Failure to Communicate

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"Failure to Communicate"
House episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 10
Directed by Jace Alexander
Written by Doris Egan
Original air date January 10, 2006 (2006-01-10)
Guest appearance(s)
Season 2 episodes
List of House episodes

"Failure to Communicate" is the tenth episode of the second season of House, which premiered on Fox on January 10, 2006.


Reporter Fletcher Stone (Michael O'Keefe) collapses and hits his head on a desk while making a farewell speech for his retiring boss. He wakes up moments later but is talking nonsense, and is later diagnosed with both aphasia and dysgraphia, although it is clear that he believes he is speaking and writing normally.

House is in Baltimore with Stacy, justifying Medicaid billings. Stacy and House are in a long meeting with the Medicaid review officer. Stacy manages to appeal to the official's better nature. House offers Stacy dinner but Stacy has set up a later flight than House's and declines. Snow delays House's flight and Stacy turns up at the airport. House notices her crucifix is missing and suspects that something is up. Stacy is irritated as House continues to persist at discovering the reason for the missing crucifix. Stacy reveals she and her husband had a fight over nothing and she thinks he's pushing her out of his life. There is an announcement that all flights are grounded. Stacy reveals she already has a hotel room booked and invites House to join her.

Meanwhile, at the hospital the tests show drug use although Fletcher claimed he was clean. House recommends treatments over the phone and tells the team to get a medical history – Fletcher can answer in one-word sentences of yes or no. Fletcher takes sleeping pills, a fact he wants to keep from his wife. Chase and Foreman find diet pills at Fletcher's office and then head to his home to collect more information, but they do not find any more drugs.

In the hotel room, Stacy admits she misses House, and they begin to kiss but are interrupted by House's phone. The staff tries to decode Fletcher's statements with House over the phone, trying to draw patterns to what he's saying. Cameron concludes that it's Elizabeth's presence that makes Fletcher reluctant to answer truthfully. House figures out that when Fletcher is talking about a bear, he is talking about a polar bear – leading to the conclusion that Fletcher is bipolar and has been using sleeping pills at night and amphetamines during the day.

House is being pressured by an airport security guard to board the plane but continues talking on the phone. He concludes that Fletcher covered up his disorder while a journalist but tried to change for his wife, and underwent secret surgery. While House delivers his diagnosis, Elizabeth overhears the news and unhappy at Fletcher's secrecy, leaves. House recommends they test the blood again visually to confirm the diagnosis – cerebral malaria. Foreman is shocked and upset because if anyone had actually looked at the blood and not just run it through a computer, Fletcher would've been diagnosed instantly. House talks to Stacy as she boards the plane and says he hopes she can get him off the No Fly List.

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