In the usual House fashion, we open with the about-to-be victim of whatever medical mystery of the week it is. This week it’s a woman named Fran (Jenny O’Hara) who answers her door to find a woman named Robin (Meta Golding) who’s there to offer Fran some “services” for a thousand dollars. Fran passes out while Robin is changing into something sluttier, and Robin puts the cash safely away before calling an ambulance. Fran’s cat is there. Oh gee, is that foreshadowing?
Wilson examines Fran, who claims she and Robin were “looking for her cat” when she fainted. Wilson decides it was because of a motion sickness patch Fran forgot to take off, but after it’s removed Fran passes out again. Wilson wants to know where House is, and so does everyone else, because this show isn’t called Wilson MD.
House MD himself is boarding a plane in Singapore with Cuddy, on their way home from a medical symposium on pandemics. House switched Cuddy’s seat so she’s not in first class with him, “to save money.” House is having wine and a steak when the guy sitting across from him starts throwing up. The flight attendant asks if “anyone is a doctor” and House says he’ll go get Cuddy, then pretends he’s just letting Cuddy have his seat in first class, because that’s funnier than helping the guy himself.
Cuddy says that was “not funny” and that the guy, who doesn’t speak English, also has a rash and she thinks it’s meningococcus and the plane should turn back. House insists that the dude is just hung over, and overrules her, and the flight attendant listens even though he said he wasn’t a doctor a minute earlier. Another passenger demands to know what’s going on, then vomits on House’s shoes. House scoffs, but then sees that she has a rash too.
House says he “needs help,” and makes some kid on the plane say “crikey mate!” and agree to go along with whatever House says, and assigns other passengers to be Foreman and Cameron. He doesn’t bother assigning a Wilson. The Cameron stand-in instantly complains that he’s using a permanent marker on the makeshift whiteboard. She must’ve seen this show before. House decides it’s food poisoning, and announces to the whole plane that everyone who ate the fish is sick and should go vomit. I think for a minute that this is part of some intricate plan to find out what’s really wrong, but apparently he really thinks that’s it. Huh.
The passengers all feel sick now. Cuddy and House argue. House thinks the first guy, Pang, maybe has radiation sickness, and suddenly diagnoses the second vomiting victim as pregnant, not ill. Then Cuddy vomits too, and has a rash. This allows House to “examine” her by smelling her and listening to her breasts, which for some reason she goes along with, up to a point. House asks all the passengers for drugs and diagnoses some woman with herpes along the way. Cuddy and House argue again and she makes House agree to do an LP on Pang. Um, on the plane? Yeah, House is like MacGyver, in a way. Or Cuddy thinks so, anyway.
Back at Princeton-Plainsboro, Fran admits that she went to Caracas and got a tattoo, drank mezcal, did cocaine, and had sex with some dude. The ducklings discuss their differential diagnosis, blah blah. Wilson plays House.
Cameron and Chase go to Fran’s house to investigate. Fran’s cat is still sitting on the dresser being cranky. Oh, gee, could the cat have something to do with it? Let’s think. Cameron and Chase get frisky and then return to the lab snickering because they had sex in their patient’s house. Classy. Foreman and I roll our eyes and wonder when this annoying Cameron-Chase thing is going to end. Wilson suddenly decides Fran has breast cancer, because he’s an oncologist, see.
When they do a mammogram, Fran suddenly can’t see out of one eye because it’s the point in the episode when something like that always happens. Wilson says it’s not breast cancer. Robin, who’s still hanging around, admits they just met, and Wilson tells her to go home, but she leaves her number so Wilson can get involved in another inappropriate relationship later. Fran goes into a coma. Wilson and the ducklings argue, and it’s boring because House isn’t there. Wilson orders an LP, and we’re finally parallel with House’s airplane case, unsurprisingly.
Back on the plane, House manages to do the lumbar puncture between moments of turbulence, because he’s the star of the show and the best doctor ever. He announces over the intercom that it’s bacterial meningitis and that everyone might have it, with fever, rash, nausea, and a tremor of the left hand. And this time he really is tricking them, because he made that last one up and the only reason they all suddenly have the symptoms is because what they’re really suffering from is mass hysteria, even Cuddy.
However, Pang’s still really sick. House decides that maybe Pang’s a drug mule, and gets ready to operate (see: MacGyver) but when his Chase-stand-in kid accidentally presses on Pang’s arm while holding him down, he realizes that pressure on the joints is relieving the pain, and it’s not that he’s a drug mule at all; he’s got the bends – Pang went diving the day before flying. They give him oxygen. Everything is okay. The flight attendant flirts with House as they land.
Back in New Jersey, Foreman is about to drill into Fran’s newly-shaven head for whatever neurological thing they’ve decided it is now when Chase finally goes back to the house and finds the cat dead, and figures out just in time that the house next door was recently fumigated, & nobody noticed the houses were connected. Because exterminators aren’t as clever at looking in basements as doctors are.
And just to annoy me, Chase tells Cameron he wants “more” of a real relationship, and Cameron says no thanks, that it was just fun and now it’s over. Chase is sad. Wilson phones Robin. I hope he has a thousand dollars to spare.
-Mel Harris, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Photo courtesy of Fox