Episode Report Card
Sara M: C | 1 USERS: A+
A Load Of Bull

Now that House and Cuddy have broken up, we can begin an episode with the soon-to-be patient instead of in Cuddy's bed. Hooray! In dramatic slow motion, a man prepares to ride a bull at the New Jersey rodeo. It's pretty cool. The rider and the bull are both released from the gate, and bounce around in alternating regular time and very very slow motion shots as the rider mentally counts off the seconds while telling himself what to do and how to stay on. After eight seconds, he jumps off and celebrates to an enthusiastic crowd. He tosses his helmet away prematurely, as it turns out, as the bull takes advantage of the opportunity to nail him and trample all over his body. The clowns get the bull back in the gate and ask the rider if he's okay. He says he is, aside from a bloody nose and having no idea what just happened.

House opens the door to his posh hotel room and tells Wilson that he's fine before Wilson even has a chance to ask the question House knows he's going to. He figures Cuddy told Wilson everything, and Wilson says she did, although she left out the part where House didn't just stop at one Vicodin, but took a whole bunch more and is still taking them. Like two, right now. House tosses the bottle into a bowl full of cash, and Wilson exposits that House also cleaned out his bank account and checked into this hotel, so clearly, he is not fine. House agrees that he isn't, but says Wilson doesn't need to worry about him. He assures Wilson that he will be fine very "soon." Also, he's only taking Vicodin because his leg hurts. Shockingly, Wilson isn't buying that, pointing out that House was off Vicodin for a year and a half despite any leg pain. House says it doesn't matter if his pain is mental or physical or both; he figures between the Vicodin and the five-star service at this hotel, he'll be able to get over Cuddy in a few days and back in an acceptable level of misery once again. He just hopes it doesn't cost him too much. Room service arrives with a deluxe breakfast for two delivered by Carnell, the hotel's only employee. House tests him by informing him he's planning to kill Wilson after they have sex. "I'll cancel the maid service," Carnell says brightly. House loves Carnell, and gives him a nice big tip. House treats himself to a strawberry and tells Wilson to eat while he can, as company will be arriving soon.

Cut to Wilson and House getting massages and Wilson saying that House may have this whole post-dumping misery thing figured out after all. He suggests that House "talk to someone" about his problems, too, and House says he's already taken care of that. Wilson assumes House means he'll be seeing his therapist again and is impressed and thrilled with House's maturity -- until he remembers that House's therapist has his own show on TNT now and so won't be guest-starring on House anymore, so House must have meant a hooker instead of a therapist.

Meanwhile, the Cottages have been left with the case of Lane the professional bullrider and his body, scans of which show the results of years of abuse. There are pins and plates all over him. That means no MRI (OF DOOOM!!) and probably no X-rays, either. Taub is just annoyed that House is faking sick because Cuddy dumped him, which is news to Martha. She's very upset on House's behalf. "Don't do that. Don't get sucked in," Taub warns. Martha says she can't help but feel bad for the guy who has made her life nothing but miserable. I don't understand her. Taub says he feels bad for House, but also expects him to act like an adult and come to work instead of holing himself up somewhere with alcohol, Vicodin, and hookers. Foreman and Chase have known House long enough not to expect this, and Chase has known Foreman long enough to know he only agreed to take this case on while House is gone for the chance to seize control temporarily. Martha innocently asks what Taub meant when he said House was taking Vicodin, and Chase makes fun of her for having no friends and thus never hearing through the PPTH grapevine that her boss is a drug addict. Martha, of course, does not like hearing of House's ethical violations one bit.

Foreman ignores her and decides to go back to Lane, who has various bull-stomping injuries, partial hearing loss, low fever, muscle weakness, and neurological problems. Foreman thinks the first two can be explained by the bull attack, while Martha wonders if the hearing loss is actually one of his symptoms and Lane has an inner ear problem. They'd love to scan his head and prove Martha's theory, but, of course, they can't as Lane's skull is basically one big metal plate. Martha suggests getting around that by testing Lane's balance. Foreman says that sounds like a plan, and sends the Cottages off to do it. Chase decides to be a dick and test Foreman's authority by asking what happens if someone disagrees with him. Foreman just stares at him, and Chase says he agrees with Foreman and sends Taub and Martha off.

Wilson speaks for many of us, me included, when he yells at Cuddy for breaking up with House for reasons that she was well aware of before she started dating him: his addiction and his assholishness. I mean, I'm not saying that Cuddy shouldn't have broken up with House, because she totally should have. He's a terrible boyfriend and should never be around her child. But Cuddy knew all of that when she decided to break off her engagement to Lucas and start seeing House and said she was okay with it, so the fact that she ultimately wasn't is really lame of her. To her credit, Cuddy actually admits this, saying that she was wrong when she told House she didn't need him to change. Wilson thinks she made a hasty decision when she was under a lot of emotional stress, what with just finding out that she didn't have terminal cancer and all. Cuddy says he's right, but she's done a lot of thinking since then and reached the same conclusion. Wilson says Cuddy should appreciate that House made poor decisions under a lot of emotional stress, too, and therefore deserves another chance. Cuddy says he does, but she's not going to give it to him. She needs to be with someone who she knows will be there for her if something goes wrong. And House isn't that person, and never will be. Wilson says she should have realized that before she started dating House and whatever happens to House after this is her fault. Wilson figures there's nothing left he can say, so he turns to leave, then decides to make Cuddy feel just a little bit worse by telling her that House is back on Vicodin, so Cuddy should probably keep an eye on his new patient.

House will not, it seems, be setting foot in PPTH this week, so he talks to the Cottages over the speaker phone. He calls them all morons for even thinking Lane's problem was his inner ear, especially since the balance test proved that they were wrong. A woman with passing knowledge of English who happens to be in the bathtub with House agrees that his employees are morons. As House nibbles on her toes, he says Martha's inner ear theory was good enough, but her idea of how to test for it was stupid. A champion bullrider is going to do well on a balance test even if he has inner ear problems. He suggests they up the ante for Lane, then leaves them with a message for Cuddy: "spying is for cowards." There's no need to go to her office to pass that along, as Cuddy turns out to be standing right there listening in a most cowardly fashion. "Keep me posted," she asks after House hangs up. Both Foreman and Chase say they will. Haven't we already seen Chase have issues with Foreman being sort of in charge of him in a past episode, and then we also saw those issues get resolved? Why is this happening again?

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