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No Pain, No Gain

Back from the break, Foreman observes that "House shouldn't even be here." Jesse Spencer delivers a flawless reading of the line, "Because he...said...something inappropriate?" Hee. Brilliant. Chase goes on to point out that, if they sent House home every time he did that, "we wouldn't need this office," and Cameron jumps in to defend House, saying he's in pain. Foreman wonders, understandably, what House would have to do to piss Cameron off, and she points out that he's been without his meds for almost three days. Foreman is all, "Yeah, my point," and adds that House is out of his mind, at which point naturally House appears in the doorway, nattily clad in a sheen of sweat, and observes that "that's what they said about Manson." I can't decide if that's a dumb line accidentally or on purpose; Laurie's "that was a dumb line" face is pulled in character, making me think we're supposed to think House said it, then realized that it's a feeble crack and that he's therefore off his form in that regard as well. Or I'm overthinking it, so let's move on. House asks if they'd like to continue talking about him, or discuss what the liver damage tells them instead. The Housekeepers look a little cringy and don't respond right away, so House does a little '50s game-show shtick with, "I was born in a log cabin in Illinois," and crutches exhaustedly into the room as Cameron leaps in to say that, based on the constellation of symptoms, she's still voting lupus. "It's moving too fast," House says, and proposes Hepatitis E. An incredulous Foreman points out that only one case of Hep E has originated in the U.S. in the last year, but House reminds them of Larry's travel history. Cameron is also incredulous and asks if House really thinks Larry's got Hep E. No; he thinks lupus is much more likely. Cameron gets up, prepared to start Larry on a course of lupus medication, but House stops her, saying they need to rule Hep E out first. "You just said it wasn't Hep E," Foreman says impatiently. Well, House says, it probably isn't, but if they treat for lupus and it is Hep E..."he's toast," Chase finishes. Cameron expositions that there's no active treatment for Hep E; Larry will get better on his own, or keep getting worse. "Yeah, I went to medical school too," House rasps, and orders solumedrol, which won't really do anything treatment-wise, but will tell them whether it is in fact Hep E or lupus by how Larry responds to it.

The problem, as Foreman points out, is what to tell Dad, as the current plan more or less boils down to "we think he has lupus, so we're treating him for Hep E, and if he does have Hep E, the solumedrol will actually make him worse." Which sort of makes no sense, so they'll have to fudge it -- well, outright lie, really, which House tells Cameron to do, because Dad trusts her. House heads out of the room, looking at least a little ashamed of himself, but it's hard to tell whether it's because he told Cameron to compromise her ethics, or because it's not as snazzy a plan as one he'd come up with at full strength. Cameron and Foreman exchange a "what's with Dr. Kookoopants?" look.

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