Cuddy's mother is back, but this time she's a patient at PPTH. Cuddy insists that House treat her, but he insults her almost immediately and she demands to be treated by someone else. Cuddy then asks her boyfriend to secretly treat her mother, but when he and the new doctor have a difference of opinion over a diagnosis, House has to resort to sneaking around and switching out her medications, which could get everyone fired and sent to jail. This means keeping Martha M. Masters occupied with another case, but she quickly figures out what's going on and tells on House to Cuddy. When she realizes that House and Cuddy are in cahoots, she wants to tell on them to Murphy and give new doctor the truth. House threatens to ruin her burgeoning medical career. She does it anyway. Just as Murphy is being loaded into an ambulance to be taken to a different hospital where these kinds of shenanigans don't happen, House convinces Cuddy to stand up to her mother for once in her life. She does, and insists that she stay at PPTH and be treated by House. With that finally taken care of, we have like five minutes left in the show, so House quickly figures out that Murphy's cobalt hip replacement is poisoning her. All is well between Cuddy and her mother and, it seems, House and Cuddy. And House decides not to ruin Martha M. Masters' medical career after all and keep her on the team. She, in turn, decides to stay on the team for some reason. And in subplot land, Taub gets a side job with his soon-to-be-ex-wife's brother's law firm that he immediately blows because he thinks he's saving a kid's life. Yawn.
After an unnecessary and pretty cheesy (although I think that was the intent. At least, I hope so. Because there were page-turn wipes, and those should never be done sincerely) montage of high-end clothing, gold mannequins, and champagne, we go to a dressing room where Cuddy is trying on a low-cut leopard-print top in front of her mother and sister. Yes, that's right -- Murphy Brown is back! After seven years of never seeing or really hearing anything about Cuddy's mother (including her apparent refusal to join her daughters at a recent Thanksgiving dinner), we get her in two out of the last three episodes! Even better, she's telling Cuddy something I think we've all been waiting to hear: that she dresses completely inappropriately. Cuddy's sister is no help, commenting that at least Murphy isn't telling them they look fat, like she usually does. "If you didn't want to be insulted you wouldn't have invited me," Murphy says with no remorse. She's right, though -- if my mom regularly told me I looked fat or whorish, I wouldn't go shopping with her no matter how much champagne the store offered.
Some girl wanders in and asks if they want champagne. Murphy is quick to take her up on the offer, much to her daughters' outrage. "It's not even lunch," Sister Cuddy says. Murphy offers to drink a mimosa instead, then takes a look at her daughters' latest fashion choices. To Sister Cuddy: "perfect for a night on the town." To Cuddy, who has yet to learn not to try on low-cut tops in front of her mother: "perfect for breast feeding!" Soon, karma catches up with Murphy, and she comments that her heart is doing "that weird thing again." "Beating? It's normal for humans," Cuddy retorts. Which is funny, except that you'd think a doctor would be a little bit more concerned when an older woman (and her mother) complains of heart issues. Sister Cuddy has to ask her to check Murphy out. She feels Murphy's pulse for like two seconds before she looks very concerned and says Murphy needs to go to the hospital.
House and the Cottages watch cartoons on the morgue's ancient TV, surrounded by uncovered bodies that PPTH apparently just leaves lying around to rot. Seriously -- put them in a fridge at least. I worked at such a terrible hospital once, and even it was good enough not to leave dead bodies lying all over the morgue. It doesn't seem to affect any of the guys, though, who happily eat chips and watch TV while Martha M. Masters wonders what's going on. Chase, Taub, and Foreman already figured out that House is hiding from someone, although they disagree on who. Taub is betting on Wilson, like he ever actually appears on this show anymore. Chase thinks it's Cuddy. And Foreman's money is on anyone else. Taub and Foreman are idiots. It's obviously Cuddy, and she finally tracks them down and walks in, wearing a rather conservative outfit for her. Perhaps her mother's wise attire advice finally sunk in? While Chase collects payment from Taub and Foreman, House argues with Cuddy on whether or not he should treat her mother. Because he is reasonable, he thinks it's a terrible idea. Cuddy is her usual selfish self and stands right in front of the TV, blocking the view to the viewing audience's obvious displeasure. House doesn't think there's much of anything wrong with Murphy other than a long history of being a hypochondriac, and if anything is wrong, it's a heart thing that a cardiologist should deal with. Neither he nor Cuddy should be involved with treating Cuddy's mother, he says, for once agreeing with medical ethics. "This will be a disaster," he warns. Cuddy doesn't care.
And so, she throws a labcoat and a tie on House to make him look somewhat presentable and sends him to her mother's room. He puts on a fake smile and says all tests have come back normal and he thinks Murphy just needs some pills and her atrial fibrillation will go away. That's not good enough for Murphy, who asks if the heart issue is connected to her other symptoms. Cuddy asks what those are, and her mother rolls her eyes and says Cuddy has obviously been a Dean of Medicine for so long that she forgot how to be a real doctor and read Murphy's medical file. You know, the more we see of Cuddy's mother, the more it makes sense that she's dating House, who says the same horrible things to her. I guess it's what she's used to. House is forced to look through the last fifteen years of Murphy's medical history, none of which seems particularly interesting to him. In fact, he doesn't see a legitimate medical complaint anywhere in there except for a hip replacement that I'm sure won't come in handy later or anything. He's about to diagnose her as a complaining bitch when Cuddy interrupts to say they'll test Murphy's thyroid and House's team will inspect her house for possible environmental toxins. Murphy is satisfied with this, and feeling well enough to criticize the fact that House's labcoat is too small for him. And that surprises her? No one on this show wears clothes that fit properly.
Taub and Martha M. Masters are sent to Murphy's house (isn't it far away, by the way? She had to take a train to visit Cuddy last time). Martha looks for toxins in earnest while Taub just wants to find Cuddy's yearbook, as he was ordered to locate it by House. This leads to a conversation about high school days between Taub and Martha, who says she was crowned "Homecoming Geek" by her high school, which is incredibly cruel, especially since Martha was like 10 when she was in high school.
Taub brags about his days as a big man on campus, only to be interrupted by the sight of some Polaroids, which feature "certain parts" of Murphy's anatomy along with that of a "muscular Hispanic gentleman." I don't see how those could be relevant, since people haven't taken Polaroid pictures since like 1991. Less gross but possibly more helpful to their case, they find a vial of some Mexican herbal medication.
House hands the vial to Cuddy, saying Murphy was taking it for stomach problems and it apparently contains lots of lead. Cuddy says she'll start Murphy on chelation therapy and that will be that, case closed with none of the House-predicted disasters. Not so fast, House says, informing Cuddy that his team also found some saucy photographs of Murphy "doing the help." They then apparently found Murphy's diary and read that "the help" in the photos is a subcontractor named Jesus. Why is Murphy writing in a diary at all? And about her sexual exploits? Is she a 14-year-old girl? "Go, Mom!" Cuddy says, not as horrified by the news as House was apparently expecting her to be.
Cuddy hooks up an IV and asks her mother where she got the idea to take a Mexican herbal medicine. "A friend uses it," Murphy says. Cuddy says she knows that Jesus is more than a friend to Murphy, and lectures her for not telling them what could have been important medical history information that Murphy is sexually active. "At my age, he's more the active one," Murphy shrugs. Cuddy turns to her sister, all "can you believe this?" Sister Cuddy can believe it because she's known about it for five years now. Sister Cuddy also disapproves of the relationship because Jesus is married to someone else, but Murphy says she has needs and if Jesus's wife won't have sex with him then why shouldn't she? Meanwhile, Cuddy is a bit put out to find out that her mother has been hiding this from her for such a long time while seemingly having no issue with seeking advice about it from her sister. "We don't have that kind of relationship," Murphy says. And that upsets her? That's not the kind of relationship I want to have with my mother. Plus, the Hispanic gentlemen who work for Cuddy tend to almost die rather than sleep with her, so Murphy probably just thought she wouldn't understand.
Meanwhile, Taub is moving to a cheaper hotel room. He can't just rent an apartment? Hasn't it been like three weeks now? Also, why are we still being sucked into the Taub marriage vortex? I just want it to end already. We