We already got a Wilson-centric episode this season, and now House serves up a Cuddy-centric ep this week. And unlike the Wilson episode, Cuddy’s seriously lacks in House and even more seriously lacks in being really interesting.
Cuddy starts her day off to a crying, sick baby and is running late to head to work with an important insurance presentation to make. Her detective boyfriend, Lucas, shows up just as she’s headed out the door, rarin’ and ready to go for a quickie. Cuddy attempts to put him off but then goes for it… For a solid minute, as indicated by the clock. Just before the petting gets really heavy, House calls Cuddy to find out where she is and why she’s running late.
Cuddy rushes out the door and later learns that House made a bet with Lucas that he couldn’t get a quickie in with Cuddy before she left and Lucas bet that she wouldn’t answer her phone if House called during sex. This does not go over too well with the already-stressed Cuddy. Compounding things, she finds out that double the prescriptions were ordered.
Things get further complicated when Cuddy has her meeting with the representative from Atlantic Net Insurance, the insurance provider that Princeton-Plainsboro has a contract with. As Insurance Douche attempts to play hardball, but Cuddy pushes back, demanding a 12% increase on their contract, but Atlantic Net is only offering a shoddy 4%, which barely covers the cost of their operations. She tells him no deal and threatens to not re-sign the contract if her negotiations aren’t met.
In more of her administrative duties, Cuddy listens to an appeal from a man who wants her to prescribe breast milk as a cancer treatment. She refuses on the grounds that the insurance company may or may not reimburse the hospital for it and that it’s a cost the hospital would have to eat. The cancer-stricken man leaves after calling Cuddy a bitch.
The fun doesn’t stop there for our favorite administrator as she has to put out fires all over the hospital. Dr. Dave is annoyed with House for stealing his best surgeon, Chase and putting him back on the diagnostics team. Meanwhile, Chase is the subject of a lawsuit by a man whose thumb he had reattached, performing surgery without consent. The insurance company only covered 60% of the surgery and the man is going into debt trying to pay for it. Cuddy attempts to smooth things over, telling the man that Chase gave him his life back and allows him to hold his job as a carpenter. The dude still maintains that being able to work isn’t doing him any good since he’s ready to declare bankruptcy.
From there, Cuddy has to address the issue of Gail, a fat chick who works in the dispensary who has been gobbling diet pills to lose weight. As Gail turns on the water works, insisting she’d been a model employee for seven years, Cuddy still must fire her for the unforgivable offense of stealing meds. As it turns out, Gail isn’t quite so innocent and had started stealing all sorts of meds and selling them no less than 6 months after she had started working at Princeton-Plainsboro. Gail also has quite the neat little meth lab at home. She attempts to blackmail Cuddy, holding it over her head about her insisting that she had been banging House and had covered for his prescription drug abuse. With the aid of a flower pen/recording device, Cuddy records Gail’s attempt at blackmail and gets her to back off, high-fiving a shift nurse in the process.
While Cuddy still ponders what to do about the insurance company, briefly discussing it with House as to what to do, Lucas brings her lunch, and feels the Wrath of Cuddy (which isn’t very wrathful at all) when she tells him that she knows about the side-bet he had with House. Lucas gets her to calm down by switching the subject to Cuddy’s daughter, Joy’s fever and diaper rash. He also grabbed the nanny’s phone by mistake so that’s why the nanny wasn’t picking up.
Lucas redeems himself and his buffoonery by offering to dig up some dirt on the CEO of Atlantic Net Insurance. Armed with this info, Cuddy takes it to the visiting CEO in the commissary, making her case for a 12% increase by pointing out facts. Atlantic Net is the highest rated insurance company and the total sum of their contract with Princeton-Plainsboro is less than the cost of their marketing budget, or Atlantic Net’s PGA Sponsorship. She tells him that she will call a press release to point out how selective his company is when cutting costs. The CEO is impressed with Cuddy’s attempt at hardball, but tells her no, saying “You can portray me as a rich bastard in the press all you want… So long as I stay a rich bastard.” Ouch.
Following Cuddy’s lunchroom throwdown, Douchebag Rep tells her that the CEO is willing to up their contract by 8%. Cuddy still says no, demanding 12%. She calls a press conference, telling the hospital that they will no longer be accepting patients with Atlantic Net Insurance, but will keep on the ones who are already patients there. The staff is aghast and Cuddy almost cracks under the strain, going out to her car for a good, frazzled, soul-searching session. House comes out to see her in her car, and in what has become more oddly characteristic this season than uncharacteristic, gives Cuddy the pep talk she needs to stay on as Princeton-Plainsboro’s administrator.
Things work out for the best when Atlantic Net finally caves and gives Cuddy a signed contract with a 12% increase. Cuddy does the Happy Dance and the credits roll.
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