House: The Itch

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

My apologies, I'm a little behind on getting this recap out this week, I blame the holiday on Tuesday. I was busy Remembering and I forgot it was Tuesday. This week's episode kicks off with the morning after effects of House & Cuddy's make out session. There's also lots of Chase and Cameron stuff, and a special appearance by a character from one of my top five favorite movies of all time.

The Patient

The team takes the case of a severely agoraphobic man who hasn't left his house in the past seven years. He has a seizure in the entry way to his house and when the paramedics take him outside he punches one of them out and scrambles to get back inside. The agoraphobic will be played by Dick from High Fidelity. Cameron catches the case because she talked to Dick through his door when he had the flu last year. That must have been very helpful.

Seven years ago Dick and his girlfriend were shot. His girlfriend died, and Dick developed agoraphobia. He has a crushing headache and has had three seizures in the last two days. The team can't do a CT scan or any other sort of test because he won't come to the hospital. So that leaves them with sonograms and portable x-rays. Helpful.

The team heads out to Dick's home to search it for toxins and to try and provoke a seizure to see what's wrong with him. Of course, since Dick is agoraphobic he's pretty good at cleaning his house, so they don't find anything, and Cameron can't manage to provoke a seizure. House brings over a random sample of people from the clinic (by pretending to show them a house for sale) to try and spook Dick into seizing. The people from the clinic freak Dick out, but instead of having a seizure he develops stomach pains.

Cameron x-rays Dick's tummy and they find a blockage in his bowel. Without further tests, the team can't determine what is causing the seizures or the bowel obstruction. But Dick won't budge (much like whatever's in his bowel, ha...) and so House tells him that Chase will do a home surgery. Except, House just plans to stage a home surgery, have Chase put Dick to sleep and then they'll take him to the hospital while he's out. I'm pretty sure this violates the Hippocratic Oath somewhere, but House doesn't seem too concerned.

House's plan mainly goes, er, according to plan until Cameron gets hit with some guilt during pre-op and decides to wake Dick up ahead of schedule to explain to him that he's just been kidnapped and brought to the hospital for surgery. Dick freaks out and pulls out his bandages and central line (ouch!) before Chase comes in and manages to restrain him. He is naturally pissed off that his doctors duped him into having surgery he did not want and hands over his medical proxy to his lawyer.

At this point Cuddy tells Cameron, Chase and House that they are off the case. But nobody ever listens to Cuddy, so Cameron heads back over to Dick's house with her puppy dog eyes to apologize and try and get back on the case. Since he didn't have the surgery to remove his bowel obstruction, Dick is getting steadily worse. House gets Taub to go ahead with the home surgery as a last resort (Taub was a plastic surgeon, remember? He can totally take out a piece of Dick's bowel).

During the surgery, Taub manages to light Dick on fire with the torch thing he's using to cauterize. There's a pretty awesome moment where there are flames shooting out of Dick's side. It's not medically relevant, but it looks cool. Cameron spends the night at Dick's to keep an eye on him, and he wakes up in the middle of the night and can't feel his legs.

The team figures that the combination of bowel obstruction and paralysis means that Dick has celiac disease, but while they are force feeding him wheat (and doing a blood test) he has a heart attack. Taub puts in a temporary pacemaker, and House has a brain wave. He finds out that Dick has been cleaning his bathtub with both ammonia and bleach, which have combined to make chlorine gas and poison him. The good news is that now they know what is killing him, the bad news is he needs a permanent pacemaker.

Cameron tries to convince Chase to come to Dick's house and put in a permanent pacemaker there. But Chase values his professional license, and says no to his girlfriend's crazy idea. At this point I'm starting to wonder: a) isn't a surgical room supposed to be completely sterile, you'd think an agoraphobic would feel comfortable there, and b) are there really no other surgeons in this hospital?

When Cameron comes to House telling him that Chase won't do the surgery, House has an epiphany. Thank goodness I was starting to think this guy was dying. Apparently when Dick was mugged a few years ago a few of the bullet fragments lodged in his hip bone, and they have slowly been dissolving and the lead has been poisoning him. House sticks some surgical tweezer things into Dick's hip and pulls out the bullet fragments (sans x-ray or any other kind of seeing through bone equipment), and magically he is healed. Voila!

Alright. Can you really believe that this guy got shot seven years ago and it took House that long to come up with lead poisoning? Me either.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Of course you will remember the long awaited House-Cuddy kiss from last week. Well this week is sort of anti-climactic. Cuddy pulls House out of the differential to tell him that the kiss didn't mean anything, she was emotional, yadda, yadda, yadda. She thanks him for not taking advantage of her. House is at least pretending to play it cool, and the only one who seems really affected by it at all is Wilson.

Wilson tries to convince House that the kiss has meaning and that he needs to ask Cuddy out on a date. But then Wilson asks Cuddy out on a date, which she thinks is just a plot to get her to go out with House, or at least realize that their kiss had meaning. I don't know, it's all very confusing.

Towards the end of the episode, thanks to some sort of metaphorical mosquito, House has an epiphany and realize that he actually does love Cuddy. He goes to ask her out, riding up on his very loud motorcycle but then when he gets to her door and watches her through the window as she is drinking tea, he chickens out. He gets back on his very loud motorcycle and drives away. I think Cuddy's house is sound-proof.

Mi Casa es Su Casa

The real story in this episode is Cameron. We learn through a series of rapid interrogation style questions from House that she has been dating Chase now for a year and half and they haven't yet moved in together. They also spend most nights at Chase's house.

Cameron's concern for Dick goes deeper than just wanting him to get better, she relates to him. They have both lost people that they loved and both want to shut out the world. Only in Dick's case he literally wants to shut out the world, Cameron is just shutting out Chase.

We get to see an unusually sweet side of Chase, who tells Cameron that he understands it is hard for her to let people in because she lost her husband. But at the same time, he says that he can't keep chasing (haha, Chase, get it?) her forever. At the end of the episode, Cameron realizes that she needs to stop being a coward and start living her life. She starts by offering Chase a drawer at her place. It's a small gesture, but it's a big drawer. Aw.


House: "The Forem-ster and the Cam-ster, kickin' it old school."

Cameron: "Chase doesn't want anything to do with this surgery. Maybe you could talk to him?"

House: "No, I can't understand a word he says."

House: "Did you see this bug bite?"

Wilson: "No. What I see is a wound that you've scratched and mutilated into a gangrenous state. It's delusional parasite-osis."

House: "I am not imagining things."

Wilson: "House, you're a drug addict, you're always imagining things."

(Cameron is asking Chase to put in a Pacemaker in an at-home surgery)

Chase: "How am I gonna place the leads in the exact spot on the left ventricle? The Force?"

Tags: House

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Original Comments Posted (2)

joalberts says...

Haha... I think I missed "The Force" line... that's hilarious!

Agoraphobia means that the patient gets anxious about being outside, in new places, or places with a small chance of escaping. Sterility has nothing to do with it. The hospital itself is a scary place. He just doesn't want to leave his house, because everything outside of his house is scary. FYI. :)

Nov 15, 2008 1:55pm

sarahm says...

Aaah, thank you Madam interpreter. I think I was under the impression it meant they were afraid of germs.

Nov 15, 2008 5:51pm

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