House M.D.: Season 5, Episode 17

The Social Contract (9 Mar. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,070 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

The team tries to diagnose a condition that leaves the patient saying anything that he thinks, no matter whom it hurts, and Wilson raises House's antennae when he passes up a monster truck rally.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Allison Cameron (credit only)
Audrey Greenwald
Marika Greenwald
Timothy Moore
Dr. Kapur


Publisher Nick Greenwald is diagnosed with a possibly congenital tumor, which suppresses his social lies ability. So he speaks the obnoxious truth as heartlessly as House, to staff and his family, but wants to be cured, at any risk. Taub is caught between Wilson needing a cover story and House's determination to find out what he's hiding. It proves serious and revealing about Wilson's fanatically considerate attitude. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 March 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jay Karnes' real life wife, Julia Campbell, appeared in the previous episode, "The Softer Side." See more »


The cup Chase sips from when House asks him to butter up his boss visibly (and audibly) has nothing in it. See more »


Dr. Lisa Cuddy: Where's House?
Nick: Like trying not to think of an elephant. Not that you're an elephant. Your breasts in fact, all... all...
[Nick chuckles]
Nick: homo sapiens.
Dr. Eric Foreman: House isn't here.
Dr. Lisa Cuddy: Oh, he wouldn't have paged me if he couldn't watch and enjoy the -
[Cuddy finds House sitting in the darkend control room]
See more »


References Ordinary People (1980) See more »


The Shining
Performed by Damon Gough
See more »

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User Reviews

24 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

TV veteran Jay Karnes stars as an afflicted fellow who says the first thing that comes to mind. Before this, he was the nicest of people. Now he is offending everyone around him and driving his family away. He makes for one of the few patients this season worth watching, while the growing hospital soap opera angle -- a definite negative of the series -- swirls around him. A pithy comment by the patient about Taub's prominent nose sets off a series of very funny moments for actor Peter Jacobson, whose Taub character remains my favorite among the "new" hires. House of course is simultaneously fascinated and repulsed with the idea of restoring the patient to what House considers a fake niceness, since House does not believe in niceness. A great episode, and the business between 13 and Foreman is mercifully toned down for once.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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