Whatever It Takes (House)

Whatever It Takes (House)

House (TV series) episode
episode_name= Whatever It Takes
episode_no= HOU-406
airdate= November 6 2007
writer= Thomas L. Moran & Peter Blake (teleplay)
Thomas L. Moran (story)
director= Juan J. Campanella
guest_star= Michael Michele (Dr. Samira Terzi)
Holmes Osborne (Dr. Curtis)
Anne Dudek (Amber)
Olivia Wilde (Thirteen)
Peter Jacobson (Taub)
Kal Penn (Kutner)
Andy Comeau (Brennan)
Edi Gathegi (Cole)
Bobbin Bergstrom (Nurse)
Thomas F. Wilson (Lou)
Amy Dudgeon (Casey)
Joel Bissonnette (John)
Chad Willett (Brian Smith)

season= 4
diagnosis = Selenosis ("John"), Heat stroke and Thallium poisoning (Casey)

"Whatever It Takes" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of "House" and the seventy-sixth episode overall. It aired on November 6, 2007.



House is recruited by the CIA to help diagnose a mortally ill agent (Joel Bissonnette) from an unknown illness and whom they believe was the target of an assassination attempt. The agent's medical case is being spearheaded by Dr. Samira Terzi (guest star Michael Michele), who offers up very little information about the agent's history or previous assignments, and Dr. Curtis (Holmes Osborne), an immunologist with the Mayo Clinic. The only information that Dr. Terzi gave away is that the agent, known only as "John", was stationed in Bolivia during most of the year and liked to eat chestnuts.

John is cachectic, has peeling skin and deformed fingernails. Dr Curtis initially suggests horse-chestnut poisoning, but House dismisses this as horse-chestnuts are foul-tasting and impossible to confuse with edible chestnuts. Other diagnoses include alcohol-induced pancreatitis (Dr. House) and radiation poisoning (Dr. Curtis), resulting in them treating for the latter. House secretly stops treatment for radiation and switches to that for pancreatitis. John then becomes unresponsive and almost comatose. House now suspects Waldenström macroglobulinemia, a rare cancer. John is treated with plasmapheresis and chemotherapy. However, John's hair begins falling out too quickly to be a side effect of the chemotherapy, and John is once again treated for radiation poisoning.

While House is sitting at his bedside, John tells him a story which causes House to realize that John wasn't in Bolivia, but Brazil. In Brazil, Brazil nuts are called "Castanhas-do-Pará" [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9016287 Brazil nut.] Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 10 Feb. 2008.] , which is similar to the Portuguese name for chestnuts ("Castanhas"), but, unlike chestnuts, they are high in selenium, which is poisonous in large quantities. House informs Dr. Terzi and the agent of this and that he put "John" in chelation therapy; the agent doesn't see why House is angry if the treatment would be successful even with imprecise information. But Dr. Terzi realizes that by not disclosing it sooner, the agent did not do what was needed to save the patient from the beginning, and she quits.

During the entire time at the CIA, House outrageously flirts with Dr. Terzi, much to the disgust/anger of Dr. Curtis. Also, Cuddy refuses to believe that House is working for the CIA and punishes him for "lying" to her by giving him an extra 24 hours of clinic duty.


Meanwhile, House has left Foreman in charge of his original case, a female drag racer named Casey (Amy Dudgeon) who experienced blurred vision and distorted hearing after which she has a seizure. Foreman suggests several diagnoses, initially suggesting heatstroke, but the candidates are skeptical, complaining that Foreman is not as good as House. Casey suffers another seizure and exhibits vertical nystagmus, leading the team to believe it is Miller Fisher syndrome. Casey then develops a fever and delirium. The team expands their differential diagnosis to include Multiple sclerosis, meningitis, lupus and amyloidosis.

Foreman favors the MS diagnosis and starts her on interferon. Casey now develops paralysis in her legs. Foreman now suspects botulism, though Dr. Brennan (who served with Médecins Sans Frontières for some time) strongly feels it is polio. Foreman dismisses polio and starts treatment for botulism, but Dr Brennan shows up with positive labs for polio. Dr Brennan wants to start Casey on a treatment of vitamin C, a therapy that was tested inconclusively in the 1950s. The treatment is begun and Casey begins to improve significantly. Foreman notes the inconsistencies of the bloodwork; when Casey was first brought in her blood was negative for polio.

With everyone including House reunited, House suggests that the symptoms would fit because of the polio or because someone poisoned Casey with thallium, then faked the test to make everyone think that it was polio, and during the vitamin C treatment, detox her to make it appear that the unproven treatment works, pointing all this to Brennan as the culprit. Brennan admits the scam, saying it was necessary to prove the vitamin C treatment was reliable, and he needed polio in a place with proper labs, to prove vitamin C was a possible cure, and to promote the once discontinued research. House doesn't fire Brennan, because he did what he believed, but he told him to quit instead. After Brennan leaves, Foreman asks House if he will let Brennan go like that, and House answers "I'll let him go as far as he can, while you call the cops", and makes it clear that Brennan is nuts. House reminds the candidates that he left Foreman in charge for a reason, and that they should listen to him from now on, as Casey's initial fainting spell had been heatstroke all along and her additional symptoms had been the result of Brennan's poisoning.


External links

* [http://www.housemd-guide.com/season4/406whatever.php "Whatever It Takes"] at the [http://www.housemd-guide.com/ "House M.D." Guide]
* [http://politedissent.com/archives/1800 Medical review of "Whatever It Takes"]
* [http://housefanblog.com House M.D. Fan Website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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