Later that night, Tucker's arm is still paralyzed and now he has a cough. Ashley frets about this until Emily and ex-wife Melissa walk in and probably give her even more to be nervous about. Melissa offers to leave if it's weird, but Tucker claims it's fine. Wilson hugs Melissa because it's never too early to lay the foundation in dating your friend's ex-wife. "You must be Ashley," Melissa says by way of introduction. "Hi," Ashley says. Fortunately for everyone except Tucker, his coughing gets worse and puts an end to what could be an awkward moment. The monitors start beeping and Wilson says this can't be transverse myelitis.
And so, Wilson must head to House's office for help. House isn't in the meeting room but the Cottages are, standing or sitting around and looking bored. Foreman says they solved the case of the Mexican non-tennis pro: he ate ten bags of microwave popcorn a day, causing him to develop "popcorn lung" from inhaling the butter topping fumes. I remember hearing about a real case like this a few years back and wondering when House would get around to giving it to a patient. Now I'm just waiting for someone to get sick from too much muscle cream. Taub says House is off hiding from Cuddy to avoid getting a new case. Hadley guesses he's eating lunch in the morgue. Gross. Wilson takes advantage of the House-less room to get a differential on Tucker from the Cottages, who are more than happy to help out if it means helping Wilson win his bet over House. Although it's not like they can do anything to prevent House from winning or losing. If Tucker has cancer, that's not going to change whether the Cottages help out on his case or not. Hadley comes up with a fungal infection, prompting Wilson to think of aspergillus fungus balls in Tucker's lungs that spread to his spine, causing both the paralysis and the coughing. Oh, I don't like that at all. Fungus balls sound gross.
Wilson informs Tucker and family and also young girlfriend about his latest theory and its treatment, which involves shooting BB-sized pellets of antifungal medicine into the affected areas. Which means they'll have to open Tucker up. Tucker asks Ashley what she thinks, and she's hesitant to agree to the surgery with Tucker so weak. Not to mention the reasons for the surgery being a diagnosis Hadley helped Wilson pull out of his ass. "You should do whatever you think is best," Ashley tells Tucker. Melissa speaks up and asks Wilson if there's any other way to treat it. Of course there isn't, nor is there time to test Tucker and confirm the diagnosis. She makes Wilson promise to be there for the surgery and urges Tucker to agree to it. He does, happy to have a woman make his decisions for him.