An alarm goes off at 5 am, already telling us there's no way we're in House's apartment. He barely gets to PPTH in time for lunch. No, this episode belongs to Cuddy, who manages to not look beastly at 5 in the morning, which is quite the accomplishment. She reaches across the bed for Lucas, but he isn't there. So she checks her Blackberry instead before going through her morning yoga routine. And she's supposed to be a semi-new mother? I don't think so. Sure enough, Rachel's cries soon put an end to Cuddy's alone time. She throws her baby in the shower with her, which, while cute, is a great way to burn and drown your baby at the same time. Cuddy hustles through the rest of her morning routine, getting ready for work while keeping an eye on both the time and her daughter, who has learned to walk and is using the knowledge to get into all sorts of trouble. Finally, the nanny arrives along with Lucas, who is annoyingly unsympathetic both to Rachel's fever and the fact that Cuddy is running late to work, where she has to give some important proposal at 8:30 that she hasn't even finished writing yet. I guess she should have been working on it instead of doing yoga. Lucas wants to have sex with Cuddy before she leaves, and has no problem letting her know this in front of the kid and the nanny. He promises to be finished with her in ten minutes, and they make out in bed for a while until an "emergency page" from House interrupts them. Well, it interrupts Lucas, who is obsessed with House. Cuddy just tells him to ignore it. Two minutes and one cheesy wipe later, they've just concluded having sex with most of their clothes on. This includes Lucas's jeans and belt. This House-at-8-pm thing is really killing the realism of this show. The only hint that they've just had sex is the fact that they're breathing heavily. Lucas apologizes for being way too fast on the draw, promising to make it up to her if she gives him a few minutes to collect himself. She does. And we now officially know way too much about Cuddy's sex life.
Cuddy arrives at PPTH, where a nurse who isn't Evil Nurse Brenda informs her that there's a problem in the pharmacy while House limps up to demand Cuddy's attention because she didn't answer his emergency page. Apparently, Cuddy was right to turn down his latest insane diagnostic tool of infecting a patient with malaria. Her victory is short-lived, however, when House reveals that he was with Lucas on his stake-out last night (Lucas was checking out someone's claim of a "soft tissue injury" and despite being a private detective for years and supposedly good at his job, he had to take House along with him for confirmation. This is also despite Lucas and House clearly having their differences just last episode) and they made a bet with each other over whether or not Cuddy would stop sex to answer a page from House, as he claims that Lucas told him they have sex every morning. Either that, or House has been sitting in the bushes under Cuddy's bedroom window every morning. Either way, someone is a sleazebag here. The nurse who doubles as Cuddy's assistant because Cuddy is too lazy to hire a real assistant and takes her nurses for granted walks in to tell Cuddy that the pharmacy still has a problem and her 8:30 appointment is here early. Cuddy hands Nurse Assistant something and asks her to proofread it for her, because that's what Nurse Assistant spent all that time in nursing school to do.
Cuddy arrives at the pharmacy, where an Andy Dick lookalike tech says they received twice the amount of meds they ordered and he can't find a purchase order to show to the drug company to prove their mistake because they've all gone missing. Which is apparently Gail's fault, but she's sick today and Andy Dick wants to make absolutely sure he doesn't get blamed for this. Instead, he can be blamed for seriously wasting Cuddy's time. Cuddy's about to leave when a thought occurs to her. She asks Andy Dick which drug they got the double order of. "Vicodin?" she guesses, because it's all about House. But this time her hunch is wrong, as Andy Dick says the double order was for ephedrine. Something about that causes Cuddy to order sick Gail into work ASAP.
Nurse Assistant is ordered to get Cuddy's 8:30 appointment a cup of coffee while she attends to an emergency page to the OR, where a surgeon whines that House bribed the maintenance people to make it extra-cold in there so Dr. Crybaby would hurry up and finish, thus freeing the room up for House's patient. Yes, because nothing makes you speed up like having frozen fingers when you're trying to do delicate work. Cuddy wants Dr. Crybaby to deal with this on his own, but he says he's busy doing surgery on a patient who is about to freeze to death. Cuddy is left to call the heating guys and make them turn it back on. She might also want to fire them for taking money to turn the heat off at the expense of the health of a patient. And then she can fire House for doing the bribing in the first place, because his patient isn't any more important than the guy who now has icicles in his spleen.
House is waiting for Cuddy outside the OR. He makes a joke about Wilson's tendency to donate his liver to anyone who needs it (I love that this is a running joke now, by the way) before informing her that his patient is covered with boils and a giant abscess and thus needs an OR right away, so freezing Dr. Crybaby out of it was necessary. Cuddy says Dr. Crybaby will be done just as soon as he and his patient thaw out. She escapes House by dashing into an elevator at the same time as the nanny calls with an update on Rachel's condition: she barfed and still has a fever. Good thing we aren't watching an episode from Rachel's point of view. Cuddy tells the nanny to call back in a half hour before finally making it into her office for her 8:30 meeting with Eli Morgan, the representative for Generic Evil Health Insurance Company, whose contract with PPTH is up today. Eli and Cuddy have been trying to negotiate the terms of a new contract for months and Cuddy is apparently done with it. She hands Eli a folder that contains PPTH's "final offer:" a 12% increase in all reimbursements in return for PPTH agreeing to a capitated structure (as opposed to a "fee for service" structure, where the provider is paid for each service, the capitated structure pays a set amount per person enrolled regardless of what, if any, services he requires). Basically, Generic Evil Health Insurance Company is sick of paying out the ass for all of those expensive and unnecessary tests and scans House runs on his patients, so they've cleverly changed it so that now it's PPTH's finances that House will drain with his nonsense. Without even bothering to look at the proposal after all of Nurse Assistant's proofreading work, Eli tells Cuddy "not a chance" and turns to leave with a "say hi to your sister for me." What's that about? Is Cuddy's sister tight with evil health insurance companies or something? Cuddy gets tough and informs Eli that if he turns her offer down, PPTH will terminate its contract with GEHI Co. Eli isn't worried about this at all, figuring GEHI Co. has PPTH by the balls since GEHI Co. insures 80% of PPTH's patients and PPTH is the smallest hospital in GEHI Co.'s network, which means it doesn't have the same leverage as the larger hospitals do. "You can be expensive or small. But you can't be both," he says. Cuddy confidently says she hired a big-deal PR firm to represent PPTH and will make the contract termination announcement at 3 pm unless Eli changes his mind. Eli doesn't look like he's going to budge an inch.
One hour later, Cuddy has another meeting, this time with PPTH's board of directors. More like bored of directors. I'm getting a sinking feeling that we're just going to watch an hour of Cuddy going about her daily business full of administrative minutia. If I wanted to see that, I'd get a real job. Cuddy hands Nurse Assistant an envelope full of scripts for the customer service reps that might be very busy starting at 3 pm today if Eli doesn't agree to Cud