Tonight’s moving episode of “House” was a real game-changer – by the end of the hour, we saw one team member depart and two return. We also saw (spoiler alert!) a liver full of worms.
Case of the Week: Our patient this week (thanks to House’s newly reacquired medical license and thus his newly reacquired veto power over Foreman) is Hank Hardwick, a male porn star with eyeballs that feel like they’re exploding. Really? Hank Hardwick? That’s the best they could do for a porn star stage name?
Our stud develops clotting problems, muscle spasms, liver failure, and fluid in his abdomen. After the requisite guesswork and failed treatments, he’s finally discovered to have A LIVER FILLED WITH WORMS. Yes, it’s as horrifying as it sounds. And between that and this photo of a Japanese giant salamander my friend sent me today, I’m almost certainly going to have the Worst Nightmares Ever tonight. Uggghhhh.
The threadworms are all over his body, most likely spread through sexual activity. (Seriously?! The human body can be so upsetting sometimes. And on that note, under no circumstances should you google “threadworm,” visit the Wikipedia page on pinworms/threadworms, and read the “Diagnosis” section. Seriously. I’m not even going to link to it so that you’ll be spared the mental images that are making me want to curl up in the fetal position and never leave my apartment.) A couple pills, and he’ll be good as new.
Of course, since the episode was only half over, Hank’s lungs fill with fluid and his liver continues to fail. And he starts peeing blood. Rough. So…the worms were just a coincidence. A horrifying, horrifying coincidence. After more guesswork and a bluff involving nuking Hank’s bone marrow, Thirteen and Taub diagnose him from afar (we’ll get to that) with extraintestinal Chron’s disease caused by being raised in a sterile environment – the worms were actually protecting him to a certain degree. Lesson learned: feed your kids dirt, and don’t assume that a porn star’s “dirty” lifestyle is any more the cause of their health problems than their clean childhood. (But not too much dirt, because according to Wikipedia playing in dirt can give children threadworms, regardless of whether they grow up to be porn stars. Basically, you can’t win.)
The Team: Cameron says she can live with what Chase did, and that they can get through it together…IF they leave Princeton-Plainsboro. And so they quit, effective immediately. House pressures them to stay while simultaneously using the case to lure Taub and Thirteen back to the dark side and away from a healthy marriage and a free clinic, respectively.
Thirteen suggests that House is trying to get their help on the case rather than directly asking them back because he can’t take the rejection. That’s pretty insightful considering she shouldn’t know about the Cuddy situation. House concludes that all four doctors want to work for him, but that they also have reasons to not want to work for him. Um, brilliant analysis? When Wilson asks why he needs three out of these four doctors, House claims he knows they’re good, but Wilson suggests he’s looking for the comfort of the known after being abandoned by Cuddy. See what you’ve wrought, Cuddy?! At least we know who to blame for Taub and Thirteen’s return.
House messes with Chase and Cameron to an enormous degree, reminding them both of Cameron’s strict moral code and the unlikeliness that she’d truly forgive murder. She cites his shame and guilt over what he’s done as reasons for her forgiveness, but House suggests to Chase that she actually blames House for Dibala’s murder because of the climate he created, and further suggests that Chase needs to stay on the team so that he can prove to her that he isn’t House’s “personal sock puppet.”
While trying to keep House’s team intact for Cuddy’s sake without knowing what the exact problem is, Lucas recommends that Chase face it head on. Aaaand so he basically tells Cameron that he’s completely responsible, and would kill Dibala again if he had the chance. She doesn’t want to believe him, but accepts it if it’s how he feels. But when Chase finally decides he still wants to be on the team, Cameron pays House a visit, accusing him of teaching his team that patients are like lab rats, or a puzzle waiting to be figured out. And then she moves on to his effect on Chase:
“You ruined him. So he can’t even see right from wrong. Can’t even see the sanctity of a human life anymore. I loved you. And I loved Chase. I’m sorry for you both. For what you’ve become, because…there’s no way back for either of you.”
Wow. Interesting that in this season of House’s redemption and growth, Cameron is calling him out as essentially being unredeemable. I can understand her point, but I’m not sure I agree there’s no way back. She kisses House on the cheek after he refuses a handshake and leaves, and it looks like her words may have hit home. However, he declares “Mission Accomplished,” telling Wilson: “She’s broken up with Chase and she’s leaving the hospital. Still, three out of four ain’t bad.” Was that a little guilt I detected?
Huddy: House admits to “an attraction of sorts,” but claims to be fine now that Lucas has bought him a ginger ale. Whatta guy. Wilson confronts Cuddy, asking what she sees in Lucas and why she didn’t give House, or at least Wilson, a heads up. Cuddy: “I’m living my life. And for the first time I’m not gonna change that because of how it might affect him or you.” Well, when you put it that way…
For Lucas’s part, he’s miffed that Cuddy kept their relationship from House, rightly figuring that either she delusionally thought they could live happily ever after without House ever finding out, oooor she didn’t plan on dating him long. But, he’s happy that she trusts him enough to freak out about House’s reaction in front of him. Looks like we’ll get some juicier stuff next week. Favorite exchange of the episode:
Lucas: “…I’m dating Lisa Cuddy.” Chase: “Seriously?” Lucas: “Cool, huh?”
Big happenings…how do you feel about Taub and Thirteen’s return? Cameron’s departure? Were you happy to see Chase stay? Is Cameron right about House and Chase?