The Right Stuff (House)

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"The Right Stuff"
House episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 2
Directed byDeran Sarafian
Written byDoris Egan & Leonard Dick
Original air dateOctober 2, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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House (season 4)
List of House episodes

"The Right Stuff" is the second episode of the fourth season of House and the seventy-second episode overall.


A pilot, Captain Greta Cooper (played by Essence Atkins), begins hallucinating while in a United States Air Force jet simulator.

Meanwhile, House is being pressured by Cuddy to whittle down his applicant pool. He makes a show of firing many of them arbitrarily, before being paged by Cooper, who seeks to bribe him into diagnosing her off the record, as she doesn't want NASA to disqualify her from the astronaut program. House is initially uninterested, but becomes intrigued when she mentions her sudden synesthesia. House presents her to his recruits, then splits them up to run various tests — and wash his car. While talking to his applicants in his office, House thinks he sees Chase walking past the doorway. House orders Cooper into a hyperbaric chamber where Applicants 6, 18, and 24 attempt to flush out excess oxygen, but she collapses with a heart attack. They try to defibrillate, but it starts a fire in the oxygen chamber, setting off the sprinklers.

Later, they determine the heart attack was not caused by the treatment. House then sends them to run tests and look for infectious substances in the cafeteria. House confides to Wilson that he saw Chase, but Wilson says Chase is in Scottsdale, Arizona, and suggests House is feeling repressed guilt. House is not amused.

The applicants check in with House who orders thyroid tests. Cooper's temperature begins to rise. The applicants inadvertently reveal they broke into her house, and she becomes paranoid and begins to hear color again. They sedate her, but Cuddy notices and wants to know who Cooper is. House thinks he sees Cameron walk through the lobby.

Cuddy goes to the applicants for answers and they have to admit they do not know much — until one of the applicants squeals. Cuddy insists that House document everything. After figuring out who squealed, House tries to figure out how to test Cooper without having to document anything for Cuddy. He gives them an hour, then goes to Wilson to find out why Cameron is there. Wilson says she is also in Arizona, where she and Chase are engaged, and predicts that House is going to choose the recruits that House himself dislikes the most. House picks up on the idea of stress and suggests that they stress Cooper's liver. Just after being fired, one of the applicants, (Kal Penn), suggests they get her drunk. House likes his idea, and keeps him in the running. He decides to use some of the other applicants as a control group to see how quickly Cooper gets drunk.

After seeing his Brigham Young University class ring, House recruits a Mormon applicant as a baseline. House takes a couple of drinks, after which he believes he sees Foreman outside. Meanwhile, Cooper is having breathing problems but refusing treatment. Cuddy interrupts House's pursuit of Foreman and asks why he has ordered irrelevant tests, pointing out Foreman is working in New York City. House returns to the room to find they have taken Cooper to the physical training room so they would have an excuse for giving her oxygen. House determines she has either lung cancer or tuberous sclerosis, and tries to order a biopsy. One of the applicants, Taub the plastic surgeon, proposes they suggest she undergo elective breast augmentation, thus providing a reasonable excuse for any scarring.

Cooper undergoes the surgery and they biopsy the lungs, finding cysts. Chase appears at the surgery to suggest a diagnosis: Von Hippel-Lindau disease, which House confirms. The applicants wonder aloud whether House will hire Chase, but Chase quietly shakes his head. After removing the cysts, House confronts Wilson, who admits that Chase and Cameron are still working in the hospital (although Foreman is, indeed, in New York). House visits Cooper and claims he called NASA and told them of her condition.

With Cooper diagnosed, House dismisses most of the applicants, and tells the rest to come back the next day. He confronts Henry and observes he has never been to medical school. Henry admits he worked in the Columbia med school admissions office and, while he audited all the classes, never received a diploma. House suggests that Henry could still work as his assistant.

House goes to see Cameron in the E.R., and she reveals she's been working there for three weeks, was the one who gave House's pager number to Cooper. House in turn reveals he did not actually tell NASA about Cooper's condition, and in fact lied to prevent anyone else from telling NASA, reasoning that Cooper's knowledge of her risk will make her a more careful pilot. Cameron is skeptical of his reason for doing so, suggesting instead that he was not willing to crush her dream.

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