House brings the Marine's case to the Cottages. Foreman and Cameron immediately doubt the existence of Gulf War Syndrome, Foreman pointing out that their patient didn't even serve in the Gulf War. Chase says that he was just in Iraq, and whatever was there fifteen years ago is still there now. Foreman says it's just a crazy coincidence that some soldiers who served in Iraq came home with a bunch of unexplained symptoms, and Cameron agrees. House thinks that their patient is lying to get a disability check now that he's out of the military and realizing that he has no marketable skills. But House, the commercials all say that you learn a crapload of skills from serving in the military, like flying helicopters and stuff about engineering. House orders the Cottages to redo all the blood tests the VA did (good idea, knowing what we know now about military hospitals) and get a full medical history. And while they're at it, a full history, period. Focusing mostly on any media appearances their patient may have made that House may have seen and stored away in his subconscious.
The Cottages check out their patient. By the way, his name is Sgt. John Kelley, not like it's going to get used in this episode. He tells them about his rashes, which are "little black dots" that appear on his palms and the bottom of his feet. "I don't see anything," says Cameron. "Are you sure it's not just scrapes and bruises?" asks Foreman, barely concealing his skepticism. Sgt. John has the distinct feeling he's being talked down to. "You obviously exercise," Cameron says, pointing at Sgt. John's well-developed pecs. Foreman adds that people with chronic fatigue and joint pain don't usually work out as strenuously as Sgt. John seems to, while Chase shakes his head but says nothing to defend Sgt. John. So Sgt. John has to do it himself. He says that, as a Marine, he's used to working out every day: "Just because I can push through the pain doesn't mean it's not there." You'd think House would be more sympathetic to this guy, wouldn't you? Chase finally speaks up and tells Sgt. John to describe his problems as specifically as possible. Sgt. John says that he sleeps ten hours a night but is always tired. His knee and hip joints hurt like hell. He keeps getting coughs and sore throats. And his legs get all tingly and feel either really hot and or really cold. And Deran Serafian directed this episode, so as the camera pans away from Sgt. John's face, he says he doesn't care what the Cottages call his disease as long as they cure it. He's going to be sorry he said that when they do give his disease a name and it's really long and complicated (spoiler!).