Season 8 Episode 1

Twenty Vicodin

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 03, 2011 on FOX

Episode Recap

House meets with his parole board after 8 to 12 months served. They can grant him parole in five days and ask if he's sorry for what he did. House immediately says that he is, noting that it's the correct answer. They point out that they need him to show remorse, and House argues that means that the best actors are released. When a board member points out that he endangered Cuddy's daughter, drove his car through the window, and fled the country for three months, House explains that he knew the daughter wasn't home on Friday and that he saw everyone was in the living room before driving into the kitchen. The parole board admits that they have to deal with overcrowding, but warn House that if he breaks a single rule in the next five days, they'll keep him in for another four months. House says that he can stay out of trouble.


House wakes up in his cell and finds his cellmate Asofa sitting at the end of his bunk. He goes down to the common area with Asofa, makes sure that he gets his anti-psychotic medication, and then takes his own pills. Another prisoner, Mendelson, has House slip him the pills and then shows off his Nazi brand. As House returns to his cell, he makes a chess move against another prisoner, Frankie. When he gets to his cell, House discovers Rollo stealing his tuna because he'll be out in five days. Rollo figures that House won't do anything to ruin his chance of parole or get a reputation as a snitch. Frankie comes in and restrains House, and Rollo strolls out. The older prisoner then tells House to get revenge on the other prisoners by getting out alive on Friday.

As House cleans, Stomper demands his stereo and his headphones and tells him to drop it off in his cell. House then goes to the infirmary and hears Dr. Jessica Adams proscribing treatment for gonorrhea for a prisoner, Nick. House comes over and tells her that she's wrong, and the other doctor, Sykes, explains that House used to be a doctor. Adams is surprised to learn that he was a doctor, and House tells her that it's lupus. She isn't able to find any immediate symptoms on Nick's head but House tells her that's only an adequate diagnosis.

House goes to see Frankie, who warns him not to mess with Stomper. However, House gets an idea and goes to Rollo's cell. Later, Stomper comes into House's cell and House says that Rollo took the stereo. Stomper doesn't believe it but House says that Rollo claimed he could take Stomper out. The prisoner goes after Rollo and finds it just as House intended. As House enjoys his tuna and his stereo, Frankie warns him that it was stupid and that he's going to run out of tricks before his parole is up.


House wakes up in the middle of the night and finds a cricket on the mattress. As he prepares to flick it dead, Asofa grabs his shoulder and says, "Don't." House notes that they talked about it before but didn't get any response. In the morning, House comes to see Nick, who is sketching his wife, Nicole. As House checks Nick's chest, Nick explains that Nicole is having problems but House doesn't care enough to believe him.

Once House gets done checking him, he goes to see Adams and tells her that he found a rash on Nick's left thigh. Adams has checked House out and asks what went wrong. He ducks the question and tells her to proscribe for lupus. When she wonders why she should listen, House figures that she's a rich girl who is liberal but already bored, and she'll find the case interesting. When Adams wonders how she knows that, House explains his deductions and notes that she only looked interested when they discussed Nick's case, so he figures she'll treat Nick for lupus.

As House goes through the common area, a prisoner named Sullivan calls House up to Mendelson's cell. Mendelson has heard that House will be getting out and wants the rest of his Vicodin, more than they give him per day. When House suggests he could go into solitary, Mendelson admits that he could get out, but he has friends on the outside. House goes to see a trustee, Porter, and asks him to get Vicodin for him. Porter says that he can do it and tells House to have his friends send $200 to his contacts on the outside. House points out that he has no friends and Porter tells him what he needs. As House agrees, Nick clutches at his broken left arm in pain. House examines him and realizes that it's not lupus.


House wakes up, clutching at his leg, and realizes that he's down to his last Vicodin. Asofa asks if he's sick and House says that he's trying to get by. In response, Asofa shows him the cricket and tells House to fix it. The next morning, House tells Adams that Nick broke his arm but he was only jostled. He realizes that Adams is interested and asks to see Nick's patient file. She admits that Nick hasn't had any recent meds and offers to x-ray him for cancer. When House realizes that she won't have the x-ray until Friday, when he's out, he tells Adams to give Nick blood thinners. When she points out that he doesn't have any proof, House goes to get some.

As House checks Nick and listens to his lungs, Nick admits that Nicole doesn't want to see him. As Frankie walks by, House catches up to him and asks him to find a cricket to make a swap. Frankie says it won't work but agrees to check. However, he warns that they spray regularly with pesticides. As Potter goes by, House approaches him and the trustee warns that Mendelson and his Nazi gang have claimed all the Vicodin and he can't do anything for House.

House gets Nick into the prison hospital and shows Adams how to find an acoustical shadow, confirming his diagnosis of lung cancer. She had no idea that it could be done without a stethoscope. However, she still doesn't believe that blood thinners are warranted without further tests. Adams does a clotting test on his ear lobe and waits, and asks House is he's leaving medicine. She wonders what he'll do instead but House doesn't answer at first. He finally talks about theoretical dark matter and how he wants to investigate it because it's the greatest mystery there is. Adams says that he has a gift and he should go back to medicine, but House says that it's his gift that got him in prison. Nick's ear lobe starts bleeding profusely, meaning that he doesn't have lung cancer.


In his cell, House tells Asofa that his cricket may be suffering from pesticide poisoning and proscribes bicarbonate of soda. He suggests that Asofa say thank you but gets no response. House then checks his stash of Vicodin and realizes he's down to four pills. He goes to see Adams, who says that the x-ray test proved negative for lung cancer. She notices that his leg is hurting and offers ibuprofen, but he says it won't help. Adams offers House Nick's patient file even though he warns her that he's not particular trustworthy. House figures that it must be something in the laundry where Nick works, and asks if she can get him samples. Before she can agree, Sykes comes in and asks why House has a file.

House goes to see Nick, who is more interested in getting back in contact with Nicole then getting samples. Irritated, House says that Nicole isn't going to wait and that Nick's life is over. Nick angrily tells him to get out and House turns and leaves. He goes back to the hospital and Adams tells him that Sykes has left. However, she's angry that House lied to him. House figures that she's just angry that he lied to her and doesn't care about him, and she asks how he ended up in jail with no prior. He tells her that he had a bad lawyer and Adams says that they can't discuss the case anymore.

As House goes back to his cell, Sullivan and Mendelson grab him, knowing that he won't be able to get the pills in time. Mendelson explains that he takes the medicine for stress and he can't appear weak, so he has no choice but to make an example of House if he doesn't deliver in 24 hours. House goes to see Frankie and asks him for matches. Frankie points out that matches are serious contraband, so House asks for a stick of gum and the pen that Frankie never writes with... which contains a small blade.

House goes to one of the bathrooms and shorts out a socket using the foil from the gum. He then starts a fire using tissue paper and chemicals. Next he goes to the prison hospital and waits until the fire alarms go off. As Adams prepares to evacuate, House steals some of the pills and then leaves with her.

Later, Nick approaches House and asks about the samples. House isn't interested and explains that he's done with fixing people. Nick refuses to go and House notices that his lips are swelling. Before he can confirm if Nick has any allergies, Nick goes into anaphylactic shock. House has no choice but to do an emergency tracheotomy using Frankie's pen blade. He flushes the blade down the toilet just as the guard, Alvarez, arrives. House admits that he has no idea what is wrong with Nick.

That night, House rubs his leg and listens to the cricket chirp. He looks up at the bottom of the bunk above him where he's written down Nick's symptoms, and then takes several of his remaining medicine to ease the pain.


House wakes up and takes another pill, and then flushes the rest down the toilet as Afosa watches. He then knocks on the door and asks the guard to be taken into protective custody. As Alvarez takes him away, House sees a man drinking coffee and tells Alvarez that he doesn't need protective custody anymore. He goes to the prison hospital and tells Adams and Sykes that Nick has mastocytosis, triggered by hot liquids. Sykes offers to do a blood test but House warns that it's unreliable. House tells them to give Nick five aspirin to trigger another anaphylactic shock and confirm his diagnosis. Sykes warns that it will shut down Nick's breathing, but Nick agrees. Adam agrees but Sykes ignores both of them. When House goes to get aspirin and do it himself, Sykes calls in a guard and warns that if he ever comes back to the prison hospital, he'll write him up and make sure that he won't get parole.

As House leaves, Adam asks if he got the pills he needs. She knows what House was up to and gives him 20 more pills when he asks. House then asks her to let him back into the clinic to take care of Nick, but Adams says that she'll do it herself and tells House to take care of himself.

House goes to see Mendelson and shows him the pills. The prisoner says that he knew House would learn how to fall in line. House considers it and then tosses the pills into the air. As the prisoners fight over them, Mendelson hits House, who doesn't fight back. When Mendelson hesitates, House says that now he has an injury so he can get back into the clinic. The gang leader tells Sullivan to beat up House, but the man initially refuses since he only has two weeks left on his stretch. Mendelson orders him to do it anyway, and Sullivan grabs a hidden shank and prepares to stab House. However, Afosa shows up just in time to knock Sullivan out. As he goes after Mendelson and the others, armored guards come in to break up the riot.

As Adams treats House, she notes that some of the injured patients are being taken to Princeton. Once House is alone with Nick, he grabs the aspirin. Adams realizes that he let himself get beaten up on purpose, while Sykes spots House. House locks the dividing door and gets the aspirin out. Adams reminds him that if he'll be in prison for at least six months, and she's learned that he didn't have a lawyer, bad or otherwise. House simply took the first deal he was offered. She wonders if he's punishing himself, but House simply says that he has a gift.

The guards break in and stop Nick before he can drink the aspirin mixture. As they take House away, Adams gives the glass to Nick. Sykes tells her that she's fired and she tells him to shut up and see if Nick has an attack. However, nothing happens.


House is in solitary and a guard slips his food tray through the slot. There's a note on it from Adams, saying he was right.