Foreman searches for redemption this week -- or at least a different way of treating patients so they don't end up dead -- and his first patient is Matty, the younger brother of a kid with cancer who needs Matty's bone marrow in the next five days or he'll die. Unfortunately, Matty gets an infection right before the transplant is to take place, rendering his bone marrow useless unless House and team can figure out what's wrong and cure him. They decide the best way to do this is to make Matty worse so his infection will be easier to identify. Sure enough, Matty gets worse. But they can't identify the infection, and Foreman chickens out and tells the parents about a partial donor match he found in the registry. The parents decide to go with the partial donor match even though the chances of the cancer kid rejecting that match and dying in horrible agony are pretty high. The cancer kid gets the bone marrow and his body starts rejecting it. Figuring he's going to die anyway, House wants to give him Matty's infection. The infection will flourish in the cancer kid's non-existent immune system, and hopefully that will be enough to let them identify the infection in time to save Matty. Otherwise, both brothers will die. The parents refuse to agree to a procedure that is certain to kill their cancer kid, who they totally love more than Matty and it's so obvious, forcing Foreman to get over himself and go back to the medicine he used to do. With Wilson's help, he figures out what's wrong with Matty -- a fungal infection caused by chicken crap in his backyard dirt, just when you thought it was safe to play outside -- and then ties the kid down and sucks out his bone marrow until he gets enough to give to his brother. Matty screams in the agony of having bone marrow removed with no sedation, and we have to watch. But in the end, Foreman saves Matty and his brother. He's not happy that he had to "turn into" House to do it, though, so he quits. Meanwhile, House spends the episode trying to kill his new dog accidentally on purpose. In one week, he manages to give the dog a limp and a Vicodin addiction. House also gets a new cane with flames on it and a tiny speaker that apparently blares AC/DC wherever he goes. And he'll need that speaker, since karma stole his stereo. It takes a special show to feature characters who torture dogs and children and make you actually like them. This is still that show.
A ten-year-old boy, who we'll later find out is named Matty, gets ready to see his fourteen-year-old brother, Nick, in a clean (as in, germ-free, although I'd assume it's neat as well) room at PPTH. Nick is in there because he has cancer and his bone marrow has been irradiated away in preparation for a donation from his younger brother. Nick is looking pretty sick indeed, his face pale and all of his hair gone. I wonder if the actor had to shave off his eyebrows for this role. That's scary -- they don't always grow back! But danger is on the horizon, as we see that Wilson is in the room, too. Whenever Wilson's around, trouble follows. Usually caused by his ineptitude. He guides Matty to his own hospital room and prepares him for the marrow donation, expositing that baseball player Matty had to miss some of his games in order to make sure he wouldn't be exposed to anything that would compromise the health of his marrow. Just as Wilson is finished saying all this, Matty sneezes in a moment that's very similar to the time in the Scooby-Doo cartoons when Shaggy and Scooby are hiding from some ghost and then Shaggy is about to sneeze and give away their position. He struggles to contain the sneeze, and then, just when it looks like the urge to sneeze has passed, he sneezes, right when The Old Caretaker in a ghost costume is walking by! This usually touches off a chase through several rooms in a long hallway, Velma inevitably loses her glasses, and Daphne and Fred have no character development, all of which is occasionally accompanied by a groovy song. I think it's safe to say none of those things will happen in this episode. Which is a shame.
Speaking of lovable dogs, House gets a rude awakening from his new pet Hector, who is a cute little West Highland White Terrier (I think...if it's not, then it looks a lot like one). Hector barks House awake and proudly shows off all of House's stuff he's chewed up -- including House's cane. Ha ha ha!
At PPTH, Wilson informs the crew that they have to diagnose and treat Matty and clear up his bone marrow in the next five days or his brother dies. Cameron thinks that they should give up on Matty and look for another marrow donor, but Wilson says that the kid is black, and therefore it will be almost impossible to get a match. House agrees; he can't get his black employee to match being at work on time.
Actually, Foreman is at PPTH, just not in the meeting room. He's in the chapel. I guess that's like a time-out chair for adults when they do something wrong. Like kill a woman. By the way, I don't trust Foreman's issues carrying over from the last episode since last season when he almost freaking died and had a risky brain biopsy and the only fallout was one episode where Foreman was cheerful and couldn't tell his left foot from his right. House makes everything better by bursting in and saying that Wilson is about to kill a kid the same way Foreman did. What are the odds? At PPTH, they're actually pretty good. Meanwhile, everyone else in the chapel quickly leaves. Now bored with his case, House changes the subject and asks Wilson how old Hector is, and Wilson answers that Hector is seventeen. I hope that Wilson and Bonnie got Hector as an adult dog on their honeymoon; otherwise, that would make Wilson a very young second-time groom. Unless Wilson's actually seventy but just looks younger. He certainly acts like it sometimes. House grumps that Hector should be dead of old age by now. Really? I never had a cat or dog for a pet growing up since my dad was allergic to them, but everyone who lived on my street who had cats or dogs had them for about twenty years. I think Patches the Cat lived to be twenty-two, and Max the German Shepherd was twenty-one. The only pet who didn't live that long was Muffy, but that was only because she was hit by a car and then ran under my dad's car in the driveway and died under it, thereby totally framing my dad for her murder and causing bad relations between us and the rest of the street.