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House: Whatever It Takes

House Episode 4-06C : Whatever It Takes

Airdate: Tuesday November 6, 2007

This is a capsule review : it will be supplemented soon by a full review.

The Hook:

A Drag Race Track. The drivers skid their tires to warm up the rubber, and nose up to the line. A young woman is driving the red car. Her father is her crew. The cars are ready. They're off! The red car has a slight lead then slips backwards a little. Seen from the driver's point of view, time seems to slow down, then speed up to real time again. She creeps back up on the blue car, and wins by a small margin. After the race, she's being interviewed about her recent success in several races, when the interviewer's voice seems to drag out to a slur : another time distortion. She asks him to repeat himself, but still can't understand him. She collapses, and her father rushes in shouting "Casey!"

Short digression: Did anyone see House exploded in a microwave on Sunday's Treehouse of Horror XVIII episode of "The Simpsons"?

Second Digression: I remind myself that these are supposed to be short reviews, and up quickly. I will be trying harder to make this capsule review truly that, then get a second, longer, more detailed review up in a few days. So here goes.

Act 1

House is taking nominations from the would-be Hice for interesting cases. He's just about decided on taking the drag racer, Casey, when negotiations are interrupted by a Man In Black who strides in and ‘asks' House for a short private consult. The MIB is from the CIA and he whisks House away in a Black Helicopter from the hospital roof to an Undisclosed Location (no Dick Cheney in sight). The MIB tells House that someone may have attempted to assassinate one of their agents. After that the episode unfolds in parallel, House working to diagnose the agent, Foreman and the proto-Hice attempting to diagnose the race car driver. Rapid cuts back and forth, which I won't attempt to describe in sequence (remember last season's Airborne? Same thing.)

House leaves Foreman in charge at the hospital but the natives are restless. Inspired by House, the mini-Hice carp at his suggestions, strong personalities asserting themselves when free of the dominating influence of House. At first Foreman and others on the team try to make frequent contact with House by phone, but he cuts them off as his own case heats up.

The first guess is simple dehydration/heat exhaustion, but that would be no fun, so complications crop up. Foreman, not inspiring confidence in Casey and her father, Lou, says that they think it was simple heat stroke but want to do an MRI just to be sure. Casey and Lou demand to see House and threaten to leave, but Casey suffers another seizure and develops a new symptom : vertical nystagmus. The team ponders how to get the patient to take the test. Foreign Guy proposes tricking her : she hasn't met House yet, one of them should fake it with a cane. Clearly Houseism is a communicable disease.

At the Undisclosed Location, House is introduced to his co-consult, a doctor Curtis from the Mayo Clinic. Good thing they don't know about House's Great Mayo disaster of 2007. House is not impressed until he meets Hot Unknown Female Agent to be Named Later, which is too long an acronym to be useful so I'll just call her HA. She can spot House two pawns in double entendre chess. The bad news is security keeps them from getting a real history or even knowing where "John" even was in his last assignment.

Act 2

The hospital team is still bouncing around diagnoses. Even our old favorite, Lupus, is suggested. One of these weeks we're actually going to get a case of lupus, but not this one. Foreman wants them to treat her for one thing, the team suggests a million others, and rebels to the point of insisting on at least testing for the others. But the tests all come back negative, negative for [something], negative for amyloidosis, negative for Lupus (Foreman says) though PSG and CB still have a minority opinion there, and go off and consult Cameron, who agree with them. So they treat her for Lupus on the side even while Foreman treats her for [something else].

Over at the CIA, Curtis suggests all John's symptoms could have been caused by mistaking Horse Chestnuts for real Chestnuts. House says Horse Chestnuts may look like Chestnuts, but they taste like Horse's Patooty, so no one could eat enough of them to get as sick as John is. HA tells House the patient spent "11 months in Bolivia". House thinks John's symptoms could be from excess alcohol consumption, but John (weakly) tells him he doesn't drink. House, as usual, suspect the patient is lying. The doctors consider the possibility of radioactive isotope poisoning, and treat the patient with iodine to protect his thyroid, but House wonder if that's the case why the patient's hair isn't falling out. The patient seems to be getting better, but it turns out that House has surreptitiously sabotaged the radiation treatment and substituted his own treatment for his preferred diagnosis : pancreatitus, a lack of professionalism that drives Dr Mayo Clinic around the bend. Gee : parallelism, just like in Script-Writing for Idiots. But just when things appeared to be looking up, the patient goes comatose.

Act 3

Casey has a new symptom : her legs are paralyzed. Foreman chastises the group for caring more about their own necks than the patient's well being. YG comes up with a novel suggestion - first new case of polio in the USA in : what : 50 years? Foreman accuses him of seeing what he wants to see (from his third world days) and bans him from the group. Foreman seeks out Cameron and convinces her that he has changed the treatment of one of her patients without telling her, just to let her see how interference feels. But we quickly see it's a bluff. Cameron and Chase talk it over, and he tells her to let it go. Lou tells Foreman that Casey is still getting worse. In the middle of this, YG comes in and says he's done the tests and Casey is positive for polio, and everyone is stunned. YG proposes a radical treatment : massive doses of vitamin C. But it's only been tested sporadically and never approved.

House is now thinking blood cancer, and convinces HA to put John on plasmaphoresis. House decides to consult Wilson. He calls Wilson, but has to go though an elaborate rigmarole to convince him he's really at the CIA. Wilson provides some treatment specs. Cuddy asks Wilson where House is, and when he tells her the truth, she thinks he's lying to protect House, and says House gets six hours extra clinic duty, and Wilson gets twice that for lying. House asks John how he's doing. Now, his hair is falling out. House says it's not cancer, someone really is trying to kill you.

Act 4

Mayo's losing it with House's antics. House proposes a treatment used previously only on monkeys. John gets some herb tea to sip. Later John asks House if he's dying. House tells him "most likely". John waxes nostalgic and remembers forty days and nights with a beautiful senorita during "carnivale" and doing the "devil dance", and being fed nuts. NUTS? 40 days of Carnivale? Somewhere in his vast repository of knowledge, House comes up with the fact that Carnivale only lasts 7 days in Bolivia, but over by the coast there's this county with a whole ‘nother language, and where Carnivale lasts approximately forever, and where they eat Freakin' BRAZIL NUTS, which, more than few of give you SELENIUM POISONING, and now that we know what John's got we can treat him properly, and agent MIB is incompetent, by the way, for not yelling House where John really was.

And I am seriously freaked, too, because I've been reading about this elsewhere, recently, about how you should never eat more than tree or four Brazil nuts at a sitting, and when I think how many I consumed at Christmas as a boy I'm SERIOUSLY FREAKED HERE! How come those things don't come with a warning label and HOW AM I STILL WALKING? But I digress.

Back at the hospital the high doses of vitamin C seems to have done the job, and Casey is about to be discharged. Cameron apologizes, sort of, to Foreman, and tells him she doesn't want her old job back but sometimes she misses the old "whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done" attitude. House joins Foreman and the almost-Hice in the lecture hall and reviews Casey's treatment. He winds up by asking if anyone tested her for Thallium poisoning. HUH? All the jaws go slack except YG's. House lays it out. YG faked the polio tests to generate support for testing the cure that may help the Third World. He poisoned Casey with Thallium, producing her symptoms, then withdrew the poison so she "got better". He says he's not going to fire YG, he's going to let him resign. (Because his intentions were noble?) So now we're down to six candidates. Wonder just how big the lawsuit will be against PPTH when the word gets out : in addition to last week's food poisoning scare. Will House become an expensive non-essential luxury?

Cuddy catches him in the hall and demands to know where he's been, and not to try selling her that fishy CIA story. House "confesses" that he was in the Hamptons treating a rich jerk's son's sniffles. Cuddy says she forgives him the clinic duty for coming clean, and will give it all to Wilson. But, turning away, she realizes that the ‘rich jerk' story is even less like House than the CIA story, so does that mean... nah.

Outside the hospital, House meets the Hot Agent, who says she's come to take House up on his offer : no not that one, the other one : a job. So are we back up to seven?

- Cecil
Next Week:
Nest week's episode is called "Ugly" and the previews bear it out.
Last Episode: 10/30/07 4-05 Mirror, Mirror
Next Episode: 11/13/07 4-07 Ugly

Guest Cast Ep. 4-06, "Whatever It Takes" Aired 11/06/2007

Recurring Roles:

Olivia Wilde................Thirteen
Edi Gathegi..................Cole/Big Love/BL
Peter Jacobson.............Taub/Plastic Surgeon Guy/PSG
Andy Comeau..............Brennan/Young Guy/YG
Anne Dudek.................Amber/Cutthroat Bitch/CB
Kal Penn.......................Kutner/Foreign Guy/FG/Alice
Bobbin Bergstrom........Nurse

Guest Stars:

Amy Dudgeon........Casey
Tom Paul Wilson....Lou
Michael Michele......
Holmes Osborne......Curtis
Joel Bissonnette.......John
Chad Willett.............Brian Smith
Nick Warnock..........Reporter

Posted by Cecil on November 7, 2007 2:10 AM
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