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I apologize for the lateness of this week’s House recap, but I’m still a little verklempt over EdHIll’s resignation. Fortunately, we’re picking up some new meat, but still, his is a mighty big cooter to fill.
To make matters worse, it just wasn’t that enjoyable an episode. You’d think that with the uber-smarmy John Larroquette guest-starring, there’d be laughs aplenty, but the best we got was his mispronunciation of iPod. Still, like granmama copygodd always taught me, when life gives you lemons, make a lemon douche. Heck, I couldn’t even decide on a title for this week’s recap. I kept going back and forth between this one, Heartless Bastard and Veggie Tales. In the end I went with the one most likely to mess up the site’s formatting. Because that’s how the c-godd rolls: downhill. I also thought about shortening Vegetative State Guy to “VSG”, but you can’t just shorten a superhero’s name. After all, nobody calls Batman “BM.” Although that would be pretty damn funny.
Anyway, this week’s episode starts off not with a bang but a whimper. By which I mean instead of some neat expository scene setting up the rest of the episode, we get House eating a sandwich in what appears to be the hospital’s cinder block walled basement. Except for some reason the basement is filled with coma patients. So maybe he’s actually in the coma ward. But since coma patients won’t really care what their rooms are like, maybe they keep them in the basement. In which case my original guess could still be correct. To sum up, House may or may not be in the coma ward which may or may not be in the hospital basement. Either way, he’s definitely eating a sandwich.
Even more boringer, he’s watching
Wilson drops in and asks House what he’s doing down there, as he usually has lunch with upstairs Coma Guy. House introduces Wilson to Vegetative State Guy. He’s better company. And House says he has a great story about the time he dropped acid with some Sherpas. Wilson isn’t in the mood to make new friends, though. He’s more interested in yelling at House for stealing his prescription pad and forging his name. Too bad, because as far as fun stories go, Sherpas and acid trump prescription pads every time.
Wilson is pissed that he lied to the cops to cover for House. But if he’d told the truth, they’d put House away for ten years and take away his medical license. Which would be somewhat redundant, since it’s not like House could practice medicine in the slammer anyway. The best medical puzzle he could hope to solve there would be the ever-popular “What’s In My Anus?”
House reminds Wilson that the important thing now is to keep prescribing the same amount of drugs to him, or it might look suspicious. Before Wilson can yell at House any more, Vegetative State Guy’s son walks in. He doesn’t seem to mind that House is eating his father’s lunch. He’s a little bit less happy about House’s flicking the lights on and off and hitting him in the face with a bag of potato chips. And he’s downright freaked about House’s newfound powers of invisibility. Relax, kids. Housie didn’t really turn invisible. He’s just messing with the son’s mind. Or, more accurately, his medical condition. Right in the middle of House’s explanation of why he did what he did, the kid falls over and has a seizure. Remind me never to take Seizure Boy to a rave.
After the intro, Cameron and Chase are checking out Seizure Boy. He says he’s had seizures before, but the doctors have never been able to figure out what’s wrong with him. Like other wannabe superheroes, he’s hoping that by hanging around House he might also pick up the ability to become invisible. Or at the very least, a minor Vicodin addiction.
Cameron asks if there’s anyone besides his father they can get in touch with. Nope, just dear Daddy Veggie Tales down in the basement. Then he asks Chase to pass him his backpack. Which is full of the vino. Yup, turns out Seizure Boy is also an alcoholic. No wonder House loves this family.
Later, House and the notHouses are going over Seizure Boy’s symptoms. Chase says the simplest explanation is trauma, but Cameron says he didn’t report any injuries. “He didn’t report being an alcoholic either,” Chase says. “Drinking equals falling down equals trauma equals problem solved.” Geez, I wonder what Chase would have to say about the President’s pretzel incident from a few years back.
After looking at Vegetative State Guy’s EEG, House thinks Seizure Boy’s problem must be genetic. The seizures, not the alcoholism. House shares dad’s history with the team: ten years ago he tried to save his family from a fire. He got Seizure Boy out, but passed out trying to save his wife. And he’s been in a vegetative state ever since. Except for that time they caught him sleepwalking and peeing in the freezer. Wait, that was my brother-in-law. What up, Geoff?
All the tests that House orders, as well as Chase’s search of the boy’s apartment, come back negative. So House does what House does best: berates his team and orders some more tests. Then he heads home for a fun-filled evening of Lite-Brite and Vicodin.
While Cameron and Foreman are running the tests, Seizure Boy complains about feeling nauseous. Did he pick up Cuddy’s powers of morning sickness too? Nope, as Cameron pulls back his robe to reveal a big red spot on his abdomen. She thinks his liver might be failing. When Seizure Boy starts to spit up blood, she’s a little more sure of it.
Now Seizure Boy is unconscious and heading for a coma, so House orders all the treatment stopped. Since he’s an alcoholic, his liver probably isn’t in the best of shape. And the anti-seizure drugs probably pushed him over the edge. But if they take him off those meds, Cameron asks, what will they put him on? House was hoping she’d know. It may be academic, Foreman says, because they just had to start him on dialysis. Before they can do anything else, House says they need a better history. Unfortunately, the only person who can give that to them is Vegetative State Guy. Which might be kind of hard, considering he’s in a vegetative state and all.
Not to worry, though, because House has seen Awakenings several times. He even has it on VHS. It made him cry. And he wants to cry again. He thinks he can wake Vegetative State Guy up with an L-Dopa cocktail. After all, this guy’s no Terri Schiavo. Cuddy won’t let him do the treatment, though. Hey, maybe they should try floating a balloon in front of Vegetative State Guy’s face. That was enough to convince Bill Frist. House being House, of course, ignores Cuddy and injects the patient anyway. When nothing happens, Cuddy starts reading House the riot act. And right when she gets to ordering his ass into her office, Vegetative State Guy wakes up and orders a steak.
Cuddy can’t believe he’s awake and runs him through a quick series of tests. All he wants to know how is long he’s been sleeping. He has the feeling it’s been a long time. House finds it interesting that his internal clock kept ticking, and he’d like to know how deep his awareness goes. Does he remember any scraps of conversation, have the vaguest sense that the hospital administrator dresses like a trollop or that the new Star Wars movies blew hairy Wookie balls? (Is that redundant?)
He knows his wife is dead. But he doesn’t know for how long. Ten years, Cuddy tells him, then asks him to describe the last thing he remembers. The fire. He got Kyle (Seizure Boy) out, and went back in for his wife. He knew he didn’t make it. Speaking of not making it, Cuddy tells him about Kyle, who’s upstairs dying at this very moment. Vegetative State Guy doesn’t want to talk about Seizure Boy, though; he just wants his steak. And his flying car. After all, it’s ten years in the future. Surely we have flying cars by now, right?
Upstairs, Wilson tells House that the rumor in the cafeteria was that Caustic Guy had woken up Coma Guy. “Technically, it was Vegetative State Guy,” House corrects him. He can’t tell Wilson any more, though, because the patient won’t answer any more questions until he gets a steak. I think if I’d been in a vegetative state for ten years, the first thing I’d be asking for is a hand job from Cuddy. And a beer. Although not necessarily in that order.
Wilson can’t believe the Vegetative State Guy isn’t more concerned about his son, and says it must be due to his spending the last decade as a piece of asparagus. Or there’s House’s simpler explanation: maybe he just doesn’t like his son. Wilson doesn’t buy it, however, because humans have an evolutionary incentive to sacrifice for our offspring, our tribe, our friends, to keep them safe. “Yeah, except for all the people who don’t,” House counters. “Everything is conditional; we just can’t always anticipate the conditions.” Like K-Fed threatening to release a sex tape with Britney. There’s no way anyone saw that coming.
Cameron is walking down the hall when she’s stopped by DMo Popo. He wants to interrogate her about House. She’s uncomfortable with his line of questioning, but goes along with it because she’s Cameron. To her credit, however, she sticks up for House pretty well. Until Dmo Popo mentions that House forged Wilson’s name for prescriptions, that is. Fortunately before she can blab, her cooter starts to beep and she has to leave.
Turns out that Foreman and Chase saw her with the cop and paged her to get her out of there. Cameron thanks them for the save, turns her pager on “vibrate” and asks them to call her again. Then she tells them what DMo Popo was asking and suggests they get their stories straight. Just then House pops his head in and asks about Seizure Boy’s status. He has to get back to the sleeper before he goes looking for the Orgasmatron, effectively robbing me of the one Woody Allen reference I’d been waiting to make.
Downstairs, Vegetative State Guy has gotten dressed and is checking out his appearance. The verdict? The hospital barber sucks. He’s pretty proud of the results of his coma diet, though, and thinks he could make a fortune. “Vegetative state diet,” House corrects him. Evs. House tells him not to worry about his clothes: “We use recyclable ones now. Wear them once, then eat them.”
Before he can find out any more of Seizure Boy’s history, Vegetative State Guy tells him that Cuddy told him how House woke him up. And what’s going to happen to him next: his body will adjust to the drugs and he’ll be a vegetable again in the next day or two. And if he only has a day to live he’s sure as heck not going to spend it in a hospital room being grilled by the likes of Gregory House. He wants to go to Atlantic City and buy a hoagie. But not just any hoagie. This hoagie has magical curative powers. Namely the power to clean out his bowels, which have been inactive for the past ten years.
House agrees to take him to Atlantic City. But he needs help from Wilson, in the form of money and a car. He promises Wilson will get it back tomorrow. Two days tops. Wilson is going to let them have the car until Vegetative State Guy says he wants to drive. And wonders what an “ip-od” is. At that, Wilson says he’s going with them. As they pull away, House asks about toxic exposure. Geez, wouldn’t a nice game of Slug-Bug be more fun?
At the convenience store, Vegetative State Guy is complaining about the new M&M colors. Just wait till he sees Michael Jackson. House keeps trying to ask him more questions, until Vegetative State Guy gets sick of it. He didn’t let House come along so he could suck all the fun out of his one day of life. So, he offers House a deal: for every question he answers, he gets to ask House a question. Why would he care about anything House has to say? Because he’s all about the power. And right now, the only power he has is the power to annoy House.
Back at the hospital, Cameron tells Foreman and Chase that Trigger (their nickname for DMo Popo) told her that House had forged Wilson’s name for prescriptions. Foreman totally believes House did it, because House is a junkie. And junkies do whatever they have to do to get what they need. And how does Foreman know so much about junkies? Because he’s black. (I’m sorry, that was my inner-House speaking.)
In the car, Wilson is backseat driving. Even worse, he’s backseat psychoanalyzing. Why would a man’s first instinct be to drive away from the only family he has? Technically Wilson, that was his second instinct. His first was to ask for a steak.
When House learns that Vegetative State Guy used to make luxury boats before taking a ten-year nap, he thinks he has the case solved and tells the Outhouses to test Seizure Boy for mercury poisoning. But since we’re only at the 31:00 minute mark, we know it’s not going to be that easy.
Trigger is now questioning Chase. He’s not buying Chase’s answers about House’s addiction, and tries to trick Chase into admitting House forced him to write prescriptions for him. But we all know House could never force someone into doing something they didn’t want to do. Except maybe keep a thermometer in your ass for two hours, right DMo Popo?
Speaking of things being stuck in one’s ass, Vegetative State Guy is upset to learn that his favorite Atlantic City hoagie shop is out of business. How will he ever cleanse his colon now? Wilson tries to talk him into driving back to the hospital so he can spend some time with his son. And get an enema. Why is Wilson so concerned with Vegetative State Guy? House says it’s because Wilson believes that if he cares enough, he’ll never have to die. Based on that logic, I should’ve died about twenty years ago.
Wilson can’t understand what Seizure Boy possibly could’ve done that was so bad that Vegetative State Guy doesn’t want to spend his last few hours with him. Hey, Seizure Boy is what he is. And what he is, is a drunk. He takes after his mother’s side of the family. Before Wilson can pry any further, Vegetative State Guy says he wants to find a hotel with a casino and get his gamble on.
That’s too bad, because back in the hospital, Seizure Boy’s heart is failing. Meanwhile, the boys have found a hotel room and Wilson is trying to procure the ingredients to make a hoagie. Doing his best Hannibal impression, House tells Vegetative State Guy “Quid pro quo, Clarice.” He doesn’t understand why House is still questioning him, since he said it was mercury poisoning. “If you each had one last day to live, you’d look for one last meal and House would look for one last answer,” Wilson tells him. Or at least one last Vicodin.
House wants to know how much awareness Vegetative State Guy had over the last ten years. He recognized House’s voice, and wants to know how often House was in his room. Wilson says he’s wasting a question. He has a better one. Why steal his pad? Foreman, Chase and Cameron’s pads were just as convenient. But they’re just employees. Wilson is supposed to be his friend. Their relationship involves choice. And any relationship that involves choice House has to see how far he can push until it breaks. Yeah, that was much better than Vegetative State Guy’s question. Especially since you answered it for him. House agrees, saying the good thing about Wilson is that he asks the questions, answers them and makes tasty snacks.
At that, House gets up to go to the casino, but Wilson isn’t done: “One day our friendship will break,” he says, “and that will prove your theory that relationships are conditional and you don’t need human connection or deserve it or whatever goes on in that rat maze of your brain.” Lighten up, Francis.
House apologizes to Vegetative State Guy, saying if he’d known Wilson was going to be this annoying, he’d have stolen Cameron’s pad and Foreman’s car. Just then House’s cell rings. Foreman gives him the bad news: the mercury test was negative. And Kyle’s heart is failing. So he tells Vegetative State Guy they have to start over with the questioning. But this time they don’t have time to swap questions. He answers House’s questions, and when they’re done he can ask whatever he wants. I hope he asks about House’s Swedish Penis Pump.
Later, House is asking more questions while Wilson is trying to make a hoagie. Everything that happened to his wife’s side of the family Vegetative State Guy blames on alcohol. He asks Wilson to toss him a soda, and he completely misses it, just like Kyle did back in the beginning of the episode when House tossed him a bag of chips. A quick knowing glance between House and Wilson tells us that he knows the answer. A quick glance at the clock tells us that this time House’s guess is going to be right.
In the hospital, Trigger is questioning Foreman. He tells DMo Popo that House is an ass, but he obviously needs pain medication. And how much medication is not a call the government should be making. Trigger isn’t buying what Foreman is saying though, and tells him if he had his job, he’d know that everybody lies. Et tu, DMo Popo?
Back In Atlantic City, Vegetative State Guy wants to know why House became a doctor. House can’t believe that’s his big question. “I give you complete license to humiliate me, and that’s the best you can do?” What, you’d rather he asked you the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
But Vegetative State Guy insists. He wants to know why House works with people when he so obviously hates them. House tries to blow it off with an oedipal joke, but Vegetative State Guy says if House wants any more answers from him, he has to answer this one.
When House was 14, his father was stationed in Japan. He and his friend were rock climbing when there was an accident. They rushed his friend to the hospital, but went in the wrong entrance and had to ask the janitor where to go. Later, his friend came down with an infection. The doctors didn’t know what to do, so they sent for the janitor. Turns out the janitor was actually a doctor. And an untouchable. He knew he wasn’t accepted by the staff, and he didn’t care. He didn’t dress well, didn’t try to get along with people… The people who ran the hospital ignored him. Except when they needed him. Because he was always right. And that’s all that mattered. And they had to listen to him.
Wow, hard to make a joke after that.
House asks Vegetative State Guy what happened the night of the fire. His wife had taken a sleeping pill and gone to bed. He was popping corn with Kyle, who managed to knock an ember from the fireplace which ignited some wrapping paper which spread really fast. Before he can continue, Wilson says he’s a disappointment. He acts like he doesn’t need anybody, but he really just blames his son for what happens. Vegetative State Guy doesn’t blame his son. He just knows it wouldn’t matter if he was at the hospital with Seizure Boy or not. He failed. He couldn’t stop the fire. He couldn’t save his wife. And he can’t save Seizure Boy. Looks like he picked the wrong decade to fall into a vegetative state, wake up and stop sniffing glue.
House wants to know how Seizure Boy dislodged the ember. Vegetative State Guy says he dropped the popcorn tray. Based on that, House says Seizure Boy has ragged red fiber. It’s an inherited condition. Which means his wife’s side of the family weren’t drunks after all. They were just sick. Seizure Boy, on the other hand, is a sick drunk. But who can blame him? He thinks he killed his mother and turned his father into a vegetable.
House calls Foreman and tells him to test Seizure Boy for ragged red fiber. Foreman says it’s too late; his heart is almost gone, and since he’s an alcoholic, he has no shot at a transplant. So yay for House for figuring it out, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Seizure Boy is going to die anyway.
Or is he?
Vegetative State Guy wants to give Seizure Boy his heart. Wilson doesn’t understand why, since someday there may be a cure for what he has and they’ll be able to wake him up again. Or, at the very least tap him into The Matrix. “He’s my kid,” Vegetative State Guy tells him. Cuddy won’t hear of it, though, since Vegetative State Guy isn’t near death. “Fine,” House says. “We’ll think of something else.” And then he orders Wilson to leave the room. Wilson says no, but House says he’s lied to the cops enough for him already. He doesn’t want to push their friendship until it breaks. At least not before Wilson refills his prescription a few more times.
After Wilson leaves, House tells Vegetative State Guy that pills are the simplest way to kill himself. Hanging, however, has less chance of damaging his heart. Vegetative State Guy says he’s okay with pain. In which case House tells him that strangulation is better than breaking his neck. So is House actually offering to kill Vegetative State Guy? That totally rules!
Vegetative State Guy wants to give House a message for Seizure Boy. But he doesn’t know what to say. So for his last question of House, he wants to know if he could hear one thing from his father, what would it be? House says he’d want his father to say “you were right. You did the right thing.” Screw that. I’d want my dad to tell me I was adopted. I keed, I keed. I love my dad.
While this is going on, Wilson is down in the casino, trying to pick up a woman. And failing very badly. Wait, he isn’t trying to pick her up, he’s just trying to establish an alibi. I’m not sure how, but it involves yelling at a guy pretending to be House across the casino. Meanwhile, the real House is upstairs sitting outside of their room. There’s a thump from inside, and then we cut to the hospital, where Vegetative State Guy and Seizure Boy are both being rushed into surgery. Cuddy tells House she finds it very odd that there was an open bottle of aspirin next to Vegetative State Guy’s body. Why is that odd? Because it helped reduce trauma to his heart in transit. Lucky he had a headache, huh. Even luckier that Cuddy didn’t give him that hand job earlier in the day, or his headache never would’ve happened.
When Seizure Boy wakes up, he asks House if his father gave him a message. House tells him that he was right; he did the right thing. What does that mean? How should House know? He’s not Seizure Boy’s dad.
In the hallway, Wilson is having trouble getting money from the ATM. In between punching buttons, he asks House if he knew that Trigger was talking to his team. House says he knows, and that none of them said anything he has to worry about. But you know who does have something to worry about? Wilson. Because he calls the bank and finds out that his assets have been frozen as part of the investigation. Way to go, HOUSE!
So, is anyone else getting tired of the whole DMo Popo story arc? And when are we going to get some better shots of Cuddy? Lately she’s been wearing way too many clothes.
Next week there won’t be a House recap, as I’ll be back C-bus visiting the fam. Same thing with next week’s episode of The Bachelor. Try not to lose any sleep over it. I know I won’t.