OK, I’m all business this week, kids. Straight to the prologue we go, to a classroom where children are making crafts out of pipe cleaners. At first it looks like a preschool class, but here’s a boy who’s about 20. OK, maybe not quite, but definitely too old to be making things out of pipe cleaners. Oh, it’s that kind of class. He’s a creepy Damien kind of cute. He asks embarrassing questions about love and marriage and each answer the teacher gives him is mushier than the last. He spills his glitter all over the girl next to him, she wets her pants and then the nice teacher coughs up blood on the girl and collapses. Who don’t know that bleeding out of facial orifices means major trouble on TV? She should really be glad it wasn’t her nose.
Because then she’d either have superpowers or be time-skipping on Craphole Island.
Cameron catches House stealing a bagel from the cafeteria and gives him the teacher’s case. House wants to know why Cameron is handing out cases. “Babysitting you,” she says. Cuddy picked Cameron because she’s supposed to be immune to House after working under him for so long. So to speak. House says she’ll put out eventually. “That’s why I took the job,” she says, all ironically flirty. I guess Chase might not have enough baggage for her–but I’m betting she’s just taking House for a ride. So to speak.
The Houseguests find out that Daddy is taking orders from Cameron. Foreman thinks “she’s going to mark her territory… she’ll probably overcompensate and destroy you.” I can’t say the words “Cameron” and “destroy” in the same sentence without laughing. So this is Powerpuff Cameron we’re talking about, not High School Musical Cameron, right? They let Powerpuff out to play every once in awhile and it’s always kind of weird. Like where did this chick come from? Anywho, Foreman thinks the problem is in the POW’s blood. Makes sense to me since she did cough up blood and all. 13 disagrees. House thinks they’re disagreeing because they slept together. “How about you just judge our ideas on their own merit?” asks 13. House: “Oh, you don’t want me to do that.”
Three snaps in a Z formation!
Kumar and 13 jab a giant needle into Miss Frizzle, who doesn’t even flinch. “I just went to my happy place,” she says, which I’m guessing is somewhere on Sesame Street. “We cannot let House anywhere near this woman,” observes 13.
OK, class, if you aren’t in YOUR happy place yet, raise your hands if you know where this is going. I haven’t come up with a snappy label for it yet, but this is one of those episodes where a POW has an extreme personality trait that makes House examine his extreme personality traits, and then it turns out that the weird personality was a symptom of whatever disease they had. (Except symptoms are never caused by weird diseases on this show. It’s always chicken pox or lead poisoning.)
Cuddy and Wilson are in the baby’s nursery oohing and aahing. Did they renovate a spare room in the hospital? Is there an express bus between the hospital and Cuddy’s house? It’s had more visitors than the ER lately. Wilson wants to know what the baby’s like, and Cuddy doesn’t understand the question. “What’s she like? She eats and sleeps and cries and poops.” She’s upset because she hasn’t bonded with the baby yet. Oh. Come. On. Bonding happens, people. Dirty secret: babies kinda have to grow on you. Women think that babies are all hearts and butterflies and then it’s a big letdown when they get pooped on. Men expect to get pooped on and then they’re pleasantly surprised when something positive happens. Be more like us dudes, why don’tcha?
Zen Master Wilson had a profound impact on my outlook last week.
Foreman and 13 are agreeing with each other now, and once again House blames it on the relationship. House wants to zap the patient with radiation, which the Houseguests think is too drastic. At least, it’s too drastic for only 10 minutes into the show. He goes to Cameron for permission, expecting a battle of wills. Cameron gives in right away, though. She says she’s not playing games with him–but of course she is–and that she’ll say yes as long as it makes medical sense. House: “I need oral sex. Surely your biological imperative qualifies as medical sense.” Jeez, House, can’t you just say “blow me” like everyone else? He’s either trying to make her uncomfortable, or calling her bluff about putting out, or both. Anyway, I get the squirmies whenever House tries to make sexy time. It’s creepy. Like wear an ankle bracelet and put your address on a website where all the parents can see it creepy.
Now House has to come up with a reason not to do the radiation, because he didn’t expect Cameron to give in. 13 thinks they should just pretend to do the radiation test, which is actually an awesome idea.
Foreman and Chase are sitting in the cafe talking about their girl problems. This little chat is at least two episodes overdue. Chase thinks Cameron is starting to dress like Cuddy (which I doubt she could pull off) and Foreman admits that he knows 13 is on the placebo instead of the miracle cure. Chase tells him not to do something stupid like switch her meds. It’s been awhile since Chase had any character development at all, so I could be wrong, but isn’t Chase supposed to be the morally flexible one?
13 and Louie are doing the fake radiation test. If Kumar was in here instead of 13, they’d be having another debate about Louie’s moral hangups–but since we just had a moral debate last scene, they’re watching Fletch instead, which is way more entertaining. Princess Buttercup asks to go to the little girls’ room, and collapses getting off the table. No pulse? Ooh, you better believe that’s a paddling. One zap and she’s back. This is actually a good thing, because now they don’t need to go through with the fake radiation test.
The Brady Bunch look over scans of her heart. 13 comes up with a wacky explanation, which Foreman likes, and House tells them to get a room. He likes the explanation too–something about her blood clotting when it gets cold–and comes up with a test that he needs Cameron’s permission for. What he doesn’t know is that Cuddy is right at this very moment giving Cameron the unholy what-for for approving the Drastic Radiation Treatment. Dominatrix boots and all.
You’re lucky I left my matching whip at home. You’ve been a very bad girl.
Cameron says she said yes because she knew it was a test. Cuddy thinks Cameron is no match for House’s mind games, which makes you wonder why she put her in the job. To prove the point, House walks in and takes about two seconds to zero in on Cuddy’s baby issues. She left the baby outside with the nurses, which no new mom would do because she wants to hear everyone cooing over it. She must be having second thoughts. The man has superhuman powers of intuition. Or Wilson blabbed. Yeah, that. House tells her it’s OK, she hasn’t done the adoption yet, and she can just give the kid up, no harm done. He’s being kind to be cruel. Cuddy leaves, hopefully to go tear up all her unsent love letters to House.
Cameron says OK to the new procedure–dropping Pollyanna in an ice water bath–but says they have to do a test first. The Houseguests think Cameron is playing him, since she said yes to nuking the POW but no to a simple bath.
Kumar goes to get blood for the test (which is just to chill her blood and see if it clots) and Damien from the prologue is in there visiting. Little Johnny’s (yes, really) mom says he’s autistic and the teacher made more progress with him than anyone. So Kumar lets them stay in there even though they’re not supposed to be visiting. Which can only lead to trouble. He takes the blood to Foreteen over in the Department of False Hope. Foreman’s trying to rain on 13′s parade. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves… you might not be on the real drug.” She doesn’t take any of his big fat hints, he doesn’t come clean, and she cozies up to him. I’ve seen this somewhere before…
I’m Batman. I’m Batman…
The blood clots, and
Batman Foreman goes to tell Cameron so they can dunk the POW in ice water. Also known as Drastic Medical Procedure #62. Before Foreman can open his mouth, Cameron tells him not to be an idiot, which means Chase has been an idiot and told her about Foreman’s dilemma. It also means the dilemma is now Cameron’s responsibility, and she never met a dilemma she didn’t like. House watches the ice bath. Louie notes that House never comes to tests like this. Maybe he was hoping for a little full frontal action, but the real reason is so the writers can get him in the same room with Miss Sunshine and watch the sparks fly. She has to sit in the bath for three minutes, and somehow House puts up with her happy babbling without barging in and calling her an idiot. Since she made it the whole three minutes without any heart problems, The Houseguests Are Still Stumped.
Should have made her listen to David Cook’s first single. There’s three minutes that will break your heart.
House isn’t stumped–of course, he thinks Mary Poppins’s sunny disposition indicates brain damage. The Houseguests say pancreatic tumor and House says MS. So they go to Cameron to argue about whether House gets to drill into the POW’s head. Cameron says do an MRI and check for both things before going ahead with Drastic Medical Procedure #12. House says no, the drilling is the best course of action and she knows it, but she’s just being obstinate to show Cuddy she can handle him. He fails to intimidate her though and she says to do the MRI.
While Powerpuff Cameron’s throwing down in Cuddy’s office, Cuddy is lurking around the hospital so she doesn’t have to go home with the baby. She goes to Wilson for a pep talk and says she’s seriously thinking about House’s advice to turn the baby back in. She says she read all the books about bonding with your baby and nothing’s helped. So House must be right, right? Wilson thinks House is usually wrong about emotional issues. Cuddy disagrees. I have to side with Wilson here. He’s usually right about the emotional issue, but dead wrong about how to handle it. Anyway, Cuddy is feeling trapped by parenthood and I’m beginning to think that the “Big Baby” in the episode title is Cuddy.
Or maybe she just saw Revolutionary Road.
While Cuddy is moping around all self-absorbed, the MRI Cameron wanted shows nothing. Which means no head drilling today. Boo! Foreman sticks around after the Houseguests 2.0 leave, and says he wants to talk “about Remy.” “Who?” says House. Bwahaha. “I’m the last person you’d come to for ethical advice,” notes House, which means he knows Foreman’s tried everyone else and hasn’t gotten the answer he wants yet. House breaks it down to the number of years 13 has to live vs. the number of years in Foreman’s medical career–”unless you love her.” OK, now we’re supposed to take House’s emotional advice?
Now the POW’s lungs are failing, which means House was right. It’s not MS, but it might be something else brain-related. So now the head drilling is on again, right? Wrong. Even better. House wants to take off the whole top of her head, which Kumar thinks is nuts. House says they don’t have time to try anything less drastic.
You just totally 24ed me, didn’t you?
Having beaten Kumar, House goes to try out his Jack Bauer Argument on Cameron, who’s already been warned. Quite the rebel this week, is Kumar. House doesn’t know exactly what the problem is, just that it’s messing with one whole side of her brain. So opening her skull up for a peek sounds like a foolproof plan–for pissing off Cameron and Cuddy. She says he needs more evidence before he can saw off the top of someone’s head.
In a last-ditch attempt to keep from stealing a plotline from Heroes, Foreteen is visiting the POW’s classroom looking for Cameron’s evidence. They’re not going to find anything, because we are going to crack that skull open, oh yes. 13, still on Planet Giddy, says she wants to have kids–terminal disease or no terminal disease. Foreman says nothing because he’s too busy trying to remove the knife that 13 is twisting in his chest. Speaking of cracking skulls open, I think 13 and Cameron have swapped brains this episode. Meanwhile, Wilson is trying one last trick on Cuddy: he brings her a framed picture of a young woman and says it’s an age-enhanced photo of the baby. You know, since Cuddy can’t relate to the Puking Peanut-Shaped Alien phase of life? I smell shenanigans. You can’t age-enhance a face that young. Sure enough, Wilson admits it’s just the picture that came in the frame when he bought it. Why do you even bother, James?
House returns to Cameron with his proof: a kid with a cold and a couple of dead bugs. He admits it’s a little flimsy, but none of the other tests worked, sooooo… Cameron, after putting up a fight barely worthy of Cuddy, says ok. Which means…
Dr. Sylar to OR 3.
The POW is acting pretty normal during tonight’s Drastic Procedure, considering that House is actually being sort of charming. Cameron assists by reading the Brain-O-Scope while House asks logical questions to test her brain function. Up in the skybox, Benedict Kumar is on his cell phone tattling on House to Cuddy. What follows is quite possibly the wackiest sequence I’ve ever seen. Cuddy has Kumar hold the phone up to the intercom so she can yell at House, Cameron and her crying baby all at the same time. He yells right back and everyone’s voice is crystal clear. Better than Skype, even. Pollyanna’s blood pressure starts to drop, which makes everyone start yelling louder. And the POW, who is under just a little stress at everyone yelling about her over the wide-open top of her head, finally begins to get irritated.
Hel-LO! I’m RIGHT HERE! See the big slimy shower cap?
Which sets House’s Lightbulb Timer ticking. Cuddy wins the shouting match with House (by telling him the surgery’s over) and with the baby (by promising her in tears that she can have anything she wants–bad precedent, that). And magically, Cuddy has bonded with the little rugrat. Well, bonding by yelling worked on House, didn’t it? Kumar, gloating, goes to see about yanking the POW’s spleen, while House puzzles over the new clue.
Now that Cuddy loves her baby, all is forgiven, so she brings the kid to visit House. He holds her for a minute and gets spit up on, which is priceless. He goes into a very House explanation of how we evolved to think baby puke is cute so we don’t kill our babies before their stomach matures, and lightbulb. “I’ve gotta go see another baby.” He grabs a convenient ultrasound probe and does his patented Two Second Diagnosis: Patent Ductus Arteriosis (and I’m familiar with it because it was a possibility in one of our babies). See, before you’re born, your blood doesn’t go through your lungs because you’re not breathing yet. There’s a little hole that bypasses the lungs that is supposed to close up at birth. The POW had one that never closed up all the way. So when her blood pressure goes up, because of stress or whatever, the hole opens up and diverts blood away from the part of her brain that gets stressed out. “Which means that when you get stressed, you get unstressed,” as House helpfully explains. When her blood pressure went down during the operation, the hole didn’t open up and she finally got stressed out. Well, I guess it isn’t the most contrived thing I’ve seen in five seasons of watching House.
But this is close.
Next stop on Cuddy’s victory tour is Cameron. Cuddy says Cameron made the right call. Cameron, never one to take a compliment, decides she doesn’t want Cuddy’s job because after years of working with House, he’s in her
pants head and she’d just give him whatever he wants again. So Cuddy is stuck with her job back.
Closing montage: The POW gets a visit from Damian, who spills water on her and she looks annoyed for half a second before giving him a hug. Foreman sneaks into the drug trial room and puts 13′s ID sticker on a bag of the real drug. Cuddy leaves her crying baby with a sitter or someone while she leaves for work with much reluctance. Much contemplative music.
So I have to admit that I had a hard time with this recap. Hope it didn’t show too much. The episode just didn’t interest me all that much. We’ve seen the patient with a quirky personality (several times), the new-baby depression was a gimme, and I didn’t buy Cameron doing Cuddy’s job at all. Big fat meh.
So, shall we try again same time next week?
****Read Copyhacker’s short story, Ends, here.