Season One Episodes:
- "There’s only one thing you guys gotta do. Tell the truth or your son will die."
Cursed is a 1st season episode of House which first aired on March 1, 2005. A Ouija board tells a young boy he will die, and he soon comes down with a serious illness. As his father is a major donor to the hospital, he insists on the best they have and Cuddy presses House to take the case. As they work through the possible solutions, House wonders why the father is so familiar with certain rare diseases. Meanwhile, a visitor to the hospital allows House to put Chase under the microscope.
A young boy uses a Ouija board, which predicts he will die in the coming year. Over the next week, he starts developing a cough and fever. His mother takes him to the hospital after he collapses on the floor.
The boy is taken to Princeton-Plainsboro. House thinks it is pneumonia, but Cuddy is pressing him to take the case because the patient's father is a big donor. Cuddy argues against pneumonia because of a rash on the patient's arm. House agrees to take the case.
The team finds the patient's parents, who are separated, arguing. They check for tick bites and whether he is sexually active. The patient denies being sexually active. They pretend to take the boy for a CT scan to get him away from the parents. The boy admits he is cursed from the Ouija board. He also admits being in an abandoned house and got the rash after he fell there.
House goes to see Wilson about Chase not wanting to talk to his father. House figures Chase and his father won't tell him what the problem is, so he will keep them together and observe them. Wilson is too busy to help.
Chase goes to the abandoned house and finds the boys playing there. He asks them if they've been sick, and they haven't been. All of a sudden, the kids bug out when they see a police officer coming. Chase follows them out the window. Chase does find some felt insulation in the abandoned house where the patient fell. It is made up of animal hair. They look at the patient's CT Scan and suspect anthrax.
They treat the patient for anthrax. The patient's father is skeptical and suggests another couple of diagnoses. However, the patient goes into respiratory distress. Chase takes a look inside his lungs and decides to intubate him. The patient starts turning blue from lack of air. Cuddy is there and is about to perform a tracheotomy when Foreman finally intubates the patient.
Cameron doesn't think it is an allergy to the treatment. House suggests they talk to Chase's father. Rowan agrees that is probably isn't an allergy. House thinks this rules out anthrax. Rowan thinks it might be sarcoidosis. This would explain the swelling in the patient's throat. However, the rash turns black, showing that it is anthrax. Rowan argues that it is anthrax and sarcoidosis. House argues that anthrax set off the sarcoidosis.
The patient's father confronts House. He tells him that he couldn't be diagnosed for his wrist pain until he gave lots of money to the hospital, then they determined it was carpal tunnel syndrome and got him surgery. At that moment, the patient goes into distress and they find a rash has broken out on his back. The lesions on the patient's back mean he will get sepsis within the next few days.
House confronts Chase about his father. He wants to know why Chase doesn't seem to care about his father. Chase avoids the topic.
The patient starts to improve and feel better. Chase is convinced that the steroids are merely masking what is actually wrong with the patient. Chase then asks Rowan why he is in town. Rowan says he is there for a conference and wanted to say hello. They fight about Rowan abandoning Chase, leaving him to take care of his alcoholic mother by himself.
Chase talks to House, who is satisfied that the patient is getting better. Chase is not convinced that they have the right diagnosis.
House goes to Rowan to confront him about lying to Chase - he knows that Rowan didn't go to the conference. He figures Rowan has cancer from a radiation treatment tattoo and his diet and is there to see Wilson. Rowan admits to having cancer. He has three months to live and doesn't want Chase to know. He asks House not to tell Chase. House reluctantly agrees.
Chase keeps up the testing to rule out the autoimmune disorders. The patient starts coughing again. Chase hands him a glass, but he drops it because his hand is paralysed.
The paralysis starts to spread and his fever returns. Rowan agrees that Chase was probably right about multiple neurofibromatosis. House orders a CT Scan of the patient's brain.
House goes to Wilson to ask why he didn't tell him about Rowan. Wilson notes that he was bound by confidentiality. House wants to tell Chase.
Cameron asks Chase about his father and why Chase is being so hard on him. Cameron starts guessing, and Chase asks her to drop it.
The CT Scan shows that Chase's diagnosis was wrong. They start to discuss what can cause the nerve damage they are seeing. They start talking about the diseases Gabe‘s father mentioned. House wonders if anything else could have set off the anthrax.
House goes to see the father. The father's wrist still hurts, so it wasn't carpal tunnel syndrome. He tells the father that he has to tell the truth or his son will die - he wants to know how long he was in Asia. The father admits he was there for two years and lied about it because he was taken for a lot of money by a fake guru and didn‘t want anyone to know. He was never a test pilot like he told his son.
House goes back to the team. Chase guesses right - leprosy. House points out that the father had it but it's progressing slower. The anthrax was the result of the son's immune system being suppressed. When they treated him with antibiotics, the immune system started attacking most of his body's cells in addition to the dead leprosy bacteria. House orders thalidomide, which will treat the leprosy directly without waking up the immune system.
House talks to Chase about his father. Chase denies hating his father - he just tries not to care because caring had only ever led to disappointment when he was a child.
They treat the patient and his father. They both improve. The patient is upset that his father lied to him and he doesn't love his father. Chase says that no matter what a father does, you have no choice but to love him.
Chase goes to his father and invites him for a drink. However, Rowan says he has to leave. Chase promises to call his father the next time he is in Australia. Chase hugs Rowan.
The patient has numbness in his hand and is being examined by Chase. House comes in and notices the patient's watch band is too tight.
- Chase's estranged father, Rowan Chase comes to the hospital.
- Chase reveals his parents split up when he was 15 and that he had to take care of his mother after his father left.
- House gives Chase’s age as 26
- House reveals Chase’s mother has been dead ten years during the fifteen since Chase's parents got a divorce.
- House learns that Rowan came in to see Wilson for an oncology consult. Rowan has stage four lung cancer and has only three months to live.
Zebra Factor 8/10
Although there are about 2 million cases worldwide, leprosy only affects about 100 people in the United States a year.
Trivia & Cultural References
- A Ouija board (pronounced wee-jee) or “spirit board” is a board with letters and numbers on it that uses a movable pointer to spell out words that are supposed to come from the “spirit world” affecting the participants. “Ouija” is the trade mark of Parker Brothers’ spirit board.
- When they find out that Gabe may have picked up anthrax at the old house, House asks if it belonged to “Old Man Hussein”. This is a reference to the fact that Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, used anthrax as part of his nation’s attempts to develop biological weapons.
- An Ashram is a remote location usually inhabited by a wise man and is often the subject of a pilgrimage by those seeking to learn from them.
- The last “leper colony” in the continental United States is no longer in Carville, Louisiana, although it houses the National Hansen’s Disease Museum (Hansen’s Disease is the more modern term for leprosy). The leper hospital was moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1999.
- The cigarettes the kids are smoking in the abandoned house bear the fictitious brand name "Bollard." This is the same name as the brand of cigarettes that figure in the skit titled "Bollard" by the 1960s British comedy troupe "Beyond the Fringe."
- Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase
- Jennifer Morrison as Dr. Allison Cameron
- Robert Sean Leonard as Dr. James Wilson
- Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
- Omar Epps as Dr. Eric Foreman
- Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy
- Nestor Carbonell as Jeffrey Reilich
- Tracy Middendorf as Sarah Reillich
- David Henrie as Tommy
- Daryl Sabara as Gabriel Reilich
- Patrick Bauchau as Dr. Rowan Chase
- Dennis Bendersky as Davey
- Abbey McBride as Blonde
- Alejandro Patino as Cabbie
- R.J. Root as Sam
- Jack Walsh as Ozzy
- Episode page at IMDB
- Episode article at Wikipedia
- Episode page at House MD Guide
- Episode article at The TV IV
- Episode goofs at Movie Mistakes
- Episode guide at Ace Showbiz
- Episode page at TV.com
- A mirror of this article at the Vietnamese House Wiki