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House MD - 7.16 Out of the Chute

Originally Aired: March 14, 2011

Written by: Lawrence Kaplow & Thomas L. Moran
Directed by: Sanford Bookstaver

Transcribed by: Jane (poeia)


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.



[Open on dark. In a moment there is light in the middle of the screen, which is the back of an enclosure. The walls, which can barely be seen, are slatted wood. Black Lab’s This Night plays. Near the back of the enclosure, something dark slowly moves.]

♪♫ There are things
♪♫ I have done
♪♫ There's a place
♪♫ I have gone

[The something comes into focus. It is a bull. He is massive, filling the entire space.]

♪♫ There's a beast
♪♫ And I let it run

[The bull is actually running toward the camera in slow motion. He fills the screen so completely that it goes dark again.]

♪♫ Now it's running my way

[Cut to Lane, a bull rider. He’s outside, getting ready. He wipes down the rope and coils it around his hand.]

♪♫ There are things

[Lane is perched, ready to jump on the bull.]

♪♫ I regret

[One eye of the bull is visible through the bars of the chute.]

♪♫ But you can't forgive
♪♫ You can't forget

[Lane puts his helmet on and fastens the steel cage over his face.]

♪♫ So take this night

[He gently lowers himself onto the bull. He adjusts the coil of rope in his hand.]

♪♫ Wrap it around me like a sheet
♪♫ I know I'm not forgiven
♪♫ But I hope that I'll be given

[In the arena, two cowboys stretch a rope in front of the gate at the entrance to the chute.]

♪♫ Some peace

[After a few more adjustments, Lane nods slightly and the cowboys fling the gate open. The bull comes tearing out in at full speed — maybe faster. After each second of furious activity, the image slows so much it is almost frozen and Lane’s thoughts can be heard. The bull bucks twice then lowers his head.]

Lane: [voice over] One. Don't tense up now. Go with him.

[The bull is whirling in a circle with all four feet off the ground at once.]

Lane: [voice over] Two. That's it. Stay in rhythm.

[The crowd cheers. The bull whirls again.]

Lane: [voice over] Three. What are you doing, Lane? You're tipping in.

[The bull bucks. Lane rebalances himself by raising his free hand. The bull rears onto its hind legs.]

Lane: [voice over] Four. What's your problem? Get your ass down. Get back in the middle.

[Cut to an overhead shot of the bull with Lane on him. Back on the ground, the bull continues to try to toss him off.]

Lane: [voice over] Five. You're weak. You got all kinds of daylight under you.

[The bull pulls one way, Lane is leaning way to the other side.]

Lane: [voice over] Six. Damn, Lane, you should be schooling this bull.

[The bull lowers his head almost to the ground. AS he bucks he back legs up, Lane ends up in mid-air with over a foot of space between his right leg and the bull.]

Lane: [voice over] Seven. Get up, set your hips before the kick comes down.

[He lands back on the bull.]

Lane: [voice over] Nice recovery. Now just wait till he turns back away from your hand.

[There’s another overhead shot. The rodeo clowns head toward Lane and the bull as the eight seconds he needed to stay on are ending. The buzzer sounds and Lane jumps free. As the bull turns to stomp Lane, a clown distracts him. The bull chases the clown, giving Lane time to stand up. The crowd cheers.]

Lane: [standing with arms over his head in victory] Whoo! Yeah.

[Lane takes his helmet off and tosses it away. He turns to watch the bull being corralled and he stands there like a dead fish with his mouth slightly open. The bull gets away from the handlers and comes after Lane who doesn’t even try to move out of the way. The bull picks him up with his horns and effortlessly flings him against a wall. As the crowd watches, the bull jumps on Lane’s chest. Finally, the clowns get him into the gate and they lock it. As Lane sits up, one of the cowboys runs over to him.]

Cowboy: Lane. Lane.

Lane: What the hell just happened?

Cowboy: I was about to ask you the same thing.

[Opening Credits]

[Cut to House opening a white door. He’s wearing a white, terry cloth robe with “Fremont Hotel” embroidered on it.]

House: I'm fine.

Wilson: Okay. [following House into the hotel room and closing the door]

House: I assume Cuddy told you that she dumped me.

Wilson: She did.

House: And that I'm back on Vicodin.

Wilson: She told me you had taken a Vicodin.

House: And then I took a lot more. [He takes another one.] And so on.

[House tosses the pill bottle into a large glass bowl on the table. It is filled with money.]

Wilson: But you're fine?

House: Well, I'm not fine as in "fine," but I'm fine as in "you don't have to worry about me."

[House goes onto the balcony to get a bottle of water that he drinks from.]

Wilson: Because you cleared out your bank account, checked into a hotel, and started back on Vicodin?

House: Because I'm going to be fine as in "fine" very soon.

Wilson: Until that happens, are you sure Vicodin is the…

House: My leg hurts.

Wilson: You've been able to handle the pain.

House: It's gotten worse.

Wilson: Not physically worse.

House: Worse is worse. Pain doesn't discriminate. Neither do the pills. The Vicodin and the five-star pampering that I'm gonna get over the next few days should be enough to get me through it.

Wilson: So you don't want to just avoid the issue. You want to avoid avoiding the issue. Sorry.

House: Nothing is either as bad or as good as we think it is at the time. That's why T.O. mocks his opponents immediately after scoring. He doesn't wait till his friend shows up the next day to tell him to deal with it. [There’s a knock on the door.] Two weeks from now, maybe a little more, maybe a little less, my life will be back to its usual level of crappiness. Till then, the only real issue is how much I'm gonna spend on hotel charges.

[House grabbed a bill from the bowl and went to the door while he was talking. A concierge, wheeling a food service cart, comes in. There’s a champagne bottle in a bucket amid all the food on the cart.]

Carnell: Good morning, sir. I've got your deluxe breakfast for two.

House: Do I have to count the strawberries?

Carnell: Don't worry. You can trust me with anything. Including your food.

House: [points to Wilson] After he and I have sex, I'm gonna slit his throat and then disembowel him in the bathtub.

Carnell: Oh, no problem. I'll cancel the morning maid service. Would you like me to have them clean up later when they come to turn down your bed?

House: Why didn't I meet you six months ago? [He hands Carnell the money.]

Carnell: Thank you very much. And if there's anything else I can do to make your stay here more enjoyable, just ring the concierge and ask for Carnell.

House: [biting a strawberry] Eat fast. We're expecting company.

[Cut to Wilson’s face, surrounded by a metal thing and a white towel.]

Wilson: Okay. This might not be such a bad idea.

[Pan to House, whose is surrounded by his own metal thing. His eyes are closed.]

House: What do you think he meant by "anything"?

Wilson: Take some time for yourself. Relax.

[They are face-down on massage tables in the middle of the room. Two female masseuses are working on them.]

House: I know it's a figure of speech, to underline the "anything."

Wilson: Maybe talk to someone?

House: Already scheduled.

Wilson: [turns his head to look at House] Really?

House: [looks at Wilson] I'm not an idiot. I know I need help.

Wilson: Okay. That's… great. [pause] I meant, like, a counselor.

House: I know.

Wilson: But you meant a hooker.

House: Yeah. Baby steps.

[Wilson sighs and they both put turn back into the face rests and continue their massages.]

[Cut to the Radiology viewing room. The team is there. X-rays of Lane cover every surface.]

Taub: House screwed us.

Chase: Ten years of doctors cobbling him back together. Metal rods in every limb. Pins stabilizing his spine. Five screws and a titanium plate in his skull.

Foreman: Can't do MRIs. X-rays are probably gonna be useless as well. Every piece of metal is gonna obscure something.

Taub: And House isn't sick.

Masters: Why would you say that?

Taub: Cuddy dumped House. He's out somewhere expecting us to indulge him while he ignores his job and licks his wounds.

Masters: Cuddy dumped him?

Taub: Don't do that. Don't get sucked in.

Masters: He loves her. What? You can't feel bad for him for five minutes?

Taub: I can feel bad for him while still expecting him to act like an adult, show up for work, and not go on a booze-, Vicodin-, and hooker-filled bender.

Foreman: Which is why for now we're gonna handle the case without him.

Chase: Oh, is that the reason? I thought it was because you can't pass up any chance to seize control.

Foreman: I said "we." You want "pretty please" too?

Masters: Wait. I understand the booze and the hookers, but why Vicodin?

[Taub gives her a pitying look and Chase does a double-take, opening his eyes wide.]

Chase: Wow, you really don't have any friends in here, do you?

Foreman: House is a Vicodin addict. He's been clean for two years.

Masters: He's used here at work?

Foreman: Yes, that is very troubling. Almost as much as the fact that our patient
has a ruptured diaphragm, cracked sternum, broken nose, and partial hearing loss, which can be explained by a bull jumping on him. And a neurological disorder,
low-grade fever, nausea, and peripheral muscle weakness that can't.

Masters: What if the hearing loss wasn't caused by the bull? That's just when he noticed it? [they’re all listening] Inner-ear pathology can affect the equilibrium and cause disorientation, making it appear to be a neurological disorder.

Taub: So how do we confirm? CT is just gonna show us the plate and screws holding his skull together.

Masters: We can do calorics and an ENG. If he has inner-ear damage, it'll affect his balance.

Foreman: Sounds good. Go ahead.

[Taub and Masters start to leave.]

Chase: Go ahead? Really? What if one of us disagrees? [Taub and Masters stop. Long pause.] I happen to agree with Foreman. Go do it.

[Cut to Cuddy’s office. She’s behind her desk. Wilson is standing. He’s very agitated and loud.]

Wilson: You knew he was an addict before you got involved.

Cuddy: Didn't end the relationship…

Wilson: You knew he was an ass…

Cuddy: I didn't end it…

Wilson: You told him you did not want him to change.

Cuddy: And I was wrong.

Wilson: You don't know that. You thought you were gonna die. Do you really think that was the right time to make this kind of decision?

Cuddy: No. But I've thought about it. A lot. And I haven't changed my mind.

[She looks near tears. Wilson calms down.]

Wilson: He thought you were gonna die. Nobody knows the right way to react in that situation. Just give him another chance. He deserves it.

Cuddy: I know. But this isn't about what he deserves. When things go wrong, I don't want to hope that I'm not alone. I want to know it. With House… every time I needed him to step up… He's just never gonna be that. It's not his fault. It's who he is. I should have known it. This is my fault.

Wilson: Well, he's back on Vicodin. So you might want to… keep an eye on his new patient.

[Wilson leaves.]

[Cut to Diagnostics conference room. The team is talking to House on speakerphone.]

Foreman: ENG was normal. Means his inner ear isn't…

House: Morons.

Masters: It wasn't…

House: Whoa. Wait a second. The acoustics in here are beautiful. [loudly, echoing] Morons! [Cut to hotel bathroom. House sharing a bubble bath with a beautiful brunette who faces him in the tub.] You say it.

Hooker #1: Morons.

Taub: Who was that?

House: Something Carnell got me.

Masters: It wasn't that ridiculous of a theory.

House: Great theory. It's a ridiculous test. You can't give a standard balance test to a champion bull rider. [While he is talking, he is holding the hooker’s foot, toes poised to enter his mouth.] If you're gonna test Superman's strength, you need a bigger barbell. Find one, make him lift it, then call me and tell me how high it got. [He leans to the side of the tub to talk directly into the phone.] And tell Cuddy that spying is for cowards.

[Cut to Cuddy, standing against the wall by the door to the conference room. Chase disconnects the speakerphone.]

Cuddy: Just keep me posted.

Chase & Foreman: [simultaneously] I will.

[She pauses, reacting to the sibling rivalry, then leaves.]

[Cut to a treatment room.]

Lane: You said my inner ear was fine.

Taub: Previous test was for regular people. You were banged up pretty bad in the accident. But given your athletic ability…

Lane: Wasn't no accident. That bull had malice and forethought.

Masters: Uh, you mean aforethought.

Lane: Whatever. He was pissed.

Taub: Can you blame him?

Lane: Not at all. If he don't do what he gets paid for, I don't get to do what I get paid for.

Taub: You ever think of getting paid for doing something else? You're running out of bones to break.

Lane: You ever think of doing something you don't love? It has its downside, but everything does. [Masters smiles goofily at him.] There ain't nothing like those eight seconds. Traveling around, getting to meet the fans, that ain't so bad either, if you know what I mean. All right, now what?

Foreman: We're gonna start rocking the platform and changing your visual field while you balance on just your right leg.

Masters: [giving him a pair of goggles] Here you go, Lane. I'm gonna start slow.

Foreman: If you start to experience any nausea or disorientation, just let us know and we'll stop the test.

Lane: [adjusting the goggles] You got it.

[The platform he is standing on shifts in every direction including up and down. Lane adjusts to each move, shifting, leaning and bouncing to accommodate the changes. He seems to enjoy it. Masters watches admiringly.]

Masters: Ha. That is amazing.

[Taub looks at Masters then takes Lane’s arm.]

Taub: We can stop. There's obviously nothing wrong with his inner ear. Now what? And I direct that question not to my boss, but to anyone who has an answer.

Foreman: If it's not in his ear, it's got to be his brain.

Masters: But if we can't get any images, then how do we…

Lane: [behind them, drinking some water] Looks like you guys got some rusty pipes. This water's brown.

Foreman: That's not from the pipes. It's from your mouth.

[Lane bares his teeth and sticks out his tongue. They’re covered in blood.]

[Cut to House lying in bed, staring straight ahead. A phone rings. He turns to his right.]

House: Can you pass me the, um…

[Hooker #2, a blonde in sexy black underwear, passes him the phone playfully. He grabs it from her and answers it. Intercut between the conference room and the bed.]

House: What took you so long?

Foreman: There’s nothing wrong with his ears, but he's got blood in his sputum.

House: Doesn't answer the question.

Foreman: We weren't avoiding you. It took us a little time to think up a diagnostic test no one's ever thought up before.

House: Apology accepted.

Chase: [Foreman starts to talk but Chase interrupts.] It could be a tumor in a salivary gland. We should get a parotid biopsy.

House: [indulgently] Oh, that's so cute. You're fighting over who's in charge.

[The blonde is playing with his naked torso. As her hand sinks below camera range, he gasps silently as if she struck a nerve (or found a collection of nerves).]

Taub: GI bleed's more likely to explain the nausea and weakness.

House: Who's in charge?

Foreman: House, as long as you're not here, someone has to have the final…

House: Let me rephrase. Who's your daddy?

[The blonde climbs across House. He pulls his hand from under her and raises his arm out of her way. It looks like he’s about to smack her ass, but he doesn’t.]

Taub: Let me rephrase. You have to decide if you're gonna buck up, get out of bed, and do your job, or if you're gonna wallow in self-pity.

House: Those my only two choices? Or can I also point out the self-pity coming from you? You're just annoyed because when your relationship ended, no one gave a crap, including you.

Taub: That is not true in so many ways.

House: And, Chase, stop screwing with Foreman. [Chase, whose hands are almost covering his mouth, grins broadly.] And, Foreman, no. Till the telephone gets uninvented, no one in that room needs more authority than I give them, and right now I give you the authority to scope his GI tract and biopsy his parotid. And you can pick up the phone.

[The blonde is plastered along House’s side. He has his arm around her, idly playing with her back. Her hands are all over him.]

Masters: Wait, House, should we be more worried about you? Are you on Vicodin? Because if you are, you probably shouldn't be ordering procedures.

[Taub looks annoyed. Chase facepalms.]

House: I am not on Vicodin. [He swallows a Vicodin.] Do the tests. I have to see a man about a hurdy-gurdy.

[He hangs up and turns to the blonde who giggles and starts kissing him.]

[Cut to Masters and Taub doing the GI scope.]

Masters: You really think House isn't using Vicodin?

Taub: Does it actually worry you?

Masters: If he's self-prescribing meds, that could affect his judgment.

Taub: And does that worry you?

Masters: Are you being sarcastic?

Taub: If his rule-breaking is affecting his judgment, then you can step in and you can worry, but if he's just coming up with ideas that we haven't thought of but we should have, then our job is to shut up and do it. And what do you see in this guy?

Masters: Hmm? What? Who? [pause] Oh. You think I'm attracted to our patient?

Taub: Right. It's against the rules, so you wouldn't do it.

Masters: [whispers] He's a macho half-wit.

Taub: You have every reason to not be attracted to him, which is why I ask the question. Why are you attracted to him?

Masters: Stop it.

Taub: I'm just…

Masters: No, no, no. Take out the scope.

Taub: But I don't see…

Masters: Not the monitor. Look at his eyes.

[Masters opens one of Lane’s eyelids. The whites are bright yellow.]

[Cut to House conducting another DDX on his cell phone. He’s sitting with his other hand on his cane, which he moves in rhythm with the music from the hurdy-gurdy. This is being played by Hooker #3 who is a brunette with curly hair. She’s sitting, in her underwear, of course, facing him. The team is in the Radiology viewing room.]

Foreman: Sclerae turned yellow. Did X-rays. Looks like there's a mass in his liver,
but the conductive metal rod in his ribs is blocking it.

House: Making it, as they say, as tough to find as a hooker who can play the hurdy-gurdy.

Foreman: If you have a point, can you please…

House: It's an expression. Means it's tough, but apparently it can be done.

Chase: If we don't have any equipment…

House: You have eyes.

Taub: Not that see through stuff.

House: Obviously.

Masters: You want us to cut him open?

House: Only if you want to see what's wrong with him. [He hangs up.] Do you know Free Bird?

[Cut to the O.R. Chase is operating, assisted by Taub.]

Chase: [hands inside Lane’s abdomen] Do you see what I see?

Taub: No.

Chase: Exactly.

Taub: More suction. [He puts his hands in and starts looking around.] That's impossible. I definitely saw a mass on the X-rays.

Chase: It's gone now.

[Cut to House looking at an X-ray.]

House: It's a mass… [He’s in bed.] And then it's not.

[Chase, Taub and Masters are standing at the foot of the bed.]

Chase: You, uh, gonna introduce us?

[He’s referring to Hooker #4, a blonde who is in bed with House. They are both modestly covered with a sheet.]

House: Team, meet Duke.

Anke: Anke.

House: Anke? How'd I get Duke?

[Foreman is sitting next to Chase, trying to look bored.]

Masters: House, how many prostitutes have you had?

House: As in eaten? Ever? This year?

Masters: Slept with. Since you've been here.

House: All but one. She did my taxes. On the other hand, tapeworm that burrowed
outside his intestinal…

Taub: We would have seen eggs on a fecal smear or systemic eosinophilia.

House: Detached cyst?

Foreman: Couldn't migrate that far in one hour. We haven't been sitting on our hands just waiting for your brilliance to kick in.

House: Okay, so how did you shoot down intermittently swollen lymph node?

[Everyone looks at Foreman. House raises his hand and Anke gives him a high five.]

Masters: That would mean it's some kind of an infection, which would mean we'd have to do a spinal tap. But with his recent skull fractures, it could be an increased ICP. His brain could herniate.

Chase: What about a ventricular puncture?

House: Sounds good.

Master: You think sticking a needle directly into his brain would be less dangerous than sticking it in his spine?

House: It's probably a push. I'm just trying to get you out of here, because underneath this sheet, [confidentially] stuff is going on.

[Masters turns away, shocked.]

House: Just pick a spot and stick a needle in it.

[The team leaves.]

[Cut to Lane’s room.]

Lane: You want to drill through my skull because of a mass that's not there?

Taub: It was there, which means something is wrong. We need to find it.

Masters: Is there anybody you'd like us to call? Someone that you'd like to be here with you? Maybe a wife or girlfriend?

Lane: No, my family's all back in Oklahoma, and the guys on the circuit are in Calgary at the next rodeo.

Masters: Ah, that's too bad. It's nice to have somebody nearby you can talk to who cares.

[He smiles at her.]

[Cut to the treatment room. Taub is getting ready to stick a needle in Lane’s brain.]

Taub: You okay?

Masters: Hmm?

Taub: I’m just saying, "it's good to have somebody near by to talk to who cares."

Masters: Okay, fine. I like him. So what?

Taub: No kidding. I just can't figure out why.

Masters: Neither can I. Looks clear. Nothing is suggesting inflammation. Something's wrong.

[Alarms go off.]

Taub: O-2 stats are plummeting. We need to intubate. Drop the table. [He tries to get the tube in Lane’s throat.] I can't get it in.

Masters: The airway's blocked. Get the trach kit.

[Taub cuts open Lane’s neck and stick a tube in. He attaches a bag and pumps air into Lane’s lungs.]

Masters: O-2 are going back up.

Nurse: What's that smell?

Masters: Did he defecate?

[They go to the foot of the bed. The nurse raises the sheet. It’s clean under there.]

Taub: Doesn't look like it.

Masters: I think it's his feet. [She looks at his feet, which have some sort of rot on them.] Oh. Oh, man. Ugh. It's definitely his feet.

[Cut to the hotel room. The emergency exits sign on the inside of the door is showing.]

Carnell: Please don't.

[An arrow pierces the sign. House is holding a high-tension bow and some extra arrows.]

House: That is a nice bow.

[Carnell opens the door. About six inches of the arrow are on the other side.]

Carnell: That was a nice door.

House: Put it on my tab. Let's say we take it up a notch. [He tosses Carnell an apple.]

Carnell: [laughing] Yeah, right. Very funny.

House: You don't trust me?

Carnell: No.

Hooker #5: [comes over] I'll do it.

[A petite Asian woman with long hair skips over, takes the apple from Carnell and goes to the door. She’s wearing a crisply ironed, white, man’s shirt (which is, therefore, not House’s).]

House: And we have a gamer.

Carnell: Oh, come on, man. You can't be serious.

House: Why not? [#5 giggles and holds the apple on top of her head.] Anything goes wrong, we just take her to the doctor. And I'm only eight paces away.

Carnell: House…

[The phone rings.]

House: I like you, Carnell. Don't ruin it. [He turns on the phone.] Stinky feet can point to diabetes, athlete's foot, or gangrene… Pick one.

Carnell: No!

Taub: Uh, none. None of those cause bloody sputum or disappearing masses.

Carnell: No. No. No. No. You're gonna kill her.

House: Don't do that, Carnell. They might get the idea that I'm shooting at a hooker. [He takes aim. The hooker waits. He lowers the bow as he gets an idea.] Fungal infection can cause ulceration between the toes and bleeding could be from recurring abscesses that appear to be recurring masses.

Masters: Symptoms in the head or feet mean the infection would have to be in the heart or the brain.

Taub: I say we start by looking in the heart, because looking at his brain with a metal plate is problematic.

Chase: So's MRI'ing his heart. He's got a seven-centimeter conductive metal rod holding his rib together. It'll rip him in two.

House: [aiming and pulling back on the bowstring] No, it'll just feel like it's ripping him in two, which is much better.

Taub: We could minimize the damage by injecting ice water into his abdominal cavity.

Carnell: No. Please, no.

[House shoots. #5 grunts and holds the arrow protruding from her stomach. There is a huge patch of blood on her shirt.]

Carnell: Oh, God!

House: Oops. [The team, listening, looks puzzled] Got to go.

[#5 staggers and grips an end table as she falls. Carnell rushes to her.]

Carnell: Call an ambulance!

House: Why?

Carnell: What do you mean why? She's hurt!

House: She doesn't look hurt.

[#5 laughs and rolls onto her back.]

Carnell: No, you didn't.

House: Yes, we did.

[House demonstrates that the arrow was fake. #5 opens her shirt to show the breastplate the arrow and blood sprang from.]

Carnell: You're an ass.

House: Okay. Go get me, uh, general Patton's colt 45. [The door opens] The one with the two notches.

Wilson: [entering] He's not getting you a gun.

Carnell: Your friend knows how to have a good time.

[House and Wilson stare at each other as Carnell leaves.]

[Cut to the MRI room.]

Taub: The MRI magnets are gonna heat the metal. Could get to over 300 degrees in 15 seconds.

Masters: Which is why we're injecting ice water into your abdominal cavity. [She clears her throat.] You'll feel colder than you've ever felt, and then you'll be hotter… um, you'll feel hotter than you've ever felt. [clears throat again] We'll try to be as quick as possible.

[She pushes the button and the carriage moves Lane into the machine.]

Taub: Wow.

Masters: Shut up.

[They go into the observation room.]

Taub: It's interesting.

Masters: No, it's not. It's mundane and simple. He's obviously a very blessed specimen, so from an evolutionary point of view, he'd produce healthy offspring, so my prefrontal cortex is telling me I should have sex with him.

Taub: Oh. Is that all?

Masters: Yes. My rational brain knows he's a hillbilly and an idiot.

Taub: And yet somehow your rational brain is losing the argument, which is interesting.

[Cut to the hotel bar.]

Wilson: You were bored. You must have spent about two days setting up a fake murder, and you were bored.

House: I'm fine.

Wilson: You're not. And I'm worried you might do something even stupider. Why don't you move back in with me? At least until you get back on track.

House: What an ego. You think you're some sort of emotional paragon? You're my rock?

Wilson: I'm trying to be a friend.

House: At least I have the good sense not to marry every woman I fall into bed with. Maybe you should move in with me.

Wilson: Either way. If you prefer…

House: [getting annoyed] I prefer you to stop talking about this.

Wilson: House, we haven't even started talking about this except to establish the fact that you are fine, which clearly you aren't.

House: [loudly] Leave me alone!

[Wilson looks at House for a long minute.]

Wilson: No. We are gonna talk about this, and we're gonna deal with this.

House: So I have no choice? Fine. Unless… unless… [He has a revelation.] Yes, I do. I do have legs. [He stands.] I see you didn't factor those into your brilliant plan. [House takes his drink and leaves.]

[Cut to the MRI room. Lane has his teeth bared and he is breathing hard.]

Taub: [over the intercom] Lane, can you try to hold still?

Lane: [teeth gritted] I'm trying. Real hard.

Taub: Guy is tough. I'll give him that. My prefrontal cortex is a little aroused.

Masters: Just get the damn picture. Rib temp is at 158.

[Lane is grunting loudly.]

Taub: I don't have a clear view of his aorta yet.

Masters: This isn't gonna work. We have to stop.

[She reaches for the off switch. Taub intercepts her hand. Lane can be heard yelling in pain.]

Taub: No. You're trying to protect him instead of trying to save him.

Masters: He's smoking. Literally, you ass.

[She points through the window. Smoke is coming from the MRI.]

Taub: Five more seconds.

Masters: No, getting a good image isn't gonna mean anything if he doesn't have a rib cage.

Taub: Got it.

[She runs out, turns off the MRI and places ice packs on Lane’s abdomen, which has smoke rising through the skin. Lane grabs the ice pack and holds it in place.]

Lane: Whew.

Taub: The images… [shrugs] they're normal.

Lane: [cooling off] Whew. Ah. Whew.

[There’s a knock on Cuddy’s door. She goes to answer it, wearing a short robe. It’s Wilson.]

Wilson: You're gonna have to talk to him eventually. He needs you.

Cuddy: I love him. And I know he loves me. But I just can't…

Wilson: He needs you in his life. Even if you're not sleeping with him, he needs you. [He stops himself from crying.] Without you…

Cuddy: You can't go backwards. I can't fix his problem. I am his problem.

[They stand looking at each other.]

[Cut to a tray of dipped strawberries. House’s hand reaches across and a brunette takes it. He’s wearing jeans, a shirt, sunglasses and no shoes. She’s wearing a bikini. They’re on lounge chairs by the pool. The team is standing in front of them.]

House: If the infection's not in his heart, then it's in his brain. You're in my sun. Do a CT.

Foreman: We can't. He has a titanium plate and a bunch of metal screws.

House: So get rid of them.

Taub: His skull has multiple hairline fractures. Removing the metal plate will be like removing half an eggshell without cracking the rest of the shell.

House: [sits up, supporting his leg] And not removing the plate will be like leaving the egg out to rot.

Foreman: We can't cut off the top of his head based on a few symptoms that disappear whenever we try to test for them.

House: What if the one symptom that hasn't disappeared was never actually there? Any delays when he answers questions? [Masters nods] He doesn't have partial hearing loss. He's missing moments. He reported having something like a complex partial seizure during a bull ride. Said it hasn't happened since, but what if he's wrong? What if the infection in the brain is causing it to happen all the time?

Chase: His E.E.G. didn't show any sign of seizure activity.

House: I didn't say it was a seizure. I said it was something like a seizure.

Foreman: And I'm guessing you're about to tell us we need to find something like an E.E.G. to prove…

House: Nope, 'cause I already got one. [Stands and takes a wad of bills out of his pocket, which he hands to Hooker #6.]

[Cut to Lane. He’s lying in bed and smiling.]

Lane: You want me to sing? How's singing My Bonnie gonna help you see inside my brain?

House: It won't. It's just gonna prove that we need to cut into your skull, which is gonna be kind of dangerous. So you've got a real incentive to sing like an angel.

Masters: We think you're having mini blackouts, but your brain compensates.

House: It can't compensate if there's a preset rhythm. [He sets a metronome on the bed tray.] One, two, three.

Lane: My Bonnie lies over the ocean my Bonnie lies… [tick, tick] …over the sea My Bonnie… [tick] …lies over the ocean… [tick] …Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me See? Told ya.

Masters: Lane, that wasn't even close. [to House] That was brilliant.

House: [unenthusiastically] Yeah.

[Cut to the balcony outside House’s room. He’s back in the robe. He and Wilson are talking and drinking coffee. Hooker #7, a blonde, can be seen on the bed behind them.]

Wilson: It's understandable.

House: I hate when you do that. You respond to what you think I'm thinking, because you think that I think like you do. It's insulting and annoying.

Wilson: You're scared because nothing excites you. Fun doesn't excite you. Puzzles don't excite you. What's left? And I was saying you're right. You're upset. You're depressed. Everything's gonna taste a little worse right now, but it'll pass.

House: It's understandable. You're scared because you think I'm falling apart, and you're trying to convince yourself that you're overreacting.

[The blonde comes out and hands House his ringing cell phone.]

Hooker #7: Keeps ringing.

House: [answering] Yeah.

Foreman: House, there's no infection in this guy's brain. CT's clean.

House: Well, that sucks. Now we have to blow up his heart.

[Cut to Diagnostics conference room. House is there for the DDX. He has a cold Starbucks-type drink.]

Foreman: We're not blowing up his heart, because we've ruled out his heart. MRI and transesophageal echo reveal no swelling, no masses, no vegetation, no sign of anything.

[House blows the straw wrapper in Taub’s face.]

House: 'Cause we're looking the wrong way. [Holds up the straw.] There's an imperfection. How do you find where?

Foreman: I don't know. Get a magnifying glass and…

House: You suck. Feel free to interpret that both ways. Suck on the straw, see where the drink leaks.

Chase: You're saying we put pressure on his aorta until it rips open? You do realize the downside of that?

House: If we don't rip it, the damage from the infection will, probably not when he's got his chest open in an O.R. where it can be repaired inside the 60 seconds it'll take him to bleed to death.

Chase: It's a ridiculous idea. It won't work.

House: Now if you don't mind… get this guy's approval to rip his heart open.

[Cut to Lane’s room. He’s sleeping with the corner of his sheet wrapped around his hand like his rodeo rope.]

House: Hey. We think you have a Bartonella infection, which caused a mycotic aneurysm in your aortic wall. We need to find it, which means we need to blow up your heart. And, yes, I'm as serious as a heart attack. We're going to increase your blood pressure until the weak spot in your aortic wall explodes. Hopefully we'll be able to fix it before you bleed to death. Any questions?

Lane: Nope.

House: Really? You don't even want to know if you'll be able to go back to bull riding?

Lane: I assume no? I mean, you've already cracked open my skull, and now you're gonna blow up my heart.

House: [puzzled] Thought you loved those eight seconds.

Lane: [quietly] I do. And now you're telling me that I got to give them up. I can always find something else to love.

[House is really paying attention. The door behind him opens.]

Cuddy: House. We need to talk.

[House looks at Lane then follows Cuddy to the hallway. Lane unwraps the sheet from around his hand.]

[Cut to the hallway.]

Cuddy: You didn't expect me to say yes to rupturing his aorta, did you?

House: [calm and deliberate] Since I didn't ask, I wasn't expecting you to say anything at all.

Cuddy: You have no reason to believe this will save his life.

House: [mirthless laugh] Really? No reason? None at all? I'm just planning on cracking open his chest, blowing up his heart, what, to pad his bill? [scornful] Or you think that since you broke my heart I want to break his.

Cuddy: [somewhat pitying] I don't know. I think maybe you're looking for something that can excite you. Fill a void. And it's affecting your judgment.

House: You're right. I am. But my damaged, depressed, drug-addled judgment is still better than yours or any other doctor in this hospital, and my team is gonna do this procedure and save his life. So you can either have security arrest me and my team, or you can get the hell out of my way.

[House’s anger is palpable as he watches Cuddy closely. She blinks and inhales as if she’s going to say something. He sees what he was looking for.]

House: [contemptuous] Annnnnd… she caves.

[He walks away.]

[Cut to the OR. Chase is slowly turning a handle that’s attached to a metal frame over what is, presumably, Lane. His chest cavity is open and all we can see of him is his beating heart.]

Chase: Rib spreader in place.

Taub: Heart looks good. The aorta's exposed.

[House and Masters are in the observation room. Foreman injects fluid into Lane’s heart.]

House: I take it you ratted me out to Cuddy.

Masters: I think your judgment is compromised.

House: No, you don't. [He hits the intercom button with his cane.] Come on. I got a squash game at 2:00. Let's give this cowboy a ride.

Foreman: If I inject more, there won't be any room for the blood to go through the rest of his body.

House: You're right. Let's make damn sure we don't damage his toes while we blow up his heart.

[Foreman and Chase give each other a look. Foreman injects some more.]

Taub: No bubbles, no bruising, no gaps. It's not working.

Foreman: Yes, it is.

[The monitor sounds get faster as does the actual, pulsing heart.

Masters: I was wrong.

House: Not yet.

Chase: Let's switch him over to bypass for the debridement. Come on. We don't have much time.

Foreman: Slow the heart down—

[A gusher erupts and sprays blood all over Chase’s face.

Chase: Damn. Clamp.

Taub: We can't clamp the aorta at this pressure. Even if you can see through all the blood.

Chase: Do it anyway. We need suction and more sponges.

Foreman: [mopping up blood] Leak is too fast.

Chase: [attaching a clamp] No, it's not. We can fix this.

[Chase starts suturing. After a few stitches the bleeding stops. Foreman snips the thread. Chase tests the aorta with his finger. The monitor starts beeping normally.]

Foreman: It worked!?! House, it worked.

House: [over the intercom] I heard you.

[He watches for a moment, then leaves.]

[Cut to Lane’s room. Masters is in a chair in the corner. He wakes up.]

Masters: Hey.

Lane: [happy] I'm awake, so I guess it worked.

Masters: [giggling nervously] As long as you don't get your heart rate too high. You, uh, probably shouldn't have sex for a while.

Lane: I'll keep that in mind.

Masters: Want to hang out, see your ranch sometime?

Lane: Uh…

Masters: [realizes he’s stalling] That would probably be inappropriate, 'cause I'm your doctor and everything. Good luck with everything. [She pauses in the doorway] It…

[She backs the rest of the way out, nods at him and leaves.]

[Cut to the hotel bar. A very loud group of college students is celebrating something.]

House: Double scotch. Doubled.

Bartender: Uh, blended? Single malt? Any preference?

House: No.

[House turns and looks at the students as the bartender pours his drink. He drains the glass in one swallow.]

Bartender: Yeah, sorry about the noise. I guess, uh, their team won. Although I got to tell you, sometimes I wish I could still act like that, you know? Just let loose. [House nods at the bartender who refills the glass.] Ah, I guess it's a little easier, though, when you got no troubles. Parents still paying your bills. Got your whole life ahead of you.

[The bartender moves off and House turns to watch the student. In slow motion, the celebrating continues silently and House polishes off his second quadruple scotch. He puts the empty glass on the bar as Peter Gabriel’s version of My Body is a Cage begins to play. The glass turns into an identical one among the detritus of House’s stay in the hotel — an empty bottle of champagne and a toppled champagne flute, chocolate-covered strawberries, a couple of arrows, a cork, the hurdy-gurdy, and House, who sits on the edge of the bed, rubbing his thigh and surveying the wreckage.

♪♫ My body is a cage
♪♫ That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
♪♫ My mind holds the key

[House picks up the bottle of Vicodin from the bedside table and contemplates it.]

♪♫ My body is a cage
♪♫ That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
♪♫ But my mind holds the key

[House tips the remaining pill(s?) into his hand and takes them.]

♪♫ I'm standing on a stage
♪♫ Of fear and self-doubt
♪♫ It's a hollow play
♪♫ But they'll clap anyway

[House sits, brooding, while downstairs Wilson makes his way to the bar. The bartender points and Wilson turns in that direction.]

♪♫ My body is a cage
♪♫ That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
♪♫ My mind holds the key
♪♫ My mind holds the key
♪♫ My mind holds the key

[House goes to the balcony and looks down. Holding onto the railing he puts his right foot on a bench then his left foot on top of the railing.

♪♫ I'm living in an age
♪♫ That calls darkness light
♪♫ Though my language is dead
♪♫ Still the shapes fill my head

[He pushes off with his hand and stands on top of the railing. He balances himself by placing his hands on the ceiling/floor of the balcony above.]

♪♫ I'm living in an age
♪♫ Whose name I don't know
♪♫ Though the fear keeps me moving
♪♫ Still my heart beats so slow

[House looks down. Downstairs, Wilson makes his way through the celebration. House stands, the wind blowing his shirttail. Wilson looks around, but doesn’t see House in the crowd. He sees some people pointing and looking up. He follows their gazes to see House, standing on the edge of the balcony, seven or eight stories up.]

♪♫ My body is a
♪♫ Is a
♪♫ Is a
♪♫ Is a

[The music builds to a crescendo as House grins, then steps off the balcony.]

Wilson: Noooooooooooooo!

House: Cannonball!

[He tucks his legs and lands in the pool. Under the water, House grins creepily. As he breaks through the surface, the students join in — dozens of them jump in the pool, fully clothed.]

Wilson: What the hell are you doing?

House: [standing in the pool, surrounded] What do you do when you win?

Students: Party!

House: What do you do when you lose?

Students: Party harder!

[House accepts a beer from one of the students. Wilson watches then gives up, turns and walks away.]

♪♫ My body is a cage
♪♫ That keeps me from dancing with the one I love

[End]

Tags: season 7
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