House: Dying Changes Everything

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

It has been two months since the er, life-changing events of last season's finale and at first glance everything seems to be back to normal. House is playing video games in Coma Patient's room, Cuddy is yelling at House to apologize for something, and Wilson is on his way back to work after his two month bereavement leave.

The Patient

The first patient of Season 5 is The Assistant to some high flying feminist women's majority leader. While at a business meeting in a room full of men, and she flips out because there are ants crawling all over her. Except there aren't actually ants crawling all over her. Once she gets to the hospital, she seems to be all better, the hallucinations are gone and she feels fine. Until she starts bleeding from her bum while Thirteen is trying to give her a B12 booster. Ew.

As the diagnosis progresses, the team learns that The Assistant is pregnant. The only problem is they can't find a baby in her uterus. In a flash of brilliance mid-fight with Wilson, House realizes that the baby has somehow missed The Assistant's uterus and landed in her intestines, causing her to bleed from her bum and hallucinate that there are ants crawling all over her.

Chase performs a very dangerous surgery to remove the fetus from The Assistant's intestines. During the process she almost dies, but not totally because Chase is a superhero surgeon and manages to save the day. Way to go Chase, see you next week!

After the surgery The Assistant is still not getting better. Her heart is not recovering from the anesthetic and she can't stop blinking. While The Assistant is mid cardiac arrest, House is mid fight with Wilson. And he decides to go home. The new team is on their own. Thirteen figures that MS is the only thing that could explain all of The Assistant's post-surgery symptoms (she ignores the initial symptoms), and because nobody else has any better ideas, the Team starts her on treatment for MS.

While administering the treatment for MS, Thirteen and The Assistant have a heart to heart. Thirteen insists that she and the other Survivors work with House as a team, similar to The Assistant and her snooty and very important feminist boss. But The Assistant reminds Thirteen that she and the other doctors actually work for House, he's the boss. Besides, The Assistant points out: "(Snooty Feminist Boss) would be fine without me, but I'd be nothing without her." And to prove her point, The Assistant starts shivering. Apparently shivering indicates that she has a fever, and she doesn't have MS. The Survivors head back to the drawing board.

They review the tape of the surgery and find what could possibly be a Ganglioneuroma (a tumor of the sympathetic nerve fibers- thanks Wikipedia!) in her intestine. It's possible Chase might have missed it during the first surgery because he was very busy removing the baby from her bowels and saving her life. But Chase insists (hey, he gets two scenes this week!) that he didn't miss anything, and furthermore he is not going to do another major surgery on a patient who barely survived her first major surgery. Thirteen gets angry and I swear there is a foot stomp in there we can't see, "You'd do this for House!" she yells. But Chase doesn't have to do the surgery, because House isn't there, and Chase doesn't work for Thirteen. Zing!

So the team does a pseudo-surgery to get a biopsy without Chase. It involves a flashlight and cutting a hole in The Assistant's stomach. Unfortunately the tumor is not a Ganglioneuroma, so once again the team is back at the drawing board. This time Thirteen thinks it is Lymphoma , so Foreman takes the biopsy results to Wilson for a cancer consult. Wilson says the patient could have cancer, but the results of the biopsy are far from conclusive. Because this is House, Foreman and the Survivors tell her she has cancer and start her on chemo anyway.

Fortunately for The Assistant, House comes back just in the nick of time. Although the chemo has temporarily made her feel better, it is masking what's really wrong with her. She has leprosy. She must have caught it on one of her "overseas estrogen tours". The chemo has killed some of the microbacterial lesions underneath her skin, making her feel better, but eventually it will wipe out her immune system and make her feel a whole lot worse. He tells the team to blast The Assistant with antibiotics and prednisone, and she'll be fine.

Dr. Strangelove

The real drama from this episode is of course between House and Wilson. Wilson has had two months off to recover from his girlfriend dying at the end of last season. House, we learn has left him alone during that time. But two months is not enough for Wilson, he has realized he needs a change, and he's leaving PPTH!

Of course, House gets angry. He tries to rationalize Wilson's decision away and belittles his grief. At one point, House even resorts to blackmail to get his friend to change his mind. He gives Wilson his pager and leaves the hospital, telling him he won't come back to treat his patient until Wilson agrees to stay. "Your friendship means more to me than this patient." He tells Wilson. It would be kind of an endearing gesture if House was an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor or something, but this lady's life hangs in the balance!

Cuddy tries to step in and be a mediator, making House and Wilson come into her office for a couples counseling session, but of course it doesn't work. Wilson sees through Cuddy's motives, and knows that she is only trying to fix things between Wilson and House because she doesn't want him to leave either.

Finally, as Wilson is packing up the last of his things, House apologizes. He tells Wilson that he feels like crap, and Amber is dead because of him. It's a show of genuine emotion that is rare from House, and so you know he really means it, and he really wants Wilson to stay. But Wilson, it turns out, doesn't blame House for Amber's death as much as he may want to. He knows that it wasn't House's fault.

"Then we're ok, right? I mean, I know you're not ok, but..." House wants to know. But Wilson shakes his head, they are not ok. Amber is not the reason Wilson is leaving PPTH, House is. Wilson has realized the toll his toxic relationship with House is taking on him, and he needs to get away. The one thing Wilson has learned from Amber's death is that he needs to take care of himself.

And in parting, Wilson looks at him and delivers probably one of the most painful blows in House's life: "We're not friends anymore House, I'm not sure we ever were." Ouch. Wilson walks away down the hallway, and House just watches him go.

You guys, House and Wilson just broke up.


My favorite moment from this episode comes when House's team follows him into Wilson's office...supposedly because they are trying to continue the diagnosis, but really because they are just nosy.

Dr. Taub: "Why are you leaving?"

Dr. Wilson: "I need a change of scenery"

House: "Buy a plant!"

In other news...

At the beginning of the episode, in order to take some pressure off of himself, House tells the entire team that Thirteen has Huntington's. She spends the rest of the episode trying to pass it off as nothing, determined to solve the patient's case on her own in an attempt to make sure her life matters. We'll see how this develops in future episodes. If you're looking to make a difference in the world House is probably not the best boss for you.

Tags: House, Wilson, Thirteen, Cuddy

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Original Comments Posted (7)

Ariana says...

Your love for Jesse Spencer seems to have caused you to forget to mention how Chase was a total butthole to the Triplets when denying them their surgery.

There was a lot packed in to that episode; I applaud the conciseness of your recap. Hee.

Sep 18, 2008 3:21pm

joalberts says...

Also, I hate Foreman... he actually thinks its a good idea for Wilson to leave, and tells him so!! I've never ever liked Foreman. This is one of those times.

I did kind of like the scene with Cameron and Wilson. I thought it was oddly touching.

Sep 18, 2008 3:58pm

sarahm says...

Sep 18, 2008 9:25pm

sarahm says...

I think I missed the part about Chase being a...jerk because I was so annoyed at Thirteen. And also, they basically waltzed in and told Chase he screwed up, after invading his OR and telling him how to do his job the first time around. I dunno, if I was him I'd be mad too. But you're right, I always take his side, haha.

I had a hard time fitting everything into this one, and I realized I didn't mention Cameron at all, oops. Next week.

Sep 18, 2008 9:28pm

Ariana says...

I think Wilson made the healthy choice. But I don't like Foreman either, heh.

Sep 19, 2008 12:21am

sarahm says...

I think Foreman is too serious. One time I'd like to see him crack a joke. Or shed a tear.

Sep 19, 2008 2:14am

Ariana says...

One time I'd like to see him DIE and STAY DEAD.

...Did I say that out loud?

But while we're on the topic, you know who else I don't like? Taub. More Kumar!

Sep 19, 2008 9:20pm

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