'House' recap: The children's hour
Our Patient of the Week is a newborn baby girl who comes squirting out of her mom in a hypoxic state (oxygen deprived). Straight into the incubator she goes, as mom (Jennifer Grey -- and no, I’m not gonna get all Perez Hilton over the “Dirty Dancing” star here. She looked fine) and adult daughter watch in anguish.
The team is stumped: Baby’s full term, lungs are developed, what’s the problem? If only House were around to consult, but he isn’t: Cuddy’s sitter and mom can’t make it. House is relegated to Rachel duty.
Back at the hospital, the team probes the infant, looking for an abscess on the liver. (Liver problems can sometimes cause lung problems, so they say.) What they see are dilated bile ducts. House is introduced via telephone to the newest team member, Dr. Frazier, whom Dr. Foreman has hired. House fires Frazier over the phone before she can utter four lines -- what’s the SAG card ruling on that again?
The job of hiring a new team member (“One who likes ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ ” -- i.e. female), falls to Taub.
House wants to open up the kid, but the team doesn’t think it’s a good idea to poke around in her. Instead, they prescribe steroids, an anti-angiogenesis agent and dopamine.
Back at Cuddy’s homestead, we’re witness to the combined parenting skills of man-child House and man-should-know-better Wilson. The tot is supposed to be sleeping, so House can catch up on his TiVo’d porn or whatever, but he’s confronted by the kid in the middle of Cuddy’s kitchen –- suddenly, there she is, like those twins from “The Shining.”
There goes that Parent of the Year Award, Gregory.
House tries to use a refrigerator magnet to detect the dime that he and Wilson suspect is in the girl’s gut. (I’m sure that will be included in the next Popeil Home Surgery Kit.) It’s House’s first night with the kid alone; he can’t afford to let Cuddy know. House-Wilson kick it into bromance mode. Observe her for 24 hours, Wilson says as he climbs out a window, it should pass.
At the hospital, the baby rallies. Well, as much as babies can. She’s just lying on her back, but she’s pinker, and that’s encouraging. Mom holds her for the first time. Taub tabs pediatrician Dr. Chang for a spot on the team. She’s bright, flattered and even a bit eager to say goodbye to the Lollipop Guild.
Meanwhile, House is inspecting the contents of Rachel’s diapers searching for anything, anything that might have an image of Franklin D. Roosevelt on it. Nada.
Back in the ICU, Mom is rocking the baby. Mom thinks the kid has a wet diaper. Which she does. Wet with blood.
House and Wilson and smuggle Rachel into the imaging lab. They think they see the dime. They’re not sure, but give her a laxative just in case.
House has a brainstorm: transfuse some of Mom’s blood into the baby. Mom’s antibodies may be the key.
When House sees Dr. Chang for the first time, he tests her. Hypothetically, what would you do if a child, say, swallowed a dime?
The team takes a blood sample from the baby. Doesn’t look good. Melanoma, the team says. How could it be melanoma (skin cancer), Mom asks. The baby’s never even been outside.
But Mom has. A small mole under the left index finger nail is cancer. She has transferred the cancer in utero. And upon further review, Mom also has late-stage lung cancer. The antibodies in Mom’s blood are battling for control. Having the baby when she did basically saved Mom’s life, because it alerted doctors to her condition. Mom needs surgery and chemo. Baby needs chemo.
But hold on. Mom thinks the risk to her baby is too great. What if she can continue the transfusions until the baby is cured – eight, nine more days?
At great risk to herself, that’s what Mom decides to do. Because that’s what moms do.
Unfortunately, Mom doesn’t make it. Massive pulmonary embolism. But enough of her blood is harvested to save the kid. Adult daughter cradles her tiny sister, vowing never to let the baby forget what their mom did.
Dr. Chang balks on joining the team. Seems she hasn't cottoned up to Taub. He is, after all, an acquired taste.
Oh, and Rachel passes the dime.
And so at the top of the hour, the tykes are alive and healthy. God bless ’em. Hope they grow up hale and hearty, and ready to pay into the Social Security system to support me in my dotage.
-- Linda Whitmore
Photo: House (Hugh Laurie) versus the toddler Rachel (played by twins Kayla and Rylie Colbert). Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox