We join this week’s unfortunate victim in a lovely little classroom, replete with happy children, glitter, and plenty of Elmer’s glue. Ah, Good times. A student, Little Johnny, is fixated on his teacher. And here’s the part where I be totally honest with y’all: I didn’t realize this was a Special Ed classroom until, oh, halfway through the episode, and had unwittingly named Little Johnny “Stalker Boy” in my head because, c’mon. The stare is unnerving. As is his interest in his teacher’s marital status. But that was before I realized he was autistic, and now I feel stupid and guilty. Just so you know the internal pain this recap has caused me. So, anyway, Little Johnny accidentally spills glitter all over his classmate’s project, and the teacher, Sarah, rushes over to comfort the grieving little girl. Except she wets her pants. Oh, man. That’s embarrassing. AND SUDDENLY THERE’S BLOOD EVERYWHERE! HOLY CRAP! And it’s coming from Sarah’s mouth! Sarah faints and the kiddies are probably scarred for life. After last week’s episode, I’m beginning to see a trend here.
PPTH Cafeteria. House steals a bagel. In the first of many confrontations this week, Cameron waltzes in, looking fab in her dark blue blouse (grabby hands!) and perfectly coiffed hair (I must say, her dye job has improved TREMENDOUSLY over last season), and her sheer presence makes House reconsider stealing the bagel. Almost. Actually, he could use some cream cheese. House flirts with her a little bit, because that’s what they do, and Cameron confesses she’s only taking over some of Cuddy’s duties, mainly babysitting House. She’d like House to take a look at Sarah, and House ogles her ass as she heads back to the office.
In House’s office, Foreman mocks House for being Cameron’s slave. Don’t worry, Foreman, there will be plenty of mocking to go around tonight. “You’re gonna destroy her, aren’t you?” chimes in Kumar. Taub and Thirteen appear to be the only ones concerned about their patient for the moment, as Taub suggests a bleeding ulcer, but Thirteen counters that a scope of the stomach and was lungs clean, yet she continues to spit up blood from both her stomach AND lungs. Guess they aren’t so clean, then. Foreman suggests it’s leukemia or von Willebrand’s disease. Thirteen thinks a thoracic tumor’s a better fit. House, however, has enough of this medical mumbo jumbo and is SICK AND TIRED of Foreman and Thirteen disagreeing with each other. See, it’s a smokescreen. They can’t agree with each other, lest someone suspect their torrid love affair. House makes a crack about Foreman going boldly, “where no man has gone before” and, seriously? Can we get over the fact that she’s bisexual and move on with it? Jeebus. The group gasps. Simply scandalous! House isn’t gonna let this go, is he? I’ll go ahead and answer that — no. He orders a bleeding time test to see if there’s anything wrong with Sarah’s blood.
While Kumar’s stabbing her, Sarah goes to her “happy place” — her classroom. This chick’s hardcore. A classroom full of screaming kidlets would be a total NIGHTMARE for me. Like, worse than showing up for an important presentation wearing black slacks with brown shoes! But I digress. She has a picture of one of her students on the table next to her and tells a touching story about teaching him to use a pair of scissors. She really loves her kids, her job — all the sappy stuff that House loathes. Keep the man far, far away. There seems to be no sign of clotting, but Sarah is surprisingly calm and unfazed by this news.
Cuddy’s House. Wilson’s visiting and the baby, whom I shall call Mowgli after last week, is absolutely adorable. To Cuddy, though, it’s a crying, eating, and pooping machine. Cuddy’s having a bit of a hard time with things. The whole “maternal instinct” concept is a bit foreign to her. She doesn’t feel anything, and it’s not because she’s tired. Wilson hems and haws, as he normally does, but Cuddy tells him she’s fine. He leaves, but not before putting a comforting hand on her shoulder.
So, back at PPTH, Sarah’s blood platelets look like “they have bite marks on them.” Presumably, that’s bad. House is reading too far into Foreman’s and Thirteen’s diagnoses again. God, this is annoying. So the revised diagnoses are lymphoma and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (try to work that into everyday conversation — I dare you). The treatment, House concludes, should be total body irradiation. Say it with me: WHAT? Kumar calls it, “premature, reckless, and potentially lethal,” which sums it up rather nicely. House makes a joke about premature ejaculation as he heads up the elevator to see Cameron. No, really.
See, the whole “total body irradiation” was just a ruse to mess with Cameron. See how far he can push her. Except… she says “ok.” House was not expecting this. Nor was I. She’s not playing his games; she knows him too well. If it makes medical sense, she’s willing to go along. “I need oral sex,” House says, “I’m pretty sure a biological imperative qualifies as ‘medical sense.'” Oooh. Cameron just wants to get get back to her phone call. “I don’t really see how that’s going to be possible,” House mutters suggestively. Oh, go jerk off in the bathroom, or something.
House’s suggested treatment of methotrexate isn’t producing results. He also needs a reason not to do total body irradiation. Part of the power struggle. Thirteen suggests they use a ruse – pretend they’re doing the irradiation, but don’t actually go through with it. Oh, the parallels. They burrrrn. “This is going to be convoluted, isn’t it?” complains Taub. Right there with you, buddy.
PPTH Cafeteria. Chase (Hiii, Chase! Lookin’ kind of greasy there) is talking with Foreman, who’s confessing that Thirteen’s on the placebo. Chase is marginally more worried about the fact that Cameron has begun dressing like Cuddy. Foreman feels really guilty, blah blah, wasting time, wants to save her, compromise the study, blah blah. Chase tells him not to be an idiot, which — ha! Too late.
Irradiation Room. Sarah wants to know how long until they start the procedure. She has to pee. Sarah, honey, you’ve clearly never been on one of my family’s road trips. Once you get into the car, there ain’t no stoppin’ for anything, tiny bladders be damned. And you don’t DARE admit that you’ve got to pee, because that’s when the neverending descriptions of the last time we visited Yosemite Falls begin. Taub and Thirteen are watching Chevy Chase (Is it Clark Griswold? Because he knows all about family road trips) on the very expensive medical equipment. They “stop” the test so Sarah can relieve herself, but she collapses off the gurney before they can get to her and starts going into cardiac arrest. Thirteen and Taub zap her, and she’s okay. Damn. I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t want these doctors to treat me for a nosebleed, much less a mystery illness.
In a very bright room with lots and lots of pictures of brain scans and other colorful diagrams, Kumar says there’s no structural defects in Sarah’s heart. That’s gonna come back to bite him in the ass later. Thirteen says something about high vagal tones and arrhythmia, but I don’t even know what a high vagal tone is, so I got nothin’ there. “Heavy metal, toxin, drugs or alcohol” are the other options. Sounds more like a rock band than a diagnosis. Thirteen thinks it’s cold agglutinin (abnormal protein gets activated by cold temperatures). House still doesn’t understand what sort of person has to go pee during a (fake) nuclear procedure. One who’s never been on a family road trip – duh! He orders an ice bath to test the cold agglutinin hypothesis, which would increase her heart rate and possible induce another heart attack. Yeah, about that…
We jog on over to Cuddy’s office, where Cameron’s trying to explain the power politics of babysitting House to Cuddy. Really, Cam? Cuddy’s familiar with this. She advises her young protogé not to play games with him. House barges in, calling attention to the fact that Cuddy has pawned Mowgli off on the nurses, which means that Cuddy hates the baby and must want to get rid of it. At least, that’s what Wilson told him. Damn it, Wilson! You’re definitely in the dog house now. House doesn’t think it would be a big deal to give the baby back. Just don’t give a crap, like him! Cuddy says she’s going to drop Mowgli off at the dog pound. She stomps out.
House gets approval for the bath, but barely. Foreman thinks Cameron’s playing House, and House kinda agrees. I think he secretly likes it.
Little Johnny is visiting Sarah in her room, and Johnny’s mom reveals he’s a nonverbal autistic (this is where I went, “D’oh!”) and he’s only social and verbal when Sarah is around, and hence needed to visit her.
Foreman and Thirteen flirt over lab work. Thirteen’s practically glowing. Foreman’s trying to prepare Thirteen for the fact that she’s on the placebo, but she’s walkin’ on sunshine! God, is this scene over yet?
Finally. They get Sarah in the ice bath, and it looks, well, cold. And icy. Her skin’s kinda blue, which normally wouldn’t be a good sign, but whatever. Sarah and Kumar are talking about Little Johnny, who has a tactile fascination with newspapers. House is rolling his eyes so hard, I think they might get stuck in the back of his head. Sarah says she became a special ed teacher only by accident — she was supposed to be a sociologist, but she walked into Room 241 instead of Room 214 and voila! A lightbulb goes off in House’s head. Brain damage ahoy!
Transposed numbers are a classic sign of a brain lesion, specifically on the left hippocampal region of the brain. “I misdialed a phone number this morning — must be contagious,” quips Kumar. Foreman is convinced that House is simply out to prove that this decent person is mentally deranged, simply because she’s decent. Unlike him. Kumar thinks it’s the pancreas. House thinks it’s multiple sclerosis (MS), and it’s spreading to her lungs. Only a brain biopsy will tell. Time to talk to Cameron! Again. Some more.
House and Kumar argue in front of Cameron, who says they have to assume it’s the brain until they can prove otherwise. She makes House do an MRI to see if it’s MS. If it is, he can do his biopsy. House messes with her mind, but she stays strong and House stumbles dejectedly out of the office.
Wilson’s Office. Cuddy doesn’t want to go home, and she’s got Mowgli with her this time. She’s considering getting rid of Mowgli. She feels imprisoned at home. Wilson thinks parents make sacrifices, but Cuddy, career woman that she is, doesn’t want to. She feels like a failure, yes, but Mowgli, “deserves to be loved.” That’s messed up, yo. Wilson doesn’t know what to say. How about, “Buck up and deal with the fact that you decided you wanted this kid”? Just a suggestion.
Aaaand we’re looking at brain scans. Nothing in the left hippopotamus region. Time to cancel the biopsy! House is stumped. Foreman has some alone time with House to discuss his placebo conundrum. Foreman wants to secretly put Thirteen on the drug. But there’s no guarantee it’s going to cure her, and ethically speaking, Foreman could get fired for it. Foreman’s convinced, and starts to walk out the door and House drops the, “Except if you love her… If you love her, you do stupid things” card.
While performing an ERCP, something funky happens with Sarah’s lungs (pleural effusions). Looks like House was right about the where, but not the what. He wants to do a nerve conduction study, a.k.a. Cut Off Her Skull And Stick Electrodes Everywhere. Ewww. Kumar still thinks his pancreatic tumor explanation could work. Thirteen agrees that the ERCP was negative, so the pancreas explanation is out, which earns her an endearing hand-over-hand embrace from House. When he gets handsy with Kumar, though, the dude’s having none of it, and stalks out of the office.
Cuddy/Cameron’s Office. Cameron’s anticipated the Cut Off Her Skull Request, and denies it. House decides that Sarah has equine encephalitis. Cameron wants proof. House thinks Cuddy’s going to love Cameron, but the patient’s going to hate her because she’s going to DIE IN A WEEK. Don’t make her feel guilty or anything, House.
Sarah’s Classroom. Foreman and Thirteen are looking for environmental factors that would have caused Sarah’s condition. Thirteen looks wistfully at the kidlets, and then tells Foreman she wants kids. Taking things a little fast there, aren’t we Thirteen?
Cuddy’s House. Wilson stops by with a gift. It’s a picture frame with an enhanced photo of Mowgli in 18 years. Wilson tells Cuddy she’s going to be raising this little person and will get to experience all the joys of being there for her for the next eighteen years, but she just needs to get through this one rough spot. It’s a sweet speech. Cuddy tells Wilson she’ll pay him back for the photo. Wilson tells her not to bother — it’s the picture that came with the frame. Typical.
Cuddy/Cameron’s Office. House brings Cameron three dead mosquitoes (random bugs) and a kid with a “raging viral infection (common cold) as proof. Cameron thinks he wants her to, “say yes just because [he’s] House.” He’d certainly like that. She says yes. Wow. Pushover.
Surgery. Kumar thinks this is going too far – it’s gotta be the patient’s spleen. He can have her spleen when House is done with her brain. House puts electrodes on her brain (ewwww – two weeks in a row!) and shows her a picture of a blue car. He starts to ask her simple logic questions. She does well. Kumar, squealer that he is, tattles on House to Cuddy, because Cameron’s helping with the surgery, so he can’t go tattle to her. Cuddy breaks in on the surgery via cell phone and speaker. The patient is confused, but is still doing well on the questions. Cuddy tries to stop the surgery whilst attending to Mowgli, who is screaming her little adorable head off. Sarah’s blood pressure drops as the baby continues to scream. Sarah, in a departure from her usually calm demeanor, starts to think the screaming is annoying (and I would agree). Except — crap, she’s about to stroke. Her blood pressure’s going in the opposite direction — when one gets annoyed, their blood pressure should rise not fall.
House wants to know why the baby annoys Sarah and nothing else does. Cuddy can’t figure out how to get Mowgli to stop screaming. She stops… randomly. And stares at Cuddy. They have a moment, I guess. I don’t know why Kumar didn’t turn the phone off in the surgery room when the baby started screaming, but… whatever.
Post-Op. House can’t figure out what happened. He retreats to his office, where Cuddy returns with Mowgli. It seems Foster Mommy and Baby made a connection. Cuddy’s going to keep her. She throws the baby at House, who stares at it. Mowgli stares back. Cuddy stares at both of them, and Mowgli throws up on House. Cuddy is amused, as am I. House is not. But he does have an epiphany!
House barges in on Kumar’s ultrasound of Sarah’s spleen. And this is where he loses me a bit – Sarah’s arterial duct (in the heart) didn’t close after birth, as it’s supposed to. The duct stays open in babies while they’re in the womb because they don’t need to breathe, so the blood flow bypasses the heart through this duct. When Sarah gets stressed, her blood pressure goes up, forcing open the duct and blood leaks into other organs. It also directs blood flow away from the left side of the brain and towards the right, and that’s why she can stay so calm around the kidlets. Okay, I’ll just go with it. They’re going to fix the heart, but she’s probably going to get annoyed by the kidlets afterward. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.
Cuddy and Cameron talk in Cuddy’s nursery. Cameron has decided she can’t do Cuddy’s job. She went too far, even though the risks eventually worked. She’ll always say yes to House. He’s in her head. Anyone else would say no. House may be insane, but she listens to him. She’s doooomed.
Sarah is nearly assaulted in her hospital bed by Little Johnny, and they look happy. House stares at them, decidedly unhappy and grumpy. Foreman raids a medical refrigerator to take Thirteen off the placebo and put her on the real medicine. Cuddy returns to work, and it seems she’s hired a babysitter. She looks conflicted as she says goodbye to Mowgli, but leaves anyway.
Next week: Foreman breaks the rules and gets in trouble for it! Thirteen’s got problems! Blindness may or may not be included! ZOMG. Or not. 100th Episode! Whee! See you then!