Meaning (House)

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House episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 1
Directed by Deran Sarafian
Story by
  • Russel Friend
  • Garrett Lerner
  • Lawrence Kaplow
  • David Shore
Teleplay by
Original air date September 5, 2006 (2006-09-05)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"No Reason"
Next →
"Cane and Able"
List of House episodes

"Meaning" is the first episode of the third season of House and the 47th episode overall. It aired on Fox on September 5, 2006.


Richard is a brain cancer surgery patient whose illness left him paralyzed in a wheelchair and drives his wheelchair into a pool. House, still benefiting from his ketamine-induced coma, is seen running and pain-free, has recovered from multiple gunshot wounds, and is back at work, taking on two cases simultaneously: Richard's, and Caren, a young woman paralyzed from the neck down after a yoga session. Cuddy and Wilson are convinced House is creating a mystery out of Richard's case to cure his own boredom.

House decides Caren is faking the paralysis, and proves it by burning her foot and she moves her leg in reflex. He decides she is faking the shortness of breath and threatens to stick a huge needle into her back. He notices engorged neck veins and plunges the needle into her chest to learn that blood is building up around her heart. House insists on opening her up to find the tumor he thinks is there. Before surgery, he notices a discolored toenail and diagnoses her with scurvy.

House orders an upper endoscopic ultrasound for Richard, but Foreman objects that his throat will collapse; it does, and the patient Richard almost dies. House orders an MRI scan of the brain with heavy doses of contrast, and Foreman tells him that it will cause a bleed into Richard's brain. Foreman's predictions hold true and the patient almost dies.

While running at night, House hypothesizes that a corticosteroid production imbalance in Richard's adrenal gland is the cause of the paralysis, which points to Addison's disease.

Although forbidding House to treat Richard, Cuddy gives Richard the cortisol injection after House is discharged from the hospital. Seconds later, Richard rises from his wheelchair and hugs his family. Wilson argues against telling House, that being right is not the same as having the right to do everything with the patient on House's guess. Cuddy argues she will be seeing House every day, Wilson closes with, "Everybody lies". House forges a prescription with Wilson's pad, signaling the pain in his leg is returning.

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