Sunday, May 21, 2006

Got milk? -- Episode 102, "Paternity"

Clinic patients:
Mom who won't vaccinate baby
"The boy who sued wolf"

Score one for the continuity department. Once again, we get a direct link between clinic patient and main case. We have another mom who doesn't believe in that all-important medical treatment for her child. House's contempt for dumb parents and his scare-through-truth tactic return (the baby coffin speech). And his amazing power of observation is again put to good use with the man threatening to sue.

There's so much continuity, in fact, that if the mom wasn't used effectively, I'd take a point away from the creativity department. House's explanation about mom's antibodies protecting the baby for only six months was the key to finding a diagnosis in the main case. But in contrast with "Pilot," the connection is separated by a good chunk of time. By the time House bursts into Cuddy's office to yell at Dan's parents for giving him a faulty medical history -- a fact the parents immediately dispute, saying the history is from Dan's biological mother -- the mom in the clinic is a distant memory. That is, until House goes off into his own world then resurfaces with the simple question: "Was she vaccinated?" And just like that, clinic patient meets main case. It's an ah-hah moment for him and an ah-hah moment for us, a kind of simultaneous discovery that makes the connection stronger and far more effective. Plus it leads to the right treatment, which is more than we can say about the steroids Rebecca got in "Pilot."

Too bad "the boy who sued wolf" wasn't as functional. I'm not entirely sure what he was all about, other than comic relief. As I mentioned before, House's reasoning for guessing the man's true purpose at the hospital followed the same observational and logical prowess he showed with the orange guy in "Pilot," so nothing new there. The only thing I can figure is that we learn you shouldn't mess with House, because he's more than ready to play your game.



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