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House: Living the Dream

House Episode 4-14C : Living the Dream

Airdate May 5, 2008 (¡Hola, Amigos!)

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

The Hook:

A doctor takes a controlled substance prior to operating. He says he needs it to steady his hand. A nurse questions whether he is fit to operate : especially since the patent is her sister... and his fiance ... and she (the nurse) is having his baby. "Baby?", the doctor croaks and collapses. Is House in big trouble, or is this some soap opera? The latter, we see as the camera (ours) pulls back to reveal the camera (theirs). "Cut!" Scene over, the ‘doctor' Brock Sterling rises and leaves the set, deprecating the scene, and his acting, as "crap", despite the director's reassurances.

Leaving the studio, the actor, Evan Greer, gets in a limo which begins driving in the wrong direction. When the Evan objects, the doors lock : he's being abducted! "What's going on, what do you want?" "An autographed picture would be nice," says the driver, who bears a suspicious likeness to a certain PITA diagnostician. "Oh, and to save your life!"

Cue sinister House music...

Act 1

Outside the PPTH Emergency Room, Cuddy talks to an inspector from the hospital accreditation board, making an unannounced inspection. [Hide all the weird characters and doctors making out in the locker rooms, janitor's closets, and unoccupied patient rooms, quick!] A limo screeches up to the ER and a jaunty character in a sporty cap jumps out of the driver's door. Cuddy professes not to know who he is, and hustles the inspector away. House coaxes the reluctant actor out of the car, claiming to have diagnosed a brain tumor from tics noticed in his performance. The actor agrees to take one little test, if this mad doctor will then leave him alone.

Cuddy's office. Cuddy briefs the staff and forcibly recruits all the former Hice as House-watchers to keep House out of the inspector's view. Cameron's job is to get House's charts current.

House directs the Evan though a visual field test, which, he says will map any area that the tumor is obscuring in his optic field. At the same time he presses Greer inside details on the goings-on in his role as Dr. Brock on House's favorite soap. The test concludes and House tells him that the test shows a definite loss in his visual field and he needs a follow-up MRI test. But Foreman, who's strolled in, comments that the test show his vision is just fine. Greer walks out angry.

Hallway. Wilson hobbles up and House asks if Wilson is mocking him. No, he says, it's Amber's damn mattress, Which is too hard of Wilson's delicate tuchis. He says they're going to shop for a new mattress. House suspects a trap, as Amber will bend Wilson's will to buy the one Amber wants. [But doesn't Amber already have the one Amber wants?] They walk into an elevator, where Evan already is. Seeing House Evan begins to dial the police. House takes out a syringe and injects him behind the ear, instantly rendering him unconscious, "He needs an MRI," House explains.

Taub and 13 conduct the MRI on the unconscious Greer. They find nothing wrong. As they finish, Greer revives and angrily demands to see whoever's charge. That would be Cuddy, they tell him, but 13 attempts to use a little briar patch reverse psychology to convince him that House would be pleased if he did go to Cuddy, since he hates her and it would screw up her inspection.

It doesn't work, and an angry Evan strides down t he hall demanding to see Cuddy. But just as he reached her, his legs fail him and he goes down. "I can't feel my feet!"

Act 2

Team room. The team debates this new symptom : foot numbness to go with vision problems : the vision problems he tested negative for. Cameron suggests that foot problems could be a pinched nerve from Evan's fall when House sedated him. House tells Kutner to go out and test for that, then come back in thirty minutes and report negative results,. Kutner asks if he can use the thirty minutes to actually do the test.

Kutner runs the tests. As he does so, he and Evan have an exchange about job satisfaction. Evan feels trapped in a meaningless job, Kutner takes the common sense approach "Well. why not quit and do something else?" Evan says it's not that simple. [Ah, those golden handcuffs. And I can't quit ‘cause I'm a star, no thanks, Omaha, thanks a lot.] The tests come out negative for nerve impairment.

Staff lounge. The doctors watch the soap in high-def on the lounge TV, House leading 13, Taub, and Foreman in a search for symptoms evident in Evan's performance. The doctors pick apart every twitch and gesture. "Research" he tells Cuddy when she comes in.

Cuddy takes House outside and demands he ‘tone it down' for the duration of the inspection. House says he'll do it in exchange for the high def TV from the doctor's lounge moved to his office. Kutner reports the negative test. So the next theory is environmental toxins. House sends Kutner to examine the patient's home, while House will tour the patient's workplace : the soap set and dressing room.

Wilson and Amber test mattresses. They find one sort of acceptable, but expensive. When a salesman approaches, Amber puts on a poor act and he offers to knock a hundred dollars off the price. A little more pathos, and he goes off to ask his manager about a five hundred dollar knockdown. Amber is paged to the hospital, and tells Wilson to pick out any mattress he wants, Wilson calls House to gloat about how wrong House was, but House says it's a more refined trap - Wilson forced to pick the one Amber would want to prove he loves her.

House tours the soap set guided by ‘nurse' Anna. He finds no obvious toxins, but quizzes Anna on their social life. On finding that she dated Evan a few times but didn't ‘go all the way', House concludes that Evan is impotent and he has a new symptom.

Back at the team room, House explains that excessive sunflower seed eating (supplies noted in the dressing room) could lead to vitamin B6 toxicity, which could lead to impotence, and he wants to start plasmaphoresis right away to filter the toxins from Evan's blood. The team objects that he's diagnosing impotence from pretty slim evidence and wants a test to confirm. They suggest an overnight test for spontaneous arousals.

House thinks that takes too long and suggests they expose Evan to some stimulus. "I'm not showing him my boobs," Cameron pipes up from the corner where she's doing charts.

"Lack of response to your boobs proves nothing. 13 show him your.... Hmmm... Where can I find a decent set of knockers around here?"

"Your porn's in the second drawer," Cameron shoots back. ["Maintains hostile working environment." I can see that inspector's report now.]

Sleep lab. Evan is properly monitored for heart, lungs, and, well, you know, as 13 and Kutner ‘watch' from the room next door with the blinds closed, and compare miserable jobs they've had versus actually being miserable. Next door, Evan ponders the centerfold of ‘Pandora's Box'. He scores a ‘normal' on all systems, but suddenly all the monitors go crazy : cardiac arrest!

Act 3

Team room. The new symptom is discussed. Possibilities are raised and dismissed rapidly. Cameron leans in from the corner and proposes "Gray's disease" as she passes House charts to sign. It's a new day, and the blouse she's wearing (and the leaning over pose) are calculated to refute the proposal that her boobs are insufficiently stimulating. [Quite successfully refute, I should say.]

House wonders aloud if Cameron wants her old job back. If so, "I'll fire 13." She's fine she says. "Good," House responds that he was bluffing. House agrees with Cameron's diagnosis and wants aggressive treatment to fry his thyroid. The rest of the team feels a little confirmation would be nice before sacrificing a major body organ. All but Foreman, that is. "House's right." He says, and leads the team off to fry the thyroid,.

As soon as they're out of House's earshot, he says they'll do confirming tests of course.

Cuddy finds House eating a sandwich in the morgue. She tries to shoo him out, but he resists, since he's sure the inspector is coming right there, and unless Cuddy caves he's going to display some eccentricity. Cuddy tries to call his bluff, but of course he's not bluffing, and as soon as the inspector shows Cuddy caves. House victorious! HD uber alles.

Workmen are installing the HD TV in House's office. Again House offers to fire 13 if Cameron wants to come back. Cameron reminisces about the job, allowing as how she misses everything about it : everything, that is, except House.

Taub and Kutner are doing liver tests. The liver tests normal. Not Gray's. But they notice the iodine used in the test is not being cleared from Evan's bloodstream. His kidneys are failing.

Act 4

House and team stride down the hall. If it's not Gray's, the next candidate is auto-immune disease.

At home, Amber and Wilson start to give that new mattress a workout. But as soon as they hit it, Amber senses something is wrong. The new mattress is firm, like she likes, not soft like Wilson likes. She tells him she really wanted him to get what he, not she, wanted. He's failed the test. Amorous mood broken, she tells him to try again.

House shows Evan the tabloids, which are noq making a thing of his hospitalization. Evan begins to talk about what he'll do with his second chance. But House realizes he's reciting dialogue from his last season. He's bonkers, disoriented, and beginning to believe he is his character. [Wonder if Hugh Laurie ever has this problem?]

Act 5

The team meets. 13 says these new symptoms rule out auto-immune. Now an infection is the likely candidate. But which one? Evan's organs are failing rapidly, and no time to test for all of them, most too small to see in a microscope. Foreman says maybe it's a fungus - we could see that. House sends the team off to test for anything big enough to be seen. Meanwhile, he says, "I'm going to lie down."

The lying down is being done in the mattress store with Wilson. Pressed by House to get what he really wants, Wilson decides on a waterbed, something he's always wanted but his repressed, other-pleasing personality hasn't let him do. House, whose id lives on the surface, encourages him to go for it. Then House has an epiphany while gazing at a floral-print pillowcase.

Back with the team, House proposes the problem is allergies, not infection, as evidenced by chrysanthemums in Evan's dressing room, despite negative tests earlier for common allergies. House wants to start steroids immediately, given that Evan's in a coma and failing rapidly. Everyone else is against it.

House asks the hospital pharmacist for 100 mg of methyl prednisalone, which the pharmacist says is enough for an army, and that large a dose for a single patient requires Cuddy's signature. House barges in and takes the drug, as the pharmacist dials Cuddy's number.

Act 6

Cuddy intercepts House in the patient's room before he can administer the huge dose and orders him to get confirmatory tests before administering it. House gives an impassioned speech along the theme "protocol is for wimps", and goes ahead and administers the dose. Cuddy sighs and tells him to tell her if the patient dies, and goes to hover over the Hice in the lab as they do the tests that should have been done first, as a little soft rock plays in the background.

Cuddy finds House in the hall and tells him the tests were negative for all floral allergies, and she's putting the patient back on antibiotics for the presumed infection. But as she enters the patient's room and tells Foreman to do so, he asks ‘Why?' since the steroids worked. Evan is conscious. House is staggered : his treatment was right, but not for the reasons he thought : in fact he doesn't know why it worked. "I was wrong," he croaks.

The inspector tears Cuddy a new one (in a polite way) as he reviews the case of the patient who got better with the wrong treatment, and comes down on the side of truth, justice, and the American way of life, as well as always following protocol.

Amber tosses and turns on the gurgling waterbed. Waking, she notices Wilson isn't there. She finds him on the living room rug. He hates the waterbed. [Wilson is a wimp. I loved my waterbed all through the sixties and seventies and wish I still had it.] She hugs him and assures him the store will take it back, and she's glad he got it even if he turned out not to like it. I think this relationship may work out.

Late night. House's office. House watched ‘Dr. Brock' on his HD TV. He calls Cuddy at home, waking her. He asks how the inspection tuned out. (Two hundred thousand dollar fine, but no loss of certification). "You should have been fired." he tells her. But he's figured out what Evan's allergy was. Evan is drinking simulated gin-and-tonics on the show, and has been for two months : the same period as his symptoms. Fake gin, real tonic. Evan is allergic to the quinine in tonic water. Cuddy says she's taking back the TV. Again he tells her "You should have been fired." [Wonder what this says about what they should have done to him?]

- Cecil

Next week: House has an accident, then struggles to remember what he saw then, which he need to know to save someone's life.

Prev. Episode: 4-13 No More Mr. Nice Guy - 04/28/08
Next Episode: 4-15 House's Head Part 1 - 05/12/08


Cast List Ep. 4-14, "Living the Dream"

Originally aired: Monday May 5, 2008 on FOX

Writers:............................. Sara Hess
............................................Liz Friedman

Director:.............................David Straiton


Hugh Laurie......................Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein....................Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Robert Sean Leonard.........Dr. James Wilson
Jesse Spencer.....................Dr. Robert Chase
Jennifer Morrison..............Dr. Allison Cameron
Omar Epps.........................Dr. Eric Foreman
Anne Dudek.......................Dr. Amber
Peter Jacobson....................Dr. Chris Taub
Kal Penn.............................Dr. Lawrence Kutner
Olivia Wilde.......................Dr. Thirteen

Recurring Role:

Bobbin Bergstrom.............Nurse

Guest Stars:

Jason Lewis.......................Evan Greer
Kimberly Pfeffer...............Anna
Joe Marinelli.....................Director
Robert Patrick Benedict....Dr. Jamie Conway
Brett Ryback.....................Salesman
Dominic Flores.................Pharmacist
Kristina Anapau................Marie Actress


Needles in my Eyes..........The Beta Band

Production Code: HOU-414

Posted by Cecil on May 12, 2008 1:00 AM
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