So last week’s episode was titled “House Divided”. If you’re a history dork, you might know the whole quote: “A House divided against itself cannot stand.” I think Abe Lincoln said it, and you know, if he shaved and then grew back about a week’s worth of stubble, he’d look a little bit like one Greg House. Reaching? Maybe so, but that cannot spell good things for House at the end of the season. Of course, in the last couple of season finales, he’s been shot, got amnesia from a bus crash and I think he was clinically dead somewhere in there too, so I’d say the chances of him escaping Season 5 unscathed are slim. But enough about the main character. Let’s go see who this week’s Patient of the Week will be, so we can forget about them later. Let’s go to the ballet! The main guy (what do you call the male star of a ballet? A baller?) is nervous about a scene where he lifts the ballerina up. Seems he has a bad back and is afraid of wiping out and dropping the girl on her butt. The production team clusters anxiously around a bunch of Macs to see if they’ll pull off the move.
Or is that the House writing staff?
He lifts her up over his head. Yay! Something goes pop. Boo! They both crash to the ground and… the woman can’t breathe. POW Fakeout, again!
House is chillaxing at home, having taken the day off to listen to Amber playing badly on the ukelele and complaining that she tried to kill Chase. How is it that House is a musical prodigy but his brain can’t play in tune? IDEA! Amber is House’s cold, clinical, misanthropic genius side. What’s left is all the good stuff, like when Darth Vader takes off his mask. (Did you know that this episode aired on Star Wars Day? May the Fourth be with you! Har har har!) If you remember last week’s episode, Amber was the one doing all the mocking and House himself was kinder and gentler. SO, back to my IDEA, it’s Good House that can play piano and guitar and harmonica and whatevers. Bad House is the medical genius. You writers are so busted! The Copyhacker is onto your tricks now.
And Cuddy is onto House’s tricks, because she sends Foreman over to drag him back into the hospital or he’s fired. So it’s either sit at home and listen to bad ukelele, or go to work and listen to Amber play Medical Trivial Pursuit in his head.
The POW’s lungs are collapsing and they can’t seem to blow them back up. House is finding it impossible to focus, and the Houseguests are giving him funny looks whenever he pays attention to Amber (who is definitely meaner this week), so he gives up and tells Wilson about his hallucinations. Only he says he’s seeing Kumar instead of Amber (the other person he feels guilty about). He starts doing Name That Disease on himself, comes up with sleep apnea, and asks Wilson to keep an eye on him. Hey, I have an idea. Can we just not have a POW for one episode? I’m sure there will turn out to be all kinds of fascinating parallels between House and the Case of the Choking Ballerina, but House is a lot more interesting. Too many characters = too many subplots.
Speaking of too many subplots, Camerase is chillaxing at home (and now I promise I am done with that word forever) when Cameron, apropos of nothing, decides now would be a good time to drop a small secret: she’s been saving her dead husband’s sperm. She got it from him right after he got terminally sick. Why? Because she’s Cameron, and she does things that are a little on the creepy side of sentimental.
Don’t be jealous. Want to see my collection of your shower pubes?
Chase doesn’t have time to be jealous, because what Cameron is really asking for is a sample of his sperm to hang onto forever and ever in case he dies in a tragically romantic way and she never marries again. Um, I don’t want to assume that you guys are living in sin or anything, but I’m pretty sure you’ve had ample opportunity to collect that sample yourself, chicky. Chase finally discovers the ability to put two and two together and realizes Cameron has serious commitment issues.
House catches some Z’s in the sleep lab to try and prove sleep apnea, but ends up ruling it out. He has about four things left on his list and “pills” is last. Well, if we skipped right to the actual problem, how long would this show be? Next morning, the news from POW Land is that she’s still not breathing much. House wants to inject water into her windpipe. What that’s supposed to do, I haven’t a clue. Foreman brings up the point that this is pretty much the same as waterboarding, just to make sure we all know that there is some serious Drastic Medical Procedure shiz about to go down. (For the life of me, I can’t think of waterboarding as anything other than a fun way to kill a couple hours out on the lake.) In case we still don’t get the point, while the POW is WIDE AWAKE, Foreman slices her throat open with a knife and jams a tube up in there. The POW starts to squirm and Louie tries to hold her down, but slips. No wait, he didn’t slip, her skin came right off under his hand. EWWW.
Later, the POW is lying in the burn unit with horrible red makeup plastered over 80% of her body.
But only 0.5 percent of her face, so there’s that!
House thinks this is some kind of one-in-a-million reaction to the antibiotics they gave her earlier, maybe related to cancer. (Sure it is.) He sends Foreteen off to do some test, and is amazed to find himself feeling guilty. Realizing that guilt toward patients belongs on Scrubs and not his show, House tells Wilson that he has a new symptom: humanity. Over Wilson’s objections that any other doctor would have done the same thing (and House takes that as an insult), House is going to test this farfetched theory by apologizing to the POW. If he feels better afterward, he’s an actual human being; if he feels nothing, he needs a soul transplant. Or it’s MS. I think we know the answer to that one already.
House delivers a well-rehearsed apology and earns a pat on the knee from Amber. He felt nothing and tells Wilson so. This must mean he has MS. Dude. Do you not watch your own show? It’s never MS. Foreman catches up House to tell him they couldn’t do the test he wanted (liver biopsy) because um, her SKIN is FALLING OFF. So they can’t cut directly into the POW’s liver, but they can go in through her jugular vein and get a piece of it. Naturally, this delicate assignment falls to the most delicate person on the payroll, one Robert Chase. (Yes, it also helps that’s he’s the only surgeon at the hospital.) Foreman helps out because he’s like Chase’s only guy friend and Chase has to tell someone about Mother’s little helper; namely, one frozen shot of Dead Husband Baby Goo. Foreman, like any good guy friend, starts to tell Chase to slip out the back, Jack-but he’s interrupted by Skinless Ballerina crashing. Back to the whiteboard!
Wilson sits in on the chalk talk, and House keeps glancing at him, which causes Foreman to ask House if he needs a babysitter. Because Wilson is totally the lamest choice of babysitter. He’s the one that’s going to make you eat your vegetables and be sure you’re in bed at 9 and then do his homework. Not the cool one who’ll let you stay up and play Wii with you until he sees headlights in the driveway. Anyway, that liver biopsy they just did? The one that screwed up the POW’s heart? It’s not cancer. Shocking, I know. House latches onto this as the reason he needed Wilson there, but he’s reaching, and the kids all know it. ANYWAY, they need to look at her heart now to see what’s wrong with it. Problem is, her medibabble has just gone diacritical, and besides, she HAZ NO SKIN!!!11, and so looking at her heart will be problematic. Amber has the solution, of course: slice her wrist open! No, silly, not Amber’s wrist. That was just for dramatic effect. No, not the POW’s wrist, her HEART.
“What is it, girl? You want us to stop her heart?” “Arf!”
House finds this last hallucination a bit too graphic to stomach, and skips the impending Drastic Medical Procedure to beg Wilson for help. He’s all “Make her stop,” and Wilson is like “Her?” and we’re like “DOH!” and yes, I’m totally stealing riffs from Ack now. Wilson takes this new revelation in stride, probably because he’s got the big stick of Cold Hard Truth to beat House over the head with. “House, you don’t have MS. What you have is not enough blood in your Vicodin stream.” House rejects this theory, since he’s been Viking for approximately 4.8 seasons now, and he only just started seeing Amber when this year’s May sweeps rolled around. He says no way to drug rehab, and wants to do electric shock therapy to zap Amber out of existence. Is anyone surprised that Wilson Does Not Approve? Even Amber looks a bit frowny. Turn that frown upside down, Amber, cuz it’s time for a…
***OMG SHOCKING MEDICAL PROCEDURE!!***
This procedure is made even more shocking by the lack of anesthesia of any kind. I mean, one minute they’re wheeling the poor chick into the MRI, the next they’re zapping her with the old paddles. What, not even a “Clear!”? Everyone watches the big red Doomsday Clock, which is set to 3 minutes because every human becomes a vegetable after 3 minutes with no heartbeat. 2 minutes! 1 minute! 30 SECONDS OMG I CAN”T TAKE IT ANYMORE! as the Houseguests try to study the MRI images for some sort of clue. House, oblivious to the suspense, has decided that ODing on insulin might chase Amber away. I’m not sure how this is supposed to work except that it certainly is dramatic. House shoots up, has a seizure and passes out as the POW wakes up.
One commercial break later, House is bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and being scolded by Wilson, but the Risky Plan seems to have worked. Amber is nowhere to be seen and House is back to his old sarcastic self. The Houseguests saw… something… on the MRI, but they don’t know what it was. House watches the POW’s boyfriend fawn over her, gets a lightbulb all by himself, and decides he’s giving her all that attention out of guilt. But why? Oh, I know! He cheated on her, gave her gonorrhea, and that’s what was on her heart! Easy peasy! House out. Several beers later, House is chillaxing (ok, so I lied about that) at a restaurant when Foreman calls to confirm that the boyfriend does have gonorrhea. Yay! Howeverz, she gave it to him, not the other way around. Boo! House just got lucky, and right-but-lucky is worse than just wrong. Luckily, he has the lounge singer to cheer him up, right? Hey, who’s singing that creepy song, anyway? She sounds familiar. Why, it’s Amber! Anyone else reminded of the singing frog from Bugs Bunny?
Hello ma honey, hello ma baby, hello my ragtime gal!
Now thoroughly freaked, House dials up Wilson and says he’ll do the rehab. Foreman pages with POW news, as if anyone cares. The ballerina is now septic. Even Wilson is bored. He puts his dainty foot down and tells Foreman that House is done with the case. So the kids are going to have to finish this one up on their own. House ditches Wilson and goes to beg Cuddy to help him detox. This being the first date Cuddy’s always dreamed of, she leaves her imaginary kid at home with the babysitter and is off like a prom dress to chez House. As for the Septic Ballerina, her heart is still borked and it’s up to Chase to fix it. While he’s tinkering around with that, one of the nurses notices the POW’s hands and feet are turning black. Rot roh!
When she wakes up, her heart is fixed but now her hands and feet are toast and they’re going to have to amputate. No way, says the POW, you can have my dancing feet when you pry them from my cold dead fingers! The Houseguests take a few minutes to consider the irony of this, and Louie decide there’s only one thing left to do: cure gangrene. Without House, even. They have a pretty good shot, because a POW never leaves the House Of Pain dead or maimed in any way… UNLESS a main character is in dire straits, then the POW is expendable. Hey, how’s House doing, anyway?
Well, he’s puking. A lot. And it’s probably not the worst first date Cuddy’s ever been on, as she banters with him while flushing all his stashed pills. House is doing his best to ignore Amber’s taunts and all the shaking and vomiting and first-date nerves, but sees One Last Pill lying on the floor and scrambles for it. Cuddy gets there first.
Game over, man!
I know no one really cares, but, let’s check in on our POW back at Mission Control, one last time. Looks like she’s… going to be just fine! Except SHE HAZ NO SKINZ!!!, but who’s counting? Hey, what about that other nagging subplot, The Case Of What’s In The Back Of Cameron’s Freezer? Well, after a long day of stopping hearts and starting them again and curing gangrene and junk like that, Chase has no appetite for Cameron’s brand of crazy. He puts his dainty foot down and tells he she can call him when she’s ready to commit. You go, girl!
Back in Huddy-land, the sun is up and the birds are singing and the rough night is over… and so is Amber. Ding dong etc! Cuddy admits she’s had the hots for House going on 20 years now. What was she, 12? Eww. House is showing Cuddy the door when she finally just up and asks him if he wants to kiss her. And then, boys and girls, when a man and a woman love each other very much, but one is passive-aggressive and one is full of self-loathing, and then their coworker commits suicide and one of them says no to drugs… well, let’s just say that some very dysfunctional sweet lovin is about to be made.
Can we lose the indie fauxlk music? I believe a “Bow-chicka-wow-wow” is in order.
And as much as I’d like to see more, my stomach is a bit delicate today, so I’ll pass. Let’s just wait for the obligatory “About last night” episode, hmm? By the time I get this stupid recap posted, it’ll be like 5 minutes from now, anyway…