Is a "House" without Vicodin really a "House" at all? That's the big question in Tuesday's episode, when House stuns everyone by checking himself into rehab — and stuns 'em again later by revealing that a guard has been sneaking him pills. Meanwhile, the rest of the doctors try a memory-erasing treatment on a patient who has heart attacks every time he sees the woman he says he loves, only to learn later that his memories of her were false.
That patient is Derek, a firefighter who can't stop shivering. Meanwhile, House is in court, pleading not guilty to forgery and taking illegal drugs. When he returns to the hospital, the team briefs House on Derek's case, but House has bigger things to worry about, like jail. Cuddy tells House it's time to suck it up and apologize to Tritter.
In shocking twist No. 1, he actually does! But Tritter isn't buying it, even when House tries the magic words "I'm sorry." Back at the hospital, House is zoning out on a meeting about Derek when he suddenly announces he's checking himself into rehab. To see how that works out,
Cuddy and Wilson show up at the rehab facility and ask House what's going on. House: "I hope it's me detoxing. Otherwise I soiled a perfectly good pair of underwear last night for nothing." He gets called into group therapy, where he spends the whole time playing with an elementary-school-style cootie catcher. Way to take rehab seriously.
Meanwhile, Derek has a heart attack, and the team realizes that the one constant in all of Derek's problems been his firefighting partner, Amy. Cameron asks Derek if he's in love with Amy, and Derek says yeah — the problem is, Amy's engaged to his brother.
Back at rehab, House tells the team that the only way to cure Derek is to erase his memories, Eternal Sunshine-style. The doctors present the shock-therapy idea to Cuddy, who agrees to it and notes that House made an argument without using the word "moron" once: "The rehab's working."
Meanwhile, Tritter interrupts House while he's making a clay intestine at art therapy, just to make sure House knows he'll never trust an addict. Things go better, though, when Wilson stops by. House tells Wilson he had no business blaming him for any of his troubles. "Is this an apology?" Wilson asks. "Part of the program," House says.
Derek can't remember anything after his treatment, and Cameron tells Amy she knows this must be tough, what with the wedding coming up. Amy does a wha-huh? and asks whose wedding. Uh, yours? Amy says she and Derek's brother aren't even dating. Oops.
House is in court when his cell phone rings, and the team tells him they just fried Derek's brain for no reason. House heads back to the hospital, where he saves the day by discovering a tumor pushing on the nerves of Derek's spine — causing, among other things, false memories.
Back in the courtroom, Cuddy's on the stand, lying like a rug. She says House never got the pills he stole — she'd swapped the bottles in the pharmacy. The judge dismisses the charges, but House still has to spend the night in jail for walking out of the courtroom earlier. Tritter gets all soft-hearted and wishes House good luck.
Wilson visits House in jail and gives him some medicine. House finds out it came from the rehab guard and triumphantly says, "that's Vicodin." "He's been slipping you Vicodin?" Wilson sputters. "Nothing's changed," House says. He's still an addict and a liar. Take that, Tritter! Seriously, though, what would this show be if House got clean?
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