Hey guys, is it next week already? I just woke up from a turkey coma, so I apologize for the severe tardiness of this recap. I got gravy all over the first draft, then it got tossed out with the Christmas decoration wrapping paper and I had to start all over. Excuses excuses, I know.
This week the previews promised us a hostage situation. I’m betting it’s going to be Episode Formula #2: House vs. A Worthy Adversary. Instead of the usual Patient of the Week intro, we open on the hospital. Inside, we’re treated to a Slo-Mo Cam of Impending Doom™ shot of people in the clinic. 13 is soothing a typical exasperated ER patient. You know the drill: “I’ve been sitting here for 56 hours bleeding all over the floor, don’t you have any doctors working?” These people should know better than to go to a hospital that only has one surgeon. Seriously.
Foreman comes in for a chat with 13. Remember the drug trial he’s working on? Just so happens that it’s for Huntington’s disease. Shut up! I know, right? He offers 13 a spot in the trial. She says no thanks. Eric, if there’s anything I’ve learned about Dr. Remy Hadley in the last year, it’s that a helping hand is not the way into her pants. Anywho, hey, look who else is here–it’s Zeljko Ivanek! If you don’t recognize the name (because I know you get all your Zeljkos mixed up), you’ll recognize the face. His IMDB rap sheet helpfully says “he is frequently cast as political or business middlemen of corrupt, shady natures who often end up stabbing somebody in the back.” In other words, any run-of-the-mill baddie on 24. He’s doing his shady thing now, peeping through the door of Cuddy’s office. Who should be in there but House–up to no good, I bet. Besides, how much fun would a hostage faceoff with Cuddy be? (Something I’ve always wondered: why does a hospital bigwig like Cuddy have her office down in the clinic?) Zzzyzx goes in and asks to see Cuddy. House, messing with Cuddy’s desk drawer, blows him off in typical Housian fashion. Zczrycwz walks out, pulls the gun you knew he was packing, and herds 13 and a bunch of random patients into Cuddy’s office. “What seems to be the problem?” House deadpans.
“Doc, I have a bad case of typecast.”
While the patients try to calm Zxyezrc down by doing that “hey man take it easy we’ll do what you want” thing, House talks down to him, but gently. You can tell House is 1) scared and 2) interested. Probably wants to try and outsmart the guy. Or at least out-creep him.
Zcwercyk gives House his symptoms and medical file as a SWAT team arrives and all the innocent bystanders evacuate the hospital. House doesn’t need to look at the file, since the 16 other doctors who looked at it couldn’t solve the case. Zcrwzyc has trouble breathing. House Sherlocks a lighter off one of the hostages and tells the POW to hold it at arm’s length and blow it out. He can’t. Cuddy’s phone rings. ‘Crime scene!’ answers House cheerfully. He’s probably having the time of his life. He asks for a syringe full of some drug. Zscwarc the POW wants Cuddy to bring it in, I think because she looks harmless. Cuddy shows up with the syringe, all mooning with worry for her man. Is Zfwjyd really going to be that dumb? No, because then the show would be over. He says give it to someone else first to prove it’s legit. House picks a big guy. Probably because he’s big and whatever it is shouldn’t affect him much. Sure enough, the big guy collapses and Zqasdf points the gun at House. House points out that he’s, ow you zay, indispensable?, so the POW shoots a random hostage in the leg instead. Nice move, House.
Outside, Cuddy is all panicky and talking to the SWAT negotiator. “You got a husband or a loved one in there?” “Uh… no,” she stammers. Got it in one. This guy’s good.
Meanwhile, in the part of the hospital that’s NOT on lockdown, the Houseguests are out in the hall, more or less going about their biz. Kumar gets a page from House. Which can only mean…
Name That Disease: The Vandalize Cuddy’s Office Round
Chase, whose good mood from last week has entirely evaporated, says he’s not going to play the POW’s game and walks out. Cameron lies and says he’s still there. Today’s players: lung infection, cancer, heart palpitations, yada yada. House uses Cuddy’s wall as a whiteboard. The kid in back asks why House needs to write down just 4 things.
House sends Cameron to go through Zfaadkv’s medical records, Foreman to test his blood, and Louie and Kumar to his apartment. The POW gives them his address. House notes that he must not be expecting to go back.
House calls the outside world and tells the negotiator to send in someone to pick up the POW’s blood so Foreman can test it. Zxvbpfft hangs up the phone and says to look outside. He heard SWAT guys outside the window. New symptom: super hearing, which indicates some kind of nerve trouble. House and 13 tell the POW to smile, which he does, to hilarious effect.
His smile is lopsided, which could mean nerve damage. House tells the POW they have a test but it’s dangerous and painful–it hurts if there’s no nerve damage, but not if there is. House asks for capsaicin, which if I’m not mistaken is the ingredient that makes peppers hot. The POW insists that Cuddy bring the stuff in again. The negotiator says to leave Cuddy out of it, and he has to trade a hostage. House interrupts to tell the negotiator that calling the POW by his first name over and over is creepy, not assuring. Finally someone calls out this particularly annoying tendency of fictional hostage negotiators. Outside, Cuddy says OK too quickly, which makes the negotiator question her objectivity. House as the terrorist, vs. a hostage negotiator, would make a great episode.
Slo-mo cam again as the guy with the GSW is wheeled out to safety. Zsvrcaw asks for a volunteer to take the painful and dangerous test. This one is resolved by the time-honored finger-on-the-nose method. What’s next, eeny-meeny-miney-moe? 13 volunteers instead. House says her terminal illness has given her a death wish. “Everything’s not some fascinating character flaw,” says 13. Ah, but on this show it is. She collapses in pain after getting the injection. OK, it’s the POW’s turn now. House asks him why he’s throwing away his life just to find out what’s wrong with him, and shoots him up with pepper juice. He collapses in pain too. Wouldn’t that be a great time to, you know, GRAB THE GUN? Anyway, it’s not nerve damage, so… next?
Louie and Kumar inspect the apartment. Everything’s all set out for them, medicines and everything–more evidence that he wasn’t planning on returning. They find a picture of his mom, who has “a droopy eye, fat face, thick neck.” Cameron thinks this is a symptom of some genetic disease. “Or she’s just ugly,” says House. Bwahaha. Foreman tests the POW’s blood and finds no infection. Meanwhile, 13 looks up from her vantage point on the floor and sees that his jugular is distended. Could be a heart problem. His heart is racing, but isn’t that a normal sign of, like, stress and stuff? The POW demands paddles to zap his heart with. Good old paddles. House demands the gun in return. Standoff. 13 says she’ll go get some drugs to slow his heart with. POW gives her thirty seconds. House and the nurse hostage debate whether 13 will come back or run. OK, time’s up. The nurse volunteers to be shot and then panics, right before 13 comes back Just In Time. The POW insists 13 take all the same drugs he takes, so he can make sure there are no interactions. House is about to give the POW the shot when he notices heart is back to normal, but the POW is sweating on only one side of his face. This can only mean a tumor, which can only mean–yep, time to call Wilson.
Wilson is also going about his biz like there’s not a hostage situation downstairs. Which is pretty much true. At least there shouldn’t still be a situation. Jack Bauer would eat this loser for a light bedtime snack. In fact, I’m pretty sure he did on at least one occasion. Zxwrlty has a dry mouth, and swollen glands, which means metastasized lung cancer. POW insists on proof. He wants an X-ray. “Damn, I left my CT machine in my other pants,” says House. So it’s time for a field trip. Several hostages scurry out as the POW shuffles off to radiology, with House, 13 and the remaining hostages tied around him as a shield. This looks really silly. Where did this guy go to terrorist school? House keeps pushing the POW’s buttons and he insists he just wants an answer.
What has 12 feet, an unpronounceable name, and coughs?
They give him a CAT scan while he points the gun out of the machine at the room in general. I’m pretty sure that a big piece of metal like that is going to interfere with the scan. Too bad it’s not an MRI, that would be spectacular. House says curiosity isn’t enough, “there’s gotta be a deeper reason.” Speaking from personal experience, no doubt. “You never did anything just because you had to know?” So. Doctor Sees Self in Patient. House scribbles something down and hands it to a hostage. He shows 13 the scan results. 13 says there’s a starburst artifact on it, which basically means that the gun screwed up the test and he has to put it down if he wants his answer. House asks the hostage to reveal the word he wrote, which is… drumroll… STARBURST, which means they couldn’t have planned it beforehand. Right? I’m not so sure. If I figured out that a gun could throw off an X-ray, wouldn’t they have known too? Zcvbnwx says nope, he’s not giving up the gun, but we cut to the nurse and another hostage running to safety. They tell a seriously overacting Cuddy that he did give up the gun, and they ran.
Back in the Giant Mostly Empty X-ray Room, one hostage stayed behind out of curiosity. The CAT scan is negative. Which means House Is Still Stumped. So he does what only House would do–hands Zkcszcwk his gun back. Classic House. 13 accuses him of being cowardly and insecure; he has to be Super Doctor and solve the case. House counters by saying 13′s death wish makes her the coward. Meh, the gun doesn’t matter anymore. House has clearly pwned this guy, he can get the gun back anytime he wants. The last remaining hostage proves this by asking House if he can go, and House says no. Outside, the negotiator asks Cuddy if House is lying about the gun, calling him obsessive and defiant. When can we get this guy on as a regular? He’s pegged House better than most people on the show and he hasn’t even met him yet. “Hope your boyfriend knows what he’s doing.” Yep, he’s pegged Cuddy too. He orders the SWAT team to go blow the door open. I didn’t think the typical hospital lab was so impregnable as to require explosives.
Wilson’s joined the Houseguests as House calls to ask for more diagnosis help. Foreman follows Chase’s lead and walks out, disgusted. The remaining HGs who have no spine and are no help. House notices the guy is turning his head to one side, showing hearing loss in one ear. Now he has to provoke a respiratory reaction to test his latest theory and asks for some drugs that will slow breathing. The negotiator says he’s through negotiating, but House has pwned this guy too. 13 takes the shot, gets a fever and passes out. Scratch one more diagnosis. Now House is angry at the POW because he made 13 take something that was bad for her. OK, sure, I guess if we just skip past that whole giving-him-the-gun-back thing, it might not be all House’s fault.
Name That Disease, the Deja-Vu-All-Over-Again Round
Cameron thinks something is protecting the POW’s kidneys. You know, like last week, when there was arsenic holding off the girl’s leukemia. Can’t we go a week without recycling a plot device? House needs to slap the POW, which makes him twitch, which somehow leads to an idea that explains everything. Except… you only catch it in a tropical climate. The POW says he’s never been south of… Florida. Groan. Is this whole episode really going to hinge on Florida? Been there, done that. Zsxcfgwo wants to trade House for the cure so he can test it on 13 first. House says, for only the 13th time, that 13 will probably die if she takes it. They argue about whose obsession is going to kill her. Then 13 and House argue about which one of them gets to be the martyr. 13 wins. The SWAT guys are moving in to blow the door off the lab as House limps out.
Inside, the nothing-to-live-for debate continues. 13 says she doesn’t want to die and the POW says sure she does, she just wants to be in control, and he’s the one with the gun. 13 starts to give herself the shot and begs for her life, all raccoon-eyed. POW snatches the syringe from her and injects himself, as the door goes BOOM. More slo-mo action as House runs (well, limps) over to check on 13 and I’m pretty sure Cuddy is screaming NOOOOOOOO in the background, since we’re doing the Jerry Bruckheimer thing this week. Don’t worry, she’ll be fine as soon as she gets that eye makeup issue fixed.
50 ccs of cold cream, stat!
Afterward, House walks out of the elevator, tosses back some pills (the House equivalent of David Caruso’s sunglasses) and signals to the POW to take a deep breath. He’s cured. Ahh, isn’t that nice? Enjoy it. There won’t be much fresh air for you to enjoy… (Caruso voice)… IN JAIL. See ya. House wins again, bizatches.
13 tells Foreman that she’s changed her mind about participating in the drug trial for her disease. That Foreman/13 hookup (Foreteen?) I predicted a while back is just around the corner, huh?
And now, the long-awaited Huddy reunion. House starts out by talking about the POW’s diagnosis, which is his version of caveman guy talk. This gets under Cuddy’s skin, of course, but House points out that she backed him up the whole time. In a bassackwards House way, he says he wants to try out a relationship. “If you’re suggesting that you screwed up because of a non-relationship with me, I don’t know how I can help you, because the only change you can make from a non-relationship is…” He denies it right after saying it, of course, but sorry, no take-backs.
Cuddy sits down at her desk and I’m pretty sure she translated the House-speak correctly. As she opens her desk drawer, it falls out, spilling all her stuff onto the floor. Yep, House rigged it back at the beginning of the episode. And what is it with drawers this season, anyway? You may remember we got a peek inside Cameron’s drawers a couple of weeks ago. You may also remember House playing a practical joke on Wilson a couple of weeks ago, so we know he has it bad for Cuddy. He’s such a ten-year-old.
She has cooties too. Big ones.
Out of all the episode formulas they use on this show, I like the House vs. Worthy Adversary one the best. I enjoyed watching House get into the POW’s head, but he was easy pickings. Sure, he had the whole curiosity-killed-the-cat thing going, which was supposed to mirror House’s own flaw, but how did this relate to anything else? OK, so 13 was (apparently) cured of her death wish, but we already dealt with that in her last episode. If you take her terminal disease away, she isn’t much of a character. The Huddy arc wasn’t really moved along much either–we already knew they both really want to try it. So we got lots of fireworks, but what really happened? Not a whole lot in my opinion. Meh. I’ll leave it at that, and you guys have just a couple of hours to chime in with your thoughts before the next episode airs. Think fast!