House has recovered from last season's gunshot wounds, leaving only a scar, a pool of dry blood on the carpet that no one seems to be able to replace or clean, a working leg, and a new lease on life. A new lease that involves jogging, skateboarding, and trying to make patients and their families feel good. He tests this on two patients. The first is Karen, a woman who snapped her neck during yoga class and is paralyzed even though her spine seems to be fine. House sets her feet on fire, delights in her screams of pain, and pronounces her insane. And then blood starts pouring into her heart and he has to change his diagnosis to scurvy. Way to not eat oranges, Karen. Stupid. The second patient is more complicated: Richard's been a vegetable since having surgery for brain cancer eight years ago. He steers his wheelchair into a pool in what everyone thinks is a suicide attempt. House wants to make the guy more comfortable with surgery on his atrophied tendons and plenty of morphine, then decides that helping people is not its own reward and starts trying to cure the guy despite everyone around him warning not to and his efforts only leading Richard closer and closer to death. A life-affirming dip in the fountain makes House realize what's really wrong with Richard and how to cure him (something about Addison's disease? I'm still not clear on it), but Cuddy takes a stand and says no to letting House move forward on his hunches. But Cuddy's not stupid, so while House sulks in his office, she tests his hunch on the side on the sly and whaddaya know? Richard is cured. Too bad House won't know about it, since Wilson advises Cuddy to keep this quiet so it doesn't go to House's head. Also because it doesn't make Wilson look like such a great oncologist when his brain cancer patients are needlessly paralyzed for eight years. While Wilson is figuring out ways to keep House down, House is breaking into his office, stealing his prescription pad, and forging his signature on Vicodin prescriptions. New leg, same old asshole. Hooray!
Welcome to happy crazy fun pool party time! Everyone's having a blast, except for the wheelchair-bound guy who can't move and seems to have some kind of vision problem that makes him see everything like it's an episode of C.S.I. with all the light flashes and changing speeds and high contrast. While his wife cooks him a hamburger, he decides to go for a swim, which I'm going to guess isn't recommended for someone in his condition.
It's morning in New Jersey, and House jogs (!) to the beat of the Gorillaz' hit single from last year, "Feel Good, Inc." I think that song now comes standard issue with iPods, so it makes sense that House is listening to it here. But onto more important things, namely: HOUSE IS JOGGING. He stops to check his pulse against his telltale neck scar and smiles. And why shouldn't he? It's always nice when the laws of physics forget that one cannot jog when missing sizable chunks of thigh muscle.
Back at PPTH, Cuddy and Wilson are arguing over which case to give House for his first day back. Meanwhile, an actor named Edward Edwards flashes onto the screen. Who names their kids like that? Parents are such assholes sometimes. House enters the room, oozing of sweat and bile, and amazes everyone with his ability to run the eight miles from his home to work. Cuddy realizes that when House told her that he needed eight weeks off for rehab after being shot twice, he was obviously taking more time than necessary. She is annoyed at this, as if it wasn't her hospital's crappy security that made him need the time off to heal in the first place, then is excited that House is still pain-free two months after the ketamine thing. What ketamine thing? Well, as House helpfully expositions to Cuddy, "Thank you, Dr. Cuddy. Not just for removing the bullet, but thank you for putting me in a ketamine-induced coma and changing my life. Happy? I am." Sure, he's happy, but cane manufacturers all over America weep. Cuddy Downer warns House that the ketamine coma effects can wear off, and I'm guessing that also applies to the magical thigh muscle regrowth that has made House's limp disappear and given him back full use of his leg.
Wilson serves up his idea of a good first case for House: a guy with hair transplants and aphasia. Boring! We've seen that before. Next! House instantly solves the case and calls Wilson an idiot for not knowing it himself even though Wilson is an oncologist (uh...I guess) and not a diagnostician. House has no sympathy for people who get hairplugs when there are so many convincing hairpieces that can be worn instead. Cuddy smiles to herself as House responded exactly as she predicted. House turns his attention to Cuddy's case, a hot young woman. No wonder Wilson didn't want House to take that case -- he's jealous. Cuddy tells House that the patient snapped her neck doing yoga and is now paralyzed. Dude, really? Can that happen? I was thinking of trying a few yoga classes, but fuck that. The curious thing about the case is, the girl's X-rays show no evidence of a spinal injury. "And she's cute," Cuddy says. "Well played, sir!" House says, accepting the file and the case. How can you call Cuddy "sir" when she's wearing one of her hot red numbers?