- Chase: "Last night probably shouldn’t happen again"
- Cameron: "Do you think I want it to?"
- Chase: "When two people have had sex, unless it sucks, if they can do it again, they’re going to do it again, and that’s when things get complicated. And it didn’t suck."
- — Hunting
Hunting is a 2nd season episode of House which first aired on November 22, 2005. A man with full blown AIDS follows House home and demands to be treated by him. When House agrees, his condition continues to deteriorate, but the answer may be in his father. Meanwhile, Stacy needs House's help to capture a rat which becomes House's pet Steve McQueen.
House shares the content's of Stacy's therapy file with Wilson. It shows that Stacy is frustrated with Mark because of his behavior over not being able to walk. It also reveals Stacy and Mark are not having sex. House and Wilson deduce that because of her marital problems with Mark, Stacy is taking her anger out on House.
Outside House's home, House meets a young man who has been asking House to treat him. House makes a quick diagnosis that he has AIDS and his symptoms are due to his being immunocompromised. However, the man states his T cell count is fine. While they fight over House's cane with the man offering to "marry his cane", the young man collapses and goes into anaphylactic shock.
After taking the patient to the hospital, Cuddy and Stacy tell House he has to treat the patient or face being sued for assault. She tells House she asked to meet him at her house because she’s waiting for a rat exterminator. While speaking with Stacy about their respective problems, Mark walks in on them washing dishes together.
House is convinced the patient has an opportunistic infection, but his team points out his T-cell count is just fine and he has recently been tested for all the infections he might have had. House then surmises he might have an autoimmune disease - immune reconstitution syndrome. He recommends a chest X-ray to find the infection and steroids.
Wilson points out the steroids might kill the patient. House talks about his plan to kill Stacy’s rat. He assures Wilson that he’s not trying to get back with Stacy, he is just trying to get Stacy to admit she has feelings for him so Cuddy will remove her from her job. House calls the exterminator to cancel.
Meanwhile, House visits Stacy's house to hunt for the rat. House tells Stacy that Mark is mad at her for her ability to walk because he felt the same resentment after his leg became disabled.
The team calls House to tell him the patient's lungs are too damaged to find any old infections, and that the patient has been smoking and taking illegal drugs - including crystal meth and ecstasy. House orders treatment for the most likely infections as he spots the rat. However, he notices the rat appears to have the symptoms of an illness.
Kalvin admits to using recreational drugs having casual sex, often without protection with other HIV patients. Cameron notices the patient is coughing, and Kalvin says he has been for an hour. As Cameron investigates, the patient starts coughing up blood, some of which splashes on Cameron.
Cameron goes to the Infection control officer in the event that she has contracted HIV. He puts her on drugs for it. House is more interested in the bleeding, which rules out immune reconstitution syndrome. Cameron returns and says they should concentrate on the drugs, House agrees to test them for toxins.
House consults Foreman about the rat's tendency to tilt its head, although he makes out like it’s a human patient without insurance.
Cameron and Chase go to check the patient's hotel room. They find out that he's a photographer and that there were 1930 fluorescent bulbs used as props. Chase tells House that pre-World War 2 fluorescent bulbs contained large amounts of beryllium. Then, he adds that beryllium dust inflames the lungs, get rigid, and makes it difficult for the patient to breathe. House wonders why Chase knows so much about it. Chase tells him that his father, Rowan, co-authored a paper on acute berylliosis.
While performing the biopsy, Cameron finds out that the patient has brought his drugs into the hospital. He tells her not to be so nice about him coughing blood on her.
House goes back to Stacy's house because he thinks the rat, which he has now named Steve McQueen, has an infection or tumor. He removes the cheese that contained a blood thinner and now treats the cheese with medication to cure Steve McQueen.
Meanwhile, the patient starts suffering chest pain which appears to be the result of blood leaking into the space around his heart. Kalvin says if he dies to tell his father he’s sorry. However, instead of blood, the fluid around his heart is clear. This points to a heart tumor.
The patient's CT scans shows masses in the heart and lungs. Wilson thinks it is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cameron wants to test for sarcoidosis. House thinks it is unlikely, but allows the test. House realizes Cameron has called the patient’s father, but he isn’t coming. House wonders why the patient wants to apologize when the father threw him out.
Cameron starts the test for sarcoidosis and asks the patient about his father. She tells Kalvin his drugs were destroyed after they were tested. Kalvin tells her that he became happier after he got AIDS because he stopped being a good boy. The patient thinks Cameron is too uptight and some drugs might do her some good.
House admits to Wilson that he’s dropping by Stacy’s when he knows Mark is elsewhere. House thinks that Stacy probably isn’t mentioning him to Mark and, that if she is, Stacy won’t let him in.
House goes back to Stacy's home to once again try to catch Steve McQueen, who has been eating around the medication. They discuss Steve McQueen's urine, which seems to show that Mark has been smoking, but Stacy admits it was her. She did the same thing after House was disabled. House apologizes for making her miserable. Stacy apologizes for causing House pain. At that moment, Steve McQueen is captured.
Chase drops by Cameron's apartment for a drink, but Cameron has been taking crystal meth and comes on to Chase. When Chase resists, Cameron is insistent and the pair have sex.
The next morning, Cameron comes in late, hungover and on a comedown from the crystal meth. House catches up with her in the elevator with Steve McQueen.
Meanwhile, the patient's father has shown up and they get into an argument. They start talking about the father's cirrhosis. The father says that he doesn't care that his son is gay, but he is angry that the patient killed his own mother by being unable to give her one of his kidneys because he was HIV positive.
Cameron realizes that Kalvin was lying in his medical history. House guesses that Cameron and Chase had sex from the fact when they start talking about condoms. She doesn't ask Chase if he always uses them.
Wilson tells the patient that he most likely has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and schedules a biopsy to find the tumor despite the risk of damaging his aorta. Kalvin asks about his father, but he‘s waiting elsewhere in the hospital.
Meanwhile, Cameron and Chase discuss whether they want to pursue a relationship, and decide against it.
While House and Wilson are discussing Steve McQueen's health and his need for antibiotics, they discuss parasites. House realizes both the father and the patient have been sweating. Suddenly, House realizes the biopsy could kill the patient and cancels it. He confronts the father to ask if they ever killed foxes, which they have. House realizes that both the patient and the father have a parasite, echinococcosis, the son in his chest and the father in his liver. The parasites form cysts and don't get detected in blood tests. They also mimic the symptoms of cirrhosis if they settle in the liver. When the father resists being tested to confirm the patient’s diagnosis because of his anger towards his son, House starts insulting the dead mother. When the father strikes House, House hits the father with the cane, releasing the parasites from a cyst and causing anaphylactic shock.
They schedule cryosurgery on both men to freeze and remove the cysts. The surgery goes well and Kalvin and his father start to recover.
When Cuddy once again insists House see Stacy to avoid being sued by the father, he agrees in order to see her again.
Cameron confronts the patient about his lifestyle. She feels he is trying more to punish himself rather than enjoy himself. She tells him to stop recruiting others to share his fate.
House goes to see Stacy, who is more concerned about the punch the father threw and how badly House is hurt. House confronts Stacy about not sleeping with Mark. Stacy denies it, but House insists. Stacy figures out House read her file. House insists that Stacy still wants to be with him, but she tells him to get out of her office.
Kalvin apologizes to his father for his mother’s death. Cameron starts marking off the day to her HIV test.
The episode ends by showing that House has adopted Steve McQueen.
- House captures a rat in Stacy's attic which he later keeps as a pet and names it Steve McQueen.
- After getting hit in the face with a patient's blood, Cameron begins to fear that she may have contracted HIV.
- Distraught over what happened, Cameron takes some meth she stole from the patient and ends up sleeping with Chase.
- Stacy confronts House over him stealing her file and going to Mark's group.
- Chase tells House that his father, Rowan, co-authored a paper on acute berylliosis.
Zebra Factor 7/10
Echinococcosis is a common disease in the wild, but it rarely affects humans as they are not a natural host for the parasite.
The title refers to many things, including:
- How Kalvin and his father contracted the parasites.
- The hunt, as usual in most episodes, for the diagnosis.
- Stacy and House's hunt for the rat in Stacy and Mark's house.
- House's hunt for Stacy's forgiveness OR for her love OR for her to betray Mark.
- Kalvin and his father's hunt for each other's mutual forgiveness
Trivia & Cultural References
- The events of this episode occur on or shortly before Friday, October 20, 2006, as evidenced by Cameron’s wall calendar at the end of the episode.
- It is shown for the first time that House lives on street number 221b, a clear reference to Sherlock Holmes' address, 221B Baker Street. It is widely considered that House's character was based on the famous detective.
- Kalvin mistakes House & Wilson for a gay couple, the first instance of Hilson in the series.
- When Kalvin offers to marry House’s cane if he will take the case, House counters that Congress says he can’t, a reference to the Defense of Marriage Act.
- Steve McQueen was a popular actor in the 1960s and 1970s who died during cancer surgery at the age of 50 in 1980. He is best known for his action roles, although he had quite a few serious drama roles as well. Some of his better known roles are The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Bullitt, The Thomas Crown Affair (which was referred to in Two Stories), Papillon and The Towering Inferno. By coincidence, one of his last movies was The Hunter.
- Ironically, House "adopting" a rat makes an unintentional allusion to Stuart Little, in which Hugh Laurie plays Frederick, the biological father of George Little and adoptive father of Stuart.