A mysterious man with no ID comes to PPTH, suffering from a respiratory attack. Foreman also comes to PPTH, suffering from needing a job really bad and having nowhere else to go. House isn't pleased to have his former Cottage forced back on him, and sets about pranking Cuddy to get back at her. She, in turn, replaces his Vicodin with laxatives. Elsewhere in the hospital where no one has any work to do, Chase takes bets from the staff on who the next Number to get fired will be. It should be all of them, since they contribute nothing to this week's case. Instead, House is the one who figures out the patient is suffering from Mirror Syndrome and has no idea who he really is, instead adapting the personality of whoever happens to be close by. He does a remarkably good job of this, and most of his doctors are left a little unnerved by what parts of themselves are reflected back at them. Only one of them actually learns something from it: Foreman realizes that he doesn't hate being back at PPTH after all. And House realizes the patient is a farm equipment salesman from Whocares, Ohio, and is suffering from something related to pig poop.
The Fox city street back lot is alive with hooligans spouting some really fake dialogue, as one ruffian tells another he has to steal from a stranger or else suffer the indignity of getting a job. The younger ruffian isn't thrilled about stealing from people, but he certainly doesn't want to have to work for a living, so this is his only choice. A man exits a bar alone, and the older guy picks him as the younger guy's first victim. "You'll remember that guy for the rest of your life," he says, as if people with the ability to see into the future or the effects their actions have on themselves and their victims would be muggers. It's the people who don't care enough about others to even remember them who victimize people, not the ones who do. The muggers make their way towards the man, who is played by Frank Whaley. The younger guy greets him with an awkward "Hey, how are you doing?" followed by a more assertive "Give me all of your cash!" Meanwhile, they're both standing like ten feet away from their victim and have no visible weapons. Great job so far, muggers.
Frank asks if the guy wants to buy himself a "pretty dress," as he is a "little bitch." Well, that's probably the wrong way to respond to a mugger, but go, Frank! The older guy takes the lead and screams at Frank to give him his wallet, making this the loudest and longest mugging ever. Frank makes fun of the older guy's sister, so the older guy finally pulls out a knife (which he probably should have done at the beginning if he wanted fast results), at which point the younger guy stupidly calls him by his first name, Tony, which should make identification of the criminals that much easier at the police station. Especially since the muggers have made no attempts to conceal their faces and are standing in the light. But Frank doesn't notice, because he's too busy coughing. The younger guy worries about Frank's health, but Tony tells him to get Frank's wallet and go. He does, and they take off. But when Frank collapses, still coughing, the younger guy whips out a cell phone and calls 911. You know, between him and the prostitute, criminals are far nicer and more decent people than the regulars on this show. Also, way to mirror the opening scene of The OC there, show.
We skip the usual minute of the Numbers sitting around the classroom waiting for House to decide to show up for work, and we jump right into the diagnosing. House says they've got a man with a respiratory collapse and no visible cause. The Numbers throw out some useless suggestions until Cuddy and Foreman enter the room. Foreman announces his entrance with a differential diagnosis of a laryngospasm, and Cuddy announces that she's hired him. An annoyed House fires Foreman "to infinity," and Foreman is actually surprised and displeased at Cuddy for not telling House that Foreman was coming back to work for him, as if she'd ever have the balls to do that. Cuddy says that she's House's boss, and now that House's little job interview has resulted in the death of a patient (13 takes a second to try to look remorseful; doesn't quite pull it off), she's going to exercise that authority. And since Cuddy has such a great track record of authority-exercising, I'm sure that will go down just fine. All the Numbers care about is that Foreman's presence on the team means there's one less slot for the rest of them to fill. Cuddy, suddenly faced with the consequences of her decisions, doesn't really answer their questions, instead saying that House can fire anyone except Foreman, who will be her "eyes and ears." For someone who wants someone else to work as her little spy, Cuddy sure did a crappy job of getting into Foreman's good graces last week. As Cuddy leaves, House asks her where Foreman will be keeping his balls. Foreman rolls his eyes, but Cuddy seems to enjoy that little quip.