House treats a woman with an open marriage and a stomachache, mostly because he finds the former more interesting than the latter. It turns out she has an intestinal blockage, followed by heart rhythm issues, a blood clot in her lungs, and then her kidneys fail. But after treating her for everything it could possibly be, she continues to get worse. House has been working in hospitals for years and must have seen millions of flower arrangements in patient rooms, and yet, when he sees lilacs in Julia's, he thinks of bees and how a bee sting can, in some cases, cause Henoch-Schonlein purpura. And guess what? Julia was stung by a bee last month. Case closed! But Julia's open marriage arrangement gives Taub some ideas, and he tries to bring it up to his wife, who -- shockingly! -- isn't thrilled. But then she totally rolls over and decides to let Taub cheat on her with the pretty nurse because she'd rather he be honest with her about his affairs than lie. He's ready, willing, and able to take advantage of the new arrangement, but then Mrs. Taub shows up at work crying because she can't go through with it. Taub promises not to cheat on her, saying she's all the woman he'll ever need, then makes out with the pretty nurse anyway, deciding that what Mrs. Taub doesn't know won't hurt her. On the other hand, Wilson finds that honesty is the best policy when it comes to his relationship with Sam, and they discuss and work out the communication issues that caused their marriage to break down ten years ago. Their relationship is now stronger than ever, much to House's dismay.
A couple make out and remove assorted pieces of clothing until they're disturbed by a knock at the door of their hotel room. It's Tom. "Tom -- your husband?" the guy asks the woman he's currently on top of. She throws a hotel robe on and answers the door. There's Tom, who apologizes for intruding on his wife's mid-afternoon romp but there's something she needs to fill out by tomorrow for their daughter. The woman, Julia, grabs the forms and looks for a pen. Tom invites himself in and gives the other guy and his silly ponytail an awkward "hey." Husband and boyfriend shake hands, Julia signs the papers, and Tom gives her a kiss and a "see you later, honey!" before heading out. Well, that was weird. "So ... seems like a nice guy," boyfriend Damian says. Yeah, a little too nice. Julia nods, then keels over with severe stomach pain. Damian is just a pretty boy with a ponytail and thus helpless. "Get Tom!" Julia asks.
It's morning at the Wilson/House apartment, and Sam spent the night again, since she and Wilson are apparently gluttons for punishment and/or the show doesn't want to pay for a Sam's apartment set. Wilson is sitting down to a nice bowl of Colo's Colios, but he'd prefer a stack of French toast from Mickey's, which has been referred to before as his favorite breakfast spot. Nice continuity! Sam finds Mickey's to be gross and heart-attack-inducing and has to go back to her real apartment and change clothes for work, which has something to do with CT scans. Wilson invites her to keep some clothes at his apartment since she's pretty much there every day, at which point House enters and ruins the moment by saying that Wilson just wants to wear Sam's clothes. Like he can't just head down to the nearest Forever 21 and buy his own lady clothes. Please. Sam decides to take off, puts the milk in the fridge door shelf (THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT IN ABOUT THREE SECONDS), and leaves. As soon as she's gone, House points out that she left the milk in the door, and that signifies the end of Wilson's relationship. Wilson doesn't see how, but House says he knows that Wilson hates it when people put milk in the door shelf (how do you even know that about someone you're just friends with? Even if you live together? I have no idea how my roommate feels about fridge milk placement. I would like to know why she always buys half a gallon of 1% and half a gallon of skim, though), but he didn't say anything to Sam when she did it because he doesn't feel like he can be honest with her. Instead, he'll just get all resentful until it explodes into a huge relationship-ending fight, just like how their marriage apparently ended. As soon as House is out of the room, Wilson takes the milk out of the fridge door and puts it on the shelf.
At PPTH, Hadley brings Julia's case to House's attention, claiming that it's interesting. Not because of Julia's symptoms, mind you, but because of her open marriage. How is that even in her notes? Did she volunteer that information freely? Is it on the intake questionnaire? All those things ever seem to want to know about me is if I have a family history of high blood pressure and cancer. House informs us that monogamy is weird, what with humans being the only species on Earth that mate for life. The famously monogamous swans, apparently, cheat on each other all the time. That's because swans are assholes. They hiss and bite even when you're trying to be nice to them and give them pieces of bread. Also, a quick internet search reveals that House might be wrong and there are several species that do mate for life, but it doesn't really matter. Taub, hypocritical defender of monogamy, says animals also do things like eat their own babies and kill romantic rivals, so they probably shouldn't be used as the example here. He believes that open marriages where both partners are truly happy don't exist, much like unicorns. Chase pipes up to steer the conversation back to Julia, saying she's suffering from an intestinal blockage. House asks what caused it, and Chase suggests herpes colitis, which apparently can happen. You can get freaking herpes in your intestines. Yikes. Hadley dismisses this, saying that Julia's STD panel was negative. Even though STD panels don't test for herpes. That's one thing I still remember from my days working in the hospital lab, because the herpes tests came in swabs taken from the sore. Which stands out in my mind because more than once I recognized the name on the herpes test. Apparently there is a blood test for herpes, but it's not considered to be very reliable. And by looking that up on the internet, I now have "herpes blood test" in my search history. Anyway, Taub instadiagnoses Julia and Tom's marriage with problems and unhappiness, then stops talking when he realizes that everyone is staring at him. Foreman says if Julia got herpes in the last six weeks, it might not show up on an STD panel yet (or at all, but whatever). House says a barium enema will give them a definite answer, and he moves for the door. Chase can't believe that House is actually doing a medical procedure on a patient, to which House says he really wants to talk to Julia about her open marriage. I could never be curious enough about someone's sex life to administer an enema that I didn't have to.
House prepares the enema as Tom tenderly kisses his wife good-bye to pick up someone named "Evelyn." She says she'd rather he not be there anyway, since enemas are not exactly attractive. Tom leaves, and House shoves the enema wand (is that what it's called? I'm afraid I don't know much about the technology) up her ass and asks if Evelyn is Tom's girlfriend. No, Julia says, it's their daughter. She just happens to have the name of a 50-year-old. And polyamorous parents. Evelyn's future is definitely bright. House asks how Evelyn feels about her parents' open marriage. Julia likes to think that her six-year-old doesn't know anything about it, saying "she knows as much about our sex life as any other kid her age." LOL I love it when parents think their kids are too young and innocent to know something. Children are endlessly curious and ridiculously sneaky. They know everything eventually. House assumes that Evelyn is the only reason why Julia and Tom are still together, but Julia says she and Tom love each other and plan to "grow old together." "You just don't want to be young together," House says. Yeah, pretty much. Julia says that she and Tom are doing what lots of married couples do except they're honest with each other about it. "Things work better when people tell each other the truth," she insists. You'd think that, but I'm sure this cynical-ass show will find a way to prove otherwise.
Meanwhile, Taub is flirting with that blonde nurse, who doesn't like his necktie because it doesn't matche his eyes. She touches his shoulder a bunch of times, then walks away as Hadley approaches, having picked up on the sexual tension. She assumes that Taub and Nurse Maya are already sleeping together, but Taub says they're just friends. "No, you and I are friends, and you don't have coffee with me three times a week," Hadley says. That could be because Hadley is no fun to be around, though. Taub says Maya is "interesting" because she grew up in Ohio and has three brothers. Hadley points out that last week a Cambodian lab tech was telling them about how he survived the Killing Fields when Taub walked out to get a donut. I see nothing wrong with this. First of all, donuts are good. Second of all, since when did PPTH have lab techs? Don't the Cottages do any and all lab work? Third of all, maybe the lab tech shouldn't have been all TMI about his personal life. I hate it when I'm just trying to say hi to someone and then he won't shut up about his tragic life story, like, way to bring the room down, Dith Pran. And fourth of all, WHY DIDN'T WE GET TO SEE THAT SCENE??? I cannot even imagine the looks on both Hadley and the lab tech's faces when Taub interrupted his harrowing tale of torture at the hands of the Khmer Rouge to say, "excuse me, but all this talk about starvation has made me hungry so