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House Recap: Season Five, Episode Four, "Birthmarks"

House Rundown: Episode Four, "Birthmarks"

The theme of this week's House is how parents can really mess a person up — mostly accidentally but sometimes on purpose. House has to confront his feelings (and suspicions) about his father, while his patient seeks out her birth parents and winds up at PPH fighting for her life. Meanwhile, House and Wilson explain the genesis of their relationship, and it's better than I ever hoped. Ready to talk about it? Just


A list of things House would rather do than deal with his family would stretch for miles, so it's no surprise that when his father dies, he has no intention of going to the funeral. Cuddy and Wilson won't let that stand, though, and essentially drug and kidnap him to force him to go. It's the kind of plot House himself might attempt, which explains the look on his face (bewilderment mixed with admiration) when he comes to.

What follows is a wacky road trip that reveals a lot about House's family life and even more about the House/Wilson friendship. As we learn when Wilson gets arrested on an outstanding Louisiana warrant, the two met when Wilson hurled a bottle through a mirror to get a piano player to stop playing a Billy Joel song at a medical convention; House was the person who bailed him out of jail. The first thing House ever said to Wilson? That he'd take care of it. Back then, Wilson didn't know enough not to believe him. But it explains a lot, doesn't it? Wilson wants to prepare for every eventuality and make rational decisions — and when he occasionally bursts out of his even-keeled box, House is there to bail him out. That's why Wilson clings to House despite his better judgment. No matter how much House aggravates Wilson, nobody else brings him nearly that much joy.

Meanwhile, House delivers a eulogy that's half-offensive, half-appreciative before snipping off a little piece of his father's earlobe to prove that he's not House's real father after all. That's the moment that drives Wilson nuts (and causes him to pitch a bottle through a stained-glass window in what I thought was too heavy-handed a reference to the New Orleans incident), and ultimately, it's the one that makes House admit he has feelings. He's been right all along; he's the product of an affair. But when he tells Wilson that he now has proof even his mother couldn't stand his father, there's some real emotion there.

This week's patient has parental issues of her own: She's traveled to China to find her biological parents, who rejected her. We get some nice moments between the patient and Kutner, whom we learn was adopted by a white family. I assumed the big reveal would have something to do with China's one-child policy but didn't expect attempted murder. It's the one case in the whole episode where the parents really are the only ones to blame.

Some other thoughts:

  • Foreman, Chase, and Cameron, all in one room! Is it my birthday?
  • House's ringtone for his team is "MMMBop," and the one for Wilson may or may not be "Dancing Queen."
  • Loved House calling Wilson on his lie about Amber giving him his keychain: "Not unless your pet name for her was Volvo."
  • Chase's suggestion for what to send to House's mom on behalf of House: a cookie shaped like a coffin.

Your thoughts? Was it good to have Wilson back? And would he really chuck a bottle through some expensive glass again?

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
Jinx Jinx 8 years
THANK GOODNESS Wilson is back! I love seeing them friends again. "You hungry?" Aaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I LOVE it. :) I have never warmed up to 13, she could be gone with no explanation, and I wouldn't care.
rossy rossy 8 years
My sincere thanks to both "BuzzSugar (#17) & "Pallas Athena (#18) for your help, but I caught the whole episode tonight & Yeah, it was well worth watching - I laughed my head off! I live in Canada so it's shown here on 2 stations which usually air at the same time & day. Lucky for me that it was shown tonight - Almost missed it again; thank God I checked my TV program guide. LOL! Lastly, I hope that Wilson's apparent return DOESN'T spell the end of Thirteen - LOVE THAT GUY! Reminds me of House... I think it would be great if it turns out he's related to House - His half-brother, maybe? Could that be plausible? I mean, what if House's mother wasn't the ONLY one who had an affair...? But maybe... DAMN! I'm giving myself a migraine! What do you fans of this great show think? Would it be cool for House to have a brother or not?
bakedbeans bakedbeans 8 years
OMG. KUTNER is even more awesome than I thought. House was brilliant as usual, how has Hugh Laurie not gotten an Emmy? Wilson back was awesome, even though he was a little too dramatic for my taste. Chase is getting better adn better, his lines are so much better than his touchy feeling in love with Cameron stuff. Only 2 episodes to go until House and Cuddy kiss!
thecandystriper thecandystriper 8 years
The patient's father played Yale's Dean in Gossip Girl this week. Haha.. I love that Wilson is FINALLY back. Didn't mind the P.I though, where was he this week?
tiggerchick2 tiggerchick2 8 years
I absolutely LOVED this episode!! The new team and the old team working together was really cool to see. And what a messed up situation that their patient had. Definitely a twist in that whole case. Wilson kidnapping House was brilliant. The scene at the rest stop was great, especially when he dropped the keys and the flashlight down into the gutter thing. He was really trying to avoid going to that funeral. But I'm glad that he did, even if he didn't want to speak, it was important to his mom. Of course they had to add a little humor with the clipping of his dad's ear with the nail clippers. It was such a House thing to do. Awesome episode in general and great to see Wilson and House back together, their banter is always hilarious!
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
Rossy you can go to It is a totally safe site and I use it - actually how I watched House this morning. FOX puts up the new episodes a week after the episode showed I believe so that site is the best to use. It doesn't have any viruses or anything so have fun watching the episode. Oh and one of the links I used on that site to watch House had the dubbing off or it might have just been my computer being slow, but just a warning in case it wasn't my computer. Am I the only one who liked Wilson throwing the bottle? I loved this part. Wasn't as great as I expected, but still loved it.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
rossy — it's not there yet, but House episodes usually end up on within a week or so.
rossy rossy 8 years
DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! I totally missed it! Got my times mixed up! I caught the last 3 minutes of it, & thought it was just starting. At least this recap will make it somewhat easier to accept the fact that I'll have to wait till the season is over & catch the repeat. Seriously, there are some things that have to be SEEN (not read about) to truly appreciate them! Cuddy & Wilson drugging & kidnapping House to get him to his father's funeral?! Don't get me started on EVERYTHING ELSE I MISSED... DAMN!! Do you have to pay to see it online? Can it still be seen somewhere? HELP!!!
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
First, I am SO HAPPY that Wilson is back! I missed him. I agree, Wilson chucking the bottle through the window was a little far-fetched, but I won't complain. I love this show too much. Can't wait for next week - seems like a fun ep for Thirteen! Lol! :P
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
House and Wilson together again--what a wonderful moment. Loved learning about their past; they need each other for balance. Hope we'll learn even more about their relationship as the weeks progress. Seeing the two teams together was great as well. House was close to being his snarky, outrageous best last night. Gotta love him!
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
I loved this episode. After seeing House pass out I started screaming, "That patient got him sick! OH MY GOSH!" Then I saw that Cuddy and Wilson drugged him and I felt stupid. This episode was hilarious and I learned quite a few things about House and Wilson. Hilarious things really. They're so cute together, although I hope Private Investigator (Lucas) stays. I liked seeing the old team and the new team work together and I loved the whole coffin shaped cookie bit. That part actually made me want a coffin shaped cookie and if someone ever dies in my family that is what I want. Flowers suck. Everyone should just send each other food which would probably lead to everyone complaining about obesity, but I digress. Anyone know the preview for next week's episode? I watched this episode online so I didn't get to see the previews. :(
Susanna Susanna 8 years
bubblyw -- to determine paternity, you need y-DNA, which is only in the skin tag of a piece of hair, not in the hair itself. (maternity can be determined from mitochondrial DNA, which is in the hair shaft.) besides, a piece of earlobe is much more houseian, no?
Rainey-4-Pres Rainey-4-Pres 8 years
okay then, the chapel portion of the funeral home. still an odd place for a random liquor bottle, lol. and i too wondered about the "addiction center". whether or not that really could exist.
verily verily 8 years
This was a really good episode. In fact, it will probably rank among my favorite episodes. It brought back some of the things that were prevalent in the first season that I liked: parallel stories, the original team working together, some real character moments... Sure, the second bottle throwing was heavy handed, but it was funny and satisfying to see. Their first meeting story was totally unexpected. They apparently have history that goes way beyond Princeton-Plainsboro. I wonder who brought who over. And I wonder how knowing House since he was fresh out of medical school would affect Wilson's own medical approach. He's apparently a very young dept. head...
Baluk Baluk 8 years
It wasn't a church...I believe it was a funeral home. I really enjoyed this episode, with Wilson back and Cameron, Chase and Foreman working together again, Yeah, Yeah Yeah! But one thing bothered me at the end apparently one of the pins in the patients head was putting pressure on her addiction center...does this really exist? and it bugged me because it wrapped up all her problems...why couldn't they leave her a bit messed up, why the nice tidy ending?
Rainey-4-Pres Rainey-4-Pres 8 years
anyone else wondering why there was a bottle of liquor in the church?
bunnychick bunnychick 8 years
The kidnapping was AWESOME. Who knew that Cuddy and Wilson could come up with that brilliant plan? Chase, Cam, and Foreman back together = foreshadowing for the rest of the season?? PLEASE?!?!
millarci millarci 8 years
I loved seeing chase, cameron and foreman working together again! it was awesome!
seven7 seven7 8 years
I love that Wilson is back. I missed him. And yes, Chase, Cameron and Foreman in one room was "it must be my bday" worthy.
bubblyw bubblyw 8 years
Yeah, nail clippers. It seems like it would have been easier to just get some hair or something... and you know, maybe do it on a place no one would see? I don't think House was the piano player. The cop asked that and House said no, he was the guy who bailed him out. It is a really cute story, but I kind of wonder how they ended up working at the same hospital. Also, I was actually kind of disappointed with the BIG REVELATION that was supposedly going to happen (according to the promos). Though someone calling House "Greg" (his mom) was sort of crazy.
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 8 years
When I saw that Wilson was there and he's driving House to the funeral, it was an awww moment. Hehee. I was like, oh Wilson you'll always come back to House. Forever friends much? It was sick, but it was sweet. And was that a nail clipper he used to cut a part of his dad's earlobe? Also, I'm under the impression that House was the one who kept on playing the Billy Joel song. Lol. If I'm wrong, I'm pretty sure he had something to do with the incident (or that he pretty much instigated it). P.S. I loved the whole kidnapping thing! It totally belongs to a House episode.
Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
The actress playing the patient was the same actress playing Meredith's cancer patient on Grey's the other night! That's one sick actress, haha
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
I said the same thing when Foreman, Chase, and Cameron were all in the same room - it's been like a year! I also agree that Wilson probably wouldn't hurl the bottle through the glass again. But still, I'm so happy that the bromance is back on track. They are the cutest couple on TV and they make me smile.
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