This week on House: an insomniac man, a white-trash pregnant woman, and a sassy teenager. Hey, if you haven’t seen it in the movies already, it’s new to you. So what are we waiting for?
A middle-aged guy argues with his teenage daughter while making coffee in 4 different coffeemakers. They stare at each other blankly, even when they’re not arguing. Keep this in mind for later. I love it when the the teaser scene gives you all the clues to what’s actually wrong with the Patient of the Week. Just to make sure we know Dad’s not right in the head, the scene is done up Fight Club-style. Their apartment is ominously devoid of taste. There are wacky camera angles, extreme closeups, and fisheye stuff that I don’t know the technical terms for, but you get the idea. The scene jumps from morning to evening, and the dad has no idea where the time went.
Couldn’t afford Brad Pitt for the TV adaptation.
After the credits, House is in Cuddy’s office ragging her about her decision to adopt a baby. The mama is a former meth addict and is due in 2 weeks. So Cuddy’s going to rescue the kid from a Wal-Mart life and bring it into her attention-starved world. Selfish much, Cuddy? House says she’ll change her mind and it’ll be too late. “The return policy on those is worse than video games.” Word. I tried to take my kid back and they gave me a second one instead. Cuddy escapes House’s taunts by giving him the Case Of The Missing Decor.
Name That Disease: The Over-Under Round
Instead of writing symptoms, House is using his whiteboard to start a betting pool on when Cuddy will back out of the adoption. Kumar joins the pool but wants to use a fake name. So House writes down “Kutner” instead. Wait, that’s his actual name. House changes it to “Skutner”. The name situation has offically gotten so bad that the writers are poking fun at themselves for their inability to come up with decent names. Our POW is a consumer product tester. That explains all the Mr. Coffees. Seems like a fun job, and it gives the Houseguests a ton of possibilities of what could be making him sick. So it’s time for…
13 and Louie are in the POW’s apartment. They discuss the POW’s family situation. The lack of bric-a-brac, even in the daughter’s room, creeps them both out. He’s a single dad, so 13 cuts him some slack for not papering the room with Jonas Brothers posters. Louie, in a rare display of opinion, says single people shouldn’t have kids, and even the traditional family is messed-up because dads don’t spend time with their kids. Yay for tying together plot threads! 13 disagrees, because her dad was great. Look how you turned out, says Louie. House is teaching him well. They find some mold along the baseboards, and scurry back to the ranch to have it tested.
13 gives the daughter an exam and a side of heart-to-heart chitchat. The girl says her mom died when she was four, but she doesn’t get the big deal about death. This doesn’t sit well with Bubbles, who is obsessed with death. She’s telling Foreman about this in the lobby, when they run into the POW. He says in a monotone that he’s leaving. The Houseguests try to stop him, but he ignores them and keeps walking, Terminator-style. They shine one of those little doctor flashlights into his eyes. He’s sleepwalking.
Come with me if you want to live.
Name That Disease: State The Obvious Round
The Houseguests discuss the sleepwalking. Narcolepsy comes up, but isn’t that basically the definition of sleepwalking? They rule out the mold. The apartment is clean, and the patient says he never goes anywhere, so where does that leave them? House is doing his usual smarty-pants routine, and then after four long seasons, someone finally says the obvious. “If you know the answer, can you tell us please?” House says he must be going somewhere in his sleep.
Cuddy goes into a coffee shop to meet the baby mama for the first time. It looks like a made-over version of the bar where she had her date with Lucas. Pretty much everyone else is there on a date or with a friend. Word to the wise, Lisa: one is not the loneliest number. 1.5 is, especially at 3 AM when the .5 refuses to go to sleep and poops all over her crib. Cuddy’s personal incubator is stuffing her face with an eclair. Cuddy, who by the looks of her hasn’t eaten more than a spinach leaf at a sitting this season, is dismayed, but puts on a brave face.
NOT Tina Fey.
NOT Amy Poehler.
Woman-who-is-not-Amy-Poehler just has one question: what will Cuddy name the baby? Cuddy is thinking about Joy. Cuddy asks why the baby mama chose a single mom to give her baby to. Hasn’t she seen Juno, or like any baby movie at all since 2000? Couples with babies are so George Bush. Baby mama says she had a loser dad, and a loser grandpa, and didn’t want her kid to be stuck with a loser. So yeah, what I said. She picked a needy workaholic instead of a loser. Smart choice. Cuddy notices a rash on her arm and goes into full-on protect-the-baby mode. It’s off to the padded room for you, Amy.
Louie and 13 are observing the POW in his place. Louie lies on the daughter’s bed and plays with her baby doll. And that’s the most disturbing thing I’ve seen all season. The patient sleepwalks out the door. 13 and Louie follow as he starts sleepdriving. That could explain a lot of the traffic around this town, come to think of it. He pulls up to a woman on a corner, sleep-buys something from her, and sleep-drives away. Man, this guy is good. When Louie and 13 try to talk to the dealer, she says to piss off. Can they say that on TV now? I’m so behind on my TV-PG profanity. Anyway, the dude sleep-scored some coke.
If only he could teach me to master sleep-working.
Over in the other plotline, Cameron checks out the baby mama’s rash. Cuddy hovers nearby, wringing her hands and annoying Cameron by second-guessing her doctoring. Cuddy decides to admit the woman. Probably a wise move. You know she’s going to start shooting up as soon as she gets out of sight. Or go out sleepdriving with the POW.
House teases Cuddy some more, saying she’s not cut out to be a mom. To prove the point, he tosses a cup of baby vomit on her. Actually, House, we call it spit-up, which is ever so much nicer. She’d better be able to handle getting puked on 8 times a day, he says. Wow, how does he know? House’s parenting class is a lot more realistic than the one we went to..
Name That Disease: The Blue Magic Round
House is making a line of sugar substitute on the table. Don’t do it, House, that stuff will give you cancer. The dope is probably cut with some kind of toxic substance and maybe that’s causing the sleepwalking. House says to go buy some more so they can test it. Wait, why not just test the actual stuff that the patient bought? Did 13 bogart it, or is House saving it to chase his Vicodin with?
Cuddy suspects the baby mama’s meth use caused her rash. They do an ultrasound and find that the baby’s lungs are not in great shape. Baby mama is stricken with guilt.
13 and Louie go back to the dealer, who is standing on the same street corner. In his best Michael Scott impersonation, Louie promises that he is not a cop and “would like to buy some cocaine, please.” LOL. Bubbles says wait up, and sticks some up in her mouth like a pro. It’s too good, she says. Give them the regular crappy stuff instead of the quality new-customer stuff. I officially love 13 again.
Oh, I get it. It’s your Mod Squad jacket.
It’s time for more Parenting Made Easy With House! To demonstrate that kids = chaos, he turns over a lamp in Cuddy’s office. Ooh, can I do lesson 3? Cuddy can borrow my car. It smells horrible because my 2-year-old threw up in the back yesterday. Perhaps more relevant to the plot, House warns Cuddy not to make the baby a victim of her biological clock. Cuddy shows him the door.
Name That Disease: The Walking and Talking Round
At least once every show they do one of these while walking down the hall. The coke was cut with milk powder. Maybe the same stuff that House was playing with a minute ago? Could it be that the POW is allergic to milk? Well, my kids both had this milk protein allergy thing when they were babies. They had to drink special pre-digested formula. It was as gross as it sounds. And it cost more than premium gas did last month. No sleepwalking, but they sure stayed up a lot at night. And that’s how I tie two plot threads together. They could totally hire me to write this show. My proposal for next week, in case David Shore is reading this: House referees a slapping match between Lucas and Wilson. At least one Houseguest gets fired for five minutes. The POW doesn’t have cancer. Done. Call my people, kay?
Cuddy’s baby-to-be is getting some steroids for lung development. Cuddy tells baby mama not to feel bad. If she had lived a perfect life, Cuddy wouldn’t be getting a baby. Wow, is it all about Cuddy or what? Now someone else’s problems are justified, because they might make Cuddy’s life better, because she gets to take someone else’s bundle of Joy. Baby mama thinks Cuddy has a perfect life, which just proves she’s never watched this show. Baby mama then begins to hemorrhage, because we always have uncontrolled bleeding at the halfway point. Don’t believe me? Go back and check. Now we have TWO POWs and a baby! Double the pleasure, double the gore.
Cuddy tells House that the baby’s lungs are 10 weeks premature. Should she deliver now and risk the baby, or wait and risk the mother? And why is she asking House’s opinion, anyway? He’s not a neonatologist (and how I know that word is a long story). House says she should deliver now, but it’s Opposite Day, and he’s messing with her head. He really thinks she should wait. By some twisted House logic (she changed out of her baby-puke sweater), he figured out that Cuddy wants the baby NOWNOWNOW, which means she secretly hopes the baby might die so she can back out. That’s cold, even for House.
Next stop on House’s abuse tour: Wilson’s office. “It’s not cancer,” Wilson says before House can barely open his mouth. I must say, they’re really turning up the snark this week. Wilson says the POW is just an excuse for House to gripe about Cuddy. Wilson thinks House is jealous that Cuddy is moving on to the next stage of life. Wilson’s right, of course, which explains why House is acting like a 10-year-old.
Neener neener, gotcha last!
The POW’s sleepwalking seems to have stopped. It was the coke. But now he’s sweating blood. It wasn’t the coke. Soooo, back we go to…
Name That Disease: It’s Not Too Late To Blame Cancer Round
Louie brings up leukemia. House orders up a bone marrow biopsy. They’ve been going to that one a lot lately. Meanwhile, Cuddy takes House’s advice and tells the baby mama that she should wait to have the baby. Baby mama says she doesn’t want to wait. She wants the baby out and doesn’t want to risk her own health. Cuddy pulls out her best Emmy speech and tells the baby mama to hang in there. Waiting it out would break the cycle of loserhood and give the baby a chance at a better life. Baby mama’s not listening. We’re having a baby tonight!
Kumar and Louise are starting the bone marrow biopsy when they notice that the POW’s legs are strangely tan. It’s not leukemia. Yay! The POW needs a kidney transplant. Boo! The daughter is the logical donor, but Cuddy would have to sign for her, since she’s a minor. What’s that, you say? Cuddy taking on parental responsibility? Where is Cuddy, anyway? She’s hanging out in the OR, watching her baby be born. Did someone say OR? It must be time to let Chase out of the supply closet for his 90 seconds of weekly screen time. House barges in on the surgery, and tells Cuddy to quit gawking and do her job. The baby comes out and they wait for a cry. That baby is way too pink for a baby with lung problems. Again: long story how I know that. Dramatic silence. Cuddy begs the baby by name to start crying–and then, as if by magic, WAAAAAAH! Everyone starts slow clapping. No, I made that up, but it would have been awesome. Cuddy, that’s the last time you’ll be glad to hear that sound. “Mazel tov,” says House. “Now tell her the words she’ll hear for the rest of her life: Mommy’s gotta go to work.” Zing.
Be right there after I drop her off downstairs at day care.
House pressures the daughter into saying yes to the kidney transplant. The daughter says OK, but House is suspicious and changes his mind. He thinks the daughter is sleepwalking too.
Name That Disease, Silly Metaphor Round
House says they can’t use the girl’s kidney because you don’t take a dead battery out of a remote control and put a new dead battery in. Yes, I’m serious. The daughter is now sweating blood. She has whatever Dad has. “Call Foreman and get to work,” says House. Hey yeah, what has Foreman been up to this whole episode? Something boring, no doubt.
House consults Wilson about genetic diseases. Wilson would rather talk about Cuddy. Come on, admit it. Both of you want her. Bros before hos, guys. Wilson says something about post-partum depression and dopamine, and sees House’s lightbulb face. “You just got an idea and now you’re going to walk out of here without saying a word, aren’t you?” House says one word–”Nope”–and walks out. Ha. Either the writers magically found a self-deprecating sense of humor this week, or they hired Joel McHale to consult. I love it. The lightbulb is early this week, but we still have another plot thread to wrap up, so let’s finish this one real quick-like.
House says the dad and daughter are going to be fine, but they don’t crack a smile. That’s his scientific test this week. Remember those straight faces from the teaser? They have a condition called anhedonia, which means they can’t feel pleasure. Foreman objects that the only thing that causes that in Caucasians is schizophrenia, and they aren’t schizophrenic, just boring. But wait! says House, they aren’t really white… they’re Middle Eastern! DUN DUN DUN. The POW confirms it–they Anglicized their names awhile back. It seems some people in this country harbor an unfair bias towards people of Middle Eastern descent. And they have something called Familial Mediterranean Fever. The treatment may or may not work–so, since we have some time to kill, let’s watch paint dry on Cuddy’s nursery wall. No way. Any normal mom-to-be would have had that room all set up the instant she learned the baby’s sex.
OK, paint’s dry, so that’s long enough for a Miracle Cure, right? 13 asks the POW if he’s feeling better. He sees some pretty foliage outside and smiles, so that’s a roger. Then he asks about his daughter. She’s better too, and ready to give him a kidney. Smiles, hugs, hearts and butterflies all around. Let’s hear it for family!
The baby mama must have been watching this cuddly scene, because she’s changed her mind and is going to keep the baby. She thinks the responsibility will rescue her from a life in the gutter. Wow, she and Cuddy have a lot in common. They both want a baby to fix them. Needless to say, Cuddy is stunned. Shortest. Story Arc. Ever.
The closing montage plays as Cuddy goes to the nursery to tell the baby farewell, and dad and daughter get reacquainted. Ooh, dramatic contrast!
I totally stole this from T.Vo, but… Emmy face!
Closeup of Cuddy looking dreadful as House comes knocking on her door. He tells her there are other babies in the sea. Hmm, unfortunate mixed metaphor. He actually says that there are lots of teenage boys riding bareback, which is only slightly less inappropriate. Anyway, Cuddy is done with adoption. It’s back to Plan A: slutty work wardrobe. House says she’d make a great mother. Rewind that. Greg House just gave someone a compliment. Clumsy, maybe, and unoriginal, but there you have it. Cuddy is furious because House just spent the whole episode telling her she’d be a terrible mother. They kiss. Um, what? Rewind that again. I guess it doesn’t take much to get Cuddy’s motor running. And we already knew that House gets turned on when people lose their temper.
So maybe zere will be ze bebe after all, hmm? I must admit that I’d love seeing House deal with some rugrats. Other than the Houseguests, I mean. And Wilson can be the godmother!