Recap: ‘House M.D.,’ Season 8, Episode 4, ‘Risky Business’

by on February 27th, 2011
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The unfortunate patient in “House M.D.,” Season 8, Episode 4, “Risky Business” is a corporate CEO named Thad Barton who is moving his business to China, thus throwing several thousands of his employees into the street.

Spoilers surely follow.

The medical mystery starts with a diagnosis of something called “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome” and ending with a blood disorder, with the obligatory House seizure, a heart attack, and a coma along the way.

However, as always, the most interesting aspects of the episode were of House being manipulative and scheming.

For instance, House sees his patient as a great opportunity to raise a lot of cash to drum up and endowment to get his department back. The stock of Barton’s company tanks on word of his ailment. House figures that he can beg, borrow, or steal enough capital to buy the stock at distressed prices and then get out once he cures the guy and the stock shoots back up. That is the theory anyway.

Park makes a badly considered bet with House that she will be cleared by the disciplinary board for decking her sexual harasser. This is a bad move, because House is now motivated to get her fired, even if it means losing a doctor whom he clearly respects.

House is also tormenting Adams, who was late one morning. It turns out that she was signing divorce papers for her cheating ex husband. Adams, by the way, does not approve of Barton. But then Park offers an interesting perspective on American-run third world sweat shops that employ child labor. She thinks it is the best thing.

Finally, House is waging war on Dr. Morgan, the orthopedic surgeon who had taken most of his office space. But Morgan points out that the consequences of going to far would mean that he will be suspended, but House will go back to jail.

Barton gets cured, but is estranged from his daughter due to the China deal. Park is cleared because House bets with Wilson that she will be cleared and taking Wilson’s money is much more satisfying than taking Park’s. House has the money to rebuild his department, hiring Adams as well as Chase and Taub. Foreman acknowledges that House has once again won, but exacts the price of 12 clinic hours a week for the victory. Foreman is no Cuddy, after all.


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