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House Season 6 Episode 11: Remorse

This episode’s Patient of the Week manages to out-House House in the psychopathic, lack of emotion department.  The viewer is dealt a neat little swerve in initially thinking that it’s going to be the puking drunk corporate lackey, Russ, who heaves his cookies in front of his douchebag tyrant of a boss and onto the shoes of his executive assistant.  Wrong!  Patient of the Week is the corporate assistant who drops to her knees in front of Douchebag Boss (get your mind out of the gutter) when her ears start ringing painfully. . 

After Valerie, the Executive Assistant, is admitted to good ol’ Princeton-Plainsboro, House and his crew are on the case.  House, in particular, finds the fact that attractive Valerie is married to a creepy cucumber of a guy and intends to unravel that mystery in addition to what’s causing her ear ringing.  That is, when House isn’t busy dodging phone calls from a former college friend (or as close of a “friend” as it gets to House) or replacing Cuddy’s boyfriend’s head with that of a chimp in her office.

As the House-lings attempt to discover what’s wrong with Valerie, Russ, the dude who blew chow all over Val and Douchebag Boss, pays a visit to her at the hospital.  Russ is drunk now, as opposed to having been drunk when he showed everyone what he had for lunch.  Apparently, it wasn’t three martinis.  Instead, he claims that Valerie drugged him.  … And that they had an affair!

This character assassination tips Thirteen’s radar off.  While everyone (particularly Foreman, whom Thirteen is butting heads with.  Guess that whole former relationship thing is coming into play now.) believes Valerie is the one telling the truth because she’s a happily married, successful consultant and Russ is a newly-fired, widower with a history of alcoholism and breakdowns, Thirteen’s not buying it, believing Valerie targeted him for something she wanted because Russ was vulnerable and easy prey.

More credence is tossed towards Thirteen’s theory when she runs a scan of Valerie’s brain.  Although Valerie capably uses the language part of her brain, she can’t feel the emotions she can recognize with words.  In short, she’s a psychopath… with a heart abnormality.  When proffered with the evidence, House believes Valerie’s mental state is somehow tied to her physical one.

As House and the diagnostics team try to figure out what’s wrong with Valerie, Thirteen unravels more of the mystery that is her patient. She admitted that she didn’t poison her co-worker, Russ. She just gave him Valium.  And sex every Thursday night in exchange for passing off his ideas as her own to the boss.  She admits that she’s with her creepy husband because he has a trust fund and she was forced to sign a pre-nup at his parents’ request.  (Good call, Mom and Dad!)  She goes on to tell Thirteen that everyone is out for themselves.  Val doesn’t like that Thirteen is onto her and threatens to sue her for everything she’s work if she gives even so much a hint to her husband that she was cheating on him.

It all comes out in the wash when Val’s arm gets broken (brittle bones dues to mystery malady) and she starts coughing up blood.  Thirteen asks Creepy Husband if he knows of any environmental factors that may have caused his wife to start upchucking blood.  He mentions that she took a landscaping course every Thursday night at the Y.  He soon finds out that there was never any course at the Y and that it was all a lie. 

Creepy Husband flips out when he figures out Val was banging Russ on the side every Thursday, however, Our Little Psychopath spins it that she was staying late at the office and didn’t want to tell him because every argument they ever had was about her focusing too much on her career.  Creepy Hubby eats this up with a spoon and as he hugs his philandering wife, Val smiles creepily over his shoulder at her.

In between hacking up blood and with her good arm, she manages to dial the Medical Board and attempts to get Thirteen not just knocked off of her case, but her license revoked.  Unlike Foreman, Cuddy takes Thirteen’s side and removes her from the case, not because Evil Val (E-Val?) wants her off, but because she feels that Thirteen shouldn’t have to be subjected to such a nutcase of a patient.

Meanwhile, Val’s condition is deteriorating and her liver’s reaching epic fail proportions.  Her sister, Sarah, is called in as a donor in a last-ditch effort to save Val’s life. When asked why the hell she wants to save this shrew, Sarah elaborates that Val was the only one who stood up for her against their alcoholic father’s abuse.  That Val used to care but gradually became more bitchy and detached over time, starting in her teen years.

House manages to pry himself away from pranks and his former college chum to recognize Val’s inability to process copper by her blue nails and diagnoses her with Wilson’s disease. Once Val’s treatment begins, her being self-servingly calculating and psychopathic dissipates.  She’s still blunt and bitchy, telling Creepy Hubby how much he disgusts her, knowing that she cheated on him and he’s willing to ignore it.  And she tells him that even though she’s got Wilson’s Disease, he’s got an incurable case of FUG. 

With that problem solved, House focuses most of this episode dealing with fallout from his therapy which instructed him to write a letter of apology to someone he hurt.  Rather than apologize to Wilson for countless transgressions and Cuddy for mean-spirited pranks because they’re too close to him and he actually cares how they feel about him, he contacts an old college classmate, Lorenzo Wiberly.  House swapped papers with Wiberly to prove a point about a college professor who gave him bad grades, that if he submitted a paper under another classmate’s name he’d get a better grade.  He didn’t.  Wiberly took the failing grade for House. 

After dodging his calls, Wilson pranks house by sending in Lorenzo to talk to him to have lunch.  Lorenzo tells him that he doesn’t have to feel bad for him and accepts his apology.  Even though he never got licensed and never graduated med school because he was one credit short thanks to that failing paper.  But Lorenzo maintains that he looooooves his life bagging groceries at Danny’s Organic. 

Learning that Wiberly is going to lose his house due to an adjustable mortgage and his dead father’s medical bills, House is plagued by a guilty conscience and writes Wiberly a hefty bailout check.  Wiberly refuses to take it and cracks, admitting that he was actually an orthopedic surgeon who lost his license due gambling and trying to cover those gambling debts with fraudulently billing clients.  And he got an A+ on that paper from the professor. 

House still insists that Wiberly takes the check to stop foreclosure on his home and walks off into the wintry nice.  Wiberly doesn’t hate him, but Cuddy might still be mad about him messing with her photos… Oh, and Thirteen and Foreman make nice and are becoming more civil with one another in spite of the fact that they used to bump uglies.  Progress, people!

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