House S08EP20 “Post-mortem”
On the next episode of House, one of the Princeton-Plainsboro staff doctors becomes the patient of the week. However, he does not trust House’s team, and wants the man himself to make the treatment call. House and Wilson are on a road trip, so the team has to make the patient believe that House is calling all of the shots. Just the sort of strategy that House would admire! Will it work? Find out Monday at 9, then Tuesday for a recap!
And we’re back! As the season and series wind down, the main plots in the hospital are definitely taking a backseat to the House and Wilson storyline, and tonight the “A” plot’s main purpose was to provide some character finality to Chase. Dr. Trieber is Princeton Plainsboro’s chief pathologist, and as the episode opens, he is identifying cause of death for a patient of Dr. Buckaroo Banzai himself, Peter Weller, who directed this episode. Trieber states that Banzai missed a diagnosis and should be investigated, but becomes mentally disoriented and is then admitted to be diagnosed himself by House.
The team (in the absence of House) goes through several diagnoses for Trieber, including a latent infection, ulcerative colitis, and perhaps a prion-based disease from handling BRAINS, until finally realizing that Trieber is a slave to Universal Precautions. Chase realizes that Trieber goes through an inordinate amount of Triclosan-based antibacterial soap and Red Bull energy drinks, which has produced a toxic result. The combination of toxicity, plus a sedative he was given in the ER, pushed Trieber into a myxedema coma, until it was solved by Chase.
The medical condition in this episode is tenuous: Chase cites a study where triclosan exposure mimics thyroid hormones, however this study has only been done in animal models, and in fact further studies looking at constant, long term exposure to triclosan in toothpaste has found no indication that thyroid hormone levels are altered in humans. The biggest plus of the “A” plotline was that Trieber challenged Chase’s reasons for remaining with the team, pushing Chase to tender his resignation from the show in a very positive sendoff.
Next week on House: Thirteen stops by to say “Goodbye!”