There are two obvious connections to the title, both dealing with death, acceptance being fifth step of dying, in this case acceptance of one's own death as in the case of the POTW, taking responsibility for the horrible acts he'd committed, and the other relates to Cameron going through the five stages of death and dying, finally accepting the imminent death of her patient who has terminal lung cancer.
Keeping with the death and dying theme, this time the title autopsy refers to the "procedure" used to find the clot in the POTW's brain. The POTW has terminal cancer, curiously currently in remission, but fixing the clot gives her another year of life. The autopsy was performed on the live patient, although they technically had to kill her, albeit briefly to perform an autopsy of sorts to find the clot. House asks Cuddy if it's still illegal to perform an autopsy on a live person in trying to get approval for the procedure.
2-03: Humpty Dumpty
The title refers to the broken POTW Alfredo, who, after falling off of Cuddy's roof, keeps getting worse, despite attempts to put him back together. Psittacosis was causing him to continue throwing clots that cut off blood to various parts of his body, tearing him apart, like Humpty Dumpty. In parallel, Cuddy too was falling apart, mostly from guilt over Alfredo being injured due to her instruction to fix her roof despite his not feeling well.
2-04: TB or Not TB
The title not only paraphrases the bard on "being" it references the POTW's ailment as both TB and NOT TB, i.e. he does have TB, but there's another underlying cause to his illness. And the title also relates to the cause that the POTW fights with gusto, fighting TB in the third world, kind of a losing battle at best, kind of struggling to be.
2-05: Daddy's Boy
There are parallel father-son (daddy's boy) relationships here, the POTW, supported by his father is daddy's boy, although he was lied to by his father, and in turn lied to his father, neither realizing they were being lied to. House, who despises his father, is as far from daddy's boy as is possible, although he is mommy's boy, the anti-daddy's boy. Both are products of their upbringing. One of the POTW's friends is also a daddy's boy, since it was his father who transported the gang to Jamaica for the break.
A couple of references are evident on this one. First, the POTW is a cyclist, "spinning' for a living. His agent "spins' his illness to get him more sympathy in the press and boost his following. Cameron tries to right the wrongs of the world and turn the guy in putting an end to the favorable spin, although she fails at that. House of course spins what he finds in Stacy's psychiatrist's file to his advantage, but we don't find that out until the next episode. The team spins the POTW's story multiple ways, most in favor, one against.
House hunts Stacy, House hunts the rat to hunt Stacy, the POTW, Kalvin Ryan, stalks (hunts) House to get House to treat him. Wilson comments on House "trying to win Stacy back by killing an animal... very caveman' which points again to the hunting theme. Kalvin, is also hunting, Chase in this case. And House points out that Kalvin and his dad used to hunt foxes, which of course was the cause of both of their illnesses, echinococcus cysts. Lots of hunting of both wild game and others in this episode.
2-08: The Mistake
The title refers to the mistake Chase made in missing the diagnosis of POTW, Kayla, a mistake which ultimately caused her to lose her liver, contract cancer from her brother's liver donation and finally die. The other mistake from the title points toward House, for letting Stacy know that he'd gotten a look at her psych file during his pursuit of her, he admits it was an error on his part and that he was sorry (House apologizing for a mistake, very unusual). It wasn't a mistake that House didn't tell Chase about his dad's cancer, he was keeping a confidence on that one, so not technically a mistake, even though it hung junior out to dry. The mistake in that case was the senior Dr. Chase's, and in fact that mistake caused anguish for his son, and the subsequent diagnostic mistake. Mistakes begat mistakes?
The title implies that appearances can be deceiving, the POTW, Anika, isn't what she seems at the outset. In the teaser, House deceives those at the OTB parlor asking if anyone's a doctor, not admitting that he is. House deceives the team about botching the LP, which he does on purpose to get a reaction out of Anika. Anika is deceiving the docs on what's wrong with her, and Cameron nails her as a Munchausen patient, calling her on the self inflicted nature of her symptoms. House acknowledges this, but thinks there's more to it, so he deceives the team by dosing Ankia with colchicine, making her symptoms worse to get her treated, not for aplastic anemia, what he thought she had, but for the real underlying problem, Clostridium perfringens. Anika deceives them all yet again by "agreeing' to out patient therapy all the while using what House inadvertently taught her about colchicine to knock out her white count, which she uses to get into another hospital via the ER.
2-10: Failure to Communicate
The obvious implication is with the POTW, he fails to communicate with the medical team given his aphasia, but there's more to it. He had failed to communicate with his wife prior to his fall about a multitude of things from his drug use, his bipolar disorder, his trip to try to cure his bipolar disorder and so on. House is out of touch with the team part of the time, initially precipitating a failure to communicate with them, but rectifies that pretty quickly as he walks them through the diagnosis long distance. House and Stacy should have a failure to communicate, but don't, they communicate too well for Wilson's taste (although he doesn't find out about that until the next episode). Stacy and Mark are failing to communicate with one another, although House is in the middle of that one. Stacy initially fails to communicate with House, planning her return trip to avoid House, making sure they are on different flights, but she covers that one up pretty well. Stacy doesn't fail to communicate with the Medicare rep, her research proved invaluable.
2-11: Need to Know
The title, Need to Know runs all through this episode. It's the key to the diagnosis, the team has a need to know all medications that POTW Margot is taking, i.e. she's taking both fertility treatments and birth control, along with Ritalin (foolish move on her part), but her husband, in her mind, doesn't have a need to know any of this. Additionally, Margot's having the surgery, even though it's unnecessary furthers the need to know them, again keeping her husband in the dark. Perhaps "Deception" would have fit even better than "Need to Know" on this one.
The title refers to House, and his use of various techniques to distract himself from his pain, and his misery. He embarks on a quest to humiliate a former adversary from med school, partially a distraction from boredom, but there's also a revenge motive. It also serves as a distraction from the case at hand, treating Adam's, the POTW, acute condition which House determines is due to his quit smoking meds that have messed with his brain chemistry which is the proximal cause of his crashing the ATV which in turn caused the burns over the vast majority of his body. In other words, Adam was in essence distracted by his seizure (well incapacitated really), right before the crash. In House's quest for vengeance, he gives himself a migraine to prove his adversary wrong, the pain from which is in itself another distraction. House gets himself a hooker at the end of the episode, the final distraction for the week.
2-13: Skin Deep
The title refers to appearances being skin deep. Alex, the POTW, is a model (i.e. beauty being skin deep), seemingly physically a girl, who is suffering from heroin withdrawal, and as is finally determined to have testicular cancer. Turns out she's genetically male and suffering from male pseudohermaphroditism, i.e. her "female-ness" is only skin deep. A clinic patient, a man, is suffering from sympathetic pregnancy, again appearances being skin deep – he's physically, and genetically a male, but his hormones are out of whack due to his wife's pregnancy.
2-14: Sex Kills
The title implies that sex can be fatal. In the case of the POTW, sex, can be dangerous, although it's deadly for the secondary POTW, in fact is the proximal cause of the accident that killed her, so sex does kill. The secondary POTW gets into a fatal auto accident due to gonorrhea, given to her by her husband from his one night stand. Her death, along with some "hugely manipulative" behavior on House's part, allowed the POTW to get a new heart. Sex also killed Wilson's third marriage, his wife was having an affair and kicked him out, landing him on House's doorstep.
In this case, the title first applies to the POTW, who was clueless about his wife's attempts to kill him, Cameron was clueless given her romantic views of marriage and the realities therein, House was not clueless but actually was clued in to the potential for real harm, although he was clueless as to the reasons why this seemingly devoted wife was "sucking the life force" out of her spouse.
Safe refers to the attempt the parents of the POTW make to keep their vulnerable daughter safe. She's a walking time bomb ready to succumb to a multitude of dangers that aren't normally hazardous, but she's not normal. Even her boyfriend tries to keep her safe by protecting himself to keep her safe before their liaison, (which the boyfriend says wasn't planned, but if that were true, why would he have been taking antibiotics for a week prior) and that event was the proximal cause of all her problems, although not through the actions taken but rather collateral damage unbeknownst to all concerned.
2-17: All In
A clear reference to going "all in" on the poker table, betting the full weight of one's reserves. The more subtle reference is to House going "all in" on his obsession with the POTW's plight (undiagnosed Erdheim-Chester), one that he'd seen before and was unable to solve, so going "all in" allowed House to rectify that. The team was all in as well, at first skeptical, but as the symptoms continued to pile up, they to became fully engrossed and went all in on working on the problem at hand, not that they had much choice.
2-18: Sleeping Dogs Lie
Clearly a reference to both sleep, or the lack thereof, and House's favorite "everybody lies" mantra. The POTW has sleep issues, House has sleep issues, the POTW who can't sleep due to her illness (that House finally connects) which turns out to be the plague, caught from fleas from their briefly owned dog (hence the canine reference), and House due to his roomie, who unfortunately awakens him far too early in the day. Another possibly obtuse reference to the dog portion of the title is in the "bitchy" way that the POTW was treating her partner, a stretch perhaps.
2-19: House vs. God
The title is quite blatant, House does battle with a deity in this episode. House makes the reference himself, and somebody's keeping score throughout the episode as House treats a young preacher who relies more closely on God than on "man"s medicine' although the reason turns out to be because the POTW knows what's wrong, at least in part. Chase, the seminary dropout was the scorekeeper which House figured out early on, but didn't let on until the end when he asked for his final point to tie the match, mortal 3, God 3.
2-20/21: Euphoria Parts 1&2
Euphoria points to the first symptom of the myriad symptoms in the ever worsening and fatal condition for the POTW, and Foreman who would be a secondary casualty if the team didn't figure out what's killing him. Naegleria was the culprit. Then again, near the end of Part 2 when Foreman came out of the coma, Foreman, his dad, Cameron, even House experienced momentary Euphoria before the left/right reversal was discovered.
The title most obviously refers to eternity, the afterlife for Kara and her son Michael, the dual PsOTW. The son dies due to her actions, she will die, and they'll forever be together. Foreman has a new lease on life, House references the title again while arguing with Foreman saying "Nearly dying changes everything forever. For about 2 months." And the POTW's husband asks her when she sees their son to "tell him his dad says he's sorry" which is another reference to Forever.
2-23: Who's Your Daddy?
The title is literally back to paternity, is the POTW House's college buddy's daughter or not? The running argument throughout the episode is centered around whether he is or is not her daddy. House runs the paternity test, but doesn't tell Crandall that he did it, he also lies to the POTW telling her that Crandall is her dad. There's even a further generational component, not only who's her daddy, but who her granddad was matters, since that's the cause of her problems, inherited hemocromatosis.
2-24: No Reason
The title shows the surreal aspect to the episode. House is shot, seemingly for no reason, there's no reason for the illness he's discussing when he gets shot. It's never clear whether the shooter in his hallucination is really the husband of a former patient of his or not, but the hallucination gives House an idea so he asks to be given ketamine. Maybe he didn't have reason to ask for this, but he thinks he did.
Last Updated: 25 April 2008