Remorse (House)

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House episode
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 12
Directed byAndrew Bernstein
Written byPeter Blake
Original air dateJanuary 25, 2010
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Down Low"
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"Moving the Chains"
House (season 6)
List of House episodes

"Remorse" is the twelve episode of the sixth season of House. It aired on January 25, 2010.


The team takes on the case of 27-year-old Valerie (Beau Garrett), an attractive business consultant experiencing intermittent episodes of excruciating ear pain. House is intrigued by the fact that she is very attractive, while her husband is not, and agrees to take the case.

The team establishes the fact that her ear pain was caused by supraventricular tachycardia. While treating her, the men on the team are charmed by Valerie's beauty and personality, with only Thirteen looking beyond the superficial and trying to discover a link to her illness. Thirteen finds out the missing link by spending half an hour asking Valerie about what she loves and hates during an fMRI. During this test, Valerie's brain bypasses the emotional centers and she uses the language sections of the brain to answer the questions. It shows that Valerie is, in fact, a psychopath. After hearing this analysis, House is even more fascinated by Valerie. Valerie admits she drugged her co-worker with Valium to get him fired. She had been sleeping with him every Thursday; in exchange she got credit for his best work. She claims she is the same as other people except she can admit it to herself. Valerie develops brittle bones and her arm breaks just from Thirteen turning her arm over. Tests show this is caused by kidney failure.

Throughout the differentials, Thirteen and Foreman continuously bicker even after the team has settled on a diagnosis. House tells them to "have sex, fight, or quit," as he is tired of their pointless bickering.

After some questioning from Thirteen, Valerie's husband finds out she was not attending landscaping classes on Thursdays as she claimed. Valerie threatens Thirteen with legal action if Thirteen does not keep quiet about her secret. Cuddy removes Thirteen from all patient contact for her own safety, whereupon Valerie accuses Thirteen of sexual harassment. Thirteen storms into Valerie's room and yells at her, but Foreman takes Thirteen into another room to talk to her. He tells her that either Valerie complained anonymously, in which case it would go away eventually, or she complained under her real name, in which case the team would back up Thirteen and it would go away. He also apologizes for firing her, and says he hopes they can work together again. Then he is paged because Valerie develops problems with her liver, causing blood to back up into her esophagus. Taub thinks it is primary hepatic fibrosis, so the team starts her on steroids.

Thirteen confronts Valerie's sister, who has come to the hospital to test for an organ transplant match, and asks why she is helping her sister when she's so manipulative. Valerie's sister informs Thirteen that Valerie protected her from their abusive father, and it was only as she hit puberty that she started displaying antisocial behavior. This leads Thirteen to realize that Valerie must have Wilson's disease, which she discusses with House. This is confirmed by looking at her fingernails, these having turned blue from copper deposits. She is started on chelation therapy to remove the excess copper.

After treatment, Valerie insults her husband, saying that he is pathetic for still loving her even after learning what she is. The husband, distraught, leaves the hospital. Thirteen reasons that Valerie would not have done that if she was still a psychopath. The treatment has cured her psychopathy, and she begins to feel emotions again. When Thirteen asks her what she feels, she replies that she does not know, but it hurts. Thirteen replies that it will.

House also uncharacteristically attempts to alleviate his conscience by reaching out to Wibberly (Ray Abruzzo), a former medical school colleague he wronged; the two were taking the same class at medical school, and House exchanged the paper he was submitting for a class with one Wibberly had written. House claims he was just testing a hypothesis that the professor would give him a bad grade regardless of the content of the paper. Much to his surprise, he got an A for the paper. Wibberly tells House that the failing grade he received for House's paper led to him dropping out of medical school, and that he is now working as a bagger at a grocery store, and has to sell his home to pay for his father's medical bills.

House offers Wibberly a check to get him back on his feet, but Wibberly reveals that he did not drop out of medical school; his present circumstances are the result of a gambling addiction, and he had actually got an A+ with House's paper submitted in his name. House drops the check in Wibberly's mailbox at the end of the episode anyway. Wilson points out that House has chosen to apologize to Wibberly because he has not seen him for years, much easier than saying sorry to Wilson or Cuddy.

At the end of the episode, Thirteen enters the office to find Foreman trying to decipher Taub's writing for Valerie's discharge summary. The two appear to get along much better, and Thirteen reads what Taub's written while Foreman types. While he's typing, Thirteen looks at him with a much softer expression than what she'd had before. House heads for Cuddy's office and stops in front of the door, clearly plucking up the courage to apologize, but then he spots Lucas and sees him and Cuddy happily looking at something on their laptop. House turns around and leaves.


  • "Why Try to Change Me Now", written by Cy Coleman, sung by Fiona Apple[1]


Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club graded the episode a B-, writing, "Valerie's mental illness just seems a little too controlled, a little too cool, somehow. Like Hopkins' Lecter, she's what we secretly wish crazy people were like—Machiavellian monsters who always make it to the final reel."[2]


  1. ^ Beck, Melinda (January 26, 2010). ""House" Season 6, Episode 11 "Remorse": TV Recap". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Handlen, Zack (January 25, 2010). "House: "Remorse"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 15, 2016.

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