House: Joy to the World

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Christmastime is here, get ready for a tear jerker folks. The team treats a 16 year old girl with multiple organ failure, and House attempts to spread some Christmas cheer. Grab your Kleenex and your eggnog (or your eggnog latte), this might just be the episode where all your Christmas wishes come true.

The Patient

This week's patient is Natalie, a 16 year old girl who collapses on stage after her 'friends' play a prank on her during their vocal jazz Christmas concert. Her initial symptoms include vomiting, hallucinations and a failing liver. House's first assumption is that the patient's very nice and loving friends may have slipped her something that is making her sick. Drs Kumar and Chase pull a good-cop bad-cop routine and get the kids to admit they gave her some shrooms.

Kumar and Taub head off to the school to steal the kids shrooms stash (for medical testing purposes, of course) and to search Natalie's locker where they also find a serious bottle of painkillers. Cuddy has a heart-to-heart with Natalie, who insists that she wasn't trying to kill herself or overdose on painkillers. Cuddy is unconvinced, and so is Natalie's mom who gives consent for Cuddy to flush out her liver and treat for an overdose.

As she is getting whatever overdose treatment Cuddy prescribed, Natalie's heart starts failing. The good news is that she didn't try to kill herself, but when all of the tests come back showing that Natalie's heart is structurally sound the team is left with few theories. Kumar suggests that maybe Natalie caught something from one of the homeless men at the soup kitchen she volunteers for. House dispatches his team of detective doctors to search Natalie's house and do a canvas of all the homeless men in the area.

Taub comes back from the streets with a Tuberculosis theory, so House lets him start her on TB treatment. Once again as they are treating her illness she starts having a seizure. I wonder if there will ever come a day when this team tests before it starts treatment? Now Natalie's liver, lungs and brain are all failing, and her liver is so bad that she will need a transplant. The team un-rules out the mushrooms and decides to test for a fungal infection she may have gotten from them.

Natalie's spirits seem to brighten for a moment when Simon (the jock who had the mushrooms hidden in his locker) comes by to bring her some homework. Dr. Kumar is suspicious, and thinks that Simon only stopped by the hospital because he feels guilty. Taub and Kumar chase Simon into the lobby and start interrogating him with a big security guard hanging out in the background as backup. Simon admits that he used to use his fake ID to boot for Natalie, selling her two or three bottles of vodka a week. Yikes.

So now that they know Natalie has been hitting the sauce that opens up a whole new realm of possible diagnosis. During another heart-to-heart with Cuddy, Natalie insists that she hasn't had a drop in six months, and that she didn't even drink that much back then. She only bought the booze so she could talk to Simon, and she never even opened half of the bottles.

But Natalie has even bigger problems than her failing liver and possible alcoholism. Her heart has stopped working. Now that all of her major organs have been affected the team is left with only one possible cause: leukemia.

House and Cuddy take the file to Wilson for a consult, who agrees that she probably has leukemia. House orders a bone marrow biopsy to confirm, this time opting for tests before treatment. Natalie's heart and liver are so badly damaged that even with chemo she would still need organ transplants. Cuddy is beside herself, and wants House to find some other solution to Natalie's problems so they can save her.

Cuddy's determination leads to an epiphany. As she is talking with House about a virgin birth (see below), she realizes that Natalie has post-partum eclampsia. Apparently you can get eclampsia up to a month after giving birth.

Natalie and Simon were secretly boyfriend and girlfriend for awhile and then she got pregnant. Natalie quit drinking, hid her pregnancy under loose clothes and gave birth prematurely in an empty house down the street from the soup kitchen. There is a heartwrenching scene where Natalie fesses up to her parents and Cuddy, and tells them where she left the body of the baby.

Cuddy rushes off to the abandoned house to try and find the baby, and in the true miracle of this episode she finds the baby alive. It is a little girl, and she is very sick but a homeless lady found her and has been taking care of her. Cuddy rushes the little girl back to the hospital and lets Natalie hold her once before she dies. At this moment, Simon stops by for a visit and is appropriately shocked at finding himself a father at 16 and finding out that Natalie is about to die.

In the end, the parents decide to put the baby up for adoption. House finds Cuddy in the NICU, holding baby's hand and stroking her tummy. She is going to apply to be a foster parent and then hopefully she'll be able to adopt her. House walks away with a gruff and almost kind "Merry Christmas Cuddy".

You guys, Cuddy is totally going to be a Mom. All she wanted for Christmas was a baby and she got it!

Round Yon Virgin Mother and Child

Wilson thinks that it is physically impossible for House to be kind to his patients so he challenges him to try and be nice this Christmas season in the hopes that one of them will give him a Christmas gift as a token of appreciation. And to prove that there is some good in him deep down somewhere, right?

So the good doctor heads down to the clinic to try and find some patients to kill with kindness. But Wilson's challenge proves to be even harder than House anticipated because the clinic patients are idiots. First he gets to deal with a young pregnant lady (let's call her Mary) who insists that she is a virgin and so is her fiancé. He also treats a lady who has been using her asthma inhaler as perfume.

After her initial examination, Mary brings her fiancé back to see House (bad idea #1), so that he can confirm she is still a virgin, that maybe she got pregnant from a toilet seat or something. But the fiancé is not buying it, he wants a paternity test.

House obliges, but when he comes to deliver the results of the paternity test, he looks at the chart and gets very serious and speechless all of a sudden. He tells Mary and her fiancé (let's call him Joseph) not to leave and then promptly exits the room without telling them anything.

Six hours later, House comes back and tells Mary and Joseph that he is not the father of the baby. But, Mary did not cheat on Joseph. He gives a long convoluted explanation of something called parthenogenesis , an asexual form of reproduction where the female can produce an embryo without fertilization from a male. A virgin birth. It's a Christmas miracle! (Side note: the look on Joseph's face when House delivers the news is absolutely hilarious.)

Later on, House finds a present from Mary and Joseph on his desk. He has won Wilson's challenge! He only had to fake a virgin birth to do it.

On the Fore-teenth day of Christmas

Over in the land of the drug trial that nobody cares about, Foreman and Thirteen continue to form a deep bond as he tests her symptoms weekly to see if the drugs are working. Everything is going swimmingly, until Thirteen decides that she actually cares about somebody other than herself for two seconds and gets mad at Foreman because one of the other patients dropped out of the trial after he told her to 'get over it' when she complained of nausea. Thirteen takes offense, because after spending most of last episode getting freaked out by this lady she thinks it's horrible that Foreman would treat her in such a rude manner. Of course.

Thirteen tells Foreman that he is acting like House and he needs to apologize . Much haughtiness ensues between the two of them, but in the end it works out alright. Foreman apologizes to the Huntington's patient, Thirteen apologizes for telling him he is like House and they end up making out in front of the Christmas tree. Ho ho HO!

Well good for them, I'm glad that's over. Now, can they go be a couple somewhere where we don't have to watch them anymore?

Holly Jolly House-isms

Wilson: "The holidays, they're hard for you, I get it. You see the people around you giving and receiving gifts, having sustained and meaningful relationships. And since you can't, something deep in your subconscious makes you create the appearance of a gift...that's sad."

House: "Did you really pass your psych rotation?"

House: "Where do you feel the pain?"

Mary: "Right here in the back of my head."

House: "Oh, that'll be gone by your third trimester."

Mary: "Oh...I'm not in school."

House: "Neither is your fetus."

Mary: "Oh God! "

House: "You didn't know you were pregnant?"

Mary: "How did you...You know that from just a headache?"

House: "How do I know? I missed my period, I got fat, I threw up...oh wait..."

Cuddy: "You faked a scientific miracle just to win a bet with Wilson?"

House: "It was more an argument... I realize it would have been simpler to just fake the paternity test, but hey, Christmas spirit and all that."

Cuddy: "I think you're confusing nice and evil again."

Tags: House, Christmas, Cuddy, Cuddy Baby

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Original Comments Posted (13)

joalberts says...

"Four-teenth day of Christmas" - haha... clever.

I HATE the Foreman/Thirteen/Drug Trial love triangle going on here... Gah!

Dec 11, 2008 2:09pm

Sarahm says...

Oh I am so with you. It's so annoying that I have to watch them and don't get to see Chase and Cameron EVER! I'd like to know who voted Foreman the most popular and deserving of screen time from the original three. I certainly wasn't consulted.

Dec 11, 2008 2:27pm

joalberts says...

Me either! I wish to have my vote counted.

Dec 12, 2008 12:49am

Ariana says...

Foreman sucks.

Dec 12, 2008 2:20am

metal2000 says...

:( I like Foreman.

Dec 12, 2008 3:26am

Ariana says...


Dec 12, 2008 11:13am

sarahm says...

Haha, good question. I think he might be slightly more bearable if he got rid of his weedy looking goatee.

Dec 12, 2008 11:40am

joalberts says...

OR if he wasn't always so damn pretentious!

Dec 12, 2008 5:06pm

metal2000 says...

I like him because he's generally the most thoughtful of the current "team"; because he's a nice guy trying to balance between keeping that humanity and being a great doctor like House (who he recognizes as the best, even when they butt heads); because he's not as brash and immature as Chase; because he's not overly sweet and "too good for a real human being to be" like Cameron; and because he's the only one OTHER THAN ME, apparently, who likes Thirteen. :P

Dec 12, 2008 6:10pm

sarahm says...

You only like Thirteen because she's hot! Besides, Chase may be brash and immature but he's entertaining. And Cameron is altrustic but she's a good balance for everyone else. Foreman is just...pretentious with a bad Goatee. Hahahaha.

Dec 12, 2008 8:45pm

Ariana says...

I like Thirteen! Better than Foreman, anyway.

I agree, Foreman is pretentious. I only think he's funny when he's literally rolling his eyes. Omar Epps rocks a good eyeroll.

Dec 12, 2008 9:28pm

joalberts says...

I like Thirteen as well, but still have a hate on for Foreman (always have, though). I actually like the "new group". Kumar rocks.

Dec 13, 2008 1:00am

sarahm says...

I dunno, Thirteen just really pisses me off, her whole character. It sucks because I really liked Olivia Wilde on The Black Donnellys but I hate her on House. I'm actually warming up to Taub though. I never EVER thought I'd say that.

Dec 13, 2008 4:09am

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