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House M.D.

Episode 5.03 : Adverse Events

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

September 30, 2008

Distributor

Fox TV

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2004 - 2012

Production Company

Heel and Toe, Shore Z, Bad Hat Harry

Cast and Crew


Director

Andrew Bernstein

Screenwriter

Carol Green, Dustin Paddock

Main Cast


Additional Cast

Synopsis


Artist Brandon Haggerty is focused intently on his easel as he sketches a woman in the nude while her husband watches. Yet when the couple finally gets to see the painting, they are horrified. Brandon doesn't understand their reaction and the husband punches him. Brandon's girlfriend Heather realizes that the painting is an ugly, distorted caricature.

At the PPH cafeteria, House scans a file as the PI Lucas sits with him. A photocopied page confuses him. Cuddy approaches with fake invoices that House tried to slip through as medical expenses. If House wants his own personal investigator, then he will have to pay himself.

With Brandon's paintings before them, the team starts talking diagnosis. Foreman thinks the patient's acute onset visual agnosia points toward stroke or brain tumor. Yet Taub notes that the MRI revealed neither. House announces that he is running background checks on them all. He has uncovered dirt on Taub's wife and learned that Kutner set a world record for crawling twenty miles. Thirteen suggests the artist's illness could also be environmental. They should check his studio for toxins, mold, and fungus. While running the screens in the patient's room, Foreman eyes Brandon's pencil sketches of Heather. They're good, with no signs of problems.

At Brandon's studio, Kutner and Taub don't seem to find any traces of mold or fungus. Kutner asks whether House really found something on Taub's wife. This annoys Taub. Back at the hospital, House stares at the MRI images of Brandon's brain, intrigued by a neurological symptom with no apparent neurological cause. That just leaves toxins or drugs. Foreman wonders whether a cavernous angioma in the brain could leak. Once the blood gets reabsorbed, the pressure goes down and the symptom goes away. Thirteen warns that Brandon won't consent to petrosal vein sampling since he was nervous about an injection of contrast.

House tells the patient he may have a massive brain tumor, then asks what drugs he is on. Brandon has been paid to undergo clinical studies for pharmaceutical companies on untested drugs. He admits to taking three different kinds. Heather is unaware of this. House thinks he will be fine and that whatever he took seems to be out of his system.

Taub corners House and demands to know what he discovered about his wife. House informs him that his wife has been making weekly cash deposits into a separate bank account in her name only. Taub is surprised but a little relieved. Suddenly, their pagers go off. Brandon is seizing. Kutner lets them know that none of the test drugs are known to cause seizures. House believes that the three combined could. The first drug is designed to be an anticoagulant, the second is an autoimmune treatment and the third is an anti-convulsant. House orders a dialysis to clear out Brandon's system.

Later, Taub confronts House. "You can screw with me all you want at work, but stay out of my personal life," he declares. House gets in an elevator alone, speaking to Lucas through an ear piece. Lucas is near Cuddy's office door. She spots him, and awkwardly retreats back into her office. Over the microphone, Lucas asks House why he is trying to make Taub miserable. "Miserable people save more lives," he responds. "If your life has meaning your job doesn't have to have meaning."

Brandon's head and neck have ballooned. Kutner and Foreman struggle to bag him with an ambu bag. Foreman struggles to find the patient's windpipe, makes a large incision in the midline of Brandon's neck and reaches his finger deep inside the bloated flesh, which causes it to weep clear fluid. Foreman then cuts into the trachea and inserts the trach tube. Brandon can now breathe, but he is still swollen.

With Brandon being treated with steroids, IV and cream to reduce the swelling, his blood pressure crashed and his heart rate is intermittently tachycardic. He has tested negative for thrombosis, angioneurotic edema, and Chagas. Foreman suggests it could be his immune system on hyperdrive in a cytokine storm. House says it is just the unproven, unapproved cocktail of dangerous drugs he's been taking. Yet Brandon completed a total dialysis. If it were the drugs, Foreman notes, he would already be better. "You think it's just a coincidence that three new symptoms cropped up as soon as we took him off the drugs?" House questions. They must either find a better way to detox him or find out which symptoms are withdrawal-related. They will have to put him back on the drugs and then wean him off again.

Cuddy sees a strange man in a baseball cap who is reading a newspaper, but it is not Lucas. She finds Lucas in her office rifling through her desk. He says it's a good idea to get to know more about a woman before you ask her out. Cuddy is puzzled when Lucas hands her a bouquet of roses and offers to give her embarrassing information about House.

Taub asks his wife about the bank account. She was using it to buy the car he had wanted.

As Thirteen finishes sewing the trach tube hole on Brandon, he licks her neck and pulls her down into the bed to get on top of her. Thirteen is forced to hit him in the nose with her elbow. He recoils in pain as his nose bleeds. Foreman diagnoses Kluver-Bucy Syndrome with bilateral lesions in the temporal lobes because visual agnosia and hypersexuality are the key symptoms. Although Kluver-Bucy doesn't explain the seizure or the cytokine storm, Foreman theorizes that the damage can be a circulatory issue rather than structural one.

House returns home to find Lucas going through things. He explains that once Lucas gives Cuddy what she wants, she won't need him anymore. House asks Lucas to find something personal or embarrassing on Cuddy. "I spend half my life negotiating with that woman," he says. "Anything I can use to scare her into saying yes."

The experimental drugs caused an arrhythmia in Brandon, which triggered the low blood pressure. Combined with the narrow vessels, his brain wasn't getting enough blood. That caused all his symptoms. If the doctors can trigger the arrhythmia and identify it, they may be able to stop it from killing him.

Taub tries to convince Brandon to tell his girlfriend the truth about the drug trials.

The team performs an E.P. study to find the arrhythmia. Although Brandon is fully conscious, his heart starts beating erratically during the procedure. Kutner gels up two shock paddles and zaps Brandon. House stares at the patient's head. He asks Brandon if he dyes his hair red. The monitors stop blaring and Brandon's heart returns to a normal rhythm. House declares that red hair isn't Kluver-Bucy. Foreman considers that Waardenburg Syndrome causes arrhythmias and can change hair color. Kutner brings the EKG tape and points out that it could be Romano-Ward Syndrome. He suggests that the patient needs a cardiac sympathectomy.

Cuddy meets Lucas at a pizzeria where he shows her a photo of House as a young cheerleader. Cuddy knows this is a fake and that they are playing a game.

Brandon becomes afraid when he thinks Taub and Thirteen look like different people. They report this to House and explain they are back to visual agnosia. Taub questions whether the toxins were stored in his fat cells and are now being released into his bloodstream. House has Taub seek out old paint Brandon used to use. Taub goes to the patient's room, where Brandon has admitted to Heather that he has only sold two paintings in the last three years. Heather is stunned. Taub is directed to a cheap storage facility where dozens of Brandon's paintings have been kept. He chips off paint and tests it with a kit he has brought.

Chase and a cardiac surgical team prep Brandon for surgery. Taub calls House to tell him that works created in certain months are distorted. Every other month he was having visual agnosia because every other month he was taking all three drugs simultaneously. The last drug taken was an antacid. House notifies Chase to perform abdominal surgery to remove a bezoar, which is a ball of undigested food caused by low stomach acid. The antacid Brandon was taking sucked up some of the pills he consumed. In the last week, it has been giving him massive doses of all three at once. Chase pulls out a mass from Brandon's stomach.

Taub's wife surprises him with the car of his dreams.

House comes home to Lucas sitting at his piano. Lucas knows that the cheerleading picture was real. House picks up the guitar and joins him on a jam.

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