Painless - Recap
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Jeff is at home writing out a suicide note. He leaves his wedding ring on the note then goes out to the garage. Hi wife Lynne and son Zack stop by home to pick up Zack’s hockey stick for practice. Zack goes into the garage and finds his dad sitting in the car with the doors closed and the engine running. Lynne gets her husband out and manages to revive him, and he apologizes that he couldn’t live with the pain any more.
House is taking a bath and massaging his life, then goes to work. Cuddy meets him in the lobby and tells him that the billing reports are due, but Cameron has already submitted House’s report. Cuddy figure Cameron is doing it so House owes her a favor, and says she has to prepare for a DYFS home visit now that she’s a foster mother. House goes to see Cameron, who gives him Jeff’s case. House figures that she’s trying to teach him a lesson by dealing with someone else in constant pain.
In differential, Taub figures Jeff’s problems are mental illness and has little sympathy for the man. House has him run a pain profile and sends Thirteen to go check out Jeff’s house. Foreman volunteers to go with her. Taub talks to Jeff and his family and Jeff admits he’s not depressed. At the house, Foreman comments that Thirteen has been avoiding him since they kissed over the holidays. She isn’t interested in going out with him, saying that she doesn’t want to drag anyone else down with her.
Thirteen finds quail in Jeff’s freezer and suspects that it’s the cause of his symptoms. In differential, Taub disagrees and recommends antidepressants. House has Thirteen and Kutner do biopsies of Jeff’s muscles but he starts feeling more intense pain and his heart temporarily stops.
House is at home ignoring the phone when they call him. He finally takes some Vicodin and calls them back and tells them to check for tumors. He hangs up and notices water dripping from the ceiling. He tests the ceiling with his cane… and it collapses, dumping water on him.
As they run a MRI to check for tumors, Kutner discusses Taub’s opinion on suicide. He figures that Taub must know someone who tried to commit suicide but Taub denies it. They spot something on the MRI.
House calls in Fernando, a plumber, and tries to pay him the deductible. Fernando tells him that the cause of the leak is negligence on House’s part and his insurance won’t cover it. The leaking pipe runs to House’s bathroom and he must have done something. House refuses to believe he might have done anything to cause the damage.
Foreman tests Thirteen for the clinical trials and sarcastically notes he’s only holding her hand to test her joint mobility. He insists that she shouldn’t shut people out but Thirteen notes that’s exactly what Jeff is doing. Kutner and Taub report what they’ve found: air leakages in Jeff’s intestine. Since House won’t answer his calls, Foreman orders them to do an angioplasty to find the blockages and prevent a cardiac arrest. Thirteen goes with them, eager to get away from Foreman. House finally comes in and Foreman tells him the treatment he’s ordered. House figures where the air is coming from and goes to Jeff’s room. He shows them the IV line, which has bite marks on it: Jeff blew air into the IV to give himself an air bubble in a vein and kill himself. Jeff admits that he wanted to die but House refuses to let him do so.
Cuddy orders the team to her house to make their report while she prepares for the inspection. Thirteen suggests that Jeff might be having non-motor seizures indicating a glaucoma problem and Foreman backs her differential. House tells them to test Jeff to confirm.
Thirteen runs into Janice at the clinical trials and the woman thanks Thirteen for encouraging her to get back into the trials. She’s been doing much better. Thirteen is surprised to see her and Janice explains that her appointments were recently rescheduled and now hers are back-to-back with Thirteen’s.
As Kutner and Taub test Jeff, Kutner assures Zack and Lynne that Jeff can recover with treatment if their diagnosis pans out. Jeff tells them to get out and Taub tells him not to be a jerk. Jeff dismisses Taub’s concerns, saying he has no idea what he’s going through, but is then overcome with a sudden new pain in his left leg.
Thirteen storms up to Foreman and accuses him of using Janice to cheer him up. Foreman denies rescheduling the appointments and is surprised and pleased to hear that Janice is showing progress.
House is trying to come up with the name of a lawyer to send a fake threatening e-mail to his insurance company to get them to pay. Taub and Kutner tell him about the new symptoms and Kutner jokingly suggests they should cut Jeff’s head off. House runs with the idea and calls Cuddy in. He wants to administer a spinal block to cut off Jeff’s brain from his body, so they can determine which is the source of his pain. Cuddy warns the procedure is dangerous but House notes that if they don’t come up with a treatment, Jeff will kill himself. Cuddy gets a page from home and tells House to do what he thinks is right before taking off.
The next day, Cuddy is trying to deal with a tardy babysitter when the DYFS inspector, James Carlton, arrives an hour early.
House goes in to see Jeff as Kutner, Taub, and Chase administer the spinal block. Jeff says that House is where he was at a year or so ago and that Jeff is what House’s future looks like.
Carlton goes through Cuddy’s house and notes that although there are a few problems, she’s well off and embarrassed enough at the condition of her house to be sincere. He tells her that everything is fine and he’ll see her in a year. Cuddy doesn’t look relieved.
Jeff says that the pain is not as bad since the spinal block, but House notes that it should either be all gone or unaffected. The team goes over the results and a lawyer, Carrick, comes in. House used his name for the threatening e-mail. Carrick gives him a bill for his “services” and warns that the next time he’ll sue. They get a page that Zack is in trouble. He’s screaming in pain outside his father’s room. House concludes that he’s faking the pain and goes into Jeff’s room, where he finds a bottle of isopropyl. Zack provided the distraction so Jeff could drink it and try to kill himself again. A crying Zack admits that he wanted to help his father, who just wants it to be over.
House and his team are out of ideas, until House suggests that what they’re looking for healed long ago. The opioid treatment Jeff received altered his pain receptors, causing him to feel a lack of pain as pain. House decides to take Jeff off of his current regimen of drugs so his body will recalibrate itself.
Wilson visits Cuddy, who admits she’s worried that she’s being overwhelmed. The inspector may have been okay with the house but Cuddy isn’t satisfied. Wilson points out that her standards are too high and that she should get an assistant.
Jeff begs for painkillers but Kutner and Taub explain that any drugs will prevent his pain receptors from realigning. As they leave, Taub admits that a fellow resident tried to kill himself and the selfish act tore apart the man’s friends and family. Outside, Foreman confronts House over the torture he’s putting Jeff through based on a hunch. House notes that he checked the scheduling logs and Foreman rescheduled Thirteen so she’d see Janice’s improvement, just so he could have sex with her.
House resorts to a fake cooking accident to get Fernando to come back and fix the damage. Fernando clearly isn’t buying it, noting the fire skipped House’s pipes and ruined the neighbor’s.
Lynne confronts House and asks him to release Jeff. She thought House would understand Jeff’s pain and wonders if he’d want to go through what Jeff is. She plans to take Jeff home and then let him do what they think is necessary. House reluctantly agrees to release his patient.
Later, House goes home and pays off Fernando, including a bribe for the fake estimate about the fire damage. Fernando points out that House is paying more money to bribe him then it would have cost to get the repairs done. A satisfied House notes it’s the principle of the thing, and he wants to make sure the insurance company pays. As the plumber leaves, House notices him scratching his crotch and gets an idea.
At the hospital, House tells his team that Jeff has epilepsy centered in the testicles. It wouldn’t show up on their EEGs because it’s in a part of the brain buried too deeply for a normal scan. They talk to Jeff who admits that the pain started in the scrotum. Satisfied, House proceeds to have him treated for epilepsy.
Cuddy, with Rachel in a carrier, goes over files in her office.
Jeff and his family are happily reunited as Jeff lives without pain for the first time.
Kutner figures that Taub’s “colleague” was Taub himself. Taub doesn’t admit anything.
Foreman finds a much cheerier Thirteen at the clinic, ready for her trials. She agrees to go out with him for dinner. As he leaves, Foreman talks to the attending nurse and realizes that Thirteen is one of the test subjects who are on the placebo.
Cuddy talks to Cameron and wonders why she wanted House to take the case. Cameron admits she wanted to help House come to terms with his own pain. Cuddy then asks Cameron if she wants Cuddy’s job.
House gets in the bath tub and uses the shower pipe as a hand hold. The pipe comes loose in his hand and he realizes that he was wrong all the time: he was to blame for the leaky pipe.