This week on House: independence, metaphors and parallel plots, oh my. Which doctor is going to have an identity crisis, and does House like Cuddy more than he hates humanity in general? Better yet, will we see the return of Lucas? Follow the Jersey Turnpike, we’re off to see the Wizard of Princeton. I could try and keep going with that, but I have no idea who would play Toto, so let’s just ease on down the road to the recap.
Some workers are talking in a factory about a fund for another worker who got hurt. Along comes the boss, who looks a little young to be working in a factory. She clutches her chest and appears to have trouble breathing. The fancy CGI animation is not much help here, because I have no idea what yucky bit of anatomy I’m looking at. She collapses on the conveyor belt (of course), inches from the Giant Smashy Thing (of course), so her cow-orker has to push the Big Red Button Just In Time (of course). None of which is relevant. She starts foaming bloody foam at the mouth, which is.
Giant Smashy Thing(TM) is required by law in all television factories.
Wilson and House ride the elevator up to work. “So I take it you did not ask Cuddy out?” asks Wilson as House gets off on his floor. House says nope. Wilson is all ok, whatever. House is taken aback by Wilson’s lack of interest and does his jam-the-cane-in-the-door trick. Best. Prop. Ever.
Name That Disease, the Deja Vu Round
The POW has fluid in her lungs. Yep, lungs it is. She’s 16 and lives alone. She says her parents died in a car accident, and rather than be stuck with foster parents, she got a job and an apartment and got emancipated. Since all teenagers are irresponsible sex-crazed liars, half the team suspects heart problems caused by drugs or STDs. Isn’t drugs almost always the first guess? Kumar, though, thinks the POW is awesome (he’s an orphan too, remember) and sticks up for her. “Didn’t we just have this conversation?” says House, which is a reference to the Chinese woman 3 or 4 episodes ago. He sends Kumar to check the girl’s heart. So it appears this will be another Kumar-centric episode. But wait, there’s more…
Foreman sticks around after the 2.0 Houseguests have scurried out, and tells House he wants to bail on this case to go do a clinical trial. There are plenty of doctors on the team, and they usually only have one patient at a time, so he has the spare time to work on other things. So that’s where Foreman’s been hiding out lately. House says forget it. Foreman shuffles out, looking like House just told him there’s no Santa Claus.
Kumar bonds with the POW over dead parents while giving her the heart test. Her heart is fine, so back to the whiteboard. Meanwhile, Louie and 13 are poking through her apartment. She made all her own furniture, don’tcha know. “If you’re this grown up at 16, what happens at 30?” asks Louie. “You turn back into a kid like Kutner,” says 13. She thinks Kumar is being naive to trust the girl. Right on cue, she finds a bong in the apartment.
Name That Disease, the “Let’s Toke About It” Round
Kumar says the bong doesn’t matter, because the POW’s heart is fine, so drugs are not the problem. It’s either the heart or vasculitis. That term gets tossed around a lot on this show. They argue whether they should give her steroids (which would be dangerous if she were on drugs) or beta blockers to keep her heart rhythm stable. House chooses beta blockers. House is mad because Foreman didn’t help do the heart test, so this time Foreman gets to run all the tests. Foreman leaves right after House does, though, leaving the Houseguests 2.0 to do the grunt work.
Kumar is all too happy to help out again. The POW insists the bong belongs to her ex-boyfriend–”That’s why he’s ex”–and she doesn’t do drugs. Kumar believes her and starts her on steroids instead of doing what House told him to do.
Foreman ends up down at the clinic. Woohoo, I love the clinic. At least I loved it when House went down there and took random sick people to the woodshed. If they’re going to bring back the clinic, I’m glad it’s Foreman, because if anyone is going to be House when he grows up (minus the personality disorders), it’s Foreman. Cuddy finds him there, and he spills his sad tale to her. “House did something solely out of self-interest? FREAKY,” she says, making a face just like House would make. Aw, isn’t it cute how two people in love start acting like each other? Hope she doesn’t pick up the limp, that would ruin the view from behind. She refuses to override House’s decision. Smart move, Lisa, he’d never call you then. Foreman’s clinic case is a four-year-old kid who has stomach pain, red puke, and large bags under his eyes, and a big brother that fawns over him like a pet. Big brother is played by a kid fresh out of the Macaulay Culkin School For Overly Cute Child Actors.
God Bless Us Everyone.
Back in the part of the hospital where you have to pay to get awful things done to you, the POW is going bonkers and yelling at everyone to stay away. Psychotic episodes would be so much more fun on this show if they lasted more than thirty seconds. I want to see that kid tied down on a table and thrashing. Wait, that didn’t come out right. Kumar is busted because he gave her the wrong medicine.
Name That Disease, the Roid Rage Round
House blames Foreman for not babysitting Kumar, even though the roids didn’t cause the patient’s delirium. He accuses Kumar of having Empathetic Orphan Syndrome. Foreman scrambles to come up with a theory and save face. House tells him to go do the tests to check out his theory. And this time he really REALLY means that Foreman has to do the tests himself. After House leaves, Foreman gets off on a technicality, saying House didn’t say he had to prep for the tests, and runs back down to the clinic to check on POW Jr. He gives the kid one of those cameras-in-a-pill to swallow, but the kid is afraid to, until Overly Cute Big Brother says it’s a magic pill “like the vitamins we take”. SUBTLE HINT!!! Remember that. Little POW swallows the camera and starts giggling like a baby on YouTube.
Foreman is stumped, so he goes to Camerase for a consult. His old Housemates have been hitting the happy gas now that Chase finally got into Cameron’s drawers. They aren’t much help, other than to tell him he’s wasting his time to try and prove something to House. Foreman gets paged before he can come up with a quick comeback. Not much in the one-liner department, is Foreman.
He joins Kumar in the MRI room, who is attempting more bonding with POW Sr. He asks her a bunch of first-date questions about her parents while watching her brain on the screen. It lights up in the wrong place, which means she’s lying about her parents being dead. If this is so foolproof, why do we still do polygraph tests? She admits that her parents aren’t dead–but her dad raped her, so she ran away. You can almost taste Kumar’s crushing disappointment at being lied to.
It tastes like White Castle.
Name That Disease: the Lying Liars Round
In which Kumar throws the POW under the bus, 13 defends her, and Louie thinks she could have an STD. “Thank goodness one of you doesn’t have a heart,” House says to Louie. He thinks her problem might be too much stress. Lame. He sends them to do more tests.
House goes to bug Wilson about Cuddy some more. It seems Wilson’s sudden non-interest in the Cuddy affair is really getting under House’s skin. You know Wilson is milking this one. Watching House squirm is a rare treat. In the clinic, Foreman Is Still Stumped by POW Jr, and the 1.0 Houseguests are still not much help. Things haven’t changed much in the last three seasons. He gets them to do some tests for him before running back to POW Sr.
13 is testing the POW for stress and giving out her special brand of Femgrrl Therapy. Kumar is off like a prom dress since she betrayed his trust. Foreman checks in and they notice that her urine is brown. Didn’t that just happen a couple of weeks ago? I’m going to start keeping a spreadsheet of all these symptoms, so I can impress my friends. Brown urine means… their best guess is arsenic poisoning. Hey, I once spiked a roommate’s soda with blue dye so he’d pee green. Is this anything like that? I’m pretty sure he’s still alive, if that helps. They treat her to remove the arsenic.
Foreman races back to the clinic, where Chase tells him that POW Jr’s test results were negative and that he’s going to have to call House for help eventually. Right on cue, POW Jr crashes. What would medical drama be without defibrillator paddles?
Meanwhile, Pow Sr has a seizure as soon as she is arsenic-free. It’s just not Foreman’s day. Now she’s got lesions on her brain. The arsenic in her system was counteracting whatever the hell else is wrong with her, so when they treated the arsenic, she got worse. So what do you use arsenic to treat for? Leukemia! What else do you need to treat leukemia? That’s right, it’s this season’s designated cure–a bone marrow transplant. I swear they’ve used it every other episode so far. A bone marrow transplant requires a genetic match, so what say we go find those conveniently-not-dead rapist parents?
Foreman goes to House about POW Jr. He already knows about Foreman’s side project, of course. Foreman wasn’t shocked when the 16-year-old POW was dying, which meant he must have been doing another case where someone even younger was dying. That’s a bit of a leap, even for Sherlock House. House refuses to help, of course, and leaves Foreman to flounder on his own.
Speaking of which, House goes to see Wilson, and the first thing House says is “your disengagement won’t work.” Wilson refuses to say a word about Cuddy, tells House he’s starting to sound desperate, and leaves House to flounder on his own. Whee, I love parallel plot threads.
13 and Louie are drilling into POW Sr’s head–I think to get a piece of the brain lesions, but mostly because drilling into heads is cool. They’re trying to talk her into calling up her parents and asking them to donate. She refuses, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of saving her life. In an uncharacteristic display of personality, Louie says he has Huntington’s disease and is dying too, and the only way to make your life matter is to fight the disease for as long as you can. The POW still refuses, and now 13 is pissed at Louie for using her story. Louie shrugs. “It’s a true story, who cars if it’s not my story?” He wanted to take the personal approach with the patient. He must have spent a lot of time with Cameron last week. 13 is going to go look up POW Sr’s parents anyway. House says you can’t cure idiocy, so why bother? In the House drinking game, BTW, the word “idiocy” is worth like 8 fingers.
If that thing is screwed into your skull, why do I see your head moving?
Name That Disease, Kickin it Ol-Skool
Since Daddy won’t interfere, Foreman is back to Plan A: brainstorm with Camerase. Chase wonders if the older brother is poisoning him or something. Foreman says nope, the big brother dotes on him, helps him brush his teeth and… lightbulb! Foreman vanishes in a cloud of dust.
13 is back on the street, looking for the POW’s parents. She finds them, or so she thinks. She introduces herself and it turns out that her first name is… drumroll… Remy!
(Remy? Does it get any more random than that? Maybe we’ll find out next week that Louie’s first name is Ivan or Mboku. But I digress.)
Yes, these people have a daughter by that name… as a matter of fact, she’s right here! Ooops. The POW is still lying, only now she’s an identity-thieving liar.
This one’s my Inspector Gadget jacket.
13 is pissed (4 fingers), because she’s just joined Kumar in the Circle of Betrayal. The girl still refuses to have anything to do with her parents.
Down in the clinic, Foreman explains that POW Jr has been overdosing on iron from multivitamins. Remember when big brother told him the camera pill was going to make him big and strong? He’s been feeding the kid way too many vitamins. And the mom didn’t notice? Those big bottles last forever at my house. I think I’d notice if the kids went through one in about a week. OK, who am I kidding? Mrs. Copyhacker would notice.
You know it’s the bottom of the 9th in POW Sr land, because House is going to talk to her himself. If she lied about being raped, she must be covering for something really really bad. Time for the Emmy scene. House says she wants to die out of guilt, so what was it she did? She breaks down and admits that she killed her little brother–he drowned in the bathtub while she was supposed to be watching him. We have quite the theme going on this week, don’t we? House is actually kind of shaken by this. He plays on her guilt, saying that if she doesn’t call her parents she’ll be killing their other child too. Score.
The closing meditative acoustic folk song plays as one family has a tearful reunion (while Kumar looks on with some jealousy) and the other family goes home happy. So one sibling almost died from overprotection and one sibling died from underprotection. Clever.
And this little piggy cried wee, wee, wee.
Foreman comes back to House and insists that he’s going to do the drug trial. Daddy says ok, because Foreman didn’t ask this time, he told. After this show is over, I’d kill to see a House Knows Best spinoff where he’s the father of teenagers. It could be a sitcom, like Scrubs. (Which reminds me, what do we have to do to get Dr. House and Dr. Cox on screen together?) Wilson and House ride the elevator out together. Not only did House know about the other case, he was watching Foreman’s back the whole time. What a big softie. House knows Wilson is playing the same game with him. They walk out past Cuddy, and House glances her way but they don’t speak. Wilson asks if he wants to talk about it. House says nope. Wilson says he’s going to be OK.
So I must admit that I really liked this one. I’d put it up there with the road trip episode as the two best ones so far this season. I liked how all the plot threads related — not just because it was cool, but it actually advanced character development. I read a comment somewhere on another recap (how bout that, I did my homework for you guys this week!) that both POWs were metaphors for Wilson’s treatment of House this season. First Wilson left House on his own (first couple of episodes), and House struggled. Then Wilson over-interfered (last week’s episode) and House still struggled. So now I guess he’s got his porridge just right. Sorry though, Huddy shippers, you’ll have to wait to see how that turns out.
Also, Foreman. He’s my favorite Houseguest. Sure, his personality is on the boring side, but he’s the best developed character and the one that looks up to House the most, so I like it when they play with that relationship. And did you get that the POW was a factory foreman? She was trying to grow up just like the real Foreman. The metaphors were really rolling this week. Also again, is Lucas gone for good, or what? I know I keep bringing him up, but he kinda grew on me. I hate it when supporting characters only pop up a couple of times a season because it’s convenient. I’m still hoping David Morse shows up for another run, but that’s probably wishful thinking. Anyway. Next week is supposed to feature another homicidal POW and I think it’s another 13 episode as well. Should be interesting. See you then!