"Mmmm, you're off to the left about an inch. That's it - shoot around the star, not at it." Molly, a cute redhead, is helping Henry, a bespectacled young man in a khaki jacket, hit the mark at a carnival game. "Yes! You did it," she yells when he hits the target, giving him a big congratulatory hug.
"You just won your girlfriend a teddy bear," the disinterested carny tells them. "Cool!" Henry beams. "Hey, which one do you think she'd like best?" he asks Molly, who looks dejected now." ...and then Thursday night, this physicist is giving a lecture in Brooklyn," Henry tells Molly, as they walk away, with the giant bear in tow. "It's about time travel and the grandfather paradox. I don't know if you're busy . . . "
Molly doesn't want to talk about time travel. "I'm really happy that we've been hanging out so much," she starts. "Yeah, I like it too," he says. "Henry . . ." she says, and Henry knows where this is going. "I can't," he tells her. "I know, you have a girlfriend," she says. "It's just, she never seems to want to do anything with you." Suddenly it looks like Henry is crying, though he says it's just allergies. "Henry! I think that's blood," she says, as he starts bleeding out of both eyes.
"Thirty-five-year-old male, cries blood, and he's not Vampire Bill. Go." House presents Henry's case to the team, who seem a bit more interested in the voluptuous woman getting coffee for House, and the lineup of similar women waiting outside his office. House's favorite hooker is retiring, so he's holding auditions for a replacement. "I asked for cappuccino," he tells Butter Scotch, disapprovingly. That's a deal-breaker.
"Initial exam showed no sign of trauma or subconjunctival hemorrhage," Taub says. "Please take a seat, Fawn, and tell me what's your favorite Woody Allen movie?" House quizzes the next contestant. She sheepishly names "Annie Hall." But why is he interviewing hookers about things unrelated to sex?
"Sex is a given; they're hookers," House says. "To get the gig, a call girl - sorry, 'call woman' - needs a combination of skills that I find useful/entertaining for the remaining 57 minutes of the hour I paid for."
House dismisses Fawn when she tells him that she only picked "Annie Hall" because it's the most popular choice. "Oh, so close! We would have accepted 'Diane Keaton looks great in suits,' or 'It's a trenchant commentary on today's mores,' or 'I needed the eggs.' Thanks for your interest."
Henry could have lymphocytosis or cavernous sinus thrombosis. House orders a blood panel to check for lymphocytosis and a CT venogram of Henry's head to see if he might have a clot near the base of the brain. "How are you with small appliance repair?" House asks the next applicant.
"This cavernous sinus thing - is it dangerous?" Molly is by Henry's side in his patient room, asking Chase about the diagnosis. There's an over 70 percent success rate in treating it with drugs and surgery, he explains.
"Do you want me to call Amy again?" Molly asks Henry. "No, it's fine," he says. Molly explains to Chase and Adams that Amy is Henry's girlfriend; she's the neighbor. She couldn't call Amy on her cell, anyway - "She doesn't have one," Henry says. "She worries about radiation."
Molly volunteers to drop by their house and talk to her on her way home. "She knows who I am, right?" Molly asks Henry. "You don't need to, but thanks," Henry says. "Have you ever paid for sex?" Park and Taub are in the pathology lab, checking Henry's blood. "Every guy who's ever seen a Merchant Ivory movie has paid for sex," Taub says. But no, he hasn't, he says. "It just seems too demeaning to women." "Given the things you've done to women, that seems arbitrary," Park notes.
Before they can continue, a young man arrives, asking for Park. "You called about my guitar flyer," Micah says. He's already sold the guitar, though. Hmm, he came all the way down there to tell her he sold it?
"Blood panel looks pretty much the same as before, and that guy likes you," Taub says, after Micah leaves. Proving Taub's point, Micah returns shortly to ask if Park wants to jam with his band. "That sounds . . . fun," she says, hesitantly. "I'll think about it." "This is the talent portion of the interview. " House is watching women juggle and do card tricks in his office when Adams comes in. "CT showed no clots or malformations. Park and Taub ruled out lymphocytosis and diabetes," she says. "Well, since you have nothing of relevance to report, I assume that you're here to toss your panties in the ring," House says.
But there is the issue of the mysterious girlfriend, who no one can reach, and who Molly has never even seen. "I think he's a junkie. The girlfriend is a fix. The guy's inhaling glue," Adams says. Time for a home search.
"Well, it's not exactly a crack den," Chase says, when he and Adams get to Henry's house. There are flowers addressed, "To Amy," which proves there really is an Amy, but doesn't prove Henry isn't a drug addict, according to Adams. Chase commends her on not letting House get a rise out of her with his hooker shenanigans.
"I'm not crazy about the whole hooker thing, but I get it," she says. "Other than the fact that it's exploitative and dangerous for women, you get what you need without any of the emotional baggage." So, she hasn't been seeing anyone? he asks. "I've been volunteering at the Trenton Free Clinic." No time for a date, or dinner? "What's more important? Making small talk over ravioli or helping people who are less fortunate?"
Suddenly, she spots something in Henry's bedroom: what looks like a woman's body, and they can't tell if she's breathing. Adams checks her out: there's no pulse. "I'll call the coroner," Chase says. "I don't think that's going to be necessary," Adams says.
"This one works in Financial District. She can give you tips, give you leg up in Market." House's "wife," Dominika, is helping him evaluate stacks of hooker files when Adams calls. "Our patient is not a junkie, but he does have a girlfriend." A plastic girlfriend. "I call her my girlfriend because people understand that. If I explained it, they'd just think I was a weirdo," Henry tells Chase and Adams. It's not just about the sex, he says, adding, "In a lot of ways, she's better than a real person. I can tell her things, and she won't argue with me, or make fun of me. I come home every night, and I know she'll be there waiting."
Adams helpfully notes that his toaster is also waiting for him. "No one has an emotional attachment to a toaster," he says. "But a lot of people are willing to spend $7,000 on women like Amy. I'm 35. I've been in relationships. None of them fulfilled me. Then one day I found this Web site. Maybe the perfect woman's out there somewhere, but it's not worth going through what it would take to find her. Amy makes me happy." But just then all he feels is hot.
"Bleeding plus two new symptoms: fever and neurological," Adams tells the team, though Chase thinks Henry might just indeed be a weirdo, as opposed to neurologically suspect. "He wasn't hallucinating," Chase says. "He didn't have a thought disorder. It's not all that different from talking to a cat or a teddy bear." Even House doesn't think Henry's "girlfriend" is a symptom, saying, "Guy loves an imaginary being who's never going to respond to him. He's no crazier than millions of churchgoers."
"You think anything off about any patient is a symptom," Adams responds. "This guy buys flowers - real flowers - for a piece of plastic in a dress." Taub thinks that it's a way for Henry to never have to fear rejection, but House says everyone on the team has a "sex doll" - an excuse for not being in a relationship. Park's is her parents, Taub's is his kids, Adams' is her charity work. And Chase?
"I have meaningless sex with random strangers. Thanks for the insight," Chase says. "But I stopped that months ago. I actually had a relationship." House points out that was with a patient: "You just date whoever happens to cross your path. You don't go looking for the right person. You just shack up with whoever's in the room, and then you get surprised and/or divorced when it doesn't work out."
Well, Park has a date tonight. "You'll bail," House predicts. "You do understand the irony here," Taub asks. "You're mocking us for avoiding relationships, but you can't handle losing your doll. You're spending all this time and energy interviewing for a new one." House thinks for a minute. "You're right. That is stupid." And Henry? "Dude's banging a sex doll - festering cesspool of bodily fluids and associated bacteria. Swab her out and find out which one." "I need you. Please don't quit. You're the only hooker I know who can tune a piano." House is trying to sweet-talk Emily into staying on. "I'm getting married, House," Emily says. "His name's Harris. He's a certified accountant. He loves schlocky horror movies, and he just moved in."
House can't believe it. Surely Harris doesn't know about her employment history? "He knows," she says. "We've talked about it, and he accepts me for who I am." That gives House another angle. "If he accepted who you were, he would not be making you give up your career," House argues. "I know this is weird for you, but you need to figure out a way to be OK with it," Emily says.
"I feel like the stirrups were overkill." Chase and Adams have Amy prepped for her swab. "I've never done a pelvic on a doll before. I'm unfamiliar with the protocol," Adams says. Chase is more concerned with making sure Adams knows that House was off-base with his assessment of his dating life. "I don't just date whoever shows up."
Adams takes this as his explanation for why he hasn't asked her out. Did she want him to ask her out? "Yeah, I told Taub to tell Park to tell House to pass you that note," she says. Also, Amy's completely clean, but Chase finds something bizarre: what feels like a tumor underneath Amy's skin. "CT showed an air-filled mass in the doll's abdomen," Chase tells House. "How about clostridium? Bacteria got caught in the airtight cavity, produced gas?" But that doesn't explain the neurological issue, according to Adams. "We can explain that the same way we explain the Tooth Fairy," Chase says.
House gets to play Solomon: "Cut the doll open." They can't just destroy a $7,000 piece of property. "Exactly," House says. "Ask him for consent. If he says yes, then we get to go hunting for bacteria. If he says no, there's no need, because he's crazy, and we need a different theory." "OK," Henry says. He is fine with opening up Amy if it means she could tell them what's wrong with him. Just as Adams brings a scalpel to Amy, she and Chase see Henry crying. "I think the procedure room might be better for this," Adam says. "You are a horrible person." That's Wilson's assessment of House's plan to keep Emily by getting her to split with her boyfriend. "All I need is to break up one marriage," House says. "You've broken up three of your own." He's determined that Harris must be a cheater, since he's marrying a hooker, but Wilson thinks it's all House's cowardice.
"Your last relationship failed so miserably you ended up in jail," Wilson says. "Now, you're clinging to this hooker, when there are about three billion other women out there, who aren't call girls. Some of whom are attractive and intelligent. One of whom is living in your apartment and is married to you!" "You're right," House says. "Why am I asking you?"
"You shouldn't sleep with Chase," Park tells Adams, as she's getting ready to slice open Amy on a table. "Thank God, you got here just in time," Adams says. She thinks it was silly when House was mocking Park about it last week, and it's silly now. It was silly to think Park could sleep with Chase? "Wow, do you resent me? You're the quirky, hardworking sophomore, and I'm the evil cheerleader who steals boys? If you're not getting any, it's not my fault," Adams says. "Should we get the one with the panda on it or the bird?" Taub is cereal shopping with one of his daughters, which catches the eye of a lovely young woman. "You and her mom must be very proud," the woman says. "Her mother . . . died in childbirth," Taub says. What? "Amy! How'd it go?" Adams wheels Amy, in full hospital gown, back to Henry after the surgery. They're running cultures, but everything looked clean. Adams thinks the lump was just an air bubble that got trapped in the mold. Adams even bandaged and stitched Amy. But before Henry can reacquaint himself, he doubles over with pain, and it looks like he can't breathe.
"Are you looking at the apartment with those, or the transit of Mercury?" Dominika is helping House spy on Emily and her boyfriend from inside Dominika's food truck, Knish Upon a Star, with a set of high-powered binoculars. The team calls House to tell him they heard crackles in Henry's lungs.
"Crackles are nonspecific," Adams says. "Hypoxia plus bleeding could indicate DIC or some other-" "No neurological symptoms?" House asks. "I knew your bleeding heart would bring you around. Look at that, it's also taking you off the market. And by 'market,' I mean Chase. Buck up, Chase. There's always Park. Unless - how was band practice last night?"
Park tries to lie and say it was great, but she's caught out immediately. She says, "Popo needed a ride to the doctor, and my mother couldn't, so . . . "
Taub interrupts, which just puts the spotlight on himself. "It's almost as if he wants me to ask: what's her name?" House asks.
"Wendy Jacobson, 33, Brown grad, family therapist," Taub reports. He claims it's not just a one-night-stand. "I actually like her." "Mazel tov," House says. "Great relationships often start with snap decisions aimed at proving me wrong."
Adams thinks that Henry might have inhaled some silicone particles from Amy. House orders plasmapheresis.
"Will this hurt?" Adams is prepping Henry for the procedure, but soon pain is the least of his concerns: Molly is here. She spots Amy in the chair in the corner. "Woah, that is . . . awesome! What is it? It's so realistic. Oh, and it's all bandaged up. Is it one of those CPR things?"
"Molly, I'd like you to meet Amy," Henry says. "I know it seems strange, but she means a lot to me." Of course, Molly is pretty confused. "I, um, gotta . . . get back to work." "Listen, I have to admit something . . ." Taub tells Wendy that his baby's mother isn't dead; they're separated. He says he panicked when her met her because he hadn't asked anyone out since then, as he puts the baby down to sleep. "It was a really stupid lie. I'm sorry." Wendy sizes him up. "Was that a different baby?" "No," Taub lies. But Wendy knows it was.
"It's nice having you here. I wish you could get in bed with me." Henry is alone in his patient room with Amy. Suddenly, he imagines she's real, and she climbs on top of him. But his mind is jumbled: he sees Amy, then she's covered in blood, then he's covered in blood and writhing in pain, screaming.
"If it wasn't neurological before, it sure is now," Chase says, as they sedate Henry. Adams notices his liver is distended. "He's hallucinating because his liver is failing."
"Elevated transaminases confirm liver failure. We'll have to put him on the transplant list in a couple of days." It's not the silicone.
House thinks that Chase is standing conspicuously far away from Adams for some reason. "I'm making coffee. And sometimes, I date coworkers, like everyone else on the planet." "How about all five of us sleep together and a $7,000 sex doll. Solve all our hang-ups," Adams suggests.
Taub has an issue with that. "Those dolls are only $5,000," he says. "He must have had it customized somehow." They all look at Taub. "I guess I don't need to ask how your dating life's going." They think Henry might have hepatic fibrosis. "Start the patient on steroids, and find out how he pimped his ride." "Hey - foosball?" Wilson catches House in the hall. But House has no time for foosball. He's got a marriage to destroy. Wilson's changed his mind on that.
"Oh, it's morally reprehensible and bound to fail, but in a weird way it's a step forward, this thing with Emily," Wilson says. "It's real without being real. It's a long-term relationship that can't actually hurt you. It's a stepping stone. It means you want more." "Try not to come on too strong, OK? Just get to know him a little." House is prepping Dominika to meet Harris. "I'm Jennifer, new to marketing department," she introduces herself to him. "Harris, accounts receivable," Harris says. "Oh, interesting," Dominika says. "Do you want to get out of here and have sex?" That sounds good to Harris, and House thinks he's caught him red-handed. Except . . . "Emily's my sister," Harris says. Whoops! "We called the company that made Amy. They said you modeled her after some photos you sent them." Adams shows Henry a cell phone photo of a real woman who looks just like Amy. She was a yoga instructor he met last year. "She changed my entire life for 17 weeks," he says.
Adams tells him about her ex-husband, saying, "My husband cheated on me - with a girl he met on the plane coming back from our honeymoon. It's not easy to get past things like that."
But the real Amy didn't cheat on Henry. "She wasn't unfaithful," he says. "She didn't betray me. She just wasn't in love with me." He starts to cry. "I know Amy's not going to break your heart, but she's also not going to change your life," Adams says.
Suddenly, Henry thinks that the light in the room is very bright, and he becomes nauseated. "What's happening to me?!" His neck is stiff. "I think you have meningitis," Adams says. "I'm not leaving the business. I'm just leaving you. I didn't want you to feel bad." Emily tells House. "So let me get this straight: I'm being dumped by a hooker who's worried about my feelings?" Even though some of her clients are married, like House, they sneak around, whereas House will take her into the bedroom when Dominika is in the next room.
House tries to explain that it's a sham marriage. But Emily thinks that it's mean. "It's not a marriage. It's a felony." "I've seen how she looks at you when you're together," she says. "Trust me, she likes you. And I've seen how you look at her."
"Fever's at 105. He's not responding to meds. At this rate, he'll be dead by the time we get the cultures back." Chase remembers that Henry's former girlfriend was a yoga instructor. Maybe she got him into alternative medicine. There was a strange-looking teapot in Henry's house.
House figures it out right away: it's a Neti pot. "An Indian method of clearing the sinuses during allergy season - also known as now," he explains. "With distilled water, it can act as a snot-flushing system. With tap water, it can act as an amoeba-delivery system to the fluids around the brain. Start him on metronidazole. If he's lucky, he'll get to see his plastic children walk down the aisle. "My neck feels much better." The next day, Henry's fever is gone, and his liver function has returned to normal. "Dr. Adams? Could I get your email?" Henry asks Adams. "What for?" she asks. "I just thought . . . maybe we could see each other again." She says she can't. "I know it's a professionalism thing, but you won't be my doctor once I get out of here."
"Henry, I think you should ask Molly out," Adams says. "You're a great guy. You deserve more than a doll. Promise me you'll keep trying." Meanwhile, Park is trying to encourage Taub to keep at the dating game, but it's an uphill battle. "So she can't deal," she tells him. "There's someone out there who can. You just have to find her."
"I'd love to prove House wrong, but I ruined my marriage, broke two people's hearts," Taub says. "I have two kids who are always going to wonder why I didn't love their mommy enough. It's better if I just focus on what I do have. Give that band guy a call."
"I'm not that good at guitar," Park responds. "Or flirting, or smalltalk," Taub says.
"I'm not as pretty as Adams. I have stuffy clothes, and I hate my hair," Park says. "Adams works 80 hours a week fixing bunions on hobos because she can't face getting to know someone new. Trust me: you find a boyfriend, she'll be the jealous one," Taub tells her. Later, Adams asks Chase out for a drink as he's leaving. "To annoy Park or to prove House wrong?" he asks her. "It's just, um, I think it's time for a change," she stammers. "I don't really think that's a good idea for me right now," he says. "House has a way of getting into people's heads," she admits. "Hi, Mom. I'm still at work. I'll be home in a couple of hours." Park hangs up with her mom, and sits down to jam with Micah.
House picks up his mail at home and sees a letter for Dominika from Immigration. It's her Green Card approval. Henry sits on his couch watching television with Amy, and glances at the giant stuffed teddy bear he won at the carnival in the corner. "I fix blender." Dominika is making pistachio milkshakes when House comes in. "I had fun seducing hooker's fake fiance," she laughs. "Sorry it didn't work."
"Yeah, I thought I'd take a break from the whole hooker thing," House says. For a second it looks like he might kiss her, but he doesn't. "I've got to go to bed. See you tomorrow." On the way to his bedroom, he tosses her Green Card letter in the trash.