- House: "Got served with a federal court order. Some witness went into a coma and they want me to take a look at him."
- Vogler: "What? They want you to examine a sick person? This is a public relations nightmare. Folk think our staff do that kind of thing, this place'll be crawling with sick people."
- ―Mob Rules
Mob Rules is a first season episode of House which first aired on March 22, 2005. A judge orders House to treat a mob informant. House does so under protest, but even when the patient recovers, he figures something is wrong with him and wants to keep treating him. When he butts heads with Vogler over the treatment of the patient, Vogler spends two days fighting with Cuddy over House's continued employment, resulting in Cuddy having to make a terrible compromise in order to keep House at the hospital. Meanwhile, House figures out someone on his team is keeping Vogler informed and takes steps to try to confirm who it is.
A mob informer is in protective custody surrounded by police detectives and an attorney. He gets up to go to the bathroom and complains of being dizzy and hot, then collapses on the floor.
Meanwhile, Vogler is complaining to Cuddy about House not providing him with a budget. House comes in complaining about a court order that forces him to treat the patient, who is in a coma. Vogler is incredulous. Cuddy is unsympathetic and sends House away. Vogler says he needs a good reason to keep House.
House examines the patient, who is unconscious and unresponsive. He discusses the case with his team. House thought he was faking, but he's an 8 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. All of a sudden, the patient's lawyer (and brother) comes to see House. House blows him off, but he follows House onto the elevator. House starts making fun of the patient's mob connections, but the lawyer stops the elevator and tells House to fix the patient but keep him in the hospital until he can make sure he doesn't testify.
Cameron thinks that House is acting weird because she asked him if he liked her. Cameron admits to Chase she likes House. The tests show the patient has a subdural hematoma. Foreman wants to drill to reduce the pressure, but all of a sudden the patient regains consciousness and is responsive.
House doesn't want to release the patient, but only because he can't explain the coma. The rest of the team want to release him because he's recovered. House orders tests for hepatitis and autoimmune diseases.
House returns to find Vogler has had the patient released. He realizes that one of his team had told Vogler that the patient had recovered. Vogler is with Cuddy complaining about how much House costs. House comes in to confront Vogler about having his patient released and attacks Cuddy when she supports Vogler. Vogler points out he had the court order reversed and House is now under no obligation to treat the patient. House leaves, but Vogler thinks he gave up too easy.
All of a sudden, the patient is back in the hospital, having collapsed again. House takes the opportunity to rub it into Vogler for being wrong.
Chase reports the patient's liver continues to worsen and he is positive for Hepatitis C. It explains everything except for how quickly the symptoms came on. The patient also has high estrogen levels. House orders a liver biopsy, but doesn't want to treat the Hepatitis C. House is not backing Chase at all, but agrees to the Hepatitis treatment. House calls over Foreman to remove him from the case because someone else on the team told Vogler about the last patient's bulimia and House wants everyone to think that he thinks it was Foreman.
When Chase tries to treat the patient for Hepatitis, the brother physically attacks him and tells him not to treat him for it.
Vogler is telling Cuddy she can't control House. She says she protects House because he's an asset to the hospital. Vogler says the hospital is a business and liking House is bad for business.
The brother comes in to confront House about his brother having Hepatitis C, something he only could have got from homosexual sex or drug use. Either would destroy the patient's reputation. House agrees to treat the patient's Hepatitis C off the books. However, House admits he doesn't know if Hepatitis C is the real problem.
House meets Wilson in the parking area. Wilson tells him that Vogler has been talking to Cuddy about House for the past two days. When they get to House's car, they find the brothers have replaced it with a beautifully restored 1965 Corvette. They rationalize that House has to keep it to prevent him from being hurt by the brother.
Cameron and Chase have a discussion about whether it is worse to keep the car or deal with Vogler. The biopsy results show that Hepatitis C isn't the underlying problem. House thinks it is a toxin - someone has poisoned the patient.
The patient only has two hours to live unless he gets a liver transplant, and the tests will take at least four. House has an idea - he gets a live pig and uses the pig's liver to treat the blood. This buys them time.
Foreman is testing for poisons with Cameron, and he asks how much she likes House. However, the testing isn't going well. All House finds out is that the patient was a smoker, but gave it up about two weeks ago. House comes up with the answer - the patient's anti-smoking aid, a Chinese herb, is poisoning him.
The patient starts feeling better. House and Wilson go for a ride in the Corvette. Wilson thinks if House let Vogler release the patient again it would put Vogler in a good mood.
House turns up the next day, in his lab coat, and tells Cuddy and Vogler the patient can be released. Cuddy admonishes House for not telling anyone about the Hepatitis C - the problem was not just the herb, but the combination of the herb with the interferon that the patient was given for the hepatitis. All of a sudden, the patient takes another turn for the worse and goes back into a coma.
The patient is stable, but comatose and on a ventilator. Chase still thinks it is Hepatitis C, but they can't give him interferon for it. Chase wants to try an experimental treatment, but it could kill the patient. They try to focus on the high estrogen level, but they can't think of another explanation.
They start the patient on an experimental treatment, which will essentially change the nature of the virus.
After treating the infant in the clinic, House thinks the answer may be simpler. He crosses out the estrogen and starts focussing on the coma. House admits to Chase that he thinks he‘s the one ratting him out to Vogler, but Chase denies it. House thinks it might be a food sensitivity, but Chase has checked that. However, House says he can‘t trust him.
House goes to one of the guards and asks him about the previous confrontation about getting $3,000. House realizes that the brother was the one who paid him off, but only to bring him pasta. House tells him that the patient has a disease that makes him sensitive to red meat (he ate steak before each attack), and its most likely Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency, but he is not sure because of the estrogen level . The only explanation is that the patient has been taking estrogen as an aphrodisiac. He tells the brother that the patient is most likely gay and that the brother probably fears it must be true. If the brother can admit the patient might be gay, they will stop the treatment he's on now and he will get better all on his own if House is right, but the patient will die if they continue the treatment. The brother agrees to stop the treatment. House tells the brother the patient wanted to be an informant to get away from his life so he could start anew without having to hide his sexuality.
The brother is worried about the patient recovering. However, the patient regains consciousness and wants to see his brother. The brother confronts him about House saying he was a homosexual. The patient realizes that his brother believed House. The patient starts to admit it. However, his brother rationalizes another explanation - that the Chinese herbs he ordered were mixed up. The brother agrees to let the patient testify if being in witness protection will make him happy.
Cuddy tells House that Vogler wants to fire everyone in Diagnostic Medicine, and that he also threatened to fire her. Cuddy tells House she stood up to Vogler and that he can stay, but he must change - he's got to start making money for the hospital, plus do more clinic duty, plus he must fire one of his fellows to save money.
A young man comes in with his infant brother, thinking he might be really sick. He is worried about him but House finds a little toy piece shoved up the baby's nose.
However, the young man soon returns with the infant, who keeps shoving things up his nose. The patient's brother comes in to see House, tells the baby to stop crying, and the baby does. He tells House the trick is to make them believe they will actually hurt them.
The young man comes in a third time. House has learned the technique to quiet the baby, and finds a third toy up the baby's nose. However, House notes the toys have something in common. He gets a strong magnet, and finds another toy up the kid's nose - a cat. The other toys (policeman, fireman, fire truck) were those that usually are used to rescue cats. House thinks the baby is really smart to make that kind of grouping.
- Cameron admits to Chase that she finds House attractive (see Hameron).
- Vogler says that House has worked at PPTH for eight years.
- Cuddy reveals that she is one of only three females who act as chief of medicine at a major hospital in the United States.
- House obtains a Corvette from the Mob as a gift.
- House briefly returns to wearing his lab coat.
- As a result of Vogler's orders, House finds himself being forced to fire one of his fellows.
Zebra Factor 7/10
Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency is very rare, occurring about once in every 80,000 births.
Trivia & Pop Cultural References
- The Witness Protection Program is a program run by the United States federal government to relocate and provide new identities to witnesses who are likely to be intimidated or killed by the defendants being prosecuted.
- Graft is a form of political or official corruption where officials expect to receive ongoing gifts as a condition of doing their duties for the public.
- The Chevrolet Corvette is widely considered to be one of the best American sports cars ever produced. It has been in continuous production since 1953.
- The game that House is playing when he puts his Nintendo DS up to the unconscious Joey's ear is Metroid Prime Hunters, albeit with incorrect sound effects playing.
- The title of the episode could possibly be derived from the Black Sabbath album "Mob Rules".