Here at TVgasm’s Rocky Mountain offices, it’s been a while since we’ve called plagiarism on a network television show. (I call it all the time on basic cable offerings. Especially The Colbert Report.) But TiVo’s summary for this week’s episode of House rings too close to my own upbringing to be a mere coincidence: House denies his physical pain; a child comes to the hospital with rectal bleeding and proclamations of being tortured by aliens.
Okay, except for the whole bit about House denying his physical pain, that sounds exactly like my third grade year. And both of my ninth grade years. And my sophomore year at THE Ohio State University. But since I was in college, technically I was just experimenting with aliens that time. After all, how else would I know I wasn’t attracted to aliens unless I let them probe my probe-hole?
Anyway, enough about my ass. The recap awaits after the jump…This week’s episode starts off with a distinctive X-Files vibe. And not the lame Doggett years either; I’m talking the golden years, before Scully and Mulder first made “the beast with two backs”. A suburban mom tucks her little boy into bed, but he gets spooked when his bobbleheads start to bobble of their own accord. Personally, I’d be spooked that my mom was being played by Laura Palmer, but that’s just me. He yells for mom, but dad comes to the door instead. Undeterred, Senior Pissypants asks his dad if he can turn on the TV. Daddy don’t play that, though, and tells Junior that TV is a daytime toy. If he’d like a nighttime toy, the Ben-wa balls are on his dresser.
Clancy tells his dad he’s worried that “they” might come to get him again. You can totally tell this is a nightly occurrence by the way dad taps his foot and blows his son off. (Not like that. This isn’t Law & Order: SVU. Yet.) But you can also tell that as soon as daddykins shuts the door, bad things are gonna happen. Very bad things. Especially once Junior gets up and turns on the TV anyway.
Sure enough, the channels soon start to change on their own. Whenever this happens at my house (and it’s more often than you’d think), it means either myself or one of the dogs has sat on the remote again. But here, it means the aliens are a-comin’. The TV shuts offs, the furniture starts to shake, and a bright light erupts from the boy’s closet. Either it’s a very fabulous episode of Queer Eye or Clancy’s in deep doodoo. Or both.
The next morning, Clancy is nowhere to be found. Mom and Dad search all over the house for him, to no avail. Fortunately, the cameras reveal that Clancy is lying in the front yard, unconscious. Unfortunately, they also reveal that his ass is a bloody mess. Let’s hope they find him before the neighbors do, or Mom and Dad can forget about that invitation to the next potluck.
Hey, House is getting ready to run again. Hooray ketamine! Wait, he’s not going to make it. Instead, he comes back in and massages his leg. Boo Eurotrash miracle drugs! Even worse, he snarfs down a couple Vicodin. Which he only has because he forged Wilson’s name on a prescription last week. Which he wouldn’t have had to do had Wilson not gone all Yahweh and made Cuddy promise not to tell House that he was right about Crippy McSwimsalot’s diagnosis after all. Thanks a lot, WILSON! (That pretty much sums up the “Previously On…” portion of the recap.)
House’s crotch is insane!
At the hospital, House is walking with a noticeable limp. Wilson asks House whither his sweat and B.O.; evidently Wilson misses House’s musk. Cuddy also notices that he’s clean and early. House says if it’s an intervention, they’re too late, because he’s not hooked on drugs anymore. He is, however, hooked on phonics. Dammit, I was going totally going to make that joke.
Cuddy says that House seems to be favoring his left side a little. “I was hanging down my right pant leg yesterday,” House tells her. “Makes all the difference in the world.” Yes it does. Are you with me, fellas? The good doctors Cuddy and Wilson also notice that House is taking the elevator today instead of the stairs. Cuddy warns House if he slacks on his rehab, his leg will weaken and hurt again. Not to mention the terrorists will win.
After House leaves, Wilson tells Cuddy he’s worried the ketamine treatment might not stick. He should be worried that a sheet from his prescription pad is missing, but evs. Cuddy, meanwhile, is worried that House is depressed because they’re lying to him. And whether the dress she’s wearing makes her butt look big.
Cuddy tells Wilson if House gets depressed, he’ll stop exercising. If he stops exercising, the muscle will atrophy. If the muscle atrophies, the pain will return. It’s too bad the writers didn’t write this in the form of a “The thigh bone’s connected to the arm bone” sing-along. That would rule. Wilson counters, saying maybe he stopped exercising because the “giant hole in his leg” actually hurts. Substitute “heart” for “leg” and that totally explains why I don’t exercise. Actually, if you substitute that entire sentence for “I’m a lazy fattyfat” you’d be a lot closer.
Cuddy says they have to tell House he was right about the chair-diver; Wilson says they can’t tell him because House just made a lucky guess, based on no medical evidence at all. Wilson’s worried that next time one of House’s wild guesses might end up killing someone. He says they have a tiny window of time where House might be healthy enough to change. But based on House’s limp, that window is closing fast.
Upstairs, the Outhouses are going over Elliott McBloodybutt’s symptoms. Foreman can’t help but point out that House is 0-for-1 since coming back. But good old Cameron tries to keep them focused on the task at hand: learning why the caged bird sings. Or, in this case, why the alien-abductee bleeds out his ass.
In her opinion, it’s most probably sexual abuse; penetration causes the bleeding, trauma causes the fantasy. But what, dear Cameron, causes the child’s incessant need to cuddle afterward? Foreman says the rape kit came back negative for “tearing, semen or pubic hairs.” But as anyone who’s seen Close Encounters can tell you, the Greys are a hairless race. Thus, a lack of pubic hairs does not let them off the hook. A lack of viscous green ET-juice, however, just might clear them. Might. Chase thinks they should just talk to the kid. Talk to the patient? Why didn’t House think of that? Oh yeah, because he’s House.
Instead, he calls Chase out: “You’re a believer, aren’t you?” Chase says he’s not arrogant enough to think that “of the 50 billion galaxies, each with 100 billion stars per galaxy and 10 million billion planets in the universe that we’re the only ones with life.” Of course, he is arrogant enough to think that tie works with that jacket. House agrees that we’re probably not the only intelligent beings in the universe, but points out that we’re probably the only ones who “like shoving things through our back doors.” Obviously, House is forgetting about the Joozians, producers of the hit intergalactic reality show, Earth.
Foreman says that there is new research indicating a link between neurological problems and bleeding disorders. Yeah, that’s great, but what about the link between having an alien probe shoved up your pooper and bleeding disorders? House says Foreman’s diagnosis is perfect, if only there were neurological problems present. “What part of hallucinating about an alien abduction isn’t neurological?” Foreman asks him. Is that rhetorical? House says it wasn’t a hallucination; the kid was just having a nightmare. A nightmare where he had a giant satellite dish sticking out of his butt. And Scott Baio gave him pinkeye.
“Nightmares aren’t a symptom of anything except wanting to sleep with Mommy,” House tells his team. Which leaves only the bloody tuckus, and that can easily be explained by a simple bleeding disorder. House orders up a bunch of bloody butt tests and leaves the room.
Chase explains the test to the boy and his family. Basically, he’s going to make a tiny nick in the kid’s forearm, then time how long it takes to stop bleeding. Seems straightforward enough. The only question the boy has, though, is if the room’s windows are locked. Mom tells Clancy not to bother the nice doctor, but Chase says it’s okay. The boy tells him the aliens put a chip in his neck to track him. And they put another thing between his two ribs that they use to check out his insides. His ribs? Dang, his dad must have one loooooong thingie.
Chase tries to humor Clancy, telling him he found the chip in his neck, and he’s going to remove it for him. The parents look a little worried, until Chase winks at them. Ah, Chase is so nice. And stupid. The kid knows he’s being played. “I’m seven, not three,” he tells Chase. “You DONKEY!”
Later, Chase is telling House how detailed the boy’s abduction fantasies are. Especially since he doesn’t watch any sci-fi. “That’s great,” says House. “Did you do any of that medical stuff we talked about?” Ah, House, you rapscallion you…
Chase says the tests came back fine, which House interprets as Chase screwing up the tests. Of course, Chase denies it, so House says it must be a UFO: Unidentified Flowing Orifice. He tells Foreman to redo the test. Chase asks how could he screw up a simple bleed time test. Foreman’s response? “Maybe you were abducted, and lost time.”
When Foreman runs the test, the kid bleeds like a stuck pig. In fact, Foreman had to stop the bleeding himself after 25 minutes. Things are not looking good for young Doctor Chase, who insists that Foreman must have screwed up. “The big hand points to minutes,” Foreman tells him. “Maybe you got ‘em mixed up.” House thinks that was a good one, and awards Foreman a rakish “ooh, snap!”
Next, he tells Chase that Foreman’s playing the dozens, and that Chase is at a huge cultural disadvantage. You know, because Foreman’s black and Chase is Australian. Undeterred, Chase throws out his own insult: “Hey Foreman, your momma’s so fat, that when her beeper goes off, people thinks she’s backing up.” Huh. Guess House was right after all.
Whitest. Doctor. Ever.
When Chase goes to check on Clancy that night, he’s gone. He runs to tell House that Clancy’s gone missing, and House suggests they form a search party. Chase can take Alpha Centauri, Foreman can check on Tatooine, and Cameron can set up an intergalactic checkpoint. House needs to watch more sci-fi. Everyone knows that Tatooinians would never abduct an Earth child. Hey House, your momma’s so stupid, she enlisted in the Empire because she heard they have the best Walkers in the galaxy! (Rimshot.)
When Chase does find Clancy, things aren’t looking good. Seems he’s decided to remove the implant by himself. With a scalpel. And the unsterile hands of a child. But when Chase is cleaning Clancy’s wound, he finds a chip! Ruh roh!
The next day, an incredulous House tells the Housemates that the lab could not identify the metal. They said it might not even be terrestrial. Of course, House is just yanking Chase’s chain. It’s titanium. Like from a surgical pin. Like the kind the kid had inserted into his broken arm four years ago. Duh.
Chase isn’t buying it, though. Especially since the pin was removed six months after his arm healed. “So a piece broke off,” says House. “Titanium is used to build nuclear subs,” counters Chase. “Pieces don’t just break off.” Besides, how did the broken piece of titanium get from the boy’s arm to his neck? Foreman says it probably just hitched a ride in Clancy’s vein, making it sound like that kind of thing happens all the time. Chase says the chip would’ve gone to Clancy’s lungs; not his neck. “Yeah, an alien chip makes more sense,” House tells him, thus effectively ending the argument.
Turning around from the coffee pot, however, House’s leg gives out, and he almost spills his drink. Oh no, spilled hospital coffee! He tells everyone he just tripped. But that’s not the important thing. Clancy dug a hole in his neck and didn’t bleed to death, which means Chase didn’t screw up his bleed-time test after all. Yeah, that’s way more important than spilled hospital coffee.
Foreman can’t believe the kid clotted on his own. Come on, Foreman, it’s not like he grew a third eye. He just clotted. I do that almost every time I take a crap. That would mean that first Clancy didn’t have a bleeding disorder, then he did, and now he doesn’t again. Cameron says that’s unpossible. More likely, at least according to Chase, is that Foreman screwed up his test.
To figure it out, they need to bleed the kid again. Bring the leeches! The parents aren’t too happy about it, but let them do the test anyway. Mom wants to know if maybe the problem could be psychological So what, Mom, you want maybe they should bleed his brain too?
The plot thickens…
Meanwhile, Cameron is off to do rounds down in the clinic. Nurse Ratchet says she heard the Artist formerly known as Gimp is back upstairs. Nurse Ratchet is funny. She tells Cameron that Cuddy wanted the file she has, but Cameron says Cuddy is busy, so she’ll take it. And wouldn’t you know it, the mystery file belongs to none other than Johnny Wheelchair, aka the crippled guy that House cured but nobody wants him to know he cured. Yeah, that guy.
Cameron can’t believe he’s up and sort-of moving around. He can’t believe she doesn’t know he’s been sort-of cured. He tells her he wants to have sex with his wife, and he wants a big bucket of Viagra. Before Cameron can effectively kill his hard-on by explaining that his wife’s cooter probably dried up after eight years of not having sex with his crippled ass, Cuddy enters the room. Cuddy, you have some ‘splainin’ to do!
Back in Cuddy’s office, Cameron tells her it’s completely unethical not to tell House he was right. Cuddy says they’re not telling him because he needs to be less reckless with patients. “Well, you did it,” Cameron tells her. “He’s dismissing symptoms, looking for easy solutions, listening to me….” Okay, she didn’t say that last part, but she does tell Cuddy that House is in pain again. That gets Cuddy’s attention. The two women argue a bit about whether or not to tell him, with Cuddy finally agreeing to run a PET scan. If the ketamine isn’t working anymore, he needs to know he’s headed for a huge crash. If it is still working, then Cuddy and Wilson done fucked up and she’ll tell House the truth. Fair enough.
Back in the room, Chase is talking with Clancy. The poor kid is worried that his parents think he’s weird. Gee, I wonder where they’d get that idea? Clancy insists he’s not weird, though; weird things just keep happening to him. You know, like undiagnosed rectal bleeding. Or hallucinations, like the one Clancy starts having when Chase begins drawing his blood. Better charge up the paddles…
After they save Clancy, House asks the Outhouses to please tell him the kid is actually a human-mutant hybrid. But Foreman trots out that same old bleeding disorder line. I’m beginning to think that’s Foreman’s answer to everything. He’d have made quite the Leechwife back in the day.
Chase and Foreman argue a bit about who screwed up what test, and then Cameron suggests that maybe Clancy was cheating. “I have no idea what you mean,” House says, “but I can smell what the Rock was cooking.” Then he tells Chase to drink a tall glass of shut up juice and delivers the People’s Elbow to Foreman. Next, Cameron says something medical about the boy’s heart that I don’t feel like transcribing, but House thinks it has potential, and orders some more tests.
After getting the parent’s consent, Chase tells them that Clancy is worried they think he’s crazy. “Well, isn’t he?” his mom asks, thus assuring her nomination for Meanest Mom EVER. Chase says there are plenty of explanations for what’s going on, and it’s important that Clancy knows his parents believe in him. Even if they don’t. Clancy’s parents suck. I hope the aliens give ‘em both anal probes. Without the benefit of lube.
House tries to look at the test results on some piddly ass little Dell screen, only to complain that he needs a Hi-Def monitor. “Tissue characterization is impossible when the pixels are the size of Lego’s,” he says. Which is the exact argument I used to get my new monitor at work. Except instead of “tissue characterization” I said “cooter”.
He and the Outhouses find a better monitor to watch the test results but ultimately House decides this one isn’t big enough either. “Looks like we’re going to need a bigger boat,” he says, throwing out a random Jaws quote. So they head down to the lecture hall to watch it on the big, big screen. Finally, House is able to see that one part of the boy’s heart isn’t beating. That can’t be good.
Later that night, Cuddy visits House in his office. He tries to play like he’s looking at porn, but Cuddy isn’t interested. Instead, she wants to know how his leg is doing. House wants to know what’s going on with her boobs. They look firmer. “It’s called an underwire,” she says. She also tells him she wants to get a PET scan of his brain. After a quick bit of sexually charged banter, Cuddy lets him off the hook. But just as he’s leaving, he stumbles and grabs his leg. When Cuddy rushes to his aid, he stands back up and smiles: “In your face, Charlie Murphy!!”
Back in the lab, Chase shows House the test results. It seems Clancy’s non-heart DNA doesn’t match his heart DNA. “Inconceivable!” shouts House, to which Foreman replies, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
After the break, House and the Outhouses are gathered at the white board tossing out possible explanations. As usual, it’s a bunch of medical jibber-jabber that I’m not even going to try and recap. In the end, Cameron comes up with a test that House agrees to try. And of course, being Cameron she immediately goes running to Cuddy and Wilson and says they have to tell House the truth. Evidently, he’s so depressed now that he’s listening to Cameron’s advice.
While the Housemates are running the tests, Foreman and Cameron are debating whether or not House has lost a step. Foreman says he doesn’t want to subject himself to House’s torture if there’s no upside. Cameron keeps insisting that House is fine, which just makes Foreman not believe her all the more. He keeps badgering her until she finally fesses up everything she knows about how Cuddy and Wilson are just trying to teach House some humility. Other things they’re trying to teach him: Sudoku!
Based on the test results, they decide to operate on Clancy. Over some totally disgusting footage of the operation, Chase explains to the boy’s parents what they’re going to do and how they think it will help. Personally, I don’t know how sticking a giant needle in someone’s eye can help anything, but then again, I’m not a TV doctor. Or Jack Bauer.
Eye of the needle.
Evidently, Cameron was right, because the next thing you know, Chase is tucking Clancy into bed and telling him he’s going home tomorrow. But since there’s still 20 minutes left in the show, I’m betting Clancy’s about to be paid one last visit by the Rectal Fairy.
Wilson asks House if he wants to go for a run. And by run, of course, he means trip, as he tosses House a bottle of Vicodin. Wilson says he’s just trying to help. The Vicodin will help House get through his rehab, his muscle strength will increase and the pain will decrease. Voila! House tosses them back, though, telling Wilson he’d rather not become dependent on pain pills to get through his day. Wilson says House is acting like a typical patient, running away from knowledge that won’t make him happy. House tells Wilson he’s as happy as a pig in poop. They argue back and forth some more, until Wilson finally goes where he shouldn’t by reminding House that he’s not always right anymore: “You’ve proven that lately.” Oh no he di’int!
Later, House is running on the treadmill when his leg starts hurting some more, and he takes some of the Vicodin he just told Wilson he wasn’t going to take. Then he hops back on the treadmill and starts running again. Damn, that’s some fast-acting Vicodin! It must be the same kind Tea Bag took when he had that vet sew his hand back on.
Meanwhile, up in Clancy’s room, the aliens are paying another visit, as we see him float up out of bed and toward the window. Well, maybe it’s not the aliens, as we learn Clancy is hallucinating. Looks like Cameron wasn’t so right after all.
I hate floaters.
The next day, the team is at it again. Foreman says since Clancy is still hallucinating, it’s obviously something neurological, which means House is wrong. Again. House says their last test didn’t penetrate the blood-brain barrier, and tells them to do the test again. And this time, not to use an IV; they need to get it right into the boy’s brain. I hope they use an ice-pick. And then Cuddy can go all Basic Instinct on us during the interrogation.
This test comes back negative, which means it’s not neurological. Who’s wrong now, FOREMAN? Next, it’s a montage of House thinking, which entails bouncing a red rubber ball and writing more stuff on the white board. And, more than likely, taking a handful of peyote.
“Ass, gas or grass…”
Unbelievably, House gives up and tells them to send the kid home. Stupid Wilson! His plan is going to get poor Clancy killed! Cameron storms out of the office, and you just know she’s running to tell Cuddy, who catches House just as he’s about to ride off. She can’t believe he’s quitting like this; he always keeps thinking of things until he comes up with something so crazy it’s right. “Except on my last case,” he reminds her. Cuddy’s insistence that he get back on the case raises House’s suspicions, though, and he eventually gets her to admit that he actually cured his last patient. While he’s lecturing to Cuddy’s unborn child about how terrible his mother is (“That’s why you don’t have a daddy…”), he gets that far-off look in his eyes that can only mean one thing: the Vicodin kicked in. Actually, it means he’s solved the case.
Turns out the kid has a twin. Inside him. Like Thad Beaumont in The Dark Half. Only less homicidal. The condition is called chimerism. And of course, House has already figured out a way to treat it. Basically, it involves tricking part of Clancy’s brain into thinking he’s being abducted, and then cutting out that part. “You’re talking about brain surgery,” his mom says. “No, I’m talking about really cool brain surgery,” House corrects her. The downside is, one of their sons will die. The upside? The taller one won’t be so annoying anymore.
Brain salad surgery.
House is right: as far as brain surgery goes, this is really cool. At one point, however, things start to go badly and Chase tells House to stop, but House won’t, since, in his mind, riding the short bus is better than not breathing. Which just shows that House has never actually ridden the short bus. Even at full power, though, House is still unable to induce a hallucination, so he does what every doctor would do under the circumstances: he gets in the kid’s face and starts telling him the aliens are coming. That finally frightens Clancy enough that they know what part of his brain to cut out. Yay scaring kids!
Later, House confronts Wilson about how he and Cuddy lied to him. Wilson says they were worried that if they told House he’d solved a case based on absolutely no medical proof, he’d think he was God. And Wilson, friend that he is, was worried House’s wings would melt. “God doesn’t limp,” House says as he limps out of Wilson’s office. Finally, during the obligatory musical montage, House gets his cane out of the closet and walks down the hall. Which can only mean one thing. I’m just not sure what.