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House Season 5 Episode : Instant Karma

HouseInstantarmaHouse gets off on a very non-blood barfing foot this week with the pre-credits intro of the Patient of the Week. This time around, it’s the young son of a millionaire CEO who comes to Princeton-Plainsboro in search of House’s expertise and will accept no substitutes.  This doesn’t bode well for Cuddy who is desperately trying to maintain cover for the hospital’s most renowned doctor’s suspended license and brief stint in the loony bin.

Eventually, the CEO Father is satisfied that House will be a part of the panel that is headed up by new BMOC, Foreman, rounded out with Cameron and Chase completing the House: Original Recipe Trio.

As it turns out, two-thirds of the Original Recipe Trio is in danger of becoming Extra Crispy as their feet are held to the fire pending an investigation into the death of Dibala (last week’s African dictator Patient of the Week).  Foreman refuses to take the fall for Chase’s scamper into “Tis a Far, Far Greater Thing territory, yet he still agrees to help Chase cover his tracks.  Things get further complicated when the Dibala Death Debacle turns out to be accompanied by a press conference and symposium. Terrific!  The comedy of errors spirals further out of control when the cholesterol levels of the African dictator didn’t quite match up to those of the dead scleroderma patient Chase swiped samples from.  Not just a little off.  Way off.

In the midst of the Dibala Death Debable Revisted, the Patient of The Week runs the gamut of diagnostic testing.  Several seizures later, a hold drilled into the kid’s skull, Job-esque type body rash, and a few rides on the the emotional roller coaster of cancer/not-cancer, House deduces that the boy has Degos, an incurable diseas which shuts off the micro vessels in the skin and brain resulting in death.

With the clock ticking and his kid’s time limited, the CEO father discerns that the reason his son is dying is because of karma.  His shady business deals and “having too much” has some how affected first his wife, and now his son.  In a last-ditch effort to recoup some karma and do what he believes will save his son’s life, CEO Dad sells off most of his company and effectively bankrupts himself in an impromptu board meeting. 

After CEO Dad cashes out his chips, House arrives at a new diagnosis in time before the kid ends up cashing in his own chips permanently.  Instead, House determines that the boy has a disease that can be easily treated with blood thinners, not the fatal Degos.  Broke yet happy, former-CEO Dad grabs some ice cream from the kid just pulled back from the brink of death. 

Speaking of death…. In spite of the power struggle that exists between Foreman and House in the battle for Diagnostician Supremacy, House also ends up coming to the aid of his former protégés, Chase and Cameron. After overhearing the two discussing the Dibala Death Debacle, House pulls some strings behind the scenes and does some sleuthing to discover a diagnosis of high cholesterol in Dibala years prior from a physician.  House justified pulling Chase and Foreman out of the fire under the premise that they don’t really treat too many genocidal dictators at the hospital, so he’ll let that little Murder By Means of Conscience on Chase’s part slide just this once.

Our boy House is just full of (his own brand of) love this week!  The kinder, gentler version of House teams up with Wilson to play re-match maker for Foreman and Thirteen.  Thirteen attempts to clear her head by taking a trip to Bangkok.  Tapping into her email and cancelling her flight, House and Wilson Bangkok block Thirteen and encourage her to stay at Princeton Plainsboro, even if it means “it’s complicated” status with Foreman. 

While good, this week’s episode seems to have wrapped up what looked to be a bigger story arc with fallout from the Dictator Death in last week’s episode.  For a second week in a row, House’s role was marginalized, compared to that of Chase and Foreman.  I’m hoping to see more of a confrontational sort of power struggle between Foreman and House in the episodes to come.  Unless, of course, by rescuing Chase and Foreman, House pulled a subtle power play under the guise of “Hey! That therapy stuff worked! I can get along with people!” and found a way for Foreman to be indebted to him.

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