Season 3 Episode 13

Needle in a Haystack

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 06, 2007 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
694 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

House and his staff must deal with a teenage Gypsy boy suffering from inexplicable respiratory distress. However, House has bigger issues on his mind: Cuddy has given away his handicapped spot.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • They weren't kidding about that needle.

    I love the patient's girlfriend it seems like she is the mother, seems pretty nuts about his religion or whatever. Every time you think they got a diagnosis, they turn out wrong. Ad the there is a lot of diagnoses for this kid. It turns out it just turned out to be an undigested toothpick, that's why this episode was cleverly plotted. There are two other plots that go along with this one. House has to stay in a wheelchair for a week, he doesn't and still gets the parking space. While Foreman starts feeling lonely, maybe you should be a bit nicer don't you think? Anyways interesting episode with a great twist.moreless
  • Good filler episode.

    This was one of the first clear filler episodes of the Season, and it was much more entertaining then I remembered. The patient was quite interesting, especially with his curiosity, and the dilemnas he faces with his ethical background.

    The parents really annoyed me this episode- they were cruel and unfair- especially to his girlfriend. When I first saw the girlfriend and her involvement it struck me as a very Season One-esque episode, but it developed from that. There were a lot of interesting issues raised from it.

    House's subplot of using a wheelchair was also quite entertaining and light hearted, although I felt I needed a little more explanation into why he was so intent of getting the space back.

    It was also striking how lonely the doctors are- no wedding rings, as the patient said. I wonder if this is a turning point for them all.

    The clinic scene was also funny, albeit not as funny as previous ones, whilst the House and Wilson dialogue was classic.

    Overall, the first light hearted episode of the Season, and a very entertaining one. This seemed to be the first "filler" episode, as the episode has nothing to build on for the first time (i.e no ketamine treatment, no stalker girl, no tritter etc).moreless
  • A well written episode that was run during Sweeps Week.

    There are two themes running in this episode. One is about a 16 year old Gypsy boy with some strange bleeding problem. House ends up almost killing the lad before a miraculous discovery near the end of the show. The subtext was that the teen, while not in school, was very smart. Foreman was urging the patient to continue with school.

    Secondly, Cuddy gave House's handicapped spot to a researcher in a wheelchair. House spends a week in a wheelchair win a bet with his boss to get his spot back. It is stupid, childish and just something Gregory House would do.

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read beyond this point if you have not watched the show and want to be surprised

    The teen wants to remain with his family rather than pursue a career in medicine. The young man noticed that none of the doctors were married and he preferred life with his family.moreless
  • Not my favorite episode of the season.

    I wasn't too thrilled with this week's episode.

    The patient storyline wasn't very entertaining. The solution in the end was clever, I liked that part, but I didn't like how everyone was painted out to be a "bad guy". The patient was a bad guy because he was weak and wouldn't stand up for himself. The girlfriend because she kept "ratting him out" and the parents disapproved of her. The parents because they were downright obnoxious. If they wanted to make a point about prejudism (is that a word?) against the Romani then this was not the way to go. I thought all four of them were idiots, with the possible exception of the girlfriend (who wasn't Romani anyway).

    House's wheelchair adventure was a great storyline up until the end. It was very much in character for him and it provided some great comedy. I love the little things, like how he wheeled into Foreman by "accident". But the way the whole thing ended was a let down. It's irritating that House ALWAYS ends up winning; I would like to see him lose every now and then. This was a storyline where it just felt stupid that he won and got his parking space back.

    An fun moment though was when Chase and Cameron went to the wrong house. I just loved how Chase spotted that the couple was having an affair in a very House-esque manor. Chase is my favorite duckling, and it's been nice to see him get to do more lately.

    One thing that has become evident in this season is that they choose one duckling at a time to give a larger storyline. That duckling is 95% of the time either Foreman or Cameron. Chase has really drifted into the background. It also seems as if they do "periods". A couple of episodes had Foreman in the foreground and then a number of episodes had Cameron, and then back to Foreman and so on. I'm not sure I'm too fond of this. I like that they get episodes where they're more in focus, but not every episode should be like that. I want to see the ducklings as more of a team.

    Oh, and something I didn't get... Towards the end of the episode it seemed like they were putting focus on how Foreman (and also Cameron and Chase) is alone and has no time for love. But isn't he dating one of the nurses at the hospital? Just because you're not MARRIED it doesn't mean that you're single.

    Best dialogue of the episode:

    WILSON: Ah yes, if it isn’t Dr. Ironside.

    HOUSE: Ah, if it isn’t Dr. “I had no friends when I was growing up, so all I did was watch TV by myself which is why I can now make constant pop cultural references which no one understands but me.”

    WILSON: That’s my name, don’t wear it out.

    Wilson is getting more and more clever by the week. I think this is the fourth week in a row where he's had the best lines. Awesome!moreless
  • pretty exciting...

    There is a new doctor on the block. The catch, she is stuck in a wheelchair. House gets furious when Cutty gives the new doctor his usual parking space in front of the buliding. To prove a point, Cutty and House make a bet saying that House couldn't last one whole week in a wheechair. To complicate things, House is faced with a gypsy boy that isn't all that willing to open up with the facts of his personal life. Soon, the boy's parents come into the picture. After the Holocaust, the boy's parents are very judgemental of all treatment which makes it nearly impossible to give the son the new, still experimental treatment. This is one of the most controversial and exciting House episodes of the third season!moreless
Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

Dr. Gregory House

Jennifer Morrison

Jennifer Morrison

Dr. Allison Cameron

Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer

Dr. Robert Chase

Lisa Edelstein

Lisa Edelstein

Dr. Lisa Cuddy

Omar Epps

Omar Epps

Dr. Eric Foreman

Robert Sean Leonard

Robert Sean Leonard

Dr. James Wilson

Jake Richardson

Jake Richardson

Stevie Lipa

Guest Star

Wendy Makkena

Wendy Makkena

Dr. Julie Whitner

Guest Star

Arabella Field

Arabella Field


Guest Star

Ron Perkins

Ron Perkins

Dr. Simpson

Recurring Role

Bobbin Bergstrom

Bobbin Bergstrom


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • In the OR the surgeon talks about the spleen that exploded, but is operating on the right side of the abdomen. Unless Stevie has a Situs Inversus Abdominalis where the organs in the abdomen are on the other side, the spleen should be on his left. The liver is on the right side, the spleen left.

    • In her office, Cuddy tells House he'll get back his parking space if he manages to do his work in a wheelchair. After that Cameron meets House in the hallway and she needs to ask about the wheelchair, yet somehow right after that she knows the specifics of the deal.

    • In the O.R., that is not how the small intestine looks like in a human being. In a normal human it is embedded in the mesentery and it's not a long loose "rope" as seen here.

    • When Cameron says the wrist bone mnemonic she says "scared lovers try positions they can't handle." However, the writer or actress muffs the line as the correct mnemonic is "scared lovers try positions that they can't handle", which works to remember the bones Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetral, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, and Hamate.

    • Trivia: The bumper sticker on the back of House's wheelchair said "I'd rather be walking."

  • QUOTES (22)

    • House: This is about who can most easily cross the parking lot. You're the winner.
      Dr. Whitner: Oh, and the prize is apparently a parking space.

    • Dr. Cuddy: Your application for handicap space says you can walk 50 yards.
      House: And Whitner's says she can roll 50 miles between oil changes, I can't change my leg!
      Dr. Cuddy: The space I moved you to is only 46 yards away from the front door. I measured; you'll be fine.
      House: Great, so I can collapse four yards into the lobby instead of outside in the cold.
      Dr. Cuddy: As long as it isn't in my office.

    • Dr. Cameron: We were treating him for Wegener's when everything went wrong.
      House: Not everything.
      Dr. Foreman: Yeah, It was a very lovely day outside, on the other hand the treatment made him worse.

    • House: They're (the gypsies) absolutely right. Stay away from the experimental stuff, much better to stick with the "moving the furniture until he gets better" approach.

    • Judy: (Stevie) wouldn't even need to be here if not for you!
      Leah: Yeah, I'm so unclean I made his liver shut down!

    • Dr. Chase: He's Romany, apparently they feel the need to keep secrets so it's hard to know anything for sure.
      House: Yeah, he's also a human being, which means you shouldn't be trusting him to begin with.

    • Dr. Whitner: They had to move me closer to the door.
      House: Had to? You don't look like the type to pull a weapon.
      Dr. Whitner: Wheelchair.
      House: Cane. I think you should do the honorable thing, let me have my space back.
      Dr. Whitner: Oh well, er, since you asked so nicely... wheelchair.
      House: Cane.

    • House: (loudly) No way Cuddy is going to gyp me.
      Franklin: What'd you say?
      House: (to Wilson) I'll see you later. Gonna have them yelling at me for the next twenty minutes.

    • Dr. Foreman: Sixteen year old with respiratory arrest.
      House: The only thing I hate more than a thief is a crippled thief.
      Dr. Foreman: Yeah, me too. No sign of trauma, no history of…

    • Dr. Cuddy: You can't be serious.
      House: Actually, I can. (frowns) See?

    • Dr. Foreman: There's no leak!
      House: Hey! You can't yell at a guy in a wheelchair.

    • Dr. Cuddy: Pride goeth before the fall.
      House: Lucky for me I'm sitting in one of these babies.

    • House: You guys are still thinking like doctors. You should be thinking like plumbers. Come on, let me see some butt crack.

    • Kate: I think he's learned his lesson.
      House: Oh, I don't know, we better check. Jack, is your mommy a big fat idiot?
      (Jack nods)
      House: Well what do you know? Guess you were right.

    • Dr. Wilson: Ah yes, if it isn't Dr. Ironside.
      House: Ah, if it isn't Dr. "I had no friends when I was growing up, so all I did was watch TV by myself which is why I can now make constant pop cultural references which no one understands but me."
      Dr. Wilson: That's my name, don't wear it out.
      House: Safe from Cuddy, but I guess not from her trusted rat accomplice.

    • Dr. Wilson: Give it up, you're demeaning yourself.
      House: That's what they told Rosa Parks!

    • Dr. Foreman: We plug one hole and end up poking another.
      House: We talking about the patient or how to get a raise from Cuddy?

    • Dr. Whitner: I'm not worried. From what I hear what you lack in shame you also lack in willpower.
      House: My will may be weak, but my backbone is strong. And pain-free now that I've stopped using the cane. Of course it's harder to look down Cuddy's shirt. But the vantage point on her ass is much improved. That's just me, always looking on the bright side. I'm the one who said her C-cups are half full.
      Dr. Whitner: (suggestively) They are nice, aren't they?
      House: Ahhh, no no no no no. You're not going to win me over that easily. You may have the wheel but it doesn't mean you get the grease. You've got to squeak.

    • House: Excuse me! Sorry, cripple coming through!

    • Dr. Chase: Is she hot?
      Dr. Cameron: She's in a wheelchair.
      Dr. Chase: Doesn't mean she's not hot.
      House: Just means she can't bend over. So Cuddy has to bend over backwards.

    • Dr. Wilson: And legal beats logic every time... just ask O.J.

    • House: That space is mine. Veni, vidi, vici.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Air Dates:
      Italy: October 3, 2007 on Italia 1
      The Netherlands: September 6, 2007 on SBS6
      Greece: December 15, 2007 on Star Channel
      The Czech Republic: February 18, 2008 on TV Nova
      Belgium: February 28, 2008 on KanaalTwee
      Sweden: April 29, 2008 on TV4

    • Music: In the Waiting Line - Zero 7 ,Sleep Don't Weep - Damien Rice


    • House: Because we need to take the center square to block.
      Referencing the TV series The Hollywood Squares (1966) and its several successors. The game is basically a giant-sized version of Tic-Tac-Toe, where the contestants listen to a celebrity answer a question and determine if it's true or false. If they're correct they "get the square." As in regular Tic-Tac-Toe, taking the center square is usually necessity.

    • House: I like that kid. He's got spunk.
      Referencing the line spoken by Ed Asner as editor Lou Grant in the first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The complete line is "You know what? You've got spunk! ... I hate spunk!"

    • Dr. Wilson: Ah yes, if it isn't Dr. Ironside.
      Referencing the 1967-1975 series Ironside, starring Raymond Burr as Robert Ironside, a wheelchair-bound consulting detective.

    • House: Veni, vidi, vici.
      This is an allusion to Julius Caesar's terse remark - translated as "I came, I saw, I conquered", or even "came, saw, conquered" - which he used to proclaim the totality of his victory.