This episode is one giant mood swing. The first half is merry and light and fun, with House getting all jealous after Cuddy turns down his date in favor of hanging out with Wilson. He seeks out Wilson's second ex-wife to try to get the scoop on Wilson's dating habits and find out how threatened he should be by Cuddy and Wilson together. He somehow figures out that the solution is for Cuddy to sleep with Wilson before she falls in love with him. No one consults Cuddy about this. Chase is adorable, even while being a little too persistent with Cameron and giving Foreman's surprise-visiting father a big hello. The patient of the week doesn't seem too bad off with her brain and lung problems that look like a cut-and-dry case of an autoimmune disorder. And Foreman's dad brings Foreman's mother to town with him, and she seems in control of her faculties and really sweet and warm. But then...Wilson's ex-wife makes House feel like a jerk. Foreman is convinced that the patient's autoimmune disorder is cancer, and the only treatment for it is total body radiation. With her liver failing, they don't have time to do the tests that will confirm the diagnosis, so they do the radiation and kill her immune system to make her better. Except that it's only after they do that that they realize that she doesn't have cancer or an autoimmune disorder -- she has an infection. And now that her immune system has been killed, she has no defense against it. She'll die within the day. Foreman feels terrible, as well he should, and he stays with her until the end, because she's yet another PPTH patient with no family or friends. Foreman goes to his mother for a hug. He gets it...but she doesn't know who he is, as we find out in the most heart-wrenching way. Ouch. On the one bright side, House adopts Wilson's ex-wife's dog after finding out it's his canine counterpart.
We open on the FOX city backlot set with a guy trying to play some Three-Card Monte. I don't know why he's conducting what I'm assuming is an illegal activity in the middle of the day on a busy street, but I admire his gumption. He "randomly" selects a woman from the audience to play. He shuffles the cards around and she picks the queen. He starts to pay up while the audience full of suckers oohs and aahs at the easy money that they, too, might collect. When he offers her a chance to go double or nothing, she takes it. And she picks the queen once more, although she and the guy exchange looks that suggest they're in on this together. One dumb schmuck falls for it and steps up to play. The guy running the game says the schmuck can go right after he tries to win his money back from the girl a third time. But when the girl goes to pick the queen again, she looks stricken and says she "can't decide." The guy is extremely hostile and impatient towards her about it, and then she passes out. The guy takes off. Fortunately, the audience of suckers are also Samaritans and they stick around to help.
Almost three full seasons in, and I still love the theme song.
After the break, the girl, whose name is "Lupe," is at PPTH telling Foreman that for thirty seconds, she couldn't do anything. Her brain just wouldn't let her make a decision. Foreman says that the inability to make a decision is called ebullia and was part of a transient ischemic attack. That means blood was cut off to part of Lupe's brain. Lupe asks if a TIA is like a stroke. "A little," Foreman says. Right, nothing that a young, able-bodied woman should be worried about. What's with all the young ladies getting strokes these last few episodes anyway? I was under the impression that I didn't have to worry about them for a long time yet, but it seems that on this show, you can get them at any age for any reason. Foreman asks about any possible workplace environment toxins Lupe could have been exposed to, and that gives her the opportunity to tell him and us her employment history, which is a series of go-nowhere sales jobs and stretches of unemployment. One of those jobs is at a place called Jeans Gone Wild, which sounds like the best store ever. While Lupe continues to list off her jobs, Foreman almost has a TIA of his own trying to hide his complete and total disgust with her.
House and the rest of the Cottages talk in the meeting room. Cameron thinks the TIA was caused by a clot from the heart, Foreman thinks it's drugs, and Chase looks at the whole picture and considers Lupe's spotty job history, saying it could be a symptom of a neurological problem. Foreman assumes that Lupe is a "scam artist" who works at whatever job she can find for long enough to qualify for unemployment, then lives off of that and gets high until it runs out. I don't know what's going on with New Jersey's unemployment system, but here in California, you can't make enough at Jeans Gone Wild to eke out a living on unemployment. Plus, if you get fired from a job or quit, you get a lot less. Chase doesn't think they should assume Lupe is on drugs, and Foreman and Chase squabble about that for a while just for the fun of it, while House looks out in the hallway and spots Wilson making time with some woman. Foreman and Chase's argument over whether or not Lupe is a drug addict concludes with Chase shoving Lupe's clean tox screen in Foreman's face. Foreman goes to tattle to House about how Chase just wasted his time, but House isn't there.