Wilson's line in a pornography film:
- "Be not afraid! The forest nymphs have taught me how to please a woman!"
- ―Private Lives
Private Lives is a 6th season episode of House which first aired on March 8, 2010. A blogger comes to the hospital with severe bruising and bleeding, but her insistence of sharing the details of the case and the secrets of her treating physicians on her blog inundates the team with unsolicited advice. Meanwhile, House and Wilson try to remedy the holes in their respective romantic lives by trying speed dating. Chase also decides to enter the dating scene again and is startled to realize the fact that women date him for his looks. He reveals these revelations to Thirteen, whom he discovers is different from the other shallow women he has dated. He shares his thoughts with her on his recent break-up with Cameron. Meanwhile, House and Wilson pry into each other's personal lives in search of embarrassing secrets of each other's pasts.
Frankie is up late at night working on her blog when her boyfriend asks her to come to bed. He's upset that she's blogging about their personal lives. A neighbor comes by to complain about the noise but he and the boyfriend both notice that Frankie's eyes are all bruised and that she is bleeding from her mouth, so the neighbor calls the police.
Frankie is admitted and Foreman comes in with the case. She is suffering from a coagulopathy. They have already ruled out several diagnoses. Environmental seems likely, so House orders Thirteen and Taub to go to the patient's apartment. They start to talk about secrets. The neighbor drops by because he thinks they are thieves, but Thirteen allays his fears. They find out that Frankie has been exposed to rat poison.
Meanwhile, Wilson and House go speed dating, and they meet Chase there as well. House tells Chase he will do well because he's good looking, and Wilson agrees. Chase thinks that women aren't that shallow, but House makes a bet for $100 – he has to represent himself as unemployed, stupid and American and he will still get a dozen names.
Wilson strikes out because everyone wants to talk about cancer. Chase is making out like a bandit even when he insults Nicole, a chocolatier and pretends to play video games with another date, Chloe. House is pessimistic and his dates with Melodie and Grace don't go well. He then meets Mary, a woman who appears to be a police detective that loves puzzles and complains that her job is too simple because criminals are stupid. However, he soon figures out she's faking – she didn't even try to fill out the crossword puzzle she brought with her. Wilson and House get a couple of numbers each, and Chase gets a handful.
Foreman and Taub go to Frankie to break the news. One of her blog readers is there and recognizes Foreman – Frankie has been writing about her experiences in the hospital. Frankie gets up to urinate and talks about why she writes, but then she tells the doctors her urine is mud-colored. That rules out rat poison.
The mud-colored urine indicates kidney failure. However, her creatinine level is normal. House confronts Wilson about his missing porn, but Wilson tells him that he returned it to the rental place. He wanted it to be porn free in case a woman came by. House thinks it's more likely Haff disease and orders treatment.
House isn't reading Frankie's blog because there is too much evidence. He got Chase to do it instead. He also wants to know why Wilson lost one of the porno videos on the way back to the store and paid for it too. House managed to get another copy and is watching it on his computer. He sees Wilson playing one of the characters, although it's not sexual. An old college friend of his cut some student film project into a porn film. House promises not to tell anyone, but Wilson runs into Thirteen who obviously knows.
Chase can't find anything on the blog, but Thirteen tells him that one of Frankie's blog readers has already offered up a kidney for transplant. Chase suddenly asks Thirteen how good looking he is. He's upset at how well he did when he acted like a "tosser". Thirteen tells him that women and men are just the same that way. All of a sudden, Chase reads about Frankie's physical difficulties during sex starts to think that her failure to get aroused is a symptom of Sjogren's syndrome. He goes to get the patient and he tells her to lie on her back for an x-ray. They start talking about his failed relationship. However, Frankie is reluctant to lie on her back because she's uncomfortable – she wants to rest on her elbow. Chase realizes she might have trouble with her heart valves. He follows up with an echocardiogram. He books her for surgery. He then reports to House that Frankie's mitral valve is nearly gone. All of the symptoms can be explained by Sjogren's, just like Chase said. House compliments Chase on how pretty he is.
Taub and Chase explain the options to Frankie. She can get a plastic valve, but the anti-coagulants she will have to take will make it impossible for her to have children. The alternative is a pig heart valve, but those have to be replaced about once every ten years. They leave Frankie and Taylor to discuss the option. She wants to blog about it. Taylor doesn't want her too, but she insists she has to tell her readers about everything.
Wilson returns to his office to find posters for the porno film he appeared in. Even the nurses know now. Wilson orders Nurse Belinda to get his poster for Vertigo back. He goes to the cafeteria, and the staff knows too. He goes to Chase for help in getting back at House. However, Chase notes that House openly frequents prostitutes and bookies. However, Chase does think of something – House is reading a book that looks like The Golden Bowl by Henry James, but Chase has noted it's too thin. It's not a small type version because House isn't wearing his reading glasses. They realize that whatever he's reading, he's ashamed of it.
Frankie decides on the plastic valve. She says she's doing it to avoid more operations, but Taylor thinks she's performing for an audience and is trying to please them. He threatens to leave if she chooses it.
Chase and Wilson search House’s office and find the book Step By Step Sermons for Everyday Life. It's a book of religious sermons. Wilson takes the book and tells Chase not to mention it to anyone.
Frankie tells Taylor in jest she hates him for not blogging. However, while she waits for surgery, she starts complaining of pain in her chest and she starts to vomit. Foreman rushes her into the operating room.
They find her appendix has ruptured. The surgeon removes it and the biopsy confirms lymphoma. The burst appendix has spread the cells throughout her body and chemotherapy is not an option. It would also be pointless to replace the valve. Her only hope is an experimental vaccine treatment to train her immune system to recognize the lymphoma cells as foreign while leaving the healthy cells alone. However, it is unlikely that she will live more than a year. Frankie agrees to the treatment.
Given Frankie's reaction, Chase and Foreman think she might be in denial, which is often the case with a cancer diagnosis. Chase tests his good looks again by asking one of the nurses, Sandy if he can borrow her car. She gives him the keys. He discusses this with Thirteen – he thinks he's not really connecting with people. Thirteen tells him that the first time she fell in love, it was with a guy thirteen years older than she was who turned out to be a total jerk. She says getting to know people takes time, and you have to take people as they come.
Wilson confronts House with the book. House tries to make excuses, but Wilson sees through them. However, House won't talk about it, although Wilson knows it means something. However, when House comes to work the next morning, he finds his team with a table full of the book he was reading. Chase tells him that Frankie is doing well on treatment and they got the book from the author directly as it's out of print but the author has tons of them. House only wants to know if Chase mentioned him, but Chase hasn't.
Frankie has an adverse reaction. She was running a fever of 104F because the antibodies from the vaccine set off an autoimmune response. They go to Cuddy who tells them it's not working and they have to stop the vaccine. House asks about the patient and it turns out she was sleeping during the afternoon. House notes that's unusual, but Chase points out the patient has always stayed up late. House presses for more details and turns to her blog. She commonly posts in the middle of the night. However, six months ago, she was always posting during the daytime. They think it might be a symptom of day-night reversal and liver disease, which doesn't fit lymphoma. House notes the test doesn't check for lymphoma directly, but only for markers. He wants to do a liver biopsy.
They break the news to Frankie – the lymphoma markers weren't from lymphoma, but indicated granulomas. However, they still can't track down the cause and the prognosis is actually worse – 3 to 4 days unless they can find out the cause of the liver failure. They realize Frankie is not in denial anymore.
The team is at a loss for a cause. Foreman hopes that the fever wasn't due to the vaccine, but is a symptom of the disease. They start thinking of infection, but that would mean she was holding something back in her blog. House orders broad spectrum antibiotics.
Wilson comes back to House about the sermon book. He hadn't seen the real dust cover and when he does, he recognizes the author – it's the man House pointed out at his father's funeral as the man he thought was his biological father. Wilson wants to know why he didn't just talk to the man. House says he was only mildly curious, not enough to actually talk to him. Wilson keeps pressing him, but House finally realizes something.
He goes to the patient and asks her about her stool: the only thing she didn't talk about in her blog. Chase introduces him as the patient hasn't met him before. She admits her stools float and are soft. However, when she switched to a vegetarian diet, her digestive tract should have gotten more efficient, resulting in more solid stool that sinks. Thirteen realizes Frankie is not properly absorbing nutrients. The only infection that causes malabsorption and the other symptoms is Whipple's disease. House orders treatment. She will still need a new heart valve and medicine for a few years, but she should recover. She chooses the pig valve so she and Taylor can still have kids. Taylor gives her her laptop so she can blog about it.
Chase and Thirteen discuss looks in a relationship. Thirteen wonders why he's so obsessed. Chase admits that he was the one who pursued Cameron and he may have done it just because she was close and pretty. He thinks he may have overlooked her faults. Thirteen thinks he's being paranoid and that he and Cameron really had something. He asks to borrow her car, and she turns him down.
Wilson still wants to know why House studied the sermons. He thinks that House was looking for a like minded person. However, House tells him that all he found was "God Stuff".
Cuddy orders the nurses to get maintenance to take down the poster advertising Wilson's porno film from above the lobby entrance.
- It is revealed House’s biological father is a Unitarian minister.
- It is revealed to the hospital at large that Wilson was in a porn film in college called "Feral Pleasures," though he was not involved in the pornographic parts himself.
Zebra Factor 7/10
Whipple’s disease is common in the environment, but has a very low infection rate and therefore doesn’t affect many people.
The title refers to what the characters and the patient and her husband don't have in this episode, as she blogs about their whole life, as well as their whole medical treatment. It also refers to House finding out something secret about Wilson's past, and Wilson in turn searching for something private about House.
Trivia and Cultural References
- More about Speed dating.
- “Tosser” is British slang and refers to a person who constantly masturbates (tosses off). It is roughly the equivalent of the American “douche” in usage.
- The Golden Bowl is a novel by Henry James that was first published in 1904.
- Dr. No was the first villain depicted in a James Bond film.
- House evidently wishes to become Zan from the Wonder Twins, as he expresses a desire to transform into any water-based object.
- Episode page at IMDB
- Episode review at Blogcritics
- Episode page at House MD Guide
- Episode transcript at Clinic Duty
- Preview page at Fanpop
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