Paternity (House)

Paternity (House)

House (TV series) episode
episode_name = Paternity
episode_no = HOU-102
airdate = November 23, 2004
writer = Lawrence Kaplow
director = Peter O'Fallon
guest_star = Scott Mechlowicz as Dan

season = 1
diagnosis = Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis

Paternity is the second episode of the first season of "House", which premiered on the FOX network on November 23, 2004. The episode features Dr. House taking an interest in a 16-year-old boy who, after being struck in the head during a lacrosse game, has frequent hallucinations and night terrors that are not due to a concussion. The episode was slated to air as the 5th episode in the series originally, but was moved. [ [ Trivia Page] , retrieved November 24, 2006. ]


When a clinic patient walks in to Princeton-Plainsboro complaining of double vision and night terrors, House is skeptical because his family has a "letter" that House himself apparently wrote. House realizes that it was written by Cameron, but still listens to the patient. The patient, named Dan (played by Scott Mechlowicz), is a 16-year-old lacrosse player who had been recently hit in the head in a game. House dismisses the symptoms as a concussion and bad vision and is about to send him home when he notices Dan's foot twitching (a myoclonic twitch), something uncommon in awake people. House immediately admits Dan and begins to run tests.

House claims that Dan's father isn't his true biological father and makes a bet with Foreman about it. Soon after, Dan has another night terror. None of the tests show why the night terror occurred, but House finds a large blockage in one of Dan's blood vessels. House and his team relieve the pressure as fast as they can, but they find that the blockage isn't what is causing the other symptoms. It is in fact a symptom itself.

During the night, Dan is found missing from his bed. Cameron, Chase, and Foreman search frantically to find him, soon locating him on the roof, where he is hallucinating that he is on the lacrosse field. Chase tackles him just before he steps over the edge of the building. House is excited by this new development - it rules out House's previous diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The new diagnosis provided by Cameron is neurosyphilis. To treat this, they inject penicillin directly into Dan's brain, but during an injection, Dan suffers an auditory hallucination, which rules out this diagnosis. House is stumped by this new development, and admits his problems to Wilson. Dan's parents are angered to discover House having coffee with Wilson while their son is dying, but House rebukes them with his intimate knowledge of Dan's current condition. He tells them to go and support Dan, after which he takes their coffee cups to run DNA tests to decide his bet on Dan's paternity. The tests show that "neither" parent is biologically related to Dan (winning House his bet with Foreman, Wilson and everyone else who wagered on Dan's paternity), and a new idea hits him. He remembers a baby he treated earlier whose mother did not want to vaccinate the child.

House thinks that infant Dan caught the basic measles virus from his biological mother (who possibly had never been vaccinated) that had mutated, lain latent for 16 years and reappeared in his brain. Avoiding a dangerous brain biopsy to confirm this unusual case they biopsy Dan's retina to find the virus, confirming House's theory. Dan recovers fully, and reveals that he already knew he was adopted, due to his cleft chin (which neither parent has), but that he doesn't care and loves them. At the end of the episode, it becomes apparent that House must have played lacrosse sometime in his youth. He is shown at what appears to be Dan's lacrosse game but at the end is shown to be his own when the camera reveals the field to be empty. He clutches his cane like a lacrosse stick, seemingly dreaming about days past.


External links

* ["House" official site]
* [ House Episode Guide at]
* [ TVGuide's Page: Full list of House Episodes]
* [ House M.D. Guide]
* [ Medical Reviews of House: Paternity]
* [ Extended Medical Review of House 102: Paternity]

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