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House 511C - Joy to the World

House Episode 5-11C - "Joy to the World"

Airdate: Tuesday September 16, 2008

The Hook:

Amid winter scenes and fake snow, a grade school chorus sings the episode title. Back stage, a high school chorus all fitted in matching blazers get set to take the stage. Some of the cool girls are apparently dissatisfied with the "Good Will to All Men" theme and have a little plot to throw an anarchic wrench in the works. They try to persuade the fat girl to go along with them despite her hesitation. It's their plot to put "Mr. Henderson" in his place, by singing some new words in one of the songs. "After all they can't put all of on detention. [And why not?] The fat girl reluctantly agrees to go along and they take the stage. In the song "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open File" when they get to the line "Everybody knows..." the fat girl follows through with "Mr. Henderson's a stupid..." but we'll never know what that next word was going to be because the fat girl finds herself singing solo as everyone else drops out - the whole chorus was in on a reverse plot to make her look bad. Amid a few snickers from the chorus and nervous laughter from the audience, the fat girl looks woozy and vomits on the stage. Oh, if she'd only had the presence of mind to turn and vomit on the traitors behind and beside her. (Take note, all you bullied kids out there...)


Act 1

Cuddy presents the case: "Sixteen year old female gets pranked, also gets delusions and vomiting. Turns out to be a failing liver." House snidely wonders why Foreman's breasts are drooping. Hadley (without contradicting the "drooping" part) says large breasts are a symptom of House letting Foreman take vacation days to finish his FDA reports. There's a little more sexual banter before Cuddy slips out to leave the diagnosticators diagnosticating. "Wilson's disease" Kutner suggests, to be promptly shot down by Hadley.

Taub picks up a green-wrapped package and announces "Somebody got a Christmas present." House reads the card - "Greg made me think of you" but he reads it without inflection so we can't tell if it's addressed to House or talking about House. He hands it to House who promptly tosses it in the R2D2-like trash can. "Funny. Usually explodes after I do that." "Alcohol abuse?" wonders Hadley, which is of course the first thing you'd expect with a failing liver. [It's never that simple, though, is it?] Taub says "She's sixteen, and the kind of boozing that destroys your liver that early, the parents and teachers would ordinarily notice." He retrieves the package, unwraps it, and reads "Manual of the Operations of Surgery, by Joseph Bell." It's an antique book, and a classic. Kutner wonders that House would throw such a valuable book away, and House does so again. Kutner thinks the handwriting was 'kind of girly' and wonders if House has an admirer. House tells them, loudly, to forget the book!

House wonders why the girl was picked on. "Over achiever, high grades, volunteers" Kutner offers. [Yeah, nobody can stand those, can they. Especially if they're fat, says this fat boy.] House suggests maybe somebody slipped her something,

Kutner becomes chief inquisitor, asking the cool girls "What did you do to Natalie?" They're in a room overlooking an operation in process. One of the cool girls (the guys are there too) says it's all her fault for not "stopping her from being a total pig," - while texting, no less. Chase, whose playing Igor, snatches the phone [Blackberry?] away from her and tell them their friend's liver is failing and she may need a transplant. One girl starts to volunteer, while the first girl hisses 'shut up', but girl two continues and says they "gave her some 'shrooms". Girl one says they took some themselves. Kutner want to know if there's any left. Girls one says "they're in Simon's locker". Simon a tall fair boy, protests he didn't give her anything, Chase flips the phone back and tells the group to beat it. Cool girl one hangs back looking at the operation and asks Chase if they should apologize or something. [I'm trying to imagine how that would go "Sorry about destroying your liver, Nat"?] She's more worried about whether she's going to get in trouble and how it'll look on her permanent record than about Natalie, I think. Chase says she definitely should go up to the third floor and apologize to Natalie. "Who's down there?" indicating the operating table." "Mr. Roberts." [Loved him in the play and the movie.]

Foreman examines the range of motion in Hadley's arms. Hadley asks him where Janet, the advanced Huntington's patient from last week is. Foreman says Janet dropped out of the trials. Foreman can't say why. Foreman tells Hadley she's looking good. She leaves her clipboard behind, and when Foreman looks, he sees a gift certificate to a day spa and a thank-you note.

Kutner and Taub are at the school with a maintenance man, opening Simons locker and finding a baggie of mushrooms. Taub asks to see Natalie's locker, as well. Kutner wonders why House would throw away a book worth hundreds of dollars. 'Just to mess with our minds' is Taub's opinion. They find a bottle of pills in Natalie's locker.

Natalie tells Cuddy she didn't try to kill herself. The pain killers were for headaches, she says. Cuddy wonders if she took a few too many. Natalie asks Cuddy is she has any kids. [Delicate subject, Natalie!] Cuddy avoids the topic and tells Natalie that high school was just as rugged when Cuddy was in one. Natalie thinks Cuddy was one of the cool ones, being pretty and all. Natalie characterizes herself as fat and a loser that everyone else hates. Last year, she says, they took photos of her, telling her they were for the yearbook, and instead posting them on a web site making fun of her, calling her a pig. She's depressed and wonders 'what's the use' of trying.

Cuddy interviews the parents, Dr. and Mrs. Soellner, telling them a certain drug could save Natalie's liver if she took all those pills. Dad says there's "no chance" of that. Mom wants to know how "the happiest sweetest little girl" could go so far downhill so fast just a year after hitting puberty. [Um, puberty at fifteen? What books have you been reading mom?] But mom says "give her the treatment". Dad nods agreement.

Taub and Kutner talks to Wilson to see if he knows who gave House the book. When they tell him what book it was, he asks if it had a note, then correctly 'deduces' the color of the wrapping paper. Then he acts all mysterious about it and spins a tale of the gift coming from House's lost love, "Irene Adler". "Really"" a wild eyed Kutner wonders. "No, you idiots." It's Wilson's present from last year. A page summons the two detectives.

Cuddy is in Natalie's room. Natalie is having lung problems. Scratch the pills as cause.

Act 2

House is at the white board o' symptoms. Cameron says scratch the hallucinations, which came from the mushrooms, and add pulmonary edema. House and Cuddy bicker a little more, and Taub says "This is a good experience for me as my parents never got divorced." More theories. Glue sniffing? Infection? LSD? Taub, playing it straight, tells House that they're sure Cuddy gave him the present because she loves him, and that House should 'just tell her how he feels', and if he won't Taub will walk right down there and tell her because, dammit, love like this needs to fly free. The repressed grins and giggles in the room tell House the jig is up, they know about Wilson. Getting back to the case, House asks where she volunteered. The answer is a soup kitchen in Trenton feeding the homeless. House assigns Hadley and Kutner to search Natalie's home, Taub to swab the anuses of all the homeless guys. Cue Jingle Bell Rock

In the cafeteria, House grouses at Wilson's spilling the beans, using a metaphor I will not repeat, just in case you haven't seen "The Usual Suspects". Wilson, as usual, analyzes the deeper meaning of House's chosen method of screwing with other's minds. It's because, he theorizes, House doesn't understand the normal process of giving and getting gifts and so simulates what he can't have - a real gift, given freely by someone because he was nice to them. Wilson says House is incapable of "being kind in a sustained meaningful way." For a second House acts like he's taking the advice to heart "You're right, I've got to stop being such a jerk." As Wilson's eyes widen, House steals his ice cream bar. Oops.

In a lounge somewhere, Hadley approaches Janet to ask why's she's dropped out of the trial. It was because Foreman was being a jerk about her nausea and his callous attitude to her feelings. She figures she doesn't have much time left so why spend it being a jerk's guinea pig.

Taub tells House's he's found an active TB patient in the soup kitchen. House tells him to "start her on the standard regimen" as he dresses for clinic duty, which surprises Taub, since House doesn't have clinic duty that day. "Who says it's a duty?" says the kinder, gentler, House.

In the clinic room, House cheerfully greets a slim young woman named Whitney with "Hi, I'm Greg. How can I help you?" "I have a terrible headache." "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Let's see if we can get you fixed up. Is there anything else you need? Cup of coffee, bottled water, mint tea." OK, who are you and what have you done with House? Whitney compliments him on being so much nicer that most of the clinic doctors. "If you can't be nice, why be a doctor?" \

He asks her just where the pain is. When she tells him, he tells her it's a common sign and it'll "be gone by your third trimester." She tells him she's not in school. A cloud passes over kinder, gentler Greg's face. He tries so hard to be nice, but God keeps sending him stupid people. "Neither is you fetus." "Oh, God." He asks her if she didn't know she was pregnant? She wonders how he can tell this just from her headache. He points out all the signs she should have seen, plus all the ones he sees. Whitney protests that she's a virgin and so is her fiancé. Couldn't she have gotten pregnant some other way, she ask, like sitting on a toilet seat? Nice Greg slips back into sarcasm, he complains "I was doing so well" and hobbles from the room.

In her room, Natalie begins seizing.

Act 3

The white board o' symptoms lists liver, lungs, and, now, brain. Cuddy says Natalie is about to lose her liver, and needs to be on the transplant list. "Hepatic fibrosis". Contraindicated. House speculates Cuddy is transferring her maternal feelings from the baby she tried to adopt to Natalie. Cuddy is appalled at the idea. Kutner suggests maybe the mushrooms were the cause - allergies rather than the poisons they'd ruled out. Severe allergy. Possible fungal infection? House tells them to give her a prick test and anti-fungals.

Hadley tell Foreman she spoke to Janet, and thinks she'll come back with an apology from Foreman. Foreman won't apologize, and Hadley accuses him of "acting like House". Foreman essentially tells her he has to be cruel to be kind, leading her to say he's not acting like House, "You are like him."

House is at the front desk. Whitney leads her fiancé, Geoff, up to him and asks House to verify that he told her she could get pregnant from sitting on a toilet seat. House holds his tongue and says he "said those words, but with a particular inflection." Whitney wants to know if there isn't some was a girl can get pregnant without sex. House cites an obscure historical precedent (not the one you're thinking of). Whitney says "We do other stuff in bed. Couldn't some to the sperm have made it up there somehow." House says "It more likely came from the guy whose penis made it up there somehow." Geoff's hurt and wants a paternity test, and Whitney agrees to one.

Kutner and Taub examine Natalie and find no reaction to the prick test. She asks if that's bad, and Taub tells her a mold allergy would explain her symptoms. Kutner tells her not to worry, they'll find out what's wrong. She seems in high spirits and he asks her if she's feeling better. No, just happy to have something to do - her homework. When he learns that Simon brought it to her. Kutner's antennae go up. One of her bullies is being nice? Kutner calls security.

Kutner plays bad cop and yells at Simon, wanting to know what he feels guilty about since only guilt would explain a bully acting nice. He threatens to take the drugs from Simon's locker to the cops if he doesn't come clean. Nice cop Taub intervenes, telling Kutner the kid didn't do anything and Kutner shouldn't take his anti-bully feelings out on Simon. Kutner says he was the school bully. Taub begs to disbelieve. Kutner tries to start over with Simon in a nicer way. Simon says they don't understand, he and Natalie used to be friends and still would be if Simon didn't fear ridicule from the in-crowd. [Wow, moral wimp, but an honest moral wimp.] Simon tells them Natalie used to drink a lot. He knows because he was her supplier - a few bottles of vodka a week - until she got her own ID and bought for herself.

Taub thinks they were too quick to discard cirrhosis, back in act one.

Act 4

Natalie tells Cuddy she doesn't drink. She did but stopped. Cuddy tells her alcohol abuse would explain all her symptoms, and help get her on the transplant list. Natalie insists she hasn't drunk in six months, and didn't even drink that much back then - she just bought from Simon to be close to him - they used to be friends. Cuddy wants to know then why she stopped buying, and Natalie has no good answer. Cuddy tells the story of how she was good a school and work and lousy at everything else, by way of explaining why she has no kids. But as she got older her feelings changed, by way of demonstrating that Natalie's will, as well.

House has another winner in the clinic. Anna, asthma sufferer who gets no relief from her inhaler. A cheerful House asks her to demonstrate how she uses if. Anna spritzes a little behind each ear. House's jaw line trembles with the effort of holding back the insults. Apparently he fails, for we see Anna striding from the clinic muttering "Jerk!"

Cuddy relates Natalie's latest confessions to House, but also her denials. House says to tell Kutner to "start her on benzos".

Back to the clinic, House finds Whitney and Geoff waiting. "Sure you want to know?" he asks. They assure him they do. House looks at the folder, gets an incredulous look on his face, then tells them "Don't leave," and rushes from the room.

Dr. Schmidt, Foreman's clinical research partner, finds him poring over records and asks if he went home last night. He says those files were just too absorbing and he couldn't put them down. He brings up the case of Janet dropping out and wonders if he shouldn't make an effort to bring her back. Schmidt prefers to see her subjects as numbers, not human beings, and assumed Foreman would feel the same way, seeing as he works for House. She'd prefer he be that way, too.

Taub is summoned to Natalie's room by her parents. Natalie's passed out and Taub struggles to stabilize her vitals.

House returns to the clinic room where Whitney is lying on an exam table to rest. Geoff complains they've been waiting for six hours. He wants to know if he's the father or not. House, wearing a stunned expression says "No. But she also didn't cheat on you." He explains an improbable series of events involving two rare mutations and a calcium spike leading to parthenogenesis - an egg that fertilizes itself, and the resulting offspring will have genes only from the mother - it's never been observed in humans before. A baby with no daddy. He personally checked the results five times. "Oh, and Merry Christmas." With a wry look he turns and leaves the stunned couple. Stunned, but with non-matching stunned expressions. Wait'll this gets to Oprah.

Act 5

House comes in to his office wanting to talk about "this clinic patient...", but Cuddy interrupts to tell him that Natalie's liver is continuing to fail. Atropine isn't doing the job and they have to get her a pacemaker. Opposite symptoms from what alcohol withdrawal would produce. No structural problems with the heart, Kutner reports. Multiple endocrine syndrome? Nope. Hypothalalmic brain tumor? Leukemia? (Alt phos = 300, a bad sign) House and Cuddy consult with Wilson, the cancer expert. Wilson recommends starting her on chemo. House wants to do a bone marrow biopsy to confirm. Cuddy wonders why House, for once, isn't rushing to treat before confirmation. House says it's her call, and leaves. Wilson says even if they kill every cancer cell, her heart and lungs are too far gone, she'd need a risky double transplant, which she'd never get anyway because of the brain involvement, and House is being kind to avoid putting a dying girl through painful treatment.

Foreman visits Janet's hospice to tell her they have another trial available with lower doses of the medication so she wouldn't get so nauseous. Janet allows him to leave the forms but doesn't commit.

Cuddy visits House to argue they could be wrong, there could be another diagnosis. House is unsympathetic, and goes through his mail, finding on the bottom a wrapped present - "yessss". He reads the card and smiles. He grabs the present and tells Cuddy "BRB". Naturally she trails along wanting to know what it is. "A thank you from a patient." "For you?" "I saved her marriage - by showing that her pregnancy was a result of parthenogenesis." In response to Cuddy's astonishment, her says "Yep. It's unbelievable. But I personally checked it five times." Cuddy wants to know how he could have done that when the machine he would have used is broken and he would have had to send the tests out. "I guess the better explanation is that the maternity tests showed she cheated, and I faked the whole parthenogenesis thingy."

Opening the door to Wilson's office he tosses the package to Wilson and crows "I win!" "I think you're confusing nice and evil again, helping a woman deceive her husband by inventing a virgin birth, just so you can..." House goes on with his natter but Cuddy's gotten a far-away look in her eyes. She moans "It's not leukemia... Seizures, liver failure, it's eclampsia." "This means," says a grim House, "we don't have one dead patient, we have two."

Act 6

Cuddy has to explain to Natalie and her parents that she has eclampsia, pregnancy toxicity. Because the pregnancy was terminated prematurely over three weeks ago, the hospital had found no sign of it on her admission. Under interrogation, Natalie admits that the baby was the reason she quit drinking, why she asked about Cuddy having kids, and why she feels so guilty. The father was Simon. He didn't know about the pregnancy. Natalie was going to give the baby away but delivered it prematurely in school. The baby wasn't breathing and she left it in an abandoned house near the school. Cuddy has to tell Natalie that the damage to her heart and liver are permanent and fatal. Natalie mourns that she "didn't even bury her, just put my coat over her."

Cuddy, alone in a brisk snowfall, enters the abandoned house holding a flashlight. But the house isn't abandoned - she finds a room with electric lights and drug paraphernalia on a table. A squatter tells her to "get out of my house". Cuddy tells him she's a doctor and asks if he's found the body of a baby. The guy just wants her out, and advances menacingly towards her. A woman comes into the room holding a baby asking who Cuddy is. Cuddy tells the woman that can't be her baby, she (the woman) is too tiny to be three weeks post partum. The woman says the baby is her sister's. Cuddy tell her all the problems the baby may have and that they can't take care of her in "a place like this." The woman says "I took care of her." Cuddy praises her for saving the baby's life but says now she has to let her go.

Natalie's room. Cuddy presents her daughter to her. Natalie Is stunned and her parents are as well. Natalie cuddles the baby. Simons approaches, as "Whisper" by A Fine Frenzy plays. Kutner apparently fills him in on the facts. They watch the scene in Natalie's room from afar.

A grim Kutner strides from the elevator, passes the hospital Christmas party, and fills Cameron in that Natalie's transplant application was denied and she has a couple of days to live. The baby seems healthy but it's too early to tell. Taub says "Worse case, she'll wind up with a teen age father who just got voted captain of the varsity bullying team." [Wasn't he the good cop?] Kutner says "he's just a kid." [Some bad cop.] Kutner begs off the party and says he has to go.

Kutner drives across town to the apartment of "Jonathan." And introduces himself - "It's Lawrence Kutner". Recognition dawns in Jonathan's eyes, and we wonders why Kutner is there. Kutner says he wants to apologize "for all the horrible stuff I did to you in high school. I'm sorry." We don't hear what happens next, but from the stiff look of Jonathan's upper lip, I'm thinking (1) It must have been pretty bad, and (2) what follows is not a tearful reunion. Is was a decent apology, though.

Back at the hospital, House finds Cuddy staring at the baby, now alone in a bed. She tells him the grandparents find it "too painful, they're putting her up for adoption." Cuddy is putting in her dibs. House avoids evisceration by not making any smart remarks, just saying "Merry Christmas, Cuddy" and leaving.

Hadley finds Foreman alone with his trial data, and thanks him for getting Janet back in the trials. "My Christmas gift to you", he tells her. She says she was wrong - "You're not House." "Well, that's my Christmas gift to myself." She suggests moseying down to the party. He agrees, but instead, they embrace, and kiss.

- Cecil And a Merry Christmas to you all.
Next /W/e/e/k/ Year:

Next January, on a new night (Mondays at 8 PM, 7 Central) new episodes, new cases, same old House. (They don't say just which Monday, though.)

Last Episode: 12/02/08 5-10 Let Them Eat Cake
Next Episode: 01/??/09 5-12 ?

Cast and Crew Ep. 5-11, "Joy to the World" Aired 12/09/2008

Cast and Crew

Director:... David Straiton
Writer:...... Peter Blake IV


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 (Kumar) Kutner

Bobbin Bergstrom........Nurse

Guest Stars:

B.K. Cannon......................Natalie
Sherilyn Fenn....................Mrs. Soellner (Natalie's mom)
Michael Leydon Campbell.Dr. Soellner (Natalie's dad)
Lucas Till...........................Simon (Natalie's ex?-b.f.)
Lori Petty...........................Janice (Huntington's patient)
Ben Shields........................Jonathan (Kutner's H.S. victim)
Taylor Dooley...................Rachelle (Cool girl)
Meaghan Jette Martin........Sarah (Cool girl)
Bitsie Tulloch....................Whitney (pregnant clinic woman)
John Forrest.II....................Geoff (Whitney's fiancé)
Alix Korey........................Anna (Asthma sufferer)
Phyllis Lyons.....................Dr. Schmidt (Foreman's clinical research partner)
Christopher DeMaci..........Squatter (Michael)
Marissa Ingrasci................Squatter Woman
Caitlin Gorfaine.................Chorus #1
Carmel Echols...................Chorus #2
Dallas Wells......................Chorus #3
Gary Leroi Gray................Chorus #4
Christopher Ryan Johnson.Chorus #5


Joy to the World.........Isaac Watts
A Christmas Song........Mel Torme & Bob Wells
Jingle Bell Rock.........Bobby Helms
Whisper...................A Fine Frenzy
Chestnuts Roasting......Gavin Degraw

Posted by Cecil on December 8, 2008 11:18 AM
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