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'House' recap: Physician, heal thyself

May 17, 2011 |  5:55 am

And here I thought that in their off hours, doctors played some golf, took the yacht out for a little spin or maybe took in an opera now and then.

Turns out, they perform surgical procedures in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.

We have two Patients of the Week: Darrien (Amy Landecker), whom Thirteen knows from Cellblock No. 9, and House, who discovers that the experimental drug he’s been injecting has grown tumors in every rat in the trial and eventually killed them.

We meet ex-con Darrien as she hot-wires a car and pulls a “Fast and the Furious” straight to Thirteen’s apartment. She’s bleeding from a stab after an unfortunate run-in with a man at a crack house. She makes Thirteen promise not to take her to a hospital, as she’ll be busted again for associating with felons.

Thirteen sews her up but notices Darrien has no BP in her left arm, but her right arm’s fine. She phones Chase to ask him to check out a portable ulstrasound machine. She’s got a plumbing problem, she explains.

Chase brings her the machine but doesn’t fall for the plumbing story. Thirteen comes clean, and they try to diagnose Darrien’s issue. Maybe a lipoma (fat-filled sac)? Darrien’s fingers turn blue. Thirteen sends Chase back to PPTH for a bag of clotting factor. (I usually get mine at Trader Joe’s, but it closes at 9.)

Meanwhile, at House’s house, we see him scrubbing down the bathroom in preparation for self surgery. I’m sure with a little Comet, a bachelor’s bathroom can meet NASA clean-room standards.

House has taken CT scans of his leg and located three tumors he intends to remove himself. He has local anesthetic, scalpel, retractors --- everything one needs to win the Darwin Award, given for culling the stupid genes out of the pool. He numbs the leg, slices it open and starts to root around like your grandma snagging all the truffles out of a See’s candy sampler.

Foreman and Taub aren’t practicing medicine this week. Instead, they’re at a strip club, trying to figure out what to do now that Taub’s little skirt on the side, Ruby, is pregnant with his kid.

House manages to remove one tumor, but lapses into pain as the anesthetic in the Popeil Home Surgery Kit© starts to wear off. He phones Wilson, who sleeps through the call. He calls Taub, who is in a private room at the Bump ’N Grind, trying to figure out if his personal stripper may have a pre-cancerous mole near her naughty bits. Obviously, House’s call goes to voice mail.

House finally calls Cuddy, who doesn’t like it but comes running anyway. She gets there, with Rachel in tow. Rub-a-dub-dub, bleeding doctor in a tub. House wants Cuddy to remove the final two tumors. Cuddy's answer: You gotta be kidding me.

Darrien is hallucinating, and Chase makes the argument to get her to PPTH. Thirteen blocks the door, explaining that she promised Darrien she wouldn’t take her to a hospital. The result is a Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley throw-down, which ends with Thirteen on the floor. (To Chase’s credit, the victory is by decision, not KO.) Chase, Thirteen and Darrien pile in the car and he drives like Mad Max to PPTH. They pass Cuddy’s sedan, with a contrite House in the backseat. Unhappy people do reckless things, Cuddy admonishes him. This week, he has to listen. She’s got the kiddy lock on the backseat doors.

Chase’s plan is to check in Darrien under the name of a patient who’s on life support, thereby skirting the law. Once at the hospital, they phone House to pick his brain, not realizing he’s also at PPTH.

House wants Cuddy in the operating room, because he doesn’t want the “idiot butcher” to cut more than he needs to. He trusts her, he says. An olive branch?

Darrien lapses into a coma. Her back story: She was a cop who shot a 19-year-old kid who refused to put down his weapon. She never got over it, and slid into drug use. She contracted Hep C and  was put on Interferon. Thirteen thought Darrien had hepatitis for a decade, but she shot the teen in 2008. What makes new Hep C look like old Hep C? They conclude that she has a parasite, entamoeba, which the stabbing unleashed. One bag of Metronidazole, and she’ll be fine.

Except she wakes up cuffed to the bed. (Depending on the circumstance, that usually costs extra.) Darrien feels betrayed. Had to, Thirteen says by way of apologizing for saving her life.

House wakes up, and trusty Wilson is at his bedside. (Cuddy must be busy running her new ambulance service.)

After a life-altering experience at the strip club (aren’t they all), Taub rushes to Ruby to tell her he wants her to have the baby. I'm sure he'll make a great dad ... when he's not catting around with other women.

-- Linda Whitmore

Photo: House (Hugh Laurie) learns that the first cut is the deepest. Credit: Jordin Althaus / Fox