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Both Sides Now (House)

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Title: Both Sides Now (House)  
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Subject: Carl Reiner, Alien hand syndrome, Kal Penn, House (TV series), Gregory House, As Tears Go By (song), Lisa Cuddy, Allison Cameron, Ashton Holmes, Maria Thayer
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Both Sides Now (House)

"Both Sides Now"
House episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 24
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Written by Doris Egan
Original air date May 11, 2009
Guest actors
Season 5 episodes
List of episodes

"Both Sides Now" is the twenty-fourth episode and season finale of the fifth season of House. It originally aired on May 11, 2009.


House wakes up at his apartment after spending the night with Cuddy. He discovers that she has left her lipstick on his bathroom counter, as well as on his cheek. House pockets the lipstick, and goes to work with a smile and a remarkable lack of pain.

House and the team are intrigued by Scott (Ashton Holmes), a man who has undergone a corpus callosotomy procedure to treat epilepsy. The procedure left him with independently functioning left and right brain hemispheres and two distinct personalities, resulting in loss of conscious control over some of his actions, including those of his left hand, a condition known as alien hand syndrome.

As the two sides of Scott’s brain struggle for dominance, his warring personalities make it increasingly difficult for the team to figure out what is causing the unique problem. The team is forced to use some unusual methods to get him to cooperate with their necessary testing.

Meanwhile, Cuddy tells House that their relationship must be that of employer and employee. House tells Wilson that he kicked his drug habit and had sex with Cuddy; Wilson advises that he talk to her, advice which House ignores. Instead he begins a campaign to annoy and provoke her, an attempt to break through her composure.

When, as part of this plan, House refuses to make his scheduled appearances in the clinic, Cuddy begins referring patients to see House in his private office, specifically a pesky elderly man named Eugene Schwartz (guest star Carl Reiner) who claims that he has been having a problem with "squawking."

In a final attempt to provoke Cuddy into examining her true feelings for him, House announces to everyone in the main lobby of the hospital that he had sexual relations with Cuddy. Cuddy responds by confronting him in a hallway, and then firing him after he suggests that they move in together. Cuddy storms off but before House can do anything else, Eugene Schwartz approaches to inquire about his squawking condition again.

House initially diagnoses it as acid reflux causing his vocal cords to tense, but when Schwartz adjusts his belt due to soreness, House realizes Schwartz has pancreatic cancer, which was the root cause of the acid reflux. At the same time, it is reported that the patient with alien hand syndrome, Scott, is really suffering from a reaction to an ingredient in the industrial-strength deodorant he uses.

House then goes to talk to Cuddy in her office, and asks her if she could possibly be overreacting to the previous night. She finally admits that maybe she is, since he's "said plenty of lousy things to [her] before." House seems confused, as he assumed that she was overreacting to her and House having sex and what it could mean to their employer-employee relationship.

But he realizes that Cuddy's reactions all day have not been consistent, and that something is wrong with his analysis of the situation. He had been troubled for the day on why she left no lipstick marks on her coffee cup, despite the fact that she left her lipstick at his place the night before, and it had smeared on House during sex.

House then has a flashback to the night (from the episode "Under My Skin") before when he thought he told Cuddy that he needed her help with his addiction. He suddenly sees the reality of what has happened: he never told Cuddy he was having hallucinations that night. His final words of the evening were: "go suckle the little bastard child if that makes you feel good about yourself." Aggrieved at this very remark, she left the office and went home, never accompanying him to his apartment.

House snaps back to reality. He reaches into his pocket to remove the lipstick, but, to his horror, he discovers that it is actually a bottle of Vicodin. He then has another flashback, and realizes what happened. The whole previous night was a hallucination. His memory of Cuddy staying by his side was not real, and, in fact, he spent the night popping pills by himself. Hallucinations of Amber and Kutner then appear and tell House while the story he invented about himself is nice, it's not true. House appears deeply disturbed and tells Cuddy he is not OK.

Cuddy takes House to Wilson, who takes him to the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. The shots of Wilson bringing House to the clinic are cross cut with shots of Chase and Cameron's wedding.


Although Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital is fictitious, the building into which House is admitted was a psychiatric hospital in New Jersey, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, now abandoned. Some filming also occurred there for the sixth season.[1]



External links

  • Internet Movie Database
fr:La Stratégie de l'inconscient
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