In just two episodes this season, House has already cured a quad-diver, a girl with scurvy and a bloody-butted boy who had a piece of his twin stuck in his brain. Plus, he found out Cuddy and Wilson are big fat liars, and his leg started hurting again, prompting him to go back on the Vicodin. So what could the writers possibly throw at House this week to top all that?
One word: JoelfreakinGrey! That’s right, this week’s episode starts off with Mr. Cabaret Man himself in the lab, torturing some white rats. (Or are they mice? Eh, like it matters.) Joel picks up a rodent and says that while he admires his spirit, he just going to have to jab him with a big pointy needle anyway. Needless to say, the ratmouse dies. PETA is not going to be happy with this opening.
Speaking into his tape recorder, Dr. Joel relates his notes on the case. The rat’s been injected with a bunch of human cancer, then injected with an experimental cancer drug, and now Joel is going to open him up and see what happened. Uhm, you think maybe he got cancer? Kind of hard to tell if the drug was working or not though, since you just killed him. Bonus points go to Mr. Grey for saying he’s cutting the rat open through the “rectus sheath.” While I’m not sure what a rectus sheath is, I bet EdHill could make a cooter joke about it.
Physician, heal thy rat.
During the autopsy, JoeyG starts sweating and having a hard time breathing. It would so rule if he got the Hantavirus! Anyway, once he cuts open Lemmiwinks, he finds the tumor is still there, which means his drug doesn’t work. You know what else doesn’t seem to work? Joel’s lungs, as he collapses in the middle of the lab. But not before trying to pick up a random rat. Maybe he injected that one with Mrs. Fletcher’s “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” Life Alert pager. We’ll never know, as Dr. Grey drops the rat and falls to the floor. To add insult to injury, Ratsy McDiesalot jumps down on the good doctor’s chest and takes a chunk out of his lower lip.
“I’m gonna get me some Kibbles ‘n Bits!”
After the credits, House is upstairs meeting with the Outhouses, going over the case. He gives a quick history of the patient, then tells them to disregard the facial lacerations. “They’re creepy, but unfortunately irrelevant,” before telling them about the facial lacerations. “He was about to dissect one of his lab rats when he collapsed and the little vermin seized the day, so to speak, and went all medieval on his ass.” I love it when House gets all Marsellus Wallace on the Housemates’ ass.
None of the other docs want to talk about the case though; they just want to know why House has his cane back. He doesn’t want to talk about his leg, though, because he can still breathe. Unlike Ezra Powell, who can’t. The Housemates recognize Ezra’s name. “The guy who wrote that textbook?” asks Chase. “Not that textbook, the textbook,” House corrects him. Cameron is shocked that there’s another doctor House admires. Obviously, she hasn’t seen the way he stares at Caddy’s butt-ocks when giving her the hormone injections.
While the Housemates are throwing ideas out, House is suffering a through a burst of pain. And he decides to take it out on poor Dr. Powell. He says that it’s either his heart or his lungs. So, he wants to put some pressure on the patient and see which gives out first. Chase says the guy is 71, and if they get his heart or lungs to give out, they might not get them to start working again. “That’s why we’re going to do it in a hospital,” says House, before telling them to put the old guy on an incline treadmill and do a stress EKG. So much for the admiration. Unless, of course, this is just payback for some pre-med hazing ritual.
Cameron’s crotch is insane!
Later, Cameron is putting Joel though his paces on the treadmill. He tells her he worked with “Williams” on the first protocol on this very machine. “Everyone still uses it,” Cameron tells him, trying to be nice to the old guy. “Everyone except Williams,” he corrects her. “He died four years ago.” Paging Dr. BUZZKILL! I’m surprised the producers didn’t add a little Debbie Downer “wah wah wah” horn on that line.
During the test, the Outhouses are talking about House. Cameron says he’s gone back to the cane, but isn’t using the pills: “That means he’s right back where he started, maybe even worse.” Uhm, I know I’m new to the whole House mythology, but wasn’t he using his cane and the pills before? In which case he’s better than when he started, CAMERON. Ever the naÃ¯ve optimist, Chase is sure that House will “handle it in a stoic, grown-up fashion; he’d never take it out on us.” What do you bet Chase thinks we actually landed on the moon too? Idiot. Actually, he was totally being sarcastic when he said it, but I just learned a certain un-blood relative of mine doesn’t believe we actually landed on the moon, and I’ve been looking for a chance to laugh at her on
Senator Stevens’ big series of pipes internets. HAHAHA!!
Anyway, before the Housemates can laugh at Chase, Ezra says he can’t finish the test. But surely he knows that the protocols require the patients finish the test. WHAT ABOUT THE PROTOCOLS???!!!!
Foreman says his heart rate only reached 90, and they need it to be 130, so he’s going to increase the incline. Cameron goes out to encourage Dr. Powell, but he tells her he doesn’t need a cheerleader; he needs oxygen. But once he gets the oxygen, maybe she could dress up and do a few splits for him?
Of course, Cameron stops the test. And of course, House later berates her for her decision. He says the patient isn’t trying hard enough. “Exercising with a lungful of your own bodily fluids tends to hurt,” Cameron says. And she knows this how…? Eh, on second thought, I don’t want to know. Neither does House, who simply tells her to do the test again.
In order to do that, Cameron and Chase have to drain the fluid from the patient’s chest. “To see if it’s my heart of my lungs?” Dr. Powell asks Cameron. “Exactly,” she says, in the non-committal Cameron manner we’ve come to know and despise. The doctor’s money is on both. He tells her he’s been in and out of the hospital for the past year. He’s old. He’s sick. And he’s getting older and sicker. And, evidently, a lot emptier, as Chase manages to pull out a giant syringe worth of fluid.
Meanwhile, House is doing his appointed rounds in the clinic. Which means we need to pay extra close attention to what happens here, because chances are it’ll spur something later to help House solve the important case. In that sense, procedural storylines are like the comfort food of network television. I like macaroni and cheese.
This week, House is treating a guy with hot daughter syndrome. While House is checking the guy’s tonsils, the girl is trying to argue with him about why she needs a $400 handbag. House answers for the guy in his best grumpy dad voice, but instead of winning points for the dad, all it does is win points for House.
“You have some bad wind.”
When House finally removes his instrument from Daddy’s mouth (that’s funny), Dad says he’s been congested ever since he got back from Fresno. “Fresno?” House asks. “That’s in France, right? Did you see the Parthenon?” It’s so unattractive when guys act all stupid to get into a 17-year old girl’s pants. Especially with her dad sitting there. Although not nearly as unattractive as asking your date’s dad about unprotected anal sex with IV drug users. Come on, House, he just told you he was in Fresno. What do you think the answer to that question is?
House concludes it’s a rhinovirus. In other words, a cold. I didn’t know you get colds from unprotected anal sex. Then again, I never knew you could get gonorrhea from riding a tractor in your bathing suit either. As he’s leaving the office, House drops some papers, which Lolita is way too eager to pick up for him. She tells House if there’s anything else he can think of, to please call. And of course Cameron Interruptus shows up to tell them he’s too old and weak. She’s talking about Dr. Grey, though, not House. I think.
“I am so going to Hell.”
While the doc is going through another test, House tells Chase and Foreman all the different diseases Dr. Powell has researched over the years, and all the different diagnostic descriptions he’s helped develop. Unfortunately, he’s never researched what he seems to be suffering from now, or he’d have a better description than “I can’t breathe.”
Since this test isn’t working either, House comes in and shoots something in the doc’s IV. Cameron’s upset, because that’s not protocol. “No,” House tells her, “protocol is what you tried to do twice now and failed. Plus, I hate your bangs.” Actually, he didn’t say anything about Cameron’s new bangs, but I wish he would. They’ve been driving me crazy all season now. Someone get her some Ted Stroehmann hair gel, stat!
The injection speeds up Dr. Powell’s heart rate some, but not enough. So House gives him another injection, again over Cameron’s objections. Doc Grey defends House, though, telling Cameron it’s the right thing to do. And the tasty way to do it. Hey, when did House become a Quaker Oats commercial? Man, I wish Wilford Brimley would guest star sometime. That’s got EMMY written all over it! Anyway, the second injection pushes Joel’s heart rate up over 130, and since he doesn’t die, they know it’s not his heart that’s causing the problems.
“Help me, Jebus!”
After House leaves the room, Cameron goes to give Doc something to bring his heart rate back down, but he asks her to shoot it up even more. He knows he’s going to die, and he doesn’t want to live like that. “I’m begging you,” he tells Cameron. “Please, kill me.” Heavy. Later, Cameron is telling the others that Doc wants to die. House says he’s just depressed, and he’ll feel better once they cure him. Chase, however, disagrees. He says it’s Dr. Powell’s call. Foreman asks if they should put a plastic bag over his head and get it over with. Rhetorically, of course. Chase says they should give him a syringe full of morphine; every doctor he’s ever practiced with has done it. Foreman and Cameron both say they could never help a patient kill themselves. Even one as annoying as Joel Grey.
“But you just said we should respect his decision,” Chase tells Cameron. “Respect it doesn’t necessarily mean we should honor it,” she answers. Wow, someone’s got a career in politics ahead of them. Especially since her medical career seems to be heading down the shitter. Foreman agrees, even going so far as to call her Senator and ask whose side she’s on. “First respect his wishes, then invade Iraq, then get the troops home. Make up your mind.” I didn’t expect such a cheap political pop from the writers. Especially on a FOX show. Evs.
House doesn’t give a crap about their moralizing, though, and just wants to talk about the test results. Cameron says that coming up with a new treatment isn’t going to do any good unless they can talk Dr. Powell into trying it. House says he’s “old, sick, and tiny.” They can do whatever they want to him. I hope they put his hand in a bowl of warm water once he goes to sleep. That one never gets old. Before they can fill up the bowl, though, everyone’s beeper goes off. Something’s wrong with Dr. Powell!
When they get to Dr. Powell’s room, the nurse tells them that he somehow fell out of bed and got his tubes all wrapped around his neck. Somehow. Yeah, just like those poor unfortunate souls you hear about at the emergency room who just happened to fall on a light bulb, which just now happens to be located in their ass. JoelG tells them he doesn’t want to live hooked to machines, to be too weak to wipe his own ass. “Why would you want to wipe your own ass when you can have someone do it for you?” asks House. Well, when you put it that way…
Doc says he just wants to be left alone, and he’ll press assault charges against the first one who touches him. House sends the nurse out of the room, before sitting down for a nice bedside chat with Doc. “You came to me, I didn’t come to you,” he reminds Dr. Powell. That’s because he figured House would have the guts to do what needed to be done, if it came to that. House tells him they’re nowhere near that time. They are at lung-testing time, though, and so he shoves a tube down Doc’s throat. Of course, Cameron is all worried, but only because it triggers a nasty prom flashback. Ironically, Foreman gets upset for the same reason. Both of them pull House off before he can get a decent sample.
“Why you, I oughta…!”
Undeterred, House switches into Blue Meanie mode, and begins to tell Doc what he has to look forward to if he refuses treatment. Considering someone very close to me right now might have congestive heart failure, on top of his lung cancer and diabetes, this part’s a little too close to home, so I fast-forwarded through it. Sorry.
mrs. copygodd tells me that House ended up making a deal with Dr. Powell. He wants one more day; if he doesn’t find out what’s wrong, he’ll help Doc die. Sounds fair.
And I’m back… House and the Outhouses are walking down the hall, running through a litany of diagnosis and tests. And discussing whether or not House is actually going to help his patient kill himself. “Cuddy’s not going to let you,” says Cameron. And just in case that doesn’t work, she sticks her fingers in her ears and starts holding her breath. Okay, she doesn’t do that. But you know it’s only a matter of time until she does.
House knows they don’t want him to kill Doc; he doesn’t want to kill Doc either. So how does he not kill him? By them doing their job. They have 24 hours to figure out what’s wrong with him. Then there’s lots of medical talk, too fast to follow. “All that in 24 hours?” asks Foreman. “Nah,” House tells him. “Whatever you don’t get done, you can finish at the autopsy.”
“Do I look mousy to you guys? Seriously, I can take it.”
Hey, it’s time for a non-musical montage. In this one, Cameron is in Doc’s lab, checking his rats. Foreman is checking a bunch of red sponges. And Chase is making Doc pee in a plastic bag. On a later webisode, he extracts the Doc’s musk from this very same urine sample, which should fetch quite a penny on the streets of Marrakech.
The next morning, House shows up and tells everyone they look like crap. They don’t have the results yet. “What have you been doing all night,” he asks. “Jell-O shots and wild sex, what else,” is Cameron’s snaptastic reply. Although in all honesty, I doubt her character’s ever done either. And certainly not at the same time. In the middle of this, House gets a call from the front desk. Evidently, a woman wants to talk to him and won’t leave a message. He won’t take the call, though. Women. Can’t live with ‘em. Pass the beer nuts.
House picks up a tape recorder from Doc’s belongings. Cameron says he takes notes because he’s a diligent researcher. House thinks it’s because he’s losing his memory. Which could be a sign that whatever’s in his lungs is also in his brain. I hope we get to see them drain some brain fluid. Tonight’s episode just hasn’t been that graphic yet.
While he’s being put in the MRI tube, Doc reminds Cameron they only have six hours left. It’s not that he wants them to fail, he just knows they will. Meanwhile, House is asking Wilson for some help. So you know he’s stumped. Cameron comes in and tells them that Doc’s brain is fine. “Too bad,” says House. “If his brain were addled, we wouldn’t have to listen to anything he said.”
Later, House tries to give Doc the runaround about his symptoms, but Ezra isn’t buying it, and says House’s time is up. He wants to die. And he wants to die NOW!!! House asks for 12 more hours. Nope. How about six more hours? “Are you a man of your word or not?” asks Doc. House says he’s not. “Fine, discharge me,” Doc tells him. Then he recites the same icky symptoms back to House that he’s going to go through, in an attempt to guilt House into helping him die.
It must work, because later that night, House goes to Doc’s room, warning everyone else to leave, before pulling out his special kill pouch. Yes! He says he’s just going to administer a prescription painkiller to a patient that’s in pain. But just in case someone’s secretly replaced the fine morphine he usually uses with Folgers crystals, they should go and make sure they’re seen in the cafeteria. Foreman says he can’t let House do it, House, however tells Foreman that someone’s about to get a butt full of morphine (that would make a great band name), he’s just not sure who at this point. Of course, as fond of he is of his ass, Foreman backs down and leaves. So does Cameron. Chase stays, though, because killing old people is just how he rolls.
Doc thanks House. “I always wondered what was on the other side,” he says. “Nothing,” is House’s response, as Doc flat lines. But wait, House is trying to bring him back to life. Chase doesn’t understand what’s going on. Evidently, House never planned on killing Doc; he just wanted him unconscious so he could keep testing him. “That way”, House says, “there’s no more whining.” Man, if that doesn’t sound just like my honeymoon…
The next day, House tells the Housemates they can legally assume Doc would consent to whatever tests a reasonable person would consent to. “And a reasonable person would obviously consent to being put in a coma against their will just to satisfy your curiosity?” asks Cameron. House can’t understand why she’s so upset. “I try to kill him, you’re mad. I don’t kill him, you’re mad.” Cameron’s just mad about killing!
Before the Housemates leave, though, he asks Cameron about the MRI she took. She caught the top of his lungs, and it shows scarring. Cameron tries to give him the evil eye, but it’s not working. “You do know that you can’t really pierce me with your stares,” House taunts her. Then he orders them to do a bunch more tests. Cameron refuses, though, and walks out, taking her stares, and her bangs, with her.
That means Chase and Foreman are stuck sticking a camera up Doc’s ass all on their own. You know, I’ve suffered through this procedure once, and believe me when I tell you it’s not nearly as much fun as they make it out to be. Chase thinks that Cameron is doing what she believes in. Foreman, however, thinks if she were acting on principle, she’d be in there trying to stop them. All she’s doing is running away from the principles so she won’t have to feel uncomfortable facing them. Chase says if Foreman were acting on principle, he’d have called the cops when he thought House was killing the guy. Just then, Foreman spots the nurse hanging around and tells Chase to hurry up before she can tell Cuddy. And right on cue, the machine that goes “Ping!” starts pinging.
But instead of watching the Outhouses pull the camera from Doc’s ass, we get to see Cuddy harassing House. She’s heard about his little stunt with Dr. Powell. “Not really a stunt,” he tells her. “More of a ruse, a trick, a hoodwink.” She calls it a lie. “But lying is sometimes good, right?” House asks her. “Like when you’re trying to teach someone a lesson about humility or something.” Or when you say you’ll only put it in an inch.
“You know you want to pull it…”
All House is trying to do is save Doc’s life. Sure, Doc’s not going to learn anything, but House thought the same principle might apply. Cuddy says they’re not going to get sued for keeping him alive. Wait, so that means she approves of what House is doing? So why you gotta bust balls, Cuddy? Maybe she’s pregnant after all… She wants to know if House wants her to disagree with him and to yell at him. They’re doctors. They treat patients; they don’t kill them. At that, House starts talking into the wire he thinks Cuddy is wearing. But as she told him last week, it’s just an underwire.
Foreman and Chase pull House away to tell him their latest tests also came back negative. Looks like it’s time for an open-lung biopsy. But before he can get to cutting, he spies Cameron sitting forlorn in the locker room. Seems the other girls were throwing tampons at her again, chanting “Plug it up! Plug it up!” Poor Cameron…
He asks if she found a copy of the January 1967 Mass Medical Journal at the doc’s lab when she searched it. He figures if she’s not doing any work, she might as well read something to pass the time. Hmm, think House is about to school Cameron…?
Upstairs, House is bouncing a ball against the wall. How come when he does it, it’s cute, but when I do it, the dude in the next cubicle throws a hissy fit? Oh yeah, because we don’t have a real wall between us. Wilson interrupts to check on House’s leg. And on Ezra Powell. Seems Cameron told him what’s going on. “I hate practicing medicine in high school,” House says. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ask Cuddy for the bathroom pass.”
Wilson can’t believe House wouldn’t kill Doc; he’s done it plenty of times in the past. “Only to patients I knew were terminal,” House corrects him. Wilson says it has nothing to do with saving Doc’s life; House just can’t bear to have a patient die without him knowing why. When did Wilson become such a dick? Oh yeah, the minute his mother’s ob/gyn smacked him on the ass.
The Housemates (sans Cameron) are doing the biopsy on Doc. House is upstairs watching, when Cameron comes in and asks why House made her look up that article. Turns out Doc isn’t as nice as Cameron thought he was. He injected newborn babies with radioactive agents without their parents’ consent. House says he was just ignoring the rights of a few to save many. Just like Spock did in The Wrath of Khan!
Cameron isn’t buying it, though, and totally disapproves of what Doc did. But that doesn’t mean she’ll help House. “The fact that a patient did bad things doesn’t change anything; he still deserves to have control over his own body.” House points out, rightfully, that if he had control over his own body, he’d be dead. Cameron says they can withhold treatment. “No you can’t,” House yells at her. “You can help him live or you can help him die. You can’t have it both ways.” And thus endeth the lesson.
Whatever they’re checking for in surgery is negative, but just then the patient crashes. House rushes down and saves Doc from a collapsed lung. As he’s stitching Doc back up, however, he notices that Doc doesn’t have any feeling in his right side. All the tests House wants to do to check him, though, can only be done if Doc is awake. That means they have to wake Doc back up. Housie, you got some ‘splaining to do!
When Doc wakes up, it’s to House telling him not to go toward the light: You’ll fall and break your hip. Doc is a little discombobulated at first, but recovers his senses enough to get pissed off at House, telling him it was all a waste and a huge failure. But enough about David Blaine’s last stunt.
Doc refuses to go along with any more tests, so House says he wants to clean him up so he can go home. Of course to House, “cleaning up” entails throwing ice water on Doc’s chest and tickling his feet. No wonder he wants someone to wipe his ass for him.
“The power of Christ compels you!”
In the hallway, House tells the remaining Housemates that his little trick told them Doc has no sensation in his abdomen or left leg, in addition to his right arm. So whatever’s attacking his lungs is also attacking his brain. Clever… There are several things it could be, but House says he needs to catch the disease in the act. He asks Chase what the largest organ is; Chase says it’s the skin. I thought Chase was Australian, not Irish.
So, House finds Cameron and tells her he wants a skin sample from Doc. And she wants a foot massage from Johnny Damon. I hope this doesn’t turn into a parody of O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi.” Who knows what House will ask for next. Cameron is still fighting with House, though, until he yells at her about her inability to make a decision. “You can’t decide if we’re helping him or hurting him. If we’re good or bad. Or if you want paper, plastic or a burlap sack. Reservoir tip, or ribbed, for your pleasure? Just make up your mind, woman!” Cameron says she’ll do it, but she won’t lie to Doc. “Fine, tell the truth,” House says. “Just get me a pound of flesh.” A pound? Geez, what kind of test is this?
She tells Doc that House wants a skin biopsy, and she’s supposed to get it. Doc can’t believe that Cameron, of all people, agreed to do it. She tells him she had nothing to do with putting him in a coma or running all the other tests, So why is she helping House now? Seems she’s read some of Doc’s articles. And she’s none too happy to find out what kind of man Doc really is. The kind who would radiate babies with no forms, no consent, no nothing. Who knows how many cancers he caused. Doc says he doesn’t know that, but he does know he discovered techniques that prevented fatal kidney problems in hundreds of thousands of other kids. And he doesn’t regret what he did. “Informed consent, patient’s rights, they hold back research,” he tells her. Wow, who knew Joel Grey was such a little monster? (Besides those of us who remember his turn as Doc in Season Five of Buffy.) At that, Cameron reaches down and slices off a piece of Doc’s arm. Lesson? Don’t piss off Cameron when she’s holding a scalpel. “What the hell are you doing?!” Doc screams at her. “Informed consent is holding back our diagnosis,” she tells him, as she throws him a towel and walks off. “Good for you,” Doc tells her. “You’re finally standing up for something, acting on what you believe.” It’s a good thing Cameron doesn’t believe in St. Elsewherism.
Down in the clinic, Lolita shows up looking for House. She’s not stalking him, though. Her dad just needs some more meds. She wants to know he won’t return any of her calls. He says he plans to, in a couple of years. She was just calling to thank him, House, get over yourself. She was also impressed that he diagnosed her dad by just looking at him. House admits he felt his glands too. As she’s walking off, she says he doesn’t have to wait a couple years to return her calls; just six months, till she turns 18. Then she turns around and gives House a nice shot of her red thong. Isn’t that how Clinton and Lewinsky got started?
House and I share the same Muse.
Of course, that red thong gives House an idea about Doc. He’s wearing the wrong underwear! Actually, he needs to be tested with congo red. Not to be confused, of course, with ghetto mauve. House is right, and now they know what Doc has. “How the hell did you pull that out of your…?” Foreman asks. “Not out of mine,” House answers. “I had a muse.”
Don’t pop the champagne yet, boys and girls. Turns out Doc has protein type AA. Or, as it sounds in Chase’s accent, protein type Aye Aye. Fitting, on National “Talk Like A Pirate” Day.
House gives Doc the bad news. He has amyloidosis. I guess that’s bad. It’s in his lungs, kidneys, bone marrow and brain. Doc wants to know why he should believe House this time. Because if House were lying, silly, he wouldn’t tell you the subtype is AA. That means it’s terminal. “Congratulations,” he tells House. “You got your answer.” And that answer, of course, is 42.
And it’s time for the musical montage. This week, it’s set to “Into Dust” by Mazzy Star. We see shots of Doc alone in bed, shaking and scared, House is at home, and Cameron is back in the locker room. Suddenly, it’s morning, and House is walking back into his office. Sitting his desk is a calendar, with six months and counting written across March’s page. Wonder which hot psycho that’s from. Cuddy comes in to tell House that Ezra Powell passed away last night. But she’s sure he already knew about that. Nope, House was at home all night. Cuddy tells House the nurse charted Doc at 2 a.m.; he was stable. And at 2:30, he was dead. Does House know anything about it? “If I did, would you really want to know?” he asks her. And she walks off. I’m taking that as a no.
Krazy Eyez Killah.
Next, we get some shots of the nurse cleaning Doc, shutting his eyes and pulling the sheet over his head. Then we cut to Cameron, who’s sitting alone in the chapel, crying. House shows up, puts his hand on her shoulder, and tells her he’s proud of her. So that’s what it takes to earn House’s respect. Euthanasia!
You know, I never thought I’d miss seeing a guy’s testicle explode, but after tonight’s downer of an episode, I do. Your thoughts?