- "You remember Mr. Bell?"
- ―Love is Blind
Love is Blind is an 8th season episode of House which first aired on February 27, 2012 in Canada, and on March 19, 2012 in the United States. It was written by John C. Kelley and directed by Tim Southam. A blind man (Michael B. Jordan) starts suffering from a mysterious illness just before he's about to propose to his girlfriend. As his condition worsens, the team finds a way to save him, but the patient feels that the side effects of the cure would be worse than death. Meanwhile, House's mother will visit the hospital to tell her son some important news. However, House appears to be insistent on avoiding her and a discussion of the past year of his life at all costs. When Wilson thinks she's there to break some very bad news, he makes it clear that he won't put up with House's behavior any longer. House finally goes to see his mother, but finds something that both strikes him silent but ties his life together.
This was one of the most anticipated episodes of the series because it promised to answer questions about House's background, and indeed it didn't hold back during the cathartic scene when House and his mother reveal they've always known each other's secrets, but had the good sense to keep them to themselves. However, American fans were ironically kept waiting for a further three weeks when that year's Daytona 500 was delayed and pre-empted the broadcast.
Athough the patient is often treated as a sideshow to the main event, he once again represents a part of House - he has to make the same choice House did in Three Stories. However, unlike House, the event strengthens his relationship with his estranged girlfriend instead of destroying it.
The appearance of comedy legend Billy Connolly also gives the writers an opportunity to play up the comic relief. Not only is Connolly given an opportunity to spread his wings, a time consuming and expensive hallucination sequence allows us to see a little more into Park's personality.
A man is buying an engagement ring and as he goes to leave, it is clear he is blind. He leaves the store and easily makes his way to an intersection, but while waiting for the light, the beeping noise that guides him seems to him to become louder and louder. He stumbles into traffic and gets confused by the increasingly loud traffic noises. He finally scrambles to safety, but the noises surrounding him are so loud to him, a passerby who tries to help him can’t get him to understand him.
House is talking to his team on the phone and finds out the patient has diabetes mellitus. House tries to pass it off as a sugar imbalance, but the tests show his blood sugar to be well within range. The tox screen is clean too. All of a sudden, House says someone is a “lying sack of crap”. His team is confused and he says he’s talking about James Wilson, who he has just seen with House’s mother. He has realized Wilson was trying to set him up to corner him. He tells his team to tell anyone who asks that he’s at an out of the state medical conference. Chase gets back to the diagnosis and suggests schizophrenia, but the patient has already has a psych consult. Park suggests noise induced epilepsy and House orders an EEG. He also tells his team that if anyone should ask, he spent last year doing humanitarian medical work in Africa. When Adams asks who he’s hiding from, House tells them “evil”.
Wilson arrives in House’s office and asks where he is. Taub says House is at a medical conference in Baltimore. Blythe introduces herself as House’s mother.
The patient is with his girlfriend when Chase and Park come in to do a medical history. Park tells the patient what she looks like. They both deny he’s ever had a seizure, but Melissa admits they’ve been apart for five months. The patient thinks he’s fine and it was just low blood sugar. However, he agrees to tests.
Blythe is asking Wilson about House and Wilson assures her he’s fine, but he hesitates when she asks if House is happy. She says she knows House is complicated. Wilson sees Blythe is wearing a medical bracelet and asks about it. She says it was just a mole removal. She gives Wilson her card and says she will be at a nearby hotel for a few days. However, Wilson also notices she’s carrying a book about cancer.
The patient is given a hearing test while they do the EEG. Taub tells Adams he’s impressed with the patient - the break was definitely the patient’s idea because men ask for one when they want to have other sex partners before they settle down. He says women only ask for a break when they want to end the relationship. Adams think the patient and his girlfriend are too young. Taub says he was the same age when he got married, but then sees Adams’ point. As the test proceeds, it’s clear the patient is in distress even though his EEG is normal - it’s not a seizure. Taub thinks he is choking. They see blood but they can’t find a blockage. Taub gives him the Heimlich maneuver and something flies out of his throat. Several other objects fall into his hand - they appear to be his teeth.
They start talking about why the teeth fell out. House is still communicating by phone, and Dominika is with him, complaining that he won‘t let her see his mother. House thinks it’s merely periodontitis and a complicating infection affecting his brain. He orders antibiotics.
House and Dominika are hiding out in the pediatric oncology playroom playing video games when Wilson finds them. Wilson confirms that Blythe has left the hospital, but tells House they have to talk. House first has to pay off the children in the ward, who have been drawing pictures showing him in Africa. House tells Wilson it’s part of his plan to fool his mother into thinking he was in Africa. Wilson says he has to speak to his mother, but House says he needs more time to prepare the fake documents so he will be ready to convince his mother he was in Africa. Wilson breaks the news that Blythe probably has cancer and gives House the address of his mother’s hotel.
The patient admits he may have slacked off on his oral hygiene. He sends his girlfriend out to get a meal. When she leaves, he shows the engagement ring to them and asks him to get his laptop and Braille reader, and to put the ring somewhere safe in his apartment so his girlfriend can’t find it. He says it was his girlfriend’s idea to have a break to make sure that he was ready to make a commitment.
Taub and Park go to the patient’s apartment and, while they’re there, Taub decides to do an environmental scan. Park decides to grab a snack. Taub thinks Park may have had relationship troubles in the past, and she admits her college boyfriend asked for a break and he used the opportunity to sleep with three of her friends before dumping her. As Park starts to eat the ice cream, she has to spit it out, but only because it’s sugar-free.
House arrives at his mother’s hotel room. He goes to leave, then summons his courage. His mother wasn’t expecting him and he barges in. She says it’s a bad time, but House asks for her medical records and the name of her primary care physician. However, at that moment, he sees one of his mother’s old friends, Thomas Bell, rushing back into the hotel bed. He realizes she’s not sick and Blythe admits she misled Wilson. Bell asks why he didn’t call first. Blythe starts to explain, and when House says he realizes they were having sex, Bell chimes in to say they’re getting married.
The team starts a new differential diagnosis. All of a sudden, Park chimes in that it might be LSD or something like it because she’s starting to hallucinate. However, the rest of the team seem to think she’s acting normally. House does a quick examination and finds her pupils are dilated and her pulse is elevated. It’s clear Park is hallucinating. House tells Taub to go back and get samples of what she ate and tells Chase and Adams to ask the patient what it might be, where he got it and to do an MRI.
The patient admits he had LSD in his house and took it five or six times. He tells them he has another girlfriend, who gave him the LSD, and the engagement ring is for her. He was going to break the news to Melissa, but wound up in hospital instead. He gives the doctors her cell phone number, but asks them to not tell her he’s in the hospital. He admits he hasn’t told Melissa he’s breaking up with her because he wants her to be there while he’s sick.
Wilson comes to ask House if he’s seen his mother. He sees Park lying down on House’s chair covered by a blanket and House explains about the LSD. House tells Wilson that his mother isn’t sick - she was having sex with his biological father. Wilson asks if he’s sure that Bell is his real father, and House says that he caught sight of a second birthmark that would seem to confirm it. He breaks the news that his mother is going to marry Bell. Wilson finds out House isn’t really enthusiastic about the marriage. Wilson accuses House of avoiding his mother because he actually cares about her opinion. House says he avoids his mother because she’s boring. Wilson asks why he hasn’t told his mother about prison and Dominika. Park blurts out that she’s realized the birthmark is on Bell’s penis.
Adams is mad at the patient for the way he is treating Melissa. Chase tells her to give a sick blind kid a break. They find something on the scan and realize it’s bad news for both the patient and Park - brain damage.
When House sees the scan, he thinks it is a clot, not a sign of brain damage from the LSD. However, Adams has never seen a clot in the skull that large, but Taub realizes that a growing clot would explain the progression of his symptoms. However, they still have to figure out what caused it and the tooth loss. Adams thinks it might be lupus, but House thinks it’s Behcet's disease. Taub protests the patient would have had visual symptoms first, but then realizes that a blind person wouldn’t have such symptoms. House orders an eye exam, heparin, interferon and steroids.
Meanwhile, Park is having a bad trip and is throwing things at Wilson, demanding the return of her stolen teeth. Blythe comes in with Bell and asks what’s going on and Wilson has to explain that Park is on LSD. Bell says that this is no way to treat a person having a bad trip and speaks to her in soft tones to ask if he can help. When Park accuses “the rabbit” of stealing her teeth, Bell tells her he’s put them back and she should be able to feel them. Park listens and realizes her teeth are back. Bell sits her down on the couch and calms her down by offering her a drink of water. Blythe explains that Bell has had experience dealing with people on bad trips. As House returns, Wilson remarks that Bell can’t possibly be related to him.
The eye exam confirms Behcet’s and Adams goes to bandage his eyes to prevent the light from damaging the tissue further. The patient realizes Adams is angry with him by the way she’s breathing. The patient says he doesn’t want Melissa to hate him. He explains he wanted to marry Melissa, but he was upset when she insisted on the break and didn’t give him a say. He tells Adams that Melissa acts like his mother and hasn’t come to terms with the fact that he’s much more able to deal with his life than he was when they first met. His new girlfriend sees him as very capable and able to help her out. Melissa still sees him as someone who she has to help and his new girlfriend sees him as someone she can depend on.
Park finally falls asleep. Bell is showing Wilson old pictures of House and tells him how close he and John House were. However, they had a falling out when Bell quit his job as a Navy chaplain and started protesting the war. He also talks about how Blythe was a protester too. House is astounded and asks his mother about it. She and Bell admit they kept it from House because he would have told John. As Bell and Blythe start to go, House hesitates to shake Bell’s hand and Bell thinks he’s being too formal, so he gives House a hug instead. Wilson breaks the news that they are all having dinner at 8 p.m. and he told them it was House’s idea.
As Taub finishes examining the patient and goes to leave, it’s obvious the patient is about to break the news to Melissa. Park is back to normal. The team meet outside the patient’s room. Adams thinks the bleeding is just another symptom of Behcet’s, but Taub wonders why he’s getting worse on treatment. Park realizes that although the large clot is breaking up, pieces of it are getting stuck. One got stuck in the lungs and caused him to cough up blood. They realize if they give him more heparin, if he starts bleeding again, they won’t be able to stop it. However, another clot could cause a heart attack or stroke. House orders a CT scan to confirm the clots and an increase in the dose of heparin. Melissa is seen leaving the patient’s room. Taub says she will get over it, but Park says she gained 82 pounds when her relationship ended the same way.
Wilson, Blythe and Bell are at the restaurant. It’s 9 p.m. and Bell is sure House will stand them up, but Blythe insists he will be there. House finally appears with Dominika and introduces her as his wife.
Adams is flogging herself, both for ignoring the patient’s eyes and for not understanding at an emotional level what a blind person must have to go through. She realizes the patient’s girlfriend didn’t understand that either. They find a clot in the lungs and realize that Park and House were right.
At dinner, House is telling everyone about his fake marriage. However, Bell is supportive. House then goes on to admit he wasn‘t in Africa. However, Blythe already knew about his police problems. She also admits she and Thomas have been married since shortly after John House died. House asks if there are any more secrets. When they don’t know what he’s talking about, he admits he did a DNA test on John House and found he wasn’t his biological father and says he thinks Bell is. Bell thinks it’s a joke, but House shows him his birthmarks. Bell turns to Blythe - she told Bell that House was premature to take him out of the timeline when they had sex. He realizes the “lunatic” is his son and Blythe gets defensive saying House isn’t a lunatic. Bell says had he known, he could have been more involved with House and he may not have turned into a pill popping sociopath. He accuses Blythe of screwing him up. She counters that he’s a great doctor who has saved more lives than Bell could count and demands he apologize or she will leave him. Bell says he has to get some fresh air. House asks who wants dessert and Dominika says she does.
The patient starts screaming that his eyes feel like they are on fire. Adams quickly unbandages them, finding necrotic tissue.
The necrosis seems to rule out Behcet’s and points back to a bacteria, but they’ve already treated him with antibiotics. Chase thinks it’s just a drug-resistant bacteria and points out they have to remove his eyes before gangrene sets in. Adams thinks it might be a virus, but Taub is running labs and finds no viral markers in the dead tissue. House asks to see the CT scan of the lung clot. He realizes that’s the core of the infection, a fungus - mucormycosis. Chase thinks it’s moving too fast, but the diabetes would mean a compromised immune system, which would allow it to spread faster. Park quickly finds it in the necrotic tissue. House orders amphotericin B. However, Adams points out that the medicine interaction with the antibiotics they gave him will most likely cause deafness.
They tell the patient about the side effect of the treatment. He says he would rather be dead. Adams assures him he still might have some hearing left after the treatment. However, she admits it is a very small chance. The patient refuses treatment.
House finds Bell in his office. Bell apologizes for the way he took the news. He says it’s great news that he has a son. House asks what else did his mother say to say. Bell says he’s not a lunatic or a mistake either. House tells Bell he never liked John House. Bell admits that John could be intense. House counters he always respected John. Bell asks if he respects his mother. When House doesn’t answer, he reminds House that they have that, and the fact they both love her, in common. Bell calls him “son” and says he will see him at dinner.
Melissa arrives to speak to the patient. The patient realizes Adams got her, and Melissa admits it. The patient says it won’t work. Melissa says she knows, so she’s not going to try because she’s made enough decisions for him. He asks why she came back. She says it’s because she loves him and wants to be with him as long as she can. The patient says he’s scared, and she says she is too. She says she will always love him. He asks if she would love him if he was deaf. She says she would love him no matter what.
The patient agrees to treatment and starts to improve. The patient has already lost his hearing, but they don’t know if it will be permanent. The patient realizes Melissa is in the room and says he will understand if she says no, and asks if she will marry him. After a delay, she screams out yes and the patient says he heard that. They embrace.
House goes to confront Wilson about stealing Bell’s fork so he could test the DNA. Wilson tries to deny it, then realizes it would be pointless and admits it. However, when House realizes Wilson hasn’t told him, he realizes the only reason he wouldn‘t is if Bell wasn‘t his father. Wilson shows him the results confirming Bell isn‘t his father. House realizes his mother isn’t boring.
- Park admits that her boyfriend in college dumped her when they were on a break and she gained 82 pounds afterwards. She gained the nickname “Park-ing Lot.”
- House breaks the news to his mother that he’s in an immigration marriage with Dominika.
- House’s mother lets him know that she knew he was in prison by checking out the police blotter.
- House’s mother reveals she married Bell two months after John House’s death, and didn’t tell House.
- House confronts his mother about his paternity.
- Wilson tests Bell’s DNA and it shows Bell isn’t House’s biological father either.
Zebra Factor 5/10
Although mucormycosis is common in the environment, and about 7 out of every 1,000 people are probably infected with it, on the whole, only one in 50,000 hospital admissions is the result of an infection. However, there do tend to be outbreaks after natural disasters.
Trivia & Cultural References
- Because of the delay in running the 2012 Daytona 500 on February 26, 2012, the race and Fox's coverage took place on February 27, 2012 and preempted the showing of this episode on the east coast. The program was seen at its regular time in Canada. Due to other programming commitments, the episode wasn't aired until March 19, 2012 in most of the United States. This is not the first time Canadians got to see an episode of House first - earlier in the season, House was delayed about 20 minutes on the East Coast due to an extra innings baseball playoff game.
- "Love is Blind" translates as "El amor es ciego" in Spanish.
- At the beginning, House is hiding behind a photo of Stephen Colbert.
- "BFF" is a abbreviation for "Best Friends Forever".
- “Doctors Without Boundaries” is a reference to Medicins Sans Frontieres, known in English as “Doctors Without Borders”.
- Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland. Coincidentally, one of guest star Michael B. Jordan's first major acting roles was in The Wire, which takes place in Baltimore.
- The last name of House's supposed biological father, Bell, is also the last name of the mentor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Will notes that he and his girlfriend, Melissa, are on a break, like between Ross and Rachel on Friends. In one episode of that series, Hugh Laurie plays a passenger on a New York to London flight who is stuck next to Rachel as she goes on about her relationship with Ross and how she plans to break up his wedding. He finally breaks down, tells her off, and agrees with Ross that they were on a break.
- Transformers is an entertainment franchise about robots that can change into vehicles that encompasses toys, animation and movies
- The make-up and flying rig used for Park’s hallucinations took several hours to arrange for shots that last only a few seconds. Jesse Spencer’s rabbit make up took three hours to apply.
- The hallucination of Adams is based on Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
- Rainbow Brite was a cartoon character created by Hallmark Cards who was also made into a cartoon series.
- Gummy bears are a popular form of gelatin based candy which originated in Germany
- Facebook is a popular social media site.
- This is one of a few House episodes to feature two actors originally from the United Kingdom: Hugh Laurie who is English and Billy Connolly who is Scottish.
- Omar Epps does not appear in this episode.
- Blogcritics suggests that Wilson faked the negative paternity test in order to let Bell off the hook for betraying John House and, ironically, allowing House to establish a normal relationship with Bell.
- At the tumultuous dinner scene, House calls Wilson by his first name - one of the very few times he has done so.
- Amphotericin can cause hearing loss, but it is very unlikely, even when combined with antibiotics.
- If House suspected a dental infection, gentamicin is probably not the best choice
- If an infection travels from one organ to another, it's usually clear from the progression of symptoms in each organ. If the clot went from a lung to the brain, the patient's lung symptoms (like coughing up blood) would have come before the neurological symptoms
- Controlling blood sugar in a sick diabetic is crucial. High blood sugar can slow healing and exacerbate symptoms (as it did in this case). Low blood sugar can cause symptoms on its own. Blood testing is easy and quick and the team should have been focusing on it.
- Will faces deafness as well as blindness if he accepts treatment. It is clear that he can decline treatment in such a situation, and patients who are in similar circumstances (such as those who can only live on artificial life support) often make the decision to decline treatment. It was a key issue in DNR. However, another important issue is whether successful treatment that may result in extreme disability should even be on the table. The doctors work hard to convince Will to change his mind despite the risks. One of the times this often comes into focus is treating very premature babies, generally those with a birth weight of just over 500 grams (about 1 pound, 2 ounces). Although doctors are very successful treating such patients, they almost always suffer severe mental and physical disabilities.
- Another key issue - should you test someone's paternity without their consent. This was a key issue in Paternity, Who's Your Daddy? and Birthmarks, but this time it's Wilson making the decison to run the test. However, it's not the first time Wilson has succumbed to similar temptation. In Forever, he surreptitiously steals Cuddy's fork to test it for cancer markers.
- Once again, we see a doctor who has personal problems with the patient continue to work on the case. Here, only Adams seems to be upset that Will plans to dump Melissa, but she seems to be providing him with most of his patient care in any event. This breakdown in patient-client relationships was also an issue in The Tyrant and Remorse
- At least this time, the patient agreed to the environmental scan, however, like in Euphoria (Part 1), we often forget the doctors are put at risk when they are exposed to the same environment as the patient. Although the whole point of not telling the patient is to prevent them from lying, going in with a lack of information means the doctors may stumble into something harmful.
- TV.com users rated the episode an 8.5
- Blogcritics praised the episode for the opportunity to further develop House's character.
- IMDB voters rated the episode an 8.1 with "8" being the most common rating and 26.8% of voters rating it a "10".
- Polite Dissent was not impressed. He found the medicine too simple and blamed it on the complicated "soap opera" plots. He thought the mystery only rated a C+, but liked the solution and gave it a B+ because it fit the symptoms well and showed the consequences of improper treatment (even if those consequences were exaggerated). He gave the medicine a B as largely solid, but gave the soap opera a solid A. He particularly praised Connolly's performance.
- TV Fanatic loved the paternity storyline, but worried that many of the other characters weren't being developed well, particularly Jessica Adams. The reviewer rated it at 3.5/5
- The Onion AV Club rated the episode a B.
Dr. Jessica Adams: We see people with disabilities all the time, but seeing and understanding are not the same.
Dr. Robert Chase: Are you talking to me, or writing a Facebook post?
Dr. Gregory House: How long were you gonna wait before you told me?
Dr. James Wilson: I thought we already had the 'Santa Claus' talk.
Dr. Gregory House: You know what this means?
Dr. James Wilson: Your mom's a slut?
Dr. Gregory House: That, and she's not as boring as I thought she was.
Dr. Park: I'm Dr. Park, by the way. I'm 5'2", Asian, and I'm totally cool with it if you want to feel my face.
Melissa: Blind people only do that in movies.
Will: But you sound nice, so if you want me to...
Dr. Chase: Coincidence. Buying that, House?
House: Until I hear something that takes my mind off the Jurassic schlong that I was traumatized by this afternoon.
Dr. Park: Eighty-two pounds. (everyone stares) How much weight I put on when my break ended the same way. People were calling me Park-ing Lot.
Thomas: Practically walked in on us having sex. God, if I saw my mother doing that I'd claw my own eyes out. Of course, she was nowhere near as attractive as you. Horribly fat, as a matter of fact.
- Hugh Laurie as Gregory House
- Robert Sean Leonard as James Wilson
- Jesse Spencer as Robert Chase
- Peter Jacobson as Chris Taub
- Odette Annable as Jessica Adams
- Charlyne Yi as Chi Park
- Michael B. Jordan as Will Westwood
- Margo Harshman as Melissa
- Karolina Wydra as Dominika House
- Diane Baker as Blythe House
- Billy Connolly as Thomas Bell
- John Montana as Sam
- Ryan Driscoll as Stacy
- Bobbin Bergstrom as Nurse
- Christian Ijin Link as Shocked Pedestrian
- Shane Schoeppner as Diner
- Canada - February 27, 2012 on Global
- United States - March 19, 2012 on Fox
- Israel - April 4, 2012 on HOT3
- Finland - April 10, 2012
- Hungary - September 12, 2012
- Germany - October 9, 2012 on RTL
- Sweden - December 4, 2012 on TV4
- The Netherlands - February 14, 2013 on SBS6
- Slovakia - April 9, 2013 on STV1
- Finland - September 30, 2013 on MTV3
- Japan - December 3, 2013
In Other Languages
- France and Quebec - L'Amour est aveugle (Literal translation)
- Episode page at IMDB
- Episode review at Blogcritics
- Episode guide at Ace Showbiz
- Episode transcript at Clinic Duty
- Episode review at Small Screen Scoop
- Episode review at Time.com
- A review of the medicine at Polite Dissent
- Episode review at TV Fanatic
- Episode reviews at TV Equals
- Episode article at Wikipedia
- Episode review at Onion AV Club
- Episode page at House MD Guide
- Episode recap at Television Without Pity
- Episode page at TV.com
|March 2014||April 2014||May 2014|
|Autopsy||Love is Blind||Lucy Palmeiro|
This article was the featured article for April, 2014
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