House: House Divided

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

This week, the team diagnoses a deaf kid who suddenly starts hearing phantom explosions. Meanwhile, House throws himself into planning a bachelor party for Chase in order to be distracted from the hallucination of Wilson's dead girlfriend that keeps following him around.

The Patient

This week the team has to diagnose Seth, a deaf wrestler who suddenly starts hearing mysterious phantom high-pitched noises during a match. Seth went deaf at age four due to complications from meningitis. Seth has opted not to have a cochlear implant put in, even though it may help him regain some of his hearing. He feels that being deaf is a part of his identity, and attending the School for the Deaf is important to him.

The team starts by running him through tests in the seizure lab to see if the noises were caused by a seizure in Seth's temporal lobe. When they perform the tests they don't provoke a seizure but he does go blind in one eye (I wonder if this is from the intense strobe lights they're shining in his face?). A tag team of House and Cutthroat Bitch determines that Seth developed optic neuritis from elevated proteins in his body.

Acting on another suggestion from CB, House decides to play Seth some music. But not just any music...House walks into the room where Foreman is doing an angiogram with a humongous early 1990s style boom box blasting Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power'. Oh yeah, he's also wearing those Kanye shades. Magical. When House lays the boom box on Seth's chest he can feel the vibrations in his chest but not his hands. It's a new symptom: neuropathy. Foreman suggests that the patient might have increased intracranial pressure from a brain tumor. If Foreman is right, Seth's deafness might be another symptom. House sends Taub off to MRI Seth's head.

Taub tells the patient the good news that he may have an extremely slow growing tumor in his brain and if they treat it there's a chance he will regain his hearing. But Seth doesn't want to get the treatment if it means he'll regain his hearing. He doesn't want to have to change schools or leave behind all of his deaf friends. But the MRI doesn't reveal any tumors or anomalies, the only thing the team finds is a slight bowing in the left ventricle of Seth's brain. It could be hiding a tumor but the only way to find out is if they do a brain biopsy. You know what that means...

Chase performs a brain biopsy while House watches from the Observation Deck. The biopsy showed that there is something wrong with Seth's brain, but it's not a brain tumor and it's not cancer. House tells Chase to put in the cochlear implant while he's at it. Seth and his Mom are understandably pissed, but the implant can't be removed until Seth has had time to heal from his brain surgery. Cuddy puts Foreman in charge of the case.

The team thinks that Seth's fever- that they had initially thought was just a post-op complication- might actually be Epstein-Barr. But as Taub is trying to administer the treatment, Seth starts urinating uncontrollably- a 'fountain of wizz', if you will. The pee takes Epstein-Barr off the table. Another random idea from CB makes House think that there's something up with Seth's heart, so he sends the team off to do an EKG.

The team does the EKG but they don't find anything. Foreman overrules House's not so polite request to put Seth in the stress lab and the team heads off to start testing his thyroid instead. Meanwhile, Seth has ripped out his implant because he doesn't want to live in this brand new world where he can hear. The good news is that the stress caused by ripping the implant out of the side of his head allows them to see the arrhythmia that only surfaces during high stress situations.

Another conversation with CB helps House to determine that the common denominator to all of Seth's symptoms is that they were triggered by increased heat production- Uhthoff's Phenomenon (I know, you're impressed I managed to find that one on wikipedia). Uhthoff's is an indicator of multiple sclerosis, so the team appears to finally have their diagnosis and heads off to Chase's bachelor party.

But unfortunately for Seth, he does not have MS. And although he initially responds to the MS treatment, midway through the night Seth goes into respiratory arrest. CB suggests eosinophilic pneumonitis (say that three times fast) to House, and the team decides to test and see if Seth is hoarse because apparently this is the most common indicator that a person has it. In a deaf person though, it would be hard to tell if their voice was hoarse.

Foreman and Thirteen take out Seth's breathing tube to see if he is hoarse, but Foreman notices that Seth has tobacco stains on his teeth. Apparently Seth used to chew tobacco to cut weight for wrestling, but he quit. As long as Seth was chewing the tobacco it suppressed his immune system. Once he quit chewing, the absence of those toxins kicked a dormant condition into hyperdrive. Seth has sarcoidosis.

In the end, Seth's mother asks the doctors to put the cochlear implant back into Seth's ear. She tells him that she's let him decide for this long, but seeing him rip the implant out rather than just live with it for a few days made her realize that Seth needs to try and have a chance to hear if it's possible. She tells him she's not sure she's making the right decision, but as his mother, it's her decision to make.

The Bitch is Back

House's hallucinated version of Cutthroat Bitch that magically appeared at the end of last week's episode is back. He seems to think that she is a product of his exhausted brain, because he hasn't managed to hit REM sleep in the last four nights. So unfortunately for House (and for us), Cutthroat Bitch will be following him around the hospital as he works through the case. At first he tries to ignore her, but then she starts bringing out facts from the back of his mind that he had thought were forgotten.

During the first phase of diagnosis, CB asks House if he is really going to continue to ignore his own sub conscious. When House doesn't respond, she is incredulous: "That'll be like the limp leading the blind." But then, the patient develops blindness and House starts to pay attention to what CB says. It's like he has an all access pass to his own brain.

The team notices that House is acting a little bit strange- even for House- when he keeps coming up with random and sometimes far fetched diagnosis that actually end up being right. He's also speaking to them mostly in riddles (rather than metaphors) and not explaining any of his theories.

But Cutthroat Bitch starts causing more trouble than she's worth when she convinces House to put in a cochlear implant against his patient's will. Things really start to head south when House realizes that CB suggested the stripper with the strawberry flavored body butter for Chase's bachelor party. You see, in the back of his mind House also knew that Chase was allergic to strawberries. Essentially, House's subconscious (Cutthroat Bitch) tried to kill Chase. House isn't a big fan of other people's happiness, you see.

And then House gets a phone call that the patient he thought he saved is still dying. So he starts to wonder if CB has been giving him false clues the entire time. Instead of going back to the hospital when he gets the phone call about the patient, he heads home to go to sleep. But he can't sleep, so the next morning he asks Cuddy for some sleeping pills and admits to her that he hasn't slept through the night since Kutner killed himself.

The pills do work, and House finally manages to sleep for a full night. But when he wakes up, Cutthroat Bitch is still there waiting for him.

Bachelor Party

Cameron asks Wilson to throw Chase a bachelor party because his best man doesn't get into town until the day before the wedding. Unfortunately for Cameron, House interrupts their meeting to ask Wilson for a script for sleeping pills and decides to take over planning the festivities.

House's first order of business is to send Foreman and Thirteen off to a strip club to check out (or test drive) some of the strippers. Meanwhile Wilson is trying to talk Chase out of going to the party. Wilson: "The main reason my third wife and I eloped was to avoid House's bachelor party." But Chase seems up to the challenge.

The party planning committee takes up a good chunk of House's time in this episode- with auditioning strippers and trying out different types of alcohol flavored ice cream. There is also a memorable scene in the morgue where House is practicing lighting rows of sambuca shots on fire and accidentally burns a dead guy. Chase also makes House include kidnapping the groom as part of his plans because Cameron won't be happy if he goes to the party willingly.

So as Chase is leaving the hospital, two cops from the department of citizenship and immigration show up to take Chase away for questioning or something. And I swear, when they walked in I thought they were stripper cops for about two seconds. Cameron rolls her eyes as Chase is hustled out the door and asks Foreman to make sure House doesn't get him into too much trouble.

The bachelor party ends up being without question the bachelor party of the century. Wilson had told House that he wasn't coming because he always ends up doing something embarrassing at his parties. So House simply transforms Wilson's apartment into a nightclub (complete with disco ball and stripper pole) and hosts the party there. We get to watch Wilson and Thirteen take body shots off of strippers and Chase show off his mad dancing skillz before the bachelor party is cut short.

Chase goes to take a body shot off of Karamel- one of the strippers that House hired specially seeing as she did such a fantastic job at Wilson's bachelor party six years ago. Unfortunately Karamel uses strawberry (Flavored? Scented? This is not made clear) body butter and Chase is horribly allergic to strawberries. Luckily, one of the other doctors at the party had an epi-pen and managed to administer it before Chase died. But he ends up back at the hospital, regardless.

Meanwhile, Hosue spends almost the entire party in the bathroom by himself, drinking wine straight from the bottle and talking with Cutthroat Bitch.


(House enters Wilson's Office and Cameron is there)

House: "Why is the soon-to-be second prettiest Dr. Chase here?"

Cameron: "I'll take that as 'Congratulations'."

House: "The wedding's in two weeks? I'd think you were pregnant but I don't know if Chase's body is mature enough to produce sperm."

(House is trying to convince Chase to come to his own bachelor party)

House: "You are going to commit to that one special woman forever, which is beautiful. But if your commitment the day after the wedding is the same as your commitment the day before, then the wedding meant nothing. So –and I see no logical way around this- if you want your marriage to matter you have to be a wanton, trolling, mud-covered pig the day before."

Chase: "You're evil. See ya!" (exit Dr. Chase).

Tags: House, House Divided, Chase, Bachelor Party, Deaf Patient

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Original Comments Posted (1)

stacyleigh says...

i just flipped to this episode's rerun today and am SOOOOO glad i caught House busting a move in those glasses!

May 10, 2009 6:18pm

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