You guys, I don't know what's going on here. Call it a Christmas miracle, but Cameron rocks in this episode (okay, she is a little whiny in the beginning, but she more than makes up for it), while the usually awesome Foreman is a smug jerk. Plus, House reveals a previously unseen ability to be charming when he needs to be and flirts with all the ladies! It's like everything was upside down and inside out! The layers of House's dysfunction onion peel to reveal that he frequents OTBs, where he meets Cynthia Nixon, who promptly has a seizure. She's admitted to PPTH with its new Foreman-led diagnostic team. Foreman assumes that anyone who hangs out at an OTB is an alcoholic prostitute, while House thinks the Cushing's Disease Cynthia was recently treated for has come back. Then they find a mass on her pancreas and give her two months to live. Cynthia takes the news suspiciously well, making Cameron wonder if the only thing wrong with her is that she has Munchausen's syndrome and has been making herself sick for attention and sympathy. It even explains the mass on her pancreas, which is just some harmless scaring from Cynthia's insulin injections, and not a tumor. Everyone scoffs at this, until Cameron proves that she's right -- and in an extremely cool way, too. So they're all ready to discharge Cynthia, but then House decides that she actually has something wrong with her besides all the mental illness-created symptoms, and he wants to run some more tests. Foreman overrules him, and Cynthia's discharged. Of course, that doesn't stop House, who injects her with an insulin and colchicine (everyone's favorite gout medication!) cocktail to trigger another seizure that will prove his diagnosis correct. The treatment is a bone marrow transplant, and just when they start destroying Cynthia's existing bone marrow, House realizes that she smells like grapes, indicating an infection and not a bone marrow problem after all. Whoops! Fortunately, they're able to get to Cynthia in time, and her bone marrow is saved so that she can go to another hospital and pull the same thing all over again, now with a new symptoms-causing drug to add to her arsenal. Great. Foreman has enjoyed his newfound authority, and he and Cuddy discuss making it a permanent thing; Cuddy will allow him to entertain the silly notion since it gets House's paperwork done and makes her life easier. For now, anyway.
We join House at an off-track betting house. I always thought of OTBs as shady and possibly illegal, but this one appears to serve food and beverages and looks like a fun place to hang. House shoves his way through the crowd ("cripple coming through!") to get to the registers or whatever they're called (when I bet on horses, I like to do it at the track, so I'm not much of an OTB expert) in time to place his bets for an upcoming race. Unfortunately, he's stuck behind some guy who's more interested in the cashier's birthday than he is in placing his bets in a timely fashion in order to allow the people behind him to do the same. House is irritated. Special guest star Cynthia "Miranda Hobbes" Nixon overhears the scuffle from her spot in another line and steps forward to expertly place bets for the stupid guy. She hands the cashier the guy's money, possibly pocketing some of it for herself, and winks at House. House finally gets to place his bet on a horse named "Seminal Uprising," and Cynthia Nixon makes fun of him, saying that the horse is a loser. I'm just disappointed that there aren't any horses with my favorite name, "Hoof Hearted." Say that a couple times fast and you'll see what I'm talking about. Anyway, House's dream girl goes to bet on a horse named "Termigator," but the race closes before she can. She's pissed, but House tells her it would have been a losing bet; he knows that Seminal Uprising's jockey is bulimic, and throws up after weighing in, which somehow gives him an advantage. Horse turns his attention to the race, but the rest of the crowd is focused elsewhere: the floor that Cynthia Nixon is currently seizing all over. House would rather watch the race than help a sick person, so he asks the crowd if anyone is a doctor. A guy steps forward and starts trying to do chest compressions on a woman who clearly doesn't need them, since she is still able to breathe her heart is beating, and House orders him just to call an ambulance. He notices some weird streaky bruising on Cynthia Nixon's stomach, and that's what finally tears him away from the horse race. He kneels down to check it out and tells the guy to tell the paramedics to take Cynthia to PPTH: "Her doctor's name is House." Termigator wins the race. Seminal Uprising's jockey wanders off to eat a lot and barf again.
It's snowing in New Jersey! The Cottages have assembled to discuss their newest patient. Cameron's primary concern is, of course, House's personal life, and she wonders what he was doing at an OTB. I'm surprised she knows what an OTB even is. Maybe she frequents them now that she does meth. Foreman explains that, since House is addicted to pain pills, he must also be addicted to everything else in the world one can be addicted to, including gambling. Chase protests that House is only addicted to pain pills because he has a pain problem, and House walks in and says that winning on that race would have alleviated some of his pain. He starts discussing their newest patient, a "hot OTB babe," with seizures and weird bruising. Foreman notes that her blood alcohol level was high (0.13 -- not exactly through the roof, but well over the legal driving limit), and assumes that Cynthia is an alcoholic, which explains all of her health problems, case closed. Never mind the fact that she may not even be an alcoholic. Chase decides that an attractive woman at an OTB must be a prostitute, and that Cynthia might have a prostitute-y STD that explains her symptoms. But Foreman's the boss this month, so he tells them to give Cynthia heparin for her alcoholism-relatd blood clotting, which explains the seizures and bruising. House protests that Foreman is being a little quick to judge. Dutiful and loyal Cameron comes up with three possible diseases that have nothing to do with Cynthia's shady lifestyle, and House tells them to get started looking at those, starting with Cushing's. Puh-leeze -- if it were Cushing's, wouldn't Cynthia be fat and unpopular? That's what I've learned from this show, anyway. Foreman asserts his authority and tells them to do a full work-up on Cynthia instead. House will be taking her medical history, because that's the most embarrassing thing for him to be forced to do.