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'House' recap: Pick your poison

May 10, 2011 |  6:00 am

Boxer Meet Wendy Lee, destroyer of worlds. First-class weapons designer, she seizes after successfully demonstrating a missile that can pulverize a two-foot-wide target from 69,000 feet.

If you live by the sword, you might not die by the sword. But your choice of boyfriends might undo you.

Dr. Lee (Linda Park) lies in agony, bleeding from nearly every orifice while the team spitballs: brain tumor, CNS bleed, poisoning, stress-related disorder, acute pancreatitis due to alcoholism (her bedroom closet looks like a dumpster behind a fraternity). She collects empty liquor bottles for a friend’s art projects, she explains. Yes, and Osama Bin Laden was living in a cave.

The team won’t get help from House on this one. He’s too distracted shooting up what looks like heroin (he dilutes a white powder with liquid, toasts it in a spoon over an open burner), but we find out later it makes Vicodin look like Junior Mints.

Second, House becomes convinced a young boxer, Foley (Kevin Phillips), has a medical condition that has resulted in his losing his previous five bouts (and costing House $50 in a bet with Wilson). He didn’t throw the fight, Foley tells House. He’s just a terrible boxer. House diagnoses the young man with anisocoria (unequal size of the pupils), which may be linked to intermittent tachycardia (rapid heart rate), which leads him to believe the man has Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

Nope. And it’s not sympathetic overdrive, either.

What’s happening to Dr. Lee while House is stalking Foley and forcing him to drink bottled water? She’s having a heart attack. Her boyfriend, Caesar, says it can’t be: She runs marathons. She was dating a nut-job – perhaps he’s done something to her?

Chase and Thirteen break into the ex-boyfriend’s house, which looks like a hunting lodge, with weapons and taxidermied trophies of bears and other game. The only thing  missing is a red herring.

House refuses to answer his pager, and Wendy’s misdiagnoses continue: blood-clotting disorder, cancer, sepsis, hemorrhagic fever, UTI, inflammation of the renal capsule, kidney stone.

Foreman goes to Lisa “Blink and You’ll Miss My Scene” Cuddy to try to get her to make House do his job. Meanwhile, as House is shooting up like a back-alley junkie, Thirteen walks in and calls him an idiot. Turns out, it’s not heroin. It’s something called CS-804, an experimental drug that has been shown to re-grow muscle. In rats. Insert your own punch line here.

But it doesn’t seem to be working. House visits the lab where a researcher is tending to his rats. The doctor tells him that any dosage of the compound should be fine, as long as you stay hydrated. Wrong answer. House sends the doctor out to get him a cuppa joe, and pilfers several more packets of the drug.

Lee starts bleeding from the gums. They rush her to an isolation ward and prepare her for stem-cell transplant: it’s iodizing radiation poisoning, they’ve determined. She must be involved with some top-secret project that went awry.

Nah, her boyfriend insists. He hesitates, then confesses: It’s he who has been poisoning her, with Spanish Fly (and here I thought that was like roofies back in grandpa’s day), because she’d been running around on him. She’ll be fine. But the boyfriend’s going to jail.

A mystery remains: What’s up with the boxer? Turns out, he has a glomus tumor, an abnormal growth of nerves on the back of his neck. When touched, it causes blackout. He’ll need surgery, but – everybody together now – “He’ll. Never. Box. Again.”

And House’s leg? Judging from next week’s teasers, it doesn’t look good for the chief diagnostician of PPTH.

Who knew that our weapons designer would be the healthiest person at the end of this episode?

-- Linda Whitmore

Photo: House (Hugh Laurie) practices medicine without permission, jabbing Foley  (Kevin Phillips) with a hypo. Credit: Adam Taylor / Fox