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Before we get started on tonight’s House recap, a small disclaimer: This is my first attempt at recapping a scripted show. To make matters worse, it’s a scripted show I haven’t even watched all that much. Sure, I caught a few eps from Season One, and about half of Season Two, but that’s it. Still, it was more than enough to earn one Dr. Gregory House a permanent spot in the copygodd Pantheon of Assholes, aka my personal heroes. Not only is he terribly rude to everybody, he downs Vicodin like they were opiate-flavored Tic-Tacs. Mmmm, opiates… Best of all, his baby blues are virtual panty removers. Seriously. At the end of every episode, I find myself sans panties.
Nothing a quick trip to the wife’s underwear drawer can’t take care of, though.
Still, I’ve never let my lack of knowledge about something keep me from making fun of it. (Witness anything I’ve ever said about politics and/or The Food Network.) So why should House be any different? That said, if I goof up on any details, or you catch me making up too many quotes, don’t hesitate to let me know. Not saying I’ll do anything about it, but I do loves me some comments. Okay, I’m not going to go into any great detail about what happened at the end of last season, other than to say House got shot, had a lot of hallucinations and asked to be given an experimental drug that might take away his pain. It might make him crazy too, but since we know how much House loves taking drugs, he decided to risk it. Ooh, that crazy House! (For a more in-depth recap, click here.)
Tonight’s episode starts off shot from the perspective of someone in a wheelchair, sitting poolside. Because we know there’s nothing a cripple likes better than sitting around watching a bunch of scantily clad women he can’t pleasure. (I learned that during Stephen Hawking’s guest spot on Taradise.) Anyway, it’s shot in some sort of freaky time, with characters walking backward, messed up sound effects and inconsistent scenes. Either the person in charge of continuity in this shot is a total slacker or I think something bad’s about to happen. Also, we know it’s not House because the guy’s eyes aren’t blue. And my panties are still on.
The man’s son asks him if he wants a burger, but when his crippled father is too slow with an answer, Junior decides to go back to his squirt gun fight. To punish his son’s insubordination, the man decides to drive his wheelchair into the deep end of the pool. Yeah, that’ll show that no-good son of yours! It’s a lot like that one time my dad got mad at me and drank himself into a 20-year stupor. Only less sad.
Holy crap! House is running! And he’s running to “Feel Good, Inc.” by the Gorillaz! Chalk another miracle up to the healing powers of techno music! Meanwhile, back at the office, Cuddy and Wilson are trying to pick a new case for House to tackle on his first day back. I’m guessing they don’t know House is jogging into the office, or they’d be recommending a shower be the first thing he tackles. Cuddy mentions the guy driving his wheelchair into the pool, but Wilson thinks it’s too boring. I’ll tell you what isn’t boring: Cuddy’s top. Unless you’re not turned on by this year’s von Trapp collection. Next, Cuddy suggests someone affectionately known around the office as Yoga Girl. If she’s anything like Drunk Girl, I’m sold! Wilson thinks the case has a good hook, but since it is House’s first day back, he wants to open with a weaker pitch to give House a chance to flex his sarcasm muscles. You see, Wilson has this really ouchie paper cut…
When House finally shows up, Cuddy can’t believe he ran eight miles into work. Why would he do such a thing? “Why does a dog lick its workplace-appropriate euphemism for testicles?” House asks her. See, that’s why I love House. I’d have just said “balls.”
Cuddy’s a little disappointed that House took more time off than he said he needed, but in his defense, he says if he’d come back sooner, he’d have only been able to run six miles, and thus would have never made it back into work. Can’t argue with that logic. Cuddy is still worried about his pain, even though House assures her he’s fine and thanks her once again for putting him in a ketamine-induced coma and giving him his life back. Hooray Cuddy!
Here’s more reason for House to hooray Cuddy: the Yoga Girl case. Seems ‘lil Miss Conquest of the Cow was doing an inverted pose and her neck snapped, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down. Except the x-ray shows no evidence of spinal injury! House is also interested in the “Stephen Hawking trying to do the 500-butterfly” case. Wilson says the guy’s already had brain cancer and brain surgery, so there’s nothing left to diagnose. Yeah, except maybe a bad case of Olympic Fever. (Catch it!) Nevertheless, House agrees to take both cases, telling Wilson he’s interested because the guy tried to kill himself. Maybe House should try volunteering at the Suicide Hotline. I’m sure that would go swimmingly. (Get it? Cuz the guy tried to go swimming? Ah, never mind…)
Wilson can’t understand why House is so interested in this case, since the guy is a “lump who hasn’t been able to touch his wife or talk to his kids for six years”. House says he’s changed, and just wants to help the guy with his pain. Upstairs, the Housemates are just glad to see their mentor return. In fact, Cameron is already sliding out of her panties. Chase gives House a friendly slap on the arm, which is not appreciated by the good doc. Awkward!
Enough with the jibba-jabba. House wants to talk shop. Yoga Girl strikes him as an interesting case. What say you, Housemates? Typically, Cameron ignores House’s question, and only wants to talk about the guy who shot him. She says they heard they never found the guy. “You think he might’ve shot this patient too?” asks House. “It would explain her symptoms.” Aw you two, get a room already.
Next, they go through a lightning round of medical talk, which I’m not even going to try to keep up with. I will talk about House’s fascination with his blood stain, which is still on the floor two months after he was shot. Worst hospital cleaning staff EVER! Foreman tells House it’s a little weird to be talking about a case when House is staring at his bloodstain, but I guess it’s better than House staring at Foreman’s crotch. Cameron asked Cuddy to replace the carpet, but House says he likes it. Reminds him of this one time, in band camp…
Next, he wants to talk about the pool boy. House really seems interested in helping the guy alleviate some of the pain he’s in, which surprises the Housemates. Me too. I figured he’d want to play at least one game of Wheelchair Bowling first.
House even sits in with the guy’s family as he’s being operated on. The son tells House his dad wouldn’t kill himself. House doubts the kid, considering he hasn’t talked to his dad in over six years. The kid says he knows his dad. “Fine, I’m wrong,” says House. Geez, maybe House really has changed. He’d never admit he was wrong before. “You obviously have a better understanding of this man who drools in front of your TV set 24 hours a day.” Yay, old House is back! He tells the family they should hope their dad tried to kill himself, because if Dad were trying to kill himself, he knows how miserable his life is, and that means there’s still something left to kill. Conversely, if it were just an accident, it means their dad is a turnip. Tough choice.
Cameron interrupts to grab House for an update on the Yoga Girl case. She can’t believe it when the Mom thanks House when he leaves. House tells Cameron he loaned the woman some money. Of course, Cameron won’t let it go and pesters him the entire trip down the hall trying to find out why the woman thanked him. Is he embarrassed about it? No, he’s embarrassed for Cameron. The woman saw her coming into the room and thought she was a 14-year-old boy. House says she was thankful for his setting her straight. Cameron still won’t give up, though. Look, Cameron, just let it go. It was the first time the woman’s wanted to remove her panties in six years. Surely you can relate.
Undaunted, Cameron says she won’t tell House what’s going on with Yoga Girl until he tells her why the woman thanked him. House tells her that normally would work, but she forgot there’s one thing he can do now: float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. And at that, he punches her in the face and runs away.
Foreman and Chase are with Yoga Girl, going over her test results. Evidently, when they inserted the pin, she flinched. Which shouldn’t have happened were she truly paralyzed. House wants to know how big of a flinch it was. “Bigger than a twitch, smaller than a spasm? Did it move, or merely shift?” Evidently, there’s a difference. Or so I hear.
House asks Yoga Girl if she smokes. Yes, but only socially. So she smokes and teaches yoga? Slightly hypocritical. Though not as much as being pro-choice and anti-death penalty. House doesn’t think that smoking has anything to do with her paralysis, though. He just needed to know if she had a lighter. When he finds it, he tries to catch her foot on fire. Needless to say, Yoga Girl more than flinched this time. She swears she’s not faking though. Save it, Downward-Facing Dog. House knows faking when he sees it. House says to discharge her before she bores them again. And the Housemates exchange some sort of weird look that I can’t decipher. It must be some sort of secret Housemates language, like twins have, only less interesting.
Later, Wilson tells House he heard he was watching a surgery with the patient’s family. Evidently, the only thing that gets around faster than the flesh-eating virus in this hospital is gossip. And Cameron. Wilson thinks it’s because of House’s hallucinations. After he was shot, House took a cue from Wham!’s underappreciated “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video and chose life. Wilson thinks House decided he wanted meaning, so he took a case with no mystery, with no upside, except the satisfaction of helping another human being. Well, when you put it like that, Wilson, maybe House is still hallucinating.
House is confused, because when the woman thanked him, he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to feel. Wilson tells House it’s like his leg; it’s atrophied. If he keeps working it, the feeling will come. Ironically, this is almost the exact same advice my doctor gave me after my vasectomy. Except for the whole “it’s atrophied” part.
Just as the two old pals are sharing a moment, Cameron interrupts. Again. Geez, this chick is like a bad cold sore that just won’t go away. She tells House that Yoga Girl has developed tightness in her chest and she can’t breathe. Yoga Girl is such a drama queen. I hope House holds an arc welder to her chest this time.
“Relax, I’m not going to burn you again,” House tells Yoga Girl. “I’m going to stab you!” The girls looks scared, but I’m not sure if she’s scared of House and the giant needle he’s holding or her inability to breathe. I think I’d be more scared of House. He tells her that either she’s faking, or she has a buildup of fluid around her lungs and he’s going to have to stab her in the back and drain the fluid out. Cameron says they should give her a local, but House tells her that would defeat the point of his being nasty. Kickass.
Just as he’s about to stab her, he notices something wrong with her neck and orders Foreman to lay her back down. Foreman says she can’t breathe if she’s laying down, but House shoves her down anyway and then gets all Pulp Fiction on her with the needle. Turns out there’s something wrong with her heart: it’s full of blood. Wait, that’s bad?
Back in the office, the Housemates are playing another game of Round Robin with Yoga Girl’s symptoms. It sounds something like “blahblahblah heart, yadayadayada infection, blahblahblah cooter.” House decides she might not have been faking after all, and could be delusional. After all, as we all know, fake paralysis is a real neurological symptom. He orders the Housemates to cut her open and start looking for….
And then my TiVo drops the signal for a few seconds. When it comes back on, House is checking in on Flipper. He thinks the man is still in pain, so he ups his morphine a little. The man’s wife says she appreciates how nice House has been to them. All the other doctors were just worried about trying to fix her husband; House is the first one to ever give a damn about the quality of her husband’s life. Good thing her husband didn’t go deep-pool diving three months ago.
Once he leaves the room, Cameron starts cameroning him (I think that’s going to be a new verb in these recaps) about how touching that was. House asks if she’d like to get a drink. Maybe even dinner. Cameron says he’s just coming off of surgery, and he’s not himself yet, which should be obvious even to House. After all, he just asked Cameron out on a date.
House isn’t buying any of her excuses, though, and tells her she’s not interested in him anymore because now he can walk. She only wanted to do the socially acceptable euphemism for doggie-style when she thought he was a sick puppy. Now that’s he’s just a healthy asshole, she’s not interested.
Before it can go any further, House is summoned to Cuddy’s office. I hope he has to give her another injection, as we can always use more gratuitous shots of Cuddy’s ass. Nah, she just wants to yell at him about his wanting to cut into Yoga Girl’s spine. “What’s the worst that could happen?” he asks her. “I paralyze her. She won’t even notice.” Touché, Gregors. Touché.
Not only does Cuddy tell House he can’t operate on Yoga Girl, she orders him to lower Mr. Hawking’s morphine. House offers a trade: he’ll lower the morphine if he can perform the surgery. “We’re not swappin’ a couple of goats for your help puttin’ up a barn,” she snaps back at him, in what is the first of what I can only hope is a long line of Amish dozens. Here, I’ll start: “Your Momma so Amish, it takes ten Mennonite to satisfy her.”
Wilson can’t believe that House tried to swap with Cuddy. Then he starts lecturing House on the different levels of happiness. Anyone know what level handjobs are? Wilson continues to lecture House all the way into the observation room, but House sees something about the girl’s foot he doesn’t like and walks into the surgery unit. The surgeon is pissed, but House shows him the girl’s toe, which looks like it’s had bamboo shoots shoved under it. Man, it’s nasty. I’ve had two operations on my foot for ingrown toenails, and they looked positively fetish-worthy compared to this girl’s digit.
Turns out Yoga Girl just has scurvy. Or so the writers want us to think. But since we’re only halfway through the episode, I’m sure this diagnosis will turn out to be wrong somehow. Meanwhile, the real paraplegic is getting ready to go home. Well, technically his wife is getting him ready to go home, but you know what I mean. House asks the woman why she doesn’t put the guy in a facility. Someplace without a pool, perhaps. Because he’s her husband, she says. Not to mention her son’s father. “Yeah, kids need a dad,” House says. Someone to play catch with, talk about girls, learn about the intricacies of dingleberry removal, which is a natural follow-up to talking about girls…
She says that her son has learned you don’t abandon people. Besides, she’s taking care of her husband for the same reason House is helping him. “Someone shot you and you hallucinated?” he asks. No, she has a responsibility to him. She wants to take care of him. House tells her she doesn’t really want to take care of him; it doesn’t fulfill her or make her happy. But not taking care of him would make her miserable. And therein lies the rub.
While she’s trying to lift her husband out of bed, he starts making some gurgling noises, which sounds a lot like gas to me, but House says it sounds like the patient was trying to talk. Hey, maybe he was just trying to burp the alphabet. Later, he tells the Housemates they’re lousy doctors because they were in such a rush to make their patient feel better they forgot to check what was wrong with him. Cameron points out, rightfully so, that the guy had brain cancer surgery eight years ago and his condition’s been the same ever since. “Until last night, when he spoke,” House tells them. Foreman asks what the man said. “Guhhehhhuhh” is House’s answer, although I’m not sure if I got the spelling right. He tells the Housemates to go though the patient’s eight years of history and find out what that meant. If “Guhhehhhuhh” ends up being the name of this guy’s favorite sled, I’m gonna be hellapissed.
Outside, while House is playing on a skateboard, Wilson accuses him of fabricating a mystery because he’s bored. House tells Wilson he doesn’t remember him being this bitchy. “The vicodin dulled it,” he tells House. “In the sober light of day, I’m a buzzkill.” Truer words have never been spoken. Except maybe when Clinton said he did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. On his way back to the hospital, House stops and rubs his leg like it’s hurting again. That can’t be good.
The Housemates are arguing about which symptoms they should list on the patient’s chart. Dry eyes, grunting, the heartbreak of psoriasis… Where do they draw the line? After all, over the past eight years, he’s experienced 214 symptoms, many of them repeated. Any patterns? Foreman says it could be a urinary tract infection. Or, maybe a pancreatic cyst, which is what House is diagnosing, based on the guy’s grunt.
Next, Foreman and Chase have to do some procedure to the guy, which doesn’t go well. In fact, the scope gets stuck when the guy’s throat collapses, so they have to give him an emergency tracheotomy. Nice.
House, however, thinks it means something. Uhm, maybe that you ordered the wrong test? I’m just sayin’… No, that’s not it. After all, the man’s brain was sedated, so he shouldn’t have been able to choke. He wants to do some more tests, but Cameron thinks he’s just being cruel. Housey don’t play that, though, and orders the tests anyway.
Unfortunately, Housey has to get permission from the man’s wife to run the tests, and she’s not crazy about the idea. Until House tells her he might get some brain function back. Cameron tells the woman this isn’t completely true. “The test is very risky,” she adds. “He could die.” Bo-ring. “He’s already dead,” is the wife’s response. Ooh, hospice-snap!
On the monitor, the test seems to be going well. But when Chase pulls the patient out of the big scary tube, his ear is bleeding. Houston, we have a problem.
Later, the Housemates have an intervention with their clueless leader. House is lucky the patient didn’t die, they tell him. House says the patient is lucky he didn’t die. The Housemates told House he’d bleed into his brain, not out of his ear. Which means, of course, that they’re missing something. House asks Foreman to take him through the patient’s history. When nothing shows up, House tells Cameron to redo every blood test the patient’s ever had, and to rescan his head. Cameron refuses, and for once I think she’s doing the right thing. Foreman won’t help either. But Chase, little bitch that he is, says he’ll do it. That guy wouldn’t last a night in prison.
But before that can happen, House has to convince Cuddy to let them do the procedure. She won’t, however, because she doesn’t trust House’s judgment. Why? Because he said he wanted to help someone. That’s not the House she knows and lusts. “Usually, you say ‘his pancreas is going to explode!’ or ‘his brain is on fire!’” she tells him. “You used to come here with medicine, not platitudes.” What does this case boil down to? House has a hunch. And in Cuddy’s hospital, they don’t operate on hunches; they operate on reasons. And people. Who may or may not have a hunch that needs removing. But as far as this case goes, sorry. As of 7 a.m. tomorrow morning, Crippy McSwimsalot is going home.
House goes to see Wilson, who thinks he’s going to try and enlist his help in the case, but instead House just tells him his leg hurt. It ached for a while, but it’s okay now. But House is worried, since it’s the first time he’s felt anything since the surgery. Wilson thinks it’s funny, since House has been running eight miles a day and riding his skateboard and is freaked out by a little soreness. House wants to hop back on the vicodin pony, though. Wilson says no and tells him to try an ice pack. He thinks House wants to do an end-around Cuddy or go back on the drugs; either way he gets the high he needs. And Wilson is simply not going to help him with that. Other thing he’s not going to help House with: sexual healing.
Later that night, House is out jogging again when he decides to take a break. In the middle of a fountain. Which, besides greatly increasing his odds of getting athlete’s foot also gives him some sort of brain-fart. The next thing you know, he’s banging on Cuddy’s window in the middle of the night. (And no, “Cuddy’s window” is not a euphemism for cooter. Although it would be a pretty good one. Still, any excuse to see Cuddy in a teddy…) House goes off on some medical rant that basically boils down to the patient’s brain is on fire, and he drove his wheelchair into the pool because he couldn’t regulate his body temperature.
Cuddy’s not sure, though. She thinks it’s just a wild guess that came to House because he was sweating. House tells her to at least try injecting the man with cortisol. “He’ll have sex with his wife again, he’ll hug his son again,” he tells her. “Hopefully that’s the combination he was using. It’d be a shame if I cured a pedophile.” That’s exactly what I was thinking.
Cuddy tells House he’s high. Not because of any drugs, but because he has a theory that will tie his case up. And so she won’t give the guy a shot. Her decision makes no sense, however. What’s the big deal about a cortisol shot? “It’s a big deal for you to understand the word ‘no’,” she tells House. Such as “no, I will not stand here in my nightclothes and be happy about you not servicing me this very minute!”
The next day, House is looking all despondent. Wilson says he’s surprised House isn’t on his skateboard racing to stab the guy in the neck with cortisol. Surprisingly, House says Cuddy was right to say no last night. It turned out to be the best sex they’d ever had. Plus, he had no objective reason to think he was right about the cortisol; he just needed the puzzle.
Just as the family’s about to wheel Dad into the elevator, however, Cuddy has a change of heart – I put it down to post-coital bliss – and gives the patient the shot. She tells the family it’s to fight infection. After a minute with no response, she despondently tells them they can go. But just as they’re getting into the elevator, Dad spasms, takes a breath and starts to move. He unbuckles his seatbelt and tries to stand up. And I call shenanigans! Dude’s been paralyzed in a chair for six years. There’s no way he’s standing up on his own after one shot of cortisol. And if he does, I bet Christopher Reeve is gonna be pissed!
Cuddy is excited and wants to tell House he was right. But Wilson won’t let her, because he thinks it was just a lucky guess. “Telling him ‘no’ was a good thing,” he tells her, “because next time he won’t get lucky and he’ll kill someone.” Wow, he really is a buzzkill. “Just because he was right doesn’t mean he wasn’t wrong,” he finishes in classic Zenmaster mode. Cuddy protests, saying she sees House every day, and she can’t not tell him. “Everybody lies,” is Wilson’s response. Yeah, everybody poops too; is he going to make Cuddy keep that a secret as well?
The episode ends with the obligatory musical montage. This week, it’s House acting all sad to the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Eventually, House ends up in Wilson’s office and writes himself a prescription for vicodin. Which means Wilson, by not telling House the good news, is now responsible for House’s new drug problem. Way to go, WILSON!
So, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Any predictions on what the upcoming season has in store for the good doctor?