You guys, GROSS. Hands down grossest episode of House yet. Actually, maybe in the history of television. We open up on a nasty, swollen tongue. Way swollen, unbelievably nasty. And House is being a dick and asking questions, like what his favorite color is, just to be mean and laugh at him. And then Elias Koteas comes in and shoots House. Well! That was bracing! That changes the direction of the episode, I’d say! When we return, House is lying in a hospital bed and coming to, feeling his face to see how bearded he is now – he figures two days – and Cameron is, of course, at his bedside. They discuss his own case a little, but House doesn’t even want to know who shot him, and deems gunshot wounds too boring for his attention. He just wants to hear all about the swollen tongue some more, but before Cameron can get too far into it, they wheel Elias Koteas into the same room. Ummm…yeah, right? How is that happening?
House gets up over Cameron’s objections to go complain to Cuddy. Wow, House is ethically correct for once! There’s a slight bit of sexual tension with Cameron before he heads out, but then he barges into Cuddy’s office and before he can even get a word in, she’s telling him that Elias Koteas also needs to be in the ICU so there’s nothing she can do about it. He’s handcuffed to his bed and sedated, so I guess that’s safe enough. House is over it by this point, though, and fiddling with his morphine drip. But! He’s not turning it up, he’s turning it down. Turns out that even though his neck and stomach hurt like the dickens, his leg is doing a-ok. Cuddy sort of mocks him for being upset about how his leg doesn’t hurt. That doesn’t seem very supportive but I guess she’s probably pretty much over his shit by now.
House returns to the room he shares with his would-be killer and wakes him up. Elias Koteas claims he let House live on purpose, because he wanted House to suffer. House is all, “suffer this, bitch!” and sets his machines all haywire and Elias Koteas starts moaning in pain.
I felt bad for a little bit, then the show switched back to the guy with the swollen tongue and it is disgusting. There’s a problem, and the Outhouses go check in with House to see what to do next. The important thing here is how Chase comes up with a solution before House does. Losing his edge a bit?
Later, Elias Koteas is feeling a little chatty. He tells House why he shot him: his wife was sick, and House cured her. But before he did that, he told Elias Koteas that everything was relevant, and got him to admit to having an affair. House told the wife, wife went home and killed herself. Which seems a little shortsighted of her. It’s a very slow scene. I guess House is bored too, so he heads out to look at the guy with the swollen tongue. There’s a woman standing there too, and it’s important to note that she is rather slammin’. House doesn’t believe she’s swollen-tongue guy’s wife, because she’s too hot. She’s hot, but sitcoms and commercials teach us that the schlubbier the guy, the hotter his wife. House needs to watch more TV. She’s also really smart, and totally has House’s number, telling him that she’s not going to fall for his mind games and she didn’t give her husband an STD. I guess House has had so many cases end up being the result of STDs that that’s just where his mind goes now.
Oh yeah also, he starts bleeding from his stomach and passes out. When he comes to, he’s back in bed and trying to enjoy his delicious hospital pancakes, but his shackles are getting in the way. I guess Cuddy made good on her promise to handcuff him if he got up again. So he and Elias Koteas have another chat, and it’s weird, these two men are fantastic actors, and I know the writing is good, but these scenes are a bit slow to me.
Clearly pancakes weren’t doing it for House, as we see him outside with the Outhouses at a taqueria. Eeeee! That taqueria is right near my house! In a crappy-but-gentrifying area of L.A.! Seriously, if I had known that Hugh Laurie was in my neighborhood, I would have gone absolutely nutters. Anyway, House is still talking about swollen tongue guy and eating a taco, but he seems a bit confused about medical things – the Outhouses beat him to the punch on something yet again. He surprises them by saying they don’t need to test the patient for STDs because the patient’s wife wouldn’t cheat. This surprises the Outhouses because the patient doesn’t have a wife.
Back at the hospital, Wilson is on a treadmill doing House’s physical therapy for him while House reviews his own chart. He’s freaked out because he’s having hallucinations. I can understand that, though Wilson claims hallucinations aren’t that uncommon after a trauma like getting shot. All of a sudden House asks why the surgeon gave him ketamine while he was under. So, it’s off to torture Cuddy a little. Apparently ketamine puts one in a disassociative (sp?) coma rather than just put him under. House stalks off, and all of a sudden Cuddy is overjoyed. House is walking without a limp. Turns out ketamine can cure pain, so the doctors made a decision to use it on House for his leg. Oh, I don’t buy for one second that Cuddy would do that, she of the upstanding morals.
Back in House’s room, the doctors are conferencing again, and again, Chase figures out what to do for the patient before House can finish his tortured analogy. Elias Koteas tells House he’s getting dumber, and I get a little suspicious of how everyone is reading House’s mind.
Oh my god, Elias Koteas gets a big ol’ monologue and it’s so boring; he basically tells House to get over himself. So we, the audience, are rewarded for sitting through all that dumb talking by getting a scene with swollen tongue guy. Chase leads him to the bathroom, and the guy starting yelling, as best he can, about his balls getting bigger. Chase goes in for a look, and the testicles -get this- explode on Chase’s face. Nice! In the sense that it’s really gross!
Later, House gets basic anatomy wrong, much to the chagrin of the Outhouses. Also, they decide that the patient has testicular cancer as House looks on in horror that the diagnosis didn’t even occur to him. He vents to Wilson in the bathroom, and I’m distracted because they didn’t wash their hands the way real doctors do. Anyway, House also bitches about Cuddy allowing the ketamine during his surgery. Wilson argues that House doesn’t even want a healthy leg, because he defines himself in terms of his disabled leg. House is suspicious, and figures out that Wilson also knew about the ketamine. They both go running into Cuddy’s office and House is righteous with anger – so much so that he punches Wilson in the face. Wilson looks up and asks if House is hallucinating. House screams yes, but Wilson asks again, “No, right now – are you hallucinating?” The next shot is House sitting in his bed, and Elias Koteas tells House he’s losing his mind. He also tells House that House wet his bed, but their chat is interrupted by the Outhouses. Next House is walking down the stairs with the Outhouses, but he stops and runs up the stairs again, saying he doesn’t remember how he got to the stairs, and wants to know what happened between the ICU and the stairs. That’s very meta – what’s that term for stuff that happens offscreen?
House goes into Cuddy’s office again and she jumps up, I guess figuring that he’s not done fighting. House takes himself off the case and says he’s losing his mind, and heads out the door. But he stops suddenly, wondering why Cuddy jumped up like she was scared. Since the fistfight in her office was a hallucination, he realizes that this is a hallucination, too. He wakes up in bed and Elias Koteas is staring at him smugly. You know what? I think he soaked the bullets in goofball juice.
Looks like House is just giving in to the hallucinations, because he’s back at the taqueria, this time with Elias Koteas. I love this scene because Elias Koteas (the actor) is so obviously totally enjoying his taco. Then he goes and gets all philosophical again, and seriously, if I wanted to think I’d read a book (or watch HBO). What House gets out of this conversation is that he needs to trust his team. Cameron and House try to convince the patient to let one of them fancy robots do the surgery. They take the patient to the operating room to show him that it’s controlled by a human, and Cameron lies on the table while House…well, he plays doctor.
At first I thought he was going to kill Cameron, but no, he’s just going to molest her. She’s all turned on, of course, and he blows air into her belly button. If a guy blew into my belly button I’d kick him in the head.
After those fun times, House is back in his room, yet again on the receiving end of a lecture from Elias Koteas. There’s talk of truth and love and beauty (well, maybe not the last thing) and Elias Koteas is basically House’s subconscious, sending into a fantasy place where House is in the car with Elias Koteas’ wife as she kills herself. This finally causes House to apologize for his role in her death. Also, he figures out what to do about swollen tongue guy. He goes into the operating room and asks why they didn’t kick him off the case.
House has finally figured out that it’s weird that Chase has been giving him answers and he’s known the test results before the Outhouses reported them. He reaches for the surgical robot and Chase stops him, saying he knows House is going to kill the patient. This just proves House’s point, that this whole episode has been a hallucination. He grabs onto the machine and sends the blade tearing into the patient’s stomach, ripping it open and tearing out his guts. AWESOME! If you’re into that sort of thing. Which I’m not. Like I said before, that was gross. Everyone just stands around in shock after that, and House begins to look a bit worried about what he’s done. Luckily, the patient’s hand falls off the table, and a bullet falls to the ground. House smiles and says goodbye…and comes to in the hospital, moments after being shot. Before he passes out again, he tells the Outhouses to tell Cuddy to give him ketamine.
So that what we’re left with…House does want a cure for his leg. Also, given his little sex dream about Cameron, I think next year might provide some changes to that story line. Whaddya think?