Now that I’ve had a couple hours’ sleep after finishing the last recap, who’s ready for the big finale and the inevitable post-nooky awkwardness? It’s probably best that last week’s episode is still fresh for me, since they’re really two parts of a two-hour finale. I think. Anyway, let’s roll.
Here comes the cold open. Some jerk is boring the snot out of his date at a nice restaurant when the guy at the next table throws a roll at him. He does the douchey thing and walks over to confront the thrower, who denies throwing anything. The thrower gets up, shakes his hand-and dumps water on the jerk with his other hand. Luckily, right before getting pounded into pasta, blood starts to trickle from his eye and he passes out. Whew, close call, he’s the lover-not-a-fighter type, amirite? Unfortunately for us, this means we have another pointless Patient of the Week to suck screen time away from the main plot. All the Huddy shippers in the House say boo!
Boo frickin hoo.
House wakes up alone in his bed and smiles a very un-Housey smile. He does a Victory Limp to the bathroom, where he finds lipstick on his cheek and a tube of the stuff sitting on the counter. What, no note on the mirror? No scratches on the back? Must not have been that great.
Louie is already at work, talking to Cameron down in the ER and asking about the dress code for the wedding. Cameron smiles brightly, says there’s been “a glitch” with the wedding, and changes the subject to the POW. House is going to want to see this guy, she says. He has bloody tears and seizure issues. OK, he only had one strategically placed bloody tear, but I promise, the seizure is interesting! A little while back he had the two sides of his brain surgically disconnected to help cure the seizures… aaaaand… his right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. Literally. Only she calls it… wait for it…
Alien Hand Syndrome.
Hey, remember Exploding Head Syndrome Guy from a couple of weeks ago? What if they got together? Because I think Alien Head Syndrome would be even cooler. And Exploding Hand Syndrome would make for some great practical jokes. Louie agrees House might like this one and takes the file.
Upstairs, the Houseguests are all convened in the War Room when House bops in and warns them that he’s in a good mood. Maybe he’s got Alien House Syndrome, because this House is perky and sassy and basically starring in his own Enzyte commercial. He also mentions that he is pain-free. Wow, that was some detox, huh? Apparently rehab would be much funner and quicker if it included hot sex. And definitely more popular. Are you listening, Nevada? There’s a business plan there somewhere.
But let’s talk about the POW for a second or two. There is a brief Houseguest Debate about whether the right brain is even important. House says no, which is surprising coming from a guy who makes his living off his intuition and who has a room full of vintage musical instruments. 13 suggests autoimmune. Isn’t it a little early to play that card? Before we can get too far into another boring chalk talk, enter Cuddy. Yes! “Good morning sunshine! I have a brand-new toy!” sings House. Cuddy counters with a “We need to talk,” and takes him into the other room, where she does the expected thing and gives him the “I’m your boss” speech. Without ever mentioning the specifics of what happened last night. Just file that away for later, k?
House is unfazed by the canned speech, cuz he’s got her lipstick in his pocket, oh yeah. He bops over to Wilson’s to drop the news: He Hit That, and he’s feeling no pain. “Wow,” says Wilson. “Wow. One for each.” “That’s what she said,” says House. No. No, you did not. That does it. “That’s what she said” is now officially the Wassuuup of the 2000s.
You made a woman meow?
“So how are you going to screw it up?” Wilson asks. House says he already got the About Last Night speech, which Wilson interprets as 1) she’s in love but doesn’t want to move too fast, or 2) she thinks she made a mistake. Which pretty much covers it, huh, Dr. Obvious? His Obvious Advice: go talk to her. Didn’t he just try that?
13 and Louie are checking out the POW’s apartment, which means it’s time for this week’s Philosophy Minute, brought to you by Tilex because the bathroom is growing stuff on every surface. 13 is creeped out a little by the POW because “if he’s two people, then we’re all two people.” Louie finds this liberating, because usually these Philosophy Minutes are about some confusing moral issue, and morality is hard. Louie asks 13 about the so-called glitch with the Camerase wedding. 13 of course knows what the real issue is (Dead Hubby Sperm, remember?), because you didn’t think Foreman could keep from squealing guy secrets to his girlfriend, didja? Louie goes to bug Chase about it himself. Chase complains about Cameron’s commitment issues, Louie makes a vaguely disturbing remark about fruit flies, and… moving on. House goes to Cuddy’s office to bug her. “Wilson says we need to talk.” He has some sort of camera-looking thingy, and after shooting her with it once or twice, he leaves before an actual conversation can take place.
Just when I thought I was imagining the POW this week, because we haven’t seen him in like 45 minutes, there he is, moving into the hospital. In case you forgot, he’s the guy with the Alien Hand Syndrome. His girlfriend shows up and brings him… a toy cactus. Actually she’s bringing the Alien Hand the cactus, but Alien Hand tosses the cactus against the wall. I gotta say I agree with the hand on this one. The girlfriend has to go back to work, but goes to get a hug first… and Alien Hand slaps her in the face! LOL! “It wasn’t me!” POW insists, all dewy-eyed, but POWgf is having none of it and bails. He tries to go after her, but he finds himself unable to walk. What a lame excuse for not going after the girl. Although, if you think about it, shouldn’t his left leg be in on that action too?
Talk to the hand.
Time for Round 2 of the Chalk Talk. House plays with Cuddy’s lipstick, not really listening. The important takeaway from this one is… cancer. Yep. A tumor that’s growing the separated halves of the POW’s brain back together. More importantly, I have a LIGHTBULB!: we have all the info we need to predict each segment of the show:
- Philosophy Minute
- MS or Sarcoidosis
- The Houseguests Are Stumped
- Shocking Medical Procedure
- House Is Stumped
- Two Minute Cure
And there’s your House Procedural Episode Guide right there, folks. Insert some character development in between the numbers, and you’re done. Don’t say I never gave you anything.
Since we’re only on step 2, House has some time to kill before he’s stumped, so he goes to show Wilson this side project he’s working on. It’s some thermal pictures of Cuddy’s head. OK, so that camera he pointed at Cuddy was some sort of infrared Batman deal. Without going into too much technical detail, because there isn’t any, her brain heated up while talking to House. Wilson says House needs to quit analyzing Cuddy like she was one of his patients. And with that revelation, class, we can get into some advanced House Writing Theory concepts. I’d like to introduce a little thing I call the meta-POW. It’s the main character whose issues House is analyzing this week. Last week, House was the meta-POW and he was trying to figure out what was wrong with himself. This week, he’s peachy and it’s Cuddy he’s analyzing. (Then there’s the meta-meta-POW, the person whose issues House is deflecting away from. That one is always House.) And people, once you get this much House fu, things get really trippy. You stop seeing actors and plotlines and start seeing a bunch of green numbers floating down your TV screen, and you can do anything.
There is no spoon.
Now that I’ve gone all metaphysical, let’s bring it down a notch and play some word games! Foreman runs a test on the POW to see if his brain is really growing back together. Foreman is a neurologist, remember? It’s about time he put that to good use. Remember when he was the one who did all the brain-cutting, and Chase was just a… what was Chase’s specialty, anyway? I bet Chase doesn’t even remember anymore. Anyway, Foreman flashes words on the screens and the POW is supposed to say them. There are three fancy plasma screens in the room, spaced so the POW can only see the left one out of his left eye and the right one out of his right eye. Yes, they have a special room just for this. Princeton Plainsboro doctors are too busy debating philosophy to sit on either side of a patient and hold up flashcards. The POW can say the ones he sees on the right, but not the left. He can draw pictures of them, though, which is pretty cool.
But there is a candle.
The Houseguests put “Stand Up” on the left screen, and the POW does, but doesn’t know why. The best he can come up with is that he’s cold and wants to go get some warmer clothes. House points out that his left brain came up with that, looking for an explanation to fit the facts. Louie notes that House’s superhuman intuition comes from his right brain. Personally, I’m beginning to doubt said intuition, because if you think about it, House is only right at 9:55 pm on Mondays. Best diagnostician ever and he’s wrong 99.9 percent of the time? House goes into the test room to get a closer look at the POW, smells ammonia on his breath and sees a rash. Looks like liver failure. But remember what I just said, won’tcha?
Wilson bops over to Cuddy’s office to gloat about hearing the Good News. Cuddy figures out he heard “about House and me” before he’s said two words. In comes House before he can say two more words. He needs her permission for a liver biopsy. Since when did that require a permission slip? He’s thinking sarcoidosis. No no NO, that was last week. What are the chances it’ll be that two weeks in a row? He’s trying to get a rise out of Cuddy, and she knows it, and doesn’t give him the satisfaction.
Meanwhile, the POW apologizes for being sweaty. Alien Hand looks like it’s about to feel up 13, but no such luck. He asks if they can play some music. Maybe they can use House’s boom box and rad shades.â€¨ Wilson is still yapping to House about talking to Cuddy instead of treating her like a POW. House says he analyzed her coffee cup and found elevated oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is some hormone that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Sooooo he’s trying to make her mad to see if it’s anything more than a crush? I’m confused.
While they’re talking, an old guy barges slowly into House’s office. His name is Eugene Schwartz, and Cuddy sent him up from the clinic, since he’s refusing to go down there and work. The Schwartz is squawking. “Like a parrot,” he says, and demonstrates. You know, I’m a big fan of the clinic and all, but isn’t this episode busy enough already? We’re halfway through the finale, we’re working on serious relationship issues here, we have to figure out this stupid Alien Hand thing, and there’s no cliffhanger in sight. Don’t we have enough on our plate for tonight? Take a number, Mr. Schwartz.
I just blew ten minutes on Wikiquote looking for Spaceballs references. Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz.
The POW’s got his music, and Stupid Alien Hand is playing air guitar. Ah, that’s why he asked for music. Smart move. 13 sees something called a “splinter hemorrhage” under his fingernail. Probably the middle one, which Alien Hand is flaunting like a drunk frat boy at a college football game. I have no idea what a splinter hemorrhage is, BTW, so don’t bother. Anyway, the POW pukes blood, which rules out sarcoidosis. 13 remembers the POW’s excessive sweatiness and wonders if it’s a symptom. Ya think? House thinks maybe it’s pancreatic cancer. Dammit, House, follow the Episode Guide. You switched steps 2 and 3. Meanwhile, Cuddy is receiving a large donor check, and I don’t know how this is relevant, but I’m not stooping to jokes about the large donor check she received last night, amirite? There’s a knock on the door. It’s Schwartz, bringing her a stool sample compliments of House.
The POW’s girlfriend dumped him, and now he’s getting dressed. He wants to check out of the House of Pain since he’s not getting cured anyway. Alien Hand starts throwing stuff again, and starts taking off the clothes he just put on. That’s pretty impressive. I don’t think I can unbutton buttons with just my right hand. “Your right brain knows you need to stay,” says Louie. “Well, my right brain’s an ass,” says the POW. Aren’t mixaphors great?
Cameron goes to House to complain about Chase being too romantic. I don’t even know where to begin with that. Cameron is going to House for relationship advice? Chase is overly romantic? Who’s the one playing Wuthering Heights with a frozen test tube, again? House gives her a Silly Analogy, something about a condo, insurance and being homeless. Hey, we haven’t had a Silly Analogy in awhile, have we? Louie interrupts this irony-fest to tell House that the POW is leaving and they need backup to get him to stay. House thinks the two sides of the POW’s brain need relationship counseling, because one’s relationship with oneself is “the breakfast of relationships”. And who’s better at relationship counseling (or thinks he is) than Wilson? Which makes me wonder: with all the psychobabble on this show, why isn’t there an actual psychiatrist in the cast? It’s not like they care about having too many regular characters. So the Houseguests scan the POW’s brain while Wilson pretends to do therapy, and House listens for hints about how to handle Cuddy. The important takeaway, say it with me: it’s not cancer.
Schwartz calls House from a street corner to tell him that he just squawked.
I hate it when my Schwartz gets twisted!
And after the comic interlude, on to Step 4: The Houseguests Are Still Stumped. House still thinks it’s pancreatic cancer, but he can’t explain why. Louie plays Doctor Obvious and points out that House also seems to be having trouble getting his right and left brain speaking to each other. House comes up with some test involving, wait for it, scorpion toxin and infrared paint. Whatever this test is, it sounds like it belongs on an extra-kinky episode of 24.
[JACK'S LOVE INTEREST OF THE SEASON]: You’re running out of time, baby. You’re going to have to torture me. It’s the only way.
[JACK (on cell phone)]: Chloe, get me a syringe of scorpion toxin and a gallon of infrared paint. Download it right to my mobile. Don’t ask questions, just DO IT NOW!
[JLIOTS]: OOOOOOHHHH **torturegasm**
[*CUT TO CLOCK*]
BUT 24 is in a different time slot. This is just a medical test. Or is it? The Houseguests think this test could kill half of the POW’s brain if they aren’t careful, which might not be a bad thing. Anyway, now we’re not just talking test here. This is a bona fide Shocking Medical Procedure, baby. Bring on Step 5!
As the Shocking Procedure commences, no scorpions or paint cans are visible. Foreman asks Chase for a Cameron Update. And Cameron, summoned by the use of her name, appears like Voldemort. “I don’t want to be homeless,” she says, and Chase has no idea what she’s talking about, which is hilarious. And it’s even more hilarious when you realize that all this drama is over a dead man’s sperm.
There’s a Daytime Emmy Face under this mask.
Meanwhile, the POW is crashing, which means… Chase shouldn’t have walked out on him in the middle of the operation? No, but nice try. It means… It’s Not Cancer.
While Camerase is patching things up, Wilhouse is looking down on the lobby at Cuddy, who is escorting a pirate stripper (sent by House) off the premises. Wonder if he was at the bachelor party? Wilson says House never answered the question: does he want a relationship with Cuddy or is she just another problem to solve? Get serious about her, sez Wilson, or one of you will get hurt. House gets a lightbulb, and does a Hanna-Barbera dash to the OR. He’s figured out that the POW has intermittent arrhythmia and they never looked at his heart at the right time to see it. So what damaged his heart?
So, now we’re on to Step 6: House Is Stumped. See how this works, y’all? Blood clots are causing the arrhythmia, but how’s that connected to the brain and the Alien Hand? And what does any of this have to do with Huddy? The POW’s now-ex-girlfriend returns. Not to make up with the POW, but to tell the Houseguests something she just thought of: there’s this big can of special deodorant spray he uses to keep the sweat at bay. It seems Alien Hand doesn’t like the spray and keeps throwing it. The Houseguests decide to test it. Alien Hand strokes Ex-POWgf on the cheek, which is awesomely cheesy. You know what this reminds me of? It’s like those summer-camp skits where one person hides behind the other person and pretends to be their hands or feet or whatever. The Houseguests offer to “leave the three of you alone”. I’m glad we weren’t subjected to any special alone time between the POW and Alien Hand.
So now that Alien Hand has made up with POWgf, House goes back to Wilson with one burning question: why is there no lipstick on Cuddy’s Starbucks cup? There was lipstick on his cheek this morning, so either she changed her lipstick or something weird is going on. Wilson eyerolls and says that only House would try to see a romantic relationship in left-brain terms. LOL, POW paralle ls. Wilson says House needs to make her angry so they can clear the air and talk, only he’s not trying hard enough. He needs to REALLY make her angry. Danger Will Robinson. Telling House that has got to be like giving a two-year-old a Sharpie and sitting her in the corner. I’m not sure I even agree with Wilson’s logic. Why are we making Cuddy mad again? So we can have Carl Reiner guest star, is all I can come up with.
Meanwhile, we thought all was well in Camerase land, but Chase confronts Cameron in the locker room and accuses her of not wanting to flush Hubs, because it’s all she has left of him. Wouldn’t most people make do with a photo or an old shirt? Chase puts his dress back on, gives her a big hug and says she doesn’t have to. Crisis averted.
It’s OK, honey. I’ve seen the movie! One of those little whippersnappers’ll grow up to be captain of the Enterprise!
Cut to House standing in the mezzanine over the lobby. He bangs his cane on the rail. “I have an announcement! I slept with Lisa Cuddy!” Lots of pointing and snickering as Cuddy comes out to see what the fuss is about. Hmm, not sure that this was the best plan, H. I wouldn’t take any more advice from Wilson if I were you.
So House got what he wanted. She’s mad, all right, and lets him hear it on no uncertain terms. “Should we move in together?” asks House. “You’re fired,” she says in response, and stomps off, just as The Schwartz walks in. “I wouldn’t worry about it. I think she likes you,” he says.
Well, at least the Schwartz is with you.
House is not in the mood for Spaceballs right now though, and dashes off a prescription for like Prilosec or one of those magical drugs that changed my life, because that’s what’s causing the squawks. The Schwartz adjusts his belt, which catches House’s eye. Why did he do that? “It makes me sore. At 86, what isn’t sore?” House gets a lightbulb and pokes Schwartz in the tummy. He’s got pancreatic cancer. That’s why House was so fixated on pancreatic cancer earlier, he was just thinking about the wrong patient! Louie shows up just in time to take Schwartz off House’s hands. And oh yeah, remember the POW and his Alien Hand? Remember that can of deodorant? It was causing the heart problems, AND the seizures that he had his brain cut in half for. And now that we’ve dispatched both POWs, we can get back to the meta-POW (Cuddy) and the meta-meta-POW (House). We just have a couple of minutes left, so let’s hurry!
House barges into Cuddy’s office and asks her… if she changed her lipstick? Cuddy is all “Lipstick, WTF?” She tells House that maybe she overreacted to what he said last night, but she ought to be used to his jabs by now. House is all “WTF, something I said? Last night?” Cuddy: “Yeah, you know, when you insulted me and my kid, and I walked out?” House: “But that’s not what happened…”
Cue the dizzy cuts, the funky lighting and the OMG SUSPENSE MUSIC, because it’s PLOT TWIST TIME, BABY!
House flashes back to the night before, in this very office, which is super confusing at first, because everything is the same except the lighting. Same clothes, same positions, same drama. He remembers the aforementioned insult and, instead of him begging her to come over and help him detox, he lets her walk. Flashback continues to his place, where Cuddy fades out of all the detox scenes… and then all the kissing scenes… and then the flashback mercifully skips the part with House making sweet love all by himself. Whew, close one. And oh yeah, that tube of lipstick he’s been carrying around like a trophy all day? It’s really a bottle of Vicodin. Yeah, no wonder he’s feeling good today.
Anyway, the average viewer (anyone who saw The Usual Suspects, or a Shyamalan joint) has figured out by now that House made the whole detox/sweet love thing up. Yep, it was all a dream-or a hallucination-just like in Dallas back in the ’80s.
Look it up, kids. It’s been done.
[Sneaky Hint Sidenote: While looking this up for myself, I peeped Who shot J.R.? on Wikipedia and found this interesting tidbit: The Dallas episode where J.R. gets shot is titled... A House Divided. Remember last week's title?]
Anyway, for the rest of you who flunked pop culture history, JUST IN CASE you still don’t know the score, Amber reappears and whispers in House’s ear. “So this is the story you made up to explain who you are.” Then, as if Amber wasn’t enough, here’s Kutner to back her up! “Too bad it isn’t true.” Whoa, they brought out the big guns to play Dr. Obvious tonight.
This is the proverbial Last Straw. Cuddy pats House on the cheek and dumps him off on Wilson.
Time for the the closing montage. The music, in case you can’t hear it over the sobbing Huddy shippers, is “Tears Go By”, which is my favorite Rolling Stones song, and totally appropriate for House right now. What it’s not appropriate for is the Camerase wedding, where Cuddy shows up by herself as everyone celebrates. Except House and Wilson, who are driving to a mental institution to get House some help. This has been kind of a recurring theme in closing scenes, huh? Kutner’s funeral, Cuddy’s baby ceremony, we get it, poor House is always alone. And I liked the nicer House of the last couple of episodes. I also liked the Mulholland Drive vibe a lot. Unfortunately everything will probably go back to normal when next season starts. Boo.
It’s been a fun ride though! Thanks for sticking with us through the ups and downs this season! House will be back in the fall, and look for me taking on some poor hapless reality show over the summer.
And may the Schwartz be with youwowowowowow…