Tonight I had a friend tell me that House is like a hospital based version of Law and Order. Although I have never particularly been a fan of Law and Order, I can see where this assessment is coming from. Both shows are investigative, have whacky multi-directional plot twists, and are based around characters with strong attitudes. Maybe I should start watching more Law and Order.
The newest installment of House featured a young and petite little schoolteacher who, you know, starts bleeding from the mouth while teaching a special needs class. House and the team struggle to understand Cameron’s authority. Foreman debates whether or not he should switch Thirteen’s clinical study drugs. All while Cuddy is finding that she has little to no motherly feelings for her adopted child.
The episode begins with a young teacher strolling around her classroom. The classroom is packed to the brim with special needs students doing art projects. Despite the carnage, the teacher is oddly Zen. She lends kind words to a little boy who has a crush on her. As the teacher is walking away the little boy spills sparkles on the girl next to him. The little girl begins to cry and she wets her pants. As the teacher is about to help the little girl to the bathroom, she starts coughing up blood and collapses on the floor.
House enters the hospital and runs into Cameron. She informs House that he will be taking on the case of the schoolteacher who is coughing blood. Cameron also informs House that it is now her job to ‘baby-sit’ him, since Cuddy is going to take more time off work to spend with her foster child. House tells Cameron the job of babysitter will not be easy for her, but he hopes that Cameron gets easy (slutty) with him. She tells him that’s why she took the job, hinting at the possibility of a hook-up.
House informs his team that Cameron is his new ‘babysitter’. The team agrees that House’s callus attitude towards authority will be enough to drive Cameron insane. The team members all agree on the symptoms of the teacher-patient, but they can’t agree on the cause. Foreman and Thirteen disagree on what ails her, leading house to mock their relationship. House calls for a bleeding time test.
Thirteen and Kutner run the blood test on the patient. They warn her it will hurt but she explains she can avoid pain by going to her happy place: to imagine teaching in her classroom.
Wilson finds Cuddy rocking the baby at her home. Cuddy is distraught because she doesn’t feel any emotion towards the baby in her arms. She knows she is supposed to feel “amazement’, but doesn’t.
The bleeding time test is negative and the team all agree the illness has something to do with the platelets the patient’s blood. Thirteen and Foreman agree on the diagnosis, and House mocks them accordingly. House suggests Total Body Irradiation–a very dangerous procedure that will put the patient in harm’s way. The team says this procedure is useless and unnecessary. House says the procedure is dangerous, but will save the patient’s life if he is right.
House has to approve the Total Body Irradiation with Cameron before he can perform the procedure. She approves with little hesitation. House is confused. He thinks Cameron should have rejected his idea for the procedure. House orders his team to make up a mock procedure for the patient. He speculates that Cameron is bluffing, and constructing a mock procedure will call her bluff.
Forman seeks the council of Dr. Chase. He asks Chase if he should switch the treatment Thirteen is receiving in her clinical drug trial from the placebo to the real treatment. Dr. Chase adamantly opposes switching the drug, saying doing so would jeopardize Foreman’s medical career.
During the fake Total Body Irradiation procedure the patient claims she has to pee and passes out on the way to the bathroom. She has to be revived. Her loosing consciousness rules out their primary diagnosis.
Cuddy reprimands Cameron for agreeing to the Total Body Irradiation. She explains to Cameron that she cannot agree to House’s requests when it puts the patient in danger. House enters the room and admits the procedure was a fake. House also tells Cuddy he has heard about Cuddy’s inability to feel for the adopted kid. House suggests Cuddy should give the child back.
Kutner walks into the patient’s room and sees her hugging a child. The principal of the school informs Kutner that the kids just love her. The teacher has done wonders for all the autistic children at her school.
The team watches the patient submerge herself in an ice-bath that is intended to slow her heart rate down and coagulate her blood, proving their newest diagnosis is correct. While in the tub and much to House’s chagrin, she tells the story of how she got into teaching. Her story involves going into a room marked 214 instead of 241 by mistake. House takes this mistake to mean something medically, and is not surprised when the tests of the ice-bath turn out negative.
House says the patient has brain damage. He suspects Multiple Sclerosis. The team thinks House just hates the patient because she is a nice lady and that her being nice shouldn’t be interpreted as brain damage. House wants to do a brain biopsy but the team is disgusted at the idea.
House and Kutner go to Cameron to present their opposing opinions. Cameron says no to the brain biopsy and insists house must do an MRI first.
Cuddy asks Wilson if she should give her foster child back. Doesn’t the kid deserve someone who loves her? Cuddy also explains that though she hates House, he is usually right.
The patient’s MRI comes back negative. The team decides to check her pancreas instead, which was Kutner’s original idea.
Foreman asks House about switching Thirteen’s clinical study drugs. House explains that regardless of the outcome of the study, Thirteen doesn’t have much time left to live. Foreman agrees it is probably not worth risking his career over. But House says, “If you love her, those years might be worth it”. A very un House-like moment.
Nothing turns up in the patient’s pancreas. House wants to cut off her skull and perform a neuron check. Cameron is skeptical and insists House must come up with evidence to back his conclusions before allowing such a risky test.
Thirteen and Forman are sent by House to go find external evidence of the patients sickness at her school. While searching, Thirteen admits she has wants children. She knows she doesn’t have long to live, but she thinks she would be a good mother. This pains Foreman deeply.
Wilson takes a picture to Cuddy. The picture is an enhanced image of Cuddy’s foster kid, aging her by 18 years. Cuddy still can’t feel any passion for her child.
House presents Cameron with fake evidence to back his diagnosis. Cameron immediately recognizes the evidence is fake, but she agrees to let him cut off the patient’s skull anyway.
The whole team is present while the patient’s skull is cut off– including Cameron. House asks the patient multiple questions but her brain conducts normally. Kutner, who was at odds with House over this procedure, puts Cuddy on the speakerphone. Cuddy tells House to leave the patient and is livid with Cameron for allowing this procedure to take place. Her baby is crying in the background. The crying baby aggravates the patient, yet causes her blood pressure to drop. All of her numbers begin to drop. The baby stops crying, and Cuddy has an emotional moment with the baby. The patient stabilizes as soon as the baby stops crying. Kutner is outraged at the whole operation.
House sits pondering why the annoying cry caused the woman’s blood pressure to drop. Cuddy enters and informs House she is keeping the baby because they finally connected as mother and daughter. The baby pukes on House, and he has a revelation about the patient.
House explains to the patient that her internal organs have flipped, causing her blood pressure to drop when she is annoyed. He says this illness is easily fixed, but she will no longer be calm around children. The patient is cured.
Cameron quits her newfound job while Cuddy apologizes for reprimanding her. Cameron explains she will never be able to say no to House. Cuddy will have to hire a nanny and go back to work.
In a quick montage, which was more telling than long parts of this show, the patient sees her favorite student and it is evident she will be aggravated by him shortly. Also, Forman switches out the drugs in Thirteen’s test. In the final scene, Cuddy hands the baby over to a nanny and goes back to her day job–as House’s babysitter.
My Two Cents
After being a lover of ‘House’ for multiple seasons I am starting to become bored. I feel like the writers of this show write from a template. Insert weirdo diagnosis change here. Insert crazy procedure here. Although different patients come in each week, the process that takes place to diagnose them is the same every week. I want to see something wild, like the team diagnosis the patient right way, only for them to come back later with completely different symptoms. Or maybe a mass outbreak of a disease. I understand how the writers are just sticking with what works—but it’s beginning to bore me.
What doesn’t wear thin are the personal problems of the regular characters. It looks like next week shit will hit the fan with Foreman and Thirteen, so I am excited for that.
Also, I realized tonight that the writers of this show could make up any name for an ailment and I would take it as scientific fact. “Ohhhh, he has gastro-macular chronial misalignment”. That’s sounds pretty real, huh? I am starting to think the writers are just making up their own diseases.
Whatever. More next week. I can’t wait to see what happens with Thirteen and Foreman.
Recap by Mitch Cumstein