- House: "Hi! This is Gregory House. I can't take your call at the moment, please leave a message. If this is Wilson, I'm fine, not suicidal, not on drugs, coping very well with the loss of my last patient. So feel free to go about your day without worry. BEEEEP!"
- Wilson: "House! You can't just... not show up for work. What's Cuddy going to say?"
- House: "If this is STILL Wilson... she gave me the day off. And tomorrow (Cuddy shoots a look). Okay, maybe not tomorrow, but today. I'm fine. Now go away!........ BEEEEEP!"
- — Now What?
"Now What?" is the first episode of the seventh season of House. It is set to air September 20, 2010. It is directed by Greg Yaitanes.After admitting their deep attraction for each other, both House and Cuddy try to get away from the pressures of the hospital by spending the day together without being distracted by what is going on at the hospital. Meanwhile, due to a colleague’s illness, Princeton Plainsboro is left without a neurosurgeon on site, threatening the hospital’s accreditation as a Level 1 Trauma Center. House works to keep this information from reaching Cuddy as the team attempts treatment to get their sick colleague back to work. When they discover there is more to the illness than they originally suspected House remains elusive, leaving the team on its own.
The episode begins with a short flashback of where Season 6 ended and picks up immediately after House and Cuddy shared their passionate kiss. Cuddy begins treating House's wounds. He‘s worried about showing her his leg, but she tells him it‘s okay. However, the tension is so evident throughout the treatment that in the middle of it House and Cuddy start caressing each other and they are soon having sex. The next morning, House asks “Now what?” Cuddy is worried it might be over, but it turns out he is merely worried about what they’re going to do together that day. She wants to go to work. Now House is worried it’s over, but Cuddy reassures him that she hopes it’s the beginning of it.
Suddenly, one of their Blackberrys goes off. In the low light, they can’t tell whose. House risks answering it and Cuddy’s assistant is on the line. House pretends to be the nanny. He tells him Cuddy is sick. The assistant tells him that their neurosurgeon, Dr. Richardson is also sick, having thrown up during an operation. House tells him to send the doctor home, sterilize the operating room and use his brain. Cuddy tells House he needs a bath.
Meanwhile back at the hospital, the team is looking for a new case. Foreman is worried that House hasn’t arrived because of what happened to his last patient. Chase lets it slip that Thirteen has asked for an immediate leave of absence. Taub denies he told Chase, and Chase admits he steamed open Thirteen’s envelope on House’s desk. Foreman says he just ripped it open to find out. He wants to know where Thirteen is going. Thirteen won’t tell.
Cuddy and House are picking up the broken mirror from the previous night. Cuddy grabs the Vicodin. The phone rings and Cuddy goes to get it. House tells her to let it ring so they can have time together. Cuddy agrees. However, House realizes she’s still distracted. She talks about her problems and mentions that Dr. Richardson is about to quit because he’s been a virtual hostage at the hospital all week. House remembers the phone call and asks for more information. Cuddy tells him that because of staffing problems, Richardson has to be on the premises at all times or else the hospital won’t be technically classified as a Level 1 trauma center. That will mean shutting down several departments, including the emergency room. House starts giving her a massage and tells her to relax, he’s going to draw her a bath.
Instead, House realizes he has to do something so they can have alone time. House calls Chase, who tells him that the hospital usually has three neurosurgeons on call, but two are away on other business. House tells Chase that he has to be the hospital’s neurosurgeon for the next 16 hours. Chase complains he’s not qualified, but House tells him that as a technical matter, he just has to divert brain and spine injuries to other hospitals. Chase asks where House is, but he won’t tell.
Foreman has found that Thirteen is going to Rome. She still won’t tell him, but Foreman knows they are doing dangerous experimental treatments for Huntington’s disease. Thirteen rebukes him for invading her privacy.
House and Cuddy are enjoying their bath and discussing their relationship. Cuddy thinks he’s analyzing things too much and he agrees. However, they both agree that the bath preparation is burning their mucous membranes around the vagina and anus.
Cuddy’s assistant can’t reach her, or a replacement neurosurgeon. Chase comes in and says he is a neurosurgeon. Cuddy’s assistant challenges him, although it turns out that Chase did a residency in neurosurgery, he’s not board certified. Foreman is astonished the assistant knows this, but the assistant tells them that his first instruction was to learn everything possible about House’s team and to not believe anything they said.
Meanwhile, House is serving breakfast. Cuddy says it’s pretty good. House says he can tell when she’s lying. She says she slept with her freshman roommate, but House knows she’s lying again. She finally admits it, but House won’t tell her how he knows because then she will hide her “tell”. She wants something personal too and House tells her he had an “intimate relationship” with one of her photographs. However, she says she already knew that. He says he was lying, but she says he remembers her taking a picture of her dressed as Sleeping Beauty, and asks what other reason he could have for doing to.
House gets a silent call from Chase, who says the assistant didn’t fall for it. The assistant is about to call the Department of Public Hospitals, which will shut down the emergency room. House tells Chase to handle it himself.
The team has looked for a neurosurgeon, but had no luck. Foreman realizes that although the ER will be shut down if they report, if they cover it up and get found out, the entire hospital gets shut down. Chase wonders why House cares about it and the rest of the team wonders where Cuddy is. Thirteen comes up with an idea - treat Dr. Robertson to get him back on duty.
House is trying to open a bottle of champagne with a sword. Instead he destroys the bottle. He goes to get another bottle. All of a sudden, they hear Wilson pounding on the door. They decide to ignore him. The pounding stops. They decide to start kissing again when the phone rings. Wilson calls out that he knows House is in there because he can hear the phone ringing. House pretends to be an answering machine and assures Wilson he’s fine. Wilson cries out that he can’t just show up for work. House says he has the day off and tells him to go away. Wilson goes away, but tells him he will be back if he’s not in the next day.
Thirteen goes to Dr. Robertson’s home to tell to suck it up and work, but Dr. Richardson tells them he’s really sick, probably from food poisoning. He’s already taken anti-nausea medication and it hasn’t worked. Chase realizes his stomach lining is damaged and unless they find the cause, nothing is going to work. They want to give him drugs to get him back on his feet, even though they won’t do anything for the underlying cause.
House and Cuddy are having sex again. Cuddy wants to know why House didn’t let Wilson in and realizes that he was hiding her. House said he wasn’t sure if Cuddy wanted to go public. She says she’s fine with people knowing. However, she realizes that maybe House doesn’t want anyone to know.
Chase and Thirteen are discussing the side effects of the drugs they gave Dr. Richardson. Thirteen wants to know if Chase is going to ask her about the Huntington’s trial. He says he’s not interested, but asks if she wants to have sex with him. When Thirteen gets confused, Chase admits he is sexually interested in her and was being patient, but with her moving away, his deadline has changed. Before she can reply, Dr. Richardson comes in, feeling much better. He agrees to return to the hospital, but he’s obviously showing side effects because he says everything looks shiny.
House tells Cuddy he’s making a sex tape to send to Wilson to show Cuddy he has no problem making their relationship public. They hear a noise - Cuddy thinks that someone is trying to break in. House grabs the sword again and goes to the kitchen, where he finds Wilson trying to sneak in through a window. After withdrawing the sword at Wilson's throat, House asks him if he wants tea, but Wilson just wants help because he’s stuck in the window. House won’t help and Wilson says he’s just worried about him. House says he’s having sex with his girlfriend and didn’t want Wilson to find out. He finally helps Wilson in and tells him it’s not a hooker - it’s Cuddy. Wilson wants to know how many Vicodin he’s taken, but House says he’s not lying. He goes to show Wilson, but Cuddy isn’t there any more.
Wilson is sure House is hallucinating, but his vital signs are normal. House pretends he was lying about Cuddy, and tells Wilson he’s fine being alone. Wilson finally agrees to leave. House finds Cuddy hiding in the closet.
The team tells the assistant that Dr. Robertson’s new symptoms are the result of high blood sugar, but the assistant doesn’t think he’s capable of doing surgery. The Department of Public Hospitals will be there in 20 minutes. When the assistant leaves, Thirteen admits the likely diagnoses are hepatitis and peptic ulcer disease. Thirteen tells Taub he will be flying out the next day. He tells her that he supports her choice to try the new treatment.
House and Cuddy are arguing about which one is avoiding going public.
Chase and the assistant meet the DPH man, and Chase tells him that Dr. Robertson is prepping for surgery. The DPH man insists he has to speak to him to confirm his identity. Chase says it’s impossible - Robertson would have to re-scrub and the anasthetic would have to be adjusted. The DPH man asks the assistant why he told him that Robertson wasn’t at the hospital. The assistant said he must have misunderstood. The DPH man finally turns to leave. However, Robertson bursts out of the prep room and strips to the waist. The DPH man shuts down the ER and intensive care until they get a neurosurgeon.
Chase and Cuddy are playing word games. Cuddy asks House why he didn’t tell her he loved her. House asks why she’s overanalyzing things and tells her words don’t matter - actions do. He spells out “ILOBEYOU” with word tiles because he forgot to pick up a V. She gives him one point for “Lobe”.
The DPH is overseeing the shut down. Dr. Robertson’s tests are all negative. Thirteen says that the hospital is now crawling with bureaucrats. Chase tells them to focus on their patient, who is once again trying to strip. Taub goes to stop him. Chase wonders why Dr. Robertson isn’t coming down from the high of the pills. Foreman thinks it might be a symptom and not a side effect. Dr. Robertson lets it slip that he snuck out of the hospital to go to a seafood convention. The team is dismayed - the seafood isn’t local and could be carrying all kinds of diseases. Chase tries to narrow it down with no luck. However, Thirteen remembers frog eggs can make people high and give them nausea. The antidote is fast acting, so they could get him on his feet quickly.
Cuddy is talking about a place in France that she visited. House knows about it already because Cuddy had it as a screensaver. He’s already set up a flight. Cuddy says she can’t because of the hospital and her daughter. House wonders why she will break off her engagement, but won’t change her schedule. She says she will do it in two weeks so she can leave her daughter with her mother. House agrees.
Thirteen tells him that he will feel better in no time if they are right. Foreman apologizes for invading her privacy and tells her she shouldn’t be alone. He offers to fly over to see her, but she says she will be okay.
Cuddy finally gets ready to leave. House realizes she has to and Cuddy realizes there is a problem. He says it isn’t going to work. House tries to rationalize that she won’t be able to forget his past, all the horrible things he's done, or that he is an insane choice for a woman with a child.
Dr. Richardson is soon on his feet and assures the DPH man that he is fine. He passes a sobriety and cognitive test easily. The DPH man agrees to lift the restrictions. Chase suggests a sending-off party for Thirteen. He also makes sure Thirteen doesn’t want to have sex with him. She doesn’t. She wonders if this trick ever works, and Chase assures her it has. She hugs him, and he complains of mixed signals.
Cuddy assures House that he’s only worried because, in the past, his happiness hasn’t lasted. He is worried that he will do stupid things again. She tells him he doesn’t want him to change and that she thinks he’s "the most incredible man she's ever known", or will ever know, in spite of his shortcomings. She says she’s going home unless he makes it clear he’s breaking up with her. He finally tells her he loves her.
The team has found a cake for Thirteen that was originally intended for someone’s bar mitzvah. However, Thirteen doesn`t come for the party. Foreman has found out that Thirteen wasn`t even scheduled for the experimental surgery and all her phones are disconnected. She`s been lying to them all day.
Cuddy hugs House goodbye and tells him it`s going to be great, but both their smiles fade a little as she leaves.
- House and Cuddy have sex.
- It is revealed that in addition to his other specialities, Chase did a residency at Melbourne Hospital in neurosurgery.
- The hospital’s emergency room and intensive care unit are nearly shut down.
Zebra Factor 9/10
Toad egg poisoning is very rare.
Trivia & Cultural References
- The initial title of the episode is a reference to the song Thunder Road by New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen and first released in 1975. Thunder Roadtrip was a decoy title for this episode. It was revealed about three weeks before the season opening that the title of the episode was changed to "Now What?"
- Sleeping Beauty