***Note from the Editor: Gasmii, you did us right by rocking the vote in this Fall’s Auditiongasm! Please give it up for your newest recapper, Copyhacker!!!
Welcome to season 5 of CSI:ER House!
Before we get rolling, I’d like to note that I’m no relation to the late great copygodd, whose House recaps of seasons past got me to take this show less seriously.
In last season’s finale, our antihero went mind-tripping to find out why a major character’s love interest was in a coma. Wait, didn’t I just see that on Fringe? In another nod to J. J. Abrams, we open on a closeup of an eye.
Previously on Lost…
This particular eye belongs to a CGI ant crawling on an elevator wall, right before the little guy gets whacked with a newspaper. We see two women in the elevator, one browbeating the other, who is obviously her long-suffering attendant. They’re meeting with the board of some company that has had a lot of sexual harassment suits. The boss-lady chews them out because there are no women present.
(The teaser section of House is always the same. They show us a couple of random people and we get to figure out which one will be House & Co’s science project for the episode. At this point I hope it’s boss-lady, because House would have a field day with her.)
Anyway, the assistant sees ants crawling all over her, freaks, and starts pulling at her clothing and screaming for help. “You gonna call an ambulance, or you just gonna sit there and stare?” says boss lady to one of the men while she stands there and stares. End of teaser.
After the theme, House is playing a video game in a patient’s room. Cuddy enters and tells him Wilson’s back after a 2 month leave. I see that Cuddy’s wardrobe has shrunk again this season. House hasn’t seen Wilson since his girlfriend, Amber (remember her? Tall pushy woman in a short skirt?) died at the end of last season. Just in time, Foreman comes in to tell him about the case of the week, and House jumps on it as an excuse to avoid Wilson some more. Amber died because she was in a bus accident while picking House up from a bar — could House be feeling a bit guilty?
Cuddy tells House to forget the case and go deal with Wilson instead. He ignores her and goes to huddle with the Houseguests, who bug him with questions about Wilson. In what workplace is it normal for underlings to pester their boss about his personal relationships with other co-workers? House keeps them on topic. Vitamin B-12 deficiency from a bad travel diet? 13 tells the boys not to blame the illness on her career just because she’s an ambitious, strong woman.
House let’s 13′s cat out of the bag (so to speak) and tells the rest of the Houseguests that 13 has Huntington’s disease. She must be deflecting her grief onto the patient — she can’t live her dream, so she wants the patient to live her own. 13 denies it, and says House is the one deflecting his grief. Good grief. Off she goes to deflect her humiliation onto the patient by jabbing her with a giant needle of vitamins. The patient thinks she just pooped in her bed. Actually, it’s blood. Not really less gross.
Plug it up! Plug it up!
Anyway, the problem is definitely not the B-12. Strike one.
House goes to see Wilson and waxes eloquent about feminists, sluts and celebrities. You have to love this show for not doing the PC dance around controversial subjects. They can get away with that because House is the new Archie Bunker. Since he’s a card-carrying jerk, he can say whatever he wants. “I’m leaving,” says Wilson. What, not even a “Honey, we need to talk”? Wilson is quitting the hospital in a week. House tells him to cowboy up, it’s just the grief talking. Wilson walks out shortly after. Now that he’s alone, House does his patented “I’m really a sensitive guy deep down” look.
13 and Louie (his name is Taub, right? I don’t care, he looks like a Louie to me) are doing a colonoscopy on the patient. I know it’s been said ad nauseum, but does anyone else work in this hospital? Aren’t they supposed to have techs and colonologists and orderlies to push wheelchairs and stuff?
Anyway, they complain that House is hanging out with Wilson when he should be working on the case. I know they’ve only worked for House for a whole season now, but have they not clued into his lack of work ethic? They don’t find the source of the rectal bleeding, but Kumar breaks the news to them that the woman tested positive for… pregnancy! (I can never remember the character’s name, but Kal Penn will always be Kumar to me.) While 13 fawns over the patient for being a strong career-minded feminist, Kumar does an ultrasound and finds… no baby. Whoops.
The Houseguests tell their overlord that their patient is not pregnant after all. House gets that crafty look that means he’s figured something out, and leaves the Houseguests to bumble around while he goes to beat up on Wilson some more. Wilson, for what has to be the 800th time in the series, accuses House of being insensitive.
The Houseguests chase their boss down in Wilson’s office. They still haven’t solved the Mystery of the Missing Pregnancy. House, surrounded by idiots, says the woman is indeed pregnant. He does another ultrasound to prove it, and finds the baby in like 20 seconds. Attached to the woman’s intestine. He also underestimates the woman’s age, in a “hmm-this-will-be-important-later” kind of tone.
Ya gotta lotta guts, kid.
13, still deflecting, thinks the woman might want to keep the baby. Impossible, says House; the surgery is risky enough, and the pregnancy is killing the patient. Patient is OK with the decision, much to 13′s dismay.
House goes to see Cameron. Why? Probably because it’s in Jennifer Morrison’s contract. She’s dorking around in the ER with a rather portly gentleman, who is the lucky recipient of a few House zingers. I think these scenes with Cameron have replaced the old vignettes of House jerking around random patients in the clinic, which I really miss. Anyway, House wants Cameron to help get Wilson to stay, invoking her dead husband. Remember him? The one with a terminal disease that she married because she felt sorry for him? Or was that Grey’s Anatomy? I’m confused. Cameron points out that she dealt with her grief the same way Wilson is dealing with his. So much for that idea.
Next, Chase gets to operate on the hapless pregnant patient, because you can’t have a Cameron scene without a Chase scene. Why? Probably because it’s in Jesse Spencer’s contract. Chase manages to almost kill her in the process, because you can’t have a surgery scene without a bunch of alarms going off.
House tells Cuddy that she can’t let Wilson leave. Cuddy says House should deal with it himself — he obviously feels responsible for Amber’s death. House denies it, and just to prove his point, he’s going home and not coming back until Wilson decides to stay. House walks out of the hospital under the disapproving creepy gaze of the cartoon people painted over the lobby door. I have no idea what House’s plan is supposed to accomplish.
Isn’t that the cast of “The Office” up there?
Meanwhile, in the part of the hospital where they practice medicine instead of melodrama, the patient’s still almost dying. See the Houseguests squirm as they can’t find their boss, and have to think for themselves. Oh right, that’s what House’s plan accomplished. The best they can come up with is MS, which is one of the usual suspects on this show. It’s always MS or sarcoidosis. I guarantee that it’ll never actually be sarcoidosis. It always ends up being some disease that has a household name and can be cured in five minutes with like penicillin or something.
Cuddy shows up at House’s apartment. There’s only a B on the door. It used to be 221B, as in Baker Street, as in Sherlock Holmes. Was the reference too obvious, or does the B just stand for “Bastard” now? House is not pleased to see Cuddy, and you can tell because he skips the usual crude sexual jokes. She tells him to get back to work, because he’s risking a patient’s life by running away from his guilt. House shuts the door as Cuddy accuses him of doing the same thing Wilson is doing. Yes, in case you didn’t get it yet, the word of the day is “grief”. Or “deflecting”. Or maybe it’s “rectal”.
13 continues to suck up to the patient, who insists that she’s just an assistant and is fine with that. Unlike 13, who will never achieve that level of self-awareness. The woman shivers. She has a fever. It’s not MS.
Through a series of unlikely plot events which I’ll skip, Cuddy tricks both House and Wilson into coming to her office for “couples’ counseling”.
Now I’m sitting here trying to remember how this episode ends, and realize I haven’t finished watching it yet. Um. BRB.
OK, I’m back.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the Houseguests are replaying a video of the patient’s colonoscopy, and are still clueless. This scene occurs at least once every other episode. If you’ve never seen it, let me boil it down for you:
“We don’t need House to figure this out.”
“Yes we do.”
Louie accuses 13 of having her judgment affected by her disease, proving that he never thinks a thought that House hasn’t thunk already. Kumar spots something in the video that they missed before. They argue about what it is.
“It’s sarcoidosis! Or cancer!”
Back in counseling, Wilson and House are sitting awkwardly side by side on Cuddy’s couch. Cuddy tells Wilson not to walk away from everyone that cares about him. It’s just a job, people. You can still be Facebook friends, I promise. Wilson walks away.
The Houseguests ask Chase to open the patient up again and biopsy the problem they spotted on the tape. Chase says she can’t survive another surgery. 13 tells Chase that he’d do it for House. Which isn’t saying much, because there’s nothing that Chase won’t do for House. Kumar asks the question that I think we’ve all been asking: “How do you get coal out of a mountain when it’s someone else’s mountain?” Well, if it’s Mohammed’s mountain, and it won’t go to Mohammed, then the mountain must come to you and… Oh I give up. It makes even less sense than House’s crappy riddles, if that’s possible. The other Houseguests don’t understand either, so he explains in disgusting technomedibabble that I won’t try to repeat. I tuned out at “rectum”.
As 13 breaks the news to patient (of course, this procedure is going to be Extremely Painful), she finds out that the patient’s boss replaced her. 13 is shocked. The patient says that she doesn’t mind. 13 goes off on another girl-power rant. The patient responds with another wacky fable about birds, wings and accepting one’s lot in life. Depressed, 13 leaves to go page Doctor Analogy.
There’s another pointless scene in which we are reminded that Cameron still works here.
“Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler.”
The Houseguests took the coal out of the mountain or whatever, and are still clueless. Since House isn’t around, Foreman gets Wilson’s opinion, which is — wait for it — cancer. Foreman, getting around to the really important stuff, says Wilson should follow his heart and quit. Foreman is a neurologist, not a psychologist, or he’d know that reverse psychology fools no one.
13 goes back to see the patient, who is suddenly feeling better. 13 confesses: she has a disease that is going to make her die a horrible, slow death in a dozen years. She wants to make a difference before it’s Too Late. The patient tells 13 she did make a difference — she applied for a new, more empowering job because of what 13 said before. Really? When did she have time to go job hunting? Somewhere between the anal probe and the abortion, I guess.
Drs. Mom and Dad are still fighting about Wilson. Cuddy again blames Wilson’s leaving on House, and thinks House should open up to Wilson and beg him to stay “so you would say something stupid and insensitive and maybe with a little bit of truth.” House pretends to ignore her, which is what he does when someone’s really getting to him. Or wait – that’s his lightbulb face, isn’t it? One miracle cure, coming up.
“8 minutes left. I even have time to stop for a donut.”
House strolls into the patient’s room to tell her that she has leprosy. “It’s called pretty leprosy… it makes your skin look younger”. It seems Cuddy’s comment magically reminded him of the time he told the woman she looked too young. Seems like a stretch to me, but I left my disbelief back at the intestinal pregnancy. 13 is pissed because her diagnosis was wrong after all. Or maybe she’s jealous that her hero is going to get better and she won’t. Or maybe she’s just mad that she got picked to do the Scooby-Doo explanation in the next scene. You know, the one that explains how leprosy explains everything.
House tells 13 he likes her better now that she’s dying. 13 is still pissed, though, because the patient is going back to her old job instead of seizing the day. “Almost dying changes nothing. Dying changes everything,” quoth House, while getting another lightbulb. An emotional one this time, I guess. He goes to see Wilson and unloads his guilt feelings. Wilson absolves him. But.
“We’re not OK,” says Wilson. He says he was quitting anyway, because he was tired of House’s crap. Looks like he’s wearing Amber’s pants now. But not her skirt, thank goodness. “We’re not friends anymore, House. I’m not sure we ever were.” Wilson walks out with the last of his stuff like David Banner at the end of an episode of The Incredible Hulk. Which makes me think, Wilson as the Hulk would be an awesome TV show.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
So what did you think? How cruel was it that House finally opened up to Wilson, only to get dumped? Can Cuddy show any more skin, and will House finally get a piece of it now that his wingman is gone? Did 13 finally turn 14? Will Wilson turn green and smash up some medical gear? See you next week!