- Crandall: "If I let you do the [paternity test], it means I don’t trust her."
- House: "No, it means I don’t trust her."
- ―Who’s Your Daddy?
Who's Your Daddy is a second season episode of House which first aired on May 16, 2006. An old friend of House shows up with his newly found daughter, who has survived Hurricane Katrina. House agrees to take the case only to try to convince his friend that the young woman is lying to him.
This episode finished 3rd in Facebook's poll of the best episodes of the series which was completed in April, 2012.
One of the hidden themes at this point in the series (which is finally revealed in Birthmarks, but is hinted at as early as Season One's Paternity) is House's uncertainty about his own paternity. Whether the plight of the patient in this episode was a conscious effort to play up this theme for it's final reveal or just a lucky happenstance, it is arguable that the part of House represented by the patient is this very same uncertainty.
However, the argument that this theme was known to the writers and producer at this point but remained intentionally hidden is bolstered by House's attempts to convince Cuddy not to accept an anonymous sperm donor. Having been uncertain about his own paternity, in retrospect, he's desperate to avoid another child being born into this world not knowing for certain anything important about his father.
Although this episode received mixed reviews on its premiere, in retrospect it provides two other important parts of the development of House's character (as well as developing an important aspect of Cuddy's character). First, House's backstory to this point is largely clouded in mystery. Although we have met his parents and his ex-girlfriend, at this point we still don't know much about House's life prior to the series. In this episode, for the first time, we meet someone other than Wilson who thinks of House as his friend and, in some way, House also thinks of as a friend. As they interact, we once again learn that House's personality now is pretty much as it has always been despite the intervention of disability and drugs. His old friend Dylan is used to how House acts and how he's supposed to act around House and their nearly 30 year separation has not affected their ability to relate to each other in the least. For his part, House still thinks of Dylan as the perfect fool, and as the episode progresses, we see that House is right that nothing much has changed. Despite this, and House's noted failure to suffer fools gladly, we still see House being willing to protect his old friend, if in his own unique way.
Perhaps more importantly we see that House is capable of putting aside his sarcastic self to really relate to another human being, in this case Cuddy. Despite numerous opportunities to have fun at her expense, House seems genuinely concerned about her welfare and even the welfare of her yet to be born baby. By the end of their interaction, we see both parties coming very close to letting Huddy finally take it's course - Cuddy figures that perhaps the reason House doesn't want her to have a child with another man is because he wants her instead. Despite this opportunity, House realizes it's the wrong moment and reminds her that relationships should be started between people who like each other, and that's not him.
House is trying to deal with his leg pain on his day off and starts off the day with Vicodin. He tries to massage and exercise his leg to relieve the pain. Just as he's about to inject himself with morphine, Cuddy leaves a message that he has a new case. The patient has cardiogenic shock, but has not had a heart attack.
When House gets to the hospital, Cuddy briefs him on the case. There is nothing wrong with her heart, no infection and no drugs. It turns out that the girl's father is an old friend of House. House pretends not to know him, but quickly admits he is putting on the most gullible guy on the planet. He tells House that the girl is the granddaughter of a famous jazz pianist, Jesse Baker. He tells House how he just found that she was his daughter, but House thinks the girl is lying. He agrees to treat her anyway.
The team does a differential. House decides that it might be an arrhythmia, and he decides to induce one even though it might be dangerous. He also decides to get the informed consent from the father himself. He talks his friend into consenting, then admits it's a dangerous test, but still tells him to sign the form. House also suggests a paternity test. His friend feels such a test will show he doesn't trust his daughter.
They proceed to induce an arrhythmia. The patient starts having a heart attack, but doesn't hallucinate. They keep proceeding with the test on House's instructions. She finally starts hallucinating and they freeze the affected muscle in her heart, expecting that will cure the problem.
Cuddy asks House to review her sperm donor candidates. House calls them both losers. Cuddy tells House to find a suitable donor himself.
The patient awakens and seems to hear someone asking for water. However, she is just hallucinating again.
They realize that the heart wasn't the problem. House thinks it might have been an atypical seizure. He thinks it's unlikely that the heart problem caused the hallucination. He starts thinking that pain may trigger the hallucinations. He decides to put the patient in pain. House sticks the patient with a needle, but she doesn't hallucinate. House also confronts her about lying to his friend about being his daughter, and she finally starts hallucinating when he bends her finger. The hallucinations under pain indicate an autoimmune disorder, but they don't know which one.
To diagnose her, they need to destroy her bone marrow and replace it. When her father finds out, he demands a bone marrow test, but still no paternity test. He is afraid that the test will either show he didn't trust her or that she isn't his daughter. Either way, he loses.
Cuddy asks House if he told anyone else she was looking for a sperm donor. He denies it. She just wanted to see if she could ask anyone else to help her. He agrees to help Cuddy with a shot into her gluteus maximus.
Wilson asks House why the patient's father is a friend. House admits that he was only his friend because he had a car. They have found a bone marrow donor for the patient, but while they are irradiating her, she starts leaking stool out of her mouth.
House's friend comes to see him again. House tells him that the patient's liver has failed and her digestive system is running in reverse. He needs consent for the biopsy because the patient could die during the procedure. House once again confronts his friend about only knowing the patient for a few days.
House starts listening to a tape of the patient's grandfather. Wilson comes in with his lunch. He thinks it is great that House is standing up for an old friend, and that the old friend is taking responsibility. He tells Wilson about the stool coming out of the patient's mouth. House tells Wilson that he once broke up one of the old friend's relationships, supposedly for his benefit.
House calls off the biopsy when he realizes the girl's grandfather on the tape is playing just perfectly, but thinks that the piano is out of tune. They go to see the patient, whose skin is getting darker. This indicates hemochromatosis.
House calls in one of the sperm donors, ostensibly for a job interview. He doesn't come off well in front of Cuddy. House makes his point about not meeting a baby's father.
They start treatment for hemochromatosis, but the patient goes into respiratory arrest. They figure that the chelating agent they gave her may have attached the iron in her lungs to a fungus. However, they can't treat her unless they know what fungus it is. They treat for aspergillis because it is the most common.
Cuddy confronts House about the privacy of sperm donors. House confronts Cuddy about accepting sperm from someone she doesn't like.
Cameron tells House that the patient doesn't have aspergillis. They have to figure out what kind of fungus it is, and they have to ask the patient. She can only communicate through blinking. She admits she lied to his friend. He asks her to write down where she stayed during the flooding. It turns out she was in a recording studio, which is a breeding ground for zygomycosis, which only breeds in very wet conditions - such as flooding of studio sound insulation.
The patient responds to the treatment for zygomycosis. House tells his patient he ran a paternity test and she really is his friend's daughter and she begins to cry. However, we see the test, and it shows negative for paternity.
- House's former bandmate, Dylan Crandall comes to the hospital, seeking House's help.
- Crandall reveals that House used to use the nickname “G-Man”. This is also slang for “federal government agent”.
- House starts giving Cuddy fertility injections.
- House figures out that Leona is lying to Crandall about him being her father.
Zebra Factor 7/10
Zygomycosis infections are rare because the fungus is not common and most healthy people can resist the infection. However, people with iron rich blood are more susceptible to most fungal diseases and some infections.
Although the episode got mixed reviews, it has become a favorite of a large group of fans who made it the third most popular episode on Facebook's 2012 poll of the best episodes. The episode also looks better in retrospect to many critics. The critic at Blogcritics initially gave the episode a positive review, but did a bit of second guessing after the negative response. However, the critic published a second review on re-viewing the episode that praised it even more.
One part of the episode that almost everyone liked, however, was the interaction between House and Cuddy over her attempt to get pregnant. House puts aside his sarcastic personality for once and seems entirely earnest when he gives Cuddy advice. Similarly, Lisa Edelstein's portrayal of Cuddy at a difficult time is also dead on and she manages to take off Cuddy's extra-tough exterior and show the character's vulnerable side without becoming a pushover. This ability served her well over the next four seasons as she has to deal with a number of personal crises.
- TV.com users rated the episode an 8.5.
- IMDB users rated the episode a 7.8, with 24.4% of users rating it a 10.
- Polite Dissent was particularly critical of the medicine in this episode. The arrythmia made sense, but not only did the autoimmune diagnosis come out of nowhere, there doesn't seem to be any reason not to try a very safe course of treatment - steroids. He rated the mystery a C, the solution a B+, the medicine a C- and the episode overall a B+
Trivia & Cultural References
- "Who's Your Daddy " is a common English idiom to express dominance over another person. It is used by Eric Foreman in this fashion in The Down Low when he tricks the rest of the team into taking a pay cut so he can have a raise. In the episode, it refers both to Leona's paternity and to Cuddy's choice of a sperm donor.
- The tune Leona is listening to on her headphones on the airplane is the famous hymn When the Saints Go Marching In. It has become a jazz standard and is associated with New Orleans. However, New Orleans request bands usually ask for a premium to play it rather than accept playing it several times a night.
- Hurricane Katrina was a category 3 hurricane that struck the City of New Orleans in August 2005. As a result of the surge from the storm, the protective levees around New Orleans were breached, resulting in widespread flooding of the city.
- House’s answering machine claims his telephone number is disconnected.
- Twister is a popular party-game which was first released in the 1960s.
- A "'fro" is an Afro - One of many popular African-American hair styles which has also includes shorter cuts and box braiding and many other styles.
- Square dancing is a form of folk dancing. Although highly associated with the United States, similar forms are found in Europe and Asia.
- Mozart was an 18th-century composer whose music is still among the most commonly performed of the classical repertoire.
- The idea the Nazis had about breeding 60 years ago was the now discredited practice of Eugenics
- Chicken mole (moe-LAY) is a Mexican chicken dish. "Mole" is a generic term for several types of sauce in Mexico, but outside of Mexico it usually refers to a type made primarily from chili peppers and chocolate.
- House implying that Crandall's girlfriend "blew him" was, of course, a reference to 
- Miles Davis is widely believed to be the best jazz trumpeter of all time.
- Swiss cheese is any of several types of American cheese that resemble Swiss Emmental cheese. They usually are cultured to have bacteria that create large pockets of carbon dioxide within the cheese which remain after the cheese cures and hardens.
- Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization.
- When Cuddy says she is leaning towards sperm donor 613, House replies, "Oh, sure, go with the Jewish number." House is referring to the 613 mitzvot, the canon of Jewish biblical law. Ironically, and suitably for the episode, the first of these is "be fruitful and multiply".
- In most House episodes, the main patient has one disease, and when the patient has more than one diseases, there's usually a causal relationship (Disease A causes Disease B) and coincidence is frowned upon. This episode is one of the rare instances when a patient has three separate, coincidental diseases: Abnormal electrical pathway in the heart resulting in cardiac arrhythmia; genetic hemochromatosis; and zygomycosis.
- House keeps making incorrect assumptions about when the patient will be well enough to leave the hospital, all tied to a meal time. He does much the same thing in the Season 4 episode Alone.
- Like some other characters on the series, Dylan Crandall was named after a crew member, in this case, costume designer Cathy Crandall
- Bill Nye the Science Guy was a children's science television program hosted by William "Bill" Nye from 1993 to 1998.
Dr. Gregory House: [to Cuddy about sperm donors] You're designing a kid, a loser kid! He's already getting pummeled at gym.
Dr. Lisa Cuddy: Need you. Now.
Dr. Gregory House: (in a deep voice) Yes, mistress.
Dr. Gregory House: She'll be fine by lunch. See I was wrong before... about the breakfast.
Dr. Gregory House: She'll be fine by... dinner.
Dr. Gregory House: Three rules for hunting fungus. Location, location, location.
Dylan Crandall: She said she'd never go back there.
Dr. Eric Foreman: She lied to you. She's your kid, get used to it.
Dr. Gregory House: She's a minor, she's gonna need consent.
Dr. Allison Cameron: I'll go talk to him.
Dr. Gregory House: Oh, that's an excellent plan! You'll give him the form and tell him it's wrong and dangerous.
Dr. Cameron: I can handle a simple consent form.
House: Okay, I'll be Crandall. "Dr. Cameron…"
Dr. Foreman: House, from what you say this guy will trust you…
House: Are you in this scene? Go.
Dr. Cameron: I need to talk to you about a procedure we'd like to do on Leona.
House: "Like to do"? Is this fun for you?
Dr. Cameron: He's not you—he's not going to mock me.
House: Stay in character. "I'm so scared—hold me."
Dr. Gregory House: [the outgoing message on House's answering machine] You've reached a number that has been disconnected and is no longer in service. If you feel you've reached this recording in error, go with it. Hang up. On three: One, two...
Cuddy: House, pick up. I know it's your day off. And you've no doubt got lots of exciting plans, but I've got a case.
Cameron: How do you test someone's response to pain.
House: Easy. Hurt them." (And House does hurt the patient.)
Cameron: She's lost everything and you're breaking fingers. A new low.
House: Diagnostically she needed to be hurt. I wanted to hurt her. Win-win. What I didn't consider was the threshold to trigger the hallucinations. Otherwise, I'd have done the finger=bending first instead of stabbing her twice. That was cruel.
Crandall: (refusing to have a paternity test done) ...If our friendship means anything to you
House: Come on. Do you know me at all?
Wilson: So, why were you friends with this guy?
House: We were 20 years old. He had a car. If he'd been a woman, I would have married him.
Wilson: (asking about Crandall and the girl who is supposed to be his daughter) Is he a match?
House: No. Lying girl lucked out. We found one in the registry.
Wilson: Is he the dad?
House: I don't think so.
Wilson: You didn't run the test?
House: Said I wouldn't.
Wilson: Okay. So either you lied or he has pictures of you being...nice?
Wilson: I find it very comforting. You defending a man you haven't seen in years. To know my friend, no matter what you'll always be my champion. My protector—
House: I'm not protecting him, I'm smacking her.
Wilson: The modesty of a true hero.
House: Push me and I'll let her die just so you'll stop annoying me.
Wilson: Here's my theory. You're jealous. He's maturing. he's accepting responsibility, you're emotionally stuck at 17.
House: He's manufacturing responsibility, he's not maturing. He hasn't changed at all.
Wilson: So then why do you care?
House: That black ooze we saw - that was a bowel movement. Out of her mouth.
Wilson: (eating Chicken Mole) You're trying to end this conversation by grossing me out? I'm an oncologist. Half my patients have the skin sloughing off. Why are you so worried about this guy?
House: He was having a rough time with his girlfriend. He was in love. He was always in love. Wanted to marry her. I thought she was flaky. She was sending mixed signals.
Wilson: So. you gave him advice and she dumped him.
House: No. I told him that I would talk to her.
Wilson: And you blew it?
House: Technically— [House makes a turn around hand gesture.] I was doing him a favor. She was nuts.
As a reward for his honesty and perhaps in a bit of disgust, Wilson gives House the rest of his specially prepared lunch.
House: We developed a theory. Hemochromatosis. Like good scientists we tested that theory. We proved that theory. We acted based on that proof and we treated her. As a result of which she is on the verge of death. Is it just me or have we discovered a flaw in the scientific method? Walk me through it step by step. What is supposed to happen when you give someone deferoxamine?
House: (to Cuddy on how she is choosing her baby's father) Genes matter. Who you are matters. Find somebody you trust.
Cuddy: Somebody like you?
House: Somebody you like.
House: Here is how to become a great artist: First, get miserable. Misery drives you to become a great artist, but the art does nothing for your misery, which drives you to drugs, which makes you a lousy artist!
House: How does somebody who believes absolutely anything become a non-fiction writer?
Crandall: And I'm her father.
House: Hmm. Yeah, she looks just like you. Got the same ' fro.
Crandall: I wrote a book about Baker. Hung out with him. And his daughter.
House: That is how babies are made.
Dr. Cuddy: The guy who brought the girl in, says he knows you. I thought I knew all your friend.
House: Do I know you?
Crandall: C'mon, it's me, Crandall.
House: Doesn't ring a bell.
Crandall: I can't believe...
House: Unless you mean Dylan Crandall, the man who'll believe anything. Because I just made you believe...
House: Donor 1284 likes square dancing. No one likes square dancing.
Dr. Cuddy: You didn't tell anyone else what I'm doing?
House: Not a soul.
Dr. Cuddy: Wilson? Cameron? Maybe you mentioned it to her.
House: No, I'm really a good secret-keeper. Never told anyone that Wilson wets his bed. Oh, you tricked me.
Dr. Cameron: She's a Katrina victim.
House: She's better than Crandall – he's a Katrina victim victim.
House: Pretentiousness is hereditary. Just because they haven't found the gene yet...
House: Don't try to talk. You've got a big medical thing in your mouth.
House: So, what is she, Foreman? A light-skinned black chick or dark-skinned white chick?
Crandall: Heard about your leg.
House: Yeah, pulled my hamstring playing Twister. Just gonna walk it off.
Chase: Her heart's fragile after that last attack! The chances of tachycardia are...
House: You have my permission to blame Foreman in any negligence trial.
- Hugh Laurie as Gregory House
- Lisa Edelstein as Lisa Cuddy
- Omar Epps as Eric Foreman
- Robert Sean Leonard as James Wilson
- Jennifer Morrison as Allison Cameron
- Jesse Spencer as Robert Chase
- D.B. Sweeney as Dylan Crandall
- Aasha Davis as Leona
- Christopher Carley as Patrick Linehan
- America Olivo as Ingrid
- Tuffet Shemelzle as Max's Mother
- Owen Pearce as Max
- Krista Lewis as Flight Attendant
- United States - May 16, 2006 on Fox
- Canada - May 16, 2006 on Global
- Germany - April 24, 2007
- Netherlands - June 7, 2007 on SBS 6
- Bulgaria - June 18, 2007 on NOVA
- France - June 27, 2007
- Estonia - July 6, 2007
- Czech Republic - October 29, 2007 on TV Nova
- Hungary - October 31, 2007
- Belgium - November 22, 2007 on KanaalTwee
- Japan - November 27, 2007
- Finland - February 14, 2008
In other languages
- France and Quebec - De père inconnu ("Unknown Father")
- Spain & Latin America - ¿Quién es tu papi? ("Who is your daddy?")
- Episode article at Wikipedia
- Episode page at IMDB
- Episode page at House MD Guide
- Episode review at Blogcritics
- Episode article at The TV IV
- Episode guide at Ace Showbiz
- Mirror page at the Vietnamese House Wiki
- Episode page at TV.com
- A review of the medicine at Polite Dissent
- Episode transcript at Clinic Duty
This article was the featured article for November, 2013
Who's Your Daddy?
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