House is looking for meaning in his life, the title nails House's focus. He takes on two cases upon his return, one because it's interesting, one just because, perhaps to give him meaning. Wilson points this out directly saying that we all crave meaning, points out that because of the hallucinations and the injury, House wants meaning in his life.
3-02: Cane and Able
The title's biblical reference is the clue to Clancy's, the POTW, condition, chimerism, one person containing two sets of DNA resulting from twinning that intertwined, but kept both sets of DNA, i.e. the good twin and bad twin, or bad brother/good brother - Cane and Able. In this case, the bad brother (foreign DNA) is killing the remaining one. House references the twin aspect in explaining the condition to the parents, says that "the taller one wouldn't be so annoying".
3-03: Informed Consent
Informed consent refers to one of the great ethical debates raging within the medical and political communities. This comes up several times during the episode. Both sides of the issue come up, first that Dr. Ezra Powell, the POTW, has the right to informed consent for the procedures done on him, and that he should have gotten informed consent for the procedures he had done in the name of research earlier in his career. Powell and Cameron state that informed consent got in the way of their diagnosis, the former to further research, the latter to punish for past ills. This harkens back to season 1 during the episode Maternity where House stated that "if we have to get consent for every procedure, next thing you know, they'll want informed consent". House makes a very similar statement in season 4's episode, Ugly (4-07). This title flows throughout the series in many respects when talking about sneaking in more treatment behind the patient's back, in Ugly, another minor.
3-04: Lines in the Sand
The actual reference was a mixed message. Adam, the POTW, was seeing lines, and kept drawing lines to show what he was seeing, but "nobody spoke autistic", so they couldn't interpret what he was trying to tell them. House put it together when the kid indicated that he ate the sand from his sandbox, and drew the lines, so the lines weren't literally in the sand, but they resulted from the sand, or more accurately parasites in the sand.
3-05: Fools for Love
This title was never directly quoted in the episode, but it implies that the PsOTW were fools in love, fools for falling in love and so on. House of course wants them to know the truth, Foreman is the true fool for love given he'd prefer to keep them in the dark since he knows this will destroy them and doesn't want to do that, but finally does since the alternative is for House to callously tell them.
3-06: Que Sera' Sera'
The title isn't directly quoted, but its analog, se' la vi is, by the POTW, when his final diagnosis of small cell lung cancer is ultimately diagnosed, odd since he has none of the risk factors, other than extreme obesity. Still the title shows the attitude he adopts in dealing with his fate, whatever will be, will be.
3-07: Son of Coma Guy
This one's a misnomer, but it sounds better than "Son of Vegetative State Guy" which would be more accurate. Then again, that correction is made a couple of times during the episode. First Wilson says to House in the teaser, "What're you doing down here? I thought you usually have lunch with Coma Guy." House corrects him that "this is vegetative state guy. Better company." Kyle, the POTW is the son of the vegetative state guy, and the episode centers around learning enough to save son of vegetative state guy. One good reference came up in conversation when Wilson tells House "...rumor in the cafeteria has it that Caustic Guy was waking up Coma Guy." House again corrects him on vegetative state guy, but accepts caustic guy. Eventually, Gabe kills himself and donates his heart to his son, son of coma/vegetative state guy.
The title refers to the game, and the episode starts with the game being played. The title also refers to Jack, the POTW, who keeps developing new infections. The team kills one infection, three more pop up in its place, until they diagnose his underlying problem, Chronic Granulomatosis Disease. He's not cured, but he at least can get treatment, to continue knocking down the infections time and time again. House is playing other games besides Whac-a-Mole on this one though. He makes a game out of guessing which tests each of his team will run, and writes that the game is a itchy-foot to make it more Holmes-like.
3-09: Finding Judas
The title refers to Tritter's search to find somebody to rat on House. He finds his Judas at the end, and Wilson starts his partnership by asking for 30 pieces of silver, the true Judas.
3-10: Merry Little Christmas
The obvious references, it's Christmas time, and dwarfs are the focus of the episode. There are several little snipes at dwarfs in general, but House takes a real interest in the case, until Cuddy throws him off in an attempt to get him to turn himself in to the police. House also references the previous episode's title as he berates Wilson for ratting on him as he runs to complain to Cuddy, saying to Wilson, "Look, there's Jesus, go tell the Romans." In the end, House solves the case, and the POTW isn't actually a dwarf after all, it was a merry little Christmas for her. Hosue has anything but a Merry Little Christmas as he gets stoned by himself. The conclusion, the song "Merry Little Christmas" was playing on the radio when House tries to talk to Tritter to take the deal that Tritter throws in his face in denial. A miserable ending.
3-11: Words and Deeds
Words lie, so do deeds, the theme of the entire episode. House apologizes to Tritter, Tritter doesn't buy it, House's words obviously can't be trusted. House puts himself into rehab, Tritter still doesn't buy it, points out that even House's actions lie. House points out that neither his words nor his deeds matter to Tritter pointing out that Tritter's words and deeds are complete lies since he had no intention of letting House off the hook regardless of what he did.
3-12: One Day, One Room
The title references taking life one day at a time, dealing with whoever is in the room with you at the time. The POTW is trying to cope following being raped, somehow latching onto House, the one she's stuck in a room with, even when he tries to get rid of her, she holds onto him, figuratively speaking. House seems to actually relate to her as well, eventually. House directly quotes the title at the end when asked if he'd follow up on the patient, "One day, one room."
3-13: Needle in a Haystack
The title was more or less literal, almost. Wouldn't have made much sense to call it toothpick in the intestine, but they were figuratively searching for a needle in a haystack with their diagnosis this time. Stevie, the POTW, was suffering from both a bleeding disorder and blood clots, two diametrically opposing processes, although as we've seen in other episodes, other patients have on occasion simultaneously had both bleeding and clotting disorders. As previously stated, the culprit was a toothpick that had been working its way through Stevie's body, damaging various organs along the way. Lucky for him that the toothpick, that started in his GI tract, came back there as the team was doing a colonoscopy to look for the "needle". Needle in a haystack refers to looking for something first, in the obvious places, then the unobvious as House pointed out with his looking for your car keys metaphor, followed by his tic-tac-toe game to find the needle. Of course this title also harkens back to season 1, and the episode Maternity, when House said he was in the haystack (looking for the virus shedder), Wilson suggested that House knew he was looking for a needle. Some themes do repeat.
Congenital Insensitivity to Pain, CIPA, literally means the patient is insensitive, and while the episode initially was a House study into what makes this insensitivity work, and how could it help him become insensitive to his own constant pain, House and team eventually were trying to figure out what was wrong with the POTW, aside from her CIPA. The POTW was remarkably sensitive to her mother's plight considering her declared lack of caring. House was also showing remarkable sensitivity, in the form of jealousy, with regard to Cuddy and her date.
The obvious link is to Patrick, the POTW, who House refers to as "dim-wit", but in truth, Patrick's playing with half a brain since half of his brain is essentially dead, truly a half-wit. There were numerous brain references, related to Patrick and curiosity over what mechanism made him a savant after his accident. All this works toward Patrick's eventual hemispherectomy (reducing his brain to half of what it was). With House, although not a half-wit certainly, seemingly suffering from brain cancer just to score an experimental drug they'd inject into the pleasure center of his brain. He'd effectively risk half his brain for this, but his team saves him before the treatment.
3-16: Top Secret
John, the POTW, was a marine, and his ailment was top secret. The team briefly wondered if the military was responsible for his symptoms, House thought not. Turned out the ailment was top secret though, but not the military kind, it was hiding, a genetic disease, Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, kept secret even from John, but inherited from his grandfather. House broke the code, and managed to cure his own malady as well, but that wasn't top secret. The other top secret was that Cuddy had dated John in years past, House figured that one out as well.
3-17: Fetal Position
The fetus is the episode's focus, via Maternal Mirror Syndrome, i.e. the fetus is causing the problem, it's sick, the mother is sick as a result, the fetus is in position to kill its mother. When House comes back after Cuddy pushed him away for not being on the fetus' side, he goes forward with open fetal surgery, putting the fetus' position in jeopardy. Various ultrasounds show the fetus' position up close and personal.
Double meaning on this one. The obvious links are that half the episode is airborne, House and Cuddy are on an airplane flying at 38000 ft, and altitude was the causal factor, the POTW on the plane was suffering from the bends caused by surfacing from underwater too quickly, then boarding an airplane and spending time in a low pressure environment. The other is also literal, the toxin is airborne, came through the electrical conduit from one house being fumigated to the other POTW's house, poisoning her and her cat. The ground based POTW had another airborne component, her scopolamine patch (for air/motion sickness prevention) confused Wilson's diagnosis and erroneously pointed him toward a cancer diagnosis, a big stretch for an oncologist.
3-19: Act Your Age
The links are kids mimicking adults, and adults (or one anyway) striving to be younger. Nobody is acting their age. The double PsOTW are a brother and sister not acting their age, in fact they are acting well beyond their years, medically. Coincidentally, their father is also not acting his age, he's trying to be quite a bit younger chasing after a woman many years his junior. Cameron and Chase have a somewhat juvenile spat as well, at least on Cameron's part.
3-20: House Training
The link is to everyone. House is training Foreman, Wilson's ex, Wilson and himself to some degree. Wilson trains Foreman in the fine art of telling someone they are dying. House is training Foreman to be a diagnostician, showing him that although he'll occasionally lose patients, he'll save more than most doctors. He'll also lose some other docs wouldn't. House trains Wilson's ex to be more assertive, to take control of the agenda or she'll never make a sale. He trains himself as well, on more about Wilson's background from Wilson's ex. House tries to train Wilson, to head off the relationship with Cuddy.
Title connections are to families, literal and figurative. The PsOTW are brothers, so it's all in the family. The decisions the parents make are to try to save both of their sons, to keep their family together. At the behest of the 2nd ex Mrs. Wilson, House took in Wilson's dog (Hector) at the end of the previous episode, essentially extending his "family", and he and Hector eventually bond in a symbiotic and somewhat codependent sort of way. Also in a way makes him an extension of Wilson's old family. Foreman reminds Chase, that unlike himself, when Chase killed his patient, it was due to being distracted by a familial loss, the loss of his father; whereas Foreman had no such family connection, his mistake was due to a cold calculated error, like House would have made.
The link is Foreman, although technically, the resignation happened at the end of the previous episode, so this is really a continuation. The episode runs around Foreman's resignation with Cuddy trying to convince him not to resign and offering him a better position, House not caring, Cameron and Chase wondering why he quit. Foreman opens up to Cameron and tells her why, Chase figures it out.
3-23: The Jerk
The link is to Nate, the POTW, he's a jerk. House is also a jerk, both to the patient and to Foreman, and to the rest of the staff. Rather than admitting he wants Foreman to stay, he causes them all to run in circles by creating a backstabbing mystery by sabotaging Foreman's job interview, a mystery that Chase figures out. Although initially, the staff chalks Nate's vile personality up to being a symptom of his disease, turns out that no, he's just a jerk, just like House. House mutters under his breath that the kid is a jerk on his way out of Nate's room after solving the case of Hemochromatosis, then acts the jerk himself yet again sending Foreman on a pointless all-nighter running more tests for Amyloidosis which he knows will all turn out negative. House is still a jerk.
3-24: Human Error
The medically related error wasn't human, it was pure chance. A malformation in the POTW's vasculature causes her heart problem. House says a human wouldn't screw up that badly, and again (he battled a deity in House vs. God in Season 2), House mockingly does battle with a deity to fix the error. The Human Errors occur in the team dynamics. In a moment of peak, House fires Chase, although this seems to be well thought-out on his part. He tells Chase there's nothing more he can teach him, so it's time for a change. Foreman is still leaving, so House's team is dwindling. Cameron realizes the error of her ways and runs back to Chase, she does love him after all. House tries to convince Foreman that he needs him, but Foreman doesn't need House, and says so rather abruptly sparking a tongue lashing from House, Foreman's error as we find out in season 4. In the end, Cameron also leaves, leaving House with no team. Was that an error, or a growth opportunity?
Last Updated: 25 April 2008