Cuddy finds House in his office trying to organize the printed sheets (which are on regular printer paper rather than MRI film he would have to hang on a lightbox, which would be like a mural-sized Kindle and therefore awesome), and asks House about the double date he planned for them, Wilson, and Sam for that night. House looks a little worried to learn that Cuddy doesn't like double dates or surprises, (both of which I'm sure House just loves, so whatever), but when Cuddy notices that she's walking around Alice's book, House tells her about the MRI stunt. "As your girlfriend, I'm impressed," she says. "As your boss, you're a jackass. Don't do it again." House thanks him as her boyfriend, but points out as her employee that it's for his case. She sentences him to another six clinic hours next week anyway. How much longer is she going to be able to credibly wield that hammer now that they're dating and all she's doing is cutting into her own time with her boyfriend? Oh, right, her boyfriend is House. Never mind. As for tonight's date, when he fishes desperately (and thematically) for guidance, she breezes, "Just pick something we'd both enjoy." House poignantly wonders what that is, and she airily non-answers, "I don't know, you know what I like," before heading out. Amazing. She's wearing those heels, and yet she's able to avoid tripping on either Alice's novel or the anvil House just threw into her path.
Meanwhile, Chase and Foreman, using the ultrasound on Alice, have found something that Chase says is "not a tumah...whatever it is, it's encased around her heart." When it rains, it really pours on this show, doesn't it?
That evening, House is finishing reading the book when the Cottages finally get around to informing him that Alice has herself a brand-new pericardial effusion. I could have told them that. That means the phetoneatofrito theory is a no go, so they're wondering if it's something viral or a cancer. Foreman, annoyed, says, "We could use your opinion, House. Or at least your attention." Lucky for them House just finished reading. But when he does deign to acknowledge their presence, it's only to complain about how the tenth Jack Cannon ends on a cliffhanger. "Who does that?" he bitches. "People who want to sell you the eleventh," Taub says cynically, but House reminds them that doesn't really seem to apply to an author who plans to kill herself instead. And now the series will end leaving all manner of questions about Jack unanswered. "Who's his father? Who killed his brother? How'd he get that damn scar on his cheek, and why is he obsessed with yo-yos?" That last thing would make him right at home at PPTH, at least. Chase asks what this has to do with their case, and House explains the fate of Jack's Aunt Helen in the book, who suffered from an illness that included joint pain, fatigue, sensitivity to light, and depression -- until she shot herself in the head halfway through the book. Taub says those symptoms plus the ones they've seen and the pericardial effusion points to lupus, which they can somehow still say with a straight face on this show. House says that can't be it, but not for the reason you think, that reason being it's never lupus. "It isn't curable...we're not gonna be able to take her pain away. She's still gonna kill herself as soon as she gets released tomorrow. We can't let Jack Cannon end this way." Chase reminds House that they're treating a patient, not a book. Why does he say that? To make House care less? Whatever, he's off to his double date anyway.