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House M.D.

Episode 7.16 : Out of the Chute

House M.D. Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

March 14, 2011

Distributor

Fox TV

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2004 - 2012

Production Company

Heel and Toe, Shore Z, Bad Hat Harry

Cast and Crew


Director

Sanford Bookstaver

Screenwriter

Lawrence Kaplow, Thomas L. Moran

Main Cast


Additional Cast

  • Amber Tamblyn as Martha M. Masters
  • Liz Benoit
  • Cleo Berry
  • Chad Faust
  • Fred Ross
  • Eric Almquist

Synopsis


Lane, a handsome young bull rider, grips his thick, braided rope and puts on his helmet before mounting the fearsome bull in the bucking chute. He exhales deeply and signals that he's ready. The chute opens. One second: "Don't tense up now - go with him," Lane thinks to himself. The bull bucks and rears, but Lane stays in control. Two seconds: "That's it, stay in rhythm." The crowd cheers, but Lane knows something is wrong. Three seconds: "What are you doing, Lane? You're tipping in." Lane struggles with the beast. Four seconds: "What's your problem? Get your ass down." The bull is tossing Lane from side to side. Five seconds: "You're weak. You got all kinds of daylight under you." Lane can barely hang on. Six seconds: "Damn, Lane. You should be schooling this bull!" The bull bucks, his hind legs high in the air. Seven seconds: "Get up. Set your hips before the kick comes down." The crowd roars as he regains control. "Nice recovery. Now just wait 'til he turns back away from your hand." The buzzer sounds: he's made it eight seconds! Lane jumps off and celebrates his victory in the ring as the bull fighters try to distract the bull.

Lane's really playing to the crowd now, enjoying their applause and adulation. Suddenly he can see that the bull fighters aren't in control of the bull, and it's headed Lane's way. But Lane doesn't move. He stands there, motionless, as the giant animal races toward him and sends him flying into the air. The bull fighters run to Lane as the crowd gasps, but the bull is now stomping on Lane, who's semi-conscious on the ground. The fighters are finally able to corral the bull back into the chute, and one of them reaches Lane. "Lane, Lane! Are you all right?" Lane says he thinks so. "What just happened?" he asks. "I was just about to ask you the same thing," the fighter tells him.

"I'm fine." House seems upbeat, if not cheery, when he greets Wilson at the door of his fancy hotel room dressed in a plush white bathrobe. He knows that Wilson is worried because Cuddy told him she dumped House. But did she tell Wilson that House is back on Vicodin? "She told me you had taken *a* Vicodin," Wilson says. House pops open a pill bottle. "And then I took *a* lot more," House tells him, shoving what looks like a handful down his throat.

And why is there a big bowl of cash on the table? Again, though, House tells Wilson he's fine. Sort of. "Well, I'm not fine as in 'fine,' but I'm fine as in 'you don't have to worry about me," House says.

But Wilson thinks there night be something for him to worry about. "Because you cleared out your bank account, checked into a hotel, and started back on Vicodin?" He's trying to be patient with House, who tells Wilson he's on the road to being 'fine.' "Until that happens," Wilson says, "are you sure Vicodin's the solution?" House claims his leg hurts, worse than ever. "Not physically worse," Wilson says. "Pain doesn't discriminate, and neither do the pills," House tells him. "The Vicodin and the five-star pampering that I'm going to get over the next few days should be enough to get me through it."

He's not just avoiding the issue - he's avoiding avoiding the issue. "Nothing is either as bad or as good as we think it is at the time," House tells him, philosophically. "That's why T.O. mocks his opponents immediately after scoring. He doesn't wait until his friend shows up the next day to tell him to deal with it."

The meaning of this escapes Wilson, but he's distracted by a knock at the door. House gets up, grabs a wad of bills from the bowl and heads toward the door. "Two weeks from now - maybe a little more, maybe a little less - my life will be back to its usual level of crappiness. Until then, the only real issue is how much I'm going to spend on hotel charges."

In walks a room-service waiter with a "deluxe breakfast for two," wheeled in on a cart. House inspects his meal. "Do I have to count the strawberries?" House asks. The waiter laughs. "Don't worry - you can trust me with anything. Including your food," he tells House, as he pours coffee. "After he and I have sex," House says, pointing to Wilson, "I'm going to slit his throat and then disembowel him in the bathtub." True to his word, the man replies, "No problem. I'll cancel the morning maid service. Would you like me to have them clean up later when they come to turn down your bed?" House happily hands him a tip and smiles. "Why didn't I meet you six months ago?" The waiter leaves ... but not before telling House that if there's anything he needs to make his stay more enjoyable, he just needs to ask for Carnell at the concierge desk. House tells Wilson to eat fast: they're expecting company.

Soon, House and Wilson are laid out on massage tables in the hotel room. Wilson seems to be coming around: "OK, this might not be such a bad idea." Meanwhile, House is considering the wide range of possibilities Carnell might have meant by the word "anything." Wilson thinks this could be a good opportunity to take some time alone, relax, and maybe even talk to someone. "Already scheduled," House says, to Wilson's surprise. "I'm not an idiot," he tells Wilson. "I know I need help." That sounds great ... except, wait a minute: "I meant, like, a counselor," Wilson says. "I know," House tells him. "... But you meant a hooker?" Wilson asks. "Yeah. Baby steps," House says.

At the hospital, the team is reviewing Lane's case surrounded by scans from his lengthy history of injuries. "Ten years of doctors cobbling him back together. Metal rods in every limb, pins stabilizing his spine, five screws, and a titanium plate in his skull," Chase says. So no MRIs, and X-rays probably wouldn't be helpful since anything they might be looking for could be obscured by a piece of metal. And Taub wants Masters to know that House isn't absent because he's sick, as she believed. "Why would you say that?" Masters asks him. "Cuddy dumped House. He's out somewhere, expecting us to indulge him while he ignores his job and licks his wounds," Taub tells her. Masters can't believe it. House loves her! Taub tells her not to get sucked in to the drama.

"What? You can't feel bad for him for five minutes?" she asks. Taub says he can feel bad for House - while still expecting him to act like an adult and show up for work. "And not go on a booze, Vicodin and hooker-filled bender." So Foreman says they're going to handle the case on their own, though Chase suspects Foreman is using House's absence as a pretext to seize control of the team. "I said, 'we,'" Foreman reminds him. "You want 'pretty please,' too?"

But Masters is still stuck on something Taub said. "Uh, wait. I understand the um, the booze and the hookers, but why Vicodin?" The team is speechless - except for Chase: "Wow, you really don't have any friends in here, do you?" Which leaves it to Foreman to explain House's years of addiction, and how he's been clean for two years. "He's used here at work?" Masters is incredulous, but Foreman just wants to move on. "Yes, that is very troubling, almost as much as the fact that out patient has a ruptured diaphragm, cracked sternum, broken nose and partial hearing loss, which can be explained by a bull jumping on him. And a neurological disorder, low-grade fever, nausea and peripheral muscle weakness that can't."

Masters wonders if the hearing loss wasn't caused by the bull at all, but maybe it's just when Lane first noticed it. "Inner ear pathology can affect the equilibrium and cause disorientation, making it appear to be a neurological disorder." But how can they confirm, if a CT scan is just going to show them the plate and screws in his head? "We can do calorics and an ENG," she says. "If he has inner ear damage, it'll affect his balance," Masters tells the team. "Sounds good," Foreman says. "Go ahead."

The team members start to leave - except Chase: "'Go ahead'? Really? What if one of us disagrees?" Everyone stares at Chase for a moment. "I happen to agree with Foreman," he announces. "Go do it."

Meanwhile, Wilson and Cuddy are having it out in her office over her break-up with House. "You knew he was an addict before you got involved!" Wilson says. "You knew he was an ass. You told him you did not want him to change!" Cuddy tells him she was wrong. "You don't know that," Wilson says. "You thought you were going to die - do you really think that was the right time to make this kind of decision?" Cuddy shakes her head. "No, but I've thought about it a lot. And I haven't changed my mind." Wilson tells her that House thought she was dying, and no one knows how to react in a situation like that. "Just give him another chance. He deserves it."

"I know," she tells him. "But this isn't about what he deserves. When things go wrong, I don't want to hope that I'm not alone. I want to know it. With House, every time I needed him to step up - he's just never going to be that. It's not his fault. It's who he is. I should have known it. This is my fault." Wilson turns to walk out the door. "Well, he's back on Vicodin. So, you might want to keep an eye on his new patient."

The team is reviewing Lane's case in House's office - with House weighing in via phone. From the bathtub in his hotel room, which he's sharing with a beautiful woman. Foreman says that Lane's ENG was normal, but House says it was ridiculous to try and give a standard balance test to a champion bull rider. "If you're going to test Superman's strength," House says, "you're going to need a bigger barbell. Find one, make him lift it, then tell me how high it got. And tell Cuddy that spying is for cowards." How he knew Cuddy was in the room with the team is a mystery, but she just tells them to keep her posted. "I will," both Foreman and Chase reply.

"You said my inner ear was fine." Lane doesn't know why he has to have another balance test, but Taub explains that, even though he was banged up in the accident, given his athletic ability - "That wasn't no accident," Lane interrupts him. "That bull had malice and forethought." Masters tries to gently correct him: "You mean 'aforethought.' " Whatever it was, the bull was angry. Not that Lane blames him. "If he don't do what he gets paid for, I don't get to do what I get paid for."

Maybe he could think of something else to do, Taub suggests, since he's running out of bones to break. Lane tells him he loves his job. "It has its downside, but everything does." Masters is clearly smitten as he continues. "There ain't nothing like those eight seconds. And traveling around, getting to meet the fans. That ain't so bad, either, if you know what I mean," Lane says, looking at Masters.

Foreman says that for the next part of the test, he'll need to stand on his right leg while they rock the platform he's balanced on and change his visual field. Masters is practically giddy when she hands him the video goggles. "Here you go, Lane," she says, smiling. "I'm going to start slow." They start the test and not only is Lane balancing himself fine, but he also appears to be having a great time. "That is amazing," Masters says, staring at him, before she catches Taub eyeing her. Taub tells Lane they'll stop the test. "There's obviously nothing wrong his inner ear."

If it's not in his ear, then it must be his brain, Foreman thinks. But if they can't get any imaging, then how will they tell? Before they continue, Lane interrupts them. "Looks like you guys got some rusty pipes," he says, holding a glass of water. "This water's brown." But it's not the pipes. It's the blood in his mouth.

When the team reaches House to tell him about Lane's bloody mouth, he's in bed with yet another woman. As Foreman is explaining about the test they did on Lane, Chase interrupts: "It could be a tumor in a salivary gland. We should get a parotid biopsy." "Oh, that's so cute!" House says. "You're fighting over who's in charge." But Taub says that a GI bleed is more likely to cause the nausea and weakness. "Who's in charge?" House wants to know. "House," Foreman starts, "as long as you're not here, someone has to have the final -" "Let me rephrase: who's your daddy?" House interrupts him.

"Let *me* rephrase," Taub says. "You have to decide if you're going to buck up, get out of bed, and do your job. Or if you're going to wallow in self-pity." House tells Taub he's just annoyed because no one cared - not even Taub - when his marriage ended. "And Chase, stop screwing with Foreman. And Foreman: no, until the telephone gets uninvented, no one in that room needs more authority than I give them. Right now I give you the authority to scope his GI tract and biopsy his parotid."

And that would have been it ... except for Masters. "House, should we be more worried about you? Are you on Vicodin? Because if you are, you probably shouldn't be ordering procedures." Chase just puts his head in his hand. Still in his bed, House takes a pill and says, "I am not on Vicodin. Do the tests. I have to see a man about a hurdy-gurdy."

Taub and Masters are performing Lane's GI scope. So far, no esophageal lesions. But Masters has something else on her mind: "Do you really think House isn't using Vicodin?" She thinks his judgment could be impaired. "If his rule-breaking is affecting his judgment, then you can step in and you can worry," Taub tells her. "But if he's just coming up with ideas that we haven't thought of but we should have, then our job is to shut up and do it. And what do you see in this guy?" Masters' admiration of Lane hasn't gone unnoticed, though she tries to deny it. "Hm? What? Who? Oh, you think I'm attracted to our patient. He's a macho half-wit." Taub says that she has every reason to not be attracted to Lane, which is why he's so curious. But before she can answer, she notices something: Lane's eyes are yellow.

"Sclera turned yellow," Foreman informs House, who's with a new woman now, one dressed in a sexy outfit and serenading him with a hurdy-gurdy. "Did X-rays. Looks like there's a mass in his liver," Foreman continues. "But the conductive metal rod in his ribs is blocking it." House says that makes it about as hard to find as a hooker who can play the hurdy-gurdy. "It's tough - but apparently it can be done," House tells them. With no equipment? "You have eyes," he says. "Not that see through stuff," Taub says. But Masters gets it: "You want us to cut him open?" "Only if you want to see what's wrong with him," House answers her.

Chase and Taub are in the operating room. They've got Lane's chest spread open on the table. But there's nothing there. "That's impossible," Taub says, taking a look for himself. "I definitely saw a mass on the X-rays." But it's gone now.

Tired of trying to do a differential over the phone, the team goes to House, who's reviewing Lane's X-rays while in bed with a new woman. "It's a mass, and then it's not," House says. Chase asks if he's going to introduce them to his female companion. House tells them her name is Duke. Except it's not. It's Anka. "How'd I get Duke?" House wonders. Masters wants to know how many prostitutes House has had since he's been in the hotel. "All but one. She did my taxes," he tells her. Back to Lane: what about a tapeworm that burrowed outside his intestinal wall? Taub says they would have seen eggs on a fecal smear or systemic eosinophilia. Detached cyst? Foreman says it couldn't have migrated that far in one hour. "We haven't been sitting on our hands just waiting for your brilliance to kick in," he tells House. "OK, so how did you shoot down intermittently swollen lymph node?" House asks. Chase, Taub, and Masters all look to Foreman, who has no answer. House high-fives Anka. Masters says that means it's an infection, and they'd have to do a spinal tap. "But with his recent skull fractures, there could be an increased ICP. His brain could herniate." Chase suggests a ventricular puncture, and House agrees. Masters is confused: "You think sticking a needle directly into his brain would be less dangerous than sticking it in his spine?" "It's probably a push," House says. "I'm just trying to get you out of here because underneath this sheet ... stuff is going on." Masters is predictably horrified, and the team leaves. Though Chase has one thing to tell House: "The different woman thing every two hours gets boring eventually. Not as fast as your therapist might think, but at some point you do realize the emptiness isn't going away."

"You want to drill through my skull, because of a mass that's not there?" Lane is understandably confused when Taub and Masters tell him what they're planning. Taub explains that there's definitely something wrong, and they need to find out what it is. "Is there anybody you'd like us to call?" Masters asks, subtly. "Someone that you'd like to be here with you? ... Maybe a wife, or a girlfriend?" No, Lane's family is back in Oklahoma, the guys in the circuit are in Calgary. "Oh, that's too bad." Masters puts a hand on his pillow. "It's nice to have somebody nearby you can talk to. Who cares." Lane smiles at her.

Taub and Masters are performing Lane's ventricular puncture in the OR, though Taub finds time to tease Masters about her obvious crush on Lane. "OK, fine," she admits. "I like him. So what?" Taub just wants to know why, but Masters doesn't know, either. Then, just as it seemed like everything was clear and there were no signs of inflammation, Lane's O2 stats start to plummet. They've got to intubate immediately. Lane is gasping for breath - his airway's blocked so they can't get the tube in. Taub grabs a scalpel and slices a hole in Lane's neck for a tracheotomy. Finally Lane is stabilized - but what's that smell? It seems to be coming from Lane's feet. When Masters lifts the blanket over Lane's feet, she and Taub are nearly overwhelmed by the foul odor.

House may finally be wearing out the patience of Carnell the concierge attendant. Particularly as House almost pierced him with his new crossbow. Instead, he just punctured the door. "Put it on my tab," House tells Carnell. But now House wants to take it up a notch ... and tosses Carnell an apple. Carnell just laughs. "You don't trust me?" House asks. "No!" Carnell says. But fortunately for House, there's another beautiful lady willing to play William Tell with him. "Oh, come on, man, you can't be serious!" Carnell says, as the woman stands up against the door and holds the apple on her head. "Why not? If anything does wrong, just take her to the doctor," House says. "I'm only eight paces away." Carnell isn't reassured. "I like you Carnell. Don't ruin it," House says, as he answers his ringing phone. He draws back his bow while talking to the team. "Stinky feet can point to diabetes, athlete's foot, or gangrene." But none of those cause bloody sputum or disappearing masses. Carnell has had enough, and the team can hear him tell House, "No, no, no! You're going to kill her!" House aims, squints ... then lowers his bow and says, "Fungal infection can cause ulceration between the toes. Bleeding could be from recurring abscesses that appear to be recurring masses." Symptoms in the head or feet mean the infection would have to be in the heart or the brain.

Taub suggests starting their search in the heart, because of the problems they'd have looking at his brain through a metal plate. But Chase points out that an MRI of the heart won't be much easier. "He's got a seven-centimeter conductive metal rod holding his rib together. It'll rip him in two." "No," House says, aiming again. "It'll just feel like it's ripping him in two, which is much better." Carnell is really getting worried now, as House looks like he's about to shoot. On the other end of the line, Taub says they can minimize the damage by injecting ice water into his abdominal cavity. "No, please, no!" Carnell begs House, as the girl readies herself. He lets go, but instead of hitting the apple on her head, it looks like he's got her right in the chest. She doubles over in pain, with blood pouring everywhere.

"Oh, God!" Carnell screams. "Call an ambulance!" House doesn't seem too concerned, though. "Why?" Carnell can't believe it - "What do you mean 'why?'! She's hurt!" But she doesn't look hurt. In fact, she's laughing as she sits up. Carnell realizes he's been tricked. "No, you didn't ..." Yep, they did. And what's more, House calls him a coward. "You could have stood in the line of fire. OK, get me General Patton's Colt .45. The one with the two notches." Carnell looks shell-shocked, as Wilson walks in the door. "He's not getting you a gun," Wilson tells House.

Masters and Taub prep Lane for his MRI. "The MRI magnets are going to heat the metal. It could get to over 300 degrees in 15 seconds." Though Masters seems more interested in checking out Lane's bare chest. She explains that they're injecting ice water into his abdominal cavity. "You'll feel colder than you've ever felt, and you'll be hotter - uh, you'll feel hotter - than you've ever felt." Lane just smiles at her as she says they'll try to be as quick as possible. Taub's still trying to figure out why she's attracted to Lane when they step into the observation booth.

"It's mundane and simple," she says. "He's obviously a very blessed specimen. So, from an evolutionary point of view, he'd produce healthy off-spring. So, my prefrontal cortex is telling me I should have sex with him. My rational brain knows he's a hillbilly and an idiot." But somehow her rational brain seems to be losing the argument, which is precisely what Taub finds so interesting.

House and Wilson are sitting at a bar. "You were bored," Wilson says. "You must have spent two days setting up a fake murder, which got nothing." House insists that he's fine. "You're not. And I'm worried you might do something even stupider. Why don't you move back in with me? At least until you get back on track." "What an ego!" House says. "You think you're some sort of emotional paragon? You're my rock?"

Wilson's just trying to be a friend, but House tells him at least he's got sense enough not to marry every woman he sleeps with. "Maybe you should move in with me." Either way, Wilson says. But all House really wants is for the conversation to be over. "House, we haven't even started talking about this. Except to establish the fact that you're fine, which clearly you aren't!" "Leave me alone!" House yells at him, but Wilson calmly says no. "We are going to talk about this, and we're going to deal with this." Which seems to leave House with no alternative ... except to simply get up from the bar stool and walk away.

Lane is struggling with the pain in the MRI machine, but he's trying to keep still. "Guy is tough, I'll give him that," Taub says. "My prefrontal cortex is a little aroused." But they're having trouble getting a clear picture of his aorta. Masters says they've got to stop. "No! You're trying to protect him instead of trying to save him," Taub says. But she says he's smoking - literally, there's smoke coming from him. "Getting a good image isn't going to mean anything if he doesn't have a rib cage!" Lane groans and bears through the pain.

Finally, Taub gets the picture and Masters races in to get Lane out of the machine. She can barely touch his skin he's so hot. But after all that, Taub says the images are normal.

"You're going to have to talk to him eventually." Unable to get through to House, Wilson tries to enlist Cuddy's help. "He needs you," Wilson says. "I love him. And I know he loves me," she says. But I just can't - " Wilson says House needs her in his life, even if they're not sleeping together. "You can't go backwards!" Cuddy says. "I can't fix his problem. I am his problem."

House isn't in the hotel room when the team comes to see him next. He's sitting by the pool outside with a lovely lady. "The infection's not in his heart. It's in his brain," he says, pulling his shades up. "And you're in my sun. Do a CT." Remember the titanium plate and the metal screws? "So get rid of them," House says. But his skull has multiple hairline fractures. "Removing the metal plate would be like removing half an egg shell without cracking the rest of the shell," Taub says. "And not removing the plate would be like leaving the egg out to rot," House tells him. Foreman thinks maybe it's not wise to cut open Lane's head based on a few intermittent symptoms.

House thinks for a minute. "What if the one symptom that hasn't disappeared was never actually there? Any delays when he answers questions? He doesn't have partial hearing loss. He's missing moments. He reported having something like a complex partial seizure during a bull ride. He said it hadn't happened since. Well, what if he's wrong? What in the infection in the brain is causing it to happen all the time?" But Chase says Lane's EEG didn't show any signs of seizure activity. "I didn't say it was a seizure. I said it was like a seizure." So they should find something like an EEG to prove it? "Nope," House says, handing the woman a fistful of cash as he gets up. "Because I already got one."

"You want me to sing? How is singing 'My Bonny' going to help you see inside my brain?" The team, plus House, is in Lane's room. "It won't," House tells Lane. "It's just going to prove that we need to cut into your skull." They think he's having mini-blackouts, but he hasn't noticed because his brain has been compensating, which it can't do if there's a pre-set rhythm. House places a metronome on Lane's tray. "My Bonny lies over the ocean, My Bonny lies ... over the sea. My Bonny ... lies over the ocean, Oh, bring back my Bonny to me."

Lane's laughing but he doesn't even register that he's been pausing between some words. "Lane, that wasn't even close," Masters says. She tells House that was a brilliant idea, but he doesn't seem to care.

"It's understandable." Wilson and House are standing on the balcony of House's hotel room. House looks at Wilson. "I hate when you do that. You respond to what you think I'm thinking, because you think that I think like you do. It's insulting and annoying." But Wilson is going to continue. "You're scared because nothing excites you. Fun doesn't excite you, puzzles don't excite you - what's left? And I was saying, you're right. You're upset. You're depressed. Everything's going to taste a little worse right now. But, it'll pass." "It's understandable," House counters. "You're scared because you think I'm falling apart, and you're trying to convince yourself that you're overreacting."

A new blonde brings House his ringing cell phone. There's no infection in Lane's brain. "Well, that sucks. Now we're going to have to blow up his heart."

Back in House's office, he tells the team there must be an intermittently leaking infection and it has to be in the heart or the brain to affect multiple systems. And they know it's not the brain. But Foreman says they ruled out his heart, too. "MRI and transesophageal echo revealed no swelling, no masses, no vegetation. No sign of anything." House thinks they're looking the wrong way. He wants to put pressure on Lane's aorta ... until it rips open. "You do realize the downside of that?" Chase asks. House says if they don't rip it, the damage from the infection will. "Probably not when he's got his chest open in an ER, where it can be repaired inside the 60 seconds it'll take him to bleed to death." Chase says it's a ridiculous idea. But House is on his way get Lane's approval.

"We think you have a Bartonella infection, which caused a mycotic aneurysm in your aortic wall." House is explaining to Lane what they want to do. "We need to find it. Which means we need to blow up your heart. And yes, I am as serious as a heart attack." They're going increase his blood pressure until the weak spot in his aorta explodes. "Hopefully, we'll be able to fix it before you bleed to death. Any questions?" House is surprised when Lane says he doesn't have any questions. Doesn't he even want to know if he'll ever be able to ride a bull again? "I assume no," Lane says. "I mean you've already cracked open my skull and now you're going to blow up my heart."

House is confused by Lane's seeming indifference. "I thought you loved those eight seconds?" Lane fights to hold back tears. "I do. Now you're telling me that I gotta give them up." He tries to laugh. "I can always find something else to love." House doesn't have much time to ponder this as Cuddy has appeared at the door of Lane's room. "We need to talk."

"You didn't expect me to say yes to rupturing his aorta, did you?" Cuddy asks him, curtly, in the hallway. "Since I didn't ask, I wasn't expecting you to say anything at all," he says. She says he doesn't really have any reason to think he can save Lane's life with this procedure. "I think maybe you're looking for something that can excite you. Fill a void. And it's affecting your judgment."

"You're right, I am," he says. "But my damaged, depressed, drug-addled judgment is still better than yours or any other doctor in this hospital. Now my team is going to do this procedure and save his life. So, you can either have security arrest me and my team, or you can get the hell out of my way." Cuddy just starts to shake her head and sigh, but she doesn't stop him. "Aaaaand, she caves," House says as he walks away.

House and Masters watch the procedure from the operating room balcony. Chase has the rib spreader in place and the aorta is exposed. They start to raise Lane's blood pressure. "I take it you ratted me out to Cuddy?" House asks Masters. "I think your judgment is compromised," she tells him.

But House doesn't think that's it. She looks worried as Lane's heart starts racing. "No bubbles, no bruising, no gaps. It's not working," Taub says. Then, suddenly, Foreman spots a leak. "Switch him over to bypass for the debridement," Chase says. "Come on, we don't have much time." Before they can stop it, the small leak turns into a massive eruption, spraying blood all over the team. Taub says they can't clamp the aorta if there's pressure. "Do it anyway! We need suction and more sponges," Chase says. Foreman says the leak is too fast, but Chase thinks he can fix it. He's patiently threading the stitches around the gushing leak when Lane flatlines, but he keeps going. Suddenly Lane's heart starts to beat again. Foreman and Chase can hardly believe it worked. Masters breathes a sigh of relief and looks to House, who says nothing but looks concerned.

Masters is sitting in a chair in Lane's room when he wakes up. "I'm awake, so I guess it worked," he says. "As long as you don't get your heart rate too high. You, uh, probably shouldn't have sex for a while." She looks a little nervous, but decides to go for it: "Want to hang out? See a ranch sometime?" But Lane looks like he doesn't know quite what to say. She tries to walk it back a bit. "That would probably be inappropriate, because I'm your doctor, and ... everything." She laughs awkwardly. "Good luck with everything," she says, embarrassed, as she walks out. Lane looks a little flustered, too.

"Double scotch - doubled," House tells the bartender at the hotel bar. A crowd of young revelers catches his attention. "Yeah, sorry about the noise," the bartender says. "I guess their team won. I gotta tell ya, sometimes I wish I still could act like. You know, just let loose." House looks back at the happy patrons. "I guess it's a little easier, though, when you got no troubles. Parents still paying your bills," the bartender continues. "Have your whole life ahead of you." House turns back to his drink, then back again to the screaming kids, watching them live their lives.

Later, he's alone in his hotel room. The floor is littered with empty bottles, dirty glasses, high heels - all the evidence of his week of exiled debauchery. His leg is aching, and he reaches for another Vicodin. Downstairs, Wilson is grilling the bartender for news on his friend. House heads for the balcony, looking down over the railing. He carefully steps on a chair with one leg and lifts first one leg, then the other, on to the railing, balancing himself by pushing up against the ceiling. Wilson is searching the crowd in the bar for House, when he notices bar patrons outside staring up at something. It's House, and he must be four or five floors up. He's only holding on with one hand now, and he's smiling as he looks down. Wilson is stunned. House lets go of both hands - and cannonballs into the pool below. He's still smiling, and now the crowd is cheering. People are jumping in with him.

"What the hell are you doing?!" Wilson yells. But House picked up something from his time in the bar with the fans. "What do you do when you win?!" he screams at them. "Party!" they yell. "What do you do when you lose?!" "Party harder!" Wilson just shakes his head, but House is enjoying every minute.

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