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‘House’ recap: Telling tales out of school

February 21, 2011 | 10:49 pm

Career Why is House in Miss Corwin’s fifth-grade class at Brye Park Elementary? Why does the cute little girl have a black eye? Why did the college student cough up a chunk of his lung? But first, why is Miss Corwin calling House “Dr. Hourani”?

The answer to these and other questions are best answered in flashback.

House sits outside the principal’s office at the elementary school with students Zack and Colleen, the latter of whom is a Wilson in training. It’s young Colleen who sets House on the path of doing what’s right. Coincidentally, it takes only 45 minutes to get there (not including commercials).

Hours before, House is speaking at the elementary school’s “Career Day.” He re-enacts scenes from “Pulp Fiction,” “A Few Good Men,” The Thomas Crown Affair” (Steve McQueen version) and “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.” He gives the children an early education in sex toys and a primer in how to be a jerk. He can, of course, do either with one brain lobe tied behind his back.

He tells the children that his patient, a student at Rutgers, coughed up a piece of dead lung. And yes, it’s shown, and yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. Not “127 Hours” bad, but let’s just say I wish I had the fake blood concession for this episode.

Foreman and House check out the student’s apartment, populated by his Rutgers roomies. No insecticides or toxic cleaners. The students of Miss Corwin’s class are dubious: Since when do doctors search patients’ homes? Obviously, these tykes must be doing homework from 8 to 9 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time every Monday.

Back outside the principal’s office, Colleen (Haley Pullos), who has a black eye, takes it upon herself to excavate the events that resulted in House lying about who he is, and what he can do to set things right.

Flashback: House borrows (read: breaks into) Dr. Hourani’s office so that he can read Cuddy’s journal. House is in Cuddy’s doghouse. He’s used her toothbrush (yuck), refused to take out the garbage, then slammed the door loud enough to wake toddler Rachel. He’s such a dolt (Aspergers much?) that he doesn’t even realize why Cuddy has issued a sex embargo.

House figures he can make things right by putting Cuddy before himself. His plan is to pull some strings to get toddler Rachel into the preschool of Cuddy’s choice: Brye Park. So he volunteers to do a stint at career day. All goes according to plan until he’s on his cellphone talking to his team while en route to the school. Then, as Emeril would say, bam!, he rear ends Dave Dryden, an ad exec also headed to the school to speak at career day. What’s a doctor to do? Obviously, masquerade as another M.D., Dr. Hourani. Hey, everybody lies.

In the end, House comes clean. He throws himself on the mercy of the Cuddy, which is the only and best thing he can do. She invites him for dinner. He’ll bring his own toothbrush. 

Meanwhile, the patient. It’s not cancer, nor an infection. House’s epiphany comes this week in the principal’s office, where he stares at a print from the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.” Yeah, the poor kid swallowed something that went down the wrong pipe. It’s too big to be expelled naturally by the body, and because it’s food, wouldn’t show up on the scans. So he’s prepped for surgery.

Oh, and how did Colleen get the black eye? Turns out, days before, Zack winged a puck at her while she was in goal during a hockey game in P.E. class. That’s how 10-year-olds show they like each other. Soon, he’ll graduate to snapping girls’ bra straps. Then all bets are off.

-- Linda Whitmore  

Photo: Zack (Austin Michael Coleman), Colleen (Haley Pullos) try to get House (Hugh Laurie) to do the right thing. Credit: Jordin Althaus / Fox