TV Recap: House - The Jerk

Another Tuesday, another mysterious medical case for Fox’s ‘House.’ Will he save an especially jerky life this week?

Things kick off with some chess, but not the slow-moving games: timed chess. There are about thirty groups of kids playing, and we focus on one, a young guy mopping the floor with a better-dressed opponent. The cocky kid is taunting his opponent pretty blatantly, and wins the game. As his opponent tries to be sportsmanlike, the cocky kid, obviously our patient of the week, takes a few seconds and then cold-cocks his opponent with the chess timer a few times. It’s pretty bloody, but we’re more focused on the cocky kid, who’s clutching his head and screaming for his life.

At the hospital, Chase is checking out Nate, our patient, who’s berating Chase for not realizing that his head hurts still (of course) and throws in a nice little sexual rejoinder as well. Nate’s mother apologiezs for his behavior, saying that it’s unrelated to the medical issues: he’s been a jerk since he became a teenager. House is thrilled at the prospect of his jerky patient, as Chase, Cameron and Foreman (still in his resignation mode) discuss what’s wrong with Nate. House believes that the rage and cluster headaches are related to a personality disorder, since Nate seems to be only completely inappropriate. He orders them to check out Nate’s noggin.

Chase begs off treating Nate, and Foreman takes the job, saying he’s got an interview in New York later that day, and it’ll be nice to do some actual, you know, work beforehand. Foreman gets to work on Nate’s head and at first, Nate seems to be emotionally stable, but then he makes some inappropriate comments about Foreman being black, and then insinuates that he’s gay. Great kid! His mother agrees, since she rejoices when Chase tells her that if the treatments work, Nate will have a slightly less prickly personality. She says she always felt she was a bad mom since Nate was so bad, and she even hated him at times.

The treatments, of course, do not work (it’s only 10 minutes through), and so it’s back to the drawing board. Foreman’s the only one not willing to venture an opinion, and House seemingly only wants to hear from him, goading him continually into saying something. It doesn’t work until after House leaves his office. We find out that Foreman’s pissed because his flashy job interview was cancelled mysteriously the day before, and he knows it was House’s doing. Foreman reminds House that he’s being totally professional about everything, and House says that he actually didn’t cancel the interview.

House goes into Cuddy’s office, accusing her of cancelling the interview. She says that it wasn’t her, while we also find out that House is off his anti-depressant meds. House doesn’t leave, still believing that she’s the guilty one. As he does leave, he tells her that he’s going to give Nate some magic mushrooms to cure him. After some jokiness, Cuddy informs him that Nate could have some pretty bad side effects, whether the treatment works or not, and tells him to make the proceedings very controlled, and so forth.

Nate doesn’t care about the side effects, which include cardiac arrest, and shouts at his mother, calling her by her first name, to sign the consent form, which she does after finding out that if the shrooms don’t work, it’s onto brain surgery. The mushrooms do their work pretty well, which means that Nate is very stoned. Chase and Cameron try to figure out if it’s working, but all Nate can do is drool over Cameron. He even opens up his sheet, so Cameron can see him naked. She actually finds something important...

Nate has undersized genitals, which interests House a bit, but not as much as talking about why Foreman’s pissed at him. Still, he’s thrilled that he’s right about the cluster headaches, which will lead to a brain surgery. Nate does not want the surgery, and shouts at his mother about not wanting to stick up for him. Things get worse for him when he faints into unconsciousness, as Chase discovers that he’s got jaundice.

Nate’s liver is failing fast, so House and his team wonder what all his symptoms are leading to. Though House gets feedback from Chase and Cameron, he only wants Foreman’s voice to be heard. Before much can be discussed, Foreman is paged, by Cuddy, according to House. As Foreman leaves, House, Chase and Cameron discuss Nate again. He orders Chase and Cameron to stuff Nate full of meat to see how quickly his ammonia levels spike.

Foreman meets with Cuddy, who is willing to double his salary and give him his own practice at the hospital. She wants Foreman to stay, but he still thinks House sabotaged the interview. Cuddy says she did, then reveals that she didn’t, but Foreman believing her means he’s not sure House is the culprit.

Nate puts up yet another fight about eating the meat, mostly because he wants to get primo beef. After much grousing, Chase has his own beef: if Nate doesn’t eat the meat, he’ll strap the whiner down and make him eat it. Nate decides to eat the meat. Meanwhile, Cuddy accuses Wilson about sabotaging the interview. He denies it, saying that he wants Foreman to leave, so House can learn a lesson. Does this mean that Wilson will be the next accuser, since the chain keeps going?

In the clinic, House is treating a middle-aged man with a very red chest, and a few random white spots. House immediately figures out that it was a prank pulled by the man’s son, who laid some change on his chest. Eh, not the greatest clinic visit.

House exits and his team tells him that the meat test didn’t go so hot. Foreman apologizes for accusing House about the interview and all, but things get pretty bad upstairs: Nate has gone berserk, thrusting his IV cord at all who come near him. Chase tries to convince him to get to his bed, but the only thing that stops him is this: he starts peeing on the floor and the pee turns into blood. Yick!

House and his team discuss the dialysis that Nate will most likely need for his entire life, thanks to the liver failure and the bloody urine and such. House decides to let Foreman do his job interviewing thing, which surprises Foreman a bit. He goes off and gives Nate a nice little sedative, which annoys Nate’s mom (for what, the first time?). She says that Foreman didn’t give Nate a chance, and Foreman does an impression of House, not caring, as a response.

Ah, the chain continues. Wilson goes into an elevator with Cameron, and lies that Cuddy’s firing him for sabotaging Foreman’s interview. She doesn’t buy it, and realizes that Wilson’s accusing her of the sabotage. Oy, just go to Chase already! Thankfully, she does. She and Chase are in the lab, and tells him about the whole runaround about who thinks who did what to who. Cameron thinks that Chase did it just so he could sabotage Foreman. Chase denies it vehemently. Well, only one person left. But that would be...oh, wait. Anyway, Chase continues his puppy-dog affection of Cameron for a bit, when he finds something in one of the tests.

It’s a protein deficiency which could lead to a specific disease, which could explain the aggressive personality, but not much else. Still, House is convinced enough to speed up the process, to see if Chase is right. House visits Nate in his room and gives him a shot of adrenaline. He cons his way into getting Nate to play him in chess. The game goes on for a while, as the two jerks taunt each other about their playing and their health. House says that he’s doing all this to stress Nate out, and it seems to be working, kind of, as House puts Nate into check a few times. However, Nate puts House into a checkmate position, or at least the beginning of it. Unfortunately, just before House can be defeated, Nate goes into a seizure.

Different clothes, same House: he’s still mulling over the chess game he’s stuck in, as Cameron says that it wasn’t that disease Chase thought it was, and that Foreman will find out about his new job soon enough. House wonders if Chase was right about Nate hiding something, that perhaps the personality isn’t part of Nate’s medical issues, and that one of Foreman’s initial diagnoses was right. Chase informs Nate’s mother that her son needs a bone marrow transplant, because his rare-protein disease is often fatal. Foreman goes to work on Nate, taking a nerve out of his ankle for a biopsy, which turns up clean. Foreman says that there may be two problems, not one. House says that there are a few choices: Foreman can do what House wants, argue about it but do what he wants, or defy him. House points out that by not defying him, Foreman’s unsure of his own judgment.

And the chain is just about complete. Chase accuses House of sabotaging the job interview, and House initially denies it, but then Chase deduces his way into getting Houe to admit that he did sabotage Foreman, mostly just so Foreman would maintain his ideas about House being evil. In doing this, and tapping one of the chess pieces, House realizes what’s wrong with Nate.

House goes into Nate’s room, holding his hands out with two chess pieces. Nate picks one of them, and House grabs Nate’s thumb, bending it and putting the kid in pain. Nate’s bones haven’t grown normally, and he has a disease that sucks out the iron of his body, thus screwing up his bone structure. Though he’ll need dialysis and blood draining for the rest of his life, Nate will be fine. Oh, and also, House tells Nate about how he wouldn’t have been checkmated, but Nate says he bluffed the game. As House says, what a jerk.

House goes into the lab, where Foreman’s doing some tests. They make some awkward small talk, and House makes Foreman go over those tests again, saying he’s in for an all-nighter. Man, can’t we just get Foreman out of there? Or, at the very least, close that storyline up? Yeesh. Anyway, after a week off, on May 29, ‘House’ is back for its season finale.