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House 524 - Both Sides Now

House Episode 5-24 - "Both Sides Now"

Airdate: Monday May 11, 2009


The Preview:

House is working on a man whose two brain hemispheres operate independently. This must mean the corpus callosum was severed accidentally or intentionally. Literally two independent personalities can grow in the same head. Fascinating stuff - see Heinlein's "Double Star". All I know is - with Carl Reiner guest starring it's bound to be (a) funny, and (b) good. At least one internet cast list I saw still includes Anne Dudek as Amber, but that must be a mistake - didn't we get rid of her last week?

The Hook:

A boor loudly annoys people in a restaurant. Another diner pelts him with dinner rolls, but when confronted by the boor, denies it. The meek diner tries to placate the boor, and offers to shake his hand. The boor starts to take it when the man's other hand dumps a glass of water all over the boor's belly. Things don't look good for the meek guy. He takes the armadillo defense - collapsing... and bleeding from the eye.

Act 1

House wakes in his apartment and limps down the hall. He looks in his bathroom mirror satisfied with what he sees - a rested House and no Amber. He spins a small cylindrical object in his fingers.

Cameron is showing Taub the new patient, Scott, whom she says House will love. Taub inquires about her upcoming wedding. Cameron says there's been a glitch, but shrugs off further questions about it. The patient describes his typical shopping trip - he arrives at the checkout to find things in his basket he's never picked up. Things he hates. His left hand, he says, hates him. Yep, House will love this.

House arrives at the hospital, singing and warning the staff he's in a good mood. They launch into describing 'alien hand syndrome'. House asks if it's due to a stroke. No, it happened following surgery that cut the corpus callosum, the nerve pathway that communicates between the two halves of the brain - the brain - didn't I tell you? The surgery was for the purpose of eliminating the patient's seizures.

House says most patients with the surgery never miss the other half of their brain - the left, after all, which controls the right half of the body, is the center of all the higher reasoning skills, speech, everything House values in a brain. The other doctors stick up of the right brain, center of aesthetics, visual arts, music, all things House cares nothing about - well if you discount his earlier guitar obsessions.

Cuddy comes in and tells House they have to talk. House sends the team to survey Scott's home.

Cuddy tell House she wants to reestablish a boss/employee relationship. No getting close. Accept the rules or leave.

House immediately goes to Wilson and tell him he slept with Cuddy on the same night she helped him detox from Vicodin, and he feels great, drawing a double "wow" from Wilson. Wilson says "This is fantastic - now how are you going to screw it up?" House talks about how Cuddy is all boss again. Wilson advises talking to her. Too simple for House.

Hadley and Taub survey the apartment and discuss the Cameron/Chase situation, Hadley's observation "It's always a sad when sperm comes between people." [So true, so true.]

Taub and Chase sit in the cafeteria. Taub makes sperm jokes. Chase gets up and leaves.

Cuddy comes to see House: "Wilson says we need to talk." House makes jokes and won't get serious.

Scott's girlfriend Annie brings him some toiletries from home. As she hands him a can of his special deodorant, Scott's left hand takes the can and throws it against the wall. He apologizes profusely, and as she draws near after picking it up, his left hand slaps her. She runs crying from the room and Scott attempts to follow her, but his left leg won't cooperate and he collapses, unable to walk.

Act 2

House sits in the corner of the room playing with the cylindrical object again as the team goes over their results so far. The fungus in the apartment doesn't account for Scott's behavior . Not a coordination issue. House proposes a slowly growing angioma throwing off blood clots, and sends them to test for that.

House shows Wilson thermal images of Cuddy's face taken surreptitiously during their last conversation. He says the growth in warm areas as they spoke clearly indicates emotional involvement in her part, meaning she does love him. "Or is enraged." Wilson says, and again urges a serious talk instead of tricks.

Foreman, Taub, and Hadley test the patient with a rig with three screens center, left, and right. As Scott directs his sight to the cross on the center screen they flash words on the left and right that can only be seen by the right or left brain, respectively. Scott gets four words correct on the right screen (left brain) but when they flash "candle" on the left side (right brain) Scott, the speaking Scott anyway, is unaware they've flashed a word at all. Asked to draw what he thinks the word is, Scott denies he can do it, but his left hand picks up a stylus and draws a candle on the screen, which the talking Scott can interpret as "candle". Spooky. When the left screen flashes "Stand Up", Scott stands, but can't explain why he did, making up a story about being cold, instead, and wanting to go get a coat. House examines him and notices he's scratching his torso. He notes the patient's "ammonia breath" and looks inside his hospital robe, discovering bruises on the torso. He tells Scott that his liver is failing

Wilson is discussing business with Cuddy, both drinking hospital coffee, when House enters, also with a coffee cup in his hand. House interrupts rudely. Cuddy senses he's trying to make her mad, but she's having none of it. She tells House she wants him to catch up on clinic work. House says he won't. Cuddy says 'we'll just see about that.' House leaves, taking Cuddy's coffee cup instead of his own, noted without comment by Wilson.

Act 3

Hadley examines the patient, getting ready to do a liver biopsy. Scott apologizes for his excessive sweatiness, which he says he's always had. His left hand swats away the ultrasound wand and Taub asks how, if the right brain objects to a wand, they're ever going to get a biopsy needle inside him,. Scott asks it they can pipe music into the room.

Wilson harasses House about using his relationship with Cuddy as a substitute for drugs - the endorphins of infatuation dull pain, he says. House says he's found ocy-tocin on Cuddy's coffee cup, proof of emotional involvement. Wilson says it's great that House is committing himself to something, however idiotically.

Enter the comic relief, also known as Carl Reiner, also known as "Eugene Schwartz". The oldster says Cuddy told him House was taking clinic patients in his office. He describes a strange malady - he's begun squawking like a parrot, and it annoys his wife. House compliments his high-riding pants and strides from the office, Eugene following like a puppy.

Scott is playing air guitar while his liver is biopsied. Hadley notes his right hand is playing along. Scott says he doesn't want to discourage the left. Hadley notes splinter hemorrhages under his fingernails, and Scott begins throwing up blood. Taub calls out that "BP and O2 stats are dropping."

Act 4

The team mulls the problem in the doctors' locker room, where House is hiding from Cuddy's extended clinic duty. Taub says sarcoidosis is ruled out. House says "There's only thing that could cause squawking, right?" and the team agrees, without anyone saying what that thing is. The team echoed Scott's heart and found no source for the blood clots Scott is now suffering from. All their other tests were negative, too. Hadley proposes the sweating could indicate some cancers. House likes pancreatic cancer, and sends them to scan the organ.

Cuddy is accepting a sizeable donation to the hospital from some grateful former patient and friend when Mr. Comic Relief walks in with a stool sample House has told him to deliver there. A particularly smelly stool sample. In a paper lunch bag.

Scott is packing. Annie called, and she's not coming back. Hadley and Taub beg him to stay. They need to find the source of his clotting. Scott's not going anywhere because his left arm undresses him faster than his right arm can dress.

Cameron comes to House asking for a minute of his time as House stares at the coffee cup he took from Cuddy, wondering what's wrong with it. Cameron says she has three choices, (1) Accept it's over with Chase and Tyson to avoid him around the hospital, (2) Accept it's over and leave, or... "Try making him angry." House fills in. No, says Cameron, choice three is "Talk to him." But since the facts haven't changed, what good would talking do?

House tells her to succeed she just has to say the magic words "I will destroy my husband's sperm." An unacceptable choice to Cameron. He says she's doomed. She says her doubts are normal. She's not expecting her marriage to fail, but "I don't expect my condo to burn down but I have fire insurance." House asks her "If your condo rules don't let you buy insurance, would you go homeless?"

Taub has told House they're losing their patient. House says Scott needs relationship counseling - between his two hemispheres. House leans into Wilson's office "We need your special skills."

Act 5

As Taub inserts Scott into the MRI, Wilson talks to Scott. "What do you think your right brain wants?" Scott doesn't know. Wilson suggests, since the right brain is mute (House called it a "mute idiot".) perhaps Scott should try to do the communicating. For instance announcing out loud he's going to the store instead of just doing it. Scott has his doubts, particularly when he finds Wilson is an oncologist, not a psychiatrist. House says the right brain must like the discussion because it hasn't moved and messed up the scan.

Unfortunately, Taub says, they have a clear negative scan - no sign of pancreatic cancer.

Back in the office, House still likes pancreatic cancer, saying that tumor could cause clots before it was big enough to show. The discussion is interrupted by the comic relief - Eugene phones to say that he just squawked - Cuddy gave him House's number and told him to call whenever his squawking repeated, day or night. House wants to open up Scott and paint his pancreas with scorpion poison - makes those tumors stand right out. [Bet they give the scorpion poison a long scientific name when they tell the patients about the procedure.]

Chase leads the operation. Foreman sympathizes with Chase about Cameron, who, speak of the devil, pops up outside the OR. Chase breaks the clean room open to talk to her. She says she doesn't want to be homeless. Chase, not acquainted with this particular crazy House analogy, say she can have the condo and he'll look for another. That's not what she means, she tells him - she wants to marry him and has gotten the forms to destroy the sperm.
Chase would hug her but he doesn't want to rescrub.

In the OR, no cancer has been found, but the patient's BP is dropping.

House and Wilson talk while leaning over the hospital balcony. Wilson still wants to know if House is really serious about a relationship with Cuddy. Cuddy come into view, throwing out a very apologetic male stripper in a pirate's costume. Well... more out of than in a pirate's costume. But Cuddy's still not mad and never looks up. House is upset at that.

He goes back to the OR observation room and tells them they weren't "looking up" at the right time. He says the clots aren't from cancer but from an intermittent heart arrhythmia, and he wants the heart re-echoed during his current crisis. They do and find the arrhythmia.

Now the only problem is: "what damages a health twenty-year-old heart?" The team suggests a number of possibilities. House likes Cushing's syndrome, and tells them to run a deximethasone suppression test. House turns to look at that dratted coffee cup again.

Annie has come back to talk to the doctors be a dues ex machina. She's gone over the event in her mind, and realized that the can Scott threw at the wall was his special-order deodorant, and he slapped her when she was handing it back to him. What does his left hand know, she wonders? The doctors go off to check the ingredients for health issues. Scott's left hand caresses Annie's cheek.

House has figured out the problem of the cup - why does it have no lipstick? Wilson tells him that's an irrelevant issue - does he want to be the man with Cuddy or not? Now Wilson's on the "Make her angry" shtick - it'll find out where the relationship really stands.

Chase goes to Cameron and tells her he realizes now that she doesn't want to destroy her husband's sperm because she doesn't want to kill the last part of a man she loved. He can live with that and tells her not to do it. Big tears. Big hugs.

House prepares his ultimate dirty trick. He stands on the second floor balcony and loudly announces to all assembled that "I slept with Lisa Cuddy." Some gasps, more knowing smiles. The aforesaid Lisa Cuddy comes into view and asks a nurse what everybody's gaping at. Getting her answer, she turns to the balcony where House turns away and walks down the hall.

Act 6

Hoo boy, did it work. Cuddy is steaming. She accosts House in the hallway and tells him that his latest is "beyond asshood!" He may not care about his image but she doesn't have that luxury. She reams him up and down and he stands quietly while she does it.

His quiet response "I was wondering if we should move in together?"

Cuddy is beyond words. She gasps. She chuckles (not in a good way). She gestures. She fires him. She leaves.

From the side comes the voice of Mr. Comic Relief. "I wouldn't worry about it. I think she likes you." House grumbles that, being fired, he doesn't have to see patients. Eugene pursues. He know he has to be a noodge to get action. He holds his belly as he pursues House. House says he's known all along what the problem was - acid reflux hitting the vocal cords causes the squawk. He writes Eugene a quick prescription to fix the problem right up.

Eugene praises House's doctoring skills, but as he turns to go, House notices he's wearing his belt lower, and asks him why. Eugene says he always moves his belt - his belly is tender and it hurts. House probes the belly, and the Comic Relief becomes less comic. House says he hasn't got a pot belly but a tumor - pancreatic cancers can cause acid reflux - and House realizes that that's why pancreatic cancer was on his mind.

Taub walks up to report the deodorant had a lot of propylene glycol (must come from China) and that the same chemical has caused heart conditions and seizures - Scott may never have needed his corpus callosum cut at all. House sends Taub to go scan Eugene's pancreas for cancer.

House goes in to Cuddy's office, where she's sitting alone and depressed. When he enters she tells him to say whatever it is quickly and get out.

[OK, kids, here's where the episode gets weird - write and tell me what your interpretation is - here's mine.]

House blows Cuddy's mind by asking her if she has two shades of lipstick, one of which has a sealant. Of all the questions out of nowhere, that one takes the cake. She's about to throw him out when House goes into a reverie. He's standing in the same place he was last week (night?) when he insulted Cuddy by telling her to go home and suckle her bastard, and he reprises her leaving the room.

But wait! That's not what happened at all!

He remembers her coming back, in response to him telling her he was hallucinating and needed her. But he also remembers her leaving.

He remembers her sitting on the bathroom floor with him as he trembled with withdrawal symptoms. But he also remembers sitting there alone. He remembers twirling his little cylinder thingee. But he also remembers twirling a lovely bottle of Vicodin.

He's standing there with a shocked look on his face and Amber whispers in his ear "It's a lovely story you've painted for yourself." Kutner is there, too, and he adds "Too bad it's not true."

So, I'm asking myself. House never detoxed? Check. Last weeks memory is all a House delusion? Check.

What about the coffee episode this week? Delusion also? What about the thermal imaging? Real or illusion? Shouting from the balcony? Real or illusion?

OK, so he never claimed to have detoxed to the team - so they wouldn't have seen anything out of the ordinary when he sat there twirling a bottle of Vicodin thinking it was his cylinder thingee. But what about Wilson? House did tell him, and surely he could have spotted a non-detoxed House claiming to have withdrawn?

Were all the Wilson talks delusion too? So Cuddy called him in to talk about the baby-insult, not about sleeping with him? Help me out here readers. Like House, I'm having trouble separating the fact from the fantasy in this episode.

At last a non-delusional Cuddy approaches House and asks if he's all right, although obviously he isn't. Cut to Cuddy taking House to Wilson's office. Wilson standing up, concerned look on his face, wordlessly understanding.


An outdoor scene decorated for a wedding. Music: "This is the Evening of the Day." Everyone is here. Chase and Cameron are getting married. Cuddy and baby are here. Foreman and Hadley are here. Taub and Rachel are here. Dozens of doctors, nurses, and other friends are here. The scene is beautiful, the bride is beautiful. The wedding proceeds.

Only House and Wilson are missing, Wilson drives House through a dreary, rainy landscape. They arrive at a psychiatric hospital that looks like something out of Edwin Drood. House and Wilson get out. Attendants are waiting at the door. House and Wilson share a wordless handshake. House gives Wilson his wrist watch. House limps alone into the hospital. Fade out.

= Cecil =

Last Episode: 02/16/09 5-23 Under My Skin
Next Episode: 09/??/09 6-01 X

Cast and Crew Ep. 5-24, "Both Sides Now" Aired 05/11/2009

Cast and Crew

Director: ____ Greg Yaitanes
Writer: _____ Doris Egan


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
Olivia Wilde________Dr. Remy Hadley (Thirteen)
Peter Jacobson______Dr. Chris Taub

Recurring Role:

Bobbin Bergstrom____Nurse

Guest Stars:

Ashton Holmes _______ Scott (primary patient)
Maria Thayer _________ Annie (patient's girlfriend)
Carl Reiner __________ Eugene Schwartz (The man who squawks)
Anne Dudek _________ Amber, R.I.P.
Kal Penn ____________ Dr. Lawrence Kutner, R.I.P.
Adam Trahan ________ Pirate Stripper
Jennifer Crystal Foley _ Rachel Taub
Jason Boegh _________ Leo
Sheila Daley _________ Paula
Richard Sabine _______ John
Scott Conley _________ Warren
William Woff ________ Minister


China Grove________ The Doobie Brothers
As Tears Go By _____ Vitamin String Quarter
As Tears Go By _____ The Rolling Stones

No Joni Mitchell music was harmed in the making of this episode.

Posted by Cecil on May 11, 2009 4:52 PM
Permalink |


I must say, this finale was AMAZING. I LOVED the twist at the end.

What I was going to say on the LOST blog was that at the end of this episode, we find out that all the stuff with Cuddy/detox never happened and somehow it was Amber playing with his head which was really House hallucinating or something of that sort. At the end of the LOST finale, we find out that Locke isn't really Locke at all... he really seems to be Man #2 using Locke's body to get what he wants from Ben.

Man #2 is like Amber... Locke is like House. (Kinda)

It wasn't really a parallel or anything, but it just kinda reminded me of it. Maybe because it was a brilliant twist at the end.

Nice review by the way! =]

-- 1. Posted by: ilovebenjaminlinusxx at May 15, 2009 8:08 PM

Thanks for the kind remarks.

I'm still on the fence about Locke #2. Check out the speculations about the Lost Finale at - she's got some real insights.

As for House, do we get to see a "clear" House next season? What will that be like?

And OK, so last week's House was hallucination. How much of THIS week's House was hallucination? The coffee cup incident? The thermal imaging? Any/all the conferences with Wilson?

See you on the lost blog...

-- 2. Posted by: Cecil at May 15, 2009 9:24 PM

Oh damn, I was ready for a happy ending... Damn! Damn! Damn!

-- 3. Posted by: ZSZ at May 17, 2009 7:53 AM

Thanks for doing such a great job here and over at the Survivors forum Cecil.

I was left with the same questions you were...were all the scenes with the patient real? The ones with Cameron and Chase? Did he really tell Wilson he had detoxed and slept with Cuddy? Did he really announce it from the balcony to everyone?

I think I will miss "Head Amber" (as BSG would call her) if she is gone after his detox.

-- 4. Posted by: FenwayBen at May 24, 2009 2:56 PM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

-- 5. Posted by: DedoVioheds at September 29, 2010 5:50 PM

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