Written by: Kath Lingenfelter & Peter Blake
Directed by: Greg Yaitanes
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 an echo-y noise. The colors are off. The images are slightly blurry. It’s night. Cuddy looks around. She also seems off — gray and shocked or ill. There are policemen and police cars. A fireman walks around his truck. Looky-Lous are standing behind the yellow “Police Line Do Not Cross” tape that is strung chest-high.]
[Wilson is sitting on the tail of an ambulance. He winces as an EMT attaches a temporary cast to his arm. He nods to the EMT, indicating that it’s fine.]
[Cuddy’s face is pinched. There are a couple of tears on her cheeks. She swallows hard and composes herself.]
Cuddy: Are we, uh, almost done here? I have to call my mother, get my daughter, call the hospital.
Officer Soltes: So he didn't threaten you?
Soltes: No fight?
Cuddy: Not really.
Soltes: Sounds like a yes. [She looks up at him. She gives a very tiny shake of her head.] Was there any indication that something would happen?
Cuddy: Yeah… [mirthless chuckle] Every moment I spent with him. I was always waiting for something to happen. But this… [her face tightens and she shakes her head slightly]
Soltes: And no idea where he is?
Soltes: These domestic situations, it's not uncommon to get cold feet.
Cuddy: Are you asking me to file charges? Just give me the paperwork. If Greg House steps foot in my hospital again, comes anywhere near me, I want him thrown in jail.
[Three Days Earlier]
[An axe is hanging by it’s handle in front of a white brick wall. It twists slowly. There’s a orange and red fan, also hanging as are a can of paint thinner, a flashlight, goggles, a box of strike anywhere matches, bullets, a mirror, scissors, etc. Everything is hanging from a metal rack suspended from the ceiling. The only other objects in the room are empty book cases on each side, a window in the center and a chair. Afsoun Hamidi, the performance artist, sits on the chair. She is wearing a white evening gown. Luca, Afsoun’s assistant, stands to the side, next to a hanging collar, chain, clamps, and baseball bat. A female patron approaches him. The other visitors to the installation have Afsoun with their backs to the camera.]
Female Patron: So… we can use any of these?
[Afsoun sits perfectly still on her chair. Her neck is held high. Her hair is in a French braid and she has tasteful makeup on (although she didn’t blend her foundation well at the neckline.) She blinks.]
Female Patron: And just do whatever we want to her?
Luca: That's what they're there for.
[The patron laughs slightly and moves toward Afsoun. The screen goes black.]
[Cut to House’s bed in the ICU. The team surrounds him and his laptop.]
House: Hey. We were just getting to the good part.
Chase: Is there a good part? It was performance art.
Thirteen: That's Afsoun Hamidi. She's a genius. She just won the MacArthur, legally proving it. Just had a retrospective at the Tate Modern. Nobody reads The New Yorker?
House: Nope. But I subscribe to her patient file.
Chase: House, you should relax. You had surgery this morning.
House: Minor surgery, removing a drain.
Chase: Put there during major surgery.
House: My doctor says it's okay as long as I don't leave my hospital bed.
Taub: Which doctor was that — Seuss or J?
Nurse: Dr. Hourani wrote it in his chart.
[Foreman grabs the chart and reads it. He raises his eyebrows.]
Thirteen: I'm surprised he approved it. I'm more surprised you actually asked.
House: I do things like that now. I'm making some changes… like skipping ahead to minute 37.
[Afsoun’s audience is closer now and in a circle around her. She’s wearing the chain as a necklace. The are blobs of gray paint on her face, chest, arms and dress. A large knife is in her right hand, pointing up and back. She doesn’t move. A blonde woman on the floor is cutting Afsoun’s skirt. She stops and jumps up as one guy takes the can of paint thinner and pours it over Afsoun’s shoulders.]
Chase: [leaning in to watch the monitor] What is that — paint thinner?
[Back at the installation, the guy has put down the can of paint thinner and takes the box of matches down. He pulls out a match and approaches Afsoun.]
[Chase turns off the video.]
Chase: I'm not gonna watch a woman get set on fire.
[Back at the gallery, the guy strikes the match. As he approaches her, writing can be seen on Afsoun’s face – there must have been a black Sharpie in the exhibit. On her right cheek, after a blob of paint, it says “iar.” Running down the left side of her face is 七転八起 (7 falls, 8 rises.)]
Thirteen: Who's the guy with the notebook who can't decide what to do?
House: Her assistant. He's been instructed not to intervene. Spoiler alert — he does. [Luca drops what he’s holding and wrestles the guy away from Afsoun who moves for the first time, turning her head to watch them. She looks worried.] For her, it is literally heartbreaking. [Afsoun falls off her stool and is stretched out on the floor.] Let the games begin.
Chase: Arrhythmia, high hematocrit, and inconsistent RR variability.
Foreman: You forgot about the fourth symptom — being completely crazy.
Thirteen: One man's crazy is another woman's art. Her work explores things like gender politics and self-image.
House: And the pressing issue of shaving your entire body in public while wearing a monkey mask. [He pulls up a picture of that from an on-line article.]
Thirteen: She saw her mom commit suicide and was abused by her stepdad for years.
Foreman: Didn't say the crazy wasn't motivated.
Thirteen: Well, she took that pain and transformed it into art. That's better than a lot of the alternatives.
Foreman: I still vote for nuts. We should run a resting-state functional MRI to look for increased activity in the dorsal nexus.
House: She's not nuts.
Chase: The monkey-mask-shaving medium really speaks to you?
House: What speaks to me is she's elevated being full of crap to a genuine art form and made a fortune doing it. People that pay 20 grand for one of her video stills, on the other hand, really do need their dorsal nexi checked.
Thirteen: Maybe the paint thinner set off an allergic reaction.
Chase: Not without bronchospasm.
Taub: There was a space heater next to her in the gallery.
House: [pulling up the picture of Afsoun lying on the floor] Carbon monoxide poisoning. It fits. Put her in a hyperbaric chamber.
[They leave. House closes the monitor and retrieves his cell phone from the bedside table.]
[Cut to Cuddy pulling her phone from her purse. She’s in the “World’s Best Coffee” coffee bar. A nice-looking guy in a dress shirt and tie sees her and turns around.
Jerry: Lisa. You're Lisa Cuddy.
Cuddy: What's this about?
Jerry: I'm sorry. I'm Jerry Barrett. I recognize you from the photos. They barely do you justice.
Cuddy: [to the barista] The usual.
Jerry: I'm friends with your sister. She showed me your photos. I-I work at the bank across the street. Um, Julia's my client. She… wanted to set us up.
Cuddy: Oh, I-I'm afraid you have me mixed up with somebody else.
Jerry: N-no, I don't think so. I-I've seen many pictures of you several times. [She looks at him.] That didn't sound the way I wanted—
Cuddy: I guess I just have one of those faces. It's nice to meet you.
Jerry: [to her retreating back] Yeah, s-say hi to Lisa Cuddy when you meet her in the office you share.
[Cut to the doors to the ICU opening. Cuddy enters.]
Cuddy: Oh, thank God. The I.C.U. isn't being attacked by giant radioactive spiders.
House: Did I text you that? That was meant for my dream journal. I wanted to return your stuff. Don't worry. I didn't go AWOL. I had my wife-maid bring it over.
[There’s a cardboard box on House’s tray table. Cuddy looks inside.]
Cuddy: My sweater, a coffee mug, a half-used bottle of lotion, and a DVD of “Marley & Me.”
House: Given your thing for Owen Wilson, I thought you might want those last two back asap.
Cuddy: I don't get it.
House: You masturbate to Owen Wilson.
Cuddy: I meant the box.
House: Oh. It's a symbolic gesture. I want things to go back to the way they were before we started dating — no more bad feelings, no more issues, just work. [she nods, skeptically] Thanks for coming.
[He grabs his laptop from the bedside table as he dismisses her.]
Cuddy: I haven't even spoken to you since you hurt yourself.
House: I was self-destructive. It won't happen again. I'm making changes. I'm gonna stop doing stupid things.
Cuddy: Great. The smart thing to do would be to talk about why you did it. If you don't understand—
House: I think I could avoid putting another hole in my leg without talking about my mother.
Cuddy: Well, I don't want to find out you're wrong by getting another phone call from you in a bloody bathtub.
House: I'm a big believer that the best way to get past the past is to shoot it in the head, bury it in a deep pit, and pour lye on it.
Cuddy: [sitting on the foot of the bed] I'm just asking you to talk about it. You owe me. [He looks suspicious.] Forget about saving your life. You exposed my daughter to that obnoxious pirate cartoon.
[He looks around as he thinks about this.]
House: Bring me lunch tomorrow, and we can plumb my depths.
[Cuddy smiles and leaves. He doesn’t look happy. He leans over and takes a familiar orange vial from his bedside table. He opens it, pours some in his hand and eats them.]
[Cut to the hyperbaric chamber. Afsoun is in what looks like a glass coffin. Thirteen and Foreman are at computer monitors behind a desk. Luca stands between the desk an Afsoun.]
Luca: I should have known the gallery wasn't ventilated enough.
Thirteen: Hey, if it wasn't for you, we'd be treating her for third-degree burns, too.
Afsoun: That was a mistake. He shouldn't have interfered.
Luca: I told you I'm sorry. I want to share your commitment, but it's hard for me sometimes.
Foreman: Like when she read your love letters in the middle of the New Museum? Yes, I read The New Yorker.
Luca: That was a year ago. And we're — we're not together anymore.
Foreman: Seriously, you weren't really gonna let that guy set you on fire. He was just a plant to get the crowd going, right?
Afsoun: If that's your interpretation, I welcome it.
Luca: Afsoun believes explaining her work limits its potential. But between us, he was real and a total dick.
Foreman: No sane person would let themselves be burned alive for the sake of art.
Afsoun: My work is meant to force the audience to break with the rational and see things in a new way.
Foreman: Fine. No sane person would let themselves be burned alive to "break with the rational."
Afsoun: I feel…
[She raises her head and starts vomiting. Thirteen and Foreman rush over.]
Thirteen: Luca, hand me the oxygen mask behind you. [nothing] Luca!
[Luca stands still with his eyes closed as Afsoun coughs, pressing her hands against the glass of the chamber.]
[Cut to Taub doing an ultrasound on Ruby. She smiles broadly.]
Taub: Congratulations. It's a gestational sac. Can't see anything this early.
Ruby: I know. I just figured this would help me process what's happening. There's a lot we got to figure out.
Taub: We have almost eight months. You're not having doubts, are you?
Ruby: No. Are you?
Taub: Definitely not. Nice, cozy home for little Ruben. [Ruby makes an “ick” face.] It's a family name.
Ruby: It's a sandwich.
Taub: Named for my family.
♪♫ If you like piña coladas
[Taub pulls his phone out of his pocket. Rachel Taub is calling. There’s a picture of her on the screen. Taub presses the “decline” button.]
Taub: It's just House.
[Cut to Cuddy’s dining room. She’s talking to Julia while she sorts a basket of clean clothes.]
Cuddy: I swear to God, stay out of my personal life.
Julia: Where is the downside here?
Julia: Jerry is cute. He's a senior V.P. He kite-surfs in Costa Rica every winter, and he loves his mother.
Cuddy: Seasonally? Or is that just the kite-surfing?
Julia: Is this about House?
Cuddy: What? Like I secretly wish I could alter the laws of the universe, change who we are, and magically make it work out?
Julia: Yes, that's exactly what I'm asking.
Cuddy: My sarcasm indicated no.
Julia: No, your sarcasm indicated you wanted to avoid actually saying anything. Look, Lisa… all I know is you seem stuck. And I don't like seeing you like that.
[Cut to House’s ICU bed. Thirteen and Foreman are there.]
Foreman: She got worse in the hyperbaric chamber. It's not C.O. poisoning.
Thirteen: I think we should consider infection and test the assistant. I couldn't get his attention. He was in a daze.
Foreman: You think that's a symptom? He's in love with her. He was probably overwhelmed, couldn't decide what to do.
House: What's he been doing since she was admitted? Did he bring anything from the patient room to the treatment room?
Foreman: A few things — a handbag, flowers, stuffed elephant.
House: Does she seem like the kind of woman who needs a stuffed animal?
[He rolls over and gets his cell phone from the bedside table. He starts to dial.]
Thirteen: Who are you calling? [Her phone rings.] Oh, of course.
House: [flirtatious, sleazy] What are you wearing? [fake “duh” expression] Oh, I can see what you're wearing. Go to her room.
[Cut to Afsoun’s room. She’s smiling at Luca who stands next to her bed. Thirteen enters.]
House: [voice on the phone] Now go address the elephant in the room.
[Thirteen walks to the bed tray. An incredibly cute stuffed elephant is there, next to Afsoun’s purse. She pulls one of its ears up as she starts to inspect it. Afsoun sits up. She and Luca both watch. Thirteen undoes a zipper in the elephant’s back.]
Thirteen: This is a Nanny Cam.
[Luca sighs. Afsoun listens with interest.]
House: [voice on the phone] The reason Luca couldn't decide what to do in the treatment room is the same as in the gallery. He's been told not to intervene. Congratulations. We've become her latest work of art.
[Thirteen holds the elephant up and leans into it. Her face and the scene behind her become distorted as if they were being seen in a highly convex mirror.]
[Cut to House’s bed. He mugs for the elephant then turns it on the team as Thirteen fills them in.]
Thirteen: It shouldn't have surprised us. All her work is based on personal traumas. She's had Luca taking notes, videotape her treatments, collect things, like sharps and bandages. It'll all go into a gallery installation.
Taub: Well, then I guess as long as long as the exploitation is properly motivated, it's all okay.
♪♫ If you like piña coladas
[The team watches as Taub takes his phone from his pocket and turns it off.]
Chase: Ultrasound showed a cyst on her pancreas — we drained it.
Taub: Why are we even discussing this case? She lied to us. It's opening us up to malpractice.
House: Our practice opens us up to malpractice.
Foreman: How do we know she's actually sick?
House: Her being sick is a clue.
Foreman: She would have let that guy set her on fire for the sake of her work. You think she's scared of a little arrhythmia? She probably huffed paint thinner.
Thirteen: She would have let him set her on fire because of the honesty of her work. Faking an illness doesn't fit.
House: Thirteen's right — at least her conclusion was. Everything else was laughably wrong. If the patient induced pancreatitis and a heart attack, she'd be suicidal.
Chase: Exactly. She's risking her life all the time.
House: Exactly. If she wanted to be dead, she'd be dead a long time ago. Pretending to cheat death pays better than watercolors. Coxsackie B fits. But do a spiral C.T. of her biliary tree to rule out gallstones.
Foreman: Fine. I'll get the C.T.
House: Sure. I'd be happy to come with you. Thanks for asking.
[Alarms start beeping as House detaches wires from his body/]
Foreman: You're supposed to stay in bed — doctor's orders.
[Sitting up with difficulty.]
House: If you really cared about me, you wouldn't be so obvious when you scheme to prove me wrong. You volunteered because you want to C.T. her lungs, not her biliary tree. You want to find fibrosis and prove your "paint thinner" theory. If I don't come with, when you fail, you'll pretend you never tried. I don't really have a choice, now, do I?
[House props himself up on metal crutches. Everyone looks at Foreman who admits House is right by turning around and leading the way without a fight.]
[Cut to C.T. House is spinning in his chair while Foreman monitors the scan. House stops and looks pointedly at Foreman who pulls some money from his pocket .]
House: Since I've seen your paycheck, I probably shouldn't. [He takes the money.] Canned beans aren't so bad… as long as they're cooked over an oil-drum fire under a bridge with the king of the hobos.
Afsoun: I feel dizzy.
[Foreman rushes over and gets her out of the machine. She is shaking.]
Foreman: Pale, diaphoretic, tachycardic, B.P., 80 over 40. Internal bleeding?
House: Get her out of here and scope her.
[Cut to the ICU. Cuddy enters with two take-away trays. House’s bed is empty. She sighs, exasperated.]
[Cut to Afsoun’s room. Chase and Foreman are looking for the source of the bleed using a needle and ultrasound. Luca is at the foot of the bed, taking pictures.]
Chase: I’m sorry.
Chase: The colonoscopy didn't find the bleed, so we got to look by your liver.
[Luca stops shooting and stands there, looking worried.]
Afsoun: Luca, please. We need to document everything. [He takes more pictures.] Ooh.
Foreman: Hold this.
[Chase takes an instrument from him. Foreman turns, takes the camera from Luca, opens the trash can and drops the camera inside. He returns to the procedure.]
Foreman: I'm just below the celiac artery.
[Luca picks up the elephant and gets his pictures that way.]
Foreman: No blood.
Chase: Could it be leaking into her thighs?
Foreman: [lifting the blanket to look at her legs] No swelling, no asymmetry.
Chase: So where's the blood going? [Foreman inspects Afsoun’s feet.] Why are you looking down there?
Foreman: 'Cause I don't like beans.
[Cut to the ICU. House has the curtains around his bed drawn. He’s reading and taking notes. Cuddy pushes the curtains open, angrily and closes the curtains behind her.]
Cuddy: You stood me up.
House: Sorry. Should have scheduled my patient's internal bleeding for Thursday.
Cuddy: You're still playing the same petty, passive-aggressive games.
House: Got you to go all the way to the second floor of a building you work in. Boy, did I screw with you.
Cuddy: You said you were going to change.
House: Check the sign. It says you got to treat me with intensive care.
Cuddy: I'm expressing my anger. You should try it. Right now, let's finally have our fight.
House: All we do is fight.
Cuddy: No, all you've done is pull pranks or have temper tantrums with Wilson, never me, marry mail-order prostitutes, make me go to your wedding—
House: Dominika is a licensed aesthetician.
Cuddy: You cut open your own leg.
House: So all this was about you?
Cuddy: You don't think it was even related? House, we've never even had a conversation about our breakup. You are obviously still angry at me. And it's hurting both of us.
House: Wow, I hadn't realized the incredible healing power of lunch.
Cuddy: I know one conversation isn't gonna solve everything, but it is a start. [Foreman pulls the curtain open. She turns to him.] It's a privacy curtain.
Foreman: [calmly] It wasn't working.
[Cuddy looks at House who nods.]
House: Lunch at 1:00, tomorrow in the cafeteria. You happy?
[She tosses her head and leaves slowly. House reaches for his pills and takes some.]
Foreman: How many of those have you had today?
House: I don't know. Is "your mother" a number?
Foreman: The patient is a fraud. I found a puncture in the dorsal vein of her left foot.
House: Shooting up heroin wouldn't explain—
Foreman: Not heroin. She was injecting herself with her own red blood cells. It caused her heart issues, and when her hematocrit evened out, we mistook it for internal bleeding.
House: It must have been a very distinctively shaped and awfully talkative puncture for you to get all of that.
Foreman: Browser history on her laptop helped. [He hands House a file folder.] She was researching blood doping among other things.
[Inside is an article “The World’s Best Diagnostics Department.” House looks slightly stunned as he flips to the next page.]
House: She was researching me?
Foreman: For months. This isn't about creating art in the moment. It's about you. She set you up.
[Cut to Cuddy’s lawn at night. The unreal quality of the sound and activity is still there. Wilson sits, nursing his broken wrist which is in a cast.]
Soltes: We sent a uni over to his apartment and the hospital.
Wilson: Yeah, he won't be there.
Soltes: Any ideas?
Wilson: When you find him, you're gonna arrest him?
Soltes: Is there some reason you think I shouldn't?
Wilson: Knowing him, he'll be in a bar. He'll find one that matches how he feels inside. It'll be the most dark, depressing hole you can find in New Jersey.
[Cut to Afsoun’s room. House is at the foot of her bed, leaning on his crutches.]
House: Now you're just pissing me off.
Luca: I'm really sorry. I-I didn't know she researched you. I had no idea she—
House: If you don't know anything, then why are you talking?
Afsoun: Please don't take it out on Luca.
House: I'll take it out on whoever I think will irritate you the most.
Afsoun: I thought you would understand someone who uses their work to deal with pain.
House: I didn't realize that search engines could look within the soul.
Afsoun: You're standing in front of me in a hospital gown.
House: What the hell was the point of this? What personal trauma are you exploiting. I’m… sorry — mining for its artistic potential?
Afsoun: My illness. I did the blood doping to intrigue you, but I was already ill.
[House looks stunned.]
Luca: Wait. You're really sick?
House: Why me?
Luca: Do you know what you have?
Luca: So tell him.
Afsoun: If I do, there won't be any game for him, and then there won't be any art for us.
House: [annoyed] Why me?
Afsoun: I don't answer those questions.
House: You know, there's a lot of games I could play that don't involve dealing with narcissistic, manipulative poseurs.
Afsoun: But this is a puzzle tailor-made for you. You don't know which of my symptoms are real, which are fake, which ones I'm not even telling you about. I know that intrigues you. Do you really want to end it now?
House: [quietly] No.
[Cut to House’s bed in the ICU]
Chase: You want us to waste a bed on her?
House: You took an oath… an oath to be cool. At least that was the one I mumbled under my breath while everyone else was doing the boring one.
Foreman: Even if she is sick, which I don't believe, she also says she has a diagnosis. So it's either just a lie, or it's just a game.
House: So what? I like the game. It's fun. Go get a blood culture. Check for parasites and bacteria.
Foreman: This is the new House — half the leg power, twice the irresponsibility?
House: The new House is about making my life healthier. Never said anything about yours. Go get her blood.
[No one moves. Finally Thirteen looks at the others.]
Thirteen: I'll do it. He's going through a tough patch right now. If this is the distraction he needs to keep him in his hospital bed, I'm sure it's better than any of the alternatives. [she leaves]
House: That was incredibly condescending. Did it work?
[Chase shrugs and follows Thirteen. Taub and Foreman look at each other but don’t move — yet.]
♪♫ If you like piña coladas
[Cut to Taub and Foreman in an elevator. Taub pulls out is phone and turns it off.]
Foreman: Why do you keep ducking your wife's calls?
Foreman: I'm sure she just wants to congratulate you about knocking up a 22-year-old nurse.
Taub: I haven't told her yet.
Foreman: But you have told her you're not gonna sleep with her anymore, right? [silence] How are you planning on letting her know? Just invite her to the bris?
Taub: I'm trying to let her down easy. Rachel never wanted to have kids. I don't want
to hurt her feelings.
Foreman: Yeah. You are all about feelings.
Taub: I've loved Rachel for 20 years. What if she never speaks to me again?
Foreman: She's gonna find out. It better be from you. You can't cheat your way out of this one.
[The elevator doors open and he leaves. Taub doesn’t move.]
[Cut to Afsoun’s room. Chase and Thirteen are there. As Chase does something, possibly injects something in her arm, she half sits up and wimpers.]
Thirteen: What is it?
Afsoun: Oh, just the nausea.
Luca: She said her back was hurting earlier.
Thirteen: What's the pain level on a scale of one to ten?
Chase: How do we know we can take her word for it?
Thirteen: We can't. Fun, huh? [to Afsoun] Roll on your side.
[She and Chase check Afsoun’s hip which is purple.]
Chase: Grey Turner's sign.
Thirteen: We're done playing. Your pancreas is releasing corrosive enzymes. It'll eat away at the surrounding organs.
Chase: But you must know that. The doctor who diagnosed you would have said what will happen if you don't get treatment.
[Afsoun weakly turns her head and looks at them when they are talking but she doesn’t say a word.]
Luca; Just tell them. If you know what's wrong with you, tell them so they can fix it.
Afsoun: How many projects have we done together? You're always so worried. Have you ever gone wrong trusting me?
[Luca bows his head. Thirteen looks perplexed.]
[Cut to House’s ICU bed. He’s watching his soap on a handheld TV. Thirteen enters.]
Thirteen: That pancreatic cyst we drained — it's back, and she doesn't care at all.
House: You think she actually is suicidal.
Thirteen: I would, but how did she give herself the cysts? Tox screen was negative, and there's no sign of trauma.
House: [reaching for his laptop] There is another explanation. The reason she didn't react isn't 'cause she wants to die. It's 'cause she knows she can't do anything about it. Whatever she has is fatal. [He turns the screen so Thirteen can see the picture House pulled up. Afsoun looks drawn and ashen.] That should narrow it down.
[Cut to the MRI room. Afsoon is in the machine. House is at the computer and Luca is in the control room with him. The room is bathed in the same green light it was in The Social Contract when House got Cuddy to come down so the patient could compliment her pistons.]
Luca: What are we doing here?
House: Testing a theory. It's based on some stuff you can't understand, like RR variability, and some stuff you can, like the fact that she shaved her head in an art piece four months ago.
[Afsoun’s face is framed on the monitor which is right next to the elephant cam.]
Luca: That was a commentary on society's—
House: It was a commentary on the fact that it was gonna fall out anyway, and she wanted to hide why.
Luca: Cancer? Are–are you sure about that?
House: See that tumor-ish thingamajig near her "brainamabob"?
Luca: [almost inaudibly] Oh, God.
House: Are you getting this? Game's over. I won. Primary CNS lymphoma with associated paraneoplastic syndrome.
Luca: Is that really what it is?
Afsoun: Yes. Four months ago, I had some vision and balance problems, and New York Mercy diagnosed me. The tumor was too close to the brain stem to cut out, so they did a few rounds of radiation. But it didn't work, and they sent me home.
Luca: That was around the time you broke up with me.
Afsoun: We were having a fling. It wouldn't have been fair to involve you.
Luca: I'm involved now. You just didn't want to open up.
Afsoun: Luca, my mind was not clear then.
House: And then you cleared it. Then you realized you could use your death to make your magnum opus. Maybe you wanted to show that no one can cheat death, even an entire team of doctors with unlimited resources. Or maybe your first doctors didn't treat you like a person — just a series of symptoms. You wanted to re-create that depersonalization. And I was the man to see.
Afsoun: If that was what I thought, I don't any longer. You spent time with me. You took this personally.
House: No, I didn't. And I don't actually think your piece is about anything. I think you just figured out that you're mortal. You're just a bag of cells and waste with an expiration date. You wanted to act out. You wanted people to notice. [pause] Maybe you even prayed for a different answer this time. [He picks up the elephant cam and holds it at arms length.] I got a title for your piece — "It Doesn't Mean Anything."
[Cut to the ICU. House enters. The curtains around his cubicle are drawn. He lifts his crutches to shoulder height and uses them to part the curtains left and right, simultaneously. Wilson is standing by the bed, waiting.]
Wilson: You're forging my name on prescriptions again.
House: No. [Wilson waits.] What you just said implies that I stopped at some point.
Wilson: 20 minutes ago, I put a notice out to all local pharmacies to require verbal authorization before filling my prescriptions.
House: You have any idea how much extra work you've just given yourself? You're not gonna last a week.
Wilson: I've been dealing with this for years. But it's over — your liver, your hearing, never mind the fact that each scrip you write is a separate felony. You will serve time, so could I.
House: You've chosen this moment to give me crap about my Vicodin use?
Wilson: [picking up a pill bottle from the bed table] You filled this three days ago. Now it's almost half gone.
House: So is my leg.
Wilson: It's a month supply. The amount you're taking has nothing to do with physical pain.
House: Okay. So maybe I am trying to numb myself a little, because I'm trying to change, trying to stop being self-destructive.
Wilson: So you can only handle not self-destructing by being self-destructive?
House: What do you want from me?
Wilson: I don't know, House, but I'm worried about you. I don't know how many times I can watch you cut off pieces of yourself. Now it's the I.C.U. Next time it'll be the morgue. You're miserable. And you're angry. And I want you to actually deal with that and not just try to medicate the issue away.
[House looks away and thinks.]
House: No. You know what I feel right now? I don't feel miserable or angry. I don't feel good or bad. I feel… nothing… which feels great.
Wilson: What are you doing?
House: Moving on. In the direction of my house, where I got some more pills.
[House has been moving around as Wilson was talking. It turns out he was packing. He shoulders his backpack and walks out.]
[Cut to the nurses’ desk. House is checking out, having stopped to put on some clothes — jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie.]
Nurse: If you're discharging yourself against doctor's orders, you've got to check that box.
House: I'm a doctor. So, technically—
Nurse: Wouldn't it be easier if you just checked the box?
[House picks up the pen, puts the point in the box and, with a flourish, makes a checkmark that covers the entire page. He picks up his bag and turns… and sees Afsoun in her bed.]
[Cut to Afsoun’s room]
House: Why are you still here?
Afsoun: I'm going as soon as the nurse brings me something for my eczema. [She fidgets and scratches her chest. House looks interested and moves closer.] I figured it was irritated by the paint thinner poured on me in the gallery.
Luca: Does this mean something?
House: It's not eczema. And it's not cancer.
[Cut to Afsoun’s room. It’s night and her test results are back.]
Chase: It's Wegener's granulomatosis. Biopsy confirmed that what you thought was eczema was actually a swelling of the blood vessels in your skin. It also explains the pancreatitis and the mass in your brain. And it's treatable.
[Afsoun frowns and nods appreciatively. House sits and watches.]
Luca: Um… what's the treatment?
Chase: We could do steroids alone to shrink the growth in your brain, but it's much better to add another course of radiation.
Afsoun: Radiation? On my brain? But it made me fuzzy last time. It was harder to work. I am still slowed down from it.
House: And it'll get worse. But, you know, dying can also do a number on your ability to think.
Afsoun: I'm sorry. I can't do the radiation.
Luca: They just said it was a better treatment. It could save your life.
Afsoun: My life's not worth anything if I can't do my art.
Luca: You have friends, people who care about you.
Afsoun: This is my brain, my work, and my life, Luca.
Luca: You have more. This is not some great performance piece anymore. This is just crazy.
Afsoun: I'm sorry.
Luca: I can't watch you die… not when you can save yourself. [he kisses her brown] Good-bye, Afsoun.
[Luca leaves. Afsoun, Chase and House look at each other. Finally she raises her eyebrows to House, inviting his comment.]
House: Good for you.
[That wasn’t the response she expected.]
[Cut to the cafeteria. It’s the next day and House has been home. He’s wearing a jacket and dress shirt for his lunch with Cuddy.]
Cuddy: So. Why did I ever ban alcohol from the cafeteria? Before I forget, there's a brush. Tortoise-shell handle, natural bristles — wasn't in the box. If you could look for it…
House: Like the Lindbergh baby. You dating anyone?
Cuddy: We don't have to—
House: Look, it's just standard lunch conversation.
Cuddy: Not for us.
House: Okay, well, if you've gone over to the "we don't talk about things" side, then I've got a pot roast in the oven. [checks his watch]
Cuddy: No. I haven't dated anyone since you.
House: Well, you know what they say — once you go gimp…
Cuddy: We s-should talk about your leg.
House: [rubbing his face] You think I have unresolved issues, and you are the unresolved issues.
Cuddy: Yes. But it's–it's — I think it's more than that. It's your life, your choices.
House: I did it to fix my life. No, wait. No, I did it because I'm a deeply unhappy person. [raises one finger in “hold on a sec” manner] No–no, I did it to get sympathy from you. I did it to piss you off. I did it because I'm not over you. Or I was over you, and I was moving on. I did it because I wanted to know what it's like not to be in pain. I did it because I want to feel more pain. [Cuddy watches but doesn’t react.] Whatever the reason, it was a bad reason and a bad idea. That's all that matters. [getting up, fake cheerful] Good lunch.
[Cuddy follows. She catches up with him in the hallway.]
Cuddy: House… talk to me!
House: I already did.
[She gets in front of him so he has to stop.]
Cuddy: No, you just parroted back what Wilson and I've been saying to you the last few days.
House: Get out of my way.
Cuddy: No. [She looks down and touches his leg.] Oh, you pulled a stitch. House, please just talk to me.
[She takes his arms, trying to turn him to face her and he explodes. He pushes her against a wall and seems to compress. His nose is about half an in higher than hers and a whole lot closer than that.]
House: [loud] You want to know how I feel? [two deep breaths then, quietly] I feel hurt.
[She takes his hands from her upper arms and holds them.]
Cuddy: I know. I'm sorry.
House: It's not your fault.
[He pulls his hands free and walks off.]
[Cut to Afsoun’s room. Thirteen is there.]
Afsoun: Did I make the wrong choice? Five years, through every opening, every installation, every day and every night, he was there the whole time.
Thirteen: Except the first time you were diagnosed. You broke up with him, and you had to go through all of that alone. Maybe that's the real reason you're doing this piece — so that this time you can have him with you. You still could.
[Cut to the coffee bar. Cuddy enters as Jerry is about to leave.]
Cuddy: Hi. Uh, Lisa Cuddy. Nice to meet you. I'm sorry about the other day. I — there were some personal things going on in my life, and I wasn't at my best.
Jerry: Well, in retrospect, my approach could've come off as a little creepy.
Cuddy: No. [laughs] On a scale from one to creepy, you were maybe mildly unnerving.
[Cut to the hospital. Taub comes down a hall and sees Rachel talking to someone.]
Loudspeaker: Paging Dr. Stateman. Dr. Stateman, please.
Taub: Rache. Sorry I ducked your calls. I keep making the same mistakes, but at some point—
Rachel: Chris… I'm pregnant.
[They look at each other then he speaks in ultra slow motion.]
Taub: I… didn't expect that.
[Cut to House’s office. Thirteen enters but stops when she sees House has his jeans down near his knees. There’s a white bandage around his right thigh. His back is to the camera so we can’t see the damage from the pulled stitch.]
House: Sorry. Just checking the stitches on my penis. [pulls his jeans up.]
Thirteen: Your leg okay?
House: It's healing.
Thirteen: Good. Just came to grab the radiation-therapy forms.
Thirteen: Afsoun changed her mind.
[Cut to Afsoun’s room. She’s holding a long-stemmed white and pink rose. Luca sits next to her. House enters.]
House: [to Luca] Get out. [He leaves and he turns to her.] You made a decision.
Afsoun: I changed my mind.
Afsoun: Because there are more important things than—
House: Than what — than your brain, your abilities? It's where everything comes from — any meaning in your life, any happiness.
Afsoun: Not all happiness—
House: He's already left once. He's gonna leave you again. You don't need to depend on people who are gonna let you down. If you do this, you're a pathetic hypocrite. You're saying that your whole life, all your work up until him was a pointless—
Afsoun: [fighting tears] Why are you doing this?
[He stops and realizes what he’s doing. He bows his head for a moment, turns and leaves. Luca goes back in. Part-way down the hall, House turns and sees them in an embrace, comforting each other.]
[Cut to House’s apartment. It’s almost dusk the same day. He is sitting in a hard chair, staring out the window. There’s a knock on the door. House takes a pill. He puts the bottle next to his phone, which is ringing. He looks at it but doesn’t touch it.]
Wilson: [through the door] House I can hear your phone ringing.
[House pushes himself up, takes his cane and opens the door. He steps away, allowing Wilson to enter.]
Wilson: You alright? You go to lunch with Cuddy?
Wilson: How was it?
House: The pasta Arrabbiata was cold.
Wilson: Why don't we get a drink? We could go to the Sawmill.
[House turns away then walks into the bathroom. He picks up Cuddy’s hairbrush and looks at it.]
House: Cuddy's is on the way. I need to return this.
Wilson: You think she's going to have an emergency tangle?
House: It was on my mind. I want to get it off.
[Cut to Cuddy’s house. House and Wilson pull up and park at the curb. It has inexplicably gotten brighter since they left House’s apartment. House removes his seat belt.]
Wilson: Want me to come?
House: If I get in trouble? I'm delivering a hair brush.
[House climbs the stairs at the bottom of Cuddy’s walk and approaches the house. He stops and stares at the scene in the dining room. Cuddy is standing and smiling. She takes the coffee press and heads for the kitchen. Seated next to her empty chair is Jerry. Across from them are Julia and her husband. Jerry stands, holding his mug and a plate, as Cuddy returns with the refilled pot. She points him toward the living room.]
[On the lawn, House hasn’t moved other than to twist the hairbrush in his hand. He turns around and walks back to the car with difficulty. He gets behind the wheel and closes the door.]
Wilson: What just happened?
House: Get out.
Wilson: What just happened?
House: [enunciating] Get out.
[Wilson recognizes how serious House is and gets out. He leans back in and tries to talk to him.]
Wilson: House, what are you mad about? Just let it out. You’ll feel better.
[House reaches over and pulls the passenger door shut. Wilson stands back from the car, frustrated, and House turns the engine on. He peels off, down the road. As he reaches the intersection, he turns the wheel hard and does a 180º controlled skid. He stays there for a moment, glowering, then slams on the gas.]
[Back at the House, Wilson watches, tight-lipped. As House approaches, Wilson realizes what’s happening just in time. He jumps back, landing on his hand, just as House jumps the curb and keeps going.]
[House hits the window he was looking into just moments before and cuts through the wall like it’s papier-mâché. The table goes flying and the car finally stops when it reaches the sideboard.]
[Cuddy holds the wall as she turns the corner from the other room in time to see the chandelier fall. House tries to open his door but it’s stuck. He hits it twice with the heel of his hand and it gives way. He gets out and slams the door shut as Jerry comes up behind Cuddy, still holding his coffee cup.]
[House looks over the car. Julia and her husband are there, too. He picks his way through the rubble in front of the car. When he gets to the other side, Cuddy steps forward to face him. She looks like she’s in shock and might pass out. House stands for a second then sticks up his hand with the hairbrush in it. Numbly, she takes it. He turns and leaves.]
[House strides down the walk with the rear of his 1988 Dodge Dynasty sticking out into the garden behind him. He reaches Wilson who is cradling his wrist, mouth agape.]
House: [cheerfully] You're right. I feel much better.
[He turns and walks down the street.]
[Cut to House downing a bourbon in a cut glass tumbler as the intro to Spoon’s “Got Nuffin” begins to play.]
Bartender: You want another one?
House: No, I think I've had enough. What do you think I should do today?
Bartender: I don't know. [hopefully] Go home?
House: Not tonight. Cheers.
[House looks around. While he’s still wearing his jacket and dress shirt, this is not the most dark, depressing hole you can find in New Jersey. It isn’t even New Jersey. He’s on a tropical island with a bright blue ocean, palm trees and scantily clad people. If House finds bars to match his mood, he must be feeling pretty good.]
[He takes his cane and walks down to the shoreline. He watches as the sun begins to set then turns and walks down the beach.]
♪♫ When I'm with you
♪♫ all my brothers, oh
♪♫I feel like a king
♪♫ it feels like I'm dreaming
♪♫ when that blood goes rattling through my veins
♪♫ my ears start to ring
♪♫ I notice what matters
♪♫ and I got nothing to lose but
♪♫ darkness and shadows
♪♫ got nothing to lose but
♪♫ bitterness and patterns