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House MD - 4.03 97 Seconds

Originally Aired: Oct 9 2007

Written by: Russel Friend & Garret Lerner
Directed by: David Platt

Transcribed by: Katrina (mystcphoenxcafe)

Beta'ed by TD (topaz_eyes)


DISCLAIMER: We don't own "HOUSE." It's owned by FOX and NBC/Universal, and produced by Heel and Toe Films and Bad Hat Harry Productions. This transcript is unofficial, and should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES be copied or distributed, especially for commercial use.



FADE IN
EXT. - PARKING LOT - NIGHT
The side ramp of a handicapped van lowers and we see a man in a wheelchair, THOMAS STARK, and his service dog, HOOVER, preparing to exit. Hoover leads the way, Stark following. Once down in the parking lot, Hoover looks around, as does Stark.

STARK: It's... cold.

Hoover immediately returns to the van and brings back a lap-rug. He jumps up and hands it to Stark.

STARK: Good. Thank you.

He scratches Hoover's chest and attaches a leash to the dog's harness.

STARK: There's a new girl at the ice-cream store. She doesn't seem too fond of buttoning her top button. Let's go check her out.

EXT. - STREET
Stark and Hoover go wheeling down the street. At the crosswalk, Hoover jumps up and presses the button. The sign changes to the white 'walking person'. As Stark wheels himself into the middle of the street, he slumps forward, unconscious. Hoover tries to wake Stark by jumping up and barking in his face, to no avail. Meanwhile, behind them, we see the shine of headlights coming towards them.

Meanwhile, behind them, we see the shine of headlights coming towards them. The scene is split between the woman driver changing the music, oblivious to the world around her, and Hoover becoming increasingly anxious as the SUV gets nearer. Finally, the woman sees what’s going on, panics, and slides the car to a stop bare inches from the man and dog. Both she and another driver get out and run to him.

CREDITS
INT. - AUDITORIUM - AFTERNOON
The current crop of candidates sit in various poses of casual waiting about the auditorium.

COLE: What are we supposed to be doing? It's almost four.

KUTNER: Tchah! You got someplace to be?

TWIN 15B: We know he likes to manipulate people. He's probably testing us.

AMBER: To find out what? How long we can look stupid for?

AMBER gets up, looks up the stairs where there is still a House-shaped hole.

AMBER: He said he'd be here by three; he's obviously not coming.

She takes off her number and starts walking up the stairs.

AMBER: I'm going home.

COLE: Nobody follow her. She Pied-Piper'ed nine people right out of a job last week.

She glares back down at Cole as behind her, HOUSE bangs open the door and walks in, carrying his cane and a stack of files. Amber looks startled, guilty, then put-upon as everyone assumes more formal postures.

HOUSE: Would you mind holding my metaphor for a second?

House hands his cane to Amber and begins flinging out the files to all present, starting with HENRY DOBSON.

HOUSE: New patient. Thirty-seven-year-old male, suffers from severe ascending muscle weakness.

House flings a copy of the file over to BRENNAN.

COLE: (challengingly) Why are you late?

HOUSE: To see who'd put up with it.

COLE: So, you mean if we'd left, we'd have been fired?

House throws a copy of the file almost in JODY'S face, who manages to catch it, if awkwardly. He continues down the stairs doling out files as he goes.

HOUSE: No, I was going to fire everyone who stuck around. But since everyone stuck around....

House flings a file around his back to KUTNER as he reaches the bottom of the stairs. Thirteen smiles over her file as he and Amber do an awkward cane-for-file exchange.

HOUSE: Twenty-eight percent curvature of the spine has caused reduced lung capacity, and he has reduced bone mineral density.

House walks over and sits painfully on the desk.

THIRTEEN: Patient has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It's genetic. Incurable. This is not a diagnostic mystery.

HOUSE: You have just given state secrets to the enemy.

THIRTEEN: (curiously suspicious) What enemy?

HOUSE: (brisk) New patient. New rules.

House rises from the desk as we see Amber and Dobson each responding to the news, each according to their natures - Amber with suspicion, Dobson with resigned willingness.

HOUSE: Today you're going to split yourselves into two teams.

House walks to the front of the auditorium and faces the fellows-to-be. Cole looks on, resigned and challenging.

HOUSE: The first to figure out what's threatening to deprive the patient of the twenty or so miserable years he's got left with SMA gets to keep their jobs. (beat) Take off your numbers. You look stupid.

House walks toward the side door of the auditorium.

HOUSE: And I think I know who you are by now.

Kutner looks up, a bit alarmed.

KUTNER: Wait. How do you want us to split up?

House turns back towards the class.

HOUSE: Good question, Overly Excited Former Foster Kid. There's ten of you. I was thinking... six against six? No, wait...

House puts his finger up to his lips, sarcastically pondering.

TWIN 15B: How about Women versus Men?

HOUSE: Excellent suggestion, Fat Twin. More interesting than Evens versus Odds, less interesting than Shirts against Skins.

House comes to a decision as Amber watches on, pondering.

HOUSE: (announcing) If your sex organs dangle, you're the Confederates. If your sex organs are aesthetically pleasing, you're the Yanks.

House turns to leave again.

AMBER: Dr. House?

House turns back.

AMBER: I'd like to be on the men's team.

HOUSE: Do your sex organs dangle, (beat) Cutthroat Bitch?

AMBER: Not yet.

House looks intrigued by the statement.

AMBER: You've never hired more than one female on your team before.

Thirteen watches speculatively.

AMBER: If you're going to purge an entire gender, it isn't going to be the danglers.

HOUSE: Sounds logical. (beat) If you don't think about it for more than three seconds. But I just told you that if the danglers lose, they're out.

Amber nods.

HOUSE: So, I can only assume you're hiding the real reason.

Thirteen looks over at Amber, considering.

HOUSE: You don't think the women will be aggressive enough, will be good enough at science. They'll be too emotional.

AMBER: (impatient) Can I switch teams?

Twin 15-B glares at her, silently mimicking House's 'Cutthroat Bitch' assessment.

HOUSE: (shrugging) If the danglers are okay, I'm okay.

House turns again.

INT. - HALLWAY
The fellows-to-be are walking in a clump around the corner on their way to House's office, Amber off to the side, trying to convince them of her position.

DOBSON: We're not okay.

AMBER: I get it. You don't like me because maybe I'm a little bit... competitive.

TAUB: Manipulative.

Taub pushes past her.

KUTNER: Cutthroat Bitch is your official title.

He also pushes past her.

AMBER: It's a game. You can either play for fun or play to win. If you want to win, you want cutthroat.

COLE: No, thank you.

Cole passes her as well and they leave her standing there, starting after them in confusion.


INT. - HOUSE'S OFFICE
The ladies are starting their differential, arranged around the front of House's office. Thirteen is pacing just the other side of the glass wall.

THIRTEEN: First thing we have to do is get inside his head.

JODY: It's not psychological.

THIRTEEN: Not talking about the patient. Talking about House. He's insane, but he's not irresponsible. He wouldn't be playing this game if he didn't already know the answer.

INT. - HOUSE:'S CONFERENCE ROOM
The men are gathered around the conference table, also starting their differential.

KUTNER: First thing we do is gang-bang the sucker. There's five of us. We can run dozens of tests. We don't need a theory; we just need brute force.

OFFICE
TWIN 15B: What about the assist dog? Picks bacteria-infested things up with its bacteria-infested mouth, hands them over to the guy and...

JODY: It's not the dog. Wouldn't be fair.

TWIN 15A: To who?

JODY: Whom. (beat) The men.

Twin 15A rolls her eyes.

JODY: House knows I used to be a vet. If the dog's the answer, they'd be at a handicap.

Twin 15-B considers.

CONFERENCE ROOM
Cole is standing up, earnestly addressing the table.

COLE: What about the dog? Assist dogs put everything in their mouths...

Brennan gets up from where he's been sitting on the conference table near the board and writes 'low sodium' on the whiteboard.

COLE: ...money, doorknobs....

BRENNAN: Great.

COLE: That's not what I said. Why'd you think of low sodium?

BRENNAN: I don't.

Kutner gets up and faces the group.

KUTNER: Patient took a trip to Thailand two weeks ago. (whispering) Hey, write bigger and angle the board more so they can see it.

Brennan starts writing 'lactose' on the board.

COLE: This is wrong.

BRENNAN: It's only wrong if they cheat off us, and if they cheat off us, they're wrong.

DOBSON: They're not cheating. One of them is moving....

We see Dobson taking note of the ladies as Brennan finishes writing the word 'intolerant' on the whiteboard. Kutner turns to see as Thirteen picks up her lab coat and walks out. Kutner stares after her.

INT. - ER
Man is playing with a very large, long cut on his arm. Cameron walks past, sees him doing so, and takes his hand away from the wound.

CAMERON: (in passing) Hey! Stop playing with your sutures or I'll have to redo them.

Over against the wall, Amber is holding a specimen cup with a mixture of curiosity and disgust on her face. Cameron walks over to where she's lurking, continuing to attend to the details of her job.

AMBER: Why do you guys keep a 'D' cell battery in a urine specimen cup?

CAMERON: Because we pulled it from a patient's intestine.

AMBER: Why would somebody swallow a battery?

CAMERON: (smirking) Why do you assume it was swallowed? (turns to a passing nurse) Bed 5 needs a bag of Ringer's Lactate.

Cameron begins walking away and Amber follows her.

AMBER: Would have been worse if he'd used a 9-volt.

CAMERON: (smiling larger) Who said it was a 'he'?

The two ladies round the corner.

INT - HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE ER
They keep walking, Cameron taking the lead.

AMBER: False assumptions. You're good. You're trying to get me to think like him.

CAMERON: And you're trying to kiss my ass. (stops, whirls, and confronts Amber) Why are you talking to me?

AMBER: (earnestly, seriously) Because House is turning patient care into a game. It's dangerous. The patient's going to suffer - maybe die.

Cameron considers Amber coldly, recognizing the words for the ploy they are.

INT. - CLINIC
House enters the clinic room warily. We see a lump that will presently turn into the patient. He comes fully into the room and shuts the door behind him.

HOUSE: Wow! You really need a shave.

A patient with a neck brace and extensive bruising on his face and a cast on his arm awaits. He studies House as House studies him.

HOUSE: You see what I did there.

The patient, MARK ALMORE, gets up off the table, pulls out a switchblade and flicks it open. House's eyes widen and he backs away.

HOUSE: Whoa.

He backs further away, thinking Almore is coming at him as Almore rushes the wall instead, sticking the knife blade in the electrical socket. He shakes with the electricity pouring through him as House watches. Almore finally falls to the floor.

HOUSE: Interesting.

House stares at Almore's unconscious body for a moment, then comes back to himself, opens the door and hollers to the staff outside.

HOUSE: Need a crash cart in here!

He studies the body for a moment, then prods it with his cane. The crash team comes in with the cart, and he steps back to allow them room to enter.

HOUSE: (holding up his hands) I didn't do it.

House continues to ponder the situation.

INT. - POTW'S ROOM
Thirteen stands next to Stark's bed.

THIRTEEN: When a person faints, it's because they're not getting enough blood to their brain. The act of falling corrects the problem. You faint again strapped into that power chair where you can't fall, you might not wake up.

STARK: Killed by an assistive device. At least my death would be ironic.

THIRTEEN: I think when you went to Thailand you picked up a threadworm called Strongyloides. They usually go up through your feet.

STARK: I didn't do a lot of walking on the beach.

THIRTEEN: But I assume you did have someone lay you down in the sand. Bare back, bare legs - increases exposure tenfold over bare feet.

Thirteen picks up a pill cup and sets it on his bed tray.

THIRTEEN: Two pills. You'll be all better.

STARK: Can I have some water for those, please?

As Thirteen goes over to the water pitcher, Kutner and Brennan come in. We see that Hoover is sitting guard in the guest chair by the hallway glass.

THIRTEEN: Hey! Take a number.

KUTNER: House didn't say anything about taking turns. What's she testing you for?

THIRTEEN: Don't. (turns back to Stark) They'll spend all day obsessing over my idea instead of coming up with one of their own.

Thirteen puts a cup of water on the bed tray.

THIRTEEN: But hey, I might be wrong.

She sails out of the room.

KUTNER: Seriously. I'm worried that if we don't know what she's given you, there could be conflicts.

Brennan quietly begins to examine Stark.

STARK: No, you're not. House told me. He's keeping track of all that. Ten doctors. I should be getting ten cures.

KUTNER: We need blood, hair, and stool. You poop, and then you use the wooden sticks to collect the fecal matter and you rub it on the green box.

STARK: Why don't you hand it to my dog? Only one of us thinks I can do it on my own, and the last couple of days, I haven't even been doing that.

Kutner pulls a hair from Stark's head.

STARK: Ow!

BRENNAN: Is it all right with you if we carry you into the bathroom?

STARK: If you want me there, that's the way you're going to have to do it.

Kutner pushes the bed tray away and Brennan moves the impedimenta from the other side of the bed. Then he gently puts Stark's arm around his neck and lifts him.

BRENNAN: Ready?

STARK: Mmm-hmm.

BRENNAN: One, two, three.

Brennan picks up Stark.

STARK: Can I get a little head support please?

Kutner obliges.

STARK: Thank you.

They head off to the bathroom, Brennan carrying Stark, and Kutner supporting Stark's head and pushing the IV stand. Hoover supervises from the chair.

INT. - CUDDY'S OFFICE
House opens the door with a little fling of the hand and enters. Cuddy is working at her desk. She looks up to see who has entered without knocking as he sits with a little grimace of pain. He flomps, clearly settling in for the long haul, looking dejected. Cuddy stares at him inquiringly. House continues to sit there, silently. Finally she has to ask.

CUDDY: Why are you here?

HOUSE: My offices are being used by my teams.

House reaches over and fiddles with the paperclip bowl on Cuddy's desk.

CUDDY: Teams?

HOUSE: Which means this is the only place where you can yell at me.

CUDDY: You have team-s?

HOUSE: Two of them. I wanted to deal with the yelling today because I noticed what you were wearing and I wouldn't have to listen all that closely.

Cuddy smacks his hand like a mother to an errant child and moves the dish away.

CUDDY: You can't make a competition out of patient care.

HOUSE: (reasonably) Without competition, we'd still be single-celled organisms. (beat) Can I go now?

CUDDY: (holds up a finger) Not until after the yelling. (points the finger at House) What's wrong with him?

HOUSE: I have seven of the finest minds on it, along with three very special...

CUDDY: You wouldn’t be doing this unless you already knew.

HOUSE: Ah. I tell you; you tell them; game's over.

CUDDY: If you know, you are OBLIGATED to treat...

HOUSE: Well, then, in that case... I don't know.

Cuddy sits back in her chair, astounded and exasperated.

HOUSE: Why would a guy voluntarily shove a metal object into an electrical socket?

CUDDY: (leaning closer) I'm getting closer and closer to knowing the answer.(beat) What would happen if I shut down this game?

HOUSE: I'd fire them all, hire forty new fellowship applicants, start the game all over again.

House rises from his chair and heads for the door, while Cuddy stares after him, totally flabbergasted.

CUDDY: You DO know what's wrong with him, right?

House turns back to Cuddy.

HOUSE: It'd be pretty irresponsible if I didn't, wouldn't it?

With that, House walks out the door, shutting it behind him with a snap.

EXT. - NYC - DAY
View of Manhattan towards the river.

INT. - MERCY CONFERENCE ROOM
Foreman peruses the case file as around him, his team puts forward potential diagnoses. Eventually, we come to see they are grouped around a conference table, the whiteboard in the background.

FEMALE FELLOW: Antibiotics aren't working.

HANDSOME FELLOW: Legionella could explain the lungs, the fever.

LATINO FELLOW: If she had Legionella, she'd have low sodium.

FOREMAN: What can you tell me about HER?

FEMALE FELLOW: She likes bodysurfing.

HANDSOME FELLOW: Maybe picked up a virus swimming off Johns Beach.

FEMALE FELLOW: But she doesn't even have the energy to finish her crossword any more.

LATINO FELLOW: Her boyfriend said...

FOREMAN: That's it!

Foreman abruptly rises and begins to write 'blurry vision' on the whiteboard.

HANDSOME FELLOW: What is?

FOREMAN: Blurry vision!

LATINO FELLOW: How do you get blurry vision from not being...

FOREMAN: (turning to his team) You don't stop a daily ritual that cures boredom because you're bored. She stopped doing her crossword puzzle because she's having a hard time reading it. What causes fever, boggy lungs, and blurry vision?

HANDSOME FELLOW: (looks around eagerly as he explains) Fungal. Aspergillus would explain the pneumonia, which explains the fever.

FOREMAN: (pleased) Start her on amphotericin.

They begin to scatter obediently.

FOREMAN: Hey, guys! Great job.

They turn to leave again, with varying degrees of happiness and confusion on their faces. Foreman looks after them, the proud father looking after his own children, breathing a huge sigh when they've gone.

INT. - PPTH CAFETERIA
House flicks open the knife that his clinic patient had used to electrocute himself.

HOUSE: (musing) If you're going to try to take yourself out, (closes the knife) why choose electricity? You'd eat a bullet (flick) or jump off a building...

WILSON: (obviously uncomfortable) I love the 'team' thing, by the way.

HOUSE: (refusing to be distracted) ...bury yourself alive in Cuddy's cleavage.

He flicks open the knife again to punctuate his statement.

WILSON: Teamwork. Collaboration. All for the greater good....

House closes the knife again.

HOUSE: It could have been a suicidal gesture, as opposed to an actual attempt.

WILSON: Interestingly, the rain in Spain doesn't actually fall in the plain all that much.

HOUSE: Who puts their internal organs on a skillet just to get attention?

WILSON: (frustrated) Go ask him.

Wilson gets up from the cafeteria table and leaves, having finally realized that House hasn't been paying attention and isn’t likely to start any time soon.

HOUSE: (to the empty air) Well, that would be cheating.

Flick.

INT. - PPTH LAB
Amber comes into the lab to see the men busily working on various tests.

AMBER: (briskly) Got a diagnosis yet?

TAUB: (shortly) Get out of here.

AMBER: (sarcastically) Got a stool sample yet?

COLE: How could you know?

AMBER: Oh, I talked to a nurse. Pretty brilliant, hunh? (beat) I give you a move House will love, straight from one of his former fellows, and you let me join your team.

KUTNER: (pulling something out of a machine) You're too late. We already have our diagnosis.

COLE: (looking up from his microscope) He's lying because he wants you to go away. (beat) So do I.

BRENNAN: How do we know you're not a double agent? Find out what we're thinking, then go back to the women?

AMBER: Because I don't care what you're thinking. You want to know why I want to be on your team? Because you're idiots. If I can get the women out of the competition, I'm in. (beat) And so are two of you.

Taub nods agreement and turns away from her, back to his computer, silently taking a vote. Dobson is noncommittal, Cole nods, Kutner nods, Brennan is also noncommittal. Taub turns back to Amber.

TAUB: So. What's the big move?

INT. - POTW'S ROOM
A gloved hand holds a bottle in which some kind of insect is flying about.

AMBER: It's called xenodiagnosis.

Stark takes a sip of something white from a cup.

AMBER: We let these bugs bite you, and then we test their feces for parasites.

We see Stark lying back on the bed, looking weak. Taub is standing at the foot of the bed, while Amber holds the glass jar of insects.

STARK: Why can't you test my feces?

TAUB: Because you've been chugging milk of magnesia for the past hour. You got a lot going in and nothing coming out.

Stark begins to choke and cough, turning his face away. Amber continues to hold the bugs against Stark's arm.

AMBER: Testing the bugs' feces is actually more accurate than testing yours. Smaller haystack, easier to find the needle.

Hoover begins to bark as Stark's choking gets worse.

TAUB: Get the bugs off. (louder) Get the bugs OFF him!

AMBER: The test isn't done.

TAUB: He's choking.

Taub shoves Amber out of the way and siphons stuff out of his mouth as Hoover barks concern. Taub looks up at Amber.

INT. - AUDITORIUM
View of Stark having his back percussed, while Hoover sits on guard in the chair, which has now been moved to the foot of the bed.

HOUSE: Patchy infiltrates on the x-ray. Patient improved with chest PT and oxygen, consistent with aspiration.

View of the auditorium, with House pacing back and forth in front of the candidates, to-go coffee cup in hand.

HOUSE: So now we have another symptom to explain - why does his throat think his lungs are his stomach?

The candidates stare blankly back at him.

HOUSE: And why are your throats closing up?

AMBER: Shouldn't we be in separate rooms?

HOUSE: If you think I'm going to run two differentials at this time of the morning.... Grumpy, you're first.

BRENNAN: I'm not grumpy.

HOUSE: Why would I call you that if you weren't?

House goes over to the chair and sits, putting his feet up on the desk as Brennan is talking.

BRENNAN: It's an unusual combination. Unusual equals exotic, equals foreign. Has to be connected to his trip to Thailand.

HOUSE: You practice medicine overseas?

BRENNAN: I was with Doctors without Borders for eight years.

HOUSE: (expansively) Ta-da!

BRENNAN: It's in my file.

HOUSE: David Blaine hides the six of hearts in a beer bottle, it's still impressive.

Brennan smiles a little at that.

HOUSE: (challenging) You like exotic. Why are you here?

BRENNAN: I want this job.

HOUSE: Parents sick?

Thirteen looks on, considering.

BRENNAN: No. I... I just...

HOUSE: (interrupts) This is not the job you want. This is the job in the ZIP code you want. You engaged?

BRENNAN: Yes.

HOUSE: (expansively, but softer) Ta-da!

This time, it's Kutner's turn to smile.

BRENNAN: Am I not allowed to grow up and change my priorities?

HOUSE: You're allowed to. People usually don't.

House takes a sip from his coffee as Thirteen speaks up, not looking up from her file.

THIRTEEN: This is not a new symptom. Our patient has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He has documented trouble swallowing. The choking is not new.

HOUSE: So if it's nothing new, what caused the old?

House gets up and comes to stand on the ground floor in front of her.

THIRTEEN: Strongyloides worms explain the fainting. We already treated...

HOUSE: (abruptly) So, he's all better, Woman Who... (shrugs) Thirteen.

THIRTEEN: Hasn't gotten any worse.

HOUSE: (searching) That's a pretty passive approach for the daughter of an alcoholic.

THIRTEEN: Wrong again.

TWIN 15A: We could stress his system. Put him on a tilt table. If he stays conscious, it means we made the right diagnosis and we win.

HOUSE: Then why haven't you?

The women rise and bail.

HOUSE: Six against four. One of the men is going to have to join the women's team.

The men all raise their hands.

HOUSE: On the other hand, one of the men isn't an actual doctor, so... I guess it's pretty fair.

Kutner looks around, appalled.

HOUSE: Men, you're in the penalty box.

TAUB: Who's not the doctor?

HOUSE: I'm glad you asked about that.

Taub looks resigned as he realizes House has no intention of answering him.

HOUSE: Reason I'm penalizing you is time management.

The fellows look at each other as House delivers the lecture.

HOUSE: In Diagnostics, you're always working against the clock. The women came up with a theory and they treated the patient. You guys just sat around in a lab, hoping a series of blind tests would GIVE you a theory. You wasted the patient's time. (takes another sip of coffee) Now I'm going to waste yours.

House takes a huge sip of coffee to punctuate his statement.

INT. - MERCY CONFERENCE ROOM
Foreman's team comes back into the room.

HANDSOME FELLOW: Her gums are turning yellow.

LATINO FELLOW: Whatever it is, it's in her liver now.

FEMALE FELLOW: Fungal fit perfectly.

FOREMAN: We were wrong.

Foreman gets up and moves to the whiteboard.

FOREMAN: And we're going to keep being wrong until we're right.

LATINO FELLOW: Or until she dies.

FOREMAN: Yeah, that was very helpful. (grumbles as he writes) Need a team to tell me we're mortals. (turns back to his team) Look, I'm sorry. You're right. Doesn't hurt to be reminded that we're dealing with the real stakes here. (looks at the board) Liver failure's a bad thing, but it's also a clue. (gently questioning) What does it tell us?

INT. - CLINIC POTW'S ROOM
Flick. House is still playing with the knife, this time as he leans on the foot of the bed, watching the patient. Flick. This achieves the desired effect of waking Almore.

HOUSE: Can't let you leave if they think you're still... suicidal.

ALMORE I wasn't trying to off myself.

HOUSE: (quietly sarcastic) No, that's right. You were just trying to kill the wall. (pause) I check this box, and your next roommates are gonna be Jesus and Crazy McLoonyBin. That guy never had a chance.

ALMORE It's gonna sound stupid.

HOUSE: Suddenly you're shy? (moves to Almore's side) You pooped your pants in front of me. (beat) It's one of the nasty side effects of dying.

Almore sighs, considers, sighs again, then answers.

ALMORE Last Saturday, I got into a car crash. A drunk driver came over the line, hit me head-on. (pause) It was like slow motion. I saw these... headlights... and... I saw.... paramedics... said I was technically dead for 97 seconds. (pause) It was the best 97 seconds of my life.

House stares at Almore, considering. Almore stares back, trying to get House to understand. Finally, House breaks the moment.

HOUSE: (taking a deep breath) Okay. Here's what happened. Your oxygen-deprived brain was shutting down. A flood of endorphins and serotonin was released. That's what gave you the visions.

ALMORE No. Believe me, it wasn't chemicals. I've done every hallucinogenic there is. This was way bigger than that. (reverently) There's something out there. (pause) There's something more.

House starts to walk away.

ALMORE Hey, can I have my knife back?

HOUSE: (flip) Nope.

House keeps going.

INT. - HOUSE'S OFFICE
The men's team is sitting around House's office, playing with various toys. Taub's commandeered the chair, Cole is sitting on the floor, the others have arrayed themselves between the two extremes, except for Amber, who is perusing the bookcase by the door.

TAUB: Who the hell isn't a doctor?

COLE: House said we can't talk.

TAUB: He meant we can't talk about the case.

DOBSON: House is just jerking us around. That's what he does.

TAUB: You're not curious? There's only one reason you wouldn't be curious.

Amber comes to stand in the middle, commanding their attention.

AMBER: (impatiently) We should talk about the case. (beat) He's punishing us for wasting time, maybe we shouldn't be wasting this time.

BRENNAN: Close that door. You're going to get us all fired.

AMBER: We need to find a link between fainting and trouble swallowing.

TAUB: We need to know if it's dysphagia or full-blown achalasia.

DOBSON: Paraganglioma.

TAUB: How would a neoplastic growth in his abdomen...

DOBSON: Not his abdomen. In his neck. A carotid body tumor causes trouble swallowing. Food presses against the vagus nerve, and causes the fainting.

Amber nods, seeing the sense of what he's saying.

COLE: So, if this guy has CANCER, we get to keep our jobs? And if he's healthy, we're fired.

AMBER: We need the CT to prove it.

BRENNAN: And we need the women not to figure it out while we're sitting here.

KUTNER: And does House's computer have a built-in microphone?

Kutner makes a gesture and everyone looks to see the web-camera sitting on top of House's monitor. There are various guilty expressions from those assembled. Amber thinks for a moment, then fades back to the wall and begins to slide down it. When she gets to the floor, she crawls under the desk and to the door to the balcony, to the accompaniment of curious and confused looks from her fellow fellowship candidates. Once there, she eases open the door and makes her escape.

INT. - WILSON'S OFFICE
Wilson is in conference with a patient.

WILSON: There is a potential toxicity with the experimental treatment....

He pauses in astounded curiosity as Amber stands up and comes in the door.

AMBER: I was never here.

Wilson just looks at her as she walks past him and out the door, with twin expressions of 'oh, no, not again!' and 'what just happened here?' on his face.

INT. - TILT LAB
Jody, Thirteen, and the twins are at the monitoring desk of the tilt lab. Stark is on the table.

JODY: Blood pressure is remaining stable through 60 degrees.

THIRTEEN: No pauses on his EKG, no nausea. The treatment worked.

As the twins smile at the success, Amber comes into the room and makes for the table controls.

AMBER: I need our patient.

THIRTEEN: Syncope's cured, Amber. It's over.

AMBER: You obviously haven't stressed his system hard enough.

JODY: You crank that thing high enough, anyone will pass out.

STARK: (laughing) This is incredible! This is the most I've moved in twenty years!

Amber looks on, outmaneuvered, as Stark continues to laugh his way through the test.

INT. - HALLWAY
Thirteen and House walk down the hallway as she gives her report.

THIRTEEN: The tilt table test showed that the patient's EKG, BP, and pulse were made normal, despite considerable...

HOUSE: Who are you, Thirteen?

THIRTEEN: My name's in the file.

HOUSE: The fact that you won't answer my questions tells me more about you than answers could.

THIRTEEN: No, it doesn't. We turned the thing up to 95 degrees...

House swipes a towel off a passing laundry cart.

HOUSE: Do you think that non-answers tell me anything?

THIRTEEN: Sure. Just not as much as actual answers. That's why they are called answers.

HOUSE: Tell me you're hiding something.

THIRTEEN: Tells you I'm hiding everything.

HOUSE: Tells me you've got something worth hiding. Some Turkish prison, gay porn... ya killed a man just because he was asking too many questions.

THIRTEEN: Can I finish reporting on the patient?

HOUSE: No need. See you in an hour or so. Got to... set some stuff up.

INT. - AUDITORIUM
The auditorium is set up a la Survivor. Gas jets fire blue flame into the air. House presides in odd solemnity, dressed in t-shirt and dew rag and carrying a walking stick. The skeleton in the corner is the proud temporary recipient of his suit jacket.

HOUSE: Thank you all for coming... to Tribal Council. (to Cole) Man of your integrity, I feel I can trust... Big Love. And I don't call you that because you are a Mormon. (winks broadly as Cole grimaces) So, where's your team's sixth man?

COLE: She went rogue. Broke the rules.

HOUSE: You also sinned. You have no right to cast the first stone.

COLE: And atheists have no right to quote Scripture.

HOUSE: The rules said 'no talking'.

COLE: I told her not to talk.

HOUSE: Out loud.

TAUB: We were trying to save a man's life.

HOUSE: Key word being 'trying'. Tilt table test confirmed that you guys were wrong. You're fired.

While the celebration and the sighing are going on from the women and men respectively, House looks up at the sound of a door opening.

HOUSE: Ah, the Prodigal Son returneth. You're also fired.

Amber ignores him and comes down the stairs, bearing a CT film along with the file.

AMBER: We thought there was a tumor on the patient's esophagus. We were right about the area, wrong about the diagnosis. (trades House film for stick) Turns out the esophagus is just straightening. It's scleroderma. It explains the syncope and the choking. He needs steroids.

THIRTEEN: You did a CT scan?

AMBER: Obviously.

THIRTEEN: After you were already proven wrong?

HOUSE: Good for you. It's too bad you're wrong. Straightening indicates weakening, not hardening. SMA explains the weakening. (takes back his stick, give Amber back the film) Strongyloides infection explains everything else. (indicates the rest of the women) You ladies have the honor to give the patient a feeding tube, discharge him, and show up for work tomorrow. The rest of you... you're a disappointment. You make me want to stop dangling.

Everyone scatters, except for Amber, who stands there in shocked denial, and Dobson, who comes over to House.

DOBSON: It was the best two weeks of my life.

HOUSE: I think I will miss you most of all, Ridiculously Old Fraud.

They stare at each other for a moment, then Dobson smiles, nods, and turns away, while House swipes off his dew rag and runs his fingers through his hair, shaking off the incident.

INT. - SCRUB ROOM
Amber is talking to Chase, who is at the scrub sink, performing the appropriate ablutions.

AMBER: Do you think House could be wrong?

CHASE: I thought he fired you.

AMBER: No, he fired the men.

Chase looks at her long and hard before looking at the CT film.

CHASE: I don't think he's wrong.

AMBER: If he is, how would I prove it?

CHASE: Just said I don't think he is.

AMBER: Well, thinking isn't good enough.

CHASE: You'd have to run a blood test for anti-centromere antibodies.

AMBER: Would you mind running the labs?

CHASE: You can't.

AMBER: Well, I can, but...

CHASE: (faces her) No, I was making a statement. You've been fired, so you no longer have lab privileges. You weren't coming here for advice, you coming here to con a favor to save your job. Sorry. I'm not working for him any more, but he can still make my life miserable.

Chase begins to walk away.

AMBER: You have a chance to make his life miserable.

Chase stops, turns around.

CHASE: I'm insulted. You conned Cameron by appealing to her humanity.

AMBER: I told her what she wanted to hear.

CHASE: And you told me what you thought I wanted to hear.

AMBER: If it's any consolation, I think your motives are more interesting.

CHASE: I cannot believe he fired you. Go draw his blood. Meet you in the lab when I'm done here.

Chase walks out, leaving Amber to smile and nod to herself before bailing.

INT. - POTW'S ROOM
Amber rounds the corner and comes into Stark's room. She immediately goes to his bedside and puts on gloves.

STARK: Guess you didn't find your tumor?

AMBER: The other doctors tell you that you were fine?

STARK: Yeah. In the sense that it's just my disease getting worse. (pause) You come to terms with this disease. You know it's there. You know it's waiting. And every now and again, it takes something away.

He looks up at Amber as she pulls the tourniquet around his arm.

STARK: Took my walking. Took my modesty. Now it's taking one of my last pleasures.

AMBER: There's an outside shot that something OTHER than the SMA is causing your eating problems. And if it is, we can fix it. Remove that tube.

She draws the blood. To quote another show, "It's green."

STARK: That my blood? It's green. What does that mean?

Amber pulls the tube, holds it up, looks at it.

AMBER: (triumphant) It means I'm not fired.


INT. - AUDITORIUM
House is pacing in front of the chalkboard.

HOUSE: Is he a Vulcan? If no, what makes Nimoy bleed green?

KUTNER: Are we officially unfired?

TWIN 15B: How do we know she didn't fake the green blood?

HOUSE: Because that would be stupid. And while she may be manipulative, borderline evil, shallow...

AMBER: They get it. I'm not stupid.

TAUB: What contrast did you use for the CT?

AMBER: ICM.

TAUB: His kidneys aren't working. They didn't filter the contrast, which in ICM, is green.

HOUSE: Ten points. (puts his cane on the desk and goes to the board) 'k... let's add kidney failure to our list of symptoms.

KUTNER: What are these points? Is that how you're deciding who to fire?

HOUSE: (irritated, turns to Kutner) I'm going to fire the next person who asks me who I'm going to fire.

KUTNER: Now we're on the points system? What happened to Men against Women?

HOUSE: Forget the game.

KUTNER: What do you mean forget the game?

HOUSE: (losing patience) I mean, forget the damn game! Guy's kidneys are failing. We need to diagnose exactly...

DOBSON: I thought we were diagnosing.

HOUSE: YOU were diagnosing. Now I am too. (beat) I thought that Thirteen was right about the Strongyloides. (picks up his cane) I was obviously wrong. (the moment of self-recrimination over, House continues in his 'differential' voice) Okay, kidney failure, aspiration, fainting... go!

THIRTEEN: Kidney failure could be the result of a Gram-negative bacteria. Our patient wears a catheter full-time. It virtually guarantees bacterial infection.

TWIN 15B: Which could have migrated up to his kidneys.

TWIN 15A: Infection stresses his already weakened system, makes his SMA worse, that explains the choking and fainting.

HOUSE: Put him on IV Ampigen.

AMBER: Our team's scleroderma diagnosis still holds. The test could have been negative because the blood was contaminated with contrast.

HOUSE: Do a skin biopsy. Get a side of lymph node to confirm.

The fellows-to-be scatter as House looks at the board and thinks.

INT. - PPTH LOBBY
Chase and Cameron are walking towards the main doors when House emerges from the elevator and strides angrily towards them.

HOUSE: I could have you fired!

CHASE: (confused) You've already had me fired.

HOUSE: Which proves that I can.

CHASE: (turns to face House) Were the men wrong?

HOUSE: No. That doesn't change the fact...

CHASE: Why are you yelling at me?

HOUSE: Because performing tests for someone who is not a doctor in this hospital...

CHASE: You're frustrated. If you want help, I'm here. If you just need to vent... leave a message.

CAMERON: I like him better like this. (channeling smug) You?

House glares after her as she waves and swishes away. Thirteen and Brennan come up behind him. Houses turns to meet them.

THIRTEEN: Patient developed pneumonia. His lungs are filling fast. We started him on antibiotics. Nothing. We were wrong.

HOUSE: (to Brennan) And you're here to say?

BRENNAN: We were wrong too. He doesn't have scleroderma. Biopsy revealed no fibrotic changes.

HOUSE: Cervical lymph node has black flecks.

BRENNAN: Small areas of necrosis. It's nothing.

HOUSE: You say nothing? I say cancer.

House walks off towards the elevators.

INT. - SCHAFFER'S OFFICE
Schaffer and Foreman are facing off around the corner of her desk.

SCHAFFER: It's a bit of a stretch to jump right to cancer.

FOREMAN: I'm not jumping. Broad specs haven't worked, so it's not bacterial. Failing liver despite treatment suggests it's not fungal. And her high lactic acidosis points towards anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

SCHAFFER: Also suggests infection. Which is a lot easier and safer to treat. (she goes behind her desk and sits down)

FOREMAN: Large cell lymphoma's incredibly aggressive. She'll be dead in a week if we follow the textbooks.

SCHAFFER: Unless it's infection, in which case you radiate her and she'll be dead in a day. And I know you've had some experience with that. (pause) I've seen doctors do this before. Go back to the scene of the crime - if you're right this time, you purge yourself of past ghosts.

FOREMAN: I know it's contrary to protocol. But I think it's more like...

SCHAFFER: Ghosts are there for a reason. So you don't make the same mistake twice. Switch her over to third-generation cephalosporin.

Foreman looks at her, then walks away.

INT. - HALLWAY
House emerges from the elevator to find Cuddy blocking his way.

CUDDY: You want to remove his EYE?

HOUSE: (suspiciously) Who told you?

CUDDY: You booked the OR.

HOUSE: (nods) Good.

House moves around her and walks off. She scrambles around to block his path again.

CUDDY: You can't beat me in a foot race.

HOUSE: Thought we were dancing.

He tries to move off again. At Cuddy's exasperated look, not to mention her moving to block his path again, House relents and explains.

HOUSE: Cervical lymph node is a garbage dump. A very small one. Just one truck comes in and it only comes from one home. Al Gore would be appalled. The home...

CUDDY: The home is the right eye. I get it. Do a biopsy.

HOUSE: On my way.

He walks off. Cuddy trails frantically after him.

CUDDY: You're not DOING a biopsy. You ordered an orbital exenteration.

She finally stops him in front of Wilson's office door.

HOUSE: Right. Because I don't want to remove a little tiny piece, sit in a lab, and confirm what I already know, while my patient drowns in his own fluid. (beat) But if you want me to, I absolutely will.

CUDDY: How advanced is the pneumonia?

HOUSE: It's taking college courses. (yelling) Hey, Wilson! I'm going to cut some cripple's eye out! Want to come watch?

Cuddy considers him intently. At the bellow, Wilson emerges from his office behind Cuddy.

WILSON: Good times.

HOUSE: We good to go?

At this confirmation of the course of action from her favorite House-herder, Cuddy looks at House long and hard, then gives up. House and Wilson both follow her with their eyes, admiring her ass as it swishes down the hall away from them.

INT. - POTW'S ROOM
Stark is laying back on the bed, looking worse. Wilson is standing by the bed, telling Stark the bad news.

STARK: I thought melanoma was skin cancer.

WILSON: Technically, it's cancer of the pigment cells, the same cells that give your iris its color.

STARK: Cancer. Why not? What else can God throw at me?

House is in the back of the room, lounging on the cabinets.

HOUSE: Hail. Locusts. Smiting of the firstborn. Course, it all depends on how evil you've been.

WILSON: House.

STARK: If it's cancer, it's spread everywhere, right? It's what's in my lungs, my kidneys?

WILSON: There is a chance, by removing the eye, get the primary tumor, and three courses of radiation, that could...

STARK: Could? What? Few months? Years?

WILSON: More likely months.

STARK: (to House) Any of your other doctors have any cheerier diagnoses?

House walks up to the foot of the bed.

HOUSE: If they do, they're wrong. This is the answer. It's the only way to help you.

STARK: I already can't walk. I can't eat. You're telling me that the rest of my life... is in this bed... puking and in pain?

WILSON: We can manage the pain.

STARK: I'd rather just get this over with. I've been trapped... in this useless body long enough. It'd be nice to finally get out.

House is tempted by the words. Tempted at the thought of release, but knowing that, for him, there's nothing else.

HOUSE: Get out and go where? You think you're gonna sprout wings and start flying around with the other angels? Don't be an idiot. There is no 'after', there's just 'this'.

WILSON: House!

Stark looks stunned. House accepts the chiding, looks apologetic (for him), walks out.

INT. - ICU
House angrily throws the file on the desk of the nurse's station and stalks off, moving fast. Wilson follows.

WILSON: (exasperated and angry) You can't let a dying man take solace in his beliefs.

HOUSE: His beliefs are stupid.

INT. - HALLWAY
The argument continues around the corner and into the hallway.

WILSON: Everybody lies. Some for good reasons, some for bad. This would have been a fantastic reason to lie!

HOUSE: (holds out his hand, exasperated) Hi! Greg House.

WILSON: Why can't you just let him have his fairy tale? If it give him comfort to imagine (stops and turns to House) beaches and loved ones and life outside a wheelchair....

HOUSE: (sarcastically) Are there 72 virgins too?

WILSON: It's over. He's got days, maybe hours left. What pain does it cause you if he spends that time with a peaceful smile? What sick pleasure do you get in making damn sure he's filled with fear and dread?

HOUSE: He shouldn't be making a decision based on a lie. Misery is better than nothing.

WILSON: You don't KNOW there's nothing. You haven't been there.

HOUSE: Oh, God, I am TIRED of that argument! I don't have to go to Detroit to know that it smells.

WILSON: Yes. Detroit. The Afterlife. Same thing.

Aggravated and disgusted, Wilson gives up and stalks off. House stares off into space after him.

SERIES OF SHOTS
Music is 'Not as We' by Alanis Morissette. (Lyric transcription courtesy of xguardianangelx)

Reborn and shivering / Spat out on new terrain / Unsure, unconvincing / This faint and shaky hour // Day one, day one / Start over again / Step one, step one / I'm barely making sense / For now I'm faking it / 'Til I'm pseudo-making it / From scratch begin again / But this time I is I / And not as we.

A) House and Almore.
House stands in Almore's room, cane over his arm. They stare at each other, each searching for answers. Finally, House unslings his cane and walks off.

B) House and the knife.
House sits in his office, thinking, gathering... something. Courage? Conviction? Opening and closing the knife he took from Almore against his forehead, he stares at the electrical outlet in the corner.

C) Foreman thinking, then stealing patient.
Foreman stares at his his whiteboard, then comes to a decision. We next see him wheeling his patient's bed down the hall.

BACK TO SCENE
EXT - PPTH - NIGHT
Brief shot of the corner side of PPTH from the air.

INT. - POTW'S ROOM
Thirteen and Amber are working with Stark, who's being leaned forward on his bed.

AMBER: You're not getting enough oxygen, so we're inserting a tube directly into your lungs. It should help us drain some of this excess fluid.

THIRTEEN: (picking up the tube) Should make you a little more comfortable.

She inserts it and he gasps in pain.

AMBER: Sats are still dropping.

THIRTEEN: The fluid's clear. If this was cancer, there should be blood. Call House.

AMBER: He just paged me.

They exchange a brief glance, and Amber runs.

INT. - HOUSE'S OFFICE
Amber comes up to the door in time to see a blue flash. She starts in horror, then sees House on the floor.

AMBER: Dr. House!

She runs over to him, sees the knife in the outlet. Kneeling down, she checks his pulse, and begins CPR.


INT. - AUDITORIUM - NEXT MORNING
The fellows are seated, discussing what just happened.

COLE: Maybe it was... just an accident.

AMBER: It wasn't an accident.

TAUB: Think his nihilism got the best of him and he tried to kill himself?

AMBER: He paged me.

KUTNER: He paged you?

TWIN 15A: Why you?

AMBER: I assume because he...

WILSON: Don't assume anything.

Wilson enters in street-casual, flinging his briefcase down on the table.

WILSON: Don't fall into that trap.

THIRTEEN: Is he okay?

WILSON: (takes a moment to process the question) Burned his hand pretty good. His heart stopped for nearly a minute. But your cohort managed to... restart it. But... he has not regained consciousness. (continues with forced cheer) So... (checks the file) since I have you all here, we should probably talk about your ACTUAL patient.

Everyone assumes a more clinical posture.

WILSON: Clear fluid from the lungs indicates that it's probably not cancer, so it would be nice if we could come up with a new idea.

Wilson stands there, looking faintly lost and out of his element.

INT. - HOUSE:'S ROOM
Wilson lurks by House's bedside, leaning on the bed tray, looking worried and concerned. House opens his eyes, looks around.

WILSON: You're an idiot. You nearly killed yourself.

HOUSE: That was the whole idea.

WILSON: You WANTED to kill yourself?

HOUSE: I wanted to NEARLY kill myself. Is he... better?

WILSON: No. But he doesn't have cancer. We think it might be eosinophilic pneumonia. (refusing to be distracted from his rant) Maybe you didn't want to die, but you didn't care if you lived.

HOUSE: You insisted that I needed to see for myself.

Wilson stands up and comes up to the head of the bed.

HOUSE: (also refusing to be distracted from his original thought) What, was he discharged?

WILSON: No. He's dying. You've already had two near-death experiences.

HOUSE: Not that guy. The guy in the car accident. With the knife. I... I need to talk to him.

WILSON: He... died almost an hour ago. Apparently, it's bad to electrocute yourself within days of suffering massive internal injuries. Why did you need to talk to him? Did you... see... something?

HOUSE: Eosinophilic pneumonia...

WILSON: House? What did you see?

HOUSE: Nothing. Who's idea was that?

WILSON: Brennan. Nothing-you-don't-want-to-talk-about-it or nothing...

HOUSE: Which one's Brennan? Is he the ridiculously old guy?

WILSON: House, you gotta talk about this.

Instead, House closes and opens his hand, wincing at the pain.

HOUSE: If it's aggressive enough, it might have gotten past the steroids. Start him on cyclophosphamide.

WILSON: I already did. (frustrated) Just looking at you hurts. (takes his chart and scribbles) I'm going to order up some extra pain meds.

HOUSE: I love you.

Wilson gives a hurt and angry nod, still holding the chart.

INT. - POTW'S ROOM
Jody and Thirteen are by Stark's bedside. His harsh breathing fills the room.

STARK: How fast... will this work?

THIRTEEN: New meds should start helping in minutes. Just hang in there.

JODY: Vacutainer's full. I need to replace it.

STARK: I don't... I don't think it... it's working.

THIRTEEN: Try and relax.

STARK: You must... you must be wr... wrong.

THIRTEEN: Stop talking. (to Jody) Hurry up and get that chest tube working?

JODY: Okay. I got it.

STARK: Could you get... Hoover?

Thirteen goes to where Hoover is lying on the sofa, picks the dog up, and brings him over to the bed. He lies down beside Stark, whining his unhappiness.

STARK: I can't... Can you... put my... hand... on his head?

Thirteen does so. Hoover licks his lips and whines again.

STARK: (reassuringly) It's okay. Don't worry. I'm not scared.

His breathing gets harsher and harsher, until finally... it's over. Jody looks at the monitor, then at Stark.

JODY: Oh, God.

The whine of the machines is echoed by Hoover. Thirteen looks at Stark, then rises.

THIRTEEN: Time of death...

EXT. - PPTH - TWILIGHT
Shot of PPTH from the back side.

INT. - HOUSE:'S ROOM
Amber comes into the room, for the first time looking very young and vulnerable.

AMBER: (faux cheerfully) You're looking better. (solemnly) Stark's dead.

House rolls his eyes, pulls off the pulse oximeter, begins to rise.

AMBER: What are you doing?

HOUSE: Going to see our patient.

AMBER: He's dead.

HOUSE: Dead is not a diagnosis.

AMBER: You really shouldn't be...

HOUSE: Shut up. And give me my cane.

She goes over and gets it, brings it over.

AMBER: I assume we're all fired.

HOUSE: Should I fire myself, too? I thought it was Strongyloides, then I thought it was cancer. Little help here.

She comes over to the bed, arranges herself under his left arm.

AMBER: Ready? One, two...

On 'three', she lifts him, but is outmassed, and only his quickly outstretched arm saves them both from falling to the floor. He looks at her, exasperated, and she looks back apologetically. They move off slowly across the room.

AMBER: Why'd you call me?

HOUSE: Because if I pooped myself in front of Wilson, I'd never hear the end of it.

AMBER: But why not one of the others?

HOUSE: You always had that phone in your hand.

AMBER: We all have cell phones. That's not the reason. What is?

HOUSE: If I died, you'd never get the job. I knew you wouldn't let that happen.

AMBER: You don't think anybody else has any reason to care?

Sensing the conversation heading off into dangerous territory, House takes his arm from around Amber's shoulders, as she stares in shock.

HOUSE: Think this is starting to come back to me. Right, left, then repeat.

He moves off under his own power as Amber stares after him.

HOUSE: Yeah, that works.

INT. - POTW'S ROOM
House comes into the room where Jody and Thirteen are finishing the tidying up before the body is moved to the morgue. Both Jody and Thirteen start guiltily as House comes into the room.

HOUSE: What did we miss?

JODY: If we knew, he wouldn’t be dead.

HOUSE: So, that's it? You're just gonna give up?

THIRTEEN: No. We were defeated. It's over.

JODY: Patient presented with syncope. We thought it was threadworms, gave him ivermectin.

HOUSE: Thank you. Patient seemed... better, 'til his blood turned green.

THIRTEEN: (tightly) Can we at least remove the body before launching into a purely academic exercise?

HOUSE: The patient didn't respond to antibiotics or steroids.

Thirteen goes to Hoover, shakes his rib-fur to awaken him.

THIRTEEN: You okay, boy?

HOUSE: What's wrong with the dog?

Jody goes over to Hoover, lifts a foreleg to feel for the pulse.

JODY: He's dead. There are only a handful of viruses that can cross between dogs and humans, but they may not be connected at all. The dog was old. I've seen it before. They hang on way past their normal life expectancy to take care of their masters.

HOUSE: (to Thirteen) Did you watch him take the pills? (she looks at him blankly) The ivermectin. Did you watch the patient put them in his mouth and swallow them?

THIRTEEN: I don't know. I think so.

HOUSE: What kind of dog is that?

JODY: English Shepherd.

House begins to move the tables about, looking for something.

HOUSE: It's in the Collie family, right?

JODY: Not really.

HOUSE: They share the MDR-1 gene.

JODY: Yeah.

HOUSE: What happens when you give a dog with the MDR-1 gene ivermectin?

JODY: They don't. I mean, it's used to treat heartworms in most dogs, but it'd be fatal if the...

They all clump around as House uncovers the chewed pill cup. Thirteen picks it up. She looks horrified, as she realizes the enormity of what she's caused.

HOUSE: Look familiar? I think the last time you saw it, it didn't have that dead dog's teethmarks on it.

THIRTEEN: I just put it on the bed tray to get him some water.

HOUSE: (harshly) When I asked you if you watched the patient swallow the pills, the right answer was 'no'. (stares implacably into her eyes) Take his body down to the morgue.

He walks out, leaving her to her guilt.

INT. - HOUSE'S ROOM
House sits on the bed, tying his sneakers when Cuddy comes in, near tears.

CUDDY: If you hadn't treated this patient as a game, he wouldn't be dead.

HOUSE: Feeling much better, thank you.

CUDDY: I'm supposed to show you sympathy? He died... while his attending was lying on a hospital bed because he stuck a knife in a wall socket.

HOUSE: He died because a doctor made a mistake. He was an idiot.

CUDDY: You employed her. You're responsible.

She turns abruptly and leaves. House considers.

EXT. - PPTH - NIGHT
Outside shot of the back of PPTH in solid darkness.

INT. - MERCY NURSE'S DESK
Schaffer waits for Foreman at the nurse's station.

SCHAFFER: Dr. Foreman.

He turns and walks over to her.

SCHAFFER: How's she doing?

FOREMAN: Fever's gone. AST and ALT are back within normal range. She should be out of here in a few days.

SCHAFFER: Gutsy call.

FOREMAN: Thanks.

SCHAFFER: It wasn't a compliment. If you were wrong, she'd be dead.

FOREMAN: I was sure...

SCHAFFER: No, you weren't. You couldn't be. There's a reason we have rules. If every doctor did whatever his 'gut' told him was right, we'd have a lot more dead bodies to deal with.

FOREMAN: It won't happen again.

SCHAFFER: Yes, it will. Because you confused saving her life with doing the right thing. (shakes her head) I'm sorry, Dr. Foreman, you're fired.

She walks away, leaving him standing there, surprised. He sighs and considers.

INT. - PPTH MORGUE
Thirteen is sitting vigil by Stark's body as House comes in. The sound of the door opening and closing echoes in the quiet as he stands there, watching her.

THIRTEEN: (quietly) As soon as the pathologist cut into the lungs, we saw the threadworms.

HOUSE: You think it's fair that I fired all the other members of your team when you guys actually came up with the right diagnosis?

He starts walking towards her, stopping halfway between the door and her. She still doesn't look at him, continuing to stare fixedly at Stark's body.

THIRTEEN: I keep replaying it in my mind. Did I drop the pills when I put them on the bed tray? Did I knock them over when I turned to leave?

HOUSE: You know he'd be alive.

He walks the rest of the way over to her.

HOUSE: His dog'd be alive.

THIRTEEN: I know.

Not yet achieving his goal of catching her eyes, he walks past her.

HOUSE: You forced us to act on a false assumption.

THIRTEEN: I know.

HOUSE: Everything we built from that step on. Every test. Every theory. Every treatment.

THIRTEEN: (hotly, finally meeting his eyes) I know! Forget the lecture and fire me already!

HOUSE: If I was going to fire you, I wouldn't be giving you the lecture. I know you're not going to let anything like this ever happen again. (pause) I'll see you tomorrow.

Thirteen finally gets up from her chair and leaves. House waits until Thirteen is gone, then addresses Stark.

HOUSE: And I'm sorry to say... I told you so.

He flings the sheet over Stark's face.

FADE OUT

Tags: season 4
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