House M.D. 1.01: Pilot/Everybody Lies: Plot

Since I started writing this series anayzing House MD episodes blow by blow, I have received a few (considering the really few readers this blog has anyways, the definition of “a few” remains open to interpretation) requests to add some more details about the plots themselves so that people do not have to wrack their brains to remind themselves what the whole deal was. I was wondering whether it would be any good to get into the whole write down the plot business, but then a great idea struck me: Wikipedia!

So here is the plot summary of the first ever House M.D. episode to air, courtesy Wikipedia.

Shortly after the start of class, kindergarten teacher Rebecca Adler (Robin Tunney) becomes dysphasic, falls to the floor, and experiences seizures. Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) attempts to convince the misanthropic Gregory House to treat Adler, but House dismisses him, believing that the case would be boring. When Wilson claims that the patient is his cousin, House agrees to take the case. Hospital administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) approaches House in the elevator and attempts to persuade him to fulfill his duties at the hospital’s walk-in clinic, a task House loathes because the cases are usually simplistic. House refuses, claiming that Cuddy cannot fire him due to tenure, and hurriedly leaves. When House’s team attempts to perform an MRI on Adler, they discover that House’s authorization for diagnostics has been revoked; Cuddy restores his authorization in exchange for his working at the clinic.

Adler’s throat closes up during the MRI, prompting two members of House’s team, Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), to perform a tracheotomy. Working in the hospital’s clinic, House treats a ten-year-old boy whose mother allows him to use his asthmatic inhaler only intermittently instead of daily as prescribed. House scolds the mother for making such a drastic medical decision without first learning more about asthma. During his monologue, House stumbles on an idea and leaves quickly to treat Adler; he diagnoses her with cerebral vasculitis, despite having no proof. House treats Adler with steroids, which improves her condition greatly for a time; however, she soon becomes even more ill than before.

On House’s insistence, neurologist Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) and Cameron break into Adler’s house to find anything that might account for Adler’s symptoms—seizures, dysphasia, and airway constriction. They find an opened package of non-kosher ham in Adler’s kitchen, leading Foreman to reveal that Wilson had lied to House to convince him to treat Adler: Wilson is Jewish, and Jews eat only kosher meat. House dismisses the lie and concludes that Adler is suffering from cysticercosis due to eating undercooked pork; when the tapeworm inside of her reproduced, its larvae were absorbed into her blood stream, infesting her brain. Adler, wishing to die with dignity, refuses to accept more treatments unless there is evidence that the diagnosis is correct, but House attempts to persuade her otherwise. During the conversation, Adler asks for the cause of the limp in House’s right leg. House reveals he had an infarction in his thigh muscles that led to muscle death, which could have been avoided if his doctor had made the correct diagnosis. House continues, claiming that death is ugly and that Adler cannot die with dignity, but she still refuses treatment. House is ready to dismiss the case when Chase provides an idea for noninvasive evidence of Adler’s tapeworm infection; by taking an X-ray of her leg, House proves that Adler is infested with tapeworms and her condition is treatable. After seeing the evidence, Adler happily agrees to take her medication to kill the tapeworms.

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