14 May 2006

The first four episodes

To be honest, I can't find a terribly large amount of meaning in the early episode titles that can be inferred and plays itself out throughout the episode.

The first episode, so eloquently entitled "Pilot", is basically that: a pilot episode, not just of the premise and format of the show, but the rich character development possibilities which seem to hook the viewer. If you are interested in a deeper analysis of the episode itself, it's at the House MD Beyond the Script blog at housemd-guide.com.

I really can't say much about "Paternity" in terms of a hidden meaning for a title. The paternity of the patient's father is in question and ultimately turns out to be the key to the case. One might consider this to be a bit of foreshadowing about the use of father figures in the later episodes, like Dr. Rowan Chase, House's father, and all the other fathers I will not list here, but it's a bit of a stretch to even consider that.

"Occam's Razor" is personally one of the best titles for an episode, simply out of my old habit of citing it randomly during conversation and humiliating people with my simple logic. The principal is stated aloud in the episode and later refined by House, who says that "the simplest explanation is almost always somebody screwed up." With that idea in mind, taken in conjunction with House's maxim of "everyone lies", you can easily see how this episode's title seems far more predictive than the previous episode.

I'd have to say that "Maternity" seems to be the richest of the titles so far, in terms of double-meaning. For the blatantly obvious, the case is with babies located in the maternity ward at Princeton-Plainsboro and the epidemic spread throughout. Yet a deeper medical meaning may be seen by noticing that the diagnosis ultimately depended on the maternity of the babies: the sick babies lacked the antibodies from the enterovirus that the healthy babies received from their mothers. A further possibility is that House points out that Cuddy is the hospital's "mother", and that if her "baby" (the hospital) is sick, Cuddy goes into adrenaline panic mode. It's excellent foreshadowing of a continuation of conflict between Cuddy and House regarding the ethical and legal problems his maverick style of diagnostics create. On one last far-fetched note, the "mother" analogy for Cuddy may unintentionally become quite literal as recent episodes have suggested.

Next up, a few more bits of analysis and the start of how Foreman might just end up like Dr. House.


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