After lackluster episode last week, House recaptures its magic by going to the South Pole, where Kate, the station's only doctor is barfing and has pain in the kidney area. Thanks to modern technology, House gets to diagnose her from New Jersey, and distance makes his heart grow fonder. Or, considering it's House, makes it exist. Not only does he know her name, he calls her by it! He comes up with a few diagnoses, but she won't treat herself for them and waste limited supplies of medicine unless she has proof he's right. He can't provide that proof because he's wrong. And then Kate goes into a coma that the station generator repairman has drink Kate's pee and drill a hole into her skull to relieve, showing House that he has a rival for Kate's affections. Meanwhile, House sends the Cottages sans Foreman off to the ER to ruin Cameron's life until she convinces the budget committee she's on to pay for House's cable. Two days later, the Cottages revolt, only to find out that that's what House wanted them to do all along -- challenge him. That's when Kumar actually comes up with the correct diagnosis -- Kate broke her toe, but the cold Antarctic weather kept her foot numb and she always wears her socks so she never knew. Meanwhile, bone marrow was leaking out of the broken toe bone, causing all of Kate's problems. The station generator repairman sets Kate's toe and breaks House's heart. Wilson's heart is doing just fine, though, since he is DATING CUTTHROAT BITCH YES YES YESSSS!!!!! YESSSSSS!!!!
I don't understand the wisdom of blowing one of the last two new episodes of House by putting it after the Superbowl, but I guess it's February sweeps and this episode got monster ratings. Unfortunately, any of the momentum the huge viewership might have given the show will come to a crashing halt in two days when the last episode of the season airs. We open on a vast, snow-covered terrain, empty except for a building surrounded by several loud windmills. It's Antarctica! A man covered in snow gear fixes and starts up one of the windmills, then steps back to admire his handiwork, which is creaking in a most ominous way. Then one of the propellers comes flying off of the pole, and the guy backs away from it slowly as if he can sneak his way out of this. He can't, and the propeller spins towards him, hitting him in the leg and knocking him off his feet. Blood spurts out of his leg. He cries for help, and it isn't long before a woman comes running towards him through the wind and snow. She applies pressure to his wound, which has stopped bleeding because the air is freezing it. That's the only reason why he's still alive, as the windmill cut his femoral artery. The woman helps the man into a tunnel and out of the wind and snow and proceeds to cut his pant leg open and glue (yes, glue. Why not?) the wound shut. While he tears off pieces of duct tape to use as a bandage, she checks his foot and finds the blood circulation to be good. "I thought I was done," he says. "Yeah, like I'd let anything happen to you," the woman says; "you're the only one who could fix the generators." Uh oh. That guy is kind of a walking disaster so far. I hope they don't need electricity too much at the South Pole.
Now that she's issued the standard levity-bringing quip, it looks like everything's awesome and will work out great for everyone involved. Oh, no, wait -- the woman, Cate, suddenly screams in pain and clutches her right side. Then she barfs some gross yellow liquid. Looks like pickings were slim at the South Pole cafeteria. Maybe the only person who can cook hit himself on the head with a soup ladle. "I need help," she says. "Who am I supposed to get?!" the repairman panics, most reassuringly.
It's always a good sign when Coma Guy is in an episode, so I'm pleased to see him here after a long absence. Maybe there's hope that Evil Nurse Brenda will come back, too. House has taken over Coma Guy's television, figuring Coma Guy doesn't need it and it, unlike the television in House's office, has cable. Or at least, it did. Cuddy informs House that the budget committee decided to charge patients for cable in their rooms, which is a bitch move on their part. Isn't it bad enough that these people are in a hospital? Now they have to pay for cable, too? Lame, PPTH. Cuddy is deaf to House's complaints, though, as she has a case for him, for which he was personally requested by the psych department. This makes me thinks that the psych department is about as good at their specialty as the oncology department is at theirs. Anyway, it's not a psych case -- the patient is an adjunct faculty member. Right now she's trapped at the South Pole, a fact that piques House's interest enough for Cuddy to shove the file into his hands and run away.
13 continues to not have a first name, so I'll give her one. Today's name will be Mildred. Mildred's brilliant idea is to try to evacuate Cate from the South Pole, a solution I'd think had already been considered and rejected before the case made it to House's desk. Kumar and Mildred suggest various stones, but House discounts the standard garden variety ones since they're too boring. Taub makes things spicy by suggesting a type of kidney stone that could be caused by having lots of sex, causing UTIs and then a struvite kidney stone. "Antarctic drilling: bad for the environment AND the ladies!" House says. What a jerk. I'm sure there are gay men down there, too. He dumps a cardboard box onto the table and says its contents are all of the medications the South Pole has at their disposal. There's nothing that will break up a kidney stone, but Kumar has an idea. So does House, although his is completely unrelated to the patient.