Outside the office, Stacy and House congratulate themselves on a successful and reasonably fast trip to the Medicaid office. House tries to invite Stacy out for dinner, but she somehow managed to find out when his flight was leaving, and knows that it's too soon for them to have dinner together. She also made sure to book a separate flight from him. House thinks that this is about their relationship, but maybe Stacy just prefers sitting in a bulkhead seat and knows that House, being handicapped and therefore unable to assist passengers in the event of an emergency, wouldn't be able to sit next to her anyway and she didn't want him to feel bad.
The Cottages give Fletch various brain tests until he starts gagging and choking, because his lung has collapsed. Well, that didn't take long. Foreman says they'll need to intubate, and all three Cottages go for the cart at the same time, like when a bunch of people try to enter an elevator at once and get stuck in the doorway, except that this time, some poor guy is behind them dying and suffering due to their inability to function as a team when their boss is away.
The Cottages stare at Fletch's chest x-ray. He has fluid in his lungs, meaning that his problems did not stem from his hitting his head on that desk after all. Chase triumphantly thrusts the results of his tox screen in their faces. Fletch tested positive for amphetamines, meaning that Chase was the rightest right that ever did right, while Foreman and Cameron are wrong-ass losers. Smoking amphetamines, Chase explains, will give you a pulmonary edema. Cameron rolls her eyes and wonders what health consequences await her recent decision to have fun with meth. Foreman protests that Fletch wrote a book about quitting drugs and alcohol and about how great being clean and sober has been. "Everybody lies," Chase says, flashing the smug House smile he's been practicing in the mirror for since he got the job. ["Everybody especially lies about their path through drug use to sobriety, apparently." -- Wing Chun] That, or Fletch was just writing down his personal recollection of events as according to the memoir genre rules that he just made up on Larry King Live, in which case Fletch didn't really lie and Oprah can still love him. ["Great minds think alike!" -- Wing Chun]
Meanwhile, Wilson is without his usual cafeteria buddy and therefore forced to listen to a female co-worker's tearful story about how her boyfriend was a jerk to her. Wilson nods sympathetically as he mentally reconsiders his opinion that there's no worse lunch companion than his chip-stealing, bill-stiffing friend. His cell phone rings. It's House, calling from the Baltimore airport and wondering how his aphasic patient is doing. Apparently, Cuddy called House to tell him all about it as soon as she left Fletch's file with Foreman. Smart Cuddy. Wilson is happy for the excuse to leave Nurse Weepsalot, and brings House up to speed on Fletch's condition -- which he knows all about despite being an oncologist who isn't involved in this case -- adding that Fletch now has a temperature, which means that his problems were not actually caused by drug use. We are denied a chance to see Chase's smug smile turn into a disappointed frown while Cameron and Foreman laugh and dance circles around him. House has problems of his own, however -- a young boy has taken to bouncing his rubber ball against the back of House's chair while his mother reads a magazine and makes a lackluster effort to parent him. I'll bet that kid will be a real treat for the poor soul who gets stuck sitting next to or in front of him on his flight.