"House" Twenty Vicodin (TV Episode 2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • A year has passed since House crashed his car into Cuddy's home, and we find House spending time behind bars at the East New Jersey Correctional Facility under the close watch of the prison warden. When an antagonistic prison gang leader makes a serious threat, House solicits the help of a fellow inmate, but when another inmate's unusual medical symptoms spark his curiosity, House must come up with creative ways to treat the patient while navigating prison rules. House meets Dr. Jessica Adams, a young, intelligent and bright-eyed clinic doctor, but when they are faced with a controversial opportunity to diagnose the patient's life-threatening illness, Adams is confronted with a choice to trust House and put her career on the line or play by the book.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • We open with House at a parole hearing. It's been a year since he drove his car through Cuddy's house and he's been in jail for some time. He'll get his parole after five more in prison days but is warned that if he commits the slightest infraction he's back in for four more months.


    House wakes up next to his scary-looking roommate. In the med line we learn the roommate, Asofa, is homicidal and taking antipsychotics. House is giving gang leader Mendelson his Vicodin.

    A prisoner named Nick tells House he's having strange pain in his elbows and knees.

    A prisoner named Rollo is stealing House's stuff, realizing that with only days left on his sentence he won't do anything. An inmate named Frankie who appears to be a buddy of House's thinks the best payback will be House getting out.

    An enormous inmate named Stomper said he wants House's stereo and headphones.

    In the infirmary House corrects a young female doctor named Jessica as she misdiagnoses Nick. The older doctor Sykes tells her who House was on the outside. House thinks Nick has lupus.

    House hides his stereo and headphones in Rollo's cell, then tells Stomper Rollo took them from his cell after House brought them to him.


    A cricket chirps in the room. Just before House flicks it Asofa indicates it's a pet.

    House searches Nick for a rash that would indicate his lupus diagnosis was correct.

    House tells Jessica he found a rash on Nick's thigh. She figured out who he is and he doesn't correct her when she guesses he's there for forging prescriptions. House guesses exactly who she is based on numerous tiny observations.

    Mendelson has discovered House is on "short time." His Vicodin tax has gone up and somehow House must find a way to give Mendelson 20 pills (more than he'll be allotted) by the end of the week. If House chooses to go the protective custody route Mendelson has people who will get to him on the outside.

    House asks another prisoner about getting him the extra pills. All of a sudden Nick is having incredible arm pain after getting jostled. This means it's not lupus.


    Without being able to take his meds, House is having severe pain. Asofa's cricket is sick and he wants House to fix it.

    House tells Jessica Nick could have lung cancer. She can x-ray him in a few days but House doesn't think that's quick enough.

    House asks Frankie to find him a replacement cricket. Frankie mentions how many pesticides are sprayed outside the prison.

    House won't be able to get extra Vicodin from the prisoner he talked to earlier.

    House listens to Nick's chest and is able to find an abnormality he thinks is a tumor. Jessica cuts Nick's ear to see what the reaction is after a few minutes. While they wait House tells Jessica he's thinking about going into physics when he gets out. She thinks he shouldn't abandon his gift. Nick walks over and shows them he's got blood all over himself.


    House discovered the cricket had pesticide poisoning and cures Asofa's pet.

    No tumors showed up in Nick's X-Ray. She finally lets him look at Nick's patient file (a big no-no). Sykes walks in and sees House with the file.

    Jessica finds out why House is actually in prison. When she asks how he got so much time with no priors and nobody being hurt he tells her he had a bad lawyer. She is cutting him off from helping with Nick's case.

    Mendelson and one of his goons rough him up and remind him he has one day to get him his 20 pills.

    House borrows a gum wrapper and pen from Frankie. He uses them to start a fire in one of the sinks, then goes to see Jessica. When the fire alarm goes off and she turns her head he steals some pills from her desk.

    As House starts to tell Nick he's not interested in treating him anymore Nick goes into shock. House has to use the inside of the pen to open an airway in Nick's neck.

    That night House is in so much pain he takes several Vicodin pills.


    He takes another few the pills the next morning and dumps the rest in the toilet. He asks the guard to be taken into protective custody. On the way he sees a guard drinking coffee and has an idea.

    He goes to the infirmary and tells Jessica and Sykes that Nick has Mastocytosis. Sykes wants to run blood tests, but House doesn't think that will be conclusive. Since Nick could die if he goes into shock without a doctor nearby House wants to give him five aspirin which should put him into shock and confirm the diagnosis. Sykes says no and has a guard escort him out, saying if he returns to the infirmary again he'll write him up.

    Outside Jessica tells House she realizes what is happening with Mendelson. She gives him 20 pills.

    In the common area House walks up to Mendelson and shows him the pills. But he tosses them into the air, starting a min-riot. Mendelson hits House several times and orders one of his goons to shank House. But right before House is stabbed Asofa comes out of nowhere and saves him, in the process beating Mendelson severely.

    The punches from Mendelson land House in the infirmary. When Sykes leaves the room House barricades the door and begins to crush up aspirin so he can give them to Nick. Jessica tells him he's going to end up staying in jail for six more months but House doesn't care. Just as Nick is about to drink the mixture guards come in and stop him. But once House is placed in cuffs Jessica decides to do it herself. She gives Nick the drink as Sykes tells her she'll never work as a doctor again. Nothing happens after a few seconds and House is taken away.

    Cut to House in solitary. A guard slips him a piece of paper. It reads: "You were right."

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