Season 5 Episode 14

The Greater Good

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 02, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
497 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A former cancer researcher collapses in the middle of a cooking class, and the team is forced to reevaluate their own lives when they learn she gave up a promising career to seek personal happiness. Meanwhile, Thirteen suffers adverse reactions from the clinical trials, and Cuddy gives House a dose of his own medicine.moreless

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  • It was an okay episode...just a little too...well...weak for me. Love, Meagan

    I liked this episode, I really did, but I was expecting more on the whole "13 is dying" aspect of it...

    All this episode really gave me was that she had (emphasis on HAD) a problem, but it was fixable. Plus, to tell the truth, no one even seemed to care. (Except Foreman...)

    Once again, I did like the episode, I just thought it was a little...well...weak.

    I'm so sorry if anyone was offended by this, I am just speaking my mind...

    I like House A LOT (and I mean a lot!), and I watch it every week, I was just a little bit disappointed in this episode.

    Love, Meaganmoreless
  • Rationalisation Man!

    I thought this was one of the best episodes in a little while, although I have to admit the whole Foreman and Thirteen thing did ruin the episode slightly for me. I think their storyline went a little bit ridiculous this time around, although I thought it was good of House to protect Foreman as much as he could.

    Cuddy's tricks on House were amusing, if slightly cruel. It gave a new dimension to House's character as we see him not fighting back, showing personal guilt. It was a lovely piece of acting at the end of the episode with House and Cuddy "playing the roles they feel they have to play". The patient was interesting, although the writers really need to focus on them more! I liked the effect she had on Wilson and Taub (the former actually being a doctor in this episode!), and how they both moved on a bit with their lives. The diagnosis was also brilliant.

    A slight problem with the episode is that this was the big 100, and there was no sign of Chase or Cameron, who made the show what it was. A slight insult I think.

    Overall, however, a good episode, marred slightly by trivial annoyances the writers seem intent on including these days.moreless
  • Dropped a little bit this week

    In this episode of House, the following happens. The team have a patient who used to be a doctor, and who was close to curing a disease. It also seems in this episode that someone is out to get House. First the elevators are down, but they work for everyone else and then someone sets up a trip wire in his office, which he falls over. Foreman soon sees that there is something wrong with 13. After he does a simple test, he tests her about him switching the drugs. Soon 13 is getting worse and so an MRI is ordered for her. During the MRI, Foreman sees that she has a tumour. When Foreman goes home to see 13, we learn that she has now lost her sight. She is taken into the hospital and try to repair what has happened o her as well as trying to make her tumour go away. After tests are run we learn that the woman, who used to be a doctor, is bleeding no-stop due to an operation she had a few months before. 13 becomes better and so she gets her vision back, and the first person she sees is Foreman. Foreman later rings the drug trial company and tells them what has happened.moreless
  • Another Great Installment

    This episode was a little different it the interaction of the main characters and is somewhat sad at points. I was getting choked up in the last scene with Wilson; he really misses Amber.

    The story is about a lady who was once a leading cancer researcher and is now in a cooking class. She collapses in the middle of the class and ends up Dr. House's patient. Cuddy starts playing some pretty mean practical jokes on House to pay him back for making her come back to work and not take care of her baby. House decides the best way to win this war is to not react to her games.

    The clinical trial continues for Thirteen and Foreman has stitched out her placebo for the real drug because it seems to be working for other patients. Thirteen has adverse effects and looses her vision, develops headaches, and develops a brain tumor. House and Foreman perform an emergence procedure on Thirteen to radiate the tumor. The procedure seems to be successful because Thirteen gets her vision back. Foreman calls the drug company in the end and lets them know what had done and he is banned from future trials.

    The patient who initially came in has had a multitude of symptoms, mostly bleeding. One side effect was scratching through her skull to her brain. House finally puts it together and realizes that a previous procedure caused some problems, making her bleed out from everywhere. She was currently on her monthly cycle and the bleeding from that was causing the problem. She would require a procedure after her monthly cycle was over to fix the problem and she would be back to normal.

    This episode was very special in that it made some of the team members take a second look at themselves and what their motivations were. Well except maybe House.moreless
  • Nothing To See Here

    A former cancer researcher collapses in the middle of a cooking class, and the team is forced to reevaluate their own lives when they learn she gave up a promising career to seek personal happiness. Meanwhile, Thirteen suffers adverse reactions from the clinical trials, and Cuddy gives House a dose of his own medicine. I really am starting to miss the good old days of House. At this point I wonder if the show is ever going to be able to return to the glory that it had in the first three seasons. They have gotten away from the personal side of things, or at least the personal side that we care about. Cameron and Chase have been replaced by what - Foreman and Thirteen? No one cares about Thirteen and the fact that Foreman is with her has made him an utterly useless character. The episode was average, just like seasons five and four have been. The episodes always have some funny moments between House/Cuddy House/Wilson, but beyond that the show has simply lost everything that once made it so addicting to watch back to back to back for days on end.moreless
David Purdham

David Purdham

Chef Anthony

Guest Star

Judith Scott

Judith Scott

Dana Miller

Guest Star

Jennifer Crystal Foley

Jennifer Crystal Foley

Rachel Taub

Recurring Role

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde


Recurring Role

Bobbin Bergstrom

Bobbin Bergstrom


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In the scene after Houses wakes up in Wilson's office, we see Kutner calling House on a phone on the meeting room table yet it's the first time that phone is seen and there is not outlet near the table to connect it. Also the phone screen doesn't show the call progress or the dialed number which is a standard feature on that kind of phone.

    • When House realizes his cane is missing, on one shot a security guard passes from left to right yet on a reverse angle shot seconds later we see him passing right to left.

    • In the kitchen scene at the beginning of the episode, Dana actually chops the onion the opposite way of how Chef Anthony demonstrated it. In his demonstration Chef Anthony cut across the onion to make slices (and said cut the onion lengthwise to halve it and then cut across), but Dana sliced the onion from top to root (lengthwise).

  • QUOTES (11)

    • House: Get a piece of her lung and stick it under a black light. If it glows, the sick children who need her souffle can breathe easier.

    • House: I'm happy for you. Love so deep you're ready to chuck your medical license to give her powerful, unproven drugs with dangerous side effects. I don't want to make assumptions about your feelings for me, but I do have a birthday coming up.

    • House: Cut out the masses, she'll be fine.
      Taub: Can't do surgery until her cycle is over and she stops bleeding.
      House: Well, let's hope she can hold out 'til then. In the meantime, get her a pint of cookie dough ice cream and a DVD of Beaches.

    • House: Yes, ladies, I am blaming her period. Granted, it's the worst period ever. Although frankly, not by all that much.

    • Chef Anthony: Are you going to chop those onions or give them a Thai massage?
      Dana: Well, I guess a happy ending is out of the question.
      Chef Anthony: I don't recall adding snide remarks to your list of duties.
      Dana: Just taking initiative.

    • Thirteen: Dr. House gets a few perks.
      Dana: He has his own scanner?
      Thirteen: No, just very loose interpretations of hospital procedure.

    • House: Why do you think the elevators would be out to get me?
      Dr. Cuddy: I don't know. Maybe they wanted to take time off to spend with their little dumbwaiter. But then they had to leave it at home with an elevator sitter because you drove the replacement elevator to quitting because you're incapable of listening to anybody but me. That's just a theory.
      House: You're wrong. I don't even listen to you.

    • House: People act in their own self-interest. You're all here because you're happy to be here. Or at least because it's your best option.
      Kutner: I'm here because I want to help people.
      House: No, you're here because it makes you feel good to help people. Taub and Foreman are here because they've got no other viable options. And Thirteen is desperate to make her life matter before it's over.
      Taub: So... you're happy to be here?
      House: Does it show?

    • Dr. Wilson: Yeah, that makes sense too.
      House: "Too"?
      Dr. Wilson: I was thinking you actually feel guilty about taking her away from her baby, but your explanation's good too. It's completely inconsistent with your character, but...
      House: Thank you, Rationalization Man. You have saved the village!

    • Kutner: What's going on with everyone today?
      Taub: It involves House, Foreman, and Thirteen, which mean it's either dumb, dangerous, or tragic, or a combination. I'm embracing my ignorance.

    • Dr. Cuddy: Or this whole thing is just an act. And you've gone back to the part you think you need to play.
      House: You should go talk to Wilson. Rationalization Man needs a faithful sidekick. Now Rational Man needs to go save a life.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: March 4, 2009 on Channel Ten
      Latin America: March 12, 2009 on Universal Channel
      Denmark: July 4, 2009 on Kanal 4
      The Netherlands: September 17, 2009 on SBS6
      Germany: October 6, 2009 on RTL
      Poland: October 15, 2009 on TVP2
      Slovakia: November 10, 2009 on STV1
      Czech Republic: February 17, 2010 on TV Nova
      Sweden: March 2, 2010 on TV4

    • Music: Brand New Day (Joshua Radin)

    • Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer are credited but don't appear.


    • House: Shocks without shock, an itch that won't stop. She needs Dr. Seuss.
      This is not an actual Doctor but the pen name for, World renowned writer, Theodor Seuss Geisel. He is most notably known for his use of highly imaginative characters and rhyming to create fun children's reading books. Probably his best known works are The Cat in the Hat and How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

    • House: Ebony and Ivory are joined near the hip
      References the 1982 hit performed by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. On the most basic level, it talks about black and white keys on a piano, but it was actually about his relationship with his wife Linda. He wrote the song after they had a fight, and people assume that it's about racial equality because of the color thing.