House's patient this week is a woman with a perfect memory, something she says makes her special but doesn't seem to have done much for her in her life, since she's a waitress estranged from her family due to being unable to forget any of the bad things they've done to her. Her sister still wants to make peace, though, and wins serious brownie points by donating one of her kidneys to her ailing sister, but it's still not enough for Nadia. House eventually figures out that her memory, along with everything else, is actually a symptom of McLeod's Syndrome, which can somehow cause sufferers to get OCD, which manifested itself in Nadia through her love of puzzles and her memory, which is not some superhuman skill but the result of her brain obsessively going over every detail of her life over and over again. Chase suggests that she take SSRIs to control the OCD -- it will take away her perfect memory, but it will also allow her to have relationships with other people, like her sister, again.
Also having trouble with relationships is Wilson, whose new, diabetic pet cat, House believes, will doom him to being girlfriend-less forever. House tries to help Wilson replace the cat with a woman, but Wilson says he needs more time. Taub and Foreman strengthen their relationship with each other when Foreman is assigned to help Taub study for a pathology test and Taub ends up moving in with him.
A woman tries to order food, but doesn't get the chance before her waitress, Nadia, informs her that teriyaki chicken is no longer on the menu, remembering that the woman ordered it the last time she was there. The woman says she's never been to this restaurant before and neither has her husband. He agrees, saying they're only "up north" to visit a friend. But Nadia insists that the woman has been here before, and that her hair was lighter and she was wearing glasses last time. Not only that, but it was August 14th and the woman was wearing a blue polka dotted dress and looked like she'd been crying. This all rings a bell with the husband, who suddenly realizes that his wife has been cheating on him with the "up north" friend they were on their way to see. Nadia finally realizes that she just made things awful for her customers and offers to get them some water, perhaps hoping to salvage her tip. I don't think that's going to happen. Ultimately, Nadia is unable to get the water or the tip, as she takes a few steps and collapses, unable to move her legs.
House starts the meeting in a most dramatic fashion, turning the lights off and placing a flashlight under his face. Or maybe this is just the natural progression in lighting on this show after last week's barely-visible episode. Martha M. Masters refuses to play along, so House gives up and turns a light on and tells the Cottages to check out the file of their latest patient, a woman with temporary paralysis and a perfect memory. She has complete recall of every second of her life since puberty. House says there are only a handful of reported cases like hers in the world. One of them is Marilu Henner, or so she claimed on 60 Minutes recently. House wants to include Nadia's memory as a symptom, but Foreman really doubts this, pointing out that it would mean a twenty-year-gap between the onset of her symptoms. He seems so confident that he's right even though he's obviously wrong. Of course Nadia's memory will have something to do with the case. They wouldn't have written it in if it didn't. Also, she'll probably have to choose between living without the memory or dying, just like what happens to every other patient on this show who has some kind of gift. House sends Taub and Foreman off to check Nadia's home for toxins and Chase and Martha to get a complete medical history from her, which I'm assuming will be pretty thorough.
But before they can go, House has to take a second to publicly embarrass Taub for failing his pathology recertification exam. Now he has to take the test again and pass or else he'll lose his board certification and be fired. Foreman doesn't understand how Taub could have failed it at all since they do so much lab work for House. True, but they're usually violating all kinds of safety rules when they do it, so I could see how that worked against Taub. Taub says he failed because he was sick at the time, but he's retaking the test next week and is confident he'll pass. House doesn't want to take the risk, though, since Taub is still the face of PPTH and if he doesn't pass the second exam and gets fired, that's going to be kind of embarrassing. Yeah, because PPTH hasn't had any hugely embarrassing moments before. Martha cheerfully suggests that Taub get a tutor to help him study. House loves this idea, and lets Taub pick which Cottage he wants to tutor him. It's slim pickings, though, between annoying Martha, lazy Chase, and Foreman, who is an asshole. Taub goes with the lesser of three evils in Foreman, much to Foreman's surprise and displeasure.
With the Cottages off doing things, House suddenly remembers that Wilson exists and goes to visit him. He finds him wrapping up with some old lady patient, who tells him to "give Sara a kiss for me." I don't know if that's spelled "Sara" or "Sarah" so I'm going with "Sara" because it's a better way to spell it and it saves time with the fewer letters. Of course, House demands to know who this "Sara" is, but Wilson claims he has no idea, figuring the patient is in the early stages of dementia. House accepts this and tells Wilson to pick which bar they're going to tonight to celebrate the end of Wilson's traditional three month post-break-up mourning period. Wilson says he can't make it tonight because he's "busy." He scampers off before House can pump him for details, so House has to ask Cuddy instead. He thinks this has something to do with the mysterious Sara. Cuddy says she has no idea who Sara is.
Taub and Foreman search Nadia's apartment. She has some strange artwork -- a bunch of framed puzzles. I didn't think anyone actually framed their puzzles. Especially someone with a perfect memory who can just take apart and re-assemble the puzzle any time she wants. Foreman tries to quiz Taub to prepare him for the exam, but Taub says he doesn't want to be challenged -- he actually picked Foreman to be his tutor because he figured he wouldn't want to get involved in someone else's problem. Um, you mean like how Foreman didn't get involved with Taub's problems last week and didn't call his almost-ex-wife to tell her that Taub was trying to save a kid's life? While Taub casually brings up the possibility of buying a copy of the exam, Foreman finds an empty bottle of laxatives in Nadia's garbage.
Taub and Foreman have to call House with their new magnesium poisoning theory because he's out of the office searching Wilson's car for clues as to the identity of Sara. He leaves Taub and Foreman hanging for a second when he finds a baggie full of green plant life in Wilson's trunk and sniffs it before saying, disappointedly, that he thought/hoped Wilson had a drug problem, but this is actually much worse. Taub and Foreman don't care about Wilson and ask if they can go ahead and treat Nadia for their theory. House says they cannot, because her blood pressure and respiratory rate is normal, thus disproving their theory. He finds a bunch of syringes in Wilson's very full car trunk and asks if Chase and Martha are done with Nadia yet.
They are not, because a simple question to Nadia like "do you drink alcohol?" elicits a lengthy description of every single alcoholic beverage Nadia has ever consumed, including when and where and how the beverage tasted. Martha can't take it any longer and asks Nadia the question that has obviously been on her mind all day: "shouldn't you be working for NASA or something?" Nadia seems to have gotten this question before and explains that just because she can remember everything doesn't mean she can understand it. Well, no, but you'd think it would definitely help. I mean, I have a photographic memory and that's pretty much the only thing that got me through my math and science classes. Nadia claims that she loves her job and she's really good at it. Except for when, you know, she's destroying marriages. And being too paralyzed to get her customers their water.
House walks in and introduces himself to Nadia with "you are not pooping." Nadia does not deny this. House then asks her how many times she fell in 2008: 11. 2009? 12. And 2010? 20. Looks like Nadia's having coordination problems. That combined with the constipation she was treating with laxatives leads House to believe she has early-onset Parkinson's.
House can't stick around Nadia's room, though, because he has to sneak into Wilson's apartment to be waiting for him when he gets home. He greets Wilson with the baggie and syringes he found in Wilson's trunk along with a cardboard box. Inside the box is Sara. She's a cat. The baggie contained catnip, while those syringes are to treat her diabetes. Yes, not only does Wilson have a cat, but it's a diabetic cat that's probably old. House says this cat is a terrible sign that Wilson is "approaching end-stage male spinsterism." Well, he has had three failed marriages. Maybe he should stay single at this point. While Wilson prepares a syringe for Sara, House says that Wilson has clearly given up on ever meeting a woman and wants to know why Wilson gave the cat a human female name. Wilson says he didn't; the cat belonged to his neighbor. When she died,