Seeking solitude, House eats lunch in the room of vegetative patient Gabe. Wilson is all riled up about his encounter with Tritter and comes to find him. House is more concerned that their stories jibe with each other. Gabe's son Kyle enters the room and is surprised to see two doctors eating lunch in his father's room.
House tosses a bag of chips at Kyle, but it hits him in the chest and falls to the ground. House stands up and moves to the side, disappearing from Kyle's view. When he pops up in front of him, the boy is rattled. House explains that he has observed Kyle in the past and thinks he has akinetopsia. He can't see things when they're moving. This affliction is accompanied by seizures. Kyle collapses and begins seizing.
Chase and Cameron later examine Kyle. She asks about his family history. Kyle says that his father didn't like his mother's family. Now that his mother is dead, Kyle would not know how to contact them. His father Gabe is an only child of dead parents. Chase discovers Kyle's backpack is full wine bottles.
Kyle claims that his past CT scans have been clean. House studies Gabe's EEG. Both father and son show cortical seizures. House asks for a DNA test and a check of the home. Foreman and Cameron work in the lab when Chase returns from the home check. All he found was a single bed and some condoms.
The boy's adrenomyeloneuropathy test comes up negative. House asks for more DNA tests, this time for Ubverricht-Lundborg and late-onset Lafora's. He's determined to find a hereditary link. Foreman and Cameron spend some more time with Kyle, inquiring about his lifestyle. He says he is a loner who works from home. No one ever comes over except for an occasional pizza delivery guy. Kyle says he sees his father in the hospital more than anyone else. Cameron notices bruising and puffiness around Kyle's stomach and she suspects his liver is failing. Kyle begins coughing up blood.
The team reports back to House that Kyle is now unconscious and is heading for a coma. He orders them to stop all treatments because, if Kyle's liver was in bad shape to begin with, their anti-seizure drugs may have pushed the damage over the edge. Foreman puts Kyle on dialysis. House thinks they need a better history on Kyle before they can proceed.
House leads his team to the hospital pharmacy and grabs a vial of L-dopa. The doctors can't believe that House is planning to revive Gabe out of his vegetative state. House is about to inject his drug cocktail into Gabe's IV when Cuddy barges in, demanding that he stop. House goes ahead and injects it anyway. Gabe immediately sits up in bed and asks for a steak.
After examining Gabe's senses and faculties, Cuddy is amazed that he is remarkably alert. He denies a family history of seizures on either side, but asks how long he has been in the hospital. House is intrigued that Gabe's internal clock seems to have kept ticking for the ten years he has been under.
On his way to the cafeteria to get Gabe's steak, House is intercepted by Wilson who asks if he really brought a patient out of a ten-year vegetative state. House happily admits to being the culprit. Yet the most curious part of Gabe's first conversation is that he didn't show any emotion when he learned about his son Kyle's condition. Wilson considers whether it is a brain issue, but House wonders if Gabe simply doesn't like his son.
Tritter approaches Cameron to interrogate her. Cameron defends House, but is stopped when Tritter notes that House left Wilson holding the bag. She was not aware of this, and Tritter uses that fact to dig more. Cameron's pager goes off and she has to rush out. Yet she was summoned by Chase and Foreman, who want to know what she said to Tritter. House busts in to inquire about Kyle, who has been taken off all drugs except for antibiotics. While his liver is just holding on, he is still sliding toward a coma.
Cuddy gives Gabe normal clothes and has told him that he will once again become a vegetable when the drugs wear off. House presses him about Kyle, but Gabe expresses amazement that House wasn't going to tell him the drugs would wear off. Gabe is adamant that he will not waste his time in a hospital if he only has one more day awake. He wants to get a hoagie at this place he knows in Atlantic City.
House asks Wilson to borrow his car and some money because he has to take Gabe to Atlantic City in exchange for information about Kyle. Worried about what might happen to his nice car, Wilson tags along. Gabe drives. They stop at a convenience store for snacks and Gabe mentions that he's allergic to berries. House quizzes him about where he used to live and where he might have visited. Gabe introduces a new rule to their trip: for every question that he answers, House has to respond to one of his questions.
Back in Princeton, the doctors examine Kyle and discuss Tritter's quest. Cameron seems skeptical that House would steal Wilson's pad to forge prescriptions because he would never put a friend at risk. Foreman, still surprised by Cameron's naÃ�Â¯vetÃ�Â©, says that a junkie will do whatever he has to do to get what he needs.
On the road, House and Gabe exchange rapid-fire questions. Gabe wants to know about House's past loves. House inquires about the business and factory Gabe used to own. House admits that he has been in love with a lawyer. Gabe explains that he owned a business making luxury boats comprised of large hulls with parquet floors. Kyle used to run around the factory floor as a boy. House thinks he has his answer. Mercury in the spray paint that the company used affected Kyle's central nervous system, which explains the seizures. Furthermore, the liver would strain the mercury from the blood. When Kyle damaged his liver with heavy wine consumption, the mercury started running through the body again.
House calls the hospital and instructs the team to test Kyle's blood for mercury poisoning. They should start heavy metal chelation while waiting for the results. At the same time, Tritter grills Chase about a past prescription that Chase wrote for House. Tritter thinks Chase was ordered to do it and is now left lying to the police.
The road trip arrives in Atlantic City, but the sandwich shop that Gabe was looking for is no longer there. Wilson suggests that they head back to the hospital so that Gabe can spend some time with his son before he lapses. Gabe is more interested in the hoagie. Wilson asks him why he dislikes his own son. Gabe gets frustrated and demands to be checked into a hotel with a casino.
House starts up the question game with Gabe, and Wilson chimes in with his own inquiry. Why did House steal his prescription pad and not some other doctor's? Wilson knows it is because House always has to push friendly relationships as far as he can. Then when they break, he can claim all relationships are conditional. This allows him to isolate himself from people.
House gets a call from Foreman. Kyle's blood pressure is plummeting and the mercury test results were negative. This is bad news. House asks for an echo test. When he hangs up, House demands to know from Gabe how every relative had died. As they run through the family tree, Gabe asks Wilson to toss him a soda. Gabe doesn't catch it. It bounces off of him and falls to floor, which is the same thing that happened with Kyle earlier. Gabe's drugs are wearing off.
Back at the hospital, Tritter approaches Foreman for a chat. Foreman makes it clear that he thinks House is an ass, but he also thinks the man is truly in pain. He doesn't believe the government should be deciding what number of pills will ease that pain. Tritter responds that the one thing he's learned as a cop is that everybody lies. This gives Foreman pause.
In Atlantic City, Gabe questions why House became a doctor when he hates people so much. House tells the story of being a 14-year old in Japan. A schoolmate got injured while they were rock climbing and House brought him to the hospital. They passed a janitor as they entered. The friend developed an infection and the doctors didn't know what to do. They brought in the janitor, who was both a doctor and a buraku, which is one of Japan's untouchables whose ancestors were slaughterers and gravediggers. Because this man was usually right about patients, they had to listen to him even if they never wanted to deal with him.
Gabe recalls the night when his house burned down and his wife was killed. Kyle had been popping corn in the fireplace and dislodged some tinder. The fire spread quickly. When Wilson calls Gabe a disappointment, he reacts angrily. Jumping from the chair, he yells that he couldn't save his wife and now he cannot even save his son.
House thinks about young Kyle had complained that the popcorn tray was too heavy. He asks about two other relatives who died in accidents and learns that both occurred at night. House has his answer -- ragged red fiber, which is an inherited condition that leads to muscle weakness and poor night vision. Although people seem clumsy and careless, it is not that simple. Kyle's liver was only hampered by the excessive drinking due to depression. House calls Foreman and instructs him to run a DNA test for ragged red fiber. Yet he learns that Kyle has severe cardiomyopathy. He's going to die no matter what.
House breaks the news to Gabe. After a period of long, silent thinking, Gabe announces that he wants to give Kyle his heart. Wilson tries to talk him out of it because they may one day cure his vegetative condition, but Gabe is convinced. Cuddy refuses to allow this too. House tells Wilson to leave the room. He presents Gabe with some options. Pills are the easiest, but hanging has less chance of damaging the heart.
Since they won't get back to Princeton in time, Gabe opts for strangulation. Wilson clumsily hits on married woman in the casino. He asks her if she likes to swing, then conspicuously approaches a House look-alike about joining in. The woman takes note of them both and walks away. This helps them have an alibi while Gabe is killing himself.
House and Wilson sit in the hallway and hear a thud from inside the room. Wilson arranges a helicopter to quickly fly Gabe to Princeton. Kyle and his father's body are wheeled into surgery, and the heart transplant is a success.
House finds Wilson trying to get money from the ATM, but there is a problem. Wilson calls his bank and learns that his funds have been frozen as part of a police investigation. House assures him that they can't keep his money forever. Wilson knows that they will keep his money until he agrees to give up House.