Season 3 Episode 17

Fetal Position

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 03, 2007 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (61)

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  • Cuddy turns into House

    This is one of the classic episodes that pop up now and again throughout the Season. Despite the Season not being consistently perfect, this one is right up there with the best.

    I thought the debate of fetus vs baby was a good one, and I thought the right decision was made overall. I am pro abortion, but I think Cuddy shone in this episode as she tried to protect the babies life on the wishes of the mother.

    Cuddy showed how very like House she can be- she is very smart, and willing to do dangerous procedures. I thought it was very touching when House said she wasn't an idiot! Their attraction seems to be growing.

    The patient was very interesting, and I loved her flirtation with House- they seemed to fit each other pretty well, and it was one of the best connections he had since "Control" in Season 1. The episode brought out classic moments from the Season- it was like a perfected "Maternity".

    I especially loved the camera shots of House "caring" and of Chase's awakening feelings for Cameron. They developed the characters storyline nicely. House being alone and miserable was a slight damper- I wish he took that vacation!

    Overall, one of the best episodes- classically writter and brilliantly acted, raising morale issues without being insensitive to either side of the arguement.
  • Cuddy really shines in this episode.

    This episode really looks like Cuddy's shining point, she is so awesome in this episode. The patient was bit nuts though, she would rather die than abort the baby & save her life. All-American Rejects guest stars!That was cool how he was part of the cold opening, I like how the patient showed how Chase really had feelings for Cameron when it made him shine. Cuddy turned nuts in this episode, anything to save the baby. An episode with great guest stars, and key point personal scenes plus with the scenes of the patient, & the baby lives, Cuddy was right, I like how Cuddy stepped in to House's shoes. Great episode!
  • It certainly tackles the question of when a "fetus" becomes a "baby". In fact, some of the negative reviews of this episode say more about degree of offense to the reviewers' pro-abortion views than they do about House.

    House is obviously moved by the incident, but I would have to wonder if anyone who thinks there is any danger of House becoming either religious or pro-life over the long term actually watches the show. Even though I am both, I enjoy the way the show generally explores topics of faith and science in a respectful way, even if House himself does not. There is often an inverse relationship between faith and intelligence. This is not to denigrate people of faith (including myself!) as unintelligent, but to say that it is often the hardest for people who know they are smart and think they know everything (like House) to ever come to a place where they can accept the idea that Something or Someone is bigger and smarter than they are.

    I don't see House changing permanently because this attitude of his and how it affects those around him is part of the reason the show is so popular and successful. And yet many people long for him to change, at least a little, and so showing an occasional chink in the armor he has built up around himself, as when the baby reached his hand out of the womb and grabbed House's finger, is welcome every time they do it.
  • A look into Lisa Cuddy's head. . . or heart.

    This was an episode that really got into Lisa Edelstein's character. What House said was very true - Cuddy was not treating the patient, she was treating herself.

    Fetal Position was different in many ways. Wilson was barely included. The team came up with the correct diagnosis long before the end of the show. It was Cuddy, not House, pushing for the most extreme treatment that could have easily killed both baby and mother.

    This episode was also out of the ordinary because House's icy exterior seemed to thaw. Dare I say, he actually had FEELINGS. It is only for one show, but they are there!
  • Cuddy and House switch roles and she tries to safe a woman's unborn child with a very dangerous treatment.

    When a pregnant woman in her forties collapses and is at risk of losing her life or the baby, Cuddy takes drastic methods to keep the baby alive. House, who thinks Cuddy just compares the woman's case to her own life, would treat her differently, maybe mainly because he's planning a vacation. Eventually, roles are switched in Princeton Plainsboro and while Cuddy takes one dangerous course after another, House tries to stop her.

    Being a fan of Cuddy, it was very interesting to see her act as a "real" doctor again, after she has spent the main time of the show as House's boss and dean of medicine. She tries to persuade everyone around her that the dangerous course she's taking is the right one and House on the other hand was a little bit out of character because he just gave up on the baby. I very much liked the medical case in this episode, mainly because of the surgery, which was very impressing, and the way the ethical decision whether to keep the baby or terminate the pregnancy affected Cuddy and the rest of the team. I think episodes like this, with an ethical dilemna everyone has to deal with, are definetly the strenght of this show.

    Great episode, above average and one of my favourite ones.
  • One of my favorites episodes from House. All character development an especial feeling about this case and an adorable moment of House, that always will be on my mind.

    Emma Sloane is a famous celebrity photographer, who is pregnant and suffers from a stroke and ends up in hospital under House, Cuddy and his team's care. Emma is 42, is single and she previously had suffered multiple miscarriges, so this is her last chance to be a mother. House and his team discover Emma is suffering from Mirror Syndrome, and they have to deal with a great dilemma, save the mother or her unborn child.
    House believe that the only way to Emma's heil is they have to do an abortion, but Emma doesn't want it and chalenges House to find the cure on 2 days before she dies.
    So Cuddy is the only one who still have hope and ideas for cure Emma and the baby... and it happend a strange thing, now cuddy is acting like House to help Emma. Finally Cudy finds a treatment for Emma and with the help of House, they can save her and her baby.
    I really loved this epidode. It's so well written, but my favorite moment of the episode was when House is on Emma's surgery and he operates her uterus and appears the baby little hand and hold House's finger and the feeling that is reflects on House's face is so beautiful... To adorable for words... but as I'm talking about House the moment couldn't be perfect without one of his ironic quotes, on this case after everyone looked at him, he said: Sorry. Just realized I forgot to Tivo Alien.
  • This episode focuses on a sick woman who is with child. The storyline is gripping, as the story twists and turns at almost every point.

    This storyline had me as a viewer going from beginning to the very end. Not only was the medicine dramatic, but the outside story lines of Cuddy's struggle to be a mother, the romanticism between Chase and Cameron, and the ever-present smart aleckness of House make this one of the better episodes of the season. The medical story was both gripping, intense, and kept me as a viewer nailed to the seat. I don't think many television shows can keep a viewer as focused and into the story as House can, and this shows the series's ability at it's very best!
  • one of the best episodes :)))

    It was awesome!! I can say two reasons why off the top of my head: I love the suspense in this episode and i love that Tyson Ritter was in it. It was so cool that my favorite singer was on one of my favorite shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One word says it all...extraordinary :). I really think everyone should watch this episode, especially if they like The All-American Rejects. So in conclusion, amazing episode a must see for all fans( of House or The All-American Rejects)and a worthy episode, i recommend that you buy it on itunes so you can watch it again and again.
  • House seems a bit off. And where's Wilson?

    Why do I get the feeling that some prolife group paid off the show's writers? House seemed out of character for this one. Maybe they were trying to make him show his "soft" or "human" side, but didn't pull it off well. He gave up too easily, not like the House we're familiar with. His arguments seemed weak, like he wasn't fully convinced or willing to do what he normally would. And the surgery scene was extremely predictable, turning out pretty cheesy.
    Cuddy was a downright pain to watch in this episode, her emotions clouding judgment. Not enough Wilson, he at least could really have done a lot of good for this plotline.

    Only thing I really enjoyed about this episode were the picture the photographer took of the cast that "caught" their emotions. Enjoyable to see, especially the reactions when they saw them, especially Chase.
  • This episode reveals a whole new light to Dr House. (while looking a photography of Dr. House) Dr. Foreman: This is definitely different. Dr. Chase: It looks almost like... Dr. Cameron: ...he is caring.

    Dr House and his vicodin addiction are trying to solve a case that involves a pregnant 40 year old Emma Sloan, who is a professional photographer, suffers from a rare disease, mirror syndrome and she recently had a stroke. We see a whole new side of House because he is struggling to be unmoved by the mother and the fetus. She would rather risk her life for the long-sought fetus than cut the cord that connects her to the wriggling body. Dr Cuddy, seeing her affection for the baby, to the patient and immediately takes the case. Dr Cuddy tries to overdose the fetus with a drug that will speed up the process of the lungs growing. During that mistake Emma has a seizure. Dr Cuddy consults Wilson and she asks him what Dr House has that she doesn't have. Wilson says she is not objective enough.

    Emma takes picture of the doctors and we see her framing it on her walls after she had surgery. Dr House participates in the surgery and during the process the fetus grads onto House's finger and he was dumbstruck. He was moved and yes he was caring for once. Cuddy brought him back to Earth. Dr house limps away and he speaks to Emma and told her that he did not consider the baby a fetus anymore.
  • Everybody lies, even Fetuses. Favorite episode ever.

    Great writing. We see a different face of Dr House. And roles are changed between House and Cuddy. There is no middle ground for doctors between complete objectivity and total emotionalism in the show, I think in real life that place exist. When celebrity photographer Emma Sloan self-diagnoses a stroke and ends up in House's hospital under House's care, we can see inmediately the spark the spark between doctor and patient and just as quickly House finds himself struggling to stay unmoved by his patient and her unborn child.

    Emma, 42 years old, is single, pregnant and suffering from Mirror syndrome. She would rather risk death than terminate the long-sought-after pregnancy that endangers her life. House falls back on reason, insisting that Emma abort "it" and that Cuddy support his stance on the fetus' fate, but Cuddy, seeing herself in Emma, leaps squarely into the other camp and throws herself headlong into the quest to save the baby and the mother's life. We end up with one doctor trying desperately not to care and the other caring too much.

    Amidst the turmoil, Emma snaps shots of her doctors to keep a visual memory book of her journey and catches on film revelatory moments that say more about her medical team than any of them would willingly divulge. What we see in these pictures are people caring more than they probably should — people who are going to be hurt. We know this by the way Chase holds onto Cameron's portrait and by the way House snatches his 8-by-10 off the X-ray wall where Cameron stands mesmerized.

    House's subtle flirtation with Emma is tempered by Cameron's obsession over his nonreaction to catching her and Chase in flagrante delicto.

    But distance has its place in a hospital setting. Cuddy warns Cameron off workplace romances. When she reminds Cameron that Chase is not the one who will get hurt, we realize that Chase has been keeping his eyes open throughout his affair with Cameron. However, clearly seeing a situation is not a certain safeguard against emotional attachment. In the episode's most touching moment House cuts into Emma's uterus and a tiny hand reaches out and clasps his finger, stopping him cold. He can no longer deny the personhood of the fetus. Objectivity has disappeared and House momentarily loses his perspective as a doctor, forcing Cuddy to step up. In the end, Cuddy's emotional response to this case pushes her to House-like diagnostic lengths and she is able to save both mother and child, proving that there's space for both emotion and science on the whiteboard.

    The good stuff from a pretty amazing episode:

    — House to Foreman about Cameron: "Be patient, she's going through all of us. She'll get that jungle fever eventually."

    — Chase smiling at Cameron's picture.

    — House in the hyperbaric chamber.

    — Wilson being "Cuddy's Cuddy."

    — The great special effects throughout the episode.

    — Lisa Edelstein's compelling performance.

    — The framed photos of the doctors on Emma's wall.

    — House alone at home with the Travel Channel on in the background, rubbing his fingers and remembering the touch of Emma's baby.
  • Great and new attitude

    I think this is a great episode because I can see now a very interesting Cameron, exploting her sensuality, I like that Cameron....she is so beautiful to be hiding....also, I like the new untold attraction between House and Cuddy, I think the may be end together, at least, having a baby if not together.........also, I think the producer must have to create a female character for Wilson, because he is so lonely everytime, that he started to look gay (I do not descredit the gay people, nor discriminate) but I mean that, he should show up what he really is....if he is gay that is ok, but show it up! that´s all. But at the end, I want to watch the new relationship between House and Cuddy.........
  • Season 3 Episode 17

    To save the mother or her unborn baby, that's the problem. Well, I think the storyline was really touching, without being corny - which is good. The best part was the surgery; when the baby's little fingers touched House's hand.

    I loved Emma's character, it was amazing the way she could get in touch with people's hidden feelings. Even House... and that's a major shocker. :D

    Chase is right, in my opinion. Cameron doesn't want to admit she was definitely annoyed that House didn't say anything about her and Chase - happy Friends with Benefits.

    Last but not least, it was nice to see Cuddy's interest in helping Emma out. The strong lady is kind of softening, isn't she? :D
  • Emotional, striking, makes me think, gorgeous diaglogs and well played - all the reasons why I love this show

    This episode really moved me - the philosopical dilemma about baby and fetal, the way how charactherrs got emotionally involved - Cuddy showed her more humane and caring side (not as usually - she just is, tries to stand against House but quickly gives up), Chase reveals even more that he has more feelings for Cameron than he shows (who said that it will be Cameron who will get hurt in that relatsionship), and House - he did not looked like he - I most say that he was thinking radionally abou the mother and the baby (or fetal, how you prefer).

    I am very found on arts and those photos - the way they were done. They were really specially and I loved the comment the team made why they lookedphotogrpahy about the House "He is almost caring" Yes, you can try to have one impression and wear a mask in life but good photographer will get into your soul and you cannot lie to the camera.
  • Last good one

    people am i the only one that notices that all the episodes past this one look like the old director was killed?!?!? like, everone's dieing, or we were sure they were going to, everyones liver or kidny's are failing so their eyes keep turning yellow, Allison Morrison and Jesse Spencer got married in real life so now the director is letting that interfere with the characters relationship, Cuddy was trying to become like House in Fetal Position while talking to Wilson, and there was an episode when House did his stop and realize thing and i knew he was about to do it so it made me feel sick, and when he look up like to God it was corny, what happened!?! and nowadays when they show the commercial for next tuesdays episode, i think to myself, "Wheres the omg i have to see that episode feeling? I want the show to continue but i mean it better get back to usual!
  • House: Sorry. Just realized I forgot to Tivo Alien.

    I cried watching this episode because it was the first time I saw House to show his emotion that he cared and someone was able to decipher that he really cared and love what he is doing. I cried more when the baby's hand during the surgery holds House hands as if saying "please help me be alive to see my mom and be with her." So touching to see that one fragile small hands actually softens the hardened soul and Chase finally cannot hide his feelings for Cameron is not for kicks but actually real. They look so good.
  • A series of great scenes and dialogs.

    First great scene was Cameron, Chase and Foreman staring at House's photo. "He's caring!...". Nice job.

    I believe that the main axis of the episode, is the extended interest of Cuddy for the case, and House's alleged vacation. The first is trying to regain hope of a baby, by treating a patient in the same age with her, and with a not so smooth pregnancy. She needs to know that she has still one chance of becoming a mother, and if a problem comes up, that House will solve it, no matter what.

    The second is that, strangely enough, House wants to go on holiday. Now, this isn't something that we could predict. I mean that this guy is a workaholic... no way he would leave his job for vacations! However in the end, the truth always comes up... I suppose he just wants some time of peace and quiet for himself (hence the disconnected phone and the tearing of the tickets). He doesn't want other people messing with his peace....
  • "Someone has to be Cuddy's Cuddy."

    This is an episode where more focus is put on Cuddy. House is the correct, but Cuddy is heroic. My favorite scene is during the exploratory surgery and the baby grabs House's finger, and he seems mesmerized by something he had thought to be just a clump of cells. And typical House to play it off like he wasn't at all impacted. Although I am pro-choice, I can relate to Emma and Cuddy's obstinacy. One thing i do not understand is why House tore up the tickets. He needs that vacation!

    And - Chase is in love with Cameron. How exciting.
  • This episodes goes the distance regarding the fetus vs. baby controversy,the Chase-Cameron affair start his falllout, Cuddy and House has medical and ethical differences and the baby's mother goes the distance to protect her baby...really good work

    Ok, let see…for most part of the season we have seen our crazy yet intriguing doctor escaping the law (Tritter), stressing his relationship with his only friend (Wilson) and flirting on and off with his boss (Cuddy). While making the life of his subordinates miserable, but ever since Stacey left we’ve been missing at some extent the human connection and complexity Hugh Laurie brings to House, I was eager to see the house that suffer during “three stories” and felt some remorse when Stacey left, the controversy of the baby vs. fetus story served as an excellent backdrop to the drama regarding the Chase-Cameron affair, and the anguish it brought to Cuddy that had to admit publicly that in her situation she would really trust House even if the medical diagnostic goes against her medical knowledge or ethical conviction proves that everyone is entitled to a little humbleness (maybe not Foreman or House). As I mentioned before the fetus touching House’s finger was a great moment, it gave Hugh Laurie a chance to shine and go full circle on his emotional comeback; he calls the “fetus” a “baby” after this happened and even after he breaks the ticket for his faked vacation and gets to the “Vicodin” you can see the connection between the unborn baby and the doctor has been made as he look at where the baby touched him, great episode.
  • fetus-Baby dilema...

    I love it, every par of ti, from House Shouting Fetus every time somebody said baby to the special "touching" moment in the OR.
    it was so good, finally Cudy understand why House is such an Ass, his work is so hard and if you get to emotional with your pacients they die.
    Great photo moments, how each character got a litlle explenation. but i am worry about the Chase lovew look.
  • When Hope is really all you have to go up against. you must rely on Determination in ones heart......we ALL have it but are afraid of what If Any consiquences they come with.......

    I loved this episode for many reasons Life is veiwed by several ppl in many different stages.This episode if anything else showed not just an actor but a human being can change lives when all odds are against them scientific evidendence means much Less to me than it has before! Not just performing "miracles" but determination!
  • Pushing everything to the limit - gotta love it!

    Like others, I wanted to dismiss this as a "been there, done that" when I realized yet another mom on this show was having yet another problem pregnancy. Gotta stop being so cynical about this show -- because it was definitely wasn't what I expected!

    Having Cuddy take over House's usual "push past the rules" to save a life was a great plot point. Like House, I suspected her motivations weren't so pure. But then again, House's aren't always, either.

    While I'm pro-life, I didn't see this as a "pro-life" propaganda. (Besides, we'd already gone "pro-choice" just a few episodes ago, so fair is fair, isn't it?) This was showing how House's attitudes infuse his co-workers. Cuddy wasn't just going to the limit to prove middle-age women can have viable pregnancies - she was implementing House's "never say never" ideology to see if SHE could make it work for her. And boy, did she! That's why that exchange with Cuddy and House worked so well, the one where she's reflecting how she now knows what it feels like to defy every last opinion and see victory: it wasn't all about pro-life, it was about standing for what you believe in, even if it feels crazy!

    Other highlights (and why this show has even great sub-plots): the pregnant mom's use of photography and how each character, through her photos, got to see sides of their co-workers that they had either rarely or never glimpsed before. Beautiful.

    This is another episode where it'll take 2-3 viewings to catch all the nuances. If it inflames some staunch pro-lifers, that's OK -- everyone needs their beliefs shaken up sometimes, to prove their worth -- just ask Cuddy, Cameron, Chase, Wilson, and Foreman. House has done it to them time and time again. And now, House has had the tables turned on him by Cuddy (ya gotta love it when this show pulls off "table-turning" so well!); now he has a lot to think about in terms of what "viable, sustainable life" means.

    Finally: Remember "DNR", where House insisted on saving the jazz musician's life, despite "standard medical policy" and even the court order? How is this different than what Cuddy was going for with this child inside this patient? To me,it isn't: it's having the self-assurance to push for what you believe is right. Even the pursuit of saving a life is worthwhile when it's getting you to the point of no return and pushing you past even your own expectations.

    Thanks again to the producers & writers who push themselves so hard to give us unforgettable episodes like this one.
  • This is the worst episode I’ve ever seen, not only was the entire pace of the show much faster than any other episode of house but it also was more about an overt message of pro-life than it was about medicine.

    It seemed like all the characters were paid off by some rightwing Christian group to fake it though this episode. None of them expressed the same emotion as they usually do, probably because they didn’t want to preach to the whole nation about something they probably did not believe in. Additionally, the script was heavily slanted to emphasize that no matter how premature a fetus is that it is still a person. I guess this should not come as a surprise since it is on FOX but still, I hoped that this show would not fold to Bush’s agenda.

    Getting back to the show, if these are supposed to be doctors at a world class hospital than how come they have such a hard time remembering that there are medical terms for a 21 week pregnancy ie: fetus!!!
  • When a child is born twice.

    This has been a great episode involving all kinds of emotions from all the characters on set. A great mid-season episode!
    A profesional photografers organs are slowly shutting down due to a problem in her unborn baby. While being treated she seem to unravel hidden feelings between Chase and Cameron thanks to photos shoots she starts taking from the minute she walks in. Cuddy gets personally involved in a case as she seems to be personally identified.
    House even seems to discover something really new in his perception of life!
    This episode is a must see if you want to hang on to the House storyline. Hope you enjoy it as much I did!
  • One of the best episodes this season.

    This episode took the show back to its roots. It reminded me of the classic episodes from season 1, which is in my opinion the best season of the three. Of course The fetal position had a fresh twist as the roles were reversed: Cuddy was acting like House. And for the first time she realized what it was like to be in House's position and I think she has an all new appreciation towards him now. You can already see where the whole Chase/Cameron thing is going. Chase is falling for Cameron but she's not particularly interested in him in a serious way. It was surprising and rather great that I felt sorry for Chase and I liked him in this episode, when before I haven't really cared for him. The patient was fascinating, which I have to say hasn't been the case in the latest episodes. But this time the patient was actually 'worth' caring about and the case made you think (and made also House think). So even though I classified this episode as a series classic, it had something new and exciting. That's why I'd say this one is one of the best episodes of this season. I'm looking forward for the next ones, I can't wait to see the cases and how Chase/Cam turns out.
  • A famous celebrity photographer suffers from a stroke while being pregnant at her early forties. House and his team have to deal with a great dilemma, save the mother or her unborn child.

    Now this was a spectacular episode! The first exciting thing for me was when I saw Tyson from All American Rejects*gasps*he's a dreamboat! Anyways, I knew from the start that this one was going to be a hard one to figure out throughout the episode. And of course House was being typical House by calling the baby an 'it' or 'fetus' all the time. But then, the sugery almost brought me to tears. When that baby grabbed his finger and he stood there it was just breath taking! Now how can you call that baby a thing? It was probably one of the best moments of the whole series. And I love how at the end he was touching his hand where the baby had touched him! Cuddy was really intresting too during this episode. It was kind of risky how she was being so subjective considering she is adminstrator of the hospital! So, what I'm getting to is that this episode was brilliant and I can't wait for tonights!

  • A famous celebrity photographer suffers from a stroke while being pregnant at her early forties. House and his team have to deal with a great dilemma, save the mother or her unborn child.

    This show was one of the best shows ever. He was always talking about going on a short trip but none of the trips work out for him. Then at the end of the show Cuddy came to him with two tickes to Singapore. How that is how the next episode "Airborne" will begin.
  • Very touching and totally getting back to basics for House

    Some of the episodes this season have been over the top. But this one is all about getting back to basics... sort of. The amazing dynamic between House and Cuddy as well as House and the photogropher is exactly why I watch this show. The complete role reversal for House and Cuddy and her acknowledgement of that fact just make the episode better. Plus who could hate an episode with the "it almost looks like he's caring" quote. Having House do what he does best (rant and rave and browbeat) but ultimately loosing the argument makes this a good counterpoint to a lot of the episodes in the past. Plus the amazing sexual tension through the episode keeps you on the edge of your seat. The touching last scene is what did it for me. Cuddy believing that House was getting back out into the real world and the way that the baby connected with House in a way that none of his other patients (besides possibly the little girl from 'Autopsy') can really match.

    Overall a really well done episode.
  • house is assigned to help a famous photographer get insists on termination but the patient won't consent so he ends up doing exploratory surgery on a 21 wk is able to save mother and ends up with touching photos of all staff

    when house touches the baby's little hand and it only goes over his finger nail it is positively heart melting. i love the fact that it shows house showing new aspects to his character in admitting that he can not always be right. calling the fetus a baby seems a pretty big concession for house.
  • pretty descent episode, although i thought the topic was a little boring. cuddy dissapoints me, though.

    Cuddy plays House (tee hee! Get it?) Cuddy is house this week. Also house has risen to God like status by now. Cuddy takes a bigger role in the diagnosis with mixed results. I think she needs to try and stop being house. she is so impulsive, and not a very good doctor, from what we have seen of her. Fox needs to step it up unless they want her character to be disliked. I like the photo part, the idea of them showing the team as they really are. This kind of thing. The photos by themselves are very good. Particularly, the one where Chase is looking at Cameron. it really shows how much he likes her, and even though cuddy said that cameron would be the one to get hurt, i think its the other way around. is cameron using chase to get closer to House? only time will tell.
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