House: Not Cancer

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

This week, the team has to try and figure out what killed five people who all received parts from the same organ donor, before the last remaining transplant recipient dies. Meanwhile, House has hired a private investigator to spy on Wilson, and Foreman gets sprayed with poop.

The Patient

Foreman starts by giving us the low down on the patients: Dead Guy #1 got a heart and lung transplant, and died from liver disease. Dead Guy #2 got a liver transplant and died from lung disease. Dead Girl #3 got a kidney transplant and her heart blew up. Almost Dead Guy got an intestinal graft from the donor and now his pancreas is failing. And finally, our patient for this week is a math teacher who received a cornea transplant, and she feels just fine thank you. Have your eyes gone crossed yet?

House thinks the problem is cancer because it's the only thing that could attack multiple organs at once and still pass the donor screening. Foreman thinks that House only wants it to be cancer so he can consult Wilson.

Foreman does an exam and determines that there is something wrong with the math teacher's eye and they need to remove it before it kills her (Foreman is being a tad dramatic, I think). Side Note: I think the math teacher's name is 'Apple' but I can't quite tell because of the way Thirteen says it. When House inspects the eye for himself he determines that the math teacher actually has a brain problem, because she didn't squint during her eye test which means that her brain thinks that her eye working properly. Then the math teacher has a hallucination that House chops her head off with a meat cleaver. Clearly, a brain problem.

So the team heads back to the Dr's lounge to watch footage of one of the other patients in the boxing ring(he was a boxer, did I mention that?), trying to look for signs of any other neurological symptoms. Thirteen and Taub are adamant that the math teacher cannot have a brain problem, because there is nothing that causes simultaneous brain problems and heart problems (which the other patients had). At this point the guy fixing the coffee machine chimes in to point out that Taub is not making any sense. Everyone belittles the coffee machine repair man until he reveals that he is actually a private investigator that House hired. And he is really bad at disguises. More on that later.

The private investigator finds out that the original donor had a secret girlfriend who he went to both Madrid and the Bahamas with, and that the two of them had a kid together. Apparently the secret girlfriend's husband doesn't know about all of this.

From watching the fight tapes, House determines that the boxer actually did have some brain symptoms, and he needs a brain biopsy to confirm it. He tells Taub to get Almost Dead guy's wife to agree to the very dangerous procedure because hey, he's almost dead anyway. The only problem is that Almost Dead guy's wife won't agree to the procedure and while she is arguing about it with Taub and the math teacher Almost Dead guy crashes and becomes Dead Guy #4.

So instead of a biopsy, the team performs an autopsy and they learn that Dead Guy #4 had nothing wrong with his brain. House is back to square one, which was...cancer. Except Dr. Kumar has a great idea that there is a small chance that the original donor could have had something wrong with his bowel, which might possibly have let toxins into his blood stream, which might possibly then effect all of the organs he donated. It's a long shot, but House orders the doctors to perform a colonoscopy on the donor's illegitimate daughter, just in case there is some kind of genetic bowel disease he may have passed on.

Unfortunately, the kid's colonoscopy was clean and therefore didn't prove anything. So Dr. Kumar suggests that they try to do a colonoscopy on one of the dead guys, which normally would be impossible except Kumar figures out if they stick a high pressure water jet up the dead guy's bum they should be able to at least simulate a colonoscopy. Oh this is going to be gross...

Foreman gets to be Kumar's lucky assistant for this procedure. They stick the tubes up Dead Guy #4's bum and look for holes in his colon on the monitor. Kumar makes Foreman push on the dead guy's stomach so he can get the tube up further and 'normal bodily fluid' starts leaking out the hole from the autopsy. Yuck. They get almost to the end and Kumar just wants to push the camera a little bit further to make sure they didn't miss anything and...Dead Guy #4s stomach explodes poop all over Foreman. Sick.

Once again, the team is back to the drawing board. The colonoscopies were both clean, and so was the brain biopsy, so they have no idea what is wrong with the math teacher. They are back to auto-immune disease or cancer, neither of which really fits. House decides to treat for cancer anyway, to see what happens and he orders the others to start another round of tests.

The cancer treatment seems to work, and the math teacher gets better. The labs show that the patient is better, and Foreman seems convinced that the mystery disease was cancer all along, but House isn't. So the team needs to find something that looks like cancer, but is not cancer. House goes off to have a little pep talk with the P.I. that went something like: friends are friends, customers are customers, and everything else is everything else (sing with me: "And friends are friend forever!"). It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but House gets an epiphany.

The math teacher does have something wrong with her brain, which House describes as "brain but not brain". I believe those are the medical terms. He wants to cut her head open to find out what's wrong with her. Cuddy won't let him, and for good measure, posts security guards outside the math teacher's room so House can go in and tamper with her meds or do anything crazy. Naturally, House gets his P.I. to tamper with her meds instead. The math teacher crashes and House gets the brain surgery he wants.

We get to see a close of up Chase performing the crazy dangerous brain surgery, complete with drilling into the math teacher's head and taking off her scalp, awesome. The good news is that House is right. It turns out that the original donor had cancer stem cells in him that attached themselves to his organs and manifested in the donor recipients. Luckily, they found the exact spot where the cancer, but not cancer was in the math teacher's brain and cut it out. She will be fine and she gets to keep her corneas.

Elementary, my dear Wilson

"What did Wilson do for me?" House asks at the very beginning of this episode. He spends most of the episode trying to answer that question, trying to get people to be a stand in Wilson and perform all of Wilson's functions like buying him lunch, watching monster trucks with him and acting as his conscience.

The first candidate is poor, unsuspecting Dr. O'Shea, who House picks out of the cafeteria lineup. O'Shea pays for House's lunch, talks to him about monster trucks, and shrugs his shoulders disinterestedly when House pops a vicodin right in front of him. It's love at first sight. But Dr. O'Shea reminds House that he's not gay, and furthermore he's not going to come over to House's house.

Next up is the P.I. (from here on in I'm calling him Sherlock), who House hired to spy on his patients and to check out Dr. O'Shea. Sherlock is an interesting character, who is really bad at disguises, can keep up with House and he can't lie. He's sort of like House in the sense that he has to know everything and is able to figure out people's motives, but unlike House he appears to have a conscience and he understands the meaning of friendship. For a Doctor who thinks that 'everybody lies', the idea that he would hire a private investigator who can't lie is ridiculous. But Sherlock understands House, and knows that he really wants to know if Wilson is pining for him, or if there is something that is going to make him come back.

The truth is, House needs Wilson not just because of the functions he performs. He needs Wilson because he's Wilson, because he's maybe the only person that House really cares about, besides himself. When House and the team are stuck in their diagnosis, he heads over to Wilson's place to talk and see if Wilson can't help him out with an epiphany. But Wilson means business and tells House to leave, pretty much shutting the door in his face.

So it's Sherlock that helps House out with the epiphany for this case. He also tries to help House see just how important Wilson really is, and by extension how important friendships and love are to a person. But for now House is just happy with his little medical triumph. At the end of the episode House puts Sherlock on the payroll, so to speak. I think it will be interesting to watch the relationship between these two develop, if nothing else just for the witty banter. But if House thinks he can replace Wilson with Sherlock, he is sorely mistaken. Because you can't just pay someone to be your friend.


Dr. Kumar: "Does that P.I. guy mean we don't have to break into people's homes anymore?"

House: "That's the whole reason you went to medical school, I'm not going to take that away from you!"

House: "Do you have some ethical problem with what I'm doing that you could express in a unique way, which might actually make me think that I'm wrong, even though I'd never admit it?"

House: "Do you want to be my friend?"

Sherlock: "No, you scare me a little."

(House & Sherlock are on a stakeout in an Ice Cream Truck)

House: "What if a kid wants Ice Cream?"

Sherlock: "There's a sign on the door that says closed."

(Little Girl bangs on the door): "I want some Ice Cream!!!!"

Sherlock: "Not until you learn to read!!"

Tags: House, Sherlock, Wilson

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Original Comments Posted (2)

joalberts says...

I knew as soon as Sherlock was "sneeze-laughing" in the break room that he was going to be a recurring character. I like him. Yay Sherlock!

Sep 26, 2008 4:57pm

Sarahm says...

I love him too, I think I realized it when he told the kid to come back when she learned to read.

Sep 26, 2008 7:04pm

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