Baggage is a 6th season episode of House which first aired on May 10, 2010.
House starts drinking heavily and his life starts to spiral downwards after he is arrested in a bar fight. Cuddy realizes he may need constant supervision to stay off Vicodin. House seeks help at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital, including trying to reconnect with his former roommate. Wilson wonders if he has to throw House out of the condo.
During a session with Dr. Nolan (guest star Braugher), House recounts the case of a woman who arrives at the Princeton Plainsboro emergency room with an unexplained illness, no recollection of who she is, but obvious signs of being well-to-do, such as expensive running shoes. While trying to solve the mystery of the woman's illness, House must also help her piece together her identity.
House arrives late for a psychotherapy session with Dr. Nolan. He wants to know why House is late and House blames it on his leg being more sore than usual. He denies any unusual stress and puts it down to the weather. He asks House to tell him about his week.
House starts telling him about a patient with amnesia. The MRI showed no abnormalities and she didn't have ID. However, House notices that she has expensive running shoes. He figures someone will come looking for her. The patient asks when she gets to eat and the nurse says she was fed 15 minutes ago. However, House doesn't think she's forgotten eating - he thinks she's hungry. He thinks it might be a metabolic disorder as the patient is in amazing physical shape. She's most likely an extreme long distance runner.
Dr. Nolan interrupts to ask why House was in the emergency room. He finally admits he was hiding from Wilson. Earlier in the day, Wilson had asked him when he planned to leave the condo because Wilson was having to have Sam move in. House suggests moving back to 221B Baker St., but he realizes that Wilson didn't suggest it because that's where he used drugs and hallucinated.
Dr. Nolan asks if House is really fine that Wilson wants him out. House asks why wouldn't he be fine. Dr. Nolan wants to know if House feels betrayed. However, House rationalizes that its only because Sam is moving back. Hoewver, Dr. Nolan isn't buying it because House was late for the appointment, he didn't notice the new art in the lobby, and he took the amnesia case without protest. House said the case was interesting, but Dr. Nolan noted that House isn't interested in mental illness and the amnesia probably wasn't due to an underlying condition.
However, House looked at the scans and noticed that there was little differentiation between white matter and grey matter in the brain. Given that it was in the area controlling memory, it might not be a coincidence. The team made suggestions and House shot them down. However, he suggested looking for the serial number of her portable heart monitor and tracing it to the store that sold it.
House agreed to take the patient back to the neighbourhood to jog her memory. Dr. Nolan found that unusual and figured he was just avoiding Wilson, or going back to his old apartment. However, House admitted he had already gone back to his old apartment after leaving Wilson's. He found Alvie living there. Dr. Nolan wondered what he was doing there. Alvie had been painting the apartment. He told House that when he was released he was being chased by immigration and found House's window open. He painted because he wanted to earn his keep. He had been there for over two weeks and had sold House's coffee table and other possessions to pay for the paint. House tries to throw him out, but tells him to fix the walls before he gets back.
However, when House returned Alvie was still there. Dr. Nolan wanted to know why House didn't get more assertive with Alvie and figured he wanted him there as a distraction. He wanted to know why House needed distracting.
House and Alvie lead the patient around, but she isn't recognized at the store where they stole the heart monitor. Alvie is explaining his problem with immigration - although he was born in Puerto Rico, he can't prove it. House reassures the patient that someone will come looking for her. Suddenly, Alvie wants donuts. House realizes that the patient probably eats a lot and walks in. The store clerk recognizes her, but she can't remember her name. However, her boyfriend left his business card. They visit his house and he recognizes her and calls her Sydney. He's not her boyfriend but her husband.
The patient looks at a wall full of running trophies. The boyfriend had called hospitals, but hadn't called Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital because it seemed too far away on foot. House tells him it might be something environmental. Sydney is a civil rights lawyer. House tells Dr. Nolan that it was strange because Sydney was more comfortable with him than her husband. Dr. Nolan asked if he found the dependency attractive, but House says she was just an interesting patient. Alvie collects the household chemicals and the husband tells them she just finished a case involving methane. House plans to treat her, but as they start to take her back to the hospital, she stumbles. Alvie notices her pants look wet. House realizes it isn't methane - she has partial complex seizures and incontinence. However, Dr. Nolan notices that House's diagnoses mirror his own past - his own battle with toxins (Vicodin)) and a seizure from an old injury (like his leg). House claims he isn't threatened by his own past. In fact he went back to get the stuff Alvie sold. However, the pawn shop owner has already sold one of his books. The pawn shop owner wants $500, which House pays.
Dr. Nolan wants to know why it was important to get his stuff back, especially when he paid five time what it was worth. House insists his actions aren't about Wilson.
House and Alvie play a little football in the apartment. Suddenly, someone knocks - it's Wilson. House skips that part of the story and Dr. Nolan wants to know why House didn't tell him what Wilson said but wanted to talk about Nerf football. House said Wilson only came by because he wanted to see if House was okay. House tells Alvie he has set up a new immigration hearing for Alvie, and Dr. Nolan asked why he cared enough to set up the hearing. Taub calls that the patient has been up for 12 straight hours with no seizure. House asks if the stress level is high enough but Taub tells him that the patient and her husband are arguing about working all the time. Dr. House tells Dr. Nolan that when the patient's brother died when she was in college she decided to dedicate herself, and now the memories of that are gone. House realizes Dr. Nolan has a theory, but Dr. Nolan won't share it and asks House why he cares about it. House's theory is that without her memories she's gone back to before the brother's accident and is looking at her current life and finding it boring. However, Dr. Nolan doesn't agree. If she was bored, she would be polite. The problem is the same problem he has with House - the husband is forcing a history on her she doesn't remember and she feels like it is forced intimacy. His feeling that he is losing his wife makes him come on stronger, and that just drives her further away.
Next, the patient started having trouble breathing. She was put on oxygen. It turned out to be fluid in her lungs. They start thinking about diabetes insipidis due to damage to the hypothalmus. There is also other brain damage causing amnesia and foot paralysis. She had spongiform encephalitis and House convinced his team to cut out her amygdala, which would result in the loss of her long-term memory. Dr. Nolan starts to get angry with Dr. House for treating the case as if it means nothing. He reminds him that House knows that he's supposed to share how he feels and that he chose to talk about the case. He won't believe it means nothing to him other than it being an interesting case. Dr. Nolan grabs a magazine and starts reading it until House opens up. Dr. Nolan asks about a bruise on House's arm. House says he doesn't remember how he got it because he was drunk at the time. Dr. Nolan says it looks like someone kicked him. House admits he got into a fight but can't remember what happened. Dr. Nolan asks him why he got that drunk, and Dr. House says he doesn't know. Dr. Nolan realizes that House was in the bar looking for someone to hurt him and wants to know how much trouble he's in. He wants to know why House is punishing himself and how he screwed up. House says he doesn't know. However, he admits there may be a problem.
Wilson helps House get his missing book back and says he may have been hasty kicking House out, and asks him to come back for a little while until he can find a new place. However, House tells him to stick to his guns. Dr. Nolan wants to know why House was so hard on Wilson when Wilson was trying to apologize. House figures Cuddy put him up to it. It explains why he changed his mind. Sam would never try to get House back. He figures it was Cuddy because she was always calling him about the patient, which she never does without a reason. She said it was because the patient was a lawyer, but House reminded her that the patient couldn't remember her own name. She was also using the same phrases as Wilson. House describes the conversation he figured Wilson and Cuddy had about him. Dr. Nolan figures that House figures they don't trust him. Hoewver, he reminds him that's their problem, not his. Dr. Nolan has his own version where they are concerned but not overly-so. However, House isn't buying it and calls in his version of Taub to end Dr. Nolan's narrative and tell him they are having consent issues with the patient. They discuss who is right, and Dr. Nolan says there is probably truth in both versions. Dr. Nolan asks why he's friends with Wilson. House defends Wilson as a great friend and Dr. Nolan points out that isn't how House portrayed him. House admits he can say anything he wants to Wilson without driving him away. Dr. Nolan reminds House that Wilson won't be around as much anymore. House figures Wilson will probably divorce Sam again anyway. However, he admits he hasn't discussed this with Wilson. Dr. Nolan figures that House's problems lie elsewhere and again asks him why he's punishing himself. He asks if anyone else is angry with him.
The patient wants to consent to the brain surgery, but the husband is willing to go to court to stop it. Dr. House tells him that without the surgery, the prion infection will destroy her whole brain. However, House notices something on the monitor - her heart rate variability has meant the infection has spread to the brain stem. It's inoperable and moving fast. House orders a pacing wire, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They can't cure it, but they can keep her alive for a couple of more weeks, during which time she may regain her memory. Dr. Nolan asks if House was really that cruel when he broke the news, and House admits that he was because the husband was an idiot for putting off the surgery. Dr. Nolan wants to know why House was so angry and why the wife got caught up in the cruelty as well. House said he was angry because the husband put the marriage before his wife's life. He says people's brains stop working when they give up someone they love.
House is trying to get his book back, but the buyer won't part with it because it's so valuable. However, he gets Alvie to steal it.
Back at the hospital, Taub brings in the flouroscope they used to place the pacing wire. It shows rapidly progressing cardiac myopathy. It can't be spongiform encephalopathy and, whatever it is, its spreading throught the whole body. All of a sudden, immigration officers come to arrest Alvie. Alvie realizes House turned him in after he missed his hearing.
House is at the courthouse with Alvie consulting with his team by phone. He is trying to figure out what is rapidly progressing and affects the brain and heart. Thirteen thinks it is something throwing clots in the heart. Dr. Chase figures the patient's running suppressed her immune system. House thinks it is tuberculosis and orders treatment and testing for the team.
During the hearing, House presents a note showing DNA evidence showing Alvie's matriarchal lineage. House admits he faked it. Alvie embraces him, but realizes he has lied.
The patient is crashine when House returns and notices something on her ankle - a tattoo. She had it partially removed, but there was still ink in the deeper layers of the skin. House realizes she was suffering from an allergy to the ink that didn't express itself until she started running. All she needed was a skin graft. Dr. Nolan realized House was right - it was about her past. The patient started to recover, but her memory still hasn't returned. The husband started treating her like they had just met, and Dr. Nolan realized that House had thought of that before he did. He also realized House was fixated on the case because of the relationships.
However, although Dr. Nolan thought House had gained a relationship with Alvie, House told him that Alvie had left to go stay with his cousin in Arizona. House started drinking, but denied anything had happened. Dr. Nolan felt the fight was over relationships. House told Dr. Nolan that everyone was happy, but when he mentioned Cuddy and Lucas, Dr. Nolan realized that House hasn't told him that before, did a Google search and realized that the book House was so desperate to get back was written by Cuddy's great-grandfather. He said he bought it years ago to give to her as a gift for a special occassion. He protested it was just a gift, but Dr. Nolan said it was significant that House hadn't mentioned the relationship Cuddy was having with Lucas. He told him he was identifying with the husband of the patient, who was also losing someone he loved. House said it would be pathetic to get drunk about that. He also tells Dr. Nolan that although he's followed the advice for a year, he's still miserable. House figures that he can't be helped and that Dr. Nolan doesn't have the answers.
Real life - Puerto Ricans and immigration status
Alvie isn't the only Puerto Rican who has trouble proving citizenship. During the 2010 Memorial Day weekend, Eduardo Caraballo spent three days in jail before he could convince authorities that he was born in Puerto Rico.