First off, Wilson misdiagnoses a patient with terminal cancer and then is shocked when the guy isn't thrilled to hear that he's healthy, thanks, in part, to House's meddling for no other apparent reason than to make Wilson's life difficult. They have a spat over it that doesn't really get resolved by the end of the episode but that lets Wilson make some rather insightful and interesting observations about House for a change. And now the rest: Cuddy orders House to pick his final two Cottages or else lose his parking spot. He grabs a patient from Cameron in the ER: a punk-rock (although it sounded more like avant-garde semi-rhythmic noise to me) star who barfs blood and has respiratory failure. Each Number gets a chance to test a diagnosis, but when they all come up short and Jimmy Rotten is about to come up dead, they're forced to work together. When they do, they don't come up with the right answer, but they are able to give House whatever he needs to figure it out for himself: Jimmy has the measles, and his immune system, damaged from years of drug abuse, didn't handle things very well. He'll be fine to continue his life of carefully focused not caring and will even impart his loser wisdom to CTB, who gets fired for caring too much about the wrong things and not caring enough about the right ones. It's not enough to win all the time, and CTB doesn't know how to lose, so we lose her. I'm bummed. Thirteen gets fired as well, but then stupid Cuddy orders House to hire her back because he can't have a team of all men. So instead of having a team of the three most qualified people for the job (according to an admittedly insane criteria), House has three of the most qualified people for the job and some chick. Hooray for affirmative action?
We're hanging out in the mostly-black-and-white alley. A bunch of grey-skinned guys hang out, looking bored and wielding instruments, except for what must be their lead singer. He encourages camaraderie within his band by taking one member's fancy new guitar and scratching it up, saying it's just a "hunk of wood," so it should look like one. Watching a musical instrument get scraped up like that hurts my soul. It ends up hurting the lead singer's face, too, as his guitarist responds by smacking him in the face with the instrument. Some guy comes out and calls them to the stage, and the singer says he feels like going on now that his nose is broken and his jaw is dislocated. He only makes it to the doorway before throwing up blood and other assorted bits and then coughing until he passes out.
After the credits (which are surely due for a change in the next episode, since this one promises to be the one where House finally hires his new team. I'll miss you, original credits!), we go back to the basics, as House is watching a General Hospital-like show in the doctor's lounge, complete with a nurse with impossibly huge hair and standard soap-opera music. By the way, I believe that nurse just got more lines than Chase has had all season. House's fun is soon interrupted when Cuddy intrudes and demands to know which two Numbers House is going to hire. House says he can't do it without a new case, to which Cuddy replies that he's had two months worth of cases to narrow down his choices. If he doesn't make them by Friday, their pay will come out of his check. House doesn't care about that, since he gets all of his money from Wilson anyway. So Cuddy threatens to move his parking space to the dreaded "E" lot. That gets results. I wonder what's so bad about the E lot? Maybe it has dragons.
House heads for the ER to hunt for a new patient. Cameron says she's got one guy who will be dead within the next ten minutes, all smiles like she's proud of this fact. Uh, Cameron? You might want to, like, tend to that dying guy instead of standing around waiting for House to show up and make it seem like you have a role on this show. Maybe you can help him survive, or at least be there for him when he passes. Did I mention he doesn't have any family or friends? You used to love that stuff! Cameron says there's no one there to interest House, so he asks her whom she thinks he should hire. She figures he'll fire whomever she recommends and won't name anyone. Then a voice calls out from behind a curtain demanding turn-down service. Cameron introduces House to Jimmy Quidd from the pre-credits, a self-professed "punk-rock star" whose unhealthy way of life has created what House calls a "diagnostic heaven," what with his many symptoms, a bloodstream full of drugs, and his chronic lies. If he doesn't work as a patient, he can at least be House's new best friend.
House heads for the classroom and tells the Numbers that Jimmy will be their final case. Whoever gets the diagnosis right is hired, and a runner-up will be chosen "strictly on some definition of merit," i.e., Thirteen gets hired because she's hot. The Numbers jump to it with diagnoses. Kumar goes for endocarditis, Thirteen guesses hemorrhagic lesions in the lung and "gut," which I was not aware was a part of the human anatomy, CTB tries some kind of lung problem resulting from chain smoking, and PS comes up with...endocarditis. House tells PS to think of something else. Even though no one asked her, Thirteen chimes in with bacterial meningitis, so PS takes that one. So far, PS isn't making himself look like such a great hire, here. House starts to send them off to run their tests, but Foreman objects, saying the only thing wrong with Jimmy is that he's a drug addict. House says Jimmy has too many drug-addict-related symptoms for it to be just that. It's just too perfect, House says. Perhaps Jimmy has framejobitis! Foreman's second objection is that Jimmy is too weak to survive all of the tests the Numbers' diagnoses will subject him to, not like that ever stopped House before. But House relents, saying they'll do one test for each diagnosis, one at a time. CTB steps forward to plead her case for the first test and immediately loses two points. House says it doesn't matter who goes first, since only one of their diagnoses can be right. Maybe, but I'd think you'd want to test the one it's most likely to be first so as to limit the number of invasive tests Jimmy has to endure. That's only if you care about your patient's wellbeing beyond figuring out what's wrong with him, however. As usual, Kumar gets bogged down in the petty details and asks about this point system. For that, he loses three points. Ha ha! House hands CTB a model of the human eye that was on his desk, saying whoever holds it is the only person allowed to run tests.