This was a good return to form for House. All the characters got face time and some good lines, House was funny, and there was even a bit of sexy sex. My favorite! Plus, more recognizable guests stars, including this chick who has been around, and looked the same, forever. This lady has found the fountain of youth. She was in Indian Summer, for gawd’s sake. She will eternally play the power mom, as she’s doing here in her perfect upper middle class world, where she flits from being the perfect mom to the perfect businesswoman to the perfect wife. The one catch seems to be that she’s having trouble getting pregnant again, but that’s not slowing her down, no sirree! She’s off to save the day at the work site! No reason why this won’t go smoothly!
Unfortunately, she starts having muscle spasms in her arms, but true to type, she ignores them and gets in her car. Which she promptly crashes, because she no longer has muscle control. Oh well. On to the hospital, where Wilson is agog at House’s freshly ironed shirt and wonders if something’s up with Stacy. “I don’t kiss and tell,” says House. Except, of course, when you say you don’t kiss and tell. Then you have, in fact, kissed and told.
Wilson is somewhat overly involved in the issue. He wants to know if Stacy’s leaving Mark, if House and Stacy talked things through, etc. House is happy to dismiss all these boring, serious questions in favor of being rude to Cameron about the new patient, and also about her HIV test. Well, he’s insensitive about it, but obviously he cares since he remembered.
They discuss the patient….well, the Outhouses discuss the patient while House complains about the lack of animal crackers. Foreman is sick of trying to control House, and has basically decided not to try to engage him any more. Put a fork in him, he’s done!
The patient is on fertility treatments, so the Outhouses try to think of links between that and the muscle spasms. House decides she must be pregnant. Of course. In the hospital room, Margo’s still flailing about as husband and daughter look on. There’s something unnerving about that daughter…wait a second…could it be…(rewinding, rewinding) it’s a mini-er Fanning! Hello Elle Fanning, younger sister of child star phenom Dakota Fanning. Welcome.
Scene break, and Wilson is barging into Stacy’s office yelling about what exactly the hell is going on. I guess the reason he’s so interested is that he’s been dealing with the fallout of House and Stacy’s breakup for the last five years, and isn’t really looking forward to a replay. Stacy tries to say that it was just a kiss, but then admits she doesn’t know what she wants. Oh god, here comes the Harpsichord of Longing. I have a feeling it’s going to play a central role in this episode.
Back in Margo’s room, she coming to after being put under and having an MRI. The fact that she had an MRI means she’s not pregnant, but it also showed that she doesn’t have a neurological problem. Next the doctors are going to test her for Huntington’s, but also give her drugs to counteract the fertility treatments, since that could still be the cause of her problems. Cameron hands Margo the drugs, which a muscle spasm causes her to immediately fling…that word also makes me think of monkeys flinging poo. Anyway.
Margo gets really pissed off, and then takes it out on her daughter, Stella, telling Ted to take her home. Poor baby Fanning! The irritability is a sign of Huntington’s, so House recommends treating her for it immediately. Which makes the Outhouses nervous, of course. But before a consensus is reached, they’re all called to Margo’s room, where she’s throwing around her IV stand and screaming about needing her daughter. Look, you can’t have it both ways, lady.
They subdue her with Ativan or whatever it is, and the test for Huntington’s comes back negative, which surprises them all since she has all the symptoms. They look for other possibilities, and Cameron says that her family, friends, coworkers, fellow PTA members, and volunteer group are all healthy. How the hell do they know all that? This is the most preposterous line of the whole show. House takes all of her activities under advisement, and figures she must be on cocaine. Whoo! Fun mommy!
Cameron and Foreman are sent to find the stash. House is off to Wilson’s office, but the door is locked. “I know you’re in there,” shouts House. “I can hear you caring!” House goes around the back way to Wilson (uh…heh heh) and finds him rolling joints at his desk. That’s a little unexpected! Wilson claims to be rolling them for a patient. They get to talking about Stacy, of course. House thinks she won’t leave Mark during physical rehab, but Wilson points out that she did exactly that to House. He leaves, but not before trying to steal a joint.
At the patient’s house, Cameron and Foreman talk about her HIV test, so we the audience don’t forget about it, then find Ritalin in Margo’s car. They give it to House, who describes it as “cocaine with a PG rating.” It’s prescribed to Stella, but they don’t believe it. Since Margo has denied being on any medication, House decides to trick her into admitting it. He goes to her room with a balloon for Stella, claiming to be a candystriper. They believe the drunk-looking guy is a candystriper? Weird.
He asks Stella if she’s always good, or if mommy ever tells her “she’s the reason she needs a double martini.” Stella’s parents get a little upset at this, and thus begins the back and forth about the Ritalin. Margo denies, House tries to feed the pills to Stella, Margo lies some more, Ted gets angry, Margo admits, Ted gets angrier, House hands Margo the “tox screen,” which turns out to be a folded-up cafeteria menu. Stupid patients, always falling for House’s sneaky ways! House tells Ted he can “take her home and divorce her.”
Later that night, House goes over to Stacy’s office, where she tells House that she and Mark are moving back to Short Hills, because he’s better and needs to go back to work. House protests rather sexily, telling her he doesn’t want her to leave. Right as we’re getting to the good stuff, Margo checks out of the hospital. It’s only 24 minutes into the show; you can’t fool us! Of course we zoom through Margo’s eyeball. Blood clot’s a-brewin’.
She collapses, and House gets a call at home, in bed. Now, if any of you didn’t immediately know that Stacy was in bed with him, you owe me five dollars.
The Outhouses are sitting around complaining about how late House is. Chase doubts he’ll come back at all, since he same him leave with Stacy. Cameron, ever delusional, figures House is just walking Stacy to her car. But she can’t even lie to herself when House comes walking in, singing a jaunty tune. The topic of Cameron’s HIV test comes up again, because she still hasn’t gotten it. Chase looks especially perturbed by this (you’ll remember they had sex the day she was exposed. As you do.). They discuss Margo for a bit, and as the Outhouses file out, House tells Cameron that he loves her. This shocks the poor girl, giving House time to swab her mouth for cultures for the HIV test. That right there? Was perhaps the meanest thing House has done to her.
At dawn, House is up on the roof, and I have to tell you, the fake purple sunrise background is hilarious. Oh, House! Such a dreamboat! Anyhoodle, Stacy hasn’t told Mark about sleeping with House, and it doesn’t look like she’s planning on it, either. House lays it out for her: she can be with him completely, or she can be with Mark completely. “It isn’t easy, but it is simple.”
Back downstairs, the Outhouses have decided Margo doesn’t have cancer, but House tells them to do a biopsy anyway. Foreman protests as House checks his watch and tell everyone to wait…it’s now midnight, and Foreman’s four weeks of control are over. Wait, now I’m confused about the timeline. I thought it was dawn…oh well. And I continue to feel stupid when, after House calls a vagina a “hoohoo,” Foreman smirks and explains that House went to Hopkins. I don’t get the significance. Anyone else?
House is watching a power truck rally when Stella comes wandering in. House is pretty rude to her. Man, this girl is getting shit on all over the place! Poor kid. As House walks her back to the elevator she asks if his leg hurts all the time, and if that’s why he’s so sad. I almost vomit, but then House looks down at her and comments, “oh, aren’t you adorable.” Nice! Well done, playing on television conventions and making a mockery of them. A mockery!
There’s something in the water at the Fanning household, cuz this girl can act something fierce. Ooh, do you think she and Dakota will be the next generation’s Paris and Nicky? That could be fun.
Margo is undergoing a terrible-looking procedure with needles and tubes stuck up her aforementioned hoohoo. She’s obviously in pain, and says she’s feeling dizzy. I almost pass out as we see a steady stream of blood pouring out of her vagina. EXTREME change of pace as Stacy goes into Cuddy’s office to ask for advice about House. Good ol’ salty Cuddy. You know she’s all, “Listen Stacy, why can’t you just secretly fuck him on the weekends like I do? No angst, good exercise.”
Back to Margo. Turns out she was bleeding from her liver, where there is a tumor. House and Foreman discuss, but Mark shows up in his wheelchair, telling House that he thinks he’s losing Stacy. He asks House how he got past it, and House says he didn’t. Duh. They broke up, Mark; that’s a stupid question. House rather meanly decides to take the stairs to get away from Mark, and as hard as it is for House, it’s practically impossible for Mark to get up the stairs. He climbs out of his wheelchair and House grabs him so he doesn’t fall. This scene is intense and moving, but also a bit embarrassing to watch. I’m very conflicted.
Back in the control room, House doesn’t think Margo just has a liver tumor. House goes into a rather tortured analogy about her symptoms being bank robbers. His story ends with the culprit being birth control pills. Well that’s weird! She says she’s trying to get pregnant! House barges into Margo’s room and gives her what-for, but she maintains that she’s not on the pill. House says he’s going to cancel her liver surgery, because to get better all she needs to do is stop taking the pill.
Margo’s not to keen on that, and later, Cuddy has to agree. Since House doesn’t have proof that Margo’s on the pill, Cuddy says he has to go forward with the surgery. He asks her to get Stacy’s advice, to which she rolls her eyes and does a hilarious, bitter impression of Stacy swooning over House while simultaneously ordering him to do the surgery. That about settles it.
Blood and guts time. They operate on Margo and discover her tumor is benign. House is messed up enough to think that Margo lying to her husband is romantic. She’s willing to have surgery to keep the web of lies, i.e. her marriage, alive.
Afterwards, Foreman gives Margo’s husband some non-answers to his questions, so he doesn’t find out that his wife is secretly on the pill. Margo asks Foreman to tell her husband that she can’t take fertility treatments anymore because of the surgery. Foreman’s not going to straight up lie, so Margo asks if there’s a different birth control method that won’t make her sick. Foreman’s all, “lady, I can’t deal with this level of crazy.” And man, does the crazy run deep here. She figures she’ll stay sick for another couple of years, then they stop “trying” to have kids, and he’ll love Stella even more. Absolutely nutters.
In the control room, House is (still) emotionally abusing Cameron. He hands her a closed envelope, making her thinks it’s her HIV test. It’s not. He’s already opened that. I take it she’s negative. So, it’s on to more lady drama for House, as he heads on over to Stacy’s office. She excitedly tells House that she’s dumping Mark and staying with House. That’s kind of a big deal. “Don’t do it,” is House’s reply. He explains to her that Mark is willing to change for Stacy, but House himself isn’t, and never will be. Geez, he’s like a high school boy, all over her until he has her, then he’s done. This is what is called a “manchild.”
Naturally Wilson immediately discovers this turn of events, so he finds House on the roof and berates him for being an idiot. He figures House just wants to be sad all the time, and is resolutely refusing to be happy. “being miserable all the time doesn’t make you better than everyone else. It just makes you miserable.” Oh Wilson, you voice of reason, you.
Solid, some may say exceptional, acting, all around, but the writers could step it up a bit, and I actually mean that as compliment. A slightly backhanded one. They obviously are smart enough not to have to rely on contrivances, and they shouldn’t just rely on their actors’ exceptional abilities, either (hi Robert Sean Leonard! Call me!). What did you think?