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Whew! Last week on House I thought the show was on the way to meeting its grisly, over-written demise. So thank goodness this episode was in top form, giving us Wilson bantering, Cuddy on a rampage, and Cameron being a dumb cow, all without trying to make us think about Serious Issues (although they did manage to work in a quick “marijuana isn’t poison, ahem, red staters” that I personally enjoyed). The similarities between the patient of the week and House were a bit much – a loving relationship between father and son to highlight House’s problems? Like we couldn’t have figured it out ourselves. Also, this episode’s official title was “Daddy’s Boy.” I can’t quite wrap my mind around that one. Still, the show got the Recapper Stamp of Approval!So, the father and son combo come out of a restaurant, and we learn quickly that they’re celebrating the son’s graduation from Princeton. The writers also quickly establish that the boy’s mom is already dead, the better to make this storyline as poignant as possible.
As they part, the father tells his son not to drink too much, since he needs to look good for the ceremony tomorrow. The son says not to worry, as he’s “done enough drinking this week to last me another four years.” “Good, I think,” replies the father, laughing. What a cute scene. Which means, as you know if you’ve ever even looked in the direction of a television, that the next time we see the son he’s deep in the throes of a game of beer pong. Oooh, the writers are so hip with their knowledge of college culture. Unfortunately, the kid starts shaking and accusing his friends of somehow electrocuting him. They try to figure out how this is happening as we get CGI-view down his spinal column, which is full of active electrical currents.
I can tell this episode is going to get me all emotional. True, this isn’t a young child we’re dealing with, but as Wilson examines him he’s still experiencing shocks. And they’ve been going on for seven days straight. Gahd, I’m the Linda Richmond of recapping. Give me a moment, and talk amongst yourselves. Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black in Wet Hot American Summer: best sex scene ever? Discuss.
OK, I’m all better. Maybe, just maybe, thinking about Bradley Cooper goin’ at it helped me forget my pain. Anyhoo, House strides into the conference room wearing a leather jacket, which naturally gets Cameron all excited and bitchy. House doesn’t want the patient du jour, but apparently he owes it to Wilson, as he owes him $5,000. When Cameron asks why he would owe somebody that much money, Chase chimes in with “Bad night at poker, or great night with a hooker?” Nice one, Chase! House agrees with me and compliments Chase one the awesomeness of that line. Aw, Chase is so pleased! I don’t believe we’ve ever seen him looking this happy.
House naturally assumes that the symptoms point to some sort of overdose, perhaps nitrous oxide. Wilson already ruled that out, as well as every other illness that House can think of, and he thinks of a lot. If we didn’t know it already, this scene shows us how smart House and Wilson are: House is rattling off obscure diseases like a grocery list, but Wilson has already ruled them all out. They come to an impasse and stare at each other, and it’s actually surprisingly smoldering.
Side note: It seems like Hugh Laurie has a slight lisp. Has anyone else noticed it? The thing is, I’ve pretty much seen all of Hugh Laurie’s work and I’ve never noticed it before. Can people have speech impediments in one accent and not another?
Cameron asks the kid about his drug use history, and it seems pretty priviledged-college student normal. Of the Outhouses, Foreman isn’t buying and thinks it’s a drug addiction/alcoholism issue.
The $5,000, by the way, was for a motorcycle (which we saw House test-driving earlier). Wilson is pissed and demands that House return it, but House just mocks him by whining, “Mooommmmm,” and asking Wilson out to dinner. Interesting. Also, Wilson calls House a “crippled, irresponsible drug addict.” You know, I really like their relationship. They make good best friends. The Outhouses come to admire House’s bike and offer more theories, but House quickly sends them away to investigate another diagnosis. As soon as they’re gone, he’s back to begging Wilson to come to dinner. House, House, House…dude, you have to play it cooler than that.
Back in the hospital, Cameron and Foreman are explaining to father and son that they think he may have a inherited a disease from his mother, the same disease that they suspect shocked her and caused the car accident that killed her. The son doesn’t understand, because she was killed by a drunk driver. As he says this, the dad gets all fidgety. Uh-oh, I sense a Moment of Truth approaching!
She wasn’t really killed by a drunk driver, the dad just told him that as a cautionary tall tale. Eh, that’s not that big a deal. More importantly, the kid has shit the bed, and didn’t feel it at all. He still has feeling in his feet, though, I can tell by the Look of Doom that Cameron and Foreman are sharing that this is definitely a bad sign.
“Sphincter paralysis!” announces Foreman in the conference room. This leads to a discussion of types of poop that I refuse to go into. Just then, House’s mom calls, much to the surprise of the Outhouses. House does seem the un-parented type. Turns out he had forced Wilson to go to dinner with him so he’d have an excuse not to see his parents when they come to town that night. When he hangs up, House tells the Outhouses that it was Angelina Jolie. “I call her ‘mom.’ Who thinks that’s sexy?”
Naturally, Cameron goes absolutely nuts in the face of potentially learning more about House. She pries and learns that House really is going to dinner with Wilson that night, so he wasn’t technically lying when he said he had a business dinner. So, get this, Cameron decides to go ask Wilson what’s up. On what planet is that appropriate? OH CAMERON I HATE YOU SO MUCH. She tells Wilson to secretly invite House’s parents to dinner. WHY? Why does she have to be such a pain in the ass? Are we supposed to think this is endearing? Hey, where’s Stacy? I like her.
Foreman’s theory is that the kid had an infection that went away but the symptoms are still attacking his spinal cord. Or something. It’s a TV show, not a pre-med class, so whatever. The kid (his name’s Carnell! Finally we get a name!) asks his dad to get him a Coke, and when he leaves Carnell tells the doctors that he actually went to Jamaica without telling his dad. Later, the doctors try to figure out the implications of that, since Carnell does not own up to smoking pot. If he did, though, there’s a chance that pesticides on the marijuana could be causing his illness. There’s more talk of people lying, since that’s the one truth House knows about people.
Next, we get a totally adorable scene between House and Wilson. House has already figured out what Cameron has been up to, since she’s had the deer-in-the-headlights look all day. House tells Wilson that he didn’t really need the money, he was just running an experiment to see how much he could get out of Wilson. Wilson says that he’s been experimenting to see how big a lie he can tell House, an experiment that started when he told House he looked good unshaven. He also tells House to sack up and come to dinner.
Cuddy is on a rampage! The pesticide testing is dangerous and they don’t really have enough proof to be doing it. But, when they get to Carnell’s room, they see that he’s able to eat again. Pops is so happy! So of course five seconds later Carnell has relapsed and is worse than ever. Darn you, emotional manipulation! It kills me to say it, but this is good TV, folks.
Cameron is sent to find Carnell’s friends to see who else got sick in Jamaica. On her way out, she asks her compadres if they’re going to dinner with House, too. Whoa, “too”? So she invited herself? Unbelievable. She is the lamest lame who ever lamed. Turns out Cuddy is going, too. Ummm….it’s ok if she wants to. In fact, I find it endearing. Hi Cuddy! Love ya! House tells Cuddy he’s going to start a rumor that she’s a transsexual.
Cameron is at Carnell’s friend’s office, and it turns out he has fungus on his crotch. That’s hott.
House wants the guy to come to the hospital so they can all check out the rash. But Cameron would have to lie and tell him he’s dying in order to convince him. She asks Cuddy for advice, protesting that it’s wrong to lie to patients. Then, she’s shocked when Cuddy’s advice is to lie to House instead to get him to go to the guy with the rash. Oh, you dumb Pollyanna. No one could work for House and remain that pure of heart.
Carnell is going from bad to worse. Chase and Foreman run around yelling and we get a view of Carnell’s insides. Oh, what a delight – it’s a replay of the oozing poop effects from the premiere! He goes into surgery and the doctors figure their treatment was emphatically not working. Cuddy comes in to report that Carnell’s friend is coming to the hospital right now, via ambulance. He’s vomiting blood. See, that’s what prolonged exposure to Cameron can do if you’re not careful.
The guy comes in and House instantly decides that he and Carnell were secretly doing the freaknasty. Well, ok. But when he hears that Carnell’s dad runs a scrap metal yard, he goes rushing off to verbally abuse him. House must have a memory stronger than the very thunderbolts of Thor, because he calls the dad out for earlier saying that he ran a construction company. When the dad tells House that he gave Carnell a piece of salvaged metal as a keychain, it’s all hands on deck to run radiation testing on it. We got a live one!
The radiation exposure made Carnell’s body unable to produce white blood cells, which means he can’t fight off the infection that’s making him sick. His frat brothers, who were exposed to it peripherally, will get better through blood transfusions, but Carnell needs a bone marrow transplant. Also, he has a tumor in his spinal cord. I want to snark, I really do, but the dad is crying and it’s truly sad.
Lightening things up a little, House’s parents have arrived. I thought they’d go big with the stunt casting, but the actors aren’t particularly famous. The dad always plays military guys, though, so I think we’re supposed to get that he’s really hard on House. Also, check out the mom’s IMDB bio. Who wrote that, her ex-husband?
We go to Cardell’s tumor removal surgery, where we get some choice shots of innards. The tumor looks like egg yolk. Time for the Bucket! The surgeon is chatting about the Beatles as he works, the better to let the viewers know that he is an arrogant prick. Sure enough, Cardell’s heart rate starts to fall.
OK, the parallels and analogies are starting to get a little oppressive. House’s dad tells him that his problem is that he doesn’t know how lucky he is. Cut to Chase telling Cardell’s dad that Cardell won’t survive much longer. (Incidentally, when House told his parents that his new motorcycle was parked outside, his dad bellowed “IN THE HANDICAPPED SPOT?” It was weird and made me laugh inappropriately.)
Later, House talks about how his dad never lied about anything, but that wasn’t necessarily such a good quality in a father. Cut to Cardell’s dad lying to him and saying he’ll be all right.
Well, what a downer. What do you guys think – should these shows always have a happy ending? Wouldn’t be very accurate, but it would make Tuesdays a little less depressing. On the other hand, this episode was a huge improvement over last week’s. What did y’all think?