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House MD – 5.17 The Social Contract

Originally Aired: March 9, 2009

Written by: Doris Egan
Directed by: Andrew Bernstein

Transcribed by: Tammy (beckston)


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.



[Scene opens with a shot of an author photograph on the back of a book jacket, then moves to a table in a restaurant. The author and his publishers/editors are celebrating the publication of his newest book]


Tim: (the author of the book) Am I gonna have to give a speech? You're the publisher. Can't you do it?

Elaine: I can warm them up. But you are gonna have to get over this fear of public speaking before the book tour. Everybody. Can I have your attention? Thank you. Tim has a few words to say. There you go, Tim. They're warmed up. (The audience twitters)

Tim: Well, what do you say at a time like this? Seriously, what do you say?

Nick: (Tim’s editor) You could thank people for coming.

Tim: Thank you, Nick. Actually, I’m always thanking Nick, a man famous not only for his ruthless editor's pen, but his patient hand-holding of crazy authors. You'd think that after three novels, I'd start to develop a little confidence, but…

Elaine: For a book like this, we are happy to supply the confidence. Best-seller. (She holds up her glass for a toast, as does everyone else)

Nick: Well that's not gonna happen.

Tim: What?

Nick: Come on. Short stories don't make money. Short stories weren't making money back in 1908. You'd have to be mathematically illiterate to think they'd do as well as a novel.

Elaine: Okay, Nick, let's step away from the champagne before somebody gets hurt.

Tim: You slaved over this book right next to me. Why would Northrop even publish it if it's only going to tank?

Nick: Have you failed to notice you're our star author? Obviously, Elaine wouldn't want to offend you.

Audrey: (Nick’s wife) Uh, honey.

Nick: I -- I'm sorry. I don't — I don't know why I said that.

Elaine: He's joking. Nick knows as well as anyone what you have done is art.

Nick: So is folding paper into animal shapes, but you don't expect to make a living off it.

Elaine: What the hell is wrong with you?

Nick: (talking about Elaine) You really think someone who goes through ten assistants a year and doesn't return her own children's phone calls would give a damn about the state of the American short story?

Audrey: Please, be quiet.

[Nick wipes his nose and comes up with blood on his hand]

Nick: (looking at the blood on his hand) I think something's wrong. That title was a mistake too. People are gonna compare you to Salinger, and (laughs), boy, are you gonna come up short on that one.

[Nick looks dazed. He pivots and falls out of his chair onto the floor]

Audrey: Honey!

Tim: Call 911. Help! We need help!

[Opening Credits]

[Scene opens on the Department of Diagnostics conference room. House walks in heading toward his office. The rest of the team is already there]

Foreman: (holding out a file) Cameron brought this up from the ER.

House: Doesn't look like a friendship bracelet.

[He pauses, tosses his backpack into his office and turns back to the team]

Kutner: It's Phineas Gage, the most famous case study in medical history.

House: You're telling me this patient got a railroad spike drilled through his frontal lobe? (He takes the patient file)

Foreman: No. No trauma, but he does have frontal lobe disinhibition. Just like Gage.

Thirteen: Gage was a different person after the spike. Argumentative. Impulsive.

House: Whereas our guy became a different person after Chardonnay.

Taub: He was sober when they brought him in. There's also the nosebleed, the collapse.

House: (to Foreman) MRI show anything?

Foreman: (smiling) Nothing.

House: Good. What fun would that be? So the tumor's not in the cool neighborhood. It's cool neighborhood adjacent.

Thirteen: A well-placed tumor in the nasal cavity eroding into the brain could do the damage.

House: (handing the file to Foreman) Go stick a scope up Phineas's nose. See what you find. (The team leaves)

[Cut to Nick’s hospital room. He is playing cards with his daughter on his bed. His wife is on her cell phone]

Marika: Daddy, I'm always gonna win if you keep telling me what your cards are.

Nick: Well, then suppose I tell you… while I tickle you. (He tickles her and she giggles)

Taub: Mr. Greenwald, I'm Dr. Taub. This is Dr. Kutner.

Kutner: We're here for another test. Sorry about that.

Nick: You don't look sorry. Um, no offense. Although you do look kind of cheerful. It's a little creepy. Should I want a doctor who's excited about how sick I am?

Kutner: I'm not —

Taub: We're going to put this up your nose, scan for any problems. I can assure you that we are completely unexcited about that. (to Marika) Excuse me, sweetie.

Audrey: (into her phone) Hold on. (to Taub) She has an auditory processing disability.

Nick: Marika-beleeka, you have to get off the bed.

Taub: (preparing to do the test) This might be slightly uncomfortable.

Audrey: Honey, do you mind if I step out? I have to make sure the final arrangements are in place for the breast cancer walk.

Nick: Yeah, you do that. I'll pretend to be macho while a guy stuffs three feet of plastic up my nose. (to Taub) It's too bad it's not your nose. Lots more room to maneuver.

Audrey: I guess the walk can wait ten minutes.

Nick: Or in a sensible world, even longer. Just how does tying up traffic for six hours stop breast cancer?

Audrey: You know how it works. People donate —

Nick: Why not spend six hours building houses for habitat for humanity? Or is it wrong to help two groups of people at once? I bet there are those who have breast cancer and no home.

Audrey: It's my job, Nick. You walked yourself last year.

Nick: To be supportive. And because I knew you wouldn't have sex with me if I didn’t.

Audrey: I'm gonna make my call.

Nick: Make this go away. (to Taub, as he prepares to put the tube up Nick’s nose) God, that honker really is huge, isn't it?

[Cut to Wilson and House walking down a hospital corridor]

House: Wednesday night. Low-down-blue-meanie versus the Incinerator.

Wilson: I can’t.

House: Let me rephrase. Low-down-blue-meanie —

Wilson: I understand monster truck code. Do you understand "can't"?

House: Not when it follows "low-down-blue-meanie." Is the world coming to an end Tuesday night? Otherwise, Wednesday—(they stop)

Wilson: All right, it's not "can’t." It's "don't want to." The fact is, I just don't like monster trucks.

House: Yes, you do.

Wilson: No, I don't.

House: You've always liked monster trucks.

Wilson: No, you've always liked them. I've tolerated them.

Seriously, I can only watch so many hyped-up dune buggies crush so many motor homes without feeling the urge to go see La Boheme. And I hate opera too.

House: What are you hiding?

Wilson: I'm not hiding it. I'm saying it loud and proud. Death to monster trucks. (Kutner approaches)

Kutner: No nasal cancer. And no marriage either if our patient keeps saying everything that comes into his head without regard for the consequences.

Wilson: You always led me to believe you were one of a kind.

Kutner: Luckily jerkiness is a temporary condition for this guy.

House: No, it's not. We may be able to fix his impulse to say his thoughts out loud, but he always gonna be the guy who thinks them.

Wilson: But he's also gonna be the guy who doesn't say them. If he spent his whole life constructing this nice guy persona, isn't that as much who he really is as anything else?

House: You would argue that. You're all persona.

Kutner: I agree with Wilson. This guy's a Harry Potter. (House and Wilson look at him questioningly) The sorting hat was going to put Harry in Slytherin based on his nature. He refused, so he ended up in Gryffindor, through choice.

House: There's damage somewhere in his brain. Go find it. (Kutner leaves)

[Cut to Foreman and Thirteen with Nick in Radiology]

Thirteen: Are you sure you understand?

Nick: No, I'm lying. Except I can’t. (Nick gets out of the wheelchair and hops up onto the MRI table) You ask questions. While I talk, you look at my brain activity to see where it's screwed up. Then you're gonna cut the screwed up part out to test it. It's depressing, but it's not rocket science.

Foreman: I think he understands.

Nick: (to Thirteen) I don't mean to be abrasive. Especially since you're such a pleasure to image naked. Again, sorry.

Thirteen: It's okay.

Nick: Thank you for understanding. I do, you know. Really, my apologies. This stuff just comes out.

Thirteen: It's okay.

[Cuddy walks in]

Cuddy: House paged.

Nick: Whoa, I would do her in a minute with fudge and a cherry on top. Would someone please explain to this woman? There's only so many apologies —

Thirteen: He has frontal lobe disinhibition.

Nick: (to Cuddy) I've already embarrasssed myself with one doctor, whom I am at this moment imagining, with you in a king-sized bed, with a mirror on the ceiling. I am so, so sorry. But if I couldn't have both of you together, you would definitely be my first choice.

Cuddy: Where's House?

Nick: It's like trying not to think of an elephant. Not that you're an elephant. Your breasts, in fact, are all homo sapiens —

Foreman: (laying Nick down on the MRI table) House isn't here.

Cuddy: Oh, he wouldn't have paged me if he couldn't watch and enjoy the—

[Cuddy peers into the control room. The light in the control room goes on and we can see House sitting there]

[Cuddy turns to leave, but pauses at the door as Nick speaks again]

Nick: Your tush is like the pistons in a Ferrari.

[Cuddy leaves]

[House gets up and follows Cuddy out the door. Thirteen smiles at him as he leaves]

[Cut to the hallway outside of radiology. House is following Cuddy down the hall]

House: You're welcome.

Cuddy: That was for my benefit?

House: You're 40 years old…

Cuddy: 38.

House: The administrator of a hospital…

Cuddy: Dean of medicine.

House: People don't get personal with you. Except for me, and you dismiss me as a jerk who's jerking you around. (They stop at the elevator) But that guy can only tell the truth. And he prefers your body to that of a smoking young hottie.

Cuddy: So that was your way of saying I look good today.

House: You didn't get the slightest kick out of that?

[The elevator door opens and Cuddy steps into it]

Cuddy: (trying very hard not to smile) Don't be ridiculous, House. (She smiles as House turns away and the elevator doors close)

[Back to radiology. Thirteen and Foreman are in the control room. Nick is in the MRI machine]

Foreman: I hope you know your pistons are second to none.

Thirteen: I'm okay. I'm not jealous of Cuddy’s pistons. (talking about the test) Starting baseline activation.

Foreman: You sure? You looked upset.

Thirteen: What he was saying was obnoxious.

Foreman: You've never been called attractive?

Thirteen: He didn't call me attractive. He cast me in his mental porno.

Foreman: (laughing) That's what attractive means. It means "I'm attracted to you, sexually."

Thirteen: Attracted can also mean "I'm attracted to the whole package, to who you are." (referring to the scan) Slight elevation at transaxial 60.

Foreman: It could. It never does. It's what women choose to hear, not what men say.

Thirteen: Actually, it's exactly what men say if they have any brains.

Thirteen: All right, we have enough for a baseline. What can we ask him that's indiscreet, but that he won't hate us for knowing?

Foreman: (speaking into the microphone) Nick, do you vote the same way as your wife?

Nick: (speaking from the MRI machine) God, no.

Thirteen: Good. He's spiking at 30.

Nick: She believes I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary and Obama in the General. You're thinking I’m secretly a Republican, right? Wrong. I secretly don't vote. Ever.

Thirteen: (speaking into the microphone) Wait, you're 46, and you've never voted?

Nick: Your voice is no longer attractive to me with that note of disapproval. Although I'm sure that will pass.

Foreman: Look at that. (pointing to the screen) There's a spot in the cingulate gyrus that's not lighting up.

Nick: One vote makes a difference? Not mathematically true.

Thirteen: Okay, Nick. We've got what we need. We can't biopsy that. It's too close to the brainstem.

Foreman: Could be neurosarcoidosis. At least it's treatable.

Thirteen: So we give him steroids, and if we're right, we should start seeing his symptoms improve within half a day.

[She gets up and starts to walk out the door, then pauses and looks back at Foreman]

Thirteen: What are you looking at?

Foreman: I find your strong attachment to a working democracy to be extremely sexy.

Thirteen: Ooh, you smooth talker.

[Cut to Taub and Kutner in the cafeteria line]

Taub: Do you think my nose is too big?

Kutner: Relax, he also implied my bedside manner was a little off. You don't agree with that, right?

Taub: No.

Kutner: No one's ever mentioned your nose before? You're a plastic surgeon.

Taub: They tell me it suits my face.

Kutner: It does.

Taub: Maybe. Maybe that's just the social contract. You tell me I look great. I tell you you're a people person. How can you know the truth?

Kutner: You could ask for the truth.

Taub: (to the cafeteria worker) What do you think of my nose? Please tell me the truth.

Cafeteria worker: It's fine. It's a nose.

Taub: Just proving a point.

[As they head to find a table we see House moving across the room to where Wilson is sitting eating his lunch. House is carrying an empty plate]

House: Anyone sitting here?

Wilson: Just my persona.

House: You know, it's amazing the way people cling on to insults. Or what they think are insults. (He takes a sandwich and fries off of Wilson’s plate and puts them on his own)

Wilson: So that wasn't an insult?

House: I'm not suggesting that, like our patient, you're hiding a dark, sarcastic core beneath a candy shell of compulsive niceness. (House has pulled a fork out of his breast pocket)

Wilson: I'm not always nice. I'm not nice to you.

House: Because you know nice bores me. Hence, still nice. No, I'm suggesting that you have no core. You're what whoever you're with needs you to be. Okay, I guess that could be insulting. The interesting question is why. Why do you think the world will end in chaos and destruction if you're not there to save it? (He starts eating Wilson’s lunch)

Wilson: Because when my parents put me in the rocket and sent me here, they said, "James, you will grow to manhood under a yellow sun."

House: And why'd you lie about monster trucks?

Wilson: I didn’t.

House: I checked your appointment book. You got tomorrow night marked off, but you didn't put down what you were doing. So you thought someone might look at the book —

Wilson: I'm playing racquetball tomorrow night, with Taub.

House: Why would you hide that?

Wilson: Because the world revolves around you. I devote time to anyone else, you'd end up stalking me and harassing them.

House: You say that as though it wouldn't be fun.

Wilson: And maybe I didn't want to rub your nose in the fact that we'd be doing something you can no longer do. Because I'm nice. (He picks up his lunch tray and leaves)

[Cut to Nick’s hospital room. Nick is breathing hard. Foreman rushes in]

Audrey: I thought you said the steroids were gonna help him. What — is it his heart?

Foreman: EKG says heart's fine. It's gotta be the kidneys. I need to get him on dialysis.

[Cut to the conference room. House and the entire team are there]

Foreman: He's on dialysis, and he's stable.

Thirteen: We know it's not systemic sclerosis.

[Taub, who is getting coffee, is looking at a distorted reflection of his nose in a spoon]

House: (to Taub) Hey, Cyrano de Berkowitz. Let it go.

Taub: (sitting down at the table) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia could explain brain and kidney problems.

Foreman: The CBC showed normal white blood cells.

[House is standing, holding his cane over his shoulder]

House: (to Taub) So how long have you been playing racquetball with Wilson?

Taub: Four or five times.

Taub: Could be diabetes.

Kutner: Or a congenital metabolic disorder.

Taub: Congenital disorders generally don't wait till you're 46 to manifest.

Kutner: So he's a late bloomer. His daughter has a neurological condition.

House: (swinging his cane like a tennis racket) First of all, Wilson played tennis on his college team, and you are a Jew. You're not athletic. Run to the end of the hall and back. I'll time you.

Taub: Sandy Koufax is Jewish. Greatest left-handed pitcher of all time.

House: Sandy Koufax is all you Jews go on about. Sandy Koufax, and the Holocaust. (he sits down) Gets old.

Foreman: There are dozens of congenital conditions that fit our parameters. We can't spend time gene testing for all of 'em, especially when we're only guessing it's congenital.

House: (to Taub) Is a z-shot offensive or defensive?

Taub: It's both.

House: You suspected that was a trick question.

Taub: But I could have said neither. Diabetes makes more sense.

House: We can narrow the testing down to 40 likely candidates. Test for peripheral nerve damage.

Thirteen: He's got brain damage. He's likely to have peripheral nerve damage no matter what the cause.

House: Yes, that's why we should not test him for it. Test the daughter. Kutner runs the nerve test. Taub, you may be right about the diabetes. Take supper away from our patient and run a glucose tolerance test. Oh, and the nurses have been working so hard. You can do the blood draws yourself.

Taub: They have to be done every couple hours. You're punishing me because you're jealous that I'm spending time with your best friend.

House: That would be petty. I'm punishing you because now you've joined my best friend in lying to me. Let me know when you're ready to confess everything. (The team leaves)

[Cut to a testing room. Kutner is putting sensors on Marika’s feet and wrists]

Kutner: This can become either hot or cold. As soon as it starts to feel uncomfortable, I want you to tell me.

Marika: But you don't think there's something wrong with me.

Audrey: No, baby, they're testing you to help daddy.

Kutner: Yes, what you're doing is very important. It's like the better you do, the better we know your dad is. (Kutner and Audrey go into the control room) (to Audrey) I'll start with heat.

Audrey: I know it's not his fault. I know what he says is involuntary, but, it doesn't help.

Kutner: Inside, he's still the same man.

Audrey: That's the problem. Apparently he's been thinking this stuff all along. Whoever that "same man" is, it's not the person I thought I was married to.

Kutner: (to Marika) You okay? (to Audrey) She should be feeling something by now.

Audrey: What does that mean? Is she sick too?

[Marika starts shrieking. Audrey and Kutner run into the room]

Audrey: Marika! Honey!

Kutner: You're burned. Why didn't you tell me it started to hurt? (He turns off the machine and takes the sensors off of Marika)

Marika: I wanted to help daddy. You said the better I do, the better daddy has to be.

Kutner: (to Audrey) Sorry.

[Cut to Nick’s hospital room. Taub is preparing to do the glucose tolerance test]

Nick: I'm starving.

Taub: (while doing the test) It's the only way we can do the test.

Nick: Good thing it's you and not Dr. Hadley. Could you keep her away from me? I have a rich imaginative life. I'd rather not share it.

Taub: We all have thoughts.

Nick: I know we all have sexual thoughts. We have ignoble thoughts. I just don't want those to be who I am to people, especially not to my wife.

Taub: I understand. I don't think it would be fair to define me by my passing thoughts.

Nick: My real choices are my actions. And I've never done anything to hurt her. I've never cheated. You're kidding me. You've cheated?

Taub: What? No. Why would you say that?

Nick: Because you look guilty as hell.

Taub: Are you serious? Of course you're serious.

Nick: Yes, everyone knows. God, they must think you're a creep. (Taub walks out, Nick is calling after him) They might not know. They might be idiots. I just say these things.

[Aerial view of PPTH then a cut to the morgue, where House is lying on gurney tossing a small red ball into the air]

[There is a body lying on a table in the room. Taub walks in]

Taub: Why'd you page me here?

House: (still tossing the ball) I need you to update me on the patient's condition.

Taub: Seems to be dead. Why'd you page me here?

House: I need you to update me on the patient's condition (he sits up and holds up the ball) while hitting this against the wall. (House tosses the ball to Taub who catches it) This is the only place we can do both.

Taub: I finished the last blood draw.

House: I expect the people who work for me to rise to a challenge. Unless they don't expect to work for me.

[Taub picks up a racket from a nearby table. House sits back preparing to observe]

[Taub bounces the ball once and hits it against the back wall. Most of this conversation takes place while Taub continues to hit the ball against the wall]

Taub: Last blood draw was at 6:00 AM. Sugar levels never rose above 120 all night. (Taub misses and has to chase down the ball and start again)

House: So the glucose was normal. Means you were wrong about diabetes.

Taub: (hitting the ball again) I still think it's the endocrine system. Maybe I just got the wrong gland.

House: So you're going for thyroid instead of pancreas? Makes sense.

[Taub hits the ball too hard and when trying to hit it again, ends up knocking things off of a shelving unit]

Taub: Fine. I'm not playing racquetball with Wilson. I was never playing racquetball with Wilson. (pause) I thought it would be helpful if a Department Head owed me a favor. But it's not worth this.

House: (nods) Not bad. You put on a good show. You studied up. Wilson actually booked a court. If you were really a racquetball player, you'd know that you were holding a squash racket. (pause) Tell Kutner to do a thyroid reuptake scan, I’ll go grab a nap in one of the on-call rooms. (He gets up and heads out the door)

[Cut to Nick’s hospital room. His wife is by his bed, his daughter is drawing at a table]

Kutner: We're taking you to do a thyroid reuptake scan. We think your —

Nick: I'm not going anywhere until you explain why my daughter has a bandage on her hand. You just said you wanted to run some test. I'd known it would involve pain, I’d have said, "hell, no."

Kutner: It's a mild burn. Since Marika has a neurological disability like you, we needed to make sure —

Nick: She has no disability.

Audrey: Nick, you know about her problem with auditory processing.

Nick: "Auditory processing." That's code for "I can't stand thinking my daughter's not perfect."

Audrey: The therapist said Marika's test scores —

Nick: Were indeterminate. She doesn't have a disability. She daydreams. She gets below-average marks in school because she's below average. Every parent thinks their child's "above average."

Audrey: Nick!

Nick: Do you have any idea what the word average means? Somebody has to be under it.

Audrey: (walking over to stand by her daughter) Nick, shut up.

Nick: (Realizing the Marika has heard him) Oh, honey… I'm not saying you're stupid. Your mother's not the sharpest crayon in the box, and she does great. See, this is, this why I told your mother to keep you at home. Didn't want you here.

[Marika pushes her crayons and paper off the table and runs out of the room]

Nick: Marika! Marika, wait! Get her… (He starts coughing)

Kutner: (feeling his forehead) You're burning up. And your lungs are full of fluid. We need to get it out. (He calls to the nurses) I need 200 milligrams of furosemide and two milligrams of morphine, stat.

[Cut to House and the team sitting around the conference table]

Kutner: His temperature is 103.

Taub: Infection.

Thirteen: The steroids must have forced it into the open.

Foreman: What kind of infection? It could be anything; Staph aureus, tuberculosis, strongyloides…

House: Go back to Phineas, get a history.

Kutner: We've got a history. He hasn't been out of the country.

House: Get a detailed history.

Kutner: No one at home is sick. No one at work is sick. There's no sign of ticks or mosquitoes.

House: Get a more detailed history. Ask him again. And again until he remembers something. (Taub starts to leave)

House: (to Taub) Not you. Kutner can do it. You're gonna be busy with something else. (Kutner leaves)

[Cut to Taub poking his head into Wilson’s office. Wilson is sitting at his desk]

Taub: I'm here to invite you to lunch.

Wilson: Uh, why?

[Taub comes into the office and shuts the door behind him]

Taub: I've been made. House sent me back to you as a double agent.

[Wilson sighs and puts his head in his hands]

[Cut to Nick’s hospital room. Kutner is examining his eyes]

Nick: Anything wrong?

Kutner: Eyes are a little red.

Nick: There's a shocker. I haven't had a good night's sleep since this thing started. (to Audrey, who is sitting in a chair by the window) You should get some rest yourself.

Kutner: That's a good idea. This is going to take some time. It'll be pretty exhausting.

Audrey: (to Nick) Are you afraid of what you might say while I'm here?

Nick: Yes.

Audrey: Are you telling me there's something worse than what I've already heard?

Nick: No, I — I don't know what I'm gonna say. I don't know how I'm gonna hurt you next. I think we should be around each other as little as possible right now.

Audrey: (getting up and gathering her purse and coat) This is pathetic.

Nick: I know. Tell Marika I love her very much.

Audrey: She understands that.

Nick: I don't think she does. You're just saying that to make me feel better.

Audrey: Yeah. (she leaves)

[Cut to House standing against the wall outside Wilson’s office, twirling his cane. Kutner walks up from behind him]

Kutner: Guy leads a boring life. They stay home a lot. No travel, no exotic pets, no nearby standing water.

House: You sound pleased about something. Can we get to that part?

Kunter: His wife rescues dogs. Among others, a big rottweiler who's taken over the house. Our patient hates it.

House: Was the wife there to hear this?

Kutner: No.

House: Too bad. Keep going.

Kutner: The dog marks his territory all over the living room. I asked what the odds were that he would have put down food or drink where the dog could reach. He said he put a glass of juice on the floor while he was fixing the television.

House: The dog was fixing the television?

Kutner: Yes.

House: The patient's eyes red?

Kutner: Yeah. I'm thinking Weil's.

House: Bacterial. He lucked out. Start him on doxycycline. If he improves, we'll know we were right.

[Taub comes out of Wilson’s office and he and House head down the hall together]

Taub: I told Wilson you sent me to get information.

House: And now you're telling me. What does that make you, a quadruple agent? (They walk into House’s office)

Taub: He let me print out his e-mails.

House: Wow. Excellent. Information he wants us to have. Did he let you print out his deleted e-mails?

Taub: No.

House: Then go back there —

Taub: As long as I was sitting there, I thought I'd print 'em anyway. (He hands a stack paper to House) Top one's the one you're looking for.

House: (reading the email) Writing to confirm Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

[House sits down at his computer and starts typing]

Taub: It's out going to jgonzalez@nymercy.net. There's a Joan Gonzalez in oncology. It's a consult.

House: Secret consult, 7:00 PM. (He finds a picture of Joan Gonzalez online) Oh, Joan is perky.

Taub: You're wrong. There was a patient file attached.

House: Where? (He holds out his hand for the file)

Taub: It was password-protected.

House: No. Wilson doesn't password-protect his patient files. I'm the only one he'd expect ever to look there, and he knows there's only one patient I'd want to check on.

Taub: You think Wilson’s sick?

House: (typing again) If Wilson had cancer, there'd be no reason for him to drive three hours to Manhattan. He could pull strings here and get the best treatment. (He pulls up a list of articles on his computer screen) Six articles by Gonzalez. "Managing suicidal thoughts in oncology patients," "Suicidal ideation in children with leukemia."

Taub: I don't want to ask this, but, have you ever had reason to think he might be depressed?

House: (turning to look at Taub and speaking very curtly) No. Get out of here. (Taub leaves, House looks worried)

[Cut to Kutner and Foreman talking to Nick in his room]

Kutner: Your fever's down and your lungs are clearing.

Nick: How long before this brain thing goes away?

Foreman: The infection's gone, but the damage the infection did; you'll have to live with.

Nick: You're telling me you can't fix this? There's, there’s gotta be a way.

Kutner: We'd need to remove the damaged area in your cingulate gyrus, but it's too close to the brainstem to risk surgery.

Nick; You can't risk it. But I could shop around, and maybe some better doctors at a better hospital —

Foreman: The brain stem controls the body's involuntary systems. The slightest mistake could kill you. Even if you survive, you may never be able to breathe on your own again. You may never—

Nick: I get it.

Foreman: I know this seems like a lot to deal with right now. But people have adapted to living with all kinds of neurological deficits.

Kutner: Hey, at least we can promise you it won't get any worse.

Nick: Get the hell out of my room. (Kutner and Foreman leave)

[Cut to Wilson entering the hospital. His shoulders are hunched from the cold. He goes to the desk to sign in, House is sitting on a bench waiting for him]

House: (getting up and approaching Wilson) Your assistant said that you were out of the hospital, taking a walk.

Wilson: Is there an emergency?

House: I don't know. Is there? You never take a walk unless you've got something you need to think about.

Wilson: (reading his messages) Maybe you just don't have a good statistical sampling of my walks.

House: The other thing you do when you need to think is you come to my office. (Wilson turns away from House) Apparently, this is something you can only discuss with Gonzalez at New York Mercy. (Wilson pauses and turns to face House)

Wilson: Taub. another graduate of the House school of being a dick.

House: Private dick.

Wilson: Look, I'd love to stay for the full inquisition, but I need some hot coffee.

[Wilson goes into the cafeteria. House follows him]

House: Of course you need hot coffee. It's 45 degrees outside, and you left your coat upstairs. Why?

Wilson: (getting his coffee) You're going to tell me why I forgot my coat?

House: Once you get outside, the cold would have reminded you. You could have come back, but you didn't. You chose to be uncomfortable. Now, why would someone choose that? Because they hate themselves?

Wilson: (angrily) Has it ever occurred to you that when I don't share something, it might not be meant as a challenge? It might just mean that I'd like there to be one molecule of my life that goes unexamined by Gregory House. (Wilson leaves)

[Cut to aerial view of PPTH (daytime) and then to Nick waiting for House in his office]

Nick: (House walks in and Nick approaches him) Nick Greenwald. I hear you're the guy in charge. I'm the patient with the disinhibition.

House: If you're here to say thanks, you're welcome. Now go away.

Nick: Oh, I'm not thankful. I'm pissed.

House: Oh, all the more reason to go away.

Nick: They're talking about sending me home. To what? A life where I'll continually drive away anyone who might for a second care about me?

House: Those are the breaks. (He walks over to his desk)

Nick: You could operate.

House: You could die.

Nick: So I'm either better or dead? I'm okay with that. (he moves to face House on the other side of his desk) I — I've always been kind of a… an impatient guy. But I've worked hard to keep my mouth shut. I've made my wife happy. I've made my little girl happy. I want that back. Otherwise, it's no life.

[The look on House’s face is one of connection and understanding]

[Cut to the doctors' locker room. As Chase shuts his locker, he finds House standing there]

House: (handing Nick’s file to Chase) I want you to remove a small problem.

Chase: (taking the file and glancing at it) I'm not a neurosurgeon.

House: But your boss is. You could assist. I'm sure you'd like to add to your resume.

Chase: It's too near the brain stem. Nobody's gonna touch it.

House: Your boss would. He's an egomaniac. I know 'cause I keep seeing him at the club. He just needs a little push. I'm sure by now you've kissed his ass sufficiently. (Chase laughs and turns to put the clothing he is holding and the file on the sink. He takes a sip from a coffee cup on the counter) Would you like me to phrase it as "you're politically gifted"? I can do that.

Chase: You want me to help you? (He turns to face House) Tell me why.

House: Why what?

Chase: Why you care. The puzzle's solved. The guy's alive. And the odds of coming out of this surgery with that same status aren't that great.

House: My patient has a quality of life issue.

Chase: He says awful things, hardly a medical condition.

House: (with eyes downcast, not making eye contact with Chase) When he leaves here, he's going to lose his family. He's gonna alienate the people he works with. And if he ever finds a friend who's willing to put up with his crap, he'll be lucky. Until he drives them away too. (He glances sideways at Chase who has realized how personal this has become for House. House is speaking as much about himself as he is about Nick)

Chase: (giving a slight nod) I'll see what I can do.

[The camera pans to the mirror beside Chase where we see House as a reflection. House nods and leaves the locker room]

[Cut to Nick lying on an operating table. The camera focuses on Chase for a moment and then pulls up and back to reveal House watching from the observation room. Wilson walks in and sits down beside House. Wilson is wearing his coat]

House: (looking at Wilson) You've apparently got this whole coat thing backwards.

Wilson: I may have overreacted.

House: You definitely overreacted.

Wilson: I knew you'd meet me halfway.

House: It made me think. You only snap on one subject: losing people. So I went back to the intel. It's true there's only one doctor named Gonzalez at New York Mercy, but there's a Javier Gonzalez who's a nurse in the psych ward. And who could you lose who'd end up there?

Wilson: Maybe the reason I don't always open up to you is because it's redundant.

House: Daniel Wilson. (pause) Once you got a name, it's amazing how much stuff you can learn on the phone. I mean, if you're a doctor and you lie freely. They found your brother sleeping in the lobby of an office building in Manhattan. Got aggressive when they asked him to leave, and the cops took him to the Mercy psych ward.

Wilson: There have been new anti-psychotics developed since he ran away. He's been on them for a couple of days, and by tonight, he should be in shape to talk to me.

House: But you're not sure if he wants to.

Wilson: I'll be in New York in a few hours, and I guess I'll find out.

House: Why wouldn't you tell me this?

Wilson: House, you and I… We don't have the normal social contract. I don't expect you to tell me the lies —

House: I am fully capable of lying to you. I've lied plenty of times.

Wilson: I mean, collaborative lies. Giving someone a hand who maybe needs to deceive themselves, just a little. (Wilson gets up) For two days I've been thinking about how Danny’s gonna react when he sees me. If I said that to anybody else, they'd say, "don't worry, it’ll all be all right." You wouldn't.

House: Because it might all go horribly wrong.

Wilson: (he laughs) Yeah. Yeah, it might. (He turns to leave)

House: In which case, you might want some company. (Wilson walks back toward House as if he cannot believe what he just heard)

[Cut to Nick in the OR post-op facility. Foreman, Taub, and Audrey are there]

Foreman: Your heart's beating. First hurdle passed. Now we need know if you can breathe for yourself. (He slowly pulls out the ventilator tube)

Audrey: (sighing with obvious relief) Oh, thank God. (She grips Nick’s hand)

Taub: Now, do you know who you are?

Nick: Nick Greenwald. Former SOB. Thank you. Now I can go back to my beautiful life with my beautiful wife. Maybe she'll stop whining and cut me some slack now that I've risked my life. (Audrey, Foreman, and Taub all look puzzled)

Foreman: Doesn't make sense. We removed the problem.

Taub: We removed the damage. Maybe we were wrong about the problem.

Nick: (to Audrey) I need to believe we can get through this.

Foreman: Temperature's 94.5

Audrey: (upset now) Do you really think I'm stupid?

Nick: Honey, you're not stupid. You're just — please don't do this.

Taub: It could be the effect of the surgery.

Audrey: Do you at least respect me, Nick, what do you think of what I do for a living?

Nick: I think people who publicize important things are people who can't do important things themselves. (Audrey puts her hand to her face and sniffles, she is on the verge of tears) Honey, stop. Don't.

Audrey: Do you regret marrying me?

Taub: 94.2

Nick: Sometimes. Everybody wonders —

Foreman: (to the nurses) Get me a heating blanket.

Audrey: Do you even love me?

Nick: Yes.

Audrey: I don't know why.

Nick: Audrey, wait. Let me — (Machines begin beeping and Audrey starts to back away. Nick is clearly not okay)

Foreman: V-tach. Get me the paddles. (a nurse wheels in a defibrillator and Audrey leaves) Clear.

[Cut to the conference room. Taub is on his cell phone, Foreman and Thirteen are standing, Kutner is sitting at the head of the table]

Foreman: Echo says his heart is structurally fine, but his temperature is still dropping. He's headed for hypothermia.

Taub: I can't reach House. It just goes to voicemail.

Thirteen: It means we were wrong about infection. His temperature's just going up and down because something's playing with his thermostat.

Kutner: Which means the brain damage is spreading.

Foreman: What causes brain damage and nosebleed and involves the lungs, heart and kidneys?

Taub: Cancer? We could text him.

Foreman: It's not cancer. Normal PSA, normal blood smear, colonoscopy normal. Do a full body scan.

Kutner: House hates full body scans.

Foreman: House isn't here.

Taub: House is right. Everybody's got three or four meaningless anomalies that'll come up on a scan. Chasing each one will take time we don't have.

Foreman: Feel free to send him an IM.

[Cut to Nick sliding into the MRI machine]

[Cut to House and Wilson in the waiting room of the institution where Daniel Wilson is being held. Wilson is antsy, tapping his feet and his fingers as he sits in a chair. House is getting coffee for both of them]

House: (handing Wilson his coffee and sitting down across from him) You told me you saw your brother once. After he disappeared.

Wilson: 13 years ago. I used to go to Princeton whenever I could. I must have hit every homeless shelter in town. And then one day, I’m just sitting at this deli, having a sandwich, I look out the window, and there he is. He was gone by the time I got outside.

House: That's why you were so eager when I told you there was a job at Princeton. I thought it was just my charm.

[House’s cell phone goes off with MMMbop by Hanson]

Wilson: That's the team. Shouldn't you answer?

House: They already texted me to say they're doing something stupid. (Wilson smiles)

[Cut to the team viewing Nick’s scans]

Foreman: There's a small abdominal aneurysm.

Taub: Irrelevant. What else you got?

Kutner: Cyst in the pleura around the lungs.

Thirteen: Also irrelevant. Couldn't cause any of the symptoms.

Foreman: There's a density in the liver. Could be a vascular malformation.

Taub: If he's got multiple AVMS, screwed-up blood flow would explain everything.

Foreman: We can only spot them with angiography. We'll have to do targeted scans with contrast and then embolize each one.

Taub: Can we do that before he freezes?

Kutner: We'll find out. (They leave)

[Back to the mental institution waiting room. Wilson is pacing, but stops when House starts talking]

House: The spell-correct on Kutner’s phone has got a hair trigger. Either that, or the patient has a “cyclone in the floral of his lungs.” (He closes his phone) You took a walk in 45-degree weather, and you left your coat behind.

Wilson: Go ahead.

House: I think you were punishing yourself. I think you wanted to feel what it would be like be homeless in a New Jersey winter. That tells me, guilt. That tells me, something happened.

Wilson: The schizophrenia started when he was a teenager. When he was in college… He was on meds, but he'd still think a professor was out to get him because he got a B, or he'd fight with his roommates because he never showered.

House: Where were you?

Wilson: Med school. He, called me, every day. Talked for hours. I didn't have hours.

House: Interesting. Later for that. Go on.

Wilson: I was tired of being the guy that everybody counted on, so one night, Danny called — One night, Danny called, crying, upset about something. I had to study for an exam. So I — I hung up… Took my things. I went to the library so I wouldn't have to hear the phone ring.

House: I wonder how that turned out?

Wilson: My mother called me the next day. Danny had run away and left his meds behind. Which I knew meant that he would never be able to choose to come back, because he'd be so detached from reality.

House: So you made your one effort to live a normal, selfish life, and the universe immediately smacked you down. And because we're wired to find meaning in semi-random events, you decided never to be that careless again.

Wilson: You don't think that's a little facile?

House: Actually, I don't. I think you did it consciously. You developed your people-pleasing talents (House gets up and faces Wilson) the way an Olympic athlete develops his muscles. Talk about an overreaction to a single event.

Wilson: It was a pretty big event.

House: Hanging up the phone? That's what you're blaming all this on. That's the behavior you've been trying to correct. As though nothing else went wrong in your brother's life. Of course, he overreacted too but… (talking more to himself than to Wilson) His glucose was normal? (the aahha moment)

Wilson: We're not talking about my brother anymore, are we?

[House dials a number on his cell phone just as an attendant comes into the waiting room. House is now talking on the phone. He is focused on the medicine and Wilson has been forgotten]

House: It's House. AVMs don't explain his glucose.

Wilson: Since this is a significant moment in my life and all, I… (he shrugs)

House: (into the phone) Yeah.

Wilson: (talking to House who is not listening) I think I'll just go in then.

House: (still talking on his phone) Explain that.

Wilson: Right. (He picks up his coat and follows the attendant out of the waiting room. House is too focused to notice)

House: You'd given him steroids. His glucose should have been elevated. That wannabe cyst you found in the whole body scan; without the glucose, it's an irrelevant cyst. With the glucose, it's a relevant fibroma. He has Doege-Potter syndrome.

[The scene is bouncing back and forth between House and the team]

Kutner: His fibroma is secreting human growth hormone, which acts like insulin, lowering his glucose.

Foreman: It doesn't explain the organ failure or the brain damage.

House: This whole thing is an overreaction. That one small fibroma. It's benign, but his body's acting like it's an invader. His antibodies went to war against it and got carried away, attacked his other systems. Take out the fibroma, he'll be a happy hypocrite again in no time. (House puts away his phone and turns to find that Wilson is no longer there)

[Aerial view of PPTH, daytime]

[Cut to Nick getting ready to leave. Taub is there filling out paperwork]

Nick: Maybe I should call a cab.

Taub: Your wife's probably just late.

Nick: Yeah. (pause) I'm sorry about… You know… the things I said.

Taub: I have a conspicuous nose.

Nick: It suits your face. (He starts to put on his coat)

Audrey: (entering the room) I'm sorry I'm late. Traffic. (pause) I have some good news. I was gonna tell you, and then you got sick. It didn't seem like the best time. I've been offered a better position. I'd be coordinating cancer awareness walks in three cities.

Nick: That's great. Congratulations! I know you've worked hard for this.

Audrey: Thank you. (She moves to her husband and puts her hand on his chest)

Nick: Is Marika okay?

Audrey: I'm sure she's moved on. (Nick sits in a wheelchair and Audrey wheels him out of the room) Kids are so resilient.

[Cut to House, with his coat on, leaving his office. Wilson is waiting for him outside his office and they walk to the elevator together]

House: You okay?

Wilson: I'll be seeing Danny again next week. I'd like you to meet him.

House: Sure. He sounds interesting. (knowing that Wilson has more to say) Go on.

Wilson: I thought seeing him again would change everything. It would be wonderful or terrible. Instead… we're just strangers. It's kind of, anticlimactic.

[The elevator arrives and they step in]

House: Which is better than terrible.

[House sighs and Wilson knows that House has more to say also]

Wilson: Go on.

House: Does it bother you that we have no social contract?

Wilson: (laughs) My whole life is one big compromise. I tiptoe around everyone like they're made of china. I spend all my time analyzing: What will the effect be if I say this? Then there's you. You're a reality junkie. If I offered you a comforting lie, you'd smack me over the head with it. Let's not change that.

House: Okay.

Wilson: No, see, this — if you were implementing the social contract, you'd say that, but only because… It makes me feel better…

House: It is kind of fun watching you torture yourself.

Wilson: Do you think things will work out with my brother?

[The elevator arrives at the ground floor. House and Wilson step out and head toward the exit]

House: No. But when it does go wrong, it won't be your fault.

Wilson: Thanks, House.

House: You do actually like monster trucks?

Wilson: Absolutely.

[The camera follows them as they walk out the doors of the hospital]

End.

Tags: season 5
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