Cuddy enters her office (which she left unlocked yet again) to find Eli waiting for her. He says the CEO was impressed enough with Cuddy's lunch visit to say he'd offer her double her PPTH salary to work for him. She should totally take that job. Are you kidding me? This PPTH shit is thankless. The CEO also authorized Eli to offer Cuddy an 8% increase. That sounds like a nice compromise to me -- right in the middle of both sides' final offers. And yet, Cuddy says it's 12% or nothing, because anything less won't cover PPTH's operating expenses and the risk they'll have to assume with that new capitated structure. Eli says it's not always about how much you deserve, but how much you can get. And 8% is all PPTH is going to get. Also, Eli claims that the guy who mows his lawn makes more than his kids' teachers. Either Eli has a massive yard, or he's being way overcharged.
Cuddy heads into a stairwell to think about things because she knows this is the only place where she can be alone, since people walk in and out of her office all day long and everyone at PPTH takes that one elevator. When Cuddy emerges from her Fortress of Solitude, she finds House standing in the doorway waiting for her. Mr. Pluto now needs a liver transplant, and that means dealing with Dr. Crybaby, who is apparently PPTH's go-to guy for transplant surgeries. The subject of liver transplants reminds Cuddy of Wilson, and then his advice to Cuddy to talk to House. She sighs and finally asks him what he would do about GEHI Co. and the 8% increase. "It's all numbers. Do the math -- and nothing else," he says, sounding oddly not sarcastic. He has a point, as Cuddy is emotionally invested in this, saying it's not fair that the GEHI Co. is trying to low-ball PPTH just because they're a small hospital. House reminds her that that's how business works. Which is something you'd think she would have learned by now.
Cuddy hangs out in her office until the clock strikes three without a call from GEHI Co. agreeing to 12%. And so, as promised, Cuddy calls a meeting with her employees to announce that PPTH will soon be making a formal announcement that at 5 pm today, their contract with GEHI Co. will be terminated. People are not pleased about this at all, and mutter angrily. I like the one guy who yells "why weren't we told about this sooner?!" like his one problem with Cuddy's PPTH-bankrupting decision is that he didn't get an earlier heads-up.
It's ten minutes to four and Cuddy still can't get her freaking nanny on the phone. Fire her! Fire EVERYONE! How can everyone who works for Cuddy be this incompetent? Does she hire idiots on purpose so she'll look smarter in comparison? Foreman walks in to inform Cuddy about something that shouldn't be her problem, and yet, like everything else in this episode, is. Mr. Pluto is being prepared for his liver transplant, but now House wants Chase to do the surgery instead of Dr. Crybaby because he's in a pissing contest with Dr. Dave. Since Cuddy is the only person at PPTH capable of overruling them both, she gets to step in.
She enters House's office, where she finds him in the middle of a full body massage. "What?" she asks, which is the correct response. House acts like this is his only alternative to Vicodin, which still doesn't excuse him for turning his office into a day spa. Although I guess this is partly Cuddy's fault, since her boyfriend turned House's other option -- a soak in the bathtub -- into a deathtrap. "Get off your ass and get your department under control," she orders. House responds by telling her, in his own way, to give in to the health insurance company.
Before she can do that, though, she has to meet with Martin and his lawyer again. Martin says he doesn't want to be greedy, but if he doesn't sue PPTH then he'll go bankrupt because of the hospital bills he didn't want in the first place. This is a fair point, but Cuddy thinks Martin should be happy to have his thumb back and not upset about being thousands of dollars in debt. She says that because Martin filed this lawsuit, his insurance company is refusing to pay their portion of his medical bills. "That's not our problem," the lawyer says. Cuddy seems to think that it is, because now Martin will be responsible for the entire bill. Except that he has a great case against PPTH that I don't see how he could lose, so he should be just fine, money-wise. And yet, Cuddy seems to think that Martin's best bet is to say that he did, in fact, want his thumb re-attached so PPTH can resubmit his claim to insurance and PPTH will generously cover 50% of Martin's deductible so he'll be on the hook for just $16,000. Um, plus whatever he's paid his lawyer so far. Which is probably also $16,000. But Cuddy thinks it's a great deal because Martin got his thumb, and thus, his ability to work, back. The lawyer has no interest in agreeing to Cuddy's "deal," since it'll mean less money for him. Martin whines that he knows he "should" pay PPTH, but it's a lot of money and he's still not able to work while his thumb heals, plus he's behind on house payments and his two kids need braces. And when he took them to the dentist to get those braces, the dentist put them to sleep and gave them porcelain veneers instead, then charged him three times more than he was expecting to pay for them. Cuddy asks if not having a thumb would make Martin's life easier. He says that "for now," it would be. She should have known that would be his answer. If he's behind on his house payments then he probably got one of those adjustable-rate mortgages because the first few year payments were affordable and that's all he cared about. Martin is not a long-term thinker. With that, Cuddy gets an urgent message on her Blackberry and excuses herself. On the way out, she says that Martin has a thumb because of PPTH, and he has to pay for it. And if that means ripping the braces off of his kids' teeth, she'll do it. Way to take a hard line with the guy who has a valid point while letting all of your idiot employees get away with murder, Cuddy.
Case in point: Cuddy's urgent page is to the surgical suite, where a large crowd has gathered to watch Chase and Dr. Crybaby get in a physical fight. Awesomely, while Hadley and Foreman try to hold Chase back and break it up, Taub and House stand and watch, making sure they're far enough away not to get punched by accident. Cuddy does a loud two-finger whistle to get their attention, a talent I was not aware she possessed, and walks them back to her office. But first, she must talk to Gail, so she orders Chase and Dr. Crybaby into separate corners of the Clinic. Meanwhile, doesn't Mr. Pluto sort of need that liver transplant? Like now?
Gail's demeanor the second time around is much different than it was the first. Now she's smiling and unapologetic, proud of her transgressions. "What are you gonna do about it?" she asks Cuddy. Ha! No wonder she was so unconvincing in Cuddy's office before -- she was supposed to be! Cuddy says she'll be telling on Gail to the DEA, but Gail says she'll just tell them that House "forced" her to steal those meds for him, while his boss let him do whatever he wanted because she's having sex with him. Oh come on, Gail. I don't think baseless allegations are going to fly in a DEA investigation. And yet, Cuddy seems scared. She asks if Gail really thinks she can lie her way out of this. "Yeah, I do. Anyth