A question about the "Three Stories" episode of House

I’m trying to work out the timeline of the three stories. Presumably, the story of the drug addict occurs before the other two. So how does House have visions of two cases that haven’t occurred yet?

It only works out for me if the cases of the farmer and the volleyball player never actually happened and were invented by House for effect.

All three of the stories have already happened when House is telling the stories. Presumably the drug addict story (House’s story) happened before the volleyball and snakebite stories, but they all happened before House was teaching the class.

House’s story was first, because it happened before he ever had his team. The snakebike and vollyball story happen sometime later, though I don’t think there’s a way to tell when, at least in relation to each other.

Right. So when House is flashing back to his near-death experience, he saw visions of the farmer with his nifty new prosthetic leg and the volleyball player at one of her games. But at the time of his near-death experience, the farmer’s case and the volleyball player’s case hadn’t yet occurred, so how did he have visions of them?

I got the feeling that time was other-than-linear throughout that episode.

Any time you notice something like that, a wizard did it.

I considered the possibility that Cameron, Foreman and Chase didn’t actually work on the cases, but were included for the same reason that Carmen Electra was included – i.e., just for the hell of it, for the purpose of storytelling. But when House described the overly compassionate doctor who took the excruciatingly detailed history of the volleyball player, it seemed like Cameron had to have been there.

I think this was actually the point, that he had a vision that was impossible.

I don’t understand why they’d want to make that point.

Dramatic licence. They have three paralel stories with different outcomes and diferent ways that the patient feels about their plight. It would not be as effective if we didn’t see each. Besides they weren’t necessarily House’s visions, just images we happen to see to make the point.

Somebody (Chase?) actually questions someone else (Cameron?) at the end of this episode about whether House really believes he had a vision, I’m pretty sure. (I also think the answer was ‘No’). My impression was that it was not meant to be clear.

I think partly they were opening the door to a mystery, a suggestion of things beyond this world, beyond death, that even the most skeptical of doctors must surely find themselves wondering about. Or maybe House was just messing with them.

If I’m misremembering the scene I mentioned, I could be wrong. I’ll take a look at the episode again when I have some time soon and check.