House was pretty good last night, "Unfaithful", but it could have also been called "The Atheist Priest". This is a plot synopsis for the 2/16 episode, so be forewarned.
House tried to break up Foreman and "13", giving them the choice of breaking up or one of them had to quit. Because Foreman had recently committed the ethics violation with the Huntington's trials, Cuddy wouldn't give Foreman a recommendation and it looked like 13 was going to have to quit because Foreman had nowhere to go. Fortunately with a little encouragement from Cameron and Chase (when did those characters get re-engaged?), 13 and "14" staged a breakup and fooled House into keeping them both since they started arguing during the patient differentials.
Back to the priest. An actor named Jimmi Simpson played Daniel Bresson, a priest who had been unjustly accused of pedophila, transferred to several parishes, but the accusation kept following him. Bitter and alcoholic, the priest had lost his faith. He was starting in on a night of drinking when someone banged on the door, he answered it, and it was Jesus, thorned and bleeding, floating a foot off the floor.
House's support drs were underwhelmed with House's choice for a patient, alcoholism being the main suspect, until House discovered the priest had both lost his faith and the priest was an engaging atheist. House and the priest had a couple of smug conversations supporting the logic of their atheism. When the pedophilia charge was uncovered, Taub didn't believe the priest. The priest (like every other patient House has) started exhibiting odd symptoms, one of his toes falling off for starters, an apparent heart attack in a hyperbaric tank, and then he started exhibiting AIDS symptoms but refused to be tested. Taub, convinced the priest was lying, somehow (?) tracked down the teenager who had accused the priest. The young man only asked if the priest was dying, Taub said yes, the boy refused to talk anymore about it.
As "Job-like" symptoms begin to appear, the priest developed boils and was put in isolation. In a dramatic moment while Kutner and Taub were with the priest, the young boy barges into the room, goes to his knees and asks the priest's forgiveness for apparently lying about the accusation. While the priest and the boy both have tears streaming down their faces, the priest forgives the boy while a stunned Kutner and Taub look on.
House, perplexed by the symptoms and wearily listening to Wilson lecture House about another subplot, has a moment of clarity, erases "hallucination" from the list of symptoms, and goes to confront the priest.
Turns out the priest has a genetic disorder that mimics AIDS, but isn't fatal. A well done dramatic moment as House presents the facts to the priest, the priest has an epiphany. Although each symptom has a logical explanation (two drinks into a 6 drink night gives the priest a hallucination? the priest doubts it too), the priest thinks it's too many coincidences. Despite a hollow plea from House (and some House forehead cane-leaning looking suspiciously like prayer), the priest recovers his faith and House loses another atheist.
Nice episode, and it's passing the time *whistling*............