|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Bryan Spicer|
|Written by||Thomas L. Moran|
|Original air date||December 28, 2004|
|Season 1 episodes|
|List of House episodes|
"Fidelity" is the seventh episode of the first season of House, which premiered on the Fox network on December 28, 2004. A female patient shows signs of African sleeping sickness, but in order to find out what is wrong the team has to ask some uncomfortable questions.
On a Monday afternoon, a man named Ed returns home from a jog with his best friend to find his wife, Elise, sick in bed. She has remained there for days. When she tells Ed to call her boss to tell her she's not going to work (without realizing it's the weekend), she becomes violent and slaps him when he tries to wake her, and, after coming to her senses, discerns something terribly wrong with her. At the hospital, Cameron tells House that the patient has been sleeping 18 hours a day, but the tests do not reveal anything.
After being unable to immediately diagnose her condition, House orders new blood work and another MRI. After more testing, she goes into seizures and aspirates.
House and Wilson start to suspect breast cancer. He also inquires about Elise's relationship with her husband. Cameron sets up a mammogram, and Elise reveals that her mother was about the same age when she died of cancer. The new tests show no tumors. Wilson thinks it's a small cell tumor, which is hard to locate. House wants to ignore the tumor until it gets bigger. House sends Foreman to Elise's workplace at a restaurant. The chef is adamant that the kitchen is perfectly clean, but Foreman notices that the restaurant serves rabbit, causing him to later suggest the possibility of Tularemia despite symptoms not being a perfect fit.
Cameron is talking to Elise when she complains that her arm itches, then hallucinates her arm bursting open and hundreds of ants crawling out. Tests are still inconclusive and House believes that all of her symptoms fit in with human African trypanosomiasis, despite having never been to Africa or ever having had a transfusion.
Cameron, Foreman and Chase consider amongst themselves to start treatments anyway, but each of those treatments would cause more problems. House then has a brainstorm: anything that's in the blood can be transmitted through sex. To prove his point to his staff, he cites an article from a Portuguese journal of medicine describing a Portuguese man who contracted sleeping sickness from sex with a girlfriend who had served with the military in Angola - thereby establishing that House can read Portuguese. He dispatches Foreman and Chase to ask Ed and Elise about their fidelity. They both adamantly deny any affairs.
Cameron begins the first course of the tularemia treatment, Chloramphenicol, but Elise drops into a coma almost immediately, prompting the team to realize that the only way for that to happen is if she does not in fact have tularemia. Again, Ed claims he has not had an affair. House concludes that it must be sleeping sickness and tells Ed that he is going to give her a potentially fatal medicine and needs his consent. If Ed suspects there might have even been one time Elise was unfaithful, then they need to start treatment immediately. After realizing that he is not 100% certain that his wife was completely faithful, House orders the treatment, and Foreman and Chase inject her with the medicine melarsoprol.
While waiting for the melarsoprol to take effect, Ed tells Cameron that Elise getting better would prove she had an affair, and that part of him could not live with that and did not want her to recover. He asks her if that makes him a "terrible person." Cameron tells him "yes" and leaves the room in silent shock and disgust. House finds her in the lab re-calibrating the centrifuge, and the tone in her voice makes it obvious she was crying. We learn that Cameron fell in love during college but her husband died of thyroid cancer that had metastasized to his brain. House deduces that the cancer would have been diagnosed well before the marriage, which only lasted 6 months, and realizes that Cameron knew he had cancer but married him anyway. This theme of Cameron falling for "damaged people" is a recurring theme throughout the series.
Elise's fever rises to 104 °F (40 °C). Just as House is telling Ed that they should have seen an improvement, Elise comes out of her coma.
Cameron witnesses Ed at Elise's bedside. The two converse for some time, then Ed leaves the room, while Elise is left crying. Cameron infers that Ed has decided he cannot live with Elise's infidelity and has declared his intention to separate to Elise. Cameron tries to persuade Ed that Elise loves him deeply despite her error of judgement, but Ed is not sufficiently moved.
House tells Elise that he must know who she had an affair with so that the man can be alerted and given treatment. Cameron tracks down Elise's former lover, who has a young son; it turns out to be Ed's best friend that he was jogging with in the beginning of the episode.
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