House: Simple Explanation

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

This week the team must deal with the loss of one of their own, and at the same time they are trying to diagnose a patient who does not want to get better. Grab your Kleenex folks, you are going to need it for this one.

The Patient
This week's patient is Eddie (played by guest star Meat Loaf), a man on his deathbed who shows remarkable signs of improvement when his wife goes into respiratory arrest by his bedside. The team initially treats Charlotte, Eddie's wife for her respiratory problems. When Charlotte wants to be discharged so she can return to her husband's bedside, Taub admits Eddie and puts the two of them in the same room.

Every time Charlotte goes into respiratory arrest, Eddie seems to get better. So Taub runs a test on Eddie and finds that his body chemistry is actually improving and he might be going into some sort of remission. But none of Charlotte's tests come back positive so they don't know what is wrong with her. House figures out that Charlotte is actually faking her illness in order to help Eddie get better. When he confronts her, she admits to it but then her leg starts hurting for real. House gets Thirteen and Foreman to run an MRI on Charlotte and sends Taub to do an ECG on Eddie.

During the MRI, Thirteen asks Charlotte what it's like being married to the same man for 30 years. Charlotte answers the Eddie loves her in his own way, but not in a spend time with her or show any sort of affection for her way (um, so how exactly did he love you then?). But Charlotte doesn't really get a chance to explain because at that moment, she crashes. Eddie's ECG also shows that he has had no actual improvement in his heart.

Charlotte needs surgery to fix what turns out to be a ruptured spleen, while he is fixing her spleen Chase also finds that her liver is scarred. During post-op, Charlotte begs Taub to give Eddy her heart if she dies before him. Then she breaks into the medicine cart in her room when the nurses aren't looking and injects herself with whatever she can grab. She wants to kill herself so that Eddie can have her heart. Unfortunately, now Charlotte's liver is destroyed and she has only got 24 hours to live.

House enlists Cameron's help to try and convince Eddie to donate his liver to Charlotte. She gets him to sign the consent form but as she watches him do it she notices that he has nodules on his fingers. Cameron thinks that Eddie may have been misdiagnosed, and she gets House to run some more tests. It turns out that Eddie's heart failure was caused by a fungal infection, which is totally curable. But Eddie refuses the treatment because he wants to give Charlotte his liver.

Taub wheels Eddie into Charlottes room and tells her that her husband has a completely curable disease but he's refusing treatment in order to save her, and asks if she's ok with that. She starts to protest but can't get the words out because she is shivering too badly. Now Charlotte has an infection that has spread throughout her whole entire body. At this point, House realizes that Charlotte went to Rio and didn't tell her husband. She caught some kind of disease from the sand flies there. The bad news for Charlotte is that the team diagnosed her too late and her treatment doesn't take. Taub stays behind with her and Eddie to make sure her last few hours are comfortable.

The Untimely Demise of Dr. Kumar
When Kutner doesn't show up for work in the morning, Taub tries to cover for him by telling House that his dog was sick so he should be in by lunch. But when Kutner still doesn't show at lunchtime, House sends Foreman and Thirteen to his house to find out he's up to. They break into his "man/boy heaven" apartment where they find Kutner lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood. Foreman calls 911 and asks for an ambulance, telling them there is a 28 year old male with a single gunshot wound to his right temple. Thirteen and Foreman both try to administer CPR but Thirteen realizes that he's already dead because his body is cold. The scene ends with the two of them leaning up against the bed both covered in Kutner's blood. This has probably got to rank up there as one of the most harrowing scenes I've ever seen on network TV.

Back at PPTH, Thirteen and Foreman have changed and showered. House asks the team if Kutner had said anything to any of them- he didn't. He also didn't leave a note. House wants to figure out why Kutner did what he did. Thirteen points out that 25% of suicidal people show no outward signs of depression, and Taub wants to remain focused on the patients. Foreman thinks that the team should probably pass the file on to another doctor, but House asks how many files they'll need to pass on before it's ok that Kutner's dead. At that point, Cuddy walks in and offers the team a grief counselor and time off if they need it.

While Taub focuses on the patient, Foreman, House and Thirteen go to visit Kutner's parents. Foreman and Thirteen try to lend their support to the parents in an impossible situation but House – still on his quest to figure out why Kutner did what he did- essentially tells Kutner's parents it is their fault that he killed himself. Foreman sends House back to the hospital and stays behind to try and smooth things over with Kutner's parents.

Cuddy approaches Wilson to try and get him to go and talk to House. But Wilson says that he can't deal with Kutner's suicide and House at the same time. Cuddy manages to convince Wilson that by helping House out he will help himself too. Wilson finds House in Kutner's empty apartment, looking for clues about why Kutner shot himself. The problem is, that Kutner's suicide doesn't make any sense, and there is no rational explanation to be found. Wilson wants to take House to the nearest bar so they can drown their sorrows together. House can't figure out why Kutner shot himself, so he concludes that he must have been murdered.

The next day House presents his murder theory to Taub and Thirteen, but they won't bite. Taub says he is more curious why a man who embraces the rational is suddenly pursuing the irrational. While House is determined to find an explanation, Foreman takes Cuddy up on her offer for time off. He doesn't come in to work, and he also doesn't call Thirteen. She shows up at his door but he would rather be alone than deal with this with her.

House eventually gives up on his murder theory, but he still can't figure out the simple explanation for why Kutner did what he did. Wilson calls him out on being afraid that he is losing his magnificent powers of observation. House is in pain but he is not mourning the loss of Kutner so much as he is mourning the loss of his ability to see things coming and figure everything out.

Everyone except for Taub and House attend Kutner's funeral, with Foreman and Thirteen acting as pallbearers. House heads back to Kutner's apartment to go through his photos, while Taub stays behind at the hospital with Charlotte, and finally succumbs to tears in the hallway after she dies.

Cameron: "Kutner wasn't murdered."
House: "Did you deduce that by removing your sunglasses to the strains of a Who song?"

Tags: House, Death of Kutner, S05E20

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