"House" Epic Fail (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • House returns home to Princeton where he continues to focus on his recovery, but surprises Cuddy with the news that he's making a big change in his life. Meanwhile, the team is unable to diagnose a loud-mouthed video game creator who posts each new symptom on the Internet and opts for treatments suggested by the online community rather than by the doctors, and Foreman angles for House's job, but the pressure to solve the case creates tension in his relationship with Thirteen.

  • House quits and Foreman moves to replace him, but the new team's first patient complicates things by posting his symptoms on the internet distracting them from their own differential. Meanwhile House tries to distract himself from his pain.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • We begin with video game designers working "inside" their soon-to-be-released virtual game. Boss Vince (Eric Wasserman) doesn't participate in the test-run. They other guys find him sitting on a couch staring at his hands: "My hands - they're on fire."

    After Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) tells Vince he doesn't have carpal-tunnel syndrome and his blood work is clean, Vince learns the master diagnostician no longer works at the hospital: House (Hugh Laurie) told Foreman (Omar Epps) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) it is in his best mental health interest to move over to research. "I just can't risk coming back here," he tells them. House leaves the room and Foreman asks for House's job. She wants to move him to neurology and dismantle the department, "there aren't departments of Diagnostic Medicine, we have that department because we had House, but now..."

    Foreman talks her into giving him "one shot."

    The three remaining members of the department, Foreman, Thirteen and Taub (Peter Jacobson), start with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as a diagnosis for Vince and order up a spinal stimulation.

    Vince is a take-charge patient, using the internet to come up with other diagnostic possibilities. He suggests they give him a blood test for mercury poisoning.

    Foreman moves into House's office. Cameron asks (Jennifer Morrison) about House and lets Foreman know his team is not doing the spinal stimulation. Foreman is upset Thirteen and Taub did the blood test (which does not reveal any poisoning) without consulting him.

    House tells Nolan (Andre Braugher) he is having mixed feelings about his decision and is having trouble with leg pain. Nolan thinks he needs a hobby. He asks House what Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) likes to do.

    Vince wants them to lower his mercury levels instead of the spinal stimulation. When Foreman threatens to stop treating Vince, the patient gives in. During the stimulation Vince has severe chest pains and his lungs fill with fluid.

    It turns out Vince has a problem with one of his ventricles. They were wrong about CRP, and Foreman wonders if Vince may have a drug problem.

    House tags along for Wilson's cooking class. He makes numerous bon mots and double-entendres about Wilson's (meat) balls. He seems to be a natural at cooking using his deductive reasoning skills and knowledge of Organic Chemistry.

    Foreman apologizes to Vince, who hacked into Foreman's private Facebook, found pictures of Foreman and Thirteen and knows they are an item. Vince says he has been clean from drugs for 12 years.

    Thirteen convinces Foreman he will be fine doing things his own way. He made them a dinner reservation for seven when she wants to go at eight. Forman barks out, "I made it for seven," and this order to appear on his time table seems to bother her.

    Cuddy comes over to see House (who is staying with Wilson in Amber's apartment) to make sure she isn't the reason he quit. He assures her she is not while making a Pork Gnocchi.

    While testing Vince's game, Thirteen and Taub share their issues with Foreman as boss.

    All the birds in the game make Thirteen wonder if Vince has Psittacosis. When he tells her he has had an erection for three hours she knows that could not the case.

    Thirteen wonders if Vince might have a brain tumor. Foreman goes with his guess, Thrombocytosis.

    Thirteen tells Foreman she was upset he didn't ask her to dinner, feeling her commanded her. They find two unknown doctors in Vince's room, the result of a request he made online. One of the two suggests a brain tumor, which Foreman is strongly against. Thirteen allows for the brain tumor possibility and Vince wants an MRI scheduled.

    House has been obsessively cooking instead of sleeping. He can't sleep because of his leg and has been cooking to avoid looking for vicodin.

    Thirteen and Foreman continue to struggle with their new relationship. Vince's MRI is clean.

    Thirteen goes to see House. She mentions the patient in passing and asks what to do with Foreman. He suggests she should occasionally give in. As House asks her to try his food she goes slightly orgasmic at "the best thing that's ever been in my mouth, even better than what you're thinking about." House seems to have left Chef Boy R Deea in the dust.

    Wilson comes home to find House has given up on the cooking.

    House tells Nolan he's gotten bored with cooking and that his leg is killing him. He is worried nothing will make his leg feel better. Nolan tells House to try something else.

    Forman and Thirteen make nice. Their make-up sex is interrupted by word Vince's lymph nodes are grotesquely swollen. Vince is now offering a $25,000 reward online for anyone who can find what is wrong with him.

    We see House find a pill bottle in one of his shoes.

    Vince wants them to test for amyloidosis, the most popular condition listed online.

    Wilson notices House isn't using his cane.

    After telling Foreman a test reveals Vince may have amyloidosis, Taub says he's quitting. He thinks Foreman is doing a good job, but he came to the hospital to work with House.

    Wilson managed to collect some of House's urine by rigging one of the toilets. The test revealed it was Labrador Retriever urine.

    Thirteen finds Vince not in his room. The sweaty patient is wandering through the lobby, hallucinating everything around him is part of his video game. Forman and Thirteen get him to the ground. "Amyloidosis wouldn't do this," Foreman says.

    They place the feverish Vince in a cold tub and Thirteen wonders if they should consult the Internet suggestions. Foreman says no. Foreman tells Vince they think he has light-chain deposition disease, which cause proteins to build up in the organs. That would mean starting a dangerous round of chemotherapy. Vince says he trusts Foreman's judgment.

    Wilson and Cuddy confront House about his drug use. House says he was just screwing with them and pees in a coffee mug to provide a sample.

    Getting out of the shower, Foreman spots the prunes on his fingers and rushes to Vince's room. He wants Thirteen to stop chemo and tells her Vince has Fabry disease. Thirteen already knew that (and had stopped chemo) because that morning someone posted conclusive evidence online why it had to be Fabry's.

    Foreman is officially named head of the department. Thirteen apologizes for going behind his back. Foreman doesn't think she should have had to feel bad and fires her in order to save the relationship.

    House shows Nolan a $25,000 check and confesses he was the one who solved Vince's case by posting online. It was solving the case that made his leg stop hurting. Nolan thinks diagnostic medicine might be the key to House getting better: "The only thing worse for you than going back to diagnostic medicine is not going back."

    "I guess we're going to find out," House says.

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