Let me set the scene for y’all: Dim lights. The soft clink of silver and china. The back of a bunch of books, featuring a pic of the tweedy author. A fancy banquet-hall dinner. The author himself, even tweedier in person, about to attempt a speech.
What my hair looked like in high school.
He thanks his editor, who returns the thank-you by telling him “Short stories don’t make money.” Like I needed that little reminder. Why no, they don’t, and that’s why I’m giving away mine here, or here in PDF form! Plug over. Anyway, I guess this is a book of short stories. Relevant? I doubt it. The editor keeps running his mouth, just like in Liar, Liar, saying embarrassingly honest things about the author. In case you haven’t pegged him as this week’s POW, he has a Nosebleed Of Death!
Up in Mission Control, 13 has the POW’s file in her hot little hands. She compares this guy to a famous old medical case involving a railroad spike to the head and a changed personality. Everyone is excited. I don’t know why, because this is nothing new. POWs switch personalities after every commercial break. In fact, we already had a POW who had Brutally Honest Disease, back in Season 2 or 3 or thereabouts. There was also a POW who changed personalities depending on the person they were talking to. Now that was cool. This guy is just House with a conscience. Hey, maybe that’s the point… naaah.
The POW is playing cards with his daughter in his hospital room, and he seems like a nice guy. He keeps losing because he’s telling his daughter what he has in his hand. LOL. He happens to let drop that the girl has “an auditory processing disability”. Meaning she never listens. Relevant? Nah, it couldn’t be. Louie is going to do a Total Recall and stick something up the POW’s nose. The fireworks start when the POW says Louie has a big nose. For his next trick, he makes fun of his wife’s job, and she walks out. “Make this go away,” he begs. Never! It’s awesome. Remember how I said I liked that the show was starting to make fun of itself? That’s been the one redeeming quality of the season. This just might get good.
House has tickets for a monster truck rally and he invites Wilson to come with. House should blend right in with the jorts-and-mullets crowd. How many of those can there be in Princeton, anyway? One less, because Wilson says he’s not interested in going. My, but Wilson is being brutally honest this week. THEME! House makes his Sherlock face and says Wilson is still hiding something. Kumar interrupts the interrogation to bring the news flash that the POW does not have cancer of the nose. Diarrhea of the mouth, maybe. Wilson makes the obvious comparison between the POW and House. Except this guy can be cured of saying nasty things, says Kumar. “But he’ll always be the guy who thinks them,” House points out. Wilson thinks the nice-guy persona is just as much a part of him. “You would, you’re all persona.” OOoooo. So the POW is House on the inside and Wilson on the outside. This shiz is getting deep, y’all. Z0MG, says Kumar, the POW is Harry Potter. His personality was supposed to put him in Slytherin, but chose Gryffindor instead. You-Know-Who tells Longbottom to run along and find the POW’s dain bramage. And if I’m not mistaken, that was this week’s Silly Analogy. Glad we got that over with.
Is that a Gryffindor sweater under that lab coat, fanboy?
In the next scene we find Ron and Hermione-I mean Foreteen-doing the brain scanning. Which means someone other than House gets to do the sexist remarks. The POW starts undressing 13 with his mouth-eww, that didn’t work as well as I hoped. Anyway, who should enter but Cuddy, paged by House so she wouldn’t miss this stimulating conversation. The POW thinks Cuddy is hotter than 13, and to prove it he uses tasty words like “elephant”, “pistons” and “homo sapiens”. Yes, in case you didn’t get the irony, this guy is an editor who’s lost the ability to edit himself. I know, right?
Cuddy drags House out from where he’s been hiding and watching-do hospitals really need those police-style interrogation rooms with two-way mirrors?-and House says he called her in to stroke her ego. “So that was your way of saying I look good today?” House leaves and she smiles to herself, duly flattered.
I think we all know who has the real dain bramage here.
Back in the room they borrowed from CTU, 13 is not amused by coming in sloppy seconds to Cuddy. Foreman tries to cheer her up by saying her pistons are better than Cuddy’s pistons and oh, stop it. Dumbest anatomical metaphor ever. A mini moral debate breaks out over the meaning of attractive. Like hawt attractive, or total-package attractive? Or the one I usually get, great-personality attractive? They scan the POW’s brain for clues while he rambles about how he doesn’t vote, and they find… well, whatever they find, it makes them think sarcoidosis. Oh sarcoidosis, how I’ve missed you. You’re my favorite red herring of all. Cancer meant nothing to me, I swear.
Down in the cafeteria, Louie asks Kumar if his nose is really too big. There’s more highbrow discussion about a social contract (EPISODE TITLE ALERT!!), which basically means we tell each other white lies so civilization doesn’t come crashing down around our ears. Wouldn’tcha know it, House and Wilson are talking about the same thing across the room. Maybe the cafeteria has a blackboard with “TODAY’S CONVERSATION TOPIC” right under “TODAY’S SPECIAL”. Anyway, Wilson is still ticked about House’s “you’re all persona” jab. Wilson points out that he’s not always nice to House. Ah, but that’s because you know I think nice is boring, so it still counts as nice, says House. He peeked at Wilson’s appointment book (people still use those?) and Wilson is booked during the monster truck rally. Wilson says he’s playing racquetball with Louie, and he lied to House to be nice, since House’s gimpy leg keeps him from playing. So he blocked off the time in his book but didn’t write down what he was doing? Convenient, that.
While everyone was off eating and having conversations about personas and such, the POW was upstairs crashing, and poor Foreman had to do all the work by himself. They have to put the guy on dialysis. More importantly, House wants to know about Louie’s racquetball play date with Wilson. He makes a crack about Jewish people and sports, and in case you didn’t notice, House always saves the really disgusting comments for when he’s feeling hurt. Louie points out Sandy Koufax, Hall of Fame pitcher, and bursts into the Hanukkah Song. House eyerolls. “Koufax is all you Jews go on about. Sandy Koufax and the Holocaust. It gets old.” Godwin’s Law is about to cut this episode short right here. House thinks whatever the POW has is genetic, so they should run some tests on the POW’s daughter. Oh, and Louie, the POW might have diabetes, so why don’t you stay up all night and draw blood every 2 hours to test for that, you lying liar.
Kumar runs the test on the daughter while the POW’s wife admits that she’s scared of what might come out of her husband’s mouth next. The daughter screams because whatever they’re doing to her is burning. Good thing they hurt that innocent little kid. I was this close to disengaging. Luckily, kids and pain are like peas and carrots on this show.
Are you not emotionally invested?
Louie is doing the diabetes test and the POW says to please keep 13 away from him so he doesn’t stick his foot in his mouth again. That’s her cue to disappear for the rest of the episode. Also getting a bye: Cameron and that Australian guy whose face I can barely remember. Louie and the POW discuss Today’s Conversation Topic, which is in danger of getting its own acronym. The POW figures out all by himself that Louie had an affair. Guest characters always have Housian powers of observation. You know what would be awesome? An All-Star episode where the best POWs come back and get to be Houseguests for a week. They’d do a better job of it. House pages Louie to the morgue, hands him a racquet and makes him show off his racquetball skillz. Louie is kind of a klutz. He’s also using a squash racquet.
The POW is mad at Team Gryffindor for doing the test that hurt his daughter. He also thinks she doesn’t have an “auditory processing condition”, that’s just a euphemism for slow. No, not slow, just below average. Then he realizes he’s saying this in front of the girl, tries to apologize and botches it. She runs away in shame. He also has a bad fever, if you’re interested. What could be causing the fever? A bunch of things ending in ‘osis’ is all I can tell. House is still cranky about the Louie/Wilson Conspiracy.
Louie runs to Wilson and says he’s been busted. Louie is helping Wilson with his alibi, but doesn’t know what Wilson’s really up to. Meanwhile, the POW is about to undergo some long test, and asks his wife to leave before he hurts his family any more. Jeez, why don’t they just tape his mouth shut?
Kumar returns from a sweep of the POW’s house. Seems their dog isn’t quite housebroken, which could have given the POW an infection. Louie reports back to House, saying he successfully told Wilson he’d been turned and is now a double-double agent, or as House calls it, a quadruple agent. They break into Wilson’s email to look for clues. House wonders if the big secret is that Wilson has cancer. Louie wonders if he’s depressed. Cut to a commercial for an antidepressant. Product placement FTW!
Have you asked your doctor about Rogaine(TM)?
Foreman and Kumar tell the POW he’s getting better, but they can’t cure the honesty. Brain surgery would be too dangerous, so he’s stuck that way. At least for the next 15 minutes or so. He kicks them out.
House finds Wilson out taking a walk, and Wilson never just takes a walk, so what’s he got on his mind? Wilson figures out that Louie ratted him out, and calls Louie a dick. “Private dick,” corrects House. Can they say “dick” on TV now? First McHale drops P-bombs all over last week’s episode of The Soup, and now House is on board. We can’t make The Big Switch to digital, but there’s still no stopping progress. House presses Wilson for more info, but just manages to piss him off. Ha, I can say “piss” on TVgasm. Take that, censorship!
The POW shows up unannounced in House’s office. He’s pissed too. Piss piss piss. He wants surgery to cut out the messed up part of his brain, risky or not. Piss on risky. He can’t live this way anymore.
My Face of False Sympathy, let me show you it.
Hey, who’s that guy House is talking to in the locker room? That’s right, his name is Chase. Looks like the month-long vacation is over. House needs him to do the Dramatic 11th Hour Operation, and by George, this hospital needs its one surgeon back! Chase opens his mouth, which is all rusty from disuse, and wonders why House cares. Because House knows what it’s like to be that guy. He is that guy. Only his actual speech is much more Emmy-tastic. So we’re all set for the…
***DRAMATIC 11th HOUR OPERATION***
Wilson and House watch Chase do his thing from the peanut gallery. Wilson apologizes for overreacting to House earlier and getting all pissy. “You only snap on one subject: losing people,” notes House. Since the Mysterious Disappearance of Lucas, House has had to do all his own detective work, and he found out that Wilson’s brother is in the psych ward at a hospital up in New York. Wilson’s going to visit him, which is why he can’t go to the monster truck rally with House. Mystery solved. Now I can sleep tonight. Wilson didn’t tell House because he just wanted someone to make him feel better-he didn’t want the Cold Hard Truth from his buddy House. Since House is fresh out of warm fuzzies, he offers to go with Wilson as company instead.
(PLOT HOLE ALERT: Wilson would have gone to Cuddy for warm fuzzies, and House would definitely think to ask her.)
After surgery, the POW seems back to normal. For about three sentences. Then his oral diarrhea relapses. All that brain-cutting to no avail. Oh well. Sorry to cut your vacation short there, Chase. The wife breaks down and the POW mercifully crashes.
The Houseguests Are Still Stumped, and House is incommunicado. He’s sitting with Wilson in the most depressing waiting room I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s the psych ward’s way of recruiting new patients. House’s cell rings (Mmm Bop for the Houseguests, member?) and he doesn’t answer. “They already texted me to say they’re doing something stupid,” he explains. Without House’s help, they come up with some plan that I didn’t follow.
House thinks Wilson is punishing himself out of guilt. Why does Wilson feel responsible for his brother’s breakdown? Well, while he was in med school, his brother would call him up every day to yap about his problems. Wilson hung up on him once, and Brother Wilson ran away from home. House blames all of Wilson’s people-pleasing behavior on overreacting to this one event… until he gets a lightbulb. He dials up the Houseguests and leaves Wilson to go see his brother alone.
OK, so the POW has something-Potter syndrome. Meaning he’s going to go all hormonal, drop out of wizard school and run off looking for his parents’ killer? No, wrong Potter this time. His immune system is overreacting to a little lump in his brain and causing the attack of honesty. He’ll be fine after the Two Minute Cure.
But House is still lonely and misunderstood. AWWW.
The POW is all better now, so he apologizes to Louie while his wife comes in and tells him she got a promotion. She looks scared to death of him. He asks about the daughter. Awkward pause. “I’m sure she’s moved on. Kids are so resilient.” Ouch. It’s going to be a rough couple weeks at chez Former POW. Just as the introspective folksy closing song starts up, my crappy Time Warner DVR decides it’s out of disk space. So the wrapup will have to wait until I can, um, acquire the last two minutes through what I assure you are perfectly legitimate means…
Didn’t I use this shot last time? How did it get back in here?
And I’m back. Those perfectly legitimate means have great bandwidth! House limps down the hall where Wilson is waiting for him. Wilson says the meeting with his brother was anticlimactic, he’s going back next week and he wants House to go with him. “Does it bother you that we have no social contract?” House wants to know. Wilson says being around House is a nice break from trying to please everyone else. “OK,” is all House says, which makes Wilson think House is now just trying to be nice to him. And round and round they go. Wilson assures House that he does, in fact, like monster trucks. They head out of the hospital, probably to go shopping for jorts together…