Season 7 Episode 7

A Pox on Our House

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 15, 2010 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
413 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A girl is admitted to the hospital with smallpox, and the CDC institutes a lockdown. The doctor in charge forbids House's team from diagnosing, but Masters believes he has an ulterior motive. Meanwhile, Wilson and Sam reexamine their relationship while treating a young chemotherapy patient.

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  • Mousey

    Yes the new character is very shy, awkward, and uncomfortable with the old crew. I know she is written that way but its hard to see her character growing or developing. Lets summarize, Cameron was annoying being the goody two shoes trying to save the moral characters of those around her, then when she failed over and over she quit. 13 was the smart, sassy, bi-sexual girl. She can hold her own competing against the guys. Now we have Masters, shy little kitten trying to hang with the Lion's den. I don't think she is a good fit. but let's hope the writers can work with her character.moreless
  • One of

    the best episodes of House in the history of the series. Loved it.
  • Unbelievable and, well, disappointing

    This episode was about two members of a newly-blended family contracting what was apparently smallpox from a jar from an old shipwreck. I am not a longtime House fan, having only started to watch it last year. However, I had to say something about this episode. It was nicely written on a superficial level, and fairly suspenseful, but I couldn't buy two of the underlying premises, and this made it unbelievable to me and detracted from my ability to take it seriously. The first unbelievable premise is that House would die of smallpox, if the illness were really smallpox. Smallpox vaccines stopped being given in 1980. I don't know exactly how old the character of House is supposed to be, but I'm certain he's over 30, and is probably around the age of the actor who plays him. Hugh Laurie was born in 1959. Everyone his age was routinely given live smallpox vaccine before starting school. So to me the suspense was all about saving the family, not House himself. The children in the stricken family were certainly not vaccinated, and the parents could easily have been young enough not to be vaccinated either. But House dying of smallpox? Not very likely. There should have been something said about the likelihood/unlikelihood of House's vaccination lasting into adulthood, or that he was the exception and had not been vaccinated for some reason. By the way, Cuddy, though younger than House, appears to be within the age of Smallpox vaccination as well, so she could have entered the isolation room with House. How old are the show's writers? The other premise I didn't buy was that it would take so long for anyone on this supposedly crack team of medical diagnosticians to suspect a similar pox that could easily be cured by an antibiotic. And that's what it turned out to be. The father died a senseless, preventable death. House's team was pretty stupid, but not as stupid as the CDC guy who was so certain it was smallpox that he wouldn't even let anyone diagnose the patients. He was obviously there to serve the plot (obstruct House's team, heighten suspense). I am not a medical expert, but when the seams show like this in the writing, and the writers don't seem to know medicine that well, it makes me lose respect for the writers, and the show in general. This would be one of the better episodes I've seen if it didn't have what seem like obvious mistakes. If the writers knew what they were doing, they would have had someone too young to have been vaccinated go into the isolation room, such as as House's newest hire, trying to prove herself or her theory or whatever. She was the only one on the team smart enough to consider another pox that looked similar to smallpox (also rather unbelievable that she would think of it before House, but I understand why the writers did that).moreless
  • 707

    I have missed a few episodes of House this season, and this was my first time seeing Amber Tamblyn on House. I am not a fan of the former Emily Quartermaine, but she was actually not that bad tonight and is a solid placeholder until Olivia Wilde returns (and hopefully she does.)

    The episode was very well-done, I have to admit. The opening slave ship montage was incredible, as was the actually contracting of the disease. Couple in a Dylan Baker appearance, and House actually going to work to try and save a life and not just making snappy remarks and you have the makings of a strong ep.moreless
  • pox.

    Well, first of all, that weren't Dutch spoken there. I am Dutch and I didn't catch a thing of what those allegedly Dutch people were saying. I read that the actor playing the captain is South African. To native english people that may sound like dutch, but South Africans are never able to learn good Dutch since South African is so much alike and still differs so much... And the web cam girl... seriously, I thought she was Russian. At least, she sounded like such. But, anyway, despite the bad Dutch actors, another great episode! Houses way of apologising... Not too great, but he'll learn. Doing nothing is not really their style, but Masters came back great. She is finally learning Houses way and I love it.moreless
Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith


Guest Star

Andrew Fiscella

Andrew Fiscella


Guest Star

Hayley Chase

Hayley Chase


Guest Star

Bobbin Bergstrom

Bobbin Bergstrom


Recurring Role

Amber Tamblyn

Amber Tamblyn

Martha Masters

Recurring Role

Cynthia Watros

Cynthia Watros

Sam Carr

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When House is trying to save the dad, his protective suit isn't entirely sealed. The bottom of the pants at his feet aren't closed.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • House: Why aren't you guys in my office?
      Dr. Foreman: Why are you in the building? It's eight in the morning.
      House: Where's Chase?
      Taub: He's not here because it's eight in the morning.

    • Masters: Smallpox was eradicated over 30 years ago.
      House: So were hush puppies. Have you checked out your local hipster coffee shop lately?

    • Taub: The virus can't survive over 200 years.
      House: You have.

    • Geerte: Oh, yes. My names is Geerte. Are you handsome, sexiest American man?
      House: You know, some people--I would say that I am, yeah.

    • House: I want you to translate something for me.
      Geerte: Why do you want I translate? I do topless, toys, and...
      Masters: Just do the translation.
      House: She can translate however she feels most comfortable.
      Geerte: Whatever. You put in credit card.
      Taub: House, the hospital has translators on call.
      House: Shut up...

    • Masters: Scrofula. That's what they called cervical T.B. lymphadenitis in the 1700s.
      House: Scrofulicous. That's what they called "annoying" in the 1700s.

    • Dr. Chase: You just tried this. I'm not a better liar than Foreman.
      House: Sure you are. You're descended from convicts.

    • Masters: You don't trust me.
      House: Going behind your back works better when you're not facing us.

    • Masters: So I guess honesty is the best policy.
      House: Why'd you say that? Seriously... to establish your viewpoint as if I didn't already know it. Or to demonstrate some weird cross-generational female solidarity with Cuddy?
      Masters: Actually, I was just trying to fill the awkward silence.
      House: Oh.

    • Masters: Julie doesn't have smallpox.
      House: Did I just dream the part where I finally agreed it was smallpox? Well, if what I thought was reality was actually a dream, then the reverse... oh, my God, I had a threesome with Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music: All That We See by The Black Ryder

    • Olivia Wilde is credited but doesn't appear.

    • International Airdates:
      Canada: November 15, 2010 on Global
      Australia: November 17, 2010 on Channel Ten
      Bulgaria: November 19, 2010 on Nova TV
      UK: November 21, 2010 on Sky1
      Germany: May 17, 2011 on RTL
      Czech Republic: October 17, 2011 on TV Nova
      Sweden: October 18, 2011 on TV4
      Poland: October 20, 2011 on TVP2
      Slovakia: April 12, 2012 on STV1
      Finland: March 25, 2013 on MTV3


    • Title:
      Referencing a line spoken by Mercutio in the first scene of Act 3 of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. The line in the play is "A plague o' both your houses," but it is often misquoted as "A pox on both your houses."

    • House: Are you a Stepford doctor?
      Referencing the 1975 movie The Stepford Wives, which featured a town where the men replace their wives with compliant sex robots.

    • House: Look, I don't want to go all Godfather on you. This was business.
      Referencing the 1972 movie The Godfather, a tale of the Corleone family and their rise to control of the Italian Mafia. In the movie, character Tom Hagen tells Sonny Corleone, "This is business, not personal."

    • Dr. Chase: Your Jedi mind tricks won't work here.
      Referencing the Star Wars series and the Jedi Knights. The Jedi Knights are the "good" protectors of the galaxy, capable of tapping into the mystic Force to gain a variety of powers such as mind control and telekinesis. They avoid strong emotion, which can lead them to the Dark Side, the "evil" side of the Force. The Jedi and the Force are first mentioned in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). House's next line is spoken by ObiWan Kenobi, a Jedi using the Force on two Stormtroopers, in that first movie.