Not Cancer


Not Cancer
"Not Cancer"
House episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 2
Directed by David Straiton
Written by David Shore & Lawrence Kaplow
Original air date September 23, 2008
Guest stars

Felicia Day as Apple

Season 5 episodes
September 2008 – May 2009
  1. "Dying Changes Everything"
  2. "Not Cancer"
  3. "Adverse Events"
  4. "Birthmarks"
  5. "Lucky Thirteen"
  6. "Joy"
  7. "The Itch"
  8. "Emancipation"
  9. "Last Resort"
  10. "Let Them Eat Cake"
  11. "Joy to the World"
  12. "Painless"
  13. "Big Baby"
  14. "The Greater Good"
  15. "Unfaithful"
  16. "The Softer Side"
  17. "The Social Contract"
  18. "Here Kitty"
  19. "Locked In"
  20. "Simple Explanation"
  21. "Saviors"
  22. "House Divided"
  23. "Under My Skin"
  24. "Both Sides Now"
List of episodes

"Not Cancer" is the second episode of the fifth season of House and the eighty-eighth episode overall. It aired on September 23, 2008.

Plot

Two women are playing tennis when one of them collapses, clutching at her chest. On a construction site, a crane worker dies in his seat. A fighter dies in the middle of a MMA match. A tuba instructor starts coughing up blood in the middle of a lesson and expires. Thirteen interrupts a college class to confirm the math instructor, Apple, had a corneal transplant five years ago, then informs her that four other people who received a transplant from the same donor died.

Apple is taken to the hospital where they determine four of the victims are dead and one more, an elderly man named Frank, is on the verge of death. The team is unable to determine a common denominator and House is more concerned about Wilson's absence. Finally House goes with a diagnosis of cancer and orders them to run more tests. He then heads for the cafeteria where he approaches Dr. O'Shea as a possible Wilson-replacement. Things look potentially promising until O'Shea refuses to go home with House to watch TV that night. Foreman arrives to inform House that Apple's eye is failing and they have to remove it. Apple starts hallucinating that House plans to decapitate her, indicating something is wrong with her brain.

House reviews video of the kickboxer looking for signs of brain damage. The coffee machine repairman interrupts to berate Taub and Thirteen for being idiots, but they soon notice that he's wearing Argyle socks. They conclude he's a private investigator and House admits he hired him. The detective, Lucas, has already put together the information about the dead individuals that they need. Even House is impressed at his thoroughness.

They need to do a brain biopsy and appeal to Frank's wife for approval, and Apple adds her urging, lying that she has a family. Taub reluctantly tells Frank's wife the truth. The wife refuses to allow the procedure. Frank suddenly stops breathing and dies despite Taub's efforts. House orders him to save the brain so they can do an autopsy. They determine Frank's brain is clean and House still suspects cancer. Foreman accuses House of suggesting cancer so he has a reason to call in Wilson. Kutner suggests a perforated intestine and bacterial infection that spread through the blood and infected all the organs. House orders a DNA check via a colonoscopy on the donor's illegitimate daughter.

House meets with Lucas, who figures that House wants to hire him to check out Wilson and see if there's something House can use to get Wilson to come back. House asks if there is something, and Lucas admits there is not. House returns to the hospital where Kutner and Foreman inform him the colonoscopy proved clean. House still believes in cancer and Kutner suggests they use a high-pressure water jet to apply pressure to Frank's colon. There are no leaks but Foreman spots what appears to be a core lesion. Kutner increases the pressure and Frank's intestines and body wastes spray out on Foreman.

Apple's heart starts racing but there's no indication her colon is leaking. The team has nothing new and House orders chemo for the cancer he suspects she has. He goes to her room and signals an emergency when he cannot find the medical records on Apple's bed. He then asks Apple to sign a consent form to receive chemotherapy, noting that he cannot tell her she has cancer because then she might think the treatment is working. Nonetheless, he hints she has cancer. As she signs, Apple talks about how she was an architect but gave it up after her corneal transplant. She notes that she thought her life would be better once she was able to see, but nothing improved - she was still alone and her parents were still dead. Apple notes that House does not seem much different, and he notes that at least he has not given up.

Lucas tells House that Wilson has a new job. He points a woman out that he's following because he likes her, then informs House that Wilson is attending grief counseling and Cameron and Cuddy have been at his house several times. Lucas starts following the girl and House has to trail along. The girl finally confronts them and says they're making her uncomfortable. After she leaves, Lucas notes that Wilson has not said anything about House. House gets a page and heads to the hospital where Apple is vomiting from the chemo but her system is stabilizing. Foreman is surprised House was right, but House concludes that it is not cancer.

Back in differential, House notes he never thought it was cancer but thought it acted like cancer. Now he wants to find something that is similar to cancer, and notes the last patient was using methotrexate for his arthritis, which allegedly would also have treated any cancer. He goes to Wilson and asks for an epiphany, wanting to bounce ideas off of him. Wilson tries to shut him out and House asks how he's doing. Wilson begs him not to do this so he can move on, and House accuses him of talking to the others. House admits he hired a private detective to watch Wilson because they're not friends any more, then tries to convince Wilson to help with a diagnosis. Wilson refuses to participate and warns he will not answer the door the next time House knocks.

Lucas is outside and tries to advise House on friendship, and inadvertently gives House a new way to think about a possible diagnosis. House goes to see Cuddy and shows her Apple's CAT scan. It indicates something is in there that her brain is not compensating for. House believes that the donor had cancer stem cells spread in his organs, and when transplanted these spread and attached themselves to the recipients' various organs, which eventually stopped working. He wants to open up Apple's skull before it's too late for her, and Cuddy wonders if House is going to do something to make Apple crash prematurely. She puts security guards on Apple's room, so House convinces Lucas to disguise himself as a nurse and replace Apple's IV meds with a saline solution. She crashes and is taken into surgery where they have to open up her skull. House suggests from the observation deck that they check her IV. Chase suddenly realizes that House had somehow had the IV switched, triggering the operation by deception. Chase wants to abort the operation, but House observes that they've already completed the most dangerous procedure, so they might as well continue. Lucas comes into the observation gallery and is alarmed that the patient whose IV he had switched is undergoing such a serious operation. House explains that he is a better liar than Lucas. Meanwhile the doctors finish the operation, using a neural net on Apple's brain to detect and remove defective brain cells.

Later, House goes to visit Apple and explains that the world is ugly but not as ugly as she thought. Her brain was not working properly and the transplanted brain cells were making things dull and unattractive to her. He takes off the bandages over her eyes and Apple sees the world with normal vision. House asks "How do I look?", and she responds "You look sad."

House is in his office and calls to ask Lucas if he would work on retainer.

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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