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House: 506C - Joy

House Episode 5-06C - "Joy"


Airdate: Tuesday October 28, 2008

The Hook:

A man makes coffee in a spotless kitchen. With five coffee makers. He sniffs the aroma, then pours out the pot and makes another. He stares at the leaves of a tree outside. He takes a sip, with no apparent pleasure, pours the pot out and makes another. He makes checks on a paper form. A child, apparently his daughter, comes in and he asks her the time. "Four-Thirty". He asks if she's invited anyone to her upcoming birthday. She resists calling, saying she'll "call a friend" when he "calls a friend". Both speak with flat affect. She leaves. The man looks at the clock. It's 8:11. He starts to continue the coffee ritual but is surprised to find the pot empty and clean. All five pots empty and clean. He goes to a cabinet to get more coffee. When he turns back to the counter, all five coffee makers are gone. His daughter reappears and he asks her why she came back. "Because I live here." "C'mon Samantha, you're gonna be late for school." "What are you talking about, it's four thirty?" He turns to the clock. It is indeed four thirty! Samantha expresses concern. He rubs his eyes. When he opens them, he's in the living room (also spotless) at his laptop. Samantha is nearby. "What's wrong?" she asks. "I don't know."

Act 1

Cuddy hands House the case. 37 year old male with recurring blackouts. Not booze, alcohol, or epilepsy. House chides her for being giddy about her upcoming adoption. He correctly deduces she's about to meet the birth mother of the child she'll adopt. Yes, that afternoon, the baby's mother had some past meth use, she admits, but has overcome that, and no thank you House for the personal put downs and cautions.

The team throws out suggestions. "Post concussion syndrome?" "Not without a pre-concussion". House invites the team to place bets on when Cuddy changes her mind. The team ignores him and suggests more possibilities. Mini-strokes. Toxin exposure. Hadley reveals "the guy works at home as a consumer products tester." That explains all the coffee pots. Nice gig if you can get it. Kutner [the little toady] finally opts in to House's pool.

Hadley and Taub search the immaculate house. Too immaculate by far, in Taub's opinion, to be normal folks. He opines single people have no business having kids, which Hadley wonders if means his opinion of Cuddy. Hadley says her own dad did a marvelous single parenting job. "Maybe he's the exception," Taub says, "on the other hand, you are fairly screwed up." No booze, no pets, no drugs, and no view except an expressway. Hadley finds mold behind a baseboard.

Hadley swaps Samantha and her dad to test for exposure to mold. Hadley talks to Samantha about her and her dad's social life (non-existent) and her feelings about her deceased mom. Ditto. Hadley and Foreman see the dad, whose name we learn is Harmon attempting to leave the hospital, saying he has an appointment, apparently while asleep standing up.

Act 2

Now the question is why the sleepwalking. House questions the teams for ideas in an irritating way. House suggests following Harmon the next time he tries to sleepwalk to an appointment.

Cuddy enters a restaurant to talk to her prospective mom, Becca. Becca wants to know what Cuddy's going to call the baby girl. Joy, maybe? Cuddy's turn. She wants to know why Becca chose her. Becca's grandmother and mother had lousy marriages and Becca repeated their experience. She admires a single woman who can make it and sees Cuddy as a tremendous success and wants the same for her baby. Cuddy sees a rash on Becca's arm, and finds she's having joint pain, too, and checks her into the hospital.

Harmon works on his computer as Hadley and Taub surveil him from another room. Apparently his brain is monitored, because they see his alpha wave change. Sleepwalking, ho-o.

Cameron examines Becca in the admitting room. She doesn't see much unusual for a pregnant woman. Cuddy suggests looking at the blood tests anyway. Cameron strides off to do so and Becca asks Cuddy if Cameron works for her. Cuddy says yes. "Everybody here works for you?" Cuddy nods a modest agreement, inwardly praying House doesn't walk by. Cameron comes back and reports normal on the blood work. Cameron says she'll get some topical cream for that rash, but Cuddy overrules her and admits Becca.

House tells Cuddy she's 'losing it' as they stride through the hallways. House again tells her what a mess she'll be as a mother. Cuddy say's he'd have done the same thing given the symptoms. House tosses a cup of white stuff on Cuddy's navy blue blouse. Spit-up training. Cameron says she'll change, but House says she can't handle a real baby if she can't wear a stained blouse. Cuddy wonders why he cares, not like she'll ever ask him to baby sit. "I'm a humanitarian," House says.

Taub and Hadley tail Harmon, who is apparently sleep-driving now. Harmon pulls over for a skanky blonde. "Sleep sex?" Taub wonders. Not so fast - Harmon drives off and Hadley tells him to pull up to the skank. Hadley asks her what the guy wanted and gets the brush-off. She tells Taub to catch Harmon before he finishes the drugs he just bought. They pull up to where he's pulled over, surround his car, and find cocaine. Harmon appears dazed.

Act 3

The team debates the latest development. Coke explain narcolepsy, explains sleepwalking. But not, Foreman says, the blackout periods. But, says House, whatever they cut the cocaine with could. He sends Taub and Hadley off to score some more for lab analysis. What's wrong, I wonder, with the small pile House has in front of him?

Cuddy and Becca smile as Cameron ultrasounds the fetus and calls off all the normal findingS. All, that is except for the pulmonary hypoplasia - underdeveloped lungs, which couldn't support life. They'll use magnesium to delay labor and give Becca steroids to promote lung growth.

Taub wants to know how Hadley knows so much about drug dealers. Harmon's shows up and they approach her and Taub completes an absolutely adorable first drug buy. Hadley stops Taub from leaving, however, tests the drug the old fashioned way, and tells the dealer they don't want the fresh, new hook-the-first-time-buyer stuff, but the stepped on, keep-the-old-customer-coming-back stuff. The dealer exchanges it, a bit incredulously.

House invades Cuddy's office and marvels at all the new kid-stuff she has lying around. He knocks over a Tiffany lamp from her desk in another teach-the-new-mother-a-lesson thing. Cuddy throws him out.

Taub reports the coke was cut with milk powder. Lactose intolerance House concludes. But test him anyway to be sure, treat him for it and turn him loose.

Cuddy tells Becca she'll have to stay in the hospital for two more weeks because the steroids make her vulnerable to infection. Becca wonders if the baby's lung problems are due to her meth use. Possibly. But Cuddy is philosophical about it all. The monitor shows a climbing heat rate - Becca's not the baby's. And she's bleeding vaginallly.

Act 4

Cuddy reports the facts to House. Deliver the baby, House advises. Good advice for the mother, possibly fatal for the baby. Deliver now, risk the baby, deliver later, risk the mom. Not your baby yet, not your call. But of course Becca will do whatever Cuddy tells her to, so Cuddy's ethically torn. House delivers a long chain of reasoning explaining how he can see Cuddy is of two minds on the subject.

House asks Wilson for advice. "Not cancer." Now Wilson analyzes House's feelings for Cuddy, also conflicted, in Wilson's view.

Taub talks to Harmon. No more blackouts. So the coke was the problem. They debate the relative blame for the situation, Harmon wanting to blame himself, Taub arguing amelioration. Taub notices House is passing blood though his pores.

House says Harmon is dying. Ebola? Cancer? Leukemia? Let's test for that, House says, bone marrow biopsy.

Cuddy discusses the dangers with Becca. Becca is afraid to wait, wants to deliver now and not risk her own life. Now Cuddy is a little more elegant on the wait side, but Becca's mind is made up.

Taub and Kutner start to do the biopsy when they notice unusual coloration in his legs. Not leukemia, kidneys failing.

Act 5

End stage, Kutner says. CT's too low for dialysis, meaning needn new kidney, stat. More conjecture. Hemochromatosis? Scheleroderma? Vasculitis? Test for that and test the daughter for transplant compatibility. But she's 12 and a minor, Kutner points out, meaning an ethical conflict which her dad can't decide. Meaning they need Cuddy's sign off. "So get it," House says. "She's... kinda busy," Taub says.

Which she is, watching Becca's C-section performed by jack-of-all-surgeries Chase. House barges into the OR unsterile demanding Cuddy leave and make the decision. Chase pulls the baby out and there's a tense moment waiting to see if the baby can breath - but she does. "Maseltov," House wishes her, but then demands she come "do your job." Becca tears up at Cuddy's joy.

Cuddy interviews Samantha asking if the risks of the surgery have been explained to her. House keeps interrupting but Cuddy plods on though all the necessary questions. Samantha gives her OK. Cuddy tells House he can go ahead. But suddenly House balks. "No," he says, "I can't. Whatever he has, she has too, she's sleepwalking."

Act 6

House twiddle his Vicodin and ponders this latest development, sitting on a bench with Taub and Kutner. They're underneath a sign that says "WITHERSPOON WIN" and I'm thinking this is some sort of news message board with election returns. But no, looking closer there's a very subdued "D" on the right and it's just the name of a wing of the hospital. But there's a distinct difference in the visibility of the letters, and I'm wondering if this is some sort of in-joke. Taub wonders if there's merely a coincidental similarity in the father and daughter cases but Hadley strides up and announces that House is right because the daughter is now sweating blood, too. The conclusion is "genetic" but there's too many to test for in the time Harmon has left. Then get to work, House tells them.

House talks to Wilson, asking him for a genetic disease with the appropriate symptoms. Wilson talks about Cuddy's Joy, and her joy. House belittle one of those. Wilson says adoptions are cheap, no post-partum depression, no interference with dopamine levels... House get s that look in his eye. "I've just given you the answer, haven't I," Wilson says, "and now you're going to walk out of here without saying a word." Well, it's not as if he hasn't seen this before. "Nope," House says on the way out, both confirming and contradicting.

House strides into father and daughter's room and tells them "Good news. I know what you have and you're both going to be fine." No reaction from father or daughter, plenty from Taub, Foreman, Hadley and Kutner. House says they have an-hedonia - inability to be happy. He presses Harmon for his name. "Jerry Harmon," Harmon says, but when pressed again admits he changed it from Jamal Hammoud after the first Gulf War. This, House concludes, means they have Familial Mediterranean Fever, a genetic disease contracted by people of Mediterranean origin, including Arabs. Causes all the symptoms. Set off by age and stress. Start them on colchicines and methyl-something.

Sometime later... Doctors chart the patients' progress... Cuddy paints the walls of her new baby's room.

Still later... hospital asks Harmon to open his eyes. "Feeling better?" he looks at leaves outside.. and smiles. Father and daughter smile... and laugh. Samantha will be donating that kidney now.

Cuddy strides into the delivery room to give Becca a report on the baby. Becca tells Cuddy how much she admires her and wants to be like her. Starting, as I think we all saw coming, with not giving up her baby. Cuddy is horrified as she begins to understand the meaning of Becca's words, and tries to talk her out of it. But Becca won't be swayed, and Cuddy's world comes crashing down, and a mournful "Fire" by Daniel Lanois plays in the sound track as Cuddy holds Joy's tiny hand, then finally sits alone in the empty nursery, now cried out and dry eyed.

There's a knock at the door. House. "It's really not the greatest time for gloating," Cuddy says. House tries to console her that she can try again but Cuddy says she's done. Now he tells her she'd have made a great mother. Cuddy is rightly moved to anger at his timing. "Why do you need to negate everything?" "I don't know," he barley whispers, staring. They both stare. The staring turns into something else and they embrace in a long, passionate kiss. House finally breaks it and mutters "Good night" and leaves. Cuddy responds but is still heaving and appears not to know what to think of this.

- Cecil

Next Week:

Cuddy to House "About last night.. We need to talk." No kidding.

The case involves an agoraphobic who can't leave his house. Well, it the mountain won't come to Mohammed...

Last Episode: 10/21/08 5-05 Birthmarks
Next Episode: 11/11/08 5-07 The Itch

Episode 5-06 - "Joy"

Cast and Crew

Director:... David Hoselton
Writer:...... Deran Sarafian


Hugh Laurie.................Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein...............Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Robert Sean Leonard....Dr. James Wilson
Omar Epps....................Dr. Eric Foreman
Jesse Spencer................Dr. Robert Chase
Jennifer Morrison.........Dr. Allison Cameron

Recurring Roles:

Olivia Wilde................Dr. Remy Hadley (Thirteen)
Peter Jacobson.............Dr. Chris Taub
Kal Penn......................Dr. Lawrence Kutner

Bobbin Bergstrom........Nurse

Guest Stars:

Salvator Xuereb .........Jerry Harmon
Joanna Koulis .............Samantha Harmon
Vanessa Zima .............Becca (Baby momma)
Janice Allen ................Sadie (a most unlikely pusher)


Fire........................Daniel Lanois

Posted by Cecil on October 29, 2008 3:14 PM
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