Class-say music plays. A lab-coated, shaky-handed Joel Grey kills and dissects a rat. Delicious. He's displeased to find a huge tumor in the rat despite his apparent best efforts to treat it. Then he gasps for air and collapses while all the other rats in the room probably laugh and point. One starts eating his lip for good measure. He probably would've called 911 if you hadn't just killed his brother, Joel.
House reports to work the next morning and hands the Cottages the file on their newest patient, Ezra Powell. He tells them to disregard the small lacerations on Ezra's face, as those are "creepy" but irrelevant to the case. Cameron disregards the case entirely to ask House why he's using his cane again and cast a few sympathetic glances his way. House won't answer her questions, even after the usually silent Foreman expresses some concern. He tells them to concentrate on their real patient, whose name they all recognize as a world-famous cancer researcher. Cameron can't believe that House actually admires one of his peers. I can't believe that this would make any difference in the dismissive and cold way House usually treats his patients.
The Cottages get down to diagnosing. Chase notes that Ezra's lungs are full of fluid and guesses there's a problem with his heart: amyloidosis. Hmmm! That's an interesting theory; wonder if we'll ever see it again? Foreman wonders if decades of breathing toxic lab fumes have damaged Ezra's lungs. House winces in pain and tells them to stop helping the guy breathe and see what "gives out" first: his heart or his lungs. That way, they'll find out where the problem lies. Chase points out that, at seventy-one, their patients' vital organs may not be in good enough shape to give back in. House doesn't really care about that.
Cameron helps Ezra into the stress EKG machine while he points out that he and another doctor were the creators of the device. The other doctor, Ezra grimly points out, died a few years ago. "I'm sorry," Cameron says, making her best sympathy face. Ezra says the guy was eighty-four and died parasailing: "He was always an idiot." I don't know, I think that's a rather smart way to die. Smarter than, oh, say, admitting yourself into a hospital under the care of a determined diagnostician and then expecting him to help you die without even figuring out what's really wrong with you or whether it's even terminal. Now that would be stupid. Cameron smiles at Ezra and the doctor-patient bond has been formed. Goody. Ezra gets started on the treadmill while Cameron, Foreman, and Chase hang out in the booth and talk about the return of their boss's cane. Chase bitterly remarks that he's sure that House will "handle it in a stoic, grown-up fashion" and not take his problems out on his fellows. Specifically the one fellow he's always taking his problems out on. Poor Chase. Meanwhile, Ezra's struggling on the treadmill, even though his heart rate isn't even approaching the target they need for accurate results. Cameron rushes in to cheer him on and then cancels the test. "This isn't working," she says