Alone is the first episode of the fourth season of House, M.D., and the seventy-first episode overall.
In order to convince House that he needs a team to work cases, Wilson and Cuddy hatch two separate schemes. While House attempts to treat a patient in failing health who survived a building collapse, he's also forced to deal with Wilson kidnapping his guitar.
Starring: Hugh Laurie (Dr. Gregory House), Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Lisa Cuddy), Omar Epps (Dr. Eric Foreman) (credit only), Robert Sean Leonard (Dr. James Wilson), Jennifer Morrison (Dr. Allison Cameron) (credit only), Jesse Spencer (Dr. Robert Chase) (credit only)
Co-Starring: Bevin Prince (Megan), Liliya Toneva (Liz), Xhercis (Imelda), Kathryn Adams (Young Doctor), Leo Vargas (Male Nurse), Ken Takemoto (Sam Lee), Shannon McClung (Doug), Bobbin Bergstrom (Nurse)
Several months after all of House's team members quit, resigned or were fired, Cuddy is forced to put the screws to House and make him hire a new team. He, however, remains convinced that he doesn't need anyone to work with and that a team would only get in his way. In order to prove him wrong, she sets him on the case of a sick woman who survived the collapse of her office building. Her fever and frequent bouts of unconsciousness set her apart from the rest of the collapse victims and make her a ripe candidate for House's treatment.
Despite his reluctance to hire a new team, House finds no problems with co-opting other employees of the hospital to "enable" his theories. He first pulls a janitor from cleaning duty to bounce diagnosis ideas off of him. He comes to the conclusion, with the help of "Dr. Buffer," that the woman may have had brain damage from the rubble. But when her condition only gets worse, he leaves the janitor with the family and takes Wilson for some breaking and entering at the victim, Megan's, home. In her bedroom, House riffles through her bookshelves and comes up with a diary filled with mundane events which jarringly go from depressing to happy. House figures that she was seeing a psychiatrist and the antidepressants she's taking are conflicting with other drugs given to her.
Back at Princeton Plainsboro, the janitor is discovered as an impostor and Wilson decides that House needs more encouragement into hiring a new team. He kidnaps House's original 1967 Flying V guitar and leaves coy ransom notes for House to find. House refuses to negotiate with Wilson and the two get into a petty fight which continues to escalate. Wilson hides the guitar, so House agrees to interview people (which he goes back on when the first person he calls turns out to be an idiot). To up the ante, Wilson puts a broken tremolo bridge in a box and leaves it for House to find, so House sneaks into Wilson's home and deletes telenova episodes off of his TiVo. To get further revenge, House kidnaps Wilson's chemotherapy patient by putting him in a different room without telling Wilson.
Meanwhile, the patient, Megan, is put on dialysis to clean the anti-depressant residue out of her bloodstream. This appears to cure her at first, but new symptoms continue to appear after the treatment is administered. House tries to fix these new symptoms by giving Megan an IV full of alcohol, because of his discovery that Megan is a fairly hardcore alcoholic. This comes as a shock to Megan's mother and her boyfriend, Ben, as they've never known her to be an alcoholic or depressive. However, her conditions worsen as the hours pile on.
Cuddy figures that the only reason why House has gotten this far is because he's been able to manipulate her and others into enabling his belief that he doesn't need a team. To curb this, she sends around a memo which forbids anyone from cooperating with House, no matter what he says. One young doctor breaks ranks to suggest possibilities to House, which eventually convince him that there are two entirely separate conditions. He also decides to add the doctor's resume to his pile of potentials because she "reminds him of someone," likely Dr. Cameron. House keeps trying to treat the mounting symptoms as they appear and discovers that the woman had an abortion, a fact which comes as a shock to the family considering that she and Ben were trying to have a kid.
After some time, Wilson discovers his missing cancer patient and demands to know where he's been stashed. In his speech railing against how irresponsible House's actions are, Wilson mentions something about how the wrong person's medication could have untold effects on someone not meant to take the drugs. House suddenly goes quiet and realizes that the patient isn't getting better because he's been giving the wrong medication to the wrong patient.
House goes to see "Megan" and wake her up with amphetamines. When she's awake, he asks her what her name is. After some struggle, she responds "Liz" and Megan's family breaks down into tears. Unbeknown to Ben and Mrs. Bradbury, the person in the bed who they thought was Megan was actually a similar looking office worker that was misidentified by family due to her severe wounds. While House was treating Liz, the real Megan died days earlier without anyone realizing it was her.
Liz responds to the treatments given to her now that they know who she is, but Cuddy was still proven right. If House's team was still working with him, the case would have been solved long before the real Megan died. She says that Cameron wouldn't have accepted that the loving boyfriend knew nothing about his girlfriend and that Foreman and Chase would have worked to, respectively, prove House wrong or right.
In the end, House finally accepts that he does need to interview and hire a new team. But instead of doing a conventional interview process, he decides to run all 40 applicants through the gauntlet.
- M.I.A.: Despite being credited, the former members of House's medical team do not appear in this episode. This is the first episode of the series in which all three members do not appear.