People say that when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade. But sometimes life jerks you around. Sometimes it’s just House that does it.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll start by meeting out POTW, a man who seems to have a weird coffee quirk as he smells and dumps pot after pot from multiple makers. His daughter comes into the kitchen to let him know she’ll be late coming home from school and they have a small debate over whether she should invite a friend over for her birthday. The entire conversation is rather disturbingly flat, but it gets more disturbing quick as the man realizes all the coffee pots he dumped are clean. He pulls out some grounds to make more and turns to find all the makers removed from the counter. His daughter comes back and he asks what she forgot. Nothing. She’s home from school. The man covers his face with hiss hands and when he pulls them away, he’s sitting in the living room with no idea how he got there. Let’s do the time warp again?
Cuddy offers the POTW to House as a 37 year old male with recurring blackouts and House quips that he should switch from tequila to bourbon. But they’ve ruled out drugs or alcohol and his EEG and CT are both clean. House narrows his eyes at her and makes a crack how just because an adoption agency approved her, it doesn’t mean a mother will. When Cuddy is remarkably unaffected by his categorization of single mothers as one step below couples acquitted in daycare scandals, he knows something is up. He deduces she’s in a good mood because she already has a kid lined up and she admits her future daughter is due in 2 weeks. Rather than being happy for her, he moves right on into deconstructing her happiness by asking what’s wrong with the birth mom. Cuddy tries to deflect, but soon reveals there was some past meth use, though even his continued badgering doesn’t take her off the cloud. What is the saying about pride coming before the fall? OK, she’s not exactly prideful, but I’m betting she falls anyway.
House meets with the team for the differential, but he’s more interested in starting a Cuddy Pool. He explains that she insisted she’s not going to change her mind which means she’s thought about changing her mind, which means she’s not sure she’s ready to be a mom, which means she’s NOT ready to be a mom which means she’s going to change her mind. The only question is when. It’s a dizzying stream of logic and I have to wonder how much it says about him that he cared enough to create it on a matter that was so personal to Cuddy yet had so little impact on him. He sets the buy-in at $100 and puts himself down for her mind change coming in the next 7 days while Kutner takes 7 to 14. The rest of the team gets back to the differential and concludes that it’s either toxin exposure from his job as a product tester (which explains all the coffee makers and dumping) or sinus thrombosis.
Taub and 13 go to check out his house, which is best described a sparse and orderly. Even the daughter, Samantha’s room is devoid of color or personality. Yet, they’ve lived there more than 6 years. Taub opines that single parenting is no way to raise a kid and 13 objects on the basis that her dad was great after her mom died. Taub allows that he may be the exception to the rule. But then again, he may not be, since she is fairly screwed up. Their conversation doesn’t go any further as they find mold on the carpet and collect a sample.
They opt for testing POTW and Samantha and as 13 collects saliva from the daughter, she experiences the flat affect first hand and is just as put off by it as anyone would be. The matter gets far more personal when 13 mentions that she must miss her mom and the girl replies that she doesn’t get what the big deal about death is. Given that we already know 13 is facing her own death within the next decade or so, it’s clear why they chose to go in on her with a close shot that feels almost claustrophobic. She later describes the girl as physically fine and mentally weird, but I wonder if it doesn’t have far more to do with the fact that a 12 year old has accomplished something she doesn’t feel she can. No fear of death.
She doesn’t have much time to get introspective on the matter, as POTW is about to board the elevator. 13 and Foreman go to stop him and he monotonously insists he has an appointment and has to leave. Which is about when they realize the man is sleepwalking. It’s a symptom and we are back in the differential, where we witness an interesting dynamic. I first noticed it last week, but I’m sure if I went back and viewed past episodes it’s been creeping in for even longer. 13 isn’t willing to follow House like the rest of the team. Instead she gets more than irritated and combative as he seems to lead them by the nose to a conclusion he swears he didn’t already come to 20 minutes ago. I have to wonder if her annoyance stems from her fear of never reaching House’s ability in the short time she has left or it’s just because he thinks he’s a jerk. Either way, the conclusion is that he and his daughter may have insisted they never go anywhere but that only counts for when he’s conscious. House urges them to let him keep his appointment next time and follow him to it. It’s an interesting ploy that becomes even more so when the man later leads Taub and 13 to a drug dealer where he scores some coke. In his sleep. Didn’t he wonder where his money was going? And why he was losing weight?
Meanwhile, Cuddy went to meet the birth mother. It’s a bit awkward, as one would expect. The mom asks Cuddy what she plans on naming the baby and Cuddy answers she had been thinking about Joy, however when the mom’s face falls a bit she immediately backtracks. It’s almost like she’s looking for approval and I wonder if that isn’t tied into her quest for love as well. Proving that House got to her, she asks the mom why she chose her over all the eligible couples and she explains that her grandmother, her mother and now she herself have all been involved with men who were creeps. She hopes Cuddy, as a powerful and successful single woman, will break that cycle.
Which is when Cuddy notices a rash on the mom’s arm and a moment later they are at the hospital getting checked out by Cameron. The mom swears she’s been clean for the last 7 months and the blood work confirms it. Cameron offers her a topical for the rash but Cuddy steps in and admits her, insisting on a full fetal work up. Which is our first indicator that her concern is for the baby, not the mother. House accuses her of jumping the gun on parental hysteria before dousing her in a cup of baby barf. I’m more caught up by the fact that he’s told her he would make an excellent father – a comment she brushes aside completely. Yet, for a man who just lost his own father, I am intrigued but I guess the aroma of sour milk overrides curiosity. Cuddy says she’ll change her clothes but not her mind and House asks if she can’t handle wearing the stain how will she handle an actual baby?
Cuddy watches the mom get an ultrasound and Cameron is surprised when she finds out that the baby’s lungs are underdeveloped due to pulmonary hyperplasia. She’s obviously worried as she hides out in her office, opening boxes of baby gear. House quips she’s getting the joy of shopping without the stretch marks before knocking over a lamp to further illustrate how she’s not ready for a kid. In actuality, I’m beginning to think it’s more that he is not ready for her to have a kid, based on how he’s constantly challenging her to reconsider. Unfortunately, nature reconsiders for her as the mom suffers a placental abruption.
This leaves Cuddy in the position of advising the mom on what to do – deliver now and risk the baby or deliver later and risk her own life. Being a glutton for punishment, Cuddy asks House for his advise and more jerking around. He confronts her on the real issue, which is her fear that her advisement of the mom to wait and deliver later would not be a medical opinion. He takes it a step further by stating his belief that part of her doesn’t want the baby, which is why she came to him, knowing that his response would be to save the mom. In fact, he goes so callous as to say that part of her "wants to tell you to kill it". It has it’s intended effect as she tearfully tries to defend herself by calling it an impossible situation. House merely points out that she changed her sweater.
There’s a brief interlude with Wilson, where he insists that House is only doing all of this because Cuddy doesn’t have pigtails he can yank. But the most interesting part of the scene is where House states that Cuddy is getting a relationship with a kid because she can’t handle one with an adult. Which, aside from smacking of kettle/pot similarity, brings up the question again of why House is so interested in what sorts of relationships Cuddy has, baby or otherwise?
Speaking of babies, after 13 and Taub score coke with the same dealer in order to get a sample to screen for extra toxins, they find out that it’s been laced with powdered milk. Which does a body good, unless that body is lactose intolerant. Far more interesting is the fact that 13 has apparently done enough coke to be able to gage if something is high end or not based on the sort of taste test usually seen on over wrought police dramas. However, everyone knows coke use doesn’t make a person sweat blood and since that is what the POTW starts doing, we are back to differential. Ruling out Ebola, they are left with leukemia, which seems like a stretch to me but they move onto a bone marrow biopsy. But when they notice the man has two different colored legs, leukemia is out too. Instead, his kidneys are failing and he needs a transplant. His daughter is the best available donor, but since she’s a minor and her father clearly has a conflict of interest, they have to get Cuddy to sign off on it.
She’s in the OR already, as the bio-mom has decided to deliver via c-section immediately due to being unwilling to risk her own life for a baby that isn’t hers. House bursts in and insists that Cuddy do her job. Actually what he says is "This doesn’t need you. I do." Paging Dr. Freud! Chase delivers the baby and there is silence until Cuddy starts yelling "Cry Joy! Joy, Cry!" which is just too perfect a metaphor for this whole process to ignore, as we’ve watched her be jerked from one emotional peak into a depressive valley after another. But, eventually Joy does cry and Cuddy offers to let the mom hold her, who contentedly declines and says "she’s your now". House breaks the moment by telling her it’s time to say the words the baby will hear for the rest of her life: "Mommy’s gotta go to work".
And go to work she does, trying to find out if Samantha knows the risks of donating a kidney and she’s still the opposite of an emo kid. Which is when House realizes she’s sleepwalking too. So the kidney transplant is off as they try to figure out what both of POTWs have. House goes to Wilson for inspiration, but unlike last week, Wilson is not interested in a differential as much as House’s motives for torturing Cuddy, who is now blissfully happy. House asserts that it’s only because she doesn’t have the hormonal upheaval that leads to post partum depression, which is when his burst of insight comes.
He goes to the POTWs and tells them he knows what they have and they will be fine. When he gets no reaction, he admits that he does know what they have but isn’t sure if they will be find, he just wanted to see if they were capable of happiness. And they aren’t. Thus, they have familial Mediterranean fever, a possibility that had been obscured because the Dad had changed his name from Jamal Hammoud to Jerry Harmon after the first time we invaded Iraq. Kutner’s response is incredulity, but House gets them started on their cure. The doses of cholchracine may destroy dad’s kidney, but they can always go forward with the transplant previously planned and the POTWs will be fine. In fact, the next time we see them, they are both laughing. It’s the best medicine!
Not laughing is Cuddy, who get pulled into another depressive valley when the bio-mom changes her mind. Ironically, she admits that deciding to deliver immediately had been stupid and selfish and pointed out the personalty traits she no longer wants to have. So, she decides to attempt to correct them by doing something stupid and selfish and keeping the baby she had given to Cuddy. We end the episode with a tearful Cuddy sitting alone in her empty nursery when House knocks. He tells her there’s more than one baby in the sea, but she says she’s done because she can’t go through this again. He accuses her of quitting, just like she did with IVF and she admits that she is.
Things go beyond the pale when he tells her that it’s a shame because she would make a great mother. Incensed, she asks him why he’s been such an S.O.B., telling her she’d suck as a mom when she was getting a baby and changing it to she’d be a great mom when she lost said baby. She follows the question up by asking why he has to negate everything and he quietly responds "I don’t know". They square off, looking at each other for a few tension filled moments, before…the moment millions of fans have been waiting for: a passionate kiss. OMIGOD YES YOU HEARD ME RIGHT! They stare at each other a moment again before House mumbles goodnight and leaves.
My favorite lines:
House: Where are you meeting her?
Cuddy: At a little place called "follow me and your urologist will be buying himself a new yacht".
House: They explained the return policy to you, right? It’s worse than video games!
House: The patient is blowing blood out of every orifice, do you think it might be vascular?
House: If I had said "vitasgerular" would you have said "vitasgerularitis"?
I totally admit that the kiss broke my brain, how about you? Of course, it’s not unlike House to get remarkably close to claiming a relationship and than run away again (remember what he did to his ex?), but do you think this might stick? Would House lose it’s edge if he were romantically involved with another character? Can Cuddy really hold her own against him? And will Wilson really admit he has feeling for her next week or is that teaser just a total mind-screw?