House finally has a patient with vasculitis! Hell freezes over, pigs fly out of people's asses, and then patient Kayla starts vomiting blood after a follow-up exam by Chase in which he fails to see her bleeding ulcers. One of them perforates, leaving Kayla with kidney and liver damage. She'll die if she doesn't get a new liver, but a match for someone with her rare blood type is very unlikely. So her aggressive brother steps up and offers a piece of his own liver, along with the lab tests to prove that it's a healthy match. House does a little bribery and blackmail to get a surgeon to agree to perform the risky surgery, and everything seems cool until Kayla gets a fever...and hepatitis...and liver cancer. Whoops! Her brother's liver wasn't so healthy after all! He feels bad about that (and probably not so good about the liver cancer he just found out he has), so he arranges to get Kayla a new liver from the Mexican black market. That's never going to end well, and Chase is able to convince Kayla to go die at home with her daughters. Peace out, Kayla. Brother comes back for a post-cancer-op exam and tells Chase how Kayla's daughters are going to have to leave the house they grew up in with their dead mother because he can afford black-market livers and fudged lab test results, but not a mortgage. Knowing this will guarantee Kayla's family the lawsuit money they need, Chase and his guilt complex admit to missing Kayla's ulcer -- because Chase was hung-over. Lawsuits fly, Stacy gets involved, and to top it all off, Chase and House have to go in front of a peer review committee to explain away Chase's mistake. Fortunately, House knows that Chase wasn't hung-over that day, but grief-stricken after finding out about the death of his father. House convinces Chase to tell the committee the truth, and they decide to suspend him for a week instead of fire his ass. As for House, he didn't do anything wrong (except the endless discussions with Stacy about the state of their relationship and ability to work together OH MY GOD WHEN WILL IT END?!?), but the committee doesn't like him, so they sentence him to one month's direct supervision under another doctor. And that doctor will be Foreman. Kind of ridiculous, but at least it'll give Foreman something to do.
We begin backstage at what appears to an elementary school talent show. I was hoping for a glimpse of Miss Radfafa, but apparently she had something better to do. Various children rehearse and get ready to perform various acts on stage, and I am amazed to see that not one of them will be singing perennial talent-show favorite "Wind Beneath My Wings." A woman tends to her two daughters' costumes while they bitterly and ungratefully complain that rival Sally Ayersman brought her dress at Bloomingdale's, while they had to settle for something homemade. "We're gonna look stupid!" the younger one whines. What a bunch of brats! But Mom takes it all in stride, telling them that Aretha Franklin was poor and one of the best singers ever, and also that she'll be keying Sally's dad new convertible if Sally is mean to her daughters again. I guess the bratty apple doesn't fall very far from the tree in that family. Or maybe the first symptom of Mommy's Mystery Disease is the inability to keep one's inner monologue inner.
The daughters get onstage and sing "Little Bitty Pretty One" (I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're doing the Thurston Harris version and not the Billy Gilman one), accompanied by some rather risqué dance moves for ten-year-olds. Maybe I'm just being over-sensitive about that, but then again, this is a show that featured a thirty-year-old giving a nine-year-old her first kiss, so who knows? Fortunately, the girls' arrhythmic writhing is halted when their mother starts screaming in pain. Don't you just hate stage mothers?
It's now six months later, and Cuddy informs Stacy that Chase and House's disciplinary hearing has been moved from two weeks from now to tomorrow due to a "scheduling disaster" that Cuddy doesn't want to explain because the writers didn't want to have to think of one. Not that I really care to hear about it except for the fact that it would give Cuddy more screen time, which is always a good thing. What isn't a good thing is that it's Stacy's job to provide House and Chase with legal counsel, so she'll be featured prominently in this episode. Stacy is happy to counsel Chase, but says she'd rather not deal with House. Cuddy tells her that since almost half of PPTH's lawsuits involve House, she'll have to find a way to work with him or find another job. Please let it be the latter. Please please please.