September 13, 2005
House ruffles feathers when he tries to save death row inmate who suddenly collapses. Guest stars LL Cool J. -Fox blurb
The show opens with a shot of a death row inmate named Clarence (played by LL Cool J) in his holding cell, before execution. When he is taken to the exercise pen for some time to himself, he begins hallucinating, encountering the ‘ghosts’ of men and women who ask why they were murdered. He collapses, and the opening credits roll.
House looks in on Lisa in a meeting with House’s ex, Stacy, pops a few mints, and walks in the door. He is met by Lisa’s new assistant. House brings up wanting the “death row guy’s” case to Lisa. When he finds that its already been assigned to Dr. Nolo, House does his best to convince Lisa to hand it over to him. In return for two more clinic house, he gets the case.
House briefs his crew, letting him know that the patient’s heart was beating so fast that it was pumping out air rather than blood. House visits the prison, where the patient is being held. He’s been deemed too dangerous to be held in the infirmary, so he’s cuffed and shackled to a cell bed. Clarence is hypoxic, and needs immediate treatment. The warden is reluctant to let the patient go, but House’s ex pulls strings to get him into the hospital. We later find out this was only after House lied to her, saying that he already had Lisa’s okay.
Allison takes over House’s extra clinic hours, and starts what seems to be a routine checkup on an anemic patient, Cindy. When her x-rays are looked at, Allison discovers that the patient has lung cancer. When she consults with House in hopes that its not what she thinks it is, he suggests going through the “Five Stages of Death” with her patient. House is positive that she will be dead in six months. They argue over the importance of treating a death-row inmate over a soon-to-be-dead twenty-something. Eric is unsympathetic to the prisoner’s needs, assuming that the reason he’s hypoxic is due to heroine use. Robert naively asks where a death-row inmate can get heroine.
As the team checks on the patient, he wakes up, and goes into spasms, resisting the restraints, begging for some water. The team finds out that the drug tests came back negative, and cross heroine use off the list. As arguments over the motivation to cure the patient grow, House sends them on his way so that he can talk with Stacy. Stacy digs into him, sharing that she got into trouble with Lisa for pulling those strings.
Eric draws blood from the prisoner, and they get into a discussion about Eric’s gang tattoos. Eric denies it, insults him, and sticks him hard with the needle.
After another pow-wow in the office, the team thinks that there is a possibility that he might have TB. Robert is picked to go back to the jail and scope things out.
Nolo runs into House, sitting in a coma patient’s room, watching television. They discuss Stacy and House’s hidden desires for her. He gets beeped back to “death row guy’s” room, who is in need of an atropine boost to get his heart going again. House calls Robert, who is in the storage room of one of the jail offices. He tells him to call it off and come back to the hospital.
Back in the room, House hands a urine-specimen cup with booze in it for the patient to drink. They go shot for shot for three rounds, four, then five, when House asks the patient why he wanted to kill himself. He discovers that the patient has been drinking copier fluid, and the prisoner confesses, sharing how hard it is to be on death row. The copier fluid being mostly methanol, will bind with the tequila shots they’ve been drinking, and pass through his body with little harm done.
The next morning, House is hung over. He lets Stacy know that he is sending the patient back to the prison today. On a second-thought, House asks her to keep him here, thinking he’s still sick. When the team is called together, House reminds them that his heart was giving him problems before he drank the ink-cocktail. Eric talks to him, getting a family history as he takes a spinal tap. The prisoner tells him of a younger brother he took care of, but now hasn’t seen him since his incarceration.
Allison pressures House to approve a procedure for her cancer patient, still grasping at straws. They continue to argue over treating the inmate over treating Cindy. Allison makes her point, and gets her test…for an additional two more of House’s clinic hours covered. When the tests come back negative, Allison has to perform the more invasive biopsy.
When Lisa tries to evict the inmate from the hospital, the patient cries out in pain. When House comes into the room to check out things, he discovers that he is bleeding from his rectum, profusely.
The team gathers again, going over the success of Clarence’s emergency surgery. They go through the list of the people Clarence has killed, and his motivation to do so. When they can’t figure out why he killed his fourth victim, House goes to the patient himself. Clarence shares the story, on how he felt nervous that this guy was staring at him. He broke out in sweat, his heart was racing, and he “raged out”.
Robert, Eric, and House walk and talk, discussion the possible medical reasons for the fourth murder. House tells them to schedule him a surgery, so they can explore his adrenal glands. There is a possibility that he is producing excess testosterone due to a tumor, encouraging his rage.
Allison finds out the biopsy shows that Cindy’s cancer is terminal. Nolo pressures her to distance herself, and to let the patient know she is going to die. Reluctant from her own history, she obliges.
Clarence goes for an MRI, which in combination with his highly metallic prison tattoos, causes him extreme pain. They discover the tumor on his gland, and have it removed. Eric feels that his biology was the reason for his murders, and wants to peruse getting Clarence off of death row. House calls him a hypocrite, but encourages him to testify at Clarence’s appeal….on his own time.
House finishes off the tequila bottle, reviewing the “Five Steps of Death” written on his x-ray display.