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'House' recap: The unusual suspect

March 22, 2011 |  7:00 am

Pedi Patient of the week is a 23-year-old homeless guy who goes by the name Ferris Bueller, when he’s not throwing other aliases at people. He’s brought to PPTH because some kids accidentally set him on fire when a model rocket launch goes horribly wrong. Houston, we have a problem.

Burns on his arm are the least of his problems. Seared flesh smells like licorice to him. Baby powder smells like rotting meat. Body odor like peppermint. His chest and back are also covered with what appears to be burns. He and his dad, he explains, didn’t get along.

House, however, is more concerned with this week’s toys: a Segway, plastic helicopters, ping-pong table, a real monster truck that takes up four handicapped parking spots and a fiancée named Dominika. Yeah, you read that right: House is engaged to marry a woman of foreign descent for green card purposes. It difficult to say which toy annoys Cuddy most (the helicopter, after all, knocks over a vase of flowers).

Wilson is alarmed (that is, after all, his middle name) but House explains that he’s drawn up an air-tight prenup (note to those recently engaged: air-tight prenups exist only on TV shows). House figures he’s getting a live-in maid, massage therapist, cook and you-know-what in the bedroom. He’s done the math: Oughta save him $33K per year.

Meanwhile, Ferris B. gets a bad case of gastro-intestinal bleeding. He claims to be injecting vitamins, so it could be hyper-vitaminosis. House has Ferris’ hair tested: He’s been a heavy user of heroin within the past five months. But that doesn’t explain the G.I. tract bleeding. X-rays reveal 13 masses on his colon wall. Maybe it’s fungal?

Taub scopes Ferris: What he finds are tiny pieces of bone. Maybe he has pica, that is, the urge to eat non-food things. Nah, he explains, there’s a friend who works at an Italian restaurant, and he dares Ferris to eat stuff, in exchange for real food. He also says he was a scholarship winner in high school and was going to become a doctor. And that he’d OD’d on heroin three months before, had done a stint in state rehab and that he’s been clean since. He also said he nearly beat his college girlfriend to death. This guy’s got more stories than the Brother’s Grimm.

When he gets tunnel vision, the team thinks Foster Kennedy Syndrome (optic atrophy). The team rolls him into an MRI machine, but he claims that he’s claustrophobic because his dad used to lock him in the closet. Then he vomits.

Detective work reveals there was a person by the name of Danny Jenkins who did check into rehab months before, so Chase and Martha Masters (3M) visit the young man’s house. A man answers and claims that his son, Danny Jennings, OD’d and died months before.

Not willing to put his honeymoon on hold, House meets with the patient, who can't seem to grasp a plastic cup right in front of him.

Later, his heart stops and Masters mans the crash cart. Cliffs Notes: Patient was admitted with burns and olfactory issues, then developed tunnel vision, peripheral polyneuropathy, cerebellar ataxia and cardiomyopothy.

Why does he keep getting worse, House asks. “Most of our patients do,” Taub points out. Whew, I thought it was just me.

It hits House. A review of Ferris’ meal records reveals he’s eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables. Ferris’ body can’t process phytanic acid in chlorophyll: adult Refsum disease. If he’ll adjust his diet, he’ll be back homeless in no time. BTW, House says, run him through a plasmapheresis treatment and confirm it with a DNA test. Now House has some vows to take.

Present at the wedding are Wilson, Cuddy, Taub, Foreman and other SAG extras. Chase performs the ceremony. For a moment, you don’t know whether the game of yanking Cuddy’s chain has gone far enough or if he’s going to go through with it. Do you take this woman, Chase asks. “Yup,” House replies. Cuddy bolts.

The wedding night is G-rated: House takes the master, the little woman gets the sofa. Is that a tinge of regret on his face? What’s the matter, Greg? You had so much fun last week taking the plunge!

Back at PPTH, Ferris’ room is crawling with FBI agents after he split without being discharged. Seems his DNA test triggered the America’s Most Wanted brigade: Ferris is wanted in the unsolved murders of 13 people in 10 states. Oh, and he eats his victims.

And House & Co. cured him. Perhaps at the wedding reception, they should have served fava beans with a nice chianti.

--Linda Whitmore

Photo: House (Hugh Laurie) and Foreman (Omar Epps) enjoy a foot massage given by Dominika (Karolina Wydra). Credit: Greg Gayne

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