Whac-A-Mole is a third season episode of House which first aired on November 21, 2006. The team treats a patient who keeps developing new diseases. Meanwhile, Tritter is putting pressure on Wilson to rat out House.
While working at a pizza place, a young man vomits, then collapses clutching his chest. The paramedics learn he is the guardian of two younger children, his brother and sister.
Meanwhile, Tritter has arranged for Wilson's car to be impounded.
The team start discussing the patient, who was recently orphaned by his parents' death. The patient is still vomiting. House lets them test for their diagnoses, while writing his down and sealing it in an envelope.
Wilson meets his lawyer. The lawyer tells him that he has to give the police what they want. House is probably going to jail, and if Wilson keeps lying, he will be going with him.
The patient is still trying to keep control of his siblings despite his condition. House comes in to see the patient about one of his symptoms, his itchy feet. The patient freely talks about his drug history. House wonders if they are really honest with each other.
Foreman proceeds to do an MRI on the patient. House questions the patient and notes that the patient lost his taste for cigarettes, which is why he quit. Cameron does an angiogram and presses the patient to stress him for the test. The patient doesn't react adversely.
After using public transport, Wilson finally gets to work and explains his problems to Cuddy. He finds out that all his narcotic prescriptions are bouncing back because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suspended his privileges.
Chase's blood tests are negative. At that point, House reveals what he knew all along - the patient has hepatitis A. Wilson comes in to tell House that his narcotic privileges have been suspended. He asks that House assign one of the fellows to do his prescriptions.
The patient's brother notices that his arm is bleeding, and it soon spreads to his ears and nose.
They treat the hepatitis A, but there is clearly a new problem. They guess it might be something at the pizza place, but no-one else is sick. House orders them to find the patient's vomit.
House asks Chase for a Vicodin prescription. Chase refuses and tells House he would rather lose his job than his license.
Wilson goes over his patient's prescription needs with Cameron. However, Cameron is reluctant to just rubber stamp Wilson's requests.
Chase goes to find the vomit.
Wilson and Cameron meet with one of his patients. The patient wonders why Cameron is there.
Foreman does a lumbar puncture on the patient. He accepts some assistance from the patient's sister. She is worried he is going to die. She tells Foreman her father died while drinking and driving. Foreman assures her that her brother is not that bad off. However, when they move the patient on his back, his rib breaks. House believes it is a osteomyelitis. Foreman refuses to give House Vicodin too.
House's physiotherapist gives him a sling and a standard issue cane. House and Foreman go tell Cameron and Chase to stop testing for infections. However, they do find him positive for syphilis and another infection. House tells the team to keep the testing. The patient also has botulism.
The patient starts having seizures after his infections are treated. Its clear he isn't immunocompromised. House still thinks it is drugs trapped in his fat cells. They decide to sweat the patient. He admits the last time he was high was when the police came to tell him about his parent's death. The patient once again has a seizure, but there were no drugs in his blood. House swaps his cane for another patients. House tells Foreman to scan his brain again.
Cameron also refuses to prescribe Vicodin to House. House confronts her about her fear of Tritter. Cameron gives him a PMS remedy.
The team does the brain scan. The patient is worrying about his siblings. They find growths all over his brain which appears to be tumors. The only treatment is radiation therapy, which will destroy his immune system. House thinks it might be a fungal infection. He orders a brain biopsy. House uses the last of his Vicodin.
House goes to Cuddy for the Vicodin. She agrees as if she cuts him off, the cops will think he didn't need them. She then notices his sore shoulder.
The biopsy shows a fungus, aspergillus. House thinks the cause might be a genetic disorder triggered by the stress caused by the death of the patient. Wilson comes for Cameron, but House refuses to let her go. He decides to give the patient four diseases to rule out three of the conditions he doesn't have. Although the test is risky (it's not FDA approved), House points out to the patient that he will die if he doesn't undertake it.
After a few hours, the patient starts coughing. Later he has trouble breathing. This shows he has chronic granulomatous disease.
Cuddy confronts House about the siblings not having a guardian. However, House points out that he will be fine after a bone marrow transplant. However, the patient refuses to accept bone marrow from his brother, who he feels isn't mature enough to understand the risk until he is 18.
Foreman and House discuss the patient's decision and motives. House decides to test the patient's good faith by telling him there is another compatible donor. The patient refuses again, and House figures it is because he won't have to care for his siblings anymore. The patient knows his siblings need him, but he also realizes he is too young to be their father.
House goes to see Wilson, who is in the process of shutting down his practice. He is frustrated that House won't do anything and even tells him to get out of his office. He tells House that his shoulder pain is psychosomatic from his guilt about what he is doing to Wilson. Wilson realizes that House doesn't really care about what happens to him.
The patient tells his siblings that he can't take care of them anymore. The sister confronts Foreman about his promise to make her brother better. Foreman figures the patient will eventually agree to the transplant because he will miss his siblings. The patient doesn't think that he will do that.
House passes Wilson on his way home. They don't speak.
- Tritter increases the pressure on Wilson by towing his car.
- Wilson later discovers that his DEA number has been suspended, rendering him incapable of signing or prescribing drugs to his patients and House.
- House and the team learn that Wilson's prescribing rights are no longer in use.
- House's right arm starts hurting.
- Wilson borrows Cameron so that she can sign prescriptions for his patients.
- With Chase, Cameron and Foreman having refused to help him, House eventually gets a script from Cuddy.
- As a result of Tritter, Wilson has to shut down his practice.
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