In “House” Season 7 Episode 2 “Selfish,” House and Cuddy begin to confront the ramifications of their new relationship in the workplace. The degrading experience of going to HR to fill out a “love contract” is just the beginning.
Spoilers surely follow.
The team, upon hearing that House and Cuddy are doing it for real, react in different ways. Foreman is happy for them. Chase is indifferent. Taub is afraid that once the fling is over, House will take it out on them. Thirteen is missing.
This week’s guest patient is a teenage girl named Della, a skateboarding champion who collapsed during a Muscular Dystrophy charity competition on behalf of her brother Hugo, a CMD sufferer who is confined to a wheel chair and is not expected to live past his 25th birthday. Della collapses and is brought to the hospital, and eventually House’s untender ministrations.
The collapse was caused by a heart incident. This is followed by kidney failure, coughing up blood, and then lung failure.
More importantly, the way House and Cuddy behave during a case like this has changed. The usual pattern is that House will propose some outrageous treatment, Cuddy will refuse permission to perform it, and then House will either browbeat her into giving permission or else find an excuse to do it anyway.
But now half the time House is all too ready to accept Cuddy’s refusal, and half the time Cuddy is all too ready to grant permission. This is screwing up the pattern that previously has caused the creative tension that usually results in a patient living when he or she would likely die instead.
Meanwhile, there is the case of an 80-year-old man taking his 102-year-old father to be evaluated by House for entry into a nursing home. Considering the age of the father, it would seem like an obvious choice, and both men seem willing to have it done, for separate reasons unknown to the other. But the solution is not so obvious.
In desperation, Cuddy tries to find someone else to supervise House. But no one would have him. Two board members actually threaten to quit, So Cuddy and House are stuck with one another.
The final solution to what ails Della is half of her brother’s lung and some bone marrow. This will cause her to live something like a normal life, but will shorten Hugo’s considerably. Cuddy forbids House to tell the parents. But when the dad comes into House’s office, begging for any solution to his daughter’s rapid decline, House tells him anyway.
The parents argue about the choice of life for their daughter vs. a few more years for their son. Della hears of this and, unselfishly, unplugs her IV and wires and tries to crawl away to die.
Just when Cuddy relents and tells House to after all tell the parents, the parents inform House that they will not take their son’s half a lung. House explodes at the parents for allowing their son a few extra years in exchange for all the years their daughter has left. Cuddy explodes at House for going behind their back and wanting to play God. House explodes at Cuddy in turn.
Hugo hears the argument and declares that they must take half his lung to cure his sister. His life is useless, but doing that would give his short life some meaning and will be the one great thing he will do with it.
House and Cuddy realize that their argument is the first honest thing they have done since sleeping together. From now, on they must be brutally honest with one another if things are going to work. House agrees, and informs Cuddy she has a “big ass” and then pats it in appreciation.
The old man and his father? It turns out that the father has zinc poisoning, from overuse of denture cream to seal ill-fitting dentures. Get new dentures, and he should once again be a somewhat healthy man in his hundreds.
Source: House, Selfish, TV.Rage