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Season 4 Title Connections

Title connections for season 4 of House, MD are listed below.

4-01: Alone
The title refers to House, he is alone, he has no team, two quit and House fired the other one at the end of the last season. House claims he doesn't need a team, but the last thing House wants is to be alone. To not be alone, he finds whoever he can to bounce ideas off of, Wilson, Cuddy, a janitor, the ER staff, when he can get them to talk to him. Cuddy pushes House to hire a team, he refuses, he claims to want to be alone. Wilson pushes House to interview fellowship candidates, and stoops so low as to kidnap House's prized guitar. House doesn't react well to this, and in the end acquiesces on his level, he hires 40 candidates to start the first round of medical survivor. He's not alone.

4-02: The Right Stuff
The title references the astronaut story of the same name since Greta, the POTW, is an astronaut wannabe. In addition, House's fellowship candidates have to show that they have the right stuff to work for him. House taunts them all, sending them on various assignments to start weeding them out. The ones with guts bubble to top to continue to try to win a spot on his team showing that they have the right stuff. In addition, the POTW wins House over, he doesn't rat her out thinking she has the right stuff to "be the safest astronaut up there." Cameron has other ideas, she thinks House couldn't kill her dream. Either way, she does have the right stuff after all.

4-03: 97 Seconds
The title lists the time the clinic patient was technically dead after his car accident, it also implies sampling the great beyond. The clinic patient claimed that the time he was "dead" was the best 97 seconds of his life, which sends House on a quest to find out if there's anything there. His real POTW is dying, but believes that there is something there at the end of the line. House tries to convince him there isn't. Finally House tries to "almost" kill himself to find out once and for all if there's anything there. He says no. Curious though since there were two other times where he sampled death, once after his leg surgery, the other time after he was shot. From that perspective, the argument with both patients and Wilson seem specious. He should already have his answer and be able to argue from that without needing another 97 seconds. Then again, when House tried to almost kill himself this episode, Wilson said his heart stopped for almost a minute, it wasn't long enough, he didn't hit the 97 seconds.

4-04: Guardian Angels
This could be entitled "House's Angels" given the Charlie's Angels starting point and game House is playing, but Irene, the POTW, is seeing dead people, at the funeral home she seemed to know they were dead, in the case of her mother, she doesn't know, but in essence, in her mother, she seems to have a guardian angel, until they cure her and the "visions" go away.

4-05: Mirror Mirror
The POTW has Giovannini's - Mirror Syndrome, mirroring the dominant person present, but occasionally a bit of his self comes through. Numerous references to the looking glass (Alice in Wonderland) are made this episode. Each of the remaining fellows has to look in the mirror to see what is reflected back, although 13 tries not to be there to look, and House and Cuddy use the patient's mirroring to determine which of them is the alpha - no surprise, there, it is House.

4-06: Whatever It Takes
The title is literal, at least as far as the losing fellow is concerned. Brennan cheats, he poisons the patient with Thallium to make it appear that they are dealing with polio because he has another agenda, to get somebody to fund polio research, so he does whatever it takes to make that happen. He believes that's what House wants them to do, take risks, do whatever it takes to get the job done, just one problem, he's doing the wrong job. House keeps throwing out ideas on his CIA case as well, and there, the title refers to the patient's job assignment, to do whatever it takes to get the information he needs, which he was doing before he got sick. House too tries subterfuge, but eventually gets the right answer. In the end he also exposes Brennan for the criminal he is, it isn't a "whatever it takes" world entirely.

4-07: Ugly
The title is a direct reference to the patient's appearance, he is ugly due to a congenital defect that can be surgically repaired. House cautions his team not to stare directly into the photo of the patient in an attempt at humor, but the patient points out that because of his appearance, being ugly, he can't have a normal relationship with anybody, including his dad. Everyone treats him differently, some cower in fear, some ridicule, most just behave like idiots, making him think that they aren't acting - something he points out to Kutner when he acts the part. The POTW is ugly, but intelligent. The plastic surgeon on the team sees the surgery to correct the defect as necessary, that in his view, appearance does matter, aside from any other physical effects. The underlying malady, Lyme Disease, also has a cosmetic component, a target shaped rash, in this case pointing directly at the patient.

4-08: You Don't Want to Know
Magic is at the center of this one, and the title means that it's best not to know how the trick is done. House disagrees, but then he wants to know everything. Also, in medicine you DO want to know, otherwise, you can't fix it. The opening trick causes the initial problem when the POTW swallows his key, that tears things up pretty good internally. The team gives him the wrong type blood exacerbating the scope of his problems. Numerous card tricks harken back to the "you don't want to know" theme. And magic references plague the diagnostic process throughout. The other aspect of wanting to know how it is done, is in the challenge posed to the team before they take on the patient, getting Cuddy's underware. Cole manages the feat, House is intrigued, again wanting to know how he did it. He figures it out in the end though, and fires him. It would have been better for House not to know that one, at least for Cole.

4-09: Games
The title refers to the final challenge for a spot on the House team, solve the case and stay. The game is diagnosing the patient. House lays down a bunch more arbitrary rules on this one, saying who can order which tests, using a point system, which he ultimately throws out as Jimmy Quid, the POTW, keeps getting sicker. The team all gets sucked into the game of necessity. In the meantime, House is asking other staff for their opinion on who he should keep, and actually does what Cuddy suggests, playing her for all it was worth. In the end, he fires Amber, even though as he says, she plays the game better than anyone else there, but for the wrong reasons. So the game isn't just the process, it's motive as well, and character. As House points out, it's not a win at all costs type of game, it's being able to take chances, but also be able to be wrong, and lose sometimes. In the end when talking to Cuddy, she's glad the games are over, House implies they aren't with his final question "how long have you known me?"

4-10: It's a Wonderful Lie
All speculation on this one so far such as could it be a "what-would-the-world-be-like-without-House" in the style of "It's a Wonderful Life" type reference. The reference should point to a bunch of lies in the episode. Perhaps life is a lie? The Secret Santa game will parallel the puzzle of the POTW, with lies thrown in there as well. We'll find out for sure on 29 January.

The above was speculation after all based on a complete lack of information, so there were clearly inaccuracies, but based on the episode that aired, the title connects to lies, and the episode centered around lies, as Thirteen pointed out, House's world view is shaped on the axiom that everybody lies, so he can't fathom someone who doesn't. The POTW and her daughter appear to have a completely truthful relationship, neither would ever lie to the other, but of course House cannot accept that. He continues pushing, in an attempt to trick the POTW to root out possible psych causes for her illness, he tries to get the daughter to lie to her mother explaining all the "good" reasons to lie, to wit: a white lie to make the other person feel better, rationalizations to make ones' self feel better, lies of omission which could be all of the above. House eventually uncovers a most wonderful lie indeed, the fact that the POTW and her daughter are not biologically related. Of course, the POTW's lie was pursued for the most noble of reasons, a promise to her daughter's birth mother, but it's still a lie. House references the "wonderful lie" theme when he sends Foreman and Taub to talk with the POTW's last sexual partner for the simple reason that they are better liars which would better allow them to get to the truth. And of course they trick the fellow into admitting that he drugged the POTW by lying to him about possible negative effects he was exhibiting, lying to get at the truth as House predicted. More connections to the "wonderful lie" theme erupt when House runs a deceptive Secret Santa game against his team, his intention being to drive them apart, so his invoking the Secret Santa game in the first place was really a lie. In a parallel to It's a Wonderful Life, the House/Wilson - Holmes/Watson parallel shifts to Bailey/Odbody (Clarence) in one scene to match the title, almost. And of course, after House solves the case, he tells the POTW to have a wonderful life, completing the title connection full circle.

4-11: Frozen
Again speculation for now, the title refers at first to the region of the world where the POTW currently resides, the South Pole. It could also imply some chilling interpersonal relationships such as House's usually icy exterior melting rather than freezing toward the patient, but his demeanor may be frozen toward Wilson, who evidently has been holding out on him. More to come after the episode airs after the Super Bowl.

Title connections in Frozen start and end with direct references. The opening scene shows a lot of snow, a frozen landscape at the south pole, the site of the POTW. The resulting diagnosis is also a direct reference, it's cold, and Cate has cold feet, which is the reason for her not wanting to remove her socks when House examines her from afar earlier, and is a key to the final diagnosis. Her cold feet and frozen toe prevented her from feeling the broken bone, the proximal cause of her illness. Marrow from the break was leaking into her bloodstream depositing fat emboli in various organs which resulted in her varied symptoms. Along the way, other frozen references abound. To rule out an autoimmune disorder, one test they agree to run is to send Cate out in the cold, to freeze, at least for a little while to see if that has any positive effect on reducing her symptoms. The test is abandoned due to coma though, i.e. it was frozen out. And House unfreezes, as he opens up and warms to Cate. As Wilson so aptly points out, he likes her, so his normal cold exterior melts, and this causes a delay in diagnosis because, having new found sensitivity, he lets her keep her socks on during the physical exam he performs remotely via webcam. Moral of that story, House is better when he's cold, at least as a diagnostician. And lastly, House is "frozen out" in figuring out who Wilson's new girlfriend is as well - in a twist of fate, the ice queen he fired - CB, AKA Amber. House freezes at the end, speechless.

4-12: Don't Ever Change
Again, speculation only so far on this one. Based on promo information, this could go many directions. Don't Ever Change could refer to the fact that despite appearances people really don't ever change. This seems to be paralleled by both the POTW and Wilson, who's current girlfriend is a female version of House, i.e. Wilson's choice in friends doesn't seem to change as well. More to come in February.

Title references to "Don't Ever Change" include several variations on that theme. Obviously, the premise is that people don't change, but throughout the episode, this axiom is chipped away, first by the patient who really does seem to change her life with her religious conversion and dedication to her new husband, and throughout the episode, Taub develops a newfound respect for faith. Next House's examination of the Wilson/Amber pairing, while initially mocked as Wilson dating him, or at least him incarnate morphs as House realizes that Amber has changed, and in return House changes as he accepts the relationship between her and Wilson - but he won't admit to changing because that would challenge his world view.

4-13: No More Mr. Nice Guy

This is all speculation since the episode won't air until 28 April (and it's only the 19th). The possible title connections, based solely on supposition and promo material include mostly cliches. House is certainly not Mr. Nice Guy, so it's hard to imagine him being more negative than usual, but as the title suggests, his goal in this episode is to remove Mr. Nice guy, in himself with respect to Amber as he competes for Wilson's time, in himself with respect to his team as he writes their performance appraisals, and from the POTW who's the poster child for niceness. House can't stand Mr. Nice Guy and as the title suggests, he must eradicate him.

All of the above speculation turned out to match the episode, although additional title connections include Wilson not being Mr. Nice Guy either as he divulges House's secret (of not actually having Syphillis) to Amber, which she (never having been the nice "guy"), uses against him by telling the team. Chase too stops being Mr. Nice Guy when he suspects that Cameron may have slept with House, at least while the team thinks he's sick. In his case, they assume, based on observation of House's drummed up symptoms, that eradication of the illness will make him Mr. Nice Guy. Another extension of the title references goes to nice guys finishing last - House wants to win Wilson back and will stoop to new lows to do so. In the end though, it's Cuddy who's no longer Mr. Nice Guy, when she punishes both Amber and House for breaking the "Wilson custody agreement" conditions. That whole agreement is a big stretch, but goes to show how far out House and Amber will go to both be the least nice, to win. And as the team cures the POTW, he does indeed become less of the nice guy, so House gets his wish there.

4-14: Living the Dream

Once again, nothing but supposition and promo material since this one won't air until 5 May. The title suggests that sometimes one gets to live in their imaginary or fantasy world, i.e. have their dreams come true. For House this means treating a character on his favorite soap opera, and breaking up Wilson and Amber, or at least successfully throwing a wrench into their relationship, something he's dreamt about since he found out about their relationship. For Cuddy, she's been living her dream, being dean of medicine at the prestigious Princeton-Plainsburo Teaching Hospital. She doesn't want to lose her dream, she has to maintain it and will do what's necessary to continue living her dream.

Living the Dream refers to many things, having a life that meets one's dream, or in some cases mirrors someone else's dream, so person A could be living the dream of person B. That seems to be the case in this episode. House sees his POTW, Evan Greer, as living the perfect life, appearing on a great soap, able to get the girls, and has all the perks and accolades in his profession. For House, Greer is living the dream. Greer sees it much differently, he is not living the dream, he's going through the motions and isn't happy with his life, sees it as meaningless. The team takes turns stepping into the ring to measure whether their lives are their dream lives, and the net is that if one is happy, then it doesn't much matter what he or she is doing, he or she will be happy doing it. If one is depressed, or dissatisfied with his or her life, it also doesn't much matter what one does, one will be unhappy.

House partially gets to live the dream in this episode as he steps into part of the dream life, while investigating possible causes of Greer's every widening symptoms, and he's happy as he comes up with one diagnosis after another, satisfied momentarily until it's shown that he's wrong. The title harkens back to Human Error at the end of season three, when Foreman responds to House's claim that he's happy solving the puzzle with a never before seen heart defect in his patient. Foreman claims that House is happy for two minutes until he's jonesing for his next fix, and for House, that's part, but not all of his dream. Solving the puzzle is a large part of what drives him, his dream. And at present, Wilson points out that most adults don't indulge themselves with every want and desire like House does. Given that House can do that, he should be living the dream, but he's not, he's miserable, so the real connection is that living the dream is an internal concept, not an external one. A person can be living the dream in any profession, in any circumstance (within reason), it's what that person makes of those circumstances. Thirteen points this out to Kutner in their discussion about Kutner being happy at one point in his life when he had a lousy job, before he became a doctor. He was happy selling men's fragrances, despite the fact that the pay was lousy and the job was not reaching his potential. Thirteen has one of the top jobs in the country, but she's not particularly happy, of course we know some of her demons, and those get sorted out in part in a future episode, at least in part. Wilson too gets to live the dream as his and Amber's relationship continues, and they are happy. As for Cuddy, living the dream harkens back to the previous episode, No More Mr. Nice Guy as House points out that she hasn't figured out what she needs. Maybe she will eventually, and we get another glimmer as House calls her in the middle of the night with the actual diagnosis, a quinine allergy. That scene harkens back to season three's Insensitive when House does his level best to keep Cuddy's date from working out. Is that House Living the Dream in messing with Cuddy, or is he just a step closer to messing around with her? Season 5 should tell us more on that score.

4-15: House's Head (Season Finale, Part 1)

More speculation. The title, House's Head connects to the main story line, House's memory, inside House's head. The title connects to House's puzzle this time, piecing his memory back together.

Title connections for House's Head extend beyond this episode, but as speculated, many center around House's missing memory. The title also connects to House's process, how his brain works. In trying to regain his memory, he pieces together bits of what happened from a combination of hallucinations, dreams, and actual memories that are all jumbled, within his head. The title also connects to House's Head injury, so it's a literal connection to his anatomy, his longitudinal skull fracture of the temporal bone, his concussion, and a nasty headache from the injuries. House's Head also refers to how he reasons things out, the hallucinations and dreams seem to be part of his normal process, this time a few more puzzle pieces are injected since his reasoning is a bit more circuitous than normal. His observational powers are still as keen as ever, recovering the meaning is the trick. The arguments within his subcontious are also puzzles, so House's Head contains whole convoluted conversations as he personifies concepts in his head. He also hides there, and the connection to the next episode extends all the way to the end when he doesn't want to come out of his coma because he reasons it will hurt if he leaves the safety of his head, but in his escape into his subcontious, it doesn't hurt, nothing changes.

4-16: Wilson's Heart (Season Finale, Part 2)

And yet more speculation. The title Wilson's Heart connects to House and Amber, or more likely Wilson's feelings for them both. Which is stronger, love or friendship in Wilson's Heart?

Title connections to Wilson's Heart start in the previous episode, early on when House doesn't objectify Amber when describing the scene in his memory to Wilson, and at the end when House figures out that Amber is the real dying patient, Wilson's love is dying, but that's not the only connection to Wilson's Heart. House doesn't want to lose Wilson's friendship, i.e. his place in Wilson's Heart, for as much as they torment one another, Wilson is House's closest friend, his love in a non-romantic way, and House is terrified of losing his place in Wilson's Heart. In essence the title connection here has been evident throughout the last story arc with the House-Wilson-Amber triangle, with both Amber and House vying for their place in Wilson's Heart, each trying to be first, in what's turned out, unintentionally, to be a fight-to-the-death for that special place. In the end though, Wilson's Heart is broken, he's lost his true love, Amber/House incarnate, and at this point isn't sure if he can forgive House for being the proximal cause of that loss, for breaking Wilson's Heart.

Last Updated: 26 May 2008

Season 3 Title Connections

Connections to the titles in the third season of House, MD are listed below.

3-01: Meaning
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.

3-08: Whac-a-Mole
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.

3-14: Insensitive
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.

3-15: Half-Wit
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.

3-18: Airborne
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.

3-21: Family
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.

3-22: Resignation
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

Season 2 Title Connections

Title connections for Season 2 of House, MD are listed below.

2-01: Acceptance
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.

2-02: Autopsy
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.

2-06: Spin
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.

2-07: Hunting
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?

2-09: Deception
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.

2-12: Distractions
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.

2-15: Clueless
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.

2-16: Safe
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.

2-22: Forever
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

Season 1 Title Connections

Title connections on Season 1 of House, MD are listed below:

1-01: Pilot
It's the pilot for the series, and House pilots the team (and the audience) through the diagnostic/treatment process.

1-02: Paternity
Lots of connections on this one. The patient of the week (POTW)'s paternity is the key to his illness, or rather what his adoptive parents don't know about his medical history. Chase and Foreman joke about a paternity issue saying that the POTW's family all needs to be tested for Huntington's, just to give them justification to run a paternity test to try to win the bet with House. House runs the paternity test on the parent's coffee cups spurred on by his bets with everyone. Although a weak connection, House hints indirectly at paternity when berating the mother of a clinic patient for not having her child vaccinated, but then of course that gives him his "aha" moment, based on paternity. And the kicker is that the POTW determined his true paternity years before, but was ok with it.

1-03: Occam's Razor
The most obvious connection is the old med school reference, horses not zebras again, i.e. the simplest explanation is the best one following the principle of Occam's Razor, although this was argued in a rather specious manner with the creation of a baby story, i.e. delivered by a stork vs. being created by fluids exchanged between two people. After determining that the POTW's mother gave him his cough medicine after House proposed that it was the wrong medicine based on a pharmacy screw-up, House said they needed to page Dr. Occam, directly referencing the title.

1-04: Maternity
Again, numerous references to maternity, first starting the episode in the maternity ward, then moving to the OB-GYN doctor's lounge. The next reference was shutting down the maternity ward due to the outbreak of an unknown disease. The patients were infants, their mothers of course being central to the story. It was a nice touch to have a double mother in the lesbian couple who lost their baby to the disease. The clinic patient was a mother-to-be keeping with the maternity theme, who wanted House to be her doctor through the pregnancy, and although he declined that offer, he eventually took her up on it, not to help her, but for his own selfish gain, but still was still attached to the OB-GYN doctor's lounge, and stayed close to the maternity ward.

1-05: Damned If You Do
The title, is the first half of the phrase "damned if you do, damned if you don't" directly quoted by Chase, the seminary dropout. Indirectly, the whole episode centered around the theme given the POTW was a nun suffering from her earlier actions of pre marital sex and using birth control. Although it failed in it's primary purpose, it was the cause of her current illness showing she was still damned. Chase did some sole searching, again intimating the damned if you do theme, i.e. he was damned for failing his test of faith when he left the seminary. Cuddy effectively damned House by taking him off the case, but that of course allowed him to investigate and come up with the solution, and clear his name in the process.

1-06: The Socratic Method
The direct reference is in discussion with Wilson when House references Socrates "who gave us the Socratic method, the best way of teaching everything" (and one that is used extensively in the study of both medicine and law). The title connects to the POTW given she was assumed to be schizophrenic, like Socrates, even though it turned out later to not be schizophrenia, but rather Wilson's disease. The schizophrenia is what got House's attention. Indirectly, the Socratic Method is used during the differential diagnosis, but then it's used every episode.

1-07: Fidelity
Fidelity, or rather infidelity is the key to the diagnosis of African Trypanosomiasis (African Sleeping Sickness), in both the POTW, and the guy who infected her who was not her husband. Her husband couldn't handle her infidelity. The ever moral Cameron blasts the husband for his puritanical reaction, House more or less expected it. If the POTW had been faithful, she'd have avoided the whole illness.

1-08: Poison
Again, the title is the key to the diagnosis, the PsOTW (there were two this time), were poisoned, although the trip through the episode to identify the poison was rather twisted, including an aborted attempt to get a diagnosis out of the CDC.

1-09: DNR
DNR, do not resuscitate is the central theme to the episode. The POTW requested a DNR form, House ignored the DNR and resuscitated (and intubated) him when he stopped breathing. The episode continued with a right to die bent, based on the DNR order, even moving to the courtroom at one point, effectively staying the DNR order. A DNR implies resignation, giving up, but House never gives up, he's got to solve his puzzle.

1-10: Histories
The title points to the importance of histories, personal and medical. Convoluted histories for the POTW, the cameo patient interviewed by the medical students House was forced to teach, Foreman's personal history and his empathy for the POTW once he understood her history (after his initial hostility toward her), and even Wilson's family history come into play.

1-11: Detox
The title points to a bet that Cuddy has with House, that he will get a month off of clinic duty if he can last a week without Vicodin. House detoxes throughout the episode, and curiously enough, the POTW suffers from a toxin as well, Naphthalene poisoning.

1-12: Sports Medicine
The POTW is a major league baseball player, so House becomes a sports doctor in essence, the primary focus of the title reference. The usual suspect in sports medicine is rounded up, steroid use, and rejected as that's not the ultimate culprit, a different toxin is, cadmium poisoning. Another title reference is the doctor-doctor date, House and Cameron attending a monster truck rally together, a very loose sports/medicine juxtaposition.

1-13: Cursed
The primary title reference comes when the POTW believes he is cursed when he is stricken with an unidentified illness after being told he's going to die by some kids using an Ouija board. Chase says the kid really might be cursed when they find out that he has Anthrax, but then that's before they find out that he also has Hanson's Disease (Leprosy). The "cursed" aspect also follows the strained father-son relationships between Gabe and his dad, and Drs Chase.

1-14: Control
References to control stem from the POTW, a workaholic business exec who has to be in control of everything, her work environment, her body, her mind, and she loses control of all of those; Vogler, the new chairman of the board who wants to control every aspect of the hospital, and sees House as a threat to that control; and of course House himself, who needs control of his world.

1-15: Mob Rules
The title references the POTW and his brother as a mob boss and his lawyer brother who "rule" over House's treatment and notes (i.e. force House to keep the real cause and treatment off the books).

1-16: Heavy
The title is a direct reference to the POTW, an obese 10-year-old girl. Chase makes numerous negative remarks about the patient and obesity. Cameron, on the other hand, is very empathetic, pushing House to wonder, if she used to be heavy, or was it someone close to her. Some mysteries are not readily apparent. The title also references Vogler, a physically heavy guy, who plays the heavy in the hospital hierarchy continuing in his quest to rid the hospital of House.

1-17: Role Model
The POTW is the archetypical role model, the classic underdog striving to achieve in politics when he can't win, but also fighting for his life. House "believed in him" as Wilson pointed out. Cameron sees House as the perfect role model as well, acting on what is right, not just what he believes, so she takes up the gauntlet and becomes a role model herself, taking action where she can and leaving to allow the rest of the team to survive Vogler's rule.

1-18: Babies and Bathwater
The obvious connection is throwing the babies out with the bathwater, once with the clinic patient suffering from DiGeorge Syndrome, who would have been thrown out with the bathwater since she was assumed to be starved by her vegan parents, and House would have been thrown out with the bathwater had Cuddy not finally stood up to Vogler. Other references are more subtle, more baby references with the pregnant POTW doing everything she can to save her baby, even causing her own death (in esssence throwing herself out with the bathwater in that instance), and Foreman accusing House of throwing Cameron aside (i.e. out with the bathwater) because he wouldn't cave to Vogler's demands.

1-19: Kids
The title connections start with the episode centering around kids, i.e. the POTW is a 12-year-old kick-ass diver, a kid, who's attempting to impersonate an adult by engaging in adult activities, and suffering very adult consequences - a kid having a kid, or rather aborting a kid. The other obvious connection is Cameron, acting the kid here, still in the throws of puppy love and adoration of House, insisting that she'll only come back if he'll go on a date with her. Less obvious, House interviewing "kids" for the fellowship opening left by Cameron.

1-20: Love Hurts
The title first refers to the S&M connection for the POTW, who's involved in an S&M relationship that clearly hurts given he had broken his jaw in the past, and seems to enjoy pain, finds it stimulating. The S&M theme of love literally hurting continues with Chase, who it turns out was involved with someone in the past who liked to be hurt, and House saying that if he'd realized that Chase liked pain he wouldn't have "tortured" him in the last case. Finally, back to Cameron, who's love for House really does hurt, especially when House describes it away as her only caring for him because he's damamged.

1-21: Three Stories
The obvious connection of the title to the episode is the three stories that House cleverly weaves in his teaching of diagnostics. All three stories illustrate some very different causes and outcomes for a single complaint, leg pain. The stories intertwine, and we are finally brought into House's personal story as one of the three stories of leg pain becomes his story. But in that there are again three stories, first House's former love, Stacy, comes back asking for his help, which he refuses, next we flashback to their relationship when the injury to his leg occurred, and finally, we come back to the present when House agrees to take on Stacy's husband as his patient, three phases of House's story.

1-22: The Honeymoon
In essence, the title connection this time is two-fold. Stacy's relatively recently married, kind of in the honeymoon phase of her marriage, and their honeymoon (or actually lack of one) is key to the diagnosis of AIP, Acute Intermittant Porphyria, given Mark's false memories of their honeymoon. A stretch, but another connection relates to House, kind of pursuing a honeymoon phase with Stacy being back, but not being back together.

Last Updated: 18 January 2008

USA Rerun Schedule

Catch up on House, MD on the USA Network!

The USA Network often changes their program lineup so for the most current listings, check:

USA's House, MD home page

Last Updated: 29 November 2009


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