- Wilson: "She said my coffee is not the only thing she’d like to put whipped cream on."
- House: "But is she interested?"
- ―You Must Remember This
You Must Remember This is a 7th season episode of House that first aired on February 14, 2011. When a waitress (guest star Tina Holmes) with a perfect memory suffers temporary paralysis, her older sister (Claire Rankin) visits her in the hospital, which triggers high stress levels and even more health complications. The patient’s sharp memory proves detrimental when a grudge she’s been holding against her sibling gets in the way of receiving proper medical treatment, and Masters discovers that patching a broken sisterhood may prove to be more complex than diagnosing the patient. Meanwhile, Foreman volunteers to help Taub prepare for a make-up exam for his pathology boards, but wonders how Taub failed an examination on work he performs every day. House, determined to help Wilson get back in the dating scene, discovers Wilson’s secret new companion.
A waitress recalls a customer coming in before, and when she places her by the date the previous August, her husband realizes she was cheating on him. However, when the waitress leaves the table, she loses her balance and falls. When the restaurant patrons come by to see if she is okay, she complains she can’t move her legs which have lacerations on them.
House starts talking about two cases - the waitress, who has temporary paralysis, high creatine kinase and a perfect memory - hyperthymnesia - perfect recall about every moment of every day since puberty. Foreman doesn’t think the memory issues are a symptom - diseases destroy memory, they don’t improve it. He thinks it’s a toxin. House orders an environmental scan and a medical history. He then gets to the second case - Taub failed his pathology recertification exam and is in danger of losing his board certification. Taub says it’s no big deal - he was recovering from the flu and has a make-up exam scheduled in a week. However, Cuddy is worried about it and House suggests a tutor. Taub chooses Foreman, and House thinks Taub is more worried than he lets on.
House goes to see Wilson to ask him out drinking, but Wilson says he’s busy. However, House overheard a clinic patient ask Wilson about “Sara”. Wilson says it’s the patient’s granddaughter and that she has dementia. He then tells House he’s too busy to go out for a drink after work. House asks Cuddy who Sara is, but she says her computer crashed and she lost her database of Wilson’s acquaintances. House thinks she and Wilson are lying.
While Foreman and Taub do the environmental scan, Foreman starts quizzing him, but Taub tells him he doesn’t need any help. Taub suggests he might cheat. Foreman finds some laxatives.
Foreman and Taub return, but House isn’t in his office. They call him and House is busy searching Wilson’s car. They tell him the patient most likely has magnesium poisoning from the laxatives. House thinks he‘s found marijuana in Wilson’s car, but it’s something else and House looks very worried. He also finds some syringes. He rejects magnesium because the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure are normal. He wonders what Chase and Masters are up to.
Chase is doing a physical exam while Masters is getting a complete medical history from the patient. When Masters wonders why the patient isn’t doing something more challenging, the patient says she’s good at remembering, but doesn’t have any special problem solving skills. Being a waitress keeps her mind busy. House comes in. He has realized she was taking laxatives because she has constipation and asks if the patient is clumsy. The patient denies it, but House wonders why she isn’t giving any details. When House presses, she accounts for eleven trips, stumbles and falls in 2008, twelve in 2009, and twenty in 2010. House thinks it is Parkinson's disease and orders a full work-up and treatment.
Wilson comes home to find House has broken in. He’s found out Sara is Wilson’s new cat. The “pot” was catnip. The cat also has diabetes mellitus which means Wilson has to constantly give it insulin. House figures that Wilson has given up looking for a woman. Wilson says he just inherited the cat from a dead neighbor. House suggests they can use the “bag and river” method, but Wilson says he’s keeping her.
Masters wonders how the patient has such a good memory and asks if she uses a technique. However, the patient says it just happens. Foreman confirms the patient’s suspicion that the memory could go away if it is Parkinson’s. At that moment, Nadia’s sister Elena shows up. She’s brought daisies, which she thought were Nadia’s favorite, but is reminded that Nadia was once stung six times by bees hiding in daisies. At that moment, the patient’s heart starts racing and Foreman calls for the defibrillation paddles.
The arrhythmia rules out Parkinson’s. House goes with Masters’ suggestion of Long QT syndrome and orders a stress test. However, with the paralysis, the only way to do it apart from using drugs is to bring the patient’s sister back into the room to induce stress.
House asks Cuddy why she lied to him about Sara. She says he asked about a “person”. House tells Cuddy he’s worried - after Wilson broke up with Bonnie, he became attached to a three-legged Siamese Cat and became withdrawn. House had to let the cat escape. Cuddy tells him to leave Wilson and the cat alone.
Nadia and Elena argue about the daisies, but the patient isn’t getting stressed. Chase tells Masters to get the patient riled up. Masters brings up an auto accident and they start arguing. The patient starts having a stress attack and throws her sister out of the room.
Foreman is at Taub’s hotel to tutor him, but Taub is killing time. Foreman is wondering how he could possibly have failed the test - Taub is smart enough to get a 70% without even trying. When Taub makes it clear he’s not interested in studying, Foreman tells him the spoiler for the movie he’s going to watch.
Masters tells the sister they have put the patient on beta blockers to get her heart rhythm under control. The patient has banned the sister from the room and complains the patient never lets anything go. The sister goes to leave, but Masters admits she started the fight. The sister is angry that Masters just gave her sister one more fight to remember. Chase comes to get her to smell the patient’s breath. She smells of ammonia, which means her kidneys are probably failing.
The team starts focussing on autoimmune conditions. House hands Foreman a pile of insurance paperwork because he bailed on Taub. He threatens to make the task permanent if Taub doesn’t pass. Taub realizes that Cuddy doesn’t care if he passes the exam, House does. House orders steroids and dialysis for the patient, and studying for Taub.
Meanwhile, Wilson is sneezing heavily while he takes care of his cat. He comes to House to accuse him of planting something to make him think he has an allergy to cats. House says he will stop worrying about Wilson if he comes out drinking with him.
Chase is explaining the treatment to the patient. The patient is saying she’s justified in shutting her sister out of her life because she’s hurt her more than helped her and she’s incapable of forgetting the bad things. However, the patient starts having trouble breathing.
This time, Foreman brings Taub to study at his apartment. Foreman gets tough and tells Taub he can only study and sleep and, if he fails the exam, he will kill him.
The respiratory distress seems to rule out autoimmune conditions. However, House notices hives, which suggests an allergy. Chase says it’s unlikely - she’s been given steroids. House grabs one of the dialysis filters, cuts it open, and rubs it against her arm. She immediately breaks out - she’s allergic to the dialysis equipment. She can’t be given dialysis and will most likely die from her kidney failure.
The only option seems to be a kidney transplant from the estranged sister. House thinks it is worth a shot to try to convince her and orders Masters to do it because she caused the estrangement. Masters goes to the sister and fumbles through an explanation. This sister eventually figures out she’s talking about a kidney donation and agrees.
Foreman has given Taub a short break. Taub finally admits he choked on the test. Foreman once again wonders how a person as used to pressure as Taub could have choked. Taub tells Foreman the first time he took the test, he got a perfect score. He realized when he was taking the test that it would only show how far he’s fallen. Foreman tells him not to psych himself out, but Taub tells him he failed the test even though his life and marriage were still intact. Foreman tells Taub that sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about diagnoses, but things always work out.
It’s obvious the steroids aren’t working, and all the tests for autoimmune conditions come back negative. House asks if the patient thanked her sister. Chase says she hasn’t. House tells them to find out if she will. The patient has said she judges people on the good and bad things they do, but wonders if something isn’t sneaking in because a kidney donation would clearly make up for anything bad the sister ever did. Chase suggests a clotting disorder. House orders heparin and to remember to ask for a thank you.
Taub finishes a practice test but only gets a 54%. Foreman assures Taub that the practice tests are harder than the real exam, but Taub is afraid he still choked even though it was just for practice. Taub decides he’s going to cheat. Foreman tells him if he cheats, he will permanently lose his confidence. Foreman tells him he can do it on his own, but they wind up buying an illegal copy of the test anyway.
The patient is still feeling bad. Chase tells the patient the sister is doing well and points out that if she really is adding up good and bad, the sister has made up for all the bad things. The patient asks to see her sister.
House and Wilson are at a bar sizing up women. Wilson spots a barista he knows and goes over to talk to her. House stands aside and does narration in his fake Wilson voice. A minute later, Wilson and the barista are leaving. House orders champagne for everyone, then walks out.
The patient goes to see her sister to thank her and talk about the good things they did. However, as they talk the patient starts crying again, saying she can’t do it. Chase comes back to wheel her out. The patient asks to stop and Chase thinks that the patient has trouble forgiving people and focuses only on the bad memories. Chase notices her moving her wrist and asks the patient to put her hand in her lap. She has involuntary movement - chorea. This rules out clotting as the problem.
House tells Cuddy he’s planning another date for Wilson in the event the barista doesn’t work out. Cuddy thinks House feels guilty because Wilson is alone and House isn’t. House gets a call from Foreman about the chorea. Chase confirms that the patient’s bad memories about people crowd out the good ones. When Masters suggests another environmental scan, Foreman mentions the patient has a lot of jigsaw puzzles. This intrigues House. He orders a test for acanthocytes.
House goes to see the patient about the jigsaw puzzles. She says she can’t leave them unfinished, apparently confirming House's suspicion. When House moves her water cup, she moves it back so that the seam points away from her. House explains she has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but she denies it. However, Chase points out her hoarding of memories is how her OCD presents. Everything about her is a symptom of a larger disease, McLeod Syndrome. It`s not curable, but it is manageable. However, the prognosis is that she will probably die within the next twenty years.
Taub passes the exam. Taub gives Foreman his large screen television for helping out, saying there‘s no room for it in his hotel room. Foreman offers to let Taub stay in his spare room. Taub agrees.
The patient quickly improves. Chase offers her SSRIs to treat her OCD. The patient thinks her memory is the only thing that makes her special. Chase tells her if she wants to be special, she has to be alone. He leaves the pills for her.
Wilson comes home to find a mouse. He grabs a frying pan to kill it, but it runs away. House comes out with Sara and tells Wilson the mice are for the cat. He also removes the ragweed that was causing Wilson’s allergic reaction. He throws it out the window and gestures Sara to follow, but the cat stays put. He asks Wilson about the barista. Wilson finally admits he just walked her to her car. He says he needs more time. House says he’s going to give him ten days. Wilson agrees. Sara catches the mouse.
The sister is trying to get over how she was treated. The patient stares at the SSRIs and finally takes them. Taub and Foreman play video games on the big screen. Wilson pets his cat. House and Cuddy spend the night together.
- Taub fails his pathology boards and has to take a make up exam.
- House orders Taub to choose someone from the team to tutor him for the exam, and Taub chooses Foreman.
- Wilson adopts a diabetic cat from his deceased neighbour.
- Taub admits he failed the exam because he psyched himself out. He winds up buying a stolen copy of the exam to prepare. He passes.
- Taub moves in with Foreman.
Zebra Factor 6/10
McLeod’s is fairly rare, occurring less than once in every 100,000 people.
Trivia and Cultural References
- The title is the opening line from the song As Time Goes By from the movie Casablanca.
- House's soliloquy at the beginning of the episode is from The Twilight Zone.
- The character's job and memory may be a reference to Charlie Andrews, a character in Heroes, who in that series has an eidetic memory – very similar to the perfect memory.
- The line "having your own button on Lost" is a reference to the television series by that name.
- Once again, a character reveals the spoiler to The Usual Suspects, a film directed by the co-creator of the series, Bryan Singer.
- Gaslight is a play and the name of two films based on the plot device of an attempt to convince the protagonist that she is crazy. It has become such an important cultural reference that "to Gaslight" is understood as meaning to convince somebody of their craziness.
- Taub references The Mod Squad in Foreman's apartment. Omar Epps was in the 1999 movie of the same name.
- Foreman and Taub are shown playing the video game that first appeared in the season six episode Epic Fail. However, unlike in that episode where the game is played with VR headsets, here they play using Xbox 360 controllers at first, followed by fake light gun controllers at the end. Foreman mentions that the name of the game is "Savageskape."
- Wilson's line "Release the Kraken!" is a reference to the 1981 Ray Harryhausen tour-de-force Clash of the Titans.
- "Quod Erat Demonstrandum" is a phrase found at the end of mathematical proofs and philosophical arguments meaning "what was to be shown".
- House's line, "Java the Slut", refers to Star Wars' Jabba the Hutt, replacing "Jabba" with a kind of coffee (she's a barista) and "Hutt" with the noun for a loose woman.
We are once again left to wonder whether Chase likes cats or not. He denies ever owning a cat, but at the end of Season 5, the Amber hallucination suggests Chase might like Karamel because they both like cats and Chase owns one (It was revealed that the Amber hallucination lied to try and kill Chase). Although two episodes back, in Carrot or Stick, he was surprised to learn that Wynn Phillips actually likes cats, and her comment suggests that he merely said he does so he could score with her.
- Hugh Laurie as Gregory House
- Lisa Edelstein as Lisa Cuddy
- Omar Epps as Eric Foreman
- Robert Sean Leonard as James Wilson
- Jesse Spencer as Robert Chase
- Peter Jacobson as Chris Taub
- Olivia Wilde as Remy Hadley (credit only)
- Amber Tamblyn as Martha M. Masters
- Tina Holmes as Nadia
- Claire Rankin as Elena
- Sarah Davidson as Blonde
- Jackie Goldberg as Elderly Patient
- J. Paul Boehmer as Husband
- Lisa Renee as Wife
- Tim Barraco as Young Cop
- Jacqueline Mackenzie as Young Nadia
- Amanda Leighton as Young Elena
- Bobbin Bergstrom as Nurse
- Bianca Bonciu as Desperate Girl in the Bar
- Suzy Cote as Female Lawyer
- M.J. Dougherty as Trucker
- Cameran Surles as Worried Patient
You Must Remember This