I'm back once again to fill in for Sarah Miller, and I'm thrilled to recap this episode since it was (in my opinion) one of the best episodes this season!
It starts out with all sorts of sick people in the waiting area of the lobby, until we focus on one guy who goes and knocks on Cuddy's door. House is alone inside, rummaging through her desk, and tells the guy to get out. A few moments later, the same guy returns with Thirteen, and a bunch of other patients, holding a gun and demanding to be diagnosed by the best doctor in the hospital. Hi, House!
Now with a bunch of sick hostages, the patient piques House's interest with his medical history and symptoms; including limited breathing, fatigue, rashes, heart palpitations, and insomnia. Locked in Cuddy's office, there are very limited tests that House can perform.
He first tries to find out how limited the Gunman's breathing is by having him try to blow out a lighter – very poorly. House diagnoses him immediately as Pulmonary Scleroderma. With Cuddy on the phone, House orders her to bring Probovol to the room, to cure the supposed disease. But the Gunman makes House test it on someone else before taking it himself... which is smart, because the large man that House chooses to be the guinea pig passes out from the drug within about 3 seconds. This does not make Gunman happy, and he shoots another hostage in the leg. Just so House knows that he shouldn't screw with him.
The SWAT team arrives, and House pages his team (old, and new members!) for a diagnosis. They narrow it down to four things: lungs, heart, cancer, or nerves. They draw blood to test for various things, and Taub and Kutner go to check his house.
All of a sudden, Gunman gets super hearing and spies the SWAT team outside the window. He makes threats to kill the hostages, and the team backs off. Super hearing means that Seventh Nerve Palsy is a favorite diagnosis. Gunman needs proof, so House suggests a medication, Capsasin, which the Gunman trades two hostages to the SWAT team for. Cuddy brings it, and the two wounded hostages are released. Gunman makes House give the meds to someone else first, and after some discussion, Thirteen decides that she'll do it. She collapses from the pain (which we knew was coming as a result of this drug), and the Gunman does the same – so it's obviously not Nerve Palsy.
They rule out lung infection too – tests came back negative. That leaves only the heart, and cancer. Because of a distended jugular and racing pulse, they think it's the heart. Thirteen leaves for 30 seconds to get a drug to slow the heart – a tense 30 seconds where we think maybe she's not coming back and he's going to shoot up the place – but she does come back. Gunman makes Thirteen take the drugs first again. They slow her heart dangerously, enough to make her fall, but when given to the patient, they only make his heart go back to a normal pace. This rules out heart defect, apparently.
Gunman starts sweating, but only on one side of his face. House Gunman wants proof. House calls Wilson, who suggests checking his throat. Gunman has dry mouth and swelling, which Wilson thinks means a tumor. They need the CT machine to confirm, though. He trades two hostages for the SWAT team to let the group go to radiology. In the elevator, House tries to figure out what made Gunman snap. He insists that he "just needs an answer". Sounds like someone else on this show...
They do a CT scan with the Gunman, still holding the gun, and House shows him that the gun is messing up the scan. He can't do it while the Gunman still holds onto the gun. It turns out that getting his answer is more important to the Gunman than holding the hostages, and he gives it up. All the hostages, except House, Thirteen, and one curious teenager, leave the room. They redo the CT scan, but there is nothing on it. No tumor.
Because House is a COMPLETE idiot, and basically has the same "need to know" as the Gunman, he gives him back his gun. Seriously!? Yeah.
Now the Gunman has reduced hearing, opposite of the super-hearing before. This means it could be Cushing's syndrome, and he needs a drug to provoke a respiratory reaction to confirm. The SWAT leader wants the last hostage in return for these drugs, and a promise not to test the new drugs on Thirteen. Gunman agrees, but when the drugs arrive, he does it anyway. Thirteen's kidneys start to shut down, but not the patients.
House diagnoses a calcium deficiency by slapping the Gunman. This new symptom, and the fact that he was in Florida, mean that he has Amyloidosis. Gunman trades House for the new drugs. House gets angry because he knows that Gunman is going to test the drugs on Thirteen, which will kill her. Thirteen convinces House to leave, and we're all pretty sure that Thirteen is as good as dead now.
Thirteen stalls for a while, contemplating her life, and the SWAT team sets up a flash bomb thing to blow through the wall. Just as they are about to blow it up, the Gunman grabs the syringe and takes the meds himself. The wall blows up, and the mayhem is over.
As they are taking the Gunman away in cuffs, House sees him and motions for him to take a deep breath. Gunman can breathe, and smiles to House, as he finally has his answer.
Thirteen – To Live or not to Live?
At the beginning of the episode (before the madman with the gun), Foreman tells Thirteen about a clinical study on a new Huntington's drug, and offers to get her in on the tests. She completely bows him off, and we learn that she has done nothing to prevent the advancement of her disease.
When Thirteen volunteers to take the first meds that may cure the Gunman, House knows that she's waving a white flag at her disease, surrendering to her inevitable death. It puts her in a great deal of pain, but not much danger. Yet. The second dose of meds that Gunman makes her take start taking their toll, and she falls to the ground with a dangerously low heartbeat.
Later, when House gives the Gunman back the gun (in radiology), Thirteen yells at him and accuses him of being an arrogant coward. House comes back by calling HER a coward, being terrified of death and trying to make it come sooner to gain some control.
When the Gunman makes Thirteen test the third set of drugs, House tells him that she has Huntinton's and it makes it very dangerous. But Thirteen takes the drugs voluntarily anyway – confirming what House said earlier about trying to die quicker.
When House leaves, and Gunman is making Thirteen take the last batch of drugs, the ones that will kill her, she asks him if he feels bad about killing her. He answers, "Not if you don't feel bad about killing yourself". She says she doesn't want to die, but he disagrees. He thinks she just wants it "out of her control". She pleads for her life, and realizes that it is important for her to live. The wall blows up, and she is still alive.
Afterwards, she is on dialysis for her kidneys and Foreman comes to visit. Thirteen asks Foreman about the Huntington's drug trial – effectively taking control of her disease, and fighting to live. Yay!
Cuddy Loves House – tee hee!
When SWAT arrives at the scene, the lead guy asks Cuddy if she has a husband or loved one in there. She hesitantly says no. But during the course of the mayhem, her reactions and decisions lead the SWAT leader to believe that House is very important to her, and he says so. He calls House her "boyfriend", and she doesn't deny it!
Cuddy and House argue after the Gunman is taken away. He thinks that she handled the situation differently because he was in danger. Cuddy seems to agree, hesitantly, and acknowledges that THAT is why they can't be together.
House wonders that if she reacted the way she did because of a "non-relationship" with him, then what difference would it make if there was a "real relationship". Cuddy asks if he wants a real relationship, and House says "God no." Because he's House. And he's a smart ass.
House: I can't decide which is riskier; taking crazy risks, or taking advice on crazy risks from a crazed risk-taker.
House: Your obsession is going to kill her [Thirteen]!
Gunman: Your obsession gave me back the gun!
Thirteen: (Being forced to take the last batch of drugs) I don't want to die!
Thanks for filling in, great recap! My favorite part was when House answered the phone and was like "Crime Scene!" Hahaha. I laughed so hard. Ok back to studying for finals...