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'House' recap: A cock and bull story

April 19, 2011 |  6:00 am

Greet“I manipulated, lied, forged, stole,” Martha M. Masters (3M) confesses. She also saved the life of a young Patient of the Week. Little Miss Goody Two Shoes has traded in the penny loafers for a pair of jackboots.

Thirteen returns to the open arms of the team on the day that happens to be 3M’s last in med school. Surprisingly, House has posted an opening for an intern, prompting 3M to choose between working with House’s diagnostic team or beginning her surgical internship.

Enter patient Kendall Pearson, 16, who wants to become the youngest person to sail around the world. When she falls on her boat while prepping for her trip, it’s all hands on deck at PPTH. It’s not dehydration, nor is it a seizure, but she hit her back, which means it could be damaged adrenal glands.

Thirteen and 3M draw blood, but the expert sailor still plans on beginning her trip in a few days and wants to know if there’s a way to rush the test results. 3M suggests putting her on a treadmill, to stress her body to see if her adrenals respond.

But during the test, Kendall’s hands turn blue, which rules out adrenal insufficiency. Perhaps she has cardiomyopothy caused by mercury from all the tuna she eats while at sea. But not all the symptoms fit. Cerebral vasospasm? House orders a calcium channel blocker drip into her basilar artery.

The B story this week is a bet between House and Wilson to see who can keep a chicken in the hospital longest without being busted. Even in minor plot lines, there’s a reason for everything. The chicken ends up being the clue to the medical mystery. (The chicken rustlers don’t have to worry about Cuddy catching them –- she has four lines this week.)

Foreman says that while he was withdrawing the catheter after the drip, he noticed a calcified pineal gland. It’s decided they start the sailor on hormone therapy so that she can be discharged to run off and play Pirates of the Caribbean.

3M decides to begin her surgical internship. After observing a surgery, she notices the sailor hasn’t yet been discharged. So 3M excuses herself from her next assigned surgery to sneak into the adjoining operating theater (I think we’ve all done this at some point at our local multiplex). The team is performing a sympathectomy. Seems after her discharge, the sailor got as far as the parking lot before collapsing again. The team suspects overstimulation of the kidneys. But the sailor develops low blood pressure during surgery, hinting that the diagnosis is incorrect.

Thirteen pitches Wegener’s. House likes what he hears and the sailor is put on immune suppressants.

But something still isn’t sitting right with 3M. She cracks some textbooks in House’s office. While she’s mulling the missing piece of the puzzle, Wilson stages a sortie into House’s office looking for the chicken. And then 3M has a House-like “Eureka” moment. Poultry – that’s it.

She asks the sailor if she’s ever had a bad reaction to poultry. Yes, she has, some canned pheasant. Ah, it’s Salmonella enteritis, 3M deduces, and the infection is now hiding in the bone. That’s good news, because antibiotics should clear it up. 3M start manipulating the sailor’s limbs. Ow, it’s her left arm.

The arm is biopsied, but the news isn’t good: lymphoid sarcoma. Amputation is recommended. But the sailor will have none of it, and her parents take her side. (What’s a little cancer when there’s a world record at stake?) 3M begins to see that Kendall is a version of herself. Instead of being in college at age 13, as 3M was, the sailor is a maritime genius, years ahead of her time, and realizes she’s different than everyone else.

3M consults Wilson. How do you convince someone to make the hard choice? To give up her dream? To lose a limb, even if it means the difference between life and death? Wilson tells 3M the story of Stacy, and how she made the decision about House’s leg surgery while he was in a coma.

We see 3M hook up an IV to drip into the sailor. Fast forward, and the POTW is having a cardiac episode. 3M tells the parents that if this had happened at sea, their daughter would be dead. Her parents sign the consent form for the amputation.

After the sailor wakes up and sees she has lost the arm, she’s furious, helpless and betrayed, but she’s alive. The cancer was spreading to her lymph nodes. If she would have set sail, it would have been a permanent bon voyage.

So 3M has passed House’s test. She did things she never thought she could or would do. But her jackboots were made for walking. And that’s just what she does.

-- Linda Whitmore

Photo: Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) meets Masters (Amber Tamblyn). Chase (Jesse Spencer), right. Photo credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox

 

 

 

 

 

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