Mob Rules is a first season episode of House which first aired on March 22, 2005.
A mob informer is in protective custody surrounded by police detectives and an attorney. He gets up to go to the bathroom and complains of being dizzy and hot, then collapses on the floor.
Meanwhile, Vogler is complaining to Cuddy about House not providing him with a budget. House comes in complaining about a court order that forces him to look at a patient. Vogler is incredulous. Cuddy is unsympathetic and sends House away. Vogler says he needs a good reason to keep House.
House examines the patient, who is unconscious and unresponsive. He discusses the case with his team. House thought he was faking, but he's an 8 on the coma scale. All of a sudden, the patient's lawyer (and brother) comes to see House. House blows him off, but he follows House onto the elevator. House starts making fun of the lawyer's mob history, but the lawyer stops the elevator and tells House to fix the patient but keep him in the hospital until he can make sure he doesn't testify.
Cameron is thinking that House is acting weird because she asked if he liked her. Cameron admits to Chase she likes House. The tests show the patient has a subdural hematoma. Foreman wants to drill to reduce the pressure, but all of a sudden the patient regains consciousness.
House doesn't want to release the patient, but only because he can't explain the coma. The rest of the team want to release him because he's recovered. House orders tests for hepatitis and autoimmune diseases.
House returns to find Vogler has had the patient released and that Chase told Vogler.
Vogler is with Cuddy complaining about how much House costs. House comes in to confront Vogler about having his patient released and attacks Cuddy when she supports Vogler. Vogler points out he had the court order reversed and House is now under no obligation to treat the patient. House leaves, but Vogler thinks he gave up too easy.
All of a sudden, the patient is back in the hospital, having collapsed again. House takes the opportunity to rub it into Vogler for being wrong.
Chase reports the patient's liver continues to worsen and he is positive for Hepatitis C. It explains everything except for how quickly the symptoms came on. The patient also has high estrogen levels. House orders a liver biopsy, but doesn't want to treat the Hepatitis C. House is not backing Chase at all, but agrees to the Hepatitis treatment. House calls over Foreman to remove him from the case because Chase told Vogler about the last patient's bulimia and House wants everyone to think that he thinks it is Foreman.
When Chase tries to treat the patient for Hepatitis, the brother physically stops him.
Vogler is telling Cuddy she can't control House. She says she protects House because he's an asset to the hospital. Vogler says the hospital is a business and liking House is bad for business.
The brother comes in to confront House about his brother having Hepatitis C, something he only could have got from homosexual sex or drug use. This would destroy the patient's reputation. House agrees to treat the patient's Hepatitis C off the books. However, House admits he doesn't know if Hepatitis C is the real problem.
House meets Wilson in the parking area. Wilson tells him that Vogler has been talking to Cuddy about House all day. When they get to House's car, they find the mobsters have replaced it with a beautifully restored sports car. They rationalize that House has to keep it to prevent him from being hurt by the mob.
Cameron and Chase have a discussion about whether it is worse to keep the car or deal with Vogler. The biopsy results show that Hepatitis C isn't the underlying problem. House thinks it is a toxin - someone has poisoned the patient.
The patient only has two hours to live unless he gets a liver transplant, and the tests will take at least four. House has an idea - he gets a live pig and uses the pig's liver to treat the blood. This buys them time.
Foreman is testing for poisons with Cameron, and asks how much she likes House. However, the testing isn't going well. All House finds out is that the patient was a smoker, but gave it up about two weeks ago. House comes up with the answer - the patient's anti-smoking aid, a Chinese herb, is poisoning him.
The patient starts feeling better. House and Wilson go for a ride in House's new car. Wilson thinks House should let Vogler release the patient again to put him in a good mood.
House turns up the next day and tells Cuddy and Vogler the patient can be released. Cuddy admonishes House for not telling anyone about the Hepatitis C - the problem was not just the herb, but the interferon that the patient was given for the hepatitis - it was the combination that hurt the liver. All of a sudden, the patient takes another turn for the worse.
The patient is stable, but comatose and on a ventilator. Chase still thinks it is Hepatitis C, but they can't give him interferon for it. Chase wants to try an experimental treatment, but it could kill the patient. They try to focus on the estrogen level, but they can't think of another explanation.
They start the patient on the experimental treatment, which will essentially change the nature of the virus.
After treating the baby in the clinic, House thinks the answer may be simpler. House confronts Chase about ratting him out to Vogler, but he denies it. House thinks it might be a food sensitivity, but Chase has checked that. However, House says he doesn't trust Chase.
House goes to one of the guards and asks him about the previous confrontation about getting $3,000. House realizes that the brother was the one who paid him off, but only to bring him pasta. House tells him that the patient has a disease that makes him sensitive to red meat (he ate steak before each attack), but he's not sure because of the estrogen level unless the patient has been taking estrogen as an aphrodisiac. He tells the brother the patient must be gay and that the brother probably fears it must be true. If the brother can admit the patient might be gay, they will stop the treatment he's on now and he will get better if House is right. He agrees to stop the treatment. House tells the brother the patient wanted to be an informant to get away from his life so he could start anew without having to hide his sexuality.
The brother is worried about the patient recovering. However, he regains consciousness and wants to see his brother. The brother confronts him about House saying he was a homosexual. The patient realizes that his brother believed House. The patient admits it. However, his brother rationalizes another explanation - that the Chinese herbs he ordered were mixed up. The brother agrees to let the patient testify if being in witness protection will make him happy.
Cuddy tells House that Vogler wants to fire everyone in Diagnostic Medicine, and that he also threatened to fire her. Cuddy tells House she stood up to Vogler and that he can stay, but he must change - he's got to start making money for the hospital, plus more clinic hours, plus he must fire one of his fellows to save money.
A young man comes in with his infant brother, thinking he might be really sick. He is worried about him but House finds a little toy piece shoved up the baby's nose.
However, the boy returns with the infant, who keeps shoving things up his nose. The patient's brother comes in to see House, tells the baby to stop crying, and the baby does. He tells House the trick is to make them believe they will actually hurt them.
He comes in a third time. House has learned the technique to quiet the baby, and finds a third toy up the baby's nose. However, House notes the toys have something in common. He gets a strong magnet, and finds another toy up the kid's nose - a cat. The other toys (policeman, fireman, fire truck) were those that usually are used to rescue cats. House thinks the baby is really smart to make that kind of grouping.
Zebra Factor 7/10
Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency is very rare, occurring about once in every 80,000 births.
Pop Cultural References
- The game that House is playing when he puts his Nintendo DS up to the unconscious Joey's ear is Metroid Prime Hunters, albeit with incorrect sound effects playing.
- The title of the episode could possibly be derived from the Black Sabbath cd Mob Rules.
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