- House: "He's lying, not just Taub… the patient. These abrasions on his knees… they're minty fresh… about ten hours old."
- Adams: "He got them playing flag football."
- House: "He said he got them playing flag football. I'm sure that's true if "flag" is a euphemism for "penis" and "football" is a euphemism for "entering a vagina.""
- — The Confession
The Confession is an 8th season episode of House and the fifth episode of the season, which first aired on November 7, 2011. It is directed by Kate Woods and written by John Kelley. This episode marks Chase and Taub's official return to House's team.
In this episode, Taub's babies appear for the first time, and House can't resist suggesting that they aren't really Taub's.
Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) guest stars as a man who “suddenly collapses, and in the process of diagnosing his symptoms, the team discovers that he has been hiding dark secrets and lying about his personal and professional life… But when he openly confesses his wrongdoings to his family and community, he compromises his chances of receiving the proper medical treatment that could save his life.”
At a small town celebration, Bob Harris is being presented with a community award. However, that night, as he fools around with the small town beauty queen who presented him with the award, he becomes short of breath and collapses. She goes to call 911, but he tells her to drive him to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Eric Foreman is welcoming Chris Taub and Robert Chase back to the hospital, while being curious about why they returned. Chase says he was tired of surfing, but he eventually admits he likes doing crazy stuff, and Taub says he enjoys saving lives more than saving noses. As Foreman goes to warn them, they both realize that Foreman is no longer their ally, but Chase says it’s not his fault - he‘s the boss, just like it says in Foreman‘s notes that Chase read. Foreman also admits he needs them to keep an eye on House, but they respond in unison that they have to be spies. Foreman says they can still be friends, but when Taub asks him to babysit, Foreman turns him down flat.
House, Adams and Park are reviewing Bob’s case in House’s conference room, which is empty except for a whiteboard and a card table with chairs. The patient had a heart attack, but has no other symptoms. He said he was at work when it happened. Chase and Taub come in. House insults Chase and tells him he and Adams make a cute couple. Park remarks that Taub is taller than she thought he would be. House thinks the patient was having sex. He congratulates Taub on his baby girls. Park thinks it was twins, but House tells it was two different mothers. House orders an exercise stress test.
The patient insists he was at his desk when he had the heart attack, but Adams and Chase tell him they think he was having sex. When they threaten to tell his wife, he comes clean. His wife comes in and they tell her about their plan to do the exercise test.
House goes to see James Wilson, but Wilson has a bad headache. He tells Wilson that he thinks Taub was forced to bring his daughters to the hospital, and he’s looking for them. Wilson denies that he has them, but House finds them on the balcony outside his office.
The patient is doing well on the test as he’s in very good shape. Park is worried the patient will have another heart attack, but Taub tells her this is standard procedure when working with House. House comes in with Taub’s babies. He asks Taub for a DNA sample and says he’s already collected one from the babies. To stress the patient, Adams and Chase make like they are going to tell the wife about his affair with the beauty queen. The patient collapses, but it’s not a heart attack - it’s a seizure.
Wilson is out with Taub’s girls when he runs into Foreman. Foreman thinks House is behaving too well and wants Wilson‘s advice. Wilson reminds Foreman that Cuddy used him as an intermediary and it turned out poorly. He tells Foreman he should deal with House himself or find someone who can.
Chase apologizes to the patient for the deception, but the patient is feeling overwhelming guilt. Adams counsels the truth, but Chase advises against it. They take the EEG while the lights strobe in an attempt to set off a seizure.
When they return to the conference room, they find a construction crew at work, but House gives no clue as to what is going on. The EEG was normal. House returns to an old idea, a pheochromocytoma. Taub wants to leave to take care of his kids. House orders Chase and Adams to do the tests, but he tells Park and Taub to do an environmental scan at the motel the patient was at.
Taub and Park arrive at the motel, baby girls in tow, amid many prostitutes, clients and pimps.
As they monitor the patient, Chase asks Adams who cheated on her. She asks him why he quit medicine when House went to jail. He says he took a vacation because he knew House would come back. The monitor indicates what appears to be a loose sensor, but when Adams goes to fix it, she sees a mass on the patient‘s neck.
In addition to the mass, the patient’s body temperature keeps rising. In addition, the tests for the pheochromocytoma were negative. House thinks he picked up an infection at the motel and orders amoxicillin and surgery. When the team leaves, House grabs Taub’s coffee cup for the DNA sample, but Taub comes back to retrieve it.
The patient is considering telling his wife about the affair. Park tells him it can wait until after the operation, but he refuses treatment until he can talk to her. His daughter and son come in to see him and he asks to speak to his wife alone. Taub and Park wait outside the room with the kids and they discuss whether the patient should tell his wife. The wife comes out and tells the doctors she’s angry but they will get through it.
Taub goes to see Wilson in the cafeteria. Taub thinks the DNA test is about House trying to annoy him, but Wilson tells Taub there is a betting pool. Taub looks around, sees everyone avoiding eye contact with him, and realizes the entire hospital is in on it. Taub sets aside his lunch and leaves the cafeteria. Wilson grabs Taub’s fork for sampling, but sees Taub waiting for him as he tries to get out of the cafeteria himself. Wilson insists he’s bet on both children being Taub’s, but Taub grabs the fork.
Chase and Adams operate on the patient’s neck and realize it’s not pus or a clot but swollen lymph nodes. Adams thinks it’s lymphoma and they take a biopsy. Right afterwards, the patient crashes. They can’t find any bleeding, but Adams sees jaundice, a sign of liver failure.
They realize the surgery was for nothing, particularly since the biopsy was negative. House still thinks it’s an infection and orders more broad spectrum antibiotics. However, Adams point out that such a large dose of antibiotics will kill off what remains of his liver. Chase tells them they can do a liver transplant before giving him antibiotics. House loves the idea.
Chase and Adams tell the wife that they can do a partial liver transplant from a living donor. However, once the patient is told the donor will have to spend several months convalescing, he’s opposed to the idea. He says if he has to put someone through that, he has to let them know what he’s done. His wife is opposed, but the patient insists.
Dozens of potential donors come to the hospital. The patient comes out to see them, and they all applaud. He tells them about his affair, and his wife forgives him. However, he cuts her off and tells them he’s been systematically overcharging everyone for unnecessary car repairs, and that he has embezzled money from a scholarship fund.
Only two donors stayed to be tested, and neither of them were a match. As they discuss whether lying is justified, House lets Adams know that Chase has been staring at her breasts and hasn’t told her that he wants to have sex with her because he knows she would be offended. He also reminds her that she already knew that, but she pretends she doesn’t notice. House tells them the patient’s only chance is to do a CT Scan of the liver, cut out the damaged part, and hope there is enough left that he will survive the antibiotics.
Taub is at home with his daughters. He’s apologizing to them for House’s behavior, and for the fact he’s about to do a paternity test. He assures them the results won’t change the way he feels about them, but he has to know.
Foreman confronts Chase about House’s plans. Foreman realizes the patient needs a transplant, but if the patient dies waiting for one, the hospital faces no liability. However, if he dies on the operating table, it’s malpractice and they will get sued. Chase tells him he doesn’t care and he’s going ahead with the surgery. However, Adams brings his attention to the scans and compares them with old scans - the liver is actually healing.
The patient is continuing to reveal things to his wife and the arguments are getting worse. However, the patient’s liver is healing and he can live a bit longer without a transplant. House wants to concentrate on why the liver is healing. The wife walks out on the patient. The team realizes it might be an allergy. It would explain why his symptoms came on fast and why he’s getting better in the hospital. House realizes that the beauty queen may have been the source of the allergy. He orders half the team to find her while the other two start steroids and epinephrine and run a scratch test.
They bring the beauty queen in and start asking her questions while they examine her, and Adams makes a remark about her hooking up with the patient. She tells them it’s probably going to cost her title, job and friends once everyone finds out it was her.
The patient has realized his wife isn’t coming back, but he says he might as well die with all of that off his chest. Park reminds him if he lives things will be worse, but the patient says he has to pay for his sins sometimes. As they do the scratch test, the patient says it feels like being stuck with a hot poker. Park was testing him for wheat-based allergies, but the patient says he’s been eating it his whole life. However, he starts breaking out all over in welts and a rash and his vital signs become erratic.
The team does follow up tests, but none of his body’s other cells react to wheat. Chase suggests latex, but those tests were normal as well. They think he might be allergic to something they don’t usually test for, and they agree to start him on steroids to see if the rash clears up. When the others leave, Taub runs the paternity test. However, Foreman drops by to find out why Taub is running three DNA tests. Taub says he’s testing for genetic diseases. Foreman tells Taub that Chase called him a sellout. Taub says he thinks the hospital lost a good doctor when there were plenty of other administrators out there and he thinks Foreman did it for more money and a nice office. However, Foreman decides to tell Taub that the DNA results he’s looking at are all from monkeys. Foreman guesses House intercepted the real results.
The patient is in agony as his skin starts to peel off, sticking to his clothes and sheets. Park realizes everyone is trying to avoid the diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson syndrome. It accounts for all the symptoms and explains why he got worse on steroids. It’s untreatable. House agrees and tells everyone to go home and get some sleep.
The patient is barely hanging on as Chase tries to comfort him. They can’t give him more painkillers because it will make his condition worse. The patient also confesses to murdering his business partner and making it look like suicide. He then confesses to three or four other murders. However, this makes Chase think of something.
Chase realizes the patient is having neurological symptoms too. He does an MRI and finds an aneurysm in his brain. It’s in the area which affects impulse control. As it grew larger, the patient felt more and more of a need to tell people things. Chase then shows the rest of the team that the patient will confess to anything. However, Park can’t think of a neurological problem that would cause the patient to shed his skin. House realizes the patient’s aneurysm is just another symptom - all those symptoms together point to Kawasaki disease. House has also figured out it was set off by the chemicals in the rugs at the motel - the patient had rug burns when he came in. He orders immunoglobulin and monitoring of the aneurysm to see if it resolves himself.
Taub confronts House about the DNA results. House wants Taub to admit he needs to know the results. Taub denies it, but House threatens to shred them and return all the money in the betting pool. Taub stops him. House smiles, but after Taub gets the file, he shreds them after making sure all the results were accounted for.
The patient is improving. His wife comes back to see him. Chase told her that the patient was confessing to things he didn’t do. She checked, and none of the money from the scholarship fund was missing. He takes the opportunity to deny the affair. She embraces him.
Chase and Foreman meet in the locker room. Foreman compliments Chase on his work on the case. He also apologizes for second-guessing him. Chase wonders why he’s in the locker room when he has his own washroom. Foreman says he was using the shower because he can’t leave the hospital as long as House is there, and he’s been there for four days without going home. Chase tells Foreman he’s been scammed - House is sleeping in his office stealing television and drinking martinis just to screw with Foreman. Foreman is surprised he was fooled so easily. They both say they’re glad Chase is back.
The team comes back to House’s office to see what the construction was about. It looks exactly the same, but House presses a button and one of the walls starts rising to reveal Wilson’s office. Wilson looks at House and says “No”. House closes the wall.
Zebra Factor 7/10
Kawasaki disease is very rare in the United States, rare in non-Asians, rare in older people, and is almost never set off by carpet cleaning chemicals.
- Chase and Taub return to the team.
- House tries to test the DNA of Taub’s daughters to see if Taub is really their father (and set up a betting pool), but Taub destroys the results before anyone sees them.
- To screw with Foreman, House doesn’t leave the hospital for four days, resulting in Foreman being too afraid to leave and have House be unsupervised.
- House has a construction crew change the wall between his office and Wilson's to become retractable.
Trivia & Cultural References
- This is the first time that the opening credits have been shown during Season 8. Odette Annable and Charlyne Yi are added to the opening credits, becoming series regulars. Lisa Edelstein and Olivia Wilde have been removed. This is the second time in the series that the opening credits have changed this drastically, the first time being in the previous season.
- There is a Cedarville in New Jersey. However, it’s in the southern part of the state - two hours from Princeton.
- Little League is a non-profit organization that organizes baseball and softball leagues for children aged 5-18 throughout the United States and in several other countries.
- Surfing is a watersport where participants ride a board on waves. It is very popular in Australia.
- "Prodigal Son" is a reference to a biblical parable about a son who takes his share of his father’s inheritance, loses it, then comes home to a warm welcome from his father. The fatted calf was slaughtered as part of a celebratory meal.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a 1968 musical starring Dick Van Dyke. The Child Catcher was one of the antagonists from the show
- Hugh Laurie as Gregory House
- Omar Epps as Eric Foreman
- 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
- Jamie Bamber as Bob Harris
- Heather Stephens as Denise Harris
- Carlie Casey as Cindy
- E.E. Bell as Mayor Collins
- Natalie Dye as Sally Harris
- Blake Bertrand as David Harris
- Ed Zajac as Client
- Erika L. Holmes as Prostitute
- Vincent Angelo as Manny
- Bobbin Bergstrom as Nurse
- Episode page at IMDB
- Episode recap at Time Magazine
- Review at Diary of a Mad Fashionista blog
- Sneak peek at The House of Fan - Other media also available at this site
- Episode review at Blogcritics
- Episode page at TV.com
- Episode transcript at Clinic Duty
- Episode page at House MD Guide
- Episode review at Ace Showbiz
- Episode recap at TV Rage
- Episode forum at House's House of Whining
- Episode article at Wikipedia
- A review of the medicine at Polite Dissent