Family Practice

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Murphy Down

Later that night, House is in Cuddy's office being chewed out for putting her through having to spend an hour convincing her mother to stay at PPTH and be treated by some guy named Dr. Kaufman instead. House doesn't think it matters if she leaves PPTH or not since she's already getting better and now that he's proven that most of this stuff is all in her head she won't be able to prolong her stay by convincing herself that she has six different forms of cancer. Oops! Cuddy gets a call from Dr. Kaufman that begins "it's going to be okay, but ... " which you never want to hear. Although I guess it's better than "it's not going to be okay, and ... " Murphy's atrial fibrillation is back. House sincerely says he's sorry that Murphy is sick, but he's not sorry to be off her case. Cuddy says he isn't. He'll just continue to try to diagnose Murphy without her knowing about it. Even though both Murphy and House have made it very clear that they do not want this. Cuddy is being really unfair to House, not to mention Dr. Kaufman and every patient at PPTH who isn't under House's care, since Cuddy seems to think that none of her other doctors is capable of treating patients as well as House. She's perfectly happy to subject other people's mothers to a lesser doctor, but not hers.

As it happens, Dr. Kaufman doesn't really feel like taking House on as a silent partner. He doesn't care what his boss says; his patient specifically requested that House have nothing to do with her care and he knows that if House does interfere, it will be a losing proposition for him: if Murphy recovers, House gets all the credit. If Murphy dies, Kaufman gets the blame. He won't even let House sweet-talk him by saying he's a "perfectly competent, bordering on good" doctor. "Please stay away from my patient," Kaufman says, naively thinking that will work.

House brings his listening devices out of Season Six storage and has Murphy's room bugged so he and his team can keep track of her case. Martha, of course, has to comment that this is illegal, to which House cites the Supreme Court case of "Bite vs. Me." Ultimately, though, House decides to turn the audio off when Murphy starts in on Cuddy about dating nice, Jewish, Harvard-educated Kaufman instead of House. Murphy Brown is really mean to her daughter and stuff, but that is good advice. That's not good enough for Martha, who demands that House stop bugging the patient's room or she won't be able to work with him. House exasperatedly says he'll take the bug out and just get a recap from Cuddy twenty minutes later instead.

Whatever. With that, Chase diagnoses Murphy with leukemia. House says it fits, but he's disappointed because that's already Kaufman's diagnosis and he's doing a bone marrow biopsy on Murphy to prove it. WHAT! Kaufman is running tests to prove his theories???? No wonder Cuddy wants House to stick around and make sure that bozo doesn't screw something up.

House says that's it for Murphy, then, and sends Martha down to admitting to find a new patient. She takes his word for it and leaves, and House calls his remaining Cottages into his office for a special secret diagnosis session. He says what they just did was a fake session, designed to test Martha's ethicalness and see if she can be trusted not to be trusted. She can't. House's working theory is not leukemia, but a thiamine deficiency, which is apparently closely linked with alcoholism. House tells the Cottages about his recent dinner date with Murphy and how easily she believed that her passing out was the result of too much to drink and not her daughter's boyfriend being a sociopath with access to prescription knock-out pills. This makes House think that Murphy has alcohol-induced blackouts fairly often. That's his only evidence, and now he wants the Cottages to test it by sneaking some thiamine into Murphy's IV and seeing if she improves. Foreman isn't opposed to it, but says they have to ask Cuddy for permission first. Which means convincing her that her mother is an alcoholic. Enh, I think I'd rather my mom be a secret alcoholic than secretly sleeping with some married guy named Jesus for five years and telling my sibling but not me.

House tells Cuddy his latest theory, handing her some thiamine pills in a bottle labeled as an antacid, all the better to sneak them into Murphy's body. Shouldn't Cuddy be concerned that her boyfriend is so good at making fake prescription bottle labels? This is his second one in like ten minutes. Cuddy is loath to do anything without talking to her mother first. House doesn't think that will accomplish anything, since Murphy will just deny it. Maybe Cuddy should ask her sister instead, since she seems to know everything that's going on in their mother's life. But Cuddy believes that she and her mother have a relationship where they tell each other the truth as long as they are asked for it directly. "Addicts lie," House says knowingly.

Cuddy, pills in hand, tries to kick her sister out of her mother's room to speak to her one-on-one. But Sis won't leave, so Cuddy plows on ahead and says she thinks Murphy's drinking is the cause of her heart problems. "Is it about the champagne?" Sister Cuddy asks, only to be silenced by a glare from Cuddy. I guess we know who the older sister in that family is. Cuddy says she heard from Murphy's friends Patsy and Anne that Murphy "lost control" at a recent museum luncheon that I am very sad we didn't get to see. Also, how does Murphy even have friends? She's so hateful. I wonder if Patsy and Anne are related to Wilson? Murphy angrily denies being an alcoholic. Cuddy says she believes her, but then hands her a bottle of thiamine pills masquerading as antacid.

When House goes to check on Cuddy, she asks him to just proceed with any and all of his wacky theories and treatments without consulting her, because she's too emotionally invested to make the right decisions. "Congratulations. You were right, as usual," she says, all pissed off at House for trying to give her good advice. She's so upset about everything that she doesn't seem to realize that she just basically gave House permission to hang her mother from the balcony by the ankles and call it a diagnostic tool.

Ugh, back to the Taub vortex. Taub meets with Jamie, who apologizes for hitting him five years ago, saying he was going through some stuff and has been through years of therapy to manage his anger. Do you really have an anger problem if you punch a guy for cheating on your sister? That seems pretty reasonable and well-deserved to me. "I kinda deserved it," Taub says. "That's for sure," Jamie fires back, still clearly angry at him for breaking his sister's heart time and time again. With that, Jamie gets down to business: his law firm needs a medical consultant for their medical malpractice cases. If Taub does well on this one, he can expect to work about 15 hours a week and make $50,000 a year. "I'll take it," Taub says immediately. Jamie gets out some paperwork while Taub explores the office, noticing an MRI of someone's skull. Jamie says it belongs to a kid who was hit by a delivery man from a pizza company he represents. They're about to give the kid a few million dollars for the damage to his legs, but Taub thinks he spots a bleed in his brain on the MRI, too. Jamie says none of the other doctors noticed anything like that and the case is about to be settled, so he snaps at Taub to mind his own business.

House is called back into work by a panicky Cuddy, who says her mother now has a fever. House says he must have been wrong about the alcoholism and the thiamine, then, and that Kaufman's leukemia diagnosis is looking more and more likely. Yes, she must have one of those cancer fevers. Cuddy says the biopsy results came back negative, so it's not that either. House, always one to see the silver lining, says this is good news, since Kaufman was wrong, too.

House calls the Cottages to the bedside of some guy in a coma, saying this is their new patient now that they've b

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