induce another seizure and decimate her white blood cell count, which will look like proof that she has aplastic anemia. She promises that she’s not on any drugs that could interfere. As he administers the shot, she explains that her mom had MS and everyone gave her tons of attention. Yeah…I know House is supposed to be amazing, but I don’t buy that he can force a moment of clarity in a mentally ill patient. He leaves her to pass out alone in the snow.
Finally, we learn what aplastic anemia is: Anica’s bone marrow has shut down, so she’s not producing any new blood. Foreman’s suggestion is a bone marrow transplant. The other option is to get weekly transfusions for the rest of her life, which surprisingly she doesn’t seem keen on. You’d think someone with Munchausen’s would love that. Instead, they prep her for a transplant. She has to have all her remaining marrow depleted (using magic or something), then put in isolation for two weeks to make sure that all the marrow’s gone and to ensure that she doesn’t get an infection, as she’ll have absolutely no immune system.
She’s scared and asks where House is. Nice segue. He’s in her room smelling her bra! Hott! Or he just has a hunch. He rushes into the Marrow Depleting Chamber and turns it off, explaining that she doesn’t have anemia, but rather an infection. He suggests a safer course of treatment, which sets off everybody’s alarms because that’s not really House’s style. At all.
He admits to drugging her, but it all ends up being Cameron’s fault anyway. See, the antibiotics she left in Anica’s room changed the course of Anica’s illness, which prevented House’s diagnosis from testing positive. Yay! Cameron’s fault, Cameron’s fault! I love that!
Foreman strides into Cuddy’s office, announcing that he wants the job after all. She points out that a doctor under his watch (House) almost killed a patient, but then she twists the knife and says that at the same time, House got Anica to agree to outpatient counseling. Ah, looks like it didn’t take, though, as we see her at another hospital being admitted with a low white blood cell count. Wacky!
OK folks, EdHill is on House duty for the next week or two while I recover from plastic surgery (thanks, Santa!), but I’ll be back here in January, skinnier yet bigger breasted than ever!