Season 2 Episode 4

TB or Not TB

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 01, 2005 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
765 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While in Africa, a famous doctor becomes inexplicably ill and is sent to Dr. House for treatment.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • House deals with an arrogant yet noble patient...

    I thought this episode of House brilliant, yet not perfect, simply because Sebastian Charles was so irritating as the patient. His message was inspiring, yet he was inexplicably annoying. No doubt he was meant to be, but I found this a little bit wearing at times.

    Nevertheless, the storyline was interesting. Cameron's interest in Charles and House comes head to head here, and I think Chase summed it up perfectly when he says "He's not House- theres nothing there". I thought House's diagnostic processes were very funny in this episode, especially when he burst into the room during the press conference.

    The clinic scenes were also very funny, and how the obnoxious clinic patient who was shirty with Foreman was dealt with at the end was inspired and ingenious writing.

    Overall, another solid episode of a very decent start to Season 2.moreless
  • One of the best episodes of House ever by far!

    This episode was simply amazing I would have to say, having a practical celebrity as one of the patients of Dr. House, the whole thing with the press conferences, love interests, just all seems to fit perfectly, I liked the patient up until the point he wouldn't take the pills but he finally did, an unintentionally funny part is when the patient puked & fell down a flight of stairs with Cameron, I also like how Foreman & Wilson are watching the TV while House is trying to figure out what's going down with the patient, also when Cameron fixes the patient's robe & sees his butt, at the end Cameron doesn't end up dating him & he gets better & we find out why House hated him, and it was a pretty stupid reason but a great episode.moreless
  • A generic episode that could fit anywhere in the first three seasons (save an appearance from Stacy) -- but still a great episode.

    In "TB or not TB," Ron Livingston makes a guest appearance as an American doctor who treats overseas children for Tuberculosis. House spends a majority of the episode arguing that he's not a hero and is pompous like the rest of us, but just hides it better. His opinion does not change at the end of the episode when the patient leaves the hospital and has a press conference ("Look at him, he's enjoying this"). I laughed out loud with the not-so-subtle writing in the opening sequence when Sebastian is appealing to the Pharmaceutical company's board room full of executives and he collapses. His executive friend, a chemistry major in high school, comes to his aide on the ground and looks around the room asking "Isn't somebody here a doctor?" I found it funny because it brings to realization the fact that the industry is run by businessmen, as evidenced by the differences between Nexium and Prilosec (esomeprazole and omeprazole), and the actual doctors are just highly paid tools to help the businessmen make money.

    The writers seem to have started a pattern in which there is one clinic case and one major case per episode. The clinic case was seen by Foreman (wearing Dr. House's lab coat), and the lady became very mad at Foreman, whom she thought was House because of the nametag. The clinic story crossed paths with the main patient story in a uniquely written part where House proves that you can influence how people think based on a stereotype (in his case -- the cane). And while proving this to Cameron -- doubling as his argument against Dr. Sebastian -- he gives an apology to the angry female patient for putting his cane on her foot, which and overlooking Cuddy mistakes for his actual apology.

    The series is starting to fall into a rut, but we have a feeling that this Stacy situation will come of something soon. Even in the 'rut,' the writing is above average and the episode is very entertaining.moreless
  • Review

    I thought this was a good episode, with another wild change it up sickness that wound up being exactly as House projected it would be. I thought the episode was randomly comical, which is what I love about this show. I didnt think I was a big fan of the Cameron-House hook up until I saw her talking a lot to the doctor from africa. Every scene that he flirted with her my heart was racing that they would share some kiss that would change the way she felt about House. I dont think I want them to be together, I just like the fact that she likes him and he dodges it all the time. I think this show needs to bring House back to the Clinic a little more often as thats where the humor in the series actually originated from. Solid Episode thoughmoreless
  • An okay episode

    This wasn't the greatest episode ever. Dr. Charles was well I agree with House on him, I didn't really like the guy. And I hated Cameron. When they were doing the differential and House made a comment about Dr. Charles' cologne smelling like an elephant dung smoothie Cameron had that yuck look on her face and then she went and said it smelled fine.

    I didn't really like the light tension between Sebastian and Cameron. It is obvious that House was a little jealous when he saw Cameron and Sebastian holding hands.

    Foreman and House making a bet on the tilt the table test was amusing though. House won like usual and he was a sore winner when having Foreman go and take an extra hour of clinic duty for him.

    Foreman's clinic patient was great though. I loved how she complained to Cuddy and House was supposed to apologize for what Foreman did.

    It was an okay episode not the best though.moreless
Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

Dr. Gregory House

Jennifer Morrison

Jennifer Morrison

Dr. Allison Cameron

Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer

Dr. Robert Chase

Lisa Edelstein

Lisa Edelstein

Dr. Lisa Cuddy

Omar Epps

Omar Epps

Dr. Eric Foreman

Robert Sean Leonard

Robert Sean Leonard

Dr. James Wilson

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • The Nobel Peace Prize is presented in Oslo, Norway and not in Stockholm, Sweden as claimed by House and Wilson.

    • Chase says that his dad is rich, present tense. But as established in last season's "Cursed," Rowan Chase only had three months to live and clearly more time has passed then that since the events of that episode. A few episodes later in "The Mistake," it will be established he died in the spring of 2005, and this episode takes place afterward, so the reference to his dad in the present tense still doesn't work out.

    • Streptomycin is not available in pill form, it is only available as an intramuscular injection, however, it is shown as a pill as part of Dr. Charles's antibiotic cocktail.

    • While House and Wilson are sitting in the coma patients room Foreman enters, just then the coma patient closes his mouth around the tube he has in his mouth.

    • The TB test that Dr. Cameron did only gives an indication for TB infection in the blood stream. The next step, if the spot is red, swollen, raised and increased in diameter after 48 hours, the patient would be sent for x-ray in the chest area to see if any active infection is in the chest cavity.

    • TB is an airborne contagious disease. If they suspected that Sebastian had TB, why did they just let him wander around the hospital? Why did the doctors treat him without wearing protective masks?

  • QUOTES (27)

    • House: The reality is irrelevant. I'll prove it. People who know me see me as an ass, treat me as an ass. People who don't know me see a cripple, treat me as a cripple. What kind of selfish jerk wouldn't take advantage of that fact?

    • Dr. Foreman: What's the emergency?
      House: (looks at his yo-yo) I can't remember how to do "walk the dog."

    • House: You're allergic. We can control it with antihistamine. One pill a day.
      Mandy: Pills?
      House: You don't like to swallow?

    • Sebastian: People die of TB because we let them, it's our choice.
      House: People die of malaria because we let them, they die of dysentery...
      Sebastian: Nah, TB's my disease.
      House: You own a disease? Well, I'm sorry I missed the IPO on dengue fever.

    • House: Insulting a woman with breast cancer! That's a move best left to the pros. Frankly, you don't have the chops!
      Dr. Foreman: I didn't insult her! I did the unnecessary biopsy, like she wanted! It was negative, like I knew it would be.
      House: What did you do? Call em perky? You are years away from mad skills like that!

    • Dr. Charles: Two pallets of antibiotics for tuberculosis.
      Villager: We've got six pallets worth of patients.
      Dr. Charles: Stoia Tucker needs a math lesson.

    • House: You are not the same as them (African TB patients). Your life is not the same, and you're cheapening everything they're going through by pretending you are!
      Sebastian: I am the same, I'm not special.
      House: You can't demand to be treated like any Third World sick person, and call a press conference!

    • Dr. Cuddy You've outdone yourself.
      House: I'll say - my salad is covering a free T-bone steak.

    • House: I saved his life. That means I get credit for every life he saves from here on out.

    • House: (to Cuddy) Let me ask you something - if this were another doctor that this patient were complaining about, let's say, I don't know, Foreman, you'd just dismiss this as the paranoid bitching of another paranoid bitch and file it under 'P' for...
      Dr. Wilson: Paranoid?
      House: Am not.

    • House: He's not even a real doctor, he's a human telethon.
      Dr. Wilson: Is that your problem with him? You see hypocrites every day, why is this guy so special?
      House: You think I have a hypocritical attitude to hypocrisy? The problem is there are 26 letters in the alphabet and he only uses two of them. He treats thousands of patients with one diagnosis. He knows the answer going in. It's cheating.
      Dr. Wilson: So it's all because he's one of them useless specialists?
      House: Oh, did I hurt the big time oncologist's itty bitty feelings? You're a big help to patients who actually have cancer. Other times you're just annoying.

    • Dr. Cameron: He asked me out.
      Dr. Chase: I'm shocked. I'm shocked when patients don't ask you out.
      Dr. Cameron: He also asked me to come to Africa.
      Dr. Chase: Boy, he moves fast.

    • Dr. Foreman: You figure that anybody that gives a crap about people in Africa must be full of it?
      House: Yes. There's an evolutionary imperative why we give a crap about our family and friends. And there's an evolutionary imperative why we don't give a crap about anybody else. If we loved all people indiscriminately, we couldn't function.
      Dr. Foreman: Hmmm. So, the great humanitarian's as selfish as the rest of us.
      House: Just not as honest about it.

    • Mandy: The top of my head's killing me.
      House: Hmmm. We spent a week doing "top of head" in Anatomy. I know just where it is.

    • Dr. Wilson: He cures thousands of people every year, you cure, what? Thirty?
      House: McDonald's makes a better hamburger than your mother because they make more?
      Dr. Wilson: Oh, I see! So you hate him because the lives he saves aren't as good as the lives you save.
      House: Yup, that's the reason. Nobel invented dynamite. I won't accept his blood money.

    • House: The nameless poor have a face, and it's a pompous white man.

    • Sebastian: There's people dying in Africa of a disease that we cured over...
      House: Yeah, I know. I saw the concert. Seriously, let's say you sleep six hours, that means every night you kill 1,440 people. I guess you gotta get some sleep, but come on, if you'd stayed up another 10 minutes you could have saved 40 lives. Do you send notes to the families in the morning? That's gonna take at least 10 minutes so that's another 40 dead, another 40 notes…why don't you go wrack yourself with guilt in your own room?

    • Dr. Cuddy: Dr. Sebastian Charles collapsed during a presentation at Stoia Tucker.
      House: Really? Crushed under the weight of his own ego?

    • House: Did you ever notice how all self-sacrificing women in history - Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc...can't think of anyone others. They all die alone. The men on the other hand, get so much tang. It's crazy.
      Dr. Wilson: It's an unfair world.

    • Dr. Cuddy: Wow. Is there nobody you admire?
      House: Well, there was this girl I met in 'Nam who could blow out a candle without using her...

    • House: That is exactly why the patient shouldn't be in the room. If you can't tell a man that his cologne makes you want to puke, how are you going to tell him he's an idiot?
      Dr. Cameron: He's not an idiot.
      House: Sure, you say that now while he's in the room…

    • Dr. Chase: What about something metabolic?
      House: Welcome to the good ship "Ass Kisser." Nice day for a sail – pucker up, me hearties!

    • House: Every minute that we refuse to love one another, another puppy cries another tear.
      Dr. Wilson: You're just mad because he's closer to a Nobel prize then you.
      House: But I've nailed more Swedish babes. It's a crazy crazy world.
      Dr. Wilson: It's not just a trip to Stockholm, you know. It comes with a cash prize.
      House: Seriously? No wonder everyone's going after that peace thing.

    • Mandi: Is there something else you can give me (for my cat)?
      House: Well, you live by the river – I've got a bag.

    • House: Take the pills or I let you die, do an autopsy, call a press conference, and let the world know you didn't die of TB.
      Dr. Charles: Why would you do that?
      House: Because I'm just a mean son of a bitch.

    • (talking to a reporter on the phone)
      House: In my opinion, Dr. Sebastian Charles is an idiot. Yeah, you can quote me. C-U-D-D-Y.

    • House: Judging by the scratches on your hands, I'm cat.
      Mandy: It was my mother's. She's dead.
      House: You keep a dead cat?

  • NOTES (2)


    • House; Does this go up to 11?
      Echoing a line from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984) spoken by Nigel (Christopher Guest) when talking about how loud his guitar amplifiers go up to.

    • Title: TB or not TB
      The episode title is a pun resembling Shakespeare's famous quote from Hamlet, "To be, or not to be."

    • House: Yeah, I know, I saw the concert.
      This is a refence to the Live Aid concert held in 1985 to combat the terrible conditions in Africa. Also, during the Live 8 concerts in the summer of 2005, there was a segment where it was mentioned that every three seconds someone dies in Africa.