This week's patient saves a woman from being hit by a train and then collapses. House assumes there's something wrong with his brain or else he would never have risked his own life to save some random woman. Martha M. Masters, of course, believes that people can be selfless and heroic and that the patient has some kind of bacterial infection with no brain involvement. They're both wrong, although House stops caring about any of this after about ten minutes in order to focus on Cuddy's mother being in town for her birthday and his presence being requested at a celebratory dinner. Wilson, whose post-breakup whining House was hoping to avoid for one night, is also invited. House deals with both Wilson and Cuddy's mother (played by the always-amazing Candice Bergen!) by slipping sedatives in their wine. Ma Cuddy believes she got too drunk and passed out, and apologizes to House the next day for her behavior and for being an overbearing, judgmental mother. She seems to approve of Cuddy's boyfriend, showing that she is a terrible judge of character, and gives House his flash of diagnostic brilliance: the patient of the week has chicken pox. Also, Taub's wife's horniness causes them to separate.
We open in what appears to be a New York City subway station, so if someone ends up all the way in a New Jersey hospital from here, when there are plenty of great hospitals in New York to go to, I will be suspicious. Unless there's a Princeton-Plainsboro subway system I don't know about, and that's where we're supposed to be?
A father and his daughter wait for the next train, with the father played by Matthew Lillard at his most Lillard-ly. He crushes his daughter, Daisy's, dreams of pizza dinner with her dad by reminding her that he's "going back on the road" and so won't be joining them for dinner, which seems to be a fairly common occurrence in Daisy's life. Before their conversation can turn into a Harry Chapin song, some woman has a seizure and falls down on the train tracks. Various people standing on the platform call for someone else to help, but no one makes a move to do so until Matthew Lillard jumps on the tracks and carefully walks towards her. He doesn't know what to do after that, since she won't snap out of her seizure just because he asks her to and there's a train coming and no one else on the platform looks remotely interested in helping them up. They do wave at the oncoming train, but that's about it. Lillard ends up lying on top of the woman as the train runs them both over and comes to a stop in front a bunch of hilariously overacting extras.
The extras order the train driver to move it forward, because all they seem to be good at is telling other people what to do, and there's Matthew Lillard still lying on the tracks over the woman, seemingly untouched. The crowd on the platform assumes they're both dead until his hand moves and then he stands up to the applause and relief of everyone watching. Including his daughter, who no one thought to, like, grab and pull her away so she didn't have to witness her father's train-shredded body. Matthew Lillard notes from a medical bracelet on the no-longer-seizing woman's wrist that she has epilepsy and therefore will not be our patient of the week, as if we ever thought she would be when Matthew Lillard is guest-starring, and then, sure enough, just after he tells his daughter he's okay, his eyes roll to the back of his head and he passes out.
Oh, in the month since the last new episode I forgot that Martha M. Masters existed. But she's back and urging House to take on a case she found in the ER (yes, the ambulance took Matthew Lillard all the way from NYC to PPTH) which is only exciting to her because it's the Subway Hero. This is also interesting to House because he does not believe in Subway Heroes and thus considers that to be a symptom along with the abnormal EKG and passing out. Um, isn't House the guy who went under an unstable building in the last season finale to save that woman? And risked his own life several times for her? How is that any different from what Matthew Lillard did? Of course, Martha M. Masters believes that people can be heroes and therefore that it is not a symptom. Oh, good. Those two can fight over morals again. For the third episode in a row.