House

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You Can't Win If You Don't Play
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Cheery music plays as Donal Logue, bouquet in hand, paces nervously in front of a small house before ringing the doorbell. Jennifer Williams answers, and Donal introduces himself as Cyrus Harry, who spent a "long weekend at the Jersey Shore" 23 years ago with a woman named Jennifer Williams. He's trying to find her again. Clearly, that weekend wasn't very memorable, since Cyrus can't even tell if the woman at the door is the right Jennifer Williams or not. I'm going to go with "not," since this one slams the door in his face. He crosses her name off the list and heads back to his limo, telling his chauffeur they're going to Philadelphia and the next Jennifer Williams. The chauffeur grumbles at this, even though he's apparently making six figures at this job, thanks to his boss being his very generous cousin, and says he doesn't understand why Cyrus is wasting so much time on a memory of a woman when he has enough money to get plenty of real ones. Cousin Phil starts to apologize for being cranky, but Cyrus isn't listening because he suddenly can't move his leg.

House passes out the new patient file, saying that something seems to be wrong with Cyrus's brain, but all tests have come back normal. Taub zeroes in on the important part of Cyrus's medical history: he just won $42 million in the lottery after a lifetime of eking out a living as a refrigerator repairman. Taub thinks Cyrus is really lucky, but House figures that Cyrus will blow the money just like other lottery winners he's read about, saying money can't buy happiness and Cyrus was clearly miserable enough before the win to buy lottery tickets in the first place. "Our level of happiness is set. It's in our DNA," Hadley agrees. "It's like there's two of me," House notes. True. Why have her back on the show at all, then? One House is plenty. Cuddy suddenly enters the room and informs House that her mother is threatening to sue PPTH, saying their poor care slowed her recovery time. House cheerfully says that's fantastic, as he now gets to still deal with Cuddy's mother while also not getting to have sex with Cuddy. While he does that, he sends Chase and Foreman to check out Cyrus's workshop and Taub and Hadley to check out Cyrus.

House takes some Vicodin, saying they are necessary to prevent the pain in his ass he's expecting. Cuddy ignores him and explains that her mother is recovering slowly from her hip replacement and having trouble moving, so Cuddy offered to let her move in with her. This caused a huge fight for some reason, and now Murphy Brown wants to sue PPTH, which could lead to the revelation of all the not-quite-medically-ethical stuff House and Cuddy did to her. Which means they could both get in serious trouble, up to and including having their medical licenses taken away. Is that really such a threat? Hadley went to jail for killing her own brother and she got her medical license back in three seconds. Murphy Brown wants to discuss a settlement, but insists on meeting with both Cuddy and House. Which means House will have to play nice in front of Cuddy's mother while Cuddy tries to talk her mother out of ruining her own daughter's career. Wow, this seems really complicated. I guess they should have just let Murphy die after all. House has no intention of going to any meetings.

Taub asks Cyrus about any new rich people hobbies he may have picked up that exposed him to toxic chemicals, including drugs. Cyrus insists that he will not turn into one of those lottery winners who loses everything. To that end, he says he's living the same life and eating the same food he did before he had money. "Crappy canned food," Phil notes, getting Taub's attention. He asks how often Cyrus eats canned meals. Cyrus says that pretty much all of his meals are from cans, and he orders them "by the case." What food are we talking about here, exactly? Spam? Chef Boyardee? Pheasant in a can? Is it really that difficult and expensive to buy and prepare real food? Even those Hungry Man frozen meals for single manchildren would be better than this "crappy canned food" Cyrus has been eating all his life.

p>Chase and Foreman check out Cyrus's grim, disgusting workshop. For whatever reason, Chase decides to call Foreman out for being "repressed," whatever that's supposed to mean, and unable to change his ways Chase, on the other hand, claims to have changed his life in the last month. He is no longer sleeping with random women all the time and says he's happier than ever and ready for "something real" to come along. Yes, and then get fired by the show's producers and written off the show and her marriage to Chase for the stupidest of reasons. Sounds fun! Chase challenges Foreman to get through one differential diagnosis session without House getting under his skin. Foreman asks how he's supposed to prove that. Chase doesn't seem to have any ideas, but he does find a can of chemicals from China that are probably full of deadly poison.

In a shot from very high up for no good reason, Chase and Taub tell House that Cyrus could either be suffering from inhaling evil Chinese solvent toxins or heavy metal poisoning from all those cans of food he eats. Hadley says the treatment for either diagnosis is the same thing: chelation. House orders the Cottages to do something else that isn't chelation, because that way they'll be able to find out what is actually wrong with Cyrus. Narrowing it down to two possibilities isn't good enough for House, and they should have known that. Foreman argues that chelation is safer for the patient than the treatments House is suggesting, but then is forced to drop it in order to prove to Chase that he can interact with House without getting angry inside. Or something. I'm really not sure what this stupid C-plot thing between Chase and Foreman is about other than a way to fill some time.

Taub and Hadley make their way into Cyrus's room as Hadley says she decided to cancel the dialysis machine House ordered and do chelation instead. When it works, they'll just lie to House and say Cyrus had heavy metal poisoning. Yes, because House will totally fall for that. It's not like he's a brilliant doctor who pays attention to even the most insignificant detail or anything. Hadley seems to think that even if House does find out what she did, he'll just be "impressed" that she defied him. Since when was House impressed by that? He likes it when his Cottages defy other doctors. Not so much when they defy him. It doesn't matter anyway, as the chelation therapy has also been canceled -- by Cuddy, who just deauthorized all treatment for House's patient.

Hadley informs House that Cuddy has made it so that they can't do anything for Cyrus until House attends the meeting with Cuddy, Murphy Brown, and Murphy Brown's lawyer. Well, that's a great way to make sure that someone doesn't sue the hospital for poor treatment and keep your medical license: by putting another patient in danger by basically refusing to let your staff treat him for what may well be a fatal condition. Not to mention that the patient has plenty of money for a lawyer and nothing to lose. Way to learn from your mistakes, Cuddy. Taub says House has no choice but to attend the meeting so they can go back to saving Cyrus. That sounds like a dare to House.

Next thing we see, Cyrus is being prepared to be discharged from PPTH altogether. He is understandably confused, and Taub can't think of a lie that will explain why a man who still can't move his leg and has plenty of money to pay for care is being told to leave the hospital. Hadley tells Cyrus not to worry; he's just a victim of a power struggle between his doctor and the Dean of Medicine, and she's sure it will all be resolved within twenty minutes after Cyrus is kicked out of PPTH. I'm sorry, but that's not going to make me feel better, and it doesn't do much for Cyrus, either. He should take his millions of dollars and hop over to St. Sebastian's. And to a lawyer's office. And then Cuddy can have meetings with two former patients about the shitty treatment they received at her hospital.

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House

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