A woman goes to China to find her birth parents, only for them to deny they have a daughter. Sad and desperate, she says a prayer that involves lifting a Buddha statue twice, with the ability to lift it the second time determining whether or not it will come true. She doesn't lift it the second time, but that's because she's barfing blood and stuff. She makes it back to PPTH, where the first diagnosis is the horribly unfashionable SARS (like, that is so five years ago).
Meanwhile, House's father has died and he's more than happy to take on the case instead of attending the funeral. House's mother has other plans, though, and calls Wilson into action. He, in turn, calls Cuddy, who drugs House. He wakes up in Wilson's car, en route to his dad's funeral and assigned to give the eulogy. He does everything he can to avoid it, but all that causes is the origins of House and Wilson's friendship to be revealed. Unsurprisingly, they involve a crazy weekend in New Orleans. House makes it to the funeral and gives the eulogy, but only to use it as an opportunity to steal some of his dad's cells for a DNA test to confirm his childhood suspicions that his father is not his biological father. This pisses Wilson off enough to throw a bottle of Maker's Mark through a church window, which then, in turn, makes him realize that he just can't quit House no matter how hard he tries. He's coming back to PPTH and to House. Well, that was easy.
As for the patient, it turns out that her birth parents, upon giving birth to a daughter under China's one child law, tried to kill her by sticking nails in her skull. That didn't work, so they dropped her off at an orphanage instead, where she was adopted by her American parents. The nails stayed in her head with no problem until she touched that Buddha the second time. It turns out that the temple put magnets in it to make it too heavy for everyone to lift the second time. What? A dishonest religion? No! Those magnets caused the nails in her skull to move, causing all of her symptoms as well as her addiction subplot.
House gets the DNA results back and finds out that the man who died was not his biological father after all. While the patient can blame many of her problems on her biological parents, House still has his adoptive father to blame for his.
We open in a fancy Chinese restaurant the House location scouts are hoping we'll believe is an authentic Chinese temple. A young Chinese-American woman and the man acting as her interpreter are there to confront the woman's suspected birth parents. They come across an older couple, and the woman tells them who she is. It's not much of a reunion. The older woman looks confused while the man is angry, and tells the interpreter to leave them alone. When the younger woman begs for just ten minutes of their time, the man spits on the ground. Say what? You don't do that in a religious temple! He is SO going to hell. Er -- wait, sorry. He's Buddhist. He is SO getting reincarnated as a sea slug. The couple take off, and the woman spins around dramatically to face the interpreter, who tells her that the man said they have no daughter. He's assuming that they're telling the truth, because most people erupt in furious anger at a case of mistaken identity, but the woman says she knows they are her birth parents. Well, if they are, they wish they weren't, so you've probably gotten the answers you were looking for. Not the ones you wanted, but answers all the same. But she's not ready to give up, so she heads for a nearby Buddha statue and asks the interpreter how it works, figuring she'll try anything at this point. The interpreter tells her to make a wish and lift the statue. "I wish they could understand how badly I need this," she says. Oh, I hope Buddha statues aren't like birthday candles, or that's not going to come true now. She lifts the statue and puts it down. The interpreter tells her to repeat the exercise, and if she is unable to lift the Buddha the second time, her wish will come true. Amazingly, she can't lift the statue. Any hopes she might have had that this means her birth parents will turn around and accept her are cruelly dashed when she suddenly keels over and barfs blood.
House enters the conference room with a file he claims to have picked from Cameron's pocket down in the ER. She must have some really big pockets. Kumar informs House that his mother called twice with some urgent-seeming messages. House doesn't seem to care, saying his mother is healthy whereas their new patient is not. I'll say -- she just rode an ambulance from China to New Jersey. The bills from that alone are enough to reduce anyone to a quivering mass of flesh. The Cottages won't let the matter drop, so House tells them that his mother is calling because her husband and his hated father just died. The Cottages take this in as House assures them that he's fine and resumes discussing the patient, who has a history of alcoholism. Really? She didn't look wasted in the beginning segment. Good for her. The Chinese surgeons (I guess she didn't have to go all the way to New Jersey for medical care after all, although she probably should have) cut out a foot of her bowel and sent her back home to America, where the pain has only become worse, thus necessitating her ER visit.