The audition experiment continues as House splits the pretenders to Chase, Cameron, and Foreman's thrones into two teams of five to diagnose a man with SMA, a degenerative disease that may or not be affecting his ability to swallow and causing him to faint. Whoever wins is, presumably, not fired. That one pinchy-faced woman switches to the other team, sucks up to Cameron and Chase as a means of trying to get the diagnosis first, and is undiplomatic at every turn, so...she's the Chase, I guess.
Meanwhile, House's clinic patient, who was recently in a car accident, wants to repeat his near-death, go-to-the-light experience -- which he does by plugging a knife into a wall socket. The guy survives, and tells House there's something bigger out there.
Neither team can figure out what's wrong with SMA Guy, of course, and there's the predictable hijinks and guessing -- worms from the patient's trip to Thailand, melanoma of the eye -- while Kal Penn dickers over the terms of the prospective firings, so I suppose he's the Foreman. And also, he's Kal Penn, and why would they put him on the show if he's not staying. During the part where everyone's convinced it's cancer, SMA Guy says he's had enough of being trapped in his own body; he just wants to die and get it over with, and set himself free. House thinks that's bollocks, of course, and repeats the knife-in-the-socket experiment (on himself) to prove to SMA Guy that there's no afterlife. He pages the pinchy-faced woman before he goes through with it, though, so she arrives moments later and resuscitates him. When Wilson questions him later about what he saw, House is mum.
Up in SMA Guy's room, they've discovered that it's not cancer, gone back to the worms idea, and given him another treatment, which is supposed to start working immediately...but it doesn't. He asks that his dog be put up on the bed with him, and that his hand, which he can no longer move on his own, be put on the dog's head. Then he goes into Cheyne-Stokes and dies. Minutes later, so does the dog.
Pinchy gives House the news, and he hauls himself out of his sickbed to run the diagnosis postmortem. Turns out the guy not only didn't take the pills, but he gave them to his dog; since the dog is of a breed with a particular gene that can't take typical heartworm medication, SMA Guy knew he and the dog would both die. The worms diagnosis was correct, and the big-foreheaded girl who was running with it is upset, sitting by the body and brooding about how she didn't watch SMA Guy to make sure he took the pills. Aaaaaand she's evidently the Cameron. House delivers a lecture but doesn't fire her, she leaves the room, and House grimly tells the corpse what he saw while he was temporarily "dead" by electrocution: nothing.
Elsewhere, the real Foreman gets himself fired for taking a diagnostic long shot that, while correct, reveals he's still haunted by past mistakes.
A man in a wheelchair rolls out of his van and tells his dog to fetch him a blanket because he's cold. Amazingly, the dog obeys. Can helper dogs really do that stuff? That's so cool. The guy then pushes the limits of dog-human communication by telling his canine companion about a girl who works at an ice-cream store with an open blouse you can see down. Apparently, Cuddy's doing some moonlighting at Scoops. The dog obligingly presses the "walk" button at the stoplight for the guy, but midway through the crossing, his owner passes out. The dog barks out for help, only to almost get hit by a car driven by some inattentive radio-dialing menace to all pedestrians, who would have driven through a red light and run a wheelchair-bound man over if she hadn't seen his dog in time.
The Numbers have been sitting around the classroom all day with no House in sight. It's now four o'clock, one hour past House's expected arrival time. No one seems to have had the foresight to bring any reading material, and they're bored. Eventually, Anne Dudek (who I can now see is 24) takes a stand and says she's going home, and everyone should come with her. That may have worked at the car wash, but 18 immediately warns the room of what 24 is up to, because he wants to get this job by merit, not by scheming! Poor 18 has a lot of living in the real world to do, methinks.
House breezes in and tosses files to everyone as he describes their new patient. 18 thinks it wise to interrupt to ask House why he's an hour late. 18 really cares about the patient, you guys. That, and timeliness. 13's smirk fades as she reads from the patient file that he has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is incurable and unfortunate, but not a diagnostic mystery. I'm surprised House would have anything to do with SMA after last time when it lost him some precious French fries. House says he's dividing the class into teams. The team that can figure out what's threatening to "deprive the patient of the twenty or so miserable years he's got left with SMA" wins not being fired. Kumar asks how they're supposed to split up, and Thing 1 suggests splitting up girls versus boys, because she's in second grade and boys have cooties. For her assistance, House calls her the "fat twin." He tells the group that if their genitals "dangle," then they're on the Confederacy. If they're "aesthetically pleasing," then they're Union. This doesn't help me figure out who is on which team at all. Almost immediately, 24 requests to be on the men's team, figuring there's no way House will hire a team of all girls. House agrees to the switch as long as the men do.
They don't seem thrilled about it in the next scene, where she's walking down the hall with them as they all summarily dis her and refuse to allow her on their team. No girls allowed! I see Weird Beard is still around, even though he's not a real doctor. 24 accuses them of being threatened by her. I'd be; she's about one step away from killing the other Numbers off to get that job.