While House is out of town for a few days, the rest of the Cottages tend to the patient of the week, who is coughing up blood and has a house full of crap. Literally -- he's a hoarder and his house is packed with stuff, up to and including raccoon poop. Oh, and his wife, despite her attempts to hide from the Cottages on their usual break-in inspection. The wife is suffering from the same symptoms as her husband, so both are treated for Q fever, presumably caught from the raccoons hanging out and pooping in their house. The husband recovers, but his wife, who, it turns out, is the hoarder and not her husband, continues to decline. When Masters figures out that she's had several secret miscarriages, she comes up with a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The hoarding was the wife's way of dealing with her grief over the miscarriages, and then both spouses got sick from the raccoons hiding in the hoard. The wife stayed sick after the treatment because of the Ehlers-Danlos. Somehow.
But we don't spend much time with them anyway, because Hadley is finally back and getting all the camera time. It turns out that she's been in jail for the last year, and House surprises her by picking her up at the gates and bringing her to a Spud Gun competition to try to find out what she went to jail for. Eventually, she reveals that she has a brother who also has Huntington's (that family has NO LUCK). Or rather, she had a brother. She doesn't anymore, because she killed him. That's what she went to jail for. She feels very sad and alone about this, so House generously offers to assist her death when the time comes.
House pulls his beat-up old car into the parking lot of a New Jersey Correctional Facility and pays off a cab driver to leave without the fare he's waiting for. House waits for the jail doors to open and the latest release to be set free. It turns out that this is a women's correctional facility, and the woman being discharged today is Hadley. Sigh. I'm sure there are people out there who like this character and/or the actress who portrays her, but I'm not a big fan of either and was enjoying my time away from her. I'm sad to see it has finally come to an end. I was really hoping Olivia Wilde would pull a Katherine Heigl and leave the show to shoot a few movies and just not come back. In fairness to her fans, I will try not to hate on her all over this recap. "Try" being the operative word.
Despite being in jail for the past six months, Hadley managed to get some bangs and is wearing makeup, even though all the women on those inside prison shows I watch on Discovery Channel always have bad hair and no makeup. Maybe New Jersey jails are different. Hadley doesn't seem particularly surprised to see House waiting for her as she strolls up to him and takes his offer of a freshly-poured martini. She quickly down the entire glass and makes a series of emotionless pouty faces.
While Hadley enjoys the fresh air out her car window for the first time in six months, House asks the inevitable question: what did she do to wind up in jail? Of course, Hadley is going to be all mysterious and not tell him until the end of the episode. All she'll tell him for now is the charge she went to jail for: "excessive prescribing." You can get charged for that? House and the Cottages had better watch out then, because they excessively prescribe unnecessary drugs for all of their patients every episode. House already knows what the charge was, but he doesn't know what Hadley excessively prescribed, to who, and why.
Back at PPTH, the Cottages are pleased to find out that House is planning on being away for three days, as this means they all get three days off, too. Unless, of course, Martha happens to ruin everyone's fun with a new case: a 36-year-old teacher who is coughing up blood. They don't care about him and try to pack up and leave the room, but it's too late: Martha has already called House and has him on speaker phone. House offers the phone to Hadley, who shakes her head and doesn't speak. House decides to respect her wishes and does not tell the Cottages that she's in the car. Instead, he asks for the details on their new patient. Martha says the patient is coughing blood and has other flu-like symptoms, but the ER already ruled out the most likely suspects. Foreman just wants to know where House is. He says he's on his way to the Greater Synecdoche Chili Cook-Off and Spud Gun Competition. Of course. Taub assumes this is House's honeymoon, which gets a raised eyebrow of surprise from Hadley, who apparently did not receive an invite to the wedding. House says Dominica is off somewhere with her boyfriend. Wait, when did she get a boyfriend? Wasn't she just trying to sleep with House last episode? Isn't part of her deal with House that she provides sexual favors? I wonder if we'll ever see her again, or her divorce from House will be casually mentioned in the beginning of Season 8.
Chase diagnoses the patient, Brian, with nosebleeds that ran down the back of his throat instead of out of his nose. He then coughed the blood back up, making it look like he was coughing up blood. The rest of his symptoms can be explained by the flu. That's ridiculous, but the rest of the Cottages except Martha are quick to go with it because it means they get to leave work now. Martha once again ruins everything by suggesting toxic exposure to certain chemicals, which fits Brian's symptoms better than Chase's suggestion. House agrees, and Martha smiles hugely at getting his approval while her co-workers look like they want to give her a few nosebleeds that run down the back of her throat instead of out her nose. House leaves them with orders to search Brian's home to look for toxins.
House gets off the phone, and Hadley asks him about his marriage. Instead of smiling enigmatically and refusing to answer Hadley's personal questions, House tells her it's a green card marriage. See how easy it is to share personal details with people, Hadley? Maybe you should try it sometime. Hadley starts to thank House for not telling the others about her, but he says he did it for purely selfish reasons: "some puzzles are just too good to share." Seriously? He can't just look up the details of her case? Aren't they a matter of public record? Especially since House is her boss (she only took a leave of absence, right? She didn't quit) and she's a doctor and she now has a criminal conviction for abusing her medical license. With that, House drives past Hadley's exit, which looks to be an actual New Jersey highway exit, so way to go on location or at least pay for the proper stock footage, show! Hadley watches her exit pass and sighs, wondering if three days with House is better or worse than all those months in jail. House reassures her that they aren't going to Synecdoche for the chili: it's all about the spud guns.
While Martha draws blood from Brian, Chase hopefully asks him if he suffers from frequent nosebleeds. Unfortunately for Chase and his vacation plans, Brian's last nosebleed was months ago and the result of an errant volleyball to the nose during the quarterfinals of the school team he coaches. This gives Chase an idea, and he asks if Brian's school's gym's showers are clean. Of course they aren't, so Chase guesses that he might have caught an infection from them that would cause Brian to cough up red bacteria that can be mistaken for blood. Chase is ready to pump Brian full of antibiotics and get the hell out of PPTH when Brian proves that he truly is coughing up blood by hacking up a few more cups of it. Martha loves being right.
In the car, Hadley refuses to believe that House is that interested in spud guns, because apparently she's never met him. House's interest in spud guns is well-documented and consistent with his character. House says Hadley might want to take advantage of all the potatoes and do some research while she's there, since now that she has a criminal conviction on her record, it'll be hard for her to get a job doing anything more than serving fries. Yeah, because really attractive women always have a hard time finding employment. Hadley shrugs that she only has to wait until the Medical Board Review for her license to be reinstated. Oh, really? Because I have a feeling the Medical Board might want to ask her a few questions about her crime and she's going to sit there and smirk and not answer any of them. And then they will reinstate her license anyway because she's hot. Hadley comes up with another excuse for why she can't go anywhere with House: she doesn't have any extra clothes. House says he already thought of that as he pulls the car into a mall.
While Hadley tries some things on, House makes guesses as to how she ended up in jail. He exposits that she was in jail for six months but has been gone for "about a year." I guess House-time is a little different than real time. I can only wish Hadley was gone for an entire year. Hadley emerges from the dressing room wearing a particularly unflattering outfit and asks House why he isn't going to the spud gun competition with Wilson instead of her. House says Wilson thinks spud guns are stupid. Also, Wilson and Cuddy got the week off. And most importantly, House clearly isn't taking Hadley along because he enjoys her company and thinks she'll pick up a fun new hobby; he's bringing her to find out why she was in jail and trapping her with him for three days is his best chance to do it. House makes a crack about Hadley's small boobs, then says that this is his fifth year participating in the spud gun competition and for the last four years, he has come in second place to one Harold Lam. He finds this unacceptable, and hopes Hadley's high school science fair knowledge of clean combustion (she placed fourth in the West Virginia All-County Science Fair, which isn't that big of an accomplishment when you remember that we're talking about West Virginia here) will give him the winning edge. Hadley offers to help House as long as he agrees to make a "personal stop" on the way to Synecdoche. House asks what they're stopping for. Hadley refuses to tell him. Of course.
Foreman and Taub prepare to break into Brian's house. Foreman asks Taub where he was last night, as he apparently didn't come home and Foreman was stuck watching the Bulls game with a large pizza all by himself. If you can't get your pathetic roommate on the verge of divorce and financial ruin to hang out with you, Foreman, then you probably just aren't cut out to have friends. Taub reveals that he spent the night at the house of a hot young new nursing assistant, and he'll be seeing her again tomorrow night. Foreman is clearly jealous and in awe of Taub's ability to get girls. How does he not realize that all Taub has to say is "I am a doctor?" It's not that difficult. Foreman manages to unlock Brian's front door if not exactly open it. There isn't enough room in the house for the door to open more than a few feet, as it's packed with all kinds of stuff. Brian is a hoarder