Tonight, House was all about obfuscation. Well, more so than usual and about far more than the medical issue suffered by the Patient of the Week. Who was actually 6 patients, Or maybe 7. Possibly 8. See what I mean?
We start with a tennis player, who tosses her racket, clutches her chest and collapses. Then a man at a construction site slumps on the controls for a crane, dropping a train car. He’s followed by a UFC style fighter who keels over, bleeding from an ear. And then a man playing a tuba suddenly spits up blood and falls off his chair. Lastly, we see a woman teaching math be interrupted by 13, who summarily dismisses her class and asks her if she had a corneal transplant 5 years ago. When she confirms that she did, she’s informed that all the other patients who received organs from that donor have died.
When the team meets up we find out we have 4 dead organ recipients, 1 almost dead old man and then our math teacher, who feels fine. The weird thing is it wasn’t the transplanted organs that failed in the patients. The patient who got a heart, died of a lung ailment, the patient who got a lung died of a pancreatic ailment, and so forth. The team tries to figure out what connects all the cases, while House tries to figure what Wilson did for him. Kutner concludes that Wilson paid for House’s lunch, liked monster trucks and acted as his conscience, while the team concludes that it may be a blood problem. House concludes that it’s cancer before excusing himself to the cafeteria.
Which is where House tells the clerk that Dr. O’Shay will be paying for his lunch. Dr. O’Shay gives him a wary glance but doesn’t dispute the charge. House follows him to a table and asks if he likes monster trucks. He proclaims that his kids like them, but he has a enough opinions of his own to keep House interested. House pops his pills and O’Shay asks how many he just took, but when House details the list for him and asks if he has a problem with it, O’Shay just shrugs. House grins and declares "I think I’m falling in love". It gets even better when House advises his usual reckless style procedure and earns nary a blink from O’Shay.
Back with our younger POTW, House tells her they are going to have to remove her eye, but quickly changes his tune when she doesn’t squint during an eye exam. This moves right into the POTW hearing House tell her they are going to have to remove her head and pulling out a hefty meat cleaver. When she starts screaming, he concludes the hallucinations are a "brain thing". The team goes back to the drawing board, starting with reviewing the tape of the fighter, looking for any signs of neurological problems before his collapse. While they toss out ideas, they are continually interrupted by a man fixing a coffee machine in the lounge. Given the banter he tosses at the team under the guise of being a genius repair man, they conclude he’s not a repair man at all. It’s the argyle socks that give him away.
The man is a private investigator, hired by house to find out about the various dead patients. Or, as House explains "I wanted to find out what you found out before I find out what he found out so I can find out if I need a PI". The PI found out an awful lot. And I think I love him just a little bit. He lays out a complete patient history, as well as detailing all the harmful chemicals he was exposed to and the fact that he has video of the fight from 4 different angles, generated by tracking down people who were at the fight with cameras. And then announcing that House owes him $2300. I am so in the wrong business! House wants to do a brain biopsy on the younger POTW, but Foreman refuses to risk turning her into a vegetable. Which leaves the elder POTW.
Taub tries to convince the wife to sign the release for the brain biopsy, an act the younger POTW gets in on by claiming to have a husband and a 2 year old daughter named Julia. The wife disputes that fact, saying that she hasn’t had a single visitor or a phone call and Taub confirms that she’s lying. This erupts into a fight between the two women, with the POTW arguing that she wants to live and accusing the wife of the elder POTW of looking for a reason to hate her. During this, however, the elder POTW codes and dies, so the point is kind of moot. Especially since they don’t need a release for an autopsy. Unfortunately, the brain is clean, so they are back at square one, which is cancer.
At least it is until Foreman points out that House needs it to be cancer so he can talk to Wilson and Kutner points out that if the donor had a perforated intestine, his blood could have carried an infection that attacked all the various organs in the recipients, while not attacking to donor organ specifically. This leads us to possibly our 8th patient, the 4 year old daughter of the donor. They perform a colonoscopy, which is also clean. So, they go back to the dead elder POTW and perform a colonoscopy on him, by shooting pressure through the rectum. In the grossest House moment we’ve seen in a while, the test yields no results but does offer an explosion of human waste all over Foreman.
In an ice cream truck on a residential street, House sits with his PI in front of Dr. O’Shay’s house. Showing an amazing amount of insight, the PI tells House that O’Shay is wrong for him. The banter between them is lightening fast and shocking, and I am not sure what is true, but the end result is that House is investigating O’Shay because he wants to be investigating Wilson, to find out if he is missed or to find out of there is something he can use to make him come back. The PI says there isn’t and charges another $900.
During this, the last remaining POTW has taken a turn for the worse. House starts her on chemo, basically to see what happens. While convincing the POTW to sign the consent to treatment, she reveals that she was practically blind before the corneal implants. House claims disinterest in a blind math teacher until she corrects him, telling him she was a blind architect. He asks why she gave up architecture once she could see and she bitterly tells him that the world is ugly.
Soon enough, she reacts appropriately to the chemo, seeming on the mend. Which is when House decides it’s not cancer. Despite the fact that his PI has informed him that Wilson has kept in touch with Cameron, Cuddy and Foreman, but never once mentioned House, he goes to his former friend’s home for medical advice. It goes about as well as we could expect, with Wilson refusing to participate and closing the door in House’s face.
House ends up getting his epiphany from his PI, when he asks him if he wants to be friends. The PI tells him no, because he’s afraid of him. He adds that friends are friends and customers are customers, everything else is everything else and nothing is nothing. This leads House to conclude that cancer is not cancer and brain is not brain. He tries to explain a stem cell theory to Cuddy, telling her that he wants to perform open brain surgery on the POTW or she’ll crash. Cuddy refuses, slyly asking if House plans on doing something to make her crash, proving he was correct so Cuddy will let him do what he wants. House says he would never do that and Cuddy agrees. Because she’s posted guards at the door. Seeing his route blocked, House sits pensively before making a phone call. During the montage we see a nurse come in to adjust the POTW’s IV bag, only to have her crash. The staff race in as the nurse slips away. Argyle socks and all.
Watching Chase perform the open brain surgery from the gallery above, House notes that the chemo looks like saline. Chase accuses him of switching the POTW’s meds and House asserts he had no access to her. The PI seems less comfortable with the idea that he could have potentially killed her, but he also knows exactly what to say to keep House going. Of course, he also charges House $5,000 for it.
We end with House going to see the POTW, whose head and eyes are swathed in bandages. He begins unwrapping her head, periodically hitting the emergency call button to prove a point about the nature of the world, as well as the nature of her brain, leading up to the fact that the world is not as ugly as she thinks it is. It’s strange for House to be the one detailing such an idea, but the POTW gets his meaning and prepares herself to see the world as it really is. House asks her how he looks and she replies "You look sad". I’d say she’s got perfect vision now!
It was an amazing episode (if incredibly difficult to recap), mostly due to the interaction between House and the PI. I am happy to say that the evening ended with House calling him to put him on retainer! Also, Felicia Day, as our POTW, truly shined in an understated performance (even if I kind of wanted her to break into song, a’la Dr. Horrible). I’ll finish with a few of my favorite lines. What were yours? And are you as glad as I am that the PI seems to return next week?
Kutner: There was no international travel, no-
PI: *snorts*…No, serious, that’s how I sneeze.
PI: He’d been to Madrid and the Bahamas
Kutner: There were no credit card receipts that-
PI: -his girlfriend paid for it.
Kutner: He has no girlfriend.
PI: His high school sweetheart.
Kutner: His high school sweetheart married his best friend.
PI: I know! Shhh!
House: OK, it’s a long shot, but I might be an ass.
POTW: They said I would see and I would dance. But the guys I hated dancing with before, I hated dancing with afterward, and my parents were still dead.
House: You’re fun!
PI: That’s the patient I switched the meds on. You said she would be fine!
House: I’m a better liar than you.
PI: I could have killed her!