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"House" Recap: Episode 21, "Family"

"House" Recap: Episode 21, "Family"

If last week's episode of "House" was about failure, then this week's was about redemption — or at least an attempt at it. Foreman is still reeling from the death he caused, so he's gun-shy on the team's next case: a boy who gets a mysterious infection just before he's supposed to give bone marrow to his older brother. House decides that the infection is like a needle in a haystack, so they need to "grow more needles" — the old "make him sicker before we can make him well" trick.

Foreman isn't sold, and he's not the only one with reservations. Wilson points out that he treats his patients for months and years, and he needs Matty and Nick's parents to feel like they're doing the right thing. House, of course, has different ideas about medicine, so to see where it goes from there,

Foreman and Chase go out to the family's house to look for clues, and Chase says (from experience) that it's not easy to get over the death of a patient. Foreman says Chase screwed up because he was distracted by his father's death, but Foreman made a calculated decision that killed someone. "You acted like a human being," he says. "I acted like House."

Speaking of acting like House, we get to meet Hector Does Go Rug, a yippy little terrier who's seen better days. He chews up House's shoes and even gnaws off the bottom of his cane, causing House to take a tumble in the hospital's hallway ("I just tripped over Wilson's self-righteousness.") He ends up with a hot new replacement: a black cane with flames on the bottom. Chase, meanwhile, informs Cameron that it's Tuesday, aka the day he says he likes her and wants them to be together. "You're really going to do this every Tuesday?" Cameron grumbles. My thoughts exactly, Cam.

Meanwhile, the doctors discover an infection in Matty's heart. House and Wilson want to take it out surgically, but Foreman says they should give him antibiotics and wait. House tells Cuddy that he thinks Foreman has "the yips" — he's like a great athlete who lost confidence and can't recover — so House is giving him four days to get himself together before he's fired.

Wilson takes a hard line with Matty's parents, saying that even though the surgery would change Matty's life, it could save both of their boys. He feels guilty for being a bully, but it doesn't matter, because the mass in Matty's heart isn't infectious. Cameron suggests the issue is autoimmune, but Foreman clearly gets a chill even hearing the word "autoimmune" and goes to check the bone marrow registry for another donor. Behind House's back, he tells the parents that he found a match that, while not ideal, should work. Wilson and House flip when they find out and explain the risks to the parents, but they insist on the transplant. House gets mad at Wilson for not being more aggressive and says if the kid dies, it will be because Foreman was wrong and Wilson was a coward.

Nick's body rejects the transplant while Matty gets sicker, and House has an epiphany that they could give Nick the infection Matty has; in his sick body, it will flourish, and they'll be able to diagnose it. House tells the family that they're either leaving with one dead son or two, but the parents refuse to experiment on Nick. House convinces Nick to talk his parents into letting him be a petri dish for his brother, but before they go through with it, Foreman — who's just learned from Wilson that House called him timid — figures out that Matty's infection was caused by playing in contaminated dirt.

Foreman gives Matty drugs to clear up the infection, then explains that Nick was willing to risk his life to save Matty — so will Matty do the same? He nods apprehensively, and Foreman draws bone marrow from Matty, without sedation, while Matty screams and screams. It's incredibly hard to watch, but it ends up working; both Matty and Nick survive.

Meanwhile, Wilson tells House that he doesn't have to keep the dog. House lets Hector go, but first we see that he now has a limp, or at least has learned to fake it for vicodin. As for House's other wayward puppy, Foreman tells House that he hated listening to Matty scream and realizing he didn't care. Echoing their conversation at the end of last week, Foreman says House will save more people than Foreman will — but Foreman will settle for killing fewer: "Consider this my two weeks' notice."

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
juiceejuice juiceejuice 10 years
well i'm pretty new to house, i just start watching it, but it's great so far. anyways, foreman was bugging, so i wouldn't be devastated if he did leave. i heard that in the next episode, house already found a replacement - an attractive woman named Honey - at least, that's according to anyways, i kinda doubt foreman will be leaving though...
honey31 honey31 10 years
I love House!
Samanna42 Samanna42 10 years
I call Foreman's not leaving. Unfortunately, I was back and forth between being on the phone and watching last night, so I missed a good chunk of it and can't comment too much. The dog limping though -- loved it.
soccer_obsessed soccer_obsessed 10 years
:rotfl: the whole cane shopping had me laughing :rotfl: the bull cane :p and the whole that's bit chin thing had me laughing :rotfl: I liked the fiery cane :D House telling Wilson he thought his dog had committed suicide by overdose was hilarious :rotfl: I really hope foreman doesn't leave :( It can't just be cam/chase it has to be the three ccf :) I'm glad Chase only mentioned the cam thing once too making it pretty obvious nothing further will happen :)
wren074 wren074 10 years
I love House (and have a thing for Hugh Laurie's eyes....that's another post), but I just wasn't enjoying the episode last night. After the whole drug-cop issue was resolved, it really felt like the show was coming back to what it used to be. Even last week was great, especially with Foreman's character. But last night? I don't know, something was off for me. Foreman was pissing me off and I just didn't feel sympathetic to the parents/patients as I usually do. And I just knew that Foreman's resignation was coming. The moment he stuck that needle in the brother for the bone marrow I turned to my boyfriend and said "He's quitting."
juiceejuice juiceejuice 10 years
hector and house were hilarious. i loved how house tried to get rid of him. and i love, love, love how hector was "limping" at the end cause he wanted "candy." also, thought that the nod to sherlock holmes was funny. great episode, but part with foreman getting bone marrow from matty was extremely hard to watch.
SaraSmile SaraSmile 10 years
No more near-death kids, please. I am not sure I can handle it!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
Hector was my favorite last night! Loved when he was high on House's pills. And the limp at the end was just wonderful. Foreman must have scared himself with his aggressiveness when he extracted the bone marrow; he seemed so out of control, so determined to save a life that he lost perspective. His admission to House that he wants to be a doctor like House but not if that means being House was insightful. Hopefully he'll reconsider that two weeks notice.
Jinx Jinx 10 years
I fell asleep watching, so I didn't see the end. :( ------------------------------------------------------ "You can think I'm wrong, but that's no reason to quit thinking." - House
Janners Janners 10 years
Oh my God... the cane's entrance... everyone's eyes going downward... the slow mo... the music. I need that clip to be uploaded on youtube. I NEED it! In other news, I'm hoping Foreman sticks around. I love him... while I frown on the use of a plot turn such as this, jeez he had just better stay.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
Yeah, that flame cane was stupid (and not "bitchin"), although I loved the cheesy part with AC/DC playing in the background. :kool: I have such a soft spot for AC/DC! I don't think Foreman will really leave, but who knows? They'll probably build it up till the season finale, but I doubt he'll leave. Plus, I just checked IMDB and it doesn't look like Omar Epps has anything else going on.
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
House's cane was hilarious, although I dont find him the type to use one that tacky, he is too pretentious. Same with the silly floral shirt he wore on the Airborne episode. It seems as if that the type of shirt (and cane) he would tease someone for having. Anyways, I thought Hector limping at the end of the show was hilarious. I wonder if Foreman really will leave...
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