A young professional champion bull rider is admitted for treatment after being attacked by a bull. After conducting multiple inconclusive tests, the team enlists House's advice outside of the hospital while he attends to a few issues away from the case. Back in the hospital, the bull rider's condition continues to worsen, but with disappearing symptoms and the patient's more frequent mini-seizures, the team's last option is risky open-heart surgery. Meanwhile, Masters develops a crush on their bull rider patient much to Taub's surprise.
- Open with a rodeo bullrider named Layne pulling off a successful ride. Afterwards he stands strangely still while the bull knocks him across the ring and begins stomped on his chest and head.
Wilson goes to look in on the recently dumped House, whose checked himself into a nice hotel. House has been going heavy on the Vocodin and says his pain is worse. Concierge Carnell references getting House "anything" he wants and House's mind quickly turns to prostitutes.
House has also called in sick, leaving the rest of the team to figure out Layne. Making things difficult is that his lengthy injury history will make some scanning tests impossible due to the number of metal rods and plates in his body, and others useless. Masters learns for the first time about House's history with Vicodine.
Wilson goes to Cuddy and begs her to give House another chance. While she agrees he deserves another chance, the situation isn't just about him. She doesn't think he'll ever be able to give her what she needs in a life partner. Wilson tells her he's back on Vicodin, advising her to keep an eye on his new patient.
While in a bathtub with a prostitute, House advises the team the standard inner-ear test they used on Layne won't be enough since he's such an elite athlete. House is also well aware that Cuddy was in the room listening to the conference call.
Layne passes the inner ear test with no problem. It is also clear that Masters has something of a crush on Layne, and muses that he would be a good choice to father a child with her.
After the test Layne begins bleeding in his mouth.
In bed with a different prostitute, House gets a call from the team. They tell him about the blood in Layne's sputum. Masters makes a comment to House his being on Vicodin. He lies and tells her he's not taking the drug as he takes the drug.
Taub asks Masters about her attraction to Layne. Even she's not sure where it's coming from. Taub tells her not to worry about House and Vicodin. During the scope they notice Layne's eyes are yellowing.
House (who is with yet another prostitute) suggests they need to cut Layne open to get a better sense of what is going on.
During surgery they notice that a mass from Layne's x-ray has disappeared.
They bring the new x-ray to House, who is lying in bed with another prostitute. House suggests an infection. Despite the danger House thinks they should try a ventricular puncture (needle into the brain), which might be slightly safer than a spinal tap.
While performing the test on Layne's brain the patient's stats begin dropping. His airway is closed and they have to go the tracheotomy route to get his numbers back up. They notice a strong odor and discover it's coming from his feet.
The team calls House with an update. While House and yet another prostitute trick Carnell with a fake William Tell-gone-wrong gag, he suggests another kind of infection and they plan to look at Layne's heart. Wilson shows up looking serious.
To offset the obvious issue with the metal in Layne's body cavity, the team injects ice water into his body and attempts an MRI.
At the hotel bar Wilson wants House to talk about his problems. House resists.
With smoke literally coming from Layne's ribcage Taub is able to get an MRI picture. But it doesn't show anything abnormal.
Wilson goes to see Cuddy and tells her she has to go talk to House. He says House needs her in his life even if the relationship isn't romantic. But she responds that "I can't fix his problem. I am his problem."
In order to see whether Layne might be having small seizures and in need of a dangerous (for him) CT, House suggests having Layne sing along with a metronome. Layne pauses (cuts out) several times without realizing it.
While Wilson tries to comfort House about his current depression Foreman calls with word that Layne's CT was clean.
To find the imperfection in his aorta House wants to put pressure on Layne's heart until it tears. They can then repair the damage, so long as he doesn't die first. The team hates the idea, but House goes to Layne with the incredibly dangerous idea anyway. Layne seems okay with the test even though it may mean the end of the career he loves. He is very matter-of-fact about the prospect of moving on to something else and House seems impacted by this. At this exact moment Cuddy walks in needing to talk.
In the hall Cuddy tells House she thinks his crazy idea with Layne is an attempt to fill a void. She thinks his judgment has been affected by the drugs. House is adamant she either arrest his team or get out of the way. Cuddy does nothing.
During the test Layne's heart has a massive blowout. But Taub, Chase and Foreman are able to repair the damage in time. An almost stunned Foreman says "It worked" and Masters smiles.
Layne wakes up to Masters sitting in the room. She tells him that he'll be okay as long as he doesn't get his heart rate up too high. She then awkwardly asks him out. He says "uh" and she leaves.
House watches college kids partying at a bar. The bartender talks about how nice it must be to have your life ahead of you and House stares intently at the group, seeing them in slow-motion as he drinks his scotch.
Cut to House up in his room with several empty bottles around him. We see Wilson downstairs asking the bartender about House. House takes several pills and moves to the balcony. He climbs on top of the railing and looks down. We see Wilson moving through the hotel bar and onto its outdoor patio looking for House. Wilson and everyone else look up and see House. House jumps off the balcony as Wilson yells "No!" We hear House yell "cannonball" as he assumes that position and lands in the pool. Under the water he smiles. He surfaces and is joined in the pool by dozens of drunk college kids.
House pumps his fist and chugs a beer. Wilson shakes his head and walks away.