House
Forever

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Take Your Vitamins

House finds Brent hugging his dead son. House tells him that he needs Michael to do a test that could save Kara, becase he thinks that they both have the same illness, and he can't do the biopsy on Kara because she'll bleed out. Brent refuses to let them use Michael to save his murderer. So House has to take the tough love approach, minus the love. First, he accuses Brent of drinking again, saying his barfing wasn't caused by a stomach bug, but by a hangover. Brent admits to this. House then accuses him of neglecting his wife and her steadily increasing psychosis for drinks at the bar because he didn't want to deal with her complaining all the time. And when Kara's psychosis really took hold and she "shut down," House accuses Brent of being relieved when he should have been concerned. "What is wrong with you?" Brent asks. "What kind of a person says those things now?" Yeah, really. What did any of that accomplish besides making Brent want to drink himself to death? House realizes that he may have gone too far and turns the asshole down a notch. He asks Brent to let him do the test on Michael so Brent can have "one less thing to feel crappy about." And House should have many more things to feel crappy about, like what an asshole he just was to the grieving father for no reason. I'm sure that there were other ways to get him to agree to biopsy the baby than that.

Chase is also grieving over the dead baby, but when he hears House approaching, he grabs a magazine and tries to look nonchalant and totally fine with the baby death while he reads it. House orders Chase to biopsy the baby, since Chase loves NICU so much. That, and Foreman can't do it, and Cameron would no doubt flood the entire morgue with her tears if she had to. Chase maintains that he just wanted to get away from lying patients, but House whips out Chase's paycheck and accuses him of "double-dipping" -- using his vacation time to work in NICU and therefore getting double pay. House wants to know why a rich boy like Chase would need the extra cash. Chase says that he isn't rich, which House takes to mean that he was cut out of his dead rich father's will. Chase just repeats that he isn't rich, grabs the check, and storms off. I guess he won't be impressing any ladies with invitations to ski in the Alps in the near future.

Before he starts the biopsy, Chase, his voice almost breaking, takes a moment to pray over its doll body and apologize to it for not being able to keep it alive. You know, Chase gets very few scenes like this, and yet I don't think Jesse Spencer has ever let me down in them. Maybe next season he'll get more than two episodes to shine. Chase does the test -- and immediately sees something odd.

Wilson comes to House's office with Cuddy's test results back -- she's negative for cancer markers, and therefore positive in love with Wilson. House stops his yo-yoing to think about this, as Chase comes in and says that Michael had a slight villus atrophy. With that, Chase, Wilson, and House go to the meeting room, where Cameron and Foreman are waiting for them. I can't imagine how awesomely awkward their conversation was before those three entered the room. House says that Michael had celiac disease, not colic like his parents thought, and therefore couldn't absorb the gluten NICU bonds with the polystyrene to treat elevated potassium levels. Michael inherited the condition from his mother, where it was dormant until the stress of childbirth and debt and alcoholism triggered it. Every time she ate something with gluten in it, she did more damage to her small intestine, making it unable to absorb vitamins, such as niacin and vitamin K, leading to the Pellagra and bleeding, respectively. So it was celiac and not Chase that caused Michael's death. Chase is immensely relieved. He shouldn't be; I remember from my days of working in a hospital lab that one of the diagnostic tests for celiac disease involves collecting seventy-two hours worth of a patient's stool. And since the Cottages have to run their own tests, they should be having a really fun time with that.

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