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The Softer Side - Recap

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When their child is born, parents Melanie and Ben discover that it has genetic mosiacism, possessing both male and female DNA. Their doctor assures them that they will have to choose which gender they want the child to possess. In the present, Melanie and Ben cheer their son Jackson on as he makes basketball. Jackson makes the winning show but then collapse to the gym floor, clutching at his pelvis.

Foreman and Thirteen are at Foreman's dressing for the day. Now that they've faked a break up, they can work together. Thirteen ponders her clothing choices carefully so as to not give House any clues they faked the whole thing.

House and Wilson have breakfast at the hospital cafeteria and House actually asks Wilson if he can have his bagel, rather than simply steal it. Cuddy brings them Jackson's case and tells them the parents don't want Jackson told about his genetic mosiacism. House cheerfully agrees and meets with his team. Jackson is undergoing testosterone treatments but his parents tell him that they're vitamins. Foreman and Thirteen stage an argument over whether they should perform a MRI to determine if Jackson has a blind uterus. House doesn't believe it's a blind uterus and orders them to insert a camera up Jackson's urethra to check for blockage. The parents barge into the conference room and ask for a MRI, believing a blind uterus may be responsible for their son's problems. House changes his mind and orders the MRI.

As Thirteen and Taub run the MRI and come up negative, Taub comments that Foreman and Thirteen are better off separated and that Foreman isn't that emotional. Meanwhile, Kutner tells Wilson what happened with House being agreeable but Wilson tells him to relax and enjoy it, and there's nothing suspicious going on.

Thirteen and Taub proceed with the urethra camera but Jackson has a pericardial infusion and they have to drain the fluid before his heart stops. The team goes back into differential and wonder if Jackson may have a problem unrelated to his mosiacism. Thirteen suggests autoimmune failure caused by the testosterone treatments and House affably agrees, ordering them to take Jackson off the testosterone and begin steroid treatments.

Wilson accuses Cuddy of sleeping with House, accounting for the latter's cheery mood. Cuddy denies it and insists that there isn't a problem as long as House is doing his job. Meanwhile, Thirteen informs Jackson's parents that they'll have to stop the testosterone treatments. They're concerned that if they do then Jackson's female DNA will start to assert itself. They finally agree to stop the testosterone but tell Thirteen to lie. She suggests that Jackson can handle the truth but they refuse to give it a try.

At the clinic, House deals with a stupid patient who hasn't realized his finger is broken. Cuddy gets word of what's going on and comes in to deal with Ian's complaints. However, Cuddy discovers that House has simply treated Ian's broken finger without any sarcasm and that Ian is happy with the service. She tells Wilson that their worse fears have been realized: House is nice.

Thirteen gives Jackson the testosterone blocker, claiming it's more vitamins, and he talks about how he wanted to go out for dance but his mother forced him to choose between basketball and hockey. They notice that Jackson's palms are turning red and Thirteen realize that autoimmune failure isn't the problem.

As they wait for the others to arrive, Kutner and Foreman and talk and Kutner suggests that foreman is better off since Thirteen is bisexual and probably would have dumped him for a woman. Next door, Cuddy and Wilson check up on House and discover that he's sleeping. They think he's faking it until they realize he isn't breathing. Foreman and Kutner see them and Foreman starts CPR, and House wakes up gasping for air. House claims that he took too much Vicodin and passed out, but Wilson doesn't believe it. House deflects by asking about Jackson and tells them to check the boy's home to see if he took drugs. As they leave, the team realizes that House hasn't been taking Vicodin recently, and Wilson wonders if House is taking heroin.

As Foreman and Thirteen check the house, Foreman asks her if she misses sleeping with other women. She says they both miss sleeping with others now that they're in a monogamous relationship and wonder why he's asking. When he mentions that Kutner brought it up, Thirteen remembers what Taub said about Foreman and they figure that Kutner and Taub know that they haven't broken up and are jerking them around. Foreman figures if they know, House must know, but he must be content to jerk them around rather than fire them, so they're ahead of the game. Thirteen find what appears to be a suicide note written by Jackson, and he says he feels different then other boys. She takes it to House, who is in office as Kutner watches him with a respirator. House doesn't believe that the suicide note has anything to do with Jackson's illness.

Taub discovers that Jackson has an infection and they give the boy antibiotics. Thirteen shows Melanie and Ben the note but Melanie insists they keep it a secret from him. She browbeats Ben into agreeing and they tell Thirteen to put Jackson back on the testosterone treatments.

Foreman talks to Taub and Kutner, and Taub admits he figured it out from subtle clues. Foreman wonders how House missed it if it was that subtle, and calls Wilson with the news. Wilson is at a bar with House, having bought him a Scotch. Wilson hangs up before House can catch on, and then calls for a toast. House figures something is wrong and deduces that Wilson thinks he's on heroin. Alcohol will cause respiratory depression when combined with alcohol, so if House refuses to drink then he's confirmed Wilson's theory. House swallows the Scotch and leaves.

As Thirteen renews the testosterone injections, she refuses to lie to Jackson any longer and tell him they're vitamins. Concerned that he's considering suicide, she refuses to tell him what she's actually doing but tells him to ask his parents.

Wilson goes after House and finds him vomiting in the alleyway. House explains that he's not using heroin: he's on methadone. It's legal and it kills the pain. Wilson warns that it can be dangerous if not properly administered. House says that it's worth it then tosses away his cane and walks away without a limp.

Jackson's parents complain to Cuddy about Thirteen's actions but Cuddy refuses to remove her from the case. Ben points out they have no choice but to be honest with Jackson now. As they leave, Cuddy tells Thirteen to stay with Jackson since she's the only one he'll trust. Meanwhile, Jackson is angry at his parents for lying to him and orders them out.

House is hiding out in the men's bathroom when Cuddy comes in to convince him to stop taking methadone. House tells her that it's none of her business but Cuddy threatens to fire him if he uses it in the hospital. House shrugs and quits.

Thirteen talks to Jackson and he admits that he's confused about what gender he is, and if he's supposed to be attracted to boys. She tells him not to worry and asks him about the note. Jackson explains that he wrote it for an English assignment on Sylvia Plath, but then starts vomiting blood.

At home, House ignores his page and shaves.

Cuddy puts Foreman in charge and he admits that House isn't answering his calls. Jackson now has necrotizing pancreatitis and they over the new symptom. Taub suggests that Jackson has scleroderma but Thirteen favors Zollinger-Ellison. Foreman goes with her diagnosis but in private tells her that she suggested it because she feels guilty, and because it's treatable.

Wilson visits House and is met by a hooker. House tells Wilson that he hired the woman to watch him breath and she's cheaper than a nurse. Wilson is impressed that House is not only clean-shaven but is wearing a new suit and pain-free.

Jackson doesn't respond to the treatment for Zollinger-Ellison. Melanie blames Thirteen but Cuddy tells the mother to go see her child no matter what he says. Wilson tracks down Cuddy and says that they should stop interfering with House as long as he's happy. Cuddy doesn't believe it but Wilson disagrees.

As Foreman and Thirteen dress for work, they discuss the case and realize that Jackson is improving, meaning that he doesn't have scleroderma.

House visits cuddy to get a letter of recommendation. Instead she gives him a schedule for methadone treatment and tells him he belongs at Princeton. Cuddy offers him his job back and he quietly agrees. He returns to the case and hears Foreman's and Thirteen's theory. He agrees that Jackson doesn't have scleroderma but then asks if the boy has been using energy drinks. When Kutner confirms that's the case, House realizes what the problem is.

House visits Jackson and his parents and tells them that they're to blame. Jackson was dehydrated and the energy drinks strained his kidneys. When they gave him the MRI that the parents insisted upon, the kidneys failed to filter out the contrast material, which spread throughout his body. Without the MRI, Jackson would have recovered on his own. House orders dialysis to clear out the contrast and tells them that Jackson will be fine.

Later, Thirteen talks to Jackson as he undergoes dialysis. He seems comfortable with his knowledge of his unique DNA and wonders whether to choose sports or dance.

When Cuddy tries to give House his first methadone treatment, he refuses. He points out that he agreed with the parents because he was in a good mood, and ignored his better judgment. House insists that his pain is what makes him a good doctor. Cuddy doesn't believe it and just wants him to be happy. He wonders why she's so interested in his happiness and she says that he doesn't want to be happy because if he is then he thinks he'll have nothing. House tells her that that's the way he is, throws away the methadone, and limps away.