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Doctors Without Boundaries

House returns to PPTH after a two-day absence. Kumar proudly tells him that "we" cured Casey's polio with Vitamin C. Uh, no, you didn't, Kumar. Random Guy did. House finds this hard to believe, and Foreman enters with some proof that will make it even harder. He tested Casey's blood that was drawn when she was admitted to PPTH -- and it was negative for polio. That means, Foreman says, that Random Guy screwed up his lab test. I guess the results said "poliNo," and he misread them. But, CTB points out, Casey is walking out of PPTH, so she was cured of something somehow, right? Foreman says it could be one of those fun intermittent diseases, like porphyria. House doesn't think so. Foreman asks if House would rather believe that Random Guy cured polio with Vitamin C. House says it's either that, or someone poisoned Casey with thallium to give her the same symptoms as polio, then faked her lab tests to say she had it. Then he'd have to stop the poisoning when the Vitamin C was administered, thereby making it seem like the Vitamin C cured her. House says that's rather complicated, although, come to think of it, "it is rather doable, right?" He looks at Random Guy when he says this, then asks if they should test Casey for thallium. The Numbers get horrified expressions on their faces. Classroom time has just gone horribly wrong. "You poisoned her?!?" 13 asks, a bit slow to catch on. Yes, Casey really was just suffering from heat stroke after all. It was only after Random Guy started poisoning her with thallium that she got new symptoms.

Caught, Random Guy turns into CRAZY Guy as he hisses through clenched teeth that he's seen Vitamin C cure polio out in Without Borders land. But without a First World lab with First World controls, he couldn't prove it. And no one's going to pony up funds for a Third World disease. CRAZY Guy marches up to House and insists that this was the right thing to do -- now research into Vitamin C polio cures will get funding. Wow. He couldn't have applied for a grant? Really? Where is this insanity coming from? Random Guy seemed so normal last week. The Numbers sit there, silent, jaws agape. This is awkward. CRAZY Guy doesn't get the hint, saying that he faked one lab test in order to save thousands of lives. "I did what I HAD TO DO!" he insists; "isn't that what you hired us for?" He looks desperately, pleadingly, at House, who nods solemnly and says he won't fire CRAZY Guy. But CRAZY Guy will quit. "Get out of here," House says, barely concealing his disgust. CRAZY Guy takes his thallium and leaves. And we all thought the Mormon was the fanatic. Foreman asks House if he's going to let CRAZY Guy get away with this. Absolutely not, House says; he's just appeasing him and waiting for him to get far, far away from them before they call the cops. "The guy's a nut job!" House puns, before demanding to know who he left in charge of this mess. The Numbers quickly point at Foreman, but House's next words aren't what they or Foreman or I expect: "There's a reason for that. Next time, listen to him." I'm amazed and almost touched at this show of faith in Foreman. At the same time, it's House fault for creating such a competitive and hostile work environment that would prompt the Numbers to circumvent Foreman in the first place. Also, he hired a CRAZY guy.

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