House

Season 5 Episode 12

Painless

1
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 19, 2009 on FOX

Episode Recap

A man, Jeff, is at home writing an apologetic note. He leaves his wedding ring on it and then goes to the closet and picks out clothing. His wife Lynne and son Zack are stopping off at home to get Zack's hockey stick for practice. They open the garage door and find Jeff in the car, unconscious, with the car running. Lynne tries to revive him and he wakes up, saying he couldn't take the pain any more.

House is at home in the bath tub clutching at his leg in pain. The next day he arrives at the hospital and Cuddy tells him he owes Cameron a favor for filing his budget reports for him. House objects but Cuddy tells him to work it out with Cameron: she has a DYFS home visit to prepare for. Cameron brings Jeff's case to House and his team and notes that he has plenty of painkillers in his drug cabinet. House figures she's trying to teach him a valuable life lesson. Taub thinks Jeff has mental issues and notes that none of his doctors have found anything wrong with him. House tells them to run a pain profile and check out Jeff's home.

Taub talks to Jeff, Lynne, and Zack, and Jeff says he isn't depressed. Foreman and Thirteen check out the house. Foreman notes that Thirteen has been avoiding him since they kissed, but she claims she's been busy. He asks her out to dinner but she says no and informs him she doesn't want to kiss him again. She admits she likes him but it doesn't make sense to get involved with anyone. Thirteen doesn't feel she can handle dragging anyone down with her. They find wild quail in the freezer.

Back in diagnostic, Thirteen thinks the quail is responsible but Taub disagrees. House doesn't think Jeff's depression has led to his pain. Taub recommends antidepressants and notes they're not diagnosing Jeff's family… or House. House has Thirteen do biopsies of Jeff's muscles and then leaves. Thirteen and Kutner do the biopsies but Jeff starts feeling more pain and he arrests.

House is at home trying to sleep when the phone rings. He ignores it and takes some more Vicodin. The team notes that Jeff is getting worse, and House finally calls them back, having already deduced that Jeff was having further problems. House tells them to check for tumors, hangs up, and then notices water dripping from the ceiling. He knocks on it with his cane and the ceiling breaks down, dumping water on him.

As they run tests, Kutner asks Taub if he knew someone who committed suicide. Taub denies knowing anyone and just objecting to a rationale for suicide on general principles. They spot indicators on Jeff's diaphragm.

The next morning, House calls in a plumber, Fernando, who says it's negligence and insurance won't cover it. The pipe was pulled apart and runs to House's shower.

As Foreman tests Thirteen as part of the clinic trials, he points out again that she can't shut people out. Thirteen points out that his patient is dragging down his family. Taub and Kutner report that there's air leakage in Jeff's intestine and House won't answer his calls. Foreman orders an angioplasty to find the vascular blockages and prevent another cardiac arrest. Thirteen eagerly volunteers to go with them to get away from Foreman.

House arrives in the office and Foreman tells him the test results. House doesn't believe the air caused Jeff's ailments and realizes where the air came from. He goes to Jeff's room and traces the IV tube. He finds where Jeff blew into his IV tube to try and kill himself. Jeff admits he lied and wants them to let him die. House refuses to grant him his wish.

The team puts him in a hyperbaric chamber and Cuddy has them report to her home where she's tending to her baby, Rachel. She notes that House hasn't showered in a while. Thirteen suggests Jeff is suffering from non-motor seizures, indicative of McCardle's, and Foreman agrees. House orders tests in case they're right.

Janice is at the clinic and is doing better. She thanks Thirteen for getting her back into the study and says that she was switched to be back-to-back with Thirteen's appointment just this morning.

Kutner tests for McCardle's and advises Lynne and Zack that Jeff can recover with treatment. Jeff tells his wife and son to get out since the tests are all that he can handle. Taub tells him not to be an ass and Jeff says Taub has no idea what he's going through. Jeff suddenly has new pain in his leg.

Thirteen confronts Foreman about assigning Janice's appointment so she could see some positive results of the treatment. Foreman says he's not responsible for scheduling and this was the first he had heard about Janice improving.

House is looking for the name of a lawyer as Kutner and Taub report to him about the new symptom. House goes with the lawyer that Kutner used when he set a patient on fire, Chris Charrick. Kutner jokingly suggest they cut off Jeff's head to see if the pain goes away. House calls Cuddy to her office and forces her to do her job to get her to give him permission to separate Jeff's central nervous system from his body. That way they can determine if the pain is coming from his brain or his body. Cuddy warns that it's dangerous but House notes Jeff will definitely kill himself if they don't come up with a cure. Cuddy gets a page and leaves, telling him to do what he thinks is right.

The next morning, Cuddy is at home and discovers that her babysitter is running late. The DYFS inspector shows up an hour early on her doorstep.

House drops in on Jeff as he undergoes treatment to isolate his central nervous system. Jeff notes that House is there in the hope that they might find a cure that he can use as well.

James Carlton, the DYFS inspector, goes over Cuddy's house and notices ants, and the fact she hid diapers in her briefcase. However, he says that everything looks fine, all things considered, and he'll see Cuddy in a year.

Jeff says he's feeling a lot better but House thinks that the problem in Jeff's brain is still there. As the team goes over the result, Kutner's lawyer Carrick comes in and tells House that he'll sue him the next time that House uses his name in a threatening e-mail to a plumber. Thirteen wonders if the spinal block caused a placebo effect. They're interrupted when they get pages that Zack has collapsed suffering from pain. House realizes he's faking and tells Jeff to give him the bottle of isopropyl he drank while Zack tried to provide a distraction. Zack tells them that Jeff isn't his dad anymore and Jeff just wants it to be over with.

With their most recent treatment a failure, there doesn't seem to be anything else. House concludes that whatever injury caused the original pain healed, and the only thing left is the drugs. He suggests that the opioid treatment altered Jeff's pain receptors. He has them take Jeff off the current painkiller drugs so his pain receptors will recalibrate themselves.

Wilson drops by to visit Cuddy with a large stuffed duck. She's worried that everything is too much for her and she only passed by the inspector's meager standards, not hers. Wilson points out that she's creating ridiculous standards and she should get help.

Jeff asks them to sedate him as they prepare to take him off the drugs, and they warn that they can't give him any drugs. Taub finally admits to Kutner that his colleague tried to kill himself, and his family was torn apart as a result. House is watching and Foreman points out that it's torture to take Jeff off the drugs on a hunch. House responds by accusing Foreman of manipulating the clinical trials to get closer to Thirteen, and says that he checked the logs and discovered that Foreman rescheduled Janice's appointments.

Back at his house, House fakes a cooking accident to the pipes and calls in Fernando to replace the pipes. The plumber notes the fire skipped his pipes and hit the neighbors. House looks up and starts to get an idea.

While Jeff suffers, Lynne talks to House and wonders if they're better off letting Jeff kill himself. She thought House would understand because of his own pain and asks if he wants to live the way Jeff is. When he can't answer, she tells him to stabilize Jeff and she'll take her husband home and do what has to be done. House agrees.

At home, House checks Fernando's completed work as the plumber notes that House paid more to bribe him to lie on the claim then he would have to pay for the repairs. House insists he didn't break the pipes and he wanted to make sure the insurance company pays. As Fernando leaves, House notices him scratch his crotch and leaves for the hospital. He meets with the team and suggests epilepsy that has rewired the pain neurons, and the EKG wouldn't have detected it if was in an area of the brain too deep inside: the area that controls the muscles of the testicles. House talks to Jeff and gets him to admit the pain first started in the scrotum. They confirm the diagnosis and treat him for epilepsy.

Cuddy goes over her files in her office, with Rachel at her side.

A recovered Jeff walks through the hospital with Zack as Lynne looks on. Kutner figures that the colleague Taub described is himself, but Taub denies it and leaves.

Foreman finds Thirteen early for her tests at the clinic. She asks if he's busy that night and he says he isn't. He talks to the nurse and realizes that Thirteen's on the placebo.

Cuddy asks Cameron why she wanted House to take on Jeff's case. Cameron admits she wanted to give House some manner of hope. Cuddy hesitates, then asks Cameron if she wants Cuddy's job.

House gets in the bath tub and holds onto the shower pipe. He notices that the pipe is loose because he uses it as a handhold to get into the tub.
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