It’s just another day on the set of a porno movie, when this episode’s Patient of the Week — a 30-ish, Jewish male porn star — has a severe reaction to light known as photophobia, collapsing on the set in a way that not even Viagra could revive. The woodsman is then sent off to (where else?) Princeton-Plainsboro.
Foreman, interim head of the Diagnostics department, wants to forgo Male Porn Star’s case in favor of a baby that has gone completely limp. (Insert your own joke here.) Luckily for the woodsman, Cuddy drops off the papers reinstating House as the department head and it looks like the staff will be working on his case instead.
This might not be as simple as it seems, since Cameron and Chase have both decided to leave Princeton-Plainsboro because Chase is reminded on a daily basis that he medically terminated Dibala. The happy couple can’t walk out just yet, not having given sufficient notice. Chase and Cameron set to work to discover what’s wrong with the Woodsman.
The ailing porn star gives the details of his life to both Chase and a rather judgmental Cameron. (Apparently, her bleeding heart doesn’t extend towards porn stars or genocidal dictators… Just husbands who happen to kill off the latter.) Chase seems rather intrigued that the Woodsman is tested for STDs regularly as part of his job, and even more so that he’s married… to another porn star…. And that they’re both perfectly okay with boinking other people as part of their respective job descriptions. While Chase doesn’t hate, but rather appreciates while discussing matters of conscience, Cameron is appalled at their nonchalant attitude towards on-the-job lack of monogamy and the Woodsman’s wife’s insisting that sex is separate from emotion. Woodsman’s Wife also verbally smacks Princess Judgmental down by telling her that she’s there to treat her husband, not judge him.
In the midst of all this, the patient’s blood will not clot and he’s bleeding out all over the place. Even better, they discover that the male porn star has a colony of worms residing in his liver. Things get even hairier when the Woodsman’s lungs begin to fill with fluid for the as-yet-unknown malady that’s slowly killing him.
House, on the other hand, starts doing some research and bones up (no pun intended) on the patient’s work to get a better scope on this case. In light of Cameron and Chase’s proposed departure, House attempts to get the band back together to round out his department. He hunts down Taub at his cosmetic surgery practice and a fresh-from-Thailand Thirteen, seeking their input on the case, as well. Attempting to get them back in a diagnostics state of mind, he baits Taub with taunts that he’s suddenly become Husband-of-the-Year to a wife he can’t stand to be around and calling Thirteen a chicken for not being able to work around her ex, Foreman. Additionally, House also baits Taub and Thirteen with the patient’s life by threatening to treat him with possibly dangerous methods of “cure” for an unknown ailment. Both Taub and Thirteen take the bait and are back on House’s team by the end of the episode with Thirteen manning up and Taub admitting that diagnostics gives him the thrill that philandering used to.
Wilson, on the other hand, is disturbed that House has gone to such great lengths to get back his staff. Wilson notes that there are at least 1,000 people who want to be a part of House’s staff, yet he’s going after the four people who don’t. Wilson concludes that familiar faces are House’s new drug of choice, a source of comfort since he’s no longer popping Vicodin like candy. He doesn’t need good doctors, he just needs a good friend! The issue of Cuddy’s new boy toy, Lucas – the only other person besides Wilson who House can call a friend – making off with the one woman House actually cares for is another cause for House throwing himself into his work.
And since House isn’t happy in Romantic Relationship Land, no one else can be, either. Preferring to see Chase and Cameron break up sooner rather than inevitably later (and presumably, after both doctors exit his team), House speaks to each half of the couple individually. He tells Chase their marriage will eventually implode due to Cameron’s bleeding heart character flaw that could never allow her to live with someone she sees as a murderer.
When House speaks with Cameron, she tells him that, at one point, she was in love with House, not Chase, believing that she could heal him. She attempts to excuse Chase’s behavior on the Dibala Debacle by blaming House for imprinting his personality on his staff, teaching them that it’s okay to play God. She resigns herself that she cannot heal either her husband or House, saying that “there’s no way back for either of you.” Kissing house on the cheek, she departs from Princeton-Plainsboro… possibly forever.
While House’s gradually progressing social relationship skills is an issue, things are getting worse for the Woodsman who’s now peeing blood and headed into cardiac arrest. It turns out that the pills given to him to remove the worms from his liver were hurting him, rather than helping him. Due to germaphobe parents who didn’t allow the Woodsman to play in the dirt and be properly exposed to filth, he developed a form of extra-intestinal Crohn’s Disease. The worms were actually helping him. The Woodsman is cured, allowing him to resume his dream job with no fear.
The episode ends with a montage of House’s piecemeal staff: Thirteen and Foreman exchange “I’m ignoring you on the job” glances; Taub breaks the news that he’s back working with House; Cameron’s suitcases are packed as she kisses soon-to-be-ex hubby Chase goodbye; and House watches Cuddy and Lucas snuggling with each other as they leave the hospital together. **sigh**
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