We opened on some slow-motion shots of folks standing around the hospital until the action moved to regular speed. Foreman (Omar Epps
) told Thirteen (Olivia Wilde
) he was working on some clinical trials testing drugs -- one was for Huntington's. Thirteen said she wasn't interested and wasn't getting treatment or following any kind of program. "Nor am I looking for a consult," she said.
An older man looked a bit distressed as he sat outside Cuddy's office, where he saw House (Hugh Laurie
) sitting behind the desk, messing around with the drawers -- remember that later. He went in and asked House about when Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein
) would be back and House told him to "get out and leave me alone." The man apologized, then stepped out of Cuddy's office, pulled out a gun and brought hostages, including Thirteen and a bunch of patients who were in the waiting room, into Cuddy's office, where House was still sitting. The man said he was sick and wanted to know why. He wanted the best doctor there immediately, or he would start killing people. "What seems to be the problem?" House asked.
Cue totally awesome music and credits!
The man said he'd been to 16 doctors in three years and undergone all kinds of tests. He said he couldn't breathe. He was tired all the time, got rashes, heart palpitations and insomnia. House was being his usual, contradictory self, telling the man his symptoms could be coming from something simpler than the years in prison he could serve for taking hostages. "Shut up and do your job," the man told House, shoving his medical records into House's chest.
House did a quick test to see if the man could blow out a lighter at arm's length. He couldn't, which gave House the conclusion the man had pulmonary scleroderma. Cuddy called the office phone, which House answered. He asked for some propophal to prove his diagnosis was right. The man didn't want a cop to bring in the drugs, so he demanded Cuddy do it. "She might be armed," House said. "I'd have asked her to bring it in shirtless."
The man held a woman at gunpoint while House met Cuddy and got the drugs. The man demanded House give the drug to someone else before giving it to him. He pointed out a man in a baseball cap who should take it. House gave the man in the ball cap the shot, then quickly turned and asked the hostage taker to roll up his sleeve. In a few seconds, the man in the ball cap collapse and House's jig was up. "You think I'm an idiot?" the sick man asked, pointing the gun at House. "I thought I had a little more time with a guy that size," House said. He pointed the gun at House angrily, but House knew he wouldn't shoot him. "You still need me," House said. The man pointed the gun at someone else. "You're right, I need you," the sick man said. "I also need you to know you can't screw with me." Then he shot the other man in the leg.
The phone rang. "It's for you," House said.
The phone kept ringing and the sick man kept hanging it up. The SWAT team arrived and told Cuddy they'd take care of communicating with anyone in her office. "You got a husband in there or a loved one?" he asked her. Cuddy said no. "Don't worry, we'll decide when to start shooting."
House's fellows all huddled around a phone to help with the diagnosis. He gave the symptoms, but Chase (Jesse Spencer
) refused to help the figure out the hostage taker's illness. "You think he's the only guy in New Jersey with an unsolved illness and a pistol?" Chase asked. He left, but Cameron (Jennifer Morrison
) said he was still there. House went through the fellows, asking them each for their opinion and taking his notes in permanent marker on Cuddy's office wall.
House was talking to the hostage negotiator, Bowman (Wood Harris
), when the sick man hung the phone up and told everyone to be quiet. He heard SWAT team officers outside, which gave House another symptom. No one else heard them, which meant the guy had hyperacusis. It was nerve related. House told the man he could test for neuralgia. The test would only be painful if he didn't have the disorder.
The hostage negotiator, calling the man Jason, demanded he release two hostages before any more meds would be brought in. Jason (Zeljko Ivanek
) said Cuddy had to bring everything in, not cops. She agreed. The negotiator told Cuddy she had to reveal whether she had a conflict or stakes in the situation he didn't know about. She didn't. Cuddy took in the meds and brought back two hostages.
No one wanted to take the first dose until Thirteen stepped up and said, "I'll do it." House told her she was "waving a white flag at the world." She took the dose and crumbled to the floor, whimpering in pain. Jason took the medicine and also fell to the floor in pain. House crossed the nerve hypothesis off the list. Foreman found it wasn't a lung infection. Thirteen said his problem was his heart because of a distended jugular.
They had to do something to slow Jason's heart and Thirteen went outside to get a drug to do it. Jason gave her 30 seconds and if she wasn't back he'd shoot someone. Thirteen was outside getting the meds when some SWAT offices knocked on a door. She looked at them, froze momentarily and eventually went back into Cuddy's office. Jason made her take the drug, which was dangerous because it would slow her heartbeat, which was fine as it it. She did, then collapsed.
House gave Jason the shot, which brought his heartbeat back to normal. House noticed Jason was sweating on one side of his face but not the other. House said Jason had lung cancer.
A nurse, Regina (Tracy Vilar
), said Thirteen's pulse was down below 50. "So's her IQ," House said. House called Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard
) to help his diagnose the lung cancer. Jason needed an X-ray and asked House how many hostages it would cost him for a trip to radiology. There were just five hostages left, and they tied themselves to each other, with Jason in the middle, for their walk to radiology. House pressed Jason for a reason why he would go to such extremes and Jason, in the X-ray machine, said he'd rather rot in jail knowing what was wrong with him than not know. Jason insisted on holding his gun during the test. The metal from the gun was creating a starburst artifact, meaning they couldn't see what was wrong.
House told Jason, "You either give me the gun, or shoot me." Jason said he wasn't going to give up the gun. Some commotion happened outside the X-ray room and two hostages ran out. Cuddy asked how they got Jason to release them and one, the nurse, said, "House got him to give up his gun. We just ran."
One kid stayed and House asked why he was still there. "Curious," the kid said. "It's safe now, right?"
House said there was no tumor. "I don't know what you have," he said. "So, it's over," Jason said. "Thanks for trying." House handed Jason his gun.
The phone rang and House answered, saying, "He overpowered me, got his gun back," before hanging up. Thirteen called House a coward and said he was so terrified of not knowing something, of just being an ordinary doctor, he'd risk other people's lives to solve the case. House told Thirteen she was the coward for thinking she was in control by trying to bring on death sooner than her disease could do it for her.
The negotiator wondered whether House was now rooting for the hostage taker. "I hope your boyfriend knows what he's doing," he told Cuddy.
The team discussed more options and House noticed the man turning his head, meaning he was losing his hearing in one ear. They sent in drugs on the condition Jason gave up one more hostage and didn't test any more drugs on Thirteen. The drugs came in but Jason insisted Thirteen take them anyway. House worried the new drug would cause Thirteen's liver to fail. She developed a dangerously fast heartbeat and a fever, and House was forced to lie her down. It turned out that all the medicine Jason had forced Thirteen to take was making her kidneys fail.
House rang his team on his mobile.
"The Prednisolone is making Thirteen's kidneys fail but not the pacients. Why?"Cameron suggested Melioidosis, which spreads in tropical climates. "I've never been anywhere south of Florida," Jason said. Jason didn't realize Florida counted as tropical.
House then slapped Jason across the face for diagnostic purposes, revealing a twitch below his eye. Something was protecting Jason's kidneys. House asked for the drugs to cure Melioidosis, but the negotiators wouldn't send in any more drugs. Jason offered House in exchange for the drugs. House knew Jason planned on giving Thirteen the drugs, which could kill her since her kidneys were already failing. House offered to let him stay and take the drugs, but Jason said no, she had taken everything that he had taken. Thirteen told House to leave, calling him the martyr for staying. She said either the drugs would kill her or Jason would kill her, so it didn't make much difference.
House walked out and they tossed in the syringe. Thirteen asked Jason, "You really don't feel bad about killing me?" He replied, "Not if you don't feel bad about killing yourself." She said she didn't want to die, but Jason said she just didn't have the nerve to do it. "You just want it out of your control," he said. "It is. Because I've got a gun."
She put the syringe near her arm, but stopped and said, "Don't do this." Jason pointed the gun at her while the SWAT team outside the room prepared to make a big move.
Thirteen couldn't go through with injecting and, effectively killing herself. She told Jason she didn't want to die while the first tears rolled down her face. He slammed the gun down, took the syringe and jammed it into his arm just as the wall to the door exploded, the force from the explosion forcing both Jason and Thirteen to the ground.
In slow motion, SWAT team members went into the room and arrested Jason while House limped as quickly as he could to Thirteen. He helped her over onto her back, and surpirised, asked her why she was still alive. "He didn't make me take it," was all she said.
House walked out into the hospital lobby, popped a couple of Vicodin. Outside of the room, Cuddy looks up and sees House with a worried face. House looks around and finds Jason, who looked better than he had all day, as he was taken away by the cops. House puts his hand to his chest, motioning for him to take a breath. Jason takes a healthy, smooth breath, and smiles. House nods, and Jason nods, and he gave a slight smile. House breathed a sigh of relief in response as Jason moves away in handcuffs.
In the next scene, Thirteen was just waking up in a hospital bed. Foreman was at her side, and a bouquet of flowers was nearby. Foreman told Thirteen a week's worth of dialysis and she'd be OK. He also apologized to her for leaving the differential diagnosis earlier. "About that Huntington's drug trial," she said with a smile, without finishing. Foreman returned her smile.
Cuddy walked in to find the scary and bloody scene inside her office. She was upset House enabled the hostage taker. He thanked her for enabling every medical move he made. She asked if he thought she handled things differently because he was involved. He said sarcastically, "I don't know. Let's try it again without me." She said that was why the two of them couldn't be "a thing."
"If you're suggesting that you screwed up because of a non-relationship with me, I don't know how I can help you," House said. "Because the only change you can make from a non-relationship is..."
"Do you want a relationship?" Cuddy asked.
"God, no," House said. "I'm just trying to follow your logic."
Cuddy opened her desk drawer and everything fell out. House smiled and walked out.