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'House' recap: 'Who's a good girl?'

January 24, 2011 | 10:43 pm

Sarge A drill instructor puts his young charges through their paces at a disciplinary camp for youths, in a driving rain. One teen, Landon, seems ready to drop and begs Sarge not to force him to finish. Sarge is in “Full Metal Jacket” mode, and won't take "Sir, no sir!" for an answer: Young Landon falls and cuts his head. But it’s Sarge who ends up in PPTH’s ER.

Seems Sarge, a 38-year-old former Marine, has back pain and has urinary retention, but the ER has ruled out enlarged prosate, stopped-up colon and spinal injury. Enter Masters (3M), who suggests that because he makes his living pushing kids around, perhaps Sarge is on steroids.

Nah, too easy. The team decides he might have something he’s reluctant to reveal: syphillis. To test for it, 3M attempts to take a blood sample, but Sarge grabs her by her throat and starts throttling away.

He’s only doing what we all wish we could do.

Sarge is put into restraints, and the blood comes back negative for syph.

Perhaps there’s something at the camp, Jimson weed? Or maybe he’s into one of the teens’ stash of Ritalin? Maybe one of the kids slipped him something?

Foreman and 3M visit the camp (for a change, Foreman doesn’t have to pick a lock). There, two young men are enthusiastically swabbing down barracks. As enthusiastically as young men can swab. One has allergies that he’s taking an antihistamine for. That might account for Sarge’s symptoms.

Back at PPTH, Sarge is having his system flushed of the antihistamines, but his heartbeat spikes to 170 BPM.

Before you can say, “Wait, it’s too early for a proper diagnosis,” Landon, the young man with the gash in his forehead, is admitted to the ER with, ta da, back pain and urinary retention.

What does a white, middle-aged drill instructor have in common with a black teen whose mom is dead and has been in and out of foster homes? Something they’ve been exposed to at the camp? Toothpaste, deodorant, food, sexual history?

And the winner is: ticks. Gotta be Lyme disease. So the first round of doxycycline is on the house.

Trouble is, Sarge isn’t responding to treatment, which rules out Lyme disease. Arsenic is ruled out (3M might have well stayed home!), but botulism fits the bill. Landon could have contracted it when he cut himself, and Sarge might have abrasions somewhere on his body.

Wrong again. Almost the top of the hour. The light bulb this week goes off while House is treating a clinic patient for abrasions.

It occurs to House that Landon has had a shot of Lidocaine to numb him so he could get his head stitched up. Sarge had antihistamines. Those drugs can be a genetic trigger for porphyria.

Genetic, you ask? Turns out the key to this mystery is “Star Wars.” Cue the heavy breathing apparatus: Yes, Landon, Sarge is your father.

First round of Hematin is on House. We leave father and son resting uncomfortably.

The “B” story involves Chase’s social networking site being maliciously hacked, which has to do with a threesome he had after a wedding.

The “C” story has to do with House trying to train Rachel in simple tasks in order to gain admission to a prestigious preschool. Sit. Play. Eat the treat. Who’s a good girl?

(Speaking of good girls, Olivia Wilde is still in the opening credits. It’d be nice if between “Tron: Legacy” and  “Coyboys & Aliens” she could drop by.)

-- Linda Whitmore 

Photo: An ailing drill instructor (Sasha Roiz) keeps a deadly secret from House (Hugh Laurie). Photo: Harper Smith / Fox.