Need to Know
Need to Know
February 7, 2006
Episode Number
2.11 Rating
Final Diagnosis
Zebra Factor
House: "Did you tell Mark?"
Stacy: "I told him I had to work late."
House: "Are you gonna tell him?"
— Need to Know

Need to Know is a second season episode of House which first aired on February 7, 2006. A women with muscle spasms comes to the hospital. As the team looks into the patient‘s life, the only diagnosis that makes sense is one the patient insists on denying. Meanwhile, Wilson wants House and Stacy to confront their feelings for each other, Cameron refuses to get the results of her HIV test and House is no longer under the supervision of Foreman.


A busy mother and businesswoman starts flailing just after starting her car and drives it through the back of her garage.

Meanwhile, House has, out of all character, come in early with a pressed shirt. Wilson deduces that House came on to Stacy while they were away on business and wants to talk about it, but Cameron comes by and House ignores Wilson. He asks her about her HIV test but Cameron wants to tell him about the new patient.

The team is discussing the patient, who is flailing her arms and twitching. The team suspects the auto accident was the cause, but the flailing clearly started before the accident. The patient is on fertility treatment and the team suspects that might be a cause too. House orders a thorough pregnancy test along with the other tests. Foreman is still nominally in charge, but gives in to House’s treatment plan.

They talk to the patient about the possible treatment and administer drugs to stop the flailing.

Wilson confronts Stacy about House, and warns her not to hurt him again. However, Stacy doesn't know whether House is toying with her.

The patient starts having spasms again after the treatment wears off and snaps at her daughter and her husband (her daughter's stepfather).

Foreman believes the sudden anger shows Huntington's disease. House agrees to start treatment before they confirm, but Chase thinks the progression is too fast. However, at that point, the patient has a psychotic break and starts smashing up her room. The team manages to subdue her and sedate her.

The test for Huntington's is negative despite the symptoms, and the psychotic break rules out fertility medication as the cause. There is no family history of mental illness. House starts talking about her busy lifestyle and wonders if she is taking cocaine to cope. Foreman and Cameron go to the patient’s house to look for the drugs.

House goes to see Wilson, who is preparing marijuana for a patient. They start talking about Stacy. Wilson says Stacy sounds confused, but he doesn't think she really is. House doesn't think she will leave Mark while he is in rehab. Wilson points out that she left House when he was in rehab.

Foreman and Cameron start talking about her test for HIV. They find Ritalin in the patient's car. However, the pills are the daughter's. House thinks it is the Ritalin and wants to discharge her. Foreman, who is still in charge, overrules House and keeps her in until they can confirm the Ritalin is causing her symptoms. Instead, House goes to see the patient and her daughter. The patient says that she never gave Ritalin to the daughter, but the bottle is nearly empty. The patient finally admits that she took the pills. House discharges her.

House goes to see Stacy. Stacy says she's about to leave her position at the hospital and that Mark is going back to work. House accuses her of running away from him.

As the patient goes to leave the hospital, she collapses with a stroke. Cameron calls House, who is in bed naked with Stacy. He decides to wait a half-hour before he returns to the hospital.

The team is waiting around for House, and they suspect Stacy is the reason. House arrives in a very good mood and starts once again trying to determine the cause of the patient's symptoms. House announces that Cameron skipped her HIV test and collects a bet from Foreman. He tells them to take an ultrasound of the uterus. He then tricks Cameron into opening her mouth by telling her he loves her and gets a swab for the HIV test.

House goes to see Stacy again, and finds that she has been lying to Mark instead of telling him about their affair. She tells House she is willing to go ahead with an affair but she will not hurt Mark. House gives Stacy an ultimatum – him or Mark.

The ultrasound shows no abnormality of the uterus. At that moment, Foreman's authority over House runs out, and House orders a biopsy.

The daughter comes to see House while he is watching TV. House takes her back to the nurse who is watching her. They discuss her parent's relationship – they talk about having another baby a lot, but they never fight.

During the procedure, the patient starts bleeding and her blood pressure drops even before Chase starts the biopsy.

Stacy goes to see Cuddy. Cuddy says House didn't change after she left him. Stacy admits to having a relationship with House. They discuss the previous break-up.

The bleeding was coming from the liver, and indicated a tumor in the liver, which the team finds. A biopsy is impossible as the tumor is in one of the patient's blood vessels.

Mark comes to House worried that he's losing Stacy. He is actually looking for advice and admits he has shut her out. House doesn't want to help and tries to dodge Mark by going up the stairs. Mark gets out of his wheelchair to crawl up to House to confront him, but again House brushes him off.

House can't understand why the patient has a liver tumor – it doesn't explain her symptoms. They review the patient's personality. She is very non-confrontational and has trouble coping. House can't understand why a woman like that would want a second child. The Ritalin explains the psychosis. The stroke, blood clot, tumor and flailing can only be explained by one thing – birth control pills.

House confronts the patient – he accuses her of taking birth control pills to prevent herself from getting pregnant, and fertility medication to give her new husband a child. Luckily, the tumor is benign and will go away if she stops taking birth control pills. The patient goes ahead with the surgery and denies being on the pill.

House confronts Cuddy about the appropriate course of action. Cuddy points out that House has no real proof she is taking birth control pills, and if he’s wrong the tumor will continue to grow and might kill her. Cuddy won’t call in Stacy because she knows she won’t agree with House.

They go ahead with the surgery and the tumor is removed. Luckily, it is benign as they anticipated and the patient recovers quickly. The patient asks Foreman to lie and say to her husband that the surgery means she can't be on the fertility treatments, but he refuses. He tells her that if she continues to be on birth control while on fertility treatments, it will eventually destroy her marriage and kill her. She plans on maintaining the deception until her husband gives up on the idea.

Cameron finally goes to get her HIV test result. It is negative.

House goes to see Stacy to break off their new relationship, even after Stacy offers to tell Mark she's willing to leave him. Stacy asks why he changed his mind. House realized that Mark was more willing to do things to keep Stacy, and that he can't make her happy. He is always doing things to alienate people, and knows he will simply drive Stacy away again. He simply can't bear the possibility of another break-up.

Wilson finds House alone outside. Wilson agrees that Stacy is probably better off without House, but knows that House doesn't believe that, and believes that House merely wants to stay miserable. Wilson points out that although House doesn't like himself, but he does admire himself. He's afraid to change for that reason.

Quotes Edit

Stella Dalton: "Is that why you're so sad?"
House: "Oh aren't you adorable. I'm not sad, I'm complicated. Chicks dig that"
―After Stella finds out that House is in pain because of his leg.
"Being miserable doesn't make you any better than anyone else House. It just makes you miserable."

Zebra Factor 3/10Edit

Benign hepatocellular adenomas aren’t very rare.

Major Events Edit

  • Wilson discovers that House and Stacy kissed and suspects that they're having an affair.
  • Later on, an enraged Wilson confronts Stacy and tells her that the last time that she left, he was the one caring for House.
  • House reveals that Chase's mother developed psychosis and died before he got to say goodbye to her.
  • House says "I love you" to Cameron to get her to open her mouth in shock to take a mouth swab to test her for HIV.
  • House and Stacy sleep together once again.
  • In the aftermath of their lovemaking session, House forces Stacy to choose: Mark or him.
  • Following one month of supervision, House regains control of the Diagnostics Department once again.
  • Mark confronts House and tells him that he's scared of losing Stacy.
  • Cameron finally learns that her HIV test is negative.
  • Stacy tells House that she wants to stay but he rejects her, saying that she'll be much better off with Mark instead.
  • Distraught, Stacy quits her job and the hospital and leaves New Jersey with Mark for good.

Trivia & Cultural references Edit

  • The title of the episode refers to a term used in espionage to describe sensitive information that should not be disclosed unless an operative actually needs to know it. It describes both Stacy’s not wanting to tell Mark about her feelings for House and the patient’s refusal to be honest with her husband about not wanting to have more children.
  • When House asks Foreman to allow the pregnancy test, he says: "What'll it be, Ms. Daisy?", which is likely a reference to the movie Driving Miss Daisy.
  • When Cameron finds the Ritalin in Margo's car, she remarks "Mama's little helper", which is likely a reference to the Rolling Stones song Mother's Little Helper, even though the song is about Valium abuse.
  • This is the last episode in which Mark Warner appears in the series, as well as Stacy's last recurring role in the series. She would later return in the series finale ("Everybody Dies").
  • When House starts describing how the patient can do several things at once, he starts paraphrasing the lyrics of the 1962 hit I’m a woman.
  • The joke about House using the euphemism “Hoo-Hoo” instead of the proper term vagina is a dig at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Hopkins has a very conservative atmosphere and people often tease the students that the school is so conservative it would not teach them any “naughty” words even if they were the names of proper anatomical parts.

Cast Edit

Previous episode:
Failure to Communicate

Need to Know
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