Medical Investigation

Season 1 Episode 3

Coming Home

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Sep 17, 2004 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Coming Home
When four soldiers return from Iraq and fall dangerously ill, the natural assumption is exposure to a chemical or biological agent. However, when a group of nursing home residents die of the same symptoms, the NIH team is left baffled.

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  • Connor and Co. are summoned by the U.S. army to investigate four Gulf War soldiers who recently came back with a lethal pulmonary disease.

    I like today's plot because it ties in with the war we currently are having in Iraq. The episode starts out with Connor and his son spending their free time together. Then, two US soldiers appear and tell Connor there is a code yellow. Like always, Connor has to leave again and go to work. It must be really hard for Connor to balance his work and family life. Four soldiers are having a lethal pulmonary disease that Powell claims it's Gulf War syndrome. So are these soldiers having Gulf War syndrome?

    Powell is very sure it's Gulf War syndrome because of his past history. It is reveal that Powell served in the US Army before and his CO (Commanding Officer) died of Gulf War syndrome. Connor is suspicious, but doesn't believe it until the evidence presents itself. It gets even more suspicious when a mysterious woman appears, claiming she's from the Pentagon, and asking what the situation is with the soldiers. When her identity is exposed, I thought that it is Gulf War syndrome and that the US Government send that woman there to cover it up, maybe from some biological warfare the Government conducted on the sick soldiers. Did the Government really do it in real life? As of today, no real evidence supports they did. Your opinion is as good as mines.

    However, the soldiers are certainly not having Gulf War syndrome in this episode because several old people are also having the same problem and they never been to war. They aren't even related to the sick soldiers. They find one commonality, they are all catholic. I wonder what religion got to do with this. Later, they find out they all attend the same church. Connor went to the church and start his "imagination" again, as to how they could have been affected. Connor calls in the team to test out the whole place. One suspicion could be the holy water, where everyone who enters the church touches it. But more people would have been affected if it's the holy water. Do watch your hand when you get back from church. I'm not religious or anything, but God knows what germs are in those water when everyone touches it. They investigate the senior citizens house, where the old sick people once lived. They found out a guy from the church goes to the senior citizens house weekly. As Connor said, "If you can't go to God, God will come to you." It turns out the soldiers and the old people came in contact with that guy. So Connor, McCabe and Powell head to his house to investigate and find out that he's been dead for days. He was the first one with the disease. It turns out it's from some mouse in his house. Yeah, watch out for those mouse. Connor did his part, now all he can do is hope that medication will cure the soldiers. But they didn't. There is a nice scene at the end of the episode, when Connor dresses up in an Army uniform and went to one of the soldier's house to give his family the uniform of the soldier and the American flag. Now I know how difficult it is when a Commanding Officer has to go to the house of a soldier that just passed away and say that you're sorry. It must happen very frequently today, with the number of dead soldiers we have in Iraq. God bless them.

    Final Rating: Out of my avstars's stars chart, I give this episode 3 out of 4 stars. I like the fact that it ties in with some history background and gets viewers to know about Gulf War syndrome. It gets me curious, did the government covered themselves up or is it from the stress? It could happen today to soldiers in Iraq. Is it really from stress, or some test the Government is running that affects the soldiers? This episode sure got me thinking. We also see Connor about to get divorce from his wife. His work life finally caught up with him. The only negative side is that we still don't know much about the other characters. We get a glimpse on Powell's past, but not much. I would like to see more character development soon because all so far, they are focusing more on Connor and leaving little left for the supporting cast. This could make a great team if they make it right.

    Thank you for reading my review. If you have any questions/comments, feel free to email me at I will be glad to hear from you.moreless
Shea Whigham

Shea Whigham

Barrett Fidler

Guest Star

Lesley Fera

Lesley Fera

Gladys Halperin

Guest Star

Carmen Argenziano

Carmen Argenziano

Lt. Col. Bartek

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Goof: The soldiers coming to pick up Dr. Stephen Connor, at the beginning when he is with his son, were wearing their berets incorrectly. They should have pulled them to their right.

    • This week's disease: Hantavirus

      A deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents (such as deer mice) through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus.

    • TRIVIA: Frank Powell is not a doctor, he is a toxicologist.

    • The music in this episode was: "Hiding in the Light", performed by Boss House, and "Mad World", performed by Gary Jules.

    • The Dr. Stephen Connor character refers to "lectors" as the lay people who help distribute Communion. Lectors do proclaim the Scripture readings. Extraordinary Ministers of Communion (Eucharistic Ministers) are the ones who help with Communion.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Colonel: Sometimes it's easy to forget that an institution the size of the military still consists of individuals worthy of our trust and respect… even if we both don't always think that the institution deserves the same.

    • Connor: (finding a dead man in the garage) What do you think, Frank?
      Frank: I think I'll walk around him.

    • Nurse: (about convalescent home) We have a film club, a reading circle, field trips to outlet malls, we really are an activity centre.
      Miles: Not bad.
      Nurse: Not the snakepit you expected?
      Miles: Not yet, but the day's still young.

    • Joe: (about Iraq) Sounds like you were there, sir?
      Connor: Different war, but the same damn sand.

    • Connor: (about Hantavirus) It's a bio-safety level four pathogen found in our own backyards.
      Miles: Or, in this case, a garage filled with mouse urine.

    • Connor: (looking at mouse hole in old mattress) I'm gonna have to dissect whatever comes out of that hole. (He looks at Frank.)
      Frank: What are you looking at me for? I mean, I'll lift and shake it but catching whatever the hell comes running out of that thing is up to you. (He shines the flashlight at Miles) Or you.

  • NOTES (1)