The episode (and ensuing intro to the Patient of the Week) begins with a bang, as a middle aged detective and a hotshot young detective are in hot pursuit of one of those roof-jumping French guys. It all reeks of Casino Royale! The young cop attempts to jump off one roof and onto the other after the guy, gets some airtime, and then falls several stories below. Things aren’t looking too good for him as he lies contorted in a pinwheel position with blood oozing from his mouth. A trip to Princeton-Plainsboro sees him propped up in a hospital bed with a leg cast and multiple contusions, telling the team that whatever they do won’t matter because, like his father and grandfather before him, he’ll die at 40. Oh. And he’s 39 now.
As usual, it’s never just about the patient at Princeton-Plainsboro. Nope. Chase keeps seeing Splat!Cop in the same room where his “international incident” went down and keeps having Dibala flashbacks. (What? Are you gonna kill him, too, Chase?!) Plagued by a guilty conscience, he hauls it to confession and is seriously bummed that the priest tells him the only way he can be absolved is to turn himself in to the police. Using logic, Chase realizes that turning himself in won’t solve anything, just bring down the wrath of the authorities on the rest of the staff… At least that’s what we can assume is going on inside his tousled, blonde noggin.
In other departmental news, Cameron keeps wondering what’s up with her new hubby. and House, at the behest of Cuddy, has to complete 120 rounds in the hospital to requalify. He also keeps checking out her dumper encased in really tight skirts throughout the episode, to the point that even the interns notice that his leering and sparring are merely foreplay. In the meantime, House gets several of the doctors he’s forced to do rounds for to sign off by being such a urine-spilling nuisance that they’ll agree to anything to get rid of him.
In the episode’s subplot, House has taken to “picking his bellybutton lint” under the covers on Wilson’s couch which prompts early bird Wilson to giving House his own room so he doesn’t have to witness it first thing in the morning. In turn, House gets the room that Wilson converted to a shrine for Amber, his dead girlfriend. House thinks he’s going crazy by hearing whispering voices in the middle of the night. In reality, it’s just Wilson talking out loud to Dead Amber, telling her about his day, and House hears the whispers from the heating grate in his room. Awwww….. Later on, Wilson gets House to try this sort of therapy and House briefly talks out loud to his Dead Dad before deeming it “stupid.”
In between the personal drama, the team manages to try to crack the medical mystery of why the men in Splat!Cop’s family keep kicking off before 40. This is all a convenient excuse for Chase and Foreman go grave digging (off-screen) and come up with the remains of Splat!Cop’s pa, grandpa, and great-grandpa to do some genetic testing. Cameron takes it a step further and uses her bleeding heart superpowers to track down Splat!Cop’s ex-girlfriend. As it turns out, Splat!Cop has a son he doesn’t know about. This complicates things just a tad since Splat!Cop had been taking precautions against having people who were too attached to him in his life, knowing he was going to buy the farm at 40.
When Splat!Cop, nestled all snug in his hospital bed, is re-introduced to his ex and the son he doesn’t know about, he gets too cold even by House’s standards. When the kid asks him to see a movie when he gets out of there, Splat!Cop hands his offspring a big, fat “no” before telling him that his Dad died when he was his son’s age and then has the staff escort him from his room.
Cameron is upset by this, but still manages to get the kid to agree to bone marrow tests. House, on the other hand, seeing that by all results of the tests so far, I Don’t Want to be a Dad!Cop is perfectly healthy and has nothing wrong with him, tells him a fib that he has some sort of minor disease which can be managed by taking a few placebos. Splat!Cop is dismissed and goes off on his merry, unattached way.
That is, until House receives a late night visit at Casa de Wilson from Foreman who breaks the news that Splat!Cop is now Dead!Cop, having collapsed while doing laundry after being discharged. House is visibly shaken and Foreman is rather understanding (especially considering patients are dropping like flies on his watch as Department Head), after all Dead!Cop showed no symptoms of any disease and gave no reason for them to think anything was wrong.
He requested Dead!Cop be shipped back to Princeton-Plainsboro’s morgue where he and House perform an autopsy. Actually, Foreman performs the autopsy with House standing by since he can’t legally perform one without a medical license. After firing up the saw and making the first incision into Dead!Cop, House and Foreman stand back and observe what appears to be bleeding. Realizing that dead men don’t bleed, Dead!Cop becomes Undead!Cop and sits bolt upright screaming. Which would be the normal reaction if someone just sawed into your chest. Just sayin’.
With this latest House of Usher-esque development, House, Foreman, and the team are kicked into high gear trying to figure out what’s wrong with Undead!Cop. After running through the usual suspects (cancer, Wilson’s Disease of the liver, genetic predisposition to autoimmune disorders), House deduces that the men of Undead!Cop’s family have a genetic “self-destruct button” that manifests as a sort of aneurism. The aneurism stops the signal to the heart, which resulted in everyone thinking that Undead!Cop was actually Dead!Cop. House preps Undead!Cop for surgery and has Cameron call his ex-girlfriend to bring the kid in, as well, to get this inherited self-destruct button taken care of well in advance of the boy turning 40.
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